So ... This Happened in 2010: Nylon to Next Big Nashville, KOL to WRVU 

The Year in Music

The Year in Music
Nylon Loves Nashville
If there's one phrase we could live without ever hearing again, it's "Nashville may be known for country music, but ..." And while Nylon's six-page love letter to what makes our city rad as hell didn't entirely escape the cliché, we're willing to forgive them (we know better than anyone that Tay-Tay references are too good to pass up). The fashion mag was plastered with shout-outs to everything from JEFF the Brotherhood to Imogene + Willie to Hog Heaven, with their trip culminating in a last-minute rager thrown at Glenn Danzig's House. Now that's what we call journalism. —Lance Conzett

KOL Peak at No. 2
In one of the strangest and most widely discussed stories of the summer touring season, Nashville's top arena-rock exports halted a show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis after just three songs because pigeons were pooping on them. In a statement released after the show (they rescheduled and made up the date for free on Sept. 25), the band's management referred to an "infestation," saying that "Jared was hit several times during the first two songs. On the third song, when he was hit in the cheek and some of it landed near his mouth, they couldn't deal any longer." The horror! —Steve Haruch

Record Stores Have a Bad Day
If you ran a record store this year that wasn't Grimey's, we're going to go ahead and offer our condolences now. It's bad enough that the recording industry and the economy are both still in the proverbial crapper, but local record shops also had to contend with acts of gods and landlords on top of it. May flooding caused untold amounts of damage to The Great Escape's Charlotte Avenue location, The Groove lost its sweet location in Five Points, and most heartbreakingly, the original Great Escape on Broadway shuttered. While The Groove and TGE have both reopened, we can't help but still feel the phantom pains. —Lance Conzett

Southern Exposure
It's a new universal truth: If you decide to let a gentleman take naked pictures of you (or take those pictures yourself), someone other than the intended recipient will see your business. For us plebs, the damage will likely be limited to just Mom or the boss, but for Ke$ha and Paramore's Hayley Williams, their hot tit pix bounced all over the Internet, via Perez Hilton and a "hacked" Twitter account, respectively. Though there was no real damage done, consider this: Their moms probably read the Internet, too. Lessons learned all around! —Ashley Spurgeon

VSC Puts WRVU Broadcast License on the Block
In September, the Scene's music blog (Nashville Cream) broke the news that the Vanderbilt Student Communications Board is now considering "the migration ... to exclusively online programming and the sale of its broadcast license." Translation: Vanderbilt may soon be taking the "radio" out of "college radio." That is, if they can find a buyer, and if the community's "Save WRVU" efforts don't prevent the fire-breathing Clear Channel beast from swallowing WRVU's terrestrial signal. Arbitron numbers cited in a recent New York Times piece indicate the station's audience is roughly 30,000 listeners a week — as opposed to the 300 or so claimed by the VSC board — but few can argue that selling the station's broadcast license could earn the VSC a pretty penny. —D. Patrick Rodgers

Young Buck Goes (for?) Broke
We're not going to say we were surprised when we heard that Nashville's token platinum rap artist filed for bankruptcy — he'd already had a very visible and ugly beef with former mentor 50 Cent, he'd been raided by the feds for tax evasion and the music industry had more or less left him for dead. But just because we saw it coming doesn't make it any less of a bummer. It's a well-known fact that a man's "creative juices" are a direct representation of the number of black-light posters of pot leaves said man has in his possession. —Sean L. Maloney

Breaking up Is Easy to Do ... Apparently
Every year brings its share of broken dreams, cleared-out rehearsal spaces and canceled gigs, and 2010 was no exception. This year Nashville bade farewell to a number of bands, though some of them have left the door open, just a crack, throwing around terms like "indefinite hiatus" or "sorry, we're gonna have to cancel." Among the departed, or at least temporarily suspended: Lifetrap, And the Relatives, Eureka Gold, Deep Vibration, So Jazzy, This Is Art, Frank the Fuck Out, Mean Tambourines, The Privates, Happy Birthday Amy, Hannah Barbarians, Bad Friend and De Novo Dahl. —Steve Haruch

Next Big Nashville Opens Eyes
That Nashville is about more than country music is, by now, a foregone conclusion. (Even outsiders are privy to this fact — look no further than the aforementioned November issue of Nylon.) But it was arguably the fifth iteration of Next BIG Nashville that really cemented what we've been saying for years in the wider imagination. Among others, local acts like synth-pop savant Ross Wariner (Uncle Skeleton), Nashville's Dead cohorts PUJOL and Turbo Fruits, and our resident genre-hopping DJ crew Mashville, shared the stage with nationally touted artists like Yeasayer, Wavves, RJD2 and more, each decidedly uncharacteristic of our city's assumed one-note aesthetic. Thanks in large part to NBN, that tired conventional wisdom was turned on its head in 2010. —Ryan Burleson

New York Adopts Nashville
One minute we're wishing the rest of the country would take notice of our local rock scene, and the next we're like, "Wait a second, those are our bands." This year, New York started looking like East East Nashville: First the Village Voice's Sound of the City blog debuted JEFF the Brotherhood's video for "Mind Ride," then Brooklyn Vegan followed suit, debuting Heavy Cream's "Watusi," the first single off their album Danny. (Is it weird to get gushing PR emails from NYC about Nashville bands — that quote things we've said about those bands? Uh-huh.) Soon enough, PUJOL were playing on WFMU, JEFF the Brotherhood were headlining the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Nashville was suddenly the apple of the Big Apple's collective eye. —Steve Haruch

Third Man Rules Pretty Hard
Our Best of Nashville award for local record label went to Infinity Cat, but Jack White's Third Man really stepped up in a big way in 2010. From hosting some of the year's most memorable performances — Conan O'Brien, The 5.6.7.8's and two wild Next Big Nashville showcases, to name a few — to inspiring legions of vinyl lovers (and greedy eBay flippers, whom White recently dressed down on the TMR website) to snap up snazzy, limited-edition pressings, Third Man brought serious excitement and cachet to a Nashville rock scene that's as hungry and energized as it has been in years. —Steve Haruch

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