The Spin 

Last Thursday at Rumours Wine Bar on 12th Avenue South, Niceley and guitarist Joe McMahan weaved and slithered their way through a couple sets of moody, downtempo material, veiled in echo and slowly undulating tremolo that hypnotized and seduced, rendering the establishment’s considerable stock of fermented grape beverages redundant.
Niceley done Jennifer Niceley’s music is a bit like morphine—the drug, not the band. Last Thursday at Rumours Wine Bar on 12th Avenue South, Niceley and guitarist Joe McMahan weaved and slithered their way through a couple sets of moody, downtempo material, veiled in echo and slowly undulating tremolo that hypnotized and seduced, rendering the establishment’s considerable stock of fermented grape beverages redundant. The Wine Bar is an unusual venue for live music—the duo played in the vestibule, facing patrons as soon as they walked in—but such peculiarities gave the performance an offbeat charm. Featuring material from her recent debut EP Seven Songs, as well as an eclectic assortment of covers ranging from Webb Pierce to the Velvet Underground, Niceley’s music had a visceral quality that seeped in unobtrusively, even if you weren’t paying close attention—just like walking in a light mist eventually leaves you soaked. McMahan’s subtle guitar textures are sublime—he has a particular knack for sounding far off, even when he’s two feet in front of you—and Niceley played some fine guitar herself, occasionally picking up a Danelectro baritone guitar to fingerpick some of her accompaniments. The duo will be playing Rumours every Thursday in January, starting at 8:30 p.m. Why you shouldn’t book a gig during the Rose Bowl Singer-songwriter Cory Branan played two dynamic acoustic sets to a lean but devoted crowd on Wednesday night at the Basement. The Quiet Life, a young, likable roots rock band from New London, Conn., played during the interlude. QL’s Sean Spellman told bad stories, and then told some more bad stories about telling bad stories. But as Branan quipped when he returned to the stage, “If you admit they’re bad it’s kind of endearing.” A sense of humor is a great thing to have when you’re playing to a mostly empty room—the intimate setting freed up Branan to crack jokes (even about his own songs, admitting to playing some “douche-bag sensitive ones”) and take requests. We were impressed that his enthusiasm never wavered, even when he was competing with the Rose Bowl on the TV behind the bar. (He even offered to narrate the last couple plays.) He’s a recent Nashville transplant, and it’s clear he has yet to build up the local following that his thoughtful, literate songwriting merits. He’s just as witty and adept recounting narratives about a romance with a waitress or the white trash girls he grew up with in Mississippi as he is lamenting the heartbreak he suffered when KISS took their makeup off. Vintage LP They used to be disgusted; now they’ll try to be amused as The Long Players convene for their first show of the year, covering Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True in its entirety Saturday night at the Mercy Lounge. Alex Call, whose former band Clover backed Costello on his ’77 debut LP, will sit in for a song, as will ringers such as Jonell Mosser, Bobby Bare Jr., John Cowan, Phil Madeira, Amelia White, Sam Powers, Kent Agee and Tommy Lee James. The core band remains John Deaderick, Steve Ebe, Steve Allen and E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent, with miracle man Bill Lloyd as bandleader. For next time, we suggest either Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica; Dr. Dre’s The Chronic; or Lester “Roadhog” Moran & The Cadillac Cowboys: Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School. As EC would say, “I know it don’t thrill you; I hope it don’t kill you.” Naked Nashville Local pop-rocker Josh Jackson undresses his latest installment of “Nashville Rock: Stripped” this Friday at 12th & Porter. Like MTV Unplugged, the performance series, which takes place every few months, seeks to strip songs to their essence, free of the effects and ornamentation that can sometimes mask bad writing or obscure good writing. In addition, Jackson hopes to desegregate Nashville’s splintered musical community, and to that end combines acts from different genres that wouldn’t typically perform together. Friday’s show features Jackson’s band along with DeadSun, Thaxton Ward, Gear Driven, Jason Salzer, Merced and Blue Morning. For more information, visit myspace.com/nashvillerockstripped. The kids are alright Some of Nashville’s young’uns will be strutting their stuff Thursday, Jan. 12, when LENNY, Falling for Yesterday, The Class of 98 and Victory at Last take the stage at Exit/In. LENNY frontman JD Dickerson, incidentally, is son of original Prince guitarist Dez Dickerson, though don’t expect to hear anything akin to his Royal Purpleness; hard-driving emo and pop-punk are the flavors of the day. The show is all ages; doors at 6 p.m., music at 7. In the Stranger Than Paradise Dept. Hey, what’s this we hear about Jim Jarmusch scouting out Nashville locations for a White Stripes video? And about Harmony Korine shooting a Cat Power video here? That’s as awesome as the time Wim Wenders went to the Opry.

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