Don’t just do something, stand there!
Does it matter to you that Oasis
think Nashville girls are ugly? That Noel Gallagher
asked a Sunday Ryman crowd, “Shouldn’t you be in church?” Do you care that Liam
sings with his arms down at his sides, perfectly still, looking more awkward and disgruntled than any teenager could ever hope to be? Does it bother you that, when he’s not singing, he stands off to the side, adjusts his balls once, twice, then remains motionless until it’s his turn to sing again? That he never smiles? Do you care about any of this, when they can play song after song, every chord perfect, their voices hitting every note, every scratch, every scream? Do you care about their blasé attitudes when you’re surrounded by shouting fans? Or when the girl in front of you jumps up and down for an hour-and-a-half straight, when the person next to you sings every word to every song, or when the fists fly into the air as Liam sings, “Don’t put your life in the hands / of a rock ’n’ roll band / who’ll throw it all away,” at the start of “Don’t Look Back in Anger”? Or when they rip into a flawless cover of “My Generation” that just might (blasphemy!) rival the original? Which is more important—the music or the act? Oasis act like sullen children, but does it matter when, in the end, they rock their asses off? As far as we’re concerned, the answer is no. It doesn’t matter one bit. Spotted wandering fearlessly among the tainted masses: Nashville’s latest entry into the First-Names-Only Couples Hall of Distinction, Keith
Jenny, you’ve got our number
As we scrambled to find a seat in the darkness of the Belcourt Theatre on Sunday night, we could tell right away that something was amiss. By the time we had kicked a couple shins and groped a few knees, we had tumbled down the rabbit hole into a bizarre world, part American Idol
audition, part Christopher Guest mockumentary—an indie-rock This Is Spinal Tap
. We’ve seen some bad opening bands before, but Whispertown 2000
may have just set the benchmark—among the chorus of disapproving remarks from the crowd, we even overheard an exasperated fan propose banning them from re-entering the city limits of Nashville. From lead singer Morgan Nagler
’s atonal, amusical singing to their imperfect harmonies and sloppy playing, it was like watching a bunch of really stoned kids “jam.” Fortunately, Jenny Lewis
’ vocal virtuosity served as medicine to our aching ears. The Rilo Kiley frontwoman’s exquisite voice is filled with an effortless ache, in the vein of Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline. Couple it with her unassuming sex appeal—she sipped Miller High Lifes in a precious vintage dress while peaking out from under that unruly mane of red hair—and the resulting blend of charisma and blue-eyed soul was truly intoxicating. No wonder she sounds so at home singing the lilting country-folk tunes of her recent solo record Rabbit Fur Coat,
which made up the majority of her set.
Whether hushing the sell-out crowd with a delicate ballad or belting her way through some of the more rollicking numbers over lap steel and the Watson Twins
It seems like Keith Lowen
has played with pretty much every band in Nashville—most recently Harper, The Privates and Hail to the Keith—so he’s got some useful connections. A couple of Mondays ago, he hosted Mercy Lounge’s “8 off 8tth” Writers night, treating the crowd to short sets by a myriad of local bands, including a surprise reunion performance by Lifeboy
. The atmosphere was casual, festive and, best of all, free. For this Monday’s show, Lowen has assembled an exceptionally strong bill, more fun than should be legal on a weekday night: The Pink Spiders
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