The once ubiquitous dance party craze that swept through town last summer, winter and spring seemed to fizzle out as of late, only to pop up in full form last Saturday night. The End was looking pretty desolate when we arrived for Left Can Dance’s “Back to the Garage” party. We were too late to catch the heavily hyped set of jump blues from legendary WRVU DJ Pete Wilson, but then most everyone else was too. The crowd steadily increased, though, and finally culminated into American Bandstand mode around midnight, reaching its apex about the time the Northridge Rangers mounted the stage. The Rangers were able to preserve the commotion with their traditional, twangy surf instrumentals. Afterward, LCD’s resident DJs kept the party in full swing, switching things up from their usual electro and post-punk mix, instead opting for a playlist of ’60s garage, ’70s glam, ’80s new wave and a few modern faves to balance things out. But there was too much action on the menu for us to be complacent sampling only half of what the night had to offer: Buddytown’s return to high society was just a few short blocks down 21st, but its vibe was rocking in a parallel dimension. We heard the bass pulsating through the sidewalk long before we reached the door where we found The Trace packed to the gills with a drunken, sweaty, throbbing mass of socialites that dwarfed LCD’s attendance exponentially. The dance floor was a tightly compressed sea of sweat, liquor and colliding flesh that seemed as if it would devour us whole. The rest of the club teemed with more pretty people than one could reasonably ogle, milling about and mobbing the bar nonstop. Elbow room thinned out as the hours passed on, but energy remained in full force until last call. Whether this indicates a second wind in the dance party trend or was just a blast from the past remains to be seen. Either way, Nashville still jumps at the chance to get down once in a while.
Can’t trust that day
We showed up at The 5 Spot as Eastern Hearts Head North were getting started and Monday Night Football was winding down. The band’s reference points (Polvo and Hum to name two) are dear to our, uh, hearts, but it seemed like the set still needed some work, and a sometimes muddy mix didn’t help matters. We had been looking forward to seeing The Sky Drops and were not disappointed—well, not exactly. They played a shorter set than we were hoping for, and with Rob Montejo’s gigantic guitar tone, drummer Monika Bullette’s stick work got a little lost in the maelstrom. Still, we were plenty charmed by their harmony vocals, billowing guitar lines and massive, distorted chords. The Turn-In capped the night with an alternately manic and droning set of indie-psych. Is that even a term? Anyway, the football fans who left after Steve Young analyzed the Seahawks’ offense missed a performance that ended with both a guitar and a band member on the floor, awash in deep-space pulsating feedback.
The Wizardly Osby
Jazz lovers, you got plans Thursday and Friday night? Rip ’em up. In a stunning coup, the MTSU Jazz Artist Series in Murfreesboro has landed a weeklong guest-artist residency by master alto saxophonist Greg Osby, one of the brightest talents in contemporary jazz. A St. Louis native with 16 albums as bandleader to his credit, including several with the dazzling young pianist Jason Moran, Osby has used his jabbing improvisatory style to venture beyond bop and free jazz into taboo realms of rap and reggae. Small wonder he’s played with everyone from Jack DeJohnette and Herbie Hancock to a reformed version of The Grateful Dead.
The week climaxes as Osby performs with the MTSU Jazz Faculty 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and with student ensembles 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16. Tickets to the Thursday show are $15; the performance Friday is free and open to the public. Both shows are at Hinton Hall in MTSU’s Wright Music Building. What’s more, his workshops are open to outside students. Call 904-8021 for more information.
Postmodern retroThe Basement transformed into a garage for one night only last Thursday, as the gritty, retro-rock tandem of Atlanta’s Coathangers and the French Canadian quartet Demon’s Claws stumbled into town.
The bill was certainly one to get excited about, but not very many people did. While the crowd remained underwhelming over the course of the night, new local group Stories That Live had the unenviable task of warming up the throng of maybe a dozen. Stories That Live have lost a guitarist since we last saw them, but the remaining trio played a taut and jangly post-punk set. Some songs suffered from the recent downsizing, but bassist Joe Colvert’s quasi-funky staccato lines filled the gaps nicely. Next, the Coathangers launched into their set of sometimes quirky, other times snotty garage rock, combining the riot grrl aggression of The Slits with the careless musicality of The Shaggs—and a hefty load of hormones (see lyric “nestle in my boobies”). Tourmates Demon’s Claws, from Montreal, were next, playing sloppy rhythm-and-booze and hamming it up for the four Coathangers who comprised the front row. By the time Turncoats took to the stage, the crowd had dwindled close to single digits, with singer/guitarist Lin Regensberg asking if anyone had watched a band practice before. The Murfreesboro band proved that they’d been rehearsing quite a bit already, having broken in a new bassist after losing Ricky Bizness to How I Became the Bomb’s most recent European jaunt. The band didn’t miss a beat, plowing through their set of ’60s-influenced garage pop as the remaining heads in the crowd nodded approvingly.
Tommy Takes (Forty-)Five
Tommy Womack—author, essayist, amateur Mafia historian, and maker of the rock-therapy album of the year, There, I Said It!—turns 45 this week. No longer single, but capable of infinite revolutions per minute, he celebrates with a 9 p.m. show Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Mercy Lounge. Special guests include Marshall Chapman, Warner Hodges, Bill Lloyd, Johnny Thompson, Jonell Mosser and Lisa Gray; Ned Van Go opens. Tickets are $7.What are you thankful for this holiday season? Please don’t let us know at email@example.com.
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