The Spin 

As our once removed cousin to the Southeast, Murfreesboro’s mark on Nashville shone Friday night when three former ’Boro residents and one current converged to raise funds for Vandy’s college radio station WRVU at The End.

Shirtless dance-off!

As our once removed cousin to the Southeast, Murfreesboro’s mark on Nashville shone Friday night when three former ’Boro residents and one current converged to raise funds for Vandy’s college radio station WRVU at The End. Typical procrastination caused us to miss ANOTHER SIDE OF BOB JASMIN last week, and while we didn’t exactly arrive early this time, there was still plenty Bob to be heard. Singer-songwriter JASMIN KASET’s feline voice overlays rudimentary guitar strokes to deliver well constructed indie femme-folk tunes. Lyrics occasionally dipped into more melancholy territory, but Kaset’s sanguine delivery made even the downhearted moments sound upbeat. Kaset was joined off and on by LAUREL LANE, who contributed backing vocals and a few tunes of her own. Lane’s elfish frame proved an unsuspecting vessel for an alarmingly melodic set of pipes. Round two featured the fiercely unstoppable MAKEUP & VANITY SET. The venue’s collective sanity stepped out for a smoke break during the short half hour that electro-magician MATTHEW PUSTI spent on, or rather in front of, the stage. Hovering over a table covered in knobs, switches, screens and keys blasting spastic high-energy techno beats, the typically ski-masked Pusti thrashed about with moves resembling something like a hyperactive pee-pee dance while punching buttons, twiddling knobs and occasionally leading the crowd in a series of warm-up stretches. Theatrics increased when a sideman—identified as Protomen’s CAL DYKES—blasted Pusti and others with a fog machine and brandished a handheld strobe light throughout the set. Things went from crazy to ludicrous once an old-fashioned “dance fight” ensued on stage. Two shirtless men battled it out for a few minutes before penetrating the congregation with their sweaty bodies. It was a difficult act to follow, but a challenge the VELCRO STARS met. Now one of Murfreesboro’s longest-running indie acts, the Stars gave another reliably stellar performance full of jangly guitars, haphazard melodies and scrappy pop anthems. Rounding out the evening, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY galloped through a collection of elaborately orchestrated indie-pop show tunes to a room that had by that point slowly been reduced to maybe a third of what we met upon arrival.

Don’t bogart that fire, dude

What better way to spend a Sunday than soaking in a little bit of the devil’s music? HIGH ON FIRE rolled into the Exit/In with an elite supporting cast, the first of whom were Little Rock natives RWAKE. Their 10-year hard-touring existence has landed them in Nashville often, so they had a more attentive crowd than what might otherwise be expected for the opener of a four-band bill. The crowd’s enthusiasm was rewarded with some old numbers for the band’s “old-school friends,” but regardless of song age, the six-piece set the bar impossibly high for the rest of the night. Specializing in slow and heavy, Rwake doesn’t just chug along—rather, the songs are intricately layered without sacrificing the intensity that set them apart from the rest of the openers. Second was SAVIOURS, who seemed downright tame compared to the extremes that preceded them. Blending ’70s classic rock with New Wave of British Heavy metal guitar heroics, Saviours might have held their own had the sound guy not insisted on pushing the volume passed any discernable level. Not every knob needs to go to 11. Well, OK, maybe they do—maybe it was Saviors’ fault all along. Next were A LIFE ONCE LOST, who brought their own stage lights, projector and stenciled amps. It was nice to look at, but pretty terrible to hear—the kind of generic metalcore typically associated with band names of that length. (Hot Topic metal is apparently alive and well.) Luckily, a shirtless MATT PIKE came to the rescue as High on Fire took to a stage that had become crowded with black T-shirts with indistinguishable logos and devil-horns aplenty. The set leaned heavily on their most accomplished record to date, Death Is This Communion, which takes the band’s already perfected quasi-punk heaviness and emphasizes hooks rather than sheer aggression. Not that the aggression wasn’t there, but the obvious fun Pike had was a welcomed alternative to his often overly self-serious peers.


Sad pants

Saturday night we hit The 5 Spot for what a few new East Nashville incarnations self-described as a night of “side projectitis”—in this case, an EP release for OLE MOSSY FACE side project SAD APARTMENT and CARTER ADMINISTRATION side project THE LEGAL LIMITS. The aptly named Sad Apartment kicked off with a breezy, sad-bastard melancholy set of down-tempo folk-country. The songs were the sort you’d imagine coming from a dude living in, like, a sad apartment, who felt compelled to write a bunch of sad songs about the various crossroads you might encounter in life. This included, but was not limited to, a forlorn cover of Eagles’ hit “Take it Easy.” The lap steel, sluggishly crooned harmonies and the Brian Wilson-ish dude on keys gave the whole thing a despondent airiness. If you got really depressed on a gorgeous Southern summer day and drove around kinda buzzed on backroads, it would sound like Sad Apartment. We didn’t stick around for the whole set, because it made us need to drink some beers to the soundtrack of a guaranteed up-tempo ray of sunshine like Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks,” so we took refuge at the Red Door for a bit. We headed back in time to catch Legal Limits, fronted by Carter Administration’s RYAN ERVIN and featuring a cross-section of members from various East Side bands. Ervin’s voice has a wonderful, emotive pop quality and it sounded great against this group’s lilting ramble. This band allowed Ervin to show off his more meandering, country side—and the EP, mastered by JEREMY FERGUSON at Battletapes and given out free at the show, perfectly captures the spirit of these catchy, mellow tunes. As the band hit the meat of their set, people continued to trickle in and pretty soon the place was pretty much packed. Ole Mossy Face closed out the night with their raw rollicking rock tunes and then it was back over to Red Door to finish up our East Side evening.

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