A couple of months ago, we visited our older brother in Louisville, Ky. He’s a great brother, we love him—though we could do with fewer Charlie horses—but he has terrible taste in music. Do you ever think to yourself: Who are all those Nickelback fans out there? How do they live? What are they thinking?! Well, we know one—and we’re blood-related. He also enjoys Matchbox 20, Sugarland and contemporary Bon Jovi. So, when we were asked to DJ off our iPod for a spirited Wii bowling session, we had a hard time coming up with what to play. We put on BAND OF HORSES. A little while later, said brother remarked, “This actually isn’t so bad—it’s not like your usual, weird music.” That’s the thing about Band of Horses—we like them, but they’re easy to like. The music is pretty and unobtrusive and as complex as you want it to be. So last Tuesday when we headed to Exit/In to check out Band of Horses, we weren’t surprised to find a diverse crowd: indie kids, Vandy Kids, yuppies, lots of dudes with beards in flannel. We missed the two openers and were anxious for some rock by the time the band took the stage. They opened with “Monsters”—a slow burn number off their debut Everything All the Time. It wouldn’t have been our choice, but BEN BRIDWELL’s voice has an undeniably effective quality, even if it wouldn’t be completely unfair to refer to him as the poor man’s Jim James. After that, the show picked up with a couple tunes off 2007’s Cease to Begin—including the expansive “Is There a Ghost.” The sold-out crowd was subdued but attentive—with the exception of a couple anomalous dancers and quite a few very drunk girls. With a six-man band, the sound was full and varied—though it was nothing compared to the textile of noise we raved about during the band’s opening slot for Modest Mouse at The Ryman. Bridwell has a slightly awkward but endearing stage presence, and everyone in the room seemed to be enjoying a night of head-nodding Southern-tinged indie rock. Band of Horses might not be as transcendent as everyone wants them to be, but they are pretty darn hard to dislike.
Every once in a while, Nashville is graced with the presence of an artist so transcendent and exceptional that the hip and the unhip put aside their differences and come out to party. Despite being moved from the Mercy Lounge to the more spacious Cannery Ballroom downstairs, SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS still managed to fill the venue to near capacity. We arrived just as the Central European folk ensemble IVAN MILEV BAND wrapped, but something told us we hadn’t missed anything too phenomenal. The ballroom was almost entirely devoid of its typical whiskey-swilling rock crowd, packed instead with tweed-jacketed 40-somethings and people who just screamed former marching band geek. The crowd was already shoulder-to-shoulder and swaying in drunken anticipation by the time the Kings took the stage. Dap-Kings guitarist BINKY GRIPTITE MCed and served as frontman for a handful of opening low-key soul numbers. When effervescent songstress SHARON JONES finally joined the band onstage, she was met with a wall of enthusiastic applause that rarely subsided. The sassy, strutting Jones could very well be the illegitimate love child of James Brown and Tina Turner, bursting with an electrifying stage presence. Jones has a penchant for pulling awkwardly gyrating WASPs onstage, giving them dance pointers and crooning to them playfully before sending them back into the masses. The Kings’ brass section was nearly flawless, though barely audible over the crowd—most of the guitars and percussion were washed out completely. Jones and the Kings finished with an encore that included a soaring cover of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World.” But between the stifling climate of the packed Cannery and the scores of spastically pulsating couples, we didn’t feel pressed to stick around until the bitter end. One thing is certain, however: Jones’ voice just makes the booze go down more smoothly.
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jared corder complaining about people moving here is a bit ironic. pot meet kettle.
nobody said so so glos and desaparecidos for best 2013 show! surprising.
Totally agree with Caves as top album of the year----killer album!
Looks like a bunch of people jerking off all over their drinkin' buddies.
Mystery Twins should've gotten some love. They put their album out all by themselves and…