Wizardz ’n’ blizzardzAgainst the better advice of weathermen and our moms, we braved the elements Friday night to catch the Infinity Cat party at Local Honey. Given the 6 p.m. start time, we were afraid we’d cut it close showing up an hour later. Fortunately, things were far from underway once we got inside. Only a handful of folks were milling about the store, sipping cheap beer while the bands set up in back. We chatted for over an hour as people filtered in, the snow fell increasingly faster and The Muggabears finally got things going. Hailing from Brooklyn and en route to SXSW, The Muggabears clamored and jangled with noise straight out of the Sonic Youth school of racket rock. While there still wasn’t quite a full house, it didn’t take many folks to fill up the bedroom-size space for which volume was not the least bit scaled down. Despite their experimental obscurity, The Muggabears play some solid pop songs that never let the dissonance or weirdness overpower. The tiny boutique was comfortably crowded by the time Sisters—also from Brooklyn—kicked off with an intro powered by a tiny Casio keyboard that managed to attract only a fraction of the folks just before. What followed was some ear-splitting power-pop executed by a shaggy-haired guitar/drums duo, both reinforced with prerecorded tracks by way of a CD player and a wall of amps that had most of us shielding our ears but remaining no less attentive. Outside, the streets were now covered in a thick, powdery blanket of fresh snow. There’s a fine line between a brave devotion to rock ’n’ roll and the downright stupidity that prevents fleeing to safety, but we obviously fell in the former category, sticking around to catch Wizardz. (Others exercised a little more common sense and bailed while the roads were still navigable.) There was still a healthy-sized mob left, eager to catch this new collaboration between members of minimalist DIY sibling-rock duo JEFF and local basement show faves Meemaw. What they’ve come up with is a dream catcher-adorned, muscle-toned mix of punk, classic rock and a little Southern working-class camp value thrown in for flavor. It’s quite possibly the perfect soundtrack to blare from your restored Camaro, speeding through a sunny afternoon in Smyrna while sporting an ironic handlebar mustache and matching trucker hat. Unfortunately, our survivalist instincts kicked in mid-set, and we too succumbed to Mother Nature’s threats to slip and slide through the winter wonderland home.
Snow jobFishtailing down Eighth Avenue while assholes in SUVs do their best to sideswipe every parked car on the street was not part of our plan to see De Novo Dahl at Mercy Lounge Friday night. Usually, when Nashville meteorologists say “two to four inches of snow,” we assume they mean “a flurry that will freak out our mother-in-law, but won’t amount to anything.” How were we supposed to know the Blizzard of ’08 wasn’t bullshit? The nasty precipitation forced us to stay unpleasantly sober as we headed from one gig to the next, down the treacherous but essentially empty roads of our fair city—and it wasn’t really worth it. In DND’s defense, they mail it in better than anybody around town, but we could tell their heart wasn’t in it (with good reason). This show was their last hometown gig before their major label debut, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound, drops on March 25, and the place was empty. It should have been a triumphant throw-down for the hometown heroes, but Mother Nature put the kibosh on that. Ah well, sleet happens.
Re-upAs the snow melted Saturday, we found ourselves moved to try again and get out and hear some rock ’n’ roll—and Atlanta rockers The Selmanaires at The Mercy Lounge certainly seemed like the best option. Charleston’s happy-go-lucky pop troubadours The Explorers Club took the stage to a timid crowd that situated itself in an awkward crescent for the duration of their set. The Explorers Club’s well-rehearsed four-part harmonies and full instrumentation were energetic but more than just a bit sentimental. Let’s just say there is such a thing as being too influenced by The Beach Boys. Next came locals The Silver Seas, who, by the looks of it, have clearly drawn a following among pop-friendly 30-somethings. They played well in an inoffensive Billy Joel type of way, but with The Selmanaires came the promise of some pounding psychedelic fun. The crowd seemed a bit thin for a Saturday night, but The Selmanaires were energizing as usual with their sincere brand of modern punk. Their driving dance beats and bass lines resembled the likes of Television and Gang of Four, and their chanting falsetto vocals were in the vein of Can. Though some songs ran a bit long, The Selmanaires’ performance was by far the best of the evening, even if most of the crowd didn’t seem to know who they were.
Head trip in every keyThe Spin prides itself on two distinct qualities: the ability to find a bad pun in just about any situation and our utter indifference to celebrity, pseudo- or otherwise. We’ve spent years perfecting our hipper-than-thou postures in hope of obscuring the fact that we are basically just quivering little nerds with sweaty palms and unwieldy record collections. This façade came crashing down last week when we found out that Knoxville’s guitar-pop legends Superdrag were recording a reunion record with Jason Bullock and Joe Colvert at Lake Fever Productions on Music row. (If that news doesn’t bring out your inner alterna-rock fanboy, nothing will.) The band was in great spirits when we crashed the session on Saturday, and we did a good job of controlling our nerdgasm. The atmosphere was closer to a backyard game of horseshoes than an album session, really, which makes us think that this could be a return to the maximum fun that made us so excited back in the Buzz Bin days.
This week while you’re at work, we’ll be drunk! For updates on our exploits at SXSW, check nashvillecream.com for daily bloggarrhea.
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