The Spin 

What else can you expect from The End on a Wednesday night?

MVP nightWhen The Spin arrived at The Basement Wednesday evening, we immediately recognized the skillful, fluid spinning of DJ Kidsmeal. Turns out Kidsmeal would be scratching all night, completely eliminating any lulls that might take place between sets. It was to be a mishmash, incestuous night full of members of countless Nashville rock bands, and Stone Jack Jones was up first. With a backup band that included players from Lylas and The Country Music, we knew Jones and his troupe would put forth some solid, ambient folk. Jones’ vocals were thoughtful and sometimes ominous, and his band’s subtle rumblings pulled in a mature crowd. Jones and crew ended their set rather quickly—apparently they had another show booked over at the Springwater. The Basement was shoulder-to-shoulder by the time Cortney Tidwell & Co. took the stage, and while Tidwell’s modest stage banter was barely audible, her vocals were dead on. Tidwell performed lots of new material from the forthcoming Son and Moon, which we must say is quite promising. Her songs climbed smoothly to thunderous pinnacles and settled back again with haunting precision. Drummer Scott Martin played like a harnessed freight train while William Tyler and Ryan Norris provided a wall of lingering sound. We understand that The Privates are some exceptionally busy guys—between De Novo Dahl, The Features and Lambchop, we’re surprised these Nashville Renaissance men even have time to load their gear onto The Basement’s stage—but we still found it a bit amusing that Dave Paulson text messaged the set list to his fellow band mates just before they went on. With their cell phones close by, The Privates played a characteristically catchy and vigorous set to an incrementally thinning crowd. It was a Wednesday after all, and most people split around midnight. Nevertheless, Paulson jumped and stomped about the stage in his trademark manner, and, despite hinting that they may not have rehearsed exhaustively, The Privates gave a strong performance.

Get Down got downWhat else can you expect from The End on a Wednesday night? The place was empty, save for a few liquored-up college couples, friends of the musicians and those on a first-name basis with owner Bruce Fitzpatrick. They were the kind of bar-going frequenters you would expect to find starting the weekend two days early. True to form, the festivities began around 10 p.m. We shared a few drinks with headliners Thao With the Get Down Stay Down while awaiting meager soundchecks and unruly stage setup. Openers The Smoking Flowers attempted to liven up the less-than-enthusiastic and minimal crowd with a number of rustic, thrown-together country romps. Up next, college-boy septet Darla Farmer, with drunken fanbase in tow, offered up early ’00s screamo-ska. Farmer’s extroverted stage presence and tight playing ultimately diluted the caustic elements of the band’s performance, but The End’s dilapidated patio never looked so good. Needless to say, we were more than ready for what would prove to be a refreshing set from Thao & Co. Coming to the end of a summer tour with Rilo Kiley, Thao, drummer Willis Thompson and bassist Adam Thompson (no relation) were understandably exhausted, but they didn’t show it. Offstage, Thao had been soft-spoken, but once armed with her auburn hollow-body guitar, she became an act to behold, gyrating and screaming vocals with an unrestrained elegance. The Get Down Stay Down offered no less energy, sitting back in the pocket as they played a set of tracks off the band’s newest LP We Brave Bee Stings & All. After performing in packed amphitheaters with Kiley, Thao and the boys were clearly taken aback by the now six-person audience, but seemed to enjoy the intimacy. There was no awkwardness between songs, with Thao instead quickly filling the silence with humorous commentary. “You can probably sell that on eBay and, you know, make half of what it’s worth,” Thao remarked after her drummer broke a stick and threw it into the crowd. The show ended at 1 a.m., and Thao thanked all six of us for sticking it out, but it was our pleasure.


We’re gonna need a bigger boatIs there a better way to kick off the astrological start of summer than back-to-back dance parties? Maybe, but we’d be hard-pressed to think of one. Listening to Mindub’s funky four-on-the-floor while the summer breeze blew across the rooftop dancefloor at the Aerial penthouse downtown was almost amazing enough to make the annoying yuppie scum fade away. The thing about the Happy Valley collective’s DJs-and-drinks parties is that they have the city’s best record selectors, by far the coolest venue and an exceptionally lame audience full of junior executives and wannabe trophy wives—the cognitive dissonance can be a little overwhelming. Something about literally looking down on the trailer trash, er, “trailer resort” at Paradise Park on Broadway made us acutely class-conscious. Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s some unexpected after-effect from Bonnaroo or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been reading The Best Of Abbie Hoffman and Peter Benchley’s Jaws, but we spent the whole night hoping that the credit-card-debt-masquerading-as-material-wealth set would be eaten by giant sharks. Like really, how does your inner pagan not wanna break free and boogie down when it’s the summer solstice and Sanchez & The Shockers are rampaging on the ones and twos? Why even bother going to the club if you’re just going to be comparing cuff links and bragging about your underperforming stock portfolio? The silly-looking indie kids are making you seem really square. And even though plenty of the songs at Left Can Dance’s Ombi Bar reunion on Saturday make us squeamish with memories of awkward adolescent fumbling (“Boys & Girls” by Blur, anyone?), we’re always impressed when the DJs dig deep in the crates and the kids get wild on some art-school classics. Maybe we’re more inclined to favor funny hair than faux Gucci, but when summertime hits, we just need to get loose. And you can’t get loose when the bankers are blowin’ the vibe—though, gawddamnit, we’re sure gonna try again next month.

Our soon-to-be-former editor Liz Garrigan asked us to share with you the real reason she’s resigning: She’s forming a band with former Pink Spiders Bob Ferrari and Jon Decious. Send your band name suggestions to


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