Tonight you can catch Bloc Party at City Hall or Animal Collective at the Cannery. Nashville, do you like your pop skittish and innovative, or post-punk and danceable? If it were just a question of pedestrian vs. experimental taste, it'd be easy enough to draw your line in the sand. But BP got all tricky and threw Deerhoof on the bill, and that makes it a tougher question of where your loyalties lie. So what's it gonna be?
Velcro Stars are playing with How I Became the Bomb this Thursday, Sept. 27 at The Boro, and the date marks the last show for two of the band's members. Andy Spore, who has pulled double duty as the drummer for the Stars and the Bomb for a couple of years now, is focusing his energies in making How I Became the Bomb a bunch of big shots. Original member and bassist Danial Norman will also be playing his last show, as the father-to-be is leaving the band to concentrate on his family. I'll miss seeing those silly hats bounce around. Former bassist for the Cycle and current Jigsaw Mountain Boy Jonathan Brock will comprise half of the new rhythm section, while the drummer search continues.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers traveled to Ghana earlier this year. Sacred Journey, a CD/DVD package documenting their trip, will be released Oct. 2, and the Singers will perform at Fisk Memorial Chapel on Oct. 6. With all the haggling over Fisk's attempted fundraising of late (more on that in a minute), it is worth noting that the Fisk Jubilee Singers first set out, in 1871, to raise money to keep their school from closing.
Over the past couple weeks, I've been battling bouts of malaise—it could be the return of this ridiculous heat (90 degrees again!? Come on!), it could be that the new fall television season won't include LOST, it could be that all the treadmills with TVs at the downtown YMCA always seem to be taken of late (no Cash Cab for me), it could be the continuing war in Iraq, it could be that my Eagles started 0-2 (Sunday's thumping of Detroit helped with that) or it could be any one of my myriad personal problems (boys, work, meanies on the blog).
Regardless, recently the only thing that seems capable of making me feel any better is mediocre late-'90s alternative rock. I have a problem. Though the reason for its soothing powers remains mysterious—reminders of an earlier, simpler time? A complete lack of irony? Infectious bridges? The fact that it feels weirdly rebellious?—I can trace the genesis of this phenomenon to two specific conversations: Chris Crofton fiddling with my iPod and mentioning that Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Kind of Life" was actually a pretty good song, or at least catchy as hell (sorry, Chris), and a friend talking openly about how much he still loves that Counting Crows song "Long December." (So do I.) I'm assuming this too shall pass, but for now I'm gonna go put on The Wallflowers and weep quietly in my cubicle.
About that alleged Meg White sex tape, so responsibly posted by music blogs with such brave caveats as "...the Internet is what it is, and if I don't post about it, it will be in the comments anyway."
It's not her, according to the White Stripes' publicist. Well, duh.
Get pissed, 'cause Buddytown's back online as of last Friday. Founder/designer Michael Madrid says the genesis of the relaunch was none other than Phil Collins (ha—get it? genesis), who's song "Sussudio" inspired him to bring back the velvet-roped, controversial social networking site that went down mysteriously back in April. Deets:
So when's another Buddytown party? "First week of November, as soon I finalize a venue."
How long will Buddytown last this time? "Until it gets boring again."
The site says "new and improved." What's different about it? "Nothing's different. I guess we're all different now. A lot has changed."
By all means, watch "Sussudio" while you log back in.
What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than thumbing through vinyl looking for that rare gem? Indulge your geeky collector side while simultaneously satisfying your philanthropic itch at the WMTS Fall Record Convention tomorrow.
Who: 88.3 WMTS-FM, MTSU's Student Run Radio Station
What: Record Convention
When: Saturday, September 22, 10 AM–4 PM
Where: The Holiday Inn next to Interstate 24, 2227 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN
How much: $3 admission ($2 with handbill)
All proceeds from this vinyl show will benefit Middle Tennessee State University's student run radio station, 88.3 WMTS-FM. Join us for the best in vinyl! Door prizes and celebrity appearances to be announced.
MOCK ORANGE If Mock Orange's tuneful, distortion-drenched shimmer and off-kilter heartfelt angularities suggest bands like Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement, it's because the Indiana quartet trace their origins back to '93. It took more than a few years to really coalesce, but with 2004's Mind Is Not Brain they achieved a wonderful synthesis of indie rock elements. Singer/guitarist Ryan Grisham's anxious lilting croon conspires with ringing, zig-zagging guitars to suggest Built to Spill or Modest Mouse, but their sound's grown louder and grander over the years, separating them from their obvious influences. Folksy acoustic strumming is the centerpiece of several of their brightest pop efforts to date, and a country-rock undertone appears as well. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot —CHRIS PARKER
THE BAND APART It's this band's emphasis on melody rather than angst that lodges them in the Japanese punk music subgenre "melocore"—what we gaijin know as pop-punk—but The Band Apart's music has teased boundaries of punk so far out, it's evolved into a style all its own. Takeshi Arai, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, warbles in English with nary a noise-metal roar heard while his fingers dance down on the frets near the pickups, chugging Prince-like, sharp chords. The bassist slaps out a groove equally sufficient for a Brothers Johnson or Phish record, while the lead guitarist is off on some Frank Zappa math-rock trip. If anything connects the band's current sound to their punk roots, it's the mid-song detours into ska-inflected rhythms and the drummer's rock-steady beats. The music is a conglomeration of disparate influences that seem like a mess on paper, but provide joyful, danceable pop tunes. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot (opening for Mock Orange) —MARK MAYS
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Porky and the Meat Beaters