All you gotta do is just chill with us, bro.
Say you like Ghostfinger's achy, bar-steeped country swagger a lot, but you're feeling kind of low-key tonight and you'd rather hang out with Ghostfinger's little brother. You know, someone who's got all the same genes, and most of the same experiences, but who is younger and doesn't know so much, and isn't such a smart-ass about what they do know. Somebody who won't ask so much of you, and who won't care whether you get the joke or not. Sound like you? Then check out The 5 Spot tonight, where Murfreesboro's own Hammertorch are playing.
I've never heard Hammertorch live, but on the scene around town people say things like:
Dude No. 1: "They've been practicing and they're getting better."
Dude No. 2: "They've been backing Caitlin Rose and they play their instruments really well."
Dude No. 3: "They're really fun live."
Dude No. 4: "It's some of the people from Shoot the Mountain, and I think it's really those dudes' main thing but it's funny because everyone's all into Shoot the Mountain right now."
Dude No. 5: "They'd be so good if their vocalist was a little better."
Dude No. 6: "They used to be super-Southern but they're branching out a little more into something more pop savvy."
They're also, as I mentioned earlier, from Murfreesboro. If you're like me, you have a love/hate relationship with the one-college town that seems to breed impressive creativity and infuriating directionlessness in equal measure. It's a strange mix, that Murfreesboro. Middle-class kids who waited too long to try for a better school.* Smart, creative types who are real apathetic.* People who, on a whole, like the cheap rent and easy small-town vibe and don't seem to ask too much of themselves.*
All this tension between striving and staving off makes for a shit-ton of good bands. The current musical output down I-24 East may indeed still be in a down cycle compared to the larger scheme of what the 'Boro has produced over the years, but Hammertorch is a perfect illustration of that 'Boro vibe: long, shapeless nights, stayin' put 'cause it's easy, and wondering aloud about what fun might come if you just sip on a beer and wait for it to find you.
All We Seabees and the Bohannons are also on the bill.
* Denotes sweeping generalizations informed merely by my experiences from 1993-1999 that I still apply to the town an entire decade after moving away.