Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From Paramore to The Protomen: The Year in Music 2008

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 2:55 PM

In this week's cover story we observe the year's musical bright spots, fisticuffs, occasional weird vibes, best local releases and more. Who got hype? Who got awkward? You know you want to check it.

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Bass Face: a National Concern

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM


You know what's awesome? Rock shows. The combination of dank room, cold beer and loud, sexy rock in your face come together to create the world's best distraction. Life's problems slip away as you look at and listen to the dedicated men and women of rock. It's all good times party times until you see something odd out of the corner of your eye. Is it the bass player? Yes. Is he pulling a retarded face, jarring you back into useless reality? Almost certainly.

You know exactly what I'm talking about. The bass player, in all his sweet-groovin' glory, twists and contorts his face into a macabre pantomime of orgasmic release. His eyes flutter open and shut. His lips are pursed outward as if to kiss the face of a lover, and, finding no one, devolve into an Elvis-like sneer. If the frontman's performance is meant to make you fantasize about sex so sordid it frightens you (and it is), then I guess the bass player's role is to remind you of that special boy who first dry humped you next to the dumpster behind the bowling alley.

What is the effin' deal?

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Hey, You Dude Who Walked Up to Me and Started Talking About Moshing and Stuff

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 12:00 PM


You know the drill. Hot local rock shows, hot people to be hot with. This time, a young lass with curly dark hair at Cafe Coco's punk/metal show Saturday night ran into a few dudes and realized later she might have missed out on a real bona fide good time. For the record, I was at this show, and it smelled like boy balls, which technically kinda smells like Fritos and Mountain Dew. But when you're 18 that's still fairly intoxicating, I think.

I had a couple of interactions and/or brief encounters with people during the show, and I'm wondering if I passed up any opportunities I should have taken. There was that one dude that walked up to me and started to talking to me about moshing and stuff...and there were some dudes I just looked at or whatever. hahahaha I was in a dark green hoodie and had dark brown, curly hair. I feel pretty lame posting this, but I'm really curious and bored at the same time. I really hope creeps don't reply to this. That would suck.

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Get Yer Sober Ride: 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 9:13 AM


If you're too broke to cab it tonight, which includes me and everyone I know, then consider calling 862-RIDE for the Sober Ride program, provided courtesy of the Davidson County Sheriff's Department. It's on tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. I've never utilized this service before, so I couldn't tell you if it takes three hours to get a ride or what. Anyone?

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From the Pile: Joan Baez, Day After Tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 7:12 AM


When I found an envelope in my box from Sacks and Co., I assumed it was some sort of scarf catalog or Muzak compilation. Technically, most of my mail still arrives addressed to Lee, so there's really no telling. The package in fact contained a copy of Day After Tomorrow, the latest album from Joan Baez. Turns out Sacks is a PR firm; guess I was thinking it was something else.

Now, aside from a cursory knowledge of her back catalog, I'm not especially familiar with Baez's work. And more often than not, wistful ruminations from aging folk artists make me cringe, but Baez has made some major contributions, and--since the record has Nashville ties--I figured I'd give it a spin. Day After Tomorrow was produced by Steve Earle here in town, and Earle wrote a good bit of the material and plays and/or sings on most of the tracks. Baez plays TPAC on Feb. 27. My two cents on the album after the jump.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wanna make $2000? Do You Know Four Hours Worth of Doors Material?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 3:55 PM


With harsh economic times at our doorstep, sometimes we must go to drastic lengths to keep our heads above water. I was perusing Craigslist today looking for ways to make some extra cash that aren't gonna make my dick fall off. It was then that I stumbled on a fantastic money-making opportunity. Are any of you out there fans of The Doors? I'm not. But that isn't going to stop me from considering this offer posted by an unnamed sorority:


So I'm in for the part of John Densmore, and Jack Silverman is in for the role of Robby Krieger, all we need is a guy who can play some Rhodes bass & Vox organ simultaneously (Matt Rowland we're looking at you) and, most importantly a good Jimpersonator.

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Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Bob Dylan 'Lay Lady Lay' Master Tape Sells on eBay, for a Lot

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Remember when we told you that someone was selling a master tape from Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline sessions on eBay? (We did--the tape contains five non-album takes of "Lay Lady Lay," and a jam session of "Going Back to Chicago.") The auction has ended, and looks like the reserve has, uh, been met. Before you take the jump, just take a wild guess at the winning bid.

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Hitsville: The Year in Music, by the Numbers

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 7:28 AM

You don't need a half-wit music critic to tell you it's been a remarkable year for America, one historians will be discussing and researching for centuries to come. War, financial collapse, politics, technology: All have been dinner-table topics for many Americans. Racial barriers in 2008 were demolished by a Midwestern black man, and gender barriers were hurdled by an Arkansan and an Alaskan.

Democracy has a few awesome new dance moves rolling into the Obama presidency, and it'll be a feast for the wonks to break 'em down. It's for those wonks that we've done some number crunching. When future pointy-headed academics are scouring data in attempts to better understand America in 2008, might it not be instructive to offer a snapshot of a different sort, one that attempts to explain the People and their mindset from a quasistatistical/analytical ethnomusicosociological perspective? 
Specifically, let's address the population in a head and/or heart space it cares deeply about: through its music.

How does it sing and dance? Who does this singing? Who best moves our collective booty and tugs at our heartstrings? I've been crunching Billboard album and singles chart data in order to better understand Who We Are in 2008. I've compiled information on every artist who cracked the Top 10 album chart and the Hot 100 singles chart this year. I've researched each artist and tallied the lot of them based on a number of factors, including gender, ethnicity, nationality, state of origin (if American) and record label. I've then analyzed these numbers. What follows are some conclusions.

(Note to Nate Silver: I'm a lowly music journalist who can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and use a calculator, but not much else. Let this serve as a springboard. Margin of error: 4 percent. Results reflect chart positions up to and including the Dec. 6 issue of Billboard.)

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Year in Music: Top 10 Country Albums of 2008

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 7:00 AM

By Michael McCall

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg

Two young blondes with toothy smiles and hard-core work ethics, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, helped country expand its fan base in these years of shrinking music sales. Meanwhile, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and George Strait kept filling arenas and at least maintaining their popularity on the road, if not with record sales. But as has often been the case, the best country music has little to do with what's successful in the genre. It's made by those who care more about songs and arrangements than about what the radio is playing or what sparks an arena concert. Country music's strengths come from timeless elements; the same can be said of this list of albums.

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