Prepped for a mild evening of pop indulgence, we pulled into the Mercy Lounge parking lot expecting lots of muted swaying, head-bobbing and girls dressed like grandmothers. What we found--aside from the terrible surprise of an old acquaintance we avoided the whole night--was not far off. The crowd was a mix of Vandy kids, hipsters and nameless twenty- and thirtysomethings who were mostly subdued, but seemed to have picked sides in a battle of Jesus sandals vs. Converse. Casualties were rampant, and neither side fought valiantly.
By the time the trio Oblio took the stage, a fairly large crowd had formed inside. We opted for the sweet spot halfway between the bar and the sound booth, where the air conditioner blasts, the sound is even and a reporter can properly scope the scene. Oblio coerced the crowd into delivering their love and applause with their own particular brand of bombastic pop mixed with flowery picking, catchy melodies and a really hard-hitting drummer. Though we were impressed with their technical prowess, we couldn't help but wonder if maybe they were biting off more than they could chew with their spastic transitions and obfuscating drum fills.
Lip Service: Moustache May celebrates music, manliness and the oft-misunderstood cookie duster. (Moustache May '09 Celebration feat. Ghostfinger, And the Relatives & Uncle Skeleton, Saturday, 30th at Mercy Lounge.)
Shot Through the Heart: Bows and Arrows get a lot of things right on their latest, 1010 Eaton Street. (Playing Monday, 1st at The End w/Au Revoir Simone, The Antlers & Deleted Scenes.)
Actual Air: At the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, faking it is the only way to win. (The U.S. Air Guitar Championships Nashville Regional, Tuesday, 2nd at Exit/In.)
No Alternative: Will Hoge wears many hats, all of them well. (Playing Wednesdays in June at 12th & Porter.)
Have any of you been to the Whole Foods in Green Hills? The place is a goddamned glutton's paradise. If you were to find a $20 bill lingering between your couch cushions on a day during which you were super stoned--I call them "me" days--the Whole Foods would be THE place to go and spend it.
Those of you who know what I'm talking about are in for a treat, as the market will be a food vendor at this year's Bonnaroo festival. They're going to set up a mini-market complete with Coconut Water, Lifeway Kefir, Qbel wafer bars, Talenti gelato, Greek Gods yogurt and various Whole Foods brand uh...foods. To celebrate this glorious partnership of sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and organic sustenance, the good folks over at WF are giving away a pair of Bonnaroo tickets. Entry forms are available at the market's customer service kiosk.
Notice how Molly Ringwald's attire/dance moves would totally be passable at a Brooklyn loft party circa 2009?
Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was released yesterday. They sent us a copy a couple of weeks ago, and I've been listening to it fairly consistently ever since. Haruch and I had planned to run a handful of two-sentence reviews on recent and forthcoming releases in this week's dead-tree edition, but his rapidly increasing chub for locals Bows and Arrows came to full fruition over the weekend, and he decided to write a piece on them instead. Not a bad call. As you'd no doubt assume, the two sentences I'd constructed in regard to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix were pure genius. But alas, I failed to save them on this here computing machine, so I'm going to have to reach into the recesses of my brain and recreate the review to the best of my ability. Here we go:
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Like Of Montreal's recent material (with a keener knack for accessibility) or Empire of the Sun (with a slightly lesser dependence on electronic instrumentation), Phoenix's latest falls into an ostensibly under-populated genre: good, intricate pop. With the exception of two instrumental tracks planted in the middle of the album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is made up of consistently engaging vocal hooks, playful guitars and keys and up-tempo grooves. The lyrics are occasionally a tiny bit vapid, but not distractingly so. Besides, English isn't their first language, and nobody in their right mind listens to French pop/indie rock/electronica for the inspiring lyrics. It's a consistent, gripping record and easily one of the strongest efforts I've heard thus far in '09. Doesn't look like you can catch them in Nashville any time soon, but they'll be playing Bonnaroo's This Tent at 11:30 p.m., June 12. RIYL: Of Montreal, MGMT, Air, Daft Punk, Empire of the Sun, Hot Chip.
In honor of Bob Dylan's 33rd record Together Through Life recently debuting on the Billboard top 200 at No. 1--beating out the Hannah Montana: The Movie OST--I present to you this nugget (via YouTube user Elston1969, whose page contains a shit ton of Dylan vids) capturing Bobby D at our very own Municipal Auditorium in February of 1999 during what I call the "soy bomb era." This clip shows a performance of "Make You Feel My Love," one of the finer cuts off the Daniel Lanois-produced 1997 release Time Out of Mind, which is in my opinion the best latter-day Dylan record. You know, before he started singin' about Alicia Keys and shit.
If any of you were at this show then please feel free to share your memories of it. Dylan has toured non-stop on what fans have dubbed the "Never Ending Tour" since 1988. In that time there have been definite peaks and valleys in the caliber of his performances. 1999, and the whole Time Out of Mind period, is generally regarded by Dylan aficionados to have been a good era, due in part to sidemen such as Larry Campbell (guitar), David Kemper (drums) and Tony Garnier (bass). I've been going to Dylan shows since 1997 and have basically witnessed a slow and steady decline in quality. Things seem to have really jumped the shark when Dylan jettisoned his electric guitar in favor of playing keyboards for the majority (if not all) of the show, playing every single song as a blues and singing in a frog-in-throat voice that can easily be mistaken for that of Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton's character in Sling Blade). Take a look after the jump to re-live the infamous soy bomb Grammy performance.
Dooooood, remember college? You used to get so fucked up man, like every night, and it was so cool how all your budros were always there, chuggin' beers with you, and all the girls were sooo hot, and not only that, they were all soooo cool. We didn't give a fuck about a fuck about a fuck cause there were fucking body shots. People knew how to party, and they did it like, so good. And if you really think about it, that's like, what life is like, about. You know? It was always good times, and nobody ever brought the house down with heavy shit, it was just good times, and keg stands, and really cool fun party girls, and brohammers who could hold their fucking liquor man, and you didn't have to think about shit, or worry about shit, and it was all just about the good times you know, and like, everything was so fucking cool then, and I fucking miss those kids, and now we all have like, real jobs now, and now we have to think about real shit sometimes, and that fucking blows so hard you know, because the good times were when we all got real fucked up and took a bunch of pictures of everybody doing crazy shit, and remember that one time that dude passed out and it was so fucking crazy, man fuck that guy but he was pretty cool anyways, and then that other time when those smokin' hot babes who were so cool to party with were pushing each other down the street in a wheelbarrow, making out with each other and doing hilarious awesome shit, and shit got so off the hook and we should have like taped that shit, but it's cool, no worries, cause even though we had like hangovers for weeks we were like man fuck that shit let's just keep drinking through it, cause that's how fucking cool we were, and nobody's cool like that anymore, and shit, man. Shit. Man, shit was just so fucking cool then, wasn't it? Wasn't it?
As Emily alluded to in a post last month, Jay Reatard has a new album on the way. We've since acquired some new details on that front: Watch Me Fall comes our way via Matador Records on Aug. 18. As Mr. Reatard explains on the Matablog: "I've never made a record in which the label heard the songs, or anyone heard the songs, before the album was finished, so that's kind of intense."
Furthermore, says J.R., "That's what singles are for; I always considered my singles as a glimpse between the albums." So in that spirit, here is a single song from the upcoming release, for your punk rock computer music listening enjoyment:
For those craving the live experience, Jay Reatard plays The End July 9 w/TV Smith of the Adverts.
I still love good old-fashioned cassette tapes, and could go on and on about that, but I won't. As you've probably heard, there was a bit of a scare the other day at the corner of First and Gay, where a plastic bottle, a written list and a cassette tape were all found together in a somewhat threatening manner. As reported by WSMV, District Chief Buddy Byers of the Nashville Fire Department said that stakes was high: "It's a credible threat because it had a letter and also a cassette tape that had some threats on the tape."
It's not often that analog technology makes it into the MSM anymore, and when it does, it's usually there to illustrate what a Luddite someone is. (Look at me! I have an antenna on my head!) Anyway, this whole threatening cassette business made me think of what may be a lost art at this point: the message mix tape.
At the end of last year, we told you about a growing underground fashion scene in Nashville ignited by the efforts of local designers selling their goods out of home base Local Honey. Three of those top designers have entered their duds to be considered for the next season of Project Runway and made it all the way through to the finals. They're now in the company of 30 or so folks in limbo--the number will be cut down to 15 in two weeks. If they get through the final cut, they'll be part of a team of 15 contestants who'll have the luxury of stitching and bitching on camera under the haughty shadow of Tim Gunn.
Shea Steele, Shannon Lea and Amanda Valentine all made it through the audition process. Now all they have to do is wait. Best of luck, ladies.
I'm too sexy for my human, as I do my little turn on the manwalk.
Nope, still listed on his Ticketmaster page...
The kingston springs are going to hve to start paying ranch ghost royalties on copying…
If no half japanese cover band, then at least a half japanese karaoke night? please?
That new Features video has to be one of the worst music videos I've seen…