I definitely like Ghostface. But by the time I'd finally wrapped my mind around just what the hell is going on in the album art for Wizard of Poetry--to be released Sept. 29 on Def Jam--I discovered that I think I kind of like it. Or maybe that has something to do with the chemicals my brain releases when my eyes go into shock. Anybody have nominees for worse album art this year? For better album art this year? For worst album cover of all time?
The Spin are not exactly what you would call sentimental. We value a ribald rip on our fellow man more than say, actually talking to them. We live in a constant state of Year Zero, burning bridges before we get to them, choosing enemies with our eyes closed and judging music based solely on a persons taste in flip-flops. We are culture vultures that feast on the emotional carrion of others, the scorpions on the backs of musical frogs, surfing your corpses to the bottom of the Cumberland river. The Spin does not live to make the masses happy, but to find truth in the cloudy morass of popular music and if that means sacrificing a small bit of our humanity, so be it. We don't give a fuck, just put us on the list already.
Thus, it was exceedingly weird that The Spin actually did feel a little tug on our heart strings over the course of Friday night. Maybe it was the net result of round the clock Dead Kennedys on tee-vee or the fact that the Spin started drinking at the Red Door West around five in the afternoon, but there was a small shadow of sadness cast upon all our affairs that evening. We made our way around the West side, saying our goodbyes to various scenesters that were using the end of summer as an excuse to skedaddle, dodging the dipshit college kids swarming the sidewalks like cockroaches after a hard rain, and thinking about the good times we'd usually have suppressed out of professional obligation.
We started at a party for two Music Row worker bees who were leaving the hive, so to speak--one off to the French countryside to teach the cheese-eaters how to speak good English and the other, uh, off to an accounting firm in Murfreesboro. Regardless of the inherent glamor in either's relocation, it is hard not to celebrate when a person is able to escape The Office Park of Broken Dreams, that strip of innocent looking buildings that has crushed the souls of so many. And even though we felt joy that these two innocents were making their getaway, that joy was tempered by the walking dead among us who would return on Monday to keep the gears of commerce turning. Each time we caught the vacant look of database zombies, a little bit of our soul died.
It is unconfirmed but widely speculated that underneath the stage of the Wildhorse Saloon lies a gigantic magnet that pulls only at hairplugs. When Styx sailed through town in Oct. 2007 they played the 2,000 capacity Wildhorse. When R.E.O. Speedwagon last kept on lovin' Nashville, they too graced the Wildhorse stage. Night Ranger motored into Music City a few years back, and you know where they played? The fuckin' Wildhorse. Of course. All three of these aforementioned hatchback heritage rockers will join forces for package tour that brings them to town and under the same roof on Nov. 15.
If I were to give you one guess as to where this veritable monsters of "rock" will take place, I'd only expect one answer: The Wildhorse. Actually, some you would probably guess 527 Main St. in Murfreesboro. So I bet you're as surprised as I am to see that this rock 'n' roll circus will be coming to the 18,000+ capacity Sommet Center. Well, actually they'll be using a "half-house" configuration that seats 10,000, but, still, that's a lot of seats to fill. Three Wildhorses does not equal a Sommet Center--or even half of one, for that matter.
Perhaps it's a sign that our national economic recovery is in effect? You know, being able to get droves of people from the counties to come out for a night of $10 parking, $12 beers and $35 T-shirts. Perhaps there are folks out there who are just that excited to see former members of Damn Yankees once again grace the same stage, even if it's not at the same time. Either way, Municipal Auditorium weeps. (Ted Nugent already has an outlet for his frustrations.)
What with these damn-it-all-to-hell economic times we've been living in, when I saw a little news write-up on a new line of clothing around for people who want to get their Christ on, I was all, "Thank God!"
Made by local label Kingdom Swag, the T-shirts they produce proudly advertise "Church Girl Fresh" and "Church Boy Fresh"--gray for guys and popping, vibrant green for ladies. According to a write-up on the Examiner, "Kingdom Swag is not a t-shirt line (per se) but a lifestyle website dedicated to making the Christian urban music scene a reality in Nashville."
How can we help? By wearing the T-shirt? On the company's website, the 'About' section claims, "KingdomSwag.com is an online, urban gospel magazine and clothing\product catalog designed to cultivate a daily life style of Jesus Christ centered, kingdom living in youth and young adults through promoting and providing gospel Music, videos, clothing, and more!" They use the story from the book of Daniel to elucidate their position:
The following passage in Daniel describes our commitment to this lifestyle:
Daniel 1:8 "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portions of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank, therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 15). And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies."
Like Daniel, we choose [to] pursue the things of God, rather than what's popular because God's way of doing things is the best way of doing things.
Yeah, nothing says "I don't care about what's popular" like staging your urban Christian clothing line on railroad tracks against an inner-city graffiti backdrop.
The first time I ever saw The Carter Administration play was also the night I learned that at least one member of the band is a Cubs fan. And I went to see them again anyway. I went to see them many times. And really, their straight-ahead style never gets old for me. Is it possible to not like a band with an album called Air Guitar Force One? The song in this video is called "These Boots Were Made for Knockin' " which, as you may recall, was written at the request of this here blog, using the scientifical data collected in our Most Awesome Nashville Rock Song. (Check out the results!)
In light of recent announcements, we can definitively tell two things about modern music consumers: They don't like to buy physical copies (when they buy albums at all), but they do like novelty. San Francisco-based electronica artist Moldover has concocted a rather innovative means of maybe, just maybe, coaxing people into buying a physical copy of his latest album. His CD case contains custom circuit boards that spell out the track listing and compose the album art, and the thing functions, more or less, as a light sensor-controlled theremin--though conventional theremins are of course controlled by radio frequencies rather than light. There's more:
The CD case theremin features a headphone jack as well as a speaker, and the wiring on the theremin itself spells out the artist name, track names, and "album art," such as it is. He even includes a tiny pocket-sized version of the theremin so you're never without that odd organic screechy sound. The album costs $50, which actually seems pretty cheap considering it's packaged inside a musical instrument.
Moldover's clearly displaying some keen ingenuity, and he's doing something that, as far as I know, has never been done before. Originality points. But then, of course, there are the drawbacks: $50 might seem cheap for both an album and an adorably petite little future instrument--that will apparently help you meet new friends on the subway--but you're still paying $50 for the debut CD from an IDM artist. C'mon.
Hey, it's August 31, and you know what that means. It's a new day. It's a special day. It's the birthday of "two of the greatest, most vile, most decadent hedonists the world has ever known: blogger and etiquette queen Ashley Spurgeon, and former Roman emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka 'Caligula')."
So that means drinking and bands, of course, and tonight's 8 off 8th at ye olde Mercy Lounge has a birthday-tacular theme in honor of the birth of the Spurge:
The Minor Keys
(Matt Friction [Pink Spiders] and Dave Paulson [The Privates] play hits from The Muppets.)
(Bawston Sean plus a lot of percussion? Maybe? Nobody really knows.)
(The artists formerly known as Shit Sandwich.)
Denney and the Jets
(Members of MEEMAW and JEFF, so you know it's good.)
Daniel Pujol and Some Beaus
(See above, minus JEFF.)
Max and the Wild Things
(Described to us as a "Jonathan Richman-with-a-banjo approach to rock.")
(The proggy side of jammy.)
As always, this action is free and starts at 9 p.m.
Friday night sure was fantastic. And I'm not just saying that because I wrote this yesterday afternoon and scheduled it to be posted later. Here's what's up on this fine Saturday evening:
A very special Cortney Tidwell in-store at Grimey's in celebration of her new record, Boys. There may or may not be beer and cookies, but there will definitely be some remarkable music. 4 p.m. sharp.
Bittersweets at The Basement. James Wallace and the Naked Light were supposed to play that show, but we caught word that Wallace was quite unfortunately involved in an accident. He's allegedly doing OK, but he had to cancel a couple of dates. A speedy recovery to you, Mr. Wallace.
Last Party of the Summer at Yazoo Brewery feat. Space Capone, Mikky Ekko, Madi Diaz, The Hollywood Ten & Oscar Anthony and the Westfolk Band.
Mashville feat. DJs Orig, Kidsmeal, Bateman, Mike Vulcan & Suspicion at The End.
AutoVaughn w/Plain Jane Automobile & Trances Arc at Mercy Lounge.
Nemesis Divine w/Error 51 & Kast Azyde at Springwater.
Korby Lenker w/Angel Snow at The 5 Spot.
Karoshi w/Sacaea, Girls in the Eighties, Dawn & Sanctions at Little Hamilton.
Since then, the dudes in Dixie Whiskey have undergone a makeover of Maury Povich proportions. Bob and Jon have traded in their flat irons and skinny jeans for trucker hats and Wranglers, their bratty snarl for a goofy drawl, and have teamed up with a couple more good ole boys to trade in DW's formerly rambunctious shit-kicking fury for a full-on honky-tonk groove slick enough to do a line off if you still wanted to.
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