Our journey into Memphis began inauspiciously: Traveling west, we managed to overshoot the mark, miss both exits to downtown, and cross the bridge into Arkansas. Oh, no! It wasn't long before we were able to turn around, but the 10 minutes we spent in that laughably paved nightmare of a state were enough to convince us never to return. We've never been so happy to be back in Tennessee.
After checking in to the Motel 6 (there are nicer options, but maybe next year), we headed to the Hi-Tone Cafe and got our wrist tags from a friendly Goner Records staff member. The Hi-Tone is a rock club roughly comparable to the Mercy Lounge in size. It was pretty packed, with a high proportion of dudes in black T-shirts. It was already pretty late, and the first act we saw was Thee Oh Sees.
Last Friday's record release for Cortney Tidwell's Boys was hotly anticipated, even if we did arrive at The Basement in typical late asshole style, whereupon we learned that Paper Hats had already played. Eager to suck down smoke outside, we had just enough time for a drink and mingle before Caitlin Rose began.
Lately I haven't found many missed connections that really rocked my world, but I've been holding out that some little gem would come along and tempt me back into the blogosphere with another edition. Well, thanks to the Protomen show, and the phenomenon we call Nerd Love, I found two whole instances of anonymous love from afar that will not quit. In one night!
First off, some background: What we know about Nerds from our time in high school and watching TV is that their intelligence is always beautifully marred by their awkwardness. (We can't have too many people winning the intellectual and genetic lottery.) Their love, though earnest and true, retains a kind of purity generally not experienced by most people after the age of 14. They love most often from afar, and it's, like, loyal and shit. It's not just that it's unrequited; it's that it's really strange and oddly fantastical and overreaching, just like their dreams and feelings and interest in sci-fi and stuff. And they're stoopid guilty of this thing psychologists call the "Halo Effect," and I ain't talking about the video game, y'all. It's where you see someone who's hot, but even without knowing anything about them, you project onto them these really positive characteristics, like that they're really funny and smart and good-natured and deep and interesting. It's kind of amazing. I mean, everyone does it to a point, but Nerds do it one better. And sadly, they believe it. The first Nerd Love Incident from The Epic Proto show is pretty run-of-the-mill:
We here at the Cream just live to give you things for free. Well, nearly for free. We demand that you, like the jesters of old, tickle our collective funny bone with your mirthful captions. You might have seen the gem above floating around in the old meme-osphere over the past couple of years, but it's high time we put it to a caption contest. We have two pairs of tickets to Wednesday night's Sunn O))) show at Mercy Lounge to give away, and the two folks who conceive the funniest and/or most appropriate captions for the photograph win.
Same rules as usual apply. Include your email address with your comment. It won't be published; we just need it to contact our winners. Submit as many times as you like.
Deadline for captions is tomorrow, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m. We'll pick our favorites shortly thereafter. Come on, y'all. I know you want to see some robe-ensconced doomy drone metal. Go!
Update: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.
Anyone who's ever been through a personal tragedy is familiar with the Kübler-Ross stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We don't like to think of bereavement as being so clinical, but there is a certain kind of grace to this process. Naked self-awareness can be both frightening and productive, and these five steps rather elegantly guide us through the all-too-human emotions surrounding loss.
Let's not try to shoehorn "Hysterical YouTube Outburst" into the mix.
See the slideshows for more photos: The Protomen; Non-Commissioned Officers and Make-Up and Vanity Set.
Unlike some of our fellow nerds, who started at showing up at 9 o'clock in the freaking morning to sit outside Mercy Lounge, we waited until the new episode of Dollhouse was over to head to The Protomen show. (A true nerd will always opt for a new Joss Whedon show over waiting in line. Just sayin'.) After one truly bizarre cab ride, we arrived on Cannery Row just in time to catch the opening tune from The Non-Commissioned Officers, but mostly we were unsure if we had slipped through a rift in the space-time continuum.
Unless you're living under a shit-ton of rocks, or you just have the most fucked memory ever, you'll recall that John Fogerty melted a few hundred faces at the Mercy Lounge during the AMA fest two weeks ago with a "near two-hour onslaught of pure rock 'n' roll." Here is some video footage taken at the secret gig of the year (via YouTube users hmc1410 and baronl). Both clips capture the overwhelming feeling of hearing "such indelible classics played so well and so joyously in such close proximity" that we told you about in The Spin. John Fogerty returns to Nashville to play The Ryman on Nov. 22. Tickets are not yet on sale. Enjoy your Monday morning nuggets!
Hey kids, do you like bands whose names make your parents uncomfortable? How about taking a trip to Elliston Place tonight, then? From our Critics' Picks, where some dude named "Steve Haruch" had this to say about the Pacific Northwestern indie-electro fun-makers whose name is not to be spoken over the airwaves:
You have to admire a band with the intestinal fortitude to go with a name that means foregoing the luxury of promotion (or even mention) in certain corners of the media world--like college radio, for instance, where a guest DJ might have to announce that "the last song you heard was by, uh, Star...trucker," as this guest DJ had to on WRVU last month. But even if you can't say their name on the air, you can say whatever you want when the Portland party crew hit Nashville Monday night. You may have heard their electric bass-heavy cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but even if you haven't, expect a dance-friendly set of alternately dreamy and squelchy electronics and (mostly non-profane) indie-kid melodies.
That's 9 p.m. at The End w/Deelay Ceelay & Fuck Show.
Even more great shows tonight as the weekend rages on. Saturday's goodness:
Chain and the Gang at Little Hamilton. C & the G are on K Records, and frontman Ian Svenonius is the dude from The Make-Up and Nation of Ulysses. According to me, "he barks lucid, beat poetry-esque rants over lethargic, threadbare, jazz-tinged rock instrumentation."
Lone Official w/Superbowl Rocketship & Orca at Springwater. Guys, Lone Official do not play enough. Check it.
Mashville Two-Year Anniversary Party at The End feat. DJs Wick-It, Kidsmeal, C-Mac, Mike Vulcan & Bateman. See Maloney's Pick.
Jonny Corndawg w/Caitlin Rose, Tristen, Jasmin Kaset & Allison Weiss at The 5 Spot. Old Corndawg sure is surrounding himself with some talented ladies. Nicely done.
AutoVaughn w/Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes, Steve Lee & Loveout at Exit/In.
500 Miles To Memphis w/Cactus's & more at The Basement.
The Black Crowes w/Truth and Salvage Co. at the Ryman.
Guilty Pleasures at Mercy Lounge.
Nearly forgot! Those Darlins & Charlie Louvin at Cumberland Caverns. Spelunk rock!
It's also Glen Campbell's last night at Schermerhorn, plus you've got Ronnie Bowman and the Committee at Station Inn. Here are the rest. Let us know if we missed anything. And don't forget! Sunday night, The Walkmen and Here We Go Magic hit Mercy Lounge and The Decemberists are at the Ryman. Enjoy yourselves.
The link seems to be down. And by the way how come nothing about Lincoln…
Thanks Lance.. Let us know if you wanna come out tonight on us... Anthem
This is the first time I've heard "Chicken in Black," so I'm no apologist, but…
no d-pat, it's "fun with a 'k'"