Monday, November 9, 2009

My So-Called Band at Mercy Lounge, 11/7/09

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 9:14 AM

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As Music City's premier cover band Guilty Pleasures have found for years now, nostalgia is a hot commodity in this town. The '90s edition of Nashville Cream's 8 off 8th decades series was by far the best attended and was perhaps the inspiration for singer-songwriter Dave Paulson (whose band The Privates performed one of the best sets that night) to form Nashville's only exclusively '90s tribute, My So-Called Band. If the packed house at their Satruday night Mercy Lounge performance is any indication, the idea was nothing short of genius.

The night crawled up from a humble start with a performance by Mary Nails. Sporting two boys, two girls and a lone keyboard supplying the beats and music, the quartet delivered a funky, rave-y mix of electroclash, R&B and new jack swing. It reminded us of maybe a tongue-out-of-cheek edition of Spring Hill Spider Party, with their intentions all the while never fully clear--with so many hipsters in tow, surely there were some ironic overtones, right? We couldn't tell, which sadly kept us from enjoying it as much as we could have.

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By the time the main attraction opened with Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy," a solid crowd seething with drunken, dewy-eyed twenty-somethings took literally no time to smell the teen spirit. Clad in flannel and eyeing lyrical cheat sheets littering the floor, Paulson and his all-star band led a nonstop series of officially old school sing-a-longs by the likes of Michael Jackson, Weezer, Oasis, Radiohead and Third Eye Blind among others. Keeping things interesting and true to Nashville tradition, they were joined onstage by several guests: Cortney Tidwell singing leads on The Breeders' "Cannonball," Matt Friction belting out "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" by the Offspring, and familiar sidewoman Jordan Caress doing as much justice to Alannis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" as any Morissette song probably deserves. Folky sweetheart Caitlin Rose not only heated things up early on singing lead on "Only Happy When it Rains" by Garbage, she rounded out the band's double encore with a roof-raising rendition of No Doubt's "Spiderwebs."

The band kept it simple and obvious, careful not to slow momentum with any unrecognizable deep tracks. They kept it rockin', doing very faithful versions of rock-based songs, eschewing the decade's wealth of pop, R&B and hip-hop hits. And they also kept it short--while this audience could have easily been strung along well into the wee hours, their set lasted only around 40 minutes. Kick yourself if you missed it, as there was lots to be missed--not the least of which was an epic crowd surfing fail by Matt Friction. But then, not to worry: an outfit this high in demand surely won't fizzle out soon.

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