Just last night I was presented with a peculiar and somewhat troubling scoop by a source most familiar with the Nashville rock 'n' roll booking scene. Our source, who typically helps book shows down on the Rock Block, informed us that he was contacted by Quasi several weeks ago. The legendary indie-rock duo (now a trio, actually) apparently put out feelers in an attempt to hit Nashville on April 29 as part of their upcoming tour. They were turned down. Not just once, but by three separate small- to medium-sized popular local venues--some due to scheduling conflicts, some simply because they didn't think Quasi would draw. Seriously.
So who are Quasi? They're Sam Coomes, Janet Weiss and Joanna Bolme, and they're bad-fucking-ass.
Quasi would deserve your attention based solely on their roster of affiliated acts. Both Coomes and Weiss played for Elliott Smith, contributing heavily in the Figure 8 era. Coomes has also played with Built to Spill and was a principal member of Heatmiser. Weiss was a member of Sleater-Kinney and is now in Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks; she has also performed with Bright Eyes. Both Weiss and Coomes have played with The Go-Betweens. In 2007, Quasi added bassist Joanna Bolme, also a member of The Jicks. These three are heavyweights of the O.G. Portland indie-rock scene, not to mention that their catalog is exceptional in and of itself. R&B Transmogrification and Hot Shit! are absolute must-haves for fans of Rocksichord-laden indie-pop jams with wig-splitting, bombastic drums. Weiss just happens to be one of my favorite rock drummers, bee tee dub.
But there is hope. While composing this post, I contacted a certain East-Side venue owner, who (without delay, I might add) expressed interest in booking Quasi. It still remains to be seen whether or not Quasi are still interested in playing Nashville. We might have run them off with our bad vibes--their site lists the last date on their spring tour as April 26 in Boise. But the question remains: If Quasi play here, will you, brothers and sisters in the cult of indie-rock fandom, attend? Am I the only one who thinks it's insane for a small venue to turn down Quasi? And while we're at it, what locals should open?
Quasi's next record, American Gong, will be released on Kill Rock Stars Feb. 23. Here's a song from that album: