Don't get us wrong, The Spin would never, ever voluntarily go out to a bar on Cinco de Mayo, but our secret fortress on top of Puppy Blood Mountain was relatively unscathed by this weekend's flooding, so we felt obligated to show up at the Mercy Lounge for Re-Build This City on Rock 'n' Roll, what will surely be the first of many flood relief benefits. Admittedly, we were a little late — we were busy learning a lesson in hand sanitizer safety. In our effort to get so fresh and so clean, clean, before the show yet conserve water like the good little citizens we are, we discovered that large quantities of gas station hand sanitizer will burn. Like. A. Mother. Fucker. Seriously, use caution — it's like napalm for your nether regions.
We arrived just in time to catch How I Became the Bomb taking their equipment offstage, but since that hand sanitizer was a birthday gift from Bomb singer John Burr back in 2006 (along with a bitchin' bald-eagle-and-American-flag bandana, but that's a story for another time) we figured they'd understand. (Also, we knew that one day we'd wanna be sorta-sanitary which is kind of a new thing for us and we're sorta glad it worked out. Or will work out. Once the burning stops.) We were pleasantly surprised to find the entire club packed the fuck out, and the cash drawer and buckets being passed around the room were chock full of loot for Hands on Nashville and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Good work, scenesters — word out of Mercy is that they raised over $11,000.
And speaking of scenesters, it was nice to see that our city's unwashed masses had, well, remained unwashed. Like, damn, y'all fucking stank last night and we mean that in the best possible way. One thing that didn't stink, though, was the set turned in by The Dozen Dimes. Their doo-woppy garage rock was totally what the doctor ordered — fun, unpretentious and a welcome respite from the epic bummer of the last few days.
Electro-poppers Paper Route, were followed by psychobilly stalwarts Hillbilly Casino, who were a friendly reminder that for all of our electro-indie ambitions we are, as the hockey kids say, Nashville — double bass and pomade are what made this town great the first time around. Nashville 2.0 isn't much different.
After the Casino ripped the crowd a new one, a motley cast of local luminaries assembled onstage for a rousing, if ramshackle, rendition of the evening's theme song, “We Built This City.” (As late as sound check time, Ke$ha was slated to give a surprise performance, but that never materialized.) Maybe it was the sight of so many professional musicians being so amateurish, or maybe it was just the sight of a bare-chested Brandon Jazz wearing that leopard-print faux-fur half-vest, but this is the one and only time that The Spin will ever, ever endorse a post-Sunfighter Grace Slick song. Sure, the performance was a mess, but it was a heartfelt mess, and a great reminder that when times are tough this city will come together. It might not come together on the same chord, or even the same verse, but it will come together, and it's a beautiful thing when it does.