* Mike Ragogna interviews Next Big Nashville's Jason Moon Wilkins for The Huffington Post. A key JMW quote, from a pretty interesting talk: "I guess the sad part to me about what's going on from a business standpoint is the biodiversity of the music business. There used to be middle class—the Grant Lee Buffalos and Sonic Youths of the world. I worry about those kinds of bands a little bit because they had to help major labels to get them through certain periods, even though we view them as independent. It's hard to sustain yourself completely as an independent, especially with how fickle blogs are, you know?" Fickle blogs? Why, we never ... [The Huffington Post]
* The Stage on Broadway will be opening a new location — in Austin. (You know, that city in Texas that's trying to woo the Americana Music Association festival away from Nashville.) It'll be called The Stage on Sixth and be located, y'know, on Sixth. [The Tennessean]
* The Nashville Symphony will return to the Schermerhorn on Dec. 31, president and CEO Alan Valentine announced yesterday. Repairing the Schermerhorn from flood damage — water came within inches of reaching the floor of the performance hall — cost $40 million. [WSMV]
Good album covers are hard to come by these days — unless you’re an Elvis Costello fan. Check out cartoonist Tony Millionaire’s cover illustration for Costello’s forthcoming National Ransom LP. We’re a little more than a month away from the Nov. 2 dropping of said record — which the spectacular singer recorded with T Bone Burnett at the producer’s Belmont-area studio earlier this year. In case you’ve gone all Darryl Worley with this shit and forgotten, I gave all you fellow Costello-philes some of the deets on this record back in August. Having now heard it, I can assure you that now is most definitely not the time to stop being a Costello completist. In other words: It’s good. You can expect to see some more extensive coverage of National Ransom in the Scene as its release date approaches. In the meantime, get a taste of what you can expect to hear by following this link and watching the trailer for the record that was posted by rollingstone.com — where embedding is not a standard practice. Also not a standard practice these days: releasing 78s. But Costello's doing that.
You can read my story here, and you can peep after the jump to read my interview with The National's Scott Devendorf. He's the mostly-bass-playin' dude. The one who's, according to The New York Times, "strikingly spare of pate." Devendorf and I discussed the dynamics of being in a band with two sets of brothers, what it was like making High Violet, whether or not he and the rest of the band have any idea what frontman Matt Berninger's lyrics are about, Berninger's collaborative relationship with his wife, making music in a hip-ass city and more.
We lamented the closure of The Groove a few months ago, but the Broadway Great Escape closing, for lack of a better phrase, totally blows.
Monroe’s by Any Other Name: IBMA Award nominees from the Infamous Stringdusters to Dailey & Vincent embody the many different relationships to tradition in a complex bluegrass landscape (Friday, 1st through Sunday, 3rd at Nashville Convention Center)
How a Riff Becomes a Song: It's "kind of a democracy" when The National get together to make an album (Playing Sunday, 3rd at The Ryman)
Thrash Forward: With a new album of straight-up metal, Early Man will have you hoisting those invisible oranges in no time (Playing Tuesday, 5th at The Muse)
Blair: Which Project?: An exciting week of concerts at Blair School of Music could make for difficult choices
In The Spin: The Hold Steady at Exit/In, Of Montreal and Janelle Monae at The Cannery Ballroom
The change of venue — from the Vandy music building last year to the Curb Center this year — probably helped his mood (it's a nice space and it gives the whole thing a really "pro" vibe), but I'm sure the fact that there were actually a whole bunch of people there didn't hurt at all. Seriously, there were probably more people in that room than listened to all of the speakers combined last year. And it's not just college students there for extra credit. We're talking actual adults — people who probably have jobs and shit. A huge jump from previous installments of the conference in terms of presentation and attendance. Nice work, duders.
As for the actual panels, I had barely settled into a discussion of leveraging and monetizing networked platforms of 1,000 true apps made out of belly-button lint — or some other industry lingo-spill that makes the music critic portion of my brain spasm violently — when I got an e-mail from Biz Markie's people about an interview tomorrow. I'm sure the answer to the question "Do country fans use iPhones?" is really interesting (or short), but me and my ADD had to get home and listen to I Need A Haircut. To Jason and the speakers, I apologize for cuttin' out, but I'll definitely be back tomorrow after I talk to the Diabolical! Biz! Mar! Kie!!! (Can you tell I'm having trouble containing my excitement? I am.)
Elusive, “technically” local garage-psych trio Cheap Time isn’t gonna be so elusive when they appear at two of Nashville cool’s flagship record stores in rapid succession tomorrow. The band will kick off this double-header with a free 6 p.m. in-store at Grimey’s before hopping, skipping and jumping over to Seventh Ave. to melt face alongside Cy Barkley, Heavy Cream, The Ettes and JEFF the Brotherhood as part of Third Man Records’ Next Big Nashville festivities — which they’re hosting in conjunction with Nashville’s Dead.
That show almost undoubtedly promises to be the one to define the Next-ness, Big-ness and Nashville-ness of this year’s event. And if it doesn’t, the Saturday night blowout featuring D. Watusi, PUJOL, Turbo Fruits and Jacuzzi Boys will. Bide your time waiting for that prophecy to fulfill itself by watching the videos above and below capturing Cheap Time’s appearance at the 2009 Scion Garage Fest in Portland, Ore.
* The AV Club just ran an interview with Robert Plant, in which the legendary frontman spoke in depth about Buddy Miller, Alison Krauss, being “ostensibly British” but living in a place like Tennessee, how The Low Anthem “should be playing in Nashville at The Ryman,” “contemporizing of the Nashville sound” and more. Good interview.
* And the second hour of NPR’s On Point this morning was all about The Grand Ole Opry’s post-Flood reopening, which took place last night. Host Tom Ashbrook speaks with Grand Ole Opry G.M. Pete Fisher, country music historians/experts Paul Kingsbury and Neil Haislop and country singer Josh Turner. Lots of talk about what Music City was, what it is, and where it’s going. Listen to the show via embedded player here.
Summer has unfortunately taken its grand departure. But those of us unable to make it to Memphis for Gonerfest and the season’s final tah-dah sought our solace yesterday evening in the echoes of vacations past, as they emanated from the amplifiers of lo-fi rocker Ty Segall and his trusty band.
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