In an effort to kill two birds with one stone this week, I condensed Critic’s Picks for both The Long Players performing John Lennon’s Imagine and Rush tribute band Counterparts into one super-pick. As per usual, the Long Players will appear at Mercy Lounge and the spirit of Tom Sawyer will be summoned at Exit/In, tonight. This is as good reason as any to post the mashup of Lennon’s “Imagine” and Van Halen’s “Jump." Now someone just needs to do a mashup applying Lennon’s vocal with this ill-fated 2007 performance of “Jump” and the shit will really get real. Peep the video then enlighten yourself with the pick below. In related news: Snoop Doggy Dogg tribute act Snoop Dogg will also be performing tonight at Vanderbilt’s Commodore Quake. Whatever you do, don’t get down with the 187 in the 615. Holla!
Had Mark David Chapman’s sorry ass never been born, John Lennon would’ve just celebrated his 70th birthday, and the world might be a different place. Despite having changed the world as a Beatle, it’s “Imagine” that is arguably his signature song. As the Walrus’ manifesto urging the peaceful to put their idealism into practice, the song is, in and of itself, so sonically iconic that it sometimes overshadows the 1971 album that’s its namesake. Classics such as “Jealous Guy,” “Gimme Some Truth” and “Oh Yoko!” stand alongside “Imagine” among the highest peaks of Lennon’s post-Fab output, smoothly rounding out a record that is his definitive solo statement. As Nashville’s classiest cover band, The Long Players, re-imagines that LP at Mercy Lounge, another homage ensemble (Counterparts: A Tribute to Rush) will conjure the spirit of radio on the lighted stage of the Exit/In. While the musical manifesto of prog-rock’s flagship Great White North power trio stands in stark contrast to that of Lennon — Rush is all about individuality, while Lennon is all about the world living as one — Rush are still one of the most idiosyncratic bands, not to mention biggest underdogs, in rock history. And for that, they deserve a place alongside Lennon in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — an institution that has just denied them their place in the pantheon for the 13th year in a row. Heroically uncool, unabashedly over-the-top and shamelessly inspired by Ayn Rand, Led Zeppelin, counting and eunuchs alike, no band has ignited the passions of unmarried middle-aged men as profoundly as these necromancers of technical wizardry. So which is it gonna be?