I'm sure everyone here is familiar with The Black Cab Sessions. Right? Please don't be the person who doesn't know about The Black Cab Sessions, and then says, "Oh, I didn't know they came here!" after they've left. Above is one of the most endearing of all the Black Cab installments — The Lips tend to be endearing, don't they? You see, a couple of the BCS folks flew over here to the States, and they brought two of their iconic black cabs with them. They're in the midst of a five-city stretch of sessions, and guess what! Nashville is included in said stretch — along with New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and Athens, Ga.
In addition to filming sessions with Those Darlins,
The Greenhornes*, Caitlin Rose, The Ettes and more while they're here, the Black Cab folks will be presenting two showcases tomorrow, Dec. 4: Tristen w/We Were the States, 5 p.m. at Grimey's; and Cheap Time w/PUJOL, Tristen, Altered Statesman & more, 9 p.m. at The Basement. I wrote a feature on this whole Anglo affair, but you can basically just read the whole thing after the jump.
* Word just came in that The Greenhornes' session fell through.
In the coming days, you may come across a curiously conspicuous hackney carriage-style black cab. Don't try to hop in. These British motorcars aren't the most recent addition to Nashville's somewhat meager taxi-service scene, but rather traveling studios for the latest installment of England's popular Black Cab Sessions (www.blackcabsessions.com). Over the past few years, The Black Cab Sessions — whose motto has long been "One song, one take, one cab" — have featured dozens of performances from artists as diverse as The Flaming Lips, Robyn Hitchcock, Calexico, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Spoon, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, The National, Grizzly Bear, Daniel Johnston and The Felice Brothers.
Videos of the artists' stripped-down, in-car performances continue to fetch growing audiences on both YouTube and The Black Cab Sessions website. But with a sponsorship from U.S.-based Internet TV company Babel Gum, the Black Cab reps have embarked on a five-city tour of the Eastern United States with two of their iconic black taxis in tow. BCS intends to produce a 25-minute video for each of the five cities they visit — New Orleans, Athens, Ga., Philadelphia, New York City and Nashville — which will potentially be broadcast on American and European television somewhere down the (figurative) road.
From Dec. 4 to 8, the Black Cab folks will be in our backyard, shooting sessions with country-punk starlets Those Darlins, fuzzed-out garage-rock coeds The Ettes, legendary indie stalwarts Lambchop, Nashville-transplant power trio The Greenhornes, our most valuable trad-country export, Caitlin Rose, and more. As you might imagine, space will be somewhat limited within the cabs, but locals will still be treated to two sponsored free showcases at Grimey's and The Basement on Dec. 4. Both will be filmed, with the 5 p.m. Grimey's in-store featuring appearances from Tristen and We Were the States, both of whom have new releases. That night, The Basement will see sets from Memphis garage punks Cheap Time, Infinity Cat's pride and joy PUJOL, local experimental-folk elder statesmen Altered Statesman and Tristen.
From the sessions to the showcases, the Black Cab folks have pieced together a vibrant cross-section of Nashville's indie-rock, punk and trad-country scenes, from our most celebrated acts to our most unsung. Just goes to show you that, more and more, folks are paying attention to Music City's original, non-country output ... even if most of the people noticing are Brits.