I'm not sure who's been booking these awesome local shows at Exit/In lately, but keep it up, mystery dude! Following up a stellar show with Tristen, Birdcloud, William Tyler and Ranch Ghost earlier this month, Exit/In hosts a gig headlined by the perennially underrated Bows & Arrows. The onetime ’Boro dwellers have been Nashville's answer to The Jesus & Mary Chain since the late Aughts, playing pop-conscious, occasionally shoegaze-y indie rock that avoids simple classification. Also along for the ride are relative babies in the local rock scene Fox Fun, Mom & Dad and (once again) Ranch Ghost. If you somehow managed to miss all of the roughly 17 shows Ranch Ghost played last week, you owe it to yourself to see their dusty fuzz rock in person. —LANCE CONZETT
But wait, there's more! I not so long ago wrote a pick on the merits of tonight's openers, Mom and Dad. We've also spilled some ink on Ranch Ghost in recent weeks and months. For further critical appraisal of tonight's bill — a bill that you can catch for $5, by the way — follow me after the jump.
The Features are really hittin’ it hard these days when it comes to rakin’ in the mailbox money. Last week Middle Tennessee’s favorite local-rock purveyors landed not one but two ad placements. First, the band’s song “How It Starts” — from their latest LP, Wilderness — is featured prominently in the minute-long Mustang spot above.
In related news: The 2013 Mustang 5.0, Boss 302 and Cobra each apparently employ the shade-shifting technology of a Hypercolor shirt as inked by a body artist’s tattoo gun. Because that's what it takes to bring out one's “inner Mustang.” In other words, if you’re an individual, this whip’s got your name reflected all over it, thus begging two questions: Are individuals really a demographic? Is Ford cribbing sentiments from the Ron Paul campaign's playbook of political marketing strategies?
* As promised, local gal Jessie Baylin appeared on the Feb. 22 episode of The Tonight Show, and a clip of her performance is now available for watchings via Hulu. See Baylin playing "Hurry Hurry," from the top-notch LP Little Spark, above. Yes, those are The Watson Twins. And don't worry, you only have to see, like, five seconds of Leno's gargantuan head.
* So remember how we told you that local singer-songwriter and Raconteur Brendan Benson is launching a label called Readymade? Well the debut release from Bren-Ben's label will be Young Hines' Give Me My Change, which was produced by Benson at Nashville's Welcome to 1979 Studios. The lead-off single from Change — which will drop April 10 — is called "Rainy Day," and you can peep that here or after the jump.
* And finally, do you remember how local studio-session-vid site Live and Reel debuted last year with a dual Evan P. Donohue-Natalie Prass joint? Well, the L&R folks apparently kept a Prass performance under their proverbial hat, as it were, and they debuted it just last week. See Prass playing "You Didn't Know" via Live and Reel or after the jump.
Marathon Music Works is a mighty big room. One might surmise it’d take a mighty popular band to sell it out. But what about a basic-cable sketch comedy series based solely on inside jokes about a city most of the audience has never been to?
Making our way through the eclectic, at-capacity crowd Friday — it seemed anyone around us, from bearded, bespectacled wine-sipping college students to beer-swilling high school teachers — could be a character from IFC’s Portlandia. The show comically romanticizes Portland as a Northwest Neverland of residual Gen-X malaise where nearly everyone is either too hip to be practical or vice versa. The crowd itself proved that mass subculture is indeed not only a thing now, but so rampant that we’ve all been to Portlandia, even if we’ve never gone anywhere near Portland.
With sadness, we must announce that Kelley Anderson has decided to leave “Those Darlins” in order to pursue other musical projects and professional ventures. We will miss Kelley but will follow her with excitement at her new website: KelleyAnderson.org. Kelley promises to keep us updated on the Tenth Anniversary of The Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp in Murfreesboro this summer. It was Kelley’s hard work and dedication to the Southern Girls Rock And Roll Camp that brought us together in the first place.
Those Darlins will continue to move forward with a lot of exciting news in 2012. We will be recording an EP in May with producer Scott Litt (REM, Nirvana, Patti Smith) to be released this year and will resume touring in March.
Well, a Bummerino Metropolis, as Anderson's contributions no doubt had a lot to do with the critically lauded nature of last year's Screws Get Loose. But the world keeps turning, and folks venture on to greener pastures. Best of luck to both Anderson and the Darlins. Which reminds me, Darlins, are you guys now taking applications?
Tip of the hat to Steve Cross for noticing.
We've had nearly two weeks to mull over the recently announced Bonnaroo lineup, and dammit, we're still massively disappointed that Prince is nowhere to be seen in the schedule. But where better to recover from our misery than the annual local rock bloodsport known as Road to Bonnaroo? Like its last three years, Road to Bonnaroo will pit eight bands against each other for a spot at this year's 'Roo. A panel of judges and audience voting combine to determine the victor. The combatants for this year's inaugural round include hip-hop duo Sam & Tre, sprawling folk rockers By Lightning!, Afrobeat enthusiasts Colorfeels, freak folkers Quichenight, pop songstress Laura Reed, Angelino active rock quartet TOY, active rockers The Hollywood Kills and, finally, Brandon Jazz — who will attempt to make up for last year's technological mishap that forced him (and his Armed Forces) to forfeit the contest without playing. —LANCE CONZETT
As always with Mercy Lounge's 8 off 8th series, tonight's festivities will cost you no dollars to attend. Show time is 9 p.m.
Let’s say you’ve got $1-$10,000 burning a hole in your philanthropic pocket. You could perhaps put that money toward the search for a cancer cure. Or you could donate it to victims of domestic violence. Or maybe toward feeding starving Nigerians. Or just plain ol’ feeding the homeless here in America. Shit, you could buy 10,000 copies of The Contributor. Or … you could help bankroll the completion of The BizNash, a narrative comedy about a "big-fish-in-a-small-pond rock band who leave their small town fame to discover the real world of the music industry in Nashville" (EPK posted above, “Prelude” posted below). Go to the film’s Kickstarter — where backers have so far pledged $0 of a $74,440 goal — to pursue that option.
Perhaps it's his just his personality — or perhaps it was the Bahama Mama he was sipping — but Abraham was extremely good-natured and forthcoming, chatting with us for roughly an hour about all sorts of things. We talked about Abraham's initial reticence at being on a cruise ship, and his "responsibilities" as cruise director. Then he spilled his Bahama Mama and we ordered him another. Then we talked about his relationship with Jello Biafra, the nature of these high-seas cruises, Fucked Up touring with Foo Fighters, The Desperate Bicycles putting out their DIY 7-inch, how quickly folks turn on new artists, the "MP3 revolution" (or lack thereof), old Nashville new wave and hardcore bands, JEFF the Brotherhood, Thee Oh Sees and more. Read our well-lubricated, 7,000-word chat with Mr. Abraham after the jump. It's a doozy.
Props go to We Own This Town for bringing this one to our attention.
Obviously, the big news this week is some seriously sad news: 101.1 The Beat Jamz host Curtis "Scooby" Senior passed away last weekend. It was a sudden, unexpected passing — the kind that makes you question your own mortality. As John Gotty put it over at The Smoking Section:
He was one of “the good guys” who served as de facto ambassador to Music City. A person who helped not just the music and entertainment sides of Nashville but the city-at-large. At almost any large community event, Scoob was there working diligently as a person who sacrificed his time and efforts to be an instrument for bringing people together for parties, charities and many other shared experiences. A full spirit who I can honestly say I never saw looking sad and troubled. He always greeted you with a slight smile — usually followed by a hearty laugh right after — and a glimmer in his eyes.
Scoob's presence is already missed on the radio dial, and as time passes I'm sure we'll feel the loss even more in our hip-hop community. I have the sneaking suspicion that Scooby's impact on the local scene was bigger than any of us realized and certainly was not limited to cutting up on the late show.
But, in keeping with my Irish ancestry's knack for inappropriate behavior during times of mourning, let's move on to some party and some bullshit.
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