It seems like just last week that we finally found our way home from the sun-scorched fields of Manchester, Tenn.’s Great Stage Park — the 700 acres that for one long tune- and booze-laden weekend of every year we call home. And then, BLAMMO! Preparations for Bonnaroo 2013 have already begun. Last week, the festival announced its lineup, and tonight, Mercy Lounge will host the first installment in their annual Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th series, wherein 24 local would-be ’Roo artists battle each other for one of three slots in the festival’s lineup. Round One will see performances from eight contestants: swingin’ soulsters Alanna Royale, retro-soul revivalists Magnolia Sons, ’70s-channeling pop peddler Dylan McDonald, indie-folk folks Grass Roots Kids, Bowling Green rock ’n’ rollers Schools, genre-smushing indie rockers Sol Cat, alt-rockers The Young International and self-described psychedelic experimentalists Linear Downfall. It’s a lineup that includes an awful lot of fresh blood, and unlike in years past, there are no clear favorites — your guess is as good as ours. Well, not quite as good as ours. We’re judges, so our guess counts for just a tiny bit more. Get there and pick up your audience ballot. As always, the 8 off 8th is free. —D. PATRICK RODGERS
Who has the edge? Magnolia Sons? Sol Cat? Anyone's game, I'd say. That one starts at 9 p.m. Meanwhile over at The End, some Arkansan metal courtesy of Little Rock's Pallbearer. Scene contributor, onetime Middle Tennessean and current Alaskan wildman Matt Sullivan wrote a feature on Pallbearer, and here's a little excerpt:
The Little Rock-based doom-metal band's 2010 demo made such a splash that the expectations for last year's debut LP Sorrow and Extinction might have crushed a lesser group. But according to [Pallbearer bassist Joseph D.] Rowland, there wasn't any added stress when they were in the studio. Instead, they released 2012's crowning achievement in metal, an album steeped in the classic tropes of the genre but just as informed by prog. It's muscular and crushing one minute, fluid and agile the next. It's sad but empowering, challenging but familiar. It's epic but not epic in the trite and frequently meaningless sense of the word — epic as in long narratives with high peaks and low valleys and lots of distances traveled in between. Plus you can bang your head while humming the melody.
Choking on Ash and Snake Skin Eagle provide support on that one, and $10 will get you in. Now, for those more interested in taking a cruise to the drone zone, Brooklyn's Mountains will be be filling The Stone Fox with some serious sound. Contributor Ryan Burleson is on the drone beat. Have a look:
There’s a 2003 Arthur Magazine interview with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields that expresses the shoegaze hero’s boredom with production techniques that don’t do more to incite wonder in the listener. It came across my radar last week in the deluge of interest surrounding the band’s surprise release of mbv, and the notion seems relevant when thinking about and listening to the Brooklyn drone duo Mountains. Mountains wrap acoustic guitars and synthesizers in textures so dense and otherworldly that it’s almost impossible to avoid being subdued in their patient glow. I won’t go on about the “journey,” as many a lazy instrumental music writer is wont to do, but I’ll submit that something akin to a sublime state is easily achievable here. Opening is Across Tundras, the prolific locals who convey similar feelings through a sludgy, rock-centered prism. —RYAN BURLESON
That one will run you $7. Now, for something completely different. It's no shocker that you can catch world-class bluegrass just about any night of the week at The Station Inn. But newcomers Music City Doughboys — who play the Inn tonight — caught contributor Jewly Hight's ear, so she wrote a pick on them. Check it:
Remember how The Time Jumpers built their devoted following with years and years of weekly Station Inn gigs? The Music City Doughboys are proof there’s room in town for one more twin-fiddling, Bob Wills-reviving outfit. Led by Billy McClaran and Brandon Godman and rounded out by Tele specialist James Mitchell, steel guitarist Danny Mohammad, upright bassist Kent Blanton and drummer Toby Caldwell, the Doughboys bring a youthful kick and a fresh take on swing to their performances. Their set lists are prone to put an original back to back with a Stevie Wonder cover followed by their rendition of the early ’40s Wills hit “Cherokee Maiden.” They know their stuff, but their real priority is having a good time. —JEWLY HIGHT
A dozen dollars for that one. Still not seeing anything you like? Feel free to peruse all of our listings. If you're still not seeing anything you like, you can always put an egg in your shoe and beat it. Come on, get lost.