Didn’t you just ask yourself whilst perusing the weekend calendar just the other day, "Whatever happened to house shows?” That’s so weird, because not only was The Spin thinking the very same thought, but we found one such show to attend Friday night. Whispers through the Facebook grapevine led us to a familiar homestead in East Nashville where a young Caitlin Rose once serenaded us on a sunny afternoon in the back yard, and where we sweated many a night away at parties hosted by former resident Jeremy “Coach” Todd.
The Spin arrived via bicycle promptly on schedule, only to find ourselves amid such a small crowd that we were forced to make a few friends and chitchat while folks slowly filtered in. In time, local lo-fi legend R. Stevie Moore set up in the foyer, accompanied by a two-man rhythm section. Moore’s trademark peculiarities subsided in favor of a raw power-punk rock execution, over which RSM delivered with a howling, throaty roar old favorites ... or maybe new jams — it's hard to tell at makeshift events with sub-venue-level sound. Who cares? When we’re drinking our own beers in a kitchen full of lively, attractive young folks just a few feet away from where world class entertainers are rocking the hell out, it rarely occurs to us to ask pointlessly that the vocals be turned up.
This is where things get blurry. Follow-up act Belle Beau are, to our vague understanding, relative new-comers. This may or may not have been their first show. Whether their take on twangy indie pop was a little off-kilter or it was just our off-kilter mentality can’t be discerned this late in the game, but we do recall giving it the thumbs-up, which is all anyone really needs to know.
Oakland’s Religious Girls came complete with a drummer, two synths and two singers, and got the better part of a dance party started with a bit of psych-electro, jamtronic and harmony-heavy grooves interspersed with unbridled improvisation.
The Spin has seen more than one guy attempt to rock a room with just a mic and a laptop, but Bloomington’s Yer Heart pulled it off with as much or more finesse than we’ve possibly seen to date. A full-fledged hype man in his own right, this fellow led an intense 45-minute dance party fueled by a tweaked-out, upbeat and criminally catchy set of electro-pop tunes — not unlike Totally Michael or The Emotron, but we’ve never seen those guys rock a room quite like this.
When all was said and done, the party dwindled to an awkward few. When we found ourselves alone with Nashville’s own infamous Dave Cloud, discussing the best spot in town at which to get a tooth pulled, we knew it was time to call it a night.