The Rock Block was a veritable hot spot of bohemian hip-hop on Saturday night. With the monthly KDSML Review featuring seasoned DJs and turntablists pumping sub bass through Exit/In's cavernous digs, some of Music City’s lesser-known MCs and beat-makers were strutting their stuff across the street at The End.
… And here are my next five picks for this here blog’s Local Rock Song Hall of Fame:
If you wrote song as good as this, you’d open your record with it too. Just as Daniel Pujol did on his 2012 Saddle Creek debut full-length, United States of Being. An entry worthy of the Pantheon of Youthfully Assertive Punk Rock Manifestos and Mission Statements, "DIY2K" is one of those assertive opening tracks that grabs you with a stranglehold, forces you to listen and tells you straightaway whether you’re gonna love or hate this ride. And you’d have to have fuckin’ screw loose not to fall in immediate love with this infectious, hook-y rant rejecting “the counterculture of feeling good.” Listen:
So, are you guys ready for Party & Bullshit: The George Jones Edition? Neither am I. While I'm fine with bending the rules for just about any reason, dedicating my hip-hop column to one of country music's greatest voices is a stretch even for me. Plus, we've got some awesome new records this week. First off, we've been waiting on the new EP from Fyutch, Peace, Love & Fyutch, ever since he dropped the kush-hop lead single "Black Shades," and it totally delivers. It's five tracks of laid-back, psyched-out grooves under Fyutch's masterful, well-researched party flow — you can't really go wrong with that combination. This is a hi-fi trip down the rabbit hole and a really fun listen, especially if you're prone to identify with songs about superheroes. I happen to spend a lot of time with Comixology lately, so this record speaks to me, man.
Now let's do some more partying and bullshittin' ...
Nashville, 2013. The tempo of the city had changed sharply. The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger. The morals were looser, and the liquor was cheaper.
OK not really — I'm just borrowing a bit of Toby Maguire's dialogue from the trailer of Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby (watch that above). In addition to Leonardo DiCaprio's magnificent hair, the trailer features Jack White's cover of U2's Achtung Baby-closing number "Love Is Blindness." Well, word comes via White's Third Man Records today that the Gatsby soundtrack — which was executive-produced by Jay-Z and features contributions from White, Jay-Z, Florence + the Machine, The xx, Beyoncé and André 3000, The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, will.i.am, Lana Del Rey, Fergie, Q Tip and more — will be released by TMR. From the release:
Jones — known as "No Show" for his onetime tendency for frequent show cancellations and as "The Possum" because, well, he looked a bit like a possum — began suffering with complications due to an upper respiratory infection last year. Nevertheless, the "He Stopped Loving Her Today" singer had recently scheduled a 60-date farewell tour that was to conclude with one last show at Nashville's own Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 22.
Almost as much as for his critically acclaimed music, Jones was of course known throughout much of his life for his hard-partying ways. "In the 1970s, I was drunk the majority of the time," Jones wrote in his 1996 memoir I Lived to Tell it All. "If you saw me sober, chances are you saw me asleep." His 1983 marriage to Nancy Sepulvada, however — which came eight years after Jones' divorce from the iconic Tammy Wynette — is often credited as the impetus for Jones cleaning up his act.
Jones was an innovator in the world of country music, and his high-times-low-times formula for both songwriting and life have been emulated by by many but successfully replicated by none. Rest in peace, Possum. You were one of a kind.
Lost shakers of salt aside, we've got some decent action this weekend. Tonight you've got: The Weeks' album release show at Mercy Lounge; The Sword at Exit/In; Magnolia Sons' single release at The 5 Spot; a DJ battle at Avenue 9; and more. Tomorrow you're looking at: Band of Horses' first of two nights at the Ryman; The Protomen's 10th anniversary at Mercy Lounge; Richie with Cannomen and Fragments of God at The Stone Fox; Mage tha Blackheart and friends at The End; and more. Have a look after the jump to see the rest — compiled by music listings editor Adam "Cheeseburger in Paradise" Gold. Let us know what we missed, and have yourselves a tropical weekend.
It's been a while since we last heard from punk-rockin' scoundrelettes Heavy Cream, who released their sophomore LP Super Treatment almost precisely one year ago. The various Creamsters have stayed busy — frontwoman Jessica McFarland now plays bass for Cheap Time, guitarist Mimi Galbierz is the latest of Cy Barkley's Way Outsiders, drummer Tiffany Minton is 50 percent of Cry Baby, and ... well, they had a slew of bassists, all of whom are up to something.
Rumor has it that Heavy Cream isn't currently active (awaiting an official response on that)*, but that didn't stop them from debuting a brand-new video for their tune "Prison Shanks" over at Noisey.
The Lina Plioplyte-directed video, which you can see above, features McFarland and Galbierz on a crime spree of sorts. Or, as noted by a remarkably astute Noisey staff writer, "I'm pretty sure that these girls are both in the band but I'm too lazy to email Heavy Cream back so I'm just going to say it's them. Journalism!" I suppose doing an image search of the band would be too difficult? Great work, buddy. Anyhow, the tension at the end of the video reminds me of that one scene from Martha Marcy May Marlene — no spoilers! — except, you know, lighthearted instead of kinda terrifying.
* According to Infinity Cat, Galbierz and McFarland are currently working on material for another record. Good news, H.C. fans.
Follow me after the jump to check out what freelancers Ashley Spurgeon, Lance Conzett, Seth Graves, Stephen Trageser, Sean Maloney, Edd Hurt and Jewly Hight have been spinning as of late, not to mention some contributions from fellow staffer Adam Gold and myself. It's a diverse assortment that will take us from obscure and mysteriously vanished New Wave nuggets to British Invasion-meets-Nashville Sound collisions, gleaming electro-pop smoothness, classic indie rock, hardcore punk and beyond. Here, I'll start us off ...
A blues enthusiast since his teen years, Guralnick’s body of work rests on a foundation of three seminal studies of the stuff we call “roots music”: Feel Like Goin’ Home, a portfolio of profiles on blues musicians published in 1971; Lost Highway, a similarly styled text that expanded his reach into country, rockabilly and R&B; and Sweet Soul Music, an exploration that broadens its focus to include producers, promoters, talent agents, songwriters and record executives, as well as the incredible musicians whose fusion of gospel and R&B took the world by storm in the '60s. Guralnick’s other work includes Dream Boogie, an extensive biography of Sam Cooke that further explores the origins of soul, as well as key roles in several music documentaries, including Sam Cooke: Legend, and the Solomon Burke biopic Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, as well as a forthcoming biography and completed film about Sun Records’ visionary founder, Sam Phillips.
Arguably, Guralnick’s most ambitious project to date is his biography of Elvis Presley, published in two volumes by Little, Brown in 1994: Last Train to Memphis covers the star’s rise, while Careless Love details his decline. Few if any public figures are surrounded by as much myth and legend as Presley, whose first recording became a hit when the singer was just 19. Like any figure born poor but full of quiet persistence in his aspirations, Presley is easy to canonize: the 20th century Atlas who, when faced with the choice, chose to shoulder the whole country’s dreams and desires. He became a transformational cultural figure, whose work changed the face of popular music. He was profoundly human, struggling constantly with questions of purpose and identity: Even his personal faults make him into a larger-than-life figure. In Elvis’ case, it seems like enough work to separate fact from fiction, but Guralnick takes extra pains to make the eminent singer and movie star as real as possible, as he explains in this passage from his author’s note:
Equine and Twang: A people’s history of Band of Horses (Playing Saturday, 27th and Sunday, 28th at the Ryman)
Surgical Precision: With or without their trademark masks, Clinic continues to make idiosyncratic music (Playing Thursday, 25th at Mercy Lounge)
Swinging for the Fence: The Weeks tackle heavy and light on Dear Bo Jackson (Playing Friday, 26th at Mercy Lounge and Tuesday, 30th at Grimey's)
The Sound of The Men: Brooklyn punks The Men make new sounds in post-post-hardcore (Playing Tuesday, 30th at The Stone Fox)
In The Spin: Willie Nelson's 80th birthday celebration at Third Man Records, Record Store Day 2013 at Grimey's, Third Man Records, Fond Object and The Groove
Plus Critics’ Picks on Wax Idols, Prizehog, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, B.B. King, The Boxcars, Mage tha Blackheart, The Protomen’s 10th anniversary show, Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, Dick Dale, Rush, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and more
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