OK, yes. Oblivians are — quite notably — a Memphis band. Hell, one of the Oblivians founded Memphis-to-the-core Goner Records. But the Oblivians recorded Desperation — their first effort in 16 years, released next week via In the Red — here, and so I'm going to claim at least a little tiny corner of the record as Nashvillian. Tracked at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound, Desperation features just the sort of gloriously imprecise and fuzzy garage-punk fare that Oblivians issued back in the '90s — when they were helping define an entire genre. Among the set is Stephanie McDee's zydeco stomper "Call the Police," a tune that The Spin caught co-frontman Greg Cartwright & Co. playing at the Quintron and Miss Pussycat show at Third Man about a year ago. Anyway, stream it via P4k. It's good.
Love him or not, finding someone unfamiliar with Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show on TBS is a bit like finding sarsaparilla on tap at your corner pub; you may legitimately wonder if you’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone. Though he’s my favorite late-show host, I don’t make a habit of watching; however, Coco’s burgeoning online media portfolio has been perking up my ears lately. One of the latest additions to the lighthearted web-exclusive fare is indeed a rare bird in our fast-paced, hash-tagged world: Serious Jibber Jabber, a series of hour-plus conversations with people the red-maned host finds interesting.
Two of said interesting persons have strong ties to Nashville music. Third Man honcho Jack White, who hosted O’Brien at Third Man at the height of the media frenzy around his split with NBC, was filmed last December entirely on 35mm film, naturally, and spoke about the nature of art and success. Music historian and Vanderbilt creative writing prof Peter Guralnick, whose chat with the Ginja Ninja was published just last week, talked in depth about Sam Cooke, Sam Phillips and Elvis, each of whom he’s written on extensively. While the SJJ pieces all migrate to YouTube eventually (see the White episode above), the Guralnick episode still only streams via Team Coco.
I got to sit down with Guralnick myself before I reviewed his phenomenal 2-volume biography of Elvis Presley in April. We mostly talked about, well, writing about music. Check out some highlights from our conversation after the jump.
The Spin sauntered into TMR’s Blue Room to find the stage looking like a glorified drum riser, with dueling Melvins drummers Dale Crover's and Coady Willis’ mirror-image kits set up front and center, taking up much of the performance perch’s real estate. The setup forced local openers Cy Barkley and his Way Outsiders (with the exception of drummer Acme Brown, of course) to set up house-show style on the venue floor in front of the stage — at eye level with the audience of super-psyched 30- and 40-something metalheads, grunge fetishists and TMR faithful.
Maybe I need to post this one over on Bites? The new Classic Williams video for "#Repeat" from his Epic Win album is one of my favorite things: a song about food. And I'm not just excited about it because I skipped breakfast and I'm really hungry. (Do cigarettes count as breakfast? If so then I definitely had breakfast.) With shout-outs to Ru San's and Mafiaoza's (I ate there last night!), boasts of sexual prowess over synth-heavy trap beats and an infectious hook, "#Repeat" finds Williams in his prime. Classic has evolved into one of the city's most interesting MCs, smoothing out his flow and letting his rhymes go in directions that most folks won't. He's also got a goofy sense of humor that adds a nice touch of balance when spits hard. Check out the whole album here.
And now for more partyin' and bullshittin' ...
Anyway, for those of us old enough to go to shows, this weekend's looking pretty all right, I suppose. There isn't very much action tonight, but you've got: the Pre-Scion Fest with Hellbender and more at The Owl Farm; Tipper Whore with Scale Model and The Static Trees at The High Watt; and some more here and there. Tomorrow's looking a little stronger: The David Wax Museum with Amanda Shires at Exit; Dead Confederate at The High Watt (and early at Grimey's); Pokey LaFarge's album release at Third Man; Luella and the Sun at 3rd & L; Musicians Corner early at Centennial Park with The Kingston Springs and more; Jacob Jones at The 5 Spot; and more. Oh, and you've also got The Thermals on Sunday. Have a look at the rest — compiled by music listings editor Adam "Alice" Gold — after the jump. Let us know what we missed, and have yourselves a blown-to-pieces weekend.
Now, don't you steal that entry. For one thing, I just wrote it. For another, it's not even funny. Surely you can do much better, right?
Last year, Holly Matthews took home top honors with "You are so Nashville if ... you think Bart Durham should direct The Real Housewives of Nashville." An impressive entry, for sure. Think you got game? Think you can bring that kind of heat?
As usual, there's no shortage of hot topics ripe for lampooning. Here are a few off the top of my head just to help you get the wheels turning:
The state legislature
Nashville cast member sightings
Nashville as the "It" City
The restaurant boom
Blake Shelton dissing old-school country
The Music City Center
Ken Jakes, government watchdog
Now get busy! Deadline is June 28! Winners will be announced in the July 18 issue.
One band at a time, they count off the beat. They strum, they throw glitter and balloons on the audience; they mess up. They laugh. They sing bravely and defiantly, and in breathtaking harmonies.
To close the night, the week and the decade, the volunteers all take up instruments, and the campers all join them in filling the entire stage — everyone playing and dancing together in a chaotic superband jam that builds to a dizzy crescendo of guitar solos and cymbal-smashes.
I mention this because the camp showcase is literally an amazing event that isn't quite like anything else in this world, and because YEAH — Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Humanities, the umbrella organization that puts on SGRRC every year, along with coed rock camps in Nashville, Murfreesboro and New York City — is raising money for scholarships right now. Meaning you could help send a kid to rock camp to learn about cool shit and play maybe their first show ever and build confidence and feel awesome about life. Help kids rock out and feel awesome about life! I want you to do it so badly that I made an embarrassing Bryan Adams reference in the title of this post just to soften up your cold, cold heart. Doo it!
Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 8, at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster and the Bridgestone Arena box office; they will probably be priced at a sum fit to water the eyes of Eagles fans earning a ballpark school teacher’s salary.
Speaking of Eagles fans, while the all-time-biggest-selling band has their share of desperado apologist enthusiasts, there’s no denying The Dude’s immortal denouncement of the band in The Big Lebowski really fucked them when it comes to cultivating a cool factor with future generations, a la Hall & Oates.
But let’s face facts (that’s right, FACTS!): Soft-rock standards par excellence the likes of “Lyin’ Eyes” and “The Long Run” rule harder than Anthony Weiner in a dick pic, to which anyone who’s seen Natural Child’s dirtied-up cover of “Take It Easy” can attest. “Hotel California” still sucks and should be subjected to an FM radio moratorium, though. We’ll give The Dude that.
With Ohio-bred hardcore-punk act Integrity sucking up the be-plugged slam-dance contingent across the street at The End, The Spin entered Exit/In to the sounds of jagged little grunge-pop trio Bully. Fronted by The Stone Fox's sound gal, Alicia Bognanno, Bully warmed the crowd of baby-fat- and fresh-tattoo-sporting millennials with their tight and angular post-Breeders punk-pop.
Well, I hope you brought your shoes! Grab your, um, whatever these things are called, throw on your nylon shorts and smear some butter on your dinner roll. It's time for Episode 134 of The Chris Crofton Show. Hear it after the jump.
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