"I'm on that Gmail, YouTube, Blu-ray, Bluetooth ... I don't know what I'm doing!"
A couple of weeks ago, we shared with you the inaugural episode of Bluejeans, a locally filmed, music-biz-spoofing Web series that stars Chris Crofton, Dave Cloud and Ben Pearson as a family of country performers with some LOL-worthy issues. The series is being produced for the David Cross- and Syd Butler-run online network FKR.TV, and earlier this week Episode 2 — "Goin' Viral" — was unveiled. Anyway, it's worth posting for the Wreckx-n-Effect reference alone. Enjoy!
Ah, Glossary — the pride of Bucket City! The road-doggin', Southern-fried band of rock 'n' rollers have long been big boosters of Christmas spirit, and today they've released a 37-minute holiday special by the name of A Very Glossary Christmas (watch it above).
Sort of a local-rock version of Johnny Cash's 1977 Christmas special, A Very Glossary Christmas sees the band putting on a telethon for a down-on-his-luck old Saint Nick (portrayed adeptly by popular local dude Wes Lewis) and features performances from Austin Lucas ("Silent Night"), Cory Branan ("Up on the Housetop"), Birdcloud ("Cool Christmas") and Glossary themselves ("Mission Bells" and "Merry Christmas, the War Is Here"). The telethon is hosted by those old puppet pals of Glossary, Banjo and Pinecone. It's like a big, warm mug of wassail, my friends, so dive in and have a swig.
Earlier this year, Midwesterner turned Nashville boy (and former Dan Auerbach bandmate) Patrick Sweany released his Close to the Floor, a blues-rock platter that contributor Edd Hurt called a "watershed release" and "a record of odd urgency." Sweany has a brand-new Dave Shamban-directed video for the Floor tune "Working for You," and you can watch that above.
In the video, which debuted Thursday via Esquire, Sweany plays the part of a salt-of-the-earth, door-to-door vacuum salesman, doing his damnedest to bring home the bacon despite interference from burglars, goth bands, bored housewives, a rival salesman (portrayed by local director Michael Carter) and a pack of jerks on motorbikes (in a shot that quite reminds me of this notorious scene from Being John Malkovich). Great video that matches the song — a song about the grueling, defeating nature of being a traveling musician — quite well. Dig in and enjoy.
Nashville's own arena-rocking foodies Kings of Leon appeared as the musical guests on this weekend's John Goodman-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, where they performed "Temple" (watch above) and "Wait for Me" (watch after the jump) from this year's Mechanical Bull.
As Spin puts it, "accomplished professionalism is the watchword" for KOL's Bull. I take the point — the record is mature and consistent. But is Spin perhaps a touch too forgiving when they describe the performance as "expertly straightforward, almost as if consciously avoiding dramatic gestures"? Were the Kings avoiding dramatic gestures, or is that sort of just the way they perform? Either way, they certainly played well, even if both of the songs in question are a touch less exciting to me than the lead-off Mechanical Bull single "Supersoaker." But what do you you think?
Kings of Leon will play Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 7, and tickets are on sale now.
So, Magnolia Sons are getting into the Christmas spirit with a little life-affirming Yuletide digital double A-side that you can name-your-own-price-style download at the local retro-R&B troupe’s Bandcamp page. The Sons also cut a wholesome video for the release’s two Christmas tracks — the Northern-soul stomper “My Favorite Season” and the twinkling shuffle “The Christmas Joy” — and you can peep it above. It’s mistletoe, egg nog, caroling and all that, y’all. Enjoy!
Anyone who read last week's 2013 Rock 'n' Roll Poll may have noticed the name "Music Band" popping up a time or two. Regular Cream readers may also recall that the former Ithaca kids have been described by The Spin on two occasions — once as "psych 'n' roll" and another time as just the sort of "under-25 Nuggets compilation tribute band you’ve come to know and enjoy."
But outside of some coverage here and there — not to mention last year's blues-punky Satan's Grave — what cold, hard proof do you have that Music Band is a real thing and not just some insouciant nod to a 30 Rock joke? Well now, thanks to The Written Record (a brand-new performance-video series filmed at Electric Kite Studio in East Nashville), you can feast your eyes on three songs and a bio from Music Band. Watch frontman Harry Kagan and his crew plow through "Can I Live," "Heart of the City" and "Still Life" above, and tell us if The Spin was right to compare Music Band to The Sonics, or if (as you've always suspected) The Spin is just full of shit.
* Longtime Middle Tennessean indie-rock fans will undoubtedly remember The Katies, the power-pop outfit that helped lead the Spongebath Records takeover of the late '90s. The band, led by Jason Moore and Gary Welch, is still doing their thing, and above you can see Moore and Welch playing three tunes ("Hotel," "Your Broken Heart" and "Sideways") for Toy Box Studio's Stereo Sessions. Big-hearted power-pop with spot-on vocal harmonies. If you dig it, dig in.
* I don't need to remind you just how hard Those Darlins have been grinding along this year in support of their Blur the Line (which landed at No. 6 in our Top Local Albums of 2013 critics' poll). The Darls recently stopped by Colorado Public Radio's studios to perform a handful of Blur the Line tunes ("Blur the Line," "Optimist," "In the Wilderness" and "Oh God"), and you can see those videos after the jump. Sounding on point as always.
* And finally, Courtney Jaye, whose 2013 release Love and Forgiveness is among the most underrated local LPs of the year. Sometime Scene contributor Marissa R. Moss runs a little blog you may have heard of (Lockeland Springsteen), and she recently had Jaye stop by to perform her tune "Morning." Hell of a set of pipes CJ has on her. Watch that video after the jump.
So hey, who needs another dose of "Nashville's not just country"? Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana — not to be confused with that controversial love letter to ourselves, For the Love of Nashville, which aired on ABC Nov. 3 — aired Nov. 22 on PBS. As noted at the PBS site, Nashville 2.0 explores what the public broadcasters call "the vibrant Americana music scene," which "draws inspiration from country, folk, bluegrass, R&B, blues, roots rock, bluegrass, gospel, rockabilly, honky-tonk, alternative rock, folk rock and punk." The 53-minute doc features performance and interview footage of Dawes, Billy Bragg, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Rosanne Cash (saying "Nine Inch Nails," for one reason or another), the Scene's very own music scribe extraordinaire Jewly Hight, fucking Mumford & Sons, The Mavericks, The Avett Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Richard Thompson and ... well, hell. Dozens more. You can't expect me to list everybody.
Anyhow, all of Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana is now available to stream in high resolution on Vimeo. If you've got a spare hour, give it a look above. Then report to the comments section — I want 1,000 words from each of you on the definition of "Americana." As noted music journo Robert K. Oermann puts it (in what is almost certainly a nod to the famous quote from Justice Potter Stewart regarding the definition of pornography), "I can't describe it exactly, but I know it when I hear it."
Update: It appears as though the Vimeo link has been made private. If a public version of Nashville 2.0 becomes available once more, we'll update this post with a new link.
In the latest dead-tree edition of the Scene — our annual Year in Music issue — contributor Jewly Hight points out that native Texan turned Nashville star (and former Nashville Star) Kacey Musgraves "introduced an astute, millennial voice to the country conversation" with this year's Same Trailer, Different Park. "She dared address the constricting side of small-town existence and raise a joint to expressions of difference," says Jewly.
Perhaps none of Musgraves' songs raises that metaphorical joint higher than "Follow Your Arrow," the third single from Trailer. Musgraves has a brand-new video for the tune (watch it above), which was shot in Joshua Tree, Calif. Fact: If you shoot your country music video in the Yucca Valley area, I will post it on the Cream (example 1, example 2). "Follow Your Arrow" is a philosophically populist (or at least humanist) take on living that I think we can all identify with. "When the straight-and-narrow gets a little too straight," Musgraves sings, "roll up a joint. Or don't. Just follow your arrow wherever it points."
On Friday, the nominees for the 2014 Grammys were announced, and it turns out Musgraves is up for four awards — Best New Artist, Best Country Album and twice for Best Country Song. Congrats to Musgraves! Now, roll up a joint (or don't) and dig the video above.
Bowling Green natives and current (partial) Nashville residents Cage the Elephant are still grinding along on their Melophobia album cycle — it's a cycle that began with a super-secret album-preview performance, continued with some dates opening for arena-progsters Muse and chugs along now with television appearances and dates with English indie rockers Foals. Last night, Cage chugged right on along to Jimmy Kimmel Live's Sony Outdoor Stage (hey, what label are they signed to again?), where they played a pair of Melophobia tunes: lead single "Come a Little Closer" (watch above) and album cut "Take It or Leave It" (after the jump). Points to that clutch auxiliary man over there in the wings, providing some extra instrumentation and doubled vocals. Sounding good. Enjoy!
Update: The YouTube links appear to have been pulled. You can watch the entire episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at this link. Also, as pointed out below by commenter Franne Jennings, founding member Lincoln Parish did not appear with Cage the Elephant on the show, and it appears as though he has left the band.
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