According to this post on The Dirty, Texas Top 40 disc jockey Bobby Bones is the “biggest douche on Austin radio.” And according to the Austin American-Statesman, monolithic broadcasting conglomerate Clear Channel Entertainment intends to make Bones “the next big country superstar” by relocating his The Bobby Bones Show — Austin, Wichita, Amarillo and Lubbock’s highest rated morning show — to Nashville and reformatting it as a nationally syndicated, drive-time county music morning show, which will broadcast from WSIX.
Additionally, Bones will host Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones, a weekend show counting down the Top 30 country songs. Although the fun doesn’t begin until Feb. 18 (with syndication starting Feb. 25 and Country Top 30 debuting the week of March 2), in a Facebook post Bones is already proclaiming his drive-time mix of Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and other Southern-tinged big-boxers the “biggest country music show in the country.”
There's no way a 350-page book could hope to be the definitive work on such a complicated subject, and the text is filtered through Byrne's own biases. However, by repeatedly developing concrete examples, often drawn from his work with Talking Heads and oblique strategist pal Brian Eno — and defining their place in larger social and historical contexts — Byrne creates starting points for the reader's own thinking. For my money, that's more valuable than another “aging rocker bio,” as Byrne calls the burgeoning genre.
As Nashville’s contemporary culture flirts with being canonized by the national media, one of the most relevant chapters to us may be "Making a Scene," featuring a set of eight hitherto unwritten rules that, in Byrne's view, kept New York's world-famous CBGB at the center of a vibrant creative community for many years. The "Business and Finances" chapter may not give you all of the details and analysis you'll get from a semester in Survey of the Recording Industry, but it breaks down two album cycles in enough detail that you might pass a mid-term if you’ve also read This Business of Music.
Today, CMT launched their “Next Women of Country" campaign, a yearlong initiative that will promote emerging female country artists through Nextwomen.CMT.com and across the various CMT social media sites and platforms such as CMT, CMT.com, CMTEdge.com, CMT Pure, CMT radio networks.
The flagship class includes Ashley Monroe, Holly Williams, Jana Kramer, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Lauren Alaina, Sarah Darling, Rose Falcon, Rachel Farley and Kelleigh Bannen. CMT will add additional artists throughout the year. Expect to see lots of exclusive performances, video premieres and makeup tips (just kidding ... although I doubt I’m alone in being interested in learning what hair products Holly Williams uses or Sarah Darling’s favorite lipstick shade).
As CMT’s badass SVP of Music Strategy and fellow female Leslie Fram said in today’s press release, “Women are the cornerstone of country music. We want to recognize, support and expose the next wave of authentic female artists, signed or independent, who are writing, recording and making it happen on their own in a crowded, male-dominated format.”
And if you’re waiting in anticipation for the Scene’s Country Music Critics’ Poll, which comes out tomorrow, semi-spoiler alert: You will see some of these same ladies on that list. CMT, you have such good taste.
This year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast live Feb. 20 on ITV from London’s O2 Arena, is rife with connections to our fair city. Jack White is among the nominees for Best International Male, Taylor Swift is in the running for Best International Female, and transplants The Black Keys and honorary Nashvillians Alabama Shakes are contenders for Best International Group.
In another nod to our rising profile, many of the nominees in the domestic categories will soon spend or have already spent some time here. The xx, a low-key trio who made a huge stateside breakthrough in 2010, are among the Best British Group nominees. Their latest album, Coexist, was recently named the best-selling vinyl record in the UK for 2012 (edging out the reissue of Ziggy Stardust and Jack White’s Blunderbuss), and they will be at the Mother Church on Jan. 31. Purveyors of angular Anglo indie pop Alt-J are nominated for Best British Group, Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Album; they will be at Mercy Lounge on March 18. Current world-champion boy band One Direction is also vying for Best British Group, and they will be at Bridgestone Arena on June 19 (bet my 13-year-old niece is already offering 10,000 years’ worth of bathroom cleaning to get tix for that one). Folktastic quartet Mumford and Sons, who did a fabled three-night stand at Ryman Auditorium last March, are up for Best British Group, Best Live Act and Best British Album, as well as the Global Success category.
Journalists criticize Kings of Leon as being out for only fame and fortune, but it's an accusation rarely ever hurled at musicians from other genres. These guys grew up dirt poor, shuffling around to their father's pentecostal sermons throughout the south. Can you really blame them for wanting to escape that? Also, growing up in the south, as I can attest, you're lucky to even come across music that doesn't fit the standard god and guns model, and you're immediately appreciative if you do. So who are we to question whether or not their influences are genuine?
Also: Note how much good music they've released over the years. Though I still find their debut quite spotty, each album since has seen exponential improvement. 2004's Aha Shake Heartbreak is arguably the best southern rock album of the 2000's, finding upbeat boot-stomping jams like "Taper Jean Girl" blending with more melodic folk-inspired fare like "Day Old Blues."
OK, first: Despite Frank's inference in that first paragraph up there, we Southern-native rock 'n' roll fans weren't so hard up for non-God-and-guns-related material coming up that we squealed with joy when we came across a rock band that sings about anything other than barbecues and church and hound dogs. I mean, Big Star? REM? The B-52's? Superchunk? All of Elephant 6? (My colleague Adam Gold notes Slint as well.) The South has a pretty strong tradition of excellent, non-good-old-boy-friendly rock 'n' roll.
A special Cream congrats to Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill and wife (and recent, then-very-pregnant Scene cover girl) Jessie Baylin. Yesterday afternoon in Nashville, the rockin’ couple welcomed their first child, a 7-pound, 13-ounce baby girl named Violet Marlowe Followill. “I can proudly announce the birth of my sweet angel Violet Marlowe Followill. My heart has been stollen [sic] and it feels so good,” Nathan tweeted this morning.
Violet’s birth makes Nathan the third King of Leon to procreate. His bro Caleb and model/wife Lily Aldridge welcomed daughter Dixie Pearl Followill back in June, and his cuz Matthew and wife Johanna Bennett birthed son Knox Cameron Patrick Followill in 2011. That leaves youngest brother, bassist and newlywed Jared Followill as only King of Leon yet to beget a prince or princess.
Patrick Carney, drummer of The Black Keys, will host Serious Boredom, an exclusive show on SiriusXMU, channel 35, Sirius XM Radio has announced. Serious Boredom will premiere this Thursday, December 20, at 8 PM ET. New episodes will debut on the first Thursday of every month beginning in January 2013.
Serious Boredom will feature Carney talking about and playing his favorite independent music, new and old, as well as music from his personal collection. During the first episode, SiriusXM listeners will hear Carney play music by artists like Pavement, Guided By Voices, and Yo La Tengo, as well as a new duet by Adam Green and Binki Shapiro.
GBV? YLT? Pavement? Sounds like he's pulling material straight from my "DPR's all-time awesome faves!" playlist. Now, to buy a satellite radio thingy.
But before co-hosts LL Cool J — who, I discovered, goes by "Todd" — and Taylor Swift took the stage at Bridgestone, and long before the evening's various stars and nominees were escorted backstage to talk to press, we of the media were corralled into what was likely one of the finer press rooms Scene staff has ever been permitted to. We proceeded to watch the full ceremony on a large flat-screen television — so basically, the experience for me was just like watching from home, except with no commercials (yay!) and also without that mostly full bottle of wine I had waiting for me in the kitchen (boo!).
Anyway, you can of course see all of the nominations at this link. But here are a handful of Nashville-centric highlights: Dan Auerbach is tied for most nominations at six, if you count all of his Keys nominations coupled with his Producer of the Year nod, which everyone does; Nashvillians the Keys and Jack White (and, if you like, Kelly Clarkson, since she has a house here now) are up for Album of the Year; Nashville-frequenting semi-locals Alabama Shakes are up for Best New Artist and Best Rock Performance for "Hold On"; folks like Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Taylor Swift and Ronnie Dunn of course landed some noms.
Now, the dirty details:
* Music City EDM king DJ Wick-It the Instigator recently produced a track for Microsoft's latest Windows 8 TV ad. He's reworked the tune and dubbed it (yes, "dub" pun totally intended) "We Have Arrived (Re-Spliffed)." The track debuted yesterday via Vibe, where it was called "a dubbed-out moomba mash-up that would make Bob Marley happy, Bassnectar proud and Bone Thugs give props." Thats, um ... that's a lot of ideas going on there, but I detect Nappy Roots and OutKast samples (among others), so that's rad. Stream "We Have Arrived (Re-Spliffed)" after the jump, or download it for free via Wick-It's Soundcloud page.
* Nashvillian alt-R&B crooner (as he's being called) Mikky Ekko has obviously had an enormous year, culminating with his co-write credit and vocal contributions to a song from Rihanna's latest, Unapologetic. Spin Magazine took notice, naming Ekko one of their "Five Best New Artists for December '12." "Ekko's off-kilter approach to R&B balladry," says Spin when talking of the singer's recent collab with Clams Casino, "imagines Thom Yorke in arean shadow, proudly overpowering the histrionic build-ups and bliss-outs of the Lil B and the Weeknd beatmaker's instrumental." You can say that again! No seriously, please say that again ... I'm not sure I follow.
* And finally, GUESS WHO'S ON HER ALBUM GRIND. The always-entertaining Rob Sheffield reviewed Ke$ha's brand-new Warrior for Rolling Stone, awarding the glitter queen's latest effort three-and-a-half stars. "When she brings on Iggy Pop himself for 'Dirty Love,'" says Sheffield, "her lust for life is unquestionable." I can't say I agree with that at all, but I do get a kick out of this bit: "Really, the one way Ke$ha could fail to rock is to get sensitive, turn spiritual and start doing acoustic ballads about past lives. This only happens for about a third of Warrior, so it's safe to say the great Ke$ha sincerity crisis of 2012 has been narrowly averted for now." Also, Sheffield seems to enjoy "Gold Trans Am," which, as we all know, is about Ke#ha's "hoo-ha." Anyway, you can stream all of Warrior at RS now, so go for it.
* In just about every one of her interviews this week, you'll find Parton addressing long-running rumors that she has a romantic relationship with her best buddy Judy Ogle. Spoiler: She doesn't. But she is extremely supportive of the gay and lesbian community. Hear Dolly's interview with the excellent Tom Ashbrook of On Point:
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