If memory serves, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s tone-deaf gift to the comedy world, “Accidental Racist,” is the greater corporate country machine’s first bona-fide crossover meme. It’s like Mutt Lange producing Shania Twain hits, but racist (arguably) and unlistenable (definitely).
That almost makes it seem plausible how Paisley’s label, Arista Nashville, failed to foresee the viral torrent of Twitter snark and click-bait-y opining and red light the song. No one forgets the first time they make the Internet explode. Just ask Clint Eastwood’s Obama chair. I mean, come on, how many Music Row suits do you think had ever heard of Gawker and Jezebel before last week?
(Did you return just from an Internet blackout zone abroad? Haven’t heard about “Accidental Racist” yet? Salivating for some catch up? Look no further than my CliffsNotes-style annotation of the song at its controversy.)
NPR's World Cafe is dipping into Music City something fierce this week, showcasing Nashville-based musicians and institutions of all stripes. The series promises to keep on rolling with new content each day this week, but here's what we've got so far:
Aside from, you know, blues music, what has the American South ever given The Rolling Stones?
Apparently, England’s Oldest Hitmakers don’t think Virginia and surrounding below-Mason-Dixon-Line locales are so sweet after all, as the band’s long-awaited 50 and Counting Tour itinerary — announced this morning — includes not a single Southern date; not even Texas or Florida (which arguably don’t even count anyway). You’d think the band would at least light up Atlanta on this nine-date trek, which kicks off next month at L.A.’s Staples Center. No dice.
At press time, Chicago (on May 28) is the closest Rolling Stones road-trip destination for General Lee drivers. Even Canada — a country that once threatened to incarcerate Keith Richards — is getting a 2013 Stones show.
Other Lolla 2013 main-stagers include Phoenix, The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, New Order (!), Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Kendrick Lamar and Eric Church. (Pretty sure that’s the first time Kendrick Lamar and Eric Church’s names have ever appeared in the same sentence.) Band of Horses, Major Lazer, Azealia Banks, Crystal Castles, Tegan and Sara, Beach House, Cat Power, Haim and Lana Del Rey round out the festival’s undercard, which also includes an impressive monosyllabic-moniker-rife host of artists like Foals, Griz, DIIV and Yawn.
And lastly, on the local tip, Nashville faves PUJOL, Cherub, Brooke Waggoner and Wild Cub are also on the bill, the breadth of which you can check out at the festival’s official site.
As you may have seen, the recently released "Music Issue" of Garden and Gun — the one with critically acclaimed local songstress Nikki Lane on the cover — features a package titled "Nashville's New Sound." "It isn't just twang coming out of Music City these days," reads the story's lede. "A group of rising talents is shaking up the scene and rocking Nashville in the process." There's talk of an Alanna Royale show at The Basement, there's a shot of Tom Pappas and his crew (labeled simply "a band") playing an in-store at Grimey's, there are quotes from Third Man Records' Ben Swank, there's talk of the Nashville Curse, there's a feature on The Black Keys, and finally, there's a piece called "Music City Medley: Thirteen acts bringing new sounds to Nashville." As a matter of fact, you can hear Garden and Gun's "Nashville's New Sound" mix at this link.
In the dead-tree edish of G&G, writers Matt Hendrickson and Jed Portman run down the 13 artists in question — among them Scene/Cream faves including Lane, JEFF the Brotherhood, Turbo Fruits, Escondido, Natural Child, Caitlin Rose and more. There's a little chill-to-rowdy-scale infographic accompanying each profile, telling us whether the given artist is more the former or the latter. "Chill" or "rowdy," eh? Why not label them "garden" or "gun"? Someone should do that. Ahem:
Aly Raisman: I have no idea who this is, but the official ABC site informs me she “captained the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team to its first team gold medal since the 1996 Olympic Games.” Athletes shouldn’t even be allowed on this show, as they have proved themselves capable of coordination.
Andy Dick: Andy Dick is a sentient line of cocaine you found sitting atop a public urinal. It is believed by some that he was the unwitting catalyst for the eventual murder of the much-beloved Phil Hartman, so much so that Jon Lovitz beat him up for it. I had to interview him once. He seemed lonely.
A career music journalist and historian born in Memphis, Gordon grew up during a crucial boom when the whole world wanted a piece of the blues, and he's closely followed its ups and downs ever since. Representing 20 or so years of research, intentional and otherwise, ICFM tells the story of a group of artists, musicians and other misfits 10 to 20 years Gordon’s senior, whom he calls “the witnesses.” This designation comes from a conversation quoted near the end of the book, which I’ll reproduce below for context. (Whether or not you know the rest of his catalog, you probably know Jim Dickinson as a contributor to The Rolling Stones’ sessions for Sticky Fingers in Muscle Shoals, Ala.):
While on a world tour with Ry Cooder in 1983, Jim Dickinson reunited with Memphis entrepreneur Isaac Tigrett in London. In the course of the day, Tigrett played a tape by a since-deceased Memphis barrelhouse piano player, Big Sam Clark. "I made some sort of bitter remark," says Dickinson, "and Isaac got furious. 'You have no right to be bitter,' he told me. 'You were fortunate enough to witness the end of something truly great, and intelligent enough to understand some of it.' On the road, alone in a hotel room, I thought about that a lot. He is absolutely right. I’m not bitter anymore. I may remain pissed off, but I’m not bitter."
Local filmmaker Seth Pomeroy's seven-year labor of love Couldn’t You Wait? The Story of Silkworm was released digitally via VHX back on Monday. In a rare move for a Nashville documentarian, Pomeroy spent over half a decade collecting interviews — with indie heavyweights like Stephen Malkmus, Steve Albini and Jeff Tweedy — and stock footage that had absolutely nothing to do with a Nashville band, or anything really to do with Nashville in general. Rather, Pomeroy's film chronicles the notoriously little-known career of veteran indie act Silkworm.
You can stream or download "Just the Movie" for $5. The more avid Silkworm fan can get “The Movie Deluxed” for $10, and that includes 86 minutes of “live Worm.” For a total of $20, you can get “Absolutely Everything,” which includes the kitchen sink of what Pomeroy spent the better part of his 20s collecting. It's an interesting model for a film release. Pomeroy attributes the following review on his Facebook page to Albini:
For What It's Worth
For What It's Worth
* As noted by Rolling Stone, VH1 Classic has a new show by the name of For What It's Worth co-hosted by Gary Dell'Abate (yes, as in "Baba Booey") and Jon Hein. The show is all about "digging through pop culture collectibles to find out what they're really worth," and in the first episode, Dell'Abate and Hein make a trip to Jack White's Third Man Records here in Nashville to discuss the triple-decker record, among other things. The episode will air tonight, but you can watch a little sneak-preview segment with White and his sergeant-at-arms/nephew Ben Blackwell above. Anyway, we all know JW's preference for tangible goods over intangible ones — especially given his recent mission statement as Record Store Day 2013's official ambassador ... even if some locals prefer to emphasize "the content" rather than "the container." Fair enough point.
* And since we're on the topic of rock stars and everything, this seems apropos: Grantland's Steven Hyden has been penning a series by the name of "The Winners' History of Rock and Roll," and the seventh and final installment is all about The Black Keys, "one of the only indie bands of the '00s to break out of the underground rock ghetto and achieve mass stardom." Hyden's piece is a thoughtful and insightful overview of the post-millennial effect of critical praise vs. commercial success and what's become the "no-man's-land between the underground and the mainstream." It also follows along with The Black Keys' arc, which I suppose we know a thing or two about around these parts. Anyhow, good read, even if it's not quite as challenging as the installments about Aerosmith or Linkin Park. Hat-tip to contributor Jewly Hight for sending along that link.
* And finally, this ain't a super-fresh bit, but it's certainly worthy: As noted by Music Row Magazine, local institution Music City Roots, which broadcasts live every Wednesday from Loveless Cafe, will soon be aired by stations across the country. (Here's the full list of affiliates.) Sure, that's great news for MCR, but really, it's good news for the rest of the country.
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.”
Figure when the tour is played out and the line up blows. TN fairgrounds? weird…
There was a man named Jimmie Rodgers once.
PS#2: Gold, meant to ask, "Are you up to the task?" It does keep getting…
PS: I have already found another early influence on rock music. Folk music recording artist…
Well, it is about time... check out www.rockhall.com/inductees/byyear and you will find Hank Williams SR…