February 13, 2013
It is a tragic, horrible day for the Nashville rock scene. Ben Todd, founder of Nashville’s Dead, bassist of D. Watusi, and main force behind the Freakin’ Weekend has died at age 24. Read more about it at the Nashville Cream, as they are far more talented writers than I.
I’ll just say a few words from my own experience with Ben. He was one of hundreds of acquaintances I know primarily through shows. I would always see him and briefly say “hey man how’s it going?” and unfortunately that was pretty much the extent of our interactions. But just through those interactions I could tell how passionate he was about the Nashville rock scene. That passion was very evident in his creation and the content of Nashville’s Dead. He was also the driving force behind the Freakin’ Weekend. Since we’re only about a month out from the 4th installment of the annual festival, I wonder how it will proceed. I’ve no doubt that it will, though, in his honor.
I just can’t help but think it ironic that his whole mantra seemed to be centered around eternal positivity, kindness, and keeping a youthful outlook on life. His blogging moniker was Forever Young, and Forever Young he shall remain. My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to his friends and family. Actually, I’ll just say family. Because Ben was the kind of person to whom friends ARE family. Rest in peace.
April 21, 2011
How did it get to be Thursday so fast? Sorry for the lack of posts this week.
Call it a supergroup if you want, but don’t attach the stigma of other failed supergroups to Epic Ditch, the new band from Superdrag’s John Davis. He’s recruited Knoxville-turned-L.A.-turned-Nashville producer Nick Rasculinecz, former Slack and Har Mar Superstar drummer Nick Slack, and Knoxville musician Stewart Pack to round out the lineup. They’ve yet to play a live show, but they have an EP up on Bandcamp for a measly $5, and I recommend checking it out. If you were a Superdrag fan, or a fan of any 90′s power pop or skater punk, it would be hard not to like this stuff. Very straightforward, intense, punch-in-the-face rock that will have you waxing nostalgic on most anything you listened to in your high school years. If you’re my age, and a dude, because this is pretty dude-tastic rock and roll.
After a run of several 7″ singles, Natural Child is finally releasing their debut LP 1971 through Infinity Cat Records. Their brand of greasy, dirty, and sometimes raucous stoner-rock hits the spot. Exile on Main St. hangs blatantly from their sleeves, yet they never get too derivative. But don’t take my non-professional music blogger opinion- check out what Patrick Rodgers, the Scene’s new music editor, had to say about it on the Cream. You can also snag the track “Hard Workin’ Man” there. Speaking of tracks, another one from the record, “Yer Birthday,” can be found on both Nashville’s Dead and RCRD LBL. That’s right- our local boys got some major non-local love. Good job, fellas.
If you haven’t heard yet, R.I.P. Gerard Smith, former bassist of TV on the Radio.
January 26, 2011
The world lost a country music legend last night. Charlie Louvin of the famed Louvin Brothers passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 83, and enjoying a bit of a recent upswing in his career. The above photo is from a show he played at the Exit/In on Nov. 25th, 2009 with Caitlin Rose and the Dex Romweber Duo. I wasn’t assigned to shoot the show for the Scene or anyone, I just felt like I should take photos. I’m glad I was able to capture one of his last few shows in Nashville. I’m not a very religious person, but I have to hope that he’s somehow re-united with his brother Ira, whom he lost in 1965, singing the close harmonies that made them famous. More at Paste and the Nashville Cream.
In other news, the first of the 3rd annual “Road To Bonnaroo” 8 off 8th series at Mercy Lounge has been announced. It will happen Feb. 28th and will feature Majestico, Chancellor Warhol, Courtney Jaye, Heartbeater, Kink Ador, Evan P. Donohue, Sleeper Agent, and Tyler Bryant. Last year the contest was expanded to four 8 off 8ths (thus 4 winning bands playing Bonnaroo), but this year it’s back to 3. Mercy Lounge also has opted to release the lineups one at a time, and for good reason- last year some of the later lineups got shuffled around quite a bit.
From the ashes of Apollo Up! come Gentleman Divers. Featuring the Apollo Up! rhythm section of Mike Shepherd and Jeremy Frey, this new project has many of the same 80′s and 90′s hardcore/punk influences as Apollo Up!. Stream their S/T debut album at their bandcamp, and check out their album release show at fooBar.too on January 29th. (Via the Cream)
Nashville’s own independent radio station WRLT (Lightning 100) has announced a new Thursday night concert series called “Live on the Green” that will include Ricky Young, Space Capone, Here Come the Mummies, among others. The events will be co-sponsored by the Mayor’s office and Team Green. It’s good to see outdoor live music events returning to downtown Nashville. Dancin’ in the District, River Stages, and Uptown Mix have been sorely missed these past few years. Kudos to the sponsors for making this happen. The first event will be Sept. 3rd. You can follow them on Twitter for more info.
I really don’t know how this video clip is meant to be taken. It’s Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt redoing the famous apex scene from Sid & Nancy for a new web series called Cinemash. The sheer fact that the sexes are reversed and they didn’t even attempt to shave JGL’s scruffy chin makes me think it’s meant to be humorous, but it’s still odd. See the clip here. Via Nashville Cream/Pitchfork.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention former Titans quarterback Steve McNair’s death on here. I do follow the Titans (football is my biggest all-American guilty pleasure), and I was a huge fan of McNair. It’s hard to see through the PR spin surrounding professional athletes, but they guy seemed to be a genuinely good person, and he was one hell of a player. The Tennessean has posted a video clip of coach Jeff Fisher’s heartfelt remarks in a press conference yesterday. It deserves a look.
In what appears to be a move taken straight from the plot of I Am Legend, doctors have used the HIV virus to kill lung cancer in mice. This news is simultaneously exciting and terrifying to me. Yes, anything regarding a cure for cancer is awesome, but engineering a retrovirus to do exactly what you want is potentially one of the most dangerous pieces of technology ever created. It’s right up there with the H-bomb. It still has a long way to go before becoming a viable human treatment, though. Via io9.