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Ben and one of his best friends Bekah Cope at SXSW 2010.

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.

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Nashville’s beloved songstress Tristen has a new record, titled C A V E S finished and ready to go. The only problem is, she needs money to repay the engineers, musicians, and others involved in the making of the record, and she also needs money to release it on vinyl. She’s doing this all through her own label Pupsnake Records, and she has a lot of handmade goodies and extras for the generous backers. Here it is straight from the horse’s mouth:

Hey guys. It’s time! I’m releasing the single ‘No One’s Gonna Know’ through my KICKSTARTER that has just launched. Watch the making of C A V E S video, get a download of ‘No One’s Gonna Know’ for a dollar, pre-order the whole dang record, or get your hands on exclusive hand-crafted merchandise I’ve made for the project. I need your help to release C A V E S on my own record label, Pupsnake Records. So please show some love and share it with your friends.

Kickstarter projects have become a dime a dozen these days, but trust me when I say that this is one that’s absolutely worth it. She’s the type of artist who is incredibly meticulous about every detail of her art. If it’s not absolutely perfect, she will not put it out for the world to consume. That’s why she enlisted the help of names like Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes, and practically every other Saddle Creek band), and Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys). She worked hard on this album and sought out the right people to make it perfect, and that’s why it’s something worth supporting. Please read the full story of the album and pledge your support at her Kickstarter.

*Full disclaimer: Tristen is a friend of mine. I am writing this not only as a friend, but as a genuine fan of her music. I would not urge your support via this blog if I didn’t objectively consider her a talented artist making music worth supporting. 

A Few Good Shows: 1/18/13

January 18, 2013

Before we get to the show listings for this weekend, here are a few other local music tidbits worth mentioning:

DarkParty

  • D. Watusi’s new album Dark Party is out now via Nashville’s Dead Records. Buy it on vinyl in their webstore and stream the whole thing via Soundcloud.
  • Bandcamp just keep getting better and better. They just unveiled their newest feature: Bandcamp for Fans. Read all about it at their blog. And sign up for it!

Now for the listings:

FRIDAY:

Bloc Party w/ 10 Echo @ Cannery Ballroom. 8:30pm $25

MAYHEM performs Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $5

QDP @ the 5 Spot. 9pm $1 21+

SATURDAY:

Brother Ares, Billy Castro, Forest of Tygers @ the Owl Farm. 8pm $5

Luella & The Sun, Sturgill Simpson, Josh Farrow @ the High Watt. 8pm $10

SUNDAY:

Memorial concert for The End soundman Brad Baker ft. Sara Zacek, Crooked Jester, Tons of Fun, and an open mic jam @ Exit/In. 7pm $10 donation to Musicares in honor of Brad.

*I’m embarking on a little weekend jaunt through Tuesday, so posting will resume next Wednesday or Thursday. Have a great weekend!

Promised Land. Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

A random assortment of good local music and beer news for you Thursday afternoon!

  • Promised Land is a new local “supergroup” comprised of Joey Scala (Denny & The Jets, Turkeys, PUJOL), Sean “To the Wall” Thompson (Nikki Lane, PUJOL), Richard Alessio, Luke Schneider (Cortney Tidwell, Lylas), and Evan Scala. The best way I can describe them is if The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, and The Carter Family all had a big threesome together. I caught them live a couple months ago on the back porch of Nikki Lane’s house, and thoroughly enjoyed their boozy, twangy set. With all the members heavily involved in other projects, I didn’t know just how serious Promised Land would be, or how soon they’d be releasing material. Thankfully this seems to be more than just an whim side project. They just released their debut EP Stoned Eagle on bandcamp, so go over and check it out! Also, as The Scene reported, the ‘Land opened for Seasick Steve at Third Man Records a while back. The show was recorded and will be released as a 45 early next year.
  • New venue alert: A new intimate singer/songwriter coffeeshop/cafe has opened on music row. Benton’s Cafe is owned by veteran songwriter Benton Stokes and will give up-and-coming songwriters a chance to perform in an intimate setting right in the heart of Nashville’s music industry hub. Check out their facebook and twitter for more info.
  • I was delighted to see the news that Yazoo and Calfkiller, two of my favorite TN craft breweries, have joined forces for a special collaborative beer! The brew is called The Beacon is an official “Tennessee High-Tax Ale.” This style was conjured up by the owners of Yazoo and Calfkiller to help bring attention to the fact that Tennessee has the highest beer tax in whole nation, which is structured to favor high-volume commercial beer brands over smaller craft breweries. This is one reason TN has a depressing lack of craft breweries. But with the formation of the TN Craft Brewer’s Guild, hopefully that will all change sooner rather than later. Check out the Yazoo blog for full details on the beer itself and how to get your hands on it!

Several bits of good Nashville local music news hit me today:

The most exciting one is related to the Self show I mentioned last week! Matt posted a teaser compilation track today on the Self facebook, consisting of snippets of several BRAND SPANKING NEW Self songs. My mind is already blown just hearing this the first time. CHECK IT YO:

Also, Matt answered a few questions related to the Dec. 29th show- Yes this will be a full band show, and yes it will be the only Self show for the foreseeable future. I’ve also heard unconfirmed rumors that this will be the original Self lineup, except of course for guitarist Mike Mahaffey, who passed away in 2005.

Echo Group released the third in their Challtalk Record Collection series via Bandcamp. Each EP they’ve released thus far has been nothing short of phenomenal, even if they do draw excessive comparisons to the Walkmen. I would submit to those people that wearing your influences on your sleeve and being overtly derivative are two different things. EG walks that fine line quite well in my opinion. Check it out below:

Forget Cassettes released the second in their series of O Cursa EPs. This second offering of songs is a little meaner/grittier than the first, with the 3rd track “Tearin’ Up A House” reminding me a lot of the old Forget Cassettes. Check it out below:

Last, but most certainly not least, Caitlin Rose has announced her second full length album, to be titled The Stand-In. It’s due out Feb. 25th, 2013 in the UK via Names Records, and March 5th in the US via ATO Records. She worked with producers Jordan Lehning (of the Non-Commissioned Officers) and Skylar Wilson this time around, and the songs were a much more collaborative effort than ever before. Looking forward to it! Check out the lead track “No One to Call” below:

I knew the day would eventually come- the day that Matt Mahaffey, one of my all-time musical heroes, would get his defunct band/project Self back together on a stage. That day has finally arrived! It was announced today that Self will indeed finally return to the stage on Dec. 29th to play a benefit show at the Exit/In with Forget Cassettes. The show benefits the Music for Life Alliance, an organization that supports music education for kids who might not otherwise have access to it. I’m very curious as to who Matt will enlist for the band. I’ve no doubt Seth Timbs of Fluid Ounces/Seth Timbs Thing/Hot New Singles will be involved, but other than it’s anybody’s guess as to how many of the original members will be down for it.

Tickets go on sale 11/15 via the Exit/In website.

 

 

Those Darlins are returning to the spotlight with their first new song since founding member Kelley Anderson left the group. Jessi Darlin sings lead on the new track, which has a strong, driving backbeat with tons of hand claps a gang vocals. The single is available digitally now on iTunes, and the split 7″ with Heavy Cream will only be available on vinyl at their upcoming tour dates:

10-06 Dallas, TX – Bryan Street Tavern’s Anniversary %
10-07 Austin, TX – The Mohawk:Indoors^ *Summer’s Dead Tour begins*
10-25 Washington, DC – DC9*
10-26 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands Gallery*
10-27 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s*#
10-28 Allston, MA – Great Scott*
10-30 Toronto, ON – The Garrison*
10-31 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern*@
11-01 Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern*
11-02 Grinnell, IA – Grinnell College: Gardner Lounge*
11-03 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry*
11-06 Seattle, WA – Sunset*
11-07 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios*
11-09 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Shop*+
11-10 West Hollywood, CA – Troubador*+
11-11 San Diego, CA – Soda Shop*
11-13 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge*
* w/ Heavy Cream
^ w/Bobby Jealousy
# w/Slutever
@ w/The Very Knees
+ w/Pangea
% w/Turbo Fruits, White Mystery, and Royal Bangs

Check out the new track “Summer’s Dead” below:

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