Doug and Steph (frontman and drummer from the Clutters) have a new side project called Mystery Twins. It’s just the two of them, stripping rough, unsophisticated garage-pop down its bare elements: rhythm and melody. Essentially it’s a different approach to songwriting than The Clutters’ material, but if you like The Clutters you’ll like Mystery Twins. Their debut EP “Love Is Strange” comes out May 8th, and you can stream it below. They’ll be celebrating the release with a show at the High Watt (adjacent to Mercy Lounge) on May 10th, along with Jasmin Kaset, The Ultras S/C, and Codaphonic.

You may be wondering, “are The Clutters on hiatus? What’s up with them?” A quick email to Doug revealed that The Clutters are in fact still quite active, have another record up their sleeve, and are planning a summer tour. So worry not, Clutters fans, this really is a side project in the most traditional sense- they just wanted to start something new and different. Stream the entire EP via a clever video put together by Doug below:

Buy the EP at their bancamp– if you pre-order you’ll get 2 of the tracks immediately, and the full package on May 8th.

 

Another local release I’ve mentioned a few times before is Uncle Skeleton’s new album All Too Human, which is out today via YK Records. Their official website is your one-stop shop to buy or stream the album. I promise the double LP will be worth it, as the talented Michael Eades is behind the artwork and design. His work never disappoints.

For the third year in a row, local music blog Nashville’s Dead is hosting their Freakin’ Weekend festival. It all kicks off tonight at The End with a special all-ages show featuring Screaming Females, Titus Andronicus, Diarrhea Planet, and No Regrets Coyote. Thursday night things jump across the street to Exit/In for The Greenhornes, PUJOL, Ranch Ghost, Denny & The Jets, and Dirty Dreams. Friday night’s show stays at Exit/In for Jeff the Brotherhood, Cy Barkley & the Way Outsiders, D. Watusi, Useless Eaters, and Fox Fun. Then we jump back across Elliston Place to The End for the finale on Saturday: Traditional Fools, Mikal Cronin, The Men, Heavy Cream, and Cannomen.

Also, returning from last year’s Freakin’ Weekend is the pop-up shop at Local Honey! Not only can you grab limited releases, vinyl, tapes, etc… from labels like Infinity Cat, Nashville’s Dead, Turbo Time, Third Man, Cass, Sebastian Speaks and many more, but on Friday & Saturday you can also catch great free day shows in the back lot as well! Head over to Nashville’s Dead for the full lineup+details. Major props to Ben Todd & his crew for making such a cool string of shows happen. They’ve really upped the ante this year by nailing a few bigger-name headliners, most notably The Greenhornes, whose rhythm section shares duties with The Raconteurs.

Another very related tidbit: Spin.com just debuted the first single from PUJOL’s first official full-length on Saddle Creek, DIY2K, via a free download. If this track is any indication, this is gonna be one phenomenal album. It drops June 5th.

Some cool things to report about two great new local bands:

  • Ranch Ghost is awesome. They’re possibly my favorite “newish” local band. Their scrappy, catchy, jangly, hook-laden garage-pop hits all the right buttons on my musical palate. They have a limited edition 7″ that is available for pre-order through Jeffery Drag Records. You can stream the songs at their bandcamp. Love these guys soooo much.
  • New local supergroup By Lightning! just played their album release show this past Saturday (my pics and the Spin review are up at the Cream) and followed it up by releasing a very cool animated music video for the first “lead single” off the record- “Weather.” Check it:

Ladies and gentlemen, Charles Park III from our man Makeup & Vanity Set has arrived. It will be your Halloween 2011 soundtrack. It can be purchased tomorrow (10/27) but you can stream it all now via his soundcloud. Or below. Words seem meaningless in comparison to simply giving this thing a listen. Only then will you understand. Clearly I am biased because I love this dude, but it’s the TRUTH. Everything he’s done is utter badassery.

 

One of Nashville’s most underrated bands is back with a brand new album. The Nobility (formerly Jetpack, then Jetpack UK) just released their latest, The Secret of Blennerhassett Island, and it’s a masterpiece. 2007’s The Mezzanine was their first proper album under the new moniker, and it firmly set the tone for their future as a band. That tone was one of more mature, intricate, and clever songs with a wide array of instrumentation, all with an unwavering pop sensibility. They stated in their own description of the album that they had been listening to early Paul McCartney and Kinks records, and it shows. TSBI (I refuse to type that name again!) is clearly influenced by the same era of pop music, but no matter how obvious the influences are, these songs never get old or tired. I’ve always loved a good marriage of band to producer, and this album is no exception. They worked with Brian Carter of Paradox Productions as they did with The Mezzanine, and honestly I don’t think there’s a better producer for this band than him. The orchestral instrumentation fits perfectly where it’s used, and it’s never over-used. Especially impressive are the horn arrangements. TSBI is easily one of the best albums to come out of Nashville’s rock scene this year, so go get it at their bandcamp page and thank me later. AND go see them at the record release party on Nov. 14th Nov. 4th at the Rutledge.

If this promo video for Glossary‘s new album Long Live All Of Us featuring bassist Bingham Barnes bustin’ a move on the Murfreesboro square doesn’t make your day at least 100 times better, then you must not have a pulse. I feel that one might need to actually know Bingham to really grasp the hilarity of this, but if you don’t, it should still improve your life to some degree.

That being said, Glossary made a new record and it’s hitting shelves this coming Tuesday, October 4th. If you’re a local, mark your calendar for their release show October 7th at the 5 Spot.

Here’s what’s going down this weekend show-wise-

FRIDAY:

Nikki Lane album release show w/ Denny & The Jets and the Alabama Shakes @ The Basement. 9pm 21+ $7

tUnE-yArDs w/ Pat Jordache @ Exit/In. 9pm $12

Vitalic Noise presents a special edition of CRAVE/VITAL at the Wine Loft, ft. Lightsover LA, Sam & Tre, Donny West, Dark Sister, and a very special guest. 10pm, $5 cover (this is a joint Vital/Crave so the show isn’t free as usual Fridays are).

SATURDAY:

Wanda Jackson is doing an in-store signing and meet & greet at Grimey’s. 5pm

Wilco w/ Nick Lowe @ the Ryman (sold out, night 1 of 2)

Have a great weekend!

A Few Good Shows: 8/26/11

August 26, 2011

After last weekend’s insanity, this weekend is a little more chill in the show department, but there’s still plenty of good music to be seen this weekend in Nashville.

FRIDAY:

Natural Child, Liquor Store, and Thelma & the Sleaze @ Springwater. 10pm 21+ $5 UPDATE: apparently Diarrhea Planet and Denny & the Jets are also on this bill.

SATURDAY:

The Features album release show w/ PUJOL and Seth Timbs Thing @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $10 (In addition to the awesome lineup, former Feature guitarist Don Sergio’s new craftbrewery Calfkiller will have a special Features brew on tap. AND local chocolatiers Olive & Sinclair have made a special chocolate bar that will be sold as well. BEER AND CHOCOLATE=YES x 1,000!)

Sex Cult, Dirty Dreams, U-Nix, New Pleasure @ The End. $5 9pm

Canon Blue, Action!, Tyler James @ The Basement 9pm 21+ $10

SUNDAY:

Hate Life hosted by Ben Swank @ The Basement. I can’t find a lineup for this anywhere but whatever it is, it’ll be good and you should check it out. The past lineups have featured some good bands and good DJs spinning boogie-jams.

Have a great weekend!

I love Jacuzzi Boys, and it’s high-time I wrote about them. What better time than now, leading up to the release of the new album Glazin’ next week? You can stream the whole thing over at Spin, so I recommend you do that because you’ll end up putting it on repeat all day long. Just like their last record No Seasons, this one is pure fun from start to finish. Every song just gives me what I want. It’s all very satisfying and digestible. Pure unadulterated 60’s-driven garage psych-pop. This record is your one-stop-shop for sockhop beats, slap-back vocals, jangly guitar riffs, and a fuzzed-out solo here and there. Be sure to catch them next time they stop through Nashville on Oct. 29th. I’ve no doubt the Nashville’s Dead crew have some awesome Halloween-related antics up their sleeves for this show. (Via Nashville’s Dead)

Nashville’s own ski-masked, bit-crushing, electro-master Makeup & Vanity Set is back with a brand new EP- Never Let Go. Grab it now on his bandcamp digitally for $6, or get the limited edition (as in only 50 copies!) for $15.

This new EP offers a lot familiar sounds- lots of 8-bit leads and swooshes/swirls layered over driving basslines and thick beats. Video games in the 80s. Robocop. Expolsions. Mr.T. This shit is tough, and I still say there is no better music to punch-dance to that MAVS. He is punch-dance master, and you should buy all of his material right now.

Remember Nashville’s own bedroom-pop maestro Kyle Andrews and his catchy tune “You Always Make Me Smile” that was featured in that Holiday Inn commercial? Well he’s back with a full-length record, Robot Learn Love, via Elephant Lady on August 16th, and you’ll find yourself struggling to justify that phrase “bedroom” as you listen to it. On this album you’ll find a thick wash of synths, electronic drums, and layered/distorted vocals that catapult Andrews’ sound into another dimension. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d venture to guess Mr. Andrews is a fan TN’s own Matt Mahaffey and his horribly underrated band Self. The influence is hard to miss if you’re a Self/Mahaffey fan like myself. In fact this album takes on many of the characteristics of Self’s last proper album Gizmodgery, which was recorded entirely using toy instruments (though it sounds fully fleshed-out, example below). You can hear what would seem to be toy-ish sounds sprinkled through various tracks on Robot Learn Love not to mention the lo-fi and other unorthodox recording techniques. It all pays off for Andrews as this record is his most realized effort to date. No mention of tour dates on his website, but if I had one major critique it would be his live shows. Andrews uses so much studio wizardry and layering of sounds on his albums, it’s hard to make that work in a live setting. Obviously you can’t recreate every nuance, but if you’re going to strip it down at all you’ve got to make it work. His live shows have always felt rather “meh” compared to the albums/EPs. But I recommend Robot Learn Love without hesitation.

Download the track “Lazer Tag With Imaginary Friends” via RCRD LBL

And just for reference/fun:

Self-Dead Man (From Gizmodgery)