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And The Relatives just released their first full-length album Green Machinery via Theory 8 and YK Records. I’m no professional music critic by any means, so I’ll keep it short. Get this album. The band put a lot of time and effort into this record and it shows. I must disclose that these guys are friends of mine, but again, I don’t claim to be a professional music critic. ATR’s style has always been heavily influenced by early/mid 90s indie rock, and they wear that on their sleeve. This album is anything but derivative, however. They somehow manage to inject a sense of freshness in the songs that keeps them from feeling stale. You’ll hear a little Guided By Voices, a little Built to Spill, and plenty of clever guitar riffage. Top it all with Andrew Brassel’s mellow yet rough-edged voice and just the right dose of production and you have yourself a quality album. Production-wise it’s pretty much spot-on. It was recorded at bassist Eli Beaird’s home studio, and the sounds achieved perfectly match the songs. The artwork is worth noting as well- Micheal Eades, Kyle Scudder, and BOSS Construct did a great job on the packaging, and it’s well worth it to buy the limited edition vinyl to get the full effect. If you’re short on cash, have no fear though- you can pay as little or as much as you want for the digital version at their bandcamp. The standout track on the album is easily “Hammer Down,” and you can check out the video for it below.

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File this one in the “what could have been” folder. Local classic indie rock (yes I’m using “classic” with “indie rock”) trio And The Relatives have sadly reached the end of their career… for the forseeable future, at least. I hate to say that, but it’s true. I won’t go into explicit details but a member of the band rather unexpectedly made the decision to move to California. That being said, they ARE releasing the debut album Green Machinery which they’ve been working on for the past few years; it will be out very soon on vinyl via a joint effort between Michael Eades’ YK Records and Theory 8. It will also be available digitally via their Bandcamp. You can actually go there now and preview a couple of the tracks. I’ve watched this band develop over the past few years, and it’s rather amazing how far they’ve come. I also must mention the eye candy that is the artwork and new website, designed by Eades and Kyle Scudder. I’d like to hope they will eventually reunite at least to play a show here and there, or even just to work on new recorded material… similar to the Hotpipes’ situation.

Some more random links/tidbits of interest:

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has a series of beautiful and moving photographs from the Chilean mine rescue. I can’t imagine being trapped underground for 2 months with 32 other men, and no doubt the full psychological effects have yet to be seen. Regardless, these photographs are incredible.

T.I. apparently talked a guy out of committing suicide Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, just a few days before he’s scheduled to go to trial on a probation violation. Good job, T.I.! Maybe the judge will go a little easier on you?

The Village Voice did a pretty cool interview with Duck Sauce (a.k.a. A-Trak and Armand Van Helden). Just go read it, and be sure to check out their new single “Barbara Streisand” for which they did this awesome came0-packed video:

I’m swamped by a large project at work and dealing with a burglary of our house which occurred friday, so this will be short and sweet:

Nashville’s And The Relatives are gearing up for the release of their full-length debut album Green Machinery. I’ve known these dudes and been a fan for a good 2 years or more, and in that time they’ve really developed their own sound. You can stream the unmastered track “Hammer Down” at Future Sounds. You can also download 3 free tracks, 2 of which feature ATR Theory 8 labelmate Caitlin Rose on guest vocals, at their bandcamp. Needless to say, after hear “Hammer Down,” I’m eager to hear the rest of this album. I have a feeling it’s going to be my favorite material by them yet. Yes, they’re “good old indie rock” as FS describes, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t some of the best “good old indie rock” I’ve heard in quite a while.

Also, I would just like to comment that Arcade Fire and their management are pretty clever to offer the new album The Suburbs for sale on Amazon.com the very first day of its release. You can get it for a mere $3.99. That’s one hella good way to score higher album sales in week 1, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they end up charting in the top 5.

Image via Brooklyn Vegan

Image via Brooklyn Vegan

Local Infinity Cat flagship band JEFF the Brotherhood got some blog love from Brooklyn Vegan today, and the pics are actually from a house show they played in Nashville on Oct. 13th. Turns out their photographer Paul Birman happened to be in town that day. Their new album Heavy Days is out now. They’re also playing a plethora of shows this week/weekend in NYC for the CMJ festival.

If you read this blog there’s a good chance you’ve already seen this Nashville Cream post, but I must mention the hilarity of the comments/jokes about a new restaurant called Pitchfork in Chicago. This is the restaurant’s website, so I haven’t a clue if it has anything to do with the music website we all love to hate… but it’s hilarious nonetheless. Just make sure you read the Cream comments, and props to Dave Paulson for winning best comment/zinger on Idolator.

Speaking of the Cream, they’ve teamed up with LimeWire to create a special Nashville edition of LimeWire’s “Ear To The Ground” series. It’s got all kinds of great local goodness spanning from How I Became the Bomb to Caitlin Rose to Jensen Sportag. Best of all: it’s FREE.

And The Relatives are the latest local band to join the ranks of Theory 8 Records, and their forthcoming release (apparently yet-to-be-titled) will be a joint effort between Theory 8 and yk records, one of many side projects for local web guru Yewknee. yk will be handling the artwork and packaging, while Theory 8 handles marketing and distribution. That’s a winning combination if I’ve ever seen one. Be sure to grab their last EP Animals for free at their Bandcamp. Read the official press release here.

As if his ugly tower-mansion/bar/travesty on Love Circle wasn’t bad enough, Nashville’s greatest embarrassment, John Rich, is reproducing. The kid’s name? Cash. Not that there’s anything wrong with having Cash as a first name, but his name will be Cash Rich. I feel so sorry for that child. Maybe his middle name is something he can go by and not be hated/made fun of in school. (Via Nashvillest)

So tonight is Janet Timmons’ birthday bash at the 5 Spot. Not only is there a cool lineup, but it’s also FREE, and I’m spinning hot jamz (as Burgers) before and between bands. Let it be known that My So-Called Band is a 90’s pop cover band made up of Dave Paulson (the Privates, ex-Pink Spiders), Keith Lowen (the Privates, Comfies, De Novo Dahl, lots of other good bands), and Sam Smith (current Ben Folds drummer, also from the Comfies). With that awesome lineup of awesomely talented musicians, this is going to be totally awesomely awesome. Did I mention it will be awesome? Oh and if you don’t know who Janet is, you should, because she hosts a great radio show on 91.1 WRVU called Out The Other. She’s also been appropriately dubbed “Nashville’s official local rock cheerleader.”

There are lots of good things going down this weekend, but I’m kinda tired and don’t have much time right now, so for a good list of shit to do, go check out the Nashville Cream’s weekend round-up post.

I hope to see you tonight, and have a great weekend!

Benjamin Harper (no, not that Ben Harper) has been a friend of mine for many years now, and I’ve followed his musical involvement even longer than that- ever since I first saw Feable Weiner in Murfreesboro in my early college years. He was their bass player at the time, but left the band in 2003 (2004 maybe?) to pursue his own band, then called The Comfies. He immediately changed the name to Harper and they started playing shows, but soon thereafter he ran into copyright issues with the more famous Ben Harper, and changed the name back to The Comfies. They released an EP titled Close To Me about 2 years ago, but have been somewhat dormant since. Now that’s changing as he’s releasing the 2nd Comfies EP, which is really more of a solo effort from what I can tell. (He played most of the instruments on the recordings.) It’s called The Comfies Present: Benjamin A. Harper in This Ship Is Going Down, and you can grab it now (for however much you want to pay, no less) at their Bandcamp profile. According to his myspace it’s the 1st in a series of 3 new EPs. His songs have sunny, Kinks-y vibe infused with a good dose of pure power pop that will make this EP the perfect soundtrack for your summer. Hopefully he’ll get their older EP up on there soon, too. Be sure to check out the EP release show on July 17th at the End, and the in-store show at Grimey’s on July 16th.

I’m sufficiently recovered from Bonnaroo, so here’s what I’m doing/what’s going down this weekend: Tonight I’m photographing Fleetwood Mac at the Sommet Center, but after that I’ll be heading over to the Exit/In for a Planned Parenthood benefit featuring some good underground Hip Hop and hosted by none other than Big Fella. Yes, the Features are also playing at Mercy Lounge with Black Hollies and the Howlies, but I just saw them at Bonnaroo… and Planned Parenthood is a good cause.

Saturday night I have to shamelessly plug my own band’s show before anything else. TCQ is playing a house show at the Zombie Mansion with The Tits, And The Relatives, and Team Illuminati. There will also be a very special secret guest. Address is 7023 Charlotte Pike, and it will start around 9pm. This will be the final show at this house… at least under the current residents. The show is being put on by Scenario Entertainment. Also going down Saturday night- Shoot the Mountain and Heypenny at Mercy Lounge. These shows may or may not be connected in a very special secret way.

Have a great weekend!

And The Relatives, a local indie rock trio featuring my friend and fellow Scene contributor Patrick Rodgers on drums, have released their first proper EP “Animals.” Their EP release show was this past friday at the 5 Spot, but I was unable to attend due to a huge conference at work. I highly recommend checking them out this thurs. Nov. 20th (I may be there- it’s my birthday afterall) at the End with The Ettes, The Howlies, and Mean Tambourines. For a couple of free mp3’s, head over to Out The Other. They are part of a new collective of bands/artists known as Holly House. I’ve heard this name a few times over the past year or so, and recently I checked out their website to find that they have quite a lineup of bands associated with them. They seem to be onto something good here- a collective of bands just trying to make good music and help each other out with booking, etc… Basically it’s like Movement Nashville, but not so focused on the commercial/business aspect. The artists/bands associated with MN are very commercial sounding (and sometimes acting), and I think that leaves a bad taste in many mouths amongst local bands who really just want to make good music, regardless of the commercial appeal. I have nothing against a band trying to make a little money doing what they love, but sometimes it’s just too blatantly obvious that they’re making their art fit into a certain formulaic mold, at which point I usually say “no thanks.”

This is slightly old news by now, but the Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off from Kennedy Space Center Friday night at 7:55pm EST and successfully docked with the International Space Station at 5:01pm EST Sunday. You can watch live footage from the mission at NASA TV. While we’re talking about NASA, there’s a little speculation about the future of NASA under the new Obama Administration. Current NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has said that he will stick around only if Obama wants to keep things going steady on the current course of developing the new Constellation program, and retiring the Shuttle in 2010. For more info see the full story at Universe Today.

Some random links:
10 fascinating last pictures of famous people before they died.
Obama plans to begin doing weekly YouTube video updates. FDR 2.0 maybe?
Plasma plants may vaporize garbage while generating power.
Photographs of female body builders. Not for the faint of heart….

And finally I’ll leave you with this bit of inspiration, thanks to the Holly House website:

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