NWSlogoIt’s been quite a while since I posted much of anything weather-related, but now is as good a time as any! Our middle TN National Weather Service office started a Facebook page a while back, and I’ve been loving the hell out of it. Let’s face it, the weather service has always had a bit of an image problem. I’d be willing to bet that when most people think of the NWS, they think of a boring office with a bunch of crotchety old dudes staring at weather maps & computer screens. But in reality, the meteorologists are dedicated and passionate scientists who truly love what they do, and they enjoy talking about weather on a more conversational level, too! That’s exactly what their Facebook page is for, and it’s filled with tons of interesting factoids, tidbits, and more humanized/conversational information about the forecast. The forecasters are on there quite often, and are very good about responding to comments or questions posted. They also just closed submissions on a summer weather photo contest, and you can browse through the album and vote on your favorites. The photo with the most likes as of June 20th will be declared the winner. So check out their Facebook page and Like it. Even if you’re not as big of a weather nerd as I am, I promise you will learn something interesting if you Like the page and follow their posts!

Speaking of weather, I’m looking forward to the very favorable forecast for this year’s Bonnaroo! I will be there taking photos for the Scene as I have for the last 5 years, and thus I’m issuing my yearly Bonnaroo posting disclaimer: *This will be my last post before Bonnaroo, and posting will resume sometime early next week.* Be sure to follow our coverage and photos over at the Nashville Cream! Also, my girlfriend Lauren will be there with me blogging about the new & improved food options on her blog Old Red Boots, so follow her coverage to see the festival through the eyes of a foodie. But back to the weather- while it’d be nearly impossible to beat last year’s utterly euphoric Bonnaroo weather, this year’s forecast looks very good. Thursday is a little iffy as there’s currently a 30% chance of showers & storms, and the Storm Prediction Center has Manchester right on the edge of their ‘Slight Risk’ area for severe weather in their convective outlook. BUT, that activity should be pretty scattered/isolated so the risk is still pretty low. Friday & Saturday are damn-near perfect, however- sunny skies with mid to upper 80s for highs and low to mid 60s for lows- very similar to last year! That temperature span also suggests lower humidity! Sunday will be a little hotter with highs in the upper 80s and Sunday night brings back a 20% chance of showers. Overall, you really couldn’t ask for a better Bonnaroo weather forecast. See you here next week!

I didn’t fall of the face of the earth, I just totally forgot to post a disclaimer here that I would be out of pocket for a while taking photos at Bonnaroo. This was my 5th year there and we had amazing weather. It actually felt a bit chilly some nights! Anyway, please do check out the Nashville Cream for comprehensive coverage and lots of photos from me and Michael Bunch. Back soon y’all!

 

Last night was a blast. From the folkwave of Courtney Jaye to the dude-rock shredfest of Tyler Bryant, it was a night to behold. Overall however, it probably won’t go down as one of the most memorable Road To Bonnaroo nights. There just weren’t as many theatrics as there have been at past RTBs, but the quality of the music certainly was not lacking. At the end of the night, though, Chancellor Warhol (who I hadn’t seen until last night) ended up taking the prize. Warhol jumped on stage in a very Kanye-esque outfit, and proceeded to own the crowd. This guy is a phenomenal performer, though his opening song was the only one that really stuck with me. I certainly can’t disagree with the outcome.

Other artists/bands who really caught my attention were Evan P. Donohue and Heartbeater. If EPD’s performance wasn’t enough to win you over, then you need to have your head examined. This kid is a class act and has just the right combination of stage charm and hooky songs to be a genuine star. Just wait.

Heartbeater have switched out guitarists and added a keyboard player, and I love where they’re headed. They’ve got some new material that demands more sonic textures and the keys are fitting the bill perfectly. Bravo, fellas.

I can’t go without mentioning Tyler Bryant. The kid’s guitar shredding style falls somewhere between Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen (in style, not skill, but maybe he’ll get there one day), and he’s what… 20? 19? Despite his age, he somehow filled the stage with more testosterone than I’ve seen there in quite some time. Except for when he tried to do those “yeooowwww” screams and his voice cracked & went into the register of a 12 year old girl. Speaking of 12 year old girls, dude looks a little bit like Justin Bieber. Sorry… had to go there. It’s true. Give JB a guitar and rough him up around the edges and basically you have Tyler Bryant. Seriously though, if this kid learns to write good songs and not turn each show into a total wankfest, he could do something I might be interested in. Otherwise he needs to be the lead guitar player in a speed metal band. Unfortunately it’s rare to find that kind of technical prowess and truly good songwriting skills in the same person.

Let’s hope the next two RTBs get a little more theatrical and/or intense.

Some amazing and unique footage of Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch last thursday from an airplane window. The people on this plane got very lucky, as this is something rarely seen by the public. It’s one of those “right place, right time” deals. Be sure to pump it up to HD resolution.

(Via Bad Astronomy)

If you’re in Nashville and are a fan of local music, be sure not to miss tonight’s Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge. This is the third year of RTB, and tonight’s lineup looks great. This event really brings out the best in these bands, as most will have some sort of trick up their sleeve. We’ve seen just about every type of gimmick you can think of at these events in the past two years. If you didn’t know, the bands’ scores are made up of 50% audience vote and 50% judge vote. Tonight’s lineup:

Evan P. Donohue
Courtney Jaye
Chancellor Warhol
Majestico
Heartbeater
Kink Ador
The Kicks
Tyler Byant

For more info on the bands/artists and sample mp3s, visit the Mercy Lounge calendar.

Copyright 2010 Steve Cross- Unauthorized use or reposting prohibited!

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)

Just a couple of quick self-promotional updates…

I’ve got some new material coming down the pipe from my DJ/Electronic music project Burgers. I just completed the “Burgers Summer 2010 Mixxxx” and it will hit this blog and everywhere else this coming sunday. I’ll dedicate a post to that sunday or monday. I’m also working on the first official Burgers remix. It’s the Armed Forces track “Vultures (You Never Shut Up),” and it’s really fun, but also a pain in the ass, as I haven’t used any electronic music software in a few years and I’m almost having to learn it all over again. I have no idea when I’ll be done with that, but hopefully sometime this summer…

My band Powerbrrrd has been working on some new recordings, and those should be release in one format or another sometime this summer. We’re also making a music video this weekend, which will end up on this blog sometime next week no doubt. We also have a show tomorrow night at Springwater… (more on that below).

Be sure to head over to Nashville Nights and check out part 1 of Joseph’s Bonnaroo review. Pretty good stuff if you ask me, and I’m looking forward to the rest.

Speaking of Bonnaroo, check out this Fader video interview with Chromeo: (Via Fool’s Gold)

Now for the weekend stuff:

Tonight there’s a pretty bizarre/interesting show happening at the End: Most Amazing Century of Science/Lazer Slut/Brown Swarm/Meth Dad/Cunningham. I have a feeling 4/4 time signatures will be hard to come by at this one…

Saturday the obvious choice is of course, Powerbrrrd, Look What I Did, Thelma & the Sleaze, and The Grayces @ Springwater. But if you’re totally crazy, you could also check out “The Queen is Risen: A Tribute to The Smiths feat. Mother/Father, Nite Nite, The Armed Forces & more at Mercy Lounge,” or De Novo Dahl, Majestico, Fly Golden Eagle, and The Mattoid @ Exit/In. That last one is a benefit for the return of the Bat Poet. More on that via Sean Maloney’s Critic’s Pick in the Scene.

That’s all I have time for right now. Have a great weekend!

I thought I was going crazy for a while, but then A-Trak posted this blog last Thursday confirming that I’m not crazy. His project with Armand Van Helden Duck Sauce released their first single “aNYway” a few months ago basically everywhere but the US. A 128 kb version was relatively easy to find on some blogs, but the full-quality official version wasn’t available in the US… until now. Trizzy acknowledges this travesty in his comments, but I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen for future releases. Go grab this amazing track on beatport now!

The vinyl version of Uncle Skeleton’s new full-length Warm Under the Covers is now officially available via YK records. Go grab it at the Uncle Skeleton bandcamp, or just get the digital version for however much you want to pay. (Via Yewknee)

So as you well know from my last post, I went to Bonnaroo. I had an artist pass, and even though that grants one a much better experience than a regular patron (access to cleaner showers, a couple of air-conditioned tents, and free booze backstage), it was still FUCKING HOT. Aside from the heat, my mind was blown by two performances in particular: Daryl Hall + Chromeo and LCD Soundsystem.

Daryl Hall and Chromeo are the perfect match of old and new stylistically. Daryl Hall had a huge fan blowing his snowy mane into an utterly God-like immensity, P-Thugg’s vocoder leads were spot-on, and the overall silky smoothness of the affair was beyond words. I was there with Drew Mischke from Mercy Lounge and Jon Burr of How I Became the Bomb (and a few others), and if you know anything about either of those individuals, you can imagine how giddy they both were at this spectacle. It was kind of endearing.

LCD Soundsystem was about an hour after the above show, and having not seen them before, a 2:30am set complete with the largest and brightest disco ball I’ve ever seen was enough to blow my mind yet again. I watched most of the set from sidestage, but the sound was good enough that I could sense how awesomely tight James Murphy’s backing band is. I was literally running on fumes by that point, but the energy of their performance kept me going right till the end.

I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about bros and the phenomenon of getting ICED and/or ICING someone else.

That’s really all I have to say, and if you haven’t checked out the numerous blog posts (most of which are a bit belated thanks to the press wi-fi meltdown that occurred) from the Nashville Cream, please do so for further, more in-depth coverage and some great photos by Lance Conzett and Eric England.

*This will be my last post this week, and today will be my last day of web presence until after Bonnaroo.*

As I’ve said before, I’m going to Bonnaroo this year. I’m not going the way I’ve gone the past 2 years, however, as the Scene/SouthComm is sending their staff photographers to cover it this year, obviously the result of a rough economy/tight budget. (They are full-time staff photographers, so in the end SouthComm isn’t having to pay them anymore than they would have already, whereas my work would be an extra expense to them since I’m freelance.) Let me say that I’m in no way irked at them for doing this, as they have to do what makes financial sense in these times especially, and if I were in their shoes, I’d probably do the same. Since they weren’t sending me, I had to work a little harder to acquire a pass, but I did. So, don’t expect any photos from me this year, as I won’t be able to get into the photo pits, and honestly don’t want to have to lug the expensive/heavy equipment around and keep up with it unless I have to. My only real goal is to see LCD Soundsystem, since this is expected to be their last year of live shows, ever.

I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous rumors that there’s going to be a monsoon in Manchester this year. THIS IS BALONEY. The weather forecast looks exactly like every other June forecast in TN has since the beginning of time. It’s going to be hot, humid, and there’s a slight chance (20-30%) of scattered showers and storms in the afternoon. I’d say there will be at least 1 or 2 of those showers/storms that happen across Bonnaroo, but it will by no means equate to a monsoon. The cause of this rumor is probably the fact that most weather apps and “forecast-at-a-glance” sources don’t include the probability of precipitation (PoP). They just show a small icon that has the sun covered partially by a storm cloud, a few rain drops, and a lightning bolt. It still shows that icon, even if the PoP is only 10%. This is a problem in my opinion, because sadly the vast majority of people will probably look at those icons on each day and think that it means it’s going to rain all day, everyday. So if you’re going this year, of course be prepared for rain and mud- it’s going to rain at some point, but it’s not going to rain the whole time. Remember to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.

I must also point you to Nashvillest’s 2nd (I think) annual CMA Bingo card. With the “CMApocalypse” quickly approaching, this little bit of local humor/snark is all but necessary to keep your sanity if you’re a Nashvillian who hates this annual gathering of:

AND

Have a great rest of the week/Bonnaroo if you’re going, and I will see you here sometime next week.

Those Darlins at Bonnaroo 2009

In case you haven’t paid any attention to the interwebs the past day or two, the Bonnaroo schedule is now up. Check it out and make your own customized schedule. The Road to Bonnaroo winners are mostly on the Troo Music Lounge stage (where they were last year) except for How I Became the Bomb, who are playing at Cafe Where?. I’m unfamiliar with this… venue… as I never went there in my past 2 years of covering Bonnaroo. It’s a little lame that HIBTB, Non Comms, and Space Capone are all 3 on Sunday, while Caitlin Rose is on Thursday, but whatevs.

Tonight boasts a pretty good offering of good shows in Nashville. There’s the all-ages Nobunny/Pujol show at Third Man Records, but get there early- shit starts at 6pm. Then there’s Tristen/The Goldroom/Hammertorch/Hands Down Eugene at The End. The thing I’m most looking forward to tonight, however, is the new monthly (I think) party called JR/SR at the multi-purpose/art space Open Lot. It’s being organized by some of the same folks who brought you the La Paz dance parties a few months back. After the La Paz owners were assholes to said people, I suggested Open Lot as a possible venue for future parties/shows/etc… after reading about it in The Rabbit. Looks like it worked out, as tonight’s party boasts a killer lineup of DJs- Justin Kase, Potamus, and Secret Name, as well as full sets from Majestico and Fly Golden Eagle. Check out the facebook event page for more details.

Saturday’s show offerings look good as well- the biggest being the Those Darlins/Natural Child/Pujol/So Jazzy show at Mercy Lounge. Nikki Darlin recently took a spill and broke her arm after a show due to a dangerous combination of booze, cowboy boots, and a grassy field. Being a traveling musician/performer, she of course has no health insurance and thus faces overwhelming medical expenses, thus this show will feature some notable other local musicians filling in for her on banjolele. I’m assuming she’ll still be able to sing. The money from the show will go towards her medical expenses. Then there’s the Kelly Kerr & the Distractions album release show at FooBar… I wrote up a little review of his album last week.

The party doesn’t stop there, as local publicity stunt-whiz Brandon Jazz of the Armed Forces will be following the Westboro Baptist Church assholes around on their mini-tour of Nashville churches sunday morning, playing his song “Radical Luv” over and over in hopes of drowning them out.  If I can force myself out of bed early enough Sunday morning I’ll be with them taking some pics. Read more about it at Nashville Cream.

I also find it hilarious that every music blog has been all “OMG!!! 20 SECONDS OF THE NEW ARCADE FIRE ALBUM!!! AAAHHHEEEEE!!!”

Have a great weekend!

DJ A-Trak’s Dirty South Dance 2 mixtape is officially available for free download today via his Bandcamp. This mix follows up his 2007 release Dirty South Dance, and continues his style of blending popular hip hop vocal lines with more electro/dance beats. Personally I’m a fan just about everything he does, but then again who isn’t? Dude is one of the most well-respected DJs in the world right now. Just go grab the mix and enjoy. (Via A-Trak’s blog)

Speaking of DJs and dancing, Justin Kase is apparently planning a revival of the post-Buddytown/pre-Happy Valley era Youth Group parties at a yet-to-be-disclosed new location. Kase is planning to move to L.A. this September, thus the emphasis on making the most of this summer. More info will posted here as soon as I know it, but I’m sure it’ll be well-publicized.

Tonight is the final Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge. Come early and stay late, and cast your vote not based on who you’re friends with, but who fucking rocks your face off. I’ll be there shooting pics as usual. Lineup is: Heartbeater, My Tyger, Pico Vs. Island Trees, Delta Saints, Space Capone, Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, And The Relatives, and Deep Fried Five.

On a side note- if you’re in Nashville, please check your property for standing/stagnant water. The recent floods combined with the typical hot/humid summer weather will make the mosquito population explode this year, so if we don’t take measures to prevent them from breeding, we may be in for one very itchy, West-Nile virus-ridden summer. Mosquitoes breed in even the smallest areas of standing water- empty flower pots, buckets, old tires, etc… All you have to do is simply empty them out after it rains, or put them in a place where they won’t collect rainwater. If you (like Megan and me) use a rain barrel to water your lawn/garden/flowers, you can get tablets at any gardening store that when dissolved in said rain barrel, will prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water. I like summer for the most part, but I absolutely dread dealing with mosquitoes every year. I’m cursed with a pretty significant reaction to their bites, and they usually leave me with a quarter-size whelp that lasts a couple of weeks. So, for your own sanity and the sake of everyone else’s, PLEASE take measures to minimize the mosquito population this summer! For more info read this article from WKRN.