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!

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.

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.

Epic Ditch/Natural Child

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.

Tonight at Mai is the 4th (I think) installment of VITAL, the monthly series at Club Mai presented by Vitalic Noise. This month the dudes are trying out a whole new idea for the event- live bands. Mai is traditionally a full-on dance club, with just DJs providing the entertainment, but the VN guys have constructed a special stage that can be moved and disassembled quickly, so for this night they’ve brought in 3 bands- The Pass, Cherub, and Boss of Nova. In addition, DJs Vitalic Noise and Myrryrs will be spinning. It’ll be a good night, so head on down to 12th for a completely new experience at Mai.

In other local music news, songwriter and former Imaginary Baseball League frontman Aaron Robinson just released a new EP via Bandcamp. The songs stay true to his mellow, earnest style, and his crooning is a smooth as ever. The EP is a pay-what-you-want deal, but I do know that he personally invested money out of pocket to make these recordings, so if you can, show the man some support! Also, I strongly urge you to read his hilarious account of one of his songs inadvertently ending up as the soundtrack to a porno… over at Nashville Cream.

Some awesomeness to drop on you today:

  • Those Darlins’ new 7″ “Be Your Bro” drops today. The B-side is “Let U Down” and believe me when I say that these are two great songs. I joined them back in September of last year for a week-long segment of their east coast tour, and remember these songs well. I’ve yet to hear any of the recorded versions of these songs, so it’ll be interesting to hear what they sound like on vinyl. Their second full-length LP drops on March 29th. Both releases are on their own label Oh Wow Dang. Their website also had a bit of a makeover, so I recommend checking it out.
  • Tristen’s new album Charlatans at the Garden Gate got a pretty glowing review from the A.V. Club. The album is available today digitally, but the physical release has been pushed back to 2/15 due to “a production delay and bad weather early this month in the south east” according to Facebook.
  • Jensen Sportag are basically going to rule 2011. They rescued last week’s “Vital” at Mai by filling in for the snowed-into NYC Bit Funk, DJing a slew of new jams from their upcoming EP Pure Wet, which will be released via Cascine. Head over to Vitalic Noise to stream the track “Mapquest” and watch the video for “Everything Good.” Seriously, DO IT. There is really only one way to describe this: SEXY. Basically this is the sexiest thing to come out of Nashville in… forever? I’m talking classy sexy here, not slutty sexy. I also hear that JS is working on a new live setup, incorporating a 3rd member on keys, and possibly even more. No word on when we can catch a glimpse of this live arrangement locally, but I’m sure there will be opportunities, and I’ll be sure to post as soon as I find out.

Did I really just mention the rough-edged wild ones known as Those Darlins in the same post as the smooth, sexy sounds of Jensen Sportag? Why yes, I did. That is a shining example of the wide diversity of great music coming out of this non-country scene in Nashville. Keep it comin’ y’all.

Tonight will probably be POWERBRRRD’s last show. We are playing with Bad Cop, Reid Magette, and the Devin Robinson Band. I say probably because you never know how things will go, but it will definitely be several months before we try to do anything again, if we do. We’ll call it an indefinite hiatus. Basically we just couldn’t keep the 4-piece lineup together due to people moving out of town, having other jobs that require them to tour this spring, etc… So we’re just gonna say “fuck it” and if a new bass player who fits us falls into our lap over the next few months, maybe we’ll play again.

Seth put up our EP “Good Job, POWERBRRRD!” on bandcamp yesterday, so if you want to, check it out. It’s totally free to download. We just wanted to get it out there.

There are lots of other good shows happening this weekend, but this morning I just don’t have the time to do my usual weekend rundown. So go check out the Cream’s listings.

Makeup & Vanity Set (aka Matt Pusti aka DAAS) has been busy lately. Just last March he released the epically awesome self-titled album that marked the return of MAVS. (The project had been on a bit of a hiatus for a few years.) Now he’s released a new 6-song EP The Final Fire, and well, Pusti’s own description, “THIS RECORD IS AN 8-BIT KNIFE FIGHT” pretty much sums it up better than I ever could. He goes on to say, “EVERYTHING RECORDED ON CASSETTE TAPES. OLD SCHOOL NOISE. EVERYTHING AT BREAKNECK SPEED. THESE SONGS WERE WRITTEN IN BEDROOMS. ON LAPTOPS AND SAMPLERS.”

Yep, that’s about it. Now go get the EP!

From the self-titled ablum, “Putay’s Back”:

Makeup & Vanity Set-Putay’s Back

After a long, liver-abusing Memorial Day weekend, I’m back.

Last year Benjamin A. Harper (not that Ben Harper) of the Comfies released The Comfies Present: Benjamin A. Harper in This Ship Is Going Down. It was the first of a planned 3-EP series, and he’s just released the second of that series, The Comfies Present: Benjamin A. Harper’s Fantôme. As all smart artists do, he’s using Bandcamp to distribute his music, so go grab the new EP there. It’s on the name-your-own-price plan, so it can be free if you want it to be. The EP has a full range of song tempo and mood. From the toe-tapping straightforward power pop of “Shake It Like You Mean It” to the soft instrumental melancholy of “Christmas Eve Eve,” this EP covers a lot of ground in 6 short tracks. Harper is at his best in the higher-energy tracks of the collection, but one that is quickly growing on me is “Chemicals,” which features some very nice string arrangements. Ben actually played almost every instrument on these recordings, which is probably the main reason for the 10-month lag between releases. Or maybe I just had it my head that the releases were all set for a quick-succession release schedule for some reason… either way, I hope the next and final one comes soon!

The official EP release show is July 2nd at the End with Tristen. Be there.

New Nobility tracks/EP

July 21, 2009

I was absolutely delighted to find a press release from The Nobility in my inbox today. They have a new 3-song EP set for release on August 14th. The release show will be that night at the Basement. The EP will be called Gentle Giant and the title track is available for free download at their bandcamp page. From the press release:

The first chance to purchase the single will be through digicards for sale only at this Aug. 14 show. Digital downloads will be available after Aug. 14 through retailers Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Napster, and eMusic. A free high quality download of the title track is now up on The Nobility’s Bandcamp page in a variety of music nerd-approved formats, including FLAC, AAC, Lossless, and MP3. All three songs are streaming in their entirety at http://thenobility.bandcamp.com.

I absolutely love these songs. I’ve literally had the songs on repeat from the bandcamp page ever since I got the email and I can decisively say that it’s some of their best work yet. They are one of those few bands who just seem to get better and better as times goes on. Sean Williams’ songwriting is catchy as ever, yet it’s gotten more thoughtful and intricate. Of course Brian Carter’s production is on the dot, as always. The title track is easily the bounciest, most accessible of the three, but Mr. Danby/Mr. Blackman is a real gem, too. When the multi-layered harmonies came in at the end on my first listen, it was so beautiful I almost jumped out of my chair. Please do yourself and the band a favor by purchasing the EP when it’s officially released on Aug. 14th. If all goes as planned, the band plans to put out a full-length album on vinyl next year.