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It’s been FOREVER since we heard any activity from Nashville’s art-core pop-gasm quintet De Novo Dahl, and for good reason. They were simply burned out from all the stressful touring and getting dropped from their unlikely label, Roadrunner. The loss of label support was no fault of theirs, however. From my understanding it was due to changes in personnel at the label, and the person who supported them/signed them was no longer there. No matter what happened then, I’m glad to see that Joel has kept the project alive and is bringing DND out of hibernation to release a new album in 2010 on Theory 8. Three new tracks have surfaced on their new Bandcamp page, and I suggest you go grab them now. The material is much more laid-back than anything they’ve done to date, and that’s not a bad thing. It will only cost you an email address.

In other new music news, Spoon has an album due out this coming January. It includes the track “Got Nuffin” which appeared on an EP earlier this year. Let’s hope they can keep with their record of churning out quality music album-after-album. (Via You Ain’t No Picasso)

I’ll leave you with this video gem from my good friends at Lake Fever Productions. This is the previously unreleased extra from the Lake Fever Session that The Features did a month or so ago, and features a gaggle of random fans and musicians from other Nashville bands. This is the classic Features show-closer and it will never, ever get old. Watch below and also visit Lake Fever Sessions to see the rest of the Features’ session.

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CREAM-BDAY_FP_081809_M1WEBAs I mentioned earlier this week, the biggest event you should be concerned about this weekend is the Nashville Cream’s 3rd birthday bash at Mercy Lounge. The Features are headlining and will be playing mostly, if not all, new songs. Also playing are Kindercastle and The Billy Goats. I’ll be doing a photobooth, there will be lots of prizes to be won, free screen-printed show posters, and there will be a limited amount of free food to be had. All this for a a measly $5? How could you possibly say no? The thing I’m most excited about is hearing new Features songs. Props to Boss Construction for the posters.

Speaking of the Scene, Tracy Moore has a cover story in this week’s issue on Caitlin Rose, Tristen, and Those Darlins. It’s a great read and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy if you haven’t.

This isn’t related to the rest of the items in this post, but definitely worth mentioning- James Cameron’s new 3D sci-fi/fantasy film Avatar will hit theaters this December, and the first trailer was released through Apple yesterday. Go watch it in HD at Apple website. Your eyes will thank you.

In some much more depressing news, I was extremely saddened Wednesday to find out that the End’s doorman Stacy Fleeman is in the hospital on life support. He was found unresponsive, then put into a medically-induced coma which he then came out of, but apparently has little to no brain activity. Stacy is one of the good ones. He’s one of the kindest people I’ve met in Nashville and is a tireless supporter of the music scene. His label Spat! Records is just now starting to become financially successful and now this… it’s absolutely tragic. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. We should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Getting caught up on life after a week-long vacation is quite a task, and unfortunately this blog has been low on the list of things on which to get caught up.

I’ll have a link to some photos from Yellowstone, South Dakota, and all the other cool western places we visited soon. Again, editing these photos is not at the top of my priority list. I have lots of work stuff at Vandy this week so I won’t have the usual few minutes of spare time to browse my RSS feeds.

That being said… here are some great things that have been happening with the awesome Nashville music scene lately. You’ve probably already seen most of these, especially if you read Nashville Cream, but these tidbits deserve posting!

My favorite band from our fine Music City, The Features, were Paste Magazine‘s band of the week this week. Ever since they signed to Kings of Leon imprint Bug Music, they’ve been popping up all over the national radar. For a band that has been making such amazing music for so many years, it feels incredibly good to see them getting some of the recognition they deserve. In my opinion they should be inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, and sell millions of records and tour the world opening for Paul McCartney, but that’s just the superfan coming out in me. (Via Nashville Cream)

Itll make you cream.

It'll make you cream.

In other Cream news, the blog we all love so dearly for its cantankerous commentators is turning 3 years old this coming weekend. As they’ve done the past 2 years, they’re celebrating with a superb show at the Mercy Lounge this saturday. Headlining will be none other than The Features, and supporting acts will be Kindercastle and The Billy Goats. I will be there doing a photobooth as I’ve at the past two. It costs $5, which is really a steal considering the lineup and all the free stuff and prizes you can enter to win. Seriously, it’s the only place to be this Saturday!

Ok, so I’ve raved and raved about The Features, but it’s well-deserved. The final bit of Features awesomeness comes from our great friends at Lake Fever Productions and Tugboat Productions, who have been churning out great videos of their live sessions called Lake Fever Sessions. So far they’ve done a ton of great videos of artists both local and national, including Cursive, The Privates, Those Darlins, and many more. Here’s a personal fave, the 1-2 punch of Whatever Gets You By/The Drawing Board. Even more exciting is that they have another one in the can to be released later this fall. It’s a version of their classic show-closer “Thursday” featuring gang vocals by a number of local musicians/etc… These videos really reminded me why I love this band so much. Something about the way it was filmed, the intimacy of the live recording, and the unusually flowery decor just really hit the spot.

I’m a little behind in posting this, but if you haven’t been to We Own This Town in a while, I highly suggest you head over and check it out. Joe Baine Colvert and Michael Eades (aka Yewknee) have been doing a great job of keeping it updated and active (especially the show listings). They have a new podcast featuring all artists from Theory 8’s roster, including some yet-to-be released material. Good times for all!

Some other exciting news recently posted on WOTT- The Features have a song in a trailer for the new Mike Judge film Extract, slated to release this fall. It’s got a pretty star-studded lineup, too- including Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, Jason Bateman, and J.K. Simmons. Watch the trailer. Let’s hope they actually end up in the soundtrack!

Nashvillest has a really nice post about dining out on the cheap in Nashville. Nice work, ladies! They also posted a link to a City Paper story about a new local law being proposed that would hold venues directly responsible for illegally posted concert fliers. This has to be the most RIDICULOUS idea I’ve ever heard. We already know it’s technically illegal to post fliers on telephone poles/light poles/any pulblic property. But nobody gives a shit because it’s impossible to enforce unless a cop actually sees someone doing it. But fining a venue because some band’s fanclub posts fliers for their upcoming show? How on EARTH could a venue possibly control this kind of thing? That’s right, NEVER. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for them to do such a thing. They can’t cancel the show (as some dumbass commenter on the City Paper story suggests), what good does that do anyone? The shows are the venue’s business! Futhermore, the bands will be pissed, especially if they’re a touring band, because once again, playing shows is their business. They make their money from it. Then no bands will ever want to play there, thus the venue ends up closing and the whole live music process just implodes. I guess if you want to take the “Music” out of “Music City,” go right ahead and pass this. I have a suggestion for Mr. Tygard- WAIT. It’s quite clear that the internet is becoming a far easier and cheaper way to promote concerts, and that means less and less printed fliers. It’s only a matter of time before this very MINOR problem fixes itself.

Off the soapbox, onto some more interesting stuff…

Hipster Runoff examines Billy Corgan and Tila Tequila.

Remember Line Rider? Well if you enjoyed that, you’ll want to check out BallDroppings. Just go try it. Absolutely addictive and it could easily consume hours of your day if you aren’t careful. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Via Yewnkee’d.

Just one science-related tidbit for the day- the Kepler space telescope popped its lid and is now starting to look for earth-like worlds orbiting other stars! That was the last major milestone in the mission, aside from when it eventually does discover the first earth-like exoplanet. Go Kepler!

I’ll leave you today with this awesome Man Man video featuring my favorite SNL cast member Fred Armisen. Werewolves!

lol birdThis past Friday I was alerted to the presence of 6 dead birds outside the Starbucks that’s located in the lobby of the building in which I work at Vanderbilt- the Student Life Center. Low and behold, there were indeed 6 dead birds of the same species lying outside the window. I’m used to finding one or two dead birds every now and then… obviously victims of a recent cleaning of the large pane windows along one of our hallways. But SIX at once? I just dismissed it as a strange coincidence and that they were just flying in a tight flock at night. But this morning I noticed a story link on Nashvillest about drunken Cedar Waxwings causing minor chaos in Memphis, and I had a slight “eureka!” moment. These Memphian birds had ingested fermented holly berries and were literally drunk from the alcohol in the pulp. The berries were fermented because of the recent roller-coaster temperatures; the warm snap caused the berries to begin to bud, then the cold snap froze the individual cells which causes them to rupture, allowing yeast to ferment the sugars in the pulp, resulting in alcoholic berries. I looked up photos of Cedar Waxwings, and sure enough the birds outside my building were all Cedar Waxwings. After a quick call to Nashville Metro Public Health, my suspicions were confirmed, and I conclude that we did indeed have a case of drunken birds in Nashville. Kind of funny in a sick, twisted way…

Copyright Steve Cross

Copyright Steve Cross

Check out the Nashville Cream/Spin review of the super-secret Features/Lambchop/Cortney Tidwell house show last friday. Sorry I couldn’t post anything about it, it was a very secret show intended mainly for the attendees of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (which apparently has no website) conference that was being hosted by Grimey’s last week. You can see the awesomeness vicariously through me via my pics in the slideshow.

As you may remember, last week NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory failed to reach orbit after a launch malfunction, dooming it to crash into the ocean somewhere near Antarctica. Well, (thankfully) NASA is being extra careful and taking another day to inspect the Delta V rocket that is scheduled to carry the Kepler Observatory into orbit this friday. Thank GOD! The LAST thing we need is for the expensive and extremely important Kepler mission to fail. As I’ve reported before, the Kepler mission is VERY VERY likely to discover an earth-twin orbiting another star, hopefully in the next 3 or so years. Its goal is to stare at a large swath of sky with its incredibly sensitive instruments and look for the miniscule dimming caused by a planet crossing in front of one of those stars it’s looking at. This mission is IMPERATIVE to the search for an earth-like exoplanet, and eventually the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Losing it would be DEVASTATING. I applaud NASA for taking extra precautions to make sure the Kepler mission does not see the same fate of the OCO. Check my friday post for an update on the status of the launch. Happy Monday!

Blue Eyed Blacks are a new project from Nashville’s hardest-working musician/promoter Jason Moon Wilkins. He’s most known for being the co-creator (along with Movement Nashville’s Ethan Opelt) of Next Big Nashville. BEB’s debut album Black Eyed Soul is an emotional ride through Wilkins’ career as a musician. The songs seem to be mostly narratives of his experiences in bands, as well as other ups and downs involved with trying to make a living playing music. It’s a well-rounded album that should please a variety of palettes. Perhaps the album’s best moment comes at the end with the bipolar combination of the last two tracks, The First To Fall and It Ain’t Over. The former being a painful slow burner about the loss of a loved one, the latter being an upbeat, optimistic, banjo-laden jangle about pushing on through tough times.

Mp3s:
The First To Fall
It Ain’t Over

This coming weekend is shaping up to be quite awesome in terms of shows. Thursday everyone’s favorite locals The Features are playing at the Rutledge. I’m really glad to finally see a band I really love playing there. For some reason they’ve been booking everything BUT the genres/bands that I’m interested in, thus I’ve only been there a couple of times to cover stuff for the Scene. It’s a great venue, though- the seating is near perfect, with the tables/chairs in the back elevated above the standing crowd, and the sound guy Frank Sass is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Friday we have another house show put on by Ryan Bruce of the Deli Nashville featuring Shoot the Mountain, the Biv, and the Ettes, with DJ Hippopotamus throwing down some beats in between bands. Their address is 3609 Pilcher Ave. (in the Sylvan Park neighborhood of west Nashville). They kindly ask that you park on 36th Ave to avoid congestion on their tiny street. Hopefully the cold will keep everyone inside, thus decreasing the chances of having the cops called. The other show woth mentioning is the continuation of the Winter of Dreamz at Mercy Lounge this Saturday the 13th with the Protomen, How I Became the Bomb, and Jensen Sportag. Need I say more?

Next year’s Leonid meteor shower could turn out to be a “minor storm,” with up to 500 meteors per hour. I’ll never forget the 2001 Leonids- the weather was pefectly clear AND it was a new moon, and that year happened to be a fairly heavy one for the shower. Normally the metoer shower is fairly low-key, but some years it can flare up and be awesome. Read the NASA article for further explanation.

The real meanings of several popular songs condensed into one sentence. My fav- Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire”– I did it with you, and now it hurts when I pee.

Matt Mahaffey plays a solo benefit show for his late brother Mikes kids at Capones in Johnson City, TN.

Matt Mahaffey plays a solo benefit show for his late brother Mike's kids at Capone's in Johnson City, TN. Copyright 2008 Steve Cross.

I should’ve posted this a long time ago, but here’s a link to my flickr photo set of the Matt Mahaffey solo show from Thanksgiving weekend in Johnson City. Like an idiot, I left my video camera in Nashville that weekend, but I did tape a little bit of the show he played at the Boro on Mon. the 24th. I will get those uploaded to YouTube as soon as I have time to sit down and transfer/edit the footage. I just found out last night that Matt & Rebecca’s dog Pongo died Sunday morning. He was one of two beautiful Dalmations owned by the Mahaffey’s, and he suffered from encephalitis. Thankfully their other dog Purdita is still with them. I think she may have been Pongo’s sister… but don’t quote me on that. They posted a blog with several photos of him here. I know they loved their dogs more than anything and they have my deepest sympathy.

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