First of all allow me to direct you to my girlfriend’s blog, and her post about Hurricane Sandy. In short, her parents live a few blocks from the bay on Long Island, and her childhood home flooded with about 2 feet of water last night. So if you’re the praying type, keep her family in your prayers. If you’re the thinking type, keep them in your thoughts.

I discovered this jaw-dropping, mesmerizing US wind map this morning via Discovery News. This fascinating animation is created by streaming realtime wind speed and direction data from the National Digital Forecast Database and feeding it into software that then generates the animation, graphing out the wind as lines across a map of the U.S. The image at the top of this post is a screenshot of the remnants of Sandy. When you visit it, be sure to click on the map and zoom in on the center of circulation. Get really close- it’s truly mesmerizing. Things like this have always fueled my fascination with weather.

And what would any major event, good or bad, be without some sort of meme coming from it? Please direct your browser toward the hilarity of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s sign interpreter Lydia Calas. I was watching the weather channel last night when this address was airing live, and her face, coupled with Bloomberg’s pathetic attempt at Spanish, provided us some much-needed comic relief in the midst of all the bad news. Literally within minutes of that airing, there was a joke “Miguel Bloombito” twitter account created. I recommend following…

Advertisements

Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ SXSW 2009

I’ve been a solid fan of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart ever since they burst onto the scene in late 2008/early 2009. I was pretty amazed when I read this article on Stereogum reporting that they’ve finished up their 2nd full-length with none other than Flood behind the faders. Knowing that a producer who was behind such huge massive sounds as U2, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, etc… was working with POBPAH initially scared the hell out of me. Adam Gold of the Nashville Scene/Cream once told me “they rock about as hard as a cupcake” referring to POBPAH. And honestly that’s a pretty accurate statement, but I’m actually fond of several “cupcake” bands, so that is (in some ways) a very good thing in my mind. Such a “big sound” production style would certainly spell doom for the tenderness and teenage awkwardness that is part of the reason I loved their debut album so much. At least that was my initial reaction. The quotes in the article, however, quelled most of my pessimism about this second album. Quotes like “the loud parts are louder and the quieter parts are quieter — with a lot more variation between the two” really make me feel like Flood didn’t just come crashing through the walls and lay down the law while POBPAH cowered in the corner. The band actually developed a “good push-and-pull with him” and believes that he actually learned as much from them as they did from him. To me, a big part of what made their debut so good was the way it was mixed, and most specifically the guitar sounds. Honestly there were a few moments where I found myself wanting the guitar parts to come through a little clearer; that they were a little too awash in fuzz and re-verb. So when I read that they were going for “a guitar sound that hit you in the chest.” I’m all about that. So with slight hesitation, I look forward to hearing this new album. As I’ve said all along, I really think this band has some staying power.

A few random other notes:

Congrats to everyone involved with Make-Out With Violence, the locally shot and produced feature film is now officially out on DVD and On Demand. I mentioned before they’d finally found a distribution home with Factory 25, but now you can actually go order a copy for yourself. Go forth and buy! These dudes sunk a lot of their own cash into this movie and worked tirelessly for years- they deserve it! (Via Nashville Cream)

Just watch this amazing feat of choreography and lighting that happened in NYC for the Target 2010 fall fashion spectacular. Mind=blown. (Via Vitalic Noise)

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.

Kelly Kerr is what most would call a “veteran” of the Murfreesboro music scene. This guy has been around for years, played in tons of bands, was involved with the now-defunct Vacant Cage Records, and had a steady stream of solo projects. He even started a small brewing company called Bucket City Brew (which is part of the reason I started brewing). His latest project is called Kelly Kerr & The Distractions, and it’s easily his most notable endeavor. They are about to release their 2nd album, titled Chronological Disorder: How to Pass History in 13 Easy Steps, next week on May 11th. The album is comprised of songs all about various topics in US history, and is his best work to date. The recording quality is better than anything I’ve heard from him before, and the songs are all well-produced. Snag the track “Eli Whitney” below, and go to their Bandcamp page to get two other free tracks. Also check out their official website for some clever video commercials, show listings, etc… The album release show is May 22nd at Foobar, and will feature supporting acts Superstar Machine (Seth Graves’ official new chillwave project), and Streetlight Allstars.

Kelly Kerr & The Distractions- Eli Whitney

This weekend has a lot of good shows, most of which are benefits for victims of the recent flood disaste:

First of all, I have to plug my own band’s show this Saturday at the End. It’s Powerbrrrd’s first show in many months and while I’d like to say that we’ve been holed-up recording all this time, that is not the case. We’ve just been lazy, and getting a new drummer (I moved to bass and guitar), Jesse Baker. This show also serves as Diarrhea Planet’s EP release. Also playing- Frank the Fuck Out, Spanish Candles, and Bad Cop. Seriously, this one y’all don’t want to miss! Of course, it IS a flood benefit, so that $5 you pay at the door all goes to Hands on Nashville.

Tonight: The art space/zine shop/venue collective known as Little Hamilton is having some money woes, and are thus having a benefit show tonight to help raise $$$ so they can pay their rent. It’s a dance party featuring DJ Jade Payne and others, and starts at 9pm. 1318 Little Hamilton St.

Also tonight- Space Capone’s CD release party w/ Mikky Ekko @ Mercy Lounge.

Sunday there’s another great flood benefit show happening at Rocketown. This one will feature a shitload of bands, including Heavy Cream, Daniel Pujol, So Jazzy, Ben Steine’s Money, Big Surr, and many more. Important: this one is at Rocketown’s NEW LOCATION of 522 5th Ave South.

If you missed the awesome flood benefit show this past Wed. night at Mercy Lounge as I did, check out Nashville Cream’s Spin review of it. They also have some nice footage of it there, too.

Have a great weekend!

Volunteering today

May 6, 2010

No blog today because I’m volunteering with Hands On Nashville this afternoon. If you’re a Nashville resident and you haven’t done so yet, go sign up on their website! They just upgraded their servers last night and the site is operating much faster than yesterday. If you can’t volunteer your time, please donate some money. If you do nothing you are only contributing to the problem. These are your friends and neighbors and they need your help. You can also help through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Also, keep conserving water. We are doing ok, but could be doing much better. Last night on NewsChannel5, Mayor Karl Dean just said to simply cut your water consumption in half. Do that however you feel is best. Hopefully the other water plant will back up and running in a few more days, but we don’t know yet, so KEEP CONSERVING.

The flood waters that have turned Nashville into “Nashlantis” came close to our house but thankfully spared us. There are many, MANY who were not so lucky, so first and foremost I want to direct you to this post on Nashvillest, where they are continuously and tirelessly updating info about where volunteers are needeed, where they’re not, where supplies are needed, where they’re not, and just about anything else about how to help. Seriously, those girls deserve a medal of honor for their awesome work aggregating information and putting it all in one easy place. Morgan/Christy- I’m buying you both a drink next time I see you out. If manual labor is not your thing, the best thing you can do right now is CONSERVE WATER. As of now the water supply is perfectly fine and safe to drink, however officials are concerned that with one water treatment plant flooded and another threatened, Nashville may end up with a clean water shortage. LIMIT YOUR WATER USAGE TO ONLY THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITIES. WHEN YOU TAKE SHOWERS, LIMIT THEM TO 3 MINUTES OR LESS, AND DON’T USE DISHWASHERS OR LAUNDRY WASHING MACHINES. DON’T EVEN WADE THROUGH FLOOD WATER UNLESS YOU HAVE TO, BECAUSE IT IS LIKELY CONTAMINATED WITH RAW SEWAGE.

Relating this to the local music scene: there will be many benefit shows in the next few weeks, the first of which is happening at Mercy Lounge tomorrow (Wed.) night. They have turned their Cinco De Mayo party into a benefit show, and it will feature Paper Route, How I Became the Bomb, the Dozen Dimes, Hillbilly Casino, and possibly more. Please come out and donate some $$$ to help out. Also, my band Powerbrrrd had our first show in many months booked this Sat. May 8th at the End, and we’ve all decided to turn it into a benefit show as well. Other bands are Diarrhea Planet, Frank the Fuck Out, and Bad Cop, and Spanish Candles. We’re gonna try to start right at 9 since we’ve got 5 bands. It’s Diarrhea Planet’s EP release show as well.

If you’re interested in some of the statistics on this event, check out this public information statement from the National Weather Service containing most of the records that were set/broken this past weekend.

In dire times like these, it’s good to lighten the load on your mind for a minute and just laugh at something. So in case you haven’t already seen it, I give you the Great Nashville Weather Penis.

Here are a few select photos I took Sunday and Monday at the Farmer’s Market and in my neighborhood in north Nashville. The full set is on my flickr.

On my way home from work- 31st ave north near Centennial park.

On my way home from work- 31st ave north near Centennial park. Click to enlarge.

Yesterday brought some very interesting weather to Nashville. Interestingly enough, the biggest story was the flash flooding that occurred downtown, not necessarily the (not-yet-confirmed by the weather servie) tornado that allegedly touched down near the airport/Donelson. Nashvillest had a link to a pretty amazing video of the Hillsboro Village area during the peak of the flooding. Poor Fido’s! I hope they didn’t have any real damage from the water! I barely made it home from work before the cops shut down West End due to the water. Yesterday’s incident was the classic example of flash-flooding. It was simply a case of a tremendous amount of water being dumped in one area in a very short amount of time. When this happens it simply overwhelms even the best of drainage systems, and all that water has to go somewhere. In fact, according to the NWS website, we set a record high maximum daily rainfall yesterday! Go us?

The Sun is sleeping. At least as far as sunspot activity goes. As you probably learned in middle school, the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of sunspot activity. The peak time is solar maximum and the low point is solar minimum. Right now we’re in solar minimum (the last maximum was around 2001), but this one is particularly low. So low that it has scientists intrigued as to what exactly this could mean for the next solar maximum, scheduled for 2012-2013. Universe Today has a great article on this if you’re interested in learning more.

Ok, on to some non-scientific links…

Oddee.com has some really big stuff on today’s post.

A German researcher accidently pricked herself with a needle used to inject Ebola into mice, and was given an experimental vaccine that had never been tested on humans. She’s fine now, but it’s not clear whether the vaccine saved her, or if the virus simply never enter her bloodstream in the first place. Scary…

Those crazy pranksters at Improv Everywhere pulled off one hell of an April Fool’s joke wednesday. They attempted to give someone the “best funeral ever” by finding the smallest funeral with the fewest likely relatives/friends, and sending a large group of mourners to make the family have the best funeral ever. The only thing is… it was all staged, including the funeral itself. But the local news totally fell for it and covered it as a real news story! Congrats, guys. In case you didn’t know, this same group drew some ire over a prank where they found a crappy band with almost no fans, and sent a huge group of people to one of their shows to totally rock out and act crazy as though they were dedicated fans. Of course, this ended up backfiring and really pissed off the band and a lot of youtube viewers. The group finally apologized for the whole thing.

WEEKEND STUFF!

For Friday:

Probably the coolest thing happening is The Privates’ Motion EP release show at the Basement. These guys just can’t seem to stop making amazing rock music. Opening are Hotpipes and the Garland Sisters.

Also, L.A.-Nashville transplants The Ettes are rocking the Exit/In with Wax Fang and The Whigs.

Another event worth mentioning is the Hot Rocks Dance Party at Mercy Lounge. This event is basically the same thing as the weekly Monday night rock n roll dance parties held at the 5 Spot, except they’ve jumped the river for a weekend time slot, and added in Broadway honky-tonker Heath Haynes.

For Saturday:

The Tits, Lovehog, & Sam Stewart @ the End.

Carter Administration & Power Load: an AC/DC Tribute @ the 5 Spot. Power Load is comprised of members of the Carter Admin and the Clutters.

Another local music tidbit that you probably already know by now: the full motion picture soundtrack to locally-made indie film Makeout With Violence is now available at their website. Two full CDs of music for only $15? You can’t beat that with a stick.