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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!

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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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