My Morning Jacket @ Bonnaroo 2008 Credit: Steve Cross

My Morning Jacket @ Bonnaroo 2008 Credit: Steve Cross

It’s that time of year again in Tennessee. The hot days and humid nights have settled in for good, and that only means one thing: Bonnaroo is upon us. I’m covering it again for the Scene this year and I’m ready to make my 2nd experience even better than the 1st. I’ve been told that the Village Voice may be using some of my images for other blogs/papers under their umbrella. (For a list of their papers go here.) Normally I would never attend Bonnaroo. Don’t get me wrong- the bands are great, the outdoor setting is great, but the people are generally not so great. Having to constantly deal with mud-caked hippies who’ve done waaay too many drugs and smell like a combination of bad patchouli, port-a-john, and feet is not my idea of fun. Being a member of the press, however, alleviates that concern because you spend a minimal amount of time actually out in the crowds, and NO time in the camping/parking area. Press parking is right behind the stages, and there’s a nice air-conditioned tent with complimentary water, as well as media trailer with wi-fi. Look for my photos on Nashville Cream, and possibly those other papers’ blogs mentioned above. Speaking of Bonnaroo, Nashville’s own music blogger superstar Janet Timmons has been hard at work (along with some help from a few other local bloggers/writers) posting a preview for every artist playing Bonnaroo. Check it out. Will she make it in time?

The Tennessean/Metro Mix is hosting another edition of its annual Toast of Music City poll. Last year some of the top restaurants ended up being Olive Garden, Shoney’s, and Golden Corral. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! WTF?!?!? Get your ass over to the poll and make sure such a travesty doesn’t happen again. Thanks to Nashvillest for reminding me of this.

Improv Everywhere comes up with some of the best pranks/social experiments I’ve ever seen. Their latest was one of their best yet: they gave one lucky NYC couple getting married at the clerk’s office a surprise wedding reception in Foley Square. Check it out.

Speaking of couples, the first weightless wedding is being planned. Though not actually happening in space, it’s the next best thing: the famed “Vomit Comet.” Let’s hope they don’t end up puking on each other during their vows. “I do… BLEGGGHHH!”

Part of the problem with the public image of NASA and space exploration in general is that astronauts aren’t viewed in the same light now as they were back in the 60’s. Back then, media coverage of NASA and its missions was MUCH more extensive than it is now. Those astronauts were literally treated like movie stars. The public adored them and they helped to make people actually care about space exploration. Nowadays coverage of the shuttle launches barely gets onto the bottom of I found a tiny glimmer of hope this morning, though: this new Louis Vitton ad photo taken by Annie Leibovitz on i09. It’s astronauts Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin, and Jim Lovell. For more info go here. This is totally awesome and I hope to see NASA start caring more about PR and creating a bigger, more positive public image for itself.

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

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… 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.


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.

This image links to a great flickr set of vintage ads. Just take a minute to peruse through a few. You will enjoy it. Among my faves “Betty’s Gay with Midol“… “I cure women“… “The Miracle of Marlboro.”

Possibly one of the snarkiest local bloggers/writers/music critics is Andrew J. Smithson. He used to write for the Scene, but apparently didn’t like it very much and focused on his own blog. That original blog died, but now he has a new with an incredibly catchy and indicative name- indieocraty. I highly recommend checking it out.

You Ain’t No Picasso posted this new Microsoft ad about their new software Songsmith. Oh. My. God. According to YANP, this is, in fact, the real ad. Maybe Microsoft is trying to make fun of itself? No matter the intent… I too view this as a sign of the apocalypse.

Improv Everywhere is awesome. Check that link for coverage of their latest shenanigan- no pants day. Imagine being in NYC and seeing a bunch of people on the subway and on the streets just walking around with everything but pants on. I love the “freeze” events that they do as well. Nashville has a small group called the Dive-In Theater that does similar stuff. Megan and I participated in the “June Freeze” event in Hillsboro this past June. We met at the dragon park and walked over to Hillsboro Village, and with our phone alarms synced, we all froze up at the same moment, doing random things. It was hard to keep a striaght face while people looked at us curiously, wondering what the hell was going on. I highly suggest checking them out and participating in one of their events. It’s lots of fun.

Anyone who knows me probably knows that I like to do crazy shit like chase tornadoes, go hang-gliding, bungee-jumping (still on my to-do list), etc…. Well, I may have finally found something I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t call myself an adrenaline junkie by any means… I don’t have the need to get out and do this kind of shit everyday… but I do love it. In my eyes these dudes are totally badass. I’ve actually seen this video once before… about a year ago. But my dad sent it to me today and I thought it would be worth posting. So what do you think? Are these guys totally badass or totally insane?

And finally, I must leave you with the metal band name flow chart: (click image to enlarge, then prepare to laugh histerically)