thefeaturesNashville’s hometown indie-pop heroes The Features are back with a new self-titled album on May 14th! They released the bouncy, catchy single “This Disorder” (which you can stream below) a while back, and just announced the official presale for the album on CD/Vinyl and iTunes. The pre-order on Bandcamp will also get you 2 free mp3s of your choice.

The boys will be performing at Grimey’s Record Store Day festivities along with Paramore, Hotpipes, Alanna Royale, Daniel Bachman, Josh Rouse, and PUJOL. They’re also playing a special free Frye Jam Session showcase this Friday night at Mercy Lounge with Nikki Lane, Odessa Rose, and Andrew Combs. Get there early if you want in- it’s limited to 300 capacity!

 

The name Forget Cassettes may not be as meaningful for those not familiar with the Nashville indie rock scene of the mid-aughts, but if you are one of those unfamiliar, you’d be doing yourself a favor to change that. I was a big fan of most of the Nashville bands on the Theory 8 Records roster back in those days, and Forget Cassettes was one of them. Their debut Instruments of Action from 2003 is still a fave of mine. In 2006 Salt featured a new 3-piece lineup and was also a fantastic record. Beth Cameron, the force behind FC, started work on this new album roughly 3 years ago, if memory serves. There were plans to release it under a couple of different names but ultimately she has come full-circle and arrived back at Forget Cassettes. I know she’s put countless hours and poured her heart and soul into this album, as is the case with everything she does, so I really look forward to hearing it.

The album as a whole won’t be officially released until January 2013, but leading up to it are three digital-only EPs consisting of songs from the album. Full details can be seen at her new website. Welcome back, Beth!

Darlings. I’ve mentioned them on here before… albeit a long ass time ago. I’ve seen the term “slacker pop” thrown around 1,000 times about this band but it’s really the very best possible way to describe them. If you think about Pavement and The Rentals having a baby, you’d be on the right track. I just want to have a drunken college couch makeout session with every one of their songs. They’re cute and irresistible. Do yourself a favor and check out these New Yorkers’ latest single “Pet the Ghost” on their bandcamp. It’s even available for free download for the time being! Now, can somebody get these slackers to stop slacking and tour through Nashville? Please?

I’m not usually one to gush, but I’ll be damned if Gigamesh hasn’t been totally winning at life recently. It seems like every single thing he has touched, whether it be a remix or an original track, is pure gold. He’s just released another freebie remix, this time of Grouplove’s indie-pop/gang-chorus/feel-good jam Tongue Tied. You might recognize it from that iPod commercial. (#facepalm, I know)

I honestly am floored by this guy’s ability to take even the most overplayed, fratty, vomit-inducing shit like Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks and turn it into a somewhat enjoyable dancefloor anthem. Gigamesh, I love you, bro.

At a party in Murfreesboro several weeks ago I ran into an old acquaintance from college- Alice Buchanan. She’s from Memphis and had been in a band called Scandaliz Vandalistz which may or may not still exist… but when I talked to her she told me of this new band she’s involved with called Magic Kids that had just formed and were already gearing up for a tour with Girls. I was astounded at the speed of their ascent to label-signed status. As gorilla vs bear, Nashville’s Dead, and the Matador Records blog all report, they just signed to True Panther. Their quick emergence is not unfounded, though, as it’s literally impossible to deny the warm-fuzzy-feel-goodness of “Hey Boy.” It’s very summery, fun, and has the ability to turn even the dreariest winter day into a breezy summer afternoon. The first two bands that come to mind when I hear these songs are the Beach Boys and I’m From Barcelona. Grab two mp3s at Nashville’s Dead. Then just try to keep from putting them on repeat. I dare you. They’ll be playing at the Exit/In on Feb. 6th with Girls, and also hitting up SXSW in March. I’m sure they’ll be on my “must-see” list.

Monotonix singer Ami Shalev’s luck finally ran out at a show in Florida Wed. night. Though Brooklyn Vegan’s headline says he broke his leg, the statement from the band doesn’t quite make it that clear. Seriously dude, you should’ve expected this to happen sooner or later. You just can’t do crazy shit like that at shows without getting hurt eventually. Hopefully they’ll be able to resume melting faces soon enough.

As for this weekend, I’ll be attempting to get to the super-exclusive Clipse show at Phatkaps, but the snow/ice-gasm 2k10 may prevent it. The roads should be clear by tomorrow night, though, for the Wax Fang/How I Became the Bomb/Non-Commissioned Officers show at Exit/In.

And, given my post yesterday about the Mars rover Spirit, I must share this adorable comic from xkcd:

From SXSW 2009

If you’re facebook friends with her or follow her on twitter, you probably already know that the amazing Caitlin Rose will be heading to the UK next week for a short tour. Regardless, it deserves a mention! She also signed a deal with UK label Names Records to release her Dead Flowers EP on limited edition 10″ vinyl. Way to go girl! Catch her last US appearance before crossing the pond this Wed. night at Exit/In opening for the legendary Charlie Louvin, along with the Dex Romweber Trio. (Via Theory 8 Records)

Netflix will begin streaming a lot more indie films today thanks to a new deal with IFC. Netflix will get 53 films that will be available to “stream online to whichever platform you like.” I’m starting to like Netflix more and more…. (Via FluxRad)

Now allow this to brighten up your day:

Via Yewknee’d

I’ve known Brock Sharp for quite a while now, ever since he was involved with Vacant Cage Records back in the mid 2000’s. They folded back in ’07 and since then he’s been doing all sorts of random music-related things, including starting the Dig For Fire Agency with me. Just last week he was offered the opportunity to take over the music blog Rock Sellout. He agreed, and now it’s up and running again under his command. So go check it out. I may even end up contributing to it some in the future.

Tonight Those Darlins will be joining the Dexateens, the Rustlanders, and Band of Heathens at Mercy Lounge for an Americana Music Awards showcase. They’ll also be joined by a super-secret special guest, and based on the Nashville Cream’s hints and the AMA website, I’m pretty sure it’ll be John Fogerty.

In case you’ve been under a rock the past few days, the long-rumored Pavement reunion is definitely, absolutely, 100% happening. I knew there was something to that 5 Spot almost-reunion-show for Bob N.’s wedding. Maybe they’ll either A) play in Nashville, or B) play at SXSW next year. Or both?

It should be no secret that I’m the world’s biggest Mythbusters fan. That’s why I’m very excited about some of the topics covered in the upcoming season, which debuts October 7th. Can you build a sailboat out of duct tape? Or a cannon? Does a muddy car really get better gas mileage than a clean one? (WTF?) And the one I’m most interested in: does having multiple drinks with various liquors give you a worse hangover than sticking to one liquor all night? If the episode tackling that one is half as funny as the one testing other alcohol/sobriety rumors, then it’s gonna probably end up being one of my fav episodes of all time. CAN’T. WAIT. (Via Gizmodo)

I’ll leave you today with this video containing various drunken antics and a few performance clips from Caitlin Rose’s trip to the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks, CO. Wish I could’ve gone!

Two good updates from space via Space.com:

Ever since last November, astronauts on the International Space Station have been working out glitches in their new urine/wastewater recycling system. Yesterday they finally were able to successfully test it and drink water made from their own urine. It’s a bit uncomfortable to think about drinking the water from your own urine, but it may eventually be necessary for people even here on Earth if the population keeps expanding exponentially. The problem isn’t that water itself is in short supply, it’s that the vast majority of it is either undrinkably saline (the oceans) or located too far away from the people who need it. So far there’s not an energy-efficient or cost-effective method of desalinization of ocean water.

The astronauts onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis are scheduled to land tomorrow at Kennedy Space Center at 10:01 AM EDT. They’ve been given the all-clear on the heat shield inspection and are currently getting the shuttle ready for re-entry. As always, nasa.gov will have live coverage and video of the landing.

In other space-related news, former astronaut Scott Parazynski finally reached the summit of Mount Everest yesterday. He’s been at it for a few years now, and last year an injury forced him to delay his climb. This time he made it, and brought along some “moon rocks and remembrances of fallen astronauts.” He was also doing research and collecting samples for various other scientific endeavors. Read more at this Universe Today article.

From NBN showcase at SXSW 2009.

Turbo Fruits: NBN showcase at SXSW 2009.

The Next Big Nashville website is still the 2008 version, but according to this post on Nashville Cream (which is about sonicbids, not NBN), NBN 2009 will feature a Friday evening of events that will take over the honky-tonks on lower Broadway, as well as an outdoor event on Saturday. This is all good news because those bars are all conveniently located close to each other, much like the bars/venues in Austin for SXSW. It makes it much easier to hop between shows, especially if bands you want to see are playing at nearly the same time, but different venues. I would hope the outdoor event on Saturday is the grand finale throwdown, like the one at Cannery last year.

Please do yourself a favor and go browse through Photos that Changed the World. These are truly magnificent images. Some are very graphic and difficult to look at, but everyone needs to see these photographs. Via Kottke.org.

Via Bre Pettis

Via Bre Pettis

Today’s post will have a lot of quick links. Let’s get right to it:

First of all, Kottke.org had some great stuff this morning. The image to the left is from a hilarious set of vintage 1930’s German illustrations about various ways to get electrocuted. Please do visit the flickr set and read the rollover comments. SERIOUSLY… read them all, you will laugh quite loudly at the very least, if not fall out of your chair. He also linked to this pretty interesting article on 13 things that science has yet to explain. I say “yet” because I’m confident that eventually we will be able to explain everything through science. That is, if we last long enough as a species. Some of these have been pretty well explained, however… especially the alleged “WOW signal” from a radio telescope in 1977. SETI scientists see signals very similar to this all the time, and all of them have been declared to have terrestrial origins.

Universe Today has an interesting article explaining the procedure of a rescue mission in the event that Atlantis is badly damaged on its mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Locals JEFF the Brotherhood and Magic Wands got some blog love today. JEFF was mentioned in this Brooklyn Vegan post about their upcoming dates in NYC with Screaming Females and Sisters. Then I found a post on RCRD LBL featuring a download of the Magic Wands’ Black Magic. Good to see these Nashville bands getting major blog love… though I’m pretty sure Chris and Dexie (Magic Wands) moved to L.A. a year or so ago. I would still argue that they have Nashville “roots” since Chris spent so much of his musical career here. Apparently they’ve got an EP coming out soon.

Tonight is the 2nd installment of the 3-part series, “Road to Bonnaroo” at Mercy Lounge. It’s a special version of the famous 8 off 8th series where audience votes, combined with a panel of judges, will determine which of the 8 bands will get to play at Bonnaroo. Tonight’s lineup and more info can be found on the Mercy Lounge website. I suggest you come on out and help decide the winner!

Finally, major kudos to Grimey’s for making the top 10 of SPIN’s 15 best indie record stores. They came in 8th out of 15. Awesome!

I originally planned to resume posting yesterday, but we encountered some traffic issues on the way back from Austin which resulted in us not getting back till 6am monday morning. I had to be at work at 7. Needless to say, I did not feel like blogging yesterday. More on that later…

Mostly quick links today:

First of all, be sure to check all my slideshows of pics from SXSW over at Nashville Cream. I had a blast, even if I did catch the SXSW Cold Virus of Death on saturday.

Also on the Cream, round one of the Mercy Lounge’s Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th contest happened last night, and apparently the Features won by one single vote, edging out Kindercastle. Phew. I do like Kindercastle, but I have to say that the Features deserve it more, even if they do get stuck in some tiny side tent playing at noon while everyone’s still nursing their hangovers. They’ve been at this since 1994, and are probably the tightest, best live act in this city.

The New York Times has an interesting article about the extreme branding/marketing/advertising involved with SXSW.

Those Darlins did a Daytrotter session back in January. I guess they don’t always post these right after they’re recorded… I honestly never paid that much attention before though.

Local bloggers Janet Timmons (Out the Other) and Glenn Peoples (Coolfer.com) were both mentioned in a Reuters article about the blogging panel held on Thursday of SXSW.

Ok enough SXSW junk….

Kottke.org highlights a survey that reaveals the average American citizen’s ignorance of basic science. I find it absolutely pathetic and appalling that only 53% of Americans know how long it takes the earth to complete one revolution around the Sun. But it doesn’t surprise me.

Alaska’s Redoubt volcano finally erupted last night after weeks of rumbling. Seismologists have been expecting an eruption for at least a month now. It’s good to see that our prediction methods are at least somewhat accurate.

The entire Cosmos Series, hosted by Carl Sagan, is now available on Hulu. I will be watching them soon. It’s sad that I can only recall seeing one or two episodes…

I hate mosquitoes. They are the bane of my existence. In my opinion, the world would be a better place if they did not exist at all. They do nothing but reproduce uncontrollably and bite people… and animals. That’s why I was very pleased to read this article about a high-tech laser system that targets and kills them. Yes, you heard right- a mosquito-killing laser weapon. This will probably only be used in areas where mosquito-spread disease is a major problem, but we can hope for it, right?

The Space Shuttle Discovery has been attached to the ISS for several days now, and the astronauts have successfully attached the final set of solar panels, which will give the station enough power to support the new crew size of 6-7 astronauts. You can watch live coverage, including footage from onboard the shuttle and the space station, on NASA TV.

Finally, I have some sad personal news to report. My cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I know it seems lame, but to avoid having to explain the whole story over and over again, I posted a facebook note about it that read as follows:

I’m sad to say that my cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I’m telling this story on here so that I don’t have to do it 100 times for everyone I know.

We arrived back in nashville from my SXSW trip at 6am monday morning, just barely in time for me to get ready for work at 7. I found him lying on the floor unable to move. He was still yowling, however, so I rushed him to the vet. We discovered that he had a urinary blockage and had been unable to urinate for at least a few days. (Probably since friday, because that’s the day Megan checked on him & he was ok.) This caused his kidneys to malfunction and thus his body was unable to get rid of toxins. He was so near death when I found him that the vet told me there was little hope for him, but I had to at least try to save him. They put him on an IV, relieved the blockage, and put him on a heating pad. His condition improved slightly, but this morning he was unable to control his bladder, showed no interest in food or water, and was still unable to walk or stand. It was obvious that the odds of him recovering were too small for it to be worth the continued suffering it would put him through. So I made the decision to end his suffering. It was a hard choice but it gives me relief to know that he’s no longer suffering.

If you have a male cat 3 years or older, be wary of their urinary habits. This only occurs in male cats, and it’s due to the chemical makeup of cat urine and its tendancy to crystallize. When that happens in their urethra, it causes a blockage. When you can’t pee, it causes major problems VERY quickly. Can you imagine not being able to pee even for 12 hours? If your male cat constantly goes to the litter box but seems to just scratch around a lot, or you notice him squatting but not really doing much, that’s a sign that he might have a blockage problem, and it needs to be treated FAST.