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It’s been waaaay too long since I had a good space/science post. So here are a couple of interesting things that have already been floating around the science blogs for a few days, but you may not have heard about unless you’re as big of a nerd as I am. 🙂

  • We have another interesting exoplanet discovery worth talking about. It’s another super-Earth that sits within the habitable zone of its parent star- that is- liquid water could exist on its surface. At least, provided there is sufficient cloud cover. This planet, which has the fascinating title of HD 85512 b, is near the warmer edge of the habitable zone, which means there would have to be sufficient cloud cover to reflect some of the incoming radiation from its star, lest it have a runaway greenhouse effect that would make it very Venus-like (scorching hot and covered in dense, toxic clouds). This world is about 3.6 times the mass of Earth, but it was detected using the radial velocity method rather than the transit method, so we only know its mass, not its size. But if it’s a rocky world and its mass is 3.6 times that of Earth, it’s bound be a good bit bigger than Earth. Granted, we don’t know anything for sure about the atmospheric makeup of this exoplanet because we don’t have any instruments capable of detecting that yet. The radial velocity method detects planets orbiting a star by seeing the tiny gravitational wobble the planet exerts on its parent star. If we eventually aim a telescope such as Kepler at this star, and the planet transits the star, we’ll then know its approximate size and may even be able to make a better judgment on its atmospheric makeup. Until then, though, we have to rely on computer models to speculate what the air might be like. For more info see: Universe Today or National Geographic.
  • You may recall Symphony of Science from back when Jack White’s Third Man Records released a 7″ vinyl single of the track “A Glorious Dawn ft. Stephen Hawking.” Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy mentioned in a post yesterday that John Boswell, creator of Symphony of Science, has put 11 tracks in a compilation on bandcamp for free (or name your own price). So go snag it now and throw the guy a few bones while you’re at it. It’s a pretty awesome idea, and I’m obviously a fan of anything that puts music and science in the same sentence.
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Photo by Brook Bobbins

A-Trak and his Fool’s Gold Records team seem to have taken a page from the Jack White play book and opened their very own record store/swag store in Brooklyn, NY. I shouldn’t have to say that I’m a huge fan of just about everything Fool’s Gold and/or A-Trak does, and this just makes it even better. You can bet I will be paying them a visit next I’m in the Big Apple. One thing is pretty clear here- the similarities between what Jack White has done with his Third Man Records here in Nashville and what A-Trak is doing with his Fool’s Gold Records in NYC. I feel like A-Trak is headed for a similar status in the hip hop/dance/DJ realm as Jack White has built in the rock realm. They both have opened storefronts in their respective cities with an exquisitely curated style and vision, but also their respective labels consist of top-notch talent and everything about both of their brands has a sense of organic, home-grown quality to it. Next in line: Mac McCaughn and a Merge Records store in Chapel Hill, NC?

My Moustache May photo from May 19. Believe me, I'm just as terrified of this as you are.

This weekend is pretty rad when it comes to show offerings in Nashville, as most are.

FRIDAY:

First at little self-promotion: Night of The Living Cover Bands Pt. II- Electric Boogaloo @ Walnut House in Murfreesboro. This a benefit for the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, and I’m playing in a Weezer cover band for it. Rest of the cover bands: Guided By Voices (members of Those Darlins)/Fugazi (members of Gentlemen Divers & Apollo Up)/Sleater-Kinney (members of Take the Power Back & Heavy Cream)/Radiohead (members of Ascent of Everest & Protomen)/They Might Be Giants (members of Kelly Kerr & the Distractions)/The Replacements (members of HP Witchcraft & Skybox) Starts at 9pm!

Annual Moustache May Finale ft. Kindercastle and Roy Ira @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $7 (As a proud participant of Moustache May, I wish I could go to this, but see: above.)

SATURDAY:

Third Man Records Fan Appreciation part 1: The Ettes, Dex Romweber Duo, Jacuzzi Boys, White Buffalo Woman, and The Turncoats. (No, not Linwood Regensuburg’s Turncoats, another Turncoats with whom I am not yet familiar.) @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $12

Open Lot fundraiser @ The Zombie Shop, 506 6th Ave S. Ft. The Cherry Blossoms, Denny & the Jets, Natural Child, Plex Plex, and many more. For a full lineup and schedule check out Open Lot’s website. The Open Lot now has a new location downtown on Hermitage Ave. in the SoBro area, which is currently under quite a bit of “urban development.” This place is gonna start kicking some ass very soon, so keep an eye on it. *This event was originally slated to happen at Open Lot but has been moved due to construction at Open Lot.*

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs w/ Tristen and Reid Magette @ The End. 18+ $10 9pm.

SUNDAY:

Thrid Man Records Fan Appreciation part 2: Henry & June, PUJOL, The One Through Tens, D. Watusi, and The Grayces @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $12

*Two-day passes to the Third Man shows can be obtained for $20.*

Nashville is going to be one gigantic orgy of awesomeness this weekend. Between Record Store Day happenings, Vanderbilt’s Rites of Spring festival, and other good “normal” shows, you can’t possibly be disappointed with your choices of entertainment.

RECORD STORE DAY:

First of all, I won’t even attempt to give a rundown of all the Record Store Day shenanigans when the hard-blogging dudes and gals at the Cream have done such a fine job themselves. But I will say that probably the pinnacle of the whole thing is the once-inside-now-moved-outside Jerry Lee Lewis show at Third Man Records. I think roughly 650-ish tickets were sold, counting the additional 300 that were released when the show was moved outside, but they are long-since sold out. Since the show is outside, I’m sure you could stand anywhere within a block of TMR and hear it.

RITES OF SPRING:

Both days have some worthwhile acts, and tickets are still available. Some acts of interest:

RITES FRIDAY:

Futurebirds- 4:45pm, Public Enemy- 9:10pm, and The National- 10:40pm

RITES SATURDAY:

Madi Diaz- 6:25pm, The Features- 7:15pm, Matt & Kim- 8:15pm, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros- 9:45pm, Kid Cudi- 11:15pm

“NORMAL” SHOWS OF INTEREST:

FRIDAY:

The Mattoid w/ Lone Official and Denny & The Jets @ Springwater. 10pm, 21+, $5. One of many of The Mattoid’s farewell shows this week.

SATURDAY:

The Greenhornes w/ PUJOL and Hacienda @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm, 18+, $12 adv/$14 dos

Hunx & His Punx w/ Shannon & The Clams, JEFF the Brotherhood, and Heavy Cream @ The End. 9pm, $6

SUNDAY:

Personal & the Pizzas, Useless Eaters, Barreracudas, and Cy Barkley & The Way Outsiders @ Glen Danzig’s House. 7pm $5

Finally, I have to post this amazingly satisfying video of Republican former Governor of Florida Charlie Crist apologizing to David Byrne for illegally using a Talking Heads song in a campaign ad during his run for a seat in the US Senate in 2010. Byrne sued, won, and part of the settlement was that Crist had to publicly apologize to Byrne on camera. (Via Steregum)

Have a blast this weekend and buy lots of records!

The controversy over the existence Gliese 581g, the exoplanet that made waves in the media back in September, is far from over. I’ve been watching Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog for updates on this situation, as he’s one of the most level-headed and honest science bloggers out there. He spoke, so now I speak: the controversy rolls on, but hopefully there’ll be a solution soon. Basically, different teams of astronomers have used different methods and computer models to process the telescopic observations that led to the initial discovery. Some show the planet exists, some don’t, and apparently it has a lot to do with how ellipticalness (yes that’s a word) of the orbit of the other planets in the system. I encourage you to learn more of the specifics by reading the Bad Astronomy post.

In other news, I saw and photographed Wanda Jackson last night with the Third Man House Band, at Third Man Records. Please head over to the Nashville Cream if you haven’t yet, and read the write-up and check out my pics. It was truly something special- she’s a legend and this was by far the best band she’s played with in recent years.

Geez, the boys over at Nashville’s Dead had an outright blog-gasm. Probably the biggest news they dropped was that PUJOL recorded a track with Jack White, and it’s gonna be on a 7″ which will be available at their Next BIG Nashville showcase happening at White’s own Third Man Records. The Jack White-produced track was total news to me, but the showcase wasn’t- they’ve been sorting out the details of that for a while but didn’t want to mention it till it was figured out… But seriously, they’ve got 2 days of awesomeness lined up for NBN at Third Man. Oh, and PUJOL has another 7″ coming out as well: a live recording of their show opening for Nobunny at Third Man a while back. Here’s the NBN/ND show rundown:

Friday, Oct. 1st: JEFF the Brotherhood/The Ettes/Cheap Time/Heavy Cream/Cy Barkley

Saturday, Oct. 2nd: Jacuzzi Boys/Turbo Fruits/PUJOL/D. Watusi

I should also mention that there’s a pretty cool update over at WOTT about the goings-on of Battletapes over the past few months. Mr. Ferguson has been busy as fuck with tons of good stuff, and is about to be flown to Brussels, Belgium to record a band called Lucy Lucy, who had an ear-gasm when they heard his work on Turbo Fruits’ album Echo Kid. Congrats, Jeremy! (And of course congrats to his girlfriend Candice who has all but kicked her breast cancer’s ass.)

I was going to post the video of Chromeo’s awesome performance on Letterman, complete with a string section and backup singers, but then I came across this ridiculously awesome video of Irish hand-dancers doing a routine to “Speak No Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP.

Geez, where did this day go? Since it’s already so late in the day, I’m just going to sum everything up into tidbit format:

Wanda Jackson at the 5 Spot

Jack White apparently got bored between his 3 bands and is producing a new album for recent RNR Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson. I can’t see how this could be anything but awesome, and maybe better than his album with Loretta Lynn. I had the distinct pleasure of photographing her show at the 5 Spot back in Feb. of this year. Amazing show…. (Via Nashville Cream and Pitchfork)

The Who are strongly rumored to be the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XLIV. No official confirmation from the NFL yet, though. (Via A.V. Club via Sports Illustrated)

Finally, please do go feast your eyes on this amazing bird photography project by Andrew Zuckerman. Call it bird portraiture maybe? Regardless, you won’t be able to pull your eyes away from it until you’ve seen them all. (Via Kottke)

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