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I’d heard rumors of Chromeo returning to the Nashville this year. They loved it here and were pleasantly surprised by the sellout last August, so it came as no surprise to learn they were probably coming back sometime this year. I waited around for the official announcement and it finally came, but with an extra-special added bonus: Mayer Hawthorne and none other than the legendary BREAKBOT are billed to open the show on Oct. 25th at the Cannery. I can’t even describe how awesome this billing is. It’s going be a looooong summer in anticipation of this show. The announcement came at the same time as Breakbot announced his new remix of Chromeo’s track “When The Night Falls” which you can preview below:

Meanwhile, Nashville’s own electro duo Jensen Sportag did a very sexy and very danceable remix of Memory Tapes’ “Wait In The Dark” which got them some serious love from The Fader. Good job, fellas. I can’t be happier to see Nashville artists seeing success making such traditionally “un-Nashville” music. Stream it below:

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Whoa. Did I really just mention those 3 bands in a row?

Cody Blaine has been making music in Murfreesboro for a good few years now in various incarnations. As most artists do, he’s changed, grown, and honed his skills quite a bit along the way. His latest project is called FAMN DAMN, a scaled-down version of his previous project Cody Blaine & The Whole Famn Damnly. That band involved drums, bass, keys, and a horn section. Needless to say, managing rehearsals for such a sizeable undertaking can take its toll on one’s willpower, so the new incarnation is much simpler- Cody Blaine sings and plays keys while drummer Mikey Lieberman caresses the skins. It’s nearly impossible not to compare Blaine’s vocal style to that of Tom Waits, but along the way he’s honed it so that it’s not as derivative. Stripping the instrumental aspects of the songs down to such bare components was also a good thing. The result is his first release on vinyl- the “Honey, Come Pull On My Tie/Borrowed Time” 7″ single. The single is currently being pressed for an unspecified release date. *Disclaimer- I did the photography and cover art for this release, so I’m not completely unbiased here.*

After debating which track to post, I landed on the B-side “Borrowed Timem,” as I slightly prefer it over the A-side.

FAMN DAMN-Borrowed Time

In other news, Jensen Sportag‘s EP Pure Wet is officially out. Stream and purchase via their label Cascine. Like said before: SEXY. This EP could just as easily have been titled Pure Sex. No joke.

Via the A.V. Club– Slayer’s guitarist Jeff Hanneman had to back out of a few upcoming shows for what has to be the most metal thing ever: He got a case of flesh-eating bacteria from a spider bite. Thankfully he’s fine and currently recovering from surgery. Seriously, that’s one of the most metal things I’ve ever heard. And Slayer is probably the most metal metal band ever, because the singer also recently injured his neck and back from headbanging. Somebody needs to give these dudes a trophy.

Some awesomeness to drop on you today:

  • Those Darlins’ new 7″ “Be Your Bro” drops today. The B-side is “Let U Down” and believe me when I say that these are two great songs. I joined them back in September of last year for a week-long segment of their east coast tour, and remember these songs well. I’ve yet to hear any of the recorded versions of these songs, so it’ll be interesting to hear what they sound like on vinyl. Their second full-length LP drops on March 29th. Both releases are on their own label Oh Wow Dang. Their website also had a bit of a makeover, so I recommend checking it out.
  • Tristen’s new album Charlatans at the Garden Gate got a pretty glowing review from the A.V. Club. The album is available today digitally, but the physical release has been pushed back to 2/15 due to “a production delay and bad weather early this month in the south east” according to Facebook.
  • Jensen Sportag are basically going to rule 2011. They rescued last week’s “Vital” at Mai by filling in for the snowed-into NYC Bit Funk, DJing a slew of new jams from their upcoming EP Pure Wet, which will be released via Cascine. Head over to Vitalic Noise to stream the track “Mapquest” and watch the video for “Everything Good.” Seriously, DO IT. There is really only one way to describe this: SEXY. Basically this is the sexiest thing to come out of Nashville in… forever? I’m talking classy sexy here, not slutty sexy. I also hear that JS is working on a new live setup, incorporating a 3rd member on keys, and possibly even more. No word on when we can catch a glimpse of this live arrangement locally, but I’m sure there will be opportunities, and I’ll be sure to post as soon as I find out.

Did I really just mention the rough-edged wild ones known as Those Darlins in the same post as the smooth, sexy sounds of Jensen Sportag? Why yes, I did. That is a shining example of the wide diversity of great music coming out of this non-country scene in Nashville. Keep it comin’ y’all.

haleygwen-blogWell, they never really broke up officially, but No Doubt will be “reuniting” for a tour this summer. It’s a big one, too, with none other than TN’s own Paramore, kicking off at NJ’s Bamboozle Festival. Via Stereogum.

Jensen Sportag got mentioned on Pitchfork yesterday via a Max Tundra remix of the track “Cocktease” that they posted. Go get it now. Pretty awesome that Nashville’s electronic scene is getting such national attention. And here’s another treat for your hard drive via Nashville Cream:
Jensen Sportag-Jackie

The Fucking Weather. Simplicity is amazing. Via Yewknee.

Have you noticed that new skyscraper going up in downtown Nashville and wondered what it’s for, who’s occupying it, etc?? I thought so. Here’s an article from NewsChannel 5 that will answer all your questions about it.

The opening chord to the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night has been somewhat of a mystery to musicians for 40 years. No one could quite figure out just what was being played…. until last October, when mathematician Jason Brown gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “math rock” by using a calculation called the Fourier transform to breakdown and analyze each tone present in the recording. Through this process Mr. Brown deduces that there’s a piano chord present, along with Harrison’s 12-string guitar, Lennon’s 6-string, and McCartney’s bass. This part was probably played by producer George Martin. Via Daily Galaxy.

After several delays, NASA has finally targeted March 12th as the launch date for the Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to continue construction on the International Space Station. Let’s hope they keep this one.

NASA is also holding an online poll to determine what the official name of the next US-built space station node should be. Right now “Serenity” is winning by a landslide. I’m inclined to agree with the majority vote.

3 2 1 Contact!

January 8, 2009

I don’t think I really need to say anything about this video…. other than the fact that you have to be at least 23 or so years old to appreciate it.

Hippies, get ready to do your happy little hippie dance- Phish has officially revealed their full reunion tour. And yes, you read that right, they’re strongly rumored to be headlining Bonnaroo… *groan*

In case you didn’t know, I’ve started doing some DJ gigs as DJ Burgers. I started a myspace profile for it. Get on it and add me if you haven’t already. Pardon the ridiculous flashing logos, but it’s all part of the gimmick, ya know? My next gig for it will be a party on Jan. 24th at 3609 Pilcher Ave. in west Nashville, featuring Jensen Sportag, Makeup & Vanity Set, and my bandmate Seth’s new solo project, Home Keys[asdfjkl;]. I’ll be DJing between bands and after. Come and dance. Or maybe vice-versa?

Now for some nerdy space stuff-
Since the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star outside our own solar system, the holy grail of astronomy has been discovering an earth-like planet outside our solar system. As in, roughly the same size, mass, and density of earth, and also with a stable atmosphere, and orbiting within that star’s “habitable zone.” A star’s habitable zone is a region of distance from the star in which water can easily exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet- not too hot and not too cold. Now that astronomers have found literally 100’s of huge, Jupiter-like, gaseous exoplanets, they’ve started finding what are called “super-earths,” or solid, rocky planets roughly 5-10 times the size of earth. The few of these we’ve seen were discovered through the transit method- they passed across in front of their parent star, and we detected the slight dimming of the star due to that transit. This Universe Today article talks about how astronomers are taking it one step further, by attempting to determine the composition of those super-earth’s atmospheres. They do this by subtracting the chemical signature when the planet passes behind the partent star. We’re so close, EVER so close to detecting an earth-like planet. It will only be a few more years, once the Kepler mission and the James Webb Space Telescope get into orbit and operation, until we find one. This is one of my greatest hopes in life. I look forward to the discovery of an earth twin orbiting a distant star like an Emperor penguin looks forward to spring in Antarctica. Crazy analogy, I know… just go with it.

In other NASA news, it looks like NASA chief Michael Griffin will step down, along with the rest of the presidentially-appointed staff under him. This Space.com article also lists some likely candidates on Obama’s shortlist to replace him. I don’t know how I feel about this. I kind of feel like that right now what NASA needs is continuity rather than change. But who knows?

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.

Jim Newberry

Credit: Jim Newberry

Via You Ain’t No Picasso:

Of Montreal just announced their tour dates for the beginning of 2009. There are a few US dates — including a few they just added — but a huge load of dates in Asia, Australia and Europe. I wonder if Kevin will ride a kangaroo on stage in Australia…

As much as I love Of Montreal, I’m can’t say that I’m overly compelled to see them for the 5th time. Their live show is always great, and I’m sure on this tour it’ll be even kookier and crazier than ever, but after the 4th time, combined with the fact that their latest album didn’t impress me all that much… I’m just feeling a little “meh” about it.

I haven’t had a good local music post in a while, so here goes:

Local electronic duo Jensen Sportag have released their latest EP Sergio to the masses for free…. for a limited time only. Go to Gay Werewolf to get more info. They had a free download for a few days but that just ended. (I’m glad I got to it in time!) The EP is available through almost all digital music outlets to my knowledge. The EP includes a remix of the lead single Power Sergio by one of my favorite electronic artists of all time, Makeup & Vanity Set.

This really creeps me out. But it’s brilliant. Via Yewknee.

University of Tennessee’s football program has hired former NFL coach Lane Kiffin to replace the outging Phillip Fulmer. His salary will be $2 million plus bonuses. Seriously? $2 million?!?!? Link via Nashvillest.

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