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As reported today on the Nashville Cream, Nashville/Murfreesboro’s hometown heroes The Features are prepping for the release of their 3rd full length album Wilderness on July 26. Their last album Some Kind of Salvation was simply fantastic, but this next one seems as though it will be the “perfect” Features record. I’ve heard absolute rave reviews from the first few local folks who got a promo copy to review, and hopefully *ahem, Rory/Rollum/somebody* I’ll have one to review soon as well. I can remember having a somewhat drunken conversation with producer/vacuum tube wizard Brian Carter one night at Mercy Lounge late last year in which he excitedly said something like “this is the record the guys and I have always wanted to make.” Basically I get the feeling this album was done the way the band wanted to do it, where they wanted to do it, and with whom they wanted to do it. Mad props to the Kings Of Leon for signing them to their own 429 Records and allowing the band to do what they want, when they want, and how they want.

Building up to the release, the first of probably many promotional items to whet our appetite is a 7″ single with the track “Rambo” b/w “This Much I Know.” The video above it a promo for that release, set for May 31st.

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Thanks to the keen eyes of We Own This Town, we now have a very clear picture of the relationship between the Kings of Leon and The Features: nothin’ but love. Along with false rumors of Kings of Leon opening for The Features at their Feb. 5th show at Exit/In, I also heard about several UK music journalists on the guest list. The reason for that is evident in this NME article which features an interview with Caleb Followill and Matt Pelham at Nashville bar Loser’s. While I may not love KOL’s music nearly as much as The Features’, I must say I’m very happy to see the KOL appreciate Pelham & Co.’s amazing talent as much as they do, and I think The Features just might be one of luckiest bands in America. Click the pic to access a bigger version:

After some thinking, I have this to say about the Bonnaroo 2010 lineup: 1/2 good, 1/2 FAIL. Part of it is just my personal taste, but part of it is just plain WTF?

First the bad part: the headliners. The combination of Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, and Dave Matthews Band (the 1st 4 listed in the lineup, thus assumed to be headliners) is pretty weak compared to Phish/Springsteen, or Metallica/Pearl Jam, or The Police/Tool. As much as I hate Phish, they were a HUGE score for the festival last year, and IMO, they needed someone like the widely-rumored Paul Simon or Paul McCartney to really stand up the last few years. I don’t think Jay-Z, despite his legendary status in the hip hop world, can quite fill the shoes of past headliners. Stevie Wonder is awesome and I’m glad he’s playing but somehow I just don’t see him as quite headliner material. DMB has played Bonnaroo before, and of course will please the hippie crowd, but will also draw a considerable number of collar-poppin’ fratastic douchebags.

Now for the good part: the tent-playing (or maybe Which Stage-playing) mid-level indie acts. I’m more than elated to see She & Him, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, Flaming Lips, Miike Snow, They Might Be Giants, OK Go, The Melvins, Neon Indian, and many more of the “indie rock” acts on the bill. Let’s just say that if I go to cover it for the Scene again this year, I will no doubt be spending most of my time in the tents.

In other lineup news, Vanderbilt’s Rites of Spring lineup came right on the heels of the Bonnaroo announcements, and the list is not surprising, though Phoenix and Passion Pit together make the lineup a tad bit stronger than past years, IMO. Headliners Ben Harper & the Relentless 7 and Drake fit right into the typical RoS formula of putting an up-and-coming rap star on one night, and a frat-pleasing, jam-ish act on the other. But this broad, please-all formula has worked well for the festival in the past, so I can’t blame them for doing what works. This ain’t no Pitchfork afterall.

As most Nasvhillians who pay any amount of attention to the local electronic/DJ scene already know, Justin Kase has been on the road for several months as a the DJ in Ke$ha’s backing band. He also ran a pretty cool, though sparingly updated blog called Blogging Is Serious Business. Sadly, though, he’s putting that blog on indefinite hiatus:

Touring kept me from updating recently, but now i just don’t have any interest to continue this blog. Never say never, but don’t expect anything new for some time to come.

What’s utterly flattering, though, is that he mentioned my blog, along with the obvious Nashville Nights, as an alternative for “your Nashville dancing fix…” Therefore, expect me to attempt to live up to that plug by bringing in a little more coverage of the DJ/electronic/dance scene beside my usual plugs for gigs at which I’m DJing. Don’t expect many mp3’s though, because A) Joseph at Nashville Nights has that very well-covered, and B) I don’t have the time or energy to devote to climbing the HypeMachine charts and getting labels/producers to send me shit to post. I will however, post a link to my last mix, just in case you missed it back in Dec. (Spring 2010 Mixxxx is currently in production for release next month.)

DJ Burgers-Winter 09 MIXXXX

Finally, I was excited to this nicely-done video of the Morning Benders performing/recording the track “Excuses” for Yours Truly with about 50 of their best musician friends crammed into the studio, Phil Spector-style. In fact, as the singer Chris Chu talks about in the interview segment, the song is a bit of a tribute to Spector and his “Wall of Sound” recording method. They even wrote a cute little letter to him which you can read at Yours Truly. Here’s the video. (All of this via Gorilla vs. Bear and Pitchfork)

The big story today is also an act of shameless self-promotion. Tonight is the sold-out Features/Majestico/Cortney Tidwell show at Exit/In, and I’m DJing the official afterparty at La Paz along with Fan Fiction. La Paz is literally only 3 doors down Elliston from Exit/In, and given the fact that A) there’s NO COVER and B) well drinks/margaritas/wine are all $3 and PBR cans are $2, you’d be CRAZY not to come over after the show (if you’re going). Since the show sold out in one day due the rumor of Kings of Leon opening (which proved to be false), you may not have a ticket. In that case, I suggest simply coming straight to La Paz, because we kick things off around 9-10pm and you know the party will really get hoppin’ later on anyway. In case you hadn’t realized- this is the new incarnation of BFF. It’s simply whenever/wherever Fan Fiction and I DJ together. And trust me, we’re bringin’ the bangers. The resident La Paz DJ for whom we’re covering, Potamus, will be hitting the decks down in M’boro at SWAG, so if you’re in that neck of the woods and wanna dance, 527 Main St. is the place to be.

Speaking of Majestico, they’ve got 2 brand new tracks up on their bandcamp for free (unless you give your email address monetary value). Together they comprise the Bright White Lady single. What the hell are you waiting for? Go get them now. Oh, and there’s another great track called “I Like You” on there as well. These dudes might just be my favorite “new” Nashville band. (Via a star to sail her by, AKA the new blog from Andrew J. Smithson)

D. Patrick Rodgers of Nashville Cream did an interesting interveiw with Daniel Pujol as a part of this week’s Scene cover story “10 Artists to Watch in 2010.” Pujol’s answers are rather hilarious and quite cryptic at times, but that’s the main reason it’s a good read… You can also grab 2 free mp3s of Pujol’s solo work, which are hard to come by since most of his solo material has been released on cassette tape.

Other stuff this weekend:

Saturday is a major dilemma for sure:

Of Montreal/James Husband @ Cannery Ballroom vs. Girls/Magic Kids/Smith Westerns @ Exit/In…

Personally, I’ve seen Of Montreal 4 times and much prefer their mid-career material (Coquelicot through Sunlandic Twins). That, combined with my Scene photographic assignment will likely land me at Exit/In, because I haven’t seen any of those bands, and want to see all of them, especially Magic Kids.

On Sunday the party doesn’t stop, because Tristen will be at the 5 Spot, along with Murfreesboro’s The Only Sons, and Action!.

Have a great weekend!

Lineup announcements

January 19, 2010

Today is a day of announcements.

If you’re a Nashvillian surely you know that Mercy Lounge is hosting a series of free shows this week featuring the best of Nashville’s local rock. It’s their 7-year anniversary bash. You may have seen that they had two “special secret guests” in addition to Friday’s already awesome lineup of the Non-Commissioned Officers, How I Became the Bomb, De Novo Dahl, and the Ettes. Today they announced the 1st of those two special guests: The Features. Apparently you’ll have to wait until friday to see the other one. I smell another Kings of Leon rumor mill/controversy on the horizon… keep checking their calendar for updates, or follow them on Twitter.

Rumors abound about possible Bonnaroo lineups/headliners. Here’s one blog that attempts to predict some of the artists. (Via Nashville Cream)

And of course, today was the official announcement of the 2010 Coachella lineup. This should allow you to hone your Bonnaroo predictions a bit, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here’s the lineup:

I don’t know where these rumors get started, but don’t get your hopes about Kings of Leon opening for The Features at Exit/In Feb. 5th. My inside sources say the rumor isn’t true, and that the probable openers will be Majestico and Cortney Tidwell. So chill out, people! It would be rather hilarious if it were true, as most Nashville rock scene purists have said for years that the roles of The Features and Kings of Leon should be swapped. Also if it were true, Elliston Place would be a total clusterfuck that night. Who knows, though, maybe a Followill or two will be hanging out backstage? Oddly enough, Hipster Runoff mentioned KOL in a weekend post about the future of Bro music and Bro fashion. He has a point.

Update: apparently the Nashville Cream did some digging at the exact same time I did, because just as I was about to hit “publish” they posted an update saying the same thing.

One of my favorite recent/new-ish bands for the past year or so has been The Morning Benders. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend their full-length Talking Through Tin Cans from last year, and am happy to see them prepping a new LP for release this spring. It will be called Big Echo and will hit the market on March 9th. They were kind enough to release a new track from it called Promises and you can grab it for the price of your email address at their website, or just go grab it at You Ain’t No Picasso.

I don’t usually post more than once a day, but this bit of breaking news needs posting because it’s a huge development in the Nashville rock scene. I just read on Nashville Cream that the Kings of Leon have entered into a new type of “creative deal” with Bug Music which allows them to “sign and develop” new artists. Their first signing? The Features. As I said in a comment on the Cream, if all were right in the world this arrangement would be the other way around. The press release from KOL’s website claims the Features have a decade of songs and touring under their belt. It’s actually 15 years. The band first formed in Sparta, TN when Matt Pelham joined forces with Roger Dabbs. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great thing for The Features and I’m very happy that this happened. I just hope it doesn’t end the way their last label experience did. But this definitely seems to be a whole different beast… mainly because it’s being brokered by another band, not a bunch of label suits.

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