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Tonight at Mai is the 4th (I think) installment of VITAL, the monthly series at Club Mai presented by Vitalic Noise. This month the dudes are trying out a whole new idea for the event- live bands. Mai is traditionally a full-on dance club, with just DJs providing the entertainment, but the VN guys have constructed a special stage that can be moved and disassembled quickly, so for this night they’ve brought in 3 bands- The Pass, Cherub, and Boss of Nova. In addition, DJs Vitalic Noise and Myrryrs will be spinning. It’ll be a good night, so head on down to 12th for a completely new experience at Mai.

In other local music news, songwriter and former Imaginary Baseball League frontman Aaron Robinson just released a new EP via Bandcamp. The songs stay true to his mellow, earnest style, and his crooning is a smooth as ever. The EP is a pay-what-you-want deal, but I do know that he personally invested money out of pocket to make these recordings, so if you can, show the man some support! Also, I strongly urge you to read his hilarious account of one of his songs inadvertently ending up as the soundtrack to a porno… over at Nashville Cream.

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May ’08 ‘stache

January 5, 2010

So it looks like the ladies of Nashvillest decided to make my May 2008 ‘stache famous by putting my ugly mug on their blog this morning (probably yesterday morning by the time you read this). Due to the fact that I’m in the midst of moving into a new house with Megan, I haven’t kept up with the blogosphere for the past few days. I actually find it quite hilarious. There are much worse photos of me out there, so I can’t really complain. I could try to find a funny picture of Morgan or Christy (though I’ve only actually met Christy in person, ha…) but no one would really care because let’s face it, they have at least 10x as many readers because they’re a “real” blog. If you don’t read Nashvillest, you’re either a) several years behind the curve in local interwebz happenings, or b) not from Nashville. But even if you aren’t from here, there’s plenty of interesting stuff on there for non-locals, so get over there!

I hope everyone is prepared for the Great Nashville Blizzard of 2010. (A.K.A. a couple inches of snow) I really can’t wait to see Nashville drivers on Thursday. I’m probably going to take a video camera around with me everywhere I go…

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.

Benjamin Harper (no, not that Ben Harper) has been a friend of mine for many years now, and I’ve followed his musical involvement even longer than that- ever since I first saw Feable Weiner in Murfreesboro in my early college years. He was their bass player at the time, but left the band in 2003 (2004 maybe?) to pursue his own band, then called The Comfies. He immediately changed the name to Harper and they started playing shows, but soon thereafter he ran into copyright issues with the more famous Ben Harper, and changed the name back to The Comfies. They released an EP titled Close To Me about 2 years ago, but have been somewhat dormant since. Now that’s changing as he’s releasing the 2nd Comfies EP, which is really more of a solo effort from what I can tell. (He played most of the instruments on the recordings.) It’s called The Comfies Present: Benjamin A. Harper in This Ship Is Going Down, and you can grab it now (for however much you want to pay, no less) at their Bandcamp profile. According to his myspace it’s the 1st in a series of 3 new EPs. His songs have sunny, Kinks-y vibe infused with a good dose of pure power pop that will make this EP the perfect soundtrack for your summer. Hopefully he’ll get their older EP up on there soon, too. Be sure to check out the EP release show on July 17th at the End, and the in-store show at Grimey’s on July 16th.

I’m sufficiently recovered from Bonnaroo, so here’s what I’m doing/what’s going down this weekend: Tonight I’m photographing Fleetwood Mac at the Sommet Center, but after that I’ll be heading over to the Exit/In for a Planned Parenthood benefit featuring some good underground Hip Hop and hosted by none other than Big Fella. Yes, the Features are also playing at Mercy Lounge with Black Hollies and the Howlies, but I just saw them at Bonnaroo… and Planned Parenthood is a good cause.

Saturday night I have to shamelessly plug my own band’s show before anything else. TCQ is playing a house show at the Zombie Mansion with The Tits, And The Relatives, and Team Illuminati. There will also be a very special secret guest. Address is 7023 Charlotte Pike, and it will start around 9pm. This will be the final show at this house… at least under the current residents. The show is being put on by Scenario Entertainment. Also going down Saturday night- Shoot the Mountain and Heypenny at Mercy Lounge. These shows may or may not be connected in a very special secret way.

Have a great weekend!

I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday’s tomfoolery. Everyone seems to hate April Fool’s but I enjoy all the jokes. I always look forward to what kind of ridiculousness Google will cook up each year. Here’s the Wikipedia page with a history of their pranks.

Photo by Steve Cross

Photo by Steve Cross

Shoot the Mountain have been getting a lot of buzz lately and playing a lot of shows, but everyone’s been wondering when their first release would happen. Well, it’s finally happening on May 16th on Theory 8 Records, and it’s an EP (presumably self-titled?). A release show will happen on that date at the Basement with Totally Snake (WTF?!?) opening. They’re also playing on April 9th at the End opening for Appleseed Cast.

The Features just released details of their upcoming tour with The Dexateens. They’ll be hitting clubs all over the southeast, northeast, and midwest later this month and into May. Oh, and they’ll also be featured in the July issue of Nylon Magazine.

More comprehensive local music news coverage can be found at We Own This Town and Out The Other.

Four Russian cosmonauts and two European astronauts volunteered to be locked up together in a simulation of a spacecraft for 105 days. This is part of an experiment to study the psychological and physical effects of being stuck with 5 other people for an extended period of time in cramped quarters. The experiment will help scientists and engineers plan for an eventual manned-mission to Mars. This will be very interesting to monitor.

I’ve been reading a few different posts and articles over the last week or so regarding a recent vote on science standards for the Texas Board of Education. The board held a vote on several standards for science education and it was mostly a travesty, the biggest of which was the deletion of the statement that the universe is “roughly 14 billion years old.” Sure, there are several different numbers out there that vary by a few million years, but everyone in the entire scientific community agrees that it’s pretty damn close to 14 billion years. A variance of a few million years is NIL when you look at the big picture, and is definitely covered by term “roughly.” There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest otherwise! One faint glimmer of hope is that the board voted down a proposed change that would allow the teaching of “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. If this had passed, it would’ve been just one more way for Creationism to creep its ugly way into the scientific classroom. This article on the NewScientist blog sums it all up very well. I suggest reading it. I cannot get over the quote of board chairman Dr. Don McLeroy, who is quoted as saying, “I disagree with these experts. Someone has got to stand up to experts.” HA! Yea, you tell ’em Dr. McLeroy! Tell those experts that they don’t know what they’re talking about! Afterall, they’ve spent the majority of their lives studying REAL science, FACTS and EVIDENCE… how could they possibly know what they’re talking about? I find it amazing that this man (a dentist) was able to get through medical school with such anti-scientific beliefs. I sure as hell wouldn’t want someone that dumb working on my teeth.

Ok enough ire for one day. I’ll leave you with this hilarious video clip from a 50’s sci-fi movie. I really hope this is how they dance in the future.

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.

Nathan Miller

Credit: Nathan Miller

Murfreesboro’s own Those Darlins are really starting to get some recognition, and are getting on some awesome gigs, many of which are in NYC. The photo links to a recent Brooklynvegan post about their show at Bowery Ballroom in NY with Langhorne Slim. I recommend scrolling down and reading the comments. Seems a few people are in love with lil’ Jessi darlin. Way to go darlins! TN is proud of you!

We Own This Town has been picking up again lately. Started by Doug Lehmann (of the Clutters), it started out in the wake of the demise of Nashville Zine, though Dough says he never intended it to replace the ‘Zine. Now Michael Eades (aka Yewknee) has all but taken it over, and added the help of Joe Baine Colvert, known for his work at Lake Fever Productions and for the Indie Ghetto, and Andrew J. Smithson, who I posted about recently regarding his new blog, indieocrity. Joe and Andrew are joining forces on WRVU 91.1 to start a new radio show which will complement the content of the website, much like Janet Timmons’ Out the Other. I look forward to seeing these guys bring this website back to life, as well as what they do with the radio show.

I found this really good footage of the US Airways plane crash in the Hudson river on Youtube. That pilot really does deserve the recognition he’s been given, because an engine-less jet airliner is basically like a tank with wings. Having always been interested in aviation (I WILL get my private pilot’s license one of these days), and also being the owner of a very realistic flight simulator on my computer (which allows you simulate a few different airliners and engine failures), I know how hard it is to glide one of these things into a safe landing without power.

Now for a little science. Lately there have been some news headlines claiming that we’ve found evidence of life on mars- methane in the atmosphere. In other words, mars farted and dumb newspapers got really excited about it. Those headlines are DEAD WRONG. At least about the life part… Yes we’ve been detecting methane in mars’ atmosphere since 2004. We also know that methane is quickly destroyed by UV radiation, and since there’s no comfy ozone layer in mars’ atmosphere to block it out, any methane on mars would be destroyed very soon after it was released from the surface. So, if we detect it, there must be constant source re-supplying it into the atmosphere. The source of the headlines is a press release saying that the source could be chemical, geological, or biological (life). Of course many news agencies jumped on that last one and made a really big to-do about it. It’s theoretically possible that current life could be the cause of the methane, but it’s only one of many. We still don’t have any conclusive evidence of life on mars. My personal opinion is that there is no life currently on mars, thus I don’t think that the methane is a result of such. I think it’s more likely that it’s coming from the polar regions- we’ve noticed that mars has little global warming of it’s own going on, and that warming is allowing methane trapped in the polar regions under layers of frozen CO2 to be released, much as the global warming occurring on earth has allowed methane under the shrinking permafrost to be released. My opinion is based on this blog post, btw. If it’s not that, I’d say the second best explanation would be some sort unseen geothermal activity. The Bad Astronomer does a really good job of explaining the facts related to this story, as always. Go check out his post if you want more details.

And finally… a serious dose of WTF?!?!?!?….. Joaquin Phoenix is becoming a rapper. Um… ok…

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