Several bits of good Nashville local music news hit me today:

The most exciting one is related to the Self show I mentioned last week! Matt posted a teaser compilation track today on the Self facebook, consisting of snippets of several BRAND SPANKING NEW Self songs. My mind is already blown just hearing this the first time. CHECK IT YO:

Also, Matt answered a few questions related to the Dec. 29th show- Yes this will be a full band show, and yes it will be the only Self show for the foreseeable future. I’ve also heard unconfirmed rumors that this will be the original Self lineup, except of course for guitarist Mike Mahaffey, who passed away in 2005.

Echo Group released the third in their Challtalk Record Collection series via Bandcamp. Each EP they’ve released thus far has been nothing short of phenomenal, even if they do draw excessive comparisons to the Walkmen. I would submit to those people that wearing your influences on your sleeve and being overtly derivative are two different things. EG walks that fine line quite well in my opinion. Check it out below:

Forget Cassettes released the second in their series of O Cursa EPs. This second offering of songs is a little meaner/grittier than the first, with the 3rd track “Tearin’ Up A House” reminding me a lot of the old Forget Cassettes. Check it out below:

Last, but most certainly not least, Caitlin Rose has announced her second full length album, to be titled The Stand-In. It’s due out Feb. 25th, 2013 in the UK via Names Records, and March 5th in the US via ATO Records. She worked with producers Jordan Lehning (of the Non-Commissioned Officers) and Skylar Wilson this time around, and the songs were a much more collaborative effort than ever before. Looking forward to it! Check out the lead track “No One to Call” below:

I knew the day would eventually come- the day that Matt Mahaffey, one of my all-time musical heroes, would get his defunct band/project Self back together on a stage. That day has finally arrived! It was announced today that Self will indeed finally return to the stage on Dec. 29th to play a benefit show at the Exit/In with Forget Cassettes. The show benefits the Music for Life Alliance, an organization that supports music education for kids who might not otherwise have access to it. I’m very curious as to who Matt will enlist for the band. I’ve no doubt Seth Timbs of Fluid Ounces/Seth Timbs Thing/Hot New Singles will be involved, but other than it’s anybody’s guess as to how many of the original members will be down for it.

Tickets go on sale 11/15 via the Exit/In website.

 

My life is being dominated by Tennessee Teens Rock & Roll Camp, for which I’ve been volunteering all week, so this will be a quick one:

FRIDAY:

The Greatest Decade Vol. III: A Tribute to 70’s Glam Rock @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $5. This will be one glam-tastic evening featuring several allstar/one-off collaborations between members of Superdrag, the Shazam, Matt Friction and more.

PUJOL, Demon Beat, Ranch Ghost, Leather Nightmare @ Mt. Swag. 7pm $3 All-ages.

SATURDAY:

Toro Y Moi, Coma Cinema, Tallest Trees @ The End. 9pm $12

Nobunny, Useless Eaters, Slammers, (insert random local band that always gets added to Springwater shows last-minute) @ Springwater. 10pm 21+ $??

Johnny Corndawg, Andrew Combs, Nikki Lane @ The Basement. 9pm 21+ $5

And of course: Tennessee Teens Rock & Roll Camp showcase @ Mercy Lounge. DOORS @ 2:30pm SHOW @ 3pm. I know that’s insanely early for most of you, but trust me when I say it’s worth the effort! I’ve been working with these kids all week long and they have some very impressive talent. We also have an amazing array of raffle prizes including 2 VIP passes to NBN’s Soundland, a Daisy Rock electric guitar, signed posters & CDs from Those Darlins, OK Go, Old 97’s, and Black Joe Lewis, a prize pack from Antique Archeology (aka American Pickers) and so much more.

SUNDAY:

Spongebath Records Night @ The Basement, Ft. Self (acoustic Matt Mahaffey), Seth Timbs Thing, Jason Moore + special guests. Now that Matt Mahaffey is living in Franklin hopefully awesome things like this will happen more often. This will be blissful nostalgia for possibly the greatest era of Murfreesboro’s music scene.

Have a great weekend!

New sElf video

June 22, 2010

I’ve been rather tied up the past couple of days since I’m volunteering/teaching photography at the Tennessee Teens Rock & Roll Camp, so you’ve probably already seen this on the Nashville Cream, but since I’m the world’s biggest sElf fan, I have to post this. Because it deserves reposting. Holy fucking shit this video is cool… I already mentioned the new song, now here’s the video. One fucking take, in reverse. I can’t tell if he actually lip-synced backwards or not, or if the words work out so that him lip-syncing in reverse looks close enough that it works… but whatevs. This video fucking rules. Matt is a genius.

Tonight Murfreesboro/Nashville will get a rare musical treat. sElf frontman/genius Matt Mahaffey is in town and will be joining his long-time friend Seth Timbs (of Fluid Ounces and Hot New Singles) on the stage of The Boro Bar & Grill in Murfreesboro. This week is the Boro’s 25th Anniversary celebration, and this is one helluva way to cap it off. From Seth Timbs’ Facebook:

Tomorrow night at the Boro Matt Mahaffey and myself will be performing our songs in a manner befitting the venue and it’s[sic] proud history on it’s[sic] anniversary.

While I’m not as big of a fan of the Boro as I used to be (how can they take a cut of the door money from a band when they don’t even have a PA system or house sound guy?), that place will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s where I was introduced to the local music scene when I first came to MTSU 10 years ago. If a bar/venue can hold its own for 25 years, they must be doing something right. As for Matt, I’ve also confirmed via a few Facebook comments that he’s indeed planning to move back to TN soon (yea yea I know, they’ve been saying that for years, but this time they’re looking at houses!).

Sorry to any other shows happening tonight, but in my eyes seeing Matt and Seth together on the same stage pretty much trumps EVERYTHING.

As for the rest of the weekend, here’s a little rundown:

Saturday night Jesco White “The Dancing Outlaw” invades Mercy Lounge, along with Les Honky More Tonkies and Pick Up The Snake. If that’s not your bag, check out Imogen Heap at the Ryman, or The Alcohol Stuntband at the 5 Spot.

Sunday has a couple of good options as well- Twilight Sad/Mono at the Exit/In, and Shellshag/Pujol/Deluxin’ at the End.

Have a great weekend!

New sElf song!

May 19, 2010

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the band sElf, and the mastermind behind the project, Matt Mahaffey. That’s why I’m jumping up and down with joy that he’s finally released a new track, “Could You Love Me Now?”. Matt announced the update through the sElf myspace, facebook, and twitter today. This song is a light, fun, minimal production and bring to mind warm summer mornings. In other words, perfect for right now, so go buy it on Amazon NOW. (Screw iTunes and their DRM files!) Seriously, this is the most exciting day in many, many years for sElf fans. Somewhere down the road, hopefully sooner than later, there will be a new album as well. Matt also did a video for this new song, which will premier on MTVU on June 10th.

Another thing that made me very happy today was hearing that one of our favorite New Zealand pop culture imports, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, is working on not one, but TWO new movies. The first is a comedy in which he co-stars with Steve Carell called Dinner for Schmucks. The other is… drum roll…. Men In Black III. Yes, Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jemaine Clement all together on the screen, and Clement plays the villian, nonetheless! Sign me up! (Via Kottke.org)

I’m allowed to be a lazy blogger every once-in-a-while, right? Yea, sorry for the lack of posts this week.

The music news item of the day is actually nothing new at all… but still very important to me. For some bizarre reason I have missed out on the fact that sElf’s masterpiece Gizmodgery is on iTunes! Furthermore, their somewhat-rare Half-Baked Serenade is on there as well! I already have both of these albums, but for quite some time they were difficult to come by. sElf/Matt Mahaffey are/is among my top favorite bands/artists of all time. Quite simply, if you aren’t familiar with the band or the man, then you have a massive hole in your music collection/knowledge and you must remedy that problem immediately by going to self-centered.org. There’s actually a ton of his music for free download there, and just about everything you need to fill that hole. I feel compelled to also point out that Gizmodgery was recorded using ALL toy instruments. Keep that in mind when listening to it and allow that fact to further the extent to which your mind gets blown. Ok, stepping down off my sElf soapbox.

My only other offerings to you right now are these two amusing images:

Via Davis

Via Kelly via The Oatmeal

I’m trying out a slightly different format today- I’m going to split up the posts roughly into two categories: the science-y/tech-y/nerd-y stuff, and the music/pop culture stuff. So essentially you’ll see two posts per day for the most part. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS.

The most important thing I’m posting about today is tonight’s benefit for Planned Parenthood’s VOX programs. I’m incredibly honored to be DJing along with one of my all-time musical heroes, Matt Mahaffey. Also on the bill is DJ Busta Window (better known to many locals as Kelly Kerr). The event is at Mai, which is right across the street from 12th & Porter. This event has FREE admission, but 5% of the bar sales go toward VOX, so either drink a lot, or just buy a few expensive drinks knowing that your intoxication is benefiting a good cause. Just don’t drive thereafter. The real DJ action won’t kick off till 10:30 or so, and I’m 2nd in the lineup so please get there by 10:30 at the latest. Resident DJ Coach will takeover after Matt’s set and keep the party hoppin’ till last call. Go ahead and plan to call in sick tomorrow, cuz this shit is worth stayin’ out late on a Thursday! Thanks to Nashville Cream for the plug yesterday. If you have any curiosities as to what my DJing is like, checkout the DJ Burgers SUMMERMIXXXX09 here.

In other music news:

Brooklyn Vegan continues to blow their load over JEFF the Brotherhood. Awesome!

Also Brooklyn-related: the Wall Street Journal is about 4-5 years behind the curve on reporting the skinny jean trend as “new,” which makes this all the more entertaining to watch. (Via dontstaylong)

Like I said, let me know if you like the idea of splitting up the posts.

Via Ironic Sans

Via Ironic Sans

That image kinda made my day this morning. Click to get to the actual Ironic Sans post.

I’m pretty stoked to announce a DJ gig next week with one of my all-musical heroes Matt Mahaffey. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid sElf fan and basically love anything the guy has done. The event is a benefit at Mai for Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX). It’s next Thursday July 26th and starts at 10pm. DJ’s will be Matt Mahaffey, Me (DJ Burgers), and DJ Busta Window (Kelly Kerr). There’s no cover and 5% of the bar sales will go towards VOX. From the press release:

This special one night only event will be used to raise funds for PPMET’s Volunteer Program and area college and university student-run organizations known as “Vox®: Voices for Planned Parenthood.” Anyone who supports Planned Parenthood® can join Vox® as its members are a composite of young professionals and post-grads whose progressive values and volunteer spirit reflect the diversity of Tennessee.

I came across some amazing photos from the Glastonbury Music Festival today at the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. Do give it a look, your eyes will thank you.

Some more updates on the new “SyFy” series Stargate: Universe can be found at io9 today. They’ve also launched a new website for the full Stargate franchise. Give the Universe section a good look-over if you’re interested. It contains quite a few video clips and images of the new cast as well as the set.

The Ad Astra Rocket Company has been hard at work building a rocket engine that sounds like something straight out of Star Trek. It’s called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). This thing will greatly reduce the costs of space exploration because it’s many many more times efficient than our current chemical fuel rockets. Unfortunately it won’t work within Earth’s atmosphere, so we’ll still have to use conventional rockets to get us into space, but once we’re there, these engines will make space travel much easier. They build upon the idea of an ion engine (like the one used on NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission), but VASIMR will use superconducting electromagnets to accelerate the ions to much higher velocities (and thus generate more thrust) than past ion engines. (Via Daily Galaxy)

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.