First, I must point you to the official Next BIG Nashville schedule. It’s up, and it will probably change, but it’s there so start planning which sacrifices to make. Planning your schedule at these types of music festivals is always a delicate balance between seeing people you know and like, and branching out to see some new acts you might not get to see otherwise.

Secondly, I have some exciting news that some people know about, but others don’t. I will be doing a photo documentary project with Those Darlins next week; joining them on a week-long leg of their tour with Strange Boys and Gentleman Jesse & His Men. I got the idea after the death of famous rock photographer Jim Marshall last year. News of his death got me thinking about his photographs, and how a lot of the truly iconic shots are very casual, candid, off-beat images taken off the stage. I thought about how I could do more of that type of behind-the-scenes work (not that my images will ever be as iconic as Marshall’s shots of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and the like), and I thought of Those Darlins. I’ve known them for years, they’re some of the best people I know, they have room in their van, and after some discussions with their awesome manager John “JT” Turner, this idea is now becoming a reality. They’re what most would consider a mid-level act, but they’re headed for higher places and I think it’s the right time to do this type of project with a band like them. Those Darlins know how to party, and I think the results of this little experiment will be interesting. So, if you’re in Chapel Hill, D.C., New York, Cambridge, or Brooklyn, I hope to see you at one of the shows! Obviously, I may not be posting much next week…

My other news is simply that Miami Horror is awesome and you should go buy their album now. Seriously, I’ve been seeing mp3’s from these guys popping up in the blogosphere for a few months and I kept thinking “oh, this is an awesome track… nice…” But just yesterday I saw my friend Joseph’s review of their debut album on his blog Nashville Nights and it finally clicked in my head that these guys were different than your average “3 or 4 singles a year” DJs/producers. I urge you to checkout the quality interview Joseph did with them as well… I totally agree with his sentiment that it’s hard to find a good, quality dance floor album these days. There really are no sleepers or filler on this album- pure quality all the way through. Honestly this material is exactly what I personally want out of electronic/dance music: it’s got a great disco-ey, funky groove to it, smooth bass lines, and most of all the songs are songs, not just a bunch of loops layered together that build and fade (via trancewave). If you like Cut Copy, AIR, or Neon Indian, you will love this record. This is the best thing to come out of Australia since Silverchair. J/K J/K J/K

Miami Horror-I Look To You (Ft. Kimbra)

Oh, and the link to buy the album goes to Amazon. Fuck iTunes and their non-mp3/non-DJable formats. And while I’m at it, fuck their new ugly skin/layout for iTunes 10, too.

I’m a little behind in blog-time on posting about this new Treasure Fingers track, but I have to mention it because it’s AWESOME and right up my alley style-wise. The track is called “What am I supposed to do?” and is stuffed with funky disco bass lines, cut up soulful vocals, and everything else that satisfies my appetite for disco-house. It originally popped up at the Fader blog on Friday afternoon, after I had already gone into my weekend mode of basically ignoring the internet, thus why I’m posting now. Joseph at Nashville Nights tweeted Mr. Fingers directly and got permission to post as well, so be sure to point your browser his way too, cuz he kinda needs the traffic more than those Fader folks do.

Also, be sure to check out Fool’s Gold’s recap of all their SXSW shenanigans (at least one of which Treasure Fingers was involved), most of which I unfortunately missed.

De Novo Dahl have been on the move again recently with an almost completely new lineup. The only original members are the husband/wife frontman/frontwoman duo of Joel J. Dahl and Serai Zaffiro. They are back on their old label Theory 8, and Mr. Hartley has done a fine job of leaking selected tracks and creating some hype about their next release Tigerlion. The artwork is now out, and the album hits shelves May 25th. You can stream the track “Love Is the Healer” at Hartley’s Tumblr. What’s ridiculous is that until recently, I went on thinking the album was called “Tigerloin” not “Tigerlion.” I have no idea…

Here we go: the first official artist interview on my little corner of the web. With his self-titled 3rd album coming out on March 16th and an album release show at the End March 14th, Makeup & Vanity Set made the perfect first interviewee.

SCLMS: Not get too cliche, but what piqued your interest in electronic music waaay back when?
MAVS: To be totally honest, it had a lot to do with the fact that I was just really into trying to figure out how to make the sounds. I can remember pretty vividly hearing songs back in the day as a young Putay, and just thinking ‘How do you make that?’ I really just wanted to find out how you could make music without the conventional methods of actual sounds and microphones. Electronic music was always this big mystery to me. Not a lot of people particularly cared about the genre where I grew up. It seemed sort of taboo. I guess in a way that also attracted me. It was different. I remember making super early jams with computers and putting them on tapes and handing them off to, like, my band teachers; they didn’t really have much to say about it. I think back then I was just excited about discovery.

SCLMS: When I first met you in college at MTSU, I remember you were making fairly experimental/unstructured/blippy/glitchy material, much like your current side project DAAS. Then suddenly Makeup & Vanity Set was born circa 2003, and I remember seeing you open for the Protomen at one of their 1st Boro shows and thinking “whoa! Pusti got all dance-tastic all of a sudden!” Then for several years you continued to push the more structured/dancey MAVS material, until last year when DAAS was born. What was going through your mind and what drove your transitions between styles between 2003 and now?
MAVS: The other day I was cleaning some stuff out of my house and I found the original piece of notebook paper from the class that I had with Cal where he drew the Protomen logo for the very first website we made. It all filled in with BIC ink pen. Like you can just picture him not paying any attention to class and just doodling this thing that ended up being a giant part of our lives for the next ten years. I basically started making New Order-y songs and recording bass guitar over them and sending them to Cal around that time. We were planning on recording some songs together. I would send him other stuff too. The other stuff wound up being Aesthetically Speaking. Cal wound up pretty much forcing me to open for them at the Boro because they needed another band to open and I think Cal was terrified of the selection of Boro bands at that point, so it was me. And I had never played a show by myself ever before that point. Makeup and Vanity Set, the name, was a joke about me not wanting to do it, really. The ski mask was me trying to haphazardly compete with the theatrics of the Protomen. The first ski mask belonged to my friend Norman Teale, who gave it to me before moving to Oakland. It seemed like an odd parting gift at the time.

SCLMS: What was your take on the success of Justice/the rise of bloghouse circa 2007? Because you were totally doing that shit way before they got famous with it.
MAVS: I think bloghouse is sorta mostly dead. I think it’s becoming a lot of other things. The best thing about bloghouse is that it literally reinvented the way that people get famous with electronic music. It allowed musicians to make jams faster, get them out faster, and operate in a much more compact way, which is awesome. At school, they used to always talk about how the rise of pro-level studio gear in people’s bedrooms is going to give rise to people making hit records with nothing. That’s a bunch of crap; no one is going to make Queen albums in their basement. It absolutely applies to electro music though. For the record, I used to compress the shit out of my songs simply because I didn’t know what I was doing and it made the drums sound tougher. That doesn’t really equate to Justice, but it does make really loud crazy 8 bit songs, almost ten years ago. For real.

SCLMS: People used to talk about how you made music in MS-DOS, by writing code. No visual interfaces, no linear sequencing, no keys to hit, just writing code to make a song. Is that totally true? If it is, can I eat some of your brain?
I used to get all wonky with Trackers back in the day. It’s not really code, but it is super nerdy. You would hit keys, but they were computer keys. It’s funny because a lot of the stuff that comes out now is so branched out of that. It’s not even funny.

SCLMS: What’s your take/philosophy on the live performance of electronic music?
MAVS: Playing live is interesting. It can be really painful. I’ve played shows where I’m pretty bored with it. It’s more technical than anything else, so after a few songs, if the crowd isn’t into it, you start feeling like you’re standing up there doing a power point presentation. I’ve always hated stages. I like being down on the floor with people. It feels better. I think I got really lucky by having a bunch of super awesome friends who would come to my shows and dance like crazy and fire strobe lights and smoke machines, and tear up baguettes with their shirts off, etc. My friends have made it so much easier to cope with.

SCLMS: What do you think of dubstep?
MAVS: I really hope it isn’t the next big deal. It’s been around for a while overseas, so it makes sense that all of the sudden it’s super big here, but I honestly get kinda bored with it. I remember as a kid, loaning my copy of Homework to a friend, who copied it to cassette in his bedroom while we were at school, and he came home to find out his Mom shut it off. He asked her why and she goes ‘Well, it was skipping.’ I think electronic music is moving into this super next level A.D.D. mode where the little motifs are getting shorter and the changes and craziness are getting faster and the whole thing is just pushing forward. When I want to hear something new, I usually just listen to whatever Oizo is doing.

SCLMS: Why do people like wobble bass? It basically sounds like a series of electronic farts most of the time, IMHO.
MAVS: I bet if it were called Fart Bass, people would like it less. Filters, man. People love filters. They just don’t know it.

SCLMS: What are your favorite style of jams to DJ?
Tough Jams.

So there you have it. Make sure to keep an eye on his official Bandcamp page to grab the new album, and if you’re in Nashville, you don’t want to miss the album release show at the End on March 14th with Magic Hammer, Anamanaguchi (NYC), Starscream, Sabrepulse, Henry Homesweet and a DJ set from our local beloved Penguin Parade (featuring 2 members of Left Can Dance). You can also buy a physical copy of the album at the release show. Meanwhile, here’s the track “Putay’s Back” to tide you over.

Makeup & Vanity Set-Putay’s Back

On a side note, it would be crazy to not mention that Devo has a new record coming out in May and they’ve released a free, legal mp3 of the song “Fresh” to the interwebs. Grab it at Nashville Nights! It actually kinda sounds like old-school Devo.

Combined science/music post today. Not much time….

A meteorite about the size of a fist crashed through the roof of a doctor’s office in Virginia on monday. Reports say that it was traveling about 220 MPH when it hit the roof. There’s a common misconception that all meteorites hit the ground as a fireball and cause a crater. The truth is only the really big ones, about car-size and up, actually have enough inertia to keep up those kinds of speeds all the way to the ground. The smaller ones that reach the ground have long since been slowed by the friction of the atmosphere, and usually hit at speeds anywhere from 100 to 300 mph, depending on the size and weight. I don’t want to spend much time on this so go here or here for more info.

Now for the music.

I mentioned a while back that beloved Nashville scrap-punkers Meemaw decided to end their hiatus. Well, the time has come! It all goes down tonight at The End, along with Marj!, So Jazzy, and JEFF the Brotherhood. I don’t really know if you can quite call it an interview, but please do check out this gem of a video segment of them talking/playing a new song/goofing off over at Nashville’s Dead. Good times.

Unfortunately this had to happen the same night as a ton of other good stuff in town.

One of the aforementioned other things is the special edition of Happy Valley at the Cannery Ballroom, where I will be running the Generation Domination photobooth. It’s part of Mercy Lounge’s 7-year anniversary party, but unlike the other show upstairs, it will cost a meager $5 to get into. The FREE show upstairs will consist of The Non-commissioned Officers, The Ettes, De Novo Dahl, Apollo Up, and the two secret guests have now been revealed- The Features and Turbo Fruits. That has to be the most amazing lineup of local rock I’ve seen in a long time.

On Saturday Mercy is once again the place to be, as the last day of their week of free shows consists of Space Capone, How I Became the Bomb, Heypenny, Madi Diaz, Tallest Trees, and Armed Forces. This amazing lineup will be followed by the return of BFF, featuring yours truly and Fan Fiction of Nashville Nights on the decks, and we promise to keep your butt on the dancefloor till the wee hours.

In case you missed the memo, BFF was a weekly dance party held by me (Burgers) and Joseph (Fan Fiction) at Mad Donna’s in east Nashville. That location turned out to be not quite right for what we were trying to do, so instead of keeping BFF as a monthly staple, we decided to just let it be the branding we use whenever/wherever we spin together. There are two upcoming BFF-related events, the first of which I just mentioned, and the other is Feb. 5th at La Paz. More details are in the pipeline about that, but I’ll say now that it’s probably going to be the official afterparty for the Features’/Cortney Tidwell/Majestico show which just a block away at Exit/In. It’s gonna be a blast y’all.

Have a great weekend!

Obviously the big story today is that the 4th BFF (featuring myself and Fan Fiction DJing) is happening tonight at Mad Donna’s! This month we’ve decided to add beer specials to the mix, but the bar hasn’t told me what they’ll be yet. But get there before midnight to take advantage of that. Oh, and this time we have a fog machine to enhance your dancing experience. Mad Donna’s is on the east side, just a blog past 5-points on Woodland. It’s at the corner of Woodland & 14th St. across from Lipstick Lounge. In case you missed my last post, be sure to download my latest mix- the Burgers Winter 09 MIXXXX. For a tracklisting see my last post. And for a sampling of Fan Fiction’s style, just check his awesome music blog Nashville Nights. For even more info on this and more BFF’s in the future, join our Facebook group!

If you’re not feeling the east side, or not feeling the dancing vibe, my band Powerbrrrd is also playing Matt Friction’s Christmas on the Block show at Exit/In tonight. We’ll be on 2nd in a pretty awesome lineup of your favorite local bands playing Christmas tunes. But obviously I’ll be speeding over to Mad Donna’s right after we play to do BFF.

It should also be noted that Jeremy Ferguson, who runs the Battletapes recording studio, has posted his 4th “Battle Pod” podcast. It features some lovely Christmas covers by Lylas, Tristen, Jonas Stein (from Turbo Fruits), and others. Go grab it now.

Other weekend stuff:

Saturday: Holly House Winter Formal @ Mercy Lounge. This show will feature Tristen, Caitlin Rose, Eureka Gold, Shoot the Mountain, Non-Commissioned Officers, and more, all playing in each other’s bands covering various Christmas songs and whatnot. I’ll be doing a photobooth, and it’s part of Mercy’s 2nd annual “Winter of Dreamz” sponsored by Sweetwater. Oh, and there’s an indoor snow machine…

By then I’ll be so tired I won’t care anymore, so that’s it for this weekend.

Only one thing worth mentioning today:

Come to the 3rd BFF tonight at Mad Donna’s! It’s doubling as my birthday bash (yes, I’ve been alive 28 years), and our special guest DJ is Makeup & Vanity Set (aka Matt Pusti, aka one of my all-time favorite electronic music artists). This is definitely one you don’t want to miss! Fan Fiction has returned to the lineup and will kick things off, with me (Burgers) in the middle, and MAVS closing things out. We’ll be going till last call so if you’re going to the Mountain Goats show, by all means, make BFF your official afterparty!

As it was last month, it’s FREE if you’re 21+, and $3 if you’re 18-20. Please do come.