Ben and one of his best friends Bekah Cope at SXSW 2010.

It is a tragic, horrible day for the Nashville rock scene. Ben Todd, founder of Nashville’s Dead, bassist of D. Watusi, and main force behind the Freakin’ Weekend has died at age 24. Read more about it at the Nashville Cream, as they are far more talented writers than I.

I’ll just say a few words from my own experience with Ben. He was one of hundreds of acquaintances I know primarily through shows. I would always see him and briefly say “hey man how’s it going?” and unfortunately that was pretty much the extent of our interactions. But just through those interactions I could tell how passionate he was about the Nashville rock scene. That passion was very evident in his creation and the content of Nashville’s Dead. He was also the driving force behind the Freakin’ Weekend. Since we’re only about a month out from the 4th installment of the annual festival, I wonder how it will proceed. I’ve no doubt that it will, though, in his honor.

I just can’t help but think it ironic that his whole mantra seemed to be centered around eternal positivity, kindness, and keeping a youthful outlook on life. His blogging moniker was Forever Young, and Forever Young he shall remain. My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to his friends and family. Actually, I’ll just say family. Because Ben was the kind of person to whom friends ARE family. Rest in peace.

I love Jacuzzi Boys, and it’s high-time I wrote about them. What better time than now, leading up to the release of the new album Glazin’ next week? You can stream the whole thing over at Spin, so I recommend you do that because you’ll end up putting it on repeat all day long. Just like their last record No Seasons, this one is pure fun from start to finish. Every song just gives me what I want. It’s all very satisfying and digestible. Pure unadulterated 60’s-driven garage psych-pop. This record is your one-stop-shop for sockhop beats, slap-back vocals, jangly guitar riffs, and a fuzzed-out solo here and there. Be sure to catch them next time they stop through Nashville on Oct. 29th. I’ve no doubt the Nashville’s Dead crew have some awesome Halloween-related antics up their sleeves for this show. (Via Nashville’s Dead)

Shows this weekend

March 4, 2011

As usual, I’m in a time crunch between work stuff.

As I mentioned Wednesday, Nashville’s Dead’s Freakin’ Weekend is happening all weekend, so go checkout their “Rundown” post about the lineups for that. If you aren’t inclined to see every night of the FW, here are some other shows I’d recommend.

FRIDAY:

The Nobility w/ Bravo Max, the Tendoor, and Overzealous @ the 5 Spot. 9pm, $5

The YEAH! Rock Block benefit show @ The End, ft. Kiddo. 9pm, 18+$5 donation (or however much you wanna give)

SATURDAY

Korean is Asian album release w/ Cortney Tidwell and The Lisps @ the 5 Spot. 9pm $5

Rocky Votolato w/ Matt Pond @ Exit/In. 9pm $12

The dudes at Nashville’s Dead have upped the ante this year for their Freakin’ Weekend… festival… for lack of a better term. Let’s just call it the Freakin’ Weekend from now on. If memory serves, last year’s was all house shows. This year however, they’ve “graduated” to full-on venues and the lineup is killer. They’ve taken over Exit/In, The End, and Springwater (and even an early show at Third Man Records) to bring you a nonstop rock n roll party that lasts 3 days this weekend- March 4th, 5th, and 6th. It’s safe to say that Infinity Cat acts such as JEFF the Brotherhood, PUJOL, and Natural Child are all “heavy hitters,” not to mention out-of-town acts like Ty Segall and Davila 666. For the full lineup and more info checkout ND’s post about it.

ND also has another treat for all the vinyl nerds out there: they’ll be doing a pop-up record store above the new Local Honey store on Belmont Blvd! It’ll be open from noon-5pm on March 3rd through 5th. They’ll have limited edition pressings and other hard-to-find stuff from Infinity Cat, Third Man, Nashville’s Dead, Turbo Time, Evil Weevil and more. For more deets checkout their blog post. Gonna be a good weekend y’all.

If you’re a Nashvillian you no doubt know about the massive snowball fight that occurred in Centennial Park Monday night. Snow is somewhat of rarity around here, so the young (and the young at heart) never miss the chance to enjoy it. Luckily technology has advanced to the point that it’s quite easy to make gorgeous imagery, both still photography and film, even in such low-light conditions. Behold this awesome slo-mo video created by Winston Hearn. I know, I know, using a Jonsi song is so obvious for slo-mo footage of hipsters throwing snowballs… but it really hits the perfect mood and sometimes you have to throw the snark out window and enjoy something for what it is.

I must also mention the great set of photos from the event taken by Lance Conzett over on Dixie Downturn.

In other news, local indie rock/punk staple club The End has finally joined the 21st century and gotten a website. You can also pre-order tickets to some select shows. As much as we Nashville rock promoters/musicians love owner Bruce Fitzpatrick, the guy is very old-school. The venue has been around for 30 some years, and as far as I know, he’s been the owner the whole time. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that.) I’m just happy that it’s now relatively easy to see who’s playing there and when. (Via the Cream)

Nashville’s Dead became a bonafide record label a few months ago, and their first two releases are now up on the webstore. They are both 7″ singles, one by Useless Eaters and the other by The Paperhead (formerly known as The Looking Glass). (Via Nashville’s Dead)

Geez, the boys over at Nashville’s Dead had an outright blog-gasm. Probably the biggest news they dropped was that PUJOL recorded a track with Jack White, and it’s gonna be on a 7″ which will be available at their Next BIG Nashville showcase happening at White’s own Third Man Records. The Jack White-produced track was total news to me, but the showcase wasn’t- they’ve been sorting out the details of that for a while but didn’t want to mention it till it was figured out… But seriously, they’ve got 2 days of awesomeness lined up for NBN at Third Man. Oh, and PUJOL has another 7″ coming out as well: a live recording of their show opening for Nobunny at Third Man a while back. Here’s the NBN/ND show rundown:

Friday, Oct. 1st: JEFF the Brotherhood/The Ettes/Cheap Time/Heavy Cream/Cy Barkley

Saturday, Oct. 2nd: Jacuzzi Boys/Turbo Fruits/PUJOL/D. Watusi

I should also mention that there’s a pretty cool update over at WOTT about the goings-on of Battletapes over the past few months. Mr. Ferguson has been busy as fuck with tons of good stuff, and is about to be flown to Brussels, Belgium to record a band called Lucy Lucy, who had an ear-gasm when they heard his work on Turbo Fruits’ album Echo Kid. Congrats, Jeremy! (And of course congrats to his girlfriend Candice who has all but kicked her breast cancer’s ass.)

I was going to post the video of Chromeo’s awesome performance on Letterman, complete with a string section and backup singers, but then I came across this ridiculously awesome video of Irish hand-dancers doing a routine to “Speak No Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP.

I’m up to my eyeballs in all sorts of random business this week, therefore I’m going to share a few links and tidbits quickly today, and that’ll be it for this blog until early next week. Here goes:

That’s all I got. Now I’m gonna take care of some biz-nass and I’ll see you kids next week.

The blog Nashville’s Dead has been kicking ass overall lately, as chronicled by the Scene in their People Issue from a few weeks back. I want to take a moment, however, to specifically point out the photography work of their main shuttergirl Bekah Cope. The photo to the left is of Turbo Fruits on Saturday night of SXSW at the Mohawk Patio. Not only was it an insane performance, as evidenced by the fact that Jonas is hanging upside-down from the rafters, but it’s the perfect shot to capture the essence of that particular show. Bekah shoots all shows with film and a simple on-camera flash in a way that most professionals try to avoid at all costs. But she fearlessly challenges the norm and as a result, her work has an entirely different aesthetic than what the more seasoned professionals go for. It’s good in a completely different way. Her perspective and style is refreshing and fits perfectly with DIY feel of Nashville’s Dead and the music they cover (a good majority of it is house shows). At times some of her photos almost hit the same spot on my visual palate as William Eggleston’s work does. Check out her SXSW photos at Nashville’s Dead and more of her stuff on her flickr.

I’ll take just a moment to express my opinions about the recent rumors of a Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile iPhone coming soon. A Wall Street Journal article earlier this week mentioned that the iPhone will likely be opened up to other carriers as early as this summer. While has long been a matter of “when,” not “if,” I’m certainly excited that this is finally happening. I’m very skeptical, however, that a Verizon version of the phone will be on the market before 2011 or even later. Currently there are two main protocols for 3G (3rd generation) wireless networks: GSM and CDMA. I won’t get into the technical details, but basically T-Mobile and AT&T both use the GSM standard, while Sprint and Verizon use the CDMA standard. Obviously the iPhone is a GSM device since it’s currently only on AT&T, thus it would be relatively easy to make one for T-Mobile since they’re GSM as well. Building an iPhone for Verizon and Sprint, however, is a different ballgame because many of the components have to be different. This is why I think it may be a little longer before we see a CDMA iPhone. Though the report did mention that some companies are already building the components for CDMA iPhone, there’s a lot more to it than just building the device. Verizon is known to be cranky about the content delivered through their network, and while I have no idea what they have up their sleeve in regards to iPhone content, I have to say it’ll probably be different than it is on the AT&T network. I hope I’m wrong about that though. Furthermore, Verizon is supposedly going to unveil their new 4G network sometime next year, which will use the new LTE standard, which will supposedly become the universal standard for all wireless networks. So why are they building a CDMA phone in the first place when it’ll just be replaced in a couple of years? The reason this matters to me is that I’m one of the people who would love to have an iPhone, but refuse to switch to AT&T. This is because I constantly see people on AT&T having signal coverage issues. Case in point: the entire floor on which I work which is just slightly below street level is a total dead zone for ALL other carriers except Verizon. If I didn’t have Verizon, I would have no phone service ALL DAY LONG. I’ve seen the same thing happen in other buildings as well. Not to mention Verizon is way ahead of the rest of the pack in customer service ratings. Sorry for the rant.