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Nashville’s beloved songstress Tristen has a new record, titled C A V E S finished and ready to go. The only problem is, she needs money to repay the engineers, musicians, and others involved in the making of the record, and she also needs money to release it on vinyl. She’s doing this all through her own label Pupsnake Records, and she has a lot of handmade goodies and extras for the generous backers. Here it is straight from the horse’s mouth:

Hey guys. It’s time! I’m releasing the single ‘No One’s Gonna Know’ through my KICKSTARTER that has just launched. Watch the making of C A V E S video, get a download of ‘No One’s Gonna Know’ for a dollar, pre-order the whole dang record, or get your hands on exclusive hand-crafted merchandise I’ve made for the project. I need your help to release C A V E S on my own record label, Pupsnake Records. So please show some love and share it with your friends.

Kickstarter projects have become a dime a dozen these days, but trust me when I say that this is one that’s absolutely worth it. She’s the type of artist who is incredibly meticulous about every detail of her art. If it’s not absolutely perfect, she will not put it out for the world to consume. That’s why she enlisted the help of names like Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes, and practically every other Saddle Creek band), and Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys). She worked hard on this album and sought out the right people to make it perfect, and that’s why it’s something worth supporting. Please read the full story of the album and pledge your support at her Kickstarter.

*Full disclaimer: Tristen is a friend of mine. I am writing this not only as a friend, but as a genuine fan of her music. I would not urge your support via this blog if I didn’t objectively consider her a talented artist making music worth supporting. 

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Yesterday marked the release of the first of three new EPs from Forget Cassettes. It’s very exciting to see EG Cameron getting this long-awaited new material out there. You can get via the official Forget Cassettes website. These songs are a stark departure from the guitar and heavy rhythm-driven material of the last two FC albums. Dark, moody, atmospheric and spacious, this new material still showcases Beth’s tender and sometimes even fragile voice, even though it’s sometimes buried in a wash of delay and reverb. The effects and electronic sounds work well with overall mood of the songs, and though it’s a departure from her previous material, it’s a departure that makes sense. Be sure to check out the EP release show this Saturday Oct. 20th at Exit/In, where they’ll be joined by By Lightning! and Poly.

 

Heavy Cream is the perfect example of how a band should evolve. When you say a band has “matured” it can often have bad connotations- it can be treated as a nicer way of saying a band has gotten boring or lost their raw energy. That is most definitely NOT the case with Heavy Cream. They have matured, but in an entirely good way. The rhythm section is anchored solidly by Tiffany Minton’s furious and powerful backbeats, Mimi Galbarez’s riffs have gotten more interesting while maintaining that rudimentary charm they’ve always had, and frontwoman Jessica McFarland’s vocals… well, they’ve always been really good and they’re still really good. As for the new album, it’s solid and well-produced. I have a terrible tendency to talk a lot about the production value of albums when I review them on here, but I really can’t help it this time. Ty Segall produced this album and the real victory here is the drum sounds- they’re insane but just right. Distorted but not painful… weird but not too weird. The snare drum barely even sounds like a snare drum anymore… more like pounding on muffled trash can lid at times. But for some reason it works! And the somewhat beefed-up guitar tones actually complement the overall sound quite well. The songs are as catchy as ever- but most venture into a slightly more complex rhythmic territory. There are even a few slow-burners (well, slow in comparison to most of their material at least…) that take the band from their old “girl-Ramones” vibe to a more straight-ahead, fist-in-the-face rock & roll feel that reminds me more of the Runaways. That’s a very obvious comparison but it has to be made. The biggest point I want to make is that this band has done nothing but get better over time, and this new album is the best example. Grab it now via Infinity Cat Recordings.

Doug and Steph (frontman and drummer from the Clutters) have a new side project called Mystery Twins. It’s just the two of them, stripping rough, unsophisticated garage-pop down its bare elements: rhythm and melody. Essentially it’s a different approach to songwriting than The Clutters’ material, but if you like The Clutters you’ll like Mystery Twins. Their debut EP “Love Is Strange” comes out May 8th, and you can stream it below. They’ll be celebrating the release with a show at the High Watt (adjacent to Mercy Lounge) on May 10th, along with Jasmin Kaset, The Ultras S/C, and Codaphonic.

You may be wondering, “are The Clutters on hiatus? What’s up with them?” A quick email to Doug revealed that The Clutters are in fact still quite active, have another record up their sleeve, and are planning a summer tour. So worry not, Clutters fans, this really is a side project in the most traditional sense- they just wanted to start something new and different. Stream the entire EP via a clever video put together by Doug below:

Buy the EP at their bancamp– if you pre-order you’ll get 2 of the tracks immediately, and the full package on May 8th.

 

Another local release I’ve mentioned a few times before is Uncle Skeleton’s new album All Too Human, which is out today via YK Records. Their official website is your one-stop shop to buy or stream the album. I promise the double LP will be worth it, as the talented Michael Eades is behind the artwork and design. His work never disappoints.

One of Nashville’s most underrated bands is back with a brand new album. The Nobility (formerly Jetpack, then Jetpack UK) just released their latest, The Secret of Blennerhassett Island, and it’s a masterpiece. 2007’s The Mezzanine was their first proper album under the new moniker, and it firmly set the tone for their future as a band. That tone was one of more mature, intricate, and clever songs with a wide array of instrumentation, all with an unwavering pop sensibility. They stated in their own description of the album that they had been listening to early Paul McCartney and Kinks records, and it shows. TSBI (I refuse to type that name again!) is clearly influenced by the same era of pop music, but no matter how obvious the influences are, these songs never get old or tired. I’ve always loved a good marriage of band to producer, and this album is no exception. They worked with Brian Carter of Paradox Productions as they did with The Mezzanine, and honestly I don’t think there’s a better producer for this band than him. The orchestral instrumentation fits perfectly where it’s used, and it’s never over-used. Especially impressive are the horn arrangements. TSBI is easily one of the best albums to come out of Nashville’s rock scene this year, so go get it at their bandcamp page and thank me later. AND go see them at the record release party on Nov. 14th Nov. 4th at the Rutledge.

So the new Camera Obscura album came out yesterday. You can stream My Maudlin Career in its entirety here. I arrived at Grimey’s eager to purchase it on vinyl last night, but alas, the vinyl isn’t out yet. C.O. is definitely one of those bands that needs to be listened to on vinyl. I refuse to own it on CD. They’d better include a digital download with the vinyl. That’s really the ONLY way to do vinyl these days. It’s absolutely absurd not to include a free download with a vinyl purchase. Yes the sound of vinyl is superior to an mp3, but still, people want to be able to listen to music in their cars, etc… and have it be portable on whatever digital media player they happen to own. It’s ESSENTIAL that labels realize this and I will be extremely pissed if 4AD doesn’t include a digital download with their vinyl offerings. It remains to be seen… I’m told the vinyl should arrive next week. I’m resisting the urge to just order it online because I feel guilty for not buying anything from Grimey’s in a while. Support your local record stores people!

Ok, off the soapbox….

Not exactly sure how this video was done… but Matt & Kim went streaking through Times Square in their latest video. I guess it’s no big deal to block off Times Square for a video shoot so it’s technically not a crime for them to be running around naked. Or maybe they were wearing skin-colored skivvies underneath the black skivvies they removed… you can’t really tell since it’s pixel-blurred.

Last night was the first ever Rock Circus at Mercy Lounge. I was invited to attend but could not. My body did not want me to do anything last night. I should have posted about it yesterday but it honestly slipped my mind. Team Illuminati, Vermicious K’nids and Rae Herring played, and there were also magicians, jugglers, and virtuoso pianists. It’s a whole new concept that’s the brainchild of Team Illuminati, and this one was promoted by Scenario Entertainment. They plan to do more of these shows in the future, including one on April 29th (a week from today) (update: the show on the 29th is a normal rock show being promoted by Scenario Entertainment, not a circus show) with the Telecommunicators– the side project of Matt Hungate from De Novo Dahl. (Though Telecommunicators started before he joined DND…) I hope to take some pics at one of these in the near future as it sounds like a lot of fun.

When we think of natural distasters we usually think of things here on earth, but there’s something else out there that poses an unlikely but high-consequence danger…  the sun. This huge star that is responsible for our existence also has the ability to wipe us off the face of the planet. That’s VERY unlikely in the next billion years or so, but if it decides to get angry and have an especially violent Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), it could knock out power grids and wreak havoc on satellite communications, which are VERY sensitive to these types of things. ABC.com has a great story with more info if you’re interested.

Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell is a proponent of the government UFO cover-up conspiracy theory. It’s kind of sad that an astronaut is spouting about this, but it’s true. This CNN.com article reports on his recent appearance and UFO enthusiast convention. I happen to agree with his claim that there is life out there, somewhere. I fully believe that we will eventually find evidence of life on other planets, probably within my lifetime. But the probabilities of that life being SO advanced as to be able to travel much faster than light to get here and then crash into our deserts… I just have a hard time with that. And there’s still no hard evidence to prove otherwise. All we have are witness accounts and blurry, unreliable photos and video. Some of these sightings honestly don’t have a good explanation, but it’s too much of a stretch to say that just because we can’t explain them, they must aliens buzzing around in highly advanced spacecraft. Sure there are lots of things that the government keeps secret from the public, and I’m sure that they’re covering up something about what happened in Roswell in 1947, and in Kecksburg in 1965, and in all the other less publicized cases. I’d say it’s much more likely that it was some sort of top secret plane or technology that they didn’t want anyone to know about.

Today I leave you with this… yummmmm…..

Via Clusterflock

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