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Catie Cameron has been one of my best friends for many years. She’s a talented, smart gal and also a great writer. For the past few years she has been working on achieving one of her childhood dreams- to write and publish a novel. Today I’m happy to share with you her Kickstarter campaign, which will raise the funds needed for her to self-publish Ms. Rhythm and Blues: A Rock & Roll Novel. It’s about a girl named Maggie who grows up in Nashville, TN in the 90s and immerses herself in the rock scene, and eventually opens her own rock club. I won’t say much more because you really should just go to her Kickstarter page and check it out for yourself! Here’s the promo video:

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Mars rover Curiosity updates

February 14, 2013

It’s been a hot minute since I mentioned the Mars rover Curiosity. She’s been slowly but surely working her way across Gale Crater, stopping to take photos along the way and investigate anything interesting she comes across. Recently she came across this bizarre-looking rock protrusion that looks a bit like a shiny door handle or knob:

mars-shiny-closeup-430x580

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It was a pretty interesting and puzzling find, but NASA scientists think they have an explanation. Indeed, it’s not a knob or hood ornament, nor is it made by aliens. A much more logical explanation is uneven weathering and erosion. For the full details head over to Universe Today. But in short, Ronald Sletten from the Mars Science Laboratory team at NASA/JPL explained in a press release that the object is a small part of the rock that is different in composition from the rest. The shiny part is made up of a harder type of rock than its surroundings. Since the surface of Mars is home to lots of dust/wind storms, there is quite a bit of wind erosion, and the softer surrounding rock erodes aways much faster than the harder rock. The shininess is also a by-product of erosion- certain types of rocks have a tendency to become smooth and shiny from erosion rather that just being blown away. NASA also posted a PDF with some good photos comparing the Mars image to similar phenomena on Earth. What I’m wondering is- what is that harder part of the rock made of? Why is there? Are there any other formations like it nearby? I know that on earth some volcanic rocks have a smooth & shiny appearance, so could this be a chunk of volcanic rock that was flung from an eruption and landed in water, then moved to its current location by fast-moving water and deposited in a muddy area that subsequently hardened into sedimentary rock? Maybe more theories will come out soon.

In other Curiosity news, the final instrument yet to be used/tested was the percussive rock drill. The drill was successfully tested and then used on Feb. 8th to drill the hole seen on the left in this image:

PIA16726

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The rover has now successfully tested all of her science instruments and everything is working perfectly. A sample of the pulverized rock was taken, and will be analyzed in the days to come. This rock is suspected of having been altered or eroded by flowing water on the surface many millions of years ago. I’m looking forward to seeing what they find to confirm (or deny) this theory and what else is learned about Mars’ watery past.

A Few Good Shows: 1/4/13

January 4, 2013

the-kitten-covers-devoIt’s kind of a slow weekend since we just had all sorts of New Year’s craziness earlier this week, but there are still several goods shows to check out this weekend in Nashville. Here are my picks:

FRIDAY:

Ghost Dance, The Electric Dollhouse Groovebuggy, and Fly Golden Eagle @ The Groove. 8pm, FREE

All Them Witches, Slick, Justin & The Cosmics, and Velvet Elvis @ The Basement. 9pm $5 21+

SATURDAY:

The Deli Magazine Presents: Magnolia Sons, Peter Terry & The City Profits, and Star & Micey @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $5 21+

Parquet Courts, OGG, Dirty Dreams, Nots, ArchAnimals, and Gold & The Rush @ The Owl Farm. 9pm $5

That’s it, have a great weekend!

A Few Good Shows: 9/14/12

September 14, 2012

It’s a rock explosion, get it?

This weekend, specifically tonight, is a Nashville rock show explosion. Shit’s officially gettin’ crazy. But this is a good problem to have. I’d much rather be stressed about which awesome band or show to see, than be sad and depressed that no good tours are coming through town. Here are some shows that I’d see… now if I could only clone myself and see them all….

FRIDAY:

Built To Spill, Helvetia, Sister Crayon @ Exit/In. 9pm $20 (SOLD OUT)

Metric, w/ Half Moon Run @ The Ryman. 7:30pm $30

Makeup & Vanity Set, Sugar Sk*-*lls, Robocotopus, and Afrosaxon @ Richland Ballrom. (4208 Murphy Rd.) $3

Little Bandit EP release w/ Derek Hoke and Birdcloud @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $5 21+

The Biddies, Phil Hummer & The White Falcons, The Maloneys @ Zombie Shop. 8pm $???

SATURDAY:

Beach House and Dustin Wong @ Marathon Music Works. 8pm $22

Conestyle album release show w/ Yautja and No Christmas @ The End. 9pm $5

Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Lulu Mae, and Neulore @ Exit/In. 9pm $5

SUNDAY:

Turbo Fruits Big Shred/Album Release/party @ the Groove Records. 2pm/FREE. Their label Serpents & Snakes are throwing a big ass pig roast and party to celebrate the release of their album Butter. The band will play as well. More info on facebook.

Of course there’s the Americana Music Festival, which has been happening since Wednesday. My taste for what’s generally referred to as Americana is somewhat limited, so I’ve stopped short of posting all the various lineups and showcases here. Their website has the full listing and info on wristbands, etc… so please check it out if you’re interested in any of their offerings!

Have a great weekend!

For the third year in a row, local music blog Nashville’s Dead is hosting their Freakin’ Weekend festival. It all kicks off tonight at The End with a special all-ages show featuring Screaming Females, Titus Andronicus, Diarrhea Planet, and No Regrets Coyote. Thursday night things jump across the street to Exit/In for The Greenhornes, PUJOL, Ranch Ghost, Denny & The Jets, and Dirty Dreams. Friday night’s show stays at Exit/In for Jeff the Brotherhood, Cy Barkley & the Way Outsiders, D. Watusi, Useless Eaters, and Fox Fun. Then we jump back across Elliston Place to The End for the finale on Saturday: Traditional Fools, Mikal Cronin, The Men, Heavy Cream, and Cannomen.

Also, returning from last year’s Freakin’ Weekend is the pop-up shop at Local Honey! Not only can you grab limited releases, vinyl, tapes, etc… from labels like Infinity Cat, Nashville’s Dead, Turbo Time, Third Man, Cass, Sebastian Speaks and many more, but on Friday & Saturday you can also catch great free day shows in the back lot as well! Head over to Nashville’s Dead for the full lineup+details. Major props to Ben Todd & his crew for making such a cool string of shows happen. They’ve really upped the ante this year by nailing a few bigger-name headliners, most notably The Greenhornes, whose rhythm section shares duties with The Raconteurs.

Another very related tidbit: Spin.com just debuted the first single from PUJOL’s first official full-length on Saddle Creek, DIY2K, via a free download. If this track is any indication, this is gonna be one phenomenal album. It drops June 5th.

Copyright 2010 Steve Cross

Whoa. Just whoa. I just read on Brooklynvegan that Kelley Anderson has left Those Darlins. A bit of a shock to me, really, but at the same time, I’ve known Kelley (and all of them) for years and I know that Kelley is a very driven and ambitious woman with lots of talent. I’ve no doubt she’s got some awesome projects up her sleeve and I can see how the rigorous touring of Those Darlins may have become a bit too much. I mean, look what she did by founding the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp! That grew into Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities, one of the coolest non-profits around, and a cause well worth your support & time. I have no doubt that Those Darlins will power on ahead with the talents of Jessi, Linwood, and Nikki, plus whomever replaces Kelley. The above photo is from a documentary project in which I spent a few days on tour with them, as is the one below. These haven’t been published anywhere else, and I intend to keep it that way- so please don’t download and/or use these!

Copyright 2010 Steve Cross

First of all, if you’re a LOST fan as I am, of course you know that the final season premiers tonight. To go along with that, I give you two links of interest:

The New York Times’ timeline of a few significant events. This is pretty helpful in remembering the time scale we’re talking about here…

The real physics involved with the time travel of LOST. As an avid science lover/advocate, I have of course been pleased with the fact that the time travel involved with LOST is at least somewhat based on real-world physics.

Image via Nashville's Dead

Unfortunately there’s a great show that I’m going to miss out on due to LOST tonight, and that is the Infinity Cat Rock the Block at Exit/In. In case you’ve been under a rock the past couple of months, Ryan Bruce has revived Exit/In’s free tuesday night weekly series Rock the Block. It’s similar to the 8 off 8th series at Mercy Lounge in that it’s hosted by a rotating cast of local musicians/scenemakers/bloggers/radio show hosts/etc…. It differs in that the number of bands is entirely up to the host, however most of the ones so far have been in the 7-9 band range. Tonight’s is hosted by Infinity Cat records and has a killer lineup. So if you’re not going to be glued to ABC for 3 hours, Exit/In should be your destination, because it’s free.

Speaking of 8 off 8th… Mercy Lounge released the actual lineups for each of the 4 Road To Bonnaroo series today. See the full lineups at Nashville Cream. This is going to get interesting.

For your daily dose of eye-candy, checkout local vintage clothier Carmen Jaudon’s official spring 2010 lookbook. Photography was done by Bradley Spitzer and of course the styling was by Carmen. A good pairing of photographer/stylist indeed.

Speaking of lookbooks… I present to you Hipsters Have to Pee. Must be all those PBRs and soy lattes… (Via Hipster Runoff)

Happy LOST day!

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