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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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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.

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.

Headed to Portland, OR!

October 16, 2009

Hey kids, the GF and I are headed to Portland, OR today to visit our good friend Chris Freeman and just see the city we’ve heard everyone rave about so much. We’ll be back Monday afternoon. So this will be the last post till at least Tuesday. That being said, here are some tasty tidbits for your browsing pleasure:

Be sure to check out the results of this year’s Best Of Nashville reader’s poll in the Scene. I’m just happy The Features won best local band. Over Kings of Leon. Not that I have anything against KOL, it’s just cool that the readers appreciate all The Features’ hard work for the past ~15 years.

The official Next Big Nashville photogallery is up. It includes photos by me, Jonathan Kingsbury, Dylan Reyes, Jordan Jaquess, and Bradley Butcher. You can see the full galleries for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or you can view a more selective culling on the official NBN flickr photostream.

This may be old news to some, but Beck has started a pretty awesome new project on his website called Record Club. He’s bringing in various musicians from other bands to contribute to the recording of a full album in one day. They’re all cover albums and the musicians do not get a chance to rehearse together before the session. He also videotapes the whole thing and uploads one song per week to his website. The one currently up is Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Leonard Cohen featuring Devendra Banhart, members of MGMT, and many more. I think our own hometown hero Matt Mahaffey appears in at least 1 or 2 of the previous session videos, in which they covered The Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground & Nico. (Via Brooklyn Vegan)

Speaking of Matt Mahaffey, Rock Sellout did a cool interview with him last week.

Be sure to make it down to the Exit/In for Monotonix/Turbo Fruits/JEFF the Brotherhood tomorrow. Or if that’s not your thing, Drummer (side project of Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney) is playing at Mercy Lounge, along with the Royal Bangs.

But as I said we’ll be in Portland attending the Scion GarageFest, where 2 Nashville acts just happen to be playing: Cheap Time and Those Darlins.

That’s it for now folks. See you next week.

CREAM-BDAY_FP_081809_M1WEBAs I mentioned earlier this week, the biggest event you should be concerned about this weekend is the Nashville Cream’s 3rd birthday bash at Mercy Lounge. The Features are headlining and will be playing mostly, if not all, new songs. Also playing are Kindercastle and The Billy Goats. I’ll be doing a photobooth, there will be lots of prizes to be won, free screen-printed show posters, and there will be a limited amount of free food to be had. All this for a a measly $5? How could you possibly say no? The thing I’m most excited about is hearing new Features songs. Props to Boss Construction for the posters.

Speaking of the Scene, Tracy Moore has a cover story in this week’s issue on Caitlin Rose, Tristen, and Those Darlins. It’s a great read and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy if you haven’t.

This isn’t related to the rest of the items in this post, but definitely worth mentioning- James Cameron’s new 3D sci-fi/fantasy film Avatar will hit theaters this December, and the first trailer was released through Apple yesterday. Go watch it in HD at Apple website. Your eyes will thank you.

In some much more depressing news, I was extremely saddened Wednesday to find out that the End’s doorman Stacy Fleeman is in the hospital on life support. He was found unresponsive, then put into a medically-induced coma which he then came out of, but apparently has little to no brain activity. Stacy is one of the good ones. He’s one of the kindest people I’ve met in Nashville and is a tireless supporter of the music scene. His label Spat! Records is just now starting to become financially successful and now this… it’s absolutely tragic. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. We should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Quick update on the near-Pavement-reunion last weekend: The Scene’s blog got even more national press- including Rolling Stone’s blog and Stereogum. Wooo!

Apparently Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice, which is owned by PepsiCo, is reverting to its old carton design. The new design unveiled in January resulted in a lot of emails and letters from consumers who didn’t like the new look. Thus, they decided to appease the disgruntled customers and go back to the classic design. I personally liked the new typeface, but I agree that the straw-in-orange image was classic, and central to their message of pure, unaltered juice, straight from the fruit. I say return the straw-orange image, but keep the new typeface… but that’s just me. Via NY Times.

Credit: Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald

Credit: Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald

The first fragments of the Texas fireball from last sunday have been found, proving to the doubters that it indeed was NOT fragments from the satellite collision. They’re hoping to find much larger fragments in the near future. The Arizona group of meteorite hunters estimate that the original meteor was about the size of a refrigerator or even a little bigger. It would have to be that big to be seen in the daytime and cause a sonic boom. Very cool!

The whole field of environmental science and protection took a major blow early this morning when NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the ocean near Antarctica. A shield intended to protect the 972-pound spacecraft failed to disengage about 3 minutes after lauch, and caused the overall assembly to fall short of orbit and crash back to earth. This satellite was intended to study CO2 levels in the atmosphere and better understand its natrual cycles. Sad, indeed.

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge Zooey Deschanel fan. In fact, she’s #1 on my celebrity crush list. Even though her upcoming movie with Jim Carrey Yes Man looks like nothing more than a re-working of his older film Liar Liar, I am still eager to see it. She offers her voice to some synthpop tracks for the film, and it’s… well… just listen. Let’s just say she needs to stick to quirky indie-folk. Her voice is beautiful no matter what, but it’s just not well-suited for synthesizers.

The Japanese space agency JAXA is planning to fly a paper airplane out of the International Space Station, to the earth. The planes will be made of a specially treated paper that can withstand extreme heat and water. Yes, even a little paper airplane will create significant heat upon re-entering the atmosphere. Remember that it’s being launched from the ISS, which is in orbit, meaning that it will be traveling at around 17,000 mph. If my knowledge of physics is correct, since it’s so light it will have less inertia, and thus slow down much faster than say, a spaceship or a meteor… so it shouldn’t have to withstand the heat for very long. My question is this- do they really expect it to be found? The vast majority of the planet is covered by water, so the chances are that it will land in the middle of the ocean and never seen again. Link via Kottke.org.

UPDATE: Apparently the launch has been scrubbed due to concerns that the planes might collide with a satellite or end up as space junk. Link. It was a cool idea!

In 1960 Joe Kittinger set records for highest jump (102,800 feet), fastest unpowered flight (he fell at 614 mph!), and several others. This guy is the definition of badass. I’m not sure about the speed, though, because if you listen during the video clip, the narrator says 400+ mph… but the caption says 614. Oh well. Badass nonetheless! Check out the video clip on LiveScience.

In Nashville music news- The Privates are apparently recording a new EP at Battletapes. This brings me great joy. The Privates don’t get to play much, or even record much, due to the fact that they’re essentially a “supergroup” and all of them (except Dave) are in other bands that tour, record, etc… way more than they do. I’m really interested to see how Jeremy’s production style will influence their sound. They’ve done everything in the past with Jason Bulluck over at Lake Fever Productions (not that that’s a bad thing at all!) so it’ll be nice to have a little change in their sound, production-wise. I leave you with this hilarious video from one of their recording sessions, via Nashville Cream.

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