Promised Land. Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

A random assortment of good local music and beer news for you Thursday afternoon!

  • Promised Land is a new local “supergroup” comprised of Joey Scala (Denny & The Jets, Turkeys, PUJOL), Sean “To the Wall” Thompson (Nikki Lane, PUJOL), Richard Alessio, Luke Schneider (Cortney Tidwell, Lylas), and Evan Scala. The best way I can describe them is if The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, and The Carter Family all had a big threesome together. I caught them live a couple months ago on the back porch of Nikki Lane’s house, and thoroughly enjoyed their boozy, twangy set. With all the members heavily involved in other projects, I didn’t know just how serious Promised Land would be, or how soon they’d be releasing material. Thankfully this seems to be more than just an whim side project. They just released their debut EP Stoned Eagle on bandcamp, so go over and check it out! Also, as The Scene reported, the ‘Land opened for Seasick Steve at Third Man Records a while back. The show was recorded and will be released as a 45 early next year.
  • New venue alert: A new intimate singer/songwriter coffeeshop/cafe has opened on music row. Benton’s Cafe is owned by veteran songwriter Benton Stokes and will give up-and-coming songwriters a chance to perform in an intimate setting right in the heart of Nashville’s music industry hub. Check out their facebook and twitter for more info.
  • I was delighted to see the news that Yazoo and Calfkiller, two of my favorite TN craft breweries, have joined forces for a special collaborative beer! The brew is called The Beacon is an official “Tennessee High-Tax Ale.” This style was conjured up by the owners of Yazoo and Calfkiller to help bring attention to the fact that Tennessee has the highest beer tax in whole nation, which is structured to favor high-volume commercial beer brands over smaller craft breweries. This is one reason TN has a depressing lack of craft breweries. But with the formation of the TN Craft Brewer’s Guild, hopefully that will all change sooner rather than later. Check out the Yazoo blog for full details on the beer itself and how to get your hands on it!

Wow. I’ve only been doing this for about a month and I’m already getting requests from a promotions company to review an album. Look for some mp3’s and my take on the new local band Blue Eyed Blacks, and their first album “Black Eyed Soul” soon.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a huge sci fi nerd, and that I’ve been an avid fan of both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis for many years now. SG-1 was the longest running sci fi television series ever, lasting a whopping 10 years. They started Atlantis as a spinoff in 2005, and even had some interesting interplay between the two series while they overlapped. While I was sad to see SG-1 come to an end in 2007, I knew it was time, and quite frankly, the new SG-1 team just wasn’t quite the same without Richard Dean Anderson’s character, Colonel Jack O’Neil. I was heartbroken initially upon hearing that this current season of Atlantis will be its last, which prompted me to do a little research as to the reasoning for this, and in the process I discovered that executive producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper are up to something new: another spinoff series called Stargate Universe. There’s not much info about it yet, but according to the press release, it will be set on a ship rather than earth or a remote base, and the crew will be a group of earth explorers who get stuck on this ship and have to fend for themselves as the ship carries out its unalterable mission of exploring the entire universe. Yes, not just one galaxy… the whole universe. I’m cautiously excited about this new direction for the franchise. I really hope the writers keep the same level of character development of the other two and keep using the layers and layers of mythology developed in the SG-1 series. Read the full press release to get the details if you’re interested.

I’m not a sports fanatic by any means, but I have been following my hometown team, the Tennessee Titans, for several years now, and of course I’m quite happy to see them leading the NFL at 10-0. Their veteran quarterback Kerry Collins apparently has an unlikely side-hobby: songwriting. Only in Nashville.

And now for some debunking. I came across this video on Oddee.com and couldn’t resist posting it because of the astonishing absurdity.

Because the show on which this guy Ramana is performing is in Dutch I really don’t know how seriously they’re taking him, but how can anyone not see that big wooden post (and base) to which he’s attached? Are people completely blind?!?!? I have much respect for the needle and thread trick he does, and for any tricks that require real skill and years of practice. I also think his performance art installations of hanging on the sides of buildings are interesting in a purely artistic sense, but this particular levitation stunt is just silly. “Illusions” that are obviously the result of specialized props just piss me off.

Random interesting tidbit: Scientists have created microscopic Obamas out of carbon nanotubes.