Great news for the tragically hip in Nashville: Morrissey has rescheduled his Ryman appearance for March 29th! According to the Ryman’s website, all original tickets for the canceled Jan. 29th date will be honored. Lauren and I were devastated when the Jan. 29th show was canceled due to Moz’s bleeding ulcer. Thank goodness he’s back in good health, though! We’d heard rumors that the tour would be rescheduled for the summer with Patti Smith opening… but I guess one could only dream of being so lucky as to witness such an amazing bill…

caitlinrose200x200In case you’ve been under a rock recently, Caitlin Rose has a brand new album ready to drop March 5th. I’ve heard nothing but good, good, and more good about it. And this new song¬†“No One To Call” makes me even more excited about this album than the last teaser track “I Was Cruel.” Stream it below and pre-order the vinyl here and receive a free digital copy of the album on March 1st. DO IT.



Those Darlins are returning to the spotlight with their first new song since founding member Kelley Anderson left the group. Jessi Darlin sings lead on the new track, which has a strong, driving backbeat with tons of hand claps a gang vocals. The single is available digitally now on iTunes, and the split 7″ with Heavy Cream will only be available on vinyl at their upcoming tour dates:

10-06 Dallas, TX – Bryan Street Tavern’s Anniversary %
10-07 Austin, TX – The Mohawk:Indoors^¬†*Summer’s Dead Tour begins*
10-25 Washington, DC – DC9*
10-26 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands Gallery*
10-27 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s*#
10-28 Allston, MA – Great Scott*
10-30 Toronto, ON – The Garrison*
10-31 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern*@
11-01 Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern*
11-02 Grinnell, IA – Grinnell College: Gardner Lounge*
11-03 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry*
11-06 Seattle, WA – Sunset*
11-07 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios*
11-09 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Shop*+
11-10 West Hollywood, CA – Troubador*+
11-11 San Diego, CA – Soda Shop*
11-13 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge*
* w/ Heavy Cream
^ w/Bobby Jealousy
# w/Slutever
@ w/The Very Knees
+ w/Pangea
% w/Turbo Fruits, White Mystery, and Royal Bangs

Check out the new track “Summer’s Dead” below:

To those of us immersed in the Nashville local rock scene, it seems almost like a catharsis for Tristen’s debut album Charlatans at the Garden Gate to finally be released. There’s been talk around town of her album for a good two years, ever since she started working on it with Jeremy Ferguson at Battletapes. I worked with her on a promo photo shoot in October of 2009 during which one thing was very clear- she is the type of person who won’t release her art to the masses until she’s absolutely sure it’s perfect. That’s why this album took 2 years to make, but the result was well worth the wait. She and Jeremy managed to find just the right guest musicians and instrumentation to fit the songs. Good production is hard to describe, but the best I can do is say that when you hear a certain guitar part or tone, or certain keyboard sound, you just know that it’s RIGHT. You think to yourself, “that song needed to sound that way.” That’s what I think after listening to virtually every song on this record. Possibly the best example of this is the closing track “Save Raina.” The subject matter of her songs is mostly serious and sometimes rather dark, but the melodies and song structure never allow the songs to become downright depressing, just earnest. There’s always some degree of catchiness as well- these songs will stick in your head; not a single one is forgettable. Her voice is really the overwhelming factor, though. Just the right amount of cracks and warbles are left in so that she sounds incredibly human; incredibly real. This girl has got it all- the songwriting chops, the voice, the looks, and the band. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this album when it hits shelves on Feb. 1st via American Myth Recordings. She’s currently on tour in support of the album, so check her myspace to see if she’s coming to your town. You can order a copy of the album through her main website, or check your local record store.

MP3: Tristen-Baby Drugs

Photo by Rachel Briggs

Having a day job prevents me from being timely on these sort of things sometimes, so the rest of the internet has probably already told you that Those Darlins released info yesterday about their next album titled Screws Get Loose, set for a March 29, 2011 release. Back in September when I spent roughly a week on the road with them as part of a photo documentary project, I got to hear most of the new songs played live every night, and I must say I’m very eager to hear how they sound recorded. There’s definitely a shift towards more bluesy, boosey, Stonesy-style songwriting. As mentioned in the press release, drummer Linwood Regensburg contributed to the songwriting this time around, and I’ve also heard he even sings lead on one of the tracks. It’s still Those Darlins through and through, but it seems they’ve shed some of the Carter Family influences for something a little more aggressive and hard-nosed. Indeed, when you tour as much as they have over the past couple of years, it’s going to show in your songs.

In other news, I invite you to experience all of Billy Joel’s greatest hits played at once:

(Via Clusterflock)

Eating lunch with the Darlins in the Bronx.

So I’m back! It was a blast and I’d do it all again in heartbeat. I don’t have time to give a full rundown, but quite possibly the most memorable moment was realizing that a tornado was hitting Brooklyn while Those Darlins were soundchecking in Bowery Ballroom. Here’s the official weather report from the NWS. Needless to say, tornadoes are pretty rare in NYC. Thankfully we were in Manhattan while all this was happening. Those Darlins have some great new songs on their new record, and their setlist for this tour is mostly those new songs, peppered with the favs from their debut, and the free single “Nightjogger” which you can download at the Nashville Cream. Basically they’ve taken on a bit more of a pure rock & roll character, and drummer “Sheriff” Linwood Regansburg has taken on a much more prominent role in the songwriting, and even sings on one of the new songs, though they’re not yet playing that song live. Stay tuned for more on them and more on the results of my photo documentary project.

Meanwhile, here are some awesome things I came across while catching up on all my RSS feeds:

Vaccines absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, do NOT cause autism. A new study explored every possible way that thimerosal containing vaccines (TCVs) could be linked to autism and there was none. Absolutely no connection whatsoever; the same findings as the many other studies that have been done to investigate the claims of the anti-vax crowd. In fact, the result hinted that the administration of TCVs between birth and 7 months may actually reduce the risk of autism. It’s very simple, get your kids vaccinated! If you don’t, you are a threat to public health. Vaccines are one of mankind’s greatest scientific breakthroughs and have saved countless lives. There will always be a miniscule (and utterly negligible) risk of a bizarre allergic reaction or other complication, as there is with any medication or vaccine, but that risk is far, far, FAR outweighed by the benefits. And those risks have now been proven once and for all NOT to include autism.

A pair of astronomers have made an official prediction that the discovery of the first truly earth-like exoplanet will happen in less than a year– May of 2011. They used a well-known methodology called Scientometrics to make this prediction. I’d venture to say that to me, nothing in the field of astronomy, or even science in general, is more exciting than the very likely possibility of life on other planets. The discovery of the first true earth twin is a major step in that path. I really hope this prediction comes true.

Five awesome facts about NASA’s next robotic mission to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory (a.k.a. Curiosity) which will launch in late 2011.

23 amazing photographs from the 1940s and 50s of nuclear bomb tests conducted by the US Military. This New York Times photos series is utterly fascinating, mainly because of images 5 through 7. Most of us have seen plenty of images of the mushroom clouds created by nuclear blasts, but those 3 images are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. They were taken with a super high-speed camera and literally captured the blast at the very instant the explosion began. If I saw this image out of context I would probably think it was a microscope image of some sort of virus. The amazing irony here is that both a virus and an atomic bomb are incredibly destructive, yet in such completely different ways.

The actual scale of the observable universe, from the smallest possible thing the largest possible thing, is utterly impossible for the human mind to comprehend. Mathematicians came up with the concept of “orders of magnitude” to help with this, but I say it’s still impossible for any human to really grasp. But this fun little interactive Flash animation is pretty cool way of displaying the concept. (Via Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Twitter)

First, I must point you to the official Next BIG Nashville schedule. It’s up, and it will probably change, but it’s there so start planning which sacrifices to make. Planning your schedule at these types of music festivals is always a delicate balance between seeing people you know and like, and branching out to see some new acts you might not get to see otherwise.

Secondly, I have some exciting news that some people know about, but others don’t. I will be doing a photo documentary project with Those Darlins next week; joining them on a week-long leg of their tour with Strange Boys and Gentleman Jesse & His Men. I got the idea after the death of famous rock photographer Jim Marshall last year. News of his death got me thinking about his photographs, and how a lot of the truly iconic shots are very casual, candid, off-beat images taken off the stage. I thought about how I could do more of that type of behind-the-scenes work (not that my images will ever be as iconic as Marshall’s shots of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and the like), and I thought of Those Darlins. I’ve known them for years, they’re some of the best people I know, they have room in their van, and after some discussions with their awesome manager John “JT” Turner, this idea is now becoming a reality. They’re what most would consider a mid-level act, but they’re headed for higher places and I think it’s the right time to do this type of project with a band like them. Those Darlins know how to party, and I think the results of this little experiment will be interesting. So, if you’re in Chapel Hill, D.C., New York, Cambridge, or Brooklyn, I hope to see you at one of the shows! Obviously, I may not be posting much next week…

My other news is simply that Miami Horror is awesome and you should go buy their album now. Seriously, I’ve been seeing mp3’s from these guys popping up in the blogosphere for a few months and I kept thinking “oh, this is an awesome track… nice…” But just yesterday I saw my friend Joseph’s review of their debut album on his blog Nashville Nights and it finally clicked in my head that these guys were different than your average “3 or 4 singles a year” DJs/producers. I urge you to checkout the quality interview Joseph did with them as well… I totally agree with his sentiment that it’s hard to find a good, quality dance floor album these days. There really are no sleepers or filler on this album- pure quality all the way through. Honestly this material is exactly what I personally want out of electronic/dance music: it’s got a great disco-ey, funky groove to it, smooth bass lines, and most of all the songs are songs, not just a bunch of loops layered together that build and fade (via trancewave). If you like Cut Copy, AIR, or Neon Indian, you will love this record. This is the best thing to come out of Australia since Silverchair. J/K J/K J/K

Miami Horror-I Look To You (Ft. Kimbra)

Oh, and the link to buy the album goes to Amazon. Fuck iTunes and their non-mp3/non-DJable formats. And while I’m at it, fuck their new ugly skin/layout for iTunes 10, too.

If you’re a music fan at all you’d be silly not to attend some of the National Record Store Day events happening this weekend. Grimey’s, The Groove, Great Escape, and Third Man Records are all participating in some way. Grimey’s will be doing their usual outdoor record sale in their back parking lot, accompanied by a lineup of several great live acts. The Groove will host a sale and in-store performances, one of which is the amazing Emylou Harris. Great Escape is having a sale, and Third Man Records will feature a performance by the “Racontwoers,” which is two members of the Raconteurs coming together to play some stripped-down version of their songs… which two I don’t know. For a more detailed rundown of what’s going on, check out Nashvillest or the Scene. There are also tons of special releases from artists that support RSD, most of them 7″ vinyl. Check out the full list on the official RSD website. Over the last 3 years or so, this event has exploded. I remember just casually stopping by Grimey’s a few years ago, flipping through some records, hearing some bands, chillin’… but now it’s an ordeal that must be planned out because each store’s event will almost surely be packed-out, parking can be a pain, and you may not get to see the acts you want to unless you get there early. So if there’s an artist you absolutely must-see, you should get there at least an hour or so early.

Some other random tidbits I’ve come across:

Caitlin Rose was just confirmed for the End of the Road festival this Sept. in the UK. She also has a small UK tour scheduled for the spring/summer, and will be competing in the Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th this coming Monday at Mercy Lounge. (Via Hartley)

Natural Child got some blog love from Brooklyn Vegan. They’re playing a few shows in NYC this weekend, which is part of a bigger tour they’re currently on. They’ll also be hitting the road in June with labelmates JEFF the Brotherhood. You can also snag their track “Dogbite” from the post.

Makeup & Vanity Set released a new track called “Night Visions” to the masses via Bandcamp earlier this week. All you gotta do is give him your email address. I promise he won’t do anything bad with it.

I’ll leave you with this very…. homo-erotic… cover art from the new Scissor Sisters album Night Work, which comes out 6/29. Seriously though, would expect anything less from the Scissor Sisters?

Have a great weekend!