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. 

UPDATE: Tristen made her goal not long after I posted this, but you should still buy the 7″ when it comes out!
You’ve probably already seen this in a few other places, but it’s a cool thing that deserves repeating:

Nashville’s budding startlet Tristen loves Christmas, so she recorded her own version of 3 of her favorite Christmas songs and needs your help to put it out on vinyl. As awesome as vinyl is, it’s really damned expensive to produce, so many lesser-know bands/artists have a hard time coming up with the dough for the up-front costs. So Tristen has started a Kickstarter campaign, and is asking for your help in making this Christmas 7″ a reality. Check it out, and help her out. She’s a rad gal and is one of the best local acts in the game right now, so let’s make this thing happen, eh? Watch the video below and click here to donate.


Wow, this weekend has a lot to offer in the way of good music to see. That’s partially because a lot of bands are gearing up to head to Austin next week for SXSW, but hey, we’ll take it. Here’s a quick rundown:


The Non-Commissioned Officers album release show w/ Cortney Tidwell and Kyle Andrews @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $12 to get CD, $7 w/out CD. Stream their entire new album on their facebook page.

JEFF the Brotherhood w/ King Tuff and Diarrhea Planet @ The Other Basement. $5 all ages, 8pm. For a free King Tuff mp3, check out Nashville’s Dead.

The Clutters, Slick, Dirtbot, the Black Faces @ the 5 Spot, 9pm $5.


Duh. Come to La Paz for La Paz Late Night presents: ROBO BOOGIE. As I said yesterday, it’s $2 w/ robot outfit, $3 w/out, and Potamus, Vitalic Noise & I will be spinning 80s and other robo-tastic jams all night.


Space Capone w/ Floorwalkers @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm, $10

A few other news tidbits in the music world:

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart now have their Flood-produced, Smashing Pumpkins-esque new album Belong streaming at their website. I haven’t listened to it yet as I’m glued to the news at the moment, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Tristen’s video for the song “Baby Drugs” debuted on Rolling Stone yesterday. Seriously, go watch it. (Via Nashville Cream)

Some awesomeness to drop on you today:

  • Those Darlins’ new 7″ “Be Your Bro” drops today. The B-side is “Let U Down” and believe me when I say that these are two great songs. I joined them back in September of last year for a week-long segment of their east coast tour, and remember these songs well. I’ve yet to hear any of the recorded versions of these songs, so it’ll be interesting to hear what they sound like on vinyl. Their second full-length LP drops on March 29th. Both releases are on their own label Oh Wow Dang. Their website also had a bit of a makeover, so I recommend checking it out.
  • Tristen’s new album Charlatans at the Garden Gate got a pretty glowing review from the A.V. Club. The album is available today digitally, but the physical release has been pushed back to 2/15 due to “a production delay and bad weather early this month in the south east” according to Facebook.
  • Jensen Sportag are basically going to rule 2011. They rescued last week’s “Vital” at Mai by filling in for the snowed-into NYC Bit Funk, DJing a slew of new jams from their upcoming EP Pure Wet, which will be released via Cascine. Head over to Vitalic Noise to stream the track “Mapquest” and watch the video for “Everything Good.” Seriously, DO IT. There is really only one way to describe this: SEXY. Basically this is the sexiest thing to come out of Nashville in… forever? I’m talking classy sexy here, not slutty sexy. I also hear that JS is working on a new live setup, incorporating a 3rd member on keys, and possibly even more. No word on when we can catch a glimpse of this live arrangement locally, but I’m sure there will be opportunities, and I’ll be sure to post as soon as I find out.

Did I really just mention the rough-edged wild ones known as Those Darlins in the same post as the smooth, sexy sounds of Jensen Sportag? Why yes, I did. That is a shining example of the wide diversity of great music coming out of this non-country scene in Nashville. Keep it comin’ y’all.

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

The official national “blow shit up” holiday weekend is about to commence, and I’m sure you’ve already made plans of how/when/where you’re going to blow shit up. So here’s a list of good shows to attend when you’re not blowing shit up this weekend:

TONIGHT- I’ll be at the Comfies EP release show at the End, which also features Tristen and probably another band, but that band hasn’t been listed anywhere that I can find. Regardless, this will be a good show.
Also if you’re in Murfreesboro tonight, Chris Freeman is back in town for the summer and is playing a show at Liquid Smoke, while just down the block Henry Daggs is playing at Wallstreet. You could probably dash back & forth if you really wanted to…

SATURDAY- Break out your old flannel and ripped jeans from high school and wear them to My So-Called Band: the Ultimate 90’s Experience at Mercy Lounge. Or check out Henry Rollins at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. Or check out Dave Cloud, Diet Blood, Marj!, Square People, and Deluxin’ at Open Lot.

For the 4th, there’s really no excuse to not be at Mercy Lounge for the Nashville Cream/Vienna Beef sponsored “National Hot Dog Month Kickoff Party.” I’ll be doing a photobooth, you can watch the always-awesome downtown fireworks from Mercy’s kickass balcony, AND be treated to the sounds of Ghostfinger, Heartbeater, Alcohol Stuntband, and the Armed Forces, all MC-ed by Chris Crofton. And one more thing- everyone gets a free hot dog. All this for the patriotic price of $5. ($8 if you’re 18-20.) Doors open at 7pm so be sure to get there early, because everyone will be elbowing for a good spot to watch the fireworks from on the patio, and the fireworks generally start around 9 or 930pm. The bands will start immediately after the fireworks.

Last but not least, I must mention this “WTF” moment… since I posted a bunch “WTFs” yesterday. Here’s a video from Beck’s Record Club, featuring Beck, Thurston Moore, and Tortoise covering Yanni. YES, YANNI. Yanni’s Live at the Acropolis to be exact. I’m speechless. (Via You Ain’t No Picasso)

Photo by Steve Cross, with editing by Jeremy Ferguson and Tristen

Nashville own indie singer/songwriter darling Tristen is featured today on Paste’s “Best of What’s Next.” Check it out here. Tristen has been doing quite a bit of touring recently as a solo act accompanied by cellist/vocalist Larissa Maestro. Her debut album will be out soon. She’s releasing it herself last I heard. Way to go Tristen!

The Polaroid film format & camera aren’t quite dead yet. As we all know, the film production was abandoned, but was recently revived again. Now a new line of re-designed cameras will be hitting the market later this year. Thank GOD. This will still be a niche market, but nostalgia is becoming more and more of a hot commodity, so I see no reason why this Polaroid resurgence won’t continue. (Via Gorilla vs Bear)

Also of photographic interest- American Pixels is a project wherein Joerg Colberg processes his photographs with a weird compression algorithm called ajpeg that doesn’t focus on preserving image quality, but on creating these rather surreal images. (Via