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Ok, first of all, let’s be really proud of Nashville’s own Caitlin Rose, who got a spot on NME’s  “The Cool List 2010.” Granted, she’s way down at #73, but that’s 2 spots above Rivers Cuomo, who came in dead last! So, way to go, Caitlin! It’s safe to say you’re officially a star in the UK. But sadly the way I found out about this was through my Hipster Runoff RSS feed. In this post from yesterday afternoon he makes fun of the NME cool list and describes Caitlin as “sounds like a girl who sad behind u in Algebra class who got preggers by senior year.” At first glance it’s a little insulting, but seriously, this is Hipster Runoff we’re talking about here. It’s kind of an honor to be made fun of by Carles. And if you take anything on that blog seriously you’re missing the point altogether. ❤ U Caitlin. U rule forevs.

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Caitlin Rose is quickly becoming a well-known name not only in the US, but also in the UK. In fact, her debut album Own Side Now is actually hitting shelves over there (on Aug. 9th via Names Records) before it comes out stateside. As of right now I haven’t heard any specific details on the US release, but it will no doubt be on Theory 8. This girl is headed for the stars and I have no doubt she will eventually make a sizeable impact on both country and indie music. I say that because she has purposely beaten her own path into the jungle that is the music industry, and avoided anything and everything to do with Nashville’s music row, home of modern pop-country. I must lay down a disclaimer that I’ve known Caitlin for a good 2 years now, and know about her for at least 4, if memory serves. My first encounter with her was when she tagged along with Joel J. Dahl (of De Novo Dahl) to perform with him on my radio show Fascination Street on 88.3 WMTS (MTSU’s college station). She went under the name “Save Macaulay” at that time, and played early versions of “One Speed Confessional” and “Shotgun Wedding.” (I think) To remember that and then listen to this album is pretty overwhelming. It’s not the comparison of then to now that overwhelms me, but that her performance then was nothing short of awesome, and she was only about 17 at the time! Furthermore, the track “Song for Rabbits” on the new album was actually written when she was 16!

Enough silliness. This album does her songs a lot of justice. The production plants her new “full band” sound firmly in that alt-country, indie-folk gray area. I think that’s right where she needs to be, at least for now, and it seems to be where she’s comfortable. She selected a group of session players to fill out the songs with strings, pedal steel, etc… and they nailed it. The album was recorded and produced by Mark Nevers (of Lambchop), who’s done studio work with the likes of Clem Snide, Silver Jews, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. It was a perfect match of style, and with so many of Caitlin’s main influences being 70’s era Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Loretta Lynn, etc… his vintage analog recording gear created some very satiating sounds that fit her songs perfectly. I only have a digital copy, but I can’t wait to give this thing a listen on vinyl. Caitlin’s voice and amazing storytelling ability still remains the focus of the album, even though it’s filled with expansive instrumental performances, which is a testament to Nevers’ production skills. The placement of harmonies and guest vocals always complements the melodic aspects of the songs without stepping on the story being told. If there’s anything I could wish for on the next album, it would be to maybe hear her cut loose and really belt it out a little more on the rockin’ songs like “Shanghai Cigarettes.” But that’s just me forcing myself to be critical and nit-picky. This is a damn fine record by a girl who’s got more talent in her little finger than most of us have in our whole body. Grab the track “Sinful Wishing Well” from the new album below.

Caitlin Rose-Sinful Wishing Well

And now watch this video of an early demo of “Shanghai Cigarettes.” Then compare it to the album version when you buy it, and prepare to have your mind blown.

*FYI- I’m about to be in NYC for 5 days, so don’t expect any posting before next Wednesday.*

Thanks to the keen eyes of We Own This Town, we now have a very clear picture of the relationship between the Kings of Leon and The Features: nothin’ but love. Along with false rumors of Kings of Leon opening for The Features at their Feb. 5th show at Exit/In, I also heard about several UK music journalists on the guest list. The reason for that is evident in this NME article which features an interview with Caleb Followill and Matt Pelham at Nashville bar Loser’s. While I may not love KOL’s music nearly as much as The Features’, I must say I’m very happy to see the KOL appreciate Pelham & Co.’s amazing talent as much as they do, and I think The Features just might be one of luckiest bands in America. Click the pic to access a bigger version:

From SXSW 2009

If you’re facebook friends with her or follow her on twitter, you probably already know that the amazing Caitlin Rose will be heading to the UK next week for a short tour. Regardless, it deserves a mention! She also signed a deal with UK label Names Records to release her Dead Flowers EP on limited edition 10″ vinyl. Way to go girl! Catch her last US appearance before crossing the pond this Wed. night at Exit/In opening for the legendary Charlie Louvin, along with the Dex Romweber Trio. (Via Theory 8 Records)

Netflix will begin streaming a lot more indie films today thanks to a new deal with IFC. Netflix will get 53 films that will be available to “stream online to whichever platform you like.” I’m starting to like Netflix more and more…. (Via FluxRad)

Now allow this to brighten up your day:

Via Yewknee’d

Image Via Here On The Road

The small but very active local music collective known as Holly House recently participated in a project with American Songwriter Magazine called “On My Deathbed.” The gear contest asks a band or artist to pick the last song they’d want to hear if they were on their deathbed. Morbid, I know… but the results are pretty phenomenal. Each band/artist learned the song they chose and recorded them in Eli Beaird’s basement in a 7 hour session. Please head over the HH website and grab these free tracks. You won’t regret it. And The Relatives did Townes Van Zandt’s Be Here to Love Me, Caitlin Rose did Jimmie Davis’ You Are My Sunshine, Shoot The Mountain did Neutral Milk Hotel’s In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, Eureka Gold did The Kinks’ I Go to Sleep, and Tristen did Skeeter Davis’ On and On and On.

If you know me, then you know that Weezer basically saved my life as a teenager. I learned to play guitar by learning most of Blue and Pinkerton. Nerds everywhere owe their recent rise in popularity to Rivers Cuomo. Everyone also knows that everything they’ve done since Pinkerton has been an uncontrollable downward spiral. Amidst the ridiculous album cover and the even more ridiculous collaborations, their new album Raditude has some respectable songs in its tracklist. If Weezer lost 100 points with me over the past 4 albums, they’ve gained about 10 of them back with this album…. perhaps it’s the fact that they utilized the skills of a few outside songwriters. Oddly enough, the lead single (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To is actually my favorite track. I found the A.V. Club’s review to agree almost 100% with my sentiments about the album.

You’ve probably already read about Heypenny’s Q&A session with the UK music magazine Q at the Nashville Cream by now (if not, check it out now), but I just want to point out how awesome it is that they talked so highly of our non-country music scene. Ben Elkins really went out of his way to cram as much praise as he could into the space he had, and I think that’s totally rad. I’ll be totally honest, they aren’t my favorite local band, but they’re damn good at what they do and they’re also damn good at being a positive force in a scene that can sometimes seem so snarky and apathetic that it may just self-implode. When I read stuff like this, I’m re-assured that’s never going to happen.

I guess the biggest news today is that the reunited Blur finally played some shows recently in the UK, and the announcement that 3 members of New Order have joined with Blur bassist Alex James to form a new band called Bad Lieutenant. More on that story at Brooklyn Vegan.

I’m a little late in posting about this, but if you’re a Nashville band (or actually, any band, really) you can now submit to play the 4th annual Next Big Nashville festival/conference being held this October 7-11. This year’s festival is now open to any band, from any city, though according to their blog, a Nashville connection does help:

“While NBN is obviously focused on shining a spotlight on artists from the area, our submission process is open to artists from anywhere (that means you Iceland!). A Nashville connection certainly helps, but our event is about a celebration of the creative center that is Music City, and much like the party our Austin friends throw every year in March, everyone is invited.”

I’m glad they ditched the rip-off scheme that is Sonicbids in favor of this submission form through American Songspace. I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s festival!

Right off the heels of his big success with The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky is working on a film adaptation The Black Swan. While I’m unfamiliar with this book, the story sounds intriguing and the idea of Aronofsky working with Natalie Portman makes it a must-see in my opinion. Via Kottke.

NASA had to postpone the launch of Endeavour until July 11 at the earliest. The same hydrogen leak popped up again as they were filling the external tank for launch this morning.

New comet/Fairey arrested

February 9, 2009

Science first today, people.

A new comet has been discovered and will be visible at least with binoculars and maybe even the naked eye for people in rural areas over the next few weeks. It was discovered by a 19 year-old student named Quanzhi Ye at the Lulin Observatory in Nantou, Taiwan on July 11, 2007. Be on the lookout for it over the next few weeks. I’m sure Universe Today or Bad Astronomy will post something about the exact location in the night sky, and when they do I’ll be sure to post it here. Via Live Science.

Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch has been pushed back again, to no earlier than Feb. 22nd. Engineers are still testing those new hydrogen flow valves to make sure they’re safe.

Do you own a cat? Do you know if it’s plotting to kill you in your sleep? Here’s a quick quiz to find out…

Shepard Fairey has been arrested for tagging property with graffiti. He was on his way to a kickoff event for his first solo exhibition. Shitty timing!

Did you you know the grammys were this past weekend? Yeah, me niether. I actually did know, I just forgot about them. They seem to be pretty forgettable these days. Brooklynvegan has a listing of all the awards.

Various people in London decided to use the opportunity nature gave them in the form of recent snowfall to make a bunch of giant snow-penises around town. Reminds me of a few years ago when Nashville got a few inches of snow and some Vandy kids made several snow phalli around campus. The final button in the dailogue box to post a photo on this blog is “insert into post.” Huh… huh huh…. Via Vice Magazine blog. (I promise I’m not really this immature…)

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