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!

Mercy Lounge is arguably the best venue in Nashville in the 300-500 capacity range, and they’re celebrating their anniversary (as they do every year) by throwing some free shows! Just as in past years, they’ve invited a slew of local bands to play and secured sponsorships from some of your favorite brews.

Jan. 20th– How I Became the Bomb, Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, Ponychase, Kyle Andrews, Wild Cub (ft. Keegan Dewitt & members of Pico vs. Island Trees) and local funksters ReLapse will close it out.
Jan. 21st– Heypenny, Evan P. Donohue, The Nobility, Mayhem performing Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model, Escondido ft. Tyler James, and ReLapse will once again close the night out.

Both nights are FREE so arrive early in case things reach max capacity.

Everyone’s favorite East Nashville dive/hangout the 5 Spot suddenly has a new website! Who knew? It’s good, because they needed one. Myspace used to be the only place to find their listings (other than the Scene and MetroMix) and now that it’s going the way of the dinosaurs, they needed another online presence. (Via Out The Other on Twitter)

I was delighted to see that the trailer for The Fantastic Mr. Fox is now out. Visually it just looks wonderful (as all Wes Anderson films do), and with the voices of George Clooney, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and Meryl Streep? YES all the way around. (Via Yewknee Twitter) is hit or miss on their posts sometimes, but today they posted a blog about 10 extreme environments on Earth. Pretty interesting. They need to hire a copy editor.

Today’s a pretty slow news day, so that’s all I have for you. Weekend stuff coming tomorrow.

My coworker Jordan sent me a link to this amazing website today-

Just go. My favorite so far- “Today, I had just gotten over the flu and thought I was better. So me and my boyfriend decided to have sex. As I was about to orgasm, I puked all over his face. He was so disgusted that he ended up throwing up on me as well.”

You may have heard about the issues that some Nashville venues/nightclubs are facing with the new city sprinkler ordinance that went into effect about a year and a half ago. Well, luckily the ones still unable to comply have been granted an 18 month extension. Furthermore the whole thing might change altogether because the council’s codes committee is voting on a bill that looks to shift Nashville buildings to an International Fire Code, which would dissolve the retroactive fire sprinkler requirement. Read more in the NewsChannel5 article.

In other local biz news, we might be getting wine in our grocery stores soon! This is something for which I’ve been hoping for a long time. I remember as a teenager growing up only minutes from the VA state line, my mom would take me with her on wine trips to grocery stores in VA because it was much cheaper than liqour stores in TN. Part of that was that VA has a lower alcohol tax than TN (because TN has no income tax) but still, grocery stores will likely have lower prices than wine stores. There’s a flip side to this, however…. Small local wine shops may suffer due to the price war induced by bigger chains such as Kroger, which will inevitably have much lower prices due to their size. My friend Courtney Wilder works at an awesome small wine shop in east Nashville called Woodland Wine Merchant. I’ll be interested to hear her opinion on this. I know that I will not stop shopping at wine stores such as hers for quality wine because I would rather buy from a small local store where the people who work there are actual wine experts. But your average Joe probably doesn’t share that sentiment.

Enrique Aguirre/Getty Images

Enrique Aguirre/Getty Images

Scientists in Spain have successfully cloned a species of ibex that went extinct in 2000. The Pyrenean ibex died out due mainly to overhunting. However, the calf died only minutes after birth. The team plans to try again in a year or so. This is amazing and scary all at the same time. We are NOT close to creating a real-life Jurassic Park, however. In order to clone something that’s extinct, you have to grow the embryo in some sort of currently living creature. We don’t have anything living right now that is a close enough analog to a dinsaur for that to work. Maybe we’ll find a way around that problem one day, but not anytime soon.