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Before I get to the show listings, I had to post this cool promo video for the upcoming QDProm at Mercy Lounge Feb. 16th. I’ve been doing photobooths at the monthly QDP parties for a few months now, and they made that video using the photos from the December edition. What is QDProm? It’s QDP, but bigger, with live bands, slow dancing, party favors, the regular QDP DJs, photobooth, and much more. Get your tickets now at www.tinyurl.com/qdprom and follow them on facebook and twitter for updates.

Here’s what sounds good to me this weekend in Nashville, show-wise.

FRIDAY:

Purity Ring w/ Young Magic @ Cannery Ballroom. 9pm $15 adv/$20 DOS

Alanna Royale CD release w/ Maureen Murphy, Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes, and Golden Spurs @ The Basement. 9pm $7 21+

SATURDAY:

Yo La Tengo (performing two full sets) @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $20

Boom Bap 5th Anniversary ft. DJ Nu-Mark @ the 5 Spot. 9pm $10

Derek Hoke, Denny & The Jets, and Ranch Ghost @ The Stone Fox. 9pm $7

Pencillin Baby, Sexx, Rales, and Pocono @ Springwater. 10pm $5 21+

John Spencer Blues Explosion w/ Cheap Time and The Jam Messengers @ Exit/In. 9pm $15 adv/$18 DOS

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It’s not every day you see a Grammy-nominated musician play a sweaty set of throaty, in-your-face rock ‘n roll jams at a tiny hot wing joint, but that’s just what happened Saturday night here in Nashville. Singer Brittany Howard of the Grammy-nominated Alabama Shakes fronted a Nashville supergroup called Thunderbitch, featuring members of Fly Golden Eagle and Clear Plastic Masks, last Saturday night at East Nashville hot chicken joint Ghot Wingz. I was there snapping photos of this bizarre show, all of which can be seen over at the Cream, along with The Spin’s more thorough review of the happenings. In short, I had to mention it because it’s one of those shows that will go down in history, and I’m proud that it happened in the music town I call home!

In other news, though NASA’s Johnson Space Center Students create fun promotional videos for NASA every year, this year’s is quite impressive. Behold “NASA Johnson Style,” their parody of “Gangnam Style.” :

Curiosity's amazing self-portrait from a few weeks ago. Credit: NASA/JPL

Curiosity’s amazing self-portrait from a few weeks ago. Credit: NASA/JPL

It’s been a very crazy week, and I know this may be old news already for some of you, but I had to post about NASA’s announcement on the Curiosity mission findings that caused such an uproar on the internet a few weeks back. For a detailed explanation of what was found and what it means, check out this article on Universe Today. In short, this was the first time all of Curiosity’s instruments had been used in concert together, and the consistency of the results was exciting. It pointed to organic compounds in the Martian soil, but they can’t say for sure that the Carbon in those compounds is of Martian origin. First they have to determine if the Carbon is actually from Mars, and not a contaminant from earth air trapped in the instruments, then they have to determine whether the Carbon is from a biological or non-biological source. There are lots of possibilities that must be ruled out before we will know for sure what’s in the soil, and where it came from. At the announcement, Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger is quoted as saying, “We’re doing science at the speed of science. But we live in a world that’s sort of at the pace of Instagrams. The enthusiasm that we had, that I had, that our whole team has about what’s going on here, I think it was just misunderstood.” That was after he was questioned about the wild speculation that resulted from his comments in an NPR story about a possible “Earth-shaking” discovery by Curiosity. I just love that a NASA scientist compared the speed of science to the “pace of Instagrams.” Instagram and Science! In the same sentence! That must mean science is hip, right? RIGHT?

In other NASA-related news, it was announced on Tuesday that NASA will build and launch in 2020 another Mars rover very similar to Curiosity. While that may not be the most exciting thing to hear, it shows that NASA is building confidence in its abilities to do mind-blowing things like land a nuclear-powered, car-sized roving science lab on another planet with a rocket-powered sky crane. The more we learn about Mars, the closer we get to putting a man there. Who knows, maybe a prime objective of this new mission will be to actually look for signs of past or current life. No mission to Mars yet has actually had that as an objective. For more on this new mission read this article on New Scientist.

While these next two items aren’t necessarily science-y, they are quite awesome:

This video clip shows some of the amazing footage from Felix Baumgartner’s chest and head cameras during his successful supersonic skydive attempt Sunday. I’m sure you’ve heard most of this by now, but the preliminary numbers are 9 minutes & 3 seconds jump to landing, top speed of 833.9 mph or Mach 1.24, jump height of 128,100 feet, and freefall time of 4 minutes & 20 seconds. He broke all the records previously owned by Col. Joe Kittinger (who was a consultant on the mission and coached Felix through the whole jump) except for one: longest freefall. Presumably this is because he fell so fast. The faster you fall the shorter your freefall time will be. Felix entered a terrifying spin during the first part of the dive, but he managed to regain control and did not have to deploy the emergency stabilization chute, which would have prevented him from breaking speed of sound.

In other science-related news, photographer and videographer Christopher Malin created a surreal new type of timelapse that I’ve yet to see used on space station footage- a stack. Stacking involves blending each frame of the footage into the next, creating a blurred effect with light trails and star trails. Just watch it, it’s kind of a head trip:

That’s the awesome new video for first single from Breakbot’s new album “By Your Side,” which is out now via iTunes and Beatport. I’ve made it quite clear before how much I love Breakbot, but let me say it again: I FUCKING LOVE BREAKBOT. Everything the dude touches turns to pure chill-funk gold. Has anyone used chill-funk before? Surely someone has… but I’ve never seen it, so for now I’m gonna claim it. This video is just about everything you’d expect from Breakbot- a hot girl in a vintage car, driving on a breezy road, etc… but toward the end it gets a little odd. In a good way. Just watch it, and make sure it’s on HD. As I said, the album is out now on iTunes and Beatport. Ed Banger is notoriously finicky about the timing of their releases on various platforms, so who knows when/if it’ll show up on Spotify.

I can’t get over this rad new video for Punks Jump Up’s new smokin’ boogie-funk jam “Mr. Overtime” featuring vocals from Dave 1 of Chromeo. Slick, sexy, and artfully animated. Directed by Maxime Bruneel, it’s the perfect fit for the song’s 80s italo-disco influence- an 80’s throwback vibe involving sports cars driving fast on the highway at night. But the animation style has a much more current feel- a very successful juxtaposition. If this track is totally new to you, fix that by heading over to the Moda Records Soundcloud and checking out the single and all the many awesome remixes. It’s out officially on April 30th.

Absurdly awesome videos

April 19, 2012

Two videos which share a common theme of absurdity and awesomeness. Absurdly awesome? Awesomely absurd? You decide.

Exhibit A: Ridiculous/dumb/terrible things happening in super slo-mo. As in, 2500 frames per second slo-mo. It never ceases to amaze me how super slow motion can turn just about anything, no matter how gross or messy, into a captivating and beautiful spectacle. My favorite is the rocket-powered clothes drying rack. Why didn’t I ever think of that? Seriously though, this is one that simply MUST be seen in full HD, so set that shit on 1080p, pop it on fullscreen, and sit back. (Via Devour)

Exhibit B: The new video for Diarrhea Planet’s “Warm Ridin’.” This is a band that is not afraid of over-the-top absurdity or awesomeness, and this video is all of the above. Complete with rooftops, bare chests, flaming guitars, American flags, and jumping jacks. These dudes know how to party. If you haven’t checked out their debut album on Infinity Cat yet, go fix that right now. And if you can’t get around the name, you’re just missing the point altogether.

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