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Heavy Cream's LP "Danny," arriving 8/24!

Nashville's own little babe-fest punk band, Heavy Cream, will be releasing their debut, full-length, vinyl LP, "Danny," on Infinity Cat Recordings on August 24th.
They also announced a string of tour dates with JEFF the Brotherhood, Detroit Cobras, Vivian Girls, Boogie Boarder, and more.
Go here to download an mp3 of "Watusi"

Heavy Cream - 2010 Tour Dates:
Aug 18 Exit In (w/Screaming Females & JEFF The Brotherhood)18+ Nashville, TN
Aug 20 Rock's Off Cruise (w/Detroit Cobras)21+ New York, NY
Aug 22 Comet Ping Pong (w/Vivian Girls) AA Washington
Aug 26 Discoteca (w/Gestapo & Khazi) AA Chattanooga, TN
Aug 27 Pilot Light Knoxville, TN
Aug 28 Snug Harbor Charlotte, NC
Aug 30 The Box Charlottesville, VA
Aug 31 Black Cat (w/Unnatural Helpers) Washington DC
Sep 1 Union Pool (w/Boogie Boarder) Brooklyn, NY
Sep 2 Cake Shop (w/Unnatural Helpers) New York, NY
Sep 3 Flywheel (w/Sweet Apple) Easthampton
Sep 4 The Meat Locker Montclair, NJ
Sep 5 Elf Parlor North Adams, MA
Sep 6 The Rock Shop (w/Pterodactyl, Dinowalrus) AA Brooklyn, NY
Sep 7 Death By Audio New York, NY
Oct 8 Hi-Tone (w/JEFF The Brotherhood & Cy Barkley) Memphis, TN

Baaaaadass!--Deli Staff

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Andrew Combs EP Release @ The Basement, 8/6/10

Friday night at The Basement was Andrew Combs’ EP release party, with additional performances by Rayland Baxter and Caitlin Rose. It was probably the most likeable lineup of young, local folk/country artists that has happened in Nashville for awhile, and this was reflected by the large turnout, as well as the shared sentiment of appreciation for good times, great tunes, and southern pride (cringe). But in defense of all you country folks, this was definitely some quality Americana, and the farthest thing from Toby Keith, Bob Rosenthal, or…Heehaw.

Rayland Baxter started the evening off by easing everyone’s heat-stricken nerves with several of his wistfully lovely folk songs—one in particular that was presumably called, “Don’t You Fly Away, Boy.” Baxter’s tone and the gentleness of his delivery were like Mason Jennings, combined with the sensibilities and style of Brandi Carlile, Ray LaMontagne, or even Patty Griffin. He created the perfect mood for Andrew Combs’ set that followed.

Combs offered an upbeat, classic country-inspired group of songs consisting of the 5 from his first EP, "Tennessee Time," as well as a cover or two. With my limited knowledge of old-timey and classic country, my best description would compare Combs' voice to a less bright Gram Parsons, with the songwriting style and lyrics of Townes Van Zandt. His modern take on the tricks of all the old country legends was refreshingly authentic--especially the two honky tonk numbers, "Hummingbird," and "Wanderin' Heart"--which had all the girls on their feet as they sang along on the simply sweet chorus, "We fly so high on the wings of lover's words, take me home to my hummingbird." There was something special about seeing the beautiful Heidi Feek performing by his side the entire time, which was almost ironic, considering that her father, Nashville singer/songwriter, Rory Feek, now performs in a country duo with his wife as well.

Whether songs like, "Tennessee Time," and "Too Stoned to Cry," were completely autobiographical or not, they still seemed surprisingly introspective for someone so young, but that was one of the notable qualities of his performance. He believably embodied his songs and their words, despite the seeming contrast between his age and the subject matter. It wouldn't be surprising in the least to find out that Andrew Combs really does spend his summers at the Cumberland Gap--sitting in rocking chairs, growing wiser and angstier than his country counterparts. His demeanor was also more genuine than other young Nashville folk artists--as much as the old-timers that seem to have influenced him. Proper tribute was paid with his laid-back, bluesy cover of Linda Ronstadt/Dan Penn’s tune, “Dark End of the Street.”

The throwback to the 1970's seemed to be the ongoing theme of the evening, given the artists that Combs' (and Caitlin Rose's) music seemed to be most reminiscent of. For the sake of indulgence, I imagined Andrew Combs as Don Henley and Caitlin Rose as Linda Ronstadt; THAT'S the kind of authenticity we're talking about here! Rose performed after Combs' rousing performance--a ten song set that was one of the more polished shows she's given. Her supporting band was a solid ensemble that will hopefully be sticking together for Rose’s upcoming tour, including Jeremy Fetzer on guitar, Jordan Caress on bass and background vocals, and Skylar Wilson on keys. The popular favorites were sung with ease, i.e. "For the Rabbits," "Sinful Wishin' Well," and "Learning to Ride." The real kicker, however, was the ballad, "I'm Leaving" which was powerfully moving with Caress’ beautiful vocal enhancements to Rose's already satisfying melodies, as well as the ambience created by the combined efforts of Fetzer and Wilson. Two delightful covers followed—the first being Joanna Newsom's, "Jackrabbits," and the second being Tom Petty's, "Need To Know," and boy oh boy did everyone really start whoopin’ it up for that one. Combs, Baxter, and Feek hopped on the stage to sing along with her, and that was the telltale sign that the show was a success, and the night would be remembered as a joyous occasion. Everyone should be encouraged to catch any/all of the artists’ future performances, as well as purchase a copy of Andrew Combs’ EP.—Erin Manning

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SPOTLIGHT: Rocketown's Grand Re-Opening

This weekend is the grand opening of Rocketown’s newer, and better location at 601 4th Ave. South. For anyone who is remotely interested in local music, this is actually important, because it’s Rocketown that has been, and continues to teach Nashville’s youth how to run a music scene. It’s almost shocking just how strongly Rocketown’s presence and influence permeates throughout Nashville in the form of some of our most prominent bands, (i.e. PUJOL, Meemaw, Marj, Put’er There, Modern Hell, The Industry, etc), but many people never realize this because their opinions of Rocketown are oftentimes based on the stigmas that seem to be attached to it. Don’t act like you haven’t heard someone say things like, “That venue only has Christian metalcore bands play there,” or, “I can’t get roaring drunk at Rocketown because they don’t allow alcohol and they’ll take my cigarettes…Probably ‘cause they’re Christian…” Lucky for you, those stereotypes and stigmas are only partially true—(it is indeed an alcohol and tobacco-free zone, but deal with it)—and they are also only a miniscule part of the purpose and actual Rocketown experience.

I recently sat down with Rocketown entertainment manager, Reagan Thomas, and venue staff supervisor, Daniel Pujol, to speak more in-depth about what Rocketown does for the Nashville community and music scene. It’s a lot more than you would expect, because it isn’t just a music venue, or a skate park; it’s a community for youth from all walks of life.

“Rocketown is there to serve as a safe place for anyone who needs it. The point is not to tell people what to do, or act as anybody’s parents, but to provide kids with an outlet, or the option of going there if they need anything,” said Thomas. Original founder, Michael W. Smith’s idea of a safe place just happened to be associated with Christianity, (as well as the board of directors, who provide a portion of Rocketown’s financial support), which is where the faith-based principles found in its mission statement come from.

But there are different ideas of a safe place or a community for different people, which is why Rocketown serves to enhance the lives of over 400,000 kids each year, through their various internships, programs, and services. Many of these are provided for free, or a very minimal price, including after-school programming, where classes are offered on everything from video editing and graphic design, to tutoring and art classes. You can learn how to do things like break dance, skateboard, play an instrument, or book a show through one of their many different clubs, or have band practice and hang out at the skate park or the coffee bar. The new location will offer a recording studio for bands and artists, as well as a small, local music store that will be kid-driven, and kid-run.

In addition, the new location will offer: a dance studio, an auto garage/bicycle kitchen for anyone wanting to learn about auto/bike mechanics; a bigger skate park; a new coffee bar; a green room and shower area for travelling bands; free, temporary living space for people who need help getting on their feet, PLUS all the stuff the old Rocketown had. Badass, huh?

By providing a consequence-free environment/giving kids a chance to mess up, Rocketown attracts open-minded youth, and is able to bring different communities of people and music together.

“We’ve got travelers and foster kids hanging out with kids from Brentwood and Franklin, and the J.C. Napier Lafayette projects collaborating with metalheads on music,” according to Thomas.

“It’s all about inclusion,” said Pujol. “[Kids are] raised on the internet; they’re smart…George W. Bush isn’t president now…It’s all about diversity…What they have in common is they’re all different. But the way the building is presented in public has to change…Being a faith-based organization doesn’t need to be a focal point, because that’s not the only thing about the building.” All you dudes and dudettes need to realize that Rocketown is less about ideological consistency and more about working with kids—encouraging, teaching, and enabling them to run their own music scene and be as inclusive as possible. This means no specific genres, (aka the superficial Rocketown Christian metal identity).

This also means that anyone can play a show there where they don’t have to pay to use a real sound system, and an engineer who will actually care about making an unknown local band sound good. That’s hard to find in Nashville, so you should try and find a way to support Rocketown so that they can continue to make all of the kiddies’ dreams come true. You can do this in one of two ways:

1) Volunteer! Nothin' like some good'ol hands-on help.

2) Make a donation

Let’s all say thanks to Rocketown this weekend at their grand opening festivities. They deserve it!—Erin Manning

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The Little Bear: The Infinity Cat’s Meow

If you thought you had found all the buried treasure in Nashville’s local music scene, you thought wrong—unless you’ve been lucky enough to stumble across The Little BearInfinity Cat’s atypically non-punk trio. They are quite the hidden gem—never seeming to play with any of the Infinity Cat staples, i.e. JEFF the Brotherhood, PUJOL, Heavy Cream, etc.—(probably because they aren’t a punk band). Instead, they play pop/rock with a hint of folk, lead by singer/songwriter Claire Guerrero, who is joined by Mandy Rogers on keyboards/vocals, and Justin Baker, on electric guitar/vocals. A good comparison would be local folk band, Korean is Asian, but more upbeat and less folksy.

The Little Bear tends to entrance you with tight harmonies, and clever, polyphonic little ditties to build a more rhythmic layer of sound above the ambience of the keyboard/synth and electric guitar. (The song, “Parachute,” is a good example of this). The background vocal bedazzlements are a central theme in their material, helping to create both of The Little Bear’s dominant styles, which are either abundantly pretty folk/pop, or more theatrical, pop/rock. Listening to “Slow and Steady,” is like listening to Queen’s “Killer Queen,” with the bouncy, almost big-band approach, while “Coldest Cloud” almost grinds along to the point of being an old PJ Harvey tune. This variation in material is admirable, and while Claire will tell you that her biggest influences are Portishead, Fiona Apple, Bjork, and Stevie Wonder, her songs are also reminiscent of Jewel, Tori Amos, or even Michelle Branch (before she got pregnant and joined The Wreckers).

Assuming that none of the members of The Little Bear get pregnant, they should have some pretty exciting things going on in the near future. They recently recorded an album with Infinity Cat founder/legendary songwriter, Robert Orrall, and sound engineer, Jacquire King, whose previous collaborations include Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, and Tom Waits. You can also look forward to hearing SEXTTAPE, which is an upcoming split tape they’re doing with PUJOL on Infinity Cat Records. The Little Bear seems to be riding on a fast train that’s headed to the land of fame and fortune, so you should get on that train too, and take it to their next show, which will be at the 5 Spot on September 24th.—Erin Manning

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Kopecky Family Band's New Album, "The Disaster"

Check out the Kopecky Family Band show(s) and other upcoming events in conjunction with the release of their new album, "The Disaster:"

--Tuesday August 3rd--iTunes Release!

AAANNNDDD

--Tuesday August 3rd--In-store performance @ Grimey's, 6pm

--Sunday, August 8th--CD Release Show @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8pm

--Deli Editor

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