Cold War Kids: A Solid Performance at Marathon Music Works

By a stroke of luck, I ended up winning a pair of tickets to the Cold War Kids’ concert in Nashville this past week through a WRVU giveaway. So, on Friday night, I ventured out to Marathon Music Works to watch their Hold My Home tour. I entered the venue to a surprisingly packed audience. Per usual, I weaseled my way as close as possible to the opening act, Elliot Moss.

Though I missed part of the act, what I did see was exciting. Before the show, I only knew Elliot Moss from his song “Slip,” but I was tingling with anticipation at the thought of seeing the life performance. Marathon Music Works has a tendency to be a loud crowd, and I was worried about his voice fading out amongst the chatter. Instead, Moss set the mood for the rest of the concert. By easing into the concert with his quiet energy, Moss outdid my expectations. My personal favorite of his ended up being “I Can’t Swim.” Definitely be on the look out for more of Elliot Moss in the future — he’s yet to release his upcoming debut album, but Highspeeds is definitely one to watch out for.

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11 Minimally Cheesy Love Songs For Your Valentine’s Day

Originally this was going to be titled “12 Non-Cheesy Love Songs” but as I have come to realize, there is no such thing as a completely non-cheesy love song. Here are my picks for the best love songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day.

1. The Moldy Peaches - “Anyone Else But You”

Anyone who is a fan of Juno probably added this to their playlists the second the film ended (I know I did).

2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”

A lot people may be familiar with Tim McGraw’s recording of this song, but the original Ryan Adams version is a lot more stripped down and romantic.

3. Coldplay – “Yellow”

This may be one of the more cheesy songs on the list, but there’s no denying that it’s beautifully written.

4. Vance Joy – “Georgia”

Not as upbeat as his hit “Riptide,” but definitely more sincere.

5. The Lumineers - “Dead Sea”

Almost any Lumineers song could easily fit on this list, but “Dead Sea” is by far my favorite from their album.

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The Legend of the Seagullmen: First Impressions

Fans of metal are most likely very familiar with Mastodon and Tool, two bands that have created loyal fan bases centered around rather unique sounds and styles.  Just today, Brent Hinds, lead guitarist for Mastodon, and Danny Carey, drummer for Tool, have made their new project, The Legend of the Seagullmen, known.  After releasing two songs via their website (theseagullmen.com), immediately music news sources began to speculate as to the long term goals of the new supergroup.  The band is nautically-themed, as evident by their name and the names of the first two released tracks by the band, and they also include OFF! frontman Dimitri Coats in the lineup.

Brent Hinds of Mastodon
Brent Hinds of Mastodon

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Yonder Mountain String Band Performs at WRVU

On Friday January 24, DJ Ben Fensterheim hosted bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band in the WRVU studio. Check out the full interview and in-studio performance at our Bandcamp and embedded below. The group played a concert that evening at Marathon Music Works. Their upcoming album Black Sheep is completed, and will be released in 2015.

For more on Yonder Mountain String Band, check out their website.

More Humble Opinions on More Modest Mouse

Two weeks ago, I reviewed Modest Mouse’s two releases off of their upcoming album, Strangers to Ourselves, set to release on March 17th. This past week, the band dropped another single, “The Best Room”, giving more insight into the upcoming album to fans that have been waiting for nearly eight years. Like most bands that have found commercial success, Modest Mouse has polarized fans between their “pure” early works, and newer well-produced material. Whether you are looking for the Modest Mouse from recent albums like Good News For People Who Love Bad News (aka the album with “Float On”) and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, or hoping they can incorporate more of their edgier sound from an album like The Lonesome Crowded West, these singles are much needed messages from a band who has not been responding back for far too long.

 

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Understanding the Decemberists in 13 Songs

The Decemberists are nothing less than the band that got me into indie rock, albeit in a very non-indie way: back in January of 2009, I was watching a rerun of one of my favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother, “Ted Mosby, Architect”. During the episode’s denouement, as Ted Mosby walks the streets of New York and muses on his relationship woes, the seminal Decemberists’ track “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect” plays. I’d seen the episode before, but something inside me told me to look up the song this time — and just a month later I had purchased all five of the Decemberists’ LPs (including the newly released The Hazards of Love) and was at the beginning of a relationship that I still find myself in. They’ve provided the soundtrack of my past 6 years, good and bad, and with their new album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World there’s no better time to fall in love with them again — or for the very first time.

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Gentrification is taking the Music out of Music City

12th and Porter is the latest victim of gentrification in the Gulch.
12th and Porter is the latest victim of gentrification in the Gulch.

Nashville calls itself Music City; it’s the moniker that supposedly separates our home from Charlotte, Minneapolis, and every other up-and-coming metropolis, and it’s a huge part of the reason I chose to come to Vanderbilt. So the news that the locally beloved venue 12th and Porter will be closing its doors at the end of February disturbs me greatly—and if you care about preserving the cultural integrity of Nashville, it should disturb you too.

According to The Tennessean, the property will be redeveloped to “enhance the North Gulch.” If the South Gulch is any indication, that means we’ll see 12th and Porter replaced by luxury condos, a couple boutique clothing stores, and another Bar Louie or an Irish pub. Instead of seeing a great local band or marginally more to check out an established act like Kings of Leon or Neil Young (both have played 12th and Porter), you’ll get to overpay for dinner and drinks at a generic nightspot devoid of personality. This is gentrification at its finest: the conversion of a “run-down” area into an upscale neighborhood through the replacement of its businesses and residents and raising of rent.

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