Everyone’s new favorite band, Whitney, has captured the hearts of many an ironic-flower-crown American millennial with just half an hour (exactly half an hour) of recorded music. At Exit/In Monday night, they recaptured those same hearts during the first show of their fall tour.
I think it is safe to say that we all had that one band at one point in our lives that really got us into music. The one band that made us go, “Wow, so that’s how listening to music is supposed to feel.” For me, it was Arctic Monkeys. When I was in high school, I used to go to my local library to rent CDs and burn them onto my computer (sorry, iTunes). One of the first albums I obtained was Arctic Monkeys’ first full length debut, “Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” (among other gems, including “Is This It?” by The Strokes and “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths). That album, and the subsequent ones that I devoured later, became the soundtrack to my high school experience; my go-to answer to the feared “what’s your favorite band?” question.
The art of spotting a sample has faded to technology. Now all a good ear has to do is a quick google search or peruse a blog to reveal the mystique of an eloquent beat. But an infectious hook, loop, and vocal can haunt me for an afternoon. Or a few days. Or this past week. Red Pill’s 2015 release Look What This World Did To Us has been on regular rotation on my Spotify feed. Rum and Coke especially speak to my Friday nights’ struggles between a girlfriend, a graduate student’s bank account, and a bar tab. Yet that’s not what this post is about. On the self-titled track “Look What This World Did to Us”, Red Pill tells a Bukowskian tale with an acerbic tongue. Familiar to early Atmosphere, the track speaks of a guarded regret singular to the loss of youth.
Last Friday, September 25, while most of my fellow Nashville concertgoers were headed to the first night of Taylor Swift’s 1989 stop at Bridgestone Arena, a friend and I were on our way to the Ryman to see West Coast indie pop/rock group, The Neighbourhood. My friend had never been to the Ryman, so this summer when tickets went on sale at a fairly low price we decided to just go for it (little did we know that Sufjan Stevens would be announcing a show there merely 2 months later…sigh). The Neighbourhood seemed like a strange choice for the Ryman, as they had certainly lost a good deal of relevance (and not to mention, airplay) since the release of their first album in 2013. Despite that, I was excited mostly to see if they could pull off their unique experimental tracks live.