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Artist of the Month
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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
mp3

Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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scene blog

nashville

Congratulations to Earl Burrows, Our New Artist of the Month!

Earl Burrows may be one of Nashville's most under-the-radar supergroups. Founded by Mark Watrous as a vehicle for the songs he had been banking while working as a touring member for acts including The Shins, Racounteurs, Karen Elson and Brendan Benson. Backing him is a crew of musicians with similarly impressive resumes: guitarist Carson Medders is a member of The Non-Comissioned Officers The Medders and Fox Bear Snake, drummer James Freshwater played for Lovedrug, and brother/bassist Joel Watrous played for DC's Dance Imperative and Mu Meson. Together they perform what the band describes as "music for thinkers by thinkers;" ie: impeccably executed compositions with decidedly left-of-center origins. They're sharp and intelligent, but don't let their wit get in front of the 70's-flavored pop fun or ability to spin a yarn. True to their dark horse nature, Earl Burrows has been appearing as a supporting act on consistently great bills for the past year they've been together, and are building up to an early 2015 release of their debut full-length album. For the interim, check them out live at The Basement on October 2nd, and dig into their available music online here. -Terra James-Jura

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Video Release: Sound & Shape, "Venus"

Eight years is just drop of pig’s blood in the bucket, and this September is prom night for Sound and Shape. The band’s fourth album, “Bad Actors” will be released the 23rd of this month, and signifies a band weathering several years to hit their stride. They’ve teamed up with accomplished prodcers Matthew MCauley and Casey Wood to create something with such abnormally high levels of prog that it would be a disaster in less accomplished hands. Luckily the band’s tendency to temper some of the heavier thrashing with a sense of urgency and a very rock’n’roll bird-flip to tradition makes it very easy to listen through an album and reach for the next. There’s little doubt that "Bad Actors" will be more of the same. Artistdirect premiered their video for single “Venus” this Tuesday, and while we would have loved to see vocalist Ryan Caudle’s vision for a “three-part space opera” executed, watching the misadventures of a fallen angel was still pretty entertaining. The Sound & Shape’s next Nashville show will be at The End Sept. 26th. -Terra James-Jura

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Sun Culture, "Young Blood"

It seems that the theme of the week is major label expats.  Chase Coy parted ways with Universal about two years ago, and his search for a more authentic creative endeavor landed him in Nashville and brought about the creation of Sun Culture. This project is much more beach-and-club influenced than the acoustic teenage ambles that catapulted Coy into the hearts of the Myspace generation. Sun Culture's debut album was release this past March, every bit the perfect soundtrack to living out the summer on Nashville's nonexistent coast. The band is already back in the studio, and recently put out this single, "Young Blood." It comes from the same youthful and sun-soaked place as the debut album, though there is some added heft when one takes into account the sea change that has occured between 18-year-old Coy and the present day. That takes some major balls to realize a greater artistic goal, especially when it would be so much more comfortable to remain static. -Terra James-Jura

www.suncultureband.com

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Show Alert: The Forty-Eight at the 5-Spot 9.11

The Forty-Eight started in Nashville in the spring of 2013, as an outlet for solo artist and record deal refugee Alissa Beyer. She sought out a group project to counter the isolation felt as an island with a bad contract, and ended up which a high energy pop-punk project that offered her a much higher return on personal fulfillment.  Their debut album, "Radio Symmetry," was released last year, but just recently they've been allowing new material to trickle out on their website and Soundcloud (We're partial to "They Call It Love." Why wasn't it around when we were in high school?) The Forty-Eight are playing The Five-Spot for an early show at 6pm this Thursday with Andy Weathers and Brent Engel & The Upper East Side. Anyone with $5 and a secret yen for Paramore is strongly advised to attend. -Terra James-Jura

 http://theforty-eight.com/

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"Let's Have a Show With No Phones" Show at The High Watt 9.10

This Wednesday is going to be dedicated to anyone that's looked through a tangle of upraised arms holding glowing screens aloft and thought to themselves, "The end of the world is going to be Instagrammed..."

Of course East Nashville Underground would be the ones to put together a completely analog remedy to this epidemic. "Let's Have a Show With No Phones Show" is going to be 100% phone-free, save for two 20-minute "phone breaks" (bless their hearts.) The night starts at 8pm, and the cover is seven fully-refundable dollars should a guest make it to the other side without checking his or her device. While no one is going to be slapping a phone from your hand, consider this an opportunity to reconnect with the way things were done long before you were a twinkle in your daddy's eye.  Your pop's might have said that music was better in his day, but there's a good possibility that he was just paying more attention.

At the very least, this is a risk-free way to have three amazing bands in front of you for your complete and unadulterated listening pleasure: Machines are People Too, Penicillin Baby, and Diamond Carter. While we just raved about Penicillin Baby, we are one of many, and Diamond Carter has been receiving love on all sides, especially from our No Country for New Nashville brothers. However, we're tickled pink by this recent development from the Machines are People Too camp. MAPT have remixed "Middle of the Night," a song by their friends Vinyl Thief that might be recognized from our current album of the month. That sort of synth4synth love, along with with this event's entire concept, are perfect examples of the deep appreciation of music that makes this scene so great. -Terra James-Jura

 

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