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August 2014
Vinyl Thief

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”


Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”


Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.


There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.


Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura

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Show Alert: Great Peacock at The Stone Fox 8.2

If it feels like it's been a minute since Great Peacock has played Nashville, well, that's because it has. The folk players trapped in a rock band's body seems to have been giving love to all other points of the dirty South BUT Music City this summer, playing Hangout Fest in Florida and spending more time in Alabama than... George C. Wallace.  But that just means fans will be good and frothy for this long overdue show at The Stone Fox this Saturday.  Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but time on the road has likely heightened their already air-tight and heartfelt live show into temporary blackout territory.  Don't bring your grandma to this one.  You'll probably slap her.  -Terra James-Jura

Great Peacock will be joind by Belle Adair and Erin Rae.  The show begins at 9pm, and cover is $7. 


Rachel Pearl, "Dodgeball"

The Deli caught wind of Rachel Pearl earlier this July at NAMM, where she charmed an afternoon crowd with her jazz-influenced pop (accompanied by Bakithi Kumalo, the bass player on Paul Simon's "Graceland.") The fiery-haired songstress has a handle on both ends of the spectrum; she's capable of strumming a quirky little ditty on her ukelele or belting an sparkly, auto-tuned, area-worthy piece.  The start of this month saw the release of her single "Dodgeball." While it is a freakin' cute track, the clever language and interesting instrumentation (and the branding.  Oh, think of the branding.) reveal Pearl's very shrewd handle on pop as an artform. The thing has more hooks than a Reno truck stop.  Pearl's personality and inclination for pushing the envelope with beguiling results makes her an artist to keep an eye on.  Whatever she cooks up is going to be sweet. 

Rachel Pearl is hosting a series of open mics at the Rutledge.  More information can be found HERE. -Terra James-Jura


Hot Mess Loves You Now Stereosparks

After some soul-searching and recalibration (as every finely-tuned pop rock machine requires from time to time) Hot Mess Loves You is now operating under the moniker of Stereosparks.  The Chico, CA natives decided on the name change after coming to the realization that their sound was moving in a direction that could no longer be contained beneath the Hot Mess Loves You umbrella.  "Stereosparks" is also much easier to get tattooed across your knuckles. The trio is still going to be cranking out slick, pop-forward tunes and will not be dropping the lap steel anytime soon.  They released a 3-track EP "Secret" on July 10th;  "Secret (Say You'll Stay) is the first video under the new title.  Bounce over to stereosparks.com and update all of your HMLY feeds.  -Terra James-Jura



Grace and Tony Release Video for "Resonate"

Grace and Tony recently released this video for "Resonate" from their album "November." Saturated with candlelight and lent a potent dose of macabre by a 4-piece string section, it is exactly what a fan would expect from the duo.  The track draws a great deal of impact from the restraint in Tony White's vocals; it's one of those performances that makes a listener move in a little closer, where some of the quiet bits carry more weight than notes struck.  It's only the bearded half of the pair singing here, so this might not be a video for fans that like their punkgrass power couples locking eyes and yowling at each other for the duration of a song.  However, it ought to suit anyone that appreciates growth and organic development of artistic vision.  Grace and Tony are preparing for a tour supporting Dom Flemons in the fall; stay up to date with their activities at graceandtonymusic.com. -Terra James-Jura



Jonathan Timm EP Release Show 7.26

Jonathan Timm released "These Hours" on cassette as a teaser for his upcoming EP.  The title track is vignette of haunting electric guitar and swoops of lapsteel; a perfect slice of moodiness and desolation. It's one of those trust-establishing tracks that hooks into you, and opens up your ears to whatever else he's created.  The other three tracks on the tape range from more brooding Americana to full-on traditional country, all crafted with a steady hand.  He's a seasoned perfomer with several trips across the US under his belt, so his Saturday EP Release show at Mad Donna's promises to be entertaining.  Listen to the "These Hours" below. -Terra James-Jura 


Blue Matches at Exit/In 7.26

Where will you be Saturday July 26th? Either at Exit/Inn, or wishing you were there. The night is filled with four talented bands. The headliner is Blue Matches, a band nominated for the Nashville Independent Music Awards (vote here.) The band has been our very own Artist of the Month this past January. Also playing this night is Small Town Sleeper, Black Market Research, and Stereosparks. The lineup is great, it’s a Saturday night, and the show is only five bucks. There really is no excuse to not be supporting all of the kick ass talent going on in one night. It’s my birthday. Do me a solid, get out and celebrate. Drink till you puke; it’ll be worth it the next day. -Amanda Aydelott


Show Alert: Kelly Ruth at fooBar 7.24

Kelly Ruth was mentioned here early this past spring, as she took up a residency at the East Room, and subsequently transformed it.  She had a hand in involving a number of local artists that we love (Honey Locust and Phantom Farmer, to name a few) for the month of April, and has earned a place in our hearts for that, because beneath our thin candy shell runs a neverending reel of new and emerging artists.  She's been playing her sweetly vintage folk rock around Nashville since, with her next performance this evening at fooBar as part of Palaver Records weekly showcase.  The evening's well-curated lineup also includes Juliana Daily and Midnight Pilot; it's going to be a great show.  Watch Ruth perform "Blue-eyed Lover" below and get a concentrated hit of her throwback style (and see if she doesn't rival Zooey Deshanel in adorable dissaffection.) Tonight's show starts at 9pm, and cover is $5.  -Terra James-Jura



Majestico Release Video for "Gimme Love"

Majestico, featuring Graham Fitzpenn (AKA the jungle king of Nashville) has released this video for "Gimme Love." The track is off their debut full-length, "When Kingdom Come," which came out on ATO Records this March.  The video channels the same hazy, feral vibe originally hatched behind the Grassmere Zoo; you'll want to fist pump when Fitzpenn's headdress makes its first appearance. May the gods smile upon this garage band with a tribal soul. The next chance for some of Majestico's ju-ju to rub off on you is August 8th, where they will be part of the Tomato Art Fest's lineup.  -Terra James-Jura




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