Yuengling and Brooklyn Brewery Present
Mercy Lounge 10-Year Anniversary Party feat. JEFF the Brotherhood, Tristen, Wild Cub, Richie & more
Help celebrate a decade of great music, great shows and great times in Nashville!
All three venues (Mercy Lounge, The Cannery Ballroom and The High Watt) will be going with Nashville's best bands, all night long! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details on full line-ups!
Arrive early AND get in FREE, or get your tickets right here!
In The Cannery Ballroom
JEFF the Brotherhood
Clear Plastic Masks
In Mercy Lounge
Black Sea Royalty
In The High Watt
James Wallace and the Naked Light
Evan P. Donohue
JEFF the Brotherhood
Jake and Jamin Orrall, aka JEFF The Brotherhood, are seen by many to be latter-day pioneers of the Nashville rock scene, but they see themselves as brothers who can't remember not playing music together for fun. Their family-owned, vinyl-centered record label, Infinity Cat Recordings, has been a pillar of support for Nashville bands since 2002 (with 60 releases to date) and was named "Nashville's Best Record Label 2010" by the Nashville Scene. But their first love has always been the Brotherhood known as JEFF.
“If someone says, ’That’s a trite, pop chord progression that everybody uses and it always sounds cheesy, then I want to try and use that, and make it sound good,” Tristen says. It’s that kind of contrarian spirit and confident moxie that makes the Nashville-based singer-songwriter stand head and shoulders above her Music City peers.
Nashville-based? Singer-songwriter? … Goes by her first name? Do those terms fill your head with expectations of a precious, pint-sized female crooning middle-of-the-road pop with a precious tear-in-beer twang? Well, don’t let them. Because, beyond Tristen’s sharp-witted lyrical savvy and sophisticated song-craft, her innate ability to defy expectations will leave you hanging on her every note, even in Nashville.
“I’m not from here,” she says of the city she migrated to in 2007. “We didn’t wear so many dresses where I came from,” she goes on, explaining how she pulls much inspiration from the blue-collar suburb south of Chicago where she grew up. “When you have to struggle for everything that you have, when you actually start getting opportunities, you’re going to make sure to be completely prepared for them.”
How the singer immersed herself in Nashville, building up her chops and experimenting with ideas in a competitive incubator of exceptional musicians and songwriters, while waiting tables and living hand to mouth to tour on a shoestring budget shaped the songs and sounds on her earthy, acclaimed 2011 debut, Charlatans at the Garden Gate. But if Charlatans was the story of Tristen finding her voice in Nashville, the singer’s stunning new album CAVES is the sound of her defining that voice for the world, and setting it to some sleek, synth-pop-inspired tones, once again defying expectations.
In much the same way, “Forgiveness,” off the album, is hardly a song about forgiveness. “That’s my ’angry girl’ song,” she jokes, explaining that the song was actually inspired by an interview she heard with punk rocker/ writer/ pundit and pillar of male aggression, Henry Rollins, in which he says he forgives his dad by not finding him and beating him in the face with a hammer.
Not all of the songs on CAVES are as openly confrontational as “Forgiveness.” Relentlessly infectious opening track “No One’s Gonna Know” — which sounds like Kim Carnes taking on latter-day Leonard Cohen — is about gangsters. “Monster” is a menacing, minor-tinged stomper about having multiple personalities. By contrast, the gorgeous, lulling “Island Dream” plays like a spacey, sonic mini movie about existential dread and “searching for answers and not getting any.”
There are break-up songs on the album, too, like “Easy Out” and “Catalyst.” While songs like “House of War” and “Dark Matter” are sociological critiques about “being a terrible American,” she says. “Winter Night” — the album’s moody, resplendent centerpiece — was inspired by the Boris Pasternak poem of the same name.
Although, lyrically, CAVES covers a wide breadth of thematic territory, the album is unified by an aesthetic concept: She wanted to make a synth-pop record that combined Charlatans’ rootsy foundation by casting objects of obsessive Reagan-era influences like Kate Bush, Eurythmics and Echo and the Bunnymen in her own singular image.
“At first I wanted to make a dance record,” she says. “That’s where my headspace was. … I wanted to challenge the acoustic reverence of the Americana music world and I wanted to piss off the old folkies. Is there something wrong with that?”
Looking into Tristen’s backstory, it’s a musical Frankenstein that makes sense. “[Growing up] I had a Dolly Parton greatest hits album that I listened to on repeat,” she recalls. “That and Madonna’s Immaculate Collection, I always loved Madonna. And that’s actually why I wanted to be just ’Tristen,’ because I picked that up when I was 14 — [that’s when] I started writing songs.”
Later, much in the same away, she says a childhood obsession with ’60s girl-group pop and the Beatles would blossom into an adult obsession with classic singer-songwriter troubadours and legendary art-rock pioneers. “I would want to be an amalgam of Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Dolly Parton,” she says.
With a stellar set of songs locked and loaded for CAVES, the singer tapped luminaries from both ends of that musical spectrum to achieve a very specific goal. “I wanted to mix synthesizers with string arrangements and electronic drums with live drums so that you couldn’t tell which was which — I wanted people that were anti-digital to listen to it and not be able judge its authenticity by its acoustics,” she explains.
So, after tracking the record in Nashville with guitarist/husband Buddy Hughen and a hand-picked host of A-list Nashville indie-rock session vets, like Ben Folds drummer Sam Smith, she took the tracks to Bright Eyes producer Mike Mogis, who recorded Tristen’s own lush string arrangements at his ARC Recording Studios in Omaha, Nebraska. And to achieve an authentic synth-pop sheen, she enlisted famed New Order, Pet Shop Boys and OMD producer Stephen Hague, a pioneer in the field of digital recording to mix. “That was a game-changer,” she says. “Stephen gave the recordings dimension.”
“Tristen is a rare combination,” says Hague. “The lyrics of a real artist, the voice of a pop star, and the focus of someone who will always bring her A-game. It was a real pleasure for me working with someone who always has her eye on the bigger picture, and is always willing to try different approaches to the work.”
Tristen is releasing CAVES on October 15 on her own PUPsnake records via ThirtyTigers.
Nashville TN | Pop
Formed in early 2012 by songwriter-composer Keegan DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock, Wild Cub’s debut LP ’Youth’ was released last August in the US, and showcases the now five-piece band’s dexterity in seamless transitions between infectious electro-pop, tropical rhythms, and quiet washes of cinematic reflection.
PASTE has called ’Youth’ “full of small complexities that fill songs as they unwittingly slide into each other” and The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy deemed Wild Cub one of ’12 Acts to Watch’ at the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon, while Entertainment Weekly recommended lead single “Thunder Clatter” as “clattering joyful noise.” Press attention has continued with Nylon giving their ’Band Crush’ stamp of approval, as well as video and track premieres on noted sites such as SPIN, PASTE, IFC, RCRD LBL, Refinery29 and more. A cover of Jessie Ware’s “Running” & a remix of Atlas Genius’ “Symptoms” brought increased awareness, the band’s electrifying live show has established Wild Cub as a force.
Freshly into 2013, the band has seen the release of Youth in the UK, with notable press attention from Clash Music, The Guardian, The Line Of Best Fit (“Youth relentlessly offers up huge pop songs delivered with sheer gusto & intelligence”), andTop Shop (“sweet, tropically-tinged, dance-y pop”). Not ones to rest for long, the band recently performed at designer Rebecca Minkoff’s NY Fashion Week show and burned through eight shows at this year’s SXSW festival. Wild Cub’s busy year will continue this summer with multiple festival performances – including at the Hangout Fest in May – and more touring to come.
Wild Cub is: Keegan DeWitt (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Bullock (guitar/synths), Dabney Morris (drums), Harry West (bass), and Eric Wilson (keys/synths).
“Dave, tell ’em about your wrestling record”
“Three wins, sixteen defeats. Beat the same kid twice. Lost to the state champion in six seconds”
Clearly, the Turbo Fruits are not athletes. They are, however, a rock n roll band and one that could likely take your state rock & roll champion to the mat in less time than it takes to cue up a record. What the Nashville, Tennessee quartet lack in physical adeptness they make up for in wild abandon and unfettered debauchery; in buzzsaw guitars and pummeling, primal rhythms. And they STILL look good in a unitard and head gear. Okay, that might not be true – we haven’t tested that theory yet, there wasn’t quite enough beer, there may never be enough beer – but they are definitely one of the most visceral rock groups in America, as is evidenced on their new album Butter.
Recorded in eight days in Austin, Texas with Spoon’s Jim Eno at his Public Hi-Fi studio, Butter is the follow up to their 2009 Fat Possum album Echo Kid and the 2007 Ecstatic Peace debut. It’s a spastic, slab of fun-filled fury, a double-live-gonzo Athena busting out of The Flaming Groovies’ Teenage Head, thrashing it’s way through punk, surf, and power-pop and leaving a wake of blown minds and melted faces. Y’know, like a rock record is supposed to do.
Butter is the product of 200 days a year in the van, sleeping on floors, accumulating the kind of stories you would never, ever tell your grandkids. Butter is the product of two years spent cranking out singles for their own Turbo Time Records, the product of organizing their annual ocean-bound rock & roll party The Bruise Cruise. Butter is the product of busting their asses the way most bands pull bong rips. Butter is a wild, raw record for the kind of folks that aren’t ashamed to get loose, get sweaty and get down.
Now let’s see if the state wrestling champion can beat that.
Clear Plastic Masks
Brooklyn NY | Rock
Clear Plastic Masks formed in August of 2011 in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Long time friends, gigging and recording proceeded naturally leading to three tours in a year through the rust belt down to New Orleans. In December of 2011 and April of 2012 the band stopped to record a 7 inch and later a full album with Andrija Tokic at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN.
Rooted in the blue collar analog tradition of work a day rock n roll, the band strives always to be cracking the proverbial whip.
Andrew Katz -Vocals/Guitars/Keys
Eduardo DuQuesne - Bass/keys
Matt Menold - Guitars/Keys
Charles Garmendia - Drums
Magnolia Sons is a nostalgic rock and soul group based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They are a 12-piece supergroup composed of artists and musicians from all over the United States. Their music is a tribute to the vintage sound of classic rock and soul from the 1960's and 1970's created by writers Austin Aguirre and Benjamin A. Harper. In the time of the resurgence of record collections, Magnolia Sons is both a throwback and a breath of fresh air. Inspired by The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and the Temptations, Magnolia Sons have a sound that harkens back to the sound of 60's soulsters and American Band Stand, and as a 12 piece, they definitely fit the retro profile. While many older fans will recognize the sound from their own record collections, it is new for many of their younger fans who can be found dancing along to the catchy tunes at many of Nashville's venues.
Black Sea Royalty
Raw, unfiltered truth. That’s the best way to describe Black Sea Royalty. They aren’t just another rock and roll band. Yes, they like to play loud, but that’s only to make sure that you get the message. And you don’t want to miss what they have to say. Their cinematic outlook and songwriting mixed with their raw skill and emotion that builds from the ground up is what drives their debut self-titled EP. Full of heavy hitting drums, energetic guitar riffs and melodies and lyrics that tap into your emotions and make you feel more alive than ever before, this debut album is only the beginning of a long adventure for this Nashville quartet. Made up of Nashville implants Jon Marc Winchester (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Sammy Mitchell (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Jordan Williamson (Drums) and Matt Green (Bass, Vocals) their music is captivating because they didn’t write for any specific genre. Instead, they focused on what they loved and the rest came naturally. Riding the release of their debut EP, 2013 is going to be a busy year for the group. Black Sea Royalty is passionate about expanding their reach by touring regionally and nationally, consistently releasing new material, and focusing on forming relationships with new listeners.
James Wallace And The Naked Light
His penchant for dark and clever wordplay above eerily-cheery melodies, begs there may be a few twisted stories from his past that we've yet to hear.
Similar to what has often been said of Belle and Sebastian's earlier works, More Strange News From Another Star captures a distinct vintage quality channeled from some non-existent folk music period of decades past. Often referenced to Paul Simon in vocal range and use of textured percussion, Wallace's writing showcases a similar love of African music and Gospel harmonies. But more often than not, his band heads into the more ramshackle, go-for-broke qualities of the early Kinks. A kind of Rock and Roll bred with cacaphony that balances eerily well beneath Wallace's falsetto.
Evan P. Donohue
Nashville TN | Pop
"The most immediate comparison one is likely to make in describing fresh-faced local power-popper Evan P. Donohue is to Elvis Costello. And the reason isn’t just the glasses. Like the early material of the bespectacled king of brainy geek-rock, Donohue’s songs are literate hyper-pop anthems for the brokenhearted. The biggest difference is that where Costello espoused a palpable anger and bravado in his songwriting, Donohue has a carefree air of romanticism to his lovelorn pining. Fans of nervy awk-rock from favorites of the Stiff Records catalog to pre-Y2K Weezer should take notice."
- Nashville Scene