Thursday, August 7, 2008

Critic's Picks [All originally published in NASHVILLE SCENE]

BEAT The influence of electronic music and technology is more prominent than ever on rock’s national scene, but Nashville’s rockers have been a little sluggish about incorporating synthesizers and beat machines into their usual repertoire. In an effort to remedy this deficiency, yet another local music collective has crawled out of the woodwork—this one calls itself BEAT. Aspiring to build a thriving community of electro-oriented rock ’n’ rollers, BEAT hopes to bridge the gap between synthetic and organic music. Their first event is scheduled for Thursday night and features funky white kids Kink Ador, rock-heavy hip-hoppers Knapsack Heroes, Quiet Entertainer and DJs Viper, Melator and Kidsmeal. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —SETH GRAVES

If the recent surge in hipster dance parties says anything about young Nashvillians, it’s that they’ll take any excuse to cut a rug—be it in a club, a basement, or a dive bar. But unless grinding against hoochie mamas in short skirts to the latest booty jams down on Second Avenue is your thing, the occasion to get down remains sporadic and easy to miss if you’re out of the loop. Stepping into the void is New Rave Thursdays at Bar Twenty3. The weekly event begins this week, featuring DJs Telemitry and Keyboard Guy and hosted by local electro rockers Luna Halo. Modeled after similar club nights in the hipper parts of NYC, New Rave Thursdays promises new rave, new disco and electro music along with video projections and live synthesizer and vocoder action on top of the music. 10:30 p.m. at Bar Twenty3 —SETH GRAVES

GRAND PALACE CHRISTMAS BASH Keeping the Yule Log burning just a few days longer, Murfreesboro’s homegrown bohemians and indie rock do-it-yourselfers Grand Palace are filling out the limbo-esque weekend between Christmas and New Year’s with an official Christmas Bash at Exit/In. The line up features underage power trio Kindergarten Circus, who belt out the kind of savage angst only teenagers can muster; Turncoats will provide their razor sharp vintage pop ’n’ roll in the form of sweet, simple punk jams; and, rounding out the evening, Hands Down Eugene, who keep it on the down low with their dreamy psychedelic pop. Of course, no Grand Palace event would be proper without DJ Bawston Sean behind the turntables, no doubt spinning classic soul favorites and forgotten funk even your parents don’t remember. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —SETH GRAVES

& ALTERED STATESMAN Between outsourcing their talents to more successful touring bands, recording a new album, funding tours of their own, dabbling in side projects and growing out their facial hair to preposterous lengths and shapes, it’s hard to imagine the boys of Ghostfinger having time to do anything other than play rock ’n’ roll. Despite being spread all over the world at times, the mustachioed quartet is still keeping it together, becoming quite possibly the hardest working macho men in Nashville. On their stop at Mercy Lounge on Thursday, The ’Finger will already be well into the first leg of a winter tour that will keep them—and their whiskey-stained, 420-friendly countrified metallic rock—on the road into next year. Joining this cavalcade of local talent are fellow Murfreesboro veterans Glossary, sleepy alt-country faves Lone Official and quirky soul proprietors Altered Statesman. 10 p.m. at Mercy Lounge

THE PROTOMEN Video game-inspired bands have carved out a substantial niche in the underbelly of pop culture, but few have matched the detail and complexity of Nashville’s The Protomen. The band is comprised of seven members, each claiming a purely robotic heritage and never breaking character long enough to lead you to believe otherwise. With the exception of the occasional ironic Hall & Oates cover, their repertoire consists entirely of a fully realized arena-ready rock opera inspired by the Mega Man video game series. Complete with costumes, onstage theatrics and layer upon layer of synth and guitar, The Protomen portray a band of rebel insurgents on a crusade against an evil, fascist mad scientist. Though the most successful stops on their national tours have been at comic book conventions, Protomen have yet to play a home show that didn’t reach capacity. Friday night’s performance should prove no exception. 9 p.m. at The End —SETH GRAVES

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