Next Big Nashville 2008 Previews

Last night marked the opening festivities of Next Big Nashville, the local rock scene's third annual celebration of great music and even greater alcohol consumption. Last year's festival was one of the highlights of my year, and this year promises to equally great. With some 250 artists playing over five nights at sixteen different venues, trying to decide who to see can be a bit overwhelming. So to help you out, here are my recommendations. I can personally attest that each one of this acts put on a great live show, and I'm happy to give them the Page 300 Seal of Approval (apologies in advance for being very brief and recycling old comments, but I've got a lot of ground to cover).

Without a doubt, the best bill of the festival takes place on Thursday at The Rutledge. If you can only make one showcase this week, this is the one to catch.

Altered Statesman - Psychedelic soul with lyrics like beat poetry.
Thursday at The Rutledge, 8:45 pm

Altered Statesman - "Lightning Rod" (mp3)

Eastern Block - I'd never heard of these guys before I saw them open for Ladyhawk earlier this year, and I was absolutely blown away. Kinda like an American version of Bloc Party.
Thursday at The Rutledge, 9:30 pm

And The Relatives - Garage rock that will appeal to the Pixies fan in everyone.
Thursday at The Rutledge, 10:15 pm

All We Seabees - If you've been reading this blog for the past week, you already know how much I love these guys. With the release of MKUltra, they've expanded on their folk rock roots to simply become of Nashville's best bands.
Thursday at The Rutledge, 11 pm

All We Seabees - "Howard" (mp3)

Hannah Barbarians and Eureka Gold round out this bill. But as absolutely fabulous as that lineup is, there are plenty of other plenty of other great options worthy of checking out, especially on Thursday. The best of the rest...

Amanda Shires - Chances are you'll be smitten with this alt-country chanteuse the minute she steps on stage. And after you've heard her singing and fiddling, you'll probably be ready to propose. More than just a pretty face, she represents everything thats great about country music.
Thursday at 3rd & Lindsley, 9:30 pm

The Pink Spiders - Their first NBN appearance was infamous for their showdown with the production crew, and last year a puke break was a highlight of their set. At this point they are more notorious for their antics and lineup changes than their music, but whatever happens it's sure to be entertaining.
Thursday at Cannery Ballroom, 10:30 pm

Lylas - With Halloween just around the corner, their brand of macabre/romantic folk pop is just what you need to put you in the proper frame of mind.
Thursday Douglas Corner, 11 pm

Hollow Ox - Ambient instrumental soundscapes perfect for getting your head lost in.
Thursday at The Anchor, 8 pm

Hollow Ox - "The Fields Are Cold" (mp3)

Timbre - Bridging the gap between classical and indie, this band of siblings is chamber pop in the truest sense of the word. Imagine Sigur Ros if they only used orchestral instruments.
Thursday at The Anchor, 9:30 pm

Hotpipes - I'm not sure there is a better band in town right now. Future Bolt easily wins my vote for the best local release of the year.
Thursday at The End, 10:15 pm

The Nobility - If you think pop music started sucking around once we flipped the calendar into the 1970s, these retro tunesmiths will appeal to your longing for the golden days.
Friday at The 5 Spot, 11 pm

The Nobility - "Halleluiah Chorus" (mp3)

Jennifer Nicely - Imagine a young Billie Holiday fronting Chris Isaak's Silvertones.
Friday at The Basement, 8 pm

Cortney Tidwell - Based on the new material she's been performing at recent shows, her next album will take her ethereal pop in a much rockier direction, but it's still absolutely gorgeous.
Friday at Cannery Ballroom, 8:45 pm

Cortney Tidwell - "Missing Link" (mp3)

Superdrag - What needs to be said about these guys at this point? Probably Tennessee's finest rock band.
Friday at Cannery Ballroom, 12:15 am

The Howlies - Chances are this will be the most ridiculously fun set of the week. They wrap up everything that's great about rock and roll in quick three minute bursts.
Saturday at Exit/In, 10:30 pm

Caitlin Rose - If you like country songstresses old school with a healthy dose of wit, this will be right up your alley.
Saturday at The Basement, 9:30 pm

Plex Plex - On record, they are a lot closer to their early 80's electronic influences, but live they come off like Karen O fronting The Killers.
Saturday at The Rutledge, 11:45 pm

Check out the complete schedule here, and head out secure in the knowledge that wherever you end up going over the next four days, you're guaranteed to discover some amazing local and regional talent.

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