Aug 182014


Chris Davis and Tate Eskew’s FMRL arts series is proving to be the best thing to happen to the Nashville arts community in … well, a long dang time. Not even a month out of the gate, they’ve hosted heavy hitters like Jason Lescalleet and Jeremy Bible and booked upcoming shows with Sir Richard BishopLakha Khan, and Father Murphy. Tuesday, August 19th, they’re hosting Jessica Pavone and Raquel Bell‘s band Dark Tips and Evan Lipson and Bob Stagner‘s band Haint Whoop. By the way, these are officially my two favorite new band names.

The FMRL blog has the details:

Dark Tips conjure advice from the underworld through Jessica Pavone’s processed viola and Raquel Bell’s analog organ and both performers’ vocals.

Jessica and Raquel performed together (with Evan Lipson) in the incredible art-noise-punk group Normal Love, named for Jack Smith’s 1963 underground masterpiece of indeterminate cinema. Jessica has performed in groups led by Anthony Braxton, Lawrence “Butch’ Morris, Matana Roberts, Henry Threadgill, William Parker, Taylor Ho Bynum and in a remarkable duo with guitarist Mary Halvorson. She is also an accomplished composer, having received grants and commissions from the Aaron Copland Recording Fund, American Music Center, The Jerome Foundation and more.

Raquel is a visual artist and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, keyboards) with a stunning voice, most evident perhaps in her rock band Mesiko. Raquel also has extensive experience in live theatrical soundtracking and sound design having worked on productions including Harry Partch’s “Oedipus Rex”; a Louisville adaptation of Hamlet set in a 1920s river town and featuring music by The Slow Charleston featuring Bonnie Prince Billy; and installations and performances by visual artist Daphane Park.

FMRL will host the premiere performance of Haint Whoop, a duo comprised of Evan Lipson (acoustic upright bass) and Bob Stagner (percussion). Evan Lipson is a monster on the upright bass as anyone who attended his trio show with Jack Wright at Betty’s a few years back can attest. He’s an integral part of the vibrant arts community in Chattanooga where he moved to start a tiki bar with the late Dennis Palmer of Shaking Ray Levi Society. As mentioned above, he also played bass in Normal Love. Bob Stagner is an inspiring drummer and force of nature in the Chattanooga arts community. Through his pioneering free improvisation duo Shaking Ray Levi’s Society, he and Dennis Palmer created a distinctly Southern axis of activity bringing high level musicians like Derek Bailey, Borbetomagus, and more into the region. Bob doesn’t just play ‘free’ as his background playing hard country and honkytonk with Roger Alan Wade and his current regular gig as drummer with Annie Sellick in the Uptown Big Band will attest. He also works with The Rhythmic Arts Project, a music therapy organization which uses percussion instruction to empower disabled individuals to succeed in other areas of life.

Advance tickets are only $7 at the FMRL Arts site. $10 at the door.

FMRL presents Dark Tips and Haint Whoop
Tuesday, August 19th, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show
@  Emma Bistro, 11 Lea Avenue, Nashville, TN

Aug 062014
T-Rex costume by Jamie Price at the 2013 Nashville Mini Maker Faire. Photo by Becky Fox Matthews.

T-Rex costume by Jamie Price at the 2013 Nashville Mini Maker Faire. Photo by Becky Fox Matthews.

The deadline to submit for the Atlanta and Nashville Maker faires is approaching quickly. How long do you have? Let’s just say the sooner you submit, the more likely you’ll be accepted. If I were you, I wouldn’t wait any longer than a week.

Both faires are looking for makers with their own creations, as well as workshop teachers, speakers, performers, vendors, and sponsors.

The second annual Nashville Mini Maker Faire takes place Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at the Adventure Science Center. Apply here. If you want to know what you’re getting into, watch this video I made of last year’s faire.

The Atlanta Maker Faire has been going strong for four or so years, however, this is the first year it gets the distinction of being a “Featured” faire. That’s a pretty big deal, since there are only a handful of featured faires. Trust me, it’ll be huge. It takes place over the weekend of October 4th and 5th. Apply here.

I’m organizing some circuit bending stuff for both faires, and I’m also helping run a Make Nashville booth. If you’re interested in showing off circuit bent gear or exhibiting under the Make Nashville space, please drop me an e-mail at

Aug 052014


There’s a great rock lineup at Betty’s Bar & Grill tonight featuring Athens, Georgia band Shade, the new project of Bird Names‘ Phelan La Velle. Check out the artist showcase I did with Bird Names here.

The lineup also features Sad Baxter, Bad Friend, and my new favorite local band Sudonistas. I’m liking what I hear on the Sad Baxter Bandcamp. The show on the whole is going to have a very distinctive 90s vibe. Listen to the streams below to see if it’s your thing.


Shade, Sudonistas, Sad Baxter, Bad Friend
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014, 9 p.m.
@ Betty’s Grill, 407 49th Ave N, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Aug 042014



Simon Joyner, one of the best songwriters alive, is playing an intimate house show tonight at Ryan Norris’ place. The wonderful Cortney Tidwell and Whisperer will also perform.

The Facebook event page has the details:

Sweetblood Sound presents an evening with Simon Joyner and special guests Cortney Tidwell & Whisperer (Sam T. Smith).
Weather permitting, performances will take place at the Gardens of Sweetblood Sound. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, etc. Park on Wallace and enter through the garden gate to the left of the garage. Please be courteous and respectful to our neighbors.

7pm, $10, BYOB

“Simon Joyner is a singer-songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska. He’s been flying under the radar since 1991, releasing music on various independent labels including: Team Love, Jagjaguwar, Sing Eunuchs!, Catsup Plate, One-Hour, Shrimper, Brinkman, Secretly Canadian, and Unread. He is also the co-founder of Grapefruit Records and an occasional producer of other people’s albums.”

“Courtney Tidwell could have been beamed to the Luminaire from a bohemian folk bar in 1960s Greenwich Village. Her music, meanwhile, suggest a collation of the sounds she heard on her time-traveling journey. Swirling, yet smudgy, pulsing with coruscations, hers is a moonlit sound, intangible and strange. Tidwell’s voice is the most remarkable instrument here. When she clambers over scales, extends individual syllables across four-note melodies, or abandons words altogether to revel in sounds There’s something strikingly individual about her, a mysterious quality all her own.

“From the darkened corners of the world come the songs of Whisperer (Sam T. Smith). These songs evoke a quiet beauty, each one putting it’s heart on the line. Hailing originally from North Carolina, he did much of his growing up in Kansas. Both of these places, these homes, have played a major part in the development of Smith as a songwriter, bringing out that sense of longing and heartache that are so apparent in his lyrics, as well as elements of the natural world.”

The show also received a Critic’s Pick from Stephen Trageser at the Nashville Scene. See below for a video I recorded of Simon’s last Nashville performance at Noa Noa. Don’t miss this!



Simon Joyner, Cortney Tidwell, Whisperer
Monday, August 4th, 7 p.m., $10, BYOB
@ the Gardens of Sweetblood Sound (house)
240 Wallace Rd
Nashville, TN 37211