The Deli's Best of 2012 Poll for emerging Nashville artists is now over - see the readers' poll results here. We'll soon announce the winners of the readers' poll and the results of the overall poll, which includes the votes of our scene expert jurors and determines the winner of The Deli's Best Emerging Artist of the Year
Yesterday, word began to leak out that an employee of Rocketown had been fired over his decision to wear a Hostage Calm band t-shirt supporting marriage equality. In less than 24 hours, the story hit Twitter, Reddit, and found some space over on the The Tennesseean blog. In response to his termination from the venue whose mission statement reads "Offering hope to the next generation through Christ's love," Wes Breedwell took to his Instagram account, posting the photo above and stating:
Got fired from Rocketown today. Social media is what did it. So here is a picture to show my support for equality and free speech including social media. Cheers to my friends for having my back through all of this. #sevenyears
In response to the termination, Hostage Calm released the following (incredibly eloquent) statement via email and on their website:
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a longtime supporter of Hostage Calm and marriage equality was fired from his job at the Nashville music venue, Rocketown, for wearing his “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” shirt to work. A friend from Nashville contacted me about the situation and told me of Wes Breedwell, this seven-year employee of Rocketown who now finds himself the victim of discrimination. We called this brave man to hear his story, demonstrate our support, and figure out how we can help.
What I heard from him was a long pattern of discrimination against him for not being Christian and for supporting marriage equality. Rocketown is a Christian-owned non-profit community center and venue: not a church. And yet, over the seven years he has worked there, he’s been denied opportunities for advancement and salary based on his non-Christian beliefs. Today, Rocketown fired him for wearing this shirt commemorating equality (along with his non-Christian activity on social media pages). Wes emphasized that employees routinely wear band shirts at Rocketown. So why did this shirt cause such a problem?
It’s important to note that they didn’t fire him for wearing A SHIRT. They fired him because of what that shirt stands for. For what that shirt threatens.
This shirt represents an idea that all people have the right to live their lives without being told who to love and whose love is more valuable. It represents equality under the law. It represents the freedom to choose.
So how could a youth center not support such a vital, foundational understanding of human freedom and equality as part of their social mission? Hostage Calm has played Rocketown multiple times. In my prior visits, I was under the impression that Rocketown was a positive force in this Nashville community: they had a music venue, skatepark, and other outlets for Nashville youth. But a youth center and music venue cannot be a positive force in the community if it degrades and belittles the value of some of our people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. That is the force that tears communities apart, not that enriches them.
I originally planned to make a post today about Dr. King, the status of his Dream, and how we can all work together to realize equality in modern America. This unfortunate event demonstrates that Dr. King’s Dream is still under threat, and that the struggle of the LGBT community for equal standing under the law is a Civil Rights issue of our time.
Hostage Calm promises to do everything in its power to raise awareness and challenge this injustice in Nashville. We will certainly never play Rocketown again. We’ll continue to post more information as Wes and H.C. take further action. For now, you can help by reposting his story to shine a light on this injustice, and by boycotting the venue. Most of all, please send all your support to Wes Breedwell and his fight for justice.
May Love Prevail,
Cmar, Hostage Calm
Though this story is gaining a lot of steam, no official statement has been released from Rocketown. For more details and some excellent reporting on the incident, visit No Country for New Nashville. –Brianne Turner
Exemplifying that male/female folk harmonies don't require suspenders and a mandolin, Grace & Tony skip the ho-heys and the stomp/clap rhythm and opt instead for a punkgrass sound that offers a refreshing take on modern Americana.
In their new video for "November," the duo takes to the streets of Florence, Alabama to tell a humble love story featuring a kick ass OG Cadillac and a lot of romantic eye contact. Directed by Lloyd Aur Norman of Villain Place, "November" highlights the first song from Grace & Tony's forthcoming album of the same name. No word yet on a release date for November, but you can catch up on Inside A Seven Track Mindhere in the interim. –Brianne Turner
'Tis the season for video releases and our next clip comes from the guys in Clear Plastic Masks. Formed in 2011 in Brooklyn, the four piece picked up and headed to Music City, where they recorded their full-length right down the road at The Bomb Shelter. The band describes themselves as "rooted in the blue collar analog tradition of work a day rock n roll," making them perfect candidates for one of the next best bands to come out of Nashville, via somewhere else.
Premiered Friday by our friends over at The Scene, "So Real" was directed by Joshua Shoemaker and features live footage of the band playing a few different gigs and one house party that you'd probably get punched in the face at-- and we mean that in a good way.
If you missed the Clear Plastic Masks set at the Mercy Lounge's anniversary party, you can catch them again on January 29th at The End with William Tyler, Promised Land, and Buffalo Clover. –Brianne Turner
Just in time to commemorate the sudden and somewhat painful temperature drop outside, the East Nashville Underground crew have announced their winter lineup. The shows will take place on Friday, February 15th and Saturday, February 16th, so whether you're taken or single, this is your best chance to dance off your post-Valentine's Day haze.
Friday Night Vinyl Thief
All Them Witches
Machines Are People Too (headliner)
Magnolia Sons (headliner)
DJ Rate (from Boom Bap)
Saturday Brunch Day Show
The Static Trees
KS Rhoads (headliner)
Frances & The Foundation Hanzelle
James Wallace & The Naked Light (headliner)
MOON TAXI (headliner)
The Wans D
J That Guy! (Kory Schalm)
Wristbands for the full weekend are $25 and can be purchased this way. If the anticipation is just too much to bear, you can get started a little early at the High Watt on February 11th for the ENU edition of 8 Off 8th.
Born from the mind of Justin Landis and formed in December of 2011, Western Medication have premiered their video for "Big City" over at Stereogum. In addition to Landis, the band features Alycia Wahn (formerly of Useless Eaters) and Bad Cop's Adam Moult and Kevin Kilpatrick, created as "the remedy against the epidemic of uninspired rock that has been pumped out for years."
If you have a free minute (and eight seconds, to be exact), you can check out Western Medicine's version of the remedy for uninspired rock music in the clip for "Big City," featuring a bad ass jam session and some computer-enhanced shots of Manhattan.
"Big City" will be featured on The Painted World 7", out January 29th via Jeffrey Drag Records.
In their new video for "Monogamy," fittingly released late last night, Cherub fill a hotel room with fruit and purple balloons to tag-team romance a cougar before hitting the town to ride around real slow. The clip was directed by aaronisnotcool and Sam Pattillo.
Cherub will take the stage again in Nashville tomorrow night, playing night two of the Mercy Lounge's 10th anniversary party.
If the word "feather" conjures the idea of things gentle and soft, then you may not be ready for The Wild Feathers or their newest track, "Backwoods Company." The song title, however, does the video perfect justice, as the clip features the band and some friends hanging out in the backwoods. But, just to keep the night interesting, things take a turn and end with a gruesome twist-- you know... as usual.
The video was directed by Gus Black and premiered today over at Filter. You can find "Backwoods Company" on The Wild Feathers' eponymous debut album, set for release later this year, and you can catch the band at the High Watt on February 6th. –Brianne Turner
If you missed our inaugural 2013 showcase on Saturday night, there's no way to sugar coat it: You missed out, and we wish you could've been there. But a rundown is the next best thing, and we have all of the details about what you missed.
Star & Micey brought honorary band member Jeremy Stanfill along with their best party vibe to the 5 Spot stage, playing songs from their bouncy and upbeat (and well-illustrated) discography. The Memphis four piece turned showing up for the opening act into the best decision any of us made that night, with two of the many highlights of their set being the opportunity to finally hear "I Can't Wait" live, minus the violence, and seeing Carolina Story join the band onstage for the final song of their set.
Past winners of our Band Of the Month poll, Peter Terry & the City Profits played a collection of new and old songs, shaking the walls with Terry's powerhouse vocals on songs like the tentatively titled "Hard Rain" and I Am Jackson's. "Miss May & Dean Kay." Chris Spann's stoic presence on the drums keeps cadence with the rise and fall of each song, and Stephen Juergensen's cello stands as the band's secret weapon, creating a sense of romance even in the midst of the band's grittier rock moments.
Magnolia Sons rounded out the night, looking as dapper as ever. With an aesthetic as solid as their sound, the band pulled out all the stops, from the strength behind Ben Harper's croon, to the brass section, to the girls (Alexis Saski and McKenzie Gregg) beside Harper, kicking your ass with their soul-tinged, gut-punch vocals. In response to some polite shouting from the crowd, Magnolia Sons played a one-song encore, featuring "How Ya Holdin' Up," after which the drunk out of towner beside me earnestly vowed to "look those guys up on Google." Which, in this industry, may be one of the highest compliments a band can receive.
Though our show is over, you can see Magnolia Sons play Nashville again on February 6th at the Stone Fox. You can catch Star & Micey tomorrow night at Music City Roots, and be sure to keep an eye on Peter Terry & the City Profits over this way. –Brianne Turner