Friday, April 28, 2017

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Apathy and Sentiment Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Whew! I am kind of exhausted, and I am behind on about everything, but I am mostly having the time of my life.  So, excited for the May Residency at The 5 Spot which kicks off Wednesday May 3 with The Mark Robinson Band!  This is going to be a great month of music, and I know I will have a blast, and I think you will too.  If you are reading this, and you are in or will be in Nashville on any given Wednesday in May, I hope you will come on out and say hey.

It's our final shuffle of April - where did the time go!

It's Feature Friday time....

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Topical Thursday Morning Shuffle - Pad Thai Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Today is Topical Thursday (previously Theme Thursday or something like that - and changed for no good reason).  Ever since the beginning of this year, I have been running on one topic or theme which I have alluded to but never outright explained. Originally my idea was to change topics every month, but a combination of laziness and the continued relevance of the original topic kept me from doing it. Beginning next Thursday - if all goes according to plan), I have a new Topic for the month of May.  Don't get the me wrong, the original topic is still, unfortunately, very relevant, but I am starting to become aware that this is a marathon and not a sprint... Stay tuned.

One week from today, I will be writing to tell you about the previous night's opening ceremony of the E2TG Residency. Now, I am telling you that Mark Robinson Band is coming up in less than a week!  Time to get off the fence and solidify your plans.  Otherwise, you will be reading my recap and saying, I wish I had gone. You don't want that!

So, here we go with the topic.  As I have said every week since I started this process.. The connection between these songs and my chose topic are strictly made up in my head.  I don't pretend to know nor do I wish to imply that the creators of these songs had a particular intent for the song that coincides with my interpretation.  There.... A couple of longish songs - so we have a short but sweet list.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Corn and Juice Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Okay, I'm going to speak directly to the "both sides are equally bad" crowd. Although, I do not necessarily agree with your assessment; in normal times, I can at least respect your viewpoint. And, I am not afraid to say that I am not always happy with the decisions, policies, and practices of "my side".  However, I think to continue that line of argument under the current situation is disingenuous. I need to say that if you are only making this argument on certain single-issues - then your argument may be accurate but flawed.  For people of color, for people with disabilities (and those who care about them), for the LGBTQQIP2SAA community, for people with preexisting health issues, for basically anyone who is not part of the 1% - I can unequivocally say both sides are not equally bad. I have always disliked the two party system.  I would love to see few strong third parties to emerge. Unfortunately, it will not be easy because in many ways the two party system seems to be codified both in actual code and in the wiring of most Americans. I'm not saying it can't or won't change, but it will not be easy.  In the meantime, I really would love to see people of good conscience of all political stripes to step forward against the dangerous direction the current administration is taking this country.

Despite still being tired from Monday night's late night, I headed out to $2 Tuesday at The 5 Spot. This weekly night - hosted by Derek Hoke with Tim Hibbs spinning tunes - is one of the best hangs in this town of great hangs.  $2 cover/$2 Yazoo pints and always great music.  Last night saw the $2 Tuesday debut of Jon Latham and his powerhouse band plus  Jacob Thomas Jr., host Derek Hoke, and The Royal Hounds.  All that and good hangs with good friends.  Can't be beat.

If you caught Jon Latham and company last night and were blown away, be sure to head back to The 5 Spot on May 10 when they will have a full set to spread out and rock your socks off. (Part of the E2TG Anniversary residency - all May long).

It's Wild Wednesday on the E2TG Shuffle.  All the songs... You know, sometimes Wild Wednesday produces an eclectic mix of music - covering widely diverse eras, genres, and geographic areas. Sometimes - not so much. I will let you decide for yourself which category today's shuffle fits.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle- Sacred Cows Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

You know, I keep saying this is not political, but until some more G.O.P. people grow a spine and speak up against the insanity, it does feel political.... And by insanity, I specifically mean gross incompetence, flagrant and unabashed corruption, just to name a couple.

Yesterday was an eighteen plus hour day that left me more energized than tired (we shall see how I feel after lunch today) After work, I headed to Madison to record a future Double Shot show (to air May 6), then I went to Dee's where Tim Easton hosted Madison Guild Monday.  Emma Berkey, Matt Haeck, Rayvon Pettis, Ariel Bui, Megan Palmer, Jon Latham, and more. Tim Easton closed the night joined by Aaron Lee Tasjan - before ALT performed two songs to close the night. (I know I left somebody out, too.  Sorry.)  I really fun hang. For those deep into the E2TG mythology, the first time I saw Aaron Lee Tasjan (and Tim Easton - I think) was back in 2014 at a 5 Spot Residency that Tim Easton was hosting.  That was also the fateful day that I first met Darrin Bradbury in person.

It is Tuesday.... let's see what is Trending at E2TG according to the random shuffle function....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Downward Spiral and a Uphill Climb Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Okay... Look, as I have been saying and saying... I do not like talking "politics" on E2TG.  Although, my own leanings are decidedly to the left, and I consider myself a progressive, I do recognize that there is room on almost any issue for differing viewpoints, and I believe that (at least in theory) our strength as a nation comes from working together to find common ground - even if the outcome is not ideal for either "side".  I also believe that the false "duality"of our current two party system does not leave room for nuances of opinions.  (i.e. you are either for or against something. No middle ground allowed).  However, where I feel I must speak out is on matters that I believe transcend (or should transcend) "politics".  Right now, there is evil in the world.  The rise of fascist and neo-fascists around the globe, the current situation for minorities of all kinds around the world... threats of genocide.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, look around. The United States should be a global leader in opposing this things, but as things currently stand, we seem to be supporting the oppressors, and we are doing own forms of oppression. It is the rights of all people - especially those who are most at risk that makes me take up time and space out of my music blog to speak out.

Nevertheless, the fact that it is necessary in 2017 to have a march to support science. When did science become a political issue?  (I am aware of the evolution vs. creation debates). When did suppressing scientific research and gagging scientists become okay?

All right, well, ICYMI, last night, I revealed the details of the final week of the E2TG May Residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  I am so excited to have Amelia White and the Blue Souvenirs helping close out our month.  And, joining them, all the way from Washington D.C. will be Fuzzqueen.  Fuzzqueen is the current incarnation of Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray (who have been featured here for a few years). This promises to be, most likely, our most diverse night of music for the whole month.  Fuzzqueen has suggested that ear plugs are in order.  It will be a great way to end the month!

Meanwhile, it is Monday and we have a wonderful selection of Music City related songs for you...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Walt and Manute Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Well, E2TG doesn't have Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, or Sarah Palin, but we do have a hell of an impressive line-up for our May Residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  May will mark the 6 Year Anniversary of the beginning of Ear to the Ground. That fact blows my mind. The decision to start writing the blog was something that evolved over time - from posting my morning shuffle on social media and as a result beginning to connect with people through the power of music. The actual decision to start the blog was (as I recall) pretty spur the moment, and to be honest, the name just popped into my head.  There are, as I have alluded to, other music sites and blogs that use the Ear to the Ground name - it is a good name. I think I came first, but whatever.  Over the last couple of years, I have been really pushing the #E2TG brand.

Anyway, the first four events have been created on Facebook.  The event for the fifth and final show is coming soon. I excited to announce it.  If you've been to The 5 Spot since Wednesday or if you go this weekend, you can get a sneak peek at the Week 5 line-up.

All of the shows will be fantastic, plus as an added bonus (sarcasm only slightly intended), I am going to start each show by reading some short selections of my fiction - including my novel The Drift which will be self-published soon.

Here are the announced shows so far.  I hope you can make to some or all of these.

Week 1  May 3 - Mark Robinson Band
Week 2 May 10 - Jon Latham (Full Band) with special guests
Week 3 May 17 - David Olney (Band) plus special guest opener Sergio Webb (Band)
Week 4 May 24 - Cafe Rooster Records Night (Sally Jaye, Brian Wright, Darrin Bradbury, and Jon Latham)
Week 5 May 31 - TBA  (a long time East Nashville favorite plus a special out of town guest with long time ties to E2TG).

Well, I don't know about you, but for me this has been a long arduous week, and today is FRIDAY!  Tomorrow is Record Store Day.  I am going to be hanging with my daughter, so I'm not sure what, if anything, I will be able to participate in, but there is a ton going on around Nashville and everywhere else.  In Nashville, my favorite radio station will have a presence at several of the venues. I remember when RSD in Nashville was only Grimey's and even then was not that big a deal.  It seems to get bigger every year, and the number of record stores in Nashville seems to get growing every month.  If you go, remember to pace yourself and stay hydrated.

On to our Featured Friday Shuffle:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Topical Thursday Morning Shuffle - Ain't Democracy Wonderful Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Busy, busy...   Went out to see Jon Byrd and Byrd's Auto Parts at The 5 Spot. Really great set. Cool tunes, a great band. Wendy Newcomer joined Byrd to sing a few songs.  Great hang. Talked a little to Don Gallardo who shared some updates about his next album. This makes me really excited.

It is Thursday - time to head back to my Topical Thursday playlist of songs that thematically or titular-wise fit a loosely defined and unexplained topic of my creation.  The connections are in my mind only and really this is mostly an excuse to play some really cool tunes.  Read what you want into my selections, but I do not mean to imply that any of these artists mean for their songs to be interpreted how I did.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Happiest Corpse Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Okay... still busy, busy, but I will really need to refocus my attention on somethings.

As the days and weeks go by in this new American regime, it is frightening to see people (myself included) falling into the illusion that what is happening is somehow normal or "politics as usual",  A foreign government meddling in and (at least) attempting to influence the results of a US Presidential Election is not normal.  A US President who tries to discredit the press is not normal. A US President who uses his position to boost the profits of his business while refusing to release his tax returns is not normal.  An Administration that repeated lies and then doubles down when the lies are exposed is not normal.  A President who gets his information from fringe websites and conspiracy driven television shows is not normal. White supremacists in the White House is not normal.

I just needed to say that...

Last night, I got to visit the Cafe Rooster compound and get a listen to what I think will be one of the best albums of the year  (Rayvon Pettis') new album produced by Matt Haeck.  Surrounded by the some of the best of Nashville music, I was blown away by the songs and musicianship and production of this record.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of Cafe Rooster Records, I am absolutely thrilled to announce that E2TG is teaming with Cafe Rooster for the 4th Week of the E2TG May Residency on May 24 at The 5 Spot.  Listen to this lineup:  Sally Jaye, Brian Wright, Darrin Bradbury, and Jon Latham.  $5 and you will be home by nine o'clock!

Speaking of the May Residency, I cannot believe that the kickoff show is just two weeks away!  Wow!  Mark Robinson Band will kick things off on May 3. If you've never seen Mark Robinson Band live, you are in for a treat, if you haven't seen this band recently, you are in for a treat, if you've seen them recently, then you already know you are in for a treat.  Either way, do not miss this one!

Today is Wednesday... Always a very weird mix of songs... today not being an exception to that rule....

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Mumblin' Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Running very late.... busy, busy, busy... This will be brief, but here are some cool tunes for the day!  Hopefully, I'll have a bit more time for commentary tomorrow.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - This Heartbreak Town Gets Around Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Whew!  That three day weekend went by way too fast... Deep into planning the month-long E2TG Anniversary Party in May (which will be here soon!), working on Double Shot with Joe and Sue, and getting prepared to self-publish my first novel, The Drift (Follow The Drift on Facebook!).  I did manage to get out a couple of times over the weekend. Friday, I met some friends at Dee's in Madison and saw Daniel Lawrence Walker, Russell Thompson, and a bit of The Hummingbyrds.  I was going to go to the Country to see Zach Parks, Zach Red, and Drew Kohl, but I made the mistake of stopping by my apartment and my busy week caught up with me.

Saturday night, I caught The Wooly Mamas and long time E2TG faves - Year of October for a smoldering early show at The 5 Spot. Then, I headed to The Country to catch Sean Quinn and the Tremblers, Josh Morris and The Green Field, and more.  Regular reader Sue will be interested to know that Sean Quinn did a cover of the Santo and Johnny classic "Sleep Walk". This song has been a staple in Mark Robinson's set.  While I cannot guarantee that he will play that on May 3 when he kicks of the E2TG Anniversary residency at The 5 Spot, you come see and find out for yourself.

Onward - to the Music City Monday Shuffle!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Topical Thursday Morning Shuffle - What about the Minutemen? Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Here we go... I'm gonna let my Topical Thursday Shuffle do the talking for me today.

Last night, I made it out to The Basement for an early show featuring three incredible songwriters.  Jeremy Ivey opened the night.  Although I had seen him before (at a couple of different shows at Dee's - I think.  On the prior occasions, I had not been able to really concentrate on his songs. Last night was more of a "listening room" environment, and I have to say, I was blown away. Really strong songs that were moving - at times gently humorous.  Count me as a new fan.

Up next was David Dondero. NPR called him one of our greatest living songwriters, and it was easy to see why.  I was introduced to his music a couple of years ago by Darrin Bradbury - who considers Dondero one of his biggest influences. It was clear that his songs were next level good. Again there was humor. To me it was like really good poetry accompanied by a guitar.

The aforementioned Darrin Bradbury closed this early show.  As long time readers may recall, there was a time a couple of years ago when I was seeing Darrin play at least two or three times every week.  Of late, Darrin has been killing it on road - with some high profile opening gigs for Ray Wylie Hubbard, Elizabeth Cook, Wanda Jackson, and Drivin' N' Cryin' to name a few. So, it had been a while since I have had the chance to see Darrin play.  He took advantage of this intimate setting to try out some new and newish songs - along with favorites like Elmwood Park and Myrtle Beach. The new songs sounded great, and I was reminded again why I consider Darrin Bradbury one of the best pure songwriters working today.

In other news, the details of the last two weeks of the E2TG Residency are coming together nicely, and I plan to finalize those announcements over the long holiday weekend (I am off work tomorrow).

Okay, as I mentioned, it is Topical Thursday.  As I say every week, the songs (more or less) fit my undisclosed "topic" but their connection to the topic is mainly all in my head.  Any viewpoint you may infer from this list is mine alone and may not reflect the viewpoint of the artists or their respective songs.

A really long song and a kind of long song mean we only have six songs in today's shuffle.

Let's shuffle!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Big Mouths and No Guts Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Thought of the day:  Sean Spicer's comments about Hitler and chemical weapons, might be justifiably dismissed as "poor word choice" (albeit of epic proportions) if it were not for the fact that there are Neo-Nazis working in the White House. Context is important....
Just announced!  Week 3 (out of 5) of the E2TG Sixth Anniversary - residency at The 5 Spot will be:  David Olney  with special guest Sergio Webb!!!  Both will be playing full band sets on Wednesday May 17.  These are early shows that will have you home (or off to another show) early. I am super excited to have both of these legends on the same stage on the same night.

Previously announced:  Week 1 (May 3) - The Mark Robinson Band and Week 2 (May 10) - Jon Latham (Full Band) with special guests.

And we still have two more weeks to announce!  Soon!

Things get wild on Wednesdays... here is a random shuffle taken from a list that includes every single song in my phone's memory.  This one takes us around the world and back again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Wind Together Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Just for today, I need to find beauty in the world.  This is not to say that I am denying the ugliness or even to fail to acknowledge that my privilege plays a big part in my ability to "shut out" the ugliness and to focus on the beauty, But, just for today, for my own sanity and well-being, I feel the need to recognize and acknowledge all of the beauty.  Love is beautiful - no matter how it is expressed or by whom. Truth is beautiful - even when it is attacked and ignored. People are beautiful - no matter how society chooses to define them. Art is beautiful - regardless of its commercial potential. Clouds are beautiful - even gray and ominous ones. You are beautiful - regardless of what you see when you look in a mirror - not matter what anyone tells you, no matter how you feel.

In other (good) news, my line-up for the E2TG 6th Anniversary month-long residency in May at The 5 Spot has been finalized.  The final three shows will be announced very soon.  Don't forget:  Mark Robinson Band will be jamming on May 3, and Jon Latham (and his band) will be rocking the house on May 10.  A Music City legend will be headlining on May 17.  One of Nashville's newest record labels will be running the night on May 24.  And a local favorite and the current incarnation of a long-time E2TG favorite will be laying it down on May 31.  Stay Tuned and clear your calendar.

Okay - it is Tuesday. On Tuesday, we shuffle up songs from the "New Music" playlist and call it "Trending Tuesday" because "trending" is currently a trending word.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - 7 Hours Away Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

So, the illegitimate president's illegitimate supreme court nominee has been sworn in.  Great.. just great...  Feeling pretty disgusted with the whole thing.

Diving into Monday - a four-day work week for me... let's get this going.  Monday means time for our "Music City" shuffle. Let's go!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Downslide Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Sleight of hand.  Misdirection. Distraction. The con men all use these tricks to keep the "marks" from seeing what is really going on.  Do not be mislead.  Keep your eye on the ball. Focus. Resist.

Meanwhile, here is a song from 2013 #E2TG Band of the Year - The End Men which is sadly relevant once again.


Okay. Last night, I headed out west - West Nashville that is... my first time at Betty's Grill. Probably my first show that far out west since Stone Fox closed. Pretty cool DIY venue.

A pretty cool line-up of rock and roll music - as the kids call it. Local band Sad Baxter opened the night with some grungy, thumping sounds. I dig them a bunch.  I had previously seen them backing up Bill Eberle at Andrew Leahey's CD Release show last August.

Next up was The Regrets from Brooklyn.  I had previously posted one of their tracks from a Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen compilation (btw, I don't remember all this stuff - the search box is my friend). I dug their music and expect to hear much more. The Regrets are currently on tour with another Brooklyn and MCFK related band, NO ICE who played next.

NO ICE is lead by Jamie Frey.  They are a six piece band and they pretty much freaking rock. The band includes Sam Braverman of Logan X* (whose latest release we are spinning these days). About NO ICE - great songs, great energy. I had posted about them before - also from a MCFK comp - but man I am a fan now for real.

*It was great to finally meet Sam in person. He played me an unreleased Logan X song which sounds amazing.  Look for new music from Logan X coming soon.

Closing the night was another local band, The Mumzees.  They are very young (of course - most bands are very young to me....). The lead singer was wearing a The Fall t-shirt - which was a good sign, and wow!  I don't get out to "punk" shows very often, and so, it is nice to be reminded that the
"kids" are still alright. It was loud and distorted and aggressive (at times), and it was awesome.

All in all, a nice change of pace for me, and nice to get out to a show - after spending most of the week working on stuff.

It's Friday - let's get right to the Featured Friday shuffle...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Topical Thursday Morning Shuffle - La La La Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Been very busy this week on several different fronts, and as I was feeling a little bit stressed out yesterday, it was good reminder to reflect on gratitude.

Found out yesterday that NO ICE, and The Regrets - who are both associated with the Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen collective out of New York - are playing here in Nashville tonight - at Betty's Grill in West Nashville. Looks to be a pretty rocking show.  As always there is a ton of live music going on in Nashville, but NO ICE's membership included Sam Braverman of Logan X - who I have been writing about for nearly 4 years, so I feel I must take advantage of this opportunity to meet him and hear this music in person.   This will be the second Mama Coco's related band for me to see live in Nashville.  I saw Toot Suite a while back at The East Room.

It's Thursday again, and we return to our Topical Thursday shuffle.  The songs (or at least the titles or possible interpretations of the titles) fit a predetermined, vaguely defined, and unrevealed topic.  As always, do not infer and I am not implying that the writers and performers below - have any association, affiliation, or  that they support any particular viewpoint.  The shuffle is about me making a statement - as vague and murky as that may be.   Let's go!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - I Saw the Crescent Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Okay - it's Wednesday. It's been a very busy week, and things do not seem to be slowing down any time soon.  But, it's all good.

Wednesday, we shuffle up every single song in my phone's memory and see what happens. So, these may be newer songs, random songs that don't fit another classification, "stragglers" from prior featured albums, things I don't remember adding to my phone, classics, favorites, and assorted goodness.  We call it "Wild Wednesday".  For one, the results can be pretty wild, but mainly, "wild" as in "wildcard".

Let's jump!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Squish Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Today, I am thinking about something I wrote way back when this current administration was brand new. As time goes by, and things seemingly get worse and not better, it has come to my mind again.  The tendency to dismiss or distance once self from acquaintances or friends or even family members who support this current administration is understandable. And, I have not criticism or disagreement with anyone's decision in this regard, however, regardless of how we choose to handle individual and specific relationships, the fact is that as a nation - we must find someway to understand the thinking of those die-hard supporters. And it is a complex thing.. which I cannot even begin to address here. But, address this - we must. As important as it is to stand up for what I believe and to stand up for people who are genuinely and correctly frightened by current events - and all of that IS important. I think it is necessary to attempt to see what led some people to a different world view.

Well last night, I unveiled the featured artist for the second week of the E2TG 6th Anniversary - May Residency at The 5 Spot. It is 2015 Artist of the Year, Jon Latham who will be rocking the house with a full band set. If you haven't seen Jon and his band, get ready. It will be loud and it will be awesome!

If you are in Atlanta tonight, Nashville's own Benchmarks will be playing at Vinyl with long time E2TG favorite Killing Kuddles.

It is Tuesday, and here at E2TG that means we dig into our "New Music" playlist and find out what is "Trending"

Monday, April 3, 2017

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Take One Down Mix

Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Daily (not) political post:  It occurred to me reading a couple of recent news articles that the current administration is the most transparently unethical administration in this nation's history.  Transparent is usually seen as a good thing, but the way the current administration is openly flaunting their ethical breaches is astounding. Where are those in power who are willing to speak up? It's not like there even needs to be much of an investigation.  They are not even trying to hide it....
Busy weekend... saw some great shows, missed some great shows, worked hard, rested, hung out with friends, did a live radio show with guest DJ Mark Robinson, announced the first week of the E2TG May Residency with same Mark Robinson and his fabulous band, and did some other things.

The rest of the line-up will be announced soon.  

Saturday night was the David Olney CD release show and pop-up art event at The 5 Spot with Brock Zeman and Blair Hogan.  Great music and a great time..

It's Monday, when we shuffle up tunes from our Music City Monday playlist.... let's go...