Tag Archives: The Basement

New Faces Nite at The Basement in Nashville, TN with Emily Davis, Jeffrey James, Stephanie Nilles and more! [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

I’ve been going to a lot of shows recently.  I’ve been to five venues in the last four days; one festival and four concerts.  Am I tired?  No.  Am I sick of music?  No.  Am I nuts?  Well, that has yet to be proved or disproved, so we’ll leave that question out of the mix for now.  What you should know is that on most Tuesday nights, The Basement in Nashville has New Faces Nite, a free show with great bands.   In case you missed it, that’s a FREE show with GREAT bands.

This week was another example of a stellar New Faces Nite at The Basement.  First up was Emily Davis, an acoustic folk rock artist from El Paso, TX.  With the tough job of opening the night, Emily used her strong vocals and “darkly optimistic” lyrics to warm up the crowd.  Second of the night was a new local rock artist named Jeffrey James.  Jeffrey and his backing band called The Professional Children took the stage and released a blend of blues and soulful rock from his latest EP called Goin’ Back Down.  The album was produced by Nashville veteran Lex Lipstiz, who said, “Jeffrey James has one of those classic soul voices.  With his bigger than life stage presence and commanding vocal delivery, he definitely sells you on every word… I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s a huge star.”  Well, I think that’s about one of the biggest compliments you can get from a producer, so if you like rock with a little country, blues, and soul thrown in the mix, check out Jeffrey James.  These artists had good music and played well, but I would like to highlight the crowd favorite of the night.

Photo by Kellie Coughlin.

Stephanie Nilles is not your typical jazz-infused punk folk artist.  If you want to listen to something fresh, but are tired of all the Ingrid Michaelson, Grizzly Bear, and Feist indie band imitations, her music is sure to wake you up.  New Faces Nite at The Basement was my first time hearing Stephanie Nilles, and it’s been awhile since I’ve heard an artist be so creatively bold with their music on stage.  She has taken her training as a classical pianist and developed an amazing jazz and blues style filled with her own unique embellishments for each song.  Rolling Stone has even said, “she’s like ‘Ella Fitzgerald on speed beating the shit out of Regina Spektor.’  Whoa!  There’s a review that won’t go in one ear and out the other.  Even if you have your own personal preferred style of music, I think that her music is powerful enough that you can appreciate it at the least, especially if you’re a musician.  Check out the song “For a High Life Commercial” by Stephanie Nilles.

Photo by Leonard Lopp.

She’s different, but brilliant in a twisted sense that maybe she writes from thoughts that you have had, but didn’t exactly want to communicate because of what people would think about you.  I think this is a huge part of Stephanie’s music.  She also has the musical talent to back up anything she sings in that dirty Regina Spektor tone of hers.  These also aren’t your typically structured songs either, with syllables that land when they want and fully diminished seventh chords that appear in thoughtlessly considered, appropriate places.  Stephanie communicates what she wants when she wants to, and it’s thoroughly entertaining every time.  Check out another one of her songs called “Cool Aid Stand.”

If you’ve been having as much fun listening to Stephanie Nilles as I have, check out more of her music at www.stephanienilles.com.  The other bands that played that night (that I didn’t get to see) were Boom Forest, I Believe in Hotpants, and Haley Dreis.  I’ll be on the look out to cover some of these artists at a later date.  Until then, keep supporting independent music!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

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Heavy Cream, Useless Eaters, and Feral Beat at The Basement in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

It’s a Sunday evening in Nashville and you’re not quite done with your weekend, so what do you do?  You check out the bands that you could possibly see for only five bucks at The Basement on 8th Avenue South!  This past Sunday was a night filled with indie punk rock music derived from soul and rock-and-roll influences.  The show started at 10:00pm with a band called Feral Beat.  I had a chance to talk with their lead singer Seth Sutton after the first set, and learned that he was also fronting Useless Eaters and playing bass for Heavy Cream.  A very talented guy from Memphis, TN, Seth moved to Nashville to fully pursue music, and you can tell that he’s going after it.  The second set required a change at bass and drums in preparation for Useless Eaters, a Neo-soul trio from Nashville.  After a driving, high-energy set, Heavy Cream took the stage as the headline act, which closed out a great night of underground Nashville indie punk rock.

Feral Beat is a very new band in Nashville, TN featuring Seth Sutton on guitars and vocals, Allison Waid on drums and vocals, and Mimi Galbierz on bass.  It seems as though the group formed as a side project from Useless Eaters and Heavy Cream.  This was a fun new band to see live, and I hope that they continue to play around town.

Useless Eaters is an indie neo-soul band from Nashville, TN.  With pumping beats and infamous bright guitar tone, they seemed to have locked in a sound that suits them.  It almost makes you feel like you’re part of a early 90s garage band show, but this band is far removed from playing for themselves in some old box with poor acoustics and oil on the floor.  They have positioned themselves in a new light within Nashville’s independent scene.  Check out this song from Useless Eaters called “Daft Love.”

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream is a local punk rock visual band featuring Mimi on guitar, Daniel on bass, Tiffany on drums, and Jessica on strings.  They are the most well known of the three groups that played on Sunday night, and their performance showed it.  The band describes their journey simply; “We started in 1997, broke up in the fall, got back together January of 2009 and sealed the deal on Valentine’s day.”  They also uniquely describe their genre as “Stonehenge punk.”  Check out one of their songs called “Tina.”

Be sure to check out The Basement’s “New Faces Nite” most Tuesdays for free shows with great local artists!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play, Music Without Labels, LLC

The Black And White Years at The Basement in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

Want some fresh electro-pop, but don’t want to stray to far from the comfort of your favorite indie rock band?  You’re in luck.   The Black And White Years are an indie art rock band based out of Austin, TX, and the members met while attending school in Nashville, TN.  The band consists of Scott Butler (vocals, guitars, keys), Landon Thompson (guitars, keys, vocals), John Aldridge (bass, brass), and Billy Potts (drums).  This is a creative group of guys that combine distinct sounds from electronics, keys, and guitars to create their unique style.  They have been recommended to be one of the best up-and-coming electro-pop bands in America.  Check one of their most popular songs from their newest album “Patterns” called “Up!”

As you can see, this band has their original electro-pop style dialed in.  The Black And White Years were officially discovered at South by Southwest in 2007 by Jerry Harrison, a member of Talking Heads and Modern Lovers.  Jerry offered to work with the band and produced their debut self-titled album in Sausalito, CA.  The album was released in 2008 and kick-started the group’s success at festivals such as CMJ, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and MIDEM to name a few.  Check out this music video for their song “Cold:”

The band will be playing a show tomorrow night at The Basement in Nashville.  They will continue to tour throughout the east this summer with hype surrounding their newest album called “Patterns.”  This album is their second solid release in three years.  While their music may seem odd or quirky to some, The Black And White Years must be heard live for a full-engagement with their art.  With great sounds, danceable grooves, and a solid all around performance, these guys are worth your time.  Listen to another song called “Patterns” from their latest album.

Visit their website to keep listening, or simply come to the show tomorrow night at The Basement in Nashville, TN.

By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Strand of Oaks Live at The Basement in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

One thing that sets Nashville apart from most cities is that you can take a chance of just showing up at one of the city’s staple venues on almost any night and be completely taken away by the talent on stage.  I had one of those nights last week when I decided to check out The Basement in Nashville to scratch my Saturday night concert itch.  Allow me to describe what it was like to hear Timothy Showalter’s Strand of Oaks perform songs from his album Pope Killdragon.  From my hometown of Philadelphia, PA, Strand of Oaks performs by creating a masterful tone with his guitar and voice.  The combination of pedals and reverb create a beautiful sound that allows you to really enter in to each and every song.  With apocalyptic imagery and the creation of new worlds that seem somewhat familiar, the songs elaborate more than most with quality in writing. Check out this awesome song called “Bonfire:”

Strand of Oaks’ performance was pretty epic for a guy and his guitar.  He enters in to each song, fully emulating the emotion that it deserves.  Following each dramatic song, Timothy emits a lighthearted smile, which is rare in many singer-songwriter performances today.  To the audience member, it seemed to show that this artist was privileged to be able to share his music with me, and I was certainly privileged to hear it.  There was a fun side to this apocalyptic poet, like between songs when he said, “If only I could write a song about flip-flops.”  I, for one, am thankful that his creativity encompasses more than just songs about popular American footwear.

There seems to be more to Strand of Oaks than meets the eye and ear.  Even with what seems like a rough past, Timothy remains persistant and seemingly more inspired than ever.  He is definitely one of the most gracious and humble artists I’ve had the pleasure to talk to yet.  I would love to take a step inside his mind to view some of what inspires his creative genius.  Margan Galen King describes his most recent album, “Pope Killdragon pulls you in magnetically, forcing your attention to its every word in desperation to comprehend both your own surroundings and the threat looming in the distance.”  I encourage everyone to take a listen to this astonishing album because there is certainly nothing else like it out there.

Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Dovekins Live at The Basement in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

Dovekins is not just any folk band from Denver, CO.  They are a five piece folk band with unlimited creativity and talent on banjo, guitar, accordion, piano, upright bass, percussion, flute, trombone, trumpet, and mandolin to name a few.  With a solid rhythm section, dialed in harmonies, and great music all around, their live show is a must-see.  From experience, you will be captivated by the level of musicianship and creativity that this band brings to the stage.  I saw them just last week at The Basement (below the infamous Grimey’s new and pre-loved music store) in Nashville, TN.  I also recommend checking out the record store, if you ever step foot in Nashville.  Check out this live video of Dovekins performing “More Charlie More!”:

As you can see, this is no ordinary folk band.  Their websites boast of an elaborate sailing story that brought the band together, but Dovekins really did form following a sailing trip gone awry.  It all started three years ago in Colorado when different music scenes from Fort Collins and Denver got together.  The musicians were used to playing at their local venues, but were brought together when one shut down.  New friendships formed and they soon ended up in Hawaii.  They met a captain named Robin Lee Graham who needed a crew to help sail his boat called Dove from Honolulu to Seattle.  Despite the repairs made to Dove before its departure, they had to turn back during their trip because of it’s condition.  The band flew to Seattle, hitchhiked home, and started Dovekins with the songs they wrote in Honolulu.  Let’s be glad that this adventure worked out however it did because it’s truly inspiring to watch these guys (and girl) in their art.  From live set list changes, to jumping around on stage, you can tell that Dovekins is not only incredibly comfortable with their music, but they are also outstanding musicians and performers.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy “The Dalles,” from their debut album “Assemble the Aviary.”

Their influences range from friends and hometown bands to established acts like Fleet Foxes and Dirty Projectors.  They have released two albums, “Assemble the Aviary” and “(A)Live.”  Their second and latest album “(A)Live” was recorded at The Fort Collins Tour De Fat 2010.  There are some killer songs on both of these albums.  You’ll find upbeat dancing songs like “The Dalles” and relaxing folk beauties like “Raining Buttons.”  I definitely recommend that you buy them, if you haven’t already.

By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC