Ep.410 – Next Big Nashville 2010 – Nashville, TN
Oct 12th, 2010
Category: 12th and Porter, Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces, Cannery Ballroom, Exit/In, Free Sol, Mercy Lounge, Mother/Father, Nashville, Next Big Nashville, Nite Nite, RJD2, Sam & Tre, Third Man Records, Turbo Fruits, Tyler Bryant, Video Concert Reviews, Yeasayer
The Next Big Nashville music festival and conference took place a couple weeks ago, and, honestly, I think I’m still recovering. The NBN routine requires a full-timer/hobby blogger to juggle their daytime priorities while squeezing in select conference panels throughout the day, and then prepping for the pre-parties and long night of shows by changing outfits and doing makeup in the workplace restroom. One must be prepared to function off of power naps, Vitamin Water, and music.
I have yet to see a dud of a showcase at Next Big Nashville, but then, I rarely stay at one place for the full lineup. The shuttles give you the freedom to bounce between venues and whet your palette on the variety Nashville offers. I, personally, try to get as much out of the wristband as possible.
This was my second year attending the festival, and I felt a lot less stress than last year. The schedule seemed easier to manage, and I knew what I NEEDED to see, and what I would like to see. There were a number of repeat performers from last year’s bill, so I could scratch those off.
What the festival has:
- Incredible parties (There should be some of these available for non-VIPs.)
- A responsible transportation option
- Opportunities to learn the business side of the music industry
- It’s a great way to showcase local talent by peppering in national buzz bands to attract crowds
- And a way to network with the community
If you’re a music enthusiast, but can’t make it out to shows on the reg, NBN is the best way to recap on what’s been happening locally throughout the year, and an avenue to see those bands you’ve heard about live; plus, you get the luxury of the national acts…all for a very reasonable price.
What the festival lacks:
Attention to the melodic hard rock genre and metal genre. These styles may not be considered “cool” in the indie scene that this festival seems to gravitate towards, but it would draw yet another audience to the event, and, really, these are the type of fans that actually pay covers, buy merch, and generously spend their earnings at the bars.
A showcase like this would make the festival seem more encompassing and accepting of all kinds of music. For instance, the Hip Hop showcase this year was awesome.
What improved from last year:
The presentation and location of the conference and the notoriety of speakers were a big improvement. I loved listening to Scott Bruchetta (Valory Music) and Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) talk about their careers. That being said, please see what I felt didn’t work below.
I was still disappointed in the turnout for the conference portion, and I’m not sure what can be done to get people in the seats. Perhaps more contests and giveaways during the panels.
Also, this year it seemed as though the speakers were far more advanced than last year. Maybe even too advanced for this audience…?
Last year, I learned much more about the development stages from a local level, and what bands can do to spark that media attention and get labels interested. I felt that bands didn’t walk away with much that they could use at this point in their careers.
As mentioned in one panel, skipping steps does not help the development process, and I think the bands and managers need to learn more about the “in between.” Maybe focus a panel on an upcoming band from Nashville that’s picking up some steam, and have some “higher ups” analyze where they are – pointing out what they are doing right, wrong, and give ideas on what they can do to improve. Or maybe a panel talking with a band that was almost there, and what went wrong.
Also, I felt that the speakers spent more time on audience questions last year.
Even so, I believe the conference portion is a huge asset to the festival.
NBN Artist Superlatives:
RJD2: Dj-ing with real records? Art, music, video, pop culture combo? Yes, and yes.
Mother/Father: Best Male voice that I’ve heard in a very long time.
Tyler Bryant: When I see Tyler, I thought the same thing as I did when I saw Justin Bieber perform…I want my kid to be just like him. So adorable, and a ton of talent – however, Bryant will see a lot more universal respect than Bieber. Dude shreds.
Nite Nite – Anyone who knows me, knows I love mainstream, so when I get a song stuck in my head after editing videos – chances are…it would probably do well on the radio. That happened with Nite Nite, and although they are not Pop – I believe they could be picked up and adapted by a few different formats.
They sneak in the familiarity, so on the surface you’re presented with their daunting mystical tones and an air of unattainable coolness often attached to the indie rock scene. There’s just something ‘famous’ about them.
Besides being sonically attractive to many ears, the band is visually beautiful and trendy (hence, their success with fashion magazines and boutique shows.) As commercial as it sounds, Nite Nite is a complete package. Sweet name too.
Sam & Tre – Yay! Nashville got itself some Party Rock! These guys have a great thing going – a mash up of Hip Hop and Eletro that caters to everyone that likes to…well, have fun. “We Do” should already be a national club hit, and once they breakthrough they’ll take off thanks to the true musical gift of mastering intoxicating hooks and incorporating old school practices and influences into a modern mold.
Free Sol from Memphis, signed to Justin Timberlake’s Tennman Records, was a huge surprise. A full Hip Pop Rock band! The band is tight, and puts on a great show. Funny, but after seeing them, I immediately wanted to see “The Social Network.” Damn you, JT and your mind games!
Best Dance Band/DJ:
The Hood Internet – They’re just good.
Turbo Fruits – Nothing beats feeling like you’re 16 again at coffee shop or warehouse show. You know, the times when you were pumped to just get out of the house and rock with friends. There was so much excitement in this room, complete with crowd surfing. I felt like I was watching huge rock stars.
Breaking a guitar would usually ruin the flow of a set, if not end it, right? It was my favorite part of their show. Finding another band to lend their axe and playing “Stranglehold” as a segue – those are the hilarious impromptu moments I live for, and why I love concerts.
Turbo Fruits have the tunes, the presence and the personality. I bet the cruise they are playing is going to be insane. Wouldn’t surprise me if someone went overboard.
Next Big Nashville:
I say it, because I believe it. I think Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces can be the “next big thing” out of Nashville. From the moment I moved here, I heard about Jazz. He has a way with branding himself, and getting noticed. Most importantly, he’s making music that no one else is making.
He takes risks, self-promotes, and it’s fun watching him make himself into a star.
His live show may need some polishing (a full band would be nice), but the dedication and desire to entertain is there. Perfection will all come in time, and I look forward to witnessing the process. Too many bands nail their performance, and never grow or evolve from there. Jazz is the kind of artist that will always keep you guessing.
Fact is, Jazz writes catchy songs (just try getting “Vultures (You Never Shut Up)” out of your head. I can’t even do it using this nifty tool Webbys’ newsletter introduced me to.); he makes people smile, and wants to make it. As you can see, I have high hopes for that kiddo.
Oh, and you can download his awesome new single HERE!
Welp, there’s your recap in a rather large nutshell. Next Big Nashville is something I surely look forward to, and the fact that the forces behind the festival value and ask for advice from attendees only means a bigger and brighter future.
Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces – Lose All Control (a DPAUL Production)