"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"The Devil's Words" whispered "Sweet and Low" by Joe, the Nashville Playwright

It's rare for us to spend two "school" nights in one week staying out late, but this week was worth the effort for two excellent concerts in Nashville. Tuesday night, the 27th, we saw Augustana at City Hall, a great little venue in "The Gulch" of downtown Nashville. We were sorry to hear that it looks to be closing in the near future. That too bad since we were able to stand only a few feet from the band(s) and the acoustics are great. Augustana looks and sounds very polished for a fairly "new" band with only their second full-length album coming out earlier this month. Every song on it is great, by the way. Lead singer, Dan Layus, has an incredible voice, but one of the highlights of the concert was a cool 5-part harmony with all the bandmembers reminiscent of The Eagles' "Seven Bridges Road." Their current single, "Sweet and Low" and their break-out single 'Boston' were strong finishing numbers and was followed by an encore version of Big Joe Williams' "Baby, Please Don't Go"...you know the one...."baby, please don't go...baby please don't go, back to New Orelans, baby please don't go..." Another added bonus of the evening was a strong opening set by Wild Sweet Orange from Birmingham. These guys are a little... different... reminded us a little of The Cure...but their original songs are lyrical, clever and smooth. We might be able to say "we saw them when" someday soon when they hit it big. Thursday night, the 29th, felt like we were doing a Rachel Ray-type show that should have been called "An Evening of Entertainment in Nashville for under $20." After dinner at Mafioso's (great pizza!) with our friend, Lisa, we headed over to the new Ovvio Arte - a 1937 garage converted into space for art exhibits, live music and theatre productions. What a neat concept! We were there for opening night of Rubber Ducks and Religion which is their first theatre production and was penned by our friend, Joe Giordano - way to go, Joe!! The production was an intermingling of three one-act plays that were clever, laugh-out loud funny and quite thought-provoking. All this fun for just $10. After congratulating Joe on his success, we headed over to 12th & Porter to catch The Gougers - an excellent alt-country/folk band from Austin that we discovered last year at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville. This was our first visit to the 12th & Porter musical venue (we used to eat in the restaurant portion of the establishment quite a lot until they changed the menu....we miss you Pasta YaYa and Black & Blue Pasta!!) and despite being rather small it works well with more seating than expected and great acoustics. It was front-row for us this time thanks to a small crowd which didn't seem to discourage The Gougers who rolled out great song after great song including "The Devil's Words" and "Mannheim Station." The small crowd and front row access gave us a nice opportunity after the show to chat with the band's main vocalists, Jamie and Shane - both very nice folks although we are mad at Shane because he wouldn't sing "John Henry" for us because he says he's "sick of it." Jamie just rolled her eyes and said not to worry that it would make it back in the show sometime because Shane is very "cyclical" in nature when it comes to his favorite/least-favorite songs to perform. They said they figured they would be back to Nashville this fall for the 2008 Americana Music Festival and we sure hope to see them again. All this fun for only $8. A special thanks to our friend, Lisa, for being such a trooper and going to Joe's play and to see The Gougers with us despite knowing nothing about either. She wound up enjoying both immensely and looked like she would have liked to enjoy that Gouger, Shane, a bit more, but alas...damn musicians and their wandering ways!


mcintyre said...

hilarious! your blog's already better than mine!

Craig said...

Oh, yeah, the 12th and Porter... that was the place where they got real cheap on the lighting and you could see your food if you didn't look directly at it. Yep, I remember that place... great food.