Freakin’ Weekend IV, Night Three:
JEFF the Brotherhood, Pujol, GG King, Dirty Fences, Heaters, Jawws
Exit/ In, Nashville, TN
March 14, 2015
Words by: Jacob Ryan (@GonzoWithGusto)
Well, another glorious Freakin’ Weekend has passed, the sixth consecutive for those of you keeping track, and the last night of festivities couldn’t have been more badass. Local garage punk heroes JEFF the Brotherhood headlined, with fellow Music City residents Daniel Pujol and JAWWS playing in support, as well some likable out-of-towners: GG King, Dirty Fences, and Heaters. Put them all together at Exit/In, and you had one hell of a send off for one of our favorite Nashville rock traditions. Read on to re-live the debauchery and if you missed out, mark your calendars for next year, because if you’re a fan of local, non-mainstream music, it’s not to be missed.
Whenever I have friends in from out of town, one of my biggest joys is playing the part of tour guide in my adopted home. This weekend was no different, when I had some college friends roll into Nashville for the weekend to cheer on our alma mater in the locally held SEC men’s basketball tourney. Of course, this is Music City, so it was never going to be all about basketball, and Saturday night I talked them into checking out one of the best annual throw-downs Nashville has to offer… Freakin’ Weekend.
We rolled to Exit/In early, but we didn’t get there soon enough to see one of No Country’s favorite group of punk rock youngsters, JAWWS. We told you all about their new 7” a few months ago in this post, and I’ve seen them perform before, but unfortunately my pals would not be catching them this go ‘round.
After opening bar tabs, and slamming back some whiskey, psychotropic Michigan rockers Heaters had blasted about halfway through their set. I was digging their extended spaced out jams, and they felt like the perfect band to start off our evening of raw, power laced tunage. My friends, who are relatively mainstream music fans (sorry guys), were just getting a taste of what was to come. All three of us we liking the vibe of FWVI in general, and we rewarded ourselves for making the decision to check it out with another round of shots. Pace is for pussies.
The next band up was New York street punksters Dirty Fences. They had a Tommy Ramone beat and matching vocal harmonies. Their frontman was rocking a grandma inspired teal and orange kimono, with little felt balls hanging on tassels from its hem. A serious look by any standards. They bopped through their set, with a punk rock Beatles feel that left everyone wanting more. If one has to gripe about anything as awesome as Freakin’ Weekend, it would be that sometimes with so many bands on the bill, it’s hard to give everyone ample time. Small price to pay for seeing such a range of performers. Regardless, the Fences made the most out of their time to shine.
Shortly after we’d finishing our smoke break, GG King was up on stage and ready to do their thing. The Atlanta punk rock band had more of a Sex Pistols feel than the Ramones. However, their frontman had a Sid Vicious vibe, rather than the over-the-top shenanigans of Johnny Rotten. He’d pace the stage, shout/scream/sing into the mic, and he got the party kids in the front all kinds of revved up. As the moshing started, and the PBR spray filled the air, it was plain to see things were just starting to kick into gear.
Before too long, it was time for virtuoso local lo-fi garage rock legend Pujol to take the stage. No stranger to No Country coverage (see this post or this post), Daniel Pujol is a local act that you need in your life immediately, if he isn’t already. His deep, introspective and meditative songwriting mixes interestingly with his loud and clattering music, forming a beautiful marriage of high end lyrics and lo-fi melody. The now nearly packed house was starting to froth at the mouth by his second song. It was obvious that he’s achieving cult status with all the indie kids around town, as his buttons adorned a sea of denim jackets in the audience. By the time he’d played some deeper cuts like “Battles” and “Black Rabbit,” he’d earned two new fans in my visiting friends, who’d never heard of him before that night.
After more drinks and another smoke, our hostess of the evening, Queen Rebecca, a gal small in stature but not in personality, was on stage and ready to introduce THE act of the night– JEFF the Brotherhood.
“Are you ready?” she asked the crowd, to deafening cheers from a now totally packed house. “Well, they told me that they won’t take the stage until someone volunteers to shave their head. Anyone?”
Soon enough, a fan had raised his hand and just a few minutes later, his dark shaggy hair was officially a zero guard in length, and with that, JEFF commenced with the skull meltings, as they always do (read this post). Another band my pals knew NOTHING about, they were immediately taken aback by how heavy shit got from the first song. The cornerstone in local label Infinity Cat’s foundation, JTB had all the scene kids in hysterics. Mild moshing/stage diving, which started with GG King, and carried through Pujol, was now at a fever pitch. Full tallboys were twirled over head, spraying the first ten rows in warm suds. Security didn’t even seem to bother with trying to stop it, as crowd surfer after crowd surfer bit the dust … only to be replaced by another. Infinity Kittens (what I’ve taken to calling all the younger label fans) littered the stage, some with cameras, some looking barely 18 years old, all head banging along to the beat.
They played for what felt like hours, my friends and I exchanging wide eyed looks of awe and beer can cheers. Later, one of them said he thought his ears were bleeding, not an uncommon comment at a JTB show. They both liked the headliners best of all the bands, and asked me for song names the whole Lyft ride home. After much chatter and debate, they decided their favorite song of the night had been “Heavy Krishna,” off the epic Heavy Days LP. I smiled. Two new fans, eager to spread the gospel of JEFF. Looking back now, recovering from a three day hangover, it’s plain to see their trip had been a massive success. We all got to catch up, cheer on our favorite college basketball team, and I introduced them to the real Music City … far from the neon din of Broadway. All tourist should be so lucky. Alas, they are not, unless, of course, they have the right tour guide.