The alter-ego of celebrated local singer-songwriter Todd Snider, Elmo Buzz and his revolving backing band The Eastside Bulldogs started as a joke persona and a way to dodge radius clauses, but has evolved into a fully realized musical entity, complete with a great new album, Eastside Bulldog. Recruiting the talent of longtime friends and collaborators Elizabeth Cook, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and Rorey Carroll, Snider is throwing one hell of Christmas weekend bash tonight, Dec. 23 at The Basement East, which sounds like a wild party for everyone staying in town for the holidays. Billed as a “winter pep rally and dance cotillion,” the shindig promises “burlesque cheerleaders, funky tomato dance contest, prizes, and a confetti canon or something sweet like that (probably)” and more, and tickets are available right here. Read on to find out all about Elmo Buzz!
Though born in Portland and discovered in Memphis, eclectic singer-songwriter Todd Snider has long called Nashville home, and is frequently credited as being one of the first breakout artists to bring national attention to East Nashville’s thriving music scene more than a decade ago. Best known for his rootsy folk and Americana rooted sound, as well as for fronting bluesy southern rock supergroup Hard Working Americans, Snider has also used the pseudonym Elmo Buzz off and on over the years. Originally just a way to dodge radius clauses, Snider piled more and more personality and backstory into Elmo, creating a full-on alter-ego complete with his own backing band, The Eastside Bulldogs. A sworn enemy of Snider, who he accuses of “stealing his look,” Buzz’s favorite things include girls, cars, Hank Williams Jr., and partying hard, and his sound is distinctly more bar band-leaning rock, with lyrics more fun and darkly funny, and very little hint of the introspective Americana that Snider himself performs. Though released under Todd’s own name (a bit confusing, but likely to reach more people), new album Eastside Bulldog is an Elmo Buzz record through and through, and, following less serious 2011 EP Shit Sandwich, actually gives the persona a real feeling of dimension, backstory, and full realization. With guests like Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Chris Robinson, Hank Williams III, and Shooter Jennings, Eastside Bulldog is a pretty fantastic and earnest effort, despite its in-joke origins, and for the current live incarnation of “The Eastside Bulldogs,” Snider has tapped the impressive local talent of Elizabeth Cook, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and Rorey Carroll, for what sounds like one of the most fun Christmas weekend parties imaginable.
Elmo Buzz and The Eastside Bulldogs will perform tonight, Dec. 23 at The Basement East. The show is 21+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.