[TICKET GIVEAWAY] SALES w/ No Vacation | July 28 @ The High Watt

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On the road in support of their excellent, brand new sophomore LP forever & ever, Orlando indie pop duo SALES return to Nashville for the first time in a couple of years to headline The High Watt on July 28, with recently reformed, dreamy indie pop outfit No Vacation. Both excellent acts on the rise, beloved by the blogosphere, if you haven’t yet gotten hip to either band, we suggest you correct that immediately, then grab a ticket here to see what they’re all about in person! Or, if you’d rather leave it to chance, we’re also giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky fan! Read on for more about the show, and enter for a chance to win below.

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Catch The Get Up Kids w/ Racquet Club & Ageist | TONIGHT @ Mercy Lounge

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One of the most iconic and influential emo bands of all time, if not quite the mainstream household name of some of the groups they helped influence, Kansas City rockers The Get Up Kids erupted onto the scene with their 1997 debut full-length, Four Minute Mile, following it up with one of the most and most iconic records of all time, emo, indie, or otherwise, with 1999’s Something to Write Home About. The early ’00s saw emo and pop punk explode at a widespread level, and in support of two further well-received LPs, TGUK toured with breakout acts like Green Day and Weezer, beloved by the scene and always on the cusp of broader recognition, before briefly disbanding in 2005.

Three years later, The Get Up Kids became came together once more, and have remained intermittently active over the last decade, releasing an EP, a 2011 fifth full-length, There Are Rules, and touring off and on, while maintaining commitments to various solo projects and other bands, and as well as outside ventures. Still dialed into emo’s best era, they’ve managed to update their sound without reinventing it, and last month released an excellent new EP, their first record in seven years, called KickerTonight, July 20, they return to Nashville for the first time in just as long, to headline Mercy Lounge– an intimate treat for longtime fans and connoisseurs of classic, quality emo and indie rock.

Tapped to support, LA’s Racquet Club sprung out from the ashes of The Jealous Sound, which, in turn, was fronted by Blair Shehan of classic group Knapsack. Like The Get Up Kids, these guys are golden era emo royalty who never quite got the due they deserve, albeit in the form of a new project. And opening things up, Brooklyn’s Ageist seem to be the revamped version of prior project Without, adopting an accessible pop punk infused sound that feels primed to get things off. Grab tickets while they last!

The Get Up Kids, Racquet Club, and Ageist will perform tonight, July 20 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8:30 p.m. (doors at 7:30 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $25.

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Don’t Miss The Smashing Pumpkins w/ Metric | TONIGHT @ Bridgestone Arena

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Since first reuniting more than a decade ago, albeit with a very different lineup, iconic ’90s alt rock act The Smashing Pumpkins have made their way to Music City a handful of times. However, tonight, July 20, when they headline Bridgestone Arena, it’ll be the first tour 3/4 of the original lineup, Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin, have shared the stage together since their initial split back in 2000 (notably, original bassist D’arcy Wretzky is absent this run, and has been publicly feuding with Corgan since the announcement of their reunion earlier this year).

While the band’s output since their 2007 comeback effort Zeitgeist has been nothing short of prolific, they still remain best known and most beloved for their early work, particularly their first three efforts and certifiable modern classics GishSiamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, as well as later releases Adore, Machina, and Machina II. Good news for O.G. fans and casual listeners alike: as expected, this classic lineup reunion pulls almost entirely from the group’s original catalogue, with a sprawling setlist of both hits and deeper cuts.

While we’d prefer to catch them in a more intimate space, to see this incarnation of the Pumpkins is certainly an arena-worthy occasion, and with Canadian indie and new wave icons Metric tapped to support, ahead of their forthcoming new album, we’re doubly excited and eager to arrive early. A variety of tickets are still available here, and while, sure, this feels a bit like a nostalgia play, it’s nostalgia for a group we’ve long missed in their original form, finally paying fan-service after years of pushing in newer, weirder, and more abstract directions. If you grew up listening to the Pumpkins, this show is designed for you, and, though they did recently record some new tunes with Rick Rubin (check out “Solara” below), it’s unclear how long this run might last- catch ’em while you can!

The Smashing Pumpkins and Metric will perform tonight, July 20 at Bridgestone Arena. The show is all ages, begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $32.85-129.50.

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] firekid Return Revamped with “BABY YOU DONE ME WRONG”

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Three years ago, firekid, at the time a solo moniker for Muscle Shoals, Alabama native Dillon Hodges, released his eponymous, debut LP, on the heels of viral success surrounding a string of prominent early singles, and in the midst of extensive touring with countless big-name acts. Combining Hodges’ early love for bluegrass with a later attraction to pop, electronic, and hip hop, firekid forged a sound unlike anyone else making music today, and attracted major label attention in the process, a transition we previously discussed when we caught up with Dillon on our podcast back in 2015.

Now a duo alongside partner Heidi Feek (who just released a cool new solo EP under the moniker FEEK, produced by firekid and Willie Breeding), firekid have since left Nashville to settle down once more in Alabama, and, over the last couple of years, have continued to tour steadily while working towards new music and a revamped sound, more representative of their current life and environment. Today, we’re beyond thrilled to share an exclusive premiere of the group’s first song in three years- BABY YOU DONE ME WRONG.”

Written by Hodges, Feek, and Orlando Marshall, produced by firekid and Willie Breeding, and mastered by Breeding, the track was made in collaboration with Pittsburgh producer and beatmaker Buscrates, and feels like a natural evolution of firekid’s sound, again juggling their eclectic influences and honed knack for melody, sampling, and layered, technical instrumentation.

A particularly personal track for Hodges, the single arrives a decade after he became the second youngest person to ever win the National Flatpick Guitar Championship in high school, an accomplishment that set off a decade-long identity crisis, from which he’s emerged more confident in his personal journey and artistic focus. As a clever and fitting bookend, firekid chose to sample elements of that 2007 performance in “BABY YOU DONE ME WRONG,” bridging Hodges’ promising past with his accomplished present.

Dillon explains, “When I was 13 years old I started obsessing over competitive bluegrass guitar. My dream was to win the National Flatpick Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS. It took me 4 years refining my technique and woodshedding songs, but in 2007 it happened. I won. Only a few weeks after my 17th birthday, I had accomplished what was supposed to be my life goal. I thought I knew who I was and who I was supposed to be, but in achieving my goal, I had robbed myself of the journey where so many of my older peers found their purpose. It set off an identity crisis that lasted 10 years. At 27, I’m on the other side of that. Heidi and I have built a life together in Florence, AL and have remolded firekid to represent where we are and who we are. In ‘BABY YOU DONE ME WRONG,’ I’ve sampled the 2007 contest performance that changed the trajectory of my life.”

Hear “BABY YOU DONE ME WRONG” below, and look out for firekid’s new EP, XY, later this summer. While they don’t currently have any Nashville dates on the books, we can safely bet the duo will return to their former home of Music City sooner than later; we’ll keep you updated when they do!

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[REMINDER] Catch Rayland Baxter w/ Okey Dokey & Katie Schecter | TONIGHT @ The Basement East

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One of the absolute best artists to spring from Nashville in recent years, alt-Americana turned psych folk genre bender Rayland Baxter just released his highly-anticipated third album, Wide Awake, last week. To celebrate the Butch Walker-produced effort, which features an all-star studio band, Baxter headlined a sold out hometown show last night, July 18 at The Basement East, and will perform once again tonight, July 19 with support from psych pop supergroup Okey Dokey and cosmic country singer-songwriter Katie Schecter. A fantastic and honed live performer and now a buzzworthy national fixture, Rayland is nothing short of stellar each and every show, and with his best batch of songs ever in tow, this one is sure to be extra special. You can still grab tickets here, and with last night’s sell out, they might not last. Read on for more about the show!

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