[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Watch Low Mass Perform “Half Asleep,” “Fear,” & “Churches” Live for ‘Sanctuary Sessions’

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Founded by members of promising but short-lived local project Cellars, Low Mass bounded onto the scene swinging last year, shortly after their formation, with bombastic and intense debut single “Churches.” Based on its strength and a buzzy handful of live appearances, the group earned positive early praise (in an article for Noisey I also penned, I compared them to the “post-hardcore intensity of Toucé Amoré and the dynamic experimental sensibilities of late-career Brand New”), and landed on the radar of producer Gary Cioni (Crime in Stereo, Free Throw, Sorority Noise), who recorded their debut EP, Sleepwalker, at Barbershop Studio in New Jersey back in the spring.

Originally a trio, the band added Michael Pfohl, who also fronts local emo favorites Secret Stuff, at the start of the year, and his presence along with the imminent departure of bassist Thomas Nystrom, who moved out of state after recording and a final leg of touring, informed the style and tone of the EP, which just arrived Nov. 3 (stream it here). While “Churches,” which doesn’t appear on the release, gave us an early glimpse of what the group are capable of, Sleepwalker truly feels like a band settling into their own, exploring a range of dynamics, melodic intensity, earnest, personal, and angsty themes, and an overarching element of melancholy.

As Frontman Nick Dowell explains, “Sleepwalker is a reflection of a period in my life where I really wasn’t present and wasn’t paying attention.  I was moving through the day to day completely on autopilot and lost sight of who I was and what my goals were, until I had a moment of clarity and woke up in a manner of speaking.  These songs conceptualize that journey and the record stops just as I’m coming to this realization.  I’m working on the follow up to that now.”

Ahead of the EP’s release and Nystrom’s exit, the band, who are rounded out by drummer Christopher Hauser, filmed a performance for local live video series Sanctuary Sessions, featuring renditions of new tunes “Half Asleep” and “Fear,” as well as the one that started it all, “Churches.” Low Mass’s ability to not only faithfully recreate their sound live, but also to capture every bit of nuance and dynamic, is a sign that we should expect big things from this promising group in the future, and we’re very excited to exclusively premiere the live performance for you below!

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Catch The Maine w/ Dreamers & Night Riots | TONIGHT @ Cannery Ballroom

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Hailing from Tempe, Arizona, pop punk turned nostalgic alt rock revivalist act The Maine rose to prominence in the late ’00s, as part of the short-lived “neon wave” of radio-ready pop punk. Unlike most of their peers (many of whom have since faded away), the group have always benefited from a more transcendent, timeless musical sensibility, and a knack for crafting unparalleled, unabashedly poppy rock songs. Throughout the years, their sound has drifted more towards straightforward rock meets late ’90s alternative (Third Eye Blind comparisons come up a lot), and they’ve proven unafraid to push themselves artistically, going so far as to record 2013’s Forever Halloween on analog tape, with the aid of Nashville’s own Brendan Benson. In never limiting themselves to any one style or trying to ride a musical fad, The Maine have remained one of the freshest, most underrated acts to emerge from the pop punk scene in recent years, and have constantly pushed their fans to evolve along with them.

Now firmly established as a fiercely independent band, the group’s 2015 fifth album American Candy and this year’s Lovely Little Lonely have proven to be some of their best, most inspired work to date, and keeping with their trend of celebrating the new, they’re performing both of their most recent efforts in full on their current “Modern Nostalgia Tour,” which returns the band to Cannery Ballroom tonight, Nov. 14. If you’re only a stickler for the old stuff, this likely won’t be the show for you, but if you love every era of the group or if you’re a relative newcomer going in fresh, it’s a a pretty cool chance to see a band really flex where they are at the moment, instead of just going through the motions of covering the hits. Tickets are still available here, and with a buzzy alt rock trio Dreamers and site faves Night Riots set to open the all ages affair, we suspect they won’t last.

The Maine, Dreamers, and Night Riots will perform tonight, Nov. 14 at Cannery Ballroom. The show is all ages, begins at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $25.

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Taylor Swift to Play Nissan Stadium Aug. 25

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After around a dozen performances at Bridgestone Arena over the past decade, pop megastar and former/sometimes Nashville resident Taylor Swift has opted to elevate to stadiums rather than multi-night runs at arenas when she hits the road in 2018 in support of her just-released new six album, Reputation, and when she returns to Music City on Aug. 25, it’ll be at Nissan Stadium this time around, headlining the massive local space for the first time.

Continuing the pop shift that largely begin on 2012’s Red and really found its stride with 2014’s 1989Reputation showcases a darker, more adult thematic focus from the onetime country pop artist, as well as a grittier, more abrasive, electropop leaning sound. With nearly a million copies sold over the weekend- unprecedented in this age of streaming- it’s a forgone conclusion that the LP is well on its way to becoming another smash hit, and given the speed at which arena dates have sold out in the past, we have no doubt its buzz will propel Taylor to filling Nissan with ease.

Until Nov. 28, fans can register for preferred ticket access through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, and participate in “boost activities” for a better spot in the virtual queue and a better chance at being given early access- a practice that has drawn some controversy, as it encourages fans eager for the best seats to spend even more money (though many boost activities are free and social media based as well). For the general public, tickets will go on sale Dec. 13; even with a capacity of nearly 70,000 though, we don’t expect them to last. Check out a full list of dates below!

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Jawbreaker to Screen Documentary, Host Q&A Nov. 11 at The Franklin Theatre, Signing Nov. 12 @ Grimey’s

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Earlier this fall, after 21 years of the occasional rumbling and rumor being swiftly shot down, seminal punk band Jawbreaker finally reunited for an inexplicable and inspired reunion at Chicago’s Riot Fest, reported to be a one-off (along with two more intimate club shows leading up to it), something of both a gigantic reintroduction and a fitting moment of closure for a band who never seemed to fully get their dues the first time around.

Formed in 1986 in New York, the trio released four full-lengths between 1990 and 1995, each of which have become modern, distinct punk classics in their own right. Despite underground success and critical acclaim, personal tensions mounted throughout their career, and as something of a last-ditch, they tried jumping to a major label for 1995’s Dear You, a slicker prototype for modern emo, but one that alienated longtime DIY punk fans and didn’t connect with critics or mainstream audiences at the time, serving as the nail in the coffin ahead of the group’s 1996 split.

In the two decades since, all three members have taken place in various other great projects (singer Blake Schwarzenbach’s Jets to Brazil, especially, achieved a cult following), and while reunion rumors have always swirled and even seemed likely at times, they long remained resolute in their desire to leave the past in the past- allegedly not for disinterest, but for fear they wouldn’t be able to do it justice.

One near (or semi) reunion took place ten years ago, when filmmakers Keith Schieron and Tim Irwin convinced the band to take part in a documentary, and got them together in a studio in San Francisco in 2007, for the first time in 11 years, to listen back to their albums and reminisce, as well as to jam a few songs, which were only recorded to audio. Over a decade in the making, the doc, featuring interviews with the likes of Billie Joe Armstrong and Steve Albini, and called Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker, has finally seen the light of day, premiering back in August ahead of the group’s brief reunion.

Typical of indie films, the documentary is only playing in select cities, so we’re thrilled that the nearby Franklin Theatre will host a screening on Saturday, Nov. 11. So much more than just a screening though, 2/3 of the band, Blake Schwarzenbach and Adam Pfahler, will also be in attendance for a special Q&A, making this is an absolutely unique and once-in-a-lifetime event for any Jawbreaker fan. Tickets are available now, and we don’t expect them to last.

Additionally, local artist Adrien Saporiti, creator of the popular “I Believe in Nashville” murals, has teamed up with the band for a very limited “I Believe in Jawbreaker” poster run, five of which are being auctioned off online to benefit Everytown for Gun Safety.

Finally, while Blake and Adam are in town, they’re also slated to stop by Grimey’s on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. for a signing and meet and greet. The shop will have records and t-shirts available, or you’re welcome to bring your own item. While the screening the prior day does feature a Q&A, no signing has been scheduled, so if you’re a big fan and want all of the Jawbreaker time you can get, catching both is your best move. It should be noted that no music is expected to be performed at either event, but Jawbreaker have been hinting at the vague possibility of further shows in the future (and hey, sounds like you’ll have a chance to ask them in person if you so desire).

The post originally ran Oct. 26, and was updated Nov. 10 to include additional details.

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Catch mewithoutYou w/ Pianos Become the Teeth & Slow Mass | TONIGHT @ Mercy Lounge

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Hailing from Philadelphia and formed at the turn of the millennium, art-rock/post-hardcore outfit mewithoutYou return to Nashville tonight, Nov. 10 for the seventh time in three years; something that would normally seem excessive, but for a band this good, we’d devour their every show. Juxtaposing smart, philosophical and high-concept themes with musical elements of indie rock, alternative, post-hardcore, and art rock, mewithoutYou have amassed a loyal following over the years, enhanced by their personal, electrifying live show, genre-bending sensibilities, and blend of conceptual and deeply personal lyricism, which makes them one of the best, most versatile acts of the indie scene.

A few shows back, in 2014, the group celebrated the 10th anniversary of their fan favorite sophomore album Catch For Us the Foxes, and tonight they return to Mercy Lounge for another anniversary, this time stepping even further back to honor the 15th anniversary of the heavier, rawer LP that started it all, 2002’s [A→B] Life. An essential outing for any mwY fan, it should come as no surprise that tickets are nearly gone, so grab yours here or risk missing out. In the supporting slot and making things even more essential, likeminded, Baltimore-based, emo-tinged post-hardcore outfit Pianos Become the Teeth are a perfect match. And in the opening spot, buzzy Chicago newcomers Slow Mass, featuring touring members of Into It. Over It., are a damn good reason to show up early.

mewithoutYou, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Slow Mass will perform tonight, Nov. 10 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.

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