Tender Mercy, Soft Self Portraits, Dawg Yawp,
and Kate Wakefield at Kaiju 8/13! → READ MORE


Dr. Dundiff & Friends - "State Of The Art Remix" feat. Jim James → READ MORE


We made a video documenting our POORCASTLE '16
experience just for you! → READ MORE

Monday, August 29, 2016

BECAUSE YOU MISSED IT: Seven Sense Festival was hot hot HOT!

Due to having a slew of responsibilities and other obligations (more on that later), I knew my time at this year's Seven Sense go-around would be limited, so I made sure to spend my 2+ hours carefully. I arrived at The New Vintage with my girlfriend around 3:30 just in time to watch Joann + The Dakota, a band I haven't had the pleasure of actually watching in person until yesterday. Immediately I noticed two things: First, this place was fucking packed for it being so early in the afternoon. Second, this band was clearly in the middle of a killer set as they seemed to be completely on in every facet of their performance. Joann's magnetic energy was undeniably infectious as I'd say the majority of the crowd seemed pretty into it.

Joann + The Dakota

We left the venue and anxiously headed down to the beer tent where we would mull through our options and eventually decide to get a Monnik IPA. Maybe it was the intense Louisville heat, but this ale seemed to be breathtakingly good at the time.

Blair Alise and The Bombshells

Next we ventured to the Larceny outdoor stage to watch Detroit's Blair Alise and The Bombshells perform an energetic, uptempo set. The music they were playing sounded like a grittier, dirtier version of what indie pop band Tennis has become known for, only with a bit of a rockabilly twist. Blair's voice, a lot like Alaina Moore's is the main attraction served over warm, catchy beach rock. If this sounds like something you might be into, I strongly recommend you check out their For My Darlin' record (hell yes, it's on Spotify!).

Hey that's me, crushing a Holy Molé taco!
Afterward we made our way to the food truck area to at last eat some food. We decided to order pork tacos from Holy Molé Taco Truck, which were supremely delicious. I made sure to drench my grub of their habanero sauce because I was ready to take this meal to the next level of awesome. After washing our meal down with a Monnik Pilsner, we headed to Zanzabar to see one last band: Instrumental metal trio (ohlm).


For a decade plus, I've been mostly unaware of Louisville's metal scene, so it should come to no surprise that I'd never seen (ohlm) play before yesterday. After witnessing their wrath of tightly composed vocal-less wizardry, I left their set ready to buy up their whole catalogue.  Their songs each played out like a narrative composition, telling a story despite their being no words. Each song seemed to be orchestrated with slow-building intros that lead to thrilling climaxes; in other words, these dudes are on to some next level prog metal shit.

I also have to mention how insanely badass their drummer is; I've played drums in several metal bands over the years, and have been on the same bill as a billion other metal bands. I can't say I've seen anyone slay that hard in Louisville in a long time, maybe not ever. His precise, hard hitting barrage of double kick rhythms and blast beats were more than impressive.

Remember how I said I had "a slew of responsibilities and other obligations"? Well, my responsibility was my poor beagle who had been at home alone waiting for me for the majority of the day as I was in and out running errands. As for my obligation, well... My girlfriend promised that she'd join me in my game room to play Streets of Rage 2 on my Sega Genesis. So, yeah.. You understand why I left, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Anyway, this was a most excellent day from start to finish. From my vantage point, everything at Seven Sense Festival '16 seemed to be going down without any significant problems. I was (as I always am) confused by the beer ticket situation, but that's just me being a dummy. I can't speak to what happened after 6:30, but my time was well spent. Thanks, Seven Sense!

INTERVIEW: Adolfo Dorta talks about DAYS OF THE DEAD, Horror Movies, and a few convention do's and don't's!

Hail Satan! At last, the time has come where we as horror fanatics get to meet a few of our favorite folks involved in the biz. I'm of course talking about DAYS OF THE DEAD, which is set to happen this weekend at Crown Plaza Louisville Airport Expo Center! Who (dead or alive) wouldn't get stoked on experiencing three days of celebrity guests including ElviraHeather Langenkamp (Nancy in A Nightmare On Elm Street), Sid Haig and Bill Moesley (House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil's Rejects), a Return of the Living Dead reunion, and a whole helluva lot more!?!?  There will also be film/trailer screenings, plenty of badass vendors, special events, a tattoo expo, and more!  

To get you mega-hyped on this weekend's festivities, I reached out to DOTD organizer Adolfo Dorta to see if he'd be willing to answer a few questions, and thankfully he was kind enough to oblige. Read on as we talk about horror movies, the origin of DOTD, and a few do's and don't do's for conventions!

Never Nervous: How did Days of the Dead come together, and how long has it been running as the annual horror convention it is today?

Adolfo Dorta: Before DAYS OF THE DEAD, I started and ran a website called From Dusk Till Con (along with co-founder, Rick Lara) which covers the horror convention scene and the culture behind it ever since its inception on Halloween of 2009. Originally, DAYS OF THE DEAD was going to be the mid west expansion show for another long established horror convention on the east coast (which I am not at liberty to name) and they approached From Dusk Till Con about sponsoring an after party event for that show. A few months later, one of the original promoters changed their mind and Rick and I were offered the opportunity to take their place as a partner and the face of what went on to become DAYS OF THE DEAD. As huge horror fans who go to about 4-7 horror conventions a year, it was an offer we simply couldn't refuse.

NN: Considering that this will be my personal first outing to one of these sorts of conventions, do you have any recommendations on how to get the best experience possible? Maybe some DOTD do’s and don't do's?

AD: Be yourself, make friends, and just come ready to have a good time. Mingle, make friends, and expect to stay up late hanging out with a fun group of like minded individuals. DAYS OF THE DEAD is one big party celebrating all things horror and if you're a fan, it's impossible not to have a good time.

That said, wear deodorant. Please. Hygiene is important. Nobody likes funky folks. Nobody.

"DAYS OF THE DEAD is one big party celebrating all things horror and if you're a fan, it's impossible not to have a good time."

NN: Initially, what inspired you to put Days of the Dead together? And why center it on the horror genre?

AD: As a life long horror fan and an avid horror convention goer, when Bill Philputt made me the offer to join him and have a hand in doing one of my own, I just couldn't refuse. One of the most popular topics of discussion that happens after hours at horror conventions over beers and cigarettes is "How would YOU do a horror convention if you could do your own." It's fun to be able to answer that question first hand and put together the kind of show that I would want to see as a fan.

NN: What do you consider to be your favorite horror film from the last ten years?

AD: Oof. That's a tough one. I may have to go with either Martyrs or Inside, which are coincidentally both French films. I still remember the first time watching Martyrs and feeling like I was repeatedly punched in the gut by a film for the first time in years. I don't think anything hit me that hard since Irreversible (Ha!....also a French film). Inside is kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of tone, but it's such a ridiculously over the top films in terms of violence and gore and the shocks are sold so well - kind of reminds me of the Japanese film, 2LDK (check it out if you're not familiar with it).

"I still remember the first time watching Martyrs and feeling like I was repeatedly punched in the gut by a film for the first time in years."

NN: Before you go, tell us who you’re most excited to see this year.

AD: I'm most excited to see the Return of the Living Dead cast again. We've done the reunion in three of our four other cities and they're some of my favorite people to work with. They're probably some of the most real, down to earth, fan friendly celebs you'll meet at any convention, especially Beverly and Linnea. I love them to pieces.

Friday, August 26, 2016

WATCH: Twenty First Century Fox - "Nothin' but Net"

The new Twenty First Century Fox video here is and it's the most sportstatic video you could imagine. Unlike their older material, or at least unlike anything that I've heard that they've done in the past, there is an unflinching love here for old school hip-hop, with vocalists Laura Quimby and Miranda Cason taking turns spitting mad rhymes, which is the preferred description here. Add the punk influenced music in and you have something not unlike the Beastie Boys, but with the good natured playfulness of Weird Al. It makes sense then that Howell Dawdy makes an appearance here, as the antagonist of the song. Well, all the dudes are the antagonist and they get what they've got coming to them. Get that mansplaining out of here, jerks.

The video is as awesome as you'd think. You've got the requisite emcee poses where each perspective rapper/vocalist looks cool and qualifies that in verse. Dawdy's appearance mid-video shifts the narrative into conflict, which ultimately descends into chaos. The practical effects and choreography are fun and only add to the good times vibe here, at least from my perspective. I mean, it does end with a lot of violence, so I guess you be the judge. Shot by a who's who of local talent including Dawdy himself and Colin Garcia, the video features cameos by tons of rad folks around town, so try and peep that.

Watch below and pick up their new tape, Yr Welcome, out tonight courtesy of Gubbey Records, and available at their record release show at Zanzabar with The Recipe for Gamma Rays and Bungalow Betty

REVIEW: Twenty First Century Fox - "Yr Welcome"

Twenty First Century Fox
Yr Welcome
Gubbey Records

Pet Rounds, the last record from Twenty First Century Fox mostly exhibited songs that maintained a straightforward approach to poppy, yet heavy-ish beach rock. I was initially drawn to the band's fun-loving attitude and infectious energy, not to mention the soaring vocals from Miranda Cason and Laura J. Quimby. A little over a year later, the band has returned with Yr Welcome, a highly anticipated release that features eight brand new songs.

After pressing play, I was immediately made aware of two things: First, this record sounds great, and in my opinion is a big step up in production from their last offering.  The second deviation I felt was that these folks were on to something much darker and interesting. Yr Welcome opens up with "Sgt. Pepper", an avant garde juxtaposition of otherworldly, hard hitting instrumentation and (what sounds like) improvised vocals. The track eventually evolves into an abstract surf rock ditty with a retro sci-fi vibe attached to it. I'm not entirely sure what I thought this album would sound like, but it certainly wasn't this. Needless to say, the opener's unpredictability threw me off a bit on my first listen, blissfully taking me out of my comfort zone.

That feeling is somewhat maintained on the next two songs "Certainly The River Is Aware" and "Skippy", but it's easy to say that these tracks follow a much more conventional structure allowing the vocals to take center stage. The delightful weirdness is still here, but if you listen hard enough you can easily hear a much more accessible collection of noise.

"Shark Week" opens up with a clever Jaws intro that leads into a dance-tastic surf rock number that rocks my motherfuckin' world. This is more of what I was expecting with Yr Welcome: A clever take on contemporary beach rock that makes me want to shake my ass. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed that more abstract approach that TFCF has taken thus far, because I most certainly have. I'm only saying that with "Shark Week" I'm in what feels like familiar territory.

"The Fantastic Sorcerer of Zo" is an addictive vocally driven song with thematic synthesizers that back the melody. "Q.U.I.M.B.Y." (Queers Unite In My Back Yard) opens up as a moody, slow building instrumental that eventually morphs into a badass groove reminding me of something that Steady Diet of Nothing-era Fugazi might do.

The closing track "Nothin' But Net" comes completely out of left field. Instrumentally, it's a gritty take on 90's indie rock, but vocally, Cason and Quimby literally each rap a verse. Yes, you read that right. While this might sound like a horrible idea on paper, this actually works for me as a fun-as-fuck party tune. Howell Dawdy makes an appearance here fitting in nicely with a verse of his own.  I was initially so taken by surprise by this song that I almost missed the references to Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Fischer.

As a whole, Yr Welcome is an unpredictable voyage of triumphant weirdness that never quite lets you settle in to any particular groove. Just when you think you've got TFCF figured out, they pull the rug out from under you with a toe-tapping eccentric riff or a bold vocal melody that seemingly comes off the beaten track. As I mentioned before, this album does take me out of my comfort zone, but in the best of ways. This troupe is really on to something fresh and exciting here, a new noise that I'm really excited about.

Listen to Yr Welcome in its entirety below:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

INTERVIEW: Hunter Embry on working behind the scenes, Seven Sense Fest, and Kangaroos!

You might not know Hunter Embry by name, but you've definitely benefited from his work. For the last several years, Embry has been a behind the scenes force, most recently through his work booking at The New Vintage. Perhaps the pinnacle -at least so far- of his output is the Seven Sense Festival, which returns this weekend for a free two-day celebration of music, with all proceeds generated going to help fund the Boys & Girls Haven. You can catch a sneak peak at his new band and read his thoughts on booking, the festival, and the power of the King of Hot Dogs!

Never Nervous: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved in the indie scene here in town?

Hunter Embry: I studied journalism (mostly music) in college, so I was writing about and covering acts of all levels for several years. I learned quite a bit about many different "scenes" in town and met numerous folks already rooted in Louisville music. Through covering the scene and playing in a touring band - and asking a ton of questions, I was exposed to the ins-and-outs of how shows and festivals work.

NN: What's your musical resume? What was your first band? How did that go?

HE: I've been smashing guitars since seeing Kiss shows as a child and finally learned how to play one in middle school. I started a band called KnubDust (hahaha) when I was 16 - that band later became The Bad Reeds. We toured for several years,  played 100s of shows and spent a lot of time in the studio.

NN: What's going on with The Bad Reeds?

HE: We haven't played or produced any music in at least four years. After releasing our second record and pushing that pretty heavily, I had an opportunity to start booking venues full-time, so I started devoting most of my time towards that. I recently got a group of guys together and have been writing new material that I'm pretty excited about. It's some pretty bitchin' stuff. The band is called Sound Company - we just finished our first single and plan to record a full length by the end of this year.

NN: How did you get into booking shows? How long have you been at it and what got you interested?

HE: I was asked to throw Waterfront Wednesday after-parties in 2007 or 2008 and they ended up doing pretty well.  I decided I liked booking/promoting shows, and really hated waiting tables, which was my day job at the time - so I started putting on events around town as The New Vintage Showcase. That lead to a full-time position at ZaZoo's, which led to shows at bigger venues and opening a venue in New Albany called, Dillinger's. At some point in 2012 I was approached by investors to open a music venue and that's how The New Vintage came about.

NN: What have you learned about putting on a good show from the promoter end of the spectrum?

HE: I've learned that I can always learn more and I can always do my job better. This is a tough biz - easy to become jaded, but those who stick in it long enough and make it through with a decent reputation will most likely do OK for themselves.

"I've learned that I can always learn more and I can always do my job better."

NN: How did the Seven Sense Festival start? Tell us a little about the history there.

HE: A couple of my buds, Shawn Steele and Chris Nelson, who I met through playing and booking shows, threw around the idea of a festival. I had always been interested in the idea of putting on a festival that featured local, regional and national acts that appeal to numerous different demographics. Through owning what is strictly a music venue, we have to book all different types of shows - through doing that, I've gotten to see tons of great bands from all different ends and cliques - I had always wanted to host all of those great acts at the same place and same time. Seven Sense gives me the opportunity to do that with a two of the best dudes I know.

NN: In what ways has the festival evolved over time? How do you see it growing and continuing to evolve?

HE: The attendance nearly doubled from year one to year two. We worked out a lot of the kinks we experienced in the first year. We were able to have some bigger names, from all over the country, added to the lineup - which in-turn attracted attendees from the region and garnered some press outside of Louisville, which helped. We also were able to work on the aesthetic of the festival and add more activities for our guests. This year we'll have 502 Power Yoga, Magbooth photo booths, Suspend Aerial Arts, live painting, Big Ass misting fans, slushies, a food court and a ton more arts & crafts vendors.

NN: What sets Seven Sense apart from the other fests going on in the warmer months?

HE: For starters, we are a free festival. We will be asking for donations this year, but who doesn't love free? AND we benefit Boys & Girls Haven. Who doesn't love helping area children in need? All the while filling your belly with good food, filling your ears with amazing and diverse music and delicious cocktails and craft, specialty beer to help get ya loose. We offer 40+ local, regional and national acts on two indoor and two outdoor stages, seven local food trucks, 30+ arts & craft vendors, 5+ craft breweries (all offering specialty hard, to find beers) and some of the best spirits around.

NN: Why should we be pumped for this year's line up?

HE: Philadelphia's Low Cut Connie is one of the best live bands I've ever seen and folks from just about every major press outlet agree - even President Obama is a fan. Dylan LeBlanc (Muscly Shoals, AL)  recently released one of my favorite albums in recent memory. He's coming off support for Alabama Shakes and the record is catching on around the country. Mississippi's Cedric Burnside, grandson of blues legend, R.L. Burnside, is the real deal. I've always been a sucker for real country and electric blues. Cedric is the best of both worlds. And of course, Louisville's Linkin Bridge is blowing up right now. Quartet with beautiful harmonies. All must-sees at this year's festival. All the bands are great at what they do and are worthy of listening to.

NN: What makes for a good show and why? What are the stresses involved in booking and how do you deal with them? Have you ever opted to not work with an artist? If so, what was the deal? Not concerned about names.

HE: First, a good show is a happy band and a happy audience. Some crowds are quiet and attentive. Some crowds are dancing, sweating and losing their shit. Secondly, being a dick doesn't ever do anyone any good. Dealing with dicks is part of the job. Lastly, you have to constantly sacrifice time and money to ensure folks are taken care of. But when you take care of folks, they come back and so do their fans. For me, in the position that I'm in, talent-buying is about investing in and building relationships with artists and bands. They do their job, you do yours, the fans turn out (eventually) and everyone's happy.

NN: Why do kangaroos even exist?

HE: To hop around this beautiful earth and to carry their babies in their pouches along the way.

NN: You're the King of Hot Dogs. What do you do with that power and why?

HE: No one would go hungry. I'd fill each and every person with a hotdog at least once a day.

"I'd fill each and every person with a hotdog at least once a day."

NN: What non-musical things have your skis shined up? Have you watched, read, eaten, or drank anything worth talking about lately?

HE: I love sports and America, so the olympics have consumed quite a bit of my time as of late. I'm dying to catch one of the Speed Walking events. I love that it's an event and want to see those speedwalkers in action. I'm a huge fan of documentaries as well - even fake ones, like Documentary Now on Netflix. I contemplate wearing diapers every time I watch Episode 4 of Season One because I come close to pissing myself. It's called The Eye Doesn't Lie - it's a must-see.

NN: What are your top three desert island albums and why?

HE: Anything from The Rolling Stones between '68 and '78. Probably Exile because it's a double LP. Tom Petty's first record. Aaaaand KISS's first record. That's one hell of a one-man party, if you ask me.

REVIEW: Kawasaki Dream - "Kawasaki Dream"

Kawasaki Dream
Kawasaki Dream

Finding psych rock meets metal gems floating out in the ether is a magical and privileged opportunity I have, and I'm fortunate to have it. I suppose it's fair to say that everyone has that same access to seek out new music, but as I labor under the pretense that time is a precious, precious commodity not to be given lightly, so I feel lucky to be able to share the interesting things that I find. And Kawasaki Dream certainly fits that criteria in a way that I would definitely not have anticipated. It's a nice prize and one I'll happily claim. By rocking out that is.

This is obviously a serious of demos. It's not for lack of craft here that I write that, but the text on the Bandcamp attributes this to Max Overstreet alone, which you can hear all the same by the presence of drum machines (or maybe not... it sounds that way in some spots and less in others... don't want to misrepresent... maybe it's just a very clean and precise drum sound). Maybe I'm just used to hearing demo tapes, my own or otherwise, and can spot it. I guess what I'm saying is that if you listen to this and like it, you should reach out and be in this band. Because it's good.

Oh... what's it sound like? You would ask that. This is entirely instrumental and leans fairly metal, or at least heavy. In noisy(er) indie, I can never really make a proper distinction, but suffice it to say you won't confuse this with Iron Maiden. Think early Smashing Pumpkins or Hum, just visceral riffage never shy with the distortion pedal. For a contemporary reference, you might check out the band Ventura, which has the same kind of emphasis on thick chord structures that I'd be willing to bet are in a dropped tuning. 

This is smart music. Songs like Mental Health Day show off Overstreet's ability to get down, and to mix up the dynamics like a champ. Opener Solitary leans on the chorus/phaser hard and in doing so manages some especially interesting drone notes that kind of float in the background. Closer Five Hour Synergy is perhaps the heaviest of the lot, with plenty of minor chord antics. This is an entirely cohesive album and one well worth your time. I'm looking forward to what's next.

Listen to the album in its entirety below:

LISTEN: Wuntayk Timmy - "Taykn"

Never Nervous readers, meet Wuntayk Timmy. His punchlines have punchlines, he stays shouting out Louisville in his music and if he tries his hand at a remix he lyrically kills the original. Ah fuck, I'll just come out and say it, I don't know if there's anybody fucking with Wuntayk's bar for bar lyrical consistency. Sound impressive? It is. And luckily there's a brand new mixtape out now called Taykn

Check it out in its entirety below.

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