4 Days in the City

Friday, September 26, 2008 at 2:25am


Brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart are the driving forces behind NEEDTOBREATHE, the South Carolina rock unit beginning to make inroads beyond the regional marketplace where their previous releases have gotten fine response.

Daylight marks their Lava/Atlantic debut and the single “You Are Here” has made some appearances on area rock stations like WRLT, which is presenting Saturday’s show at the Exit/In (8 p.m., 2208 Elliston Place, 321-3340, $12 in advance, $15 at the door) that not only features NEEDTOBREATHE but onetime Bayou performer and now current Music City stalwart singer/songwriter Andy Davis and Matthew Mayfield.


They’ve become such a recognized institution within the city’s music community that it’s hard to imagine a time when the Nashville Jazz Orchestra wasn’t a part of the cultural fabric.

But it was exactly 10 years ago that Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer began what was then called the Nashville Jazz Institute with a handful of students and few classes. From meager beginnings, the Nashville Jazz Workshop has evolved into a busy place with multiple classes, frequent community events and an impressive headquarters in the Neuhoff Complex in east Germantown.

The NJW is known and respected throughout the jazz and music education world, and now not only works with area organizations and radio stations, but also presents visual art exhibits, continues to expand the roster of classes and both regular student/faculty performances and performs a twice-monthly performance series called Snap on 2 and 4.

Since incorporating as a nonprofit in 2000, the NJW has also done numerous ambitious things from recording projects to sponsoring educational and special community events. Though the NJW receives both corporate and individual contributions along with public and private grants, the current economic downturn certainly affects nonprofits quite severely.

Sunday, the Nashville Jazz Workshop presents its annual Fall Fundraiser at Ingram Hall (4:30 to 9 p.m., corner of Blakemore and 25th avenues, 242-5299, $60). Several prominent jazz musicians will perform, among them special guest hard swinging tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, who’ll be working with an NJW all-star big band. Also appearing will be the Beegie Adair Trio and vocalist Christina Watson with the Pat Coil Trio.


Before last year the Avett Brothers had a passionate and loyal fan base, but were still mostly operating on the outside and within the realm of the underground.

But they’re now about as mainstream as possible without totally changing the range of styles some have dubbed “grungegrass” or “folk-punk.” Their last release Emotionalism topped Billboard’s Top Heatseekers Albums chart when it was released, and the Avett Brothers went on to win Americana Music Association Duo/Group of the Year and New/Emerging Artists Awards as well.

This year they’ve had a song featured on an episode of NBC’s Friday Night Lights, headlined at MerleFest and announced plans for a new full-length disc on the American Recordings/Columbia label. In the meantime, their EP The Second Gleam came out earlier this summer.

The Avett Brothers will appear tonight at War Memorial Auditorium (8 p.m., 301 Sixth Ave. N., 255-2787, $21.50) along with Justin Gordon.


If bits of reggae, punk, rock and surf, converging into a sound that can be charming or confrontational seems enticing, a big show tonight at the Mercy Lounge featuring West Coast ensemble The Expendables (9 p.m., One Cannery Row, 251-3020, $15) along with Rebelution and OPM.

They’ve been stirring up audiences for over a decade. The ferocity of guitarist Raul Bianchi, bassist Ryan DeMars and drummer Adam Patterson underscore the vocals of Geoff Weers, who also plays guitar. Fishbone, G. Love and Pepper are groups whose music covers some of the same territory as The Expendables.


Atlanta singer/songwriter Gary Pfaff has been playing and writing since he was a teen, though he’s certainly making a bigger splash today thanks to the release earlier this year of his disc Under the Influence – Live, which faithfully presents his proficiency with Southern rock, boogie and even some folk and country-tinged numbers.

He’s been touring the last 10 years as both a solo performer and with such groups as Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls as well as Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. He’s got a new studio project coming, but meanwhile he’s appearing Monday night at Exit/In (8 p.m., 2208 Elliston Place, 321-3340, $5) on a bill as Gary Pfaff & The Heartwells along with Clay Evans and Peter Moon.


Austin heavy metal rockers The Sword are now big on the video game circuit, thanks to the inclusion of their tune “Freya” in Guitar Hero II. But then there aren’t too many bands whose lyrics frequently employ themes and elements from the Norse mythology novels written by George R.R. Martin.

Over the past five years, Sword’s exposure has increased thanks not only to Guitar Hero II, but also the presence of “Freya” in the soundtrack of another video game Burnout Dominator and a clip from the tune “Iron Swan” popping up during an episode of HBO’s Big Love. This past April their second full-length CD Gods of the Earth spotlighted the crunching vocals, writing and guitar of John “J.D.” Cronise, plus guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Trivett Wingo.

They bring their brand of mythic lyrics and 21st century sonic energy to Cannery Ballroom Wednesday (9 p.m., One Cannery Row, 251-3020, $19 in advance, $22 at the door) in a big show with Clutch, Graveyard and Never Got Caught.


He’s an entertainment legend, but Bill Cosby’s importance as an advocate for education and positive social change surpasses his brilliant career as a groundbreaking comedian and later award-winning dramatic actor.

His numerous achievements include top-selling comedy albums, pioneering a role on I Spy (three Emmy awards) during the ‘60s, hosting and doing the voices for the Peabody-winning and highly praised Fat Albert animated series and, of course, the famed Cosby Show .

But Cosby’s also done numerous benefits for charities, lectured about the value of education around the world, recorded with jazz orchestras and served as an advocate for that music as well (he’s hosted numerous Playboy Jazz Festivals).

The esteemed performer, educator (he holds an earned doctorate) and philanthropist will appear at TPAC’s Jackson Hall Saturday (4 and 8 p.m., 505 Deaderick St., 782-4000, $37-$60).

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