Pat Cochran and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, have a precocious young son named Jack and a daughter on the way. Though he'd rather live in France, he currently resides in his favorite Stateside town, Oxford, Mississippi.
It may come off as a bit of a stretch, but at this point Jimbo Mathus is somewhat of an institution in the South. Having slogged away in the rock & roll trenches for thirty-plus years, he has at times experienced—as so few musicians do—the ersatz glitter and sublime dizziness of massive mainstream success coupled with wide-ranging critical acclaim.
The group eschews the standard power-pop uniform of cute, skinny guys with crisp shirts and tight jeans and embrace looking like dangerous guys from the other side of the levee. They look like speed freaks in a Sonic parking lot—corpulent and wild, metabolism and good sense destroyed by drugs and leaden racket, metal-head T-shirts covered in blood and vomit and cocaine and chocolate milkshakes and cum and pipe burns. They are un-ironically cool, a death-knell to Williamsburg hipsterism.
Plenty has already been written about the sublime music of the mighty Reigning Sound, once of Memphis, lately of Asheville, North Carolina. Critical accolades and rabid fan-raving about the band have never been in short supply. So, it may be somewhat of an exercise in futility to rant on here at length about the particulars of their sound, how bandleader and songwriter Greg Cartwright and his band may be the best torchbearers for the empyrean spirit of rock & roll. But, in fact, they are all that.
Nashville is more than just a music industry city. It’s a music industry spectacle, and the obeisance and fealty paid to its glittery mechanics is quite different from anywhere else. Unlike in, say, Los Angeles, in Nashville even underground rock & roll bands are in wide-eyed thrall to the dull whims of the music industry, thousands of guitar-wrangling, drum-pummeling rock musicians competing for a shekel of sallow grace from know-nothing A&R hacks with fat wallets and egregiously-styled hair.
Cool and cocksure, Bass Drum of Death listened to the old cryptic story and started connecting the dots (or wires, as it were). Just picking up that receiver made them cooler than most rock bands out there. I first saw Bass Drum of Death about three or four years ago at a dark, dank, and nasty lounge attached to what may very well have been a hooker-and-crackhead hotel in Jackson, Mississippi.