Were any performer other than frequently incoherent controversy magnet Tracy Morgan playing 30 Rock’s actor-comedian Tracy Jordan, the character’s Gold Record-winning novelty party song “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” probably wouldn’t have felt like something that could actually happen. But in the hands of Morgan, the glorious inanity of it all felt absolutely real. Anyway, my point was … um … oh, right! The Scene’s valuable-beyond-his-pay-grade double-threat contributor, writer/photog Lance Conzett, booked tonight’s Halloween-themed 8 off 8th, which is named in honor of the aforementioned fictional novelty song and features an exceptionally strong local lineup. Performers include mirthful live hip-hop outfit The Greater Good, uproarious Halloween-themed MC Shaboi, bedroom-pop wunderkinds Casa Castile, pop-savvy shoegazers Bows and Arrows, dark and gorgeous folksters Lylas, synth-pop heavyweight dandies How I Became the Bomb, punk rockers Bummer (who will be playing all Misfits covers) and chiptune mastermind Fake Brad. (For those of you too square — or perhaps not square enough — to know what chiptune is, we’ll oversimplify for you and call it “video game music.”) Like all 8 off 8th celebrations, this one is absolutely free. But unlike most of them, tonight’s show just might feature boys becoming men — and men becoming wolves! —D. PATRICK RODGERS
Spooky, scary! OK. Moving on ...
If you're in it for the long haul and like your tunes to be of a grimy, electro- and dubstep-oriented ilk, Municipal has just the plan for you. Pretty Lights, Zeds Dead, Porter Robinson, Nit Grit, Wick-It the Instigator and Cherub will be throwing down at Municipal Auditorium (or is that the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium?) as a part of the Illumination event. Contributor Ryan Burleson tossed us a pick on Pretty Lights, which reads as follows:
As if right on time, rave culture (or something resembling it) is back. Electro house, glitch hop and, in more recent years, dubstep, have found success underground, in the festival circuit, on TV ads and from the fringes of pop music, and its producers are increasingly drawn from DJ culture. At the center of the current movement (alongside the divisive producer Skrillex) is Derek Vincent Smith, a University of Colorado dropout whose rapid ascent can be attributed almost entirely to word-of-mouth — his freely available albums have drawn hundreds of thousands of downloads in the first year alone. Smith, operating as Pretty Lights, uses both digital and analog sampling techniques to create a sort-of trippy electro soul that somehow captures the gravitas of dubstep without resorting to that genre’s constant pummeling. Peep YouTube for a glimpse of Pretty Lights’ many-hued live show and you’ll see what I mean: Throngs of devotees moving in one fluid motion to chopped and screwed slivers of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Kanye West that, when paired with Smith’s beats, seem somehow elegant. Undoubtedly the party is dialed to 10, yet nuance isn’t lost in the mix. Zed’s Dead, Porter Robinson, Nit Grit, Wick-It the Instigator and Cherub open. —RYAN BURLESON
Maybe, as freelancer Jessica Pace posits, "you like your Halloweens more chic than freak." If that's the case, read her pick on the Naked Without Us Halloween Bash tonight at Hard Rock Cafe:
If you like your Halloweens more chic than freak, Hard Rock's Fashion Rock Bash, presented by Naked Without Us, is the party for you. Operating at the intersection of fashion and rock, NWU promotes independent designers and music, and the organization has had some great bands rallying around it in the past. Case in point: Surfy ’50s throwbacks The Honeymoon Thrillers, power-punk rowdies Hans Condor, Americana blues rockers Modoc and The Wailin' Canes made this bill. As for its fashionable side, designer booths in the venue will showcase Edward Elm, Anna Moore and Madness Is Clothing. Plus prizes and giveaways include tickets to the coming year's NWU events. Tickets are $10, but it might be worth it, just to avoid getting beer spilled on you by a guy in a Chewbacca costume at your buddy's basement party. —JESSICA PACE
Now, despite the fact that he booked that Werewolf Bar Mitzvah 8 off 8th we mentioned up top, contributor Lance Conzett was still game to write a pick for us regarding the Nightmare on Elliston Place extravaganza over at Exit/In. That one will feature performances from The Protomen, Peelander-Z and MC Frontalot (not to mention Someone Still Love You Boris Yeltsin & Co. across the street at The End). Have a read:
While the cool kids are getting all electrofreaky downtown for Pretty Lights, the Rock Block has something a tad dorkier in store for Halloween. Co-headlined by Japanese superhero punks Peelander-Z and local robot rock outfit The Protomen, A Nightmare on Elliston St. at Exit/In is the best place in town to debut that Game of Thrones costume you've been working so hard on. (Don't forget the bloody severed head of your favorite fantasy monarch!) Along for the ride is noted nerdcore apostle MC Frontalot, a rapper from Brooklyn who probably has a song about the Konami Code. Meanwhile, across the street at The End, Someone Still Love You Boris Yeltsin returns to Nashville for another round of power pop in the tune of Pinkerton (or, in other words, charmingly geeky) with support from Evan P. Donohue, Faux Ferocious and Blown Stag. Either way, you can't lose — unless you decide to be that guy who doesn’t wear a costume. Don't be that guy, guy. —LANCE CONZETT
Or perhaps you'd like to get a touch classier with it. No sweat. Intern Matt wants to hip you to the Schermerhorn's haps. Read on:
The Nashville Symphony is hosting a one-night-only screening of The Phantom of the Opera — the original silent film version from 1925 — just in time for Halloween. The archaic eeriness of the film is worth watching on its own, but what makes this presentation especially notable is its accompaniment by Tom Trenney, the organist and minister of music at First-Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Neb. Trenney is nationally known for his improvisations on hymns, artwork and — for our listening pleasure — silent films, and he'll perform tonight alongside the film's screening. His ability to effortlessly capture emotions through music is an experience unto itself, and will surely be heightened with the iconic phantom — performed by the equally iconic Lon Chaney — as the backdrop. —MATT FOX
I'd have to say that's a pretty solid spread. Still not satisfied? Really?! Fine. Have a look at the rest of tonight's listings.