No Place Like Home With Alanna Royale

One of our initial intentions for Grisl was that it would be used as a travel guidebook filled with recommendations from people who have been outside and around the block. For many reasons, this portion of the site has been slow developing.  We’ve expanded on this concept to include recommendations from bands who would like to share guidance one getting around their own hometowns. After all, nothing makes a traveler more appreciative of where they hail from than being on the road.  The feature is called No Place Like Home.

The best part is that when one of our readers travels to a place that is foreign to them they will have some solid recommendations from an awesome source, one of their favorite bands!  I know I look forward to checking out some of these places and am sure that there are many others who would be interested.

Alanna Royale Band Pic

For this installment of No Place Like Home we were able to ask our questions to Alanna royale.

Where do Alanna Royale call their hometown and how long have you been there?

We are based out of Nashville currently and have been here from as little as 2 1/2 years to about 6 years.

If friends or family from out of town were visiting you where would you have to take them for must eat grub? What sort of food does the place serve? Any specific dish that you would recommend? What do you like about this place? Price range?

Well, our guitarist’s mother is obsessed with 5 Points Pizza, a pizza shop on the east side of town. We definitely all love that place but it’s just strange that she loves it so much. Nashville is chock full of restaurants these days so there is literally a new place to bring people every time they visit. Some favorites would be Silo, Moto, Monell’s, and Lockeland Table. Traditional southern food with an upscale twist is big in Nashville so finding ridiculous mac n’ cheese and catfish is always easy. Moto has a really firm hold on some of the best italian in Nashville and their blueberry lasagna is INCREDIBLE. The oxtail at Silo was also some of the best we had ever had.

Here at Grisl we are big into the craft beer scene, dive bar scene and regular bar scene (basically we love bars…). Assuming you also enjoy grabbing some drinks with your pals, where are the can’t-miss spots that you would recommend? What makes these places special to you? Any specific drinks that you would recommend? Price range? Vibe (i.e. bow tie or acid wash jeans?)?
Well, this band is down to drink for sure and it’s mostly always cheap. The 5 spot is a venue/bar in town that is well known for hosting some of the best shows in town but it’s also a hybrid neighborhood bar so you get an awesome mix of regulars and tourists. The 5 spot is like a second home to some of us and where some of us saw our first Nashville shows. They do a $2 Tuesday showcase every week which is a staple in East Nashville. $2 to get in, $2 drafts, and a wild assortment of artists both local and touring.

What is your favorite music venue in the area to catch some shows? Any memorable shows you watched there off of the top of your head?
We are super spoiled living in Nashville. Having The Ryman as an option to see shows at all is so incredible. Alanna’s first time there was to see Fiona Apple and it was spellbinding. We’ve seen Explosions In The Sky, Janelle Monae, and Beck there. It’s always an unforgettable night when you’re at The Ryman, both for artists and fans alike.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where are the best places to get some late night munchies/more drinks? What sort of food are we talking about? Price range?
One of our favorite late night spots is Treehouse in East Nashville. They are a small plates/tapas style restaurant and the menu is always changing. We’ve had everything from frito pie to empanadas to pig’s ears there and it’s so reasonable. $7-13 bucks per plate. Also, the patio is one of our favorites in the city.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where is the best place to get breakfast?
We’re just going to have to say Mitchell’s Deli. It’s right there in Riverside Village (close to where we all live) and they do breakfast by the pound. Cheese grits and french toast? Get out of here!

We are always looking for great coffee while traveling. What is your favorite spot to grab some joe?
Well, right next to Mitchell’s is Sip Cafe and it’s a tiny little coffee/ice cream shop. they can make you an espresso malt milkshake. AN ESPRESSO MALT MILKSHAKE.
Do you have any lodging tips for people passing through (e.g. specific places or general areas)?
Since so many people in Nashville are in the industry, people are passing through constantly. Airbnb is definitely a great option because you’ll find tons of stuff. We live on the east side so we are partial to exploring around here but you gotta go downtown and see the country music hall of fame and get to the Opry and all that. It’s such a wonderful window into our city’s relationship with music.
What kind of day trips and/or outdoor activities in the surrounding areas would you recommend to our readers?
Cummins Falls is about an hour and a half outside of the city and it’s the 8th biggest waterfall in Tennessee. You can hike your way there and once you see it, it’s gorgeous. A waterfall that flows into this giant lagoon. You can sit on massive natural ledges and dive off into the water. Bring some food and your dog. Best day ever!
Travel/On Tour:

Favorite city the band has played a show:

We love Chicago!!!

City with the best live crowd:
Chattanooga, TN

Best venue & why (e.g. acoustics, stiff drinks, etc.):

The Bijou Theater in Knoxville has some of the best acoustics ever and also the best staff. We love Holy Mountain in Austin, and Callaghan’s in Mobile, Alabama.

Weirdest thing you’ve seen on tour:

Our drummer’s balls.

Longest length of tour:

One week.

Skuzziest place you’ve slept:

We won’t name names but if you own a ton of pets, please don’t tell bands that they can sleep on your floor, because your floor is disgusting. I mean, thank you for having us though.

I would like to thank Alanna Royale for taking the time to answer our questions.  Nashville sounds like my kind of town!  I hope one of these days we get a chance to see Alanna Royale perform in the Pacific Northwest.  You can tell by listening to Achilles that their live show would be a force to be reckoned with.

Alana Royale Album Cover

Alanna Royale’s debut, Achilles, was released just couple of days ago on 9/16/2014. The band consists of vocalist Alanna Quinn-Broadus, Jared Colby on guitar, Gabriel Golden on bass, Matt Snow on drums and a badass two-piece horn section – Kirk Donovan on trumpet and Diego Vasquez on trombone.  The ten tracks on this album have great range.  There are some sensual soul songs followed by booty shaking funky tracks that Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings would be proud of.  I embedded the bandcamp stream of the album below.  Give it a whirl.  A couple of my favorite tracks are “Cop Show” and “Phantom Limb”.  The band blends aspects of rock n’ roll, soul and funk to create a fabulous and unique style of music.  The sky is the limit for these guys/gal.  Keep up with the band on their Facebook Page.  You can purchase the record on vinyl or other formats over here –>  Alanna Royale – Achilles

2014 Summer Recap

People have a lot of stereotypes for the Pacific Northwest.  Most of these are centered around the weather, coffee, sports teams and music.  The perception of the Pacific Northwest relating to weather is that it is always gloomy and raining.  A lot of people don’t realize that this part of the country is considered a temperate rain forest.  In order to have these magnificent green landscapes the rain is essential.  I will let you in on a little secret though…our summers are epic in the most beautiful sense.  I am sure my fellow Cascadians are not happy with me spilling the beans.  It is so perfect here in the summer that we endure the rest of the year just so we can be here from June-September.

We take advantage of this time of the year by getting out and enjoying the numerous hikes, lakes, rivers, beaches, camping trips and day drinking opportunities that this region has to offer.  This leaves little time for concerts and writing stuff on the internet.  I figured I would put a post together that is a little bit of a recap of some albums that I have been listening to over the past few months while I was too preoccupied with the outside world around me to do an Under The Needle.

Drunk Dad

Drunk Dad — Ripper Killer
Drunk Dad on Facebook
Eolian Empire

Ripper Killer is the follow-up to Drunk Dad’s excellent Morbid Reality. When my mind needs something heavy it has been my go-to album this summer.  With track titles like “Fuck In Garbage” and “Whiskey Liver” the listener should not be surprised to encounter some gnarly, abrasive sounds on this gem.  The dudes in Drunk Dad enlisted their fellow Eolian Empire label mate, Dead Redneck, to supply his special brand of harsh noise on the record.  He even has his own track, “Worthless”.   Personally, it has been the perfect record to spin in order to get amped up and crush beers.  On the other hand, it has been equally great to blast in order to scare the hangover away the morning after.  I guess you don’t have to drink in order to rage with Drunk Dad but they would probably be disappointed in you.  Go support this band and pick up a copy on vinyl –> Drunk Dad – Ripper Killer

Your really should go read the article/interview that Cat Jones did with the band over here –> I Got Drunk With A Band Called Drunk Dad

Freddie gibbs & madlib

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
Madlib Invazion

This album has not just been a summertime obsession.  Ever since Gibbs and Madlib released their collaboration, Piñata, other hip hop has been hard to get down with for me.  As a record collector and beat lover, Madlib has been one of my favorites.  His Medicine Show series is an adventure that always keeps the listener on their toes.  His collaborations with MCs are top notch and perfectly crafted for each individual rapper.  With Piñata Madlib sent a bunch of beats to Gibbs and let him figure out what he wanted to use.  Over a few years Gibbs selected the beats that he wanted to work with and eventually sent it back to Madlib to master the record.  Gibbs’ lyrics throughout the record show the growth and changes that he has gone through as the songs were created at different points in his life.  A friend of mine described Piñata as Madvillainy re-imagined for the streets.  Like all of his projects, Gibbs goes hard and talks about real stuff that he has seen in life.  However you want to look at it, this is fire and they are a great duo.  Pick up a copy on vinyl over here –> Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

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Black Pus/Oozing Wound Split
Thrill Jockey

The award for best band names to team up for a split release goes to Black Pus and Oozing Wound.  These label mates on Thrill Jockey put out an excellent split including two tracks from Black Pus and three tracks from Oozing Wound.  Fans of either of these bands will not be disappointed with the tracks included (unless they miss out on ordering a copy of it).  Black Pus contributes a track that is under four minutes in length titled “Blood Will Run” that is more straight forward than a lot of the material I have heard from him.  It still brings you through the ringer and bends your mind but almost has a chorus of sorts.  He then caps his side off with the 14:33 “Total Eclipse”.  The listener will enter a vortex that they may or may not be able to escape from.  Pleasantly horrifying and trippy as hell.

Flip the record over and you get Oozing Wound’s ripper “Ganja Gremlin”.  Let’s be honest though, every Oozing Wound track that you hear is a ripper.  ”Aging Punk” and “All Things Must Pass Out” round out their side.   I remembered seeing the band tweet something about how fans that they had prior to the split release may not like the direction they went with the tracks on the split.  I’m not sure who those people are but they are wack.  They may have taken a slight left turn from the ferocious thrash pace of Retrash and added some slower drawn out aspects to their jams but it is in no way a negative or departure from who they are.  In my opinion it just sounds more trippy and is energizing to hear a band not re-do what they have already done.  It sounds to me that these Chicago shredders stay true to their motto of Get High. Fuck. Destroy. with every track they put out.  They are my favorite band that I have not had a chance to see live but I am keeping my eyes open for any PNW dates.  Also, that artwork!?  Essential for your collection.  You can pick up this incredible split over here –>  Black Pus/Oozing Wound Split


clipping. – CLPPNG
Sub Pop

I have been listening to the Sub Pop debut from LA’s clipping. for a while now.  I kept on wanting to write something about how much I like the album and my rationale why but it is hard to put words down that make sense.  CLPPNG is not your usual rap album.  The lyrics are dark and generally a story but they do not appear to be stories about the MC and his life.  The delivery is fast and sounds more like a spoken word artist at times than a rapper (that is not a knock on MC Daveed Diggs, he just has such a unique style).  The beats are provided by William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes and are more along the lines of Dead Redneck’s harsh noise than traditional hip hop.  Everything about clipping. is unique and a breath of fresh air.  CLPPNG has so many layers and I recommend it to anybody that wants to hear innovative new music.  Purchase a copy over here –>  clipping. – CLPPNG

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Schoolboy Q

Schoolboy Q — Oxymoron
Top Dawg Entertainment and Interscope Records

Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron took a while for me to get into.  It came out early in 2014 and I purchased it around 6 months ago.  For some reason it didn’t stick with me right away.  After a few more listens over the summer something clicked.  I love Oxymoron now.  I don’t necessarily have a review for this but it is a prime example of why I try to listen to albums double digit times before I make a solid opinion about them.  Some of them are creepers and they get their hooks in you at a later date.  I guess I just want to say to the internet, don’t be too quick to judge.  You may dismiss an album that you could have ended up loving.   For whatever reason it took me a while to get into it but I am glad I had the patience to listen to it a few times because it has become one of my favorite rap albums of the year.  Grab a copy over here –> Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron

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Summer is now coming to a close.  There are positives with that though.  Fall is a beautiful time of the year as well.  The rain may start coming back but so will the shows.  Live music is so much stronger when crowds are willing to be indoors rather than camping.  Silver linings my friends.

Allah-Las – “Buffalo Nickel”

The West Coast definitely has a certain vibe about it.  The pace of life, the quality of living, the beauty of the land and the warmth in the majority of the people that live here.   This California band has been able to capture the spirit of the West Coast during summer time in a psychedelic nutshell.  Allah-Las are set to release their second full length via Innovative Leisure on 9/16/2014.  You can pre-order it now over here –> Allah-Las – Worship The Sun

Check out the video for their track “Buffalo Nickel” below.

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