Recently, my ten-minute morning meditation has dwindled into ten minutes of “Critter’s Galaxy,” a locally produced YouTube sensation that interviews prominent Nashville bands. It’s a talk show of sorts, featuring erratic and nonsensical question and answer sessions, inappropriate deadpan gazes from host Chris “Critter” Boatright and sound-man Alex Grantz, and a satiric lack of musical substance.
My love for this show is two-fold. As a music writer, I often find that our “type” gets a bad rep, asking questions that are either lazily sketched or too opaque to answer. Bands tire of repeating their histories for the sake of press, and they scorn ignorant comparisons to other musicians that share room on the same label. Critter’s Galaxy satirizes the experience of this more lackadaisical interview style. It manages to be entirely devoid of substantive information, while creating in me an awareness of the kind of writer I try to avoid becoming. Second, musicians are great for their allure on stage, but at the end of the day, sometimes we want to know whether they are truly likable human beings. To me, the easiest way to learn whether someone is worth getting to know is by testing out their sense of humor. Within ten minutes of Critter’s Galaxy, we get glances into the wits and patience of numerous local acts, including Sol Cat, VITEK, Gavin Shea, and Ravello. Uncertain of what to expect upon their arrival at the Galaxy, the bands seem initially taken aback by Boatright’s off-the-cuff sense of humor; yet so far, all of them have yielded to his spontaneity, adding their own hilarity to the show.
Below is Critter’s Galaxy’s Nashville Five, which I found as enjoyable in its truthful nature as the episodes I’ve got on repeat. You can watch the show on YouTube, wherever Wi-Fi is readily available.
By Chris “Critter” Boatright and sound-man Alex Grantz
Neighbors – Sylvan Park ::: Located in Sylvan Park, and more importantly within a walking distance from some of our friend’s houses, you can find a nice little quaint and another adjective bar called Neighbors. Critter is the mayor of Neighbors on foursquare, so that’s some shit. Neighbors is a place where you know all of the servers by name, and they have pulled pork that makes me question my parent’s faith. If you hit Neighbors up at the right time, and with the right attitude, you may be able to grab a few extra shots from your favorite server, and they even have in-door bathrooms. Neighbors is a great atmosphere of a bar where we go numerous times a week to maintain our boyish 20-something figures by meeting up with friends and having libations well into the night.
Plank Sound ::: Plank Sound is a guitar repair shop that our good bud Chris Plank runs in Sylvan Park. Plank is an all around rad dude who plays guitar in the rock band Ravello, however we mainly visit to hang out with his dog, Slash. Chris is a master guitar tech who does some real beautiful shit to guitars and other stringed instruments. He actually has my banjo right now. Plank Sound is the greatest place in the world to have your guitars repaired. We don’t repair guitars or even known how to do anything close to that. But we do know how to hang out and build fires and shit while Plank does stuff. Once we saw a bird fly into a window trying to get into the shop. Poor guy.
Mercy Lounge ::: Mercy Lounge is a place where you’ve seen all of your friend’s bands play shows, and there really isn’t another description. We’ve been to Mercy Lounge every week for a solid 5 years, and have spent a solid 4 of those inhaling copious amounts of ‘cigarette’ smoke in the green room. Mercy Lounge has a vibe that will never let you down. We’ve only had a few nights at Mercy Lounge that have been sub-par, and those were probably due to pre-gaming a pre-game too hard, or deciding to eat our faces off at Prince’s Hot Chicken before hand. Mercy Lounge is a great place to go to see all kinds of local and national acts play on any night of the week, and you can probably see many of our guest’s from Critters Galaxy hanging out or doing music stuff. Make sure to drop Critter or Grantz’s name at the door to get in to any show for free.
The Harpeth ::: If you have already watched every episode of Critters Galaxy ten times and are looking for something to do outside, watch every Critters Galaxy episode ten more and times then go to The Harpeth River. The Harpeth, which is way the hell out past Grantz’s house in West Nashville, is where we spend most days in the summer.
Activities to do at the Harpeth include:
-Throw Rocks (rox)
-Eat BEEF jerky
-Smoke cigs if you’re into that
-Drink some alcohol
-Fall in the water
-Build a rock shrine
-Kiss girls on the mouth
I’m sure we’ve done other stuff at the Harpeth but I can’t really remember right now. Once, I put in a chew at the Harpeth and then immediately took it out because I didn’t like it that much. You can take McDonald’s to the Harpeth River if you promise to dispose of your trash properly, as long as its a McRib.
The Galaxy ::: Finally, we reach the pinnacle of our existence. The Galaxy is located in East Nashville in the garage of our good friends Hayden & Henry. Hayden helps shoot, direct, and edit the show, while Henry produces by getting snacks and shit. The Galaxy is where all of the magic in Critters Galaxy originates. From the lava lamps to the Budweiser Label shaped guitar, everything is stupid, but stupid in the way that you like it. We meet the crew here once a week in order to shoot the upcoming episode that we release every Monday. Bands that have witnessed the galaxy have never seen anything as remarkable…ly unimpressive. The camera adds about 10 feet, and that leaves us with about 10 feet. We’d love to see all of the bands in the galaxy, and with the new Obamacare proposal, yes we can.