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Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller more than just a pretty face

11:31 AM, Feb. 7, 2013

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Nate Carter, founder/CEO Carter-Brickhouse Analytics LLC

1. “MCMXC a.D.,” Enigma.
2. “Pascale Mysterium,” Konrad Ruhland (conductor).
3. “John Barleycorn Must Die,” Traffic.
4. “The Naked Ride Home,” Jackson Browne.
5. “The Tubes,” The Tubes.
6. “The Sign,” Ace of Base.
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9. “Young and Rich,” The Tubes.
10. “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” Traffic.
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Rhett Miller is a hard-working Renaissance man trapped in the body of an alt-country poster boy.

The Old 97’s frontman is known as “That Pretty Boy” in the home of my best friend, but the tall, hazel-eyed musician’s looks aren’t the only thing driving her crazy. Miller’s music also sweeps her and countless fans off their feet.

“I get to make a living singing, writing songs,” said the Texas musician who formed the Old 97’s in 1993. “That’s crazy to me.”

The alt-country pioneer enjoys a peaceful existence.

“I feel lucky that I’ve gotten to live a normal life, yet have a pretty successful career making music, and it’s a weird thing,” he said.

But Miller also appreciates the wild moments.

“During an encore, this really beautiful girl jumped on-stage and did this crazy booty dance right next to me,” Miller said of a show years ago. “By the time I got to the end of the song, she pulled her really cute friend up and they just started making out right next to me. I was like, ‘This is a pretty good job to have.’ ”

Catch the Old 97’s tonight and Miller’s opening solo set at Vinyl Music Hall, 2 Palafox Place. Tickets for this all-ages event are $18. There is a $5 surcharge if you’re under 21. Doors open at 8 p.m. For details, visit www.vinylmusichall.com.

Intronaut

On Jan. 27, 2004, sandwiched between the stoner rock of headlining act Nebula and the Troy Moon-crowned “scuzz rock” of my band, a metal foursome from Georgia rocked The Handlebar.

It was a monumental year for Mastodon. Months after that Pensacola show, the Atlanta band toured with Slayer and Slipknot on the first “Unholy Alliance” tour. In August, the band, considered by many as the greatest metal band of the 21st century, released their breakthrough album “Leviathan.”

Almost a decade later, Mastodon won’t be opening for Nebula, but another rising metal band, Intronaut, will rock The Handlebar, 309 Tarragona St., on Saturday. Pensacola represents one of six shows for the Los Angeles group before joining Meshuggah’s North American tour.

Having toured with Tool and Mastodon, Intronaut frontman Sacha Dunable is comfortable sharing stages with metal heavyweights. He also recognizes surreal moments at work.

“I remember the first time I really hung out with Justin (Chancellor) from Tool,” Dunable said. “We were hanging out at a show, talking about and conceptualizing what would happen in this song.”

That song became the title track of the Intronaut album “Valley of Smoke,” featuring Chancellor on bass.

“It wasn’t weird at the time, but an hour later, I was like ‘Wait a minute — did I just talk about writing a song with that guy?’ ” he said.

Doors for this 18-and-older show open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, with a $2 surcharge for those younger than 21. Transmute and Rainey’s Revenge will also perform. For details, visit www.pensacolahandlebar.com.

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