Nashville Scene 1-13-22

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CITY LIMITS: THE OMICRON VARIANT ADDS MORE STRESS TO AN ALREADY DIFFICULT SCHOOL YEAR

JANUARY 13–19, 2022 I VOLUME 40 I NUMBER 49 I NASHVILLESCENE.COM I FREE

FILM: THE ANNUAL JIM RIDLEY FILM POLL HAS LANDED

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE WE POLL LOCAL ARTISTS ON THE VISUAL ARTS SCENE, LOOK AT SOME OF THE BEST EVENTS OF THE SEASON AND MORE

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CONTENTS

JANUARY 13, 2022

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The Omicron Variant Adds More Stress to an Already Difficult School Year ...............6

High Hopes for Hops

CITY LIMITS

Here’s what MNPS students are heading back to in their spring semester

FOOD AND DRINK The Beerded Brotha seeks more diversity in the craft beer world BY CHRIS CHAMBERLAIN

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB: Morgan Wallen’s Surprise Opry Appearance Sparks Backlash

BY KELSEY BEYELER

North Star ...................................................6 Friends and customers pay tribute to AlkebuLan Images owner Yusef Harris BY ERICA CICCARONE

Pith in the Wind .........................................7 This week on the Scene’s news and politics blog

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MUSIC

Democrats Need to Provide Clear Leadership on COVID That Reflects Democratic Values

Rounding up releases to watch for in 2022 from Jack White, Negro Justice, Erin Rae and many more

East Nashville Beer Fest Tickets Are Already on Sale

Sowing the Seeds ................................... 28

BY STEPHEN TRAGESER

Above-Average Joe .................................. 29

COVER STORY Winter Arts Guide

Styrofoam Winos’ Joe Kenkel steps out with his lovely second solo LP Naturale

State of the Arts.........................................8 Amid closures, changes and upgrades, we assess Nashville’s visual art scene BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

Let’s Get Visual...........................................9 The Scene’s first local visual artists’ poll COMPILED BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

Visual Arts ............................................... 12

BY CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

Speaker: Republicans Plan to Divvy Up Nashville Congressional District

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Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful Showing at the Frist Art Museum Feb. 25–June 5, 2022

ON THE COVER:

“Air View of a Spring Nursery,” Alma W. Thomas Courtesy of The Columbus Museum, museum purchase and gift of the National Association of Negro Business Women, and the artist

FILM

The 2021 Jim Ridley Film Poll

Nashville’s winter arts season is coming in hot at Modfellows, the Frist, Zeitgeist and more

Dedicated to our late longtime Scene editor and critic, our poll asks cinephiles, critics and industry insiders about 2021 in film

BY JOE NOLAN

COMPILED BY JASON SHAWHAN

Books ....................................................... 14 The ongoing Nashville Jewish Book Series reflects the vibrancy and inclusivity of Nashville’s Jewish community BY ERICA CICCARONE

Performing Arts ...................................... 16 Nashville Rep makes history with School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play BY AMY STUMPFL

Coming Attractions ................................. 17

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NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD

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MARKETPLACE

Expect new releases like Parallel Mothers and The Worst Person in the World in the coming weeks BY D. PATRICK RODGERS

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CRITICS’ PICKS Ice Skating Rink Pop-Up, Kelly Willis w/ Melissa Carper & Brennen Leigh, Queens of the Tone Age: Brandy Zdan and Molly Martin, Weekend Classics: Ran, Let Freedom Sing, Movies We Missed: The Disciple, Dwight Yoakam and more

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FROM BILL FREEMAN THE OMICRON VARIANT IS TAKING OVER TENNESSEE, BUT GOV. LEE THINKS WE SHOULD BE ‘ENCOURAGED’ Last week, 34 percent of coronavirus tests reported to the Tennessee Department of Health were positive, up from 31.74 percent in the last week of December. It’s not a happy New Year trend, and it underscores the poor leadership Tennessee has gotten from its Republican governor and legislature. In November, Gov. Bill Lee allowed Tennessee’s state of emergency to expire. The state’s emergency status had allowed various departments and local governments to directly address pandemic-related problems, and last year, lawmakers passed legislation that restricts the authority of any local official to mandate masks — even in their own buildings. This “leadership” exacerbates our challenges and diminishes our ability to manage the sudden jump in infections from the Omicron variant of COVID-19. You have to wonder, what did the governor expect would be the result of his decisions? Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey made an alarming observation about the Omicron variant in December: “In a span of two weeks it has gone [from] essentially no one to perhaps a projected 95 percent [of new cases in the South].” Piercey also said that of the three antibody treatments available, only one worked against the newest variant, and doctors will have to be discerning, offering the treatment only to those who need it most. We all want COVID-19 to just be gone. But it is not gone. Last week, Tennessee hospitals were treating about 2,000 COVID-19 patients, and patient levels have increased by about 75 percent since Christmas. The highest positivity rate is 46 percent in Shelby County. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard for tracking the pandemic in Davidson County shows a dramatic increase in the number of cases between mid-December and early January. Nashville averaged 1,165.5 new cases per day in the two-week period ending Jan. 4. That’s up from 225 cases per day in the previous two-week period! Despite these numbers, the governor still is not offering any real support. The Tennessean reported last week that the governor says he is encouraging people to get vaccinated and get their boosters. But he has also stripped authority from local governments and school districts when it comes to issuing mask requirements — even though it’s been proven that masks can reduce the spread of the virus. The governor believes

that we should find the fact that the hospitalization rate has not yet shot up “encouraging.” All this while his own health commissioner is telling us how fast this thing is spreading, and that hospitals are running low on antibody treatments. I’m not sure where being “encouraged” is relevant. If anything, it seems we should be taking more precautions, not just thinking it will all go away because the hospitals aren’t quite full yet. The governor should be at least a little embarrassed by his “handling” of COVID and the results we see — or rather, fail to see — now that his administration has decided to no longer report case numbers on a daily basis. Commissioner Piercey says the abandonment of daily reporting is being done to incorporate ongoing monitoring of the pandemic with the department’s pre-pandemic priorities. That sounds believable to some, I am sure, but this change will make it harder for Tennesseans to track the virus as it surges across the state. It also interrupts the statistics and data relied upon by journalists. If the governor and his administration are hoping that dragging out reporting times will alleviate embarrassment, it won’t work. Frankly, we could become the butt of even more late-night talk show jokes than we’ve already experienced. We all are suffering from COVID exhaustion and want to go back to life the way it was before the pandemic. I am confident that we will get through this, because that is who we are. But will things ever be the same? Currently, Tennessee is averaging more than 10,000 new infections every day — and that’s not even factoring in any at-home tests, because those aren’t reported to the government. Amid such numbers, it can be hard to remain optimistic or, to borrow the governor’s word, “encouraged.” Especially when our state leadership is seemingly working against everything that helps. Still, one thing we can hold onto is the fact that we’ve been through tough times already. We’ve seen wars, recessions, unforeseen events and even previous pandemics. But each time, our country bounced back. Our economy became stronger and more resilient. To me, that is a reason we can be encouraged. The fact that hospitals aren’t full yet — not so much.

Bill Freeman Bill Freeman is the owner of FW Publishing, the publishing company that produces the Nashville Scene, Nfocus, the Nashville Post and Home Page Media Group in Williamson County.

ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES IN TENNESSEE 100,000

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Editor-in-Chief D. Patrick Rodgers Senior Editor Dana Kopp Franklin Associate Editor Alejandro Ramirez Arts Editor Laura Hutson Hunter Culture Editor Erica Ciccarone Music and Listings Editor Stephen Trageser Contributing Editor Jack Silverman Staff Writers Kelsey Beyeler, Stephen Elliott, Nancy Floyd, Steven Hale, Kara Hartnett, J.R. Lind, Kathryn Rickmeyer, William Williams Contributing Writers Sadaf Ahsan, Radley Balko, Ashley Brantley, Maria Browning, Steve Cavendish, Chris Chamberlain, Lance Conzett, Steve Erickson, Randy Fox, Adam Gold, Seth Graves, Kim Green, Steve Haruch, Edd Hurt, Jennifer Justus, Christine Kreyling, Katy Lindenmuth, Craig D. Lindsey, Brittney McKenna, Marissa R. Moss, Noel Murray, Joe Nolan, Betsy Phillips, John Pitcher, Margaret Renkl, Daryl Sanders, Megan Seling, Jason Shawhan, Michael Sicinski, Nadine Smith, Ashley Spurgeon, Amy Stumpfl, Kay West, Abby White, Andrea Williams, Ron Wynn, Charlie Zaillian Art Director Elizabeth Jones Photographers Eric England, Matt Masters, Daniel Meigs Graphic Designers Mary Louise Meadors, Tracey Starck Production Coordinator Christie Passarello Events and Marketing Director Olivia Britton Marketing and Promotions Manager Robin Fomusa Publisher Mike Smith Senior Advertising Solutions Managers Maggie Bond, Sue Falls, Michael Jezewski, Carla Mathis, Heather Cantrell Mullins, Jennifer Trsinar, Keith Wright Advertising Solutions Managers William Shutes, Niki Tyree Sales Operations Manager Chelon Hill Hasty Advertising Solutions Associates Jada Goggins, Caroline Poole, Alissa Wetzel Special Projects Coordinator Susan Torregrossa President Frank Daniels III Chief Financial Officer Todd Patton Corporate Production Director Elizabeth Jones Vice President of Marketing Mike Smith IT Director John Schaeffer Circulation and Distribution Director Gary Minnis For advertising information please contact: Mike Smith, msmith@nashvillescene.com or 615-844-9238 FW PUBLISHING LLC Owner Bill Freeman VOICE MEDIA GROUP National Advertising 1-888-278-9866 vmgadvertising.com

©2022, Nashville Scene. 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. Phone: 615-244-7989. The Nashville Scene is published weekly by FW Publishing LLC. The publication is free, one per reader. Removal of more than one paper from any distribution point constitutes theft, and violators are subject to prosecution. Back issues are available at our office. Email: All email addresses consist of the employee’s first initial and last name (no space between) followed by @nashvillescene.com; to reach contributing writers, email editor@nashvillescene.com. Editorial Policy: The Nashville Scene covers news, art and entertainment. In our pages appear divergent views from across the community. Those views do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available at $150 per year for 52 issues. Subscriptions will be posted every Thursday and delivered by third-class mail in usually five to seven days. Please note: Due to the nature of third-class mail and postal regulations, any issue(s) could be delayed by as much as two or three weeks. There will be no refunds issued. Please allow four to six weeks for processing new subscriptions and address changes. Send your check or Visa/MC/AmEx number with expiration date to the above address.

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CITY LIMITS

THE OMICRON VARIANT ADDS MORE STRESS TO AN ALREADY DIFFICULT SCHOOL YEAR Here’s what MNPS students are heading back to in their spring semester BY KELSEY BEYELER

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n August, the Scene ran a story about Nashville’s students returning to school and the challenges that the COVID-19 Delta variant would pose. Now, halfway through the school year, they return from winter break to a similar situation amid a surge from an entirely new COVID variant. Despite a rocky start to the semester, Delta-related COVID cases began to wane as fall wore on. But just as students left for winter break, the Omicron variant replaced Delta as Tennessee’s dominant strain and primary cause for concern. Though the new variant appears less likely to cause extreme illness, it is more transmissible, and the state is currently facing one of its most significant surges since the start of the pandemic. As students returned from winter break on Monday — delayed from Friday due to last week’s heavy snowfall — Metro Nashville Public Schools reported that 269 staff members and 88 students were confirmed positive for COVID-19, while another 82 staff members and 46 students were in quarantine. So what has and hasn’t changed in MNPS’ response to the virus? Since the start of the school year, students have been required to wear masks despite state lawmakers’ efforts to prevent mask mandates (though the state is currently attempting to fight that via appeal). At the December MNPS board meeting — before the impact of the Omicron variant was fully

realized — director of schools Adrienne Battle recommended that the board consider removing the mandate after winter break. District spokesperson Sean Braisted confirms that Battle’s recommendation no longer stands amid the surge in cases, and the board will not vote on the matter at the next meeting. “We already had some of the strongest mitigation strategies in place for Tennessee,” says Braisted. “We started off the year’s planning and professional development remotely in order to limit further spread of the virus after winter break. We are distributing KN95 masks to schools that can work for staff and have been exploring the availability of child-sized KN95s for others.” Another major defense: Nearly all schoolage children are old enough to be vaccinated against COVID-19. When school started in August, students ages 12 and up were approved for vaccination. Now, kids 5 and up are eligible, and kids 12 and older can get boosters. MNPS has offered vaccine clinics to parents and students since the start of the school year. The district also offered rapid testing in the last week of winter break — one day of testing was canceled due to inclement weather — and schools have supplies to test students, though an email from the district told parents to keep symptomatic students away from school altogether and get them tested elsewhere. Citing a new state law, the district says close contacts are no longer required to quarantine, though it notes that

parents should monitor symptoms and consider testing after five days. Metro schools are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently shortened the isolation period from 10 days to five. Students and teachers who cannot attend school but are still feeling well can engage with classes through shortterm virtual instruction. State laws prohibit entire districts from switching to remote learning, though individual schools and classes may do so with the permission of the education commissioner. While student well-being is crucial, it cannot be maintained without sufficient staff — an issue that the district has been battling since before the pandemic, and one that is taking a toll on MNPS employees (and schools across the country). For months, teachers, support staff and bus drivers have been pleading for additional staff and compensation for the extra work the vacancies force them to take on. Kelly Ann Graff, a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Middle School and a member of the Nashville teachers’ union, says the district has taken away extra time off reserved for COVID-related absences — and teacher absences mean they sometimes have to combine classes. “We’re seeing [COVID-19] numbers rise, we’re going to see more bereavement leave, we’re going to see more mental health days, we’re going to see more teachers out of the classroom because we’re existing during the pandemic,” says Graff. “And we are already facing a substitute shortage, so … I just feel like it’s just gonna get worse, just from a numbers point of view. … Even if a teacher is … COVID-positive and teaching from home, there’s still going to need to be an adult in the room supervising that classroom. And even as numbers were decreasing, or at least plateauing, we already didn’t have enough.” In addition to more bus drivers and substitute teachers, Graff wants to see more school psychologists, counselors and social workers, “because we’re seeing students who are struggling to adjust to in-person learning.” “I teach seventh grade,” she says. “My

[students] haven’t had a full school year since fourth grade, and so they’re struggling with those adjustments in addition to struggling with living through a pandemic.” NPR reports that across the country, students have been struggling with mental health issues exacerbated by a year of virtual learning and the trauma of COVID-19 — especially students of color, who on average have seen more family deaths due to systemic inequity. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association have declared what they call a “national emergency in child and adolescent mental health,” citing “stress brought on by COVID-19 and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.” Since students returned to school, MNPS has worked to address mental health by establishing social and emotional learning techniques and placing advocacy centers in elementary schools, though as Graff notes, they need more hands on deck. Despite the challenges that schools continue to face, the CDC and AAP prioritize keeping students in school. The Scene spoke with two parents who trust schools to take care of their kids. “​​I trust the current school administration, and I especially trust my kids’ school principal and assistant principal to do their very best to protect the kids and the school staff,” says Elizabeth Hines, who has two kids at MNPS and is chair of the Parent Advisory Council. Another Parent Advisory Council representative, Anne-Marie Farmer, tells the Scene: “I think for my kids, the year has gone as well as it could. I have seen our principals and our teachers and our school staff really hustling, really making it the best school year it can be. So I’m thankful to them, and I’m grateful for everything that’s been going on. I think it’s right that the district has tried … to get as close to a normal school year as we’ve been able to, while also not pretending that nothing’s happening and that the pandemic’s over.” EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NORTH STAR Friends and customers pay tribute to Alkebu-Lan Images owner Yusef Harris BY ERICA CICCARONE

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YUSEF HARRIS WITH HIS SON JORDAN HARRIS

PHOTO: ERIC ENGLAND

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lkebu-Lan Images, a cornerstone of the North Nashville community for more than 35 years, lost its founder early last week. Yusef Harris — teacher, mentor, climber of Mount Kilimanjaro — died on Monday, Jan. 3. He was 66. Harris opened Alkebu-Lan in 1986 while pursuing his doctorate in psychology at Vanderbilt University and teaching part time at Tennessee State University. The Jefferson Street property went up for sale, and he made a $15,000 down payment with a loan from Metro Development and Housing Agency. Since then, the shop has become a cultural mecca, selling books, art, apparel and other goods that reflect and celebrate African culture. “Yusef knew Black people needed to see images of themselves that were uplifting,” wrote Scene contributor M. Simone Boyd in March. “He saw a path to do NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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CITY LIMITS that through books.” It’s hard to meet a Black person who grew up in Nashville who hasn’t felt Harris’ impact in some way. He mentored and advised hundreds of Black business owners, his son and business partner Jordan Harris told Boyd. Chakita Patterson, owner of United Street Tours, describes Harris’ impact on her business in a Facebook post. “He was one of the most knowledgeable people that I’ve ever met,” writes Patterson. “Not in an overbearing way. Not in an, ‘I’m smarter than you’ way. But in a caring way. … He gifted me with the knowledge that I needed to take my first group on tour.” Countless poets and spoken-word artists found their voices at Harris’ open-mic nights, and the shop was a place where emerging Black authors were sure to find support. In a social media post, poet Stephanie Pruitt Gaines calls the shop “a soft landing place,” where Harris welcomed local Black authors. “He went on to mentor me about the book business and traveling for readings and speaking engagements and how to keep a book signing line lively and meaningful for the audience, booksellers, and myself,” Gaines writes. “He took me to literary events across the country and showed me how to read the room and stay true to myself and my mission.” When Gaines bemoaned morning story times elsewhere in the city, which were difficult for working parents to attend, Harris opened his doors for an evening story time that Gaines hosted and attended with her daughter for years. In a 2015 interview with the Scene, Harris said that his goal was to “instill and improve a person’s self-concept.” “I recognize that to help people have more positive self-esteem and self-concept,” Harris said, “they need to read more and be conscious of their culture and heritage and history — especially African Americans.” Harris traveled abroad throughout his life, including to Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal and Jamaica, according to his lifelong friend Donald Keene. “Over the years,” writes Keene on Facebook, “Yusef was a leader and innovator in advancing empowerment and education of Black communities in Nashville and across the USA. He was a voice and instrument of Black pride.” “I met him when I was in 7th grade, trying to buy a leather African medallion they were wearing in all the hip-hop videos in the late ’80s,” writes Tennessee State University alum James Beard. “He challenged me to tell him what the medallion meant. Of course I didn’t know. I just wanted to wear what Grand Puba from Brand Nubian was wearing. He took time to explain to me what the red, gold, green and the red, black and green meant. This was my first foray into realizing that there was another history inside of me I knew nothing about.” In a tweet, TSU professor and North Nashville historian Dr. Learotha Williams referenced the famed Harlem bookshop the African National Memorial Bookstore: “Yusef was our Lewis Michaux and Alkebu-Lan Images with its texts and images celebrating African life and culture became #northnashville’s House of Common Sense and Home of Proper Propaganda.” In December 2020, Harris and his son purchased a building on Buchanan Street and expanded Alkebu-Lan. “If you are going to be brickand-mortar, you have to be able to control your land,” Harris told the Scene’s Boyd. “This principle,” wrote Boyd, “has allowed Alkebu-Lan to define success outside of capitalism and cultivate an environment to help other businesses grow.” EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

THIS WEEK ON OUR NEWS AND POLITICS BLOG: Members of the Tennessee General Assembly usually don’t cause widespread embarrassment before they return to Nashville for their annual session, what with their constitutionally suspect legislation and half-informed bloviation. House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, however, decided to get an early start on things. At a recent high school basketball game between Lakeway Christian Academy and Providence Academy, Faison got into a referee’s face. Following some pointing and shouting, Faison — who has a son on the Lakeway team — seemingly tried to pull the ref’s pants down. And yes, of course, there’s video. Faison posted an apology on social media, saying he was “bad wrong” and that he “totally lost my junk” at the game. … Starting in February, Davidson County drivers will no longer be required to complete emissions testing to renew their tags. The Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2020 that the handful of Tennessee counties previously under a cleanair order were now in compliance with federal standards and needn’t require the testing. The state legislature amended state law allowing for counties to end their emissions testing program. Davidson County was the last to do so. The measure passed the Metro Council unanimously. … Scene reporter Stephen Elliott — who is currently also interim editor of the Nashville Post — and the publications’ parent company FW Publishing have filed a public records lawsuit against the state. The suit, filed against Gov. Bill Lee and Human Resources Commissioner Juan Williams, attempts to gain access to reports by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. The firm was awarded a $3 million no-bid contract to issue reports regarding the state’s reopening as well as “government operations” and “support to the Unified Command Group.” The reports were completed in 2020, and the Lee administration has claimed “deliberative process privilege” in keeping the findings secret. Journalists and open-government advocates have long argued that no such deliberative process exemption exists under the Tennessee Public Records Act. … Contributor Betsy Phillips says Democrats need to straighten out the COVID response. “People should have access to accurate information laid out in ways that are easy to understand. The people in charge of providing that information should be committed to keeping as many Americans alive as possible, and not finding reason for optimism when it’s mostly the unwell who are dying.” … Tennessee Republicans plan to divide Nashville into multiple congressional districts, House Speaker Cameron Sexton told the Associated Press this week. The full state legislature still must approve redistricting plans, though Republicans control supermajorities in both the House and the Senate. The splitting of Nashville would likely mean that Republicans would control eight of Tennessee’s nine congressional districts, leaving just one Democratic-leaning seat in Memphis. … The Tennessee Titans locked up the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a bye in the NFL playoffs. And King Henry will return. NASHVILLESCENE.COM/PITHINTHEWIND EMAIL: PITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM TWEET: @PITHINTHEWIND

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE In our annual Winter Arts Guide, we ask some of the city’s top artists what they’re most looking forward to. Plus, our critics assess the state of Nashville’s art scene and point toward the best art, theater, dance, film and literary events of the season.

STATE OF THE ARTS Amid closures, changes and upgrades, we assess Nashville’s visual art scene BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

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ashville’s visual art community has been “up-and-coming” for as long as many locals can remember, always at the edge of breaking through and transcending the “Music City” moniker — a nickname that celebrates creativity but fails to acknowledge the nuances of our city’s vibrant visual art scene. But the reasons why Nashville was a great town for artists 10 years ago — the affordability of studio space, the low cost of living — are no longer its selling points. At the same time, galleries and art schools are closing, museums are changing leadership, and new modes of exhibiting artwork abound. It’s a good time, then, to assess what’s working in Nashville’s art scene, as well as what might need to change. In recent months, some of Nashville’s most popular galleries have announced closures. Rymer Gallery, one of the first spaces to participate in the First Saturday art crawls, quietly shuttered when owner Jeff Rymer retired, with the downtown building housing the gallery selling at the end of 2021. One of the most consistent spots for high-quality art in Wedgewood-Houston, Channel to Channel, left its Packing Plant home to relocate to Chattanooga. The downtown Arcade, which was ground zero for the First Saturday art crawls when the tradition began 16 years ago, has recently sold to local real estate industry veteran Rob Lowe and New York City-based Linfield Capital, which paid $28 million for the building in April 2021. The art scene isn’t all bad news, however. Though Nashville still has many highcaliber examples of traditional galleries, a slew of new options seem to offer innovative business models. Among the most inventive developments in Nashville’s art scene are the partnerships between artists and downtown hotels with the budget to fill their walls, and creative values that honor local visionaries. In 2017, downtown hotel Noelle enlisted artist Bryce McCloud to be its director of programming and creative proj-

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ects. He commissioned a series of portraits of noteworthy Nashvillians — including two portraits of the Scene’s late editor Jim Ridley — from local artists like Julia Martin and LeXander Bryant. McCloud’s own work is in the expansive lobby and hotel restaurant MakeReady. Just up Fourth Avenue North from Noelle is Bobby, another downtown boutique hotel with a visual-art connection: The hotel partners with Fifth Avenue gallery Tinney Contemporary to host The Collection at Bobby, a revolving series of exhibitions in its lobby. Tinney’s gallery manager and curator Joshua Edward Bennett seems to have an ideal vision for the balance between work that is visually striking and conceptually interesting. The current Tinney exhibit at Bobby, A Fluid & Emphatic Now, includes lo-fi neon works from Brooklyn-based artist Esther Ruiz alongside futuristic Memphisinspired wall sculptures by Miami-based artist Francesco Lo Castro — the vibe is elegant with an edge. Photographs by New Orleans-based artist D-Tag document paper money that’s been folded into shapes that spell phrases like “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” — a trick the artist taught himself while being stuck on the rooftop of his house during Hurricane Katrina. The international scope of the artists at Bobby doesn’t detract from local talent — putting Nashville-based artists alongside artists from outside the city shows confidence in locals by establishing a level playing field. Another recent innovation in Nashville’s art scene is restaurateurs championing visual art. Acclaimed chef Sean Brock’s latest high-end restaurant, Audrey, features a collection of paintings from legendary outsider artist Mose Tolliver that wouldn’t be out of place in the American Folk Art Museum. Meanwhile, Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria opened NKA Gallery, a sleek exhibition space that was consistently mentioned in our visual artists’ poll (read that on p. 9) as a highlight of the city’s recent gallery events — Lakesha Moore, Omari Booker and Shabazz Larkin are among the Nashville-based artists whose work has been shown at NKA. These developments are no doubt positive — letting local artists shape a city’s visual culture is almost never a bad idea — and will provide additional revenue streams for the artists themselves. Even so, placing local work in high-end restaurants and boutique hotels will reward art that is more easily digestible. That puts the onus for exhibiting

PLACING LOCAL WORK IN HIGHEND RESTAURANTS AND BOUTIQUE HOTELS WILL REWARD ART THAT IS MORE EASILY DIGESTIBLE. THAT PUTS THE ONUS FOR EXHIBITING RISKY, CHALLENGING ART ON THE INSTITUTIONS THAT DON’T RELY ON BROAD PUBLIC APPROVAL OR COMMERCIAL SALES TO DRIVE BUSINESS. risky, challenging art on the institutions that don’t rely on broad public approval or commercial sales to drive business. For that reason, all eyes seem to be on the Frist Art Museum, whose longtime executive director Susan Edwards announced her impending retirement last year. Edwards has been with the museum since 2004, and under her leadership the Frist has become a hub for exhibitions from greats like Pablo Picasso, Kara Walker and Carrie Mae Weems. The Frist during Edwards’ tenure has also championed local talent like Vesna Pavlović and Vadis Turner — as well as LeXander Bryant, whose upcoming exhibition Forget Me Nots is one of the most an-

ticipated of the season. Her successor may indeed take the museum down a different path — but perhaps a new director could shift the institution toward challenging programming and confrontational exhibitions that Nashville has been missing. Among the most frequent complaints mentioned in our artists’ poll: the need for artists to be able to take risks, free from commercial or ideological restraint. As stalwarts of Nashville’s art scene — namely the Frist and the downtown Arcade — change hands and evolve into something new, it’s a good time for Nashville’s artists to ask for what they need from a city that has benefited from their contributions. ■

A FLUID & EMPHATIC NOW

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE

LET’S GET VISUAL The Scene’s first local visual artists’ poll

COMPILED BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

F

or our first local visual artists’ poll — a feature we plan to revisit on occasion — we’ve asked a select group to share their ideas about Nashville’s art scene. Below, read what they love about it and what they’d like to change.

WHAT’S HELPED YOU THE MOST IN COPING WITH THE ONGOING PANDEMIC? We are grateful for receiving a United States Artists Relief Grant at the beginning of the pandemic. Also our biweekly lunchtime excursions in nature, often overlooking the lake or river, is a lifestyle change for the better. Elise Drake and Thew Jones Having a studio space at Elephant Gallery. I find solitude there, but also have a supportive artist community. Yanira Vissepo Spending more time with family, being outside and home-cooked meals. I also picked up biking in 2020, and it’s been a game-changer. LeXander Bryant My exercise crew on Zoom, self-imposed media blackouts, NTS Radio, family hangs, outsider art books, East Side Banh Mi, unfollowing Yoganons. Josh Elrod Trying to take advantage of the downtimes to create as pure expression without having to think about art as a business or commodity, and having my loving family with me every day. Elisheba Israel Mrozik An amazing dog we rescued via Snooty Giggles. His name is Nero and he loves to snuggle. Alex Blau Learning in general; but specifically, working to understand the good and bad philosophical ideas that underpin our society and their effects. James Perrin

Being reminded of the resilience that we as human beings are equipped with to take in what has happened, adapt to it, and then adjust and conquer the challenges that come along with something so massively traumatic to our global society. It helps when you’re not alone. Also, being able to use my mind to continue making art, and venturing into some other untapped ideas that I may not have otherwise thought of had it not been for the pandemic. There’s a lot that came out of being with my own thoughts. Donna Woodley “SNOWBALL 1,” “SNOWBALL 2,” “SNOWBALL 3,” FROM CAROLINE ALLISON’S BEHIND THE MOON AT ZEITGEIST GALLERY

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE NEW DISCOVERY OF 2021? Turnip Green Creative Reuse. LeXander Bryant The Great Women Artists podcast, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varos, and Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel. Yanira Vissepo Roxane Gay’s substack The Audacity. It’s a great curated email of all the things I want to know about. Jodi Hays Opening up with other artists whom I have admired from afar and building friendships based on similar experiences of loss and grief. Lindsy Davis Artist talks over Zoom. It was fantastic to be able to dial in worldwide for things happening beyond home. Caroline Allison Broadway Brunch at Nashville Rep and Stacy’s Bagel Chips. Elisheba Israel Mrozik Legacy mural on Jefferson Street created by Woke3. Omari Booker The work of Mike Goodlett, a Kentucky artist who sadly passed away in 2021. Josh

Elrod

DegThai. It’s pretty tasty. Alex Blau Ted Lasso, Phoebe Bridgers and matcha from Weak Coffee at the Nelson Drum Shop on Riverside. Herb Williams Olivia Tawzer, a Chattanooga painter. Alex

Lockwood

Houseplants — especially rex begonia and nepenthes varietals. As our apartment downtown approached jungle status, my husband instituted a one-in, one-out policy.

Soundclash Nashville: Bren Joy vs. Jake Wesley Rogers at Marathon Music Works.

Vadis Turner

Alicia Henry: 2020 and 2021 at Zeitgeist .

Yanira Vissepo

Buchanan Arts is a great addition to the Nashville art community, especially since Watkins merged with Belmont. Amelia Briggs I would have to say the Nashville Ambient Ensemble, unless it counts as a discovery that I realized Joe Versus the Volcano is a better movie than I remember. Rob Matthews

WHAT WAS THE BEST ART EXHIBIT OR EVENT YOU ATTENDED IN NASHVILLE RECENTLY? The best show I’ve seen recently in Nashville was Caroline Allison’s Behind the Moon at Zeitgeist in November. Some of the most gorgeous, poetic and thoughtful work I’ve seen in a long time, and it just bowls me over that this is what she was thinking about during the pandemic: how to capture a snowball, a spiderweb, the movement of the moon, and my God — Galileo’s sky. Jana Harper

The paintings of Marion Nicoll. Wendy Walker

Shelby Airpark, playing Minecraft with my kids, having a studio and staying busy in it.

Silverman

Alex Lockwood

He’s certainly not new to most, but he is to me: Samuel Dunson, who was part of the wonderful group show Futurephilia. His work inspires me to get better, yet also to give up because the bar he sets is so high.

Benjy Russell’s Cowboy Riding a Beam of Light in Dowelltown. Caroline Allison’s Behind the Moon at Zeitgeist. Jodi Hays

Kevin Guthrie

Adam Sings in the Timber at Coop. Caroline

Amelia Briggs

Albrecht Dürer and Picasso back to back at the Frist is proof that organizations read comment cards. It was also great to see Arden Bendler Browning’s paintings at Tinney Contemporary. Rob Matthews I haven’t been to many events, but I did enjoy the Futurephilia exhibition, and To Get to the Other Side: Death and Time Travel that was at Elephant Gallery. Xavier Payne Alicia Henry at Zeitgeist, Lindsy Davis at Red Arrow, Nick Fagan at Coop, Brady Haston at Zeitgeist. Alex Lockwood Nuveen Barwari at Red Arrow. Andrés

Bustamante

Renaissance at Tinney Contemporary, curated by Michael Ewing. LeXander Bryant

Caroline Allison at Zeitgeist! Vast expanses were collapsed into intricate collages. Smashed snowballs became textured galaxies. Vadis Turner Caroline Allison’s Behind the Moon at Zeitgeist Gallery, Past Present by Jodi Hays at ZieherSmith and Pattern Recognition by Margaret Hull at Coop Gallery, to name just a few. Amelia Briggs

Having the ability to go to openings again was a huge help in feeling more connected to other local artists. It has also been thrilling to see some local galleries and artists thrive during such a stressful year.

Elise Drake and Thew Jones

Allison

“UNTITLED” FROM ALICIA HENRY’S ALICIA HENRY: 2020 AND 2021 AT ZEITGEIST

RESPONDENTS: Caroline Allison, David Onri Anderson, Alex Blau, Omari Booker, Amelia Briggs, LeXander Bryant, Andrés Bustamante, Lindsy Davis, Ashley Doggett, John Donovan, Elise Drake and Thew Jones, Marlos E’van, Josh Elrod, Kevin Guthrie, Jana Harper, Jodi Hays, Rocky Horton, Courtney Adair Johnson, Alex Lockwood, Rob Matthews, Elisheba Israel Mrozik, Xavier Payne, James Perrin, Wendy Walker Silverman, Vadis Turner, Yanira Vissepo, Herb Williams, Donna Woodley, Lain York

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE

“ROSE WINDOW” BY VADIS TURNER AT ZEITGIEST

programming at Vanderbilt University, is going to be something to watch. Courtney

Adair Johnson

WHAT DO YOU THINK NASHVILLE’S ART SCENE IS MISSING? More spaces that champion BIPOC and LGBTQIA artists, for the Frist to actually take a risk, Nashvillians who buy contemporary art. Josh Elrod We need to continue to cultivate a more contemporary perspective for younger artists and buyers. Elise Drake and Thew Jones RAE YOUNG AT ELECTRIC SHED

I truly enjoyed every art exhibit at NKA Gallery in 2021, as well as Renaissance: The Contemporary Expression of the Ancestral Spirit curated by Michael Ewing at Tinney Contemporary, Carlton Wilkerson’s In the Gallery at Zeitgeist, and Kindred Links with Omari Booker and Henry L. Jones at the Parthenon. Elisheba Israel Mrozik Rest in Peace While You Are Alive by Shabazz Larkin at NKA Gallery. Omari Booker I took a ceramics workshop with John Donovan at Buchanan Arts. I learned a lot and had fun. Alex Blau MOCAN/“Radical” Thoughts. Lain York Bethany Collins’ Evensong at the Frist.

Wendy Walker Silverman

WHAT UPCOMING ART EVENTS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?

A public, permanent contemporary art collection. Caroline Allison More Black and Brown-owned galleries please. Xavier Payne More Black-owned spaces/galleries.

LeXander Bryant

I want to go to a Foxy Brown event at Ce Gallery! Xavier Payne

A place to create free from the constraints of capitalism. Elisheba Israel Mrozik

Benji Anderson at Elephant Gallery in March. David Onri Anderson

Sales. Alex Lockwood

Vadis Turner’s nighttime art-viewing at Zeitgeist. Caroline Allison Josh Black is exhibiting at Julia Martin Gallery. Omari Booker Kelly Williams at David Lusk Gallery, Vadis Turner at Zeitgeist, Ash Atterberry at Julia Martin Gallery. Alex Lockwood

Though it’s come a long way, a more consistent local collector base is something that could be developed. Omari Booker ​​ collecting art museum with a permanent A collection, and more options for studio spaces. James Perrin Plentiful industrial spaces and a more centralized part of town where artists can find cheap and inspiring places to work. Alex Blau

I love everything The Red Arrow Gallery is doing. And Electric Shed brought a great lineup — including artist Rae Young’s NEOLilith and musician Eve Maret hosting an electronic music night. Courtney Adair Johnson

Ted Faiers at David Lusk Gallery and Alma Thomas at the Frist. Rob Matthews

More venues for pop-up shows. Lain York

Vadis Turner’s upcoming exhibition at Zeitgeist. James Perrin

A permanent collection that is easily accessible by the public. Wendy Walker Silverman

Alex Lockwood’s show at David Lusk Gallery last winter, Watch for My Signals. That dude can flat out get it. Kevin Guthrie

LeXander Bryant: Forget Me Nots at the Frist. Lain York

A simple website with social media presence that covers all the gallery happenings in one place. As good as the Nashville Scene is in covering the arts, there’s too much going on for it to be a complete resource. Kevin Guthrie

Paintings by Lakesha Moore at NKA Gallery. John Donovan Brady Haston’s show at Zeitgeist, and the Kara Walker print show at the Frist. Rocky

Horton

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Alma W. Thomas and Light, Space, Surface: Works From LACMA — both coming to the Frist. Wendy Walker Silverman EADJ — Engine for Art, Democracy & Justice, which has Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Nisi Daily building rad

A Masters of Fine Arts program. Vadis Turner I would love to see more experimental spaces and pop-up exhibitions like Adult

Contemporary and Electric Shed. Amelia

Briggs

I’m not going to waste a sentence talking about critical dialogue. More people buying local art is always appreciated. Rob Matthews We need more diversity in the stories we tell. I’m pretty tired of going to the same galleries showing the same people that make the same work and tell the same story from the same white privileged perspective. We need curators, galleries and museums pushing boundaries! Andrés Bustamante A new wave of serious art collectors. Artists can’t buy materials and pay bills with “likes.” Nashville needs to invest in its art community if that’s really a priority. There is a market here that is way overdue for expansion in relation to the citywide growth.

John Donovan Collectors that are interested in Nashville’s art scene. Broader support from public art funds for artists. I’d love for funding to be available for socially engaged projects.

Rocky Horton I don’t think having all the galleries host openings on the same night is as good an idea as it once was. I don’t feel like the art crawl gives justice to some of the shows that are really pushing the boundaries of the art scene. I think it would give more respect to the concepts of these shows — and the artists working to make the shows happen — if the community wasn’t expected to dash all over town in a one-night art-consumption extravaganza. Lindsy Davis More contemporary influences that drive home dynamism, community and intrigue surrounding fine art. Ashley Doggett A celebrity to embrace the visual arts and become a national spokesperson and advocate. Herb Williams A broader collector base that’s willing to invest in the artists here, before you buy a Kaws. (Why?) We still need more diversity in our structures and programming. Overall the Nashville art scene has some of the most talented artists, galleries, curators, etc.; however, we must solve these issues if we want to go further together. We should be to art what Atlanta is to music — an Art Mecca in the South! (Drops mic.) Marlos E’van ■

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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“FAMILY TRADITION,,” LEXANDER BRYANT

VISUAL ARTS

Nashville’s winter arts season is coming in hot at Modfellows, the Frist, Zeitgeist and more BY JOE NOLAN

JANUARY Richard Heinsohn’s recent work has been a mixture of abstraction and surrealism, embracing painting, photography and sculpture to explore the possible catastrophes of the Anthropocene. His work has never lacked expressive energy or ambition, but this new show of aesthetically and conceptually stripped-down pieces might be one of his strongest local displays yet. A Place for the Mind sees the artist abandoning large narratives and big themes to create a more formal display of geometric abstracts. This show still includes Heinsohn’s wild color palettes and frictional compositions, but it also fits into an emerging category of contemporary painting that I call “Modern 21” — it’s a term I use to label a 21st-century trend that finds painting retreating back to the kind of pure formalism, elemental geometry and abstracted natural imagery that marked the very origins of modernist painting. A Place for the Mind opens at Modfellows Gallery in South Nashville on Jan. 29. The Frist Art Museum kicks off the new year with On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art From Pérez Art Museum Miami. The show features 70 works by 50 artists, including Yoan

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“ENTER HERE, CHAPTER 20,” RICHARD HEINSOHN

“SHARE THE LOVE,” BETH REITMEYER

“ORÁCULO,” TOMÁS ESSON. COLLECTION PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI

WINTER ARTS GUIDE

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ON THE HORIZON: CONTEMPORARY CUBAN ART FROM PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI AT FRIST ART MUSEUM A PLACE FOR THE MIND AT MODFELLOWS GALLERY NEW MEMBER SHOW AT COOP GALLERY FORGET ME NOTS AT FRIST ART MUSEUM

Capote, Los Carpinteros, Teresita Fernández, Zilia Sánchez and Vanderbilt professor María Magdalena Campos-Pons. On the Horizon opens on Jan. 28 along with Nashville-based artist LeXander Bryant’s debut solo museum exhibition, Forget Me Nots. Bryant’s multimedia display includes photos and wheatpaste-poster murals, along with the installation of a large slab of concrete that the titular flowers grow from.

FEBRUARY Modfellows will also be opening its first show in its Packing Plant satellite gallery, with a reception for East Nashville painter Ryan Michael Noble on Feb. 5. And on Feb. 25, the Frist will open Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful. This career-spanning display tells the story of the life and work of Thomas, who was the first Black woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum. “Red Gate” was the highlight of Vadis Turner’s Bedfellows exhibition, the artist’s 2018 solo show at Zeitgeist. The massive oval grid made of twisted, red-dyed bedsheets dominated an entire gallery wall and marked a shift in scale for the artist, whose best-known works had been painting-size wall sculptures composed from colorful ribbons, and small installations of objects and materials organized on gallery floors. Scale can be addictive for artists, and Turner’s new Window Treatments exhibition picks up where “Red Gate” left off, finding the artist creating a whole display of new portal-like constructions built from curtains, sheets, gravel and copper. The pieces explore themes ranging from the connec-

tions between feminine consciousness and traditionally feminine decor, to the liminal space between domestic interiors and the natural — even wild — spaces our windows open to. Turner won a Current Art Fund/TriStar Arts grant to help fund this exhibition, which also includes lighting and projection mapping by Mike Kluge and Jonny Kingsbury, with sound design by Emery Dobyns. This multimedia collaboration results in an immersive installation that reaches far beyond a traditional sculpture exhibition. Gallerygoers concerned with Nashville’s spiking sickness stats in the wake of the Omicron variant will be able to enjoy the illuminated display and hear its hissing and cracking soundscape from the street — the installation will be visible through Zeitgeist’s windows 24 hours a day through March 19. One of the biggest changes coming to Nashville’s gallery scene in 2020 will be the shifting spaces at The Packing Plant — I gave a full rundown on this game of musical galleries earlier this month in my Crawl Space column. The biggest news finds Coop upgrading from their intimate digs in one of the building’s front galleries to the large central gallery formerly operated by Channel to Channel. Artist-run spaces like Coop — which is also a nonprofit organization — can program shows that might not lend themselves to commercial sales. Artist-run spaces also often prove to be more timely, agile and adaptive in their programming than their institutional peers. If you want to find the evolving edge of an art scene, go straight to the spaces where artists curate other artists. Coop has always been dedicated to hosting out-of-town creators, but

its annual exhibition of its newest local members is always a calendar highlight. This February, Coop will host works from Yanira Vissepo, Lisa Bachman Jones, Quintin Watkins and Beth Reitmeyer.

MARCH Nashville artist Benji Anderson will open a solo show at Elephant Gallery on March 4. This exhibition promises to be yet another of the gallery’s all-over installations, not merely just a conventional display of 2-D work hanging on white walls. Anderson’s fantastical multimedia works read like a window into another world packed with mysterious natural spaces populated by bizarre creatures. It’s exactly the kind of weird and irreverent work that we expect to see showcased at Elephant. Follow Anderson’s Instagram account (@benjianderson3) for a digital sneak peek at one of the most anticipated shows of 2022. Lauren Gregory is a native Tennessean who’s recently relocated to Nashville after making a reputation as a painter and animator in venues including MoMA, P.S.1, New Museum and MOCA Los Angeles. I love Gregory’s penchant for impressionistic portraits rendered in thick layers of gooey paint. But she takes these works to a whole new level when she transforms her traditional oil paintings with stop-motion animation, making the implied movement of her energetic lines and smeared textures come shimmering to life. Gregory will open her new solo show at The Red Arrow Gallery on March 5. ■

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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@standardproof nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE

BOOKS

The ongoing Nashville Jewish Book Series reflects the vibrancy and inclusivity of Nashville’s Jewish community BY ERICA CICCARONE

N

ow in its sixth year, the Gordon Jewish Community Center’s Nashville Jewish Book Series is back with a bevy of author talks to keep you reading all season. “What I like about the series is our amazing committee made up of authors, literature professors, librarians and ordinary people like me, and we try to select books that reflect the depth and breadth of the Jewish experience,” says series co-chair Amy Goldstein. “The books are either secular works by Jewish authors or books written by Jewish and non-Jewish authors featuring Jewish themes and topics. You don’t need to be Jewish or a member of the JCC to be involved in our events, which is awesome, and they’re typically quite

THE SCENE’S MOSTANTICIPATED NEW RELEASE: Destiny O. Birdsong’s Nobody’s Magic follows three Black women with albinism in Shreveport, La. The book is presented in three separate narratives, and each woman finds herself at a crossroads that is entwined with complicated social and racial histories. Be on the lookout for author events at Parnassus and across the city.

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affordable.” The series kicked off with a conversation between SNL and Curb Your Enthusiasm writer Alan Zweibel and his friend and colleague Wayne Federman in December, and a virtual event with author Francine Prose earlier this month. Things continue to truck along next month, when Widowish author Melissa Gould and Zibby Owens, editor of the anthology Moms Don’t Have Time to Have Kids, will discuss the trials and successes of parenting in a virtual panel moderated by Nashville’s Claire Gibson on Monday, Feb. 7. Later in the month, the series will move to The Bobby Hotel to celebrate local interior designer and photographer Alyssa Rosenheck’s The New Southern Style: The Interiors of a Lifestyle and Design Movement on Sunday, Feb. 16. Thursday, March 3, brings Qian Julie Wang and her moving memoir of her early life as an undocumented child living in poverty in America, Beautiful Country. The book’s accolades include mentions in The New York Times, NPR and Barack Obama’s best books of 2021 list. On Monday, March 14, Heather Cabot will discuss The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story

OUR FAVORITE REASON TO READ:

East Side outpost The Bookshop’s annual reading challenge won’t tell you what to read. Instead, it suggests a theme for each month. In January, select a book that won an award in 2021. In February, go for a book by a Black author. In March, read something published by an indie press. The Bookshop’s staff members are always happy to offer suggestions, so be sure to hit them up throughout the year.

of How Marijuana Went Mainstream, in which the author hits the road with Snoop Dogg and his business partner Ted Chung as the rapper rolls out his own brand of weed. The deeply reported book also introduces us to racial justice activists, marijuana moguls and plenty of interesting characters to get an array of perspectives on the rebranding of cannabis. Both Wang’s and Cabot’s events will be virtual. Looking into spring, Louie Kemp will visit Nashville to discuss his book Dylan & Me on Thursday, April 7. Kemp is a childhood friend of Bob Dylan and is sure to shed some light on the enigmatic songsmith. Goldstein says she hopes the selections show the diversity and warmth of the city’s people. “Nashville’s Jewish community is somewhat small in numbers,” she says, “but to me, it is surprisingly stronger and more vibrant than many other communities across the U.S. There’s a wide variety of Jews in Nashville in terms of who identifies, who is an active member of a synagogue. ... From what I’ve heard, in larger communities, it’s rare to have such unity among the different subgroups, and here, all the rabbis hang out and like each other.

“The Jewish Community Center is central to bringing us all together and celebrating Jewish culture,” she adds. “People genuinely care about each other.” ■

THE INTERVIEW WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO:

Nichole Perkins, author of the excellent Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be, will join Ladyland podcaster Kim Baldwin for a virtual conversation as part of The Porch Writers’ Collective’s Birthing the Book Series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22. Visit porchtn.org to register.

WE’RE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:

Parnassus Books is monitoring COVID trends to lock in its winter events schedule, but the store plans to host in-person and virtual events with Mary Laura Philpott, Allison Moorer, Jennifer Haigh and many more. Keep an eye on parnassusbooks.net for details.

AUTHOR EVENT WE’RE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO: The Porch Writers’ Collective will host Kiese Laymon, author of the incredible memoir Heavy, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at 14Tenn. After the free reading, Laymon will join Porch supporters at the nonprofit’s annual fundraising dinner.

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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COMING JANUARY 20

Looking at the state of country music now and in the year ahead

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE

PERFORMING ARTS Nashville Rep makes history with School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play BY AMY STUMPFL

PHOTO: ERIC ENGLAND

A

s an actor and director, Alicia Haymer looks for smart scripts and memorable characters. Jocelyn Bioh’s play School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play certainly fits that description. But with Nashville Repertory Theatre’s production — which opens Feb. 10 — Haymer is also looking to make a bit of history. “I’m so excited to be making my directorial debut with the Rep,” says Haymer, who is the second Black woman to direct for the company. (Jackie Welch was the first, directing Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prizewinning drama ’Night, Mother back in 1989.) This is the first Rep production featuring a cast and design team that is exclusively made up of people who are Black, Indigenous or people of color. “I was thrilled when [executive director] Drew Ogle first approached me,” says Haymer. “It’s an amazing script. But even more important to me is the fact that this is really a history-making production because it’s the first time the Rep has had an allBIPOC cast and design team. So I absolutely jumped at the chance to be part of that. Any time I get the opportunity to be part of history in my hometown, I’m in.” Bioh’s play centers on a group of young women at a boarding school in Ghana as they prepare for the 1986 Miss Ghana pageant. And while the subtitle offers a cheeky nod to Tina Fey’s hit comedy Mean Girls, Bioh’s script takes familiar teen archetypes — such as the “Queen Bee” and the “New Girl” — in a totally fresh direction. “I think Bioh realized that the story would inevitably be compared to Mean Girls, so she gets that out of the way right up front with

ALICIA HAYMER the title,” Haymer says. “And yes, you do have all of the typical cattiness and fun that you would expect from a play about teenage girls. But there’s so much more to it than that. You have all these powerful storylines coming together as she takes on serious issues of classism, pretty privilege and colorism. “She’s really looking at how Black women are treated, based on how rich their complexion is or how much melanin they have in their skin,” she adds. “I mean, how do we define beauty? What is considered palatable? As a Black woman, I’m definitely familiar with those questions.” But while School Girls explores specific

issues and biases, Haymer says there’s an element of universality to the story and humor that audiences are sure to recognize. “What Bioh does so brilliantly is she draws you in with humor,” she says, noting that much of the play’s comedy comes from its setting in the 1980s. “It’s often easier to set a play in a simpler time and place — before all of the current technology was invented. That allows the characters to exist more fully in time and space, without Google and email and smartphones. So in School Girls, we have one character in particular who tells all these outlandish lies and stories. And the other girls just believe her.

They have no way of checking her facts, no other frame of reference. Then the new girl arrives and enlightens them — it’s like she is the internet for them. And it totally changes the group’s dynamics. “I really appreciate plays that are not all neat and tidy,” she adds. “And School Girls is definitely that way. It’s not all tied up in a bow at the end, but it’s so powerful. It sort of leaves a lump in the throat, and I can’t wait for audiences to experience that. I hope everyone will enjoy the comedy, but also pay attention to the truth behind it. Because a lot of what fuels that comedy is pain.” ■

OTHER UPCOMING PERFORMANCES: The Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Abbreviated Shakespeare, Jan. 20-21 at Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park

THE PROM

Marcus Hummon’s Favorite Son, Jan. 21-23 at Nashville Opera’s Noah Liff Opera Center Ernie Nolan/David Weinstein’s Peter Pan: Wendy’s Adventure to Neverland, Feb. 17-March 27 at Nashville Children’s Theatre Broadway’s Mean Girls, Feb. 8-13 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall The Prom, Feb. 22-27 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE: Grace, Mercy, and The Equality of Night and Day, Feb. 10-12 at OZ Arts Vadis Turner’s Portals: A Performance Party, March 4-5 at OZ Arts

Gob Squad’s Kitchen: You’ve Never Had It So Good, March 24-27 at OZ Arts What the Constitution Means to Me, March 29-April 3 at TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater

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PHOTO: DEEN VAN MEER

Nashville Ballet’s Lucy Negro Redux, March 18-26 at TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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WINTER ARTS GUIDE

JANUARY 19, 20 & 21

DWIGHT YOAKAM

PARALLEL MOTHERS

COMING ATTRACTIONS Expect new releases like Parallel Mothers and The Worst Person in the World in the coming weeks BY D. PATRICK RODGERS

A

s ever, local cinema center the Belcourt Theatre — which is fast approaching its 100th anniversary in 2025 — has plans to show some long-awaited and critically acclaimed films in the coming weeks. Of course, celebrated titles like Licorice Pizza, Drive My Car and The Tragedy of Macbeth are still playing at the Hillsboro Village arthouse, so catch those while you still can. Opening this week is Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle, which the Daily Telegraph’s Robbie Collin called a “dazzlingly animated sci-fi fairy tale about our online-offline double lives.” On Jan. 21 the Belcourt will open Pedro Almodóvar’s much-anticipated Parallel Mothers — which is likely to earn the Spanish director and his frequent collaborator Penélope Cruz some nominations — and wildlife documentary The Velvet Queen, about the hunt to capture the elusive Tibetan snow leopard on film. Coming down the pike at the Belcourt in February will be animated documentary Flee, which our own Cory Woodroof has called an “open-hearted, gut-wrenching story of identity and struggle.” Then there’s

WITH SPECIAL GUEST TYLER BOOTH the widely well-received Norwegian feature The Worst Person in the World and a 4K restoration of Ethiopian director Haile Gerima’s 1993 film Sankofa. After that, expect the Colin Farrell-starring sci-fi drama After Yang from former Nashvillian Kogonada, whose beautiful, quiet Columbus won critics over back in 2017. Additionally, film buffs can count on the Belcourt to keep series like Music City Mondays and the repertory Weekend Classics going with entries like Dennis Hopper’s undersung 1980 drama Out of the Blue and new documentary Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché — about the titular X-Ray Spex frontwoman — coming in the next few weeks. Naturally, folks can expect plenty of big winter releases at the megaplexes as well. Opening wide this week is Scream, the fifth installment in the meta-horror series of the same name. Next month audiences will finally get the chance to see a pair of releases delayed multiple times during the COVID era — Jackass Forever (the fourth proper Jackass release) and Kenneth Branagh’s second Agatha Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile. Goofball blockbusters like Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall and video game adaptation Uncharted are also slated to land in February, and Robert Pattinson will become the latest in a long line of Caped Crusaders when The Batman hits screens March 4. You’ve heard this sort of thing plenty over the past 22 months or so, but it bears noting: With COVID still out there doing its rotten business, release dates are subject to change. Keep your eye on the Scene’s film section to see what’s landing in theaters from week to week. EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

FEBRUARY 10

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THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

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BRAHMS, BIRDS & ‘BLUE CATHEDRAL’ February 11 & 12

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THURSDAY / 1.13 [SKATE PARK]

ICE SKATING RINK POP-UP

SATURDAY, JAN. 15

[ENDLESSLY GROOVIN’]

BENEFIT FOR THE GROOVE FEAT. THE PHANTOMS OF SATURN, GLAMPER & BADCULTURE

[MODERN WORLD]

KELLY WILLIS W/MELISSA CARPER & BRENNEN LEIGH

Way back in 2002, when the alt-roots magazine No Depression was on its journey

to shape what we now call Americana, the career of the Austin, Texas, singer Kelly Willis gave one of its writers the opportunity to mark the difference between wholesome Americana and bad old Nashville. Reviewing the singer’s recently released album Easy that year, writer Silas House weighed in on one of Willis’ earlier full-lengths on MCA Records, cut in Music City with producer Tony Brown: “Willis wanted to record ‘a Lone Justice album,’ and Brown wanted hits.” After she parted ways with MCA, Willis did go on to record Lone Justice-style albums that also sound like Nick Lowe albums: Her latest, 2018’s Back Being Blue, features a track titled “Modern World,” a rocker in the mode of Lowe. Willis is as great a singer as, say, the equally hard-to-slot ’80s pop vocalist Marti Jones, and on Thursday she joins a pair of fine singers whose recent work is simply excellent, no matter if you slot it as country, folk or Americana. Melissa Carper, whose career I began following several years ago, always struck me as a very sly, very talented singer and songwriter who would break through some day. She did it on 2021’s critically acclaimed Daddy’s Country Gold, which takes the mildly subversive elements of hippie-era Western swing and country and puts them in service of a humane, funny — and very swinging — album. Meanwhile, Brennen Leigh is a Nashville singer and mandolin player who made another great 2021 record, Prairie Love Letter. It’s a gentle, reflective collection of country songs that takes the beauty of the natural world as its subject. This should be a special

evening — don’t miss it. 9 p.m. at the Station Inn, 402 12th Ave. S. EDD HURT

FRIDAY / 1.14 [JAZZY JEFF]

RUDY’S RESIDENCY: JEFF COFFIN, JORDAN PERLSON & VIKTOR KRAUSS

One of the first big jazz events of the new year gets underway Friday at Rudy’s, where multi-instrumentalist Jeff Coffin, bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer/ percussionist Jordan Perlson will begin the opening engagement of a two-week residency. The staggering array of greats these three have played with includes Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band, Bill Frisell, Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, Gary Burton, Dave Liebman and Alison Brown — and that’s just the short list. But adding spice to the event is the presence of three stellar guest stars. Saxophonist Bill Evans — whose résumé includes a stint with Miles Davis — as well as Snarky Puppy guitarist Bob Lanzetti and prolific Nashville pianist Chris Walters are joining the trio. It’s an all-star night not to be missed. 5:30 p.m. at Rudy’s Jazz Room, 809 Gleaves St. RON WYNN

SATURDAY / 1.15 [FARAWAY EYES]

SOPHIE & THE BROKEN THINGS W/ VERONICA STANTON

Nashville is a funny place for country

music. On one hand, the mainstream country scene is omnivorous, since its proponents steal from hip-hop, schlockpop, folk and whatever else might provide hooks or reference points for the country audience. On the other hand, the Music City subgenre of alt-country derives from, say, The Rolling Stones circa Exile on Main St. and the sainted Gram Parsons. It’s a curious situation, since Mick Jagger — in his role as committed ironist and blues sophisticate — once told an interviewer he sang country tongue-in-cheek because he found it hard to take seriously. I saw the Nashville rock-country band Sophie & the Broken Things tackle the Stones’ version of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” at a show late last year, and they did just fine. Led by singer and songwriter Sophie Gault, the band plays country-rock straight out of 1972. Gault is a clear, modest singer who doesn’t overdo her material, which is thoughtful and well-wrought. They have a new album, Delusions of Grandeur, set for release next month. Meanwhile, Veronica Stanton gets into what you might call country-adjacent singer-songwriter music on her 2019 EP 827. As far as I can tell, neither Stanton nor Gault traffic in the irony Parsons and Jagger used so effectively, and that’s part of the reason Nashville is such an interesting town for country music. 6 p.m. at The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Ave. EDD HURT MUSIC

STEPHEN TRAGESER

The 5 Spot

MUSIC

Back in November, widely loved indie record store The Groove — an East Nashville staple since the Aughts that was handed off to current proprietors Michael Combs and Jesse Cartwright in 2017 — spread the word that the city’s wild real estate market was soon to affect them. Combs and Cartwright’s landlord informed them that the Calvin Avenue building that’s been the store’s home since 2011 would be going up for sale at the end of January, but they’ve been given first right of refusal on purchasing the property. They’re working with a broker, a real estate agent and a lawyer to explore all avenues to keep the store open no matter what, but they also launched a crowdfunding campaign seeking $500,000 with which to make their offer. Several musicians and other friends of The Groove have stepped up to host benefit events too, and the latest is set for Thursday. Over at Exit/In, actor and proud East Nashvillian Jason “Mars” Marsden hosts the show. Get there on time for sets from spooktacular rockers The Phantoms of Saturn, alt-rock-leaning trio Glamper (who play ahead of their debut album Rat Race, out in February) and hook-heavy psychtinged BadCulture (who spent some time last summer recording with *repeat repeat out at their Polychrome Ranch production space). 8 p.m. at Exit/In, 2219 Elliston Place

MUSIC

SOPHIE & THE BROKEN THINGS

MUSIC

MUSIC

Looking for a fun way to get the family out of the house this weekend? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a romantic outing with your honey? Well, lace up your skates and glide on over to the Gulch this weekend for the neighborhood’s first Ice Skating Rink Pop-Up, where there will be food, hot drinks and music. The rink is synthetic,  so the surface is nice and smooth — great for wobbly beginners! — and no worries if the temperature climbs above freezing. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Community Resource Center, which provides basic household necessities that food stamps can’t buy to more than 80 nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. The pop-up will be open rain or shine. Tickets are $20 and cover skate rental and two hours of skate time, with 50 percent of all ticket sales going to the Community Resource Center. Jan. 13-16 at 241 11th Ave. S. AMY STUMPFL

[LITTLE SISTERS]

QUEENS OF THE TONE AGE: BRANDY ZDAN AND MOLLY MARTIN Brandy Zdan and special guest Molly

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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THE KERNAL

FILM

BRITTNEY MCKENNA [THIS GREAT STAGE OF FOOLS]

WEEKEND CLASSICS: RAN

Akira Kurosawa was definitely on his grand, grown-ass-man shit when he came up with Ran, the massive three-hour tragedy that is regarded by many as his masterpiece. Kurosawa once again went to the Shakespeare well, using King Lear (as well as the stories of warlord Mōri Motonari) as inspiration for this 1985 tale of Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai), an aging, ready-to-retire ruler who hands over his empire to his three sons. He ultimately regrets his decision as those ungrateful bastards become drunk with power and

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ready to fight each other. It took a decade for Kurosawa to make this film, and he certainly went all-out in order to get it done. (Dude used 200 horses during filming!) From the lush exterior shots to the colorful costumes (designer Emi Wada won a Best Costume Design Oscar for her work) to the chaotic, how-the-hell-did-everyone-not-die battle sequences, Ran is another example of how no one can top Kurosawa when it comes to the word epic. Ran shows both as part of the Belcourt’s ongoing Weekend Classics series and as the second installment of the Shakespeare/Kurosawa x3 series. Jan. 15-16 at the Belcourt, 2102 Belcourt Ave. CRAIG D. LINDSEY

MUSIC

Martin will hit the OG Basement on Saturday for the first show in the series Queens of the Tone Age. The four-week residency is plotted by Zdan and presented by creative services company Academy Fight Songs and Women Who Rock, an advocacy group for women in music as well as women’s health. Zdan is fresh off the release of last year’s excellent Falcon, an album that — naturally — shows off her celebrated guitar chops, but also finds the songwriter venturing into more personal lyrical territory. Zdan will also highlight the work of Molly Martin, with remaining residency guests including Megan McCormick (Jan. 22), Ruby Boots (Jan. 29) and Rose Hotel (Feb. 5). 7 p.m. at the Basement, 1604 Eighth Ave. S.

[NOVEL COUNTRY]

THE KERNAL W/TEDDY AND THE ROUGH RIDERS & KRISTINA MURRAY

Singer and songwriter Joe Garner, who performs as The Kernal, grew up in Hickman County, Tenn., just a skip down the road from Nashville. His father, Charlie Garner, played bass in The Goodtime Charlies, who backed ’60s and ’70s country star Del Reeves. As The Kernal, Garner favors a hybrid country-rock style that suggests a fusion of the obscure noveltycountry singer Jim Nesbitt and, say, Nick Lowe or Moon Martin. I’m a fan of ’60s and ’70s novelty country — Nesbitt’s albums Truck Drivin’ Cat With Nine Wives and Runnin’ Bare are mind-boggling achievements in recorded sound. The

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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LIVE MUSIC | URBAN WINERY | RESTAURANT | BAR | PRIVATE EVENTS

1.15

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Early & Late Shows

1.16

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Watkins Family Hour

Frank McComb

Brother Sister Tour w/ Courtney Hartman

Donny Hathaway Tribute in the Lounge

DOWNTOWN

Saturday, January 15

Sunday, February 6

SONGWRITER SESSION

INTERVIEW AND PERFORMANCE

Nicolle Galyon NOON – 12:45 pm

· FORD THEATER

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard

Friday, January 21 LIVE IN CONCERT

Big Band of Brothers A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band

8:00 pm

· CMA THEATER

SONGWRITER SESSION

Leah Turner

· FORD THEATER

SONGWRITER SESSION

Jim Collins

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Saturday, February 12 SONGWRITER SESSION

Josh Jenkins NOON – 12:45 pm

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LIVE IN CONCERT

8:00 pm

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SONGWRITER SESSION

Jimmy Fortune NOON – 12:45 pm

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Marc Beeson

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Check our calendar for a full schedule of upcoming programs and events. CountryMusicHallofFame.org/Calendar

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1.30

Eric Gales

4th Annual ‘For Pete’s Sake’ Benefit featuring John Oates, Guthrie Trapp, John Cowan, and more

1.19

‘Crown’ Album Release Show 2.3

DAN RODRIGUEZ IN THE LOUNGE

SUCH

LOCKELAND STRINGS FEATURING LOUIS 2.4 PRINCE, JOSH GILLIGAN, KATY KIRBY, AND LYDIA LUCE 2.5 THE 8 TRACK BAND

MYKAL KILGORE IN THE LOUNGE

1.27

SARAH AILI, ERIC ERDMAN, & SHELLY RIFF: OUR SONGS IN THE LOUNGE

2.6

NASHVILLE BEATLES BRUNCH FEATURING FOREVER ABBEY ROAD

2.6

2.1

SILVANA ESTRADA PRESENTED BY WNXP

AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH BILLY GILMAN IN THE LOUNGE

2.8

RIDERS IN THE SKY

2.2

LIZ LONGLEY & MATTHEW PERRYMAN JONES

2.9

ACTORS BRIDGE ENSEMBLE PRESENTS: THE 2021 BENEFIT PRODUCTION OF THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES BY EVE ENSLER

1.21 1.22

Colbie Caillat

Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11

Saturday, February 5

NOON – 12:45 pm

· CMA THEATER

Saturday, February 26

Saturday, January 29

NOON – 12:45 pm

2:00 – 3:15 pm

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Friday, February 25

Saturday, January 22

NOON – 12:45 pm

Florida Georgia Line

2.3

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NITA STRAUSS // JAN 19

SAM FISCHER // JAN 18

W/ BLACK SATELLITE & ABBY K

JIVE TALK // JAN 23

THE VEGABONDS & GRADY SPENCER AND THE WORK // JAN 22 W/ COLTON VENNER

W/ FUTURE CRIB & CORT

CRITICS’ PICKS Kernal approaches the insanity of prime Nesbitt on his new full-length Listen to the Blood, and I’ll be danged if he doesn’t sound like Nesbitt, even if I can’t be sure he’s ever heard Truck Drivin’ Cat’s title track. The production on Listen is a bit fuzzy, which I don’t mind, and something titled “Green, Green Sky” is like, say, a nugget from the Stiff Records catalog. The defining guitar lick in “Green, Green Sky” sounds like The Kernal lifted it from an old album by The Move — he’s definitely an artist with allusive tendencies. The fast ones work better than the slow ones, which are sort of like saccharine ’70s country without the sex appeal. Put Listen on the shelf next to your records by Craig Brown and Jonny Fritz, and please, check out some music by the great Nesbitt, who died — artistically fulfilled in South Carolina — in 2007. Opening will be Teddy and the Rough Riders and Kristina Murray. 9 p.m. at The Basement, 1604 Eighth Ave. S. EDD HURT

TENILLE TOWNES // JAN 27 W/ ALEX HALL

NILE // JAN 30

W/ INCANTATION, SANGUISUGABOGG, AND I AM

Upcoming shows jan18 jan19 jan 20 jan 22 jan 23 jan 27 Jan 30 Feb 2 Feb 3 Feb 4 Feb 5 Feb 10 Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 16 feb 17 feb 19 feb 20

sam fischer nita strauss w/black satellite & abby K jake scott w/josie dunne sold out! the vegabonds & grady spencer and the work w/colton venner jive talk w/future crib & cort tenille townes w/alex hall Fit For an autopsy w/enterprise earth, ingested, signs of the swarm, and great american ghost Current Joys w/dark tea nile w/incantation, sanguisugabogg, and I am The Weather Station w/cassandra jenkins

powerslave: iron maiden tribute

w/symptom of the universe: black sabbath tribute Muna w/allison ponthier sold out!

rumours: fleetwood mac tribute

w/nomenclature K.Flay w/g.flip & corook Bendigo fletcher w/abby hamilton john moreland w/will johnson

emily king obscura w/abysmal dawn, vale of pnath, & interloper

THE KERNAL // JAN 15

W/ TEDDY & THE ROUGH RIDERS AND KRISTINA MURRAY

feb 21 feb 22 feb 23

gracie abrams with special guest alix page sold out! valley w/catie turner sold out! paramore vs. avril lavigne ft. kallie shorr,

feb 24 Feb 25 feb 26 feb 27 mar 1 Mar 2 mar 3 mar 4 Mar 5 mar 6 mar 7 mar 8 mar 9 mar 10 mar 12 mar 13

samia w/annie dirusso neal francis w/emily wolfe brett dennen w/the heavy hours zachary williams drama Iceage w/sloppy jane chapo trap house podcast sold out! half•alive sold out! Inhaler w/junior mesa sold out! soulfly w/200 stab wounds and more! gary numan w/i speak machine mipso w/bella white goth babe kat von d w/prayers cults the dear hunter w/the world is a beautiful place

sam varga, taylor acorn, thrill FR, and not a real band

and I am no longer afraid to die & tanner merritt of o'brother

GIRLHOUSE & WILBY // JAN 19

MUSIC

SUNDAY / 1.16 [EXTENSIONS OF A MAN]

FRANK MCCOMB PLAYS THE MUSIC OF DONNY HATHAWAY

The singer, songwriter and arranger Donny Hathaway, who died in 1979, remains something of a cult figure, but soul music fans know him for the musical genius he was. Hathaway wasn’t a conventional soul musician, and while he enjoyed pop success in the 1970s and ’80s with his duets with fellow quasi-soul singer Roberta Flack, he was something more than a pop singer. In a decade when jazz was still a part of mainstream popular music, Hathaway recorded tracks like 1973’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” which bears comparison to similar work by Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder. Hathaway might have been too sophisticated for a mass audience, but today he’s venerated as one of the prime architects of Black music in the 20th century. Sunday at City Winery, keyboardist, songwriter and singer Frank McComb will pay tribute to Hathaway. McComb came to prominence in the ’90s as part of saxophonist Branford Marsalis’ band Buckshot LeFonque. Like Hathaway, McComb is a suavely sophisticated musician, and he does his role model proud on his 2013 album Live at The Bitter End: Remembering Donny Hathaway. Hathaway had an ear for material — he covered Danny O’Keefe’s “Magdalena” on his classic 1973 album Extension of a Man. McComb shows the same flair, and Sunday’s show is a chance to see a first-class

interpreter play the music of one of Black music’s greatest innovators. 8 p.m. at City Winery, 609 Lafayette St. EDD HURT MUSIC

917 Woodland Street Nashville, TN 37206 thebasementnashville.com

[VOICES CARRY]

LET FREEDOM SING

At a time when social injustice and racial violence continue to dominate headlines, Martin Luther King Jr. Day offers a welcome opportunity for reflection, community engagement and service. And after missing last year’s in-person event due to COVID concerns, the Nashville Symphony returns to the Schermerhorn on Sunday with its annual Let Freedom Sing concert. Honoring the extraordinary life and legacy of the iconic civil rights leader, this musical tribute presents a powerful mix of “classical works and popular songs that affirm equal rights and social justice.” Dr. Jeffery L. Ames, director of choral activities at Belmont University, will be on hand to conduct the program, which will include the Celebration Chorus, the Celebration Youth Chorus and esteemed soprano NaGuanda Nobles. Noted poet and author (and Scene contributor) Dr. Destiny O. Birdsong will also read her poem Stand, which was written in honor of Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr., a Nashville Freedom Rider and early civil rights activist, who died in August. Tickets are available on a pay-whatyou-can scale. 7 p.m. at the Schermerhorn, 1 Symphony Place AMY STUMPFL

MONDAY / 1.17 FILM

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MOVIES WE MISSED: THE DISCIPLE

One of the many acclaimed international films Netflix slipped onto its platform with little fanfare last year, the 2020 drama The Disciple comes to us from India. It follows a young man (actual classical singer Aditya Modak), who devotes most of his time and energy to becoming the best classical music vocalist in Mumbai, singing old-school ragas for audiences who still clamor for them. Unfortunately, he always appears to struggle with his singing skills. Not to mention that he’s living in a time when the general public would rather listen to singers from reality competition shows. Writer-director Chaitanya Tamhane (who previously directed the 2014 courtroom drama Court) does an amazing job visually presenting a Mumbai that’s vivid, steeped in history and always at risk of being bulldozed over by cultural and industrial change. Tamhane consulted with Alfonso Cuarón during filming, which explains why

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NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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DARRIN BRADBURY’S HOME FOR WAYWARD SONGWRITERS

If you’re lucky, you have at least one friend who consistently has something interesting going on. They’re always having little adventures: Maybe they found a weird electric keyboard at the flea market, maybe they’ve taken up baking their own pretzels and grinding their own mustard. You never know quite what to expect, but if they call you up and say, “Come on over, I’ve got something I want you to check out,” you don’t bother asking, you know to just go. Whether there’s currently someone like that in your personal life or not, standout songsmith and self-styled “folk satirist” Darrin Bradbury is ready to share some of that energy with you. Since he released his latest LP Artvertisement back in the summer — an album filled with astute and casually elegant observations of life in a world that constantly feels like it’s on the verge of chaos — he’s hosted a Tuesday night gig at chill Madison bar Dee’s whenever he’s been home from tour. It’s a very loose arrangement. Sometimes he’ll play alone, other times as a duo with a friend. Sometimes there’ll be special guests. Whatever the case may be, he’ll always have a story that’s worth your time. Your next two opportunities to see Bradbury work his informal magic are Jan. 18 and 25, but watch Dee’s calendar for more appearances. 6 p.m. at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, 102 E. Palestine Ave., Madison STEPHEN TRAGESER

WEDNESDAY / 1.19 MUSIC

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TRIBUTE TO ROD STEWART “TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT”

the movie mostly consists of rich, Romaish long takes done in wide shots. It is a well-made, fascinating look at one man’s stubborn attempt at being traditional in an ever-evolving world. The Disciple plays as part of the Belcourt’s Movies We Missed series, which features titles from the past year that the local arthouse wasn’t able to program during their first runs. 7:45 p.m. at the Belcourt, 2102 Belcourt Ave.

27-minute Pendulum/Hollow Ground, the latest streamable release on the Nashville trio’s Bandcamp page, offers an honest, convincing approximation of the band’s aptitude for long-form, riff-tastic stoner psych rock, with wah-pedal heroics for days and Van Halen-worthy soloing to boot. Fans of Earthless, Sleep and the almighty Sabbath take note. Also on the bill: The Swell Fellas — All Them Witches associates from Ocean City, Md. — and Ancient Days, a self-described “doom-horror” five-piece from Indianapolis. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Ave. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN MUSIC

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DWIGHT YOAKAM

One of Dwight Yoakam’s great contributions to the history of country music is the seemingly effortless way he blends high-level artistic ambition with celebrity status — but that doesn’t mean his fame overshadows his music. In other words, you might ponder Yoakam’s place in a country-rock firmament in which fans tend to take stardom into account — and art is usually a secondary consideration. The well-known music journalist Robert Christgau has been a notably ambivalent observer of Yoakam, calling the Kentuckyborn singer a prime exponent of “purist honky-tonk” with male-chauvinist inclinations. I think Christgau catches the formalist, and slightly narrow, aura of Yoakam and a lot of his fellow neotraditionalists of ’80s and ’90s country. Still, I think later Yoakam — albums like 2003’s Population Me and 2005’s Blame the Vain — stands tall amid some of the finest country music of the past quarter-century. If his proclivity toward post-British Invasion rock and his distance from his roots makes me a formalist, I’m willing to admit it. Every time I’ve seen him perform — at a Memphis date in the late ’90s and more recently at the Ryman — he’s been a consummate pro and a conceptual performer who generates more heat than most formalists ever could. In the past couple of years, he’s played Las Vegas and starred in a Clint Eastwood film, 2021’s Cry Macho. He plays three nights at the Ryman, and he brings his own version of history to the place. Jan. 19-21 at the Ryman, 116 Rep. John Lewis Way N. EDD HURT

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NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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FOOD AND DRINK

HIGH HOPES FOR HOPS

The Beerded Brotha seeks more diversity in the craft beer world BY CHRIS CHAMBERLAIN

PHOTO: ERIC ENGLAND

L

ike many craft beer lovers, Kramer Deans discovered his passion during college. “I had a roommate in college at Belmont introduce me to Shock Top Belgian White, and I thought that was the mecca of beers,” he says. “When you meet that one person who says, ‘Let me show you something!’ That was like the floodgate I didn’t know I needed.” After college, Deans continued his investigations. “About four years ago, I really started wanting to understand more about the nuances of beers,” he says. “I decided that this is the world I want to be a part of. And then meeting the people that are big craft beer fans, it’s a welcoming community, and they’re willing to educate you on anything you want to learn about.” What he didn’t find among the craft beer community, though, were many people who looked like him. Deans is a young Black man. “There are a lot of people within that 99 percent white community that really are engaging and want to see diversity, and I appreciate that,” he says. “But there are a small minority of people who look like me and think like me and want to see this space expand.” Deans picked up the challenge for himself and others. “Most times, I have the most fun in spaces where it’s really diverse. I’ve always had a better experience with that, and we don’t see a community for us that’s that big. Being able to come into and create a space I want to be in and expand it by bringing people in to see what can be of this community when it’s truly diverse.” To help accomplish this aim, Deans took on the persona of “The Beerded Brotha.” He started a website (thebeerdedbrotha.com) where he shares everything from podcasts and interviews to reviews of local beers and breweries. While everything on the site is viewed through the lens of the Black experience, Deans explicitly states that he doesn’t want to create a sense of “otherness” by focusing on that. In his website’s manifesto, he explains: “I can talk about how I would be the only black face in a brewery, but we know that already. Most black beer drinkers understand this sentiment so I won’t repeat it. I do want to talk about another reason why I love craft beer. I feel accepted. I feel complete. I feel balanced. I am in a world of black beer drinkers that nerd out on the same things I do, BEER!” Deans’ day gig is working in the cellar at Jackalope Brewing Co., a job that keeps him involved in basically every aspect of the operations besides the actual brewing process. “I was familiar with the space, and happened to be a fan of Jackalope,” Deans says. “I decided I wanted to work in the back and learn the science of the process.”

KRAMER DEANS, THE BEERDED BROTHA, AT BEARDED IRIS He is currently studying to take his firstlevel Cicerone Certification exam — the beer equivalent of starting out in the Master Sommelier program. While he educates himself, Deans also wants to share his knowledge with fellow Black beer fans and the companies that may or may not be marketing to them. As part of his gig as The Beerded Brotha, Deans hosts educational events in breweries and offers consulting services to companies that want to better understand the untapped market. “Most people that I talk to about craft beer within the Black community don’t know much about it,” he says. “They might know about Blue Moon or Heineken, but a lot of us grew up with the brown-bag Mad Dog 20/20 and Coors Light. I feel like that’s because we’re not marketed to or taught about it the way we should be. “Coors Light is the best beer they’ve ever tried, and they don’t even know about breweries that are literally right around the corner from them,” Deans continues. “They don’t know about TailGate’s Peanut Butter Stout or Southern Grist’s crazy beer list. If you like cranberries, you might like Firefox from Jackalope that has cranberries in it!” Deans feels there is a definite market out there for the taking. “I think there is space for focusing on Black craft beer drinkers,” he says. “You

don’t really see beer reps out in Blackowned restaurants or at the African Street Festival. They’ll go to Brentwood or Franklin to do a tasting or to a primarily white beer festival. It’s important to be in that community and demonstrate a genuine effort to reach out to Black people in general. That’s one of the gaps between Black people and craft beer. If you want to expand your customer base, you just gotta do the work. The same amount of work you would with any group you want to target for growth, you have to do with the Black community.” In addition to his work at Jackalope, Deans serves as an MC for events, stages guided tastings, sells merch on his website and travels to breweries for podcast episodes. He has also worked with restaurants to help curate their beer lists and collaborated with Bearded Iris and Slim & Husky’s to create a special Cinnamon Roll Imperial Stout for Pennsylvania’s Black beer festival Barrel & Flow Fest. For 2022, Deans plans to expand his efforts with food and beer pairing events — “sip ’n’ shops” where local artisans are paired with craft beers — as well as more educational events at breweries and collaborations with another local group named The Black Beer Experience. The BBE is organized by Shani Glapion as a place for Black craft beer lovers and breweries to find each other. “Shani creates the experience where you can enjoy good

beer and good people,” explains Deans. “I tend to concentrate more on education and conversation, but you can capture a lot of great people when you walk with them and hold their hand.” The BBE also states on its website that it aims to create a space where “Black craft beer drinkers can come together to enjoy and explore beers in a safe and comfortable environment.” That concept of creating a safe space over and above just a community is important to Deans. “A safe space implies that we understand where we all came from and can build on that,” he says. “We all have to be willing to come together without discomfort and be willing to learn from each other without judgment. The industry needs to demonstrate its commitment through genuine actions, by working with the groups on events and collaborations within the community you’re in. If they’re willing to make some sacrifices in terms of having those hard conversations, if they’re willing to maybe piss off a few customers by saying that Black Lives Matter, the rewards can be 10 times greater than what you’d get from the haters and the detractors of the world. That carries so much more weight for someone like me. You’re willing to go to battle, I’m going to support you! They can’t do it as a marketing ploy, because we can see that and know when it’s bullshit.” EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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MUSIC

SOWING THE SEEDS Rounding up releases to watch for in 2022 from Jack White, Negro Justice, Erin Rae and many more BY STEPHEN TRAGESER

A

couple of weeks into the new year, the Omicron variant is still adding an element of unpredictability to the big touring plans that many musicians have made for 2022. But FIND LINKS TO CHECK OUT THESE players ARTISTS AND PREORDER THEIR WORK across Music AT NASHVILLESCENE.COM/MUSIC City’s variety of scenes still have a slew of intriguing releases on the docket. To aid you in filling out that new day planner, we’ve rounded up news about forthcoming records from local artists — and local indie labels, some of which are working with artists from all over the U.S. and abroad. Coming up immediately on Jan. 13 is Naturale, the latest solo LP from Joe Kenkel, aka one-third of superb rock band and songwriting outfit Styrofoam Winos (read more about that on p. 29). On Jan. 14, that’ll be followed by Listen to the Blood, the latest from masterful cosmiccountry crooner The Kernal. Hot on their heels is Dominic Billett, known to many as an exceptional drummer. On Jan. 21, he’ll release Lower, his second album of selfproduced ’70s-schooled pop. And on Jan. 28, rising country phenom Morgan Wade releases the deluxe expanded edition of her highly regarded 2021 album Reckless. Fans of Jack White have two full records to look forward to this year. April 8 marks the start of the rock ’n’ roots ace and Third Man Records chief’s international Supply Chain Issues Tour (which stops at Ascend Amphitheater April 30 and May 1), as well as the release of Fear of the Dawn, the first of those two albums. The record opens with a snarling rock rendition of a song called “Taking Me Back.” On July 19, White will release the follow-up LP Entering Heaven Alive, which closes with a swinging acoustic setting of the same lyrics called “Taking Me Back (Gently).” In the world of Nashville hip-hop, there’s always lots of activity around singles, although that didn’t stop the ever-prolific Petty from following up his #53Fridays weekly singles series with the full-length Up From Here on New Year’s Day. Still, word of some additional albums has come along, including the Capitol Minds label planning for TheyNeedWeez’s Definitely Different and a collab from Virghost and KingPin Da’ Composer on Summer in September IV. Those two release dates remain TBA. Top-notch rapper Negro Justice, however, has announced that his debut album Chosen Family will drop on his birthday, March 14. On her past few releases, Molly Tuttle expanded well beyond the bluegrass roots she’s become known for, but she’s leaning back into them. Her new ensemble Molly

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Tuttle & Golden Highway announced itself as a mostly straightforward ’grass affair in the fall with the rip-roarin’ single “She’ll Change,” and they’re set to release an album this year, date and title TBA. Rockin’ string band Old Crow Medicine Show, meanwhile, has an LP called Paint This Town due April 22. You could say that multifaceted countryrocking outfit Sophie & the Broken Things have been working a long time on their debut album Delusions of Grandeur, which is out Feb. 11. Though the recording was fairly recent, singer-songwriter Sophie Gault has had some version of lead single “Trouble” in her repertoire for about eight years. Feb. 11 marks the release of another album that’s had a long gestation period. Drummer-singer Matt North wrote and recorded his grooving and rollicking Bullies in the Backyard during a sevenyear conflict with Metro Nashville Public Schools about providing services for his son’s special needs. Further in the folk- and country-leaning zone of the pop realm, superlative singersongwriter Erin Rae worked with Father John Misty producer Jonathan Wilson — appropriately enough, at his studio in Topanga Canyon — on her new album Lighten Up, which is out Feb. 4. Westwood Avenue, the country band led by Ryan Jennings and Carter Brallier, has finished up a self-titled album whose release date is TBA; its lead single “Bachelorette Screams” is a duet between Brallier and Rae. Feb. 4 is also release day for Laurel Hell, the latest LP from also-excellent singersongwriter Mitski, who moved here a few years back. Tracks released so far from the record dance a little with post-punk and electronic pop. Going further toward the

pop end of the spectrum, we’ve received intel that we can expect full-lengths from Kid Politics, Zoe Sky Jordan, Conventioner and Phangs, as well as EPs from Ruelle, Olivia Grasso, Alexis Donn and BBYCAKES. Ambling back toward rock, Mountains Like Wax is a shoegaze-splashed project of Mitchell Taylor and Samuel Katz that’s been active around town for several years, and they’re set to release their debut album Before There Was Plenty on a date TBA. Over at the rock-centric Sweet Time, label head Ryan Sweeney notes that a third pressing of ferocious punkers Schizos’ self-titled LP is on the way, expected in the spring. Coming hopefully a bit sooner is a 7-inch from Memphis’ Model Zero, which includes members of garage hero Jack Oblivian’s band The Sheiks. Sweeney also notes that a second edition of the excellent Sweet Time compilation is under construction. When that lands, expect contributions from all over the world but including locals like The Shitdels, Glamper and Ttotals (and another sweet cover from illustrator Katie Turner). Megan Loveless and Jacob Corenflos at To-Go Records have some releases from Nashvillians in the works, as well as a revamped website (not yet live at press time) that will house info on their releases as well as their handy Nashville Show To-Go Menu of local concert listings. However, the only release that’s confirmed so far is the debut EP from Louisville, Ky., psych rockers Routine Caffeine. Title and date are TBA, but it will include the singles “Closet” and “Pennies in the Garden.” Several of To-Go’s artists and associates played at the now-dormant countryside DIY space Foxwood, which hosted shows organized by singer-songwriter Jess Awh

and friends. Bats, Awh’s project inspired by country, bedroom pop and more, is set to release its second full-length The Blue Cabinet on Feb. 18. There is no release date yet, however, for Reinvention No. 1, on which Coupler’s Ryan Norris reimagines and reworks the music that his YK Records labelmate Paul Horton, aka No.Stress, made for his 2021 EP Prelude No. 1. In a similar vein, Mike Mannix from outstanding indie Centripetal Force says Nashville Ambient Ensemble, whose great Cerulean he released in 2021, has new music on the way. But there are few details Mannix can divulge at present about that or any other records from Nashville artists he works with. However, Centripetal Force has an array of projects on the burner that cross national borders. Those include a physical release (a split with U.K. label Cardinal Fuzz) planned for January of Telepathic Radio, a wide-ranging psych record from Joe Freedman’s project Mirage; cassette and digital releases in March of work from free-form U.S. psych collective Dire Wolves and Washington, D.C.-based fingerstyle guitarist Jon Camp; and a vinyl release (also hopefully in March; also split with Cardinal Fuzz) from Velvets-inspired U.K. rock group Slow Dawn. In April, Mannix aims to release the first U.S. record for Swedish psych rockers Kungens Män, which he hopes will finally bring the band (which tours extensively in Europe) to the U.S. One thing you can count on with some degree of certainty is that there’ll be many, many more worthwhile releases from Nashvillians to dig into this year. Keep an eye on the print edition of the Scene each week and on nashvillescene.com/music for more details as they emerge. EMAIL MUSIC@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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MUSIC

ABOVEAVERAGE JOE

MON 1.10  ALLEN STONE

Styrofoam Winos’ Joe Kenkel steps out with his lovely second solo LP Naturale

WED 1.12  ALMOST FAMOUS THE HIGH WAT

FRI 1.14  AN EVENING WITH E L E Y KINGSTON HYTHE

Y

FRI 1.14  THE EAST SIDE GAMBLERS THE GREAT AFFAIRS

MERCY LOUNGE

WED 1.19  ALMOST FAMOUS THE HIGH WAT

T HU 1.20  SHANNON LAUREN CALLIHAN THE HIGH WAT

FRI 1.21  THE GHOST OF PAUL REVERE EARLY JAMES

SAT 1.15  LOST DOG STREET BAND MATT HECKLER

CANNERY BALLROOM

THE HIGH WAT

WED 1.26  BOY HARSHER · SOLD OUT HIRO KONE HI

THE HIGH WAT

S AT 1.15  SPORTS

OKEY DOKEY & LITTLE BIRD

FRI 1.28  HOTEL FICTION

MERCY LOUNGE

HAPPY LANDING & BEDON

SAT 1.15  NORTH BY NORTH / THE INFA-

ative development during his teen years. “There was this place in DeKalb called House Cafe,” Kenkel explains. “It was a venue that I grew up going to, and ended up having a hand in.” Hosting a mix of hardcore punk and straight-up folk music, “it was the place we’d see shows, play open mics — and when we’d muster up the courage — book shows of our own.” It was also in those days when Kenkel first laid ears on touchstones like Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, The Beatles and Radiohead. This equipped him with the tools for his eventual move 500 miles south to Music City and Belmont University in 2011, where he met kindred spirits Turner and Nikrant. The three forged a creative partnership, and began diving deeper into the realm of singer-songwriters as they developed their own voices. Kenkel is a fan of Bill Callahan, alias Smog. Kenkel first heard Drag City Records’ resident lo-fi firebrand in Nashville, connecting most with 2005’s Smog LP A River Ain’t Too Much to Love and 2011’s Apocalypse (which was released under Callahan’s own name). Kenkel remembers that he, Nikrant and Turner developed an interest in Callahan and other indie songsmiths like Jim O’Rourke and David Berman around that time period. Callahan’s influence looms large over Naturale. “I love him — we all do — but yeah, I’m a big Bill stan,” Kenkel says with a laugh. “He’s the artist that has influenced me the longest.” More recently, though, Kenkel has been drawing on the so-called sophisti-pop of ’80s cult faves Prefab Sprout and protopost-rockers Talk Talk for what he describes as “a spookier component.” Those influences come through on Naturale tracks like the synth-accented “Sweeping” and New Romantic-styled “Cool Claws of Love.” Kenkel credits his time in the Winos for breaking a tendency he developed as a youngster to get overly precious about his work. “Back when I was 18, I saw the act of writing songs as a sacred thing — like ‘my vision is the best vision,’ ” he says. “But now we like to give each song a try with the full band so we can see where it belongs. Trev, L.T. and I are such close friends and know each other so well that even though they didn’t play that many instruments on this record, I could still easily give them co-writing credits. We leave our mark on each others’ songs. We can’t help it.” EMAIL MUSIC@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

THE HIGH WAT

& FRIENDS

THE HIGH WAT

BY CHARLIE ZAILLIAN ears from now, 2021 is unlikely to be remembered as many people’s idea of a good time. But amid myriad disruptions to band life as it had been known, Nashville trio Styrofoam Winos met the moment and NATURALE OUT made the most of it. THURSDAY, JAN. 13, VIA Long a standout EARTH LIBRARIES DIY band around town, the egalitarian indie-folk-rock combo cleared a major hurdle with its long-gestating self-titled debut LP, immortalized on wax in the spring by Louisville, Ky., label Sophomore Lounge. The record earned the Winos plaudits in these pages — we recognized them as Best Rock Band in the Scene’s 2021 Best of Nashville issue — as well as from esoteric-leaning music-review sites like Aquarium Drunkard, Post-Trash and Raven Sings the Blues. Unwilling to let momentum stall, all three members — singers, songwriters and multiinstrumentalists Joe Kenkel, Trevor Nikrant and Lou “L.T.” Turner — worked on new solo records. Nikrant’s Tall Ladders dropped in early December. Turner’s follow-up to 2020’s stellar Songs for John Venn arrives later in 2022. Kenkel is the Winos’ resident traditionalist troubadour, at least when you compare his work to Turner’s and Nikrant’s, whose modes of songcraft come across as somewhat more idiosyncratic and free-associative. And Kenkel can claim one of the new year’s first great local albums with Naturale, out Thursday via Birmingham, Ala.’s Earth Libraries label. The 10-track LP follows Kenkel’s solo debut, 2019’s Dream Creator, and features a slate of tunes that build on his elegiac Styrofoam Winos standouts “Once” and “Maybe More.” The recording of Naturale is intimate, blanket-warm and, apropos of the album title, it’s naturalistic — an ideal headphone companion for the sunny cold snap Nashville’s experienced as the year turned over. This aesthetic comes naturally to Kenkel, a dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner of GermanLuxembourgish stock, raised in Elburn, Ill. It’s only 30 miles from Chicago, but feels much farther away. Kenkel describes his hometown as “a little suburb in the middle of a cornfield — the last commuter rail stop, where they park all the westbound trains.” He’s talking with the Scene, it turns out, from Iowa City, Ia., his second home for the next year while his partner Hilary Bell pursues her MFA in fiction writing at the University of Iowa. Elburn “wasn’t the worst place to grow up,” Kenkel clarifies. Just a stone’s throw away is DeKalb, Ill., a college town home to Northern Illinois University. That proximity turned out to be a blessing for Kenkel’s cre-

TUE 1.18  MATT LOVELL: "NOBODY CRIES TODAY" VINYL RELEASE SHOW

CANNERY BALLROOM

MOUS HER / BASIC PRINTER / GLAMPER THE HIGH WAT

MON 1.17  GUS JOHNSON: HERE I COME

THE HIGH WATT

FRI 1.28  MELD: 30TH GOLDEN BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

AMANDA BROADWAY BAND & LAURA REED

MERCY LOUNGE

CANNERY BALLROOM

FRI. 1/14

FRI. 1/14

An Evening with E L E Y

East Side Gamblers

THE HIGH WATT · Kingston Hythe

The Great Affairs · MERCY LOUNGE

SAT. 1/15

SAT. 1/15

Lost Dog Street Band

Sports

CANNERY BALLROOM · Matt Heckler

Okey Dokey & Little Bird · MERCY LOUNGE

SUN. 1/30

FRI. 1/28

Remo Drive

Hotel Fiction

Jackie Hayes & Boyish · MERCY LOUNGE

The high watt · Happy Landing & Bedon

1.28  MELD: 30TH GOLDEN BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION MERCY LOUNGE

2.2  RED: THE ACOUSTIC TOUR MERCY LOUNGE

2.23  STOP LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

2.10  CORDAE CANNERY BALLROOM

3.10  HEART ATTACK MAN THE HIGH WATT

3.27  THE DANGEROUS SUMMER THE HIGH WATT

THE HIGH WATT

SUN 1.30  REMO DRIVE

SUN 2.6  IAN SWEET

JACKIE HAYES & BOYISH

BNNY

MERCY LOUNGE

THE HIGH WATT

THU 2.3  BROTHER MOSES

MON 2.7  THE WOMBATS

THE HIGH WATT

CANNERY BALLROOM

SAT 2.5  YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN: A TAYLOR SWIFT DANCE PARTY

CANNERY BALLROOM

· SOLD OUT

SAT 2.5  DANIEL NUNNELEE · SOLD OUT THE HIGH WATT

TUES 2.8  RED WANTING BLUE BRETT NEWSKI & CARLY BURRUSS

MERCY LOUNGE

TUES 2.8  MAYDAY PARADE

REAL FRIENDS & MAGNOLIA PARK

CANNERY BALLROOM

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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FILM

THE 2021 JIM RIDLEY FILM POLL

Dedicated to our late longtime Scene editor and critic, our poll asks cinephiles, critics and industry insiders about 2021 in film COMPILED BY JASON SHAWHAN

THE 25 BEST FILMS OF 2021

1. The Power of the Dog 2. Drive My Car 3. Licorice Pizza 4. Pig 5. Titane 6. The Worst Person in the World 7. Memoria 8. Dune: Part One 9. Benedetta 10. (tie) C’mon C’mon 10. (tie) Summer of Soul 12. (tie) Bergman Island 12. (tie) Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy 14. (tie) Petite Maman 14. (tie) Spencer 16. The French Dispatch 17. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar 18. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn 19. The Harder They Fall 20. West Side Story 21. Days 22. The Scary of Sixty-First 23. Parallel Mothers 24. Red Rocket 25. Nightmare Alley

FOR AN EXTENDED VERSION OF THIS YEAR’S POLL, VISIT NASHVILLESCENE.COM

THE POWER OF THE DOG The opening of Annette, “So May We Start.” It was the first thing that made me feel like, “Oh my God, movies are back!”

BEN EMPEY I really liked The Sparks Brothers. Fantastic documentary, I really need to listen to those dudes more. DOCTOR GANGRENE The ending of Annette was *chef’s kiss*.

CODY LEE HARDIN

WHAT IS THE MUSICAL MOMENT OF THE YEAR FOR YOU? The fact that no one mentioned to me that Titane was a secret musical kind of blows my mind. The multiple dance sequences throughout — in particular The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” emotional father-son dance/fight — served some serious Beau Travail vibes and was the spoonful of sugar that helped that bitter, bitter medicine go down. Runner-up goes to Bergman Island’s use of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes it All.”

ZACK HALL Does the boom in Memoria count? Otherwise, all of the atonal specters of The Power of the Dog, from Jonny Greenwood’s detuned automatic piano to the instantly iconic piano/banjo scene. SAM SMITH

The amazing performances throughout Summer of Soul. RON WYNN As completely underwhelmed as I was by the movie, I gotta admit it — when those opening notes of “Let Me Roll It” kick in during the motorcycle stunt scene in Licorice Pizza, it ignited something so nostalgic and wonderful inside of me.

SHERONICA HAYES Jamie Dornan’s “Edgar’s Prayer” in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. DAVE WHITE Many good musicals this year, but I was very fond of Tick, Tick ... Boom!, a love letter to Generation X. The impromptu a cappella “Bohemia” in Jonathan Larson’s apartment felt like a genuine theater kid’s afterparty. And one I’ve attended. WITNEY

SEIBOLD

Cassandra Violet’s cover of Springsteen’s “Fire” at the end of Pig. Tender and unyielding, it was perfectly suited to Cage’s performance, and gave the movie one last, graceful wallop. ROB KOTECKI A tie, at opposite ends of the spectrum: “I Feel Pretty” in West Side Story and the communist anthem from Pankrti — the Slovenian Sex Pistols — used in Her Socialist Smile. STEVE ERICKSON

DID ANY FILMS MAKE YOU CRY THIS YEAR? It takes a lot for a movie to make me cry, but the ending of Days really got to me because it’s something we all have gone through since the early days of the pandemic. The film is a minimalist exploration of solitude and physical pain in addition to the agony of loneliness, and

after proposing the latter as something recurring that never goes away, the final shot of the escort listening to the music box his previous client gave him underneath the loud sounds of the city suggests that what quells the sadness that comes with solitude is the power of the connections we have, our memories of them, and the hope that there are more connections we can make out there in this big, terrifying world. KEVIN ALLEN C’mon C’mon. SAM SMITH As an editor, I’m fairly well-versed in the manipulative power of the medium’s use of cloying sentimentality, well-placed music, and a good voice-over. Nevertheless, the calculated (but authentic) human heart of C’mon C’mon definitely hit me harder than expected. Maybe I was still reeling from the absolutely crushing but ultimately optimistic Futura, which shares the same DNA in a documentary framework (and is much more Italian and a much better film).

ZACK HALL No. That said, Sonya’s concluding monologue from Uncle Vanya, as presented in Drive My Car, was the most moving moment in any film from 2021. I was

PARTICIPANTS:

Sean Abley, Sadaf Ahsan, Kevin Allen, Sean Atkins, Brooke Bernard, Billy Ray Brewton, Sean Burns, Erica Ciccarone, BJ Colangelo, CK Cosner, Jacob Davison, A.A. Dowd, Alonso Duralde, Ben Empey, Steve Erickson, Celina Faur, Doctor Gangrene, Zack Hall, Cody Lee Hardin, Sheronica Hayes, Odie Henderson, Allison Inman, Brennan Klein, Rob Kotecki, John Lichman, Craig D. Lindsey, Brian Lonano, William Mahaffey, Matt McGuire, Richie Millennium, Brian Owens, D. Patrick Rodgers, Witney Seibold, Jason Shawhan, Michael Sicinski, Graham Skipper, Nadine Smith, Sam Smith, James Spence, Scout Tafoya, Kyle Turner, Dave White, Lisa Ellen Williams, Cory Woodroof, Ron Wynn

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DRIVE MY CAR checking in with myself as it went on, waiting and expecting to cry. JAMES SPENCE Just once, I’d love to not have an answer for this question, but alas, it was another year full of soggy face masks. Right on cue I cried ugly during Judas and the Black Messiah and gayfully during Summer of Soul. The cry that caught me most off guard was at the very end of C’mon C’mon. By this point the rest of the audience was already sobbing and I thought I was immune to it, and then it punches you one last time in the feels before you go. SHERONICA HAYES The moment in Summer of Soul when Marilyn McCoo watches footage of herself from 50 years ago. DAVE WHITE Nope. CRAIG D. LINDSEY Oh several. I’m an easy mark. WITNEY

SEIBOLD

We all know an A24 film won’t end well for its characters. Lamb was an emotional watch, and it’s the only 2021 film I’ve seen twice in theaters. An abundance of films featuring the theme of grief have been released in recent years, and Lamb confronts this topic differently than its recent predecessors: Instead of focusing

LICORICE PIZZA

solely on the trauma leading to grief (of course, this is an aspect of the narrative), the film explores how people often inflict trauma and grief onto others as a means to heal their own emotional wounds. Yep, it’s a slow burn; the beautiful landscape, minimal dialogue and over-the-top ending follow a similar pace of a ’70s family horror/drama, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Also, the lamb creature, Ada, resembles my dog, and I can’t unsee it. LISA ELLEN WILLIAMS I always cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, which I saw in the Belcourt’s small screening room with my friends. It reminds me of my father and my brother and the New England Christmases of my youth. I cried when the peacock appeared in the Amarcord snowstorm — but that was more from astonishment. Nothing contemporary has so moved me this year. ERICA CICCARONE I watched In the Same Breath through tears. The early stages of COVID’s spread in the U.S. are still very raw. STEVE ERICKSON God, what didn’t make me cry this year? But if I had to name just one moment, it would be the sequence in The French Dispatch when Bill Murray’s character visits Jeffrey Wright’s character in a jail cell. It reminded me of my former editor, mentor

PIG and boss Jim Ridley, for whom this poll is named. A truly beautiful moment that really got at the nature of a reporter’s relationship with their editor better than just about anything I’ve ever seen. D. PATRICK RODGERS CODA and also Mass, which is a mustwatch even though you’ll never want to see it again after watching it. SEAN ATKINS

WHAT BROUGHT YOU THE MOST VISUAL PLEASURE THIS YEAR? The Abu Ghraib scenes in The Card Counter were some of the best-looking shots in 2021. CODY LEE HARDIN Marie Menken’s 1966 short film “Lights.” (It’s on YouTube.) DAVE WHITE The French Dispatch, bar none. If I could see the world through a Wes Anderson color palette I don’t think I’d ever feel sadness again. SHERONICA HAYES I’m not saying it’s the grandest visual spectacle of the year, but seeing Godzilla and King Kong beat the stuffing out of each other for my first movie back post-vaccine

was, to put it mildly, one of the most visually pleasing things I’ve ever seen.

CORY WOODROOF West Side Story . But another film that did just that was The Tragedy of Macbeth. The art direction succeeds at feeling like a small theater production, but Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography takes those sets and makes them feel grand in stature through his compositions and high-contrast lighting. Also Last Night in Soho had an amazing use of color and superimpositions that made the film a trippy experience in both digital and 35mm. KEVIN ALLEN I loved The Truffle Hunters, a little documentary about the aging Italian men who forage for truffles with their dogs in Piedmont. It’s a beautiful, quiet film filled with unexpected delights and gorgeous vistas. I particularly liked taking the dog’seye view as one frolicked through the forest.

ERICA CICCARONE Drive My Car. Hamaguchi’s God’s-eye view of the red titular vehicle floating down Japanese highways like a miniature toy. SAM SMITH Spencer and Parallel Mothers. Also, Mélanie Laurent created a scene in The Mad Women’s Ball (Lou de Laâge alone in a cafe with book and cigarette) that mirrors a scene of herself as Shosanna in Inglourious Basterds, which thrilled me. ALLISON INMAN Zeros and Ones does wonders with cinematography so dark it’s barely visible, while Siberia took us on an acid trip through Abel Ferrara’s psyche, using many different styles and locations. The Power of the Dog brought a brittle beauty to its vision of the American West. Her Socialist Smile worked wonders with minutes of on-screen text.

STEVE ERICKSON

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE IN 2022? Avatar 2, The Batman, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Northman, Pinocchio [Guillermo del Toro version], Jackass Forever, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. JAMES SPENCE

nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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FILM

WHERE NASHVILLE WORKS

SCENERY • Office suites

Arts and Culture News From the Nashville Scene

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TITANE

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I’ve been waiting for the Bob’s Burgers movie for a very long time now, so that very much is atop my list alongside Jordan Peele and Damien Chazelle’s new films, Avatar 2 (sue me) and Steven Spielberg’s attempt at doing an autobiography. Also, I’m so ready for people to see On the Count of Three, which would’ve been my favorite movie of 2021 if it had come out this year. Jerrod Carmichael’s about to have a big 2022. CORY WOODROOF

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Crimes of the Future, Nope, the new Claire Denis and Kelly Reichardt films.

STEVE ERICKSON MOONFALL! I WANT TO SEE THE MOON FALL. GRAHAM SKIPPER That movie where Nicolas Cage plays himself looks a’ight. CRAIG D. LINDSEY

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After Yang, Blonde, Crimes of the Future, Halloween Ends, Infinity Pool, Jackass Forever, Killers of the Flower Moon, Nope, The Northman (also every behindthe-scenes discussion between Nicole Kidman and Björk), Scream, The Stars at Noon, Time Cut, Vortex. And I’m ready for everyone to get a chance to see Black Medusa, Jane by Charlotte, Mom, I’ve Befriended Ghosts, Saloum, She Watches from the Woods, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, The Yellow Night and You Are Not My Mother. JASON SHAWHAN The Batman, because I’m curious to see if anything fresh can come out of this character. Jurassic World: Dominion, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and A Journal for Jordan, as well as the upcoming documentary on Bayard Rustin, a wrongly neglected central figure of the civil rights movement. RON WYNN

IT’S TIME FOR BOLD STATEMENTS!

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I am Sorkin’d out. LISA ELLEN WILLIAMS I simultaneously and passionately respected and loathed Titane, and the most underappreciated film of the year by far is Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island. SAM

SMITH

Film Twitter, GROW THE FUCK UP! It’s

not discourse over there; it’s chaos. Marvel heads are still mad at Scorsese, wokesters and right-wingers are offended by movies they haven’t seen (and probably never will), and critics who were once buddies have become mortal enemies over a whole lotta nothin’. I’m so glad I got kicked off that infernal platform for posting a piece of an old Amerie video. CRAIG D. LINDSEY The pandemic won’t kill movie theaters in the long run, despite the eulogy people offered for them throughout 2020. I’m not sure what the fate of movies themselves will be and what we’ll get, but the spectacle that theaters bring people seems to be a hot commodity these days (even with Omicron surging). Independent theaters may have to pick up the slack as films like West Side Story and Nightmare Alley struggle to generate interest, but at the very least, you’re always going to be able to see SpiderMan on the big screen. Theaters will begin their journey as word-of-mouth machines for streaming, but they’ll abide. Don’t wear black the next time you go, unless you’re just in the mood. CORY WOODROOF It may not happen in 2022, but a Marvel movie will win Best Picture at the Academy Awards before a Netflix movie will. Doing the latter is basically the AMPAS admitting that streaming is the way of the future, and would be a death blow to theaters, while bending the knee to Disney assures their survival, but at the cost of catering to bigbudget cinema. KEVIN ALLEN Licorice Pizza was just … not good. Even if you forgive the delusional age gap. Even if you forgive the unnecessary-ass racist Asian jokes — it’s an uninteresting story with a bogus ending. What should have been a low-stakes feel-good movie ultimately just drew a big divide between white audiences who can easily recover from distasteful, racist content and those of us who have to sit in that discomfort for the entirety of the movie. It’s so disheartening that white dudes still can’t take accountability for the fact that sometimes they miss the mark and cause nonwhite filmgoers to feel completely disconnected or even targeted from their movies. In the words of Noname, “And this is all he can offer? And this is all y’all receive?” SHERONICA HAYES EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com

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Bidding Opportunity! Archer Western is Seeking Subcontractors and Suppliers

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Bidding Opportunity! Archer Western is Seeking Subcontractors and Suppliers

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Welcome to Brighton Valley

Bidding Opportunity! Archer Western is seeking subcontractors and suppliers, including Metro M/WBE certified subcontractors, for the CMAR for Process Advancements at Omohundro and KR Harrington Water Treatment Project.

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Bid Documents are available online via SmartBid at: https://securecc.smartinsight.co/#/ PublicBidProject/621419 Please submit quotes to SEWater@walshgroup.com by 02.09.2022 (date is subject to change) Archer Western is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

Your Neighborhood Local attractions nearby: · Nashboro Golf Course · BNA airport

Nearby places you can enjoy the outdoors: · Percy Priest Lake · Long Hunter’s State Park Best place near by to see a show: · Ascend Amphitheater

Favorite local neighborhood bar: · Larry’s Karaoke lounge List of amenities from your community: · Indoor swimming pool and hot tub · Outdoor swimming pool · Ping pong table · Fitness center · Gated community

Call the Rental Scene property you’re interested in and mention this ad to find out about a special promotion for Scene Readers

500 BrooksBoro Terrace, Nashville, TN 37217 | www.brightonvalley.net | 615.366.5552 34

Call 866-535-9689

NASHVILLE SCENE | JANUARY 13, - JANUARY 19, 2022 | nashvillescene.com


Southaven at Commonwealth 100 John Green Place, Spring Hill, TN 37174

The Harper 2 Beds / 2 bath 1265 sq ft $1700

The Hudson 3 Bed / 2 bath 1429 sq ft $1950

3 floor plans southavenatcommonwealth.com | 629.777.8333 Colony House 1510 Huntington Drive Nashville, TN 37215 The James 1 bed / 1 bath 708 sq. ft $1360-2026

The Washington 2 bed / 1.5 bath 1029 sq. ft. $1500 - 2202 4 floor

The Franklin 2 bed / 2 bath 908-1019 sq. ft. $1505 - 2258 plans

The Lincoln 3 bed / 2.5 bath 1408-1458 sq. ft. $1719 - 2557

Rental Scene

The Jackson 1 Bed / 1 bath 958 sq ft $1400

liveatcolonyhouse.com | 615.488.4720

Gazebo Apartments 141 Neese Drive Nashville TN 37211 1 Bed / 1 Bath 756 sq ft $1,119 +

2 Bed / 1.5 Bath - 2 Bath 1,047 – 1,098 sq ft $1,299 +

3 Bed / 2 Bath 1201 sq ft $1,399 +

5 floor plans

gazeboapts.com | 615.551.3832 Sunrise Apartments 189 Wallace Rd Nashville, TN 37211 1 Bed / 1 bath 600 sq feet $950 - $1150

1 Bed / 1 bath 630 sq feet $999 - $1200

3 floor plans

sunrisenashville.com | 615.333.7733 Cumberland Retreat 411 Annex Ave Nashville, TN 37209 2 Bed /1 Bath 1008 sq ft from $1349

1 Bed / 1 Bath 675 sq ft from $1159 2 floor plans

cumberlandretreatapartments.com | 615.356.0257 Brighton Valley 500 BrooksBoro Terrace, Nashville, TN 37217 1 Bedroom/1 bath 800 sq feet $1360

2 Bedrooms/ 2 baths 1100 sq feet $1490

3 Bedrooms/ 2 baths 1350 sq feet $1900

To advertise your property available for lease, contact Keith Wright at 615-557-4788 or kwright@fwpublishing.com

Studio 330 sq feet $900 - $1000

3 floor plans

brightonvalley.net | 615.366.5552 nashvillescene.com | JANUARY 13 - JANUARY 19, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE

35


S U H P I TC

Nashville is a diverse city, and we want a pool of freelance contributors who reflect that diversity. We’re looking for new freelancers, and we particularly want to encourage writers of color & LGBTQ writers to pitch us.

Read more at our new pitch guide: nashvillescene.com/pitchguide BOTH LOCATIONS OPEN DAILY 11-9 FOR TAKE-OUT YOUR FAVORITE MEXICAN FOOD & ‘RITA, TOO!

Happy Hour monday - Thursday 3-6 taco tuesday 3-6

2330 8th AVE. SOUTH 615-988-0404

EAST/Five Points: 972 Main St. (615) 434-6000

scan here for menu

Nashv il stron le g!

MUSIC CITY

PSYCHIC

New Year’s Predictions

10

%

OF F

a tarot card reading 615-915-0515

284 White Bridge Rd Reach more than

400,000

Scene readers. Plugged-in, educated, active consumers who support local businesses.

FROM T HE

SCENE

Studio.

Apartment.

Home.

Whatever you call it, find yours in the Rental Scene.

Email Mike at msmith@nashvillescene.com to get started planning for a BIG 2022!

TEXT

Flat.

Nashville Scene’s Marketplace on pages 34 - 35.

Text SCENE to 888-111 to receive the latest updates on all things:

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