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CITY LIMITS: ANOTHER COOPER RECALL EFFORT FIZZLES OUT

NOVEMBER 5–11, 2020 I VOLUME 39 I NUMBER 39 I NASHVILLESCENE.COM I FREE

FOOD & DRINK: A FILIPINO AMERICAN’S JOURNEY TO FIND HOME IN THE SOUTH

PAGE 6

PAGE 19

For centuries Black farmers have cultivated the soil of Middle Tennessee. Their work continues today. BY ERICA CICCARONE AND J.R. LIND

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11/2/20 4:48 PM


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NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com


CONTENTS

NOVEMBER 5, 2020

6

21

Another Cooper Recall Effort Fizzles Out ....6

Threesome

CITY LIMITS

ART

‘Seems a lot of energy for little to show for it,’ wrote the organizer behind the attempt to recall the mayor

Three Shag artists on eroticism, textiles and contemporary art

BY STEPHEN ELLIOTT

22

Net Gain ......................................................6 Expansion team Nashville SC makes the MLS playoffs, surprises the league BY STEPHEN ELLIOTT

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

BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

BOOKS

Hymns and Curses Ashleigh Bryant Phillips weaves a transcendent tapestry of stories in Sleepovers BY LAUREN TURNER AND CHAPTER 16

8

24

COVER STORY Grounded

Black Farmers Feed Their Neighbors and Connect With Their Ancestors ...........8 Local farmers like Nella Pearl Frierson and Cynthia Capers bring the traditions of agriculture to their communities

MUSIC

Time Is Ripe ............................................ 24 Inventive Nashville R&B group Autumn plans a return BY RON WYNN

Take Another Look .................................. 25

The Rich History of Black Landowners and Farmers Here in the Upper South ...... 12

Our music scribes recommend great recent releases from Namir Blade, Mac Gayden, Coupler and more

After the Civil War, many formerly enslaved agriculturalists established a tradition of farming throughout the South — including in Tennessee

The Spin ................................................... 26 The Scene’s live-review column checks out Dream Chambers, Peachy and more at Spirit of Drkmttr

BY J.R. LIND

BY EDD HURT

15

28

Participate in the Frist’s Day of Zooming, buy stuff at Crafty Bastards, read Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks, open your wallet on Bandcamp Friday, build your own Thanksgiving movie film festival, follow carcentric channels on YouTube and more

Primal Stream 29 ................................... 28

BY ERICA CICCARONE

CRITICS’ PICKS

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB: What Haunts Brother James Barbee in ‘She Sleeps Beneath the Trees’? DA’s Office Seeks Release for Nashville Man Convicted of 1998 Murder Sid Gold’s Request Room Opens in Inglewood Office Crush: The Scents, Shows and Bagels We Can’t Get Enough Of

ON THE COVER:

Brooklyn Heights Community Garden Photo: Eric England

FILM

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A Hitchcock remake, deep-space intrigue and more, now available to stream BY JASON SHAWHAN

Hey Beantown! ........................................ 29 Frederick Wiseman’s City Hall is a thorough examination of what keeps a city running BY NATHAN SMITH

FOOD AND DRINK

Searching for Kababayan in Nashville A Filipino American’s journey to find home in the South BY MALAKA GHARIB

20

29

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD

30

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VODKA YONIC Talking Points

On the eeriness of watching The West Wing for the first time in 2020 BY MARY SIROKY

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nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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11/2/20 6:12 PM


PET OF THE WEEK!

FROM BILL FREEMAN

MEET CARTER THE UNICORN... What does it mean to be a unicorn adopter or foster? It means you’re kind of one in a million. Unicorn fosters and adopters are people without kids, cats, or dogs. Since these homes are hard to come by, these animals end up waiting longer in the shelter than all their more social friends. This leads us to the beautiful dog you see pictured: Carter. This sweet pittie is 5 years old and would love a home where he can be the only spoiled pet. Older kiddos would be fine with this guy. Carter is housetrained, neutered, microchipped, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Can you adopt or temporarily foster? Let Us Know - THANK YOU! Call 615.352.1010 or visit nashvillehumane.org Located at 213 Oceola Ave., Nashville, TN 37209

Adopt. Bark. Meow. Microchip. Neuter. Spay.

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MONDAY NOV 9 3:30PM FACEBOOK LIVE with GUY KOPSOMBUT Everyday Smiles

TUESDAY NOV 10 6:00PM THE PARNASSUS HOLIDAY SPECIAL Get exclusive holiday recommendations from our staff!

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DODGERS WIN WORLD SERIES, NASHVILLIANS DELIGHTED TO SEE TENNESSEE PLAYERS HELP MAKE HISTORY Last month, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series title since 1988, and their sixth such title since they set up shop on the West Coast in 1958. For Nashvillians, the sixth and deciding game of the series was an especially sweet moment, as Mookie Betts — who was raised in Nashville and attended Overton High School — made an incredible run to home plate in the sixth inning, putting the Dodgers in the lead, and then slugged a solo homer in the eighth to seal the win. Betts is the first player with a home run, two stolen bases and two runs scored in a single World Series game. Though he has been a star since he started playing regularly with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, Betts is still special to our city and remains involved in our community. He is, in truest fashion, a Nashvillian. On Oct. 28, The Tennessean pointed out that in May, Betts surprised shoppers at the Bordeaux Kroger with free groceries, and in June he was handing out face masks and sanitizer in Nashville. He lives here and is engaged with Nashville’s sports scene — even announcing a pick for the Nashville Soccer Club in the last offseason. Betts is a role model for young Nashvillians who want to achieve their own dreams. When Betts was 17, Boston Red Sox scout Danny Watkins was so impressed with the young man’s work ethic and attitude that he convinced the team to draft him in 2011. He made his first big-league appearance in 2014 and was named the American League MVP in 2018. But in a surprise move earlier this year, the Red Sox traded Betts to the Dodgers. Betts became the first MLB player ever to win a World Series with different clubs in a three-year span while also winning an MVP award, according to MassLive.com. Seeing the Dodgers win feels like a win for Nashville, and not just because of Betts’ heroics. Three other members of the team have ties to Nashville. We’re also proud of former Vanderbilt players Walker Buehler and David Price, and former Belmont player Matt Beaty. Buehler was a star pitcher for Vanderbilt, and he recently told the Los Angeles Times that he credits his Vandy experience — and Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin — for his brimming confidence.

He says Corbin is “one of the better coaches at any level in the country.” According to the Belmont Vision, Beaty is the Bruins’ first alum to win a World Series. And though his life is centered in Los Angeles, Beaty keeps in touch with Bruins coach Dave Jarvis as well as his former teammates — many of whom reached out to congratulate Beaty on the big win. Though Price opted out of the season due to concerns regarding COVID-19, he stayed in touch with the players after every game and was proud of them all when the win came through. To describe the sports experience during COVID-19 as unusual, both for fans and players, is an understatement. In a July interview with Fox 17, Beaty talked about how the pandemic has affected the game, including the “fake crowd noise” pumped into the stadiums. But Beatty said that “TV ratings are through the roof,” and the team can still “feel the fans watching.” We are proud of “our” Dodgers, because Nashville is still very much a sports city with fans who come together zealously to support our teams and players, and we will gather together in person again as soon as we can. According to the Sports Business Journal, Nashville was selected as the nation’s “Best Sports City” in 2019, following that record-setting NFL Draft in the streets of Music City. Under normal conditions, sports have a very positive economic impact on our city. In the postpandemic days when things return to normal, Nashville will not only put “music” back in our Music City moniker — we will also reclaim “sports city” status, especially as we continue developing athletes like those who helped the Dodgers win the World Series. With all the tumult that’s been going on, isn’t it nice to watch and read about players representing Nashville and Tennessee well, who give of themselves with all their heart and spirit? It’s refreshing. I believe many Nashvillians have that same community spirit. Congratulations World Series champions Mookie, Matt, Walker and David!

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 Editors Jack Silverman, Abby White Staff Writers Stephen Elliott, Nancy Floyd, Steven Hale, Kara Hartnett, J.R. Lind, 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, Geoffrey Himes, Edd Hurt, Jennifer Justus, Christine Kreyling, Katy Lindenmuth, Craig D. Lindsey, Brittney McKenna, Marissa R. Moss, Noel Murray, Joe Nolan, Chris Parton, Betsy Phillips, John Pitcher, Margaret Renkl, Megan Seling, Jason Shawhan, Michael Sicinski, Ashley Spurgeon, Amy Stumpfl, Kay West, Andrea Williams, Cy Winstanley, 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 Moye Promotions Coordinator Caroline Poole Publisher Mike Smith Senior Advertising Solutions Managers Maggie Bond, Debbie Deboer, Sue Falls, Michael Jezewski, Carla Mathis, Heather Cantrell Mullins, Stevan Steinhart, Jennifer Trsinar, Keith Wright Advertising Solutions Manager William Shutes Sales Operations Manager Chelon Hill Hasty Advertising Solutions Associates Aya Robinson, Price Waltman 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

Copyright©2020, 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.

In memory of Jim Ridley, editor 2009-2016

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

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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11/2/20 6:11 PM


Masterpieces from a Master of the Medium Presenting works by the renowned German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, one of the finest printmakers of all time, this exhibition of more than one hundred engravings, etchings, and woodcuts spans almost the entirety of Dürer’s prolific career, including his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Adam and Eve, and all three Master Engravings. Come see the artist who revolutionized printmaking. Required advance tickets are available at FristArtMuseum.org/tickets.

THROUGH FEBRUARY 7

Downtown Nashville, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203 · FristArtMuseum.org #TheFrist #FristDurer

Organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum

Supporting Sponsor

The Anne and Joe Russell Family

The Frist Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our

Supported in part by

Picasso Circle members

nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). Adam and Eve, 1504. Engraving, platemark: 9 5/8 x 7 1/2 in. Cincinnati Art Museum, Bequest of Herbert Greer French, 1943.193

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10/30/20 3:50 PM


CITY LIMITS

ANOTHER COOPER RECALL EFFORT FIZZLES OUT

JOHN COOPER ON ELECTION NIGHT 2019

‘Seems a lot of energy for little to show for it,’ wrote the organizer behind the attempt to recall the mayor

T

he organizer behind the second effort to recall Mayor John Cooper this year had a message for supporters last week: “Get used to Cooper.” The effort, like the one earlier this year, failed to collect the tens of thousands of signatures necessary to recall the Nashville mayor, and organizer Ed Smith was angry. “It is over and dead,” Smith, who is affiliated with the conservative Heritage Foundation and owns area boot stores, wrote in an email to supporters. “For me and our team this is a tough moment. “Some of us on the inside of this Recall effort are feeling serious regret at not ‘getting Cooper,’ ” he continued. “Seems a lot of energy for little to show for it. But we learned much. … And in the ‘hung out to dry’ department I feel great resentment toward the money people who abandoned Nashville voters.” Smith and his group were waiting on a major financial backer to pay for a countywide direct-mail effort, but it never

materialized, even after Smith thought he had a donor in place. Their ground game — mostly volunteers collecting signatures at early voting sites (and a pro-Trump debate watch party) — was “pretty good,” but not nearly enough to collect the necessary signatures, so they pulled the plug. (Smith could not be reached for comment.) According to Smith, the next steps for those opposed to Cooper, other than to “get used” to him, is to “hope and pray” that a tax-limiting referendum currently being debated in court survives. The recallers’ main complaint about Cooper was his decision to support a budget that raised property taxes, a decision the mayor and other city officials say is necessary to keep city services like police, fire and trash pickup operational. Andrea Fanta, a spokesperson for Cooper, declined to comment other than to say that he “remains focused on leading Nashville.” But it wasn’t just Cooper with a target on his back. The group was also seeking to recall seven members of the Metro Council: Brandon Taylor, Colby Sledge,

PHOTO: BRANDON DE LA CRUZ

BY STEPHEN ELLIOTT

Dave Rosenberg, Erin Evans, Kyontzè Toombs, Russ Bradford and Sean Parker, for their “complicity in Cooper’s poor fiscal stewardship, indifference to children and young families and destruction of businesses and jobs.” The group, according to Smith’s email, wanted “seven sensible replacements added to the current sensible members [to equal] a voting block.” But the group of councilmembers who voted for the budget — 32 of the body’s 40 members — was far larger than just the seven targeted by the recallers. Bradford, one of the councilmembers targeted for recall, says he does not regret

his June vote. “As of right now, with the information we have, there’s just no other way,” Bradford says. “My job was to do the best I can with the information we had. Without voting the way I did it would risk causing more financial stress for our city. I did what I thought was best for our communities.” Bradford calls the recall effort “just another distraction from what’s going on in our city.” But the fight might not be over. “If another group wants to launch recall #3 more power to them,” Smith wrote. EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

second half, pinning Nashville into their own end. Playing their sixth game in 20 days — Nashville has had to make up games it couldn’t play in the seasonopening MLS Is Back tournament due to positive

COVID-19 results on the team — has taken a toll, and NSC was unable to do more than hunker down and ride out the game. But Smith’s players have bought into the Englishman’s system. Montreal coach Thierry

SPORTS

NET GAIN

Expansion team Nashville SC makes the MLS playoffs, surprises the league BY STEVE CAVENDISH

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PHOTO: TODD BATES

G

ary Smith has an expectations problem: He’s starting to create them. The Nashville SC coach’s attack is averaging only one goal per game, his highpriced designated player hasn’t been on the field in more than two weeks, and the effects of playing a compressed schedule sometimes make his players look like they’re running in quicksand late in games. But these are all small problems. Somehow, some way, Nashville SC qualified for the MLS playoffs despite being an expansion team, and NSC is very much in danger of creating expectations — within the fan base, within the players and maybe even within Smith himself. Over the past six games, Nashville is one of the top clubs in MLS, and peaking right as the playoffs are starting. There is no way that Nashville should be bound for the postseason. An expansion side that can’t score shouldn’t even be in the discussion — just ask FC Cincinnati about last season. But Smith has molded his team into one that is among the most organized in the league and able to withstand sometimesconstant pressure. Listening to Smith after his squad ground out a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire on Halloween, the coach talks about what a technical side Chicago is

GARY SMITH

and how dangerous they were. “It was always going to be a very, very tough night,” Smith says. “I always felt we would have our hands full.” The Fire held the ball for roughly 70 percent of the

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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11/2/20 6:02 PM


CITY LIMITS

'Tis the season to be jolly

THIS WEEK ON OUR NEWS AND POLITICS BLOG:

NASHVILLE SC ON OCT. 31

Henry, a legend at Arsenal in London, calls them an “old-school Premier League” team. It’s a sharp contrast to how other smaller-market MLS clubs have entered the league in recent years. Teams scored for fun against Cincinnati last year; same story with Minnesota in 2017. Big-market clubs like Atlanta and LAFC brought in high-priced designated players and higher-profile coaches, buying their way into the playoffs. The expansion process, for those unwilling or unable to spend a gazillion dollars on the front end, is designed to give teams enough decent players to field a squad, win a game or two and maybe even surprise someone in the annual U.S. Open Cup tournament. There are simply too many holes to fill in a roster to be competitive. And if you want to play sexy futbol, be prepared to leak like a sieve on defense. And that’s why general manager Mike Jacobs deserves a lot of credit for Nashville’s success. He was familiar with Smith and understood the types of players needed to fit the coach’s system. In four trades, he acquired the spine of the team in center backs Walker Zimmerman (from LAFC) and Dave Romney (from L.A. Galaxy) and defensive midfielders Dax McCarty (from Chicago) and Aníbal Godoy (from San Jose). That core is why Nashville is currently the best-performing defense by an expansion club in league history, giving up less than one goal per game. Smith knows that his defense gives him a chance to get a result from any game — even a game against a team like Chicago, which possessed the ball twice as much. Why exactly, coach, is Chicago scraping to get into the playoffs while Nashville is already in and Chicago plays such a pretty game? “The reason that we’re sitting where we are and they aren’t is because we have other qualities,” Smith said wryly after the Oct. 31 game against Chicago. “As far as tonight goes, it wasn’t our best performance for sure. I’d have been a lot more disappointed to play well and get beat.” At some point you have to admire the grit. It’s not an easy system to adapt to because it requires constant communication and positioning. There can be no selfish play, no taking a game off to just focus on offense. Offensive stars like Randall Leal and Hany Mukhtar must track back and play defense. This team — this expansion team — has a puncher’s chance against any team in the league in the playoffs, especially in a weird year full of half-canceled seasons, postponed games and compressed schedules. Smith has the team believing. He has fans believing. The expectations for a first-year MLS team should be “we’re just happy to be here.” What if Nashville’s are more than that now? You can thank Gary Smith for raising them. EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

We won’t waste your time rehashing this week’s biggest news story — you already know about that. And as of press time, we don’t, so this decision isn’t just Pith’s usual magnanimity. … What we do know is that a record number of Tennesseans generally and Nashvillians specifically voted early or by mail — not that it’s any big surprise, what with the pandemic and everything. After two weeks of early voting, nearly 2.3 million Tennesseans cast their ballots in person or by mail for the election. More than half of Tennessee’s registered voters cast ballots before Election Day, according to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and the state had already achieved nearly 90 percent of 2016’s total turnout. Davidson County is one of six counties that surpassed 2016’s total turnout by early voting alone. The other five counties are Cheatham, Loudon, Rutherford, Williamson and Wilson. Despite Democratic voters driving the early turnout nationally, deeply red Williamson County had Tennessee’s highest early turnout rate at 68 percent of registered voters. … The Tennessee Disability Coalition reported that Tennesseans with disabilities vote at a lower rate than their counterparts in other states. According to the report, Tennessee had the second-lowest turnout among voters with disabilities in the country during the 2018 midterms. And while the voting gap between those with and without disabilities was 4.7 percent nationally, in Tennessee the gap was nearly tripled — 13 percent, the fifth-largest gap in the country. The report suggests that better transportation, accessible voting machines and polling places, and a loosening of registration and absentee restrictions could make it easier for Tennesseans with disabilities to vote. … Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk’s office asked for the release of a man who has been serving a life sentence for a murder he’s insisted he didn’t commit. Joseph Webster was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 murder of Leroy Owens. The victim had been beaten to death at a construction site in an attack apparently related to a drug debt. The case went cold for years, until Webster was charged in 2005, just as he was coming up for parole on a sentence he was serving for a drug charge. In a report last year, then-WPLN reporter Julieta Martinelli highlighted Webster’s case as one languishing because the DA’s office’s Conviction Review Unit, created in 2016, had yet to reopen a case. In February 2019, the DA’s office announced it was doing so. A court filing by Funk included a report from the CRU, which is now headed by former defense attorney Sunny Eaton, and said while there was no prosecutorial or investigative misconduct, his office no longer has confidence in the conviction. A witness, who identified Webster as one of the men running from the scene but who didn’t actually see the murder, has recanted her testimony at least three times since the original trial. The CRU also found an eyewitness who police never interviewed and who gave a description that did not match Webster. Funk’s office will soon ask the court to vacate Webster’s conviction and dismiss his case. … The Tennessee Titans dropped their second straight game, but at least it wasn’t a heartbreaker this time. The Cincinnati Bengals, who entered the game 1-5-1 and dead-last in the AFC North, had little trouble with Tennessee’s defense — and Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, et al., didn’t have enough to overcome the hole.

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nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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11/2/20 6:02 PM


Grounded

For centuries Black farmers have cultivated the soil of Middle Tennessee. Their work continues today.

PHOTOS: DANIEL MEIGS

NELLA PEARL FRIERSON (RIGHT) HARVESTS VEGETABLES IN HER GARDEN

Black Farmers Feed Their Neighbors and Connect With Their Ancestors Local farmers like Nella Pearl Frierson and Cynthia Capers bring the traditions of agriculture to their communities BY ERICA CICCARONE

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On the Cellular Level Something was off about Nella Pearl Frierson’s new neighborhood. It was 1998, and she had just moved her four youngest daughters from J.C. Napier Homes to a house on Haynes Street, just off West Trinity Lane. At Napier, near downtown Nashville, everything happened outside — neighbors chatted on their front stoops; kids rode bicycles and played games; friendships were formed. But in her new neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, people stayed in their houses. Frierson was not about to keep her daughters shut up inside. So she encouraged the neighborhood kids to come over and play kickball, jump rope and try to beat her at

countless games she devised. “It just made me feel joyful to interact with the children and have an influence on them,” says Frierson, whom everyone calls “Ms. Pearl.” “I wanted to make sure that they knew me and that my children trusted me. …. And so they would all come, and I was helping them to stay off the streets.” And the children did trust her. One boy, a Whites Creek High School student and athlete called Bren-Bren, confided in her that a gang was trying to recruit him, and he was running out of options. Bren-Bren was murdered before he graduated high school. “It made me numb,” says Frierson. “I couldn’t function. I said, ‘God, I got to give them something, some kind of hope, some

kind of dream, some kind of — I gotta do something with them. When my blood is running warm in my veins, I got to connect. I got to stop it.’ ” She prayed and meditated and wrote, seeking a vision of what she could do. Eventually, she started to see the image of a garden that would unite the community and “help heal ourselves on the cellular level.” Frierson is in her 60s now. She has short gray hair and a gap in her front teeth, and an electric energy about her. Her sentences are constantly punctuated by peals of laughter and squeals of delight. She’s a dancer, and during the course of our hour-long interview, she regularly stands up to stretch and sway. Frierson is an optimist, a perceptive

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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PHOTOS: ERIC ENGLAND

manifester of her own dreams and visions — the kind of person who relies on her intuition as a sixth sense. “I didn’t know nothing about no garden,” she admits. “My thing was, if you out there pulling weeds and you talking and laughing and giggling, it is highly unlikely you gonna kill me or steal from me if we are part of each other. So that was my premise.” Frierson was leasing her home to purchase, and in 2008, she bought two vacant lots across the street — and later bought an adjacent lot too. Calling it Brooklyn Heights Community Garden (brooklynheightscommunitygarden.org), Frierson began to coax her neighbors out of their houses to harvest squash, tomatoes and herbs. In the time since, Frierson has learned about gardening from others in the city, creating a family of farmers and gardeners she can lean on for advice and support. She’s one of many Black food activists who are staking a claim in the future of Middle Tennessee — its soil, its climate and its people. A decade in, Frierson is ready to expand. In January, she earned her permaculture design certificate from Earth Activist Training in Cazadero, Calif., and she formed the Ironweed Permaculture Collective with other local activists. “We are stewards of earth,” she says. “It doesn’t belong to us. We thinking backwards. If you give the earth what it needs, and you only take what you need, there will always be enough for you and for everybody else.” Frierson is working in the long tradition of Black Americans using subsistence farming and gardening as a means of self-determination. She recently read Monica M. White’s book Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement. She learned about Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver’s philosophy of agricultural self-sufficiency being not only practical, but necessary for Black Americans to survive the racially hostile post-Reconstruction South. The Tuskegee Institute’s mobile learning center toured the so-called Black Belt — a crescent-shaped region in the American Southeast populated largely by Black people — teaching farmers and sharecroppers about planting cover crops to build up depleted soil, cultivating livestock and managing finances, all in harmony with the land. Carver’s agricultural practices and principles were radical. In the same book, Frierson read about the Freedom Farm Cooperative that Fannie Lou Hamer formed in the Mississippi Delta in 1969. The FFC offered Black Southerners an alternative to dependence on the white power structure, with which they could achieve self-reliance and solid financial footing by pooling resources and sharing skills. “I didn’t see the garden as a revolutionary movement,” says Frierson. “But people have shown me books about Black freedom farmers. I never knew that having your own produce, having your own structure, is being in defiance. It’s just my normal, because I’m not fighting against nothing.” The Brooklyn Heights Community Garden’s strategic plan designates one-third of the garden to be an outdoor classroom where people can come to learn about soil health, planting and harvesting. Frierson also wants to take this education off her land to teach others how to set up plots in their

EGGS FROM HENISCITY own yards. She’s planning a partnership with Haynes Middle School, American Baptist College and Shallow Church to feed 100 to 200 families next year. And she needs to grow practically too — by way of an irrigation system and a pickup truck. Frierson’s operation has been self-financed, and she’s launching a fundraiser to help manifest her continuing vision of a community where people feel protected and valued. To Frierson, it’s pretty simple: “Each person got to be the change we speak of, and each person got to take a look at the problem and be the solution within themselves. Nobody’s coming to save us. We it.”

Answering the Call to the Land Cynthia Capers walks me through the straw-bale garden on her 16-acre Heniscity Farm in Pegram, Tenn. It’s mid-October, and the tomatoes are done for the year, but the okra still produces pale-yellow flowers. She grows cotton, too — just a few plants to remember, she says, what her ancestors went through. The garden is an experiment Capers is trying. The real attraction is her poultry yard, which she strides through confidently, pointing out guineas, hens, roosters and ducks. She has more than 170 birds on her property and is ready to expand. If you buy a carton of eggs from Heniscity — by going out to the farm or via the online marketplace Hot Poppy — you’ll find a mix of colors and sizes, and Capers includes a card that tells you which breeds produced your breakfast. “I’d love to be the go-to person for poultry,” says Capers, “so you can buy your hens, you can buy your chicks, you can buy your males if you want to put yourself through that, you can buy your eggs, and

CYNTHIA CAPERS

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“I love the land,” says Capers. “I’ve always been pulled toward the land. … [It has] always called to me, and I’d not been able to answer. I decided I was going to answer it.”

CAPERS FEEDS HER CHICKENS

you can buy your meat.” Capers is originally from Chicago, a city that she says is very hard on the Black community. “We’re living there, but we’re not thriving. We’re land people, and it’s too much concrete, and we’re not adapted to it after all these years.” Land people. That’s something Capers has thought about a lot since she founded Heniscity. For 30 years, she worked, as she says, in every facet of nursing, from home health and trauma to long-term care. But persistent asthma attacks caught up with her, and she retired from nursing in 2017. Capers had been keeping poultry as a hobbyist for 20 years, learning everything she could about poultry health, heritage breeds, eggs and meat. She’s incubated hundreds of eggs in her bathtub. But the prospect of being a fulltime poultry farmer was a pipe dream. “I love the land,” says Capers. “I’ve always been pulled toward the land. … [It has] always called to me, and I’d not been able to answer. I decided I was going to answer it.” She enrolled in TSU’s New Farmer Academy in 2017. The seven-month certificate program teaches everything from soil testing to bidding on a tractor, accessing grant money and much more. During this time, she was making a family tree for her mother when she saw, right there in the census records, that there were farmers in her family line. “It just overwhelmed me,” Capers says. “I looked in the kitchen, and I felt like they were there. Like they were saying, ‘We

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wanted to talk to you and meet you, but we didn’t get a chance. Thank you for checking on us and finding us in the family tree.’ ” Capers learned that her Mississippi ancestors migrated to St. Louis — “an extremely polarized, horrible city for prejudice,” she says. The experience was so painful for her grandmother that Capers’ mom still refuses to talk about it. Running Heniscity has been healing for Capers — to process ancestral trauma and reconnect to a part of herself that she sensed was there all along, but didn’t have the proof to lay claim to. Knowledge of her ancestors has strengthened her resolve to say, “I’m not giving up.” It isn’t easy. Like Frierson, Capers is in her 60s. The two are friends, and they’ve seen each other through tough moments on their farms. “The finances are crazy as hell,” says Capers. “This was from the ground up for me. I wasn’t handed a farm. I didn’t inherit a farm. I didn’t lease a property that was already a farm. … I feel like there’s a vast amount of things I still don’t know. It’s OK that I don’t know, but there are times I’m like, ‘Oh man, are you kidding me?’ ” In times like these, Capers sometimes receives a text message from Frierson, just saying hello. “I’m committed to moving forward,” Capers says. And moving forward, Capers plans to raise birds for meat and get more of those bathtub-incubated heritage birds into the yards and farms of others.

Down to the Nitty-Gritty Kanita Hutchinson’s face shines with pride as she leads me through a community garden on Second Avenue South. She carries herself with the sense of self-possession reserved for people who are certain of their life’s mission. Hers is to feed people. “We can always easily pinpoint and locate a restaurant,” says Hutchinson, “but how easily can we pinpoint community gardens, or gardens in general?” Hutchinson is the program director of Trap Garden, a Black-led nonprofit that is working to help Nashvillians access healthy food and oversees the South Nashville Community Garden. Hutchinson’s bachelor’s degree is in agriculture sciences with a concentration in biotechnology, and her master’s degree is in agriculture business management and analysis — both earned at Tennessee State University. Her thesis was about the impact of community gardens in Davidson and Williamson counties. Needless to say, she’s a big advocate. Trap Garden was founded by another TSU grad named Rob Horton. Hutchinson tells the Scene that Horton, who grew up in St. Louis, was “more likely to see a trap house” — a place where illegal drugs are prepared and sold — “than a grocery store that sold fresh produce.” Trap Garden is rooted in that experience, and it seeks to find solutions to the economic, social and

KANITA HUTCHINSON

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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N OV E M B E R 7

ONEC1TY / 10 AM - 4 PM 35+ ARTISAN VENDORS | CRAFT COCKTAILS | FREE ADMISSION

Crafty Bastards is back! Our annual craft fair is taking place November 7, safely and socially distant, at oneC1TY! Join us and shop from 35+ curated artisan craft vendors while enjoying food truck fare, music, photo booths and more. Free to attend, this family-friendly event supports the local craft community, where you can shop and browse beautiful goods from a hand selected group of artisans. This event will follow all guidelines put forth by the Metro Public Health Department, attendance will be limited, and masks will be required. SPONSORED BY

F O O D T R U C K FA R E

I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H

SAFE P O H S AND RT O SUPP AL LO C

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TRAP GARDEN geographic barriers to food security. The national organization Feeding America maps food insecurity across the country. Its most recent Map the Meal Gap report found that in 2018, Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District had a food insecurity rate of 12.6 percent. For children, it was much higher — 37.2 percent. Several organizations are addressing the city’s food insecurity problem, among them The Nashville Food Project and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, as well as grassroots projects like the Nashville Free Store. The South Nashville Community Garden — located on the property of Johnson Alternative Learning Center on Second Avenue South — has tons of potential. Several raised beds are lush with vegetables and herbs — such as collard greens, kale, cabbage and lettuce — and many more await community gardeners to claim them. Through a partnership with The Nashville Food Project and Preston Taylor Ministries, Trap Garden just concluded a nine-week run of distributing 25 boxes of produce to families in need each week, complete with access to videos

The Rich History of Black Landowners and Farmers Here in the Upper South

After the Civil War, many formerly enslaved agriculturalists established a tradition of farming throughout the South — including in Tennessee BY J.R. LIND

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ust after Appamatox, Whitelaw Reid — a reporter who’d seen the horrors of the Civil War at Shiloh and Gettysburg — interviewed an elderly man nearing the twilight of his life but finally free from slavery’s shackles. “What’s the use of being free,” the man told Reid, “if you don’t own land enough to be buried in? Might just as well stay a slave all yo’ days.” Because of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s Special Field Orders No. 15 — the source of the famous “40 acres and a mule” promise — many newly freed Black Americans believed farmland seized by the Union Army would be redistributed to them. In

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of cooking demonstrations and information about saving seeds to plant later. Hutchinson is most animated when she describes the group’s work with third-graders at Buena Vista Elementary Enhanced Option, where she helps lead a small group of kids in learning through food. Hutchinson says that in the school’s garden, kids learn about everything from technology to soil science, engineering and math. By taking these lessons into the community, Trap Garden continues the tradition of Carver and Tuskegee, bringing the classroom where it’s needed to empower Southerners to grow their own food. When Hutchinson talks about “that Trap Garden experience,” it might sound like slick marketing-speak, but her desires for communion with the land and connection to her food source are real. “When I put my hands in that soil, what do I feel?” she says. “When I don’t have my gloves on, I feel as if I’m getting down to the nitty-gritty. I’m feeling the water from that morning dew. I’m getting a couple of bugs every now and then. But I just appreciate it more.” EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

some cases — notably, in the Sea Islands off the Georgia coast — it was. But efforts by abolitionists, lawmakers and military leaders for a widespread plan met harsh (and frankly predictable) resistance from returning former Confederates. A plan to offer homesteads to the formerly enslaved on federal land in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. The land grants were not forthcoming, and the newly freed would find it difficult to join the handful of Black landowners — those born free and those manumitted prior to the Emancipation Proclamation — who already had plots of their own. That group included Sherrod Bryant, who is buried in Donelson, and who was likely the wealthiest Black man in Tennessee before his death in 1854. Born in North Carolina in 1781, Bryant came to Middle Tennessee in 1810 and amassed a huge farm. He owned nearly 700 acres — more than Andrew Jackson — including what is now Long Hunter State Park and parcels in town, one of which is the site of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He carried letters of introduction that urged he be treated the same as a white man, and he himself owned more than 20 enslaved people to work his hog operation. The constitutional end-around that sent Rutherford Hayes to the Oval Office more

TRAP GARDEN

or less ended Reconstruction, reverting control of state governments to the states themselves, In the South, that meant plenty of former slaveholders and those sympathetic to them held power once again. Many state and local governments passed laws hindering Black land ownership by, for example, barring the purchase of land outside city limits by the formerly enslaved — which, obviously, would limit the number of Blackowned farms, crushing the hope of Reid’s interlocutor and those like him. Academics have noted that in the Upper South — including Tennessee — would-be Black farmers found the going a little easier than did their compatriots deeper in the former Confederacy, with white landowners seemingly more willing to sell if the price was right. Studies point to a multiplicity of potential reasons. For starters, many parts of the Upper South (East Tennessee, for example) did not have an extensive history of slaveholding. Plus, the economies were more diversified than in the Deep South, meaning there were more ways to earn a living, and a white farmer could sell out and move to town instead of working his land. There were more battles fought in the Upper South, resulting in farms either ravaged by war or, perhaps, holding painful memories. Racial prejudices notwithstanding, an exhausted veteran or war widow might just want out.

There were private efforts to organize what we’d call a farming collective for the formerly enslaved as well. Nashville native Benjamin “Pap” Singleton — born into slavery and notable for his frequent escapes — came back to Tennessee from Canada after the war and planned to buy up vast tracts of farmland in his home state for the recently emancipated. And while the evidence shows turning over smallholdings to Black farmers was palatable, Singleton’s plan for a huge operation was a bridge too far for white landowners. Still, Black farm ownership grew essentially at the same pace as the overall Black population in rural parts of the Upper South, and land ownership by Black farmers in rural areas was three times more common than it was in the Deep South. Times were tough all over, so sharecropping, tenant farming and lease arrangements were common not just between Black farmers and wealthy white planters, but with small- and medium-size operations as well. Without a doubt, many of these agreements were exploitive with the benefit inuring to the wealthy and white, but sometimes the more benign arrangements often lasted generations. (A personal note: My greatgrandmother leased her tobacco base to, among others, Black farmers on her small Trousdale County farm for decades; no one ever seemed to wonder how it came to be

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In 1910, Black farming peaked in Tennessee, with nearly 11,000 Black farmers, 28 percent of Tennessee’s total, at a time when the state’s population was 21 percent Black. that many of these Black farmers and my Great Nanny shared a surname.) Evidence of Black farmers owning their land in their own right during the 19th and early 20th centuries is still evident today. Tennessee’s Century Farm program, which recognizes farms that have been owned and operated for agricultural purposes by the same family for at least 100 years, includes nine farms founded by Black farmers between 1871 and 1906. Six of those nine are in Middle Tennessee. While that seems significant, it’s noteworthy that the state recognizes 1,917 Century Farms — so those started by Black farmers represent less than one-half of 1 percent of the total. In 1910, Black farming peaked in Tennessee, with nearly 11,000 Black farmers, 28 percent of Tennessee’s total, at a time when the state’s population was 21 percent Black. But fueled by violent racial animus, lynching, Jim Crowism, underhanded land dealing and intimidation — coupled with better job prospects in the industrializing North — the Great Migration began with the onset of World War I and continued for the next 65 years. In 1980, Tennessee’s Black population hit its nadir at 15.8 percent, and there were fewer than 2,000 Black farmers. Today, one in six Tennesseans is Black; only one of every 100 Tennessee farmers is — a total of 1,372, according to the latest United States Department of Agriculture figures. The Great Migration, however, tells only part of the story in the decline of Black farming. There is also the noxious history of discrimination by the USDA — one that critics say hasn’t been honestly addressed, despite the Obama administration and thenSecretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack insisting the department had turned a page. But the evidence for this is sketchy. Though the USDA said it was doing a better job addressing discrimination complaints, decades of poor record-keeping make this impossible to verify. The Obama-era USDA foreclosed on Black farmers at a rate six times higher than their white counterparts. Records indicate that USDA officials continued to engage in underreporting acreage and yields from Black farmers on loan applications, a subterfuge that results in lower payouts for Black farmers and one that has been persistent for decades. Even the claims of a renaissance in Black farming is misleading. Vilsack and his underlings were fond of citing the apparent 9 percent increase in Black farmers nationwide shown in the 2012 Census of Agriculture, but subsequent reviews indicate that the number of Black farmers decreased, and the growth shown by the CoA was simply the result of better data-gathering methods. The USDA settled a class-action lawsuit

with Black farmers in 1999. While the nation’s agriculture laws and programs were color-blind, the department relied on countylevel boards to implement those programs, and even in counties with overwhelming Black-majority populations, the boards were often lily-white. On average, it took three times as long for the USDA to process loan applications from Black farmers than it did white farmers, and the department’s Office of Civil Rights essentially did nothing for decades. The settlement is the largest civil rights settlement in American history, with more than $2 billion paid out to Black farmers. The payouts, though, being aimed at existing farmers (the settlement was specifically limited to those discriminated against between 1981 and 1996), did little to attract new Black farmers, who face the same difficulties as anyone else starting out in this tough line of work. An expanding market for locally grown produce, a focus in restaurants on farmer-friendly purchasing and growing concerns about corporate farming is making smaller-scale farming more profitable. But those profits are only available to those with enough capital on the front end to get started, and those with the steely determination to face down the obstacles that farmers have faced for millennia. Farming benefits everyone, but farming isn’t for everyone. The 2017 Census of Agriculture reported the average age of a Black farmer in Tennessee is 62.2 years old, more than four years older than the average farmer in general. There were just 40 Black farmers under the age of 35 in Tennessee in 2017. This points to, ultimately, the extinction of the Black farmer, an outcome Black agricultural leaders have warned about for more than two decades. In other states, Black agriculturalists and activists are working to fend off the demise. Some follow Pap Singleton’s plan of acquiring land for young Black farmers. New York’s Soul Fire Farm has earned national attention through its mix of land acquisition, education and a focus on food sovereignty for communities of color, all wrapped in the language and practice of the Black Liberation movement. There is no moonshot government-spending program or well-meaning activist undertaking that can combat the simple fact that for rural young people of all races, there are more opportunities off the farm than back on it. Still, there are those determined to keep the rich legacy of Black farming alive, be it through keeping those Century Farms vibrant or through turning over the soil for the first time. EMAIL EDITOR@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NOVEMBER 6

TAB BENOIT

& SAMANTHA FISH Limited In-Person / Livestream

NOVEMBER 18

FRIENDSGIVING

with Riley Green, Matt Stell, Laine Hardy, Laci Kaye Booth, Dillon James and Grace Leer

Limited In-Person / Livestream

NOVEMBER 20

JIMMIE ALLEN Limited In-Person / Livestream

NOVEMBER 29 LIVE AT THE OPRY HOUSE

FOR KING & COUNTRY

Limited In-Person / Livestream

DECEMBER 2

CLINT BLACK WITH

LISA HARTMAN BLACK

Limited In-Person / Livestream

DECEMBER 3 & 4

CASTING CROWNS Limited In-Person / Livestream

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— Loretta Lynn From the Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl exhibition book, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn’s influence on country music—and popular music—cannot be overstated. Explore the Museum to learn more about her life, and the history of country music.

DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE Visit CountryMusicHallofFame.org to buy tickets. Photo: from the collection of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com


CRITICS’ PICKS ART

W E E K L Y

R O U N D U P

O F

T H I N G S

T O

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[ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM, LET’S GO BACK TO MY ROOM]

PARTICIPATE IN THE FRIST’S DAY OF ZOOMING

Just when you thought your Zoom fatigue would make your head burst open in a Scanners-style explosion, the Frist comes out with a Thursday full of really worthwhile events on the platform. First up is an educator workshop about exhibiting artist Rina Banerjee at 10 a.m. The session will include a virtual tour of Banerjee’s ambitious multimedia show Make Me a Summary of the World, followed by a live presentation and Q&A with the artist. Follow that with a 1 p.m. educator workshop about the community art exhibit We Count: First-Time Voters. This session will feature a tour of the exhibition and a lesson about the history of the 19th Amendment and its legacy in Tennessee. While you’re at it, why not go all out? Come back at 5:30 p.m. for a talk between one of the artists in We

GARNER BLUE

CEMENT 6

CRAFTY BASTARDS SATURDAY, NOV. 7

“GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY,” RINA BANERJEE

OneC1TY

SHOPPING

LAURA HUTSON HUNTER [SHE’S JUST MY TYPE]

BUY STUFF AT CRAFTY BASTARDS

Finally, an annual event that hasn’t been fucked over by the pandemic! Because the Scene’s Crafty Bastards market takes place outside, organizers have found a way to keep this year’s

BUBO HANDMADE

installment safe for both shoppers and sellers. So on Nov. 7, grab your mask and your wallet, and shop for cool stuff from more than 30 vendors — everything from art and home EDITOR’S NOTE: AS A RESPONSE TO THE goods to clothing and jewelry. ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, A few shops I’m especially WE’VE CHANGED THE FOCUS OF excited to check out include THE CRITICS’ PICKS SECTION TO Sacred Harvest Co., which INCLUDE ACTIVITIES YOU CAN PARTAKE IN WHILE YOU’RE AT offers a variety of lowHOME. maintenance terrariums (the perfect pandemic pal if you want

JANUARY MOON to spruce up your space without committing to keeping a plant alive); Quarter Spring Farm, which has an array of bath and body products (for my once-a-week shower); and nb goods, a local shop that makes a line of inspirational felt pennants and cute tote bags. (The RBG design is especially enticing.) It’s free to browse, so even if you’re not in the market for some gifts, you could always just spend an hour or so appreciating the opportunity to shop without using the internet. Visit craftybastards.com

for more event info. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at OneC1TY, 8 City Blvd. MEGAN SELING MUSIC

Count, Thaxton Waters II, and the Frist’s engagement director Shaun Giles. The diptych Waters created for the exhibit, “Women Bear Armies but Still …” is a highlight of We Count, and hearing him speak about its inspiration in conversations he had with North Nashville residents will likely be a smart and nuanced departure from the typical political arguments. Visit fristartmuseum.org to register.

[PLEASE SEND FOR ME]

GET INTO PAUL BURCH

Paul Burch is a musical Renaissance man — a singer, songwriter, multiinstrumentalist, producer-engineer, radio host and filmmaker — who’s been in Nashville for around a quarter-century and has become deeply woven into the fabric of Music City. With a revolving cast

nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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STREAM MIRROR HOUSE NOV. 11

At the beginning of 2020, local writing center The Porch launched Mirror House, a new music and art showcase taking place every month at Tempo. But then, well ... you know. The pandemic hasn’t stopped the series though — every month, organizers showcase local musicians and writers via Zoom. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re feeling video-meeting fatigue. In May, Mirror House honored the work of John Prine, August’s edition featured a performance from the experimental soundscape artist Abstract Black, and September included a reading from National Poetry Series finalist Meg Wade. November will be memorable too, with readings from Ashleigh Bryant Phillips and Justin Taylor, and musical performances by Cassie Berman of Silver Jews and local folk hero Erin Rae. While the event is free to attend, The Porch encourages a $10 donation. Tickets can be reserved at porchtn.org. Follow Mirror House on Instagram (@ mirrorhousenashville) so you don’t miss future shows. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, via porchtn.org MEGAN SELING [PDA FOR PTA]

READ PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON: MASTERWORKS

With the Oct. 20 release of Paul Thomas

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[DIRECT SUPPORT]

OPEN YOUR WALLET ON BANDCAMP FRIDAY

Whatever the music landscape looks like on the other side of COVID, Bandcamp will definitely be a big part of it. With its clean, ad-free design and pioneering virtual merch-table aspect, Bandcamp has been the streaming platform of choice among independent musicians and adventurous listeners since the early 2010s. When live music ground to a halt in March, the Oakland, Calif.-headquartered company doubled down on its commitment to artists over algorithms with the first Bandcamp Friday. It’s now a regular tradition during which, for 24 hours on the first Friday of each month, the site waives its typical 10-15 percent cut — that means artists and labels take home 100 percent of proceeds. With the holidays right around the corner, you can get a jump on gift-giving for friends and show your support for the musicians whose work you love. Any “quarantine album” that’s been recorded since March is almost guaranteed to be on Bandcamp, but there are also caches of old favorites — the legendary Chicago punk label Touch & Go, for example, uploaded its entire catalog (which includes Slint’s Spiderland and the Jesus Lizard’s Goat) to the site last month. If

FILM

you don’t know where to start, just go to the landing page at bandcamp.com and find a rabbit hole to go down. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN [GIVE THANKS TO T. HANKS]

BUILD YOUR OWN THANKSGIVING MOVIE FILM FESTIVAL

John Hughes’ filmography is a great place to start when building your own Thanksgiving film festival from home. Start with a double feature of his “holiday road trips gone awry” flicks. Start with the 1987 Steve Martin and John Candy comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles (free with an HBO Max subscription) and follow that up with Dutch (on HBO Go), the 1991 film starring Ed O’Neill and a 12-year-old Ethan Embry. If holiday-specific films aren’t your jam, how about a collection of documentaries about people you’re thankful for? Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the Mister Rogers documentary, is streaming on Peacock. RBG, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, is streaming on Hulu. Becoming, which follows Michelle Obama during her book tour, is on Netflix. Want to get weird? Watch Thankskilling (free on Amazon Prime) and Thankskilling 3 (available for rent most places) — low-budget straightto-DVD horror movies about a homicidal turkey. Nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like boobs, bad jokes, puppets and fake blood. MEGAN SELING THEATER

[MIRROR, MIRROR]

Anderson: Masterworks, Toronto film writer Adam Nayman (best known for bringing respectability to a much-maligned flop with his book It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls) continues his streak as the Matt Zoller Seitz of the Great White North. Just as he did with his 2018 book The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, Nayman comes up with a unique take on the director and his filmography. Instead of examining Anderson’s films chronologically in terms of release, Nayman lines up the films in order of when they took place, laying out how these films (with the exception of his U.K.based Phantom Thread) mostly serve as an alternate history of dreamers, misfits and outcasts who are trying to make something of themselves in California — basically, people like Anderson. Also included are essays on the movies that inspired Anderson and interviews with Anderson’s collaborators, such as cinematographer Robert Elswit, composer Jonny Greenwood and Phantom Thread co-star Vicky Krieps. Buy it via Parnassus Books. CRAIG D. LINDSEY MUSIC

of phenomenal musicians called The WPA Ballclub, Burch makes music that draws on old-school country, string-band music, different strains of blues, R&B, early rock ’n’ roll, English folk music, hot jazz and more. The group always bends those sounds to their own purposes. Like many of the best songsmiths, Burch isn’t one for rarified language, even when discussing the complex lives of brilliant literary figures on his recent full-length Light Sensitive (which we crowned Best Literary Album in this year’s Best of Nashville issue) or reimagining the life of country legend Jimmie Rodgers on 2016’s Meridian Rising. But his words always tell you something profound about living in our world. Sometimes, he doesn’t even have to use words — see Origins of Departure, The WPA Ballclub’s new collection of instrumentals. While in-person performances remain a rare and tenuous thing during the pandemic, it’s a great time to take a dive into Burch’s catalog via your favorite local record store, his website or Bandcamp. Newly added to Burch’s Bandcamp profile are three great albums: 2009’s superb Still Your Man, 2000’s Blue Notes (with appearances from revered songwriter Tom House, members of Lambchop and more) and Words of Love, a 2011 collection of lovingly rendered Buddy Holly classics. STEPHEN TRAGESER

BOOKS/MUSIC

PAUL BURCH

BOOKS

PHOTO: CATIE BAUMER SCHWALB

CRITICS’ PICKS

[IT’S ALL ABOUT MEE]

STREAM CHARLES L. MEE’S UTOPIA VIA CUTTING BALL THEATER

Obie Award-winning playwright Charles L. Mee (Big Love; Orestes 2.0) has never been one for conventional form. Working under the belief that there is “no such thing as an original play,” Mee put all of his work on the internet nearly 30 years ago — making it free and available to anyone wanting to download or adapt it. And perhaps it’s that sense of openness and creative freedom that makes Mee uniquely qualified to create work in this strange COVID season. Cutting Ball Theater is currently streaming the virtual world premiere of Mee’s new play Utopia, which “envisions the world as it could be through the eyes of 9-year-old girl, peoplewatching in a cafe, munching on croissants and wrestling with the question: ‘How do you make a life?’ ” As always, Mee’s playful multidisciplinary approach blends story, dance, fantastical design and even

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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CRITICS’ PICKS

TAKE A WEATHER CLASS

VIDEO

Years ago, there was a Celtic band that showed up at more local craft fairs and town festivals than the frozen lemonade people. They were called Nashville Weather because their lineup was so changeable. It’s a good band name, honestly — even if the joke behind it is a little hacky. Dads in pretty much every city make the same crack: “Don’t like the weather? Just wait five minutes.” Well, they probably don’t tell that joke in San Diego, home of the world’s most consistent weather. (I always thought it was a subtly funny bit that Brick Tamblin, Steve Carrell’s dim-witted character in Anchorman, was a San Diego weatherman — any idiot can forecast “High of 85, low of 68 and sunny” every day.) Anyway, the weather, like the tax code and the continued popularity of noise music in Murfreesboro, is something that most people hardly understand and few can do anything about, but that everyone has to deal with. If, however, you do want to understand the complex stew that is our atmosphere — or if you’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who casually uses the word “derecho” and pedantically points out that “it’s not the heat or the humidity, y’know, it’s the dew point” — the local office of the National Weather Service is here for you. For the next two months, the meteorologists out in Old Hickory are offering a smorgasbord of online classes via GoToMeeting on everything from the basics of weather to thunderstorms, wind, quasiconvective linear systems (whatever that is) and the North American monsoon. And, yes, in December they’ll teach you about forecasting winter weather. The one-hour classes are free, but advance registration is required and available at the local office’s website nws.gov/ohx, which includes a list of classes and times. J.R. LIND [THE CAR’S THE STAR]

FOLLOW CAR-CENTRIC CHANNELS ON YOUTUBE

In the wilderness of YouTube, there are channels for all kinds of motorsports (like VHS Rallies, covering my favorite kind of racing) and strictly about fixing things with motors (see meditative long-form videos from New England’s Mustie1 of bringing dead Volkswagens, snow blowers, etc., back to life) or modifying them (see Australia’s massively entertaining Mighty Car Mods). My favorites, though, are the ones that give you a window into humans’ relationship with transportation by focusing on garden-variety family cars. There is a lot of diversity there, since there is a kaleidoscopic array of families, and their needs are always evolving. Maryland Public Television’s MotorWeek is currently in its 40th season of evaluating the practicality and value-for-money of new cars in the U.S. marketplace. In addition to reviews from recent broadcasts, their channel offers a newly unearthed Retro Review archival clip each Thursday. Over in the U.K., HubNut and I Drive a Classic feature thorough,

ART

[WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY]

contemporary reviews of British, European and Japanese cars, mostly from the 1970s through the 1990s. In HubNut’s case, there’s a decent amount of tinkering with vehicles in the presenter’s personal fleet, while I Drive a Classic features interviews with many featured cars’ owners — both do their best to offer an in-depth look at what it’s like to live with these older vehicles. As recordbreaking hurricane and wildfire seasons remind us, we’ve got to rethink how we get around. (See the electric vehicle showcase Fully Charged for more on that.) Getting a look at how designers and corporations have responded to those needs in the past is as easy as opening up one of these channels. Plus, you’ll get some background information that’ll make your next trip to Nashville’s own Lane Motor Museum even more enjoyable. STEPHEN TRAGESER [ON REFLECTION]

MAKE HOMEMADE GIFTS INSPIRED BY QUARANTINE

In late March, Bluff City photographer Jamie Harmon made headlines with his evocative portraits of Memphians across different social strata posing in their homes, collected as a series titled Quarantine Memphis. Now that we’re eight months into coronatimes, I’m sure you’ve documented some of your own quarantine experience, consciously or not — pictures of your workspace, your garden, your family, your pets; great recipes you’ve written down. We’re all worn down by the Groundhog Day-ness of it all, but no two people’s environments, routines or activities are the same. The holidays are mere weeks away, so how about a DIY cookbook or calendar, or even just some handwritten letters to family and friends you miss? Not to be Pollyannaish about this fiasco of a year, but the prolonged collective trauma and isolation has no doubt given us insights worth sharing on what we need, what we don’t, how to and how not to be. (A freak kitchen accident in May taught me this one: Slowing down prevents careless errors.) CHARLIE ZAILLIAN FILM

EDUCATION

animation into a “poetic and genre-defying dreamscape.” Utopia is available through Nov. 15 via Cutting Ball Theater’s Vimeo page. Visit cuttingball.com for complete details. AMY STUMPFL

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WATCH DIVA ON BLU-RAY

French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix once told me in an interview how his own homeland audience wasn’t feeling his debut 1981 movie Diva: “The film was taken out from theaters after two weeks, and remained in a single theater for one year. At that time, I thought I had made two films for the price of one: my first and my last.” As the 40th anniversary of the film’s release approaches, this ultra-stylish tale (based on a novel by Daniel Odier, aka Delacorta) of a postman (Frederic Andrei) getting wrapped up in murder and intrigue — while also trying to romance a famed opera singer (American soprano Wilhelmenia Fernandez) — has since become an acclaimed cult classic, virtually ushering in the late 20th century’s cinema du look wave of French filmmakers like Luc Besson and Leos Carax. You can stream the movie on YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc., but Kino Lorber Studio Classics has recently dropped a splendid Blu-ray ($29.95) that includes a bounty of interviews, a scene-specific audio commentary from Beineix and an audio commentary from critic and former Scene contributor Simon Abrams. CRAIG D. LINDSEY

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FOOD AND DRINK

SEARCHING FOR KABABAYAN IN NASHVILLE A Filipino American’s journey to find home in the South

D

ude, where are all the Filipinos? In July, my husband Darren and I decided to take the leap and move to Nashville from Washington, D.C., where we’d been living for more than a decade. And the above question was the first one that popped into my head. In D.C., I had a circle of kababayan — Tagalog for “fellow countrymen.” I was a member of the Young Filipino Professionals Club, hosted Filipino dinner parties at my house and formed a potluck group with Filipino colleagues at the office. Those events had become such an important part of my identity as a Filipino Egyptian American, and a lifeline to my family in Southern California. I didn’t want to lose that part of myself. So I was determined to find the Filipino community in Nashville. I was skeptical at first. Darren’s family is from Brentwood, and in the past decade of visiting the area I didn’t encounter any Filipinos — or many Asians, for that matter — and I certainly didn’t see any Filipino restaurants and businesses. But I knew this couldn’t be true. There are roughly 4 million Filipinos in the United States. Surely there would be some in the city. I just needed to look deeper. My journey to find my Nashville kababayan started with a phone call a few months before we moved in September. I rang up my friend Stephie Goings. Stephie is a fellow Filipina, and we went to high school together — she came to Nashville a few years ago to start a career as a professional drummer. Stephie gave me the lay of the land. There’s a small group of Filipinos here, she told me, inviting me to a private Facebook group of two dozen Filipinos in the city. There were even a few places where I could get Filipino food, she said: Maemax, a Filipino grocery store and restaurant in La Vergne; Ate’s Filipino Kitchen, a pop-up serving favorites like lumpia, pancit bihon and Filipino barbecue; Pandesal TN, which delivers homemade Filipino sweet bread and ube rolls. I made a note to check out these places when I arrived in September. Still, Stephie was the only Filipino I knew in town. Could I meet others? I sent out a tweet in the hope for more leads: “desperately seeking filipino and arab friends ... POC-friendly resto recommendations welcome, too <3 who should i connect to?” I was overwhelmed by the response — 100 replies! Along with suggestions of where to get good banh mi, boba and Thai curry, I learned of K&S World Market, a supermarket with Filipino, Asian and other international ingredients; Sunda, a high-end Asian restaurant that offers a $120 kamayan dinner, a traditional Filipino feast of grilled meats and rice served atop banana leaves

and eaten with bare hands; and Kapu Haole, a Hawaiian pop-up out of Babo Korean Bar that sells updated Filipino classics like pork belly adobo and vegan pancit. I also heard from Nashville Filipinos across social media: “Filipino filmmaker here!” “My family is moving there soon, would love to connect!” “You should meet my friend, she’s Filipino, too!” By the end of the day I knew enough Filipinos to invite to a socially distant potluck at my new house in East Nashville. When the event finally happened in September, we took turns piling paper plates with homemade items — sinigang, a tamarind pork soup; afritada, braised chicken in tomato sauce; fried fish; sauteed vegetables in coconut milk; all kinds of Filipino desserts. We chowed down while six feet apart. Meanwhile, I wanted to know more about the city’s Filipinos. I paid a visit to Maemax to speak with Chriss Goyenechea, who runs the grocery with his wife Malo. He’s been living in Tennessee for two decades. On a screen behind him is a ticker of how many days the store had been running — three years, Goyenechea says proudly. “Before we started Maemax we thought we knew all the Filipinos in the area,” he says. “But after we opened, people we’d never seen just started showing up, eating our food and sharing their own stories, saying ‘this tastes just like how my lola cooked it.’ ” (“Lola” is Tagalog for grandmother.) According to 2018 census data, there are a little more than a thousand Filipinos living in Davidson County. That’s not many compared to the nearly half a million Filipinos in Los Angeles, where I grew up. That’s part of the reason why Joseph Gutierrez, a 33-year-old Filipino American from Southern California, started API Middle Tennessee last year. The nonprofit aims to bring Asian and Pacific Islanders in the area together, hosting cultural events, getting people to vote and keeping a local directory of Asian businesses. So far, the group has roughly 60 active members — mostly millennials who moved to the city for work. “After six years of living in the American South, I didn’t find space,” Gutierrez says. “I just realized that if I was going to live here, I better plant roots and build my own community.” Filipina American Sophia Agtarap started her pop-up Ate’s Filipino Kitchen for similar reasons. It was her way of “gathering Filipinos because I wasn’t seeing much of it when I moved here from Seattle in 2012.” While Agtarap feels there’s momentum around creating a strong Filipino network in Nashville, she says there’s an opportunity to do more — and people are eager to get involved. At her pop-ups, she says, she sometimes pulls Filipinos aside and asks whether they’d be interested in collaborating on cultural events. “The answer has always been yes,” Agtarap says. Lorna Young is the Filipina American author of International Flavors: Ethnic and

ILLUSTRATION: MALAKA GHARIB

BY MALAKA GHARIB

“BUT AFTER WE OPENED, PEOPLE WE’D NEVER SEEN JUST STARTED SHOWING UP, EATING OUR FOOD AND SHARING THEIR OWN STORIES, SAYING ‘THIS TASTES JUST LIKE HOW MY LOLA COOKED IT.’ ” — CHRISS GOYENECHEA, MAEMAX MARKET American Favorites, a cookbook of Filipino and Southern dishes. For her, things have changed a lot since she moved to Nashville in 1993. On the phone, I was charmed by Young’s Tagalog-Southern accent — I had never heard anything like it. “When I came, it was a little rough for me,” she says. “People often looked at me like I was an alien.” She didn’t meet another Filipino until a year after she arrived — at the city’s only Asian supermarket downtown. But over the decades, immigrants started moving in — and finally, in the past 15 years came an influx of Filipinos. Young began

meeting them at church, started organizing Filipino Christmas parties and eventually became the treasurer of the Filipino American Association of Tennessee. Young’s story was so similar to those of the half-dozen people I interviewed for this piece: They moved to town, connected with other Filipinos and made community. I understand the message they’re trying to tell me. They did it, and I would, too. Like all the Filipinos who came to Nashville before me, I’d soon find my own circle of kababayan — and with that, a little home for myself in the South. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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VODKA YONIC

TALKING POINTS On the eeriness of watching The West Wing for the first time in 2020

Vodka Yonic PRESENTED BY

SHAG PRO VO C ATIVE T E XT IL E S

OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 29, 2020 509 THIRD AVE. S., NASHVILLE CURATED BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

E LI JAH B UR G HER J E SSI C A C A M PB EL L

S O P H I A N A R R E TT K ATA R I N A R I E S I N G

E LI SE DR A KE

E R I N M . R I LE Y

ADAMA DEL PHINE FAWUNDU

S A L S A LA N D R A

ALI C I A HENRY SH AN NON C A RT IER LUCY

LI N N E A S J Ö B E R G C H I F F O N TH O M A S VA D I S TU R N E R

SHAGARTSHOW.COM “RED LACE,” KATARINA RIESING (COURTESY OF ASYA GEISBERG GALLERY)

20

BY MARY SIROKY Vodka Yonic features a rotating cast of women and nonbinary writers from around the world sharing stories that are alternately humorous, sobering, intellectual, erotic, religious or painfully personal. You never know what you’ll find here each week, but we hope this potent mix of stories encourages conversation.

I

didn’t expect the highlight of my year to be watching Netflix with my mother, but here we are. As is the case for so many other millennials, 2020 has not proceeded according to my plan. I’ve spent more time with my family over the past few months than I have over the past few years combined. I live exactly 966 miles from my parents, but the transition to remote work has allowed for multiple extended visits over the course of the year. My mother and I consume media very differently — she usually can’t be bothered to learn about pop culture, and it’s a battle getting her to sit through an entire movie, while I tend to rattle on about the Academy Awards and Billboard charts to anyone who’ll listen. But the Venn diagram for a piece of media able to capture our mutual attention happened to overlap with Aaron Sorkin’s seminal political series The West Wing. It’s a show that neither of us had seen before — and by the time we made it to the show’s first iconic “walk and talk,” we were both hooked. At first it was fun to laugh at the pagers, nod in approval of Rob Lowe’s apparent refusal to age since the show first aired in 1999, and get swept away by Sorkin’s trademark rapid-fire dialogue and endless shots. But toward the end of the pilot episode, Martin Sheen’s President Josiah Bartlet finally appeared with a clap of thunder — and my heart began to ache. My mother and I sat in silence watching this fictional president speak to his staff thoughtfully, with dignity, conviction and grace, and neither of us had to vocalize what we were both thinking. We certainly weren’t the only ones to dive into The West Wing as a quarantine watch, and many have already touched on the strange experience of watching this show in 2020. It’s both painful and hopeful seeing the people in the White House depicted as individuals who genuinely care for the American people and believe in the initiatives they are working to execute. (Allison Janney’s C.J. Cregg, White House press secretary, is genuinely beloved and respected by the press!) The general consensus has been that so much has changed in the past 20 years — what a sharp departure we’ve made from the civility and nuance depicted in the show. What my mother and I were struck by as the episodes rolled on, though, was in fact the opposite —

how frustratingly little has changed. In the fifth episode of the first season, Bradley Whitford’s Josh Lyman has a brief moment of panic while in conversation with Janney’s Cregg about — what else — fear of an uncontainable, viral pandemic. “You get it, you carry a 10-foot cloud around with you — one in three people die,” he says, hardly taking a breath. “If 100 people in New York City got it, you’d have to encircle them with 100 million vaccinated people to contain it.” I glanced across the room to see my mother’s expression mirroring mine, slackjawed and wide-eyed. Josh Lyman’s worst nightmare has come true. Here in 2020, though, we don’t have President Bartlet to lead the way. The following episode featured Whitford’s Lyman complaining about the inefficiency of the United States census. That very afternoon, a masked government employee had knocked on our door to speak with my parents, despite the fact that they had already filled out and returned their census. The narrative throughout the first season of the show rings particularly, painfully true for us in another way — when the Bartlet administration works to combat gun violence. My parents still live in Newtown, Conn. — my hometown. I was home for the holidays on Dec. 14, 2012, when my dear friend’s next-door neighbor brought a gun to the elementary school across town and stopped the country in its tracks by taking the lives of 20 children and six educators. President Obama came to my hometown and stood on the stage where my little sister was set to perform in the spring musical, and he promised change. Congress promised change. Eight years later, that change has still not come. The issues President Bartlet and his team discuss in that first season in 1999 are worse than ever today, and every piece of fictionalized legislation passed, every impassioned speech, only serve as painful reminders of that. Despite the setbacks, the characters on The West Wing always return for another fight, each consumed by the desire to execute their jobs as well as humanly possible. Sometimes they seem superhuman — one step ahead, maintaining a steely composure in the face of defeat. In one scene, President Bartlet encourages his staff with the line, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful individuals can change the world.” That might seem like an idealistic idea at first, but if we hope to watch this show another 20 years from now without feeling like we are in exactly the same place — or worse off — we need such thoughtful individuals more than ever before. Walk with me — we’ve got some work to do. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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THREESOME

that could have been placed on me by selfpublishing — by shaming myself, basically.

Three Shag artists on eroticism, textiles and contemporary art

Interesting. I didn’t realize that you were taking the photos, and that the self-portrait was a picture that you had already taken. All my selfie work

BY LAURA HUTSON HUNTER

has only been [based on images] that I’ve taken for partners, and it had to have been sent. It had to have been engaged with in a real manner. That was sort of my activation process. These are images that I’ve taken for someone, they’ve been sent, and they exist in ephemera on someone’s phone or email or whatever, and then I’m subsequently weaving them to make them real, like a marker of time.

W

ith Shag, the second exhibition in the Scene’s Adult Contemporary series, we’re focusing exclusively on themes of sexuality via textile-based artworks. While that SHAG: PROVOCATIVE TEXTILES might seem like a THROUGH NOV. 29 AT 509 fairly specific vision, THIRD AVE. S. there’s more room SHAGARTSHOW.COM for variety than you’d expect. The show includes 24 artworks by 13 artists whose ages range from early 20s to mid-80s. They’re from cities including Nashville, New York and Berlin. Below we offer excerpts from interviews with three of the exhibiting artists. Erin M. Riley uses traditional weaving techniques to re-create sexy selfies. Adama Delphine Fawundu photographs her own body and superimposes her grandmother’s batik textiles over it. And Katarina Riesing takes the embroidery skills she learned from her mother and subverts the craft completely.

ERIN M. RILEY

The whole idea behind Shag was to highlight textile-based work and fiber-based work that has some sort of sexual slant. I would love for you to be able to speak about your interest in erotic ideas seen through the lens of textile. For the most

ERIN M. RILEY’S WORK APPEARS COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND P.P.O.W.; KATARINA RIESING’S ARTWORK APPEARS COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND ASYA GEISBERG GALLERY PHOTO: DANIEL MEIGS

part, I don’t really think about my work as erotic. For me, it’s less about inspiring or arousing the viewer, and more about empowering the person. A lot of my work is image-based — like the one in the show that’s a self-portrait that’s just my figure. That one was from a series based on images I had taken for somebody, and at the time it felt imperative to sort of claim the face of sexting, almost as a counterpoint to revenge porn. So it was like, rather than have an intimate relationship with somebody via images and then have the weight of those images existing — like, what if those are found? So I was trying to remove any sort of shame

DETAIL OF ADAMA DELPHINE FAWUNDU’S “BODY VERNACULAR #3”

ADAMA DELPHINE FAWUNDU’S WORK APPEARS COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND HESSE FLATOW GALLERY

ART

That’s really cool. It’s like the artwork is not a portrait of you. It’s a portrait of a photograph of you. Right. There is this multilayered specificity that somebody engaging with it might not know.

I love the way that there are these beautiful flourishes, but then sometimes you can see there’s cheap fluorescent lights in the ceiling. It’s like a prettified technique, but the selfie — even though it’s a beautiful body — the photograph itself is not great. It’s not like you’re weaving Annie Leibovitz or something, you know? Right, right. Like it’s one of many. And I think that’s also sort of this idea of sexting. Especially nowadays, people want more and more and more. And so there is a level of quality that you want to put into the picture, but when there is a demand, that’s often when bad composition will slip through the cracks.

ADAMA DELPHINE FAWUNDU

There are three photographs from your Body Vernacular series in Shag — two where you’re sort of crouched, and then one where you’re standing up with your fist in the air. That one looks really different when it’s printed, just because the detail of the fabric is so magnified, the texture is so nice. Thank you. I like to think about what textures you want to touch and what is desirable to touch. Because when you look at it outside of the context of the actual body in the photo, you might wonder whether the image is a textile or a print. And your first instinct will be to touch it. So I think about touching in terms of eroticism, but also this idea of the person having power over how the body is touched. Having agency over those things, because most of the time in our society, when we see a woman’s body, the first notion is to project our ideas onto it.

And I want to interrupt all that.

Your work is the only photography that’s in the show, but it’s almost the best example of pure textile. Even though they’re photographs, it’s such a perfect fit. How did you get the fabrics to look so detailed? There’s this whole process that I go through — scanning material, Photoshopping, screen printing. My process is all about layering, and I really want to feel like I’m literally touching this thing. But also, questioning how this image was created is in itself a part of the process. I want the viewer to question how these were made, what can I touch, what can’t I? Because I think all these questions really mimic what happens inside when we form ideas around people. And I think that’s interesting in the erotic space — about how things could be when you query into them versus when you just go in knowing everything already.

Where do you source your textiles? Some of them look less like fabric and more like paintedon designs. The batik fabrics are from my grandmother’s fabric collection. One way I was able to communicate with my grandma, who lived in Sierra Leone, was through these fabrics. They would hand-dye them themselves, and then send them as gifts with someone who was coming from Sierra Leone. So I have a collection of these fabrics. And I have a collection of fabrics that I get when I travel — particularly in West Africa, through stamping, and batiking, and tie-dying. So I just took those and then thought about what it means to embody these things. When you transport yourself to a new place, you become this hybrid with a foundation of knowledge that you have from your ancestry.

I was just reading something about this — I’d never heard the term “third culture” before, but it’s exactly what you’re talking about. Third-culture kids are children of immigrants from one nation or one country who are creating a new sort of a hybrid culture. I’ve never heard of that, but that’s me. And if we think about hybridity as a progressive way to be, we elevate those things and recognize that cultural hybridity means working together to create something new, rather than creating a hierarchy that suppresses one and gives another more relevance. These things play hand in hand, and they work together to make new ideas. FROM LEFT: INSTALLATION SHOT OF ERIN M. RILEY’S “SELF PORTRAIT 3” AND KATARINA RIESING’S “HUG”

KATARINA RIESING

Shag is a show that represents different textilebased artworks that are connected to the body,

sexuality, erotic ideas. And I feel like I know what I think about those connections, but I would love to have your words, to be able to tell people what you think those connections are. I’ve always been interested in the figure. I took a silk-painting class at [Fashion Institute of Technology], and everyone else in the class was making work for more of a commercial setting — there were a lot of florals and geometric patterns. And I love being the asshole in the class. So I was like, “I’m going to do something totally different that you would never see on a silk scarf.” I started doing severed body parts and severed fingers and fingernail clipping. Gross things that you wouldn’t necessarily see on surface design. And then I was like, “Oh, I love it — this silk looks like skin.”

There’s something that is so delicate and precious about the work and the way that it’s layered, that you layer the embroidery on top of the silk drawings or silk paintings. Is it all by hand? It’s all by hand.

How did you learn how to do that? My mother [Marcia Goldenstein] is like a master embroiderer. Oh, that comes in handy. Yeah, she’s amazing. And she’s been embroidering for as long as I can remember. I learned not too long ago, actually — it was when I first got my job out here [in Alfred, New York]. I was very isolated, and I didn’t know anyone. And in the winter, you just don’t leave the house. I was home for Christmas, I think, and I was like, “Marcia, teach me! Teach me your skills.” So I just watched her, and over the winter, I just practiced. Then I also embroider clothing for fun, and so a lot of my practice was on denim shirts and jackets. And then I started bringing it into the paintings. So you grew up with this mother who was a master embroiderer, and you didn’t do it until you were out of the house. Yeah, I resisted. For a long time.

I mean, I get it. You don’t want to do your mom’s thing, right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But it’s cool that you’re doing it in this erotic, provocative way. It’s almost like you’re still rebelling a little bit. I feel that resistance to the traditional technique, even as you embrace it. Totally. I love that subversion. Being subversive with the materials and letting them do something that we’re not used to, or playing in territories that they’re not maybe meant for, or traditionally meant for — it’s exciting. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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BOOKS

HYMNS AND CURSES Ashleigh Bryant Phillips weaves a transcendent tapestry of stories in Sleepovers BY LAUREN TURNER

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shleigh Bryant Phillips’ debut story collection, Sleepovers, is set in the rural northeast corner of North Carolina where she was born and raised. Her characters display plainspoken charm and a desperate sense of longing, their Southern dialect peppered with sudden poetic turns. Phillips welcomes readers into these stories by weaving details about the place with deep empathy for the people who inhabit it. Throughout the collection, characters desire connection and intimacy but are thwarted by the rough-edged realities of working-class rural life. In “Shania,” a little girl who says “she was named after the sexiest country music star alive” teaches the unnamed narrator how to rain dance after they become blood SLEEPOVERS BY ASHLEIGH BRYANT PHILLIPS HUB CITY PRESS 193 PAGES, $16.95 PHILLIPS WILL APPEAR AT A VIRTUAL EVENT 7 P.M. WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11, VIA THE PORCH WRITERS’ COLLECTIVE sisters. Upon learning about the domestic abuse occurring in Shania’s home, the narrator wants to tape notes to the seat of the swing in her front yard: “I think that’ll be a good place for her to find them. I want to tell her it’s gonna be okay. And we’ll keep telling each other things like that. But what happens is I never end up leaving her any notes. We go to different schools.” In “An Unspoken,” Hal and Clara live next door to a troubled young man, Corey, and attempt to help raise him by offering meals and fussing over his dog. The permeating loss of their own 8-month-old baby haunts their lives and relationship, and their parental concerns for Corey stem from their grief. After Clara witnesses a troubling incident in Corey’s backyard, the story concludes on her church pew where she offers an anonymous prayer request — “a rare request, reserved for those who were brave enough to ask for prayers about the unspeakable.” Phillips’ characters have rich interior lives that don’t always translate gracefully into their communities. Several stories in Sleepovers feature characters who aren’t from the small town or who return to it and struggle to live in its scrappy constellation of Duck Thru gas stations and dollar stores. The title character in “The Truth About Miss Katie” is an art teacher, described by the unnamed child narrator as smart, pretty and affirming of her burgeoning artistic

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eye. Miss Katie soothes the narrator when she gets her period and offers her sanitary pads from a cache in her desk (which also hosts a papier-mâché sculpture of Miss Katie’s boobs). One day, the narrator eavesdrops as her teacher speaks to a friend on the phone and reveals how she genuinely feels about the town, the school and a 7Up cake that her adoring student particularly loves. “I can’t believe she said that,” the narrator says. “I mean she told us that she loved the 7Up cake. And it really is so good. We never get it except only on special occasions when Sammy’s mama makes it.” Miss Katie’s place in the narrator’s heart is immediately compromised. In “The Hunting Lodge,” a college student named Joyner Lee returns to her hometown after graduation and struggles to find work or connection: “[It] was really hard for her to talk to her family about all the things she missed back in the city, all the things she had seen. She had one aunt who read Amish Christian romance novels. And everyone she knew went to church.” Her cousin offers her a part-time job cleaning his hunting lodge between hunters. She spends the rest of her time messaging with a writer she meets on Instagram. The writer, Sam, lives in Nashville, loves turkeys and promises to visit her soon. Joyner Lee works hard, motivated by the thought of one day being with Sam, perhaps even traveling to Paris with him. She was squirting windex into mounted buck eyes and drying dishes. She was taking out the trash… Every day he worked on a novel and she immediately read any of it he sent to her… Sentences that looped upon each other again and again like a big spiritual circle she didn’t understand. Sam asked her if she believed in quantum entanglement. He believed they were connected. In time, though, Sam and Joyner Lee’s “connection” is tested, not due to any one incident but through slow revelation. Phillips’ characters simultaneously see through facades and create them, sing hymns and curse freely. They are disarmingly honest and hopeful, intelligent in ways that can’t be taught and bound to one another by blood and proximity. Called “incantatory” by Lauren Groff, who judged it as the winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, Sleepovers is a transcendent tapestry of stories. For more local book coverage, please visit Chapter16.org, an online publication of Humanities Tennessee. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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11/2/20 4:11 PM


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MUSIC

TIME IS RIPE Inventive Nashville R&B group Autumn plans a return BY RON WYNN

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ans of early-’80s soul and funk fondly remember the Nashville group Autumn, even though they never enjoyed the national stardom they seemed destined to achieve. Their collective sound was eclectic and imaginative, merging elements of everything from vintage R&B and gospel-tinged soul to funk — even rock and classical — with improvisational flamboyance. Autumn could easily shift from rhythmically frenetic, exciting and intense numbers to soothing, entrancing ballads. They had both a commercially viable and distinctively personal sound, one that reflected a Nashville R&B-soul-funk community that was then absorbSEEK OUT AUTUMN’S ing musical styles MUSIC AT YOUR FAVORITE from other regions, LOCAL RECORD STORE yet still boasted its own special edge. Autumn’s core members initially came together as students, forming a fast friendship that convinced them they could create something musically unique thanks in part to their diverse backgrounds. “We met while attending Fisk University in the late ’70s,” lead vocalist Darryl Jones remembers, speaking with the Scene via Zoom. “We were friends first, with a few of us in several other bands at first. We all came from different music experiences that spanned across genres such as classical, jazz, gospel, funk, rock and R&B. Then we started writing original music together in 1980 in the summer at Fisk. We began making demos in 1981, ’82, once we developed our own style and sound.” The original lineup also included keyboardist Geo Cooper, vocalist Randy Smith and guitarist Van Bradshaw. They became enormously popular as a local and regional attraction, frequently playing at Music City clubs and demonstrating enough promise to eventually attract label attention. The group seemed poised to break out when their album Arrival was released in 1984 on Compleat Records, a Nashville label that also released music by disco legend Bohannon and country singer Vern Gosdin. But neither “Computer Touch” nor “Creepin’ (Ah-Ah There You Go),” Autumn’s two singles from Arrival, hit big. A personal favorite is their last single on Compleat, a ballad called “In Time (You’ll Be My Love),” which was released to little fanfare in 1985. “We felt like we were really going to accomplish some great things,” says Cooper in an email. “However, we never did really see any of that money we were expecting, and we weren’t that happy about the promotion that we were getting.” The band attracted some outstanding members who would later become bigger stars after departing the group, like vocalist Gary Jenkins. Unfortunately, Autumn never made that final step from area popularity to a consistent national presence. Still, the band had a big-time supporter in songwriter Skip Scarborough, who wrote

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for such artists as L.T.D. and Earth, Wind & Fire. He also co-wrote Anita Baker’s 1988 “Giving You the Best That I Got,” which won the Grammy for Best R&B Song. Scarborough, who died in 2003, urged Autumn to hang in despite the turbulence of the music business. Since Earth, Wind & Fire was a huge influence on Autumn, they were thrilled to have Scarborough in their corner. “Skip was always encouraging us,” Jones says. “He thought we had a good sound and some potentially good songs. We really didn’t pursue things with him the way that we should have, and at one point we ended up having a major dispute with him. We later made up with him. … When we look back on that — well, sometimes you have those differences. We were thrilled when he won that Grammy, and our time around him is something we’ll never forget.” Autumn cut “Kold Krush,” the instrumental theme from the 1985 film Krush Groove, a comedy-drama about the music business starring Sheila E., Run-D.M.C., L.L. Cool J and other rising stars. They also recorded some sessions for Capitol Records in 1989, but no tracks were released. Today, Arrival and the band’s ’80s singles have enjoyed renewed interest, thanks to the current popularity of classic music from other decades on specialty and satellite radio. Meanwhile, the bonds forged during their college days and formative years have proven very strong. Despite not releasing any new music for many years, Autumn’s members have not only remained friends, but have continued to collaborate on songs. Since 2012, they’ve been periodically getting together, and in recent months have frequently convened online to work on fresh material. “People’s lives change over time, but we’ve managed to keep close,” Jones says. “We’ve scattered all over the place. Some of us are on the East Coast, others have gotten married. Yet the friendship and musical bonds are such that we’ve kept in touch.

VAN BRADSHAW

DARRYL JONES

The amazing thing is when we’ve gotten together, we pick up right where we left off in terms of the group cohesion. I think in the right situation and with some luck, we can still make a hit or two. I know that there are people out there who remember us.” Fans interested in hearing classic Autumn recordings can still get them on vinyl, though they’ll have to do some crate digging to find them — in person, or through collectors’ resources like Discogs or the massive Chicago record store Dusty Groove. Now there are plans to release a new Autumn project in 2021, a full-length LP. Before that happens, the band also hopes to do some gigs in the spring and summer, assuming things have gotten better in regard to COVID-19 and venues are able to reopen. Jones and the others are excited about their reunion, and feel that the time is right for a musical return. “We’ve been trying to find a formula that works,” Cooper says. “One thing that you have to be careful about is not losing your identity while still trying to stay current. The big thing we found about the music business is that they’re interested in selling records, period. They’re not so concerned about building a sound, or authenticity, or that type of stuff. We have a live sound that we’ve honed and are proud of and want to get across in our music, but we’re also wellaware that we’ve got to find a way to connect across the board. We want to reach both new audiences and our old fans, and that’s

RANDY SMITH

GEORGE “GEO” COOPER

the goal of this new project.” “When you craft a project, you may write 80 or so songs, until a few of them speak to the messages you want to convey as a unit,” Jones adds. “Now that we have matured, we are exploring what shared life experiences we’d like to offer in the next project. My guess is that we will release up to 10 songs and target a fall release.” When you listen in on an online conversation between the current members of Autumn, the easy banter and extreme closeness that’s shared after decades make it very obvious that they still greatly respect, admire and enjoy each other. When asked how they maintain that kind of chemistry after such a long time, Jones points to the group’s time in college. “The bond we share definitely began from the Fisk experience,” he says. “Attending the same college, living and growing in a supportive atmosphere surrounded by professors and students all pulling for you to succeed was empowering. The bonds formed at an HBCU last a lifetime. So even though the years would go by, we would always get together at the Fisk reunions. Year after year, we were able to reconnect there, uplift each other and talk about the legacy in music we aspired to leave behind as a unit. We will always be friends first. Our music, influenced by many different styles, simply brings us together to communicate our experiences.” EMAIL MUSIC@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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MUSIC

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK

Our music scribes recommend great recent releases from Namir Blade, Mac Gayden, Coupler and more BY EDD HURT, P.J. KINZER, BRONTE LEBO, JASON SHAWHAN, STEPHEN TRAGESER AND CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

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uring the COVID-19 pandemic, local musicians across the spectrum have continued to produce outstanding work at a mindblowing rate. Periodically, the music writers FIND LINKS TO STREAM OR who contribute BUY THESE RECORDS AT to the Scene NASHVILLESCENE.COM/MUSIC recommend recent Nashville releases that deserve more of your attention. For Bandcamp Fridays, on the first Friday of each month since the pandemic started, the popular streaming platform waives its cut of sales. Ahead of the next Bandcamp Friday, set for Nov. 6, we’ve made eight new recommendations below.

FUTURE CRIB, SILVERDAYS (SELF-RELEASED) If there’s one bright spot in this otherwisehellish year, it may be the opportunity to spend some extra time with loved ones. In that respect, Silverdays, the nine-track EP and accompanying music video from indie-pop-and-rock group Future Crib, is the perfect time capsule for this year. With a 12-minute run time, this project is really just a collection of short ideas, but the end result is surprisingly cohesive. Songs like “Iceberg” and “Feeling Exchange” showcase the band’s signature sound — experimental pop-rock with just a touch of grunge — but it’s polished off with a dash of playfulness that sets the project apart. BRONTE LEBO

NAMIR BLADE, APHELION’S TRAVELING CIRCUS (MELLO MUSIC GROUP) Namir Blade is one of the most innovative producers in Nashville’s rap community. Part of what makes his work distinctive is the narrative feel that comes through the beats he’s been making for other MCs as well as his solo ambient tracks. He’s ramped that up in a big way on Aphelion’s Traveling Circus, a concept record set in the distant future that looks back at our chaotic present, marked by cycles of poverty, police violence against Black people and the sheer weirdness of the Information Age. It’s a little bit Afrofuturism and a little bit manga, with scene-setting interludes, poignant songs and a stack of red-hot raps. It’s one hell of a debut for the artist via much-loved indie Mello Music Group. STEPHEN TRAGESER

MAC GAYDEN, COME ALONG (ARENA RECORDINGS) On his 1973 full-length McGavock Gayden, Nashville guitarist, singer and songwriter Mac Gayden invented a rock-folk-funk amalgam that anticipated the work guitarist Steve Gunn would create on his 2014 album Way Out Weather. Gayden’s new album Come Along shows off his signature guitar sound, which has graced records by notables like Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale and Dianne Davidson. Come Along peaks with a track titled “Baby Slow Down,” a slice of elegantly shaped funk that might remind

you of Gayden’s pedigree as a soulR&B master. The man who co-wrote soul classics like 1967’s Nashvillerecorded hit “Everlasting Love” still knows how to finesse a groove, and his guitar work is as incisive as ever.

EDD HURT COUPLER, THE RHYTHM METHOD (YK RECORDS) Progressive, high-quality electronic music — that’s the Ryan Norris promise. Though the Coupler main man left Music City for Chicago in 2016, The Rhythm Method immortalizes the band’s triple-synth lineup with Nashville’s Rodrigo Avendano and Rollum Haas (both of whom play with Soccer Mommy among many other groups) that played last year’s Big Ears fest in Knoxville and took its live score to Japanese silent gangster film Dragnet Girl nationwide. Putting an exclamation point on a strong 2020 for local-lifer label YK Records (see also: Black Bra, The Prudish Few), Rhythm Method’s triad of heady, high-BPM synthscapes makes for an endlessly replayable EP. It’s the first in a planned series based on the band’s “bangers only” live sets and showcases Norris’ dual talents as composer and party-starter. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

ELECTRIC PYTHON, INTO THE NIGHT (SELF-RELEASED) If you want thunderous guitar boogie, Electric Python’s debut 12-inch has more licks than a sack of Tootsie Pops. Into The Night is a manic ride of heavy blues bombarded by tube-amp knobs turned all the way to the right — all packaged in a sleeve that looks like it could be the poster to an apocalyptic John Carpenter fantasy. These supernaughts fuse the California half-pipe riffs of Fu Manchu and Bl’ast with the grooves and solos of classic hard rockers like ZZ Top and Thin Lizzy. This is one heavy slab of rock. P.J. KINZER

SNOOPER, MUSIC FOR SPIES (COMPUTER HUMAN) Between Soft Option, Safety Net and Spodee Boy, Connor Cummins is one of Nashville’s foremost practitioners of homespun punk and post-punk. The debut 7-inch from Snooper, Cummins’ new duo with vocalist and animator Blair Tramel, continues that run (as well as his reign over the “S” section). Bratty, nerdy, lightningfast and lo-fi by choice — think Devo falling down a flight of stairs — Snooper kicks and screams to teleport back to the early ’80s. But the tunes (four in seven minutes!) tell only half the story — check out Tramel’s

accompanying music videos, which elevate Music for Spies from grayscale on record to 256 colors on screen. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

JORDAN LEHNING, LITTLE IDOLS (JORDAN LEHNING/TONE TREE) There are a lot of ways you might know the work of producer, engineer, songwriter and string-arranger-about-town Jordan Lehning, depending on how long you’ve been following local music. What feels like a lifetime ago (but has in fact only been 12 years), Lehning and The NonCommissioned Officers, the rock ’n’ pop band he co-fronted with brother Eric Lehning, recorded the soundtrack for the zombie film Make-Out With Violence. That kind of large-scale storytelling is at the center of Jordan Lehning’s recent solo LP, a slice of lush folk-pop titled Little Idols. The concept record follows the arc of an extramarital affair with tenderness; as he told Atwood Magazine, the title is inspired by considering

how little souvenirs come to represent a significant experience. STEPHEN TRAGESER

CHUCK HAMM, SONGS FROM THE HILL (BLACKGHOST MUSIC) Eight months in, and it’s almost a cliché, the “pandemic album.” But Songs From the Hill, the first solo record from bassistguitarist-banjoist-vocalist Chuck Hamm, lets the circumstances of its making sit quietly around those sharp, cutting edges. Melding Americana, bluegrass, gospel and country, Hamm and the other players recorded remotely, and that distance resonates deeply. In covering the R&B classic “When Will I See You Again,” Hamm lets his plaintive, sometimes-reedy voice find the yawning chasm of uncertainty, and we feel that ominousness lurking. “Sometimes” and “Space” sneak up on you, the former with oomph, the latter with truth.

JASON SHAWHAN EMAIL MUSIC@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

nashvillescene.com | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | NASHVILLE SCENE

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MUSIC

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’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who feels caught in COVID-19 time — that dilatory, deceptive distension of the very time-space continuum we take for granted. I remember catching one of the first shows at the all-ages, do-it-together performance space Drkmttr after the venue made the move from Indiana Avenue to its present location on Dickerson Pike. At that January 2019 show, Drkmttr showcased some of Nashville’s burgeoning dream-pop scene

release to Nov. 13, tends to the disco-funk side of things, and her cool, calm presence helped define her equally cooled-out version of dance music. Meanwhile, Dream Chambers — the moniker of Nashville singer and synth composer Jess Chambers — has perfected a style that reflects underwater moonlight, to reference the 1980 Soft Boys song. Thursday, Chambers layered her breathy vocals, creating patterns that evoked performers from Dusty Springfield to Brian Eno. Like, say, Annabel (Lee)’s unjustly neglected 2017 album The Cleansing, Chambers’ music works as quiescent pop. Meanwhile, xBETAx did a set during which each short, nasty tune was more snide than the one before. The quartet even included — if my count is correct — three bass solos in one song. In my favorite moment of the eveKEEN ON IT: PEACHY

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from Music City post-rapper Internet Boyfriend and sparkly bubble pop from Brooklyn’s Ghost Piss. That show was a great introduction to one of the city’s premier venues. Now, down the line in a new continuum, Drkmttr has put together a virtual variety show, Spirit of Drkmttr, that lays out a specific Nashville aesthetic for a dislocated era. Thursday night, the venue partnered with Music City production team Queen Ave Collective to stream the second installment of the series. Funds raised during the performance were set to go to the Nashville Free Store, a project that’s housed on the premises of Drkmttr and that gets food and household goods to folks who need them, along with Bliss and the Trash Plants, a local organization committed to recycling and repurposing plants. Drkmttr itself is seeking financial support via Patreon. The two-hour variety show ranged across dream pop, post-punk and hardcore. There was even a nod to the eternal contradictions of time and space — and food — from writers and directors Josh Whiteman and Andrew Sobole, who screened their short film “The Hot Dog Continuum.” That was silly fun, but the music I heard defined a side of Nashville that continues to defy any music-industryled expectations. As far as I’m concerned, both Eve Maret and the aforementioned Dream Chambers are pop stars. Maret, whose excellent LP Stars Aligned was delayed from a September

ning, the band did a cover of Misfits’ “Last Caress,” a Buzzcocks-meets-Undertones punk tune that begins, “I killed your baby today / Doesn’t matter much to me.” Thirdface, which features Drkmttr founder Kathryn Edwards on frenetic vocals, did a pounding set of hardcore songs. There were also turns by drag artist Carnelian Clinique, magician David Torres-Fuentes and post-punkers Engine IX. The greenscreen videos by Buscat were well-done. The night closed out with a set by pop-punksters Peachy, who write and play in a Clash-ified British Invasion mode that suggests they could go pop all the way. Still, it’s late 2020, and the continuum has become a wind tunnel. Peachy impressed me with how pissed-off they are, and how funny they remain in spite of it. Guitarist Rachel Warrick, bassist Leah Miller and drummer Benji Coale pulled off a song titled “Rich Boy,” and they tore into the hapless subject of their song with real gusto. It made me feel like things just might turn out all right, after all. EMAIL THESPIN@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com

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N OV E M B E R 7

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FILM

PRIMAL STREAM 29 A Hitchcock remake, deepspace intrigue and more, now available to stream BY JASON SHAWHAN

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f you’re reading this piece — which was written before Election Day — then that giant menacing question mark is being or has been resolved in some capacity. The English language doesn’t have a tense for uneasily hopeful future potential verbs, so let’s just be hopeful. Below are this week’s recommended streaming titles. There are 28 more Primal Stream installments to choose from, so if you don’t see something here you like, visit nashvillescene.com for much more.

REBECCA ON NETFLIX We all know by now that to remake an Alfred Hitchcock film is a treacherous undertaking. It’s pointless to try and one-up Hitch as far as suspense and technique go, but this new adaptation of the Gothic classic written by Daphne du Maurier has some things going for it that weren’t available 80 years ago — and Rebecca director Ben Wheatley (Sightseers, High-Rise, Kill List) leans on them. Premarital sex, Ann Dowd, extensive Monte Carlo location shooting, the lushest costume and production design, and digital cinematography’s closest equivalent of Technicolor do add up to quite a bit. All the advance key art for the film emphasized Armie Hammer (as mysterious widower Maxim de Winter) in a mustard suit magically reminiscent of Prince’s outfit on the picture sleeve for the “Anotherloverholenyohead” 12-inch single, so I was on board from the get-go. As the second Mrs. de Winter, Lily James goes for Jennifer Jason Leigh energy, which is always a good choice. And Kristin Scott Thomas lets her immaculately tailored creases speak volumes as Mrs. Danvers, one of the greatest coded-lesbian menaces in cinema history. So here’s the truth: This isn’t as good as the Hitchcock film. But that Rebecca isn’t currently streaming

REBECCA anywhere, so my advice is to check out this take, and then seek out the original for a juicy contrast. You will feel every texture in any future dream-visits you might make to Manderley, so know that going in.

BAD HAIR ON HULU My admiration of and awe for Janelle Monáe is not in question. And I stan Gabourey Sidibe. But that said, Justin Simien’s Bad Hair is a much more satisfying and politically provocative film than this year’s catastrophically misguided Antebellum. Both films examine the way that cinema exploits the suffering of Black people, but Bad Hair has a killer weave in both senses of the word. It’s 1989, and Anna (Elle Lorraine) is a low-level assistant at an MTV equivalent with lots of ideas and no access or agency to make them happen. But a corporate shake-up finds James Van Der Beek (fulfilling the path he’s been forging

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since The Rules of Attraction) in charge of the network, and Anna with a chance to get ahead — if she changes up her look. And when she visits Virgie’s, the most exclusive salon in Hollywood, she gets a weave that changes her life. Because with her new look, success piles up on success. And when people start dying around her ... well, we know how cursed things work. Writerdirector Simien (Dear White People) dives into the specifics of mass media and the way race gets corporatized, incorporating folk myth and a killer soundtrack (lots of new jack swing and some new cuts from co-star Kelly Rowland). The film isn’t quite as trashy as you might like, but it scratches all the itches you might want scratched by a movie about a killer weave. Bring on the sequel.

NIGHTFLYERS ON NETFLIX Like the 1987 film of the same title, the one-season series Nightflyers is adapted from a superb 1976 George R.R. Martin novella. It aims to be a propulsive and edgy mystery that incorporates hippie sci-fi, horror and dark fantasy into a page-turner of a story that never lets up. And also like that moderately infamous film version, this 2018 series fluffs the execution. What it gets right is visionary and impressive, and what it gets wrong is a pit of frustration that snowballs as the narrative continues. The Nightflyer is a state-of-the-art transport ship, carrying a group of scientists to what seems to be empty space in the vast gulf between stars and star systems. They seek the volcryn, an ancient, possibly mythical species that traveled the stars, remembered under countless names by countless societies. If they’re real, the volcryn are the common denominator behind more worlds than imaginable. But unfortunately, the murders start happening. Whether novella, film or TV series, Nightflyers understands

that space is a dangerous place, and that it’s very easy to die there even before you start bringing in the laser drones, experimental psychic medications and stabby impulses that the rigors of space travel tend to bring out. Both visual incarnations of Nightflyers would be excellent material in a class on adapting literary works — or rather, how not to adapt literary works. But if you enjoy quality sci-fi television, you could do much worse than checking out Nightflyers (and then reading the novella, which is still the best thing Martin ever wrote), because its defiant weirdness is oddly reassuring — as is modern television being ready for the diversity that ’70s sci-fi was serving up page after page.

DEVIL TIMES FIVE ON AMAZON PRIME Ignore the crappy VHS master Amazon sourced this film from (the extant Bluray looks excellent), and prepare for the methodical betrayal of every aspect of the social contract. Recently hyped by none other than Quentin Tarantino, Devil Times Five has a busful of psychotic children doing a home invasion on a snowbound mountainside nouveau-riche vacation home, and it’s super-twisted. Rocker/Behind the Music stalwart Leif Garrett makes the biggest impression as a murderous wannabe actor child who dresses like an agent and holds grudges like a Tennessee Williams character, but the whole cast is a rich tapestry of mid-20th-century character actors. (Top-billed Sorrell Booke — Boss Hogg himself — is superb, and the recently deceased Shelley Morrison from Will & Grace gets to drink her way through the whole film.) This is a mean film for a mean world, happy to introduce Chekhov’s tank of piranha knowing that anticipation is a perfectly fine engine. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

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CROSSWORD

FILM

EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ

CITY HALL NR, 275 MINUTES AVAILABLE FRIDAY, NOV. 6, VIA BELCOURT.ORG

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HEY BEANTOWN!

Frederick Wiseman’s City Hall is a thorough examination of what keeps a city running BY NATHAN SMITH

O

ver five decades, documentarian Frederick Wiseman has turned his camera on almost every kind of space imaginable, from mental institutions to meatpacking factories, from small towns to federal agencies. Wiseman has no time for the flash or fussiness of contemporary documentary form; in his films you will find no voice-overs, no talking heads, and only the slightest amount of context as to who people are. In that simplicity, he routinely uncovers the profound, finding out how America functions in simply observing its populace in action and at work. He’s prolific both in the constancy of his output and the intensity of his scope. I’m almost surprised, given Wiseman’s career-long interest in local government, that it took him so long to make a film called City Hall, which is the name of his new in-depth look at everything it takes to make the city of Boston run. We attend budget meetings, spend time in boardrooms and see behind the image that a city projects to the world. Though the film is very broadly about Boston as a whole, it takes as its anchor the city’s 54th mayor, Marty Walsh, following him through a packed schedule of city council sessions, press conferences and speaking engagements to local organizations. Centering on Walsh allows Wiseman entrance to a varied spectrum of spaces and places, as the mayor touches almost every facet of city life. We follow him on a tour of his day-to-day activities as he holds court and takes comments at retirement homes, schools and community centers. Walsh comes across as a down-home, Dunkin’-swigging Boston boy, born in Dorchester to Irish immigrant parents, who has a natural rapport with his constituents and a habit for speaking more frankly than most politicians would. There are moments when Walsh’s desire to connect with citizens on an emotional level comes across awkwardly — like when he attempts to relate to a Latinx political group by outlining Boston’s history of anti-Irish sentiment, or when he tries to

connect with a crowd of veterans by sharing his personal struggles with alcoholism and addiction. But the mayor mostly appears as an honest man tasked with a momentous balancing act. There’s a particular focus on Boston’s diversity, along with how city services attempt to meet the needs of its substantial immigrant population. On both the official and personal levels, we see Bostonians reconciling with the city’s particular history of racism while working out how to enact a more progressive future. It’s made clear, though never explicit, that city operations are significantly complicated by the Trump administration, which has denied and threatened the kind of federal aid made available under previous presidencies. Of course, Wiseman examines City Hall not just as a shorthand for government, but as a literal space, spending time with everyone involved in operations — down to the security guards who scan visitors on their way in. Given Wiseman’s tendency to let his subjects spool out without interruption or intervention, your engagement with the film may vary from moment to moment depending on your interest in what a particular person is saying. Certain sequences stretch to the point of tedium, most notably an extended scene that captures a night of commemoration and reflection at a local veterans’ hall. But Wiseman always finds a way to bring his vast collection of threads and tangents back together. In a sequence toward the end of City Hall that’s both patient and riveting, Wiseman captures a community forum moderated by city officials on the planned opening of a marijuana dispensary. The owners and investors of the weed shop — mostly white and Asian-American men — take the comments of a diverse group of citizens from working-class Dorchester, a neighborhood with a substantial Cape Verdean population. The community’s questions range from the practical, like how the store plans to deal with customer overflow and safety concerns, to the necessarily political, like how the owners plan to give back to Black Bostonians and contribute to the fight against mass incarceration. It’s this scene in particular where Wiseman’s thesis on urban management comes to life: The operation of a city is a complex negotiation between personal citizens, private business and public services, ever-changing and always in a state of flux. A city is an active dialogue between its inhabitants as much as it is a physical place. EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

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Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 9,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/ crosswords ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay.

Crosswords for young solvers: nytimes.com/ studentcrosswords.

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Rental Scene

Welcome to Nob Hill Apartments

Your Neighborhood

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Local attractions: · BNA Airport · Nashville Zoo · Plaza Mariachi

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Best place near by to see a show: · The Music City Barn · Plaza Mariachi · Blue Bird Cafe

Best local family outing: · Plaza Mariachi Your new home amenities: · 24/7 Gym · 2 Salt water pools with 8ft deep ends · 2 dog parks. No app or admin fee if you apply by 11/15

Favorite local neighborhood bar: · Hooters

180 Wallace Rd. Nashville, TN 37211 | www.nobhillnashville.com | 615.768.8862

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NASHVILLE SCENE | NOVEMBER 5 - NOVEMBER 11, 2020 | nashvillescene.com


Madison Flats Brinkhaven Ave Madison, TN 37115 1 bed / 1 bath 630 sq ft $960

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5 floor plans

www.madisonflatsapartments.com | 615.285.5981 The Residence at Old Hickory Lake 2401 Lakeshore Drive, Old Hickory, TN 37138 Non-Resident Notice Fourth Circuit Docket No. 20A54 JACQUELINE RUTH JONES, ET AL.

SMITH

Vs.

1 bed / 1 bath

2 bed / 2 bath

3 bed / 2 bath

$1,325 to $1,555

$1,695 to $1,805

749 sq ft

1092 - 1211 sq ft

$2,319 to $2,324 1382 sq ft

5 floor plans

KIARA ALANA BIDDIX

LEGAL NOTICE

InjuRy Auto ACCIdEnts WRongFul dEAth

Non-Resident Notice Fourth Circuit Docket No. 20A54

Voted Best Attorney in Nashville

JACQUELINE RUTH JONES, ET AL.

Call 615-425-2500 for FREE Consultation

KIARA ALANA BIDDIX

www.rockylawfirm.com LEGALS

LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Sterling Nashville West Property, LLC is pursuing a Petition for Termination of Use of Land as Burial Ground and for Removal and Reinterment of Remains of Decedents in the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee (case #200166-III). Petitioner seeks to relocate a cemetery at 7114 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, Tennessee in Davidson County. Petitioner believes that persons buried at the cemetery may include John M. O’Brien (1874 to 1957), Mattie J. O’Brien (1876 to 1952), John Thomas O’Brien (1936 to 1936), and Frances Inez Stephens (1928 to 1930). Petitioner seeks to reinter the graves at a location nearby the current cemetery, but outside of trees and development. The Court entered an Order of Publication that Interested Per-

SMITH

Vs.

In this cause it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that the defendant is a non-resident of the State of Tennessee, therefore the ordinary process of law cannot be served upon KIARA ALANA BIDDIX. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HER appearance herein with thirty (30) days after December 3, 2020 same being the date of the last publication of this notice to be held at the Metropolitan Circuit Court located at 1 Public Square, Room 302, Nashville, Tennessee, and defend or default will be taken on January 4, 2020. It is therefore ordered that a copy of this Order be published for four (4) weeks succession in the Nashville Scene, a newspaper published in Nashville. Richard R. Rooker, Clerk W. North Deputy Clerk Date: October 15, 2020 Laura Tek Attorney for Plaintiff NSC 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3/20

Nob Hill Apartments 180 Wallace Rd. Nashville, TN 37211 1 bed / 1 bath 690 sq ft $1003 to $1303

Laura Tek Attorney for Plaintiff NSC 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3/20

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2 bed / 2 bath 950 sq ft $969 to $1366 2 floor plans

www.nobhillnashville.com | 615.768.8862

Richard R. Rooker, Clerk W. North Deputy Clerk Date: October 15, 2020

SAVE YOUR HOME! Are you behind paying your MORTGAGE? Denied a Loan Modification? Is the bank threatening foreclosure? CALL Homeowners Relief Line NOW for Help

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(AAN CAN)

Mon-Fri : 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Sat: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

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NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Sterling Nashville West Property, LLC is pursuing a Petition for Termination of Use of Land as Burial Ground and for Removal and Reinterment of Remains of Decedents in the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee (case #200166-III). Petitioner seeks to relocate a cemetery at 7114 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, Tennessee in Davidson County. Petitioner believes that persons buried at the cemetery may include John M. O’Brien (1874 to 1957), Mattie J. O’Brien (1876 to 1952), John Thomas O’Brien (1936 to 1936), and Frances Inez Stephens (1928 to 1930). Petitioner seeks to reinter the graves at a location nearby the current cemetery, but outside of trees and development. The Court entered an Order of Publication that Interested Persons enter an appearance on or before 30 days after the last publication of this Notice and file an answer to the Petition, or judgment by default may be taken against them for the relief requested in the Petition. This Notice will be published for four consecutive weeks. NSC 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19/20

In this cause it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that the defendant is a non-resident of the State of Tennessee, therefore the ordinary process of law cannot be served upon KIARA ALANA BIDDIX. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HER appearance herein with thirty (30) days after December 3, 2020 same being the date of the last publication of this notice to be held at the Metropolitan Circuit Court located at 1 Public Square, Room 302, Nashville, Tennessee, and defend or default will be taken on January 4, 2020. It is therefore ordered that a copy of this Order be published for four (4) weeks succession in the Nashville Scene, a newspaper published in Nashville.

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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.

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