Nashville Scene 12-8-22

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DECEMBER 8–14, 2022 I VOLUME 41 I NUMBER 44 I NASHVILLESCENE.COM I FREE From legislative lunacy to ‘Insurrection Barbie’ and beyond, here’s our 33rd annual list of bloopers and blunders CITY LIMITS: THE STATE OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS IN TENNESSEE PAGE 7 MUSIC: KELSEY WALDON TAKES STOCK OF THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED ON NO REGULAR DOG PAGE 52 GIFT GUIDE INSIDE
Keith & Kristyn Getty AND FRIENDS SKYE PETERSON RICKY SKAGGS FRIDAY, DEC. 23 SCHERMERHORN SYMPHONY CENTER NASHVILLE, TN | 6:30 PM gettymusic.com/nashville22

CITY LIMITS

The State of Progressive Politics in Tennessee

Talking to Odessa Kelly and other left-wing Democrats about where our state is headed

BY

Pith in the Wind 7 This week on the Scene’s news and politics blog New NASCAR Track Moves Through Fair Board 8

Major upgrades at the fairgrounds racetrack would be a city gamble on Nashville’s racing future

Sharon Hurt to Run for Mayor ................... 9 At-large councilmember says middle class ‘voting with their feet’ and leaving Nashville

COVER STORY

The Boner Awards

From legislative lunacy to ‘Insurrection Barbie’ and beyond, here’s our 33rd annual list of bloopers and blunders

CRITICS’ PICKS

Timbre’s Annual Christmas Show, Safari Room, Graff Museum Open House, Nashville Punk Rock Flea Market, The Black Opry Revue and more

BOOKS

Still Alive Death haunts the essays in Rachel Kushner’s The Hard Crowd BY SUSANNAH FELTS, CHAPTER16.ORG

MUSIC

Star Turn 51 Melissa Carper takes command of her voice on Ramblin’ Soul BY EDD HURT Hickory Hollow Hero

51 Jelly Roll gears up to headline his hometown arena BY SEAN L. MALONEY The Long Way

Kelsey Waldon takes stock of the road less traveled on No Regular Dog BY RACHEL CHOLST To Be Continued 53 New Orleans rapper Curren$y keeps showing us his

FOOD AND DRINK

Master and Commander ........................ 27 Jonathan Ross brings Master Sommelier bona fides to The Twelve Thirty Club

Veg Out: The Smiling Elephant — Tofu Cashew Stir-Fry 28 A Nashville stalwart serves Thai vegetarian delights

| DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 3 7
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greatness BY CONNOR DARYANI The Spin ................................................... 54 The Scene’s live-review column checks out Wet Leg at WNXP’s anniversary party and Maren Morris at Bridgestone Arena BY COLE VILLENA, LORIE LIEBIG 56 FILM The Goldin Rule 56 All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a powerful look at Nan Goldin’s fight against the opioid epidemic BY JASON SHAWHAN Arachnophobia ........................................ 56 Holy Spider is a grim depiction of real-life Iranian murders BY STEVE ERICKSON 57 NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD 58 MARKETPLACE ON THE COVER: Illustration by Holly Carden CONTENTS DECEMBER 8, 2022 THIS WEEK ON THE WEB: Memories of Christine McVie Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage Noko Japanese Farmhouse to Open in East Nashville Santa Gets Savage in Two New Films 4210 Charlotte Ave. 615 678 4086 ottos nashville.com Cocktails Small Bites Intimate Atmosphere 917A Gallatin Pike S, Madison, TN PanaderiayPasteleriaLopez 615-669-8144 TacosyMariscosLindoMexico 615-865-2646 Call for take-out! Authentic Mexican Cuisine & Bakery...Side by Side!
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NASHVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ITS CEO NOT POPULAR WITH BUSINESS COMMUNITY

I recently commissioned a poll of Nashville business leaders regarding their satisfaction with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and its leadership. The poll was directed to 1,755 leaders and focused on satisfaction with membership benefits, the fees associated with membership, the chamber’s leadership, the chamber being involved in education, the recent and significant budget cuts and more.

It is no secret that I have not been pleased with the chamber and its leadership. They don’t focus enough on Nashville’s growth, nor do they give enough attention to Nashville’s small businesses. I also think that the city cutting the chamber’s budget by 50 percent in 2020 was indicative of the job the body is doing. More recently, I’ve wondered what other business leaders in the community think of the chamber as an agent of Nashville — and so I commissioned the poll. Some results did come as a surprise to me.

For instance, 70.83 percent of respondents said the benefits of chamber membership were not worth the investment. Some did say the events are good, but they still don’t see the full benefit for the cost. Other members said the chamber is not a helpful ally; that its emphasis is on recruiting businesses for other counties and not Nashville or Davidson County.

When asked about the chamber developing businesses outside of our region and not focusing on Davidson County, 32 percent “strongly disagreed” with this approach. Another 12 percent “somewhat disagreed.” So in total, 44 percent would rather the chamber focus on Davidson County and Nashville alone, over building commerce in Davidson-adjacent counties.

The results further showed that the chamber’s focus on big business versus small business is off course. According to the poll, 28 percent said the chamber focuses too much on big business, and 32 percent more said the chamber doesn’t give enough attention to small businesses. That means 60 percent of respondents are unhappy as to the chamber’s focus.

Respondents were also asked to mark their level of satisfaction with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s representation of Nashville’s businesses on a scale of 1 to 10. Thirty-eight percent gave the chamber a low-scoring 1, and an

additional 21 percent scored the chamber between 2 and 5. That means 59 percent of respondents are not satisfied with the chamber’s overall representation of Nashville businesses.

Another question addressed the mayor significantly cutting the chamber’s budget in half in 2020. Nearly 71 percent said the budget cut was “appropriate.” When asked why, respondents relayed that the city and its taxpayers should not have their dollars go to the chamber, and that if the chamber lures more business to adjacent counties over Nashville, then the mayor was justified.

Another question asked specifically, “What is your level of satisfaction with Mr. Schulz’s leadership as president [and CEO] of the chamber?” Recipients were asked to use a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “very unsatisfactory” to 10 being “very satisfactory,” to describe their thoughts on Ralph Schulz’s leadership. Ten percent scored Mr. Schulz below the requested 1 to 10 range, with numbers lower than one. Forty-eight percent gave Mr. Schulz the lowest score of 1. Another 14 percent gave Mr. Schulz scores between 2 and 5. Only 28 percent gave Mr. Schulz scores greater than five. Overall, 72 percent of respondents feel Mr. Schulz is failing in his responsibilities as a leader.

Respondents of this poll are not happy with the chamber overall. Even though some voiced contentment with events or networking options, they are not happy with the fees associated with membership. According to the survey, most are not seeing the value in chamber membership, they don’t see the value in what the chamber does for Nashville’s commerce, and they don’t see the value in Mr. Schulz’s leadership. Nashville has an area chamber whose budget has been cut by the mayor, does not provide enough benefits for the fees it charges, is seen as lacking focus in the right areas, is not seen as an ally to Nashville businesses and their owners, and whose leadership is unsatisfactory to the Nashville business community.

I think it’s time for Ralph Schulz to hand over the reins to someone who can do it … better.

Bill Freeman

Bill Freeman is the owner of FW Publishing, the publishing company that produces the Nashville Scene, Nfocus, the Nashville Post and The News.

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4 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
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The
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Some hams hang in smokehouses.

Others in museums.

Through a process that embraces improvisation, Nashville-born artist Virginia Overton adds layers of meaning by dismantling, constructing, realigning and juxtaposing found objects. Her art repurposes everyday materials—including those from her family’s farm—creating a dynamic visual poetry of reclamation and renewal. Come experience an exhibition that will encourage you to see beauty and find value in humble materials.

Downtown Nashville, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

FristArtMuseum.org @FristArtMuseum #TheFrist #FristVirginiaOverton

| NASHVILLE SCENE 5
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022
Organized by the Frist Art Museum Virginia Overton. Sister Ham, 2021. Bronze; edition 1 of 3 with A/P; 30 x 14 x 7 in. Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami Gallery, New York. Photo: Guang Xu
THROUGH DECEMBER 31
Funded in part by the With additional support from The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by

CITY LIMITS

THE STATE OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS IN TENNESSEE

Talking to Odessa Kelly and other left-wing Democrats about where our state is headed

Following gerrymandering led by a Republican supermajority in the state legislature, Nashville is now, congressionally speaking, a red city despite its voters leaning blue.

In the 7th Congressional District, Nashville community leader Odessa Kelly lost to Republican incumbent Rep. Mark Green of Clarksville. Backed by the same group that has supported members of “The Squad” — a group of progressive Democratic House of Representative members including Alexandria OcasioCortez and Ilhan Omar — Kelly ran on a campaign centered on the needs of everyday Nashvillians and uplifting the working class. Despite her 22-point loss in the redrawn 7th, the momentum she managed to build indicated that while there’s a lot of work to be done, progressive politics are not necessarily a lost cause in Tennessee.

“I knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but damn it, someone has got to be able to go out and speak truth to power and give an accurate, expert explanation of what is happening to the millions of working-class individuals across the state of Tennessee,” Kelly tells the Scene

Kelly was born and raised in Nashville and has worked in Metro Parks as a community recreation leader. She cofounded community engagement and social justice nonprofit Stand Up Nashville, is the mother of two teenagers and is openly gay, a rarity for congressional candidates in the South. Rather than throwing up her hands and going home, she took the midterm results as a sign that there’s more work to be done. After taking some time to recuperate, Kelly

is already turning her eye toward issues within the city — in our interview, she mentions the rapidly progressing Titans stadium deal. Back in 2018, Kelly and Stand Up Nashville helped negotiate a deal with Nashville SC to include community benefits in the development of the soccer team’s stadium, Geodis Park.

“Not much of what happened was surprising,” says Jason Freeman, a local labor leader and former Democratic Party official who worked on Kelly’s campaign. “Whatever type of candidates you’re going to have running in Tennessee, there are just some fundamental things that we have to work on if we’re going to be competitive. We don’t know the political makeup of Tennessee because 1 in 5 African Americans are disenfranchised from voting. We have among the most restrictive voting provisions in the country.”

Freeman is the political director for SEIU Local 205, a union representing public- and private-sector employees across Tennessee. He says voting is the bare-minimum requirement for being a participant in democracy, and that in order to see any real political change, people who are voting need to get more involved with their communities.

“We have to have far more people engaged in the process in order to turn out their friends, their neighbors, their community members,” he says. “We have to not be afraid to talk to people we don’t know, and have conversations with them.”

In the lead-up to the midterm election, Republican politicians turned their focus toward opposing transgender health care and rights, an issue for which Nashville has become a battleground. Following election night, the Republicans in the state legislature introduced their first bill of the

2023 legislative session — which doesn’t even start until Jan. 10. The bill aims to ban gender-affirming treatment for minors.

“The right wing is very engaged in the culture-war stuff,” says District 5 Metro Councilmember Sean Parker, who also worked on Kelly’s campaign. “And when that culture war directly targets my neighbors, my constituents, my loved ones? I don’t have any choice but to stand up and respond to that. I’d rather be working on housing issues. I’d rather be working on having quality job opportunities for people. But if you’re coming to trans folks, I’m going to do my best to insert myself in your way.”

While issues such as housing insecurity and labor affect a large number of everyday Tennesseans, attacks on trans health care and drag shows tend to make splashier headlines. They also drive a wedge between people who would likely benefit from many of the same policies.

“When we keep people living in a state of desperation, or living check to check and only have the capacity to see what’s in front of them in the moment to move to the next day, we take away any capability for us to really have the time to take in the things that are happening around us,” says Kelly. “When these types of things happen, what we don’t pay attention to are the 20, 25, 30 other bills that are actually destroying quality of life for everyday, normal working-class individuals in the state of Tennessee.”

Parker attended the counter-protest to right-wing pundit Matt Walsh’s anti-trans protest back in October. He says during the protest, conservative figure Robby Starbuck — who, ironically enough, is from California — turned to the counterprotesters and said, “Get those moving trucks ready, because this is not the state for you.” But Parker feels differently. “Growing up, folks would jokingly say, ‘Tennessee, to stay or flee,’ ” he says. “And obviously I stayed; all my friends and family stayed too. And the notion that just through all this hateful legislation and attacks on marginalized people, they’re going to get rid of anybody that disagrees with them? It’s just not going to happen. And it’s just going to lead to a bunch of misery in the meantime.”

The Education Savings Account program, a signature initiative of Gov. Bill Lee’s first term that would reimburse families for private school tuition, cleared a legal hurdle in late November. Davidson County Chancery Court decided that certain legal challenges did not yet have standing, striking down a consolidated lawsuit from Davidson and Shelby counties and parents. The “school voucher” plan is slowly emerging from legal snares that jeopardized the future of the program up until last summer. Lee has reiterated his support for education reform as he prepares for his second term. … Historic Nashville Inc. released The Nashville Nine, its yearly roundup of historically significant properties facing potential demolition, redevelopment and/or neglect. The list pays particular attention to historically Black neighborhoods that are now lucrative real estate hotspots, like South Nashville and North Nashville Fisk’s Little Theater, civil rights leader Robert Lillard’s house on Second Avenue, the former Nashville Christian Institute Gymnasium (now up for sale) on Batavia Street, and Scott’s Chapel AME in Hermitage all received mentions.

U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects recognition for same-sex marriages across state lines. The legislation easily passed the Senate, which narrowly remains in the hands of Democrats. … Gov. Lee announced Build With Us, an infrastructure plan to expand the state’s roadway system with a particular focus on Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. Lee’s proposal would stretch into the billions and exclusively focus on car travel, adding “Choice Lanes’’ to highways along with a tiered payment system similar to tolls. … Scene columnist Betsy Phillips honors Lem Dawson, the night watchman at Fisk University who protected the campus from the early 1940s until 1962. “He’s a hero,” she writes. “And he should be one of the city’s known and honored heroes.” … Titans star running back Derrick Henry did not rack up a lot of yards or score any touchdowns in the Titans’ 10-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, though our sports writer Michael Gallagher notes that Henry tends to heat up once the temperature starts to drop. While new stadium discussions continue in the Metro Council, the team is holding tight to a winning record. … After a burst pipe shut down Bridgestone Arena just after Thanksgiving, the Predators have gotten hot, winning their last three games and climbing the Western Conference standings.

nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 7
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Commissioners are reviewing the mayor’s long-awaited $116 million handshake with Speedway Motorsports Inc., a regional track operator promising to bring NASCAR to Nashville. The Fair Board received lease and development terms from Mayor John Cooper’s office in November and has scheduled public hearings through January as it evaluates the extensive racing proposal between Cooper and SMI.

“Under the Metro Charter, we have an obligation to maintain racing at the track,” Cooper adviser Ben Eagles told the Fair Board in May 2021. “So it makes sense for Nashville to partner with the very best in the auto-racing industry to operate the speedway in the very best way possible. The city is duty-bound to maintain the historic speedway and continue auto racing at the fairgrounds.”

Eagles, along with Deputy Mayor Sam Wilcox, has been a frequent ambassador for Cooper. In discussions about The Fairgrounds Nashville over the past 18 months, Eagles has often referenced the 2010 referendum that obligates Metro to guarantee the continued use of the racetrack. Sources familiar with the mayor say that the overwhelming support for that referendum, as well as a small but vocal NASCAR lobby, have given Cooper the impression that there is a politically valuable significant pro-racing constituency. Insiders also like to mention that Eagles is a racing fan.

“There’s nothing in the referendum that says we have to spend a hundred million dollars,” says Heidi Basgall Favorite, who’s lived in the area for 20 years. “Voters believed they were protecting the historic uses of the fairgrounds. It wasn’t just about the racetrack.”

She’s part of Neighbors Opposing Track Expansion, a local organization made up of a couple hundred residents who oppose the city’s proposed changes. Neighbors’ concerns center on the city’s financial liability and how it would affect residents’ quality of life. “It’s a terrible financial deal,” Basgall Favorite tells the Scene “The sound-mitigation study was privately funded by Bristol Motor Speedway — it’s a joke. Parking is a huge issue, you know that if you attend a soccer game. There’s an elementary school 983 feet away from the property. It doesn’t make sense. We have a NASCAR superspeedway 36 miles away for anyone who wants to enjoy racing.” The Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon is also owned and operated by SMI and hosts NASCAR events.

Eagles delivered the bones of a deal between the city and SMI to commissioners on Nov. 8. All current commissioners were appointed by Mayor Cooper. Jason Bergeron, the most recent non-Cooper appointee, resigned in March, and has publicly opposed the city’s deal with SMI. The city will pay for an extensive redevelopment of the racetrack and surrounding infrastructure.

Acting through a subsidiary — Bristol

Motor Speedway — SMI will operate the site, setting an annual schedule of races and events. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp will chip in $17 million, which the state will match. The rest will come from bonds backed in part by rent from SMI and NCVC for use of the facility, and tax redirects similar to those from Bridgestone Arena and Nissan Stadium. Renderings of a renovated track and entertainment megaplex are already floating around SMI presentations and Fair Board meetings.

On Nov. 28, Bergeron emailed a lengthy takedown of the deal to his former colleagues, who are considering Cooper’s proposition. Bergeron focused on the risk of backstopping sports facility debt with the city’s general fund, Cooper’s wide-ranging concessions around how SMI can use the facility and the city’s open-ended, long-term liabilities — similar to the city’s obligations to the Tennessee Titans to maintain Nissan Stadium. Bergeron currently represents the Neighborhood Impact Advisory Committee, a body set up by the board to field community feedback. Nearby neighborhoods have flagged concerns about incessant noise, unpredictable scheduling, increased traffic and parking issues that would come with a revamped racetrack hoping to attract large events year-round. The mayor’s reps have assured critics that there will be fewer if bigger events and a more predictable schedule.

Jon Cooper — who isn’t related to Mayor John Cooper, and who left his post as Metro legal director in January 2021 — represented SMI at a Nov. 30 work session where board members asked further questions about the proposal. An $800 million merger took the company private in 2019. The NASCAR deal comes at the same time that the mayor is attempting to finalize a $2.1 billion new stadium for the Titans.

Mayor Cooper is also expected to introduce a new Capital Spending Plan, a comprehensive spending document of new city improvements, before the new year.

8 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com CITY LIMITS
NEW NASCAR TRACK MOVES THROUGH FAIR BOARD Major upgrades at the fairgrounds racetrack would be a city gamble on Nashville’s racing future
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SHARON HURT TO RUN FOR MAYOR

At-large councilmember says middle class ‘voting with their feet’ and leaving Nashville

This story is a partnership between the Nashville Banner and the Nashville Scene. The Nashville Banner is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization focused on civic news and will launch fully next year. For more information, visit NashvilleBanner.com.

At-Large Metro Councilmember Sharon Hurt filed paperwork Friday to begin raising money for a mayoral run. She is the third major challenger to Mayor John Cooper, following District 19 Councilmember Freddie O’Connell and former MDHA executive Matt Wiltshire. Hurt is the first African American candidate to enter the race, and her ties to North Nashville, where she was the longtime executive director of the nonprofit Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, will boost her chances considerably. She spoke to the Nashville Banner about her coming campaign.

Why do you want to be mayor? I’ve got two answers for that — a personal answer and political answer — and they coincide. Why am I running for mayor? Why am I a councilmember? Why have I been a public servant, pretty much my [entire] adult life? And I know that it’s an extension of what I saw my mother do — she lifted people up. The same thing that we expect the government to do, to give people a hand up, is really about taking care of the people that are already here. I’m so concerned that we have a tale of two cities here. I want equity and inclusion brought into the fold, so Nashville can have a balance and be what I know that it can be. You know, the middle class is being erased, and these are the people that kept Nashville and made it what it is, and I want to make sure that they stay viable. That’s why as the next mayor, I will work my heart out to restore hope and prosperity on every forgotten block of this city.

What do you think makes you uniquely qualified to run the city? I’ve got a proven record. I have worked with seniors and provided a transportation service. I have a youth program that I’ve worked with and did enrichment, affordable housing, workforce development, driver’s license restoration, small business economic development. I’ve done all of that. I have an agenda and a vision for this community. I live in Bellevue, I work in North Nashville, I graduated from Tennessee State and Belmont — I bring a balance. I did my student teaching in Madison, and I used to work and live in Madison. So I bring a balance of what Nashville needs. And I also bring compassion to make sure that people that’ve been forgotten are not left out. I bring truth, transparency and trust, because I know that’s what the people want is someone that

they can trust.

Do you think Nashville right now is on the right track or wrong track? Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds. People are coming every day. So we’ve got to be doing something right. But we’ve got to be smart about what it is that we do. And we cannot leave out people, as we are seeing. Everybody should benefit from growth. And we’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people already voting with their feet [and leaving]. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Davidson County, but it’s not showing up for the working-class and middle-class families. And that needs to change. We’ve got to make sure that we bring those forgotten families into this fold, and everybody benefits.

I think that’s what’s going on in the city. We’ve got growth. We’ve got good things. I just don’t think that the city has leveraged and taken care of every part of the city as it needs to. You can be on the right track. And you can move fast. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t come to a halt. And that means making sure that every citizen of Nashville has an opportunity to a quality of life.

Why do you think John Cooper should be replaced? What I think is that I would make a better mayor. I think I have a proven record, and a vision — the compassion and the love. And I think I can express the healing that this city needs to make sure that every block in this city is included and there are no forgotten families, that access is available, and people know that they can trust their leader.

You’ve mentioned a couple of times people being left behind. Do you think the current administration is not addressing people who have been left behind? I think we have to have meaningful engagement with communities every day. And without that, then you will find people falling through the cracks. Like I said, people are voting with their feet and are leaving this city. And we need to maintain those people that have cared for this city, love this city and made this city the “It City.”

Do you support a new Titans stadium? You know what? I am a huge, huge Titans fan. And I believe that a world-class city should have world-class facilities. If we’re going to be in a major league, we’ve got to look like it. We’ve got to act like it. But let me be clear: I have an amendment [in the council] that has already passed first reading to make sure that minority-owned, women-owned and small, disadvantaged businesses are part of the contract, because I want to make sure that the voices of those families that have been left out of Nashville’s growth and its opportunity are at the table and they are getting a piece of the pie. I want to be the one that has the recipe for the pie. And I can keep making it over and over again, and making sure that everybody is fed.

What do you think about the proposed East Bank changes? It’s a big plan. It would be kind

of a transformative project. But also, it’s a lot of focus on downtown. I think we’ve got to have more than downtown. I use the parable about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. We know that Michael Jordan was going to get his 50 and 60 points every game, right? But to win the championship, it wasn’t until he got Scottie Pippen in the game, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and the rest of the team. Scottie Pippen is North Nashville, Michael Jordan is downtown, Dennis Rodman East Nashville. Steve Kerr is West Nashville, Toni Kukoc South Nashville. We’ve got to get all of the players in the game in order for them to have a championship team, and that’s six times over with that team. And we will never ever get to the championship until we make sure that every block of this city is benefiting from growth.

One of the biggest problems Nashville is facing is the rising cost of living. What do you think a mayor can do to affect it and the issues, like you said, that are causing people to vote with their feet and leave the city? With rising costs, that means that we’ve got to pay people better salaries, and we don’t need to hold it. We need to make sure there’s consistency, that we are bringing in some more equitable opportunities for people, so they will be able to afford to live in this city. We’re going to have to stabilize the development and the growth that we have going on. And we’re going to have to increase the workforce in order to do so. We’re going to have to hold these corporations and developers accountable and make sure that they do the exact same thing. And they’re going to have to invest in our small businesses. These corporations are going to have to bring people up, have mentoring opportunities and services to make sure that we don’t forget anyone, as we continue to grow.

How much money do you think you need to raise to be competitive? I was the No. 1 vote-getter [in the runoff for 2019] council at large, and in terms of me having to raise the money, I worked my tail off. And I’m going to work my heart out now to make sure that every person knows my record and my vision. I’m going to communicate with them the things that I have done. I’m going to do everything that I can. I’m not going to take one vote for granted. And I’m not going to leave one stone unturned. I’m going to get out there and do what it takes for me to do it.

So let me ask you again, because you didn’t give a number there. I don’t necessarily deal in the numbers. Because you know, people can talk about how much money it takes. So I stay away from saying what it’s going to cost, what he’s going to take, and what he’s going to do. What I can promise you is that I’m going to work my tail off. Those are the things that I can control. My dad told me, “Never bet on anybody but yourself,” and he was a scratch golfer. So the only thing I can tell you is what I know that I can do. I will go out here, and everybody that gives me $5 has the same [access] as anybody that gives me $1,600. So I’m not going to leave one of them unturned.

You’ve been looking at this race since the spring. And you said then that you were going to engage in a process and talk to a lot of people. When you’ve had conversations with people, who’s told you to run and why did they tell you to run?

You know, my dad, he told all of Memphis [where Hurt grew up] in 2012 that I was running for mayor and I wasn’t even a councilmember at the time. He was the very first one. Then I’ve had other people that have told me [to run] because they know that I have the heart, they know that I am going to be a truth teller. They know that I am going to be someone that the people can trust. They have looked at my record, and they know that I have the courage and I stand on the council floor and I say the things that need to be said, go after the things that I believe in. So I’ve had a number of people, and I can list and list names. But I don’t want to get into that. Because what I want people to know now is that I’m running for mayor, and I will need their support.

What should people think about when considering your candidacy? I represent people who have been underestimated by politicians, because I am one myself. I’m just an ordinary person that has been called to do work. I’ve been doing it all my life. This is a part of my DNA — lifting people up. And that is why I am here, because we’ve got people that are invisible. Our middle class is being erased. People are moving, and they don’t feel like [politicians] care. No one is listening to them. You know, our Constitution says “We the people.” I’m a part of that people. And I want everyone else to know that I am — when you vote for me, you voted for yourselves.

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SHARON HURT PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO NASHVILLE

From legislative lunacy to ‘Insurrection Barbie’ and beyond, here’s our 33rd annual list of bloopers and blunders

Now in its 33rd year, the Scene’s annual Boner Awards issue was once upon a time named for former Nashville mayor and absolute scandal magnet Bill Boner. But frankly, some of Mayor Boner’s transgressions might seem downright charming compared to the bloopers, blunders and general boneheadedness that grace our pages these days.

From country stars’ loud-and-proud transphobia to state legislators trying to pull referees’ pants down and claiming that schoolchildren defecate in litter boxes (yes really), 2022 has been a year laden with Boner fodder. State and local politicians, media figures, bar owners, NIMBY types, ticketing behemoths — they all get Boner Awards this year.

Read on for a list of this year’s biggest screw-ups, compiled by the Scene’s editorial staff. See also: our petty-crime roundup, in which we highlight some of the dopes and ding-a-lings arrested for Boner-worthy behavior in 2022.

ACCESSORIES SOLD SEPARATELY, BONERS INCLUDED

Only in the past couple of years has it become more normal for country music personalities and their family members to speak up about their political and social views. In the case of country star Jason Aldean and his wife, conservative influencer Brittany Aldean, they’ve used social media to speak out against such grave threats to liberty as … COVID vaccinations. This year, the prior Boner Award recipients courted controversy with transphobic statements: Brittany captioned an Instagram video showing off a makeup look by thanking her parents for not mistaking her “tomboy phase” for gender dysphoria. “Im glad they didn’t too, cause you and I wouldn’t have worked out,” chimed in Jason from the comments section.

Much back-and-forth ensued, including fellow country stars calling the Aldeans on their bullshit. Maren Morris dubbed Brittany Aldean “Insurrection Barbie,” a tag Aldean leaned into with Barbie-themed

T-shirts reading “Don’t Tread on Our Kids.” Tucker Carlson — Fox News’ answer to the question “What if Pinocchio turned into your worst uncle?” — interviewed Aldean, who described Morris as a “lunatic country music person.” Morris promptly put that slogan on T-shirts of her own, proceeds from sales of which benefit GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program and the Trans Lifeline. Meanwhile, Jason Aldean was very publicly dropped by the PR firm that represented him for years. The misinformation that makes the world less safe for trans people is no joke, but some of the people who spread it are.

BONER EMERITUS AWARD

Throw a dart at Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s Twitter feed and you’re liable to hit a Bonerworthy statement. And it’s with that in mind that we award Tennessee’s senior U.S. senator with a, let’s call it, Boner Emeritus Award. Take her Oct. 4 offering: “We need a DOJ that isn’t afraid to investigate Hunter Biden.” Yes, she tweeted about investigating Hunter Biden on Oct. 4 of this year. Or back in April, when she said, “Biden decided that COVID is over for illegal aliens at the southern border but not for Americans.” Sen. Blackburn has a particular knack for pumping up political footballs that don’t really affect the average American while completely ignoring real crises happening in real time. How about weighing in on income inequality, or lack of health care access, or the ongoing opioid epidemic? Ope, that last one might be a little uncomfortable, given her cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

BLACKBURNED

It’s not unusual for Marsha Blackburn to show up in the hallowed pages of Bonerdom. Tennessee’s MAGAriffic senior senator, after all, believes her duty is to “own the libs,” rather than to “serve the American people” or “protect democracy from collapsing under the weight of dangerous cult of personality,” and thus generally steps in it virtually every week. (See above.) Thus, it came as no surprise when, during committee hearings ahead of the (ultimately successful) confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Blackburn — showing the courage and oratorical

STOP THE VOTE

It seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong on Election Day this year. Friends passed around precinct questions and ID clarifications on group texts while cascading news reports shared voter horror stories — confirming that, no, you are not alone in your confusion and frustration about just how difficult it is to participate in the fundamental act of democracy. Hundreds of Nashvillians, abruptly redrawn into new voting locations, were given incorrect ballots and conflicting information about where to vote. That tally grew as the day went on. It was a glaring hiccup for the Republican-controlled Davidson County Election Commission, which has one job: run elections.

elan that’s defined the U.S. Senate since the days of Daniel Webster — asked the judge to define “woman.” It was, of course, much lampooned. (The rush to the writer’s room at Saturday Night Live must have looked like opening day at the Franklin West Elm; Cicely Strong paid it off with a brilliant send-up during Weekend Update.) Meanwhile, back at the Metro Nashville Public Schools board, which like so many

other school boards had dealt with scads of enragés mad about masks or books about seahorses or whatever else, board member Sharon Gentry was caught on a hot mic wondering, “Can we just go set Marsha Blackburn on fire?” Now, granted, the entire political ethos of the wing of the Republican Party to which Blackburn belongs is built around saying the quiet part out loud, so there’s more than a little rank hypocrisy in

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MINI COOPER

File this one more under “Good-Natured Ribbing” than “Full-Blown Boner Alert.” In February, Mayor John Cooper humble-bragged in a tweet that the Nashville Department of Transportation had filled 3,569 potholes across the county in the span of roughly one month. He also posted a pretty silly picture of himself standing over a massive pothole, arms spread wide like a birthdayparty magician. Naturally, the good people of Nashville took to Photoshopping the pic — including more than one version in which a miniaturized mayor was inside the pothole, submerged up to his waist. Patched potholes and Photoshop goofs — we’ll call that a win-win.

Blackburn’s office responding that “violent rhetoric has no place in political discourse,” given the nearly constant bootlicking she did for Donald Trump and his parade of horribles. On the other hand, it was a regrettable moment for Gentry to forget Michelle Obama’s hokey if useful advice to go high when others go low — as well as the advice given by every frazzled TV news producer to every semi-sentient drooling haircut to make sure the mic is off before saying something stupid.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE …

Let’s be clear — this Boner Award isn’t going to Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn, who disparaged public school teachers earlier this year, saying they’re “trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.” Arnn may be a charter-boosting conservative, but he’s not a Tennessean. Bill Lee, however, is the damn governor, and he sat by and said nothing while Arnn insulted our public school teachers. While Lee later voiced support for educators, he refused to condemn Arnn’s comments, instead trying to reframe his adviser’s statements as commentary on “left-wing” education issues. But to teachers across the state, Lee’s silence came through loud and clear.

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

Wunderkind press secretary TJ Ducklo managed to unite Nashville politicos just a few weeks into his new job as Mayor John Cooper’s communications lead. Ducklo showed off his Beltway chops by sassing up a spicy response to a tweet from then-mayoral hopeful Hal Cato, who had just shared a favorable poll. “The Mayor has invested in 157 NEW emergency personnel to make our communities safer and help reduce crime,” Ducklo tweeted. “We refer all significant threats on him to the @MNPDNashville. Luckily, this ain’t one of them, in any way, shape or form.” Nashville Twitter promptly roasted the new guy’s irresistible combination of smug, earnest and cringe. You’d think a young professional banished from Biden’s press office after bringing too much heat on a reporter might get a second opinion before smashing the tweet button. Then again, there is a reason we call them bulldogs. And any press is good press?

’GRASS BACKWARDS

Kentucky bluegrass banjo master J.D. Crowe, who died Dec. 24, was known for a lot of things in his seven-decade career, including leading the influential group New South. In the 1970s, the band served as a springboard for such talents as Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas. One thing Crowe

was not known for, however, was stealing the identity of bluegrass guitar legend Del McCoury. If you squint, the two men look a little bit alike, with halos of white hair. Unfortunately, someone at The Tennessean apparently misplaced their spectacles, and on Dec. 28 the paper ran an Associated Press obituary for Crowe alongside a photo of McCoury, who is thankfully still very much alive.

CALIFORNIANS DREAMIN’

The Tennessean’s regional editor Michael Anastasi ruffled feathers when, in an interview with Gustavo Arellano of the Los Angeles Times, he said Nashvillians were “just beginning to understand diversity” thanks to an influx of Californians, including those he hired for the paper. That’s a patronizing assertion — local communities of color with rich histories and even civil rights landmarks predate the mass arrival of Californians, after all. Not only that, The Tennessean has platformed voices like noted Islamaphobe Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who are basically opposed to that mission of diversity. We can’t totally blame Arellano for seeing products like The Tennessean’s Black and Latino Voices newsletters and thinking the paper was doing something right — but in the end, he still delivered a fluffy profile of a dude who cuts staff with the vigor of a horror-movie slasher, with little acknowledgement of the great work Southerners of color had been doing for years in journalism and other industries. On the flip side, Anastasi’s boneheaded statement revealed some kernel of truth, as white progressives took to Twitter to badger Arellano, the thick-skinned former writer of the “Ask a Mexican” column, but seemed short on counter-arguments — and more mad about pompous Californians than any erasure of local communities of color.

LAURIE CARDOZA-LESS, PLEASE

You’ve probably heard of Laurie CardozaMoore, the Islamophobe and conspiracy theorist who runs a nonprofit that’s been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and who unsuccessfully ran in the Republican primary for state House District 63. Regretfully, she was reinstated as a member of the state textbook commission, which now has the power to ban books in Tennessee. We probably could have given state House Speaker Cameron Sexton a Boner Award for reappointing her, but Republicans are gonna Republican. What was more surprising, however, was that The Tennesseean let Cardoza-Moore run an op-ed claiming that former Nashville Public Library director Kent Oliver promoted “pornographic, racist, antisemitic and anti-American content” through the library system and its Freedom to Read campaign. The accusations are false, of course, and an editor’s note within the article attempts to explain that. If editors have to take space within an op-ed to explain why it’s misinformative, perhaps they shouldn’t run the piece in the first place?

HOISTED BY OUR OWN BONER

Let he who is without Boner cast the first Award. So to speak. Just after Christmas, the Scene sent out a marketing email promoting a Fox News-sponsored event at the Wildhorse Saloon, which its hosts proudly proclaimed would not require proof

of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Not our proudest hour, and not a great way to kick off the New Year. But hey, we’ll own it — this Boner’s for us.

DINING RESTRICTIONS

A foray by Axios into dining coverage left readers a little under-informed in October. Katie Lewis, Nashville copy editor, tapped in to review Locust, the 12South outpost recently named Food & Wine’s Restaurant of the Year — and named Best Restaurant in the Scene’s Best of Nashville issue. A few sentences into her story, Lewis explained that she was pregnant and therefore unable to try much of that night’s menu, a contingency she apparently hadn’t anticipated. Her verdict — an adequate, uneven meal from an overhyped media darling — may have been useful for others dealing with her kind of dietary concerns. For a restaurant known for tartare and seafood, it left a good chunk of unpregnant people unconvinced.

IF YOU GIVE A MAUS THE AX …

Everyone will know about it. And everyone will want to read it. McMinn County in East Tennessee made national headlines in January for banning from its curriculum the first and only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer. Maus is about the Holocaust, inspired by the stories of author Art Spiegelman’s own father. The sin in question? Light swearing and nudity. To be more specific, mouse dicks and mouse cleavage. Shortly after, sales of the book grew 753 percent. Even the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum took notice, and publicly condemned the move. The waitlist for it at the Nashville Public Libraries has died down by now.

SNOWSTORMS AND SHITSTORMS

Back in mid-January, Nashville saw a pretty gnarly winter snowstorm — and local reporter Stephanie Langston’s Twitter mentions saw a pretty gnarly shitstorm. “Ace Hardware in West Nashville got a truck load of sleds this morning and they are already sold out!” the WKRN journo tweeted. “Guess how many? 5,000. They sold 5,000 sleds today.” After some pushback from dubious local Twitter sleuths, Langston tweeted that she “didn’t believe it either” until an employee confirmed it to her. But doing a bit of back-of-napkin math, Scene operatives quickly deduced that 5,000 sleds by late afternoon would’ve meant the Ace sold roughly 555 sleds per hour — or nine sleds per minute. Ultimately, Langston rang the store back, discovered that the actual number was “a little over 600,” and deleted the offending original tweet. But not without earning a Boner Award.

MISINFORMATION AGE

In July, local ABC affiliate WKRN ran a story headlined “ ‘I thought I was dying’: Woman hospitalized after picking up $1 bill in Nashville.” In the piece — which ran as a segment during the outlet’s 5 p.m. news broadcast — WKRN’s Stephanie Langston reported that a Kentucky couple experienced what they believed to be an accidental overdose of “fentanyl or a similar drug” due to picking up a $1 bill in a Bellevue McDonald’s. As has been noted many times by many experts, misinformation about the risk of fentanyl

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ILLUSTRATION: HOLLY CARDEN

overdose due to touching or inhaling the drug is widespread, particularly among law enforcement. And the possibility that a person can touch an item with fentanyl on it, then touch their partner, and their partner also experience symptoms of an overdose — while neither person has experienced any sort of high? Um, extremely not possible. The next day, WKRN and Langston ran a follow-up quoting an epidemiologist who noted the “incredibly, incredibly small” risk of experiencing a fentanyl overdose via such means, and they added an addendum to the online version of their first story. What’s that Jonathan Swift quote? Oh, right. “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”

WE DID NAZI THAT COMING

In a hearing for a bill to ban camping on public property, state Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) told a very weird story about Adolf Hitler being homeless because … well, it’s still not clear why he did it. Niceley falsely claimed Hitler lived on the streets to endear himself to common people, and then said it was proof that unhoused people “can come out of these homeless camps and have a productive life. Or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life.” Was this meant to inspire folks? Warn that the next homeless person is the next Hitler? We don’t know. But it made national news, and weeks later, Niceley was accused of making antisemitic remarks for a new batch of strange comments about Morgan Ortagus, a Jewish politician endorsed by Donald Trump — he claimed only the ex-president’s Jewish relatives would be upset she was booted off a congressional election ballot.

THE SOUND AND THE FURRIES

Any average American might struggle with defining what a “furry” is, so it’s no great surprise that Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers — who are indeed American and oh-so-extremely average — would have similar challenges in understanding the subculture built around people dressing up in mascot-like costumes. Costumes that, in one particularly mind-numbing Facebook thread (and that’s saying something), a Cheatham County schools official conceded with more than a little bit of admiration are often “elaborate” and “quite impressive.” Tennessee’s GOP legislators have, however, in their usual way, completely missed the mark, believing that a “furry” is a child who identifies as a household pet. Now, surely, there is a name for such a thing. Something like “a child pretending to be a household pet,” which is a mouthful, so following the great advice of Strunk and White, we can eliminate unnecessary words and instead call them “a child pretending” or, even better, “a child.” Why are state lawmakers worried about children pretending to be cats and dogs, something literally every child does at some point? That’s something you, the owner of a fully functioning brain stem, may ask. Well, naturally, it’s because these same children are being allowed to use litter boxes and the like at school. At least, that’s what Rep. Mary Littleton and Sen. Janice Bowling believe, as they made clear during a hearing about the state’s education system — which, ranking 49th nationally in per-pupil spending, is now perfect but for the kids pooping in litter boxes. Technically, Littleton and Bowling “have

ONE MAN’S TRASH

Nashvillians rang in the year with piles of recyclables after Metro halted curbside pickup for more than a month. Red River Waste Solutions, the city’s primary garbage pickup operator, filed for bankruptcy in October 2021, but many residents didn’t notice until Metro suspended recycling collection on Dec. 21. It was particularly poor timing during the holiday season, and bins overflowed with shipping boxes, gift wrap and other crap residents couldn’t get rid of without driving to a recycling center themselves. Curbside pickup resumed in February, and Metro approved new contracts with two waste collection companies in July to prevent future stoppages.

heard” about Skylars and Braylands using litter boxes — the lawmakers employed the well-worn rhetorical device of “some people are saying.” Well, some people are saying that’s completely bonkers. It would actually be comforting to assume that Littleton, Bowling and the alarming number of other people who buy this nonsense are cynically using hyperbole to prove a slippery-slope point. “We let transgender people pick their bathrooms, and if we do that, then AP History is going to be interrupted with litter box breaks.” Sort of a “Modest Proposal” situation, but with scoopable poop instead of Irish babies. However, much as they’ve no actual evidence of kids pooping in schoolsupplied litter boxes, we have no actual evidence they’re that clever or cunning.

MOLD NEWS

Mold is gross, but it happens — especially in old buildings. We get that. What we don’t get, however, is Vanderbilt University’s repeated failures to properly address mold issues in its dorms. Allegations of toxic mold in dorms surfaced back in January, along with related health issues. And it turns out

it wasn’t the first time. Vanderbilt’s student publication The Hustler has reported similar issues in 2019, 2014 and 2008. If you’re going to make students live in student housing all four years, the least you could do is make sure it ain’t moldy.

THUG LIFE?

It’s rare to see elected officials say what they mean. When public figures show how their brain connects thoughts and chooses words, it can be oddly refreshing. Nashvillians have seen the Metro Council advance racist policies while certain members, skewing toward retirement age and majority white, deny their own personal racism. Back around the start of the year, District 27 Councilmember Robert Nash argued what he was really thinking when the body debated license plate readers. Nash was eager to adopt the surveillance tools in order to protect upstanding Nashvillians from “thugs” — a very loud dog whistle for viewers who, like Nash, sometimes prefer to reduce a complicated world into simpler categories. In a toocliché follow-up, Nash explained that his

wife had cleared him of any wrongdoing after consulting Urban Dictionary on the meaning of the term.

TRUMP CHUMP DUMPS ON UMP

In June, former local sports-talk radio blowhard turned national conservative-talk radio blowhard Clay Travis took time out of his busy schedule bootlicking Donald Trump and fomenting outrage against school boards to take on America’s true enemies: poorly paid Little League umpires. Travis got the old heave-ho from his kid’s baseball game after the aforementioned progeny was called out for interference. Travis, a self-proclaimed attendee of hundreds of baseball games, claimed he’d never seen such a call! And directed at his child! Well, you can understand why a well-educated grown man would get so mad, particularly during such a high-stakes event as an earlysummer baseball tournament for 11-yearolds. Surely, once having calmed himself down, Travis would see his anger and instinct to stand up for his kid, no matter how poorly expressed, had gotten the best of him, and he’d be properly chastened

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nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 13 MARCH 11 & 12 BOBBY WEIR & WOLF BROS FEATURING THE WOLFPACK ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM MARCH 3 LONESTAR MARCH 19 BROOKE LIGERTWOOD ON SALE THURSDAY AT 10 AM MARCH 16 IL DIVO WITH STEVEN LABRIE ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM DECEMBER 16 SMOKEY ROBINSON MARCH 31 & APRIL 1 GOOSE ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM MARCH 17 KOUNTRY WAYNE ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM DECEMBER 14 LOUIS C.K. FEBRUARY 6 PARAMORE WITH LOUIS PRINCE ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM FEBRUARY 9 DANCING WITH THE STARS FEBRUARY 12 P1HARMONY ON SALE THURSDAY AT 7 PM MARCH 30 LEWIS CAPALDI APRIL 19 LEANNE MORGAN JULY 27 IMPRACTICAL JOKERS ON SALE FRIDAY AT 10 AM

SLACKING OFF

There are plenty of horror stories out there about parents losing their tempers at their kids’ sports games, but state Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) raised — or lowered? — the bar when he tried and failed to pants the ref at a high school basketball game over a call involving his son. Again, we have to emphasize that he failed in this strange endeavor. This grown man, an elected member of the state legislature, managed to tug on the official’s pants with both hands but seemingly lacked the strength, leverage and/or determination to pull them down. Well, that or the ref has the finest belt in sports. Things could have gotten uglier for Faison — The Tennessean reports that the ref requested a call to the police, but it didn’t happen. The lawmaker later apologized online saying he “totally lost [his] junk,” a weird but fitting piece of punctuation to the whole episode.

and embarrassed. Which is what a person with a well-developed sense of shame and perspective and also Jeremy Faison (see above) would do. Wrong. Instead, Travis doubled down and took what almost certainly would have remained a mostly private matter public and bragged about it on the numerous platforms he has at his disposal to make money off people like the MAGA-hat cousin you only have to see once a year, thank God, and anyone who celebrates College Colors Day. Having the (multiple) errors of his ways pointed out did nothing to dissuade Travis from the notion that his cause was righteous, because Clay Travis has never been wrong in his life, and in any case, all attention — good or bad — gives him happy feelings in his lifestylebrand khakis.

THE CAUCACITY

A group of West Nashvillians rallying under the banner Reclaim Brookmeade Park has been complaining for years about

a homeless encampment that grew on the greenway. Social media accounts for the group don’t shy from harsh language, and have at times labeled the campers “vagrants” — a term most professionals and even Reclaim Brookmeade co-founder Becky Lowe recognize as a derogatory term. A mystery user of the Reclaim Twitter account seemingly defended the term, posting a definition of the word. While “vagrant” is apparently a fair word to throw around, it seems free speech goes only one direction. When Metro Councilmember Ginny Welsch called the West Nashvillians “white” at a public meeting, one of the aforementioned white people shouted “racist” at her in response. One member even went so far as to file an ethics complaint over the matter, which — no surprise! — was dismissed. Pearl-clutching, lack of empathy and a waste of public time? Sounds about white to us.

HALL PASS

All the glamour of holding local political office comes with just a little bit of paperwork — a lesson learned the hard way this year by District 1 Councilmember Jonathan Hall. He’s racked up $360,000 in fines for 36 campaign finance violations and is ineligible to run for office until he figures it out. A couple big red flags point to potential personal expenditures with campaign money, and Hall doesn’t really want to talk about it. When he does, he explains his situation as the unintended consequences of a too-busy public servant snared in government bureaucracy.

NO GLEN IN SIGHT

After a well-documented fall from grace that earned him the title of “King Boner” in 2019, former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada finally announced his retirement from the state legislature in late 2021. He then launched a campaign for Williamson County clerk, a bureaucratic position in a county that had reelected him six times, even amid his many scandals. Despite his sizable $270,000 campaign fund, almost all of which he contributed himself from his statehouse campaign fund, Casada didn’t even earn 25 percent of the vote total in the Republican primary. At least he had time to change out of his bathrobe when FBI agents arrested him and former top aide Cade Cothren for bribery, wire fraud and other charges in August.

TAKING SOME LIBERTIES

The Metro Nashville Police Department was caught censoring body-cam footage over the summer — not a good look for local law enforcement, which has spent the past few years fighting the perception that police keep things behind the Blue Wall to avoid public accountability. When the Community Oversight Board — formed by referendum in 2018 as an added layer of citizen accountability for police misconduct — realized in July that it was getting redacted video footage from the cops, it was hard not to hear the collective, “Are you kidding me?” The department pledged to end the internal practice of editing out profanity used by officers, but the damage lingers for a relationship already struggling with trust issues.

OH NO: LODO MARKS NEW LOW

“Music City” is such a rock-solid nickname for a city that developers have taken it upon themselves to conjure quasi-trendy, generally bad names for Nashville’s rapidly changing neighborhoods. The phenomenon reached a new low in a July Nashville Business Journal “exclusive” in which developer Ray Hensler christened the area south of Korean Veterans Boulevard “Lower Downtown.” Inevitably, it was shortened to “LoDo,” joining NoGu (North Gulch), WeHo (Wedgewood-Houston), LoBro (Lower Broadway) and other duosyllabic monikers in the “things to say to show people you just moved here” phrasebook.

TRENCH WARFARE

A few months after Google started cutting “microtrenches” into Nashville roads to install Google Fiber, its high-speed internet product, lines have begun to erode across the city. After the same thing happened in Louisville, Ky., and Google

exited with a brief apologetic blog post, the tech giant swore it would be better. Instead, the city appears to have welcomed a corporation that is actively creating potholes that will only get worse with rain and cold temperatures. The Metro Nashville Department of Transportation says Google’s on the hook for repairs. Meanwhile, Google Fiber isn’t getting great reviews from Nashvillians either.

A SWIFT KICK

The presale for tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming stadium tour was an absolute nightmare, with myriad glitches, confusing information, scams aplenty and so many tickets sold that the regular sale was canceled. Whoever at ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster wrote this line in a statement following the debacle deserves an award for Understatement of the Year: “We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour.” Swift herself got a bit closer when she made a statement berating Ticketmaster: “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.” Cultural critic Elamin Abdelmahmoud might have the best take of all, as he tweeted: “Swifties being radicalized against monopolies and getting ready to do some anti-trust lobbying good luck ticketmaster.” After the dust settled a bit, The New York Times reported that, prior to the fumbled on-sale, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an antitrust investigation focused on whether Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation has been abusing its power.

AND STAY OUTTA THE WOOLWORTH!

Since the Woolworth Theatre opened earlier this year at the historic site of lunch counter sit-in protests and famed civil rights leader John Lewis’ first arrest, the biggest misstep was hosting the premiere of The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM, a film directed by Candace Owens for far-right website The Daily Wire. Aligning with Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), who attended the event, is an insane move — though the venue already did align with the Aldean family. After seeing the crass fever dream that was Shiners, it makes sense that the play was the written and executed by Chuck Wicks, one of the owners of the building and the husband of Jason Aldean’s sister. Not making it clear that it was an adults-only show got them dropped from the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. Shiners, which treats samesex relationships and tribal dance as kooky, felt a little ick, but doing it at a civil rights landmark was a big ick.

NEVER LET THE PARTY DIE

Steve Smith’s iconic downtown bar

Tootsie’s secretly collapsed and was rebuilt this spring in what is perhaps the year’s best metaphor for Broadway, the city’s tourism industry and maybe Nashville itself. We can only assume the internal second-floor ceiling crumbled under the weight of various alcohols — we’ve all been there, right? Thankfully, no one was hurt. In fact, the average passerby wouldn’t even have been able to tell. Management

14 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
ILLUSTRATION: HOLLY CARDEN
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cordoned off a live construction site while patrons continued to party everywhere else, effectively managing to keep the good vibes going and the strong drinks flowing.

OH WHAT A FEELING — WHEN WE’RE CRASHING THROUGH THE CEILING

Jesse Kloot was a few things when he came from Canada to visit Nashville — highly intoxicated and clearly without a touch of claustrophobia. We don’t know why he felt so intent on allegedly climbing into the ceiling of the men’s restroom at Honky Tonk Central, which then led him to crashland in the women’s restroom, but he was charged with felony vandalism nonetheless. On top of his quite creepy, weird and dangerous move, he committed a true party foul — the bar had to close for the day.

A BIG FORK-UP

The Melting Pot’s location on Second Avenue still has not reopened since the Christmas Day 2020 bombing that destroyed historic buildings, injured eight people and terrified a city on a normally

peaceful holiday. Someone apparently forgot to remind the restaurant’s corporate communications team, which sent out an email in October of this year encouraging customers to stop in for deals on fondue.

You’d work pretty hard on a public apology after dropping the ball that hard, right?

You definitely wouldn’t just say, “Sorry, we dropped the fork,” in a follow-up email a day later, right? Right?

RAISED BY WOLVES

The Nashville Zoo is a great place to spend a lot of time, the site of epic endof-day battles between parents and kids, specifically those who find their way to the multi-structure Jungle Gym and its iconic tiers of climbable netting. The dream of staying at the zoo forever turned into a nightmare this summer for one Alabama child, who was left behind during a school trip. Zoo employees, adept at placating unknown creatures far from home, kept the juvenile human “safe in a room” where he watched cartoons and napped. Fellow zoo inhabitants tried to hold it together when his parents came to take him home.

PETTY CRIME ROUNDUP

Ambulance thieves and, apparently, every 35-yearold in the state — here are some boneheads who were arrested for Boner Award-worthy high jinks

Nashville had its usual cavalcade of overindulgent Broadway-based small-time crime this year. By now, bachelorettes ending up in the clink after too much to drink is a dog-bites-man situation — and for folks in need of the schadenfreude of seeing a mugshot of a mascarasmeared 20-something from New Jersey or a finance bro who got too stupid for Kid Rock’s bar, well, there are websites for that.

Even so, there were plenty of idiotic petty offenses elsewhere in our fair city. Take, for instance, the 35-year-old Springfield man arrested for trying to get into a Vanderbilt football game. On purpose! The fence-hopper didn’t have a ticket, which, given that it was a Vandy game, means he didn’t try all that hard to find one. He then yelled and attempted to headbutt some Commodores fans, who perhaps would have welcomed being knocked out themselves, given that the Black-and-Gold were in the midst of a 56-0 shellacking at the time. Our interloper didn’t see the exciting conclusion himself, being charged with disorderly conduct. Maybe the judge will get creative and force him to watch a full season of Vandy games, the Eighth Amendment be damned.

Closer to the epicenter of idiocy, another 35-year-old (perhaps we should consider raising the age of eligibility for president?) also decided he’d get what he wanted, trespassing laws notwithstanding, when he entered an “audio/visual room” at the Eighth Avenue J.W. Marriott Hotel and purloined multiple bags of potato chips. (You can never eat just one, et cetera and so forth.) After a confrontation with hotel employees — jealously guarding these snacks as the hospitality-employee oath requires — the would-be chip thief shoved a security guard. On his way out the door, he threatened to shoot the security guard and blow up the hotel. (Must have been some luxury-brand chips!) Police caught up to him later and were able to identify him, in part, because of — you guessed it — the two bags of chips in his hand. He’s charged with felony burglary, among other things.

Snacks are important, though! Just ask the 28-year-old teacher’s assistant at Murrell School, arrested after police allegedly found more than 45 grams of marijuana in baggies in a Mason jar in his lunch bag. Well, that’s not accurate. Police didn’t “find” it. Actually, the pot became apparent due to a student who had been placed in the teacher’s lounge to calm down. He did not calm down. He instead took his temper out on the staff’s belongings, including this lunch sack, exposing the jar, the baggies and the goodies within. Teens, amirite!

There’s more than one way to sneak dope into school, though. A 35-year-old (seriously, guys!) Huntsville, Ala., man was toting around 9 ounces of marijuana, plus fentanyl, in the back of a produce truck making stops at various schools in Franklin County. A steely-eyed — OK, sharp-nosed — SRO smelled the pot as the man made his delivery to Sewanee Elementary.

But hey, you do what you gotta do with the vehicle available, right? For example, a 36-year-old man (presumably, he just had his birthday) was discharged from St. Thomas Midtown and — perhaps unwilling to pay Uber surge pricing — stole an ambulance. He was arrested after a short chase.

Never take what’s not yours. Even if it used to be yours. A 28-year-old woman was charged with aggravated burglary after allegedly attempting to steal a dog she freely admitted giving away to new owners six months earlier. The heart wants what it wants.

16 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
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nashvillescene.com DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 NASHVILLE SCENE 17 DOWNTOWN VISIT TODAY BE TRUE. BE COUNTRY. Sing Me Back Home: Folk Roots to the Present EXHIBIT NOW OPEN
your nashville
Live at the Schermerhorn
PARTNER
Dec. 15 to 18
with the Nashville Symphony & Chorus Aram Demirjian,
n eed a gift idea? Our Holiday Gift Guide is back! Visit Nashvillesymphony.org/GiftGuide and find a concert for everyone on your list! Dec. 8, 9 & 11
symphony
POPS SERIES
MICKEY GUYTON IN
Enrico Lopez-Yañez, conductor Featuring Broadway Singers, Dancers & a visit from Saint Nick himself!
conductor Tucker Biddlecombe, chorus director

CRITICS’ PICKS

THURSDAY / 12.8

MUSIC [LONELIEST B!TCH IS BACK]

EMLYN

Los Angeles alt-pop singer-songwriter Emlyn is riding a wave of attention as she returns for her first headlining performance in the city where she was born and lived through middle school. The daughter of Nashville producer-drummer Andy Peake, she was one of Amazon Music’s “Breakthrough Artists” in 2022 and was promoted on billboards in Hollywood and New York’s Times Square as one of Spotify’s “Fresh Finds of 2021.” That led to Emlyn teaming with Spotify for an exclusive single, “girl’s girl,” her declaration of sisterhood released by the streaming service on Oct. 19. At the Nashville stop of her No One Came to Grieve Tour, Emlyn will be performing music from her impressive 2022 debut album Loneliest B!tch in America The 10 songs on the album are brimming with emotional truth, which is amplified by Emlyn’s powerhouse vocal performances. Songs like “god sent me as karma,” “temporary funeral” and the title cut are representative of the empowered and witty perspective she displays throughout the album. As might be expected on a record by the daughter of a hot drummer, Loneliest B!tch is a highly danceable collection anchored by fat synth bass lines and funky beats. Natalie Madigan opens. 8 p.m. at The East Room, 2412 Gallatin Ave. DARYL SANDERS

ART [THEIR THERE]

THE ESSENCE OF THEIR TICKING

The Essence of Their Ticking is a retrospective on the lives and work of artists and curators Arlyn Ende and Jack Hastings. The exhibition’s title is a reference to the pair’s 2012 collaboration, The Essence of Our Ticking, which was also at Tinney Contemporary. That show featured work from five decades of the couple’s itinerant lives as partners and creative collaborators. Hastings studied mural painting in Mexico before building a career as a sculptor of metal and clay. Ende’s painterly assemblages deploy formal designs in service of poetic metaphors, and the artist was also a beloved director of the University Art Gallery at the University of the South in Sewanee. This show recalls the earlier display, but includes more personal context about Ende and Hasting’s lives together inside and out of the studio. Through Jan. 7 at Tinney Contemporary, 2237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. JOE NOLAN

[WINE, WOMEN AND SONG]

BOOKS

NASHVILLE JEWISH BOOK SERIES: MARISSA MOSS

As part of the Nashville Jewish Book Series put on by Gordon Jewish Community Center in East Nashville, Marissa Moss will join writer and NPR music critic Ann Powers to discuss how women are perceived in country music. Moss’ debut book Her

Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be, which came out in May, explores the concept in detail. In narratives about Kacey Musgraves, Mickey Guyton and Maren Morris, Moss uses the events of the past 20 or so years to illustrate longstanding issues in country music. Both Moss and Powers are superb critics who have long taken hard looks at an industry that has been explicitly hostile to Black artists and women, but it’s clear both still find plenty to love about the genre. Nashville singersongwriter Katie Schecter is slated to open the event with a performance, and drinks and light food will also be available. 6 p.m. in East Nashville at a location that will be sent to ticket holders AMANDA HAGGARD

TIMBRE’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SHOW

THURSDAY, DEC. 8

MUSIC [HARPY HOLIDAYS]

TIMBRE’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SHOW

The Christmas season is a massive cultural phenomenon, meaning so many different things to so many different people — so overwhelming that it’s easy to lose sight of the ways it can help bring us together. Ultimately, it’s about finding the light to guide us through the dark times, such as this literally dark time of year, when the sun’s headed below the horizon long before the workday is over, and any source of light takes on a bit of a mystical quality. In what’s become a great Music City holiday tradition, harpist and songwriter Timbre Cierpke puts the ancient and sublime sound of her instrument at the center of a performance of Christmas music, including traditional carols and original compositions. A cappella ensemble SONUS opens the

nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 19
WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF THINGS TO DO
Covenant Presbyterian Church PHOTO: SARA MILLER

show and will join in the main performance, which features Cierpke’s band augmented by string and brass sections. 7 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 33 Burton Hills Blvd. STEPHEN TRAGESER

MUSIC

[SAFARI, SO GOOD] SAFARI ROOM

Safari Room is an apropos name for a group that packs ample beauty and power into a modest-sized package. On material like “Small Victories,” the opening salvo of its recent Complex House Plants LP, the Nashville-via-Omaha trio showcases glassy guitar tones, emotive melodies and a firm grasp of quiet-loud dynamics. Fans of The Police and/or American Football, take notice. Also on the bill: local power-pop maestro Benjamin A. Harper’s long-running Smart Objects project, and indie-folk upstart Molly Frances, a newcomer to town from Annapolis, Md. 8 p.m. at The End, 2219 Elliston Place CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

THE THEATER BUG PRESENTS HOLIDAY MIXTAPE

If you’re still struggling to find your holiday spirit, The Theater Bug has you covered with its 11th annual winter concert, Holiday Mixtape. As always, the program will provide a solid mix of pop and musicaltheater favorites, along with plenty of comedy and dance. This year’s edition also offers a bit of a retro twist, taking audiences on “a truly outrageous nostalgic trip through the ’80s.” The concert will feature 42 performers between the ages of 6 and 17, all accompanied by a stellar six-piece band of professional musicians. Of course, many of the Bug’s young performers are also seasoned pros, with their work being seen on the Disney Channel, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video and more. Add in set design by Matt Logan and costumes by Melodie Madden Adams, and you have the makings of a “totally radical” holiday celebration. Dec. 8-11 at OZ Arts, 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle AMY STUMPFL

FRIDAY / 12.9

FILM

[COMPUTER, ENHANCE]

WARGAMES & EVILSPEAK

This Friday, Full Moon Cineplex will be

showing a double feature of ’80s films in which big-ass computers play a villainous role. First up, we have John Badham’s 1983 hit WarGames, starring a very young Matthew Broderick as a teen whiz kid who accidentally sets off World War III when he hacks into a U.S. military supercomputer. But you really need to stick around for Eric Weston’s batshit-crazy, banned-in-Britain bloodbath from 1981, Evilspeak. Clint Howard (aka Ron’s little brother) stars as an oft-bullied military-school cadet who uses a computer to translate a book of black mass, eventually inflicting a whole bunch of satanic shit on the students and faculty. If you’re the type of person who believes that technology will be our downfall, check out these two throwbacks and learn that some people have felt this way for decades. 7 & 9 p.m. at Full Moon Cineplex, 3455 Lebanon Pike CRAIG D. LINDSEY

[GOOD PLACE]

MUSIC

DAN KNOBLER & FRIENDS

Dan Knobler’s 2022 album Friends Play My Son’s Favorite Songs, Vol. 1 works as a nice holiday record that features the producer and musician collaborating with notables on the order of Rodney Crowell, Allison Russell and Aaron Lee Tasjan. As the album’s title suggests, it’s a collection of cover tunes that includes songs by Crowell, The Beatles, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell.

Knobler produced Americana star Russell’s critically and commercially acclaimed 2021 album Outside Child, and he’s also produced records by singer-songwriter Caroline Spence and popsters Lake Street Dive. Friday at The Basement, Knobler brings his covers concept to the stage, and the show will feature Crowell, Spence, Andrew Combs and Joe Pisapia, who will join him on tunes like Crowell and Donivan Cowart’s “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,” a 1979 hit single for The Oak Ridge Boys.

Friends Play My Son’s Favorite Songs also delves into deep singer-songwriterdom with Paul Simon’s 1970 “The Only Living Boy in New York” and Bobby Charles’ eventempered gem “I Must Be in a Good Place Now.” The show promises to be special — expect some cool guests to show up. 9 p.m. at The Basement, 1604 Eighth Ave. S. EDD HURT

SHOPPING

[LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET]

PORTER FLEA PREVIEW MARKET

Attending the Porter Flea Preview Market is the most sane decision you can make this holiday season. Tickets allow you entry to the crazy-busy, crazy-good marketplace a day in advance, so you’ll be able to scope the semi-annual market before the regular vultures … I mean, shoppers. Now in its 11th year, the expertly curated shopping event emphasizes handmade art, local designs and community building. Highlight vendors this year include: Uju Lwami, fringe + co., Garner Blue, Dragon Denim, January Moon, Feast by Louisa and Julie Maeseele. Plus, there’s the added comfort of knowing you’re delivering unique goods to your loved ones without handing more $ over to a Seattle billionaire. What a gift! 6-9 p.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville, 625 Smith Ave. TOBY LOWENFELS

SATURDAY / 12.10

[TRIPLE C]

COMMUNITY

CAROLS, COOKIES AND CRAFTS

Museums have a reputation for being quiet places — strongholds of a good shush. While the Tennessee State Museum has its corners and moments that live up to that cliché, one of the most wonderful things about the museum is that it often hosts events that fill the place with joyful noise. Carols, Cookies and Crafts includes all that is in the title. Cookies and hot cocoa will be on hand. There will be live caroling from local choirs and music groups like Cremona Strings Ensemble, the Metro Nashville Chorus and Bach to Rock West Nashville in the museum’s grand hall. Parents should take note that in between breathing deeply while helping your kids make holiday crafts, there are holiday story times slated for every hour on the hour beginning at 10:30 a.m. The only question that remains is why poor cocoa didn’t make it into the event title. There’s always

next year. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. AMANDA HAGGARD

MUSIC [LOW-KEY INTENSE]

CRAVE ON W/VLADOPUS9 & THEE KAVE CRICKETS

Crave On’s new full-length Slow Pulsing Rainbow puts songwriter and singer Patrick Orr’s lyrics about the pressures of adulthood into settings that skew to the slightly diffident pop of The Go-Betweens or the sainted Lou Reed himself. Orr, who’s been leading Crave On along with violinist and fellow songwriter Kate Richi for nearly a decade, isn’t exactly a diffident singer — he sounds sly and amused by his own intensity on Slow Pulsing Rainbow tracks like “Exit Trip” and “Charming the Matador.” Aided by Bryan Hench’s low-key bass patterns, their sound is a trifle arty without being precious. Orr has a way with his aperçus, and Slow Pulsing Rainbow is an impressive testament to his songwriting on tracks like “Grey Black and White.” Slow Pulsing Rainbow also registers as all-American pop courtesy of Orr’s relaxed formalism, which comes wrapped in a warm voice. Meanwhile, Crave On shares the bill with another group of Nashville outliers, noise rockers Vladopus9. The guitar-art project of ax man Joseph Page and singer Lisa Rau sounds like a goofy cartoon version of Sonic Youth on their 2019 album Expires on Tuesday Their new single “Elf’n Christmas” pairs Page and Rau with a trio of veteran country musicians that includes pedal-steel player Fred Newell, percussionist Eddie Anderson and background singer Anita Stapleton. Rounding out the bill is Thee Kave Crickets, led by Nashville multi-instrumentalist Matt Bach. 9 p.m. at Springwater, 115 27th Ave. N. EDD HURT

ART [GOING ALL-COUNTRY] GRAFF MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE

Subway graffiti may get the credit for bringing street art into mainstream

20 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
THEATER [LIKE, TOTALLY TUBULAR!]
CRITICS’ PICKS CRAVE ON
SAFARI ROOM
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 21 DOWNTOWN Museum Membership Museum members receive unlimited Museum admission, concert ticket presale opportunities, and much more. JOIN TODAY: CountryMusicHallofFame.org/Membership Check our calendar for a full schedule of upcoming programs and events. Saturday, December 10 SONGWRITER SESSION Brett Sheroky NOON · FORD THEATER Sunday, December 11 SONGWRITER SESSION Parker Welling 11:00 am · FORD THEATER Sunday, December 11 CONCERT Runaway June 12:30 pm · CMA THEATER Sunday, December 11 MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT Charlie McCoy 2:00 pm · FORD THEATER Saturday, December 17 SONGWRITER SESSION Marla Cannon - Goodman NOON · FORD THEATER Saturday, December 17 HATCH SHOW PRINT Block Party 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:30 pm HATCH SHOW PRINT SHOP Sunday, December 18 MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT SistaStrings 1:00 pm · FORD THEATER Saturday, January 7 SONGWRITER SESSION Donna Ulisse NOON · FORD THEATER Sunday, January 8 MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT Devin Malone 1:00 pm · FORD THEATER Saturday, January 14 SONGWRITER SESSION Matt McGinn NOON · FORD THEATER 12/8 9pm The Country Misfits & The Marcus Brown Band 12/9 6pm Jon Byrd 9pm Garrett DeVaughn, Hybrid Sol & Dave Strumfeld 12/10 9pm Crave On, Vladopus 9 & The Kave Crickets 12/11 4pm Springwater Sit In Jam 9pm Othrside & Mr. Fucker 12/14 5pm Writers @ the Water Open Mic 9pm Clayton Reed & The Copilots Open Wed - Sun

CRITICS’ PICKS

consciousness, but it’s railroad graffiti that has expanded the art form out of the city and into the rest of America. It’s about time, then, that freight-train graff gets its own museum — and why not in Nashville? If anyone knows about showcasing vision and talent without sacrificing collaboration and community, it’s us. The Graff Museum opens Dec. 10 in the Rail Yard Studios on Willow Street, and founder Robert Hendrick is hosting an open house to introduce the work and its mission. On view will be pieces depicting Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris that were cut from railcars as they were decommissioned. The event is free, but donations are requested — part of the museum’s mission is to bring awareness to addiction and suicide in the graffiti community, so you can feel good knowing that you’re helping a good cause. Follow the Graff Museum on Instagram — @graffmuseum — for details. 1-4 p.m. at the Graff Museum at Rail Yard Studios, 231 Willow St. LAURA

SHOPPING

NASHVILLE PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET

For those holiday shoppers at the left of the dial, Nashville rarely has a lot to offer in stores. But if Santa is looking to fill his bag with locally printed ACAB T-shirts, hand-painted Doc Martens, or rare ’80s Finnish hardcore singles, the Nashville Punk Rock Flea Market might be the solution. Vendors and craftspeople will be set up all day while bands play onstage. Artists appearing will include Memphis’ Seize & Desist (former members of Negro Terror), Hans Condor, local pogo-punx Wrekt! and more. Instagram meme team Music Shitty will even be selling merch, with proceeds going to three Nashville charities. The event is free and open to all ages, but new items will be collected for donations to Toys for Tots. 11 a.m. at Eastside Bowl, 1508A Gallatin Pike S. P.J. KINZER

MUSIC

ELECTRIC PYTHON’S KRAMPUS PARTY

If Krampus is planning on beating all the naughty kids at The Basement with a birch rod, she’s going to have one very exhausted arm by the end of Saturday night. Electric Python’s Yuletide party celebrates both the cloven-hoofed beast of Alpine folklore and the mighty spirit of cranked amplifiers. Along with the bongblazing riffs of Python, rock ’n’ roll wildmen Hans Condor and noise-rock veterans Spider Virus will be spreading the holiday punishments. Attendees will also get a visit from Krampus, who will be beating the naughty kids and taking photos for your next holiday card. 8 p.m. at The Basement, 1604 Eighth Ave. S. P.J. KINZER

MUSIC

IN A HOLE] SUNN O)))

Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley have spent their career in the subterranean fringe of music, so it should be no surprise that after two decades of pedaldamaged, interdimensional noise, the druid duo has finally found the perfect venue for their underground legacy: a cave below the stony surface of Grundy County. The twosome has often taken on collaborators to share in their drone kvlt, including

avant-garde vocalist Scott Walker, Mayhem singer Attila Csihar, and art-damaged Norwegians Ulver. But for the Shoshin (初 心) Duo U.S. Tour, Sunn O))) has returned to the origin as just Anderson, O’Malley and their armada of drop-tuned guitars. Fans will have a long trek to Pelham, Tenn., followed by a descent through the caverns to find the hall where the band will conduct their sonic experiments, but without a doubt it will be one of the most rewarding metal pilgrimages of a lifetime. 9 p.m. at The Caverns, 555 Charlie Roberts Road, Pelham P.J. KINZER

MUSIC [TRUE LOVE WAITS] GET BEHIND THE MULE

From bona fide American standards like “(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night” to weirder works like Swordfishtrombones in 1983 and Bone Machine in ’92, Tom Waits has run the gamut of musical styles and human emotions as few other artists have. The gravel-voiced troubadour turns 73 this month, and for the 17th year running, the Waits appreciation society’s Music City chapter will toast to their hero on his birthday weekend, with proceeds, as always, benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. The 2022 installment of Get Behind the Mule’s menagerie of players covering fave Tom tunes include regulars like Kevin Gordon, Angel Snow and Afton Wolfe (who’ll be MC-ing as well) alongside curiosities like Philly transplant Molly Martin, who played in a supporting capacity last year and steps out on her own this time — not to mention the evocatively monikered Sizzle Went the VCR. 8 p.m. at The 5 Spot, 1106 Forrest Ave. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

MUSIC [WAY UP HIGH]

RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE

Hold on to your beanie, ’cause Rainbow Kitten Surprise puts on an unrelentingly energetic show. Hailing from Boone, N.C., the folk-rock group delivers a visual and vocal feast. With three studio albums under its belt, RKS has built a devoted fandom by creating an all-inclusive environment, most notably within the LGBTQ community. Lead singer Ela Melo, whose soulful rasp shines on songs like “Fever Pitch” and “Devil Like Me,” came out as transgender in March. By drowning the stage in rainbow lights, the band’s live show reaches such a heavenly state, you can leave your rose-colored glasses at home. 8 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave N. TOBY LOWENFELS

SUNDAY / 12.11

MUSIC [A JOYOUS SOUND]

PORTARA ENSEMBLE PRESENTS

SING WE JOYOUS

Established in 2010, Portara Ensemble has earned a loyal following by inspiring audiences through its unique approach to choral music. On Sunday, the ensemble (which is named for a sacred site from ancient Greece) is back with its first full concert since 2019 — an intimate and wideranging holiday performance titled Sing We Joyous. The program features plenty of holiday favorites, as well as less-traditional pieces — serving up everything from

Gregorian chant and shape-note hymnody to Spanish villancico, contemporary spirituals, English carols and more. Along with Portara’s 32 singers, audiences can also look forward to hearing from a number of guest artists, including soprano Tamica Nicole, cellist Cremaine Booker, harmonium player Ryoko Suzuki and flutist Jeff Coffin. 4 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3201 Hillsboro Road AMY STUMPFL

COMEDY

HAMALA]

KEVIN JAMES THORNTON

I love the little corner of the internet where folks poke fun at Christian fundamentalist and evangelical culture. One of the best in cyberspace at addressing the absurdity of things like speaking in tongues (all while using a tiny pitch-correcting microphone) is Nashvillian Kevin James Thornton. While his main medium is TikTok, where he has a million followers, he’s on the heels of a U.S. tour. He’s back in his hometown at Zanies to work out material for a new show where he plans to bring in special guests. Like me, you may be of the age where you tend to watch TikTok videos only as they stream into your Instagram account, but I’m curious how and if the tiny microphone will make an appearance. 4 p.m. at Zanies, 2025 Eighth Ave. S. AMANDA HAGGARD

TUESDAY / 12.13

FILM

GREMLINS

For some people, Christmas sucks. Just ask Phoebe Cates’ character from the horror-comedy Gremlins why, at age 9, she stopped believing in Santa Claus (or YouTube the comically cringeworthy scene). In the early ’80s, Steven Spielberg pursued Gremlins as a low risk to kickstart his fledgling production company. The lowbudget anti-Christmas farce grossed its entire budget opening day, proving there was an untapped market for throwing Santa some shade. Set on Christmas Eve in an idyllic town that parodies It’s a Wonderful Life’s Bedford Falls, Gremlins masquerades as a generic Christmas tale until the audience meets a cute and cuddly “mogwai” that resembles an owl and a hamster (a proto-Furby). The film’s protagonists, the Peltzers (an ’80s version of the Rockwellian

22 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
[MERRY CHRISTMAS (I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT)] [I DON’T WANT TO GO DOWN TO THE BASEMENT]
[DOWN
[NEVER FEED THEM AFTER MIDNIGHT] KEVIN JAMES THORNTON
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 23 Nashville’s ONLY vinyl record store with full bar and 24 seasonal craft beers on tap. 8 DJ Cam Sarrett 9 Hello Honky Tonk DJs 10 DJ Hurrikat 11 LIVE: Bea Troxel, Ryan Bigelow, and Kyle Hamlett 12 LIVE: Sofia Goodman Group 14 LIVE: API Women’s Night 15 Happy Hour: Devalued Podcast Live PM: Spiral Groove Hip Hop Showcase vinyltapnashville.com 3245 Gallatin Pike Nashville TN 37216 sidgolds.com/nashville 629.800.5847 Live Piano Karaoke 6 NIGHTS A WEEK! THU 12.8 Christmas CAT-ioke Fundraiser for Nashville Cat Rescue 7-9 Piano karaoke 9-12 w/Alan Pelno FRI 12.9 Happy Hour piano karaoke 6-9 w//Dani Ivory Piano karaoke 9-1 w/Kira Small SAT 12.10 Gri in McMahon 7-9 Piano karaoke 9-1 w/Alan Pelno SUN 12.11 Christmas Carol-oke Fundraiser for Fannie Battle 6:30-8:30 Piano karaoke 8:30-12 w/Dani Ivory MON 12.12 Show Tunes @ Sid’s 7-9 Piano karaoke 9-12 w/Krazy Kyle WED 12.14 Hags Reel to Reel Happy Hour 6-8 BURLESK 8-9 ($7) Piano karaoke 9-12 w/Dani Ivory *Closed Tuesdays 3900 Hillsboro Pike Suite 14 | Nashville, TN 37215 (615) 953-2243 Shop online at parnassusbooks.net @parnassusbooks1 @parnassusbooks @parnassusbooks1 Parnassus Books let us pick the perfect gift! surprise bundles Scan the QR code or visit: parnassusbooks.net/holiday-catalog-2022 gift ideas from expert booksellers! stopping by the store? holiday hours Mon-sat 10-8 sun 12-6 dec 24 10-3 dec 25&26 closed Tell us what they like and our expert booksellers will put together the perfect surprise!

family), name him Gizmo, and he makes a great pet except for one biological detail: Feeding after midnight metamorphoses mogwais into murderous mutants. Amusingly, these needle-toothed and spikyclawed gremlins, rather than devouring people, prefer playing sadistic pranks such as hot-wiring wheelchairs and traffic lights — that is, when they’re not drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and singing along to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Heigh Ho! 7 p.m. at The Franklin Theatre, 419 Main St., Franklin WILLIAM HOOKER

[BABY, BABY]

MUSIC

AMY GRANT AND VINCE GILL

Amy Grant is Nashville’s mom, and the Ryman Auditorium is her house. Once a year she invites us in for her Christmas show with Vince Gill. (He’s technically her husband but not Nashville’s dad — that role belongs to the late John Prine — but let’s sort it all out later in therapy.) Children, aka audience members, are treated to an intimate evening of seasonal cheer. Classic Yuletide tunes are interspersed with storytelling and joking. Amy once pitched a faux snowball at Vince in between songs and he quipped, “That’s a helluva arm you’ve got on you, gospel gal.” The golden couple’s actual children are also known to make an appearance onstage, but don’t worry: There’s no such thing as sibling rivalry in Amy’s house. 7:30 p.m. at the Ryman, 116 Rep. John Lewis Way N. TOBY LOWENFELS

WEDNESDAY / 12.14

MUSIC

[ACOUSTICS AND ENLIGHTENMENT]

THE LANTERN TOUR

Hosted at City Winery, the Lantern Tour is a showcase of acoustic performances from mostly local artists, with proceeds benefiting the Women’s Refugee Commission. The organization, which is based in cities all across the country, works to improve the lives of women and children who have been displaced by conflict and crisis. Marginalized populations are at the center of the WRC’s work, with their research and strategies focused on creating a safer, healthier world for refugees who have disabilities, are members of the

LGBTQ community, or belong to other typically disenfranchised groups. The Lantern Tour travels all over the country, with a date in Los Angeles prior to the Nashville show. Mary Gauthier, Ruby Amanfu, Becca Mancari, Sistastrings and Aaron Lee Tasjan will all be performing acoustic sets, along with some special guests. 5:30 p.m. at City Winery, 609 Lafayette St. CONNOR DARYANI

MUSIC [FOR YOUR REVUE]

CANNON & MORE

Holly G and her crew at Black Opry have done a fantastic job over the past two years of building a platform for the immense talents of Black and brown country and Americana artists, who have been marginalized or outright ignored to the detriment of everyone. Following Middle Tennessee appearances this year at City Winery, comedian Josh Black’s Good Vibez Fest, the CMA Music Fest, Pilgrimage and AmericanaFest, Black Opry’s traveling roadshow The Black Opry Revue pulls into The Basement East on Wednesday, overflowing with phenomenal musicians. At the top of the bill is songsmith Willie Jones, a Sony Music Nashville signee whom you might have seen in Joshua Kissi’s excellent documentary For Love & Country. The other local folks in the lineup have just as much to offer across a wide range. Julia Cannon’s recent singles draw on old-school vocal-pop techniques as she dives deep into complex social situations, while Crys Matthews takes on big social issues in her songs informed by country, rock and soul; Ping Rose and the Anti-Heroes lean more toward blues-rock, while golden-voiced Aaron Vance creates his sound from several eras of country you might call “classic.” If you missed Virginia’s soulful Roberta Lea, Texan and masterful roots frontman Nicky Diamonds or richvoiced and gregarious North Carolina songsmith Nikki Morgan at previous Black Opry Revue shows, don’t wait to get a ticket till the show’s sold out — you’re going to be talking about them for months to come. 8 p.m. at The Basement East, 917 Woodland St. STEPHEN TRAGESER

24 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com CRITICS’ PICKS
THE BLACK OPRY REVUE FEAT. WILLIE JONES, JULIA
December in... More info online & on our instagram! We are closed the 5-15, 22-24, & 31! Happy Holidays! THEBLUEROOMBAR.COM @THEBLUEROOMNASHVILLE 623 7TH AVE S NASHVILLE, TENN. Rent out The Blue Room for your upcoming events! BLUEROOMBAR@THIRDMANRECORDS.COM JAKE BOTTS ABORTION CARE OF TENN. BENEFIT GREASY NEALE DJs MISS CINNAMON & MARCO WITH LOVE feat. CLUB NITTY GRITTY feat. ANDREW COMBS, MADI DIAZ, & MORE DJ AFROSHEEN + JOHN STAMPS WITH DANA GAVANSKI BLUE ROOM HOLIDAY MARKET LOCKELAND STRINGS PATRICK WATSON 12/2 FRIDAY 12/3 SATURDAY 12/4 SUNDAY 12/17 SATURDAY 12/29 THURSDAY 12/30 FRIDAY 12/1 THURSDAY 12/16 FRIDAY JAZZ NIGHT GLOBAL WORKS ALBUM RELEASE SHOW PEPPERMINT LOUNGE THE BABY: INTIMATE R&B DANCE PARTY The Pink Spiders (Late Show) 12/10 Rock N’ Roll N’ Toys N’ Tots V 12/14 Machine Head 12/9 Bloodkin’s Rock N’ Bowl 12/29-31 The Ornaments 12/16-20 Punk Rock Flea Market 12/10 Jake Hill 12/15 Curren$y 12/8 DEC 8 Curren$y DEC 9 Machine Head DEC 10 Nashville Punk Rock Flea Market DEC 10 The Pink Spiders (Late Show) DEC 13 Vince Herman & Kendall Marvel DEC 15 Jake Hill DEC 16-20 The Ornaments DEC 29-31 Bloodkin’s Rock N’ Bowl DEC 31 My So-Called Band: 90s NYE JAN 7 Light in the Black JAN 13 The Stolen Faces JAN 20 Shlump JAN 27 Dusty Bo & the Contraband JAN 28 Ivy Lab MAR 2 Of the Trees MAR 22 Eric Bellinger DEC 1 Sam Hawksley DEC 7 The Coal Men DEC 8 Luella DEC 14 Mike Younger DEC 15 Stephen Simmons DEC 21 Soft Power FM DEC 22 Imperial Blues Hour w/ Jeffrey Clemens & Kenny Vaughn DEC 28 Mark Andrew Miller DEC 29 TBA Low Volume Lounge 8PM Free please mind the tip hat! 1508A Gallatin Pike S Madison TN 37115 @eastsidebowl | @esb_venue My So-Called Band: 90s NYE 12/31 PRESENTED BY 2022
VINCE GILL AND AMY GRANT
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 25 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Get all the spicy details at nashvilletacoweek.com For one week only, your favorite taco shops are offering up $5 TACO SPECIALS! These are nacho mama’s tacos , these will guac your world! Birria, steak, shrimp and even breakfast tacos... NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS! PRESENTED BY DECEMBER 5-11 WHAT GOES BEST WITH TACOS? TEQUILA! ASK YOUR SERVER ABOUT CÓDIGO 1530 DRINK SPECIALS AT PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS. YOUR PHONE EATS FIRST THIS WEEK! SNAP PICS OF YOUR TACO WEEK SPECIALS & SHARE THEM USING #SCENETACOWEEK22 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN PRIZES THINGS ARE HEATING UP DURING TACO WEEK! BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR HOFFMANN BROTHERS HOT SAUCES AT PARTICIPATING LOCATIONS. SCAN TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE TACO & VIEW THE INTERACTIVE MAP TO FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU! VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE TACO! PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS
26 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com El Paseo Cantina 905 51st Ave N. Tues. - Sat. 4 pm-9 pm @elpaseoCANTINA Happy Hour 4-6 pm Daily Easy ordering for pick-up or delivery B o o k y o u r p r i v a t e e v e n t , g o u r m e t w i n e a n d f o o d p a i r i n g , o r h i s t o r i c a l b o u r b o n e x p e r i e n c e o n o u r 3 2 a c r e s o f b e a u t i f u l h i s t o r i c p r o p e r t y W H E T H E R A V A C A T I O N O R S T A Y C A T I O N D I S C O V E R A N E W L E V E L O F N A S H V I L L E . 6 1 5 3 5 6 6 1 6 4 @ b e l l e m e a d e w i n e r y B E L L E M E A D E W I N E R Y e Phila Awards Celebrate the life of Phila Rawlings Hach by honoring the people and organizations continuing her legacy of using food and cooking virtuously e Najat Al Zahawi Nation United Award Top 3 nalists Catholic Charities Adrianne Wright Caroline Williams e Patti Myint Cooking Up Award Top 3 nalists Mark & Kevin of Donelson Cafe Caroline Williams Donna Minor e Ruth Williams Flour Power Award Top 3 nalists Laura Wilson Rokeisha Bryant Sarah Voter e Tallu Quinn Serving Spoon Award Top 3 nalists Signe Emily Lawlor Lori Birckhead Voting is now open in four categories! Voting closes December 22 in partnership with Vote Now Join us as we reveal the winners of the annual Phila Awards on January 19, 2023 at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. Tickets on sale now. www.thephilas.com

Jonathan Ross brings Master Sommelier bona fides to The Twelve Thirty Club

Considering the culinary reputation and culture of notable wine collectors that Nashville has, it might seem surprising that there’s never been anyone with the designation of Master Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Heck, Louisville has two of them. The closest Nashville has come to representation by a Master Somm was when Louisvillian Brett Davis was an owner of Union Common and was involved in the wine program at the Midtown restaurant. But when you realize that fewer than 300 individuals have achieved the vaunted status since the court began testing wine professionals back in the 1960s — and that there’s only a small handful of Master Somms anywhere in the Southeast aside from Florida — it’s not quite so unusual that Nashville has never been home to one of them. Until now.

New Jersey native Jonathan Ross was featured in the 2015 docuseries Uncorked, which tracked his path through the process of studying and testing for Master Somm status. He served as the head sommelier at legendary NYC restaurant Eleven Madison Park before moving to Australia with his wife Jane Lopes, the opening beverage director at Nashville’s acclaimed The Catbird Seat. Lopes also passed her Master Somm test in 2018 before a cheating controversy — which she was not involved in — led to the invalidation of all the test results from that cycle. She opted not to sit for the exam again, instead starting up LEGEND, an Australian wine-importing company with Ross.

The couple founded the company in early 2020 and found themselves trapped overseas at the beginning of pandemic travel restrictions. Finally making their way back to the States and Lopes’ family home in Southern California, they had their first container of Australian wines shipping to the United States in August 2020. The couple spent much of the next year selling wine out of the back of a beat-up Ford Taurus, crisscrossing the country to visit with associates from their experience in the wine industry.

“There weren’t many restaurants open at the time,” Ross recalls. “We had identified some long-standing family-owned winemakers from Australia with price points that were appropriate for retail sales. We added wines for restaurant lists later.”

The logistics of driving all over the country selling wine got old quickly, and Ross and Lopes looked for a solution. “We were in the wonderful position where we could live anywhere,” Ross says. “In those early days of COVID, New York was too painful and L.A. was too expensive, and neither was conducive to selling wine across the country. Tennessee was one of the first five markets that we had sold into, so we decided to move back to Nashville in May of 2021.”

While Lopes works full time with LEGENDS and Ross is still actively involved

with the company, his itch to get back involved with hospitality lingered. Around that time, Arizona restaurateur Sam Fox was putting the finishing touches on his newest venture, The Twelve Thirty Club at the Fifth + Broadway complex in downtown Nashville, and Ross began talking to him about the prospect of doing some staff education or helping out with the wine program. As they discussed engagement, the position expanded — Ross was eventually named the wine director over the operations, including the street-level upscale honky-tonk, rooftop lounge, swanky supper club and private members-only mezzanine level.

Of all the oeno-centric establishments in town, why did Ross choose to cast his lot with a restaurant perhaps best known for the fact that Justin Timberlake is an investor? “Set aside the MS credential,” he says. “The job is about curating the wine list and the culture, creating and enhancing guest experiences. Master Somms are the ‘Green Berets’ of hospitality, who know exactly how to make it special for guests and staff. There’s a new, growing relationship with wine in Nashville, and I think it should be their own. We should make the customer feel engaged and lean into the experience of Lower and Upper Broadway. In Australia, you can get a good glass of wine at an Aussie-rules football match, so I want to be able to serve a wide variety of clientele, from the ‘honky-tonk sparklers’ to the serious collectors. We’ve got the opportunity to do that here at The Twelve Thirty Club.”

Sam Fox is quite pleased with the hire.

“Jon is easy to talk to and very accessible,” Fox says. “He’s also a real gentleman. I think he’s enjoying the energy of the Twelve Thirty Club. He’s embracing service in the big room and the challenges that presents.”

Working with fellow sommelier Ryan Gardner, Ross is on the floor at Twelve Thirty some 10 to 12 nights a month and spends much of his time sourcing wines and educating the beverage staff at the multiple floors of the restaurant — including at the new subterranean tequila-centric speakeasy Pushing Daisies. “A sommelier should be an amenity for everyone,” he avers. “There’s no bottle of wine that’s beneath me to serve.”

Behind the scenes, Ross continues to improve the wine list and bring the beverage staff up to speed. “We sell a lot of wine, so I spend a lot of time managing the inventory,” he says. “We stock what we can in a financially responsible manner, but you don’t just double the number of items on the wine list. I doubled the organizational tools first and doubled the glassware options so that if a patron wants to drink merlot out of a proper merlot glass, we can do that. Beverage people can’t just sit in their silo and not be involved with operations, and that extends to the bar staff. The more bartenders that love wine, the more wine will be sold.”

Ross is also paying a lot of attention to The Twelve Thirty Club’s Honorary Membership Club, which includes perks like complimentary valet parking, preferred reservation access, admission to the Membership Lounge on the mezzanine and priority access to private dining spaces. “We’re looking to expand the membership, and I’m developing educational opportunities for them, holding back special allocated products for them to get the first taste and planning trips to visit wine-making regions.”

Most of all, Ross is looking to create the Nashville version of the hospitality concept he learned through his years working at iconic venues like Eleven Madison Park.

“At a destination restaurant like this, we like to focus on how people feel,” he says. “We’ll teach people about wine when they ask, but most of all we’re pushing that wine is a good time and it should feel good. Most importantly, when it comes to hospitality, we don’t like to say no at a restaurant!”

nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 27
EMAIL ARTS@NASHVILLESCENE.COM FOOD AND DRINK MASTER AND COMMANDER
“I WANT TO BE ABLE TO SERVE A WIDE VARIETY OF CLIENTELE, FROM THE ‘HONKY-TONK SPARKLERS’ TO THE SERIOUS COLLECTORS.”
PHOTO: DANIEL MEIGS

warmth compete for center stage.

28 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com FOOD AND DRINK VEG OUT THE SMILING ELEPHANT — TOFU CASHEW STIR-FRY A Nashville stalwart serves Thai vegetarian delights BY SARAH STEWART Acouple miles south of the neon lights of Broadway is The Smiling Elephant, Nashville’s own gateway to Bangkok. As soon as patrons step across the longtime Eighth Avenue outpost’s charming wooden threshold, vibrant aromas emanate from its open kitchen. The Smiling Elephant — opened by the late Prayote “Sam” Kopsombut and his wife Boonjit in 2010 — offers unparalleled Thai cuisine. Thai food is a treasure trove of plant-based finds. From pad thai to rotating daily curries — including massaman curry and green curry — options for vegan and vegetarian foodies abound. Tofu is available as a protein replacement, and vegans can find many dishes without eggs. A must-try on The Smiling Elephant’s menu is the Tofu Cashew Stir-Fry. Panseared tofu is sautéed with pineapples, fragrant chili paste, onion and whole cashews. It’s served on a bed of fluffy jasmine rice, and a dish of satay sauce comes on the side to drizzle on top. From the moment this dish appears on the table, the scent of cashews, the zing of chili and the satay’s
Each flavor
a delight,
the
bite
THE SMILING ELEPHANT 2213 EIGHTH AVE. S. THESMILINGELEPHANT.COM
is
from
first
to the last.
609 LAFAYETTE ST. NASHVILLE, TN 37203, NASHVILLE, TN 37203 @CITYWINERYNSH . CITYWINERY.COM . 615.324.1033 A Royale Holiday! Alanna Royale & Friends Corey Feldman Performing Hit Songs from His Movies 12.13 12.12 Gabe Dixon Holiday Show Elli Rowe 12.16 12.13 Nashville Improv Presents A Holiday Comedy Extravaganza Dining with Divas Drag Brunch 12.17 12.17 LIVE MUSIC | URBAN WINERY RESTAURANT | BAR | PRIVATE EVENTS Book your event at city winery! weddings • private dinners • galas corporate events • birthdays • and more! 12.11 80’S BRUNCH FEATURING MIXTAPE 12.11 JUMP, LITTLE CHILDREN SOLD OUT, JOIN THE WAITLIST 12.11 CHRISTMAS WITH KYLA: AN EVENING WITH KYLA JADE & FRIENDS SOLD OUT, JOIN THE WAITLIST 12.14 THE LANTERN TOUR: CONCERTS FOR MIGRANTS & REFUGEES WITH MARY GAUTHIER, RUBY AMANFU, BECCA MANCARI, SISTASTRINGS, AARON LEE TASJAN, & SPECIAL GUESTS 12.18 NASHVILLE BEATLES BRUNCH FEATURING FOREVER ABBEY ROAD 12.18 JODY NARDONE 7TH ANNUAL “A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS” A TRIBUTE TO VINCE GUARALDI 12.18 JUSTIN WELLS WITH TONY LOGUE 12.19 CITY WINERY PRESENTS: A HOLIDAY MOVIE DOUBLE FEATURE ELF & NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION 12.20 DAVID COOK’S 40TH BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA 12.21 DUELING DUOS: THE DONJUANS VS TOMMY EMMANUEL & RICHARD SMITH 12.22 NATHAN THOMAS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 12.23 CITY WINERY PRESENTS: A HOLIDAY MOVIE DOUBLE FEATURE A CHRISTMAS STORY & SCROOGED 12.30 12.31 MARC BROUSSARD FULL BAND WITH HORNS 12.31 TOAST THE RAINBOW EARLY & LATE SHOW 1.6 JOURNEYMAN A TRIBUTE TO ERIC CLAPTON BENEFITTING The Wine Club for Music VINOFILE PLUS Each month, receive one bottle of wine, sip complimentary wine flights, attend elevated tasting parties with a guest, enjoy personalized wine discounts and all Vinofile benefits. LEARN MORE
PHOTO: DANIEL MEIGS
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 29 ACOUSTIC STAGE PRESENTED BY MAIN STAGE PRESENTED BY STORYTIME PRESENTED BY CONNECTIVITY PARTNER WHISKEY LOUNGE PRESENTED BY BEER GARDEN PRESENTED BY VIEW THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE FRANKLINDICKENSCHRISTMAS.COM 37th ANNUAL CRAFT VENDORS | LIVE ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & BEVERAGE | VICTORIAN VILLAGE DECEMBER 10TH & 11TH DOWNTOWN FRANKLIN

SPECIAL ACTIVITY AREAS

VICTORIAN VILLAGE

Victorian Village is back with a full block of holiday fun on Main Street filled with holiday dancers, characters, and entertainers! Travel back in time as our streets are transformed into a Victorian Christmas scene, including strolling performances by The Yuletide Carolers and The Vintage Carolers.

TIMES SQUARE NUMERALS - PRESENTED BY KIA

Celebrate the arrival of 2023 and experience the future with the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve Numerals that will illuminate New York City’s Times Square - right here in Downtown Franklin! (Saturday Only)

SNOW PHOTOS AT THE COURTHOUSE

Get your 2022 family Christmas photos at the courthouse in a winter-vvvwonderland scene!

BUSKERS CORNER

New in 2022, our third stage in the middle of it all, Buskers Corner! Listen to local artists ply their trade on 3rd Avenue!

MOVIES AT THE FRANKLIN THEATRE

Stop by The Franklin Theatre during the festival! All weekend long they’ll be selling theatre-themed holiday gifts and giving tours. PLUS they’ll be showing Elf (Sat., 10 AM), It’s Christmas Again (Sat, 2 PM), and Christmas Cartoons (all Sunday)

VICTORIAN VILLAGE Sign-Up & Win Tickets! Sign-up to our newsletter at FranklinDickensChristmas.com and be entered to win a Family Four Pack of Franklin Theatre movie tickets!

400s 500s

5TH 4TH

NUTCRACKER CRAWL

• The Registry • Visitor’s Center • Kilwin’s Franklin • Walton’s Jewelry • The Franklin Theatre • Southern Aesthetics • Finnelys • Native Matter

KidZone Enjoy Discounts & Win a Movie Ticket to The Franklin Theatre! Grab a passport and follow the NUTCRACKER CRAWL to find the unique Nutcracker at each destination and write its code on your passport to claim your prize! Passports available at the DFA tent on the square or at each entrance.

VICTORIAN VILLAGE PERFORMANCES

37th ANNUAL 12:00 - 12:15 Act Too Orphans 12:45 - 1:00 Act Too Orphans 1:00 - 2:15 Flat Creek Dancers & FCD Morris Dancers 2:30 - 3:00 Children’s Ballet Theatre 3:00 - 3:45 Flat Creek Dancers 4:00 - 5:00 Music City Strings

12:00 - 1:00 Act Too Orphans 1:30 - 2:45 Flat Creek Dancers & FCD Morris Dancers 3:00 - 4:30 Franklin High School Band

101* Shiver N Sweat 103 Mercer & Jayne 104 FlashBurn Designs 105 Zippy Treats 106 Honey Child Jellies 108* Grown Wild 110* Mill Creek Leather 112* Coonhound Hollow Mercantile 114* KLove 97.1 FM 116 Bake to Belong 117* Landmark Booksellers 119 Paint the Town by Numbers 120 sweetpeatoad 121 Studio 202 122 J. Paris Designs 123 Maxx Dogg Toyz 124 Modern Bronze Jewelry 125 Thunder & Twine 126 Hug A Farmer 129 Secret Wild, LLC 130 Bopbe 131 Unity Leather Inc 132 Alyssa Kate Designs 133 Penn’s Pens 134 Little Creek Studio 135 Fork of the South 136 Valiant Mouse 137 Elizabeth Polland Art 138 Short & Stout Pottery 139 Pare Candle Company 140 Tim West Photography 141* Dixie Pottery 143 Bradford Real Estate 201 Italy with Bella 202 The Village 203 Buff and Huck 204 Woodchuck Creations 205 Daisy Sue Design 206 Creatively Stoned 207 Sweet Haven 208 Cara Fuller Fine Art 209 Bill Peach Artist Circle 210 Cedar Rue 211 The Healing Place 212 Joe Ladendorf Photography 213* Pardus LLC 215 Mallory Lane Creative 216 Zerep 217 The Pandemic Pup 218 Slate & Stone Co. 219 Scarlett Scales Antiques 220A MUSE by Tracy 220B Mermaid Accessories 221 Mountain Momma Organics

222* Southern Addiction Decor and Furniture 224 Cosgrove and Lewis Handmade Luxury Soaps 225* Orchard View Pottery 227 Music To My Ears Jewelry 228 Pieces Past 229 ISEA Designs 230 CEMENT6 231 pressed. 232 Mptcreatvity 233* The Oak Shed 235 Urban hippie jewelry 236 POSH 238 Ruby Sunshine 301 Jim Ballard 302 Steampunk Butterfly 303 Bob Wolf Designs 304 Mystic Nature Design 305 Papa C Pies 306 Bethlehem Shop 307 Twisted Sisters Studio 308 Papats Rock Candles 309 Imago Dei 310 Savory Spice Franklin 311 TWINE Retail 312 Leaf Filter 313* Narrow Gate 315 Megan Alexander Book Signing Booth 316 Wild Woods Floral Design 317 Sierra Design 318 Rock Paper Scissors 319 Quilting Bliss 320 PearlSandSea Jewelry 321 Red Tail Forge Works 401 Skin Theory RX 402 Heylee B's Boutique 403 FortBuzz 404* A Fox's Tale 406 CITIZEN 407 Georgia Fire Steel 408 423 Pottery 409 Rooted from Yarrow Acres 410* First Mountain Woodcraft 412 Frannielizdesigns 413 Nomad 414 Atelier Glass Studio 415 Bink's Outfitters 416 Popi n Mimi Pecans 417 Finnleys 500 Stumpmen 501 Whitney Lynne Webster 502 Fun Stuff Pottery 503* Midnight Grove Candle Co. 505 Harmacy Hot Sauce Co. 510 Southern Edge Wood Design 511 Alaska Rocks!!!

512 Trish’s Dishes and More 513 Southern At Heart 514* Sean Shrum Studio 516 1220 Bloom Street 517 WILDER 521 Made by Moonlite 522 Jim Stellick 523 Vinnie Louise 802 Hot Sauce Nashville 803 Team Whitt Designs 804 Chickadee co. 805 Elle & Jo Tea Co 806 Wearing Hope 807 Haiti Market 808 Pottery art by Jana Rohlickova 809 Rhonda Schrage Art 810* Southern Roots Designs 812 Hannah 813 Meena Creations 814 Hippie Radio 94.5 FM 815 U.S. Marines 816 Rusty Glass Fused Art 817 Coles Corner 818 Pet Musings 819* LavendergirlTN 821 Hill Hollow Workshop 822 Michael Kaal Photography 827 The Girl In The Garden 828 Lappentots 829 ImPECKable Birdhouse 830 P.E.T. Slimes 831 Resera 832 Straeffer Studios 833 Toodlesbug's 836 The Golden Leaf 837 Marbela Cosmetics 838 Darrel Bowman Pottery 839 Boss Lady Threads 840 Grumpy Veteran Turnings 841* Soaring Sparrow 843 United Way of Greater Nashville 844 Page High School UNICEF Nonprofit 845 Able Voices 846 Cumberland River Compact 847 Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1140 848 Nolensville Historical Society 849 My Second Home Pet Resort KZ 1 Goldfish Swim School KZ 2 We Rock The Spectrum KZ 3 Studio Tenn KZ 7* Fantasy Face Art KZ 10 Southerners Coffee

30 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com FOOD VENDORS PS 22 Colorado Wassail Company PS 31 Ace’s Kettle Corn PS 32 Bavarian Bierhaus PS 33 Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda PS 34 Unique Funnel Cake House Mama “D” Papa “Doo” PS 35 Buffalo Sausage PS 36 Larry Woolson PS 37 Ellie’s Doughnuts PS 38 Leiper's Fork Distillery 506 Cousins Maine Lobster 520 Califarmia FV Logan’s Snack Shack FV Fabulous Food Services FV Colton’s Steak House and Grill FV Smokey Dawggs FV Home Sweets Bakery FV Jiving Turkey FV M Catering FV Faith’s Old Fashioned FV Melt Bar FV Rice Rice Baby FV Will’s Chills FV Music City Gyros FV Pink Door Cookies FV Smoke Boss Soul & BBQ FV Loveless Events FV Gripps Grills Catering FV Flour And Forge FV Sunshine Oasis Catering FV Whitney’s Cookies FV WinbushWorldwide Food Truck
Located at the Landmark Booksellers parking lot, KidZone is full of family fun! See yourself on stage with Studio Tenn, get free hot cocoa from Hard Bargain Association, have your face painted by Fantasy Face Art, get your picture with Goldie from Goldfish Swim School, and enjoy kid friendly games! • Franklin Vision Care (closed Sunday) • Olivia Olive Oil • McGavock’s Coffee Bar • Rebel Rebel • Sweethaven • Posh Boutique • Ruby Sunshine • Twine Graphics Retail • Rock Paper Scissors
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 31 PS 30 Wilson Bank & Trust PS 1 Wilson Bank & Trust PS 3* Mix 92.9 FM PS 5 Malinois Foundation PS 7-9 Times Square Numerals Presented by KIA PS 14 Middle Tennessee Electric PS 15* Williamson Medical Center PS 18 National Dance Club PS 19 Power Home Remodel PS 20 Lipscomb University PS 21 Williamson Herald / Southern Exposure Magazine PS 25 StateFarm PS 26 LeafGuard PS 27 Travel Smart Vacations PS 28 Floor & Décor PS 29 Guardian Garage PS 40 Franklin Grove PS 41 The History & Culture Center of Williamson County PS 42 Heritage Foundation of Williamson County PS 44 Downtown Franklin Association PS 45 The Franklin Theatre * Double Booth KZ KidZone FV Food Vendor PS Public Square 10:00 11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00 3:00 4:00 6:00 5:00 BUSKERS CORNER Kiersi Joli 11:05-11:50 Crosby Jude 11:55-12:40 Tanner Cherry 12:45-1:30 Krystal King 1:45-2:30 Taylon Hope 2:35-3:20 Conrad Patrick Johnson 3:25-4:10 Jacob Rice 4:15-5:00 Barbara Lynn 5:05-5:50 MAIN STAGE Presented by Franklin First United Methodist Handbells 10:00-10:30 Nashville Flute Choir 11:50-12:20 MaRynn Taylor 1:10-1:40 Rhythm & Spirit Dance Program 11:10-11:40 Franklin School of Performing Arts 10:35-11:05 Taryn Papa 1:50-2:20 Franklin Light Opera 3:10-3:40 Brentwood Suzuki Strings 3:50-4:20 Roots Academy 4:30-5:00 Town Sing led by Yuletide Carolers 5:30-6:00 ACOUSTIC STAGE Presented by Jawbone Honey 10-10:30 Addison Gossage 10:35-11:05 Annie Harsch 11:10-11:40 Abby Whitman 12:10-12:40 Lexi Gail 12:45-1:15 River & Rail 1:20-1:50 Alexandra Hammock 1:55-2:25 LeeAnn Mazzei 3:00-3:30 Lilli Grace Barden 3:35-4:05 Jolie Wing 4:10-4:40 Amber Sawyer 5:20-5:50 The Dirty Rain Revelers 4:45-5:15 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH 11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 BUSKERS CORNER Kaitlyn Croker 1:45-2:30 Kiersi Joli 12:45-1:30 Grace Korak 2:35-3:20 Nicole Coley 3:25-4:10 MAIN STAGE Presented by Southern Irish Dance 11:10-11:40 NS Dance Academy 12:40-1:10 Source One Five Theatre 1:20-1:50 Williamson County Community Chorus 3:10-3:40 Franklin Suzuki Academy 2:30-3:00 The Dancing Divas & Dudes 11:50-12:20 ACOUSTIC STAGE Presented by Radio Farm 11:10-11:40 Gabrielle Irene 11:45-12:15 Joanie Kemper 12:20-12:50 Logan Weatherly 12:55-1:25 Olivia Henn 1:55-2:25 Caroline Lobb 2:30-3:00 The Howlin Embers 3:05-3:35 Elaina Clement 3:40-4:10 Taryn 4:15-4:45 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11TH 2ND 1ST 3RD ACOUSTIC STAGE Presented by WHISKEY LOUNGE Presented by BEER GARDEN Presented by SHUTTLE STOP SHUTTLE STOP KidZone 300s 200s 800s 100s Food Vendors VILLAGE MAIN STAGE Presented by MAP LEGEND FIRST AID RESTROOMS INFORMATION NUTCRACKER CRAWL TIMES SQUARE NUMERALS SHUTTLE STOP SNOW PHOTOS AT THE COURTHOUSE BUSKERS CORNER
32 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com FT Live and Great Performances Sponsored by Where a show is only the beginning! 615.538.2076 | FranklinTheatre.com | 419 Main St., Franklin, TN 37064 Dec. 10 & 11 - Studio Tenn: A Christmas Carol Dec. 14 - Christmas with Veritas Dec. 15 - Beth Nielsen Chapman Dec. 16 - Melinda Doolittle Dec. 17 - Christmas With The King Dec. 20 - Street Corner Symphony Dec. 23 - The Gatlin Brothers Jan. 19 - Bridges & Backroads Feb. 2 - The Establishment Feb. 6 - Anthony Nunziata Feb. 11 - David Cook Feb. 13 - Mark O’Connor Feb. 17 - Forever Abbey Road Dec. 31 - A Matt Logan Production: New Year’s Eve Concert Mar. 24 - Radney Foster Apr. 6 - Philip Daniel Apr. 15 - Puppy Pals Apr. 19 - Croce Plays Croce Apr. 30 - Karla Bonoff Mar. 8 - Mountain Heart Mar. 10 - Martin Sexton GIVE THE GIFT OF LIVE MUSICGIVE A FRANKLIN THEATRE GIFT CARD! FranklinTheatre.com/giftcards MAJOR SPONSORS MEDIA PARTNERS CHARACTER & CAROLER SPONSORS FranklinDickensChristmas.com WilliamsonHeritage.org The former McConnell House is now... Historic Moments Live Here. Discover the new interactive exhibition space sharing the countywide history of the people, places, and events of our community. Make your event historic. The Center is available for wedding, corporate, or special events too! www.WilliamsonHistoryCenter.org Help preserve the charm of Williamson County. Give to support the nonprofit Heritage Foundation’s efforts to save the historic places and stories that matter. www.WilliamsonHeritage.org Kilwins · Salons by JC · Current Marketing Solutions · Southern Events Party Rentals · Holly Thompson Homes Moyer & Co. · Signs First Franklin · CJ’s Off The Square · Friend of The Heritage Foundation
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 33 CONCEPT, STORY TREATMENT, AND CHOREOGRAPHY BY Paul Vasterling MUSIC COMPOSED BY Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky LIVE MUSIC PERFORMED BY The Nashville Symphony RETURNS TO TPAC DECEMBER 9–24! Purchase today to get the BEST SEATS AT THE BEST PRICE at NashvilleBallet.com Enjoy our reimagined snow scene!

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BELLE MEADE PREMIUM CIGARS | Belle Meade Plaza 4518 Harding Rd, Nashville TN 37205 bellemeadecigars.com

COUNT

DRACULA’S

BRAN

CASTLE

JIGSAW PUZZLE CARDEN ILLUSTRATION | hollycarden.com | @holly_the_red

Another hand-drawn cutaway, this puzzle illustrates Nashville’s renowned Fable Lounge. It’s packed with strange and colorful anthropomorphic characters inspired by Aesop fables.

HANDMADE ORNAMENTS

THE CLAY LADY’S CAMPUS | 1416 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210 | theclcgallery.com | theclaylady.com @clayladycampus

FLICKER

GIFT BOXED CANDLE FLIGHT CLIFTON + LEOPOLD | Nashville | cliftonandleopold.com Our boxed candle flight includes one of each of our four scent profiles, One, Deux, Tres,

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THE FABLE LOUNGE JIGSAW PUZZLE CARDEN ILLUSTRATION | hollycarden.com | @holly_the_red
and
glass
of
travel
gift-giving. 4 5 6
AXES
AXE NASHVILLE | 648 Fogg St, Nashville, TN 37203
| 629.203.6158 | @badaxenash
The CLC Gallery showcases the work of our 65 Resident Artists on The Clay Lady’s Campus. We are open for you to shop as well as meet the artists in their studios! We have the largest selection of handmade ornaments ever! Find the perfect handmade gift! Or treat yourself to the gift of art! Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00-3:00 and Saturdays 10:00-2:00 and by appointment Axe Throwing Session for a guest and a friend. #1 Axe Throwing venue in the US. 9000 square feet of space, full restaurant and bar, outdoor patio
Tessera, along with a
vial
matches. This discovery collection is ideal for
or
THROWING
BAD
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2-Hour
PREMIUM CIGARS AND ACCESSORIES
Belle Meade Premium Cigars and Gifts is a locally owned store. For more than 18 years, Belle Meade Premium Cigars has supplied people with great smokes, both pipes and cigars, as well as a great lounge where you can relax and smoke and have some great conversations with the great clientele that comes into this fantastic shop. Join us here this holiday season.
This cutaway of Bran Castle by local artist Holly Carden illustrates Stoker’s novel Dracula. The accompanying guide identifies each scene along with an excerpt.
ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM 648 Fogg St. • Nashville TN 37203 629-203-6158 MAKE SOMEONE’S HOLIDAY AXE-TRAORDINARY And visit both stores for fine antiques, vintage, mid-century, jewelry, sports & music memorabilia, artwork, books & more. ANTIQUESGASLAMP &GASLAMPTOO Make Shopping Fun! GasLampAntiques.com, Open Daily! 100 & 128 Powell Place, 37204 Voted Nashville’s BEST Antique Store 2022 BELLE MEADE PREMIUM CIGARS & GIFTS Belle Meade Plaza 4518 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 615-297-7963 Cigars From A. FUENTE • ASHTON • CAO • COHIBA DAVIDOFF • MONTECRISTO • PADRON TATUAJE • ZINO & MANY MORE ON THE CLAY LADY’S CAMPUS 1416 LEBANON PIKE, NASHVILLE, TN 37210 WWW.THECLCGALLERY.COM / WWW.THECLAYLADY.COM @CLAYLADYCAMPUS lehTra g e s t selection of H andmad e O r n a !revestnem THE CLC GALLERY SHOWCASES THE WORK OF OUR 65 RESIDENT ARTISTS ON THE CLAY LADY’S CAMPUS. WE ARE OPEN FOR YOU TO SHOP AS WELL AS MEET THE ARTISTS IN THEIR STUDIOS! WE HAVE THE LARGEST SELECTION OF HANDMADE ORNAMENTS EVER! FIND THE PERFECT HANDMADE GIFT! OR TREAT YOURSELF TO THE GIFT OF ART! GALLERY HOURS: TUESDAY-FRIDAY 11:00-3:00 AND SATURDAYS 10:00-2:00 AND BY APPOINTMENT www.cliftonandleopold.com Sign up for your daily dose via the Daily Scene Newsletter Because Nashville is so much more than honky-tonks and bachelorettes... ERROR 404 nothing to do calendar.nashvillescene.com

FORMAL WESTERN TIE

This

GIFT OF MEMBERSHIP - $55-105

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM

222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203 shop.countrymusichalloffame.org | (615) 416-2001 @officialcmhof

This year, give the gift of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum membership. In addition to supporting our mission to preserve, protect, and share the story of country music, members get perks—unlimited gallery admission, access to exclusive events and concert ticket pre-sales, dining and shopping discounts, and more. Through December 31, gift an Individual Membership for only $55, and a Family Membership for $105.

GUITAR PICK PINT GLASS

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM

222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203 shop.countrymusichalloffame.org | (615) 416-2001 @officialcmhof

Name a better duo than an ice-cold brew and country music. Each pint glass, etched with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum® logo, is crafted by hand to include a real guitar pick.

SCENEGIFTGUIDE.COM GIFT GUIDEShop local ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM DOLLY PARTON IN DETROIT FRAMED PRINT - $269 COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM 222 Rep.
Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203 shop.countrymusichalloffame.org | (615) 416-2001 @officialcmhof Professionally framed, matted, and mounted, this limited-edition print features Dolly Parton posing by her tour bus before performing in
in 1977. HATCH SHOW PRINT CALENDAR - $85 HATCH SHOW PRINT | 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203 | shop.countrymusichalloffame.org (615) 577-7710 | @hatchshowprint Hatch Show Print’s annual limited-edition calendar features twelve colorful designs that can be repurposed as standalone prints and hung for years to come. Includes a reusable, handmade (cherry or oak) hanger. FIELD NOTES X HATCH SHOW PRINT MEMO BOOKS - $14.95 HATCH SHOW PRINT | 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203 | shop.countrymusichalloffame.org (615) 577-7710 | @hatchshowprint
John
Detroit, Michigan,
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A fall 2022 collaborative release from Field Notes and Hatch Show Print, these thoughtfully designed notebooks are the perfect place to sketch out your own creations. Pack of 3 (3.5” × 5.5”) memo books.
CLIFTON + LEOPOLD | Nashville | cliftonandleopold.com
dapper. The
collar
looking brilliant easier than
One
be ready to
heads and
conversations when you walk into the room.
formal western tie is quintessentially
banded
makes
ever.
caution -
turn
start
7 8 9

50 YEARS BOOK

EXIT/IN | 2208 Elliston Place | store.exitin.com 615.915.0764 | @exit_in

Celebrate fifty years of the venue that put local music in Music City with Exit/In: Fifty Years and Counting.

ANTIQUES, ESTATE JEWELRY, SILVER, SPORTS MEMORABILIA, BOOKS, ARTWORK AND COLLECTIBLES

GASLAMP ANTIQUES & GASLAMP TOO 100 & 128 Powell Place, 37204 | 615.297.2224 615.292.2250 | GasLampAntiques.com @gaslampantiques & @gaslamptoo

Make holiday shopping fun with GasLamp Antiques and GasLamp Too! Specializing in unique gifts, festive décor and so much more -- all from Nashville’s BEST antique store. Open daily!

HAIR GOODIES = BEST GAL GIFTS

GREENPEA SALON | 4 City Blvd- One City and 1113 12th Ave South | Nashville TN | greenpeasalon.com

Great for stocking stuffers and pal gifts by themselves, or pair with a gift card and candle for their favorite goodies of the season. Stylish and unique hair accessories from LoveLina, Nat+Noor and more.

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NEST CANDLES GREENPEA SALON | 4 City Blvd- One City and 1113 12th Ave South | Nashville TN | greenpeasalon.com
BASIC BATCH, SIGNATURE SERIES, AND BOUQUET TOSS MEAD
Dry to
syrupy
on
Mead
of!
NASHVILLE COOKBOOK NASHVILLE SCENE MERCH
With a cult-like following, these beloved and beautifully fragranced candles crafted with a premium wax that burns cleanly and evenly. Shop our best-selling holiday collections or perennial faves such as wild mint & eucalyptus, Moroccan amber & more.
HONEYTREE MEADERY | 918 Woodland St, 37206 honeytreemeadery.com First and Only Meadery in Nashville!
Semi-Sweet, no
texture. Honeytree is changing the game
what
is capable
NOURISH
STORE |nashvillesceneshop.com
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This 8x10 hardcover cookbook is a collection of recipes from some of Music City's best chefs. Inspired by the time we’ve all had to spend at home during the COVID-19 pandemic — experimenting and honing our home-cooking skills while social distancing — this cookbook features the city’s most celebrated chefs sharing their most beloved recipes.
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BASIC BATCH, SIGNATURE SERIES, AND BOUQUET TOSS MEAD

HONEYTREE MEADERY | 918 Woodland St, 37206 honeytreemeadery.com

First and Only Meadery in Nashville! Dry to Semi-Sweet, no syrupy texture. Honeytree is changing the game on what Mead is capable of!

GIFT GUIDEShop local

12 DAYS OF SEXXXMAS

HUSTLER HOLLYWOOD | 1400 Church St | hustlerhollywood.com

Best for curious couples, this gift set provides multiple days of fun with toys and enhancers. Try something new each day to heat up the nights.

Get Directions: hustlerhollywood.com/pages/store-nashville-tennessee

DREAMGIRL

SATIN BOW TEDDY WITH CUFFS

HUSTLER HOLLYWOOD | 1400 Church St | hustlerhollywood.com

If you’re the best gift, put a bow on it! This daring one-piece can be untied to reveal your best assets. (available in curvy)

Get Directions: hustlerhollywood.com/pages/store-nashville-tennessee

HOLLYWOOD GLAM LUXURY ROBE

HUSTLER HOLLYWOOD | 1400 Church St | hustlerhollywood.com

Tease your beloved with layers of soft tulle trimmed with marabou feathers. Satin sash doubles as a luxe bondage tie. (available in more colors)

Get Directions: hustlerhollywood.com/pages/store-nashville-tennessee

GEMSTONE PIERCING JEWELRY

ICON TATTOO & BODY PIERCING | 1925 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 | icontattoo.com

14k yellow gold Tiny Athena by BVLA with Genuine Amethyst stones.

GEMSTONE PIERCING JEWELRY

ICON TATTOO & BODY PIERCING | 1925 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 | icontattoo.com

Rook piercing with 14k yellow gold Sunshine by BVLA with Cubic Zirconia stones.

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19
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REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY REP YOUR CITY Shop the Scene! 12SOUTH 1113 12th Ave S, Nashville (615) 297-6878 WEST NASHVILLE 4105 Charlotte Ave, Nashville (615) 292-8648 greenpeasalon.com Gifts at Ch rs to a Season fu of Giving Happy Holidays from our Hive to yours 918 Woodland St Open 7 Days Honeytreemeadery ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

14K GOLD PIERCING

JEWELRY

ICON TATTOO & BODY PIERCING | 1925 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 | icontattoo.com

Daith

NASHTN | 3820 Charlotte Ave | nash.tn | 615.200.7455 @thenash.tn

GEMSTONE PIERCING JEWELRY

ICON TATTOO & BODY PIERCING | 1925 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 | icontattoo.com

Septum piercing with 14k yellow gold and garnet Eden Pear ring by BVLA and a nose piercing with a 18k yellow gold King end with a faceted opal by Anatometal.

GEMSTONE PIERCING JEWELRY

ICON TATTOO & BODY PIERCING | 1925 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 | icontattoo.com

14k yellow gold Pear Kolo by BVLA with alternating faceted and sandblasted lavender cubic zirconias.

NASHTN | 3820 Charlotte Ave | nash.tn | 615.200.7455 @thenash.tn

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"DREAMERS HATE TO SLEEP" COFFEE
We collaborated with Frothy Monkey to bring you “Dreamers Hate To Sleep” the perfect companion {bag of coffee + 15oz Mug} for fueling your late-night muse. Shop the nashTN pop up in L&L Market. NASH TN GUITAR PICKS
NASHTN | 3820 Charlotte Ave | nash.tn | 615.200.7455 @thenash.tn Our custom assortment of quality {medium & heavy} Nashville guitar picks are a great gift for guitar players and a cool keepsake for music lovers! Shop the nashTN pop up in L&L Market. THE “NASHVILLE LOOKS GOOD ON YOU” SWEATSHIRT
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Our Nashville Looks Good On YouTN murals celebrate the artist within each of us. Now, you can inspire those around you wherever you go. Shop the nashTN pop up in L&L Market.
piercing with a 14k yellow gold Stick for Stack by Maya Body Jewelry. Lobe piercing with a 14k yellow gold Tooth by Sacred Symbols and 14k yellow gold Geo XL Charm by Pupil Hall.
25 26 27
ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

NASHVILLE DARLIN’ | 438 Houston St #165 nashvilledarlin.com | 615.724.2248 | @nashvilledarlin

A good fitting bra is the gift that keeps on giving! As a Best of Intima North American finalist 2020, 2021, and 2022, we pride ourselves on a lingerie experience unlike any other. With a limited collections from coveted sustainable brands Fleur Du Mal, Only Hearts, Else, and many others, you’ll be sure to find a one of a kind gift that lasts.

Gift certificates are available to ensure a perfect fit.

BAKED NASHVILLE COOKBOOK

NASHVILLE SCENE MERCH STORE |nashvillesceneshop.com

“Baked Nashville” features more than 30 bake-at-home recipes, adapted for home cooks from the professional kitchens of some of Nashville’s favorite pastry and restaurant chefs.

10% of proceeds from the inaugural book launch will benefit the Nashville Farmers’ Market’s Fresh Bucks Program.

HOLIDAY HEAVY HITTERS

PARNASSUS BOOKS | 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14, Nashville, TN 37215 | parnassusbooks.net 615-953-2243 | @parnassusbooks

The books the avid readers in your life want to unwrap this holiday season! Come see us for the blockbuster books of 2022.

PARNASSUS

PARNASSUS

PARNASSUS BOOKS | 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14, Nashville, TN 37215

SCENEGIFTGUIDE.COM GIFT GUIDEShop local ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM
EDITIONS
FIRST
CLUBS
|
|
handpick fantastic books for our 4 monthly subscription
each for a different age group. Prepaid memberships available in
and
installments!
BOOKS | 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14, Nashville, TN 37215
parnassusbooks.net 615-953-2243
@parnassusbooks Our expert booksellers
boxes,
3-, 6-,
12-month
NOTABLE NONFICTION
|
best of history,
and more! Perfect for the
on your list.
BOOKS | 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14, Nashville, TN 37215 | parnassusbooks.net 615-953-2243
@parnassusbooks The very
memoir, music,
lifelong learners
TRUSTY TITLES FOR YOUNG READERS
|
exactly are the kids reading these days? Let us help you pick the perfect gift for the young (and young at heart) reader on your list! 34 35 36
AND SLEEPSHIRT
| parnassusbooks.net 615-953-2243
@parnassusbooks What
LINGERIE SET
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438 Houston Street Suite #165 nashvilledarlin Visit us in person! Shop Hours—Tuesday, Wednesday: By Appt Only Thur - Sun: 12 - 5 P Shop Online: darlinlingerie.com/shop Rachel Oxford Collective Darlin’ Lingerie sinkersbeverages.com 3308 Gallatin Pike | 615.262.2300 Where the Party Starts Where the Party Starts SHOP HISTORY for the Holidays. 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. Nashville, TN 615.741.2692 • TNMuseum.org ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM Join the Club Subscribe to the Nashville Scene newsletter

BAR CART ESSENTIALS

SINKERS WINE & SPIRITS | 3308 Gallatin Pike sinkersbeverages.com | 615.262.2300 | @sinkers.nashville

Pick from an array of gift items from red blend wines and rich cigars to wine aerators, jiggers, bottle openers and sterling silver flasks or the perfect mixers to top off the holiday celebration!

GIFT GUIDEShop local

HANDMADE EARRINGS BY IVORY AND OAK

$16 TURQUOISE, $22 WOODED

TN STATE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP | 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208 | TNMmuseum.org |615.741.2692 @tnstatemuseum

Chattanooga-based Ivory and Oak makes jewelry uniquely handcrafted by Rebekah Jean Gouger. Featured: Bohemian-style turquoise-beaded, brass hoop earrings and non-toxic wood-stained earrings.

KRUG CHAMPAGNE

SINKERS WINE & SPIRITS | 3308 Gallatin Pike sinkersbeverages.com | 615.262.2300 | @sinkers.nashville

Known as the master of Champagne with its rich, complex, and long-aging sparkling tastes! Pop a bubbly glass of Krug to toast this holiday season!

HEAVEN’S DOOR

SINKERS WINE & SPIRITS | 3308 Gallatin Pike sinkersbeverages.com | 615.262.2300 | @sinkers.nashville

Introducing our Heaven’s Door barrel pick! Sweet warm caramel with above average complexity. Available only through Sinkers!

TSM

VOTES

FOR WOMEN MUG, 14 OZ - $14

TN STATE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP | 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208 | TNMmuseum.org |615.741.2692 @tnstatemuseum

Two-toned honeycomb ceramic mug. Made exclusively for the Museum to celebrate the centennial of Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th amendment and the Museum’s Ratified! Exhibition.

CUSTOM APPAREL

TWEAK NASHVILLE | 3 City Ave Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37209 | tweaknashville.com | @tweaknashville

TWEAK is Nashville’s only fully custom apparel shop, featuring sweaters, tees, hats, totes, & more! Browse their in house designs or bring in your own.

SCENEGIFTGUIDE.COM
ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM
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Makers SHOP GOODS MADE LOCALLY >>> GIFT GUIDEShop local SCENEGIFTGUIDE.COM ADVERTORIAL | INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING IN THE SCENE SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDES? EMAIL MIKE AT MSMITH@NASHVILLESCENE.COM Nashville Candle Company is woman owned + operated. We come to you, create custom, pinterest-worthy braids that leave you feeling your best. BRAIDBABES BRAIDBABES.COM | 716.550.9896 Use code “mmnashscene” for 10% on your fir booking. Each scent is carefully blended to mirror its namesake. Every candle is handpoured, using high quality ingredients, in small batches in East Nashville. NASHVILLE CANDLE COMPANY NASHVILLECANDLECOMPANY.US | @NASHVILLE.CANDLE.CO The Outlaw Collection - $29 each Handmade Mango Cutting Board. Made by Nicaraguan artisans from reforested teak wood, this serves as the ideal gift for the host that’s ready to impress. MASAYA & CO MASAYACOMPANY.COM Mango Cu ing Board - $70 “Baked Nashville” features more than 30 bake-at-home recipes, adapted for home cooks from the professional kitchens of some of Nashville’s favorite pastry and restaurant chefs. NASHVILLE SCENE NASHVILLESCENESHOP.COM/SHOP Baked Nashville Cookbook - $40

ADVENTURE SCIENCE CENTER ADVENTURESCI.ORG/ JOIN-GIVE

This holiday season, give a gift that lasts all year long with a membership to Adventure Science Center.

A membership includes special discounts, member exclusives, and free admission for one year.

“Cohousing is about living the good life while using less of the earth’s resources, and having a good time doing it.”

NASHVILLE ZOO

NASHVILLEZOO.ORG/GIFT

Nashville Zoo offers holiday gift certificates for year-long enjoyment of animals, event and fun. For more information and to easily order gift certificates, visit www.nashvillezoo.org.

JUSTICE

INDUSTRIES

JUST GLASS JUSTICEINDUSTRIES.ORG

Just.Glass is a social enterprise of local non-profit Justice Industries, providing curbside glass recycling services that keeps glass out of area landfills, while also employing our neighbors in need.

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Death haunts the essays in Rachel Kushner’s The Hard Crowd

Back in her San Francisco bartending days, Rachel Kushner witnessed life in a way many of us never will. One night at the Warfield, a historic music venue, The Rolling Stones threw a party for their crew, and Kushner slung cocktails alongside Keith Richards. At a Tenderloin dive, one of her regulars was murdered, his head found in a dumpster.

Those stories are shared in The Hard Crowd, an essay collection of personal narratives and critical writing spanning two decades. Kushner has become a literary icon. Her novels Telex From Cuba, The Flamethrowers and The Mars Room were all finalists for prestigious awards. The Hard Crowd offers glimpses into experiences and settings that have informed her fictional world, but it triumphs not so much due to any calculated reveal of a seedy underworld as it does through Kushner’s crisp telling and refusal to sensationalize or sentimentalize.

Throughout, Kushner both cracks open the door to reveal her coming of age — she grew up in the Sunset District of San Francisco, a neighborhood close to Haight-Ashbury, in the 1980s — and directs our gaze outward, to places and people that have been the object of her roving curiosity and brisk analysis. The result is a tentative intimacy. We readers are the lonely hearts bellied up to the bar, and Kushner is both longtime listener and storyteller, willing to prolong the dream of connection, right up until she isn’t.

The collection opens with a gripping account of a motorcycle race on the Transpeninsular Highway in Baja California. Kushner was among the riders and suffers a crash that leaves her oddly liberated (as disasters often perversely do) — in this case, from a bad boyfriend. “So many bad things had happened — the crash, and then my bike getting stolen — but I felt strangely happy,” she writes. “I hadn’t been seriously hurt, and my attitude was intact. I was laughing things off.” In that line we hear something crucial to her voice: a burnished distance, an ability to laugh in the face of pain.

But she takes her subjects deadseriously. At the other end of the book, we reach a banger of a titular essay, an unflinching blues for a lost San Francisco, in which Kushner gazes back at the gritty places and people she knew as a free-range child and young adult, all of them vanished.

While The Hard Crowd is framed by the personal, more pieces than not focus elsewhere, on subjects as wide-ranging as a Palestinian refugee camp, vintage cars and prison reform. Kushner’s interest serves as connective tissue: “It is amazing what, from the past, you can drag into your net, only to find that has never left your net,”

she writes in a pastiche essay, “The Sinking of the HMS Bounty.”

But what truly unites these pieces is the presence of death. So many figures killed or (nearly) forgotten. So many lives taken too early or through questionable circumstances. Settings where death lurks around every corner, books and films about disappeared characters. The late Denis Johnson. The late Clarice Lispector.

Even before reading Kushner’s take on Johnson’s posthumous story collection The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, I recalled his story “Out on Bail,” in particular its final line, as delivered by narrator Fuckhead: “I am still alive.” In these pages, no matter what or who Kushner is writing about, you can hear the author considering this, again and again. You may be thinking it, too.

Even in the earliest pages of the book, when I was thinking of those words of Johnson’s, I was also hearing the song “People Who Died” by The Jim Carroll Band in my head. I was not surprised to find the song mentioned by Kushner in the final essay. She, too, has always loved that song, which tracks. As does the end of that essay. It’s abrupt, chilly, haunting. “So. Get your own gig. Make your litany, as I have just made mine. Keep your tally. Mind your dead, and your living, and you can bore me.”

Of course we have been anything but bored. Of course we feel the pulse of life beating more fiercely in our veins. Of course this particular dismissal feels true to the collection’s ethos and to a layer of Kushner’s own life. Here she is, closing out our tab with brisk efficiency; it’s last call, she has other things on her mind, other places to be. We can, and we must, go now.

To read an uncut version of this review — and more local book coverage — please visit Chapter16.org, an online publication of Humanities Tennessee.

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STAR TURN

Melissa Carper takes command of her voice on Ramblin’ Soul

For bassist, singer and songwriter Melissa Carper, stepping into the spotlight as a bandleader has been a process of tweaking her perception of herself. You can hear how gracefully Carper leans into the job of singing the songs — some written by herself, others in collaboration, but all bearing her voiceprint — that she’s brought to her new album Ramblin’ Soul, which she released Nov. 18. It’s Carper’s second album as a bandleader, following her 2021 breakthrough Daddy’s Country Gold, and it’s part of a remarkable career arc for a nonpareil songwriter and savvy singer. Carper has the conceptual chops to command almost any part of the Americana audience she desires, and Ramblin’ Soul finds her getting down to business and further honing her already substantial skills.

Ramblin’ Soul is a superb follow-up to Daddy’s Country Gold, with production duties carried out at Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter by studio owner and producerengineer Andrija Tokic and bassist Dennis Crouch. Carper’s songwriting evokes a familiar landscape, right down to the nods to classic country, Western swing and rock ’n’ roll that characterize the album.

It’s a songwriter’s record made by a superb bandleader who admits she’s often been shy about dealing with the attention she deserves. Although Carper is a first-rate bassist, she chose not to play the instrument on Ramblin’ Soul. She handed over those duties to Crouch, and concentrated on her singing. As she tells me from her home in Bastrop, Texas — a small town about 30 miles east of Austin where she and her partner

Rebecca Patek relocated in late 2020 after a few years in Nashville — her vocal style has changed over the years.

“If I listen back to stuff that I recorded 10 years ago, I think pretty differently [now],” Carper says in her alert drawl. “I sing a little different than I did on Daddy’s Country Gold Hopefully I’m getting a little more free with my phrasing. It also helped immensely to have Dennis for that whole thing.”

Carper was born in Kansas and grew up in Nebraska with a musical family. Her mother led The Carper Family Band, which also featured her father, who acted as their manager, and her brothers. After a stint studying upright bass at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, she dropped out to begin her career.

Along the way, she has played in a variety of bands including Sad Daddy and Buffalo Gals, the latter a duo with Patek. She began writing songs in earnest more than a decade ago, and some of what she says is a substantial backlog of material ended up on Ramblin’ Soul. The sheer breadth of Carper’s

HICKORY HOLLOW HERO

Jelly Roll gears up to headline his hometown arena

Friday night, Antioch’s own Jelly Roll — who has a knack for effortlessly navigating between country music, hip-hop and rock as well as the spaces between — headlines Bridgestone Arena as a genuine hitmaker. He’s got the nine-digit streaming numbers, airplay and Opry appearances to be an all-caps COUNTRY STAR. But to us, he’ll always be a hometown kid hustling mixtapes (à la the classic Whiskey Weed & Waffle House that helped him gain recognition far outside Nashville).

Jelly Roll is a soulful singer and rapper who repped Nashville so hard that Music Row couldn’t ignore him. He’s a gifted storyteller with as many fist-pumping

bangers in his catalog as tear-jerking ballads — his just-released single “She” being one of the latter — a grand example of the Saturday night/Sunday morning dichotomy at the heart of this city’s creative soul. The Scene caught up with him by phone as he prepared for his guest-packed, sold-out show.

Let’s take it all the way back: Where did you see your first show? I went to my first show at the Starwood Amphitheater in, I think, ’96 or ’97. No Doubt and 311 played the same year that Lollapalooza came to town. I was a teenage kid, and I got dropped off with my friends and my older sister at both of them, and I’ll never forget it, baby. Starwood Amphitheater, baby. I’m talking about mud-sliding down the hill while Gwen Stefani’s playing “Spiderwebs.” … I’m a 13-year-old boy singing, “I’m just a girl!”

Where did you play your first Nashville show?

The Playing Field on Antioch Pike. I drove by the other day to look at it and kind of tell the story on camera — now it’s closed. My second big show in Nashville — do you remember the strip club they called The Church? It was right there by the interstate in downtown Nashville, almost by Jo Johnston on Charlotte. So the

songwriting is impressive, and she sounds as credible covering Odetta’s 1970 song “Hit or Miss” as she does delivering tunes like “Texas, Texas, Texas” and “Zen Buddha.”

“Zen Buddha” stands out as a highlight of Ramblin’ Soul. One of the many things Carper does right in her songwriting is describe obsession in a casually humane manner. (Her 2020 co-write with Nashville singer Brennen Leigh, “Billy and Beau,” describes a doomed love affair with true affection.) In similar fashion, “Zen Buddha” is both serious and a bit of a hoot — a piece of modified Sun Records-style rockabilly that doesn’t come across as a novelty song.

“Around that time I had started trying to meditate some,” says Carper about writing the song, which details the effects of a serious romantic attraction. “So that was part of my life. If I was getting in a sort of obsessive mindstate, [and I was] just trying to get out of it with meditation.”

Elsewhere on Ramblin’ Soul, Carper nods to New Orleans R&B on “Ain’t a Day Goes By” and slides into a midtempo country

shuffle on “That’s My Only Regret.” She tells me she refined her vocal parts on the album, punching in and redoing lines for maximum effect. The result is a tour de force of postWestern swing singing that allows her to lay back or surge forward as the groove dictates.

The album is, if anything, even more nuanced than Daddy’s Country Gold — or indeed, her earlier work, which hardly lacked confidence. What’s striking about Carper’s current style is how deftly she turns what could be an introverted approach into a singing style that never lacks for warmth. I’ve seen Carper perform many times over the years, and I’ve never perceived her as a shy or retiring frontperson. But she tells me she’s had to work at becoming, well, the star she so richly deserves to be.

“I’ve been in a lot of bands where I’ve shared lead, and that’s really comfortable for me. I am an introverted person, and I have been painfully shy in my life, when I was younger. I enjoy the process of making an album. I’m definitely way better than I used to be.”

nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 51
MUSIC PLAYING FRIDAY, DEC. 9, AT THE STATION INN PLAYING
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PHOTO: AISHA GOLLIHE

upstairs was a strip club, and then downstairs, a little bitty bar. We played a show there. This is back when Jo Johnston was still the projects. It hadn’t been torn down yet.

What do you think has changed the most about music in the city since you were playing shows like that one? Because of streaming, local people aren’t as [easily] found. Because when I was coming up, you met the local people because they were pushing their CDs. You remember that big Nashville Scene piece y’all did on the cover that had All Star — back when Starlito went by All Star — and it was talking about the Grind Hard movement? Him having the cover of the Nashville Scene was such a big deal for Nashville hip-hop in that moment. It showed the impact that All Star was having with selling his mixtapes and T-shirts out of a trunk, that he was taking over every corner of Nashville. … The whole scene here was just so far ahead of its time.

Do you remember where you sold your first tape? I’m trying to remember if it was at the Mapco at Priest Lake, or if it was at school. But I would guess it was probably at school. Because I would take a spindle of CDs even to the eighth grade in Cameron Middle School, where I’d cut a one-track demo and printed 30 CDs myself on the one CD burner we had at the house. Took me all night. Wrote on each one of them the name of the song, and then went to school and got everybody’s breakfast money for the 30 of them.

Where were you recording early on when you were younger? Man, I was lucky. I had a friend named Bobby with a group, a rap group called Top Dollar, and they had found a studio in Antioch called Switchyard. For $25 an hour, Switchyard would let you sing your raps into their microphone, and they would give you what I now know to be a desk print of the song. Just a console print, just, “OK, that’s what you did,” print the song, and they’d give you a CD.

When I’m telling the story, I’m like, “I don’t think y’all get it. You wasn’t there.” You would’ve had to have seen it. You’d have had to have remembered when All Star got the cover of Nashville Scene. You’d have had to have remembered Platinum Bound mixtape shop having a line down Jefferson Street every Tuesday waiting on a record. You know what I mean? Or New Life in West Nashville had a line wrapped around the building twice, waiting on a record. Lil Les’ mixtape shop in Antioch. I remember all these mom-and-pop stores that we would consign our CDs to. Cat’s Music in East Nashville. Tower Records.

How many songs do you think you’ve written over the years? Well over 1,500. If I had to guess, I’m edging on 2,000 … and what’s crazy? The growth of the music … the man grew first. That’s the way I explain it: that Jason DeFord, the man, grew. And as he grew, the content that Jelly Roll was willing to sing about changed. I was a mad, angry rapper — independent kid. I was pissed off. I always had a point to prove, and tried to battle people, and felt overlooked. And then you get older and you’re like, “Ah, I just got to have patience. I’m doing the right thing. I’m staying the course.” Everything changed. My heart changed. I had a kid. You get soft and you start writing love songs or sad songs. … You know what I mean? Things just change.

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THE LONG WAY

Kelsey Waldon takes stock of the road less traveled on No Regular Dog

Kelsey Waldon stuck it out, and now she’s reaping the rewards. Waldon, a daughter of Monkey’s Eyebrow, Ky., has performed country music since she was a child. She arrived in Music City in the mid-2010s with an eye toward mainstream country, but her incisive songwriting led her down an alternate route.

“My story has been my own,” Waldon explains in an email. “I feel like I’ve grown up in front of people and in front of my listeners in a way. I didn’t ‘blow up’ with my first album. … Instead I just kept a steady pace of refining and growing with each one. I didn’t really know what I was doing, just that I loved it.”

On her standout album No Regular Dog, released via Oh Boy in August, Waldon reflects on that journey. On “Tall and Mighty,” she muses upon her road-warrior lifestyle, how things might have turned out if she’d stayed in Monkey’s Eyebrow, and finding contentment where she’s at. Songs like this are among Waldon’s most personal yet.

“I am always growing and evolving, and I don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel to be innovative,” she says. “You just have to bring your own flavor to the story or to the sound or the culture. I realize now the album is more about understanding my inherent worth that I had all along … but also knowing that I have what it takes to survive and I always will. I ain’t going anywhere.”

The song contrasts with “Dirty Old Town,” from Waldon’s 2016 album I’ve Got a Way The song is a searing indictment of the music business, especially as it’s conducted in Nashville. It’s a red-hot rocker, inspired by Waldon’s love of honky-tonk music.

“It’s not as deep as a lot of my other songs, maybe, but it’s a really fun one to play live and gives the steel and guitar some time to show out,” Waldon says. “Plus, it makes people dance. Sometimes you need a song like that. Every song has its place. … Even the old ones can become new again, especially live. I think it’s nice that during our live show, there are so many different dynamics, and each song has its place.”

While No Regular Dog showcases Waldon’s writing, it is also a musical tour de force. Waldon is quite conscious of how her band gels, and how songs translate from the studio to the stage.

“Chemistry in a band and a certain group of people is everything,” she says. “Sometimes it can even mean more than individual talent. The folks playing on the album, I had been playing with for a very long time, so we were incredibly comfortable. They are some of the very best.”

The players on No Regular Dog are Waldon’s usual touring band — Nate Felty (drums), Alec Newnam (bass) and Brett Resnick (pedal steel) — alongside special guests Doug Pettibone (dobro, guitar) and Aubrey Richmond (fiddle), as well as background vocals from Kyshona Armstrong, Nickie Conley, Maureen Murphy and Kristen Rogers. Waldon’s current tour has a different cast of players — drummer Zach Martin and bassist Erik Mendez holding down the rhythm section, delightfully monikered Muskrat Jones on pedal steel, fiddler Libby Weitnauer and guitarist Junior Tutwiler — but they are no less locked-in. Fans have given them a name referencing a classic Emmylou Harris touring lineup.

“It’s been just fantastic to see how the

songs from the record have kind of evolved into this whole other thing with this other energy behind it,” Waldon notes. “I have been so inspired by it. We’ve been calling it ‘Kelsey Waldon and Her Hot Band.’ … Fans just started saying that on tour, so it stuck. The chemistry with this group of people is just so special right now.”

As Waldon swings into the final leg of her current tour and makes her return to Nashville, she finds comfort in balancing the constant motion of touring and the peace of staying sedentary.

“I absolutely love touring and the whole process of that, and had missed it a lot,” she says. “I love the art of the show, too. That’s when you see the real faces and make the real connection that your music has meant something to people out there. It’s the only thing we do sometimes that actually feels like a real routine, as well.”

Waldon brought a new perspective with her this time — particularly, her sobriety. She stopped drinking two years ago. “Handling my business without it has been better than ever, and I am more present now and actually enjoying myself,” she says. “It’s made room now for all this other stuff that I didn’t realize I was missing. I also have learned now with some healthy perspective on my past and on my career.”

Her road family has provided her with plenty of support through the process. “I have had a door open for me, and all I need to do is just put my two feet in my own boots and walk through it,” says Waldon. “Feels like I can do anything, now. Stuff isn’t so scary anymore.”

She will conclude her tour at The Basement East on Dec. 16, and she’s excited to show what she and the band have been cooking to a hometown crowd. It will be their last show of the year. But she won’t be home for long.

“I’m a lifer and I hope I’m doing this forever.”

52 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
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PLAYING THE BASEMENT EAST FRIDAY, DEC. 16 PHOTO: ALYSSE GAFKJEN

TO BE CONTINUED

New Orleans rapper Curren$y keeps showing us his greatness

After two decades of making music, many artists find the spark that once drove their creativity fizzling out. New Orleans rapper Curren$y began to make an impact from the very start of his career nearly 20 years ago, when he was called on to join the second iteration of 504 Boyz, a supergroup of sorts featuring many members of Master P’s No Limit Records family. Luckily for fans, Curren$y’s remarkable consistency hasn’t wavered even as he’s become a veteran in the rap game.

Back in the spring, he released Continuance, a collaboration with producer The Alchemist following up their 2011 outing Covert Coup. It isn’t exactly a departure from Curren$y’s typical output, but it deserves each of the many spots it’s likely to land on end-of-year lists. The Louisiana native sounds just as comfortable flowing over The Alchemist’s bare-bonesyet-mesmerizing beats here as he did early in his career on tracks like Lil Wayne’s “Grown Man” in 2005. That’s the thing with Curren$y’s music; fans can pretty much always know what to expect, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting and spectacular when it comes.

Part of Curren$y’s draw is the immense confidence that seeps from each and every bar he spits. He’s doing what he’s great at, and he knows it. Continuance opens with “Half Moon Mornings,” in which he raps: “I pictured the listening session for it while I was still in here rhyming / I could tell this project would be received well.”

After 20 years in the game, Curren$y isn’t necessarily breaking new ground; he touches on themes here that will be familiar to anyone who knows his catalog: his large car collection, drugs and his

experiences growing up in the Crescent City are frequent topics. What makes Curren$y special are the new and creative ways he comes up with to approach his subjects, which scratch listeners’ brains in all the right places. Whether he’s describing his brown Range Rover with a tan interior as a “Reese’s cup out the freezer,” or somehow rhyming “shots fired,” “claim lives” and “G-ride” all in the same sentence, he uses every choice he makes about his words to draw you deeper into the story.

For many fans, Curren$y’s Pilot Talk series — with two volumes released in 2010, a third in 2015 and a fourth in 2021 — is his magnum opus. With a sound that leans more toward the era of Gangsta Grillz mixtapes and his Southern roots, the series showcases the rapper’s ability to adapt his laid-back, effortlessly cool style to just about any beat that gets thrown at him. Whether he’s rapping alongside New York legend Jadakiss over head-nodding drums and hypnotic flute loops on “Pot Tar” or trading verses with Mos Def and Jay Electronica over a screaming horn section on “The Day,” he always manages to hold his own, remaining one of the most unflappable rappers of the new millennium.

Despite the stellar releases that came before it, Continuance was still a delightful surprise for fans. (It’s not the only surprise this year: The Drive In Theatre Part 2, a follow-up to a much-loved 2014 release that was hailed as his best since the first two Pilot Talk albums, dropped on Black Friday.) Again and again, Curren$y proves himself to be an artist whose records are great for casual listening and reward you when you take the deep dive. The chemistry he and The Alchemist share on Continuance energizes both of them — they’re making exactly the music they want to make, and you can feel it.

A career in music is in many ways a grind, and it can wear artists down. Some, however, find a way to hold onto the hunger and tenacity that launched their artistic journey. While Curren$y may not always be thought of as standing in the Southern rap pantheon alongside figures like 8Ball & MJG, OutKast and Lil Wayne, he keeps showing us why he belongs there.

EMAIL MUSIC@NASHVILLESCENE.COM

nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 53
MUSIC PLAYING THURSDAY, DEC. 8, AT EASTSIDE BOWL Dec 8 Dec 9 Dec 10 Dec 11 Dec 13 Dec 14 Dec 15 Dec 16 Dec 17 Dec 18 Dec 19 Dec 21 dec 28 dec 30 dec 31 jan 5 jan 6 jan 7 jan 10 jan 13 dec 8 dec 8 dec 9 dec 10 dec 11 dec 12 dec 12 dec 14 dec 14 dec 15 dec 15 dec 16 dec 17 dec 17 dec 19 jan 8 jan 9 jan 14 jan 14 jan 15 JAN 16 jan 18 jan 19 jan 14 jan 15 jan 17 jan 18 jan 19 jan 20 jan 21 jan 24 jan 25 jan 28 jan 29 feb 2 feb 3 feb 4 FEB 9 feb 16 feb 18 feb 19 feb 20 feb 22 feb 23 surf Curse w/ Grumpy Surf Curse w/ Grumpy Ryan Griffin w/ Greylan James The Happy Fits w/ Daisy The Great & Phoneboy Rare Hare The Black Opry Revue Langhorne Slim w/ lilly hiatt Kelsey Waldon w/ Kristina Murray J Roddy Walston Nashville Is Dead Bartees Strange w/ Pom Pom Squad and They Hate Change EVAN + ZANE (evan Rachel Wood + Zane Carney) kennyhoopla NOCHE DE VERANO SIN TI - Celebración de Bad Bunny Sweet Tea Dance NYE Geoff Tate w/ Mark Daly rumours fleetwood mac tribute w/ nomenclature perpetual groove w/ the orange constant Grunge Night 8 spafford NIGHT CAP, JUDE PARRISH (7pm) Dan Knobler & Friends (9pm) STARCRAWLER w/ Girl Tones (8pm) Electric Python W/ Spider Virus and Hans Condor (9pm) Hunter Taylor, Johnny Clawson, Big 50 (7pm) WYN STARKS, Sarina Joi (7pm) Attention Machine W/ Angel Saint Queen (9pm) MEG MCREE (7:30pm) BEN CHAPMAN (8pm) DANGER WOLF W/ POTATO GUN CANYON (7pm) MY MORNING JACKET Tribute (9pm) RITZY D W/ Bryan Cates (7pm) WILD PINK W/ TRACE MOUNTAINS (6:30pm) LETDOWN (9pm) PINDROP SONGWRITER SERIES (7pm) The Koffin Kats, A Man Called Stu, Beat Creeps (7pm) VINJE, JARA WARD (7pm) This Pine Box, Sugadaisy (7pm) GA-20 (9pm) SAMANTHA CRAIN, ANTHONY DA COSTA, JESS NOLAN (7pm) Mandy Moon, Kenny Sharp (7pm) savannah burrows, bri fletcher (7pm) jerry garcia tribute (9pm) be our guest: the disney dj night Archers of Loaf w/ Weird Nightmare Jared James Nichols w/ ace monroe Thee Sacred Souls Jackson Dean w/ Mackenzie Carpenter Led Zeppelin 2 2000s Butt Rock Tribute The 502s Hawktail w/ Joachim Cooder Kendall Street Company & Airshow w/ Kyle Tuttle Nu metal tribute: korn, Deftones, & Killswitch Engage THE Emo Night Tour LUTHI w/ Travollta Suki Waterhouse Kimbra w/ Special Guest Tei Shi Stop Light Observations Claire Rosinkranz w/ DWLLRS & Mehro Amy Ray Band Otoboke Beaver Andy Shauf chappell roan 917 Woodland Street Nashville, TN 37206 | thebasementnashville.com basementeast thebasementeast thebasementeast 1604 8th Ave S Nashville, TN 37203 | thebasementnashville.com 12/16 12/11 Kelsey Waldon w/ Kristina Murray The Happy Fits w/ Daisy The Great & Phoneboy Langhorne Slim w/ Lilly Hiatt Ryan Griffin w/ Greylan James 12/10 12/15 Upcoming shows Upcoming shows thebasementnash thebasementnash thebasementnash Wyn Starks w/ Sarina Joi 12/12 12/14 J Roddy Walston The Black Opry Revue 12/17 12/14 Meg McRee sold out! Free!

ALL DAY LONG

When WNXP launched two years ago, it declared itself Nashville’s home for music discovery — a bold introduction to a city already full of great radio stations for curious music lovers. But the station, affiliated with NPR as part of Nashville Public Radio, has backed up its claim, delighting discerning Music City ears by playing a mix of artists just about to break into the mainstream, deep cuts from local acts and a smattering of artists from around the world.

Wet Leg is a prime example of why the station works.

The English rockers released their debut single “Chaise Longue” as unproven upstarts from the distant Isle of Wight in June 2021, but WNXP DJs heard something special in the song’s driving bass line, off-balance guitar riffs and deadpan vocal delivery from singers Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers

The station — itself just 8 months old — put the single in heavy rotation, and as the band continued to flex its muscle ahead of their self-titled 2022 debut, WNXP fans eagerly listened along.

Who better, then, for WNXP to book for its two-year anniversary party? The band joined two Nashville acts Thursday at Brooklyn Bowl for a three-hour concert, with ticket sales benefiting the station.

“For so many of you, the first time you heard ‘Chaise Longue’ was on WNXP, right?” WNXP program director Jason Moon Wilkins said to the crowd Thursday. “We didn’t have to wait on anybody, any charts. No one was paying us to play that song. We just said, ‘Holy fuck, that’s a great song! We should play it right now!’ ”

VEAUX, an alt-pop trio made up of brothers Aaron and Dominick Wagner and Andrew Black, kicked things off with eight songs of anthemic rock that felt right at home in the double-decker setting of Brooklyn Bowl. “If You Could Feel My Love” was a highlight, inspiring the crowd to light up their phones across the crowd in the band’s adopted hometown.

WNXP morning DJ Celia Gregory introduced the next group, Twen, by calling their July release One Stop Shop one of her favorite albums of the year. Jane Fitzsimmons’ vocals paired with the two-guitar attack of Asher Horton and Ian Jones channeled the most urgent sounds of ’80s indie rock on tracks like “Feeling in Love (From the Waist Down)” and “Automation,” and their funky punk rock — punky funk-rock? — was a perfect match for Wet Leg.

A fun, if perplexing, moment came when Fitzsimmons announced they would play a rendition of England’s national anthem in honor of Wet Leg. What came next was the opening riff of “Scar Tissue” by famous Californians Red Hot Chili Peppers, followed by an impassioned cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Things sure are different without Queen Elizabeth around. Of course, the night was always destined

to belong to Wet Leg, a band that is no longer reserved for hip public-radio listeners hunting for the next big thing. The band was recently nominated for multiple Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Performance and Best Alternative Music Album.

Wet Leg’s meteoric rise was fueled at least somewhat by the impenetrable dynamic of singers Teasdale and Chambers. At times, they embody a tweeness that makes it seem like they’ve only just learned how to swear — Teasdale wore a cozy knit hat topped with animal ears, which didn’t exactly dispel this notion — but then they blast out lyrics full of intricate, obscene and occasionally screamed reflections on sex, drunken parties and disillusionment with growing up and love itself. It’s a juxtaposition that works, and the crowd enthusiastically sang along on tracks like “Wet Dream” and “Piece of Shit.” Midway through “Ur Mum,” they joined the band in about 40 straight seconds of screaming before a massive final chorus.

“Chaise Longue” predictably served as the night’s closer. As the Brooklyn Bowl crowd bounced around and sang about “the big D” and muffins being buttered, it was easy to hear why they fell in love with the tune in the first place: It’s a quirky, frenetic song that just doesn’t sound like anything you’ll hear anywhere else. Could there be a more perfect theme song for WNXP?

HOMEWARD BOUND

To say Maren Morris’ headlining debut at Bridgestone Arena was many years in the making would be an understatement. The Texas native has diligently pursued a music career for almost all of her 32 years, performing just about anywhere she could find a stage and facing rejection from nearly every popular TV singing competition. Partially on the advice of her pal Kacey Musgraves, she eventually moved to Nashville and found success as a songwriter, with tracks cut by big-league artists like Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson. In 2015, Morris took another risk, making her first recordings in several years. With encouragement from hit songwriter and producer busbee — a close collaborator until his death in 2019 from an aggressive form of brain cancer at age 43 — she released a self-

titled EP that exploded on Spotify and led to a major label deal for her follow-up album Hero in 2016.

As Morris’ career has continued its upward trajectory, one constant has been her determination to foster a tightly knit, welcoming community of fans, fellow musicians and anyone simply searching for their own seat at the table. Friday night’s show, a homecoming following a lengthy tour for her latest LP Humble Quest, was a shining example of her talent and determination as a genre-bending artist and a champion of radical acceptance.

The memorable evening began with a short but sweet, high-energy set from country badass Brittney Spencer, followed by “Dirt Emo” maestro Ruston Kelly. When it was finally time for Morris to make her triumphant entrance, the venue erupted in a deafening wave of screams and applause. She and her band eased into their 22-song set with the slow-rolling Humble Quest song “The Furthest Thing,” but rapidly shifted into high gear for the album’s infectious lead single “Circles Around This Town.” It was the spark that lit a veritable fireworks display of joy that kept going through the whole night.

Morris’ husband, fellow country talent and resident tall guy Ryan Hurd, trotted onstage to join in on the pure country tune “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” marking his first of many appearances throughout the show. He’d be back a few songs later, after Morris blazed through “80s Mercedes” and “The Middle,” her 2018 hit pop crossover with Zedd and Grey.

Fans were also treated to a rare appearance from The Highwomen, sans founding member Brandi Carlile, who had

a prior engagement. This time, the country supergroup’s ever-rotating lineup included Spencer, Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires and musical powerhouse Sheryl Crow. The five stalwart songsmiths gathered gleefully to sing the country outfit’s anthemic originals “Redesigning Women” and “Crowded Table.”

Following another run of older songs, including her 2018 No. 1 hit “I Could Use a Love Song” and the feisty, sing-alonginducing “Rich,” Morris shared details of her recent audition for the part of Elphaba in the beloved Broadway musical Wicked. The ’Stone exploded with excited screams for Kristin Chenoweth, known for many roles but most especially to Wicked fans as the original Glinda. Whether or not Morris ultimately gets to play the Wicked Witch of the West, the pair’s surprise rendition of the musical’s “For Good” was proof that she can hold her own with one of the genre’s biggest talents.

Swooning fans didn’t have much time to recover. After the groovy Humble Quest tune “Good Friends,” there was another curveball: Hozier appeared for the pair’s richly soulful 2020 duet version of “The Bones.” Fittingly, Morris saved her breakout hit “My Church” for the final song of the main set. It would have been a fine way to conclude the whole shebang, but her soul-stirring encore acknowledged a particularly painful loss that came alongside her rise to fame.

The stage crew rolled a grand piano to center stage and Morris reemerged with a remembrance of busbee. She explained how she hadn’t been able to perform her lyrical tribute “What Would This World Do?” since his passing. Joined by Hurd and Jon Green, her co-writers on the song, Morris fought back the tears, acknowledging a pivotal career moment that her friend should have been there to see.

Ahead of the concert, there was speculation as to whether Morris would address Jason Aldean’s attempt to rile fans against her during his show at the arena in October. His ill-intentioned joke about inviting her onstage as a special guest, which elicited boos from the crowd, was sparked by Morris’ vocal criticism of Aldean’s wife Brittany after the pair posted transphobic comments on social media. Skirting the subject of the Aldeans like you thwart a schoolyard bully, Morris approached the topic with class and humility.

“I’ve learned when to and when to not shut the fuck up,” she noted midway through the set, garnering a lengthy round of applause.

“This is a place of love, and I don’t need to say anything else.”

54 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
MUSIC
THE SPIN
PHOTO: STEVE CROSS PHOTO: CLAIRE STEELE BRINGING LASAGNA TO A PARTY NEAR YOU: WET LEG THE HOUSE DON’T FALL: MAREN MORRIS
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THE GOLDIN RULE

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a powerful look at Nan Goldin’s fight against the opioid epidemic

All the Beauty and the Blood shed is a story about shame and silence. The kind of shame that leads parents to give up on their children, to reach a certain point where the struggle be comes too much to bear and the inability to rely on “respect able society” frac tures the bonds of

ARACHNOPHOBIA

family beyond any hope of repair. And the kind of silence that sees this happen again and again, through generations and decades. But it’s also about a different kind of shame — something that can be weaponized against nefarious targets, and something that can be shaped by a life lived from a place of empa thy and that can maybe help in the long run. Artist, photographer and filmmaker Nan Goldin is one of the most fascinating people alive. She’s been a mover and shaker in the art world for several decades, with a magnum opus called The Ballad of Sexual Dependency that is among the most inter esting and influential works of the late 20th century. She was part of the New York City art scene when that really meant something, and was friends and collaborators and col leagues with people like Cookie Mueller, Da vid Wojnarowicz and Rene Ricard, getting at the weirder, queerer experiences that tra ditional venues and tastemakers considered too “earthy.” From the beginning, Goldin’s work has always been generous of spirit,

filled with an empathy for sex workers, so cial outlaws, the ostracized and the shunned.

Following a wrist injury in 2014 and a se rious OxyContin addiction that nearly killed her, Goldin decided to use that empathy for the countless number of Americans caught up in the tangled strands of opioid addic tion. In 2017 she and a collective of artists, addicts and bereft family members estab lished Prescription Addiction Intervention Now — an organization working for harm reduction, destigmatization of addicts and holding responsible the corporate greed that caused the opioid crisis eating America alive from within. It’s in that last capacity that she and the group have focused their energies on the Sackler family, the domestic ghouls who, through Purdue Pharma, made billions of dollars peddling highly addictive painkillers to the public and then, through lobbyist dollars and donations to members of Congress [cough cough, Sen. Marsha Blackburn and her Ensuring Patient Ac cess and Effective Drug Enforcement Act], helped get laws written to keep them from being held responsible for doing so.

Seeing the amount of respect that the United States government has for artists (next to none), Goldin and PAIN found a new approach. Having been part of the up per echelons of the art world for some time, Goldin was well aware of the many muse ums that had accepted donations from the Sacklers — the family’s name has adorned wings of some of the most prestigious insti tutions for art throughout the world. So they began a series of demonstrations (equal parts flash mob and old-school ACT-UP diein) that put the bloody source of those big donations right in the face of high society, calling on the art world to call out these monsters when actual authorities would not.

Director Laura Poitras has a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pulitzer and an Oscar, but she’s also got a gift for structure, allowing the vari ous aspects of Goldin’s life and art speak to one another. Poitras elevates this film from

great documentary to humanist triumph, letting the appearance and voices of brilliant artists that we lost in one plague (most nota bly Mueller and Wojnarowicz, who live again for a little while in this remarkable film) gain resonance as we confront the subsequent plagues of OxyContin and COVID-19.

It’s been there in Goldin’s life and work since the beginning, shaped by and working through her parents’ inability to acknowl edge the bisexuality of her sister Barbara, whom they shunted off to a mental institu tion, culminating in her suicide. Goldin tells the stories locked away “for decency’s sake,” regardless of what polite society pre fers. PAIN and the crusade against the Sack lers’ disingenuous manipulation of business law are the logical expansion of the work Goldin has been undertaking ever since she first began taking photographs. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will inspire you in ways that will make homophobes, pharma ceutical profiteers and those who delight in institutional cruelty very nervous.

This film won the Golden Lion at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, and it’s hard to imagine anyone watching it and not being affected by the places it goes. There’s a sequence in which members of the Sackler family, during the bankruptcy hearing that will allow them to shed liability for the thousands of deaths their products caused, are legally compelled to listen to the testimony of people who lost loved ones to opioids. It’s the most horrifying thing you’ll see in a film all year, just malig nant privilege utterly incapable of the slight est amount of concern or care. And if you’re one of the countless Americans whose lives have been affected by the ongoing opioid cri sis, it’s going to angry up the blood — good.

For every would-be demagogue, influ encer or Twitter pundit who would call themselves truthtellers: Please have several seats and listen to a woman who’s been tell ing us about ourselves in whatever medium is accessible at the time.

(The Iranian government never explicitly told him no, but he eventually chose to film in Jordan.) He wanted to capture the particular atmosphere of Mashhad, and Holy Spider fills the city’s streets with bright, garish lights. A sickly shade of green dominates the film. Pub lic space looks nauseatingly uninviting.

It’s easy enough to see what Holy Spider is about: In the Iranian city of Mashhad, serial killer Saeed (Mehdi Bajestani) picks up and murders 16 sex workers, while woman journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahami) investigates the case. But describing what the film itself is be comes far more difficult. Is it just a slice of urban sleaze, an exploitation movie that happened to play Cannes? An exposé on screwed-up male behavior and misogyny in Iran (and, by implication, elsewhere)? A demonstration of the very thin line between “normal” life and violence?

OPENING FRIDAY, DEC. 9, AT THE BELCOURT

Refusing to tell this story as a mystery, Holy Spider — based on real events that took place early in the 21st century — alternates between the lives of Saeed and Rahimi. In the film’s opening scenes, a sex worker sleeps with a client, then encounters Saeed, who kills her. Rahimi, accompanied by a male driver, has just

arrived in Mashhad. The police force is less than helpful — a boorish cop sexually harasses her, then insults her for smoking cigarettes. Other men are just as patron izing. She’s forced to put herself on the line to have a chance to catch Saeed. Although Saeed’s behavior toward his family has an undercurrent of menacing tension, his son Ali looks up to him, and his wife shares his contempt for sex workers.

After its world premiere in May, Holy Spider lands in Nashville theaters at the odd, unintentional intersec tion of two cultural and political markers. The backlash to true crime is steadily growing, even as its audience is also growing. The families of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims lambasted the makers of Dahmer — Monster: The

Dahmer Story for retraumatizing them, accusing them of glamorizing a killer, but it’s one of the most popular series in Netflix’s history. Meanwhile, mass protests be gan in Iran on Sept. 16, following the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest for not wearing her hijab accord ing to government standards. The protests, mostly led by women, have reached a point at which failure or revolution look like the only options. Holy Spider is about a real-life killer who strangles women with their own headscarves. The connection is obvious, but so is the film’s ambivalence.

Although director and co-writer Ali Abbasi now re sides in Denmark, he was born in Iran and lived there at the time of the murders depicted in Holy Spider

The choice to alternate between the viewpoints of Saeed and Rahimi isn’t a pleasant one, and Holy Spider incorporates the death throes of all the women killed by Saeed during the film — it’s out to make the audience uncomfortable. Despite Saeed’s selfrighteousness, his behavior hints at necrophiliac urges, as well as sexual repression manifesting itself in his choice of sex workers as targets. Although Rahimi gets her share of time in the narrative, Holy Spider feels far more engaged with him. It tangles complicity and critique into a fine web.

In the film’s final third, the results of that weaving become clearer. Holy Spider actually becomes grimmer once society’s reaction to Saeed takes the stage, and it’s hardly subtle. Its fascination with violence against women doesn’t go down easily, particularly in a film whose killer and victims are based on real people. While Holy Spider has been compared to the work of David Fincher, the post-Hays Code nastiness of Alfred Hitch cock’s Frenzy also comes to mind. However, its bloodless final scene, which shows misogyny being passed down the family tree, is the hardest one to watch.

56 NASHVILLE SCENE | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | nashvillescene.com
FILM
ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED NR, 117 MINUTES OPENING FRIDAY, DEC. 9, AT THE BELCOURT HOLY SPIDER NR, 117 MINUTES; IN PERSIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Holy Spider is a grim depiction of real-life Iranian murders
nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 57 ACROSS 1 Tinker (with) 5 Obscures, in a way 10 Acts as one? 14 Memo starter 15 Garden of ___ (punnily named snack brand) 16 Word with bird or nest 17 Persian for “country” 18 Taqueria menu adjective 19 “You sure about that?” 20 _N_ _ERS 23 Téa of “Madam Secretary” 24 “No ___!” (cry in a queue) 25 CRAWL SP_ 31 Brand owned by Whirlpool 34 Absence of musical ability 35 Trojans’ sch. 36 The “seven” referenced by the film title “Seven” 37 Intoxicated, in modern slang 38 Meh 39 Exam taken by many jrs. 40 Works at a restaurant … or what many diners experience at popular restaurants 41 Sauce that often contains nuts 42 _EABR_ 45 Small valley 46 First name in cosmetics 49 COLD S_ _U_ _ER 54 Goes over or under, in a way 55 Worst possible turnout 56 It might help you get a grip 57 Product with a Mini variety 58 Role on “Stranger Things” 59 University in a town of the same name 60 Org. 61 What good pitches often result in 62 ___ control (city law subject) DOWN 1 Nashville university attended by W. E. B. DuBois and John Lewis 2 To 3 Go over, in a way 4 Riddles in Buddhism 5 ___ Baby 6 Anchor’s position 7 Home of the Uintah and Ouray reservation 8 Nag, nag, nag 9 Popular app originally launched under the name Picaboo 10 Column base 11 Directionless sorts 12 Enterprise rival 13 Lead-in to a counterargument 21 Ancient worshiper of Pachamama (“earth mother”) 22 Violinist Leopold 26 Language family in Canada 27 Up 28 All wound up 29 Khan Academy subj. 30 Comeback 31 “Go, go, go!” 32 Mineral whose name means “crumb” in Latin 33 Cures for what ails you 37 Marks in the sand, perhaps 38 All-time greatest 40 Feral 41 “Hey, over here!” 43 Wrestling maneuver 44 Trojan hero born of Aphrodite 47 Actor Hirsch 48 Printer brand 49 From half of a couple, maybe 50 Name that’s a conjunction + an article 51 It’s all wound up 52 Some time ago 53 Bazaar sight 54 It’s a wrap
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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 FAUSTINO TORRES. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HIS appearance herein with thirty (30) days after DECEMBER 22, 2022, 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 23, 2023

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.

resident of the State of Tennessee, therefore the ordinary process of law cannot be served upon FAUSTINO TORRES. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HIS appearance herein with thirty (30) days after DECEMBER 22, 2022, 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 23, 2023

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.

M

ville, Tennessee, and defend or default will be taken on JANUARY 30, 2023

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.

M

Date: December 2, 2022

Gary

NSC 12/ 8 12 15 12/ 22, 12/ 29/22

Non Resident Notice Third Circuit Docket No. 22D 1165

Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager. Oversee, coordinate, direct, and promote all environmental, health, and safety activities for a manufacturer and distributor of computer and electronics components.

Date: November 22 2022

NSC 12/1 12/ 8 12 15 12/ 22/22

Non Resident Notice

Fourth Circuit Docket No. 22D722

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 SEAN LAMAR HENDERSON. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HIS appearance herein with thirty (30) days after DECEMBER 29, 2022, 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 30, 2023

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.

Date: December 2, 2022

SERBANDA AJXOLLIP GONZALEZ vs. GUSTAVO LINARES

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 GUSTAVO LINARES. It is ordered that said Defendant enter HIS appearance herein with thirty (30) days after DECEMBER 22, 2022, 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 23, 2023

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.

Joseph P. Day, Clerk M De Jesus Deputy Clerk Date: November 22 2022

Gary W. Temple Attorney for Plaintiff

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Location: La Vergne, TN. Employer: Quanta Manufacturing Nashville, LLC. To apply, mail resumé (no calls/e mails) to S. Jones, 1621 Heil Quaker Blvd., La Vergne, TN, 37086.

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Joseph P. Day, Clerk M De Jesus Deputy Clerk Date: November 22, 2022
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Matt Maniatis Attorney for Plaintiff NSC TERESA DIANE HENDERSON vs. SEAN LAMAR HENDERSON Joseph P. Day, Clerk M De Jesus Deputy Clerk Gary W. Temple Attorney for Plaintiff Joseph P. Day, Clerk De Jesus, Deputy Clerk Matt Maniatis Attorney for Plaintiff Joseph P. Day Clerk De Jesus Deputy Clerk W. Temple Attorney for Plaintiff
BathWraps is looking for calls from homeowners with older home who are looking for a quick safety update.
Gary W. Temple Attorney for Plaintiff NSC
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nashvillescene.com | DECEMBER 8 - DECEMBER 14, 2022 | NASHVILLE SCENE 59 R e n t a l S c e n e Colony House 1510 Huntington Drive Nashville, TN 37130 liveatcolonyhouse.com | 844.942.3176 4 floor plans The James 1 bed / 1 bath 708 sq. ft from $1360 2026 The Washington 2 bed / 1.5 bath 1029 sq. ft. from $1500 2202 The Franklin 2 bed / 2 bath 908 1019 sq. ft. from $1505 2258 The Lincoln 3 bed / 2.5 bath 1408 1458 sq. ft. from $1719 2557 Cottages at Drakes Creek 204 Safe Harbor Drive Goodlettsville, TN 37072 cottagesatdrakescreek.com | 615.606.2422 2 floor plans 1 bed / 1 bath 576 sq ft $1,096-1,115 2 bed / 1 bath 864 sq ft. $1,324-1,347 Studio / 1 bath 517 sq ft starting at $1742 1 bed / 1 bath 700 sq ft starting at $1914 2 bed / 2 bath 1036 - 1215 sq ft starting at $2008 2100 Acklen Flats 2100 Acklen Ave, Nashville, TN 37212 2100acklenflats.com | 615.499.5979 12 floor plans Southaven at Commonwealth 100 John Green Place, Spring Hill, TN 37174 southavenatcommonwealth.com | 855.646.0047 The Jackson 1 Bed / 1 bath 958 sq ft from $1400 The Harper 2 Beds / 2 bath 1265 sq ft from $1700 The Hudson 3 Bed / 2 bath 1429 sq ft from $1950 3 floor plans Brighton Valley 500 BrooksBoro Terrace, Nashville, TN 37217 brightonvalley.net | 855.944.6605 1 Bedroom/1 bath 800 sq feet from $1360 2 Bedrooms/ 2 baths 1100 sq feet from $1490 3 Bedrooms/ 2 baths 1350 sq feet from $1900 3 floor plans Gazebo Apartments 141 Neese Drive Nashville TN 37211 gazeboapts.com | 615.551.3832 1 Bed / 1 Bath 756 sq ft from $1,119 + 2 Bed / 1.5 Bath - 2 Bath 1,047 1,098 sq ft from $1,299 + 3 Bed / 2 Bath 1201 sq ft from $1,399 + 5 floor plans To advertise your property available for lease, contact Keith Wright at 615-557-4788 or kwright@fwpublishing.com
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