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AUGUST 2017 GEORGE GRUHN

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CONTENTS AUGUST 2017

38

58 24

28 48 THE GOODS

19 Beer from Here 20 Cocktail of the Month 24 Master Platers 77 You Oughta Know 81 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 28 Amelia Briggs 38 George Gruhn 48 Sinclair 58 Chef Andrew Little 68 Lit Spotlight: Expressive Writing for Immigrants

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CLEAN, C O H E S IV E PRODUCT PHOTOS Q U IC K D N TU R N A R O U

president, founder:

publisher, founder: 

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

editor in chief: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

operations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

community

representative: production:

KELSEY FERGUSON

GUSTI ESCALANTE

          writers: photographers:

CAT ACREE CHARLIE HICKERSON BENJAMIN HURSTON COOPER BREEDEN ANGELINA MELODY DANIELLE ATKINS ANDREA BEHRENDS LAURA E. PARTAIN JESS WILLIAMS EMILY DORIO

interns:

MORGAN JONES YASMIN MURPHY ZOE KELLER AMBER NASH

founding team: founder, brand director:

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founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

for all inquiries:

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AUGUST12-$10 9PM MERCYLOUNGE

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Czann’s

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GOLDEN GOD by Ben Clemons of No. 308 photo by Angelin a M e l ody

In Jeanne DuPrau’s 1981 novel Golden God, archaeologists find themselves trapped in a cave and realize it’s full of a precious commodity: gold. Sometimes, when in the depths of despair, we realize valuables are all around us. This vodka tiki-style drink utilizes turmeric, an ingredient I was sitting on an abundance of. The turmeric and the hint of citrus mix with the rich fattiness of the coconut cream in such a beautiful way. Also, this sucker glows like it was designed by the bartender in the Star Wars cantina.

THE GOODS 2 oz vodka 2 oz coconut turmeric mix*

FShake ingredients and pour into a freshly iced highball glass. FGarnish with a lime wheel.

*Coconut turmeric mix:

1 can coconut cream 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1/2 cup lime juice Combine all ingredients and cook until the sugar is dissolved . Refrigerate until ready to use.

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MASTER PLATERS

W AT E R M E L O N , Q U I N O A ,

&

A R U G U L A

SALAD

B Y L AU R A L E A G O L D B E R G O F L AU R A L E A B A L A N C E D

PHO TO S B Y DAN IELLE AT K IN S

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THE GOODS

DIRECTIONS

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD:

METHOD FOR SALAD:

1/2 cup raw walnuts

FPreheat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color. Allow to cool, then chop. Set aside.

1 cup quinoa, cooked and chilled at least one hour* 2 cups seedless watermelon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces 1/4 packed cup fresh mint, sliced into thin ribbons 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles, plus more to taste 1 8-oz bag baby arugula INGREDIENTS FOR HONEY LIME DRESSING: 2 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp honey (may sub maple syrup, but note this will change the flavor slightly) 1/3 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt

FPlace the chilled quinoa in a large salad bowl and add the watermelon, mint, feta, arugula, and chopped walnuts. Add 1/2 of the dressing and toss to coat; taste and add dressing accordingly. Serve immediately. Salad will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 4 days. METHOD FOR DRESSING: FWhisk together the lime juice, honey, olive oil, and salt in a bowl or puree in a blender until smooth. The dressing will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Recipe makes approximately 1/2 cup. NOTE: If you want to keep the arugula crisp because you plan to have leftovers, leave it out of the toss process. Add a handful of arugula to the base of each serving bowl and top with the quinoa mixture. *Try Laura Lea’s recipe for Easiest Fluffy Quinoa in The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook

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THE EXPLORERS CLUB w/ THE BEECH BENDERS & CREAMER - MERCY LOUNGE PJ MORTON w/ ASH. - MERCY LOUNGE ZOOGMA - MERCY LOUNGE R.LUM.R w/ JAMES DROLL AND ESTEF - MERCY LOUNGE RENN & SHANNON LaBRIE - MERCY LOUNGE RUMOURS: A FLEETWOOD MAC TRIBUTE - MERCY LOUNGE MARADEEN w/ DEAD 27s - THE HIGH WATT TANK AND THE BANGAS - MERCY LOUNGE BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS - MERCY LOUNGE BEN SOLLEE & KENTUCKY NATIVE - THE HIGH WATT THE SLANTS - THE HIGH WATT !!! AND ALGIERS - MERCY LOUNGE KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - CANNERY BALLROOM MANDOLIN ORANGE - MERCY LOUNGE STRAND OF OAKS - THE HIGH WATT RON POPE w/ AGES AND AGES - CANNERY BALLROOM AGAINST ME! w/ BLEACHED AND THE DIRTY NIL - CANNERY BALLROOM TORRES - THE HIGH WATT 26 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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INSIDE THE CONTROLLED CHAOS OF ARTIST AMELIA BRIGGS BY CAT ACREE | PHOTOS BY ANDREA BEHRENDS

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IN A STORY, A PERSON ALWAYS torship, though she worked for the MemHAS A REASON FOR THE THINGS phis gallery for four years, while she was SHE DOES. By its very nature, a narra- in grad school. There’s paint on just tive can’t portray chaos. I’d been reading about everything in her studio, chairs inNicole Krauss’ upcoming book, Forest cluded, but she promises that my seat is Dark, before meeting with artist and Da- dry. A selection of her Inflatables (which vid Lusk Gallery Director Amelia Briggs, aren’t inflated at all) hang on the walls and early in Krauss’ novel, she draws an like cartoonish splats or squishy childimpassable line: Narrative, the “antith- hood memorabilia. “I tend to think of cartoon or childesis of formlessness,” can sustain chaos no more than light can sustain darkness. like language as a metaphor for building For Briggs, an artist obsessed with blocks of popular imagery, or imagery skewing and fragmenting narratives, that we are constantly inundated with,” chaos is always just at the edge of her Briggs explains. “My fragmenting of this vision. Pop culture, ads, and whatever narrative is an attempt, in some way, to other influential material—it’s all over- take control of the chaos, remove the whelming stimuli that build each per- messages. Rendering these shared visual son’s narrative, and combined, they’re narratives unreadable makes them more about as close to chaos as you can get. interesting to me because they no lonAnd it starts from birth: cartoons, com- ger carry a message or ‘agenda.’ It is the ics, even the seemingly innocuous sto- ‘agenda’ I find exhausting or chaotic.” Briggs’ exploration of these themes ries told in coloring books. “One could argue that’s how we start splits into two categories: her soft, to form our identity as children: what sculptural Inflatables and the Small Green we’re exposed to as children, what be- Plane print series. They combine to form comes the norm, and what we’re used to we are not together yet, showing at Red seeing,” Briggs says. “I’m drawn to dis- Arrow Gallery from August 12 to September 3. The two series are intertwined, torting that.” It’s the Fourth of July, and Briggs and feeding and mimicking each other, pullI are sitting in her Green Hills home’s ing in equal measure from comics, colorthird bedroom, which she has converted ing books, and cartoons. Briggs shows me a fat binder (with into a small studio. Formerly of Indiana, Michigan, and then Memphis, she has a little paint on it) that’s spilling with only lived in Nashville (with her fiancé) vintage coloring book scraps. It’s mostly for about nine months at this point. She clippings from a Mickey and Minnie colrecently took on the David Lusk direc- oring book, all off-white pages with bold,

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swooping black lines. Briggs pulls out a few small nating more of the figures within, these animations pieces and shows the minute details that interest suggest infinite possibilities, more questions than her. There’s a dotted detail in one corner—she says answers. By printing the Small Green Plane series onto it’s beautiful, she has no idea why, and that she fabric, Briggs gives each image the autonomy to could frame it. become its own object. When I press her about “I think it’s the graphic quality of these drawings,” the feminine nature of fabric, she concedes, relucBriggs says. “I’m very drawn to coloring books or tantly: “There’s a daintiness to fabric, which is very cartoons because of the little subtlety, the simplicstereotypically feminine.” But she offers a qualifier ity [of ] taking something very complex, or an idea to this: “I can’t honestly say that I’m thinking about that’s very complex, and making it really simple . . that exact thing as I’m making these, because I’m . A very simple line, we universally understand to not. I’m thinking about the process of just making represent something—a universal shape.” What’s a piece, and reacting intuitively to the shapes that the simplest design you can use to portray an imI’m drawn to . . . But my work is not conceptual in age? Briggs gestures to a scrap with fluffy-looking the sense that I am going to speak to a stereotypical squiggles on it and says that we all know that’s a tree. (It looks like a mop of hair to me, but I get thing. It’s not that direct.” That being said, as a female artist, to pull apart her point.) the chaotic narrative of comics These marks may be immediately recand cartoons is to pull apart the ognizable, even when cut up, but I dare messages for young girls, which you to trace any of Briggs’ work back to even in sweet-seeming picture its cartoon or comic book source matebooks can have sexist or manipurial. Even though Briggs and I are talking lative messages. Minnie getting about Disney, I can’t really see any Disdolled up for Mickey may be a ney in her pieces. Well, except maybe little thing, but is it that little? a set of eyes (Mickey?) in an inflatable Or are we just accustomed to hanging on the wall. Briggs acknowledgit? “I [think] a lot about a womes this and then points out a nose that’s an’s connection to emotion and too obvious to her, but I have no idea a woman’s search for identity,” what she’s talking about. What nose? Briggs says. “I do think of these The Small Green Plane series is compieces—or I think of my whole prised of prints on various fabrics, inprocess, really, as a kind of search cluding satin, silk, and faille, and here for identity. Obviously I am a the fleeting marks may suggest the exwoman, so I associate that with istence of a figure or a scene, but just a woman’s search for [identity].” barely. Briggs doesn’t keep a sketchIt’s this search that led to the book, so these digital prints function title we are not together yet, referas sketches and precursors to the inflatables. The title is almost literal: “When I used to encing the manner in which we glom together some paint figures, I would always think about inserting a semblance of an identity while being inundated green plane to allude to the ground or grass,” Briggs with external information from ads and pop culture. says. “[The figures] were kind of walking a line be- “I [like] to think about my work as these things that tween abstraction and representation.” Each piece are kind of frustrated or not getting across who in the Small Green Plane series is like a miniature they are, what they want to say,” Briggs says. “I like stage or diorama with its own fractured mise-en- the idea—even when I was painting figures—of scène. Within these settings exists an autonomous someone or something searching for themselves reality, “one that has its own rules” but perhaps re- or trying to express themselves, or maybe paintings that were somehow frustrated or somehow not flects our own reality. All of this has roots in Briggs’ fascination with able to get that across.” The imagery of our childhood loses even more filmmaking (and specifically women in film). Her website even has a page that transforms the Small of its specificity in the Inflatables, deformed and Green Plane images into GIFs. Rather than illumi- stuffed (with stuffed-animal filler) 3-D canvases

“I DO THINK OF THESE PIECES—OR I THINK OF MY WHOLE PROCESS, REALLY, AS A KIND OF SEARCH FOR IDENTITY.”

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with layers upon layers of paint. Coloring book–style marks made with acrylic markers, stapled-down fabrics (fake fur, old Goodwill curtains), and paper-mache all disappear beneath faded, aged-looking paint. It’s loose, never projected, maybe even a little, dare I say, chaotic. It may be easy to talk about the influences behind Briggs’ pieces, what she likes about them visually, her process of making them. What isn’t easy is talking about why. A viewer starts looking for an explanation— especially a woman like myself who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s and finds the colors and bulbous shapes to be particularly familiar. There’s something incredibly innocent about the perky pink and turquoise, but something worn down about the textures hidden beneath thick paint. I want to chew on these inflatables, see how they taste, put one in my mouth, like a baby—maybe that will give me some answers. (When I tell Briggs this, she laughs lightly and says, “Do it.”) But Briggs’ work is formal, very rarely conceptual, and it dodges comparison. “I’ve made this mistake before with my work, where I’ve tried to force a narrative on it,” Briggs says. “There are a lot of concepts happening here that I’m thinking about, definitely . . . But there’s not some big concept that I’m thinking about when I’m making these. I like that about it though. I think I would be bored of it if I was trying to illustrate some specific and easily understandable agenda or narrative. Maybe not bored of it . . . but I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in it being a mystery even to myself.” There’s so much left unsaid in Briggs’ work, but there’s just enough suggestion of a life, a narrative, and beneath it all, utter chaos. we are not together yet is showing at Red Arrow Gallery from August 12 to September 3.

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BYOB SCREEN PRINTING CUSTOM EVENTDESIGNS

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GEORGE GRUHN HAS SOLD STRINGED INSTRUMENTS TO SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MUSIC FOR MORE THAN FORTY YEARS. NOW, HE’S TEAMED UP WITH BELMONT TO VENTURE INTO NEW TERRITORY: A GUITAR MUSEUM

BY CHARLIE HICKERSON | PHOTOS BY LAURA E. PARTAIN

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“I NEVER HAVE CLAIMED TO BE SANE. IN FACT, I BELIEVE SANITY WOULD BE BORING, BUT I’M NOT SURE, NEVER HAVING PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED IT.” It’s two days before NAMM’s (the National Association of Music Merchants) annual convention, and Gruhn Guitars founder George Gruhn is leaning against a table in Belmont’s Lila D. Bunch Library, about one hundred feet from Belmont’s Gallery of Iconic Guitars (The GIG). The gallery hosts roughly one hundred vintage stringed instruments, from electric and acoustic guitars to basses, mandolins, and banjos. They’re part of a $10.5 million-dollar collection donated by Steven Kern Shaw, a client and friend of Gruhn’s who passed away in 2015. Along with the other coexecutor of Shaw’s will, New York attorney Andy Boose, Gruhn oversaw the completion of The GIG, which not only displays these priceless pieces but also gives you the opportunity to play them (well, a few of them). But at the moment—as is liable to happen when you’re talking to Gruhn— we’ve gotten a little off-topic. He’s explaining how, as a twenty-year-old psychology student, he made a convincing argument for his own insanity. It was so convincing, actually, that it got him out of Vietnam. “I can be crazy when I need to be, and I’m not the least bit embarrassed about being certified as crazy,” he says, staring at me through his rounded Armani trifocals. “I think you’d need to be crazy to go to Vietnam back then.” Even though we’re in a library, Gruhn doesn’t lower his speaking voice. He doesn’t need to: in the five hours we spend together, first at Belmont and then at Gruhn’s new-ish location on 8th Avenue, the seventy-two-year-old never breaks from the same hushed, deadpan cadence. The $175,000 Gibson F5 mandolin in The GIG, climate change, Eric Clapton, Broadway tourists—they’re all discussed in this calculated monotone, each word picked with calm delibera-

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I talked to Gruhn as he gave me a tion. Imagine Severus Snape, subtract the acerbic wit, add a little Carl Sagan, tour of The GIG, showed me his office and you get an idea of what talking to (complete, perhaps unsurprisingly, with eleven snakes, two cats, and one AusGeorge Gruhn is like. If Gruhn sounds more like a scientist tralian Bearded Dragon named Freddy), than a guitar salesman, that’s because he and took me through his private collecis. Yes, he owns one of the most presti- tion of stringed instruments. The folgious vintage guitar stores in the world. lowing are edited excerpts from our day Yes, he’s sold guitars to everyone from together. Clapton to Paul McCartney to Taylor ON THE CREATION OF THE GIG: Swift. And yes, he’s literally written the book(s) on vintage guitars (see: Gruhn’s This museum had its start with a colGuide to Vintage Guitars, Acoustic Guitars lector-customer of mine named Steven and Other Fretted Instruments, Electric Kern Shaw . . . Kern, his middle name, was named [after] his grandfather, JeGuitars and Basses). But before the fretted instruments, rome Kern, a very famous Broadway there was zoology. Gruhn’s passion for songwriter. He did “Old Man River,” the subject started at age four, when he “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and hundreds of tunes which to began collecting insects. this very day continue to By the time he was twelve, produce a very considerable he’d converted his famroyalty income. ily’s Pittsburgh basement [Steven Kern Shaw] had into a full-fledged menagsome instruments that erie that boasted snakes, were just wheeling-andfrogs, fish, and even a dealing stock that he’d pick couple of possums. The up in pawn shops. As he was self-described obsession searching for the ones he led Gruhn to a degree in really wanted to keep, he psychology of animal bewould uncover sometimes havior from the University dozens of things that were of Chicago and doctoral not particularly good. But work at Duke and the Unithey were priced cheap versity of Tennessee. enough that he could buy However, buying and them and then sometimes selling vintage stringed inuse them to trade in for othstruments—a hobby he’d er stuff that was better later. developed as a teen—soon In some ways, that’s not became his new obsession. much different than my As a twentysomething, he own start in business. I was was buying and selling so much that, at the recommendation of a collector, but as a student, Mommy Hank Williams Jr. (one of his first high- and Daddy paid for my apartment rent, profile clients), Gruhn ditched school books, food, and my tuition at the Uniand opened the first iteration of Gruhn versity of Chicago. I couldn’t afford to Guitars at 111 Fourth Avenue North on go out and buy expensive instruments. Lower Broadway. That was 1969. In They were willing to buy me one guitar 1976, the 20 x 60–foot office moved to to get started so I could learn to play. 410 Broadway, then down the block to After that, I was on my own. But I had a four-story building at 400 Broadway this addiction for guitars and banjos in 1993. In 2013, Gruhn Guitars moved and mandolins, and I would constantly yet again to its current location on 8th check the classified ads every day . . . For every one I’d find that I wanted to keep, Avenue.

“I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD-SIZED EGO, BUT I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO BE REMEMBERED QUITE LIKE STRADIVARI.”


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I could turn up twenty or more that were great deals on things I didn’t want. Steve did the same thing but at a later date . . . The collection here is still a culmination of at least thirty-five years of collecting. And what you see here is by no means the whole collection. There were over five hundred instruments, and there’s only about one hundred on display here. We will put some more display cases in, and hopefully in the future we will even expand the space. We will also add more to the so-called “petting zoo” here instead of just these four instruments that are available to be played. Hopefully, within the next thirty days, we’ll have at least a dozen instruments out for people to play. With all the instruments that we have—including quite a few that are duplicates but still very good quality—we have the potential to loan some to other institutions. We also have quite a few that are set up in excellent playing order and can be used by students, faculty, and visiting musicians who want to have a chance to try out some really great instruments and possibly use them for performances and recordings here. There’s a lot of potential to be worked out yet. This exhibit has only been open since the start of the summer, so it’s nowhere near a final version yet. ON THE INSTRUMENTS IN THE GIG: This was an opportunity to preserve and keep intact the best parts of a spectacular collection—to put it in an institution and in a setting in which temporary fads would not matter. A museum is not something that is established simply for whatever is in vogue at the moment. Museums go on and on and on, longer than the lifetime of any person. This was to provide a permanent home where [the instruments] would be well cared for. And these instruments, in my opinion at least, transcend time in much the same way that fine art can. In his lifetime, for example, Van Gogh never sold a painting. His brother Theo was supposed to be selling some and never did, and he lied about it a bit. When Vincent found out, it was a crushing blow and it’s one of the reasons he committed suicide finally. This is a collection that can stay around for many, many years to come. Of course, Van Gogh paintings have certainly appreciated now. If you go to an institution like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or the Art Institute of Chicago, they’re not so concerned with the fad of the moment. They are doing something long term. These instruments are part of our cultural history . . . Even if they were not a commercial success immediately, they are recognized today as being the iconic and best ex-

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amples of their kind ever made. ON COLLECTING: Collectors typically have a passion, but it’s almost addictive. I can remember when if I hadn’t found a guitar in the past month, I’d almost feel like I was having withdrawal symptoms. I’d need one . . . By the time I was in graduate school, I had a three-room apartment—one room was piled three feet deep with guitar cases. By the time I moved to Nashville at the beginning of ’69, I was up pretty close to the guitar-a-day habit. I’d just be looking and finding [guitars], but I’d use the same skills that my background in zoology had. The instruments fit well into a Linnaean taxonomic order. My father was a pathologist, so I’d give every instrument the forensic pathological exam to see what had gone on with it. What was happening to that instrument? What had happened to it? Because when you look at one, you want to be able to use the skills of a taxonomist to identify what it is. But you also want the skills of the forensic pathologist to discover not only what it is, but what’s been done to it. How original is it? What parts have been changed, modified, damaged, and repaired? That’s critically important in collectability and value, as well as just utility. So I use those skills from my background every day. I don’t feel that my education is wasted. ON THE DEATH OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR, WHICH THE WASHINGTON POST RECENTLY INTERVIEWED HIM ABOUT: I think it’s somewhat exaggerated in terms of total death, but it is in some ways a shrinking market. I do not anticipate the electric guitar going the way of the accordion . . . If you judge by sale of guitar strings—which people are going to use as long as they’re playing, whether they’re buying guitars or not—guitar string sales are definitely down somewhat, but not dramatically. What’s happened? Numerous things are happening. The millennial generation does not share all the same interests as baby boomers. A lot of the new music is electronic—it doesn’t even use recognizable instruments—but there’s still plenty that does use guitars. If you have an instrument, such as a guitar, that with proper care can last for several hundred years and has been fully evolved for many years, and then you increase production twentyfold from what it used to be in the mid-1980s, after a while you have a heck of a lot of guitars in excellent condition—that are not obsolete, that are flooding the market—and you may not need to


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MEN. WOMEN. HOME. GIFT.

make as many new ones. They last. On average, people don’t keep a guitar much over fifteen years before selling it. That’s a heck of a lot of used guitars potentially being sold, and they compete for market share with new instruments. The fact is that no, the guitar isn’t just simply dying, but the market does have stress. It has a heck of a lot. Never before, in any period in the history of guitars, have there been so many used guitars competing for market share. ON LEGACY: While I think that Gruhn Guitars is very well known and can be considered iconic, it is not as iconic as Gibson, Martin, or Fender. Martin is currently being run still by Chris Martin, a member of the Martin family, sixth generation. There are still makers such as John D’Angelico, who was actively building from 1932 until he died in 1964. He certainly didn’t make as many as Martin, Fender, or Gibson, but he did make a bit over 1,100 guitars and several hundred mandolins, and he is still famous today. Stradivari died in 1737, and his instruments are still highly sought after. He is better known than almost anybody on the Forbes billionaire list. Do I think that Gruhn Guitars is iconic in that sense? No. Do I think it’s going to be remembered in that way? Not really. I have a pretty good-sized ego, but I don’t think I’m going to be remembered quite like Stradivari. Do I wish that it were? Yes. Do I have the power to make that so? No. One of the most iconic musical instrument dealers ever was Hill & Sons in London, and today I think what they’re best remembered for is they made some of the best bows ever made for violins . . . They actually were, in some ways, the business model I wanted to be like. They produced some violins, but mostly they were a dealer and they had a reputation as the best violin appraiser in the world. They had a reputation for extremely great, high integrity, that their appraisals actually meant something. And that if they said it was a Stradivari, you could pretty well be sure it really was and they would stand behind it. The Gallery of Iconic Guitars is now open at Belmont’s Lila D. Bunch Library.

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POP ARTIST SINCLAIR

D I S C U S S E S I D E N T I T Y, I S O L AT I O N , A N D A C C E P TA N C E A H E A D OF HER UPCOMING PILGRIMAGE FESTIVAL

PERFORMANCE

BY BENJAMIN HURSTON | PHOTOS BY JESS WILLIAMS

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SINCLAIR IS IN THE MIDDLE OF TELLING ME how she left home and moved to Nashville when she drops a cigarette in her lap and derails the conversation. Standing quickly to survey the damage, she sees that the lit end luckily didn’t have enough time to burn a hole in her fabric, but it’s left a clearly visible spot of ash on her white sweatpants that she can’t wipe away. “Jeez, my wife is going to be disappointed about that. Don’t tell her,” she says seriously for a second before breaking into a laugh. “No, she’ll definitely notice.” Seated comfortably at the dining table in her one-room apartment downtown on Rolling Mill Hill, Sinclair stands out in her surroundings. Save for the flashy yellow pumps on her feet, she’s dressed in all white. The apartment, on the other hand, is filled with a vibrant array of colors and textures. It was eclectically decorated by her other half, a painter named Natalie. There’s a bright orange couch, a blue and green watercolor wall, and a sleek-looking rocking chair with a fuzzy white thing that might either be a pillow or a blanket. On the other side of the table, an unfinished painting sits on an easel. “Where was I?” she asks, brushing her pants one last time before realizing the futility of her attempt and moving on. Sinclair was born the sixth of nine kids to musically minded parents in a tiny town in upstate New York called Madrid. Raised in

an extremely conservative and re- religious upbringing—her faligious household, she was home- ther was an evangelical Christian schooled alongside her siblings pastor at a nondenominational from kindergarten to twelfth grade. church—forced her to spend the Her exposure to other beliefs and majority of her adolescence prayworldviews was limited, but her ing that God would make her musical education certainly was straight. By the end of her teenage not. When she was only five or six, years, however, reality began to set she heard her older sister playing in, and she started to finally face a famous Bach fugue on the fam- the fact that she couldn’t change ily piano, and her passion was ig- who she was. “That was when I was like, I don’t nited. According to her parents, she climbed up on the piano bench think I can live without being able to herself a few days later and, using express my love for someone,” she only her talented ears and trial and remembers. “I think that’s a very important part of being a human.” error, she found Bach’s melody. Terrified and depressed, she “Music was running around my finally came out to her family mind at an early age,” she says. Like any sensible guardians, shortly after her twentieth birthher parents immediately enrolled day, though their response didn’t their Bach-playing six-year-old in do much to alleviate the fear or piano lessons. A few years later, the sadness. For nine months, she she took up classical guitar, which continued to live at home in an enshe says came to her even more vironment that lacked acceptance intuitively. Throughout the rest or understanding. In those moof her adolescence, she learned ments when her parents would acvarious other instruments rang- tually face the reality of her sexualing from the cello to the mandolin, ity, they’d insist that she “bear her keeping a strong focus on guitar cross” and remain celibate for the and even competing in classical remainder of life, an expectation tournaments around the country. that wreaked havoc on Sinclair’s As someone who says she’s never mental health. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone, had a “real job,” she found ways to make money by teaching les- didn’t want to eat, didn’t know sons and even touring with a band how to sleep,” she says before takshe founded alongside her brother. ing a long pause and continuing. But despite her technical apprecia- “I was definitely suicidal for a few tion and education, it wasn’t until months.” Without any other outlet to profaced with a crisis of identity that she began to fully appreciate the cess what was going on inside her, she began writing songs. Music beemotional power of music. Though she says she knew she came, for her, a lifeline. It was not was gay in some regards since as only a way of expressing herself, early as eight years old, Sinclair’s but also a way of moving forward.

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For the first time in her life, the songs she was going through.” Her second release, last year’s three-track writing were cathartic and therapeutic. Sadly, that authenticity didn’t go over too well at home. CLR BLND EP, saw her experimenting with new, Sinclair remembers one painful night in par- bigger sounds, this time as her own producer. ticular: she was playing one of her original songs Having taught herself how to produce by watchfor her sisters and one of her friends when her ing others in the studio, she went for a more mother walked in during the middle of the per- electronic pop sound that led to larger exposure via outlets like Teen Vogue. Now, as she prepares formance and cut her off. “She said, ‘You can’t play that here. I don’t to release new music this fall/winter, she says want to hear that again,’ and then sent my sis- she’s excited for listeners to hear a sound that’s ters up to bed,” Sinclair says, looking down at less curated and a little more raw. “If Icona Pop and Michael Jackson and Sting her cigarette. “Man, that killed me, that fucking had a baby, it would be Sinclair right now,” she killed me.” On the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Sin- says of the new material, some of which fans can clair loaded her instruments into a car that she expect to hear when she performs at Pilgrimage had bought with cash from her grandparents Music Festival in Franklin this September. “I’m and left her hometown. She knew she wanted to getting back to more of this world-funk and pursue music but feared bigger cities like New dance.” York and L.A. would swallow her whole, so she GEG set out for the thousand-mile trip to Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a drive she’ll never forget. Having grown up heavily sheltered, she had only just On April 12, 2012, almost a year after moving to discovered Michael Jackson, and she still re- Nashville, Sinclair was getting ready for a weekly members the feeling of cruising southward with get-together with friends and friends-of-friends the King of Pop’s greatest hits blaring in the car when she heard a knock at the door. Natalie had arrived early to the party, and when Sinclair speakers. It was the sound of rebirth. “Everything felt completely new. It was exhila- opened the door, she was immediately blown rating,” she says. “I felt like everything in me was away. It was Easter Sunday. “It’s like, ‘Yes hallelujah!’” she says with a being reset.” The first year of Sinclair’s new life in Nash- shout. “I didn’t know necessarily right then . . . ville wasn’t all that easy. She moved from An- but just saying hello, I could already feel so many tioch to East Nashville to Brentwood all within amazing things about her.” Overwhelmed by her attraction, Sinclair sat a handful of months. She paid rent by playing bass or cello for other bands and struggled to Natalie down to tell her about her interest a cougain recognition at writer’s rounds around town. ple of weeks later, only to find out that Natalie Still, she continued pouring her experience into had been interested in women her whole life but honest new songs. In the fall of 2014, she finally had always been too scared to start something. released Sweet Talk, her debut EP, and for the The two went on their first date, and a year and first time she found herself meaningfully con- a half later, Sinclair popped the question on New necting with fans across the country. “This Too Year’s Eve in Brooklyn. They were legally marShall Pass,” a song inspired by her troubles back ried in San Francisco in June 2014, barely a year at home, resonated unexpectedly well with lis- before same-sex marriage was legalized across teners. She still gets messages from fans who say the country. “I’m the luckiest with my wife,” she says. that song has helped them through their own “We’re human. We’ve had plenty of downs . . . but struggles and depression. “The listeners are everything,” she says, telling I’ve had five years now, and it’s been the best.” Two years ago, the happy couple held a wedme about a letter she received two days ago from a girl dealing with her own coming-out process. ding celebration in Nashville for their friends “Every time I want to give up, I’m like, Oh yeah, I and family. Sinclair invited her eight siblings owe it to myself and to people to release what I’m and her parents, but none came, a move she

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“I FELT LIKE EVERYTHING IN ME WAS BEING RESET.”

says wasn’t all that surprising. Though she thinks they hope good things for her and her music career, they don’t really listen to the music she makes either. In fact, she says no one in her family is super supportive of anything she’s doing at the moment, a statement she makes seemingly without anger or resentment. “I think I’m finding a way to just say, ‘There’s maybe hope that things will end up being a little better than they are,’” she says. “My hope is just to be somewhat aware of what each other is doing, because I don’t think it’ll be much more than that.” Though she says she will never stop caring about or

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loving her family, Sinclair has learned to distinguish between what she calls her given family and her chosen one. Since coming to Nashville six years ago, she’s met and surrounded herself with people who have chosen to love her exactly as she is. In that time, she’s learned that life is all about community and finding the right people to help you thrive. “Family is just luck or unluck,” she says. “But when people choose you, they are picking a battle. They are making a promise . . . and right now, that’s even better. It’s a more beautiful thing.” Sinclair plays Pilgrimage Saturday, September 23.


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AFTER MOVING TO NASHVILLE THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO TO OPEN JOSEPHINE, CHEF ANDREW LITTLE NOW HAS HIS SIGHTS SET ON PRIMA

B Y C H A R L I E H I C K E R S O N | P H O T O S B Y E M I LY D O R I O

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“I MEAN CERTAINLY, THERE ARE GIFTED PEOPLE WHO HAVE A SPECIFIC TALENT. But even with that talent, you still have to practice a lot to get anywhere . . . You have to have the discipline to do it. I think it was important that I learn that discipline.” Discipline is a word that comes up a lot when talking to Chef Andrew Little. It takes discipline, he tells me, to efficiently clean a copper pot. It takes discipline to properly use salt. It takes discipline—and a hell of a lot of stamina—to simultaneously oversee two restaurants. Chef Little does not lack discipline. Three and a half years after moving to Nashville to open Josephine—the 12South farmhouse spot that earned him a James Beard semifinalist Best Chef Southeast award earlier this year— Little has added a second location to his load. In April, he became the executive chef of Prima, the upscale Gulch restaurant formerly headed by Sal Avila. Together, the two restaurants make up two-thirds of Little’s and Jim Lewis’ Community Hospitality restaurant group (the third concept in the group is Burger Up, which they acquired back in 2014). “I make a lot of trips up and down 12th,” Little says with an exhausted chuckle. It’s an hour before Prima opens for dinner, and Little and I are in a private dining room looking out at English artist Bruce Munro’s 1,800-light-bulb chandelier installation. Like almost everything else in Prima, the glass-walled dining room is shiny and industrial and vaguely Art Deco. I can imagine Bruce Wayne 60 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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throwing a Harvey Dent fundraiser here, or Daniel Craig investigating some MI6 business at a table on the second floor. Since its 2014 opening, this aesthetic has been something of a double-edged sword for Prima: on the one hand, the space is, and I say this knowing full well that a ton of people say this about shiny, new things in Nashville, beautiful. On the other hand, the space is so beautiful that it could potentially eclipse—or even turn you off of—the food. As Jim Myers, Nashville’s patron saint of food critics, aptly put it: “Prima suffered out of the gate from an identity crisis that relied more on talk about the chandeliers than on a menu pulled in too many directions, something I always put squarely on management.” This isn’t news to Little. “This is a big, beautiful space. I am also cognizant of the fact that it can be . . .” Little stops, looking through the glass at his staff, who are running around the massive compound preparing for the dinner rush. “People can be maybe a little put back, a little challenged by the space because it’s very grand.” That’s understandable, but there are some subtle touches that bring the “new” Prima back down to earth: the staff wears jeans and clogs (a nod to Little’s upbringing in Pennsylvania Dutch Country), the summer tasting menu is designed to mimic a golf scorecard (Little once had plans to be a high school history teacher/golf coach), and Little and co. serve some comforting crowd pleasers (the smoky, sweet carrots that come with the Hudson Valley Duck make me wish it were fall already). It all comes together to make Prima a little less intimidating, a little more in-


“IF YOU DON’T WANT TO STRUGGLE, THEN YOU DON’T LOVE IT.”

viting, than the space might lead you to believe—and that’s not an accident. “I don’t ever want people to feel like the dining experience is challenging in any way. The idea for me is you go to restaurants because you want to feel better leaving them than you did going in,” Little explains. “I also really feel like there is something to be said for everything making sense. If the food is going to be a certain way, then the service needs to be a certain way, then the flowers need to be a certain way, right down to what the waiters are wearing needs to be a certain way. Everything needs to flow and be one big continuous circle. That’s very important to me—that it’s not just the food. It’s every little detail making sense.” This obsession with discipline and details goes back to Hanover, Pennsylvania, where Little was raised as the only child of two public school teachers. The chef says childhood in the small town was idyllic and that he spent most of his time “doing what kids do”—riding bikes, playing baseball, and other Norman Rockwell-y things. He also remembers that between teaching kids, grading papers, sponsoring clubs, directing plays, and coaching sports, his parents didn’t ever stop. “They would get up at six in the morning, have breakfast, and they would go to work. And I would go to school early with them,” Little remembers. “I saw how hard they worked—I

don’t really know any other way. So that discipline and drive really comes from watching them.” Even with his busy schedule, Little’s dad—who would go on to become his son’s middle school principal—somehow found time for a serious vegetable garden. “[It’s] tough to pick a more physically involved hobby than gardening, and he didn’t do it halfway,” Little says. “I mean his gardens looked like something you would see in a magazine. They were perfect. There was no weed to be found. There were nice little pathways through them.” The immaculately kept garden marked the beginning of Little’s lifelong love of fresh produce—a passion that’s evident in Prima’s extensive use of veggies and herbs like coriander, watercress, carrots, beets, and sorrel. Though he now understands how the readily available, homegrown food impacted his cooking, at the time, Little didn’t think twice about the garden. “That’s something that I grew up around—the idea of fresh vegetables,” he explains. “When all the beets were ready, we would eat some, but then they would be put down in our freezer in the basement. That’s what we ate throughout the wintertime. It really wasn’t until college that it dawned on me that everyone didn’t do that—that people went to the store and bought frozen vegetables or whatever.” Little also acknowledges the impact of Hanover’s German, Amish, and Dutch foodways. In case you’re rusty on your Penn# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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“I had friends and colleagues who loved sitting sylvania history: Hanover is in the rural, central part of the state known as Pennsylvania Dutch in the listening library and listening to symphoCountry ( just above the Mason-Dixon Line). nies, studying the music, and I hated that,” he That label, however, is a bit of a misnomer: dur- says. “They loved the idea of being a musician ing Pennsylvania’s settlement, the term Dutch in the same way that I now love the idea of bewas an American catchall used to describe any- ing a chef . . . I wasn’t willing to sacrifice getting one of remotely German descent (plus, a lot of through with undergrad school and moving to a German families claimed Dutch heritage follow- city and teaching lessons or working at a harding anti-German sentiments post-WWII, but ware store or something while I was trying to that’s another story). As such, most of Little’s make it . . . I didn’t want to struggle. If you don’t childhood community, including his family, was want to struggle, then you don’t love it.” Following undergrad, Little briefly worked at of German descent, which meant he grew up eating his fair share of shoofly pie, pork, and an actuarial consultant firm (“office work was not for me”) before going back to school in sauerkraut. “It was just what our family ate,” he explains. Pennsylvania to be a high school history teacher “I didn’t know that every little town didn’t have (and golf coach). He started waiting tables at a access to a bunch of different butchers where local country club to finance his education, but your friends who are raising pigs can take their he was quickly drawn to the back of house. He pigs.” Later in our conversation, Little laments didn’t finish one semester of school. “I really gravitated toward the teamwork, the losing an old polaroid of him and his grandfather next to a freshly slaughtered pig: “I’m not camaraderie of the kitchen,” Little remembers. even four feet tall, standing beside this hog “Working nights, working weekends, working holidays is what I did anyway as a musician. It who’s been shot and gutted.” In addition to the baseball, gardening, and wasn’t like this radical shift in my life. And so pig slaughtering, Little spent a large portion of yeah, from there it became an obsession. How his childhood playing music. What started with can I get better? How can I get better faster? piano lessons from his mom (“That didn’t go How can I learn as much as I can about this?” The answer? Culinary school. Little looked over very well”) transitioned into orchestra in elementary school and band in high school. Af- up the best school in the country, applied, got ter playing trumpet and baritone, Little arrived accepted, and moved to New York City. Before at tuba as a junior. He didn’t necessarily choose he knew it, he was holed up in the Culinary Inthe instrument (the band just happened to have stitute of America’s library every day, watching a tuba opening), but he was a natural. He was so videos of every chef who’d ever given a demonnatural, in fact, that he got a music scholarship stration at the school. “In the same way that my friends in music at James Madison. “I just went with it—not necessarily for a love school would sit in the library and just listen to of the music or for a love of the instrument,” he music over and over again, I was watching the says indifferently. “I really just loved achieving chef demonstrations. Even to the point where I tried to steal some of the videos—you’re not alsomething.” Once Little arrived at James Madison, though, lowed to do that,” he remembers, laughing. After graduating with perfect attendance, he ran into an issue that’s all too familiar to music majors: everyone there was good. In Hanover, Little worked under the “Pope of American he’d been the big fish in a small pond, but in Cuisine,” Patrick O’Connell, at The Inn at Little college, he was mediocre at best. Little’s solu- Washington for a year. He went on to be the selftion, like his solution to most problems, was to described “chef, cook, and dishwasher” at Pennwork harder. He rehearsed for eight hours a day sylvania’s Evermay-on-the-Delaware before in the campus practice rooms, and within a year, returning to Hanover to oversee the Sheppard he was once again a big fish—this time in a big Mansion, a now-shuttered bed and breakfast. Up to this point, Little admits, he could cook pond. However, the top wasn’t all it was cracked well and run a restaurant, but it took returning up to be.

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home to find his own voice. Inspired by heritage-forward chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Husk’s Sean Brock, Little’s Sheppard dishes pulled from his Pennsylvania Dutch roots. Brock’s updated take on Southern cuisine particularly spoke to him: “I thought, Why aren’t we looking at Pennsylvania Dutch food? We could be doing that. There are a lot of similarities [to Southern food]: it’s agrarian-based, and there’s the idea of needing to grow enough throughout the summertime to put up for the winter and curing meats . . . That’s where it became really important to me, and I think that’s really where I started to define my own personal style of cooking.” In 2013, Little brought that style to Josephine, a restaurant he says he applied to “a little bit on a whim.” After the closure of Sheppard, he was looking into jobs all over the country. Nashville stood out because his wife’s family is from Knoxville; plus, if the interview went poorly, he figured they’d still get a Tennessee mini-vacation out of the trip. Three and a half years, one James Beard nod, and rave reviews from national and local press later, it’s safe to say the interview did not go poorly. Josephine now stands as a testament to Chef Little’s brand of Southern-meets-PennsylvaniaDutch farmhouse cuisine. And though he admits it’s “now running smoothly,” he’s still not resting on his laurels at either of his locations. “I want [diners] to leave both Josephine and Prima and say, ‘Man, that’s my favorite restaurant,’” he says. “The idea of chasing technical perfection [is] okay, but I want to chase the idea that people are coming because they want to have a great time.” A few days after our interview, I’m eating at Prima, this time almost directly under Munro’s installation. Summer tasting menu dishes like the light, airy Amish cantaloupe and hearty rabbit with chanterelle mushrooms scream Hanover. But there are enough Tennessee touches—Bob Woods ham, local greens from Nashville Grown, Bloomsbury Farms tomatoes— to keep it from being a purely Pennsylvanian Dutch affair. And while some of the dishes, like the gumbo-y rabbit or the cornmeal-battered fried oysters, dip into the whole “elevated Southern” thing, none of it’s quite Sean Brock, either. It’s all distinctly Andy Little, and it’s all distinctly Nashville. “I think of these restaurants as restaurants that grew up in Pennsylvania and now call Nashville home,” Little told me at one point during our interview. “I’m just so happy that those restaurants are in Nashville because they can’t be anywhere but Nashville.” If Prima once lacked an identity, it’s found one in Chef Little.

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F o r t h e p a s t y e a r, t h e P o r c h W r i t e r s ’ C o l l e c t i v e h a s s p o n s o r e d a

series of creative writing workshops for immigrants and refugees i n N a s h v i l l e . T h e p a r t i c i p a n t s h a v e w r i t t e n f i c t i o n , m e m o i r, a n d

p o e t r y — p i e c e s t h a t a r e i n s p i r i n g , f u n n y, i n s i g h t f u l , a n d d e v a s t a t i n g . The writers have come from many different countries, for as many r e a s o n s : f o r e d u c a t i o n , f o r o p p o r t u n i t y, f o r s a f e t y, f o r l o v e . T h e y write because they have stories to tell, because creating art is a fundamental human desire, and because no one else can write

q u i t e l i k e t h e y d o . I t ’s b e e n a p r i v i l e g e t o l e a d t h e s e w o r k s h o p s , t o get to know these writers and their work, and now to introduce their writing in the pages of this magazine. —Anna Silverstein

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DESTINATION by Tarek Al Hamami, Syria My story starts in Damascus, Syria. I didn’t have a choice where it began, just like I didn’t have a choice what my religion was, what my family was like, or if I was circumcised or not. At seventeen I landed at JFK; Brooklyn was the destination. My first night lying in bed with no war noise outside took a minute to process. The next morning I went to work and I met the first Jewish person in my life. It was the total opposite of what we were taught in school back home. Man, was he cool—he spoke Arabic with a Syrian accent, and that changed my perspective on so many things. How can we judge something without experiencing it fully? The South was next. Destination: Nashville. It was nice, but boy, does the public transportation suck. I don’t think I had culture shock from Damascus to Brooklyn, but definitely from Brooklyn to Bellevue. People often ask me, “Where do you call home?” So far, I haven’t found an answer and might never find one. I’ve heard that once you leave home, especially if staying wasn’t an option, there’s no place called home anymore—even home itself.

BRUNA by Viviana Luison, Italy Her name was Bruna and nobody remem-

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bered her last name. There were other Brunas around, all mentioned with their husband’s last name, like Mrs. Bruna Bianchi, or associated with their parent’s name, like Bruna Zorzi, daughter of Mario Zorzi. Only one person was known as “the Bruna.” She had always been old, even when the old people in town were young. A character of mystery. No one really knew where she came from or what family she belonged to, but she surely knew everything about everyone, and like a radio broadcaster transmitted her information. She wasn’t a big woman by stature but by personality.  Her piercing black eyes could spot you from a distance, knowing what time you had come home and what boy was in your car. Her skin was dark and weathered by work outdoors, tending plants and animals, and from barely bathing. She owned just one set of clothes: a long black skirt, shoes showing her crooked toes, a green shirt with rolled-up sleeves that came down for winter, an apron with a front pocket. Anything could come out of it: a sharpened knife, feet of a chicken, fresh strawberries, or a paper with someone’s name in case you randomly needed a recommendation for a carpenter.  Bruna left an indelible imprint in my childhood memory, and when I go home,


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I still expect her to exit her door and with her toothless grin, yell: “Home for two weeks, aren’t you, kid?”

MY MIND by Sheyla Zito, Brazil My mind is the equivalent of having baskets and baskets of dirty clothes spread all over the living room floor, the dog walking around, stepping on them, the microwave screaming to remove whatever is inside, the doorbell and the telephone ringing, all at the same time. That is my perfect state of mind to start writing. I sit in my sacred place, my sanctuary. I grab my computer and start typing. Not afraid of what is coming. Little by little, words appear. I don’t think about what I am writing. I just type. My mind guides me, my fingers obey; they seem to work perfectly together. Little by little, the clothes start to group by color and move to the laundry room, the dog lies down in her bed, all the sounds silence in my mind and even the real ones become mute. Writing has become my safe place. The place where I have some kind of control. I don’t know what I will produce, only that I will start and surely something will come. Probably not what I anticipated or what I was thinking about before, but what I was supposed to write all along and did not know yet.

A HIDDEN WORLD

could prosper and create a better future for their children. The United States was the land of all people, and I was excited to live in a place with such rich culture that is so often hidden from the outside world.

LEARNING TO LIVE by Dikshya Bastakoty, Nepal Neera sat at the window, sipping coffee and watching the pigeons pick at the grains of rice she had left out on the terrace for them. For the first time in more than thirty years, she had nobody to cook for or take care of. Her time was truly hers. Since getting married at age twentyfive, she had taken care of her husband, raised four children, and then cared for her aging parents. Now, with children grown and in foreign countries, parents and husband gone, she was free of all the responsibilities that she had borne—sometimes grudgingly—all those years. Now that she had the time to rekindle old interests, nothing struck her fancy. Neera had read a lot when she was young, but no particular book excited her now. She had been a good swimmer, but that too had been years ago. She had loved traveling, but that felt intimidating now. Everything seemed too adventurous, too foreign, too unusual. She had thought her grief was over losing her mother—it had only been a few weeks since her mother had passed after a long, difficult fight with cancer—but as she went through her old pictures and remembered the forgotten dreams, she realized she was really grieving for herself. Surrounded by loved ones, she had lost herself. She had forgotten how to live for herself, and now at the age of fifty-two, she had to learn to live, again.

by Karla Vazquez, Mexico I came into seventh grade ready to start my new American life, only to find that the movies, music videos, and celebrity shows had lied! My first class in America was in a trailer classroom with forty students from all over the world. I had never seen so many beautiful people who spoke so many languages. In that little trailer classroom SCRATCHER I met kids from Iran, Cuba, Honduras, Ethiopia, Kurdis- by Silvia Buttazzoni, Italy tan, and Laos. “Move forward,” the security cop said. At the time, I didn’t Once I attended non-ELL classes, I discovered that know what that meant and just stared at him. It was my Americans came in all colors too. I met black Americans, fourth flight that day with my two cats. I was exhausted, white Americans, and Mexican Americans who looked and the cats were terrified after hours in the cargo bay like me. I learned the difference between blondes and with noise, cold, and big dogs. They didn’t know what brunettes, that people in the United States listened to was happening or what to expect. rap, hip-hop, reggaeton, cumbia, bachata, rock, and, of But now we had finally landed in the United States of course, country music. The real United States was more than what the dull, colorless movies had shown. I was introduced to a country of people from different walks of life, faiths, and cultures, all here to pursue the American dream. They came because they, their parents, or their ancestors heard of a land of opportunity where they

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New name, same great people and services!

We are thrilled to announce that we are merging with our sister skincare experts at Ona Belle Meade and

changing our name to Ona Skincare East Nashville. We look forward to the year ahead and continuing to serve your skincare needs!

America. A new life adventure was about to start for us. It still felt like yesterday that my husband and I had gone to the shelter in Cordenons, a small Italian village close to the Alps. I had pressed him about getting a cat for months, and finally he surrendered. I couldn’t believe it was really happening when the shelter assistant put that tiny black furry creature in my hands. On the way back he earned his name, giving me the cutest little scratch of my life. Years have passed, a million memories along the way. It has been devastating to say goodbye. Things can’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean they are not worth living. I would pick Scratcher over and over even if I still have a bitter taste in my mouth. But I will continue the adventure we started together.

DIFFERENT, YET THE SAME East Nashville:

1013 Fatherland St.

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Belle Meade:

6592 Highway 100 Suite 1

By Marcela Pinilla, Colombia When I first started traveling with my band in 1996, I noticed differences. In Colombia, I had grown up believing that what I knew was the absolute truth. Then I found myself on the other side of the world. Spicy food, prayer chants early in the morning, women covered head to toe. It was in Singapore that I realized how similar we all are and that deep inside we want the same things. We try to do what is best for our families. We want to be healthy, wealthy, and, hopefully, wise. We want friends and to be loved and respected. We love weekends, and no matter the language, we have an expression for “Argh, it’s Monday.” I found the same in Colombia, Indonesia, Brunei, Dubai, France, Spain, and the United States. We have family, dreams, and friends, and we grind, love, and hope for the best. Is it perfect? No! But it is life and we are living it. I’m grateful for these experiences, for now, as a US citizen, I can enjoy our sameness as well as our differences. Diversity makes us stronger. I love calling Nashville home. There’s music, culture, and delicious food from many backgrounds, but most of all, it’s about the people: thriving along with a city we are building together with bright ideas and talent from everywhere.


MUSICIANS CORNER TAKES PLACE IN CENTENNIAL PARK ON SELECT FRIDAYS, AND SATURDAYS ON AUGUST 4, 5, 12, 19, 26 AND SEPTEMBER 2, 9, AND 16 FEATURING MUSIC FROM SON VOLT, THE SECRET SISTERS, KRIS ALLEN, ABIGAIL WASHBURN AND WU FEI, AND MANY MORE. TO VIEW THE FULL LINEUP VISIT

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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: SUN SEEKER

SUN SEE KER Following in the palm tree melancholia of Harry Nilsson or The Flying Burrito Brothers is Sun Seeker, a predominantly Nashville-born-and-raised quartet that released their debut EP, Biddeford, through Third Man last month. The EP follows 2016’s “Georgia Dust,” a single Third Man released after Ben Swank (the label’s cofounder) saw the band opening for The Gories at The Basement. In the time since, Sun Seeker has traded some of their Wilco twang for Zombies grooves, and the result is a debut that’s sunny and sad and probably wouldn’t sound bad on a boat. Check out Biddeford now, and read our questions with Sun Seeker above.

For more info vi sit sunseeke ramerica .com @sunseek erameric a

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

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Written by Cooper Breeden*

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Hundreds of millions of years ago—long before dinosaurs and even before large landmasses collided to form Pangaea—a wriggly, eel-like creature came to be. Today, long after the formation and fracturing of supercontinents, this same fish, the lamprey, still glides around the earth’s waters and can even be found in the rivers nearby. If the lamprey doesn’t sound immediately familiar, you might have seen it on Shark Week: it’s one of those parasites that latches on to sharks and other hosts. If not on a nature show, there’s a chance you’ve seen them in a restaurant fish tank since they are a culturally significant dish in some corners of the world. The lamprey, though quite eelish in appearance, is not quite an eel. Eels belong to their own distinct classification, whereas lampreys are more closely related to sharks. This makes sense, considering both sharks and lampreys have terrifying mouths. Though not at all harmful, the underside of a lamprey mouth, with its Alien-like rings of teeth, does seem like the stuff of a sci-fi horror film. If you see an eel-shaped creature in the water around Nashville, it’s more than likely one of three things: a snake, a lamprey, or an American eel. You’ll know the American eel by its fishlike head and pectoral fins; it also has jaws and a forward-facing mouth (see the May 2015 issue of NATIVE for more on the American eel). The lamprey, however, is jawless with a downward-facing round mouth and gill slits in the place of pectoral fins. In the United States, we have nineteen species of lamprey, seven of which can be found in our state. If you

have seen a lamprey stuck to the side of a shark, chances are it wasn’t the same kind you’d see around here. While some lamprey species are anadromous, meaning they migrate to freshwater from the sea to spawn (salmon are another such species), none of those species are found in Tennessee (though it’s not impossible to make it to the ocean from here—American eels do it). The freshwater species found here migrate upstream and spawn in gravelly riffles of streams. Some of them stop eating during their migration and die after spawning, similar to salmon. Like the Shark Week lampreys, some of our native lampreys are also parasites and feed on the blood of fish. In other parts of the country, lampreys have profound cultural and ecological significance. For example, the Pacific lamprey of the West Coast has been an important source of subsistence and ritual for the Nez Perce tribe. Unfortunately, Pacific lamprey populations are critically imperilled (for a poignant tale of Pacific lamprey conservation, see Freshwaters Illustrated’s short film “The Lost Fish”). Ecologically, lampreys play a notable role in bringing nutrients from the sea into smaller freshwater streams; as they migrate upriver and die, their decomposing bodies provide a burst of nutrients necessary for life in these streams. There isn’t as much research on lampreys in our region, but it’s feasible that they play a similar ecological role here. Though the lamprey’s otherworldly air gives off creepy vibes at first, its roots are ancient, and it deserves a place in our waters.

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NATIVE | ISSUE 62 | AUGUST 2017 | NASHVILLE, TN  

Featuring George Gruhn, Chef Andrew Little, Sinclair, Amelia Briggs, and many more.

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