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february

2014

LEAGUES


NOW OPEN HOP STOP

monday 3:00pm - 11:00pm tuesday 3:00pm - 11:00pm

wednesday 3:00pm - 11:00pm thursday 3:00pm - 11:00pm friday 11:30am - 12:00am saturday 11:30am - 12:00am sunday 11:30am - 11:00pm

growlers & tap room

# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

The Hop Stop is located at 2909 B Gallatin Pike Nashville, Tennessee 37216

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with Raquel and Molly of Studio Dakini

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2014

32

36

76 19 28

THE GOODS

16 56

15 16 19 54 86 89 92 94 96

Beer from Here Cocktail of the Month Master Platers How to Kiss Hey Good Lookin’ You Oughta Know Overheard @ NATIVE Observatory Animal of the Month

FEATURES 22 28 36 48 56 64 76

Rock the House Love and the Weather Making the Personal Universal The Universal Man You’d be a Fool to Fight It Hit Play Herbal Outpost

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NashvilleGulch.com

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ACCESSOREYES | ADAGIO MASSAGE CO. | ARNOLDS始S COUNTRY KITCHEN | BAR LOUIE | BARRY始S BOOTCAMP | BLUSH BOUTIQUE | BOND COFFEE COMPANY | BURGER REPUBLIC | CANTINA LAREDO | CARTER VINTAGE

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GUITARS | CASHMERE SALONSPA | COLTS CHOCOLATE | e.ALLEN |

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GALERIE RAVIN | HOPS & CRAFTS | HOTBOX | ILEX FOR FLOWERS | JACKALOPE BREWING CO. | JUICE.NASHVILLE | KAYNE PRIME | KENNY & COMPANY | KING BABY | KOCKTAILS & KOUTURE | LOFT | LUCCHESE | PEG LEG PORKER | RUMOURS WINE BAR | RU SANS | SAINT ANEJO | SAMBUCA | SIPS N STROKES | STATION INN | SUBWAY | THE PUB | TURNIP TRUCK | TWO OLD HIPPIES | URBAN OUTFITTERS | VIRAGO | WATERMARK | WEDDING 101 | WHISKEY KITCHEN | YAZOO BREWING CO # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ONLY 3FT! E L S E M HO more info at facebook.com/germantowncohousingnashville

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DEAR NATIVES,

T

he NATIVE team isn’t typically the lovey-dovey, sentimental type. We’re not a group that would outwardly admit that we like Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s more likely that we’re “those people” who do a lot of eye-rolling and purposely try to do something anti-celebratory. Well this year, we caught the bug. It was an accident (maybe we forgot to get inoculated?), but this issue has become the unofficial Love Issue. Not just ooey-gooey love (okay, there’s a good bit of that too)—but the kind of love that brings Star Trek to Nashville or opens your mind to the power of Camellia sinensis. In this issue, you’ll meet a band that lives and loves like a family, a man who loves to spread the gospel of sci-fi (see: Vulcans 1:70), a couple who might make you a love potion, three men who loved music so much they were destined to find each other, a girl who lost her father before she really had the chance to understand his love, two filmmakers shining a light on the community they love, and an artist that proves love knows no boundaries. Whatever kind of love you’re into—from smoochy love (see our Kissing Guide) to vicious love (see our Animal of the Month) to boozy love (head on over to No. 308)—make sure your month is absolutely lovely. LOVE,

president, founder:

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN associate publisher:  KATRINA HARTWIG publisher, founder: 

founder, brand director:

DAVE PITTMAN

founder, senior

account executive:

CAYLA MACKEY

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

managing editor: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON ALEX TAPPER

art director: 

HANNAH LOVELL COURTNEY SPENCER

production manager:

graphic designer:  community relations manager:

account manager:

JOE CLEMONS AYLA SITZES

web editor:

TAYLOR RABOIN

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

          writers: photographers:

We hope that our Kissing Guide inspires you to get a little bit frisky. Instagram a “doing it right” and “doing it wrong” photo and #NativeNashville for a chance to win brunch for two at The Southern Steak and OysterT—on us!

founding team:

JOEL ALLMAN ANN RAVANOS RALPH NOYES MELISSA LONG BECCA CAPERS HENRY PILE ANDREW SULLIVAN MATT REID MELANIE SHELLEY WELLS ADAMS DANIELLE ATKINS JOSHUA SHOEMAKER SARAH B. GILLIAM EMILY JONES ERIC BROWN WILL HOLLAND ANDREA BEHRENDS BOSTON HEATH AYLA SITZES MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

*We’re not perfect—turns out we made a boo boo in our December issue. The author of Teach Twice’s first book, My Precious Name, is Eva Barongo, not Eve Barongo. want to work at native? contact: WORK@NATIVE.IS to advertise, contact: SALES@NATIVE.IS for all other inquiries: HELLO@NATIVE.IS

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BOSCOS

EXPORT STOUT

WRITTEN BY

JOE ALLMAN Stout is one of those words in the English language that, for better or worse, can be used a few different ways. A person can have stout legs, mount a stout defense, or—perhaps best of all— drink a stout beer. When you think of stouts, it’s likely you picture some dark, full-flavored, highly alcoholic, syrupy stuff. And, for the most part, you’d be right—but it wasn’t always this way. When the Irish first worked with awesomely dark beer, they created dry stouts, milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, and imperial stouts. A robust portfolio, but for one small detail: their stouts were

actually lower in alcohol content. So to satisfy the demand of a thirsty world, they created a variety of “export” stouts; and folks the world over were grateful for beers with higher alcohol content, and for that, we thank them. At Boscos, head brewer Karen Lassiter is kegging and bottling constantly, playing around with their extensive list of brews. Recently, she has taken their version of the export stout and bottle conditioned it until it’s sufficiently alcoholic and delicious. Bottle conditioning is the process of allowing the beer to undergo a second round of fermentation in the bottle.

The beer goes into the bottle with a second helping of yeast—the doors are locked, the lights are turned out, and they party. The result is a bold, beautiful, and smooth stout that raises the standard. Boscos Export Stout starts sweet and malty, impresses a big coffee flavor on your palate, and ends with earthy hops. It’s a sweet but relatively dry and full-flavored offering that’s not the norm. Bosco’s always has plenty of variety on tap, but if you venture a little further into the fridge, you’ll be rewarded with a pretty special experience.

NATI VI VENAS ENASHV HVI LI L LEE ##NAT

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My Winter Girlfriend “This drink is for the disenchanted who’d prefer to get through the holiday the hard way—alone and with booze.” - Ben

*BLACKBERRY SHRUB: 1 small container of blackberries 2 cups sugar 2 cups water 2 oz. balsamic vinaigrette F Cook all ingredients until sugar is fully dissolved, then allow berries to simmer for 10-20 minutes. Smash berries, then strain.

THE GOODS 1 ½ oz. Belle Meade Bourbon 1 oz.

blackberry shrub*

¼ oz.

Aperol

3 dashes fresh lemon juice F Shake ingredients and strain into freshly iced rocks glass. F Garnish with a skewered blackberry. -Ben Clemons and Alexis Soler, No. 308

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photo by danielle atkins


Where Alcohol and FoOd Get Down 1922 Adelicia StreEt MusicCityTipPler.com 615.457.3406

Satisfaction Wednesday night dance party with Jacob Jones

Complimentary Gray Line ShutTle runNing to and from BP in 5 Points to our front doOr. Pick up on the half hour from 9:30pm - 2am 18 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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THE GOODS: CALDO VERDE BROUGHT TO YOU ANDREW COINS, SOUS CHEF AT MIEL RESTAURANT

3 Cups White Beans (Great Northern, soaked overnight in 6 cups water) 2 Tablespoons Lard or Olive Oil 1 Medium Onion, Medium Diced 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced 3/4 Pound Spanish Chorizo, Medium Diced 1 ½ Teaspoons Smoked Spanish Paprika 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

NATIVE: Are there any local ingredients you’ve been enjoying lately? Andrew: Wedge Oak Farm is putting out some great products. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed using their ducks, chickens, and Mangalitsa pigs. I’ve also liked the abundance of late fall greens that are available in this area.

Salt (to taste) 1 Bay Leaf ½ Cup Dry White Wine 10 Cups Pork or Chicken Stock 1 ½ Pounds Turnips 1 Pound Kale, Cleaned and Roughly Chopped ½ cup Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream (Garnish) Zest of 1 Lemon (Garnish) 12 Thinly Sliced (cut on the bias) Pieces of Chorizo, Baked Till Crisp (Garnish)

DIRECTIONS: F Add white beans to a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring beans to a simmer and cook until tender, about 1 hour. While the beans are cooking, in a separate pot, add 2 tablespoons of lard or olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and sweat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and chorizo. Cook for another 10 minutes. Next, toss in the smoked Spanish paprika, black pepper, salt, and bay leaf. Sweat mixture until the spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine. Once the wine has reduced by half, add pork or chicken stock. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. This will bring all of the flavors together. Next, set the temperature back from medium to medium low. Add turnips and kale and cook until tender—about 15 minutes. Last, stir in white beans. Adjust salt to your taste. This soup is better the next day, so it is fine to make a day in advance. Mix crème fraiche and lemon zest. Ladle soup into a bowl and garnish with crème fraiche or sour cream and 3 chorizo chips.

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BY ANN RAVANOS | PHOTOS BY JOSHUA SHOEMAKER

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THE SIX MEMBERS OF BANDITOS HAVE BEEN LIVING TOGETHER ON-ANDOFF FOR ALMOST SEVEN YEARS—AND ALL OF THAT EXTRA QUALITY TIME HAS PAID OFF

I grew up on rock ‘n’ roll and always knew I wanted to be a part of it. There was just one problem: I have no musical talent. Nearly twelve years ago, I met a small group of people that ended up changing all of this—forever. I became this group's William Miller and Ms. Penny Lane. I realized I didn't have to be in a band to be part of the music, all I had to do was write. Meet Banditos, a six-piece roots rock outfit from Birmingham, Alabama. Collectively, they have only been to-

gether since 2011; however, the six of them have known each other since high school. Corey Parsons, guitar player and one of the frontmen, recalls the year they met, “There was this venue in Birmingham called Cave 9. Aside from church shows and shit like that, it was the only all-ages venue in our city. Even though we didn’t all go to the same high school, we ran with the same scene of kids that started experimenting with friends and beer and punk rock music at the same time.” Now we're sitting in their basement. Empty beer bottles are on the floor and

a made-for-TV movie is muted in the background. Mary Richardson, vocals and tambourine; Steven Pierce, vocals and banjo; Randy Wade, drums; Jeffery Salter, rhythm guitar; and Danny Vines, upright bass, all start chiming in with stories. Steve, sitting by the back door smoking a cigarette, takes a puff and relives the time he spent going to shows as a teenager. “Cave 9 played a huge role in us not only becoming friends, but also starting a band. Going to all of those shows sparked a flame in us. We all wanted to do music, but I don’t think

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any of us imagined that it would actually be our job when we got older.” After high school, everyone stayed close to Birmingham. Corey lived with nearly every member of Banditos before any thoughts of forming a band. “I basically just crashed on everyone’s couch until we all decided we should make music together,” he says. “People do a lot of growing after high school, and I think that’s one of the reasons it took the six of us so long to come together as a band. We all had other stuff we needed to figure out on our own before we were able to play music together,” he continued. In 2007, Mary, who had just graduated and was working for a salon, found a huge house she wanted the two of us to

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move into. It was dubbed the “Arlington House”—it was a party house. It started as just Mary and me, eventually adding Corey (he slept in a closet), and what would become the rest of Banditos: Randy, Steve, Jeff, and Danny. “I think all seven of us sitting in this room can agree that the Arlington House was one of the rowdiest points in our life. We threw parties to raise rent, which became a constant cycle of trashing the place,” says Corey, as he laughs, taking a drag from the cigarette. Rare “quiet” nights were used to write songs—everyone brought out their guitars and tambourines to hold off insanity. No one expected anything to become of it, but even after the house was left vacant, the meetups and songwrit-

ing continued—sometimes even on the streets of Birmingham for money. Corey laughs, “That’s not a very lucrative business in Birmingham,” he says. “Actually, the first time we did it, we were playing on a street downtown, and this woman came up to us and in a very thick country accent yelled, ‘Y’all ain’t in Nashville!’ That was some pretty good foreshadowing, I guess.” After realizing that they weren’t getting much attention from playing on the streets, a few of the members of Banditos booked their first show at a bar called Speakeasy. Nervous and not exactly sure what they were doing, Corey asked Randy to play drums for them. “We knew Randy was a good drummer, and we figured he could


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make us look better,” Corey says. Steve adds, “Yeah, he played great, but he also wore a giant cowboy hat that night, so he sure did make us look better.” Randy continues, “We played a few shows as a three-piece, but knew we needed more. We asked a few buddies to play with us, but they only lasted a few months.” The boys had been talking to Mary about getting her to sing with them, too. She was pretty hesitant and never gave them a straightforward answer. Over a few handles of liquor, Mary told the boys—on the day of their next show—that she wanted to sing with them. “I didn’t know any of the songs. I wrote all of the lyrics in a Bible I had stolen from a hotel. It was

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“HONESTLY THOUGH, WE WANT A ROAD DOG. THAT SERIOUSLY IS THE ONLY DREAM THE SIX OF US COLLECTIVELY SHARE.”

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the only paper I had,” she says nonchalantly. It wasn’t much longer until Danny joined the band as well. “I’ll tell you why Danny was always supposed to be in Banditos,” Randy says, pointing his finger and flashing a huge grin. “We played a show in Atlanta, our second outof-state show, and we played like shit. It was terrible. We started off with a room full of people, and by the end of the set, there were only three people left at the bar. Two of them were our friends, and the other one was Steve’s girlfriend. We cleared the room. It was embarrassing. When we got back home, we were all so pissed off. We knew something had to change.” Danny cuts in, “When they got back from Atlanta, Corey called me and said if I got an upright bass, they wanted me in the band. Before he called me, I had just ordered one.” With the current lineup of Banditos formed, everyone decided to move into a house together (again) since they were already with each other all of the time. Plus, it made practicing easier and rent cheaper. After releasing their first

EP, The Filthy Sessions, shooting their first music video, and making a name for themselves around Alabama, Banditos were ready for a big change. “We met the guys of Fly Golden Eagle and Clear Plastic Masks last year and hit it off with them really well. All three of us went on tour together. Knowing these guys made me realize that Nashville was where we needed to be—that’s where everything was happening,” Randy recalls. Banditos started coming up to Nashville more often—basically just to hang out (with me, of course). We all ran within the same group of friends, and it wasn’t too long until Andrija Tokic, owner of the Bomb Shelter Studio, decided he wanted to record Banditos’ first full-length album. Jeff is sitting next to me, slightly bouncing his leg up and down while he starts to talk about the recording process. “This was going to be our first time going into a real studio and having an outsider’s input on our music. And not only was he an outsider—he was a professional. I mean, the guy has recorded some amazing bands like Hurray for the Riff Raff and The Alabama Shakes. I think it’s safe to say that we didn’t really know what to expect.” With the studio booked, they had a month before recording actually started. That’s when Nashville became a reality. “Once we knew we were going to be making an album, we all got on board with finding a house up here,” Danny explains. “We were too comfortable in Birmingham. There was nothing else for us to do there. We needed a change.” Steve chimes in, “We were a


lot like Fievel and his family in Russia. Nashville was our America.” Mary agrees, “that was a great f*cking analogy, man.” When they got their belongings up here, they spent the month writing new songs and playing as many shows in as many cities as possible. As Randy puts it, “We were so excited to play all of these songs we had just written and throw ideas around with someone who we knew would be able to make our record sound like something we never imagined.” Things changed in the studio—but no one realized until months later. Randy continues, “While we were recording, we weren’t aware that our music was becoming our job. It wasn’t just a hobby anymore. Once we were out of the studio, even without having a record out for the public to hear, all of these shows and tours started to fall into our laps. It became real.” Though their album is complete, it has yet to be released. “We’re trying to find someone to put it out. That’s been the hardest part,” Danny says. “We’re taking our time. Obviously we want to release it as soon as possible, but regardless, we are going to continue to tour and play all of the songs for everyone.” It’s almost been a full year since Banditos moved to Nashville. I asked them what they’d like to see themselves doing within the next few years, once they have really established themselves as a Nashville band. Mary said she’d like to travel; Jeff would like to restore his faith in humanity; Corey just wants to rock n’ roll; Steve wants a new cat; Randy wants to learn to read; and Danny just wants his baby back. At this point, all of us are laughing. As serious as she can possibly be during this conversation, Mary says, “Honestly though, we want a road dog. That seriously is the only dream the six of us collectively share.” Everyone nods and Randy confirms, “If we had a trailer and a well-behaved dog, we could totally do it.”

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Love and the

Weather

By Melissa Long | Illustrations by Courtney Spencer

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The morning my father died, I took a pop quiz on fraction multiplication. The fabric of my new denim skirt irritated my thighs each time I shifted in my desk. Through the open classroom window, the weather felt like mild summer. On a faded blue backdrop, clouds hung in translucent trails like airplane fumes. I watched them inch like worms across the sky when the door opened. A voice called my name. The principal needed to see me. My mom sat in a cushioned chair in the office, white-knuckled hands gripping the arms like she was about to descend a rollercoaster ride without a safety bar. A family friend sat next to her in an identical chair. Their gaze was fixated on the same spot—a splattered coffee stain in the off-white carpet. When they turned to me, their faces were cryptic, unreadable. They didn’t speak, and I didn’t ask questions. We left school quickly, descending the stairs to the entrance where our friend had parked. I forgot my backpack. I motioned that I had to go back inside, but my mother shook her head slowly and kept walking to the car. She and I sat in the backseat. It was the first time I’d ever seen her leave her seat belt unbuckled. She reached for my hand slowly, curling her fingers over mine. Watching the

blurred landscape outside her window, she uttered, “A plane flew into the building where Dad works.” Nine words. I could feel thousands of versions of the same sentence echoing everywhere. The car became a pocket of uneasy silence that blocked the noise of passing cars, the running engine, our own thoughts. I kept looking out the window. It was the only thing to do. I was mad at the sky for being irreverent. It should have been raining violently and relentlessly. We would have had to pull over and wait for the downpour to pass. As we neared our house, I saw cars lining both sides of the street like a battalion line ordered to a halt. There wasn’t room to park in the driveway, so we found a spot several houses down and approached the front door like we were visitors. I felt like one. It wasn’t my home anymore. In a matter of minutes, it had become a gathering place for strangers and a storage unit for my father’s belongings. I sensed a ghost was taking up residence, too. The door opened before my mother’s hand touched the handle, and we were greeted by a somber welcoming committee of my parents’ friends and my father’s co-workers from the Memphis branch. It felt a little like a surprise party, but the

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eruption of “Surprise!” was replaced by concerned faces with furrowed brows and mascara stains. “Would you like some pasta salad? Or a slice of banana bread, honey? Your mom told me it’s your favorite,” a stranger in red patted me on the back and pointed to a potluck on our kitchen counter. Her hand was cold, and it was clutching an overused Kleenex. It was a quarter past nine. The rest of the party stood around our television re-watching footage of the event, switching channels frequently for fear of missing something. When they sensed our arrival, they swiveled their heads like eager wedding guests watching the bride walk down the aisle. A large, teary-eyed woman reached for my hand. “Sweetie, why don’t you come to the front.” Singed confetti ascended from the buildings

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like paper birds holding messages for the sky. Below, both buildings foamed black at their mouths, inky smoke ballooning out of what looked like split wood. I smelled everything burning. I tasted metal in my mouth. I wanted to call my father to see if he’d answer. “Look, that’s Cindy!” someone shouted in disbelief, pointing at the screen at an ash-covered colleague running with a handkerchief over her mouth. “We’ll see your father next, I guarantee you,” another one of his friends said reassuringly, cupping my face in her palms. When both towers crumbled, it felt like a grand finale. The spectacle was over and there was calm—relief, even. But I didn’t know how it worked. I hadn’t been confronted by death before; I didn’t know what the word “grief” meant. My father was the first person I had known to die. Debris and ash blan-

keted a portion of the city like a dirty and uneven snowfall. I kept thinking of what was buried underneath—computer screen shards, puzzle pieces of copy machines and storage equipment, countless shreds of paper, kids’ refrigerator paintings, bodies. It was a tag sale already purchased by death. My mother was the only one in the room sitting, her back to the news and her feet propped on a footstool. She was dressed except for her worn slippers, the color of the sky peeking through our half-opened blinds. She looked absently in the direction of the kitchen. It seemed like she was holding her breath to prevent something from coming out. She started to weep silently, her face contorting into confusion, then exhaustion. I was terrified. I didn’t feel safe anymore. The landline rang on a constant loop. People answered in rotations, hanging


up each time a local news station asked for an interview. We waited for one of two calls: my father or Red Cross. Several days later, the second came. “Let’s each share our favorite story about Gary,” a very tan woman reeking of Aquanet suggested with too much enthusiasm. A nervous, lanky male co-worker of my father volunteered to go first. “Remember when Gary dressed up as Santa Claus for the New York branch’s holiday benefit? And that one kid was so nervous to meet Santa, he pissed on Gary’s lap? I still have those

I WAS MAD AT THE SKY FOR BEING IRREVERENT. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RAINING VIOLENTLY AND RELENTLESSLY.

pictures somewhere,” he trailed off, looking at his shoes. More guests added their anecdotes, but I stopped listening. I didn’t know any of these people. I didn’t know any of these stories. I didn’t even know the person they were talking about. They were reminiscing about the man they knew. They began their stories with boasts of how long they’d known my father—twelve, fifteen, twenty years, all longer than I’d been alive.  “No, you have to wear the black ring, Daddy,” I whined. “Those are the rules.” I watched him while I slid my tongue through a tender gap where a miniature incisor had been the day before. I was seven. “How about I start with the garnet earrings? Then I’ll put on the black ring when it’s time,” my father bartered. I gave my regal approval with a flourish of my wand. Plastic jewelry pieces littered the dinner table, but the coveted, sticker-bejeweled crown was perched delicately on top of the Pretty Pretty Princess box. I eyed the board and strummed my fingers against my chin, showing off my ring collection. “What do you think about me buying an RV after you graduate college?” my father suggested, mostly in an attempt to create a distraction while he fudged his turn. “Mom and I would visit you wherever you’d be. The highway would be our home!” “No, that’s boring. What would you do all day?” He chuckled. “Well, we’d drive.” His

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laugh was an anomaly, a hybrid of intimidating and infectious. “And have cookouts in RV parks and meet other old people.” “That sounds awful. What if it rained?” I pouted. “Good point. Nevermind. No RV,” he conceded. “You should do something else,” I decided with another wave of my wand. “What if I opened a frozen yogurt store instead?” he winked. “Much better!” I smiled, imagining rows of yogurt machines and heaps of rainbow sprinkles I could eat whenever I wanted. “Let’s go now!” I delicately took off my earrings, then my beaded necklaces one by one, then my bracelets, and my rings last. We locked the back door and descended into the garage. My father reversed his rust-colored ’83 320i out of the garage and down the length of the driveway. “Look,” he pointed to his knees that were guiding the steering wheel. “No hands!” TCBY only took about one-and-ahalf Jefferson Airplane songs to get to from our house. It was early June, and already, the Memphis heat was swampy. When I got out of the car, the undersides of my thighs peeled off the leather seat. We ordered our usuals—chocolate and vanilla swirl with gummy bears and black cherry with chocolate chips. At the counter, my father fished for change in the pockets of his shorts while the pimply teenage cashier looked at him with a squinty face. “Uh, sir?” he began shakily. “I think you’re wearing earrings.” I froze. Before I hurriedly tried to explain the board game, my father said in a stage voice, “I knew this would happen someday,” shrugging and flaunting his clip-on, neon-purple earrings. “I’ve been getting away with it for so long. But thank you for letting me know,” my father smiled politely, leading me back to the car. Opening the passenger door for me, my father whispered with a smirk, “I win. I’m the Pretty Pretty Princess.”

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Making The Personal Universal Dane Carder specializes in recreating scenes from the Civil War, but his work resonates far beyond Dixie By Ralph Noyes | Photography by Sarah B. Gilliam

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“GUNSHOT WOUND RIGHT THIGH, AMPUTATION OF RIGHT LEG. CHRONIC RHEUMATISM, GANGRENE. GUNSHOT WOUND LEFT SIDE OF SCALP…” Dane Carder

reads in his slow, measured voice. Sunlight from two high windows shines down into his studio on the first floor of the Chestnut Square Building, illuminating the grisly photos that fill The Civil War (the print version of the Civil War documentary by Ken Burns). Frame after frame, thin young men flash their wounds into the camera. Each (many with crutches or stakes) holds a numbered sign that documents their name and military regiment. Dane continues reading with just enough air to get the words out, and I wonder if his throat has fallen prey to the icy temperature inside the studio. He has a thick scarf wrapped around his neck, the ends hanging on a blue long sleeve shirt. He talks about the various greys, whites, and sepia tones in the pictures while I brace myself for each new horror. Dane has been pulling photographs from this book and reproducing them using acrylic black and white paint on personsized wood panels for his Wounded Men collection—fifteen pieces he’s scheduled to show at the Parthenon next spring. Several loud blows from some type of hammer thunder through the wall, interrupting our conversation and giving me a chance to stare around the 100-year-old building that used to be the May Hosiery Mill. Olds rugs cover most of the worn wood floor. White walls and crumbling brick line the long room, which is split into several areas. Near the door, a coffee table sits in the middle of a few comfortable-looking couches. The main wall

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is a mixed media art showcase space called threesquared that Dane created in 2008. My eyes are overwhelmed by the dense chaos that fills every surface: oxidized bullets on a paint-splattered desk, an old musket leaning against the wall, baseball trophies, ashed incense, a black statue of Nefertiti with work goggles on, brushes, blankets, tarps, scrap wood, art supplies, and all kinds of vintage furniture. A large wooden crucifix hangs from a single peeling column in the center of the room. The attached Jesus figurine is missing an arm, amputated like so many of the men in the photographs. Dane began focusing on the Civil War in 2007, partly from a fascination with early photography and also as his way of dealing with the spiritual war of daily life. He explains that his work follows in a long tradition of artists trying to make sense of war, “If we’re a global community, like we’re expressing we are, going over to Afghanistan is still going and fighting our brothers.” He nods at the painting closest to us, a man sitting with his perforated back to the viewer. “This is what brother against brother looks like. We’re all wounded on some level, and certain aspects of our character put those wounds on display. Our insecurities, our arrogance, our anger—it comes to the surface in some sort of way. These photographs are a very physical manifestation of putting those wounds on display.” Dane places the book on his cluttered desk, and I begin to pace the floor along the main wall in an effort to stay warm. I pass a massive portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the granite-like crevices and ridges of his face seemingly sink into and jut out from the surface.


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My eyes catch another painting that I can’t immediately make sense of—a jostling mass of tightly packed, gray-black bodies with indistinguishable faces, all focused on an event in the middle of the circle. “Is this some kind of a party?” I ask, leaning in closer. “That’s the Gettysburg Address,” he points to the middle, “and that’s Lincoln.” Dane hands me the photograph that it’s based on, and I hold it side by side with the painting. The Civil War was one of the first photographically documented wars, and the technology was primitive. Subjects had to stand still for a lengthy exposure, which resulted in very static photos. More importantly, “photography began to take the documentation of life away from painters,” a privilege that Dane reclaims by adding “the painterly touch—a little warmth and humanity to the coldness.” While there is a resemblance in form and color, the photo he handed me looks like a stale reproduction of his piece—and not the other way around.

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Dane is also honest about his approach and how it contrasts with other artists. “This is all very calculated. I know what I’m going to paint. A lot of contemporary painters don’t like that approach. They want the idea of the happy mistake.” Despite Dane’s passion for Civil War history, he maintains that he “never felt Confederate in any aspect.” His personal history, however, ties him irrevocably to the South. Dane was born in Nashville and believes that “Southerners are more attached than Northerners because they lost.” Franklin Road Academy, the K-12 private school Dane attended, was a battlefield—literally. The battle of Peach Orchard Hill took place there. “We were the Franklin Road Academy Rebels. We would have a pep rally, Dixie would be blaring, and there’d be a guy with a huge Confederate flag running around.” Alone on the windowsill, there’s a small framed photograph of his father, who is staring down between bent legs with an unreadable expression. Dane

reveals that his father was president of an insurance company, a leader at work, and a successful coach on the baseball field. “He was also an alcoholic, kind of a damaged human being. Not capable of certain things,” Dane asserts with the calm candidness that he’s expressed over the course of the afternoon. Dane’s father died when Dane was sixteen. He dealt with his grief by selfmedicating and “writing a lot of bad, sad poetry,” he jokes, poking fun at himself. The images of death stayed with him, finding their way into his work. There are several paintings on the floor that look like nineteenth-century wallpaper patterns superimposed over ghostly images behind. Looking through the decadent swirls, I see hospital beds and caskets. “As a culture, we don’t really like to deal with death,” he nods with satisfaction at the piece at our feet. “How can we beautify this imagery that’s kind of hard to swallow?” At the time of his father’s death, Dane had no such outlet. “I felt like a soldier


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DANE CARDER: danecarder.com. Visit The David Lusk Gallery at 516 Hagan Street, Nashville native.is/dane-carder

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that woke up every morning and had to ask myself, ‘Am I gonna survive today, and how the hell am I gonna do it?’ It was drudgery—miserable, hopeless drudgery.” Dane attended the University of Georgia for three months and left “cause I was gonna die—probably, from drugs and alcohol.” He spent a semester at Belmont, where he laughingly admits to getting a 0.75 GPA, then to Watkins, Nashville Tech, and MTSU. Still a year and a half shy from graduation, Dane realized that his house painting business was earning more than a fine arts degree would. He married and had two daughters, all the while continuing to produce artwork. By the time he finished his third Civil War-based painting, he knew he’d found something special and began to show his work seriously. “I didn’t really relate all of it to the passing of my dad for at least a year, but it felt like what I needed to be doing. I knew that it was twenty or thirty years worth of art. I knew I could continue on this path for decades,” he says assuredly. Still, it wasn’t until recently that the art world provided a steady job. After several talks between Dane and David Lusk, the longtime owner of the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis, the pair decided to open a Nashville location this March next to Zeitgeist. As the gallery Director, Dane is both pleased to work around art and relieved that he doesn’t have to sell his own. A drilling sound pierces through the floorboards, and a look of annoyance passes over Dane’s face. He walks me to a shelf and pulls several canvas paintings from it. “For years I worked by myself, pounding away at these. It was like an apprenticeship in how acrylic paint and glazing medium work together and how to build color through the application of many layers. I love color, but I just happen not to use it in my main work.” To illustrate the point, Dane leads me to a corner bin and begins pulling out small scraps of wood with cartoon characters painted on them. He made

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“WE ALL COME the series, titled We, the People, in 1999 with leftovers from the house he and his brother were building. The lifelike detail of his larger works has been abandoned, and the characters, who are based on actual people from Dane’s life, are captured in mostly unfortunate and ridiculous moments—“Bad Day at Beauty School,” “More and Less Patience with Fast Food,” “Preparing to Die,” “Ed Solves for Y.” Wearing a smirk, he reads each title in a deadpan voice, and I’m laughing for the first time since I walked in two hours earlier. My hands linger on the picture of Ed, who stands with a pointer pressed against a chalkboard full of mathematical gibberish. It reminds me of Dane’s studio, which contains several small chalkboards used as either to-do lists or decorations that form part of his math and science-based artwork. “Basically, it symbolizes figuring shit out,” he says, showing me to an oil painting disguised as a physics equation. Arrows move from left to right, and one variable seems transformed into another. The final answer at the end of the second equal sign hangs off the edge of the piece, partially shown. “There’s a whole theory that everything is based on math” he finishes, the conclusion making a lot of sense. Math offers a framework to explain the world. It’s a way

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FROM THE SAME PLACE. WHAT IS PERSONAL IS UNIVERSAL.” to draw meaning from coincidence, the tragedies and successes of an unpredictable life. There’s a sense of security in the idea that everything is the way it should be, that nothing that exists ever ceases to exist, but only changes into something else. “Are we spiritual bodies in physical shape—just blobs of atoms and molecules, a collision of energies?” he asks to no one in particular. On my way out we walk under the wooden Jesus figurine, and I voice the thought I’ve avoided all afternoon. “Are you religious?” I ask casually. “No, not at all. I ran from the church when I was eight,” he answers. “Looks like he’s got a nail wound there,” Dane concludes, maintaining his straight face. It’s hard to imagine how this sense of humor could ever survive the somber subject matter. While Dane’s recent work focuses on the past, the emotions he evokes are always rooted in the present. His personal struggle with loss and making sense of war has led him to create art that is transformative for him, but the real impact lies in his power to transform others. It forces us to look honestly at the past, to break the cycle of destructive tradition, to fight and to grieve after the fallout. “We’re fighting not to forget the past,” Dane asserts. “We all come from the same place. What is personal is universal.” He may be building historical documents about one of the biggest events of our past—but it’s not just about the South, or him, or his dad. It’s the story of humanity.


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TO CASS TEAGUE, PREVIEWING COMIC CONS AND SCI-FI SERIES FOR THE LOCAL PAPER IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF ACTIVISM—IT’S ALL ABOUT ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS. BY BECCA CAPERS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY JONES

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“If I had had a time machine when I was in elementary school, I would be an astronaut right now,” he says, folding his long fingers together behind his head and leaning back. “‘Cause, of course, then I’d be able to fast-forward to the nineties and learn there’d be NASA Mission Specialists with less-thanperfect vision.” Four-eyed and lanky-armed, Cass Teague is not an astronaut. But he doesn’t seem to let these kinds of regrets stress him out. Between career juggling and watching TV episodes before they become old and therefore culturally extinct, he doesn’t have time for regret. He is a student-activist-turned-Psychology-professor-turned-freelance-writer. And there is one thing that Cass has always been, which he believes lets all the facets of his personality intertwine: a geek-culture enthusiast. As a twelve-year-old student at Father Ryan (one of the first desegregated schools in Nashville) in the seventies, Cass organized a multi-ethnic campaign of letterwriting and phone calls to get the premier of Star Trek on the air. Unsure that local audiences would understand the sophisticated series, WSM (our Channel 4 news, now called WSMV) had planned to forego Vulcan for hillbilly—airing a popular Country Music Showcase instead. But Cass had plans of his own: to be an astronaut, of course. And he wasn’t going to let a network executive tell him he couldn’t understand sci-fi. Luckily for a league of future extraordinary ladies and gentlemen of the greater Nashville area, WSM caved. “It’s not just hicks in Davidson County,” he says in a false accent, but the joke rings true. Cass has long been fighting social misconceptions about the various groups he finds himself in: not all Southerners are “country,” not all black people are uneducated, not all geeks are immature. “Geek culture is the highest expression of intellectual pursuit,” says Cass. Though

geekdom is far more socially acceptable now than it was when Cass stocked the shelves of the comic section of Brute Haye’s Five and Dime (he was paid in barter), self-proclaimed geeks of all ages still struggle to shake off a stigma of immaturity. Cass has a well-researched retort to that. “Most people in NASA will tell you that they got where they are because of science fiction or, as we like to call it, speculative fiction.” He points out that the most famous and successful “sci-fi” authors have been very well-informed with regard to science: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein...even Kurt Vonnegut majored in Chemistry. Cass himself decided to go for Psychology after two years of trying an Electrical Engineering major. Unable (or at least unaware that he’d someday be able) to seek a life in space, he resolved “to help people make better decisions in their life.” As a student at TSU, he marched for the Free South Africa Movement and other pressing political causes of his time. A strong bent towards pedantry couldn’t keep him in the classroom—he always had to take it to the sidewalks. “People can’t be held accountable for actions that are based on misinformation,” Cass muses, seeming reluctant to concede the point. Based on his tone, and his preceding life story I’ve just heard, I’d guess what follows, “But I can be held accountable for not giving them the right information.” He went on to write two master’s theses: one concerning student activism and the other detailing his research in breast cancer prevention. The latter was written during his post-doctorate at Meharry Medical College, after he received a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from TSU. Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, he taught Psychology classes at Meharry Medical College, all while volunteering with the marching band at his Alma Mater and pursuing any research, writing, or teaching opportunities that came along. “I’ve always been a campus brat,” Cass

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Cass Teague: pridepublishinggroup.com Follow on Facebook @CassTeague 50 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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“GEEK jokes. His parents were TSU professors, and his childhood was chock-full of heavy reading, research, and science. Naturally, he feels most at home in the hallowed halls of learning, but the TSU marching band gave Cass more than just a chance to be the big man on campus again. “The Aristocrats were the first all-black band to march in a Presidential parade—first for JFK and then for Bill Clinton,” Cass informed me. And as the band’s one-man MC, chaperone, and mentor, he was entitled to that pride. He also got to travel with them all over the country, along the way providing unsolicited, well-meaning lectures on the values of science and the culture of artistic avocations. After all, to Cass, such endeavors are part and parcel of making better decisions in one’s life. And The Aristocrats already existed within a culture of opening minds. “I like to spend time with younger people,” Cass says. “When I was in school, I realized that I didn’t have an obligation to represent ‘blackness’ just because I’m black. I decided not to be a black man, but to be a universal man.” And he is—it’s not just geek interests he tries to represent. For Cass, any friendly exchange is an opportunity to share useful information and opinions. He’s a universal advocate. He’s a father and a grandfather to boot; however, he has only succeeded in passing on his enthusiasm for caped vigilantes and aliens to his greater Davidson County family. Not necessarily to his son. “A few years ago, I took my then-eighteen-yearold son to MTAC (Middle Tennessee Anime Convention),” Cass giggles. He says he was trying to get his son interested in something besides sports and rap. After all, Cass was well under eighteen when he first discovered Stan Lee’s The Amazing Spiderman and realized he could be anything he wanted to be if only he too could be bitten by a radioactive spider. But this radioactive spider was not going for Cass’s son. Fortunately, it was a new experience for the grown nerd, too, and not a total bust. “He hated it; I loved it. Arts Cubed, the group that runs MTAC and Geek Media Expo, is now my family, and I try to go to all the conventions in my vicinity that interest me.” His favorite “family reunion” is DragonCon— which I incorrectly assumed was a Dungeons and

CULTURE IS

Dragons convention. Apparently, this weekend in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta is like a minischool full of lectures on LARPing in subjects ranging from Dr. Who to Magic the Gathering. “It’s like thirty conventions all at once! It’s the most amazing thing on the planet,” he raves. “You can see a hundred Doctors Who in one weekend, and each of them has a different reason for becoming involved in the conference.” The zeal coursing through Cass’s veins for his geek family is not something he wants to hide under a bushel. At this point, it’s not even something he wants to keep as a hobby. He doesn’t want to be Dr. Teague the professor, who likes comics and The Walking Dead. He wants his love of all that is speculative to emanate from his person, and he wants to get paid for it. So he writes interest pieces for Pride Publishing Group, previewing and reviewing cultural events from football games to science lectures for Nashville’s African American community. Before Pride, he wrote for the Tennessee Tribune, another influential Black Newspaper. He calls his field of journalistic expertise “The Sporting Life,” meaning he writes about things people fill their time with. But to be able to digest the scores of cable shows he adores, devour the comic series he follows, and still have time to write about it, Cass has three digital recorders, three cable boxes, and an avid TV-watching friend to record the shows for rainy days. “I mean, it’s not like there aren’t really great broadcast TV shows, but if I had cable and internet at home, I wouldn’t be able to sleep.” It’s remarkable

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he even gets work done in the time he does. He estimates, “I churn out about three-to-four articles a week. They like me, and they know I have a reading audience, so they let me write about pretty much whatever I choose.” As for the majority of Pride Publishing Group’s news readers who are avid church-goers, Cass says, “If they think my articles are too Science-y, I doubt dissenters would read them.” Informing people of outlets where they can best spend their free time is really Cass’s modus operandi, most of all because it comes from a place of experience and mutual excitement. When I mentioned I liked Powerpuff Girls, he beamed and recited information about upcoming episodes I hadn’t heard about. When I nodded in understanding at his raving about FLCL, an anime show from the early 2000s, he insisted that I come to the next MTAC. His expression was sheer glee, so I can only imagine his elated state at a gathering of like minds such as GMX or DragonCon. While he was knee-deep in Psychology research, Cass says he found out, “People are pretty much as happy as they decide to be.” This seems to have helped him shelf the last of his regret that he’s not an astronaut. In fact, in 2009, Cass spent five weeks in Florida to cover the flight of NASA’s STS-129 Atlantis Shuttle Mission at the Kennedy Space Center. After all, the astronauts he met don’t get to go to DragonCon. “Of course,” he smirks. “My dream job would be the beat writer for Nashville’s Lingerie Football League Team, but that doesn’t exist.” Someday, with more people like him in the world, it might. For now, determined to represent his minority interests for all who only dare to dream they’re not alone, he’ll keep at the keyboard in one way or another.

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“YOU’D BE A FOOL TO FIGHT IT”

How the members of LEAGUES found music, found each other, and found their way to The Ryman.

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Listening to LEAGUES’ debut album You Belong Here has the effect of glitter shimmering over your face as your feet leave the strict confines of gravity. Dropping the quandaries and dilemmas

that he spent nearly half of his life playing music on the road. Thad and Jeremy swear he has a photographic memory, but Tyler is too modest to get into all of that. Tyler’s father was a preacher, but music and the of your daily life, you ascend. Your mouth opens arts played a central role in the home. The Beatles’ in awe, taking in air. Somewhere in the distance, a albums spun on the record player, and his father’s comfortable warmth rushes toward you. A rhythm guitar playing filled the rooms. At nine, Tyler picked lifts you up like a marionette, and your body sways. up the guitar, and by seventeen, he dropped out of “You’d be a fool to fight it,” sings Thad Cockrell. You high school and made the trek to Nashville. While most kids his age prepared to make their way to colbelong here. lege, Tyler landed a gig playing for Audio Adrenaline. Moving to Nashville to play music may have been But how did LEAGUES get here? a half-baked plan, but he knew one thing for sure: Tyler Burkum grew up in Minnesota and still lives “When it comes to being a rock and roll guitar player, there when he’s not with LEAGUES. He speaks with you should probably just go do it.” Hanging around the earnest quality and mild manners that only come the old Broadway Music (now Chuy’s in Midtown), from middle America. His calm demeanor and guy- Tyler picked up tips from local players and stayed next-door good looks can fool you into forgetting grounded in the scene. Eventually, this stint became

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LEAGUES: leaguesmusic.com Follow on Facebook or Twitter @LEAGUESMUSIC native.is/leagues

a legitimate career. If this tableau doesn’t reek of rock and roll romanticism, Tyler’s (very close) second reason for moving to Nashville was a girl. “But it’s not what you think!” he laughs. She was back home, and he knew his options were slim—get married at seventeen or hightail it out of town and make something of himself. Though he tried the latter, she wasn’t going to wait forever. Eventually, she moved down, they got married (still are

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today), and now the couple raises their kids back in Minnesota. Tyler stuck to his musicianship and lent a hand to any band ready to hire him. Working with Mat Kearney since 2006 and creating his own solo work kept him busy, but it also left him looking for a little more from music. He admits, “I never wanted to play music in a professional sense. I just love music.” This love grew into a desire to take ownership over a project. Luckily, he met a

kindred spirit, Jeremy Lutito.  Black-bearded and olive-skinned, Jeremy’s slender frame exudes power when he plays drums, and his years spent as a dancer (yes, a dancer) transformed his entire body into a rhythmic machine. As a young member of the Body Talker Dance group, he learned to balance the subtlety of movement with the strength


of performance. For Jeremy, the work of John Williams, score composer for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman (to name a few), served as a gateway drug to music. Even at six years old, the otherworldly Star Wars arrangement captured his imagination in ways he couldn’t comprehend. At eight, he saw Michael Jackson at Mile High Stadium on the Victory tour. After that, game over. Immediately, he picked up drum-

sticks and got to work. Practice led to one of those awkward high school buddy bands and a decision to join the drum line. Joining drum line meant he would have to quit other responsibilities. Jeremy explains, “In this defining moment, my mom said, ‘Is music going to be a hobby, or is this going to be a career for you?’” Hearing this question, even years after the fact, leads to a heavy silence. Seventeen-year-old Jeremy was thrust

to the crossroads of “hobby” and “career.” The absurdity of making such a decision seemed overwhelming, but Jeremy made a commitment to music that paralleled Tyler’s move to Nashville. He graduated from the University of North Colorado with a degree in Orchestral Percussion Performance—clearly, he took his mother’s statement to heart. But the pressure and repetition stifled his creativity and dulled the blade rather than sharpened it. He bailed. It

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was a tough call, but he found his way to Nashville (Franklin, he admits) and played on sessions and tours. At the time, he felt a release from the rigors of education and the search for perfect performance execution. Once he let go of the boxedin requirements, he found his seat on the drum throne to be one of infinite possibilities—one that (in rock and roll) celebrates the flaws, the luck, and the aggression of heartfelt rhythm. “When I sit behind the drums now, I don’t think of myself as a drummer,” Jeremy says. “I think of myself as a musician.” Thad chimes, “He’s a music maker.”  Speaking of “music making,” Thad Cockrell, lead singer, had no business ever singing for a living or even listening to rock music. Thad is built like an ox. His narrow waist explodes to a barrel chest. Three-day-old beard stubble makes him look like a seasoned mountain man. But his sky-blue eyes give him away. They dart and flicker with childish delight. As his past opens up, the light behind his eyes grows slowly—very slowly. Not to exaggerate, but Thad’s childhood sounds like a prequel to Footloose. His father was a hardcore Baptist. “Not Southern Baptist because they probably wouldn’t go to heaven,” Thad laughs. But the religious beliefs were strict, and the absence of secular music was deafening. That said, Thad snuck a contraband radio into his room and listened to local Tampa rock under his pillow. When he was fifteen, he would sneak out of the house at night, push his truck down the driveway so as not to wake his parents, and drive to a local dive to listen to music by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. In the same night, he’d join friends at a dance club. “I would dance until the bar closed then listen to The Cure on the drive home,” he recalls. Despite the musical wasteland at home, Thad educated himself on a wide spectrum of genres. At Liberty College, Thad got his first exposure to songwriting. With fortuitous luck, he discovered that his assistant wrestling coach wrote songs. “I had no idea about anything,” he admits. He never put it together that someone actually wrote the songs he smuggled into his bedroom back home. Thad loved to sing but couldn’t make the leap from singing a song to writing one, so he asked his coach for help. “He told me, ‘There is no right or wrong way. Any way you want to do it is right.’” For a young man raised on hard lines between right and wrong, “any way you want” didn’t make sense. “I walked away from that conversation, and I was pissed,” Thad says. He wanted direction. Unlike Jeremy and Tyler, Thad suppressed the creativity brewing inside of him. His desire to follow what he thought was the right path held a grip he couldn’t shake. In his sophomore year at Liberty, he laid in bed after a brutal, ass-kicking wrestling match with ice packs wrapped around his knees and shoulders. He listened to music to pass the time, and “Harvest Moon” came on. He had never heard the song, nor had

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“I REMEM-

said yes. As the holidays wrapped up and the calendar flipped to a new year, Tyler called Jeremy to break the news that he was going to join a new project with his friend Mike and a guy named Thad. “Wait a second,” Jeremy said on the other end of the phone. In a few moments, they connected the dots and discovered that they were asked to join a band by two guys who didn’t know Tyler and Jeremy knew each other. Complicated? Maybe. Or maybe it’s serendipity. In the time since they took the stage, LEAGUES has toured with Mat Kearney, opened for The Fray at The Ryman, and started work on a full-length album release. Though the band was young, they grew up at breakneck speed. Unfortunately, the pace and the schedule created a challenge for Mike Simmons, and  the need to be with his family Back in Nashville, Jeremy was running on empty. He was forced him to make the tough ready to sell his gear and change direction when suddenly, decision to quit. The band Jars of Clay contacted him. They needed a full-time drummer. opted not to add a full time In a week, he went from the verge of defeat to touring with a replacement on bass. Now, they consider the crowd their dedicated fourth member. They did, however, complete the steady income. While Jeremy toured with Jars of Clay, Tyler stayed busy record and, just over a year ago, released their debut album as a hired-gun guitarist with Mat Kearney. Later, when Mat You Belong Here. A key element to LEAGUES’ song development was a delibneeded a drummer, Jeremy was added to the lineup, and the future LEAGUES men struck a friendship. Jeremy and Tyler erate lack of theme, but regardless, a narrative did rise to the would use sound check to riff on original music and dream up surface. Songs of joy, togetherness, and transcendence spun plans of their own. As Mat Kearney wrapped up his tour and their golden thread as the guys wrapped, knotted, and weaved prepared for Christmas break, Tyler told Jeremy, “We should patterns together. You Belong Here became a tapestry of personal storylines created through an odd series of near misses, really work on some kind of a project together.” As Tyler and Jeremy conspired to start a band, Thad called jumpstarts, and hope. Songs of joy don’t usually shine through the tough exterior up his old friend and bass player, Mike Simmons. Burnt out on the singer-songwriter thing, Thad told Mike he’d like to put a of rock and roll. But LEAGUES admits that braggadocio and band together. They discussed filling the empty slots on the smugness don’t fit their vibe. These guys chortle, emote, and roster, and Thad remembered the drummer from Jars of Clay press honest self-awareness into their music. “We run toward and said, “If I am ever in a band, that is my guy.” A few days our hopes, not our fears,” Tyler says, speaking of their focus on positivity. Thad, still in disbelief, has the face of a little later, Thad found Jeremy in East Nashville. Then, Tyler got a call, “Mike called me up and asked me to boy as he howls, “I’m making a living on my imagination!” join this band with his friend Thad.” Owning a personal stake “There’s mystery in this,” Jeremy says through his thick black in a band was compelling. Why spend years playing for other beard. And “this” is LEAGUES. If you’re willing to let your people and not take the chance to start your own band? Tyler feet leave the Earth and rise above, then you belong here. he ever even heard of Neil Young, but a wave of emotion overtook him. Sitting across the table during our interview, I see the memory rise to the surface as his eyes water. “I remember thinking, ‘I am so screwed’ because I have to learn how to make something that beautiful.” Thad learned to play guitar, and lyrics poured out of him. Almost immediately, he began performing at a local coffee shop. His voice—a classic country, high and lonesome sound—sets him apart from the standard rocker. In his twenties, Thad was just getting started. In their twenties, Tyler and Jeremy were becoming seasoned touring musicians. Thad wasn’t prepared to make that jump, so he moved to North Carolina and—wait for it—went to graduate school? Yeah, he graduated with a Master’s in Family Counseling. For all you budding musicians out there, this is the long way ‘round. “In hindsight…” Thad laughs. In addition to hitting the books, Thad compiled a folderfull of original music and landed on a label. He recorded albums, travelled, and found a burgeoning fan base in Great Britain. He counted Ben Folds, Whiskeytown, and Squirrel Nut Zippers as peers and friends. With his creativity in full gear, Thad’s life became something he’d never imagined, and he knew he had to break the news to his folks. “I told them I was playing music by sending them this crazy-good review from Mojo Magazine for the album Stack of Dreams.” Though they didn’t crank up the radio at home, they didn’t ban Thad to the seventh circle of Hell either.

BER THINK-

ING, ‘I AM SO

SCREWED’ BECAUSE

I HAVE TO

LEARN HOW

TO MAKE

SOMETHING

THAT BEAUTIFUL.”

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DOCUJOURNAL’S JACE

FREEMAN AND SEAN CLARK DON’T SHOOT THEIR DOCUMENTARIES IN COLOR,

BUT THEY’RE SHOWING NASHVILLE THAT NOTHING

IS EVER REALLY BLACK AND WHITE

BY ANDREW SULLIVAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILL HOLLAND

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IT’S THE FIRST MORNING OF 2012, AND A GROUP OF GUTTER-PUNKS HAS CONGREGATED OUTSIDE NASHVILLE’S STATE HOUSE. They’re sitting by the fringes of the Occupy encampment and pouring 40’s into an empty container of AriZona Iced-Tea. The guy doing the pouring, who looks to be barely in his twenties, mumbles through his cigarette that he supposes his drinking really picked up after his tour in ‘Nam. Then came his liking to heroine, but that there wasn’t any good heroine in town anymore. Therefore, booze. Another concurs. Apparently, they used to have a tent amongst the other occupiers, but after firing one too many BB’s at passersby, they were asked to vacate. A punkette with a lisp and a pair of mirthful, searching eyes goes on to say how exciting it was when the Occupy Movement first sprang up on the streets of New York; but now—in her opinion—what was once a thing of substance has fizzled out into a scam for homebums to hang about. They all look on as an empty bottle rolls down the State House steps, finally cracking open as its neck smacks against the sidewalk. The image of a gutter-punk cleaning up the mess closes the scene before the camera cuts to a different subculture within the subculture of the Occupy Movement. This new unit, a bunch bent more towards activism, converses with each other on how to drive off the aforementioned gutter-punks. So goes this brief scrawl on the lives of undesirables. Still, what these words fail to convey, filmmakers Jace Freeman and Sean Clark capture within a few frames of film. In the opening shots of their documentary Nashville 2012, we’re not only exposed to the surface trappings of those who

“THINGS HAVE TO BE HAPPENING AND UNFOLDING BEFORE THE CAMERA... WE CAN’T DELIVER A FACT THAT’S NOT UNFOLDING IN FRONT OF US.”

nap under bridges—a tattoo on the temple of a skull, a mangy dog, and some bad patchwork—but we’re also invited to take a closer look at the humanity shared between these punks of the gutter and ourselves. The punks flash smiles at each other; they tell jokes; they, in all honesty, exude quite common traits of warmth and friendliness. Throughout the entirety of the documentary, Jace and Sean weave together the seemingly disparate threads of the stories in which the individuals and communities of this city play an integral part. It’s these textured analyses of events coupled with human viscera and interaction that gives Nashville 2012 its emotional cache. We follow the slipstreams of immigrants, disgruntled city council members, college hopefuls, front yard evangelists, spoon players, USWO wrestlers, and a whole host of other cells that provide Nashville with its pulse. Nashville 2012, a winner at the 2013 Nashville Film Festival, presents a view of our city that is both actual and pertinent to the people who inhabit it. Nashville 2012 is only an introductory course to Jace and Sean’s journalistic output, which can be seen in full on their website Docujournal.com. There, also, is a very telling manifesto of just what Docujournal aims to be and the way in which it goes about accomplishing that aim. “The narrative structure is in the present tense,” Jace explains. “Things have to be happening and unfolding before the camera. We can’t interview and talk about the past. We can’t deliver a fact that’s not unfolding in front of us.” Jace and Sean have foregone certain aspects of film entirely, aspects that are almost universally considered part and parcel to the cinematic experience. "There are a set of tricks that filmmakers use that we choose to forgo in producing Docujournal,” Sean begins. “For instance, normally if a filmmaker misses a shot the day of shooting, they'll go back and get the shot the next day and include it seamlessly into the edit, but we don't. We have to capture everything on that day. Also, the use of music is part of film language—we’re not arguing that—but using music can define a viewer’s impression of the material, and that's not what we're trying to do

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with Nashville Docujournal. If we keep ourselves to a certain ethic, then we’ll be forced to do better work, and the spirit of the story will become more apparent.” In addition, the duo films the series exclusively in black and white. Aesthetically speaking, the imagery brings to mind iconic photos and videos of journalism from the early twentieth century and carries the same sense of gravity and stark contrast. On a more practical level, black and white film allows the filmmakers to reduce the amount of time spent in the editing process. Having Docujournal ready for the public forum while the event or issue is still relevant to the community is of paramount importance to both Jace and Sean. “Personally,” says Jace, “I’ve always been inquisitive. I never went to school for film, but I’ve always had a camera in my hand. And as I’ve grown up, I’ve found myself focusing my inquisitiveness on my surroundings and my own community. One of the reasons for Docujournal is to establish connections amongst the communities in Nashville and give people a better understanding of what’s going on around them.” “There’s a love-hate thing that people have with their hometowns,” Sean continues. “So for me, Docujournal is a way to engage with my community as an adult, as an individual making a real, voluntary connection. Nashville is undergoing a very interesting period of change, and we’re of an age where we can engage with it. That fueled us. The desire to engage in

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even further by realizing that there’s this community is what keeps us going.” Sean went on to share one of the sto- more to an issue than two or three perries they covered in the film. A story that spectives—that there are as many sides on the outside is very commonplace, but to an argument as there are participants upon further inspection begs further in that argument. Each individual is their own player in their own story and yet consideration. Prior to the construction of the new everyone, despite their affiliation, comapartment complex 12 South Flats, the prises and contributes to one collective development team had to present their story, one body, one year in the life of plans before the 12South community’s Nashville, TN. “That meeting was a great example of town hall. The construction was already permitted by codes, rendering any viable how Nashville is growing,” Sean adds. action against the development on the “There’s a rift between people who’ve part of the community void. Still, many lived here who see the development as were angered by the fact that their con- a destructive force and those who see it as a mark in progress. In those types of cerns weren’t being heard. “Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re conflicts, there’s no right or wrong for us, wrong,” states Sean. “It’s irrelevant. We we’re just documenting it. Our goal is to went to the town hall meeting to see capture more and more complex issues what we would see, and what we saw was within this community in an unbiased that there were three different perspec- fashion.” Jace and Sean do everything they can tives at play. There was the perspective of the developers who felt it would be to keep the spirit of the story free of great for the community; the perspec- any underlying agendas. It’s worth nottive of the residents who wanted to keep ing that neither Jace nor Sean have ever things how they were; and then there was put themselves in front of the camera another perspective an individual voiced throughout the entire Docujournal sethat put forth that we could have voiced ries—a feat that’s especially impressive our opinions earlier when this develop- in an age that continues to digitize clots ment first got brought up, but people of content designed to sell, advertise, weren’t actively involved. Instead, the brand, and expand upon the business and community was reactive and will have to celebrity of people. Part of what makes Docujournal such a powerful experience suffer the consequences.” This style of journalism cuts through for the viewer is the simple truth that one common fallacy that plagues more there isn’t an ulterior motive. From their first serendipitous encounconventional news platforms: the assertion that there are only two sides to ter back in 2010—flying out to document a story. The viewer can take that truth the earthquake that wracked Haiti—to


DOCUJOURNAL: docujournal.com Follow on Facebook @docujournal native.is/docujournal

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their current commitment to delivering unbiased accounts of multifaceted events occurring in Nashville, Sean and Jace have worked tirelessly to keep their vision their own. While overseas, limitations like language barriers and unfamiliarity with the surrounding locales forced the two to work with what they had and document what they saw to the best of their abilities. After seeing how well they were able to cooperate with each other under Haiti’s trying conditions, the two decided to go into business and founded The Moving Picture Boys, their own production company, under which they produce Docujournal.

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And the masterminds behind The Moving Picture Boys have no intention of slowing. This year will mark the release of their documentary on Shovels & Rope, a band who recently won Song of the Year for their tune “Birmingham” at the Americana Music Awards. The filmmakers started shooting the documentary, titled The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, while the band was working tables down in Charleston, SC—long before the duo started garnering accolades. Still, for Jace and Sean, the real reward in their work lies in continuing to gain perspective on what really moves and shakes the people in this town.

Thanks to Nashville 2012, the mundane now has depth and meaning. We can see that behind all this recent construction, like 12 South Flats, that there were statements made, lines drawn, and battles fought. We can hear real conversations from anarcho-kids and the homeless and for a moment see how incredibly human they are. We can put a face to the person who’s facing deportation and ask ourselves what part we play in her suffering. “No matter who you are or what situation you’re in,” Jace asserts, “we all have common struggles. It comes into play in different settings and different


events, but the emotions and the feelings are the same. Even though the person that we’re filming could be somebody completely different than you or a community you know may know nothing about, you still recognize yourself in those situations when you didn’t think you would. It’s a beautiful thing to capture and see.” Though Jace and Sean prefer to shoot without color, through viewing the stories presented by Docujournal, one can only come to the realization that nothing is ever really black and white.

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JOEL AND LEAH LARABELL ARE A COUPLE OF TRUE ARTEASTS. BY MATT REID | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA BEHRENDS

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HIGH GARDEN HERBS, TEA, AND TRADITION IS EASILY LOST IN THE MIX OF THE OTHER TWENTY OR SO STOREFRONTS COMPRISING THE “SHOPPES ON FATHERLAND” IN EAST NASHVILLE. Odds are, most Nashvil-

lians—by virtue of the eclectic arts and crafts aesthetic, the corrugated sheet metal siding, and hidden-in-plain-sight location—have never been to the “shoppes,” much less High Garden. The first time I walked into Joel and Leah Larabell’s new school apothecary, it became something of a time warp. Hours passed as I read the handmade labels of each individual herb side by side in seemingly endless rows along the wall. Freshly burned ceremonial sage blended with the aromas of lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm made High Garden the best smelling store I had ever encountered. In fact, “it smells good in here” was so reflexively said upon entry, you would have thought it was the password to get in. I snap out of my herbal-induced information overload and see Joel and Leah for the first time. Joel, the small business owner, is taking someone on a small tour of China through his explanation of their green tea selection. He is beaming, but that’s normal. Leah is hands-deep in a mixing bowl brimming with vibrant colors of dried leaves, buds, and flowers. She is listening to an older woman explain her insomnia woes, but more than listening, Leah hears beyond her words. It’s the same mechanism that allows her to have a real relationship with each herb in her store—a skill that makes her somewhat of a natural bridge between plants and people, a translator of sorts. Leah was introduced to the world of herbs at a young age. She grew up in Cowan, Tennessee, at the foot of Monteagle Mountain. She loved foraging through the surrounding woods and making mud pies—as kids do—and when she would get sick—as kids do—her Mom was prone to put together an infusion of herbs like elderberry and cherry bark to help her recover. She never considered this as anything out of the ordinary, but she noticed that she recovered from colds faster than her peers. After high school, she moved to Cookeville and got a Master’s in Psychology from Tennessee Tech. Then she started search# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ing. She taught at TSU and worked as an event coordinator before eventually going to Vandy to begin her doctorate, but nothing felt right. “Everybody has their little life struggles. I was questioning who I was—only to return back to my roots and what my parents taught me: as long as I was doing something for good, everything would be alright.” Leah began working with Camelot Care Center, helping underprivileged youth and families. During this period of typical mid-twenties soul searching, Leah dug deeper into her relationship with plants, realizing that she needed some professional guidance to get to the next level. After intensive online research, she found Lisa “Pipsissewa” Bedner, a member of the American Herbalist Guild who specialized in Native American traditions. Pipsissewa fully immersed Leah in the world of herbs. “She’d sit me down, show me an oil she was making, tell me how she was making it, and explain what it was for. She gave me anatomy and physiology books, but most importantly, she showed me the lifestyle she leads. Pipsissewa does sweat lodges on her land and uses woodburning stoves. She would literally have a conversation with the plants,” Leah remembers. The tutelage of Pipsissewa expanded Leah’s whole way of life. Leah’s training under Pipsissewa was one of the first definitive steps towards the birth of High Garden. The second (and arguably most important) step happened shortly thereafter, when Leah met Joel at a backyard chili cook-off. She remembers trying to scare Joel away on one of their first dates, “We were out at Three Crow one night, and I said, ‘I need you to know, I am an outdoor, nature person.’ He was like, ‘Cool, me too.’ ‘No, you don’t understand. I worship the tree gods and Mother Earth.’ Of course, I don’t really, but Joel calmly replied, ‘I’m from God’s country. I love that stuff.’ From then on, it was smooth. We were good. Then he found out I don’t actually host alter at trees.” At the time, Joel was touring with his band, Brenn, and waiting tables at the Melting Pot. In other words, he was being a Nashvillian. “I was a singer in the band, and I was always having throat issues,” he

recalls. “Leah’d make some infusions for me to take on the road, and it changed my life. Not that I needed to be sold on anything or needed my mind changed, my mind was just unaware. That’s when I started to dig in slowly.” Joel Larabell, the hunky, long-locked, and blonde Nashville crooner, spent his early childhood in Florence, Italy. His parents were missionaries who ultimately settled the family back in Boyne City, Michigan. Joel was naturally inclined towards athletics as a boy and went on to be an All-State basketball player in high school, but the jock culture never interested him. So after graduating, he took a cue from his parents and started traveling, doing missionary work. Joel traveled to Mexico, Canada, and Hungary—among other countries. He helped set up clinics in gypsy camps in the Ukraine. “I went to the Philippines, stayed on the third floor of a 4H building, and slept in a sleeping bag for three months in the government housing projects. I saw Manila, like the kind you don’t see if you’re a tourist,” he recalls. In these seemingly unconnected countries, Joel began to see a common thread: the culture of tea drinking was everywhere. He was deeply impacted by the way some of the most impoverished people found joy together by sharing a pot of tea. “I didn’t grow up in Zhejiang,” Joel begins. “But I got the feel for it. It’s happening all over the world. People here need to slow down and appreciate it.” Joel brought this mindset back to Cleveland, Tennessee, where he earned a business and finance degree from Lee University. During his time in Cleveland, he co-founded Brenn, the band that would push him to relocate to Nashville, met his future wife, and started a small business with her. The birth of High Garden happened as gradually and naturally as the sprouting of seeds. Leah used her training with Pipsissewa as a jumping-off

“AS LONG AS I WAS DOING SOMETHING FOR GOOD, EVERYTHING WOULD BE ALRIGHT.” -LEAH

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point. She continued to immerse herself reminisces. “Melanie [co-owner of The in herbal instruction by attending Wise Wild Cow] and I had a little tea party. I Women conferences in Black Mountain, told her how much a bag was wholesale, North Carolina. “There’d be herbal in- and she wanted to pay double. She said, tensives that would concentrate on a ‘Do not take less than this.’” The demand grew so quickly that body system, like the endocrine system. It was really focused, but the conferenc- both Leah and Joel began spending es taught me to stretch my own personal hours hand-bagging tea. Joel was devoting more time than he had anticipated limits.” Thus, the seed was planted. Initially, only friends and family with these herbs, and he was also fallreaped the benefits of Leah’s herbal tea; ing in love with them. The trips to Black however, she decided to approach Tara Mountain, North Carolina, for herbal and Johnny Shields (formerly) of The symposiums and conferences were no Green Wagon, blocks from her house in longer just a Leah thing—they officially East Nashville. “I walked in there one became a Larabell thing in September of day with my sad little package and ex- 2011, when the two got married. One year—and thousands of handplained what I did. They let me bag stuff in there and let me use their kitchen so bagged herbal infusions—later, High it would be Department of Agriculture- Garden began to materialize. When the approved.” The “sad little package” con- Shoppes on Fatherland became available, tained blends like “Socialite,” “Dreams,” Leah and Joel saw the opportunity to and “Get Well” which are still sold in fill a need Nashville was not yet aware it had. “The reason we do teas and herbs High Garden today. When most of us think of herbal tea, and tinctures is because I wanted that,” we think maybe of chamomile or pep- says Leah. “We traveled to find somepermint. Perhaps we think of a tea bag thing like it. In Asheville, you could go to that will quickly steep into a warm, a tea shop or you could go to an herbalsoothing beverage, often a coffee substi- ist. The closest thing we found was in St. tute. While most of this is true, it would Augustine.” Joel transformed the empty retail be tantamount to describing the Mona Lisa as a painting of a girl with a funny space into the shop that stands today. smile from a long time ago. Admittedly, He built the shelves that line the wall, the herbal tea we are familiar with from designed the logo, and took care of orthe local grocery store is not of a Mona dering, stocking, and general logistics. Lisa caliber, but the work of Leah Lara- But his biggest contribution has come in the form of the Camellia sinensis plant. bell possesses a definitive artistry. The “Socialite,” for instance, is a blend “If I’m going to do something, I’m going of dried weeds, roots, leaves, and spices to do it. So, I jumped into the world of designed to nourish the body against the tea,” he says. Everything from Earl Grey side effects of alcohol consumption— to Milk Oolong to Mao Feng comes from specifically, this blend features nettle, the leaves of C. sinensis, and Joel has dandelion root, oat straw, sarsaparilla, brought in the highest quality in the city. High Garden officially opened on Noginkgo, red clover, and cinnamon. The mixture is never exactly the same, be- vember 7, 2012. “It’s about as basic as it cause the herbs are never exactly the appears,” says Leah. “Our first business same. Leah intuitively adjusts every herb plan was: if we profit eighty dollars a day, we can stay open. That’s how we went and spice in each blend. After the Green Wagon accepted Leah into it! We’ve made eighty dollars a day Larabell into their kitchen with open and we’re doing fine. We’re open.” But arms, her herbal infusions began to find the overarching impact of High Garden their way into restaurants and coffee- makes any economic gains look like houses like The Wild Cow, Sky Blue Café, chump change. The shop has become a and Frothy Monkey. “My first ‘business hub for health-centric mindfulness. “It blows people’s minds when they say, argument’ happened at Wild Cow,” Leah

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‘I have a migraine,’ and I hand them a Feverfew plant,” says Leah. “I send ten percent of people away with home projects: a woman with hot flashes, you have garden sage at home? Put it in some vinegar, let it sit for three weeks, and take a tablespoon every day.” More than anything, Leah wants people to reconnect with the Earth, to understand that the plants growing all around us offer a multitude of nourishment. “My idea of success is seeing one less person spraying Round Up on dandelions, killing the soil when they could be eating them instead,” she laments. The Larabells are living their own version of the American dream, based on hard work, the pursuit of knowledge, and self-sustenance. They never stop learning. Joel and Leah spend their free time taking classes from the best herbalists in the country or putting in hours on a co-op farm in Joelton, Tennessee (where they have helped grow and harvest the Holy Basil and Yarrow that is in their store). High Garden is symbolic of their union. Joel is the anchor. He takes care of the day in, day out work at the shop and helps keep Leah grounded. “I’m bagging tea, trying to make more money than we are spending, and making sure that people are happy when they are in the shop and after they leave,” he puts it simply. Leah is the intuition and movement. She still works for Camelot Care Center when not at High Garden, hand-blends every herbal infusion they sell, and keeps Joel from getting too settled. High Garden is the result of two people laboring for each other and with each other. The Larabells’ efforts are indicative of the growth happening in this city. Small businesses open and the community responds. For the first few months, there is built-in support, but for the operation to maintain itself and thrive, the support has to be genuine. After one year, the Larabells’ herbal outpost already has deep roots, a firm trunk, and healthy leaves. Here’s to the blossoming. NASHVILLE'S PREMIER CUSTOM FRAME SHOP AND GIFT STORE. MENTION THIS AD TO RECEIVE 25% OFF A SINGLE CUSTOM FRAME ORDER MON - TH 10am-6pm FRI - SAT 10am-5pm 73 WHITE BRIDGE RD

• 615.356.7784 • THEBEVEL.COM

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We carry holistic foods, toys, treats and accessories at affordable prices for dogs and cats!

12 South: 2222 12th Ave. South (Backside of Building) (615) 292-9662

Our East Nashville location also offers a self-serve dog wash!

Five Points: 1008 Forrest Ave. (Backside of Building) (6 15) 228 -9249

Hours for both: Weekdays: 10am-8pm Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: Noon-5pm

WagsAndWhiskersNashville.com Everyone deserves to live a long and happy life.

At Capstar Bank, we are innovators. It’s part of how we do business. As a result, we understand what it takes and we’re here to help get things done. With faster closing and local decision making, we can move at the speed of innovation. So wherever you’re headed, we’re there.

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Member FDIC

capstarbank.com


FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH YOUR BRAND

Brand. Marketing. curious@thefunkyumbrella.com # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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QUEEN OF HEARTS

This year, a decidedly Victorian theme emerged from the runways, calling for a little abandon. “When collars go higher and skin is under wraps, hair that has been done—then wildly undone—sparks the imagination,” muses sage stylist Michael Moorehead. “It makes you wonder, ‘Exactly what happened here, and how can I be a part of it?’” Melanie Shelley, TRIM Classic Barber | Photography by Eli McFadden

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The Beauty: Christina Hampton @ AMAXTalent.com | Concept & Hair, Michael Moorehead @ TRIM Legendary Beauty. Makeup & Clothing Styling: Melanie Shelley @ TRIMNashville.com for AMAXTalent.com | Betsey Johnson Black Tulle Skirt, Savant Vintage $135; Navy Silk Bolero, Forever 21, $19; Lace V-Neck Bodysuit, Beloved Intimates, $78; Cutout Fleather Gloves, Cabi, $44; Silk Braid Cummerbund w/ Swarovski Crystals, Feather & Silk Neckpiece, Stylist’s Own

TRY: Brow Powder Duo by Laura Mercier, Private Edition, $24 | This Is A Medium Hairspray by Davines, TRIM Legendary Beauty, $29 | Blue Neutralizing Concealer by FACE Stockholm, Babe Beauty Bar, $26 | IsoTherm Titanium Styling Wand, TRIM Legendary Beauty, $120


CELEBRATING 1O YEARS IN NASHVILLE wormsway.com

901 main street | 615 227 7261

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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: ZEKE DUHON

by wells adams, lightning 100 | photo by boston heath

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ISN’T LIKE radio guys. Justin Hammel, my co-host THE SHOW NASHVILLE. You kind of on the615, said something to the effect of wish it was, but it isn’t. You don’t play “Wells, a nineteen-year-old kid from Tulsa The Bluebird on a random Tuesday night showed up at the writers’ night and blew and get signed to a major label deal the everyone away—and this cat has been in next day. I don’t mean to crush your town for two weeks!” Hammel is one of dreams out there, but it just isn’t like that. those guys who will forget about more The music industry is hard in Nashville music than you’ll ever know, so of course, or New York or Austin or Seattle or Los I believed him. We played Zeke on the615 Angeles. It takes years of networking and three days later, and everyone liked it— writing and performing and waiting (and let me rephrase, everyone loved it. waiting tables) and hustling just to get So we booked him as our Local Artist ahead. Anyone who says otherwise is a of the Week, and he played a show for liar. us at Soulshine Pizza six days later. It’s But there are exceptions to the rule, one thing to kill it at a writers’ night; it’s and there are a few dormant stars out something completely different to show there that only need a little spark to ig- up with John Mayer’s bass player, pack nite them into full-fledged supernovas. the house, and leave the rest of the LightZeke Duhon is one of those bright stars. ning 100 staff in complete awe. I rememThe first time we came across Zeke was ber thinking, there sure are a lot of suits in during Lightning 100’s Writers’ Night at the audience tonight…maybe this kid is about Jed’s Sports Bar. Like many other artists, to get signed. I was right. he strapped on his guitar and played a few NU Artist Management was built tunes for a handful of people and a couple around Zeke after finding him in Tulsa

months ago. The guys at NU knew they had something big with this eighteenyear-old and immediately took him to meet Pete Robinson from Big Deal Music. Pete discovered and broke The Dave Matthews Band, and the rest is—well, you know. Since that meeting, Zeke Duhon has signed with Big Deal Music, whose roster includes Ray Lamontagne, My Morning Jacket, St. Vincent, and a plethora of other talented artists. And if that weren’t enough, Charlie Peacock has joined as his producer. You know, the guy that produced The Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow, Brett Dennen, Holly Williams, and many others. Maybe this town is like Nashville, maybe some artists’ time is now. I don’t know. I don’t know if this young musician from Tulsa—who now lives in Music City— will be the next Ed Sheeran or Amos Lee. But I do know that “You Oughta Know” who he is, because everyone else is about to.

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OVERHEARD@ NATIVE

NOUN

VERB

PRO NOUN

ADJ

NOUN

NOUN

NOUN

ADJ

VERB

NOUN

VERB

NOUN

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observatory photos by: Ayla Sitzes

Do you still own a gift from an ex?

ALEX,22 Backpack from Everlane “Clothes. Why part with what I made my own?”

ALLESSANDRA,21 “Some rad shirts, of course”

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CALLIE,24 LAUREN,29

DIY Button Necklace “Just some weird poems.”

Rings collected over the years “I honestly can’t think of anything. So-no, I guess.”

ERIK,19 Fly London Boots “I’ve never had an ex.”

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

THE PRAYING MANTIS This little seductress is pretty well known, but not often seen. This isn’t her only qualification for being cool, though—I heard she’s got a killer appetite. The praying mantis is one of Nashville’s hungriest predators. Right out of the nest she’s on the prowl. Thought you used to fight with your siblings? At least they didn’t eat you. Starting with fruit flies, the praying mantis moves up the ladder to small

bugs like crickets or beetles. She’s even known for eating birds, frogs, or small rodents. Think that’s impressive? We haven’t even gotten to puberty yet. After a little lovemaking, she bites the male’s head off. That’s not a figure of speech. She eats his head. He dies. Happy Valentine’s Day!

totally WORTH IT. I TOLD HIM IF HE DIDN’T LEAVE HIS SISTER ALONE, I’D LET HER EAT HIM.

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• SEASONAL PRODUCE • FRESH MEAT & SEAFOOD • • CRAFT BEER FILL • MEALS TO-GO •

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1201 PORTER ROAD BOONEANDSONSMARKET.COM


Native | February 2014 | Nashville, TN