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april

2014


NOW OPEN monday 11:30am - 12:00am tuesday 11:30am - 12:00am wednesday 11:30am - 12:00am thursday 11:30am - 12:00am friday 11:30am - 1:00am saturday 11:30am - 1:00am sunday 11:30am - 12:00am

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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T TN NT T PRESENTS

A CURATED SERIES OF UNEXPECTED COLLABORATIONS BY NASHVILLE BASED ARTISTS

A presentation of YOUR NASHVILLE featuring ICiT’s 2014 Film Premiere

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16TH, 2014

“LOVE IS ALIVE”

“THE UPSIDE OF DOWN”

WRITTEN BY

WRITTEN BY

JESSICA POLK

JAIDA UTLEY

DIRECTED BY

DIRECTED BY

Paul Skidmore

Motke Dapp

PRODUCED BY

PRODUCED BY

R ob Cheplicki

R ob Cheplicki

ICiT (Inspiring Creative Innovative Thinkers) gives youth a voice by empowering their creativity and celebrating their story on the local and international stage. Celebrate the validation of young artistic voices through world class filmmaking with Nashville’s brightest educators, entrepreneurs, artists and visionary catalysts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: OZNASHVILLE.COM/TNT-APRIL

In partnership with

oznashville.com

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nashvillesymphony.org/soundcheck

FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

Purchase a soundcheck season pass for just $25 and enjoy unlimited access to the Nashville Symphony’s 2013/14 Classical Series

nashvillesymphony.org/Wavelength

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FOR Young Adults under 30

Purchase a Wavelength season pass for just $85 per person or $150 per couple, and enjoy unlimited access to the Nashville Symphony’s 2013/14 Classical Series


A COLLAB

O R A T IO N

WILD AND BETWEEN LOCAL AND NATIVE M e m o r ia

l Day W

Cannery

Saturda

eekend

Row

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e W er! v i l e D wit

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Delivery Hours Sun -Thur 11am -11pm Fri and Sat 11am -1am V for Ve g an :

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4 1 0 2 Y A M G N I N OPE

M E N ' S STO R E • CUSTO M C LOT H I N G B A R • B A R B E R S H O P

ALDEN BOOT COMPANY • BARBOUR STEVE MCQUEEN • DEUS EX MACHINA • GITMAN VINTAGE • FAHERTY BRAND • THE HILLSIDE • HAMILTON 1883 • IMPERIAL BARBER PRODUCTS • IRON & RESIN • JACK SPADE • LBM 1911 • LEVI'S XX VINTAGE CLOTHING • LIFE AFTER DENIM • NAKED & FAMOUS DENIM • NOBLE DENIM • NEW ENGLAND SHIRT CO. • P.F. FLYERS • RALEIGH DENIM WORKSHOP • TODD SNYDER + CHAMPION • SOUTHWICK CLOTHES • SAVE KHAKI UNITED • WOOLRICH • WOLVERINE 1K MILE

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3307 WEST END AVENUE WWW.HAYMAKERSANDCO.COM


TABLE OF CONTENTS APRIL 2014

22

64

102 85 THE GOODS

93

21 Beer from Here 22 Cocktail of the Month 25 Master Platers 112 Hey Good Lookin’ 115 You Oughta Know 118 Overheard at NATIVE 120 Observatory 126 Animal of the Month

25 FEATURES 18 Recycling Guide 28 The Trampling and Regrowth 40 The Gatekeeper 50 Kallie in Wonderland 64 Go Where the Love Is 77 The Voice of the Land 85 Farming for the Future 93 A Low Overhead on Life 102 The Disregarding of Alex Lockwood

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e r e h s i g n i r Sp moving! get

2807 WEST END AVE & 1900 EASTLAND AVE SUITE 101

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president, founder:

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

founder, brand

DEAR NATIVES,

L

et’s be real. We’re not the greenest company in the world—in fact, not even in the city. We use a LOT of paper. So are we being hypocritical by putting out a Green Issue? We’re not perfect, but we do care. We plant 100 trees for every ton of paper we use, wipe our bums with recycled TP, utilize Green Power, and have a recycling bin we’re pretty darn good at using. Just because your neighborhood doesn’t offer recycling yet (and you don’t have to lie, you don’t drive your dirty plastics to a center), that doesn’t mean you can’t opt into recycling when you’re around town. You bring your own bags to the grocery store, but you can’t give up your aerosol hairspray cans? We don’t judge you. In this issue, we highlight Nashvillians who are making both big and small changes in order to live sustainable lifestyles. They’re people honoring pledges to their family, people reformatting farming for the 21st century, and people using sustainability to boost self-esteem. We once heard someone say, “Recycling is like being Catholic—it’s impossible to do perfectly, and it’ll always make you feel guilty.” That may be true, but at least the features in this month’s issue give you a place to start. Cheers,

director:

DAVE PITTMAN

founder, senior

account executive:

CAYLA MACKEY

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

managing editor: 

production manager:

CHARLIE HICKERSON ALEX TAPPER

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

community relations manager:

account manager:

JOE CLEMONS AYLA SITZES

web editor:

TAYLOR RABOIN

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

          writers: photographers:

editorial interns:

pr interns:

DANIELLE ATKINS MELISSA MADISON FULLER WILL HOLLAND MISTY MADONNA NGUYEN ISAAC LADD CRACKERFARM QUINN BALLARD EMILY HALL JESSIE HOLLOWAY HANNAH MESSINGER KATE CAUTHEN ABIGAIL BOBO ELI MCFADDEN A HORSE WITH NO NAME AYLA SITZES

LINDSEY BUTTON LAUREN ROGER

founding team:

ALEXANDER SUPERTRAMP HENRY PILE CASEY FULLER DAVE ARMSTRONG JONAH ELLER-ISAACS STUART MOORE ANDREW SULLIVAN SHELLEY DUBOIS S.L. ALLIGOOD MELANIE SHELLEY JACK SMITH

COLE BEARDEN EMILY FROST

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

want to work at native? contact:

WORK@NATIVE.IS SALES@NATIVE.IS for all other inquiries: HELLO@NATIVE.IS to advertise, contact:

# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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FRIDAY APRIL

18

TH

present another

TRAVELING

MONTHLY

CLASS HOSTED BY

instructors

MARATHON

MUSIC WORKS $20 TO RSVP

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RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT

NATIVE.IS/YOGACULTURECARAVAN


GBT Presents the 5th Annual

APRIL 19TH AT 8pm-11pm Cocktail fundraiser for Lindaʼs Hope and the fight against Pancreatic Cancer

Join us for drinks, food, live music, silent auction, giveaways and a night of fun supporting a great local cause! VIP Tickets sponsored by

TICKETS $ 65 • VIP TICKETS $ 85

Purchase tickets at lindashope.org - $10 increase on tickets purchased at door.

Hope in the Hills After-Party: Midnight – til at sponsored by Featuring:

# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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JACKALOPE THUNDER ANN AMERICAN PALE ALE CANS

WRITTEN BY

ALEXANDER SUPERTRAMP

One day a Jackalope arrived With beers in hand, she craft contrived Rompo reds, bearwalkin’ browns She planted taps across our town And all was well—or so we reckoned Until she hollered, “now just one second!” “You’ve sipped our bubbly taproom brews Maybe at bars, a pint or two. But for those of you who like to wander, (With beer in hand to help you ponder) We now provide this frosty can In which we’ve put our Thunder Ann!” A proper choice, this pioneer, The first Nashvillian to can a beer. While bottled brews abound our town This can is something of a crown. Unfiltered, raw, and citrusy And better for the earth and sea. Thus, the Jackalope decreed: “A legendary brew,” indeed.

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THE Banner’s Rage THE GOODS 1.5 oz Ford’s Gin .5 oz carpano Bianco .75 oz fresh cucumber juice .5 oz fresh lime juice .5 oz simple syrup .25 oz fresh ginger juice

F Shake all ingredients and fine strain into a freshly iced highball glass. Garnish with cucumber wheel and mint sprig.

* LET'S RAGE : “It’s tall, it’s green, it makes you strong, and— if you drink too many— SMASH(ed)!!” - Ben Clemons, 308

-Ben Clemons and Alexis Soler, No. 308

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burgers

24

GULCH: 420 11th Avenue South (615) 915-1943 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / ////// # N AT IVE N ASH VI LLE

craft beer

30 Cr

a a T n o aft BBB n ocatio at Gulch L

shakes

LENOX: 6900 Lenox Village Dr. Ste 22 (615) 499-4428


A SALAD OF SPRING VEGETABLES

Where do you snag a late night creep meal (2nd dinner)? F CHELSEA: The Family Wash. Not much in my world right now tops their lentil pie. F NATIVE:

THE GOODS: FOR THE VINAIGRETTE: 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup + 1 tsp. white wine vinegar 1/4 cup mirin 3/4 cup flavor-neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh mint 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon FOR THE SALAD: 1 head KY Bibb lettuce 1 radish 1 3-inch piece of parsnip 6 snap peas, sliced thinly on a bias 5-6 sprigs of parsley, stems removed, leaves kept whole 1 small handful of pea sprouts (these are a fun addition if available) Freshly ground peppercorn (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

VINAIGRETTE: F In a large mixing bowl combine egg yolk, white wine vinegar, and mirin with a whisk. F While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle oil until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Add chopped herbs and salt. Set aside. SALAD: F Carefully pull the leaves of the lettuce apart. KY Bibb is tender and may bruise. F Tear into bite-sized pieces. F In a large mixing bowl, toss the lettuce with parsley leaves, sliced snap peas, and pea sprouts. F Shave the radish with a mandoline, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler. F Shave 10-12 long pieces from the parsnip in the same manner. Combine with greens. F Dress salad with 2 tbsp. vinaigrette and a small pinch kosher salt. Toss gently. Serve with an additional tsp. vinaigrette on plate and 1-2 turns freshly ground pepper as garnish.

BROUG HT TO YOU BY CHELSE A C A LV E R T, S O U S CHEF A T CAFE F U N DA M E N TA L

PHOTO BY DANIELLE ATKINS # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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BUFFALO CLOVER HAS DEALT WITH DEATH, DISHONESTY, AND DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT THEIR MUSIC HAS ALLOWED THEM TO OVERCOME THEIR HAUNTING PAST BY HENRY PILE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELISSA MADISON FULLER # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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“IF YOU RAN INTO US A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, WE’D BE ALL BADASS,” says Jeremy Ivey, guitar player and founding father of Buffalo Clover. He shakes his fist like Danny Zuko delivering a stump speech. Then he smiles and adds, “But today, we’re more humble.” Despite their modest nature, Buffalo Clover still carries a reputation for hard-traveling, hardworking, and hardpartying. This energy has propelled the Southern-soul-psychedelic band’s sound from the effervescence of horns and funk to the edge of a new realm with Middle Eastern rhythms and electronica. Sure, they still host the standard rock and roll arrangement, but they are mad scientists ready to experiment, and the magic is boiling over. Outside the Stone Fox, the temperature flirts with fifty-five degrees. The gray clouds pull a shade over the sun and diffuse the hottest spikes on its early spring crown. Margo Price, lead singer, sits across from me. She’s wearing sunglasses with lenses the size of saucers. Jeremy, her husband, sits next to her. His black hair sweeps across his forehead, and he pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. “You mind?” he asks. Margo smiles and assures me it’s not too cold to sit outside.

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Margo grew up on a small farm in Illinois. Her parents were over-leveraged and scraping to get by. This isn’t a sob story; this is a small American farm story. This narrative usually ends one of two ways. For their neighbors, the story ended when a large conglomerate gobbled up the land. For Margo’s folks, it ended when the bank called in their debts after a terrible drought. “Everything changed,” she said. “My dad went to work at a prison. My mom went back to school to be a teacher.” Her folks still own the house but going home doesn’t mean the same thing anymore. “It was a change in America that will probably never happen again,” Jeremy adds with a perspective on the big business of farming. If Jeremy’s words sound like a well-lived philosophy, it’s because his vagabond youth taught him as much. After high school, he skipped college in favor of a personal education gathered by traveling back and forth across America. Growing up, his parents shunned secular music. As a result, Jeremy’s release into the wild led to massive consumption of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones. Those bands—and truckloads of others—formed the foundation of his rock and roll experience. To satisfy his appetite for the thoughts of creatives before him, he devoured Nietzsche,

Durant, the Tao de Ching, and Beat poetry. In 2004, his Kerouacian lifestyle was running full tilt when he found himself at a party in Nashville. At the same party, Margo spotted him across the room. Fearless and spirited, she swept over to say “Hello.” After shaking Jeremy’s hand, Margo told her friend, “One day, I’m going to marry that man.” Jeremy and Margo launched into music projects. Band rehearsal was held in their rundown house on the West Side. As a matter of fact, that house was across the street from the bar that would become The Stone Fox. Back then, the bar was Len’s Den, a biker joint with little patience for the liberal, “artsy” crowd. If the rowdy bar wasn’t rough enough, one night during band practice, Margo heard POP! POP! over the wail of screaming guitars. The owner of the Stop ‘N Shop at the corner grabbed a gun from a would-berobber and killed him. This rough-andtumble neighborhood fit well for the band, but when Margo’s parents came down to visit, they weren’t impressed. “My mom showed up and cried,” Margo says with a nervous laugh. At this time, the band was called Secret Handshake, and the music carried social-political messages. “We had songs called ‘Bloodshed’ and ‘Architects of War,’” Margo says. Their com-


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BUFFALO CLOVER: buffaloclover.com Follow on Facebook @Buffalo Clover or Twitter @Buffalo_Clover native.is/buffalo-clover 34 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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mentary focused on the conflict in the Middle East and the economic crisis in the U.S. These themes didn’t seem to move the audiences at Midtown spots like Blue Bar. “But the music was also groovy and catchy,” Jeremy assures me. Taking an exit from heavy political commentary, Jeremy and Margo made their first great direction change. Jeremy recalls that the decision was a quick one: “We decided to regroup and figure out a new direction. We changed our name to Buffalo Clover.” As a reference to the Midwest, it spoke to their roots. “My grandparents’ farm was in an area called Buffalo Prairie,” Margo says. “I always remember my grandmother talking about this clover that used to come up. It was a sad thing to hear that, because there were fewer and fewer buffalo, and that meant there was less of this clover.” Buffalo Clover or Trifolium stoloniferum is an endangered species of clover. The plant thrives due to the trampling of large animals, specifically buffalo. The romance of this perennial’s backstory drew the couple in. “It requires stress and duress to grow,” Jeremy says with a nod to the band’s own fight against endangerment. In 2010, Margo was pregnant and Jeremy was thrilled. Turns out, she was pregnant with twins, but the fear of being a new parent got more complicated. At nineteen weeks, the doctor discovered that one of the twins only had half of a heart. The term is “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome,” and it occurs in less than three percent of U.S. births. Over the next several months, doctor’s appointments tracked the progress of the pregnancy. Despite the heart issue, the baby boys appeared healthy. Margo and Jeremy had tough conversations with their doctor about the reality of the baby’s life. They were told he could live to be thirty, maybe, and they should prepare for complications along the way. Just before July 4th,

“WE BOTH LATCHED ON TO SOMETHING MORE THAN LOVE.”

Judah and Ezra were born at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Doctors immediately moved Ezra to the ICU. Margo and Jeremy split their time at home with Judah and at the hospital with Ezra. Margo yearned to spend every hour with both sons and the division of time was painful. Nearly a week old, Ezra was stable enough for surgery. From here, the hours blur together. A stint was replaced. Ezra was on life support. He had been deprived of valuable oxygen. He didn’t survive. Margo recalls the events slowly, “They wanted me to go back into the room to say goodbye.” She walked in and froze. Even today she still searches for the words, “Then, two nurses handed me a lifeless child.” She’s silent. This was the first time she held Ezra without monitors and IV lines wrapping his body like a web. Margo unraveled. She slipped into deep bouts of guilt and self-medication. The infant gift boxes and sympathy cards arriving at their home were constant reminders of her loss. When they stopped coming, she felt even worse. Was this her fault? Was she being punished? Jeremy and Margo put the band on hold, and the volume dropped to the murmur of a baby monitor. Their son, Judah, and their resolve to be good parents became their focus. “Instead of talking to someone on a couch, we sat and talked to each other,” Jeremy says. This was a low period, personally and professionally. Jeremy had a hard time externalizing his anger. Margo drowned her grief. She made bad decisions— drinking too much and dealing with the resulting legal fallout. “I have been affected by this as a parent,” she explained. “It’s been a long road trying to get past it.” Over the following year, Jeremy and Margo started rebuilding the music. They picked up their guitars and put words on paper. The writing started with a drip and graduated to a steady stream. They poured their emotions into new music and rededicated themselves. “During that period of time, music is what brought us around,” Jeremy recalls. Knowing how bands

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burn out due to lack of focus or organization, he adds, “I don’t know if we’d be playing right now if that had not happened.” Margot spent many days and nights with self-loathing and self-pity. “For a while, I thought nobody had it as hard as me and nobody had been through the things I’ve been through, but once you talk to people, you realize that everybody’s been through something awful once you live long enough.” She turned her focus to the positive aspects of life and paraphrases Mark Twain a bit, “I realized that I didn’t want to be a martyr anymore because being a martyr covers a multitude of sins.” Leaning on each other and their band, Margo and Jeremy got in tune. “We both latched on to something more than love,” Jeremy says, stamping out a cigarette. They softened the rhetoric and amped up the hooks with their rebirth of Southern rock. Horns and backup singers provided deep soul, and a willingness to dive into sonic exploration opened up the doors to psychedelia. Buffalo Clover was back again. With renewed vigor and the support of a successful Kickstarter campaign, they cranked out a new album.

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They recorded “Test Your Love” at the Bomb Shelter and landed Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard for vocal support. The songs were rowdy, horn-laced burners with a twist of Southern soul and rock and roll. With leftover Kickstarter funds, they selffinanced a trip overseas and ripped through a brief but successful tour of the UK. “I had high hopes for the last album, but...” Margo’s voice trails off. Predators smelled the infusion of cash from their Kickstarter campaign, but silver tongues went silent when the time came to deliver on promises. “Tons of UK reviews and appearances on BBC, but when we got back to the US,” Margo pauses for a moment. “Nothing.” The band was promised attractive publicity and smart reviews from key publications. But, as Margo points out, nothing. Nothing may be an exaggeration, but the momentum slowed compared to the push from their first album. The experience left a sour note, but with a song review in Paste Magazine and a mountain of other press, the stone is beginning to roll. Regardless, Margo and Jeremy are happy with their work. Buffalo Clover is finding their home with local bands and gleaning insights from Nashville’s

wealth of high quality players. “It’s always inspiring when you play a show with three other bands and everyone is really good,” Jeremy says. “But it’s nice to travel and be pampered and treated like a rock and roll God!” Margo tags on. With short tours around the States and plans to get back to the UK, the band is working harder than ever. When they are on the road, Margo takes Judah to her parents’ home and checks in on Skype. “There’s a lot of guilt going out on the road and not having him there,” she adds, but she and Jeremy take care of each other and focus more on the work and less on the party. On top of the touring, they recorded a live album of new material at The 5 Spot that will be released on Record Store Day, April 19th. You can catch Buffalo Clover celebrating the event with a set at Fond Object. As if all that isn’t enough, they are starting work on a new studio album. The new effort represents a departure from their ‘60s and ‘70s sound. “We’re into bands like Tame Impala, Cass McCombs, Liam Hayes, and more modern music,” Jeremy explains. “I think the next recording we do will be miles away from the last record.” How far


away? Margo tells me, “Our guitar player, Matt, was gifted a sitar and a theremin.” Expect the unexpected. Just like their namesake, they’ve been trampled upon by something larger than they can imagine, but they’ve come back again and again. Their experience as a band has taught them a lot about professional musicianship and perseverance; their experience as parents has taught them more about the passion required to make it all work. Are they happy? “Happiness feels just a bit further than an arm’s reach away,” Jeremy answers. “But,” Margo adds, “I feel more comfortable in my own skin and optimistic about the future.” The future is inevitable, but does the past still haunt them? Jeremy looks at Margo. She has been low, angry, and hurt, but he sees beyond that. He sees his friend and bandmate. He sees his wife and the mother of his son. Jeremy, still looking fondly at Margo, says, “It took a while for her to find that she could be...” Margo cuts him off with a smile, “Fearless.” I disagree. I think she’s been that way since day one. Just like Jeremy. Just like Buffalo Clover.

Suiting a different type of gentleman.

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THE GATEKEEPER Twenty years ago, Brian Owens started giving out fake “Oscars before the Oscars” awards. Now, he’s giving filmmakers a shot at the real deal through the Nashville Film Festival

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By Casey Fuller | Photography by Will Holland

We all have a story. We all have a song. Yada yada yada. It has become routine at many a table conversation to tell our friends just how we arrived here. We constantly look for the right tone or detail that grabs his or her attention. But it is not always the elaborate, rehearsed, or scripted introductions that warrant our stories unique—it’s the humble ones. The ones that catch us off guard, make us laugh, and open us up to realizing that Nashville is a place where we have to be honest and simply tell it like it is. Brian Owens, Creative Director of the Nashville Film Festival, was summoned to Nashville by way of unpredictable weather and a stop at Red Lobster (“For the seafood lover in you”).

Casey Fuller: Tell me a little bit about your background. Brian Owens: Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, outside Indianapolis. I went to IU to be an English teacher. CF: How exactly did you get to Nashville in the first place? BO: I was driving back to Indiana from visiting my in-laws in Georgia. I had a strong seafood craving, so we ended up at Red Lobster in Murfreesboro. CF: “For the seafood lover in you.” BO: [Laughs] Not bashing Red Lobster or anything, but I just never eat there. This was during the big drought of 2008, which was pretty severe. While we were at the restaurant, the skies opened and

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BRIAN OWENS: nashvillefilmfestival.org Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @Nashfilmfest native.is/brian-owens 42 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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started a downpour. No one could even leave the spot. So we waited it out at the bar. While there, I noticed a letter to the editor in The Tennessean talking about the old Artistic Director leaving the Nashville Film Festival. So I called the following Monday. The next week after an interview, I had the job. All signs led to Nashville. CF: How did you become involved in film? BO: I took an elective that was a film course my sophomore year. I also remember when Chariots of Fire won Best Picture at the Oscars when I was twelve. The light bulbs went off. After college I started a website with some friends. We used to have our own “Oscars before the Oscars.” We started in ‘94 and put out a website in ‘97. For our “Oscars,” a little French foreign film had just as much of a chance as Lord of the Rings would have at winning. By 1999, we had 3,000 voters from all around the world. It ended up getting sidebar coverage in InStyle. My favorite tagline from that was “taking place in not-so-star-studded Indiana.” It became our slogan. CF: You clearly had a lot of interest or people interested in your opinions of film. Where did that lead? BO: It birthed the idea for a film festival in Indianapolis, which already had The Heartland Film Festival. That festival specifically focused on films that uplifted the human spirit. There is nothing wrong with that, but if my spirit gets lifted up too much, I want it stomped back down again. We wanted to also celebrate films like OldBoy. So we started the Indianapolis International Film Festival in ‘04, and we had 2,400 people that first year. I ran that for five years. I sort of fell into the industry or carved my way into my role. By the time I left in ‘08, we had a little over 9,000 people. CF: Last year’s Nashville Film Festival attendance was about 30,000. I hear

NaFF is expecting more attendance than ever this year. BO: This year—through our partnership with the Country Music Marathon, which will be at the multicultural Nissan Village—we should tap around 100,000-plus attendees. CF: It’s exciting to be spread out from the screens at Green Hills to downtown. How would you describe your goal for the festival? BO: Each year, you want bigger and better. We can’t become SXSW overnight, but we have been around for over fortyfive years. The Nashville Film Festival literally began showing films on the broad side of a barn. CF: That’s my kind of screening—that should make a comeback. How significant are local filmmakers to the festival? BO: They are the foundation. But we can’t put every filmmaker in, so there are always those that feel we don’t do enough. I get that. Saying “no” is the worst part of my job. If I said “yes” to everybody, we would have 3,100 movies. No one could see them all. This year, there were major projects that were shot here in Nashville. Cast like Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Robin Williams are all highlighted in several films at this year’s festival. This year is the strongest local connection we’ve had at the festival. CF: Any pressures of having so much control of what gets in or not? BO: When you get 3,100 entries, you have to accept the fact that “no” is part of life. I am a gatekeeper and there is no way around that. One of my programming philosophies is this: on a scale of one to five, I’d rather have movies that score either all ones or fives much more than movies that get a bunch of threes. At least you sparked a reaction in people.

“IF MY SPIRIT GETS LIFTED UP TOO MUCH, I WANT IT STOMPED BACK DOWN AGAIN.” CF: Do you see all 3,100 films submitted? BO: No. That would be impossible. We have a screening staff of forty to fifty people. So out of the 3,100, I see about 1,100. CF: I assume you have to respect your screening staff and their perceptions of the submissions that come in. BO: Absolutely. Short films get two rounds of screening with three people, then another three get it. If it’s alive after that, then it comes to me. Features get two views. If a film gets NO/NO from the first screeners then it’s dead. If NO/YES then it gets another screening by someone else. Sometimes we miss it. We’ve had that happen before. This particular filmmaker respectfully persisted and persisted until he made me watch the film. I watched the film and actually liked it. He is now here for his second time this year. People often ask, “what do you do after the festival?” I say, “I go see a movie.” It sounds bizarre but it’s relaxing. It’s no longer working for me at that point. I usually see a big, dumb action movie. [Laughs] CF: Explain the Academy Awards’ relationship to the Nashville Film Festival. BO: We are a qualifying festival. Our winning short narrative, animated short, and documentary short become eligible for an Academy Award nomination. Two

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years ago, Curfew, our winning short by Shawn Christensen, became eligible for a nomination. It won here at Nashville, then won the Academy Award. That film then got funding to make a feature called Before I Disappear, which will be at this year’s festival. CF: Explain your take on how NaFF keeps growing in an industry where shows and films are becoming more viewed from individuals’ homes. BO: Viewing movies is very personal. There is still energy in the theater. We are communal beasts by nature. We have an appreciative community here. The festival gives you someone to talk to or debate your experience with. CF: How important are celebrities to bring into NaFF? BO: It’s not top priority but part of the experience. The way Nashville treats its celebrities is so different than anywhere else. She shall remain nameless, but this young up-and-coming that was in attendance had management that always was needing her itinerary. After her screenings and press, we told them, “we want her to have fun.” They kept asking about security. When she arrived, she had two guards and approached the carpet. She turned just before entering into a corner of the garage and came back to the carpet without them. A few days later she was karaoking with staff. Nashville is so laid back. CF: Why are you successful? Does your job define you? BO: What I do does define me. I am good at what I do. I have been in the same relationship with my partner for fourteen years, and I’ve been married for ten of them. I have failed at plenty. We need to fail and know that it is okay as long as we recover. Be good at what you do and be happy. That is success.


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1006 Fatherland Street Ste. 202 | Nashville, TN 37206 | 615-669-3742


GEORGE DORRANCE

SKETCH-IEST GUY AT BONGO JAVA The long construction process at Bongo Java has created a short-term canvas for barista and illustrator George Dorrance. His work now appears all over the temporary walls and menu chalkboards at the Belmont Blvd. cafe. Hurry in, because when the renovation is done some of his colorful work will disappear. His work can be silly such as the "Tear Down that Wall Mr. Gorbachev," piece on the coffeehouse cafe. Or serious, such as a graphic novel he is working on based on his grandmother’s life in England during World War II. If he's not working at Bongo or on his illustrations, George can likely be found soaking up the great outdoors. He loves biking all over the East Side and hiking the trails at the Cheatham Wildlife Preserve.

If you want to take a look at some of his work, visit his website: mondaybear.tumblr.com or come to Bongo and admire the artistic walls.

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BY DAVE ARMSTRONG | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MISTY MADONNA NGUYEN AND ISAAC LADD

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“I was always a Cinderella girl,” Kallie Robertson-Smith muses across the table from me. “Tiny little woodland creatures helping me get dressed in the morning? Yeah. Totally.” She’s wearing an adorably knowing smile. Settled in the middle of her home studio, we’re sitting directly across from one another at her sewing table. To my right, her neatly made twin bed is opposite a rack of clothing that is full of an eclectic row of lingerie and undergarments. Faded blue vintage slips, an array of lace patterns dating back into the ‘40s and ‘50s, and some of her first projects from college all compete for my attention as my eyes pass over the hangers on the rack. Next to the bathroom door is a mannequin dressed in one of her latest projects: a dark gray two-piece with creamy pink lace around the edges and a baby blue, seethrough material hanging down from the sides. The piece is provocative to say the least. I fantasize about some of my cultural heroines—Beyoncé, Annie Clark, Madonna—wearing just the top, and my heart rate starts to lift. It is beyond unsettling how powerful lingerie can be, especially when the woman behind it is staring you

in the face, spilling her guts. That power starts in Kallie’s eye contact. She is innocent to the point of being disarming—almost ethereal. But at the same time, Kallie is sinfully gorgeous and boldly energetic. She is obsessed with beauty, and the evidence is all over her room, from the pink tie that hangs from her wall to my left, to the miniature treasure trove of jewelry that overflows from the top of the dresser behind me. Kallie’s world is full of fantasy, desire, and a deep-rooted belief that being sexy is all about holding on to your roots. “I would get up in the morning and get dressed and think to myself, Oh, I look like a doll...good. I wore big bow headbands and dresses with Peter Pan collars and Mary Jane shoes. That was very much my style.” Thrifting is Kallie’s lifeline when it comes to buying materials and fabrics to work with. She barely buys anything new, other than some of her preferred laces and other necessities that don’t exactly turn up in Goodwill every day. This makes the majority of her work eco-friendly, which is something she’s committed to as her business grows. “That’s something that I see for myself in the future: being able to say that

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my business is totally green. Fabric is expensive when I buy it new. I would love to get to the point where all of the new fabric that I do purchase is organic and eco-friendly.” Kallie and I first meet each other out front of the Goodwill on Gallatin Pike. Prior to her arrival, things are feeling pretty gray and ordinary. The parking lot is half-full. Foot traffic is mild. I look down and shuffle my cold feet in place, wishing I had worn an extra pair of socks. Lifting my eyes, I see this young woman bee-lining for me out of a line of parked cars. Short, beautifully clad, and pale-as-porcelain in the gentle stormy weather, Kallie approaches with her head bowed as the rain comes down. She looks up and smiles as we make eye contact. “Hi, I’m Kallie.” We shake hands and walk into Goodwill together. In a pair of black combat boots, black leggings, two layered slips, a black cropped sweater, and a floral vintage silk scarf tied around her jet black hair—topped off in what her friends like to call an “opera bun”—Kallie is absolutely stunning without going over the top. I give her a Reese’s peanut butter egg—though it doesn’t quite feel like Easter yet with the cloudy sunlight pressing its sweaty palms against the windows—and we begin conversing about our love for Goodwill and the history of her outfit. “These boots are hand-me-downs from a friend, actually.” Leaning back on her heels, she casts a loving glance at her shoes. After some scattered conversation, we transition into the age-old process of digging for gems in the thrifty pages of the world’s outdated fashion encyclopedia. She treats the thrift shop like an armory, marching me through the aisles with a sure-footed drive. Her eyes run over the clothing on the racks faster than her fingers. At one point she pulls out a top covered in polka-dots and smiles, “I can never get enough polka dots.” Letting out a girlish sigh, she leads me to the dressing rooms, and as she begins to transform herself,

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I wait outside, anticipating the fash- able to weigh in on the family hision show and asking questions about tory via email during a break from her extensive castle-hopping schedule. her style through the door. A few minutes pass, and Kallie steps “Kallie chose to use ‘Simone’ because out from the dressing room in an an- of its backstory.” Rose saw the name kle-length cherry red dress, a woven as an ideal candidate for her daughter. leather belt, and a tight-fitting black “Her father was adamant that it was and white, thin-line, striped long- not an appropriate name for a child. sleeve top. She points to her shins Simone always conjured images of a and exclaims, “I would probably cut sexy French woman.” Kallie called her clothing Love, Simthis dress up above the knee. This is too long for my body type, but I love one from when she was a student at the color!” The red, black, and white Belmont. Her style started out as fun color combo reminds me of Cruella and playful, full of choices that were de Vil if she decided to try out for out of the ordinary. Rose’s experience the role of Cinderella on Broadway with clothing has led to a very loving back in her twenties—before those and supportive working relationship damned dalmatians drove her into a between mother and daughter. As Rose explains, “All along I was on the haze of high-class cigarette smoke. Back in her home studio, Kallie lookout for items for Love, Simone. I traces through the lines that brought look for vintage lingerie and natural her business into being. “I grew up fibers such as silk, cotton, and linen.” With a mom like that, it seems like in New Hampshire. I lived there until I was eighteen, and then moved to Kallie’s business would have been unNashville to go to Belmont. I started derway back in her teens, but Kallie out doing classical oboe.” Cue quizzi- reveals that Love, Simone’s genesis cal laughter. I wasn’t exactly expect- was a happy accident. “I’ve always ing an eco-friendly lingerie designer worn vintage slips, so one day I just to have an oboe up her sleeve. “I do kind of hacked one off and made a miss it. I haven’t played in years. It’s top out of it, and I thought, that’s on my list of things to do this year, kind of cool...I could re-do that. I would actually—to pick it back up again and go to Goodwill with my Mom. It’s a play.” Setting her instrument aside, cost-effective way to buy materials— Kallie took the reigns of Belmont’s whether I’m gonna totally cut it up or student-run fashion store, Feedback just re-construct it. Especially when Clothing. That opportunity stirred you go out and buy things for a dollar.” This green and unconventional apa new passion in her, leading to a change of major from music to entre- proach to sourcing materials is the heart of Kallie’s business model. She preneurship. Unexpectedly, Kallie ended up fol- creates her color story for an upcomlowing in the footsteps of her mother, ing line and then goes out on the hunt Rosemary. Rose established her kids’ for materials that clothing line in 1992. It was called match her vision Rose Petals and employed twelve and taste. Runseamstresses, a sweater designer, and ning a business a milliner. Rose’s influences go even this way comes deeper, all the way down to the title with a unique set of Kallie’s clothing line. The naming of hurdles and beprocess for Kallie’s business is the challenges, cause somewhere stuff of family legend. During the interview, I learn that between the iniRose is on vacation in Munich, Ger- tial vision and many for Carnival. But even with the the materials coljoyful ritual in full swing, Rose was lected, Love, Sim-

“I CAN’T FORCE CREATIVITY, AT THAT POINT IT FEELS LIKE WORK.”


LOVE, SIMONE: Love-simone.com Follow on Facebook @Love, Simone. Clothing & Accessories Find the Spring Line at Local Honey native.is/love-simone # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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one clothing has to be sewn together and sold to a growing clientele. Having browsed her website a few days beforehand, I never would have known that her products started as thrift store items. “How does that even work?” I ask. “How do you streamline your process? Aren’t there roadblocks?” “Yeah!” She sits up straight in her chair, “The biggest thing is if I have an idea in my head—something that I have my heart set on—that I want to create or that I have envisioned, and I’m not able to find something like that, I have to sort of get creative. The other thing is...” she frowns and looks away from me for a moment. “It’s heartbreaking every time it happens, but when I go to make a piece or reconstruct something and I’m not really paying attention—or maybe I do cut something and it doesn’t do what I need it to do. Then I have to say, ‘I can’t

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use this piece anymore, I have to scrap this,’ and it’s really sad, so….” Her voice falls to a note of grief as she trails off. She may treat the racks like arenas of weaponry for the war on fashion when she’s out thrifting, but once she’s on her sewing machine at home, the fabrics become her children. This motherly love comes from the personal connection she shares with her work. “I draw inspiration from a feeling that I get. It’s hard for me to sit down with a blank page and draw something that I’m going to make. I can’t do it that way. I can’t force creativity, at that point it feels like work.” Sometimes, her mistakes lead to a new idea that might pave the way for something better than the original vision. But regardless of what her pieces end up looking like, they all center around making the girls that


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Did you know?

slip into them feel beautiful. “Creating something that I think is beautiful, and then having someone else say, ‘I think this is beautiful too.’ That’s the best thing for me, is for someone else to feel what I’m feeling.” Kallie’s eyes widen and intensify as she looks over at me, continuing, “I want my clients to feel beautiful and comfortable. Lingerie is so personal, and so many women are very insecure about their body and their size. A lot of women don’t feel beautiful a lot of the time. So to be able to make a person feel that way is very important to me.” Filled with passion for her gender’s quest to attain beauty, Kallie elaborates on her humble price tags. “One of the things that’s most important to me is making pieces affordable and available to girls that are similar to me. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on expensive lingerie. That’s what’s cool about being an independent designer— I can control that. My friends can afford to buy stuff from me, and girls they know can afford to buy stuff from me, and I will always want it to stay that way. I want my business to grow, but I always want it to be accessible.” Kallie’s pieces are competitively priced, starting around $25 and plateauing around a modest $100 sales bracket. And if you’re feeling drawn to something you see on the site, but would prefer it in a different color or recognize the need for customization based on your body type, have no fear. It’s likely that somewhere between practicing the oboe and her next trip to Southern Thrift, Kallie can customize a piece of lingerie just for you. I left Kallie’s home studio in a dreamlike state. On the walk from her front door to my car, I imagine a host of woodland creatures rushing to my side to remove my coat—which I purchased at Goodwill—and opening my car door. That of course, didn’t happen. However, whenever Kallie sits down at her sewing table, something tells me that kind of magic is laced into every stitch.

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LANGHORNE SLIM WANTS HIS SONGS TO MAKE YOU CONTEMPLATE LOVE, LIFE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. HE WOULDN’T MIND TAKING YOU OUT FOR COFFEE ON VALENTINE’S DAY, EITHER BY HENRY PILE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRACKERFARM

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Today is Valentine’s Day.

The rest of the world is lining up in grocery stores, paying through the nose for imported roses, and stashing boxes of chocolate-covered strawberries in the fridge. I am buying two tickets to the Frist Museum—one for me, one for Langhorne Slim. But this isn’t our first date. For the past several months, I’ve know him as Sean Scolnick. He’s been the guy playing board games at my house with my family, hanging out at the flea market with my wife, and leaving Christmas gifts on our front stoop. Knowing I was working on this story, Lightning 100 DJ Wells Adams said, “Must be fun to write about Sean since he’s your buddy, right?” The truth is, it’s hard. In a town where people want to self-promote, Sean just wants to be himself. I was a fan first, but then we became friends. Odds are, if you’re cool, creative, and care about life, Sean will be your friend too. So today, we’ll just be two guys having coffee—not on a date—and telling a story.

This is how it went: With a squeal of reverb, we pull metal chairs across the marble floor and slide up to the table in the center of the hall. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is oddly silent, but this works for us. Sean is a private fella who lowers his voice when passersby could eavesdrop on the most benign conversation. “This is nice,” he says with a full smile. “Somehow this feels appropriate.” Sitting around the corner from priceless works of art for the meager admission of $10 seems amazing to me. Van Gogh couldn’t make a living during his lifetime, but today, most us will only ever see his work from behind a rope in a museum. I’d insert a heavy-handed link between Van Gogh’s struggle and the plight of the modern musician here, but you’d sniff that out and flip to the next story. So I won’t. Sean is from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and his mother still lives in his childhood home. His parents split up when he and his brother were young, but Sean found music early in his youth. He was desperate to hammer out licks from ‘80s and ‘90s bands but gave up lead guitar work when his fingers refused to dance on

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the fretboard. His voice took center stage instead. Sean was a bad kid, but his mom and the education system straightened him out. After private school and college, Sean left for New York City. With a nod to Bob Dylan, he shed his Jewish surname for something more blues-centric and became Langhorne Slim. His music walks the line between a folky wail and a feathery touch. Sean’s lyrics dance in a frenzy with his hyper guitar playing, then swoon as his fears manifest in refrain. In “Song for Sid,” he sings about his grandfather and strains, “Where do the great ones go when they’re gone?” Listen to it. You’ll hear him begging to know and hoping to find out. So, on this most heartfelt of Hallmark holidays, I lighten the mood with a question about heartbreak as a song motivator. “It’s the not falling love that scares me,” he says. “It’s not being heartbroken.” Sean admits to shepherding some heartbreak. His need to be moved by love doesn’t allow for long periods of quiet moments. When his past relationships lacked dynamics, he created them. The theatrics wore him down. He’s recovering from monogamy and enjoying longer stretches being single. Today, he doesn’t jump out and grab the spotlight; rather, he allows himself to be absorbed into the squishy intimacy of relationships. He sucks in the moment and exhales honesty in a way that brings self-awareness to life, sets that self-awareness ablaze, and celebrates the burn. Love is his Rushmore, but the weight still overwhelms him. “Love is a monster,” he says after a drink of coffee, “but monsters can be beautiful too.” I can tell he’s prepping for a backstory, but as quickly as he revs his engines, the doors of the Frist exhibit hall swing open and a class of grade-schoolers escape the impressionist art that has trapped them for God-knows-how long. Immediately, Sean’s volume sinks like a stone in a muddy lake. “Sorry...” his voice disappears into my recorder. He’s quirky. His vintage red car is perpetually in the shop, he lacks basic computer skills by choice, and he almost always leaves me


LANGHORNE SLIM: langhorneslim.com Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @LanghorneSlim native.is/langhorne-slim

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voicemails rather than sending texts. He embodies a hobo nature with his wornin hats and his black jeans tucked into his boots. His slight frame is covered in herringbone knit and bright flannel, and he walks with a shuffle and glide. His grin concedes a missing tooth, while the eagerness of his eyes pulls you in. He is both charming and exasperating in the same bite. He laughs loudly, but his conversation scatters like buckshot. Keeping up with his train of thought requires navigation through several stops, changes, and checkpoints. Regardless, I am taken with his storytelling and don’t even think to ask for missing links. His knack for a yarn serves up rich songscapes that hang on thin threads of detail. Even in jaunty ditties like “Cinderella,” he pushes fun and enjoyment to the front but backs it with clever wordsmithing. He enjoys these upbeat tunes because they fit well with his highenergy nature, but he feels the push to continue writing songs that touch the heart and soul. Sean tells me about the toll that passionate songs take and admits to notebooks full of nearly complete material. In order to finish them, he needs to find the right mental place and he’s making serious efforts to get there. If you follow Langhorne Slim on Twitter, you know that Sean marked six months of sobriety in February. His decision to quit drinking wasn’t just an attempt to crawl from a dark hole but a need to get more comfortable in his own skin. Sobriety amped his introspection and brought him closer to his emotions, and he embraces the experience with zeal. I admit that at first, I took him as a guy who relaxed in the chill zone. “I think my mother, my brother, some exgirlfriends, and my band would find that hilarious,” he laughs. Truth is, Sean spent time in a struggle with sobriety. He fell into a lifestyle of drinking and drugs that took a toll on his personal relationships and could have threatened his career. Substance abuse and rock and roll are dangerous bedfellows and overwrought with clichés, but they are warhammers that

take down many musicians. Drug abuse ran through a thin vein in Sean’s family, and his mother fought hard to keep him away from it. “She has a distaste on the verge of hatred toward drugs and drinking,” he says. “I was raised strictly to stay away from that.” But he didn’t. He found pot, booze, and pills. Early on, he knew his proclivity for drugs would be a problem. He recalled a conversation he had with a girlfriend in highschool. “We were in the basement of my friend’s house, and I turned to her and said, ‘This will be something that I will have to stop doing.’” He spent the next fifteen years in and out of a haze until he decided to take control. “I was a big bitch to wine for a long time,” he admits. “I was tired of being a bitch to it.” And just like that, he stopped. His passion for drinking quickly transitioned to a passion for not drinking, and he embraced it in kind. Sean explains, “Sobriety is very much its own trip…as much as any drug I’ve ever been on.” Sobriety didn’t come with peace. Truthfully, he admits to anxiety and a bit of ADHD. “I deal with a lot of obsessive thinking with the things that move me in my life,” he says looking away a bit. He is moved by the relationships with friends and lovers and trying to strike a balance between the need for companionship with the solace of silence. Without irony or sarcasm, he says, “I want to sit under a weeping willow tree in peace.” The distraction of a good book or a six string acoustic fills the void left by the wine, but Sean wants to find peace in the quiet. This slows life down and helps him find a home base, and from here, he can survey everything to gain valuable perspective. As Sean explains it, “If you only focus on one thing, all the other stuff whizzes by.” Slowing down is a tough proposition for a man who just wrapped a WTF podcast interview with Marc Maron, headed to Los Angeles for taping with Conan O’Brien (a self-described “obsessive” fan who labeled Sean’s The Way We Move as “damn near perfect”), then launched a tour through the West Coast, Texas,

the South, and back up to Brooklyn. To make matters worse, Sean’s view of performance mirrors his view of love. He’s not afraid of the stage; he’s afraid of not going on stage. He explains the fear, “I have this bully in my brain, and I constantly need to shut it the fuck up.” Luckily, the music is a team effort. For eleven years, Malachi DeLorenzo has been on the throne drumming for Langhorne Slim. The two met as Sean laid tracks for his first EP, Electric Love Letter. He had never played with a drummer before, and the session guy just wasn’t working out. “I was a pretty wild performer—frantic really—but it worked for me,” says Sean. Malachi, who was producing the album, offered to try his hand on the drum kit. A self-taught guy (his father is Victor DeLorenzo, original drummer for Violent Femmes), Malachi played with a feeling that matched Sean’s. Several years later, Langhorne Slim needed a new bass player. Jeff Ratner joined the fray and brought in his friend David Moore for banjo and keyboard support. Paul DeFiglia (who now plays with the Avett Brothers) also joined, and Sean found himself with The Law, a backing band able to generate the energetic yet soulful music he longed to play. Four years later, the band is still together, and after moving to Nashville, Sean realized what an accomplishment that was. “I asked Malachi, ‘How did you guys stick with this?’” These guys were young but worked like old pros. More importantly, the band cared about the quality of the work. Sean recalls an argument he had with Malachi during a soundcheck years ago. Sean’s voice was rough, and he wasn’t singing well. Malachi tried to offer help, but Sean wasn’t hearing it. Fed up with Sean’s attitude, Malachi said, “It’s our fucking music!” Sean smiles as he tells the story because he knows it sounds hokey. “But it sent shivers down my spine,” Sean says. “You can pay somebody to play their ass off, but you can’t pay someone to feel that—that’s Malachi. That’s my band. I’m lucky to have those guys.”

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Now that Sean has lived in Nashville for just over a year, his perspective on the city has changed. I asked him about his thoughts on Nashville before he got here. “Didn’t love it,” he says sucking in air. He goes on to explain how most musicians claim New York and L.A. are the toughest cities to play. “At the time, I put Nashville ahead. Now, it’s my favorite place to play,” he says. “I fell in love with the people here.” But that love was a stretch for him. Getting here wasn’t easy, and as he sat up north itching for a way out and a new place to set roots, he got some advice from a fellow musician. “My friend, Kenny Segal, told me, ‘A guy like you has to go where the love is.’” Sean drops his head for a moment and looks up with a laugh. “Man, I’m saying a lot of cheesy shit here. But all I can tell you is when Kenny Segal says it, it doesn’t sound cheesy—it sounds profound.” To make his point, he recounts his recent tour, “I was just up in New York and out in Utah and I had some good times, but I didn’t feel the love and I didn’t feel like I was home. All those words are kinda cheesy, but I don’t care because when I come back to Nashville for five days, I feel reenergized, I feel centered, and I feel love. That’s why I’ll stay in this town.” Shake your head naysayer, but Sean is

“WHEN I COME BACK TO NASHVILLE FOR FIVE DAYS, I FEEL REENERGIZED, I FEEL CENTERED, AND I FEEL LOVE. THAT’S WHY I’LL STAY IN THIS TOWN.”

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being genuine. “I’m really lucky that I can go around and play music and meet a lot of people,” he says. He starts listing names of amazing folks he’s met from previous tours, all of whom live in Nashville. Suddenly, he sounds like a fan, and he tells me how excited he was to know that Eef Barzelay was living here. Sean pauses for a moment and says, “If this part makes it into the article, I’d like to hang out with Eef.” He laughs and I remember—despite his connections and performance resume— he really is a regular guy who loves music and interesting people. Our coffees are finished, and I’m looking at Sean’s earnest, boyish face. He’s young with a recently-shaved beard, and the sobriety has thinned down his cheeks. All of this conversation has his mind racing, but before he can take me down another rabbit hole, I remind him of his pending appointment and suggest we make good use of our exhibit tickets. He stands and tells me that he knows he’s lucky. The places he goes and the people he meets span all walks of life. Despite the challenges he’s faced, he’s making a living in a dream and he seems content with the hardships. Also, he wants me to be happy with our interview. I tell him I am. We enter the exhibit hall, turn the corner, and stop in our tracks. Whatever sentence was in our mouths dissipates as we hold our breath. Vincent Van Gogh’s Portrait of Postman Joseph Roulin hangs ten feet in front of us. With no velvet rope to stop us, we walk within inches of the canvas. Our eyes slide down the ridges of the topographic swirls and strokes. The bearded character could have a doppelganger wearing selvedge denim and drinking coffee in East Nashville at this very moment. This work has us spellbound. “That’s fucking awesome,” Sean whispers. His hushed voice pays homage to art created 126 years ago. “He looks phenomenal.” Just like the Postman, Sean is quiet and peaceful, and for this moment, all the dust settles, all the knots are untied, and the world stops whizzing by.

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sponsored by


THE VOICE OF THE Shannon Pollard wants

to maintain the legacy of his grandfather,

country music great

Eddy Arnold, and he's

saving thousands of

trees in the process

By Jonah Eller-Isaacs | Photography by Quinn Ballard # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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THE TREEHOUSE: Located at 1011 Clearview Ave treehousenashville.com Follow on Facebook VOCÊ: @treehousenashville native.is/the-treehouse vocenashville.com Follow on Facebook @VocêNashville native.is/shannon-pollard 78 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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Here is what I see: a yellowed, hand-typed letter. A mounted platinum record surrounded by the flags of dozens of nations denoting massive international success. An old, stubby synthesizer. A bronze plaque, dated 1966, proudly proclaiming membership into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Large prints of faded photographs featuring wide-smiled folks I’m sure I should know. An eight-track player. Piles of black hooded sweatshirts emblazoned in white letters with the words PLOWBOY RECORDS. The sign atop this unassuming storefront advertises the auto-life-fire-health insurance services of State Farm agent Tom Jones, but Mr. Jones is long gone, retired years ago. However, his old haunt is far from empty, and today I’m standing on the edge of a hive of activity. I’ve entered the world of Shannon Pollard. And oh my, what a world. Shannon is the President of Plowboy Records, a legacy-driven label that manages the musical heritage of the late, great Eddy Arnold, the recipient of the many awards that line the office walls and the owner of the wide smile from the pictures. Eddy is also Shannon’s grandfather. I don’t admit to Shannon that before our visit I’d never heard of Eddy Arnold, but I can say with some certainty that I’m not alone in my lack of knowledge. Shannon later jokes that when he mentions his grandfather Eddy, people under age forty think he must be talking about Eddie Albert, the star of Green Acres. That makes me feel better, and the reference is strangely apropos. Though heavily steeped in his family’s musical history, my visit with Shannon is focused more on the acres of land he inherited from his grandfather. Shannon and his team are transforming the old homestead into a residential community they call Você, and their radical philosophy of sustainable design and low-impact construction make Você unlike anything in the Nashville metropolitan area. For the uninitiated: Eddy Arnold was a pioneer of country music from his early hits in the 1940s to his chart-topping songs of the ‘50s and ‘60s that in large part established the lush orchestration and pop sensibilities of the “Nashville Sound.” His 147 charted songs spent a total of 145 weeks at No. 1, including a remarkable run of sixty consecutive weeks at No. 1 in 1947-1948. His smooth singing style, more crooner than the traditional “hillbilly” nasal twang, helped “The Tennessee Plowboy” sell more than eighty-five million records. He is the only country artist to ever chart across seven de-

“IT'S ALL WORTH IT. THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THIS IN TOWN.”

cades. Plowboy Records’ 2013 compilation You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold introduced a new generation of listeners to Eddy’s extensive catalog. The album features artists from across the musical spectrum, with rock legends like Alejandro Escovedo and Frank Black alongside local luminaries Chris Scruggs, Bobby Bare, Jr., and more. Shannon promised his grandfather that he would keep the Eddy Arnold legacy alive and relevant—and the tribute album do. Along with his word to preserve Eddy’s musical history, Shannon made one other pledge to his grandfather, and that promise has brought me here today. Eddy and his wife lived for many years on sixty-plus acres in Brentwood, and Eddy entrusted Shannon to care for the land. Shannon isn’t just the head of Plowboy Records; he’s also the co-partner of Armistead Arnold Pollard, a real estate firm guiding Você as it comes into being. Shannon welcomes me into his office. His stylish glasses are framed by the bent brim of an olive green cadet cap. Tattoos peek out from underneath his short sleeves. I take a seat next to an electric guitar and amplifier. Behind his desk, weighty stacks of records are doing their best to break the shelves on which they sit, and the collection is a vast survey: here are The Replacements; here is The Blue Yodeler; and here, not at all out of place, is a bright yellow LP, splattered with Arabic script and its translated title: Shik Shak Shok! Psychedelic Music for Belly Dance recorded in Lebanon, 1972-85. Atop a leaning pile sits the Earl of Lemongrab, a villain from the beloved animated series Adventure Time. His head is a lemon. The rows of varied vinyl serve as a splendid introduction into my own adventure time with Shannon. Though Plowboy is madly preparing for their trip to Austin for South by Southwest (thus the piles of hoodies in the entryway), Shannon and I spend the morning delving into the history of his—and his grandfather’s—vision for the land. His passion for music history and his family’s legacy are evident, but his bespectacled eyes light up when the subject turns to Você. “I spent a great deal of time on this piece of property,” Shannon recalls. “My grandparents

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lived here, and we were always over here visiting. The week after I graduated from high school, I ended up convincing my grandmother to let my buddy and I move in. There was a cabin that was part of the original house. It was a turn of the last century hand-hewn log cabin. Everybody in my family—my uncle, my sister, everybody—had lived there at one point.” The sixty-plus acres undulate through hollows and hills, and at every turn is a tree: Cedar, Pine, Elm, Walnut, Cherry, Ash, Maple, Oak. And the vast majority of them will remain standing through the construction. The trees are a crucial part of the vision of Você and of Eddy Arnold’s mandate to Shannon. Though he’s told the story many times, Shannon gra-

ciously repeats it to me. “My grandfather let me know a long time ago that he needed my help with the estate….One day he and I were walking around that cabin, and there’s all these trees. And he looked up at me and said, ‘Look. Save as many of these as you can.’ Me being a tree-hugger too, I said, ‘Of course!’” Você is Italian for voice, and Shannon wants to be certain that as much respect as possible is given to the trees, to the shape, the natural flow—the voice—of the land. The current plan calls for fifty-two homes scattered in clusters across the property. This, Shannon explains, is a dramatic departure from standard operating procedure, where “a conventional developer would go in there, ram a road in there, mow

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everything down, take the trees out, grade everything down, and stake in, fifty, sixty houses—cookie-cutter houses that would just wreck the landscape. I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I wanted to have pockets of development, sort of like an English village.” As Você came into being, planning teams undertook three separate tree surveys, identifying and evaluating the many hundreds of trees, or as Shannon calls it, “the treescape.” In order to build with the least disturbance possible, the teams also mapped each tree’s network of support systems. Yes, it’s as complicated as it sounds, and the process was arduous, as Shannon points out. “There’s been an inordinate amount of time spent by our planning group to sit there and be on site with the topo map…looking at the woods with the tree people, looking at root systems and drip lines. There’s been an incredible amount of brain damage.” Head-spinning analysis of vascular nutrient systems aside, Shannon is quick to note that “it’s all worth it. There’s nothing like this in town.”

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The reality of attempting to preserve the natural forest state of the property while simultaneously building a residential community means that some trees will inevitably be removed—but they aren’t going far. Shannon and his group have established a wood reclamation operation in Fairview, and any usable lumber will be reused: as furniture, as flooring, as instruments. The same cabin that was Shannon’s post-high school crash-pad (and party house, until Eddy had enough and kicked everyone out) is now dismantled, waiting for a new life in its old resting ground. Because of the thoroughness of the tree surveying, future residents can identify the original location of a single piece of cut wood. Imagine sitting in a chair made of wood from a tree that once sat in that same spot—it’s an experience that’s grown exceedingly rare. Before Shannon and I make our way to Você, he gives me a tour of the old insurance office, now shared by Plowboy Records and Armistead Arnold Pollard. Along the way, he introduces me to Steve Armistead, the other half of his real estate team. Steve’s workspace is littered with design and architecture awards and renderings of The Gulch, a neighborhood that Steve helped transform by rehabilitating aging buildings rather than demolishing them. We follow the blaring sounds of old-school hip-hop down the hall. “It’s gangsta rap Thursday!” shouts one coworker gleefully. We pass the office of Cheetah Chrome, punk legend and co-producer of the Eddy Arnold tribute album. Up the backstairs is Eddy’s former work space, where little has changed since he would steal naps between visits from fans. Even after years of archiving and research, Shannon has yet to touch his grandfather’s desk, and

it remains exactly as it was when Eddy passed away in 2008, with piles of letters and postcards strewn across the desk’s wide surface. Early spring sunlight seeps in and sparkles off the sharp glass edges of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy nearby. I decide not to ask if I can hold it. Drenched in history, we hop in Shannon’s imposing black Ford Tahoe. On our way to the construction site, we pass a neighborhood of towering, massive homes, with yawning, landscaped yards and cathedral windows. They might as well be churches. “This doesn’t seem right,” I say to Shannon. “No,” he states emphatically, “it doesn’t.” The beeping of heavy machinery announces our arrival at Você. A concrete retaining wall is in place, but what catches my eye immediately are the enormous mountains of mud. “There’s a lot of earth that’s been moved here, obviously,” Shannon tells me. “But once we start getting some homes in here, I think it’s gonna be really cool.” Four-wheel drive activated, we carefully make our way between the piles of soil. Stakes poke out of the ground on all sides. We pass an ancient barn and a Quonset hut that once housed Eddy’s pig farming operation (“I don’t think it was a very successful venture,” says Shannon with a smile). As we maneuver through muddied tracks, a deer pops out from behind denuded winter branches. Shannon tells me that he’d cued it up special for me. The Tahoe slides through the wet earth. Driving deeper into the property, we come to a small plateau which will be the site of the Writer’s Circle, nine modestly sized homes on relatively small lots. This area of Você, Shannon informs me, is an attempt to fill a gap in available homes in the area: “People don’t need a two acre yard with

“I DON'T THINK WE'RE THERE YET ... BUT I THINK THE TIDE HAS SHIFTED.”


a 4,000-square-foot house. But they want to be near Radnor. They want to be in between Green Hills and Brentwood, and they love this area, and there’s nothing for them. Well, there is now.” The view from the ridge winds towards a golf course. He’s right: they’re going to love it here. I ask Shannon to explain how Você’s sustainable intent will stay true as the fifty-two homes come into being. The community, he explains, has strict design standards to minimize the impact of the development on the surrounding area and to keep with their low-footprint ideal. Dark-sky lighting will limit light pollution—especially important given the Dyer Observatory is atop a nearby hill. Builders are encouraged to use earth-related materials, and stonework from previously existing structures will be integrated into new construction. A pre-approved group of designers and builders will oversee all construction, and they have to present their plans to a design review committee to ensure that the aesthetic appropriately reflects and celebrates the surrounding land. Thump. “Oh crap,” Shannon curses.

He’s run over a stake. “I’m gonna get in trouble for that. I probably punctured the gas tank. Is it a blue one?” He backs up. It’s green, I tell him. “Uh oh. I’m gonna get out of here.” We slip down through the muck, past the whining machinery that is gently recasting the hillside. We pass a magnificent oak tree that Shannon points out as his favorite. We turn onto Granny White Pike, and I realize that despite the looming mounds of earth, the mired tracks, the buzz of construction, the ribboned stakes coming up like weeds, it feels like we’re returning from a walk in the woods. “When you’re on the property and you’re back in it,” says Shannon, “it’s not like you’re in Nashville at all. You’re literally back in the forest.” The vision shared by Shannon and his respectful, conscientious development model will ensure Eddy Arnold’s legacy far beyond platinum records and accolades. Phase One construction at Você is scheduled for completion in the fall of this year, and Shannon is optimistic that this thoughtful dialogue with the land is a harbinger of things to come. He points out that with each successive wave of

residential or commercial development in Nashville, “you can see the swath of the destruction that’s played out. So hopefully, the powers that be finally recognize that we don’t have to do it that way. I think we’ve finally evolved enough in this town. I don’t think we’re there yet one hundred percent by any means, but I think the tide has shifted.” An Eddy Arnold biography and a stack of topographic maps, tree surveys, and artist renderings are scattered across the passenger seat as I pull away from Shannon’s office. On my drive home, I’m struck by the unyielding ugliness of the strip malls and office “parks” that line the pike. The land is silent, graded and paved into submission. It’s expected that the Nashville metro area will hold one to two million more residents within the next twenty years, and on the precipice of such monumental growth, it will be an increasing challenge to preserve the unique natural life of the city. Shannon’s vision and the Você model of development, one that listens to the voice of the land and moves with its contours, can help save what still remains of Nashville’s native environment.

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OPENING APRIL 2014 Deavor is a community of inspired individuals working, learning, and pursuing passions together. A creative co-working space located in the heart of Nashville, TN. http://deavor.co

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IF HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, FARMING IS WHERE THE FOOD IS. AND TO THESE TWO NASHVILLE FARMERS, THAT MEANS FARMING CAN BE EVERYWHERE FROM GREENHOUSES TO WAREHOUSES

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GREEN DOOR GOURMET By Stuart Moore | Photography by Emily Hall

Growing food is unlike most other businesses—the capriciousness of nature makes for an unpredictable business partner. Albert and Sylvia Ganier, owners of Green Door Gourmet, face all challenges with an upbeat optimism forged from their experience of growing up on farms. They harbor no illusions about the hard work and determination required to survive in the modern age of corporate agriculture. Sylvia grew up in Dellview, North Carolina, barely a spot on the road (population: ten) between Asheville and Charlotte. The 120-acre family farm’s primary income counted on a dairy herd, with hay and corn grown to feed the bovine. Adds Sylvia, “We had a couple of acres of family gardens. We were definitely a farm family. If you couldn’t grow or raise it, you weren’t going to eat very much.” Albert, on the other hand, experienced life on a 350-acre farm working with his father and mother on the present site of Green Door Gourmet, raising some 3000 head of cattle. It was simply the life both were born into. One of Sylvia’s first requests after marrying Al was a small kitchen garden; he fenced in nine acres. “We grew just for us the first year and discovered that this ground is so fertile it could really produce a lot. So we had restaurants start to come to us. The first was Sema from Miel. Now we grow for seventeen,” comments Sylvia with a proud twinkle in her eye. Green Door Gourmet also offers

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships. Last year there were around 275-members, and they expect membership to double this year. Sylvia calls their protocol a “flexible” CSA. “The flexible CSA allows people to come to the farm. We have a big table with the produce. We say, ‘okay, you can take up to five bunches of this, or fifteen tomatoes. Pick out the ones you want. If you don’t like cucumbers, don’t put any in your box. When your box is full, you’re done. It’s your share,’” enthuses Sylvia. To achieve the necessary scale of production, Sylvia hired Brandon Talavin as the new Farm Manager. “He has the knowledge of organics and biodynamics and holistic growing, and also understands large volume growing,” proclaims Sylvia. “We just built a greenhouse [heated geothermally, as is the Farm Market store]. There are 79,000 plants in there right now. We’ll start another 20,000 this week. We’ll be ready to transplant into the fields with these plants as opposed to seeding.” Transplanting allows the farm to harvest much sooner than sowing the fields with seed. Germination varies with each vegetable, and some varieties take weeks to emerge. Growing organi-

cally by the seasons is more art than science, and timing is everything. Sylvia pursues diversity as a business model to ensure solvency, a necessary ingredient to any entrepreneurial endeavor. Green Door opened the Farm Market as a means of creating a yearround revenue stream. “You don’t have to be a CSA member to come to our Farm Market,” says Sylvia. Products from Noble Springs Cheese, Benton’s Bacon, Morris Hollow Beef, Bang Candy, Booch Kombucha, Bongo Java, and Thistle Farms adorn shelves, nooks and crannies, and coolers and freezers. Fresh loaves of bread are delivered weekly. I purchased two bars of homemade soap. Sylvia notes, “Sustainable agriculture is two-fold to me: first of all, it has to be something that is good for the land—that allows the land to renew itself. The bottom line is to bring into fruition an ongoing plenty for years to come. Underneath that, sustainability also means that it has to earn enough money so that those things happen.” Green Door is in the process of becoming “Certified Organic.” This arduous undertaking requires prodigious amounts of paperwork and planning under the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Not all organic farmers pursue the Certified Organic designation. Sylvia explains, “We are awaiting our inspector. We are days away from that certification process. If that makes consumers more comfortable, then it is an important thing to do, and that is why we chose to do that. I’m still going to farm in the same biodynamic way. It’s not going to change what we do, and that is why we are going to become one of the fastest certified farms for organic in Tennessee—because we’re farming the right way anyway.”

“ IF YOU COULDN’T GROW OR RAISE IT, YOU WEREN’T GOING TO EAT VERY MUCH.”


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URBAN HYDRO PROJECT By Andrew Sullivan | Photography by Jessie Holloway + Hannah Messinger

It’s March, the weather is a warm tease, and Jeffrey Orkin is driving us to the site of what will be Greener Roots Farm, his newest project in hydroculture. “I recently found out that there’s a well-known dive-bar across the street from our new place,” he says as we ride down Murfreesboro Pike. “So if this project doesn’t work out, there’s that.” Before arriving at Greener Roots Farm, we stop by Jeffrey’s previous venture in sustainable farming, Urban Hydro Project. With the help of his friend and colleague Austin Litrell, Jeffrey renovated a 130-square-foot storage closet into a small yet telling example of clean and efficient farming in an otherwise gray, urban landscape. After walking down a rabbit hole of parking garages, side-stairs, and narrow hallways, we finally come upon his old site. Most of the grow trays, reservoir tubs, and other pieces of equipment are still assembled in columns that utilize every piece of Urban Hydro Project to its optimum potential. As Jeffrey gets everything running for us, I can see how this little room seamlessly mixed nature with science when it was still producing vegetables. It’s the little details that lend credit to the fact that Jeffrey is a mindful individual. His plan is always to produce at maximum output while thoroughly limiting energy consumption. For Jeffrey, energy conservation is a focal point, and it hasn’t had a negative effect on

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productivity in the slightest. If you’ve eaten at SLOCO recently, your appetite is already familiar with Jeff’s work. Jeffrey’s fascination with the authenticity of our nourishment came about, dare I say, rather organically. His vegetative obsession started out harmlessly enough. With no other space readily available, he began with a few simple plants in the windows of his condo (at the same complex that would one day house Urban-Hydro Project). Upon completing his MBA at Lipscomb with a concentration in sustainability, Jeff took to his newfound purpose by gathering the initial funds through a Kickstarter campaign, setting up a lease agreement with the management at his condominium, and starting up UrbanHydro out of a rooftop storage closet. Within a year’s time, what grew from humble beginnings soon gained in popularity around town. Eventually, the demand for Urban Hydro’s harvest outgrew the harvest itself, and from that point on, Jeffrey became the occupant of a 6,000-square-foot warehouse— across from a dive-bar. Yes, that’s right, 6,000 square feet.

Greener Roots Farm will be the first of its kind in Nashville and will provide sustainable agriculture on a truly massive scale. However, Jeffrey has no intention of stopping there. The way he sees it, Greener Roots Farm has the potential to not only be a farm, but an educational center, research facility, and space for community as well. “A huge piece of this to me is not just about growing food but about education around local food,” he says. “Working with school programs is a top priority of mine. Schools are out for the summer [harvest season], which means that kids rarely take field trips to visit outdoor farms. At Greener Roots, we can grow all year long, so we have the potential to show and get kids interested in how food works while they’re still in school.” Jeffrey has already taken active steps to raise green awareness here in town. He’s allocated 1,700 square feet of the property to a local non-profit called Nashville Grown, which provides businesses and individuals with a link to food sources nearby, reducing dependency on distribution behemoths like Sysco. He’s also been working with Austin’s research and development project, Green Leaf Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a food production system that combines aquatic life with hydroponics—the fish create the nutrients for the plants, thus eliminating the need for additional nutrient solution. “This is a dream,” he tells me as we drive away from the site. “I’ve loved talking about and teaching about the importance of local food. Up till now, it’s always been a theoretical thing, a this is how it could be thing. But now, I have the opportunity to expand upon something I’m deeply passionate about and use that to the benefit of those around me.”

“THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT GROWING FOOD. . .”


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GREEN DOOR GOURMET: greendoorgourmet.com Follow on Facebook @GreenDoorGourmet or Twitter @GreenDoorCSA native.is/green-doorgourmet

URBAN HYDRO PROJECT: urbanhydroproject.com Follow on Facebook @UrbanHydroProject or Twitter @NashvilleHyrdro native.is/urban-hydro-project

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A LOW OVERHEAD ON LIFE RYAN NICHOLS HAS LIVED IN A PARKING LOT IN UTAH, TENTS IN PATAGONIA, AND ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD IN MEXICO. NOW, HE’S REDEFINING THE CONCEPT OF “HOME” IN NASHVILLE

BY SHELLEY DUBOIS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATE CAUTHEN

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One day in January 2012, Ryan Nichols woke up, half-starved and punch-drunk after sleeping twenty-four hours on a rock slab at the base of a Patagonian cliff. He and a friend summited a peak called la Aguja de la S. the day before, but miscalculated the return to base camp. They rappelled down the climb, then scrambled through the rocks in the dark, hungry until morning. Ryan’s friend taped Ryan waking up. “It was a level of exhaustion I have never known,” Ryan told the camera, puffy-eyed under a crackling blue sky. This was a vacation. Vacation for Ryan is less cocktails-by-thepool and more pushing the limits of his body and civilization. While traveling, he skirted death in the following ways: by doing sit-ups in a tent to keep from freezing to death after riding his motorcycle in a Mongolian snowstorm, by talking down a Siberian policeman while facing the wrong end of a sawedoff shotgun, and by the luck of the draw, when he was in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami. Ryan has a generous definition of “home.” For a decade and change, Ryan lived on the road, sleeping in dismantlable spaces. He chased mountains, mostly—falling in love with rock climbing as a teenager kept him thirsty for new peaks.

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Then one day, on a layover in between adventures, Ryan ran into an old friend who wanted to start a building business. That conversation turned into real structures—people’s homes. Among them, a new East Nashville house on 15th Street and Shelby. The house is stunning, really. Clean-lined in slate and charcoal tones, it’s perched on a steep East Nashville plot. It is living proof of the old made modern— much of the material is reclaimed. For example, Ryan and his partners burned wooden slabs in his yard to create charred oak siding. The other siding on the house is made from barn-roof metal strips that they bought or found. There are reincarnated materials on the inside too; Ryan hired an artisan welder to fuse together old gas pipes to make the staircase bannister. On the second floor, there’s a sliding door made from wood Ryan found rotting in an old mill workshop. One board was part of a turn-of-the-century shipping crate that sent coffee and tea to the States from the Philippines. Turns out, it’s made of rare mahogany. Despite the dusty origins of some of his building materials, the house is sleek. From the outside, it looks like carefully stacked rectangles— not art deco, more like the zen form of a home. The design

feels intuitive and easy, which is part of Ryan’s magic, because he has suffered over every detail. “He’s probably one of the most obsessive human beings I’ve met in my life,” admits Jeff Middlebrooks, owner of Nashville Home Energy Solutions, a construction company that helps people make their homes energy efficient. Jeff, Ryan, and husband-and-wife team Rachel and Edward Martin, owners of a green design company called (n)habit, all collaborated to make the Shelby house happen. They have formed a group called Fiddlehead Developers—a coalition in Nashville’s small green home community. “You can call it ‘green’ if you want,” Ryan says. “But mostly, it’s just higher quality building.” Ryan earned his green construction education on the road. He learned about charred oak siding from his travels in Japan. Burning the wood is an ancient Japanese technique used to prevent decay. Traveling through Europe, Ryan saw modern sustainable ameni-


“YOU CAN CALL IT ‘GREEN’ IF YOU WANT. BUT MOSTLY, IT’S JUST HIGHER QUALITY BUILDING.”

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ties like low-flow toilets. While climbing in the Western United States, he met people who powered their homes with sunlight. He learned about the century-old practice of building homes out of straw bales from the American Midwest. Ryan builds houses now that shock the prototype, but he grew up in a cookie-cutter house in the Franklin suburbs. He was raised Southern Baptist. “I was really into this idea that I was ‘American by birth, Southern by the grace of God’ kind of thing.” He remembers mouthing off to his high school French teacher because he couldn’t see the benefit of learning another language, since he would never need to leave the United States. But at fifteen, he started rock climbing. Slowly, his world grew. Ryan cultivated a love for climbing outdoors, and the best climbs were far from confined to the Mason-Dixon line. “I graduated high school when I was seventeen, and within a year, I had already decided that I wanted to be out West. I wanted to be climbing—that was my thing.” Ryan went to college for a year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He climbed in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, which was great, but he still felt pulled by the younger, jagged ranges in the West. In what would have been his second year of school, he left town. Ryan drove to Utah and pulled up at an outdoor equipment company called Black Diamond. He said, “Hey, I’d really like to work with you guys. I heard you can sleep in your parking lot and work here, that you guys have a shower and stuff.” Sure, they told Ryan, he could work in the warehouse. He immersed himself in Salt Lake’s elite climbing community, driving to Zion or the Tetons or Yosemite, which Ryan says is twelve hours from Salt Lake, if you haul ass. After a year of that, he was off looking for mountains south of the border. “That got me fired up on the Latin American thing.” Over the next ten years, Ryan probably spent two years total in Latin America, visiting for stretches of several months. “I was working minimum wage jobs the whole time, so I did a lot in Mexico,” Ryan says. “You can drive down, sleep on the side

“I WAS REALLY INTO THIS IDEA THAT I WAS ‘AMERICAN BY BIRTH, SOUTHERN BY THE GRACE OF GOD’ KIND OF THING.”

of the road, eat beans. You can pull off a one-month trip for a few hundred bucks.” Ryan did finish school, he says, “But it was three different universities, four different goes. I did some pre-internet mail correspondence in Mexico,” he says. The Internet was around, but not ubiquitous. “It was only ten years ago, but it seems like such a weird way to do something.” After ten years of wandering, Ryan wanted some roots—nothing too hefty, a shallow anchor—but couldn’t figure out the right way to stay still. During a trip through his home country, he met up with a close friend in Nashville. John Price had a business degree, a background building traditional homes, and no particular bent for sustainable construction. But Ryan had seen what homes could be all over the world. He and John talked about buildings that broke the white picket fence ideal. Together, they created a plan to bring a new kind of building company to Nashville. “We decided to start this business pretty much on a layover,” Ryan remembers. “I was like, alright man, I’ll give you two years of my life, then I’m out of here.” He already had the next corner of Earth in mind. “That was seven years ago.” Ryan says he and John called the company Green Home because the name was self-explanatory and they couldn’t spare money for marketing. They pulled off their first project by the skin of their teeth. “My buddy and I had a grand total of $10,000 and we were trying to start a homebuilding business,” says Ryan. “You can’t really do that.” So they wanted to build a house as a kind of commercial to showcase their talent. “We angled ourselves into some money back before banks checked financial statements and managed to get a construction loan that we

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GREEN HOME: hellogreenhome.com Follow on Facebook @Green-Home native.is/Ryan-Nichols

never should have gotten.” Lehman Brothers foreclosed when Green Home put the first house they built on the market, Ryan remembers. “We felt like, holy shit, this was supposed to be a surefire thing when we started building, and we went into an amazing amount of debt that we could not back up.” The debt would wake Ryan up at night, sweating and tight-chested. But the advantage of having built only one house was that Ryan and John only had to sell one to break even. They did, which meant they outlasted other, more established development companies that crumbled to the crisis. “Our timing was terrible, but we managed to survive in a down market, mainly due to low overhead in life,” Ryan says. That, and they hit an unmet need. No

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one in town was thinking about building sustainable single family homes at that time. He and John got commission work. They started pushing the boundaries of this city’s definition of “home.” Ryan hit the two-year mark of living in Nashville, a milestone that he previously said meant time for him to go. But, as Ryan says, “Life did what it does”—it shook the foundation. While planning Green Home’s launch, John started feeling sick. When it got bad enough to seek medical help, doctors diagnosed him with a gastrointestinal condition called ulcerative colitis. Eventually, John’s colitis got worse and progressed to full-blown Crohn’s Disease. John sought care at Vanderbilt, but the prognosis didn’t suit him, and he balked at the suggested course of treatment. Ultimately, John wrote off Western medicine entirely.

John took over his own health regimen. He switched to a macrobiotic diet, quit drinking alcohol, and started meditating and practicing yoga. “He did really well for three or four years, maybe, with relapses from time to time, but he could always pull himself out of it,” Ryan says. Then, one day, he couldn’t. John relapsed, and unable to get better on his own, chose to end his life. Ryan never knew John had hit bottom like that. He remembers, though, that he and John often talked about death. “Perhaps you tend to contemplate the edge of your existence,” he says, “spending so much time exposed, hanging from rock walls.” Ryan is not Buddhist and neither is John, but they’d discussed the idea that life was one of many states of being. Ryan is comforted by the idea that existence as we know it is ephemeral. But that’s not


LIBRARY OF FLOWERS really enough to ease the pain of a lost loved one. Ryan was shaken, maintaining the company and his friend’s legacy while grieving. John remains the backbone of Green Home. “I was quite happy before, running around, pretty broke, climbing, surfing, skiing, and just loving the freedom,” he explains. “I was also not envious of the fortysomethings that were still running around pretty broke, possibly trying to support a family, and feeling torn between the freedom they had versus the lack of stability in their lives. I knew something had to change, but I never would have taken this kind of a leap without John's prompting.” John passed away four years ago this March. Ryan has kept the company alive and continues to travel when he can. There is no great lesson in retrospect, Ryan says, no moment of clarity that resolves a tragedy. But there are buildings, meticulously built, that meet Ryan’s high standards of quality. Because of Ryan— and Ryan says because of John—Nashville has new places for people to live that are a little gentler on the earth and that make their inhabitants happy. Ryan is pleased with what he’s made here, but he still wants more from life. He’s worked in developing countries and would like to return. “One day, that is where I’d like to be for a lot of reasons—personal, ethical, everything,” Ryan says. “I build houses right now for people that want them, not people that need them, and I have a lot of internal conflict over some of the things that I’m doing.” When building here becomes too confining, Ryan will go. He’ll leave town for several months or so. More likely than not, he’ll end up in a situation where the conflict is external—a battle against the darkness to get to base camp, a fight against the cold to pump blood. And after moving from shelter to temporary shelter for a while, he’ll hit his frequency, line up with his element again, and come back to Nashville with new molds to break— new ways to make a home.

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From the building materials utilized, to the innovative and elemental designs, to the ideally situated-and-preserved pastoral setting, Você is a residential neighborhood that is inspired by nature to foster creativity, sustainability and a shared sense of community.

For more information on purchasing a lot or taking a tour of the Você Community, contact:

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THE DISREGARDING OF ALEX LOCKWOOD ALEX LOCKWOOD WILL TURN YOUR LOSING LOTTERY TICKET INTO SOMETHING AWESOME

BY S. L. ALLIGOOD | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABIGAIL BOBO

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ALEX LOCKWOOD, AN ARTIST WHO CREATES CLEVER AND TO SOME EXTENT, JUDGMENTAL MANIPULATIONS OF TRASH to produce whimsical, pointy spheres and extravagant flowers, settles his six-footsomething frame into a Herman Miller Aeron chair (in classic black). He is in his studio, a former granary at 100 Taylor Street in Germantown, now converted to creative spaces for artists. He rolls himself up to an oversized, plywood-topped table that serves as his primary work station. Behind him is a wall of shelves and beneath, another workspace, long and narrow. Plastic blue boxes line shelves above the bench, all filled with found materials, the DNA of his art: gun casings, notched bread wrapper tabs, discarded cigarette lighters. Nearer him sits a pile of what appears to be tubing of different colors—gray, red, yellow, blue, green—but, as with all of Alex’s art, closer inspection reveals a surprise. It’s not tubing at all, but plastic bottle caps, thousands strung together by wire and used by Alex to create whatever his imagination concocts. “It’s a kinetic piece so there’s a shock cord that goes through the middle of it. When you pull down on it, it starts to dance. It bounces up and down and gets a rhythm where it looks like a flamenco dress—or if you’re right under it, it looks like a washing machine going back and forth. Most people don’t initially comprehend they are looking at bottle caps strung together,” he says. The artist offers a sly smile at that revelation. Art “came” to him through images that his photographer friends began to show him, both through the lens and in the darkroom. “I was walking around my Brooklyn neighborhood or walking around places we had travelled and

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just finding things that caught my eye,” he says. “I appreciate good photographs, but I didn’t feel like I was taking them. I’d see my girlfriend at the time take a picture and I just didn’t see what she saw, but the image afterwards was beautiful. But I didn’t see that.” What he did see on those photography walks through the boroughs were objects that others failed to observe: a liquor store trash can brimming with losing scratch-off lottery cards, a Brooklyn grocery store parking lot littered with bottle caps, sidewalks littered with the plastic of bread wrapper tabs. To Alex, these cast-off objects told stories. And being a lover of stories, he began to collect the found fascinations. Soon enough, he was figuring out what to do with them. The art of making art from discarded objects—trash, if you will—has its roots in the early 20th century. The movement, called objet trouvé, used found objects, commonplace items, to create juxtapositions that made artistic statements about modernity, politics, war, sex, and many other topics. Alex continues this tradition. “I can talk about lottery tickets,” he says. Many of the pieces Alex is known for are made of thousands of carefully-folded and meticulously-connected scratch-off tickets. He doesn’t know who purchased the losing ticket in his hand, but he senses the hope, the excitement, the disappointment of the unknown man or woman who scratched off the silver emulsion that covered the ticket’s failed combination of numbers. “So this is a $20 losing ticket. That’s $20,000 gone,” he says, nodding to his creation. “That’s important to me. I started collecting lottery tickets. I’d see them just on the ground where


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“I CAN TALK ABOUT LOTTERY TICKETS.”

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I lived in Brooklyn, and I’d also see people buying them constantly. I’d see people spending a lot of money on them with the hope of becoming wealthy. Usually they were people who were poor.” Is he judging society for its proliferation of getrich-quick schemes? “Yes,” Alex answers unapologetically. “When I think about what attracts me to a certain material, I think about where I started collecting them. With the lottery tickets, it was outside bodegas in liquor stores, especially on paydays, where I could go in with a trash bag and people would just be scratching tickets, dropping all the losers. Liquor stores would put boxes out because they’d overflow trash cans. I’d just walk in with my bag and take them home.” In the same vein, Alex says he’s aware of the environmental annoyance and hazard of discarded plastic. “With the bottle caps and other material, I mean, I understand things like this have negative impacts on the environment. It’s not what drives me,” he says. “I’m not an environmental activist, but I am concerned about the environment.” He lays claim to his aesthetic sensibilities honestly: his parents are art lovers and collectors. “I mean, I’m working with garbage, right? But the


ALEX LOCKWOOD: alockwood.com native.is/alex-lockwood

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The 13 th Annual

way I put it together…whenever I show my work, people are always walking up to me and saying, ‘You have OCD, right?’ Because they look at this and they say, ‘Of course you’re obsessive compulsive.’ I don’t experience it that way. I think with my work—as opposed to a painting or a photograph— you can see every step in the final process. You can see every piece I use and every fold.” Alex has pondered whether his creations would be as accepted if they weren’t made of found objects. Would his pointy spheres have the same impact if they were welded of metal? Or his flowers made of solid-colored pieces of paper, not colorful scratch-offs? “I think about that. It wouldn’t necessarily be—I feel like the result is just the form and just the complexity of it. Something that’s important to me is bringing preexisting objects into my work. I couldn’t paint or design, and I don’t know that anybody could with the intention of making a work like that—paint each of those little pieces,” he says, squinting in the direction of his work across the table. In other words, the found materials’ transformed message is inexorably tied to its provenance—just as Alex is now tied to Nashville. He’s a member of COOP, an artist collective with gallery space in The Arcade. He’s also shown at The Cumberland Gallery and will be an artist-in-residence at Montgomery Bell Academy this spring. “I couldn’t be happier than I am here,” he says. Metamorphosis is the magic that fuels his creativity. Nothing becomes something. Ugliness becomes lovely. Trash becomes art. “And what interests me about the bottlecaps—and it’s similar to a losing lottery ticket— is that it has absolutely no value. It’s worthless. I’m very drawn to making what I think are beautiful, attractive objects out of completely worthless and disregarded material.” The search for disregarded material, for new stories to tell, for new ways to surprise, continues in earnest.

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APRIL 18-20 AT THE NASHVILLE CONVENTION CENTER

V I S I T F U L L M O O NI NC . N ET F O R M O R E I N F O

Join us for an Open House and Asana Demonstration followed by a discussion on Iyengar yoga as a Sustainable Practice

Sunday May 18 from # NAT I V4-6! ENAS HV I L L E

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Learn more about us at 12SouthYoga.com or email us: info@12southyoga.com


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SSP RRIINNG

Tickets are ON SALE at the venue box office, MarathonMusicWorks.com, and by phone at 877-4FLY-TIX # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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Each new season brings a major color trend that infiltrates both high fashion runways and street style. For SS14, pink deservedly takes its turn. And with the softer hue comes a stronger movement in men’s hair. “The side part is associated with genteel masculinity,” says TRIM grooming guru Melanie Shelley. “To toughen up a look, part the hair on a strong diagonal— a little more rogue than vogue.” Melanie Shelley, TRIM Legendary Beauty | Photography by Eli McFadden

Pleated Multi Tuxedo Shirt, $505, Issey Miyake | Oribe Hair Sculpting Cream, $29, TRIM Classic Barber | Pastel Military Trench, $7.99, Goodwill on Charlotte | UNITE Session Max Spray, $29 TRIM Legendary Beauty

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The Gentleman: Daniel Crotts @ AMAXtalent.com | Haircut, Grooming, Clothes Styling: Melanie Shelley @ TRIM Classic Barber for AMAXTalent.com

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by jack smith of no country for new nashville | photography by a horse with no name

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: PATRICK SWEANY

IF YOU’RE ACTIVE IN THE MUSIC SCENE AROUND NASHVILLE, one phrase you’ve probably heard is “New Nashville.” You’ll find the phrase popping up in countless other places around Music City, but in all honesty, what does it mean? What really is “the sound of New Nashville”? That’s a bit of a tough one to predict genre-wise, but it’s obvious that New Nashville will need to strike a balance between playing its own unique sounds and building on the progress of its many predecessors—no matter the genre. Luckily, there are people already striking this balance around town, so we thought it would be nice to introduce you readers to one such person. That man is East Nashville’s own Patrick Sweany. Sweany got his start as an acoustic blues player in Ohio back in the late ‘90s, and in 2001 he formed The Patrick Sweany Band, an electric blues trio that featured no bass player. Instead, a number of different baritone guitarists (including Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who also helped produce a number of Sweany’s albums) rotated through the lineup. This provided a cornerstone for Sweany to release a number of albums both with and without the rest of

the trio since, but he managed to fly under the radar for the better part of a decade. It wouldn’t be until the 2007 release of Every Hour Is a Dollar Gone that Sweany garnered public attention, especially from other musicians. Fans were beginning to recognize Sweany’s uncanny aptitude for creating an entirely unique piece of music that still managed to feel homey and familiar. Patrick’s most recent album, 2013’s Close to the Floor, displayed his continued development of that skill. For instance, lend your ears to “Working for You,” one of the more popular tracks from Close to the Floor. Sure, you can hear the Dan Auerbach influence almost immediately, but listen closer. Pay attention to the spaces between the notes during solos, and you’ll get a hint of B.B. King. Much of the lyrical structures and phrasing can be traced back to Patrick’s affinity for Dan Penn. That barefooted, summertime attitude? Rev. Gary Davis. Patrick isn’t shy about the heavy influence 50’s and 60’s blues music has had on him, and it doesn’t tarnish the originality of his music. Instead, he manages to combine these influences with his original ideas to emerge as an intelligent blues musician, and one that we would be proud to have represent the sound of New Nashville.

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OVERHEARD@ NATIVE HYPOTHETICAL HEADLINES EDITION

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OBSERVATORY photos by ayla sitzes

WHAT IS THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE RECYCLED? Anne, 22

Indian Bracelet designed by Donna Jacobs “I don’t recycle…oops!”

Gary, “OLD!”

“A ventriloquist dummy”

Ginny, 36

Valentine Edition Air Force Ones “Tori”

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KATIE, 24

“A hot fudge milkshake”

Brett, 27

“A giant flower I created for a shoot. It was sticking all out of the trash can.”

Heather, 35

Skirt from L'ecole des Femmes in LA “A raccoon penis bone”

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CERVEZA GARDEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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FOR TICKETS AND INFO TRESDEMAYONASHVILLE.COM

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

Green Tree Frog THE

, MARSHY Y P M A W S FOUND IN E TENNESSE T Y P I C A L LY N R E T S E W AREAS OF

OFT EN CO NFU SED FOR THE BA RK ING TRE E FRO G

PERFORM A R A IN C A L L W H EN THE SENSE A SHO W E R IS C O M IN Y G VE RY LO NG , SL EE K LE GS NO P ARE N M AT TA L I N T ING E AND REST E XC EGG -LA EPT FO YING R

queenk queenk

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CALL US TODAY TO BEGIN YOUR: • ORGANIC GARDEN MAINTENANCE • ENVIRONMENTAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND INSTALLATION • LANDSCAPE RENOVATIONS AND CLEAN-UP • RESIDENTIAL MASTER PLANNING • RAINWATER HARVESTING • RAIN GARDENS • VEGETABLE GARDENS • PATIO DESIGN & INSTALLATION

... AND MORE!

615 852 5009 Helping Nashvillians live a more sustainable lifestyle.

landscapeTN.com

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Experience Spring To Its Fullest Cheekwood offers over a month full of seasonal activities amidst unparalleled views of spring’s glorious arrival, including 100,000 tulips throughout our grounds. With activities EVERY Saturday and Sunday, experience spring in all its glory!

sponsored by

March 20 - April 27

cheekwood.org 615 . 3 5 6 . 8 0 0 0

Every Saturday! 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Family Studio ‘ART’ivities 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Live Music in the Herb Garden Nashville Jazz Workshop Ensemble

10:30 am & 11:00 am Garden Tales Storytime 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Live Music in the Mansion, Steinway Piano Society 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm Guided Tours

Featured Entertainment Saturday, April 5 Nashville Puppet Truck Presents The Stonecutter Saturday, April 12 Nashville Ballet Presents Ferdinand the Bull

Every Sunday! 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm Guided Tours

Saturday, April 19

2:00 pm Drawing Room Concerts

Spring Art Hop - Easter Egg hunts every half hour, art activities, and much more!

featuring

Special Event Rates Apply

Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music

Saturday, April 26 Tennesee Craft Day Full details, including times of programs, listed at cheekwood.org. All Activities (except Spring Art Hop) FREE with paid admission!

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

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Native | April 2014 | Nashville, TN  

Our Green Issue, featuring Nashville's Langhorne Slim, Buffalo Clover, Green Home, Green Door Gourmet, Urban Hydro Project, Brian Owens, Ale...

Native | April 2014 | Nashville, TN  

Our Green Issue, featuring Nashville's Langhorne Slim, Buffalo Clover, Green Home, Green Door Gourmet, Urban Hydro Project, Brian Owens, Ale...

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