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JUNE

2014


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lululemon and native present another monthly travelling yoga class:

Yoga

onTap

&

3PM - 4PM

at 12th and Porter

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RESPECT YOUR ROOTS.

We are an independent record label born and bred in Nashville, TN. We produce no-bullshit homegrown music for everyone.

WE’RE NASHVILLE, DAMMIT.

OUR ARTISTS: BOBBY BARE • PAUL BURCH • BUZZ CASON • CHEETAH CHROME • CHUCK MEAD • THE GHOST WOLVES • JD WILKES & THE DIRTDAUBERS •

THE GHOST WOLVES MAN, WOMAN, BEAST LP/CD/DD

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“PRIMAL, GRUNGY, LO-FI, DISRUPTIVE, EXHILARATING..." - BLURT SEE THEM AT THE BASEMENT JUNE 2ND

PLUS JASON ISBELL, POKEY LAFARGE, AND FRANK BLACK ON A SMOKIN’ EDDY ARNOLD TRIBUTE

VISIT PLOWBOYRECORDS.COM VISI

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JUNE 7: SALSA DANCING PARTY WITH DON Q JUNE 22: NOCHE DE SAN JUAN SUNDAY PARTY WITH MARCELA PINILLA FROM 3-8 COME AND WATCH THE WORLD CUP AND ENJOY CAIPIRIÑA HAPPY HOUR DURING EVERY GAME SALSA DANCING LESSONS EVERY TUESDAY AT 8PM WEEKD HAPPY HOUR WEEKDAYS FROM 3-6PM

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TABLE OF CONTENTS JUNE 2014

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42 30

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THE GOODS 15 16 19 82 85 88 92 94

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

FEATURES

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22 Contributor Spotlight: Will Morgan Holland 30 Weirdos Welcome 42 The Moon Doesn’t Fit in a Box 54 Like Mother, Like Son 66 Rewind to –1979 74 The (Not So) Lonely Island

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COMING SOON: OUR SECOND SEASON VISIT OUR WEBSITE AFTER JUNE 26TH FOR DETAILS 8 / // / / / / / / / / / / / / /////

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DEAR NATIVES,

E

ven though they make things convenient, labels can be a little misleading. Whether it’s new wave, normcore, or nü-metal, slapping tidy definitions on people’s creative endeavors may make for easy categorization, but it also makes for easy marginalization. Once you’re stuck in a genre, it’s almost impossible to branch out in a new direction. Just look at Garth Brooks’ botched attempt at becoming the nowinfamous Chris Gaines (that soul patch, though). Our point: getting placed in a box is shitty, and trying to break out of said box is even shittier. Transitioning to a new artistic plateau almost always creates personal turmoil, and most people don’t survive the transformation. Hell, even David Bowie picked up a nasty coke habit between his Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke years. Luckily, there are a few people here in town that are shedding their former creative skins without falling prey to guyliner or debilitating drug habits. These are folks like Hail, Dark Aesthetics owners JD Tucker and Nina Camp, two people who are trying to show Nashville that oddities aren’t just for the odd. Or Bryce McCloud, who’s trying to show that art isn’t just for people with a taste for Pinot Noir and Camembert. Finally there’s Moon Taxi, a band that’s actively breaking the tie-dyed constraints of their unfairly branded jam band past. Wayne Campbell (the protagonist of Mike Myers’ magnum opus, Wayne’s World) once said, “Was it Dick Van Dyke or Kierkegaard who said, ‘To label me is to negate me?’” We’re not sure who said it either, Wayne, but whoever did was a very wise person. Here’s to hoping nobody’s negating you this month. Cheers,

president, founder:

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

founder, brand director:

DAVE PITTMAN

founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

managing editor: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

editor:

community relations manager:

account manager:

AYLA SITZES

web editor:

TAYLOR RABOIN

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

          writers: photographers:

editorial interns: p.r. interns:

MATTHEW LEFF WILL MORGAN HOLLAND LINDSEY BUTTON JONAH ELLER-ISAACS MATT COLANGELO DAVID GARRIS ARMSTRONG LAUREN ROGERS MELANIE SHELLEY JACOB RYAN DANIELLE ATKINS ISAAC LADD JESSIE HOLLOWAY MELISSA MADISON FULLER ABIGAIL BOBO EMILY B. HALL ELI MCFADDEN JJ JUSTICE

LAUREN ROGERS

founding team:

BEHIND THE COVER For this month's cover story, Jessie Holloway shot Moon Taxi on the roof of the Omni Hotel. Shoutout to Omni Marketing Manager Kellie Keyes for hooking the whole thing up. Everybody had a real cool time!

JOE CLEMONS

COLE BEARDEN EMILY FROST KELSEY HUTCHINSON

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:

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An interview with

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Thhee T


Photo: Melissa Madison Fuller

Brought to you by:

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Yazoo Brewing Companyʼs:

Written by Matthew Lef f of Rhizome Productions

It’s hard to believe that nearly two years ago Yazoo began its mission to Embrace the Funk. Yazoo’s Embrace the Funk program focuses on beers that are made with wild yeasts and souring bacteria to make truly unique and funky beers. While many of Linus Hall’s and Brandon Jones’s beers are small-batch taproom exclusives, Yazoo is making strides toward larger production. In early May, they hosted the second edition of Funk Fest, which showcased several Embrace the Funk beers as well as many other wild and sour beers from around the world. They also released two new bottled variations of their Flanders Red Deux Rouges: Cherry and Grand Cru. This June, Linus and Brandon will release their largest Embrace The Funk batch to date: the 2014 Yazoo

Brett Saison, which will see a larger distribution than any previous ETF offering. A saison (“season” in French) is generally described as a golden-to-amber-colored ale with herbal, spicy, and fruity characteristics. Saisons typically have higher levels of carbonation than most beers. Traditionally, saisons were brewed in the cooler months and allowed to ferment over time, and Brett Saison was brewed back in January to follow this tradition. You likely are asking what is Brett? Some dude who made the beer? Nope. Brett, or Brettanomyces, is a genus of wild yeast that imparts various flavors into beer. Viewed as a threat by some brewers, many traditional Belgian and French beers have used Brettanomyces for hundreds of years to create wild

and rustic flavors. Yazoo has used not one, but four Brettanomyces species and a saison yeast to create their 2014 Brett Rye Saison. These incredible wild yeasts impart complex characters of pineapple, strawberry, pear, and black pepper with a dry tart finish. At around 5.5% ABV, this is a refreshing beer to welcome the summer months. You can expect to see Brett at a few locations around town on draft only, but keep an eye out for a limited run of bottles to be released soon. You will want to keep up with the Embrace the Funk program, as there will be several limited editions of Brett Saison in the coming months. These variations include wine barrel aged versions and Saison Colada, which is aged with coconut, prickly pear, and black tea. Cheers and drink craft beer! # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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HOWLIE, Hawaiian slang for foreigner, is often used to describe tourists mucking up the local surf spots. This tiki drink will transport you straight from 5 Points to a bad sunburn and tacky Ron Jon shirt by your first sip. —Ben Clemons

THE GOODS 1 oz Appleton Estate light rum 1 oz Appleton Estate Reserve rum 3/4 oz grapefruit juice 1/2 oz Fee Brothers orgeat 1/2 oz lime juice 1/2 oz simple syrup Peychaud’s bitters

F Shake ingredients and double strain into freshly iced zombie glass. Top with 5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters and garnish with a mint sprig and grapefruit slice. —Ben Clemons and Brice Hoffman, No. 308

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SHRIMP & GRITS THE GOODS: FOR THE GRITS: 2 cups grits (Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Grits are good) 8 cups spring water (Important: don’t use tap water!) 2 bay leaves Salt (to taste) Hot sauce (to taste) Lemon juice (to taste) Butter (to taste)

DIRECTIONS: F In a large bowl, cover grits with spring water. Soak the grits for at least 6 hours or as long as possible.

F Use a skimmer to remove the hull and chaff from the top of the water. Proceed carefully or it will fall back down into the grits and you’ll have to wait until it rises again. F Pour the grits and the soaking water into a pot with twice the capacity of the grits and water and place over high heat. This is important because as the grits hydrate, they expand. With a rubber spatula, stir like crazy. Stir and keep the grits moving until the water comes to a boil. When it comes to a boil, you will see the starch take hold. The water will go from clear to creamy. F At this point, take the grits off the stove, place a lid on the pot, and allow the grits to relax for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low. After 10 minutes, take the lid off the grits and

place them back on the low heat. Add a couple of fresh bay leaves. F Allow the grits to cook for about an hour, stirring constantly. Taste the grits as they cook, every 15 minutes or so. After an hour you’ll feel a texture change—the grits will be very soft and tender. When the grits are done, remove the bay leaves and add salt, hot sauce, lemon juice, and butter to taste. FOR THE SHRIMP: 1 tsp. ground country ham 2 Tbsp. shrimp broth 5 shrimp, deveined and cut in half 6 mushrooms, quartered

DIRECTIONS: F In a skillet, render ham over mediumhigh heat. F Add broth to the skillet and deglaze. F Add shrimp and mushrooms, cover, and lower heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp have curled into a C shape.*

PREPARED BY TIM MOODY, CHEF DE CUISINE AT HUSK

* FOR MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS, VISIT NATIVE.IS PHOTO BY DANIELLE ATKINS

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JUNE 22 12-7PM

@ SHELBY PARK 20 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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SPONSORED BY


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CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT ON

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Saving by the season. Just as the seasons influence what grows in your garden and how you dress, there’s a predictable, seasonal pattern to sales throughout the year. Be sure to stay on the lookout all year-round to snag these great deals.

September • Now’s the time to grab your pencils, notebooks and fall fashions because September boasts a wide variety of back-to-school shopping sales. • September and October are the months to score big savings on a refrigerator, washer or dryer, as retailers make room for new models by selling their old ones at a discount.

WiNter/December • This is the perfect time to score a new ride as many auto dealers are clearing out old models from their lots in anticipation of new ones. • Be sure to make any donations to your favorite charities before New Year’s Day so you’ll get the most out of your taxes when April rolls around.

SpriNg/march • As temperatures heat up, so do the sales on cold-weather gear such as jackets, gloves and winter sports items. • Oddly enough, March is National Frozen Food Month, so look for special promotions on your favorite frozen foods.

Summer/JuNe Celebrate America by taking advantage of the hundreds of sales promotions that precede the Fourth of July.

OctOber • With nurseries and big-box garden retailers shuttering their garden departments, now’s the time of year to find great deals on trees, shrubs and flowers. • Grills and similar outdoor items usually go on sale during October. And if you live in the South, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy them during the mild fall weather.

JaNuary • From wrapping paper to winter apparel, you can rack up some great finds as stores try to get rid of excess items through post-holiday sales. • Just like auto dealers make room for the new models, furniture retailers start making space in January for the February arrival of new furniture. Expect to save from 20 to 50 percent!

april • For all you DIYers out there, look for wallpaper and paint sales during April. • Take advantage of yummy savings at the grocery store in honor of Easter and Earth Day.

July Just as in January, new furniture arrives in department stores and showrooms in August, so expect bargains in July.

u’re in the market t No matter what yopla Now ge to buy, it pays tove bign ! ahead. out there and sa © 2014 Regions Bank. Information is general in nature and should not be considered financial, legal or tax advice. 28 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / ////// # N AT IVE N ASH VI LLE

For additional articles, calculators and tips, visit regions.com/mygreenguide.

NOvember Two words: Black Friday.

itionally low Gettingd mDearcerimedbe?r Thaned trJaadnuary makesntthis deman in bargain- hunting time to re the perfecfat cilities and shop for dresses. wedding February The influx of the newest digital cameras and other electronics makes February the perfect time to buy the previous year’s styles and models.

Stock up on Valentine’s Day

candy!

may The shoulder season travel opportunities start winding down in May. Be sure to book your flights, hotel or cruise prior to Memorial Day for maximum savings.

auguSt • For fans of waterskiing, now’s the time to start looking for end-of-season sales on gear and equipment. The same goes for swimsuits. • As the warm weather turns brisk, outdoor-related gear, such as patio furniture and swing sets, are marked down as fall merchandise begins to arrive in stores.


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WEIRDOS WELCOME Fetuses, monkey-tail flyswatters, and framed tarantulas: inside the world of Hail, Dark Aesthetics

By Lindsey Button | Photos by Isaac Ladd

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Nina Camp removes the ornate gold frame from the wall and pets the bunny head, feels the burgundy velvet behind it, and allows me to run my fingers over the soft, black fur to see what she means. It’s more delicate than I imagined. She taxidermied it herself in a class that Hail hosted, and she’s clearly proud of her lifelike creation. JD Tucker shows me his most prized possession—a two-headed chick that was actually born that way, one of the very few items that is not for sale at Hail. Their black goat is also not for sale because they claim it’s their “unicorn.” They both admit to being a bit hung over this afternoon, but Nina looks dreamy with her long, light red hair and leggings that are covered with the phases of the moon. When standing beside JD— who also has red hair, though not quite as long as Nina’s, and arms that are covered with polychromatic tattoos—the two of them become the king and queen of their domain. They absorb into their environment until you believe they are just as full of stories from other decades, from other centuries, as the different items they pick up and explain with delight. The store transcends time, and you want to believe that they do too. JD and Nina give me an exclusive tour: antique medical gear, bone saws, human teeth, a monkey-tail flyswatter, a vintage casket key, Shriner and mason things, Ouija boards, shrunken heads (goatskin ones topped with real human hair), vintage condoms, snake skeletons, piles of antlers, a full ram, tiny skulls, ram skulls, framed bats, a framed tarantula, and a beautiful Catholic last rites box, blessed by a priest before the passing of some unnamed person that has been dead for perhaps longer than the three of us have even been alive. JD points out the

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model of a human fetus that they have on display in a bell-shaped jar in the back of the store. It sits on the shelf with the wet specimens, the items that JD claims shock the most customers. I walk up to my instant favorite item— a silver deer head—and ask Nina about it. “This deer was fucked up,” she explains. “It was missing a lot of hair, but the local artist that makes these just covered it in silver leaf, and you’d never know. Now it’s just pretty. But I feel like he needs a glass dome around his head so he can be a space deer.” I agree and we both laugh. I pick up an opium-scented candle and take a whiff—it’s magically sweet, almost floral-like. Nina makes the candles herself and labors to find the vintage glass to pour the wax into. “It’s not worth it to put the candle in something that’s not pretty.” There certainly is no absence of pretty things in this small, narrow room, though it’s an uncommon aesthetic. As the three of us circle the shelves of oddities, I like to imagine that Hail fills a void in our culture, one that recalls a Victorian sentimentality of collecting beautiful clutter, of seeing the beauty in dark things. Nina admits that there is something Victorian about Hail. “I have a penchant for Victorian furniture. I feel like that influences the store a bit in style. It’s a dark, elegant period. I would love my house to look that way, but it’s not like I live in a castle.” And there’s really no need for Nina or JD to live in a castle—Hail, Dark Aesthetics is their tiny castle off of Eastland. Though it’s hard to stop looking at everything, I finally peel my eyes away long enough to ask how they met. They both look at each other and start laughing. Because of the laughter, I’m half-expecting, half-hoping it’s a weird, borderline freaky meet-cute. But instead Nina explains that they met in an ice cream shop where JD used to work. They had a brief


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conversation about wearing the same jected to metal culture at a young age. We Goner Records button. It turned out that have people that come into the store that he played drums in a band with some mu- are older and have been raised in these tual friends. After that, they kept running cloud-nine lives and they’re like, ‘Oh my into each other. I now realize the laughter God, this is so crazy and macabre.’ But to was actually because it was the simplest, me they’re just animals; they’re precious most nonchalant of meetings. “Things and it’s a really fun thing.” JD’s fascination came a little later, only just happened to align appropriately,” Nina says with a smile. They bonded over a couple of years ago in fact. “I got a few being gingers and, of course, being drawn small skulls, then a coyote skull and a to unusual things. “We’re like twins,” JD boar skull and a cow skull, and then the taxidermy came . . .” He admits that his says. “It’s weird.” Their backgrounds, however, are not collecting rapidly spiraled out of control. identical, and they seem to have devel- “You can hold a mink skull in your hand, oped a love for collecting weird stuff in but after a while that’s not doing it for different ways. For Nina, it began with you anymore. You want to hold somelistening to dark music and picking up thing bigger, in both hands.” When JD first started collecting, he bones. “I’ve always had a darker side, even when I was younger. Probably be- made jewelry and bone art. He made cause my dad is a biker and I was sub- Nina a necklace—a locket with small

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bones—and she loved it. So he started to sell his jewelry, and Hail Jewelry became the first draft for what was to someday become the store. “Eventually the collecting aspect got out of hand at home and I realized that if I was going to keep buying crap, I was going have to sell some stuff.” JD, while he does play music, didn’t come to Nashville for music alone. He came because he needed to get out of Houston. Nina felt the same way about Atlanta, her hometown. She ended up in Nashville on a whim. “About nine years ago,” she says, “I came here to visit for a weekend and decided to not go home. It just felt better to me. People here are very supportive of creativity and supporting each other because you have to. You don’t have a choice. If you don’t support


someone, they’re not going to support nated by, the darker side of life. “I defi- man. “There’s such a range of reasons you, and what would any of us do without nitely think the mortality thing plays a people like taxidermy,” Nina says. “The huge role in the appeal of it,” JD says. reason I love it is because I would never each other? Literally, nothing.” They admit that they could have easily “And some people who live more normal in my entire lifetime be inches away from failed without the support of other local lives but are weird inside, this is a way for an antelope. Ever. You can’t do that. A businesses and without taking a chance them to get it out.” He points to the half- boar? You’d probably just get rammed in that other people in Nashville would un- pig that has been split open in order to the face. With this, you just get to look derstand what they were doing. Because observe its internal anatomy and tells me at them, eye to eye, and hang out with there was no place like Hail in town, they about a completely normal-looking law- them.” Hail is quietly located in a slice befelt like they had to do it, that it was a yer who bought it for his wife, a blonde service to the community. In short, they soccer mom. “There’s also a funeral di- tween a vegan restaurant and a Montesdecided, “Let’s be those people and pro- rector that lives two blocks away, and sori school, a huge reason why a vastly vide for the weirdos,” as JD says. And it she’ll walk over here once a week and different array of people make their way turned out there were just enough “weir- usually take everything new. She loves into the store. “It’s interesting to see the people that come here,” JD explains. dos” in Nashville to make their store suc- what we love, and it’s awesome.” From a soccer mom to a funeral di- “The kids are hit or miss—some of them cessful. But Hail draws in more than just weir- rector, there’s no limit to their target love it, some of them are legitimately dos. As Nina and JD have discovered, al- market. The fascination with taxidermy, scared of the animals—and vegans are most everyone has a side of themselves and the more general idea of preserving kind of the same. I’m primarily vegetarthat can relate to, or at least be fasci- life, stems from something innately hu- ian. I eat seafood, but I haven’t had meat

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HAIL, DARK AESTHETICS: Follow on Facebook @Hail,DarkAesthetics or Instagram @HailNashville native.is/Hail 36 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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BEN DIXON: Located at 1907 Broadway lonewolfinc.net native.is/ben-dixon 38 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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meat in eighteen years, and I don’t go hunting. I think some vegans—and not even just vegans but many people—just don’t get it because they think that we’re hunting and killing these animals to sell them. But if someone did bring me an animal that they shot in the face, I would never take it.” They both struggle with the idea that people may think they are condoning animal cruelty or are insensitive to animals. Nina looks up at the animals on the wall, and I can tell that she feels a connection with them. “You have that moral thing behind you, but death is going to happen, and if you’re utilizing it, it’s almost a shrine. You’re essentially paying homage to this animal as it is. I don’t find it to be that morbid, really. Some people probably do. We’ve had a couple of older men that do hunt come into the store, but they don’t really get what we’re doing. Taxidermy, for them, is a trophy, proof of their masculinity. But for us, it’s not like that. For us, it’s just beautiful.” All of the taxidermy pieces in the store are either vintage or were already dead when found. JD and Nina don’t even mind the idea of utilizing road kill. “It’s either going to decompose and disappear,” JD says, “or you can make it into something completely different and keep it around and enjoy it.” Right now, they have a road-kill armadillo that someone brought to them in a rot-box in the backyard, and they are excited to potentially make some art with the bones and shell. While some may find the idea of picking up dead animals off the side of the road just as disturbing as hunting, Nina and JD feel it’s a more humane way to enjoy these creatures when they otherwise would have been absorbed into the earth and forgotten about. And selling vintage taxidermy also allows them to keep their prices down. JD says that sometimes when people tell him his prices are too low—because they are familiar with what it costs to taxidermy animals that they kill themselves—he has to explain frustratedly, “I’m not a hunter. I hunt in a different way: for bargains.” Nina and I laugh when imagining him saying this to


a customer, especially in the sarcastic way he just said it. JD and Nina’s main concern is that they want to remain an affordable oddity shop. JD thinks back to when he worked at the ice cream shop and hopes that someone with that kind of income would be able to buy things in the store as often as the lawyer who bought the half-pig. I get the feeling, however, that their tiny shop won’t hold all of their things for too much longer. They believe, or at least hope, that in the not-so-distant future they’ll have a bigger location. “My dream is to one day just have the place filled, almost like a museum,” JD says. “I want it to be like a Ripley’s sort of thing and have taxidermy and glass displays on the wall with some scenery and things around them. Like a disco deer with a spaceship above it or something. But everything would still be for sale, because that’s our thing: if you want it, you should have it—except for the black goat.” There’s something infinitely imaginative about the two of them. They live for fantastic ideas and get overjoyed when they talk about their last trip to Disney World and the fact that they get to go back in February. They admit to being Disney World freaks, and when I tell them that I’ve been to Disney World thirteen times in my life, we proceed to have a twenty-minute conversation about the appeal of such a place. “There is no outside world when you’re there,” JD simply surmises. The same seems to be true for their store. When you walk in, you’re transported into a very different world, and you forget you’re in a shopping center between a vegan restaurant and a Montessori school. You’re far from Eastland and in a fantasy world outside of time, in a conglomeration of past decades and centuries, where you can walk right up to a peacock and really observe the details of its feathers, or allow yourself to look directly into the face of mortality, into darkness, and see that it’s not so dark after all—that it’s just a part of the human experience.

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WITH THE RELEASE OF THEIR THIRD STUDIO ALBUM, NATIONAL TOUR, AND APPEARANCES ON CONAN AND LETTERMAN, MOON TAXI IS CHARTING NEW TERRITORY—JUST DON’T CALL THEM A JAM BAND BY JONAH ELLER-ISAACS | PHOTOS BY JESSIE HOLLOWAY

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Steppin’ out / Underneath the golden sky. (“Running Wild”) Poolside. The shimmering surface of the water reflects the silently shifting clouds above. A smattering of scantily clad hotel patrons laze in the waning sun. Swallows flit above our heads. Screams of delight ripple up from the streets below, echoing across the parabolic walls of the Music City Center nearby. Is it prom night? Graduation? A bachelorette party? Surrounding us on all sides is Nashville’s gleaming city skyline. It’s quite a bit closer than usual. We’re literally standing on giants: we’re on the roof of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Omni Hotel has graciously invited us to their balcony and pool deck, which sits atop the hallowed hall. Bonus: there is a bar, and the hotel has offered the first round of drinks on the house. Sitting across a wide table from me are the members of Moon Taxi, a local five-piece that defies genres just as the swooping birds above defy gravity. The boys in the band are a sheet of whiskey to the wind. I’ve got my whisky. No e, since it’s from Scotland. Tongues loosened courtesy of Jack Daniels, we begin our conversation. Tell me where you been / Won’t you tell me what you know? (“Morocco”) Moon Taxi is home in Nashville for a spell as they get ready for their upcoming tour. It’s shaping up nicely, with stops at Hangout Fest, Wakarusa, and Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Spencer Thomson, guitarist and lead producer of the band’s most recent release, Mountains Beaches Cities (2013), explains that the tour is a welcome change of pace: “We’re looking forward to the summer . . . We’ll spend most of our weeks here and spend the weekends doing a lot of fly dates and festivals. It’s nice to spend time in Nashville and then mix it up with getting out and going to all the other places in the country.” Moon Taxi’s first few years of existence were spent relentlessly touring, first regionally in the Southeast and then to points farther afield. Mountains reflects that time on the road, with stories of travel and distant lands. The video for “Morocco,” one of the album’s standout tracks, feels like stepping into a three-minute Wes Anderson movie (though it was directed by music and fashion

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photographer Matt Wignall). It’s 1938. A red biplane crashes in the desert. The band is on a train. A passenger is wearing a fez. Though Joshua Tree stands in for the Sahara and the locomotive is miniature, the song’s sense of place is real. Trevor Terndrup, the band’s vocalist/guitarist, explains, “None of us have ever been to Morocco, but the song’s about the notion of traveling to this exotic place and ditching what you know, exchanging it for something that’s completely foreign and exciting.” It’s a ballad of longing, an embrace of the unknown future that the road holds and the pain of a broken heart that can only be cured by leaving home. We found a place / By the riverside. (“River Water”) The desire for a place to call their own brought the members of Moon Taxi to Nashville from various homes around the South, and they’re ecstatic to be here. Tommy Putnam, the band’s red-bearded bassist, explains that Music City is “geographically, a good location to be a touring band. You can get to Dallas thirteen hours one way, DC thirteen hours the other way. That’s a lot of different places in between, and as a growing band, you can really do a little bit of touring all over the place and not really dig into your pocketbook too much.” Of course, becoming an established act in Nashville isn’t the easiest of endeavors. Tommy adds, “There’s a healthy community of musicians and competition. If you can really do well here in Nashville and conquer this, you can kinda do anything.” When I ask Trevor what he’s most looking forward to in the coming year for the band, he articulates the value of time at home. “We’re always writing, looking forward to the next record and what that entails, which is a big tour,” Trevor tells me. “We’re always on tour, but sometimes we get in a habit of playing the material over and over again, and we never have a chance to write. So we actually have some time home to enjoy Nashville and to write—that’s what I’m looking forward to.” Five years passed between Moon Taxi’s first studio album, Melodica, and their sophomore effort, Cabaret (2012). Reading up on the band, I was surprised to find that in that time, the group developed a reputation as a


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Tyler Ritter, Moon Taxi’s drummer, jam band—a label that, like “indie” or “pop,” is somewhat meaningless. It garners laughs and assenting nods not only speaks to the band’s stellar from the band when he tells me about live shows and impressive technical their initial reaction: “It was confusmusicianship, but also to their cha- ing at first, because it was like they meleon-like musical qualities. Some were making fun of us for knowing might call the music of Moon Taxi how to play our instruments. It never “indie progressive,” but that doesn’t hurt us so much as it made us say, do justice to their range and talents. ‘What are they talking about?’” Still, I cautiously ask the boys about the it’s not a label that the band relishes. jam band label. “You motherfucker!” Trevor says, “In particular some peo“Throw him into the pool!” are among ple take certain joy in, at every turn, their responses (I ask if I can take my trying to embarrass us or put that phone out of my pocket first—the label on us in a demeaning way. But hot tub actually looks super invit- really it hasn’t mattered. At all. We ing). Tommy points out, “Our music don’t give a shit what they say.” Wes is very diverse. Some of the songs are Bailey, keyboardist and the assistant harder and some are softer. Some are producer of Mountains Beaches Cities, a little bit acoustic based, some are explains how their constant touring more dancey . . . The writers and crit- and focus on live performances led ics—I’m not sayin’ you—and even to the labeling: “We kind of earned it label people are like, ‘We don’t know for a little while, I think. There was a good period of time there before what to call this.’”

MOON TAXI: ridethemoontaxi.com Follow on Facebook and Twitter @MoonTaxi or Instagram @moon_taxi native.is/moon-taxi 46 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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we released Cabaret that was very live music. It wasn’t cohesive. It wasn’t as focused on songwriting . . . When a band doesn’t release studio records and you’re playing a lot of shows, and you get tagged on with bands that are kind of like that as well . . . it can garner that label. But it’s like Trevor said: we don’t really give a shit.” To paraphrase their song “Struck Me Down,” now the band is trying to end what they never started. Moon Taxi has turned toward a greater focus on songwriting and album construction, and though their live shows still pack a punch, the craft of their music has evolved. As Trevor explains, “We had a point that was like a crossroads in our career, where we started to rethink our writing process, not for the live scenario, but for the studio. And that affected the live show in a positive way.” Spencer also


“IT WAS LIKE THEY WERE MAKING FUN OF US FOR KNOWING HOW TO PLAY OUR INSTRUMENTS.”

chimes in about the shift: “We wanted to have really great records. One negative thing that comes with the jam band term is nobody thinks, jam band, wow, great studio records. You know? They think, live show. They usually have never even heard the studio records.”

Late at night / Can’t close my eyes (“Beaches”) Moon Taxi’s rebranding from a livefocused band to a song-focused one has brought them great acclaim, and Mountains Beaches Cities received stellar reviews upon its release. Es-

quire said that the band was “exploring, or rather, evolving: becoming a little less jammy, a little more pop, but more ambitious and still founded in their Southern roots.” The positive reception has led to increased interest, and last year they made their network television debut on Late Night with David Letterman. Trevor calls the performance “a total milestone,” and adds, “It was a surreal experience, and something that I never thought we would do. I just thought that it was something outside the range of what this band was capable of. Not to demean the band whatsoever, but I just didn’t think that.” A few bandmates admit to feeling a little lost as they popped their television cherry, though they pulled through with aplomb. Wes recounts the experience: “At Letterman, right before we played, we didn’t know

what to expect. The band’s playing. They’re really loud. You don’t really see Letterman. He’s kinda in the darkness. So we just didn’t know. We’re an on-cue kinda band. We didn’t know what was happening when we were playing or anything.” Tommy recalls, “I’m looking over at him [Letterman], and he’s getting makeup put on his face and he just kinda nods at me and I nod back at him. Then he came up to shake our hands afterward, and he’s going toward Trevor, and Trevor’s like, ‘Holy shit, he’s huge.’ He’s like six and a half feet tall. He looks at me, he looks at Trevor, he looks at me, and then he goes to Wes and shakes his hand!” Trevor gleefully adds, “We had a handshake debacle!” and suggests that they write a guidebook for first-timers playing Late Night. Awkward handshakes with

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gargantuan TV hosts aside, the experience served them well when they returned to television with a performance on Conan. Wes recalls, “Right before we played Conan, Conan walked up to Trevor . . . He actually heard our soundcheck and loved it and was raving about it to the crew. That was the biggest relief to have his two thumbs up right before we played. So we have this ultimate boost in confidence and energy, and that made all the difference in that performance.”

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Take me under your wing / ’Til I can fly again on my own (“Young Journey”) As day fades to evening and the lights of Nashville’s glittering skyline start to pierce the dusk, I ask the members of Moon Taxi to tell me about each of their musical influences and how their roots come together to shape the band’s sound. Given the range and breadth of genres their music encompasses, I’m curious to hear how they found their way, and the band's answers are as broad as their style. Tommy

learned bass by playing along to Rage Against the Machine’s first album. Tyler tells me that although he spent his formative years as a math-rock-loving metalhead, he eventually started raiding his parents’ record collection and fell in love with The Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan, and progressive rock acts from the ’70s like Genesis and perennial rhythm section favorite Rush. Spencer says The Beatles were first and foremost in his mind as he worked on the production of


Mountains Beaches Cities. In particular, The Fab Four gave him a shared vocabulary that allowed him to communicate effectively with engineers: “The best language you could have is Beatles references. Like whenever we’re mixing our record, we only talk in Beatles, right? I want the acoustic guitars to sound like ‘Across the Universe.’ Or the drums to sounds like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’ It’s like the bible of pop music.” Wes names Steely Dan as a potent source of inspiration; in particular, he loves them for their arrangement skills. “A lot of what they did was just a basic song, and then they had these amazing musicians come in and help arrange them. I think that’s honestly what a lot of us do with our songs,” he points out. “We’ll have a little bit of an idea, bring it to the group, and then the talent of everybody else comes into play there . . . That’s why it’s hard to distinguish what our genre is, because it’s so reliant on each other’s very diverse influences. That’s kind of our cliché, go-to answer, but it’s really true.” Rage Against The Machine. Steely Dan. The Beatles. Rush. It’s quite a mix, a potent musical stew, and Moon Taxi manages to bring it all to a boil like a skilled chef laboring over the perfect pot of gumbo. It’s no surprise, then, that their music is difficult to categorize. It would be simple to call Moon Taxi a jam band, given the band’s unrelenting touring coupled with a long break between albums and their synthesis of indie, folk, alternative, progressive (and more). Spencer knows that labeling is “easy . . . and not just in music. Everybody likes to find boxes to put things in.” But, he adds, “at the end of the day, either it sounds good or it doesn’t.” At the end of this lovely spring day, sipping the last dregs of our whiskey (or whisky) and watching the lights go down on the city, Moon Taxi sounds awfully good.

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THE FOUNDERS OF JAMAICAWAY ARE ON A MISSION TO FEED YOU—ESPECIALLY IF YOUR NAME IS RIHANNA, DRAKE, OR GUY FIERI

BY MATT COLANGELO | PHOTOS BY MELISSA MADISON FULLER

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Kamal Kalokoh and Ouida Bradshaw are the mother-and-son team behind Jamaicaway, the popular Jamaican restaurant located inside the Nashville Farmers’ Market. On a superficial level, the name of the restaurant implies that their food is cooked in the “Jamaican way,” with Jamaican ingredients, marinades, and seasonings. Which it is. But hidden in the name is also a reference to the place where Ouida and Kamal grew up: Boston. Jamaicaway is a street in Jamaica Plain, a historic streetcar suburb about five miles southwest of downtown Boston. It curves along the eastern shore of Jamaica Pond and magically becomes Pond Street after passing the Jamaica Pond Boat House. The reason there are so many “Jamaicas” in this part of Boston has nothing to do with all the Jamaicans living there. According to the local historical society, the name dates back to 1677 and is most likely a reference to the leader of the Native American “Massachusett” tribe, a man who went by the name of Kuchamakin. Chamakin . . . Jamaica . . . you get it. Before moving to Nashville and starting the Jamaicaway restaurant, the Bradshaw family lived near Jamaicaway. Ouida moved there from the island of Jamaica in 1968, at the age of twelve, along with her parents and nine siblings. She and her family joined a large contingent of fellow immigrants who probably liked the idea of moving from one Jamaica to another. (There are currently about 28,000 people with Jamaican ancestry in this part of Boston, enough to support fifteen different Jamaican restaurants and several direct flights to the island.) Coming of age in this large immigrant community, Ouida learned not only how to cook Jamaican food, but how to feed hundreds of people at a time—lessons that would prove useful in the

restaurant business. Before she became a professional feeder, though, she was a professional teacher. After getting her education degree from Fitchburg State University, twenty-two-year-old Ouida became an elementary school teacher in Boston, teaching fourth and fifth grade for the next twenty-one years. During this second chapter of her life, she continued cooking and even infused cooking into her teaching. Ouida’s style of teaching was what you might call food-centric. She didn’t motivate her students with a love of learning; rather, she motivated them with a promise of food. “I would set all these criteria for them: perfect attendance, good behavior, completing your homework, being respectful in class. The students who performed well would be invited to a luncheon at the end of the month.” On that day, Ouida would turn her classroom into a restaurant and cook whatever type of food the good-egg students wanted—Italian, Mexican, Jamaican. “It was a very positive thing for them.” Six years into her teaching career, during the summer of 1984, Ouida gave birth to Kamal Kalokoh—her son and future business partner. Ouida raised Kamal in the same Caribbean immigrant community that she was raised in twenty years earlier. That meant he grew up around his many Jamaican relatives, family friends, and a festive, community-centric Jamaican culture. In Jamaican culture, food is the glue that holds everything together, the centerpiece of an inclusive, mixed-race, communal way of life. It’s no surprise then that food is central to Ouida’s and Kamal’s most vivid memories of Boston. When talking about their life up north, Ouida and Kamal both mention the holiday get-togethers that they used to host. Ouida explains how the dinner was served: “We al-

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ways did buffet-style dinners. Three tables full of food.” Kamal describes how many people were there: “My mom was one of ten siblings, and each one of her siblings had at least two or three kids. There were about sixty people there.” Ouida not only had to prepare a lot of food for her family, but she had to prepare a lot of different kinds of food. She describes making Jamaican standards like curry goat and ackee and saltfish (Jamaica’s national dish), as well as a table of vegetarian options for her strict Ital relatives. (The Ital diet is a Rastafarian version of a kosher, low-sodium, vegetarian diet— part Christian, part Hindu.) Feeding sixty-plus people with such different tastes and dietary restrictions was a feat, especially without a professional kitchen. But then again, preparing a variety of food for a large number of people is a fact of life in Jamaica. For starters, Jamaican cuisine is one of the world’s most diverse. Centuries of colonial trade and conquest brought to the island a smorgasbord of ingredients and cooking techniques from around the world. You get curry dishes from India, salted cod (or “saltfish”)

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from Europe, meat patties from England, and many fruits and vegetables (such as ackee) from West Africa. Though most dishes are built upon the five mother ingredients of onion, scallion, garlic, thyme, and pimiento, Jamaican cuisine incorporates meats, grains, and fish that are definitely not native to the island. It is a flexible cuisine that reflects Jamaica’s difficult colonial past and offers many options to picky eaters. Which is great if you’re planning to start a Jamaican restaurant. But until she moved to Nashville in 1999, Ouida wasn’t even planning to cook for a living. That year, she quit her teaching job, packed up her things, and moved to Nashville with her husband, David, and Kamal. David was transferring to Deloitte and Touche’s Nashville office, and Kamal was, well, in the middle of high school. He wasn’t initially a fan of the move. “I would’ve rather been dodging bullets in Boston than living in Nashville,” he says with surprisingly little hyperbole. Ouida puts it more plainly: “He hated it.” With more free time on her hands and no more students to bribe, Ouida decided to pursue cooking professionally. She opened up a


catering company called Great Taste Catering and decked out her big Nashville kitchen with fancy equipment: “I got everything Viking: the hood, the huge stove, grill, warming cabinets, trash compactor, wine cellar.” She didn’t spare a penny outfitting her new office, and it paid off. Her kitchen could cook just about anything, even something Kamal had up his sleeve. Kamal jumps into the conversation now and tells me about his first real cooking experience. He was fifteen years old, his first year in Nashville. Cinnabon had just opened a Nashville location and, of course, as fifteen-year-olds, Kamal and his friends had to try it out. He went with his best friend at the time, Danny, and was not particularly impressed: “I thought, I can do this myself.” So he and Danny went back to Ouida’s kitchen, printed out Cinnabon’s recipe, baked a batch of rolls, and sold them at school the next day. They weren’t perfect, but they were good enough for hungry high school students: “The dough didn’t rise, but they tasted fine.” Kamal’s first time cooking was a mild success. But Kamal wasn’t living in Nashville when his mom turned her catering business into a brickand-mortar restaurant and called it Jamaicaway.

It was 2003, and Kamal was back in Massachusetts attending his mother’s alma mater, Fitchburg State University. There was no immediate need to come back and help out. The restaurant was new and, like many new restaurants, struggling to stay afloat. After a decent opening week, business died down. Ouida tells me in a hushed voice how bad it was: “For the first three years, I did not get paid.” When asked when her business finally started to pick up, she says without hesitation, “October 2010.” October 2010 is when Jamaicaway was featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (you know, the show where Guy Fieri drives around the country getting an aneurysm). A couple weeks after the show aired, lines started forming and profits started spiking. Like him or not, Guy Fieri, a.k.a. the Hungry Hair Gel, a.k.a. the Golden Goatee, made Jamaicaway into the popular food destination that it is today. If you watch the clip of Guy Fieri at Jamaicaway, you’ll see a fresh-faced Kamal in the kitchen, serving curry goat to an understandably salivating customer. That’s because Kamal came back to Nashville in 2010 after spending five prodigal years in Miami attending Johnson

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“‘MUMMY, & Wales University and not quite making enough money to live in Miami. He came back to Nashville because he wanted to cook. He took what he learned at culinary school in Miami and applied it to his mother’s kitchen at Jamaicaway. It didn’t take him long to get settled there; he knew the recipes from watching his mother cook them at home. But still, something was missing for him. He wanted to make a name for himself. He wanted to do his own thing. Kamal’s opportunity to chart his own path came in the winter of 2012. He was working in the kitchen at Jamaicaway, serving curry goat and meat patties, when he heard that the rapper Drake was in town. Something came over him. “I put rice and peas, plantains, and chicken on a plate. It was busy as hell, but I was like, ‘Mummy, I’ll be right back, I gotta go feed Drake.’” Ouida didn’t recognize this fellow’s name and responded as any supportive mother would, “Who’s Drake?” Kamal explained everything as best he could. “Don’t worry, don’t worry—I gotta feed him real quick.” He rushed out of the restaurant, plate o’ chicken in hand, to feed Drake. To say that it took Kamal longer than “real quick” to find Drake would be an understatement. His pursuit of the rapper around town was more akin to stalking than searching. He started with the MLK Magnet High School, where Drake was spotted in the morning. No luck. “The kids were all outside, frantic, like, ‘Yo, we just met him, he talked to us.’” Kamal asked them where he had gone, and they didn’t know anything except that he had driven off in a big red bus. Kamal the detective got his first clue. With his mother holding down the fort at Jamaicaway, Kamal drove around town in search of a big red bus. He drove around Germantown. Nothing. He drove to Midtown. No bus. Then he drove downtown and miraculously saw the bus outside of the Union Station Hotel. A couple hours had passed. He went inside the hotel to see if Drake was there, to no avail. So he kept searching: “I drove down Broadway looking for him. Something told me to park my car in front of the Bridgestone Arena, so I did that and walked into the arena.” Drake was playing a concert later that night, so the odds of him being there were high. “I walked backstage all the way down the stairs, past some local Bridgestone workers, past the people setting up the rig, and caught Drake walking out of a door.” This was his chance. “Yo, Drake, here’s some really good food from Jamaicaway down the street.” Kamal shoved the plate of food in front of him. His nerves were through

the roof. Drake’s, on the other hand, were not. He reacted as if this were all planned. According to Kamal: “Dude just started eating right in front of me.” Drake thanked him and invited him into the hospitality room, where everyone in the room eyed his food. “All his boys were looking at his food saying, ‘Where’d you get that?’” Kamal took one look at the untouched catering food and told them he could “feed them all right now.” They gave him fifteen nods of approval, so he raced back to Jamaicaway and returned with a car-full of free food. After catering Drake’s next show in Columbus, Ohio, the rapper’s manager called and gave Kamal the news: “You’re Drake’s tour chef.” From January 2012 to the middle of the summer, Kamal traveled around America and Europe with Drake on his Club Paradise Tour, the highest-grossing hip-hop tour of the year. Every night, he made the same Jamaican food that he grew up eating and later began serving at Jamaicaway. Every night, all the food was eaten. By the end of the tour, Kamal had cooked for Richard Branson, Kanye West, Quincy Jones, and the entire Manchester City soccer team. His reputation as a tour chef preceded him. In September 2012, just a couple months after Drake’s tour ended, Kamal was asked to be Rihanna’s personal in-house chef. This too was a result of Kamal’s pluck and luck. He had sent a five-paragraph email to Rihanna’s management at Roc Nation, introducing himself and asking to be her tour chef. They replied curtly: “Thank you. We have a tour chef.” Refusing to give up, Kamal contacted Rihanna’s tour manager, who didn’t offer any promises and admitted his preference for bigger catering companies. But two weeks later he called Kamal and said, “Look, come to Vegas and cook for her. If she likes your food, you’ll be her caterer.” She ended up liking his food, and he ended up being her personal chef from September 2012 to March 2013. When Kamal returned to Nashville in the spring of 2013, he and his mother were already making plans to expand the Jamaicaway empire. Like Ouida did ten years earlier, he decided to turn his personal catering business, Riddim N’ Spice, into a brick-andmortar establishment. He wrote the business plan, found the space, and just recently bought a food truck so he can launch the concept before the res-

I’LL BE

RIGHT BACK,

I GOTTA GO FEED DRAKE.’”

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JAMAICAWAY, RIDDIM N’ SPICE, AND TOPANARIS: jamaicaway.com, riddimnspice.com, or on Facebook @TopanarisbyJamaicaway native.is/jamaica-way

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taurant opens (in fall 2014). Ouida opened a raw, vegan, Italfriendly restaurant called Topanaris this past January. It’s basically a more organic version of Jamaicaway: “At Jamaicaway, it’s all natural; at Topanaris, it has to say free range, no GMO.” These restaurants, along with a new Jamaicaway location in Cool Springs, represent the next steps in the Kalokoh-Bradshaw family business. Though they’re cooking the same kind of food, mother and son are preparing it in very different ways. Kamal’s new restaurant will serve slow-cooked fast food (think Chipotle or Qdoba). He sees it primarily as a quick-fix, late-night spot, which there aren’t very many of in Nashville. Ouida’s Topanaris, on the other hand, features next-to-no-cooked slow food. It’s a quieter, sit-down restaurant where you can spend time eating your food and talking to your friends. The fact that Nashville can support three different kinds of Jamaican restaurants, without a large Jamaican population, speaks to the growing food culture here. The city is changing and developing a taste for different kinds of food. Before Jamaicaway, there were one or two Jamaican restaurants in town, and none of them survived. Now there are three Jamaican restaurants, and they’re all surviving. For Kamal and Ouida, this expansion doesn’t represent a change in their long-term goals. They still have a deep-seated desire to feed people and build a community around food. Unlike the slick, millionaire restaurateur types that we see in New York City and Vegas, Kamal and Ouida aren’t driven by money and fame; they want to share their food with people and make them happy. Whether it’s transplanted Jamaicans, overzealous Food Network hosts, or Grammy Award–winning hip-hop sensations, that’s been their life’s mission from the start.

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REWIND TO 1979 IF YOU’RE SICK OF GARAGEBAND, CHRIS AND YOLI MARA WANT TO BRING YOU BACK IN TIME TO THE ROOTS OF RECORDING AT WELCOME TO 1979 STUDIOS, WHERE EVERYONE TRACKS TO TAPE AND WORDS LIKE “AUTO-TUNE” ARE SIMPLY UNHEARD OF

BY DAVID GARRIS ARMSTRONG PHOTOS BY ABIGAIL BOBO

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I’M STANDING IN THE LARGEST LIVE TRACKING ROOM AT WELCOME TO 1979 STUDIOS, surveying a rectangular space covered with slanted panels of rough-cut, shellacked wood that remind me of a rustic mountain cabin. I’m in the beginning stages of a quick tour with Yoli Mara, the wife and business partner of the owner and founder, Chris Mara. She motions me to follow her and says, “This place started as a record pressing plant in 1954. The walls are original to the building.” I’m spellbound by how natural the place feels. We walk through a hallway lined with various keyboards, organs, and electric pianos and stop to peek into one of the rooms they use for vocals and guitars. In the corner, I see a torso-up statue of C-3PO with a sombrero perched on his head. Upstairs, we step into a small lounge with couches and a side table covered with safe-sex pamphlets left behind by an art show the Maras recently hosted. Yoli gestures toward the couches, “We call this the makeout room.” Laughing, we step into the control room. Dimly lit and filled with a quiet hum, the place feels more like a sanctuary than a studio. Rows of outboard effects

gear stand at the ready, lights flickering. Behind me stands an MCI 428 console built in 1978. Facing the board is a wide couch flanked by two comfy chairs—yard sale and thrift store finds. Behind the furniture stands a 1973 Honda CB450 motorcycle. Tape reels from current and former projects are lined up above and below a wide collection of vinyl records on a shelf to my left. Those tape reels are the heartbeat of Chris’s business. If you’re tracking at 1979, you’re not tracking to a hard drive—you’re tracking to tape. This detail turns out to be the tip of a deep iceberg for the Maras. Over the course of six years, Chris and Yoli have taken the building from an empty shell of a record pressing plant to a fully enabled recording studio with a tape machine restoration business and Neumann VMS-70 vinyl cutting lathe. They’ve sold tape machines as far out as Greece and to musical greats such as Ryan Adams and Pete Townshend. They’ve tracked five artists back to back live to vinyl—a recording feat that ought to be submitted to some part of the Guinness book of world records—and they’ve made a lot of great records for great people. All while raising their two kids, Max and Madeline.

“ I WANTED TO CREATE A PLACE . . . THAT HAD A COOL FEEL TO IT— WHERE ALL THE SHIT WORKED— AND PEOPLE COULD AFFORD IT.”

After the tour, we settle into the control room and discuss their history. A softspoken couple from Northern Wisconsin, Chris and Yoli are just the right mixture of friendly, professional, and humorous. They met when Chris was in college and Yoli was in high school. With a sly grin on his face, Chris remarks, “I was that guy.” When I point out how good the room feels, he is happy to reveal the reason behind it. “We’re just here to make music. Studios are designed to be impressive, and what happens inadvertently is they become intimidating . . . We take it seriously, but we’ve got to have some fun too.” Chris moved to Nashville in 1995, and Yoli followed three years later after completing college. As an engineer, Chris cut his teeth in the commercial country scene but is quick to label this line of work as a “soul-sucking” experience. On the weekends he was tracking rock bands to keep his passion alive. These sessions were the seeds for 1979. Chris dreamt of a studio that would

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align his personal tastes with his every- he threw his truck in as well. “I went to day line of work. “I wanted to create a the bank, got a loan on the truck title for place that was big, that had a cool feel to four grand, bought a console that didn’t it—where all the shit worked—and peo- work—knowing it didn’t work—reple could afford it. People that I want to stored it myself, bought mic stands, mic cables, and then eight microphones.” work with.” Dreaming and doing are two differ- On the first few projects, he discounted ent things, but as Chris discovered the his rate in exchange for manual labor. future he wanted, he didn’t waste any Before the Mara tape machine business time in pursuing it. He leans back casu- came together, he rented out his shop in ally into the couch and recounts, “About the studio to a friend in the industry in eight years ago, I called a couple of dif- exchange for help wiring the building. It ferent places for quotes on a Pro-Tools all came together slowly, with a healthy rig, and it was forty grand!” That was mix of risk and good fortune. Looking near the end of a chapter in recording around the room, Chris notes with a history. The digital revolution had suc- sense of humility, “There’s luck . . . huge cessfully carried audio out of its physi- amounts of luck in how awesome this cal roots—vinyl and tape—and into the place sounds. I’ll take no credit for that. new wave of ones and zeros. Pro-Tools It just sounds really good.” As we’re sifting through the beginsoftware had become an established piece of most professional rigs. Instead ning years of the studio, Yoli points out of going with the flow, Chris looked up- that this was all happening while Max was one and a half and Madeline was stream. “You know, I don’t want to spend that on the way. There is a hint of motherly much money to be just like everyone pride in her voice as she leans forward else. So I thought, why don’t I take that to say, “We had our second child about money and put it into some square footage a week after the grand opening party.” that no one else has? At the time I had a Laughing, she and Chris share a look two-inch tape machine, but I thought, that brings up a deep well of history. “It came to a head about year three.” what I don’t have will be what I have. I’ll just do what I can do with a console, tape He looks appreciatively over at his wife, machine, and some square footage. It took who has obviously made a lot of sacrime about a year and a half to find this fices to help this place get on its feet. “We needed a lifestyle change.” Chris place.” Taking a leap of faith, Chris threw and Yoli had polar opposite schedules, himself wholeheartedly into bringing the kids were in daycare for a handsome his dream to life. And for good measure, sum of monthly income, and while 1979 was up and running, it wasn’t necessarily meeting the needs that Chris wanted it to. Chris folds his hands and says bluntly, “We asked, ‘Who are we working for?’ So we got kind of hippie. She quit her job, we sold two cars and bought a cheaper car. I walked to work a lot—I live in Sylvan Park not far from the studio. So we thought year three we were going to make a lot less money, but we would be happier . . .” Chris pauses, then lifts his hands with a sense of amazement, “and then we made even more money!” Chris smiles as Yoli explains, “I quit when the kids were very small. At nap time I would sit and do invoices.” We

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chuckle at this, and I can see how much relief has come in the past three years with Yoli stepping in to help with the business. “It was definitely an adjustment, but last year we sent Max off to school, so I’m in the building a lot more, and a lot more is getting done.” Chris brags, “And now, Yoli even runs the business for the Mara restorations. She knows the difference between the machines, handles the shipping, etc. . . . She’s the reason we’re where we are.” There’s a brief moment between Yoli and Chris here. It’s in their body language. The studio is clearly not the only thing that has reached a seemingly natural, harmonious flow. It’s in this moment that I start to develop an understanding for what it is I’ve been feeling since I arrived to Chris and Yoli’s studio. It’s not the room, it’s them. It’s what they bring to the room. They’ve poured so much time and energy and love into this place, and though I can tell that it wasn’t easy, the end result evokes a sense of ease. And while I don’t intend to wax poetic on the power of recording to tape, let’s just say that it can bring the same kind of synchronicity I see in Chris and Yoli’s relationship to the records artists make if they are looking for it—and there are a lot of musicians who have come to 1979 for that very reason. “The more people get sick of technology, the busier we get,” Chris says. “I’m shocked at how many people outside of the industry know what autotune is and that it carries a negative connotation. I was out at a party and someone asked me, ‘Oh, you have a studio? Do you use auto-tune?’” He answers flatly, “No.” If you were to ask Chris any question in that vein, you would get the same answer. Even when allotting time for sessions, he prefers to spend more time tracking and less time mixing. He explains, “If everybody’s tight, if the band is playing well in a room together, and if that sounds right, then

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WELCOME TO 1979: welcometo1979.com Follow on Facebook or Twitter @Welcometo1979 native.is/welcome-to-1979

mixing will be a breeze.” Chris is a man who just doesn’t care for bells and whistles. He looks for the way things sound before they hit the microphones, and he attracts people with a similar ethos: “The bands we record have vintage guitars, they have vintage amps, they play vintage drums. It only makes sense that they’re going to record with somebody that has the same love for that stuff. When bands pull up in their van and trailer, they walk in and see what we do here. They see themselves in that.” This love for doing it right the first time around even falls into the cost of booking a session at 1979. Chris doesn’t just run through the motions with his clients: “We work for a lot of our friends, or the people we work with become our friends, and

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everyone pays the same rate.” We wrap up and the Maras accompany me to the door. A sense of mourning comes over me as I realize I have to leave this beautiful building and carry on with my day. I walk out feeling like I have encountered two people who understand what’s behind the curtains of a great record: discipline, happiness, and an acute awareness of the human element that brings us all together—an element that doesn’t include GarageBand and iPhone demos. Speaking from the perspective of an artist with a degree in audio engineering, Welcome to 1979 is a studio where you can walk out with everything you wanted and more. By “more,” I mean the friendship and care of two professionals who know what a song needs and are prepared to give you exactly that.


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THE

(NOT

SO)

LONELY ISLAND

WHETHER YOU’RE ON DEATH ROW, IN A NURSING HOME, STILL IN SCHOOL, OR AT THE LIBRARY, YOUR SELF-PORTRAIT IS ESSENTIAL TO BRYCE McCLOUD’S TOWN BY LAUREN ROGERS | PHOTOS BY EMILY B. HALL

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“WE’RE I ASSUMED THE ISLE OF PRINTING WOULD BE HIGH ON A HILL OVERLOOKING THE CITY, with glass walls, multiple record players emitting Bon Iver, and artists painting on large white canvases. Driving farther into downtown, however, I realize this “isle” is anything but isolated. Turning off of Lafayette Street onto Ewing Avenue, I see Isle of Printing in a series of shops off the beaten path. Following the voice of Michael Jackson and the sound of woodworking, I walk through the large open door of Isle of Printing to see a bedlam of paper and wood. Bryce McCloud, the owner of this island of misfit toys, gives me a tour around the studio, where we explore the various machines that span over a hundred years. Gorgeous antiques like the Vandercook letterpress, which was made in the 1960s, the beautiful 1890s Pearl, and the 1919 Diamond whirl and spin to create Bryce’s work. While he shows me how the Vandercook swivels and rolls to make prints, I see Jack White’s name printed small on the rolled postcards. Some of the machines belonged to Bryce’s uncle, who was a historian specializing in industrial technology and even did a fellowship at the Smithsonian. Bryce notes, “When you touch these things, I know that they will outlive me and maybe my kids or your kids. Someone else is going to pick that up and continue to do something with that history.” The Pearl uses a pedal while the 1940s

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TRYING

Kluge press uses an electric motor, but after hearing him it’s the laser cutter that takes Bryce’s talk about the instudio into the new millennium. With a teractive art corner, Star Wars droid-like precision, the laser I know this section cutter uploads files of art from a com- is going to be my faputer and uses heat to perfectly outline vorite part. In the past, and cut the design into wood. Bryce was turns on the machine and lays down a printmaking piece of wood, and we watch it cut out seen as a lesser art a perfect triangle. I put the piece of cut form, but today it’s wood in my bag as Bryce says, “What respected in the we’re looking at is 500 years of progress high art world. No to get those machines there. I think peo- longer only a terriple make things in a different way now.” tory for the “nerds,” While machines in the past were made printmaking is now to last 100 years, now engineers make drawing young peoproducts as cheaply and efficiently as ple who are passionpossible. Bryce loves all his machines ate about using these antique machines. equally, but the timelessness of the let- Bryce even predicts a “Second Renaissance” for printmakers. Like him, there terpress continues to fascinate him. Bryce is every parent of an art major’s are other artists out there who have a dream—not only is he doing what he “burning desire to make things.” Inspired by his uncle, Bryce did a lot loves creatively, but he’s also paying the light bill with his art. If you’ve seen the of printmaking in college because, ironicolorful cans at Pinewood Social, whim- cally, he thought he would never have sical menus at Barista Parlour, Great access to those tools again. A native Gatsby wooden cover at Third Man Re- of Nashville, he moved back to Music cords, or eaten an Olive and Sinclair City with an art degree after four years chocolate bar, you’ve not only seen but at Bradley University. He waited tables also interacted with Bryce’s handiwork. at Hard Rock Café, but he would stroll Now he’s preparing his newly located down to Hatch Show Print before work studio for its grand opening as a shop/ to hang with fellow printmakers. “In a art gallery/workspace later this summer. lot of the world, the idea of hand making Despite the careful chaos of the present posters was kind of a ‘What? Why would state of his studio, I can see Bryce’s vi- you do that?’ But in Nashville, because sion as we walk around the warehouse. Hatch has always been here, it wasn’t He only hints at what’s to come, but even a question.” He eventually joined Hatch Show Print for a spell, learning the trade with Jim Sherraden and company. Bryce’s perception of art supersedes his artistic background and education. Whether it’s a flyer for a show or a coffee menu, he believes that worthwhile art can be found in most anything. These days he goes beyond posters and into artwork and design for musicians, even working with his crew around the clock for

TO PUSH

OURSELVES AND THE MEDIUM

FORWARD.”


six weeks to laser cut the wooden sleeves for Third Man’s Great Gatsby album. Bryce reflects, “If you need something unique and hopefully possible, but maybe hasn’t been attempted before, those are the projects I love working on with people. We’re trying to push ourselves and the medium forward.” He shows me a beautiful laser-cut print for a box set that was originally hand cut, and we talk about the many sophisticated craftsmen he’s worked with over the years. “[Craftsman] is kinda the buzzword right now, but I think people really appreciate quality goods.” Bryce’s craft is influenced in part from his position as an independent owner. “The fact that I can have a laser cutter at all, and the name of my company isn’t IBM or Google—it’s gonna revolutionize the world because now you can have a really good idea and have something complicated made in-house without the costly setup.” We walk into the store area and he shows me some very Pinterest-worthy products: a notebook cover with a flexible wooden hinge and multiple Nashville guidebooks written by local authors and illustrators. “It’s a different way to think about the city. I think it’s important that with all this change we document these things and share the less commercial aspects of the city.” By partnering up with other businesses as well as creating his own products, Bryce hopes to make “a revolving gallery of wonderful things.” Although it will be a few months before the shop officially opens, customers are always welcome to visit and buy things now. After nearly twenty years of printmaking in Nashville, Bryce has a lot of companies knocking on his door. “So many cool people, and I don’t just mean in the sense of ‘cool cool’ people, but interesting people. There are so many interesting people in this world, and I feel so blessed that I’m able to collaborate creatively with people.” Let me point out that Bryce is very cool—but what makes him beyond “cool cool” is his equal appreciation for clients like Jack White or an unknown band. Whether it’s old coworkers from the Hard Rock Café like Teresa Mason (who now owns Mas Tacos) or hardworking business owners today, Bryce genuinely loves seeing his friends do well. Despite the many “cool” things Bryce is involved in, his main love lies in another artistic venture: a public art project called “Our Town.” It started just down the street at Room at the Inn, which houses and provides classes for homeless men. After teaching an eleven-week course on art, Bryce invited each student to make a self-portrait with custom rubber stamps. “There are things we can say to one another and say about ourselves that you can only express through

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BRYCE MCCLOUD: isleofprinting.com or ourtownnashville.org Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @IsleofPrinting native.is/bryce-mccloud # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E ///// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 7 9


drawing—it’s a different language.” Bryce decided he would find a way to showcase their work to Nashville. Bryce told his students, “Don’t think of it as a self-portrait for yourself, think of it as a conversation with Nashville.” After gathering a bunch of these self-portraits, Bryce letterpressed them so he could share them with the wider world. Bryce decided to expand the collection of self-portraits to include people all across Nashville; he wants to craft a “portrait of the city” and continue the conversation. He travels to places around the city on a bike with all of his materials, inviting people to create their own self-portrait. If you participate in this experiment like I did, in exchange for your portrait, you take home a print of someone else’s letterpressed portrait (you can also enjoy all of the portraits online). Bryce’s peddler method returns to his belief in inclusivity. “There’s a Nashville that you see—especially these days where amazing things are happening that are really flashy and exciting—but there’s a whole other Nashville that lives in the shadows. People in nursing homes, people in jail, mental institutions, and those are Nashvillians too.” The beauty of this project is its unflagging inclusion. “One of the goals is that people from different socioeconomic backgrounds can all have their work up together.” Working against the heavily saturated pomp and circumstance of our Instagram culture, Our Town lets “people capture a little bit of their spirit.” As Bryce observes, “Nobody came to this project knowing how to do it any better than the next person.” From death row in the maximum-security prison to the downtown library, for Bryce, “It’s about being equitable and acknowledging, no matter who they are, that we’re all Nashvillians and we’re all in it together.” Despite Nashville’s growth over the past ten years, Bryce fights for a socially conscious city. He explains, “The city’s undergoing such drastic and quick change that we really need to think carefully

“I DON’T THINK

HOMOGENY PRODUCES

INNOVA-

TION.”

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about what it means to be a Nashvillian and do that together as equals.” Bryce wants to continue to serve both the people who live here and all the new up-and-coming pieces of our city. “I think Nashville is an incredibly community-minded place, especially with the arts. I think that’s what draws people here is that inclusiveness, so I really hope we can work to hold onto that.” Bryce experienced this positive expansion of Nashville firsthand when the Metro Arts Commission helped fund Our Town in a large way—the project will be featured in the downtown Nashville Public Library. Just as Nashville keeps changing and growing, Bryce also plans on incorporating more artistic and philanthropic public art projects like Our Town into the Isle of Printing. “It really characterizes where the shop is going in terms of our intentions and how we’re working. We think of our commercial client as partners in this public art.” Bryce’s open and (ironically) artless manner makes him an ideal leader of this movement. “I’m trying to work hard to earn and deserve it. And to share it, because that’s what it’s here for.” Workshops for future letterpress owners are just one of Bryce’s ways to share his gift. He strives to interact with his community through practical and appreciative projects. “It takes people who wanna make things that are worthwhile, and it takes people who appreciate and take the time to support it. You can make great stuff, but you gotta pay the light bill somehow.” Again, every parent of an art major’s dream. Bryce’s neighborhood might not be a cookie cutter kinda place, but the area around Isle of Printing is developing fast. Bryce chuckles, “When I first moved here I used to call it the Bermuda Triangle of sin because you had swingers clubs over here [which we still have], liquor stores, and drug deals.” Soon it will house a wine store and another art venue. As Bryce says, “I think it’s really easy to forget that we’re all in this together, but that’s what makes a vibrant society when we’re all here together. That’s why I chose to live in this neighborhood. I don’t think homogeny produces innovation.” If I owned a Vandercook, that quote would definitely be letterpressed. The wide open door of Isle of Printing seems to mirror Bryce McCloud’s philosophy—everyone’s welcome. The Isle of Printing is anything but an isle. Bryce McCloud is not king of a castle; he’s a democratic artist just trying his best to encourage other artists, lawyers, doctors, and teachers—all Nashvillians really—to join him in opening their own doors to the people around them. He wants them to also instigate “locally minded, community-grown services.” “I need to stand on a soapbox,” he laughs. I would recommend putting one on the street, but I think Bryce’s open door is already working pretty well.


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The The Face: Logan Vaught for AMAXTalent.com | Hair, Grooming, Clothing Styling: Melanie Shelley @ TRIM Classic Barber for AMAXTalent.com | Hair Assist: Nicole Kahwach, Nikki Tobey

SHINE OF THE TIMES Metallic materials add an undoubtedly futuristic pop to even the most staid menswear staples, but how is the trend reflected in men’s grooming? “The matte hair regime has officially been overthrown by the high-shine movement,” says style maven Melanie Shelley. “Experiment with a strong side sweep. It’s a great way to move your style forward and buck the hipster trend at the same time.” Melanie Shelley, TRIM Classic Barber | Photography by Eli McFadden

ORIBE Rock Hard Gel, $38, TRIM Classic Barber | Chevron Metallic Pullover, $85, Savant Vintage | Jack Black Clear Complexion Razor Bump Treatment, $25, TRIM Classic Barber | Dior Homme Eau for Men, 1.7 oz, $62, Sephora

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Your table is ready.

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Savor Southern dishes with a modern twist at Kitchen Notes, a farm-to-table concept open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t forget to stop by Nashville’s only Biscuit Bar. Reservations available at opentable.com.

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By Jacob Ryan of No Country for New Nashville | Photo by JJ Justice

BOB DYLAN SAID IT BEST: “THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’.” Never has a city personified this better than Nashville. Construction is everywhere you look, and, on the east side, entire blocks of new development seem to just sprout up like flowers in the spring. Downtown, the skyline is littered with massive building cranes, lifting progress to new heights. New citizens flock each month as the next “it city” article is printed in the latest issue of the trendiest magazine. Like it or not, change is really the only constant, and that brutal truth is on full display in Music City. From all corners of the nation (and sometimes from all over the globe), musicians come in swarms, drawn here like moths to a flame. We have the history, the studios, the talent, and now, arguably most importantly, the buzz. Like San Francisco in the ’60s, there’s just an electricity

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: PHIN

in the air here—a real vibe that transcends bands tournament. This earned them some free professional studio time, which pop culture and network TV shows. When you have all these creative peo- should help the group expand on their ple living together, attending classes with developing catalog. In the spring of 2013, one another, working and collaborating, Phin independently released their debut good things are bound to happen. The lat- EP, Those Killers. So, just for the record, est band to be birthed in this wonderful when we call them an “indie band” on womb of creativity is indie-rock five-piece, the rise, they are literally indie. StandPhin. Think MGMT meets Cold War Kids out tracks include the hauntingly catchy “Lonely Ghost,” the chilled out “That Is with Local Natives harmonies. Lead singer and songwriter Toby Home,” and the killer single-friendly title Haydel formed the band in 2013 with track, “Those Killers.” So the next time you hear someone friends and colleagues from his time at Trevecca Nazarene University. In fact, the bitching about all the new places, the new band’s name is an homage to Dr. Phineas F. faces, and their favorite vegan taco shack Bresee, one of the founders of the Church that closed down, just remember change of the Nazarene. All of the band members isn’t always a bad thing. It stirs the pot, it are Christian, but they aren’t just preach- opens our minds to new possibility, and it makes our music scene what it is: diing the gospel. Phin proved their mass appeal when verse, growing, and hip. Phin may just be they won the 2014 installment of Light- the perfect saints to guide us toward the ning 100’s March Mayhem battle of the light.

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observatory What is your favorite item you’re wearing and....

Sarah, 22

Bronze Walnut Necklace “Any character played by Winona Ryder.”

Jayme, 19

Textured Scarf from Urban Outfitters “Any character from Wes Anderson’s films!”

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Wrigley, 11 months My Bandana “Balto.”

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

The Salamander Salamanders are nocturnal and come out from their hiding places during moist nights to hunt for prey.

Most of Tennessee's salamanders have a biphasic life cycle, meaning they spend part of their life in a tadpole-like stage then morph into the adult stage.

They are important as biological indicators, as their porous skin is sensitive to environmental toxins.

Scientists use them to monitor problems in the environment.

Temporary ditches, road ruts, flooded fields, and ponds are all favorable breeding habitats.

A few species, like the pygmy salamander and seepage salamander, skip the larval stage, and the eggs hatch into perfect miniatures of the adults.

The state legislature designated the Tennessee Cave Salamander as our official State Amphibian.

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EAT. DRINK. BE ENTERTAINED. Acme Feed & Seed creates a uniquely “Nashville” atmosphere that honors the city’s past, present and future. With 22,000 square feet of cocktail, culinary and entertainment space, The Acme invites you to experience an entirely new Lower Broadway.

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Native | June 2014 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Moon Taxi, Bryce McCloud, Welcome to 1979 Studio, Hail, Dark Aesthetics, and Jamaica Way.

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