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SEPTEMBER

2014


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At Cumberland Transit we have a great selection of equipment that you need to make the most of your outdoor adventures.

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w w w. c u m b e r l a n d t r a n s i t . c o m


A barbershop for men and women of all a ges no w open in East Nashville! Walk in any day of the week and get a quality cut or style:

$15 Buzz

$24 St y l e

Ever y cut comes with a FREE Cold Brew Cof fee or Beer! 904 Main St. - next to Fat Bottom Brewer y w w w. s c o u t s b a r b e r s h o p . c o m

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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.

THE FAUNTLEROYS BELOW THE PINK PONY

OUT SEPTEMBER 16TH!

LP/CD/CS/DD "The band premiered the first single from their EP, "I'm In Love With Everything," over at USA Today, and it's got the kind of classic rock ‘n’ roll songwriting you'd expect from a group with this kind of resume." - Brooklyn Vegan

VISIT PLOWBOYRECORDS.COM FOR NEW RELEASES

OUR ARTISTS: BOBBY BARE • PAUL BURCH • BUZZ CASON • CHEETAH CHROME • CHUCK MEAD • THE FAUNTLEROYS • THE GHOST WOLVES • JD WILKES & THE DIRTDAUBERS • # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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Ready to hit it hard with the calorie-busting fitness classes or personal training sessions at TITLE Boxing Club? Visit our website to search our schedule of fitness classes to start your Power Hour or personal training today! 6 / // / / / / / / / / / / / / /////

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mon. - fri. 6am-7pm || sat. & sun. 7am-7pm

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TABLE OF CONTENTS SEPTEMBER 2014

68

21

34 THE GOODS

24

18

17 18 21 86 89 92 94

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

FEATURES

58

24 The Breathing Business 34 The Big Picture 46 Zen and the Art of Food Preparation 58 The Hang Will Go On 68 Eternal Sunshine of the Fermented Mind 76 Lost and Found

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OW N ES BLE! M HO AILA AV

�� ... . .. .. ..

R I C H L A N D S TAT I O N H O M E S.CO M S Y LVA N PA R K | N A S H V I L L E

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DEAR NATIVES,

I

t’s difficult to nail down exactly what the term community means in 2014. Maybe you find solidarity among Instagram followers you’ve never met. Maybe you feel most at ease when you’re posting in a Rap Genius forum or a subreddit that you moderate. Maybe you come into your own as a Dwarf Hunter battling through Azeroth with your guild. Whatever your community looks like, it’s probably safe to say you’re part of it because you want to interact with people that have something in common with you. As Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen once sang over the smoothest of yacht rock grooves, we all want to be in a place where we’re comfortable “sharing the things we know and love / with those of my kind.” There’s nothing wrong with “sharing the things we know and love” online, but we also can’t neglect the community surrounding us in, you know, real life. Luckily, the people in this month’s issue haven’t forgotten that. They’ve created communities where you can make gloriously questionable decisions on the dance floor while listening to “Bootylicious” or bond through sweat and the perceived impossibility of a padangustasana pose. They’ve created places where you can check your coat and tie at the door and inhale fried chicken like Boss Hogg; places where kids can transform from hooligans with hoodies to businessmen with advertising contracts; places where you can let your imagination— and maybe your pet pig—run wild. And in the case of our cover story, Linus Hall, a community has sprouted out of a love for delicious beer and grown to encompass the whole city, creating a home for an industry that’s settling in for the long haul. Communities centered around filters and orcs and Twin Peaks subreddits are fine, but this month, just remember that—in the words of the Prince of Motown—“There ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” 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

community relations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

community representative:

LINDSAY ALDERSON

account manager:

AYLA SITZES

web editor:

TAYLOR RABOIN

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

editor:

          writers: photographers:

editorial interns:

p.r. intern:

DANIELLE ATKINS MELISSA MADISON FULLER SARAH B. GILLIAM ABIGAIL BOBO ANDREA BEHRENDS REBECCA ADLER BRETT WARREN WILL VASTINE

CHLOE HALL MOLLY McGHEE

founding team:

MATTHEW LEFF JONAH ELLER-ISAACS ALEX TAPPER MATT COLANGELO TIMOTHY BEATON SCOTT MARQUART ANDREW LEAHEY

DALY CANTRELL

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:

CORRECTIONS: IN OUR LAST ISSUE, WE ACCIDENTALLY CREDITED EMILY B. HALL AS THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOR OUR ICIT FEATURE. IT WAS ACTUALLY ERIC BROWN. SORRY ABOUT THAT, GUYS!

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Watermark is now taking limited holiday reservations for the Gallery, Terrace Room, Loft Room and Rooftop Garden Patio. Call Trish at 615-627-6741 to reserve.

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LAST BREATH

This is a play on the classic Last Word cocktail. Sean Brock of Husk is a fan of the original Last Word, but he was looking for a version that featured whiskey, so I made this for him. Phil Ward already crushed it with his variation, The Final Ward, so I was trying to think of what is even more final than one’s last word. Last Breath seemed appropriate, and there’s something attractive about the imagery. —Ben Clemons, No. 308

THE GOODS 1 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 1 oz Meletti Amaro 3/4 oz Genepy des Alpes 3/4 oz lime juice 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 1/4 oz simple syrup 2 dashes Angostura Bitters F Add all ingredients to a shaker. Shake and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with brandied cherry.

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photo by danielle atkins


burgers

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craft beer

shakes


FRESH MOZZARELLA THE GOODS: 3–5 lbs. fresh mozzarella curd (preferably BelGioioso) Serrated knife 3-gallon pot Cooking water: 1 1/2 gallons salted water (1 c. kosher salt) 3 2-gallon stainless steel bowls Cooling water: 1 1/2 gallons salted water (1/2 c. kosher salt—mix in one of the stainless bowls) Storage water: 1 1/2 gallons fresh water (pour into one of the stainless bowls) Wooden spoon

DIRECTIONS: F In the large pot, heat your cooking water to 180–190° (not quite to a boil). F Using a serrated knife, slice curds into 1/4–1/2-inch slices, keeping them as uniform as possible. F Layer slices in one of the stainless bowls covering the bottom. Make a second layer, all evenly distributed. F Slowly pour cooking water (it will be at least a gallon) onto the sides of the bowl around the curds until the curds are completely covered and there is about 1/2–1 inch of water on top of curds. F Let them sit for a few minutes or until cheese starts to stretch a little bit (use your wooden spoon to check the curds for stretch). F When curds start to stretch, use spoon to bring all the curds into a large mass in the bowl. Do this slowly so curds do not break apart and separate. You will want one large mass. F Using your spoon, fold mass slowly onto itself with a stretching, folding motion. Curds should become shiny and smooth, without any lumps of unstretched curds. When your mass of curd is shiny and completely smooth, pour off the cooking water.

PHOTO BY DANIELLE ATKINS

F Scoop your spoon under the mass in the middle of the cheese and lift up, folding the cheese in half and stretching the cheese above the bowl. Fold the cheese back over itself on the spoon and stretch a couple times. Lift and stretch again, repeating a couple of times. (This releases some heat and makes the cheese easier to form.) F Form your cheese back into a mass in the bowl. F Gather a small mass of cheese using both hands (CAUTION: cheese will be HOT), and form a small ball shape (about the size of a baseball). F Using one hand, cup the cheese with your forefinger and thumb in a "C" shape. Make a "C" with your other hand, and squeeze the cheese

between both of your hands, keeping them in a "C" shape. The cheese should feel tight, shiny, and smooth. Pinch off the cheese from the bottom. Gently set your formed ball into the cooling water. F Repeat this process with the rest of the cheese until all of it is formed into these loose ball shapes. F Let your cheese rest in the cooling water for ten minutes, or until cheese feels firm to the touch. F Once it has cooled, use cheese immediately or move cheese to the fresh water for storage. (Cheese can be stored for up to one day.)

BROUGHT TO YOU BY AARON CLEMINS, EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF AT CITY HOUSE

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THE BREATHING BUSINESS AS OWNER OF HOT YOGA OF EAST NASHVILLE AND THE FORTHCOMING UNISEX BARBERSHOP SCOUT'S, BROOKE ASBURY FOSTERS COMMUNITIES THAT GO FAR BEYOND HER STUDIO WALLS BY JONAH ELLER-ISAACS | PHOTOS BY MELISSA MADISON FULLER

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“BREATHE,” CALLS OUT THE INSTRUCTOR. I am forty-five minutes into my first-ever bikram-style yoga class. The air in the studio is thick with determination and focus. And heat. So much heat. We’re halfway through our ninetyminute session, and I’m shocked at how slowly the clock seems to be moving. “Breathe,” our instructor repeats. I have a sip of water. There is not enough water in the world. I could drink the entirety of the Cumberland River along with its humble tributaries and not quench this unslakable thirst. Brooke Asbury, the owner of Hot Yoga of East Nashville, walks slowly through the crowded studio as she chants a rhythm of breaths and poses, counting down and clapping gently when we are to release. Brooke encourages each of us by name. Again and again she helps us to breathe. Calmly, steadily, she leads this meditative dance, guiding us like Dante through the Inferno. I’ve come to the class to see if I can glean anything about her from the lessons. But I’m struggling. I could get up and leave; I could just roll up my mat, walk over to Fat Bottom Brewery across the street, and drink all of their beer. That would be awesome. I take a break and lie down. I start planning a February visit to see my parents in Minnesota. Fifty below zero sounds lovely. Even lying prone in savasana, corpse pose, the heavy hotness makes it hard to relax. I’m ready to give up. On Hot Yoga’s blog last year, Brooke wrote: “90 minutes is the chance for internal struggle and therefore, possibility for refinement. When you enter the room for a 90 minute class, you must choose over and over to remain. To remain in the hot room for the full 90 minutes. That, in and of itself, may be the most significant challenge. Lying in savasana wanting some ease, some air, some water, some relief can be the hardest yoga that is done in the room. When you stay in the room for 90 minutes, you have conquered a real and significant challenge. You learn the most important lesson that is to be learned— that you are stronger than you thought.” Stronger than I thought? I’m hurting. I start to develop an exit strategy. But then I think of you. No, dear reader, for you, I get back up on the mat. I sweat until I have no more sweat to sweat. I slide my feet across my slick mat and edge into some semblance of tuladandasana, balancing stick pose. Out of the corner of my eye, I watch as my neighbor carefully sinks down into padangustasana, toe stand, all the weight of his lotus-bent body balanced on a single flexed foot. I marvel at his firm grace. Someday I want to be able to do what he’s doing. So I finish the full ninety minutes, reveling in the fact that I have

finished the full ninety minutes. I spend 5,400 seconds (doesn’t that sound more impressive?) pushing my body harder and farther than I have in a long, long time. Thank you, dear reader, for helping me conquer a real and significant challenge. As the class collects their belongings in the studio’s entryway, I’m not the only one basking in the fresh, cool air. Our rosy-cheeked conversations carry an endearing shared bliss; it’s almost post-coital. I feel at once totally destroyed and completely rebuilt: the East Nashville Phoenix. I’m going to be sore tomorrow, but I know the gain will last far longer than the pain. Bradley, my toe-standing neighbor, tells me that his crippling carpal tunnel pain disappeared when he started taking bikram-style classes, only to return when he took a break. He’s now a dedicated attendee at Hot Yoga and an accomplished yoga practitioner. And ladies and gents, he’s single . . . Brooke’s serene, focused instruction in class surely manifests itself as part of her success as a small business owner. But the entrepreneurial spirit that she brings to Hot Yoga and will soon bring to Scout’s isn’t focused on profit. Instead, her ventures are designed primarily to encourage strong, lasting communities, and their communal well-being is Brooke’s greatest pride. It was a lovely evening in Five Points when I met Brooke for the first time. Her long black hair blew in the breeze as we walked into The Crying Wolf. It’s owned by some Angelinos who left the West Coast and moved to town. An awfully appropriate arena, since Brooke, like so many of us, is a recent transplant to Nashville. We ordered drinks from the bartender, who knew Brooke’s name, and we headed out to the patio. The night was simply perfect. Brooke began to tell me about her life in Seattle. Though she hails from The Emerald City, her life there was already countrified. She and her best friend had a country band called Side Saddle, and she loved to go out two-stepping (which, I’m surprised to hear, is big in Seattle). Her love of classic country brought her to Broadway for the first time three years ago, as she recalled: “We always wanted to come out here, and we drug our boyfriends at the time out here. We had the best time ever . . . It just felt like home right away. I’ve never been anywhere else that I felt like that. I just feel at home.” On a return trip to Nashville, Side Saddle played a gig at The Five Spot. The band spent the week, as Brooke described it, “on a Nashville high,” and she started thinking seriously about making the move. As she was about to tell me about the transition, Aretha Franklin’s cover of “The Weight” came softly from

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BROOKE ASBURY: hotyogaeastnashville.com Follow on Facebook @HotYogaEastNash and @ScoutsBarberShop or Twitter @HotYogaEastNash native.is/brooke-asbury 28 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / ////// # N AT IVE N ASH VI LLE


“LET’S JUST

the bar’s speakers. “I just need a place / where I can lay and I believed her when she told me, my head,” the First Lady of Soul declared, and the song’s “I don’t think I’ve very often wontale of searching for a home had never felt so real to me. dered if something was right. Not to “I was really on the fence about moving here,” Brooke ex- say I don’t self-contemplate or selfplained, “cause there’s no reason to leave Seattle. I loved reflect . . . I think I just make good it. I loved my job. And all my friends, my bands were there decisions the first time.” With a fulland everything like that, but every time I was here, it’s like body laugh, she added, “Well, you I had a whole other life. I had friends that I liked here, and know, not when it comes to guys.” I’m guessing that some of I loved Nashville . . . I was telling a friend, ‘Why should I move? Why would I go and do this?’ And she was like, ‘If Brooke’s self-assuredness comes from her yoga practice. I feel like I anybody can do it, you can do it. And you have to do it!’” Over the course of repeated visits to town, Brooke barely survived my 5,400 seconds, managed to keep her job in Seattle working as a geolo- and she does this for a living. As we gist and project manager, hoping that her boss would con- talked late into the night, I couldn’t help but notice her tinue thinking she was in Nashville to pursue music, or arms and her tattoos. Her left arm featured an arrow, to romance, or both. Brooke always wanted to “start a some- keep her steady and straight in poses, and a banjo, for her thing,” but was never sure exactly what that “something” banjo-playing father and her own passion for music. But it would be, though she was clear that her efforts would fo- was the canvas on which the ink sat that was remarkable. cus on bringing people together to better themselves. A Those arms were muscled to a Michelle Obama level, a yoga studio seemed like a good fit, and she told me, “I’ve Madonna level even. This woman pushes herself. When Brooke started talking about yoga, her words of always practiced bikram-style yoga, and I’ve always wanted to teach it . . . When I go to a town, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can’t wisdom applied to far more than a perfect triangle pose. believe they don’t have it here’ . . . It’s always been in the “You’re in a challenging environment that’s gonna push back of mind, like maybe I could do that someday. In Se- you to your limits,” she explained, “and it’s overwhelmattle, the market’s really saturated. There’s already a yoga ing at times. But you learn this habit of not being overstudio on every corner . . . so when I came to Nashville whelmed. And as soon as you start choosing, okay, I’m and drove around, I’m like, ‘I don’t think there’s any yoga gonna surrender, not wipe off all the sweat, or not run out of the room, I’m just gonna breathe and see what hapstudios here!’” Of course, as Brooke discovered, there are a few excel- pens, you’ve given yourself a little bit of space. Each time lent yoga studios here, and her research led her to sign up there’s a little bit more space before you react. And that for a local yoga teacher training. She arrived in Nashville really translates outside of the class, because whatever without housing, planning to sleep in her rental car. That comes up my way, opening the yoga studio or just driving didn’t last long. At the first day of her training, she made around in traffic . . . My reaction is usually just, okay, we'll friends who offered her a place to stay for the length of see. Let’s just breathe and see what happens.” Brooke has lived in Nashville for just over a year, breaththe training, and now some of those same folks teach at Hot Yoga. “I couldn’t have done this without all the people ing and seeing what happens. I’ve heard it said that getting that I met during my teacher training,” Brooke explained, your feet on the ground in a new city takes at least a year, adding, “Nashville people are awesome . . . I barely knew but Brooke is far ahead of that schedule. Hot Yoga of East Nashville is well-established as a premier destination for people, and they’d be like, ‘How can I help?’” Part of that enthusiastic welcome is surely Nashville hot yoga practitioners, and in September, with assistance people just being awesome, but Brooke deserves a good from her business partner and former roommate Keila bit of credit. She has an intense positivity about her that’s Rokkan, she’ll launch her next venture, Scout’s, a unisex awfully appealing, and I can understand how she makes barbershop. Come Labor Day weekend (or thereabouts), friends so easily. Once she threw herself fully into the Scout’s will open as the newest addition to the fast-growmove and into her new life as a Nashvillian and small ing business community in Five Points. Brooke gets giddy business owner, she said she never doubted her decision. when talking about everything it will offer: affordable cuts When her potential landlords were skeptical, she ditched ($15 for a buzz, $24 for style), luxurious straight razor her real estate agent and convinced them herself, even shaves, coffee provided by Barista Parlor, beer from her though, as she was quick to point out, “I kinda had to lie neighbors at Fat Bottom Brewery, and a space that will be about the money. I actually didn’t have the money.” Back kid and dog friendly. “Six chairs and a cool hang” is Brooke’s ultimate goal. in Seattle, she scrambled to finance the business and her impending move. She sold nearly everything she owned— Also, “six chairs and a cool hang” would make for a faninstruments, furniture, her bike­—but she says she doesn’t tastic motto. She wants Scout's to be “a community place, miss any of it. I was impressed by Brooke’s confidence, like the yoga studio.” I can see it already: local coffee and

BREATHE

AND SEE

WHAT

HAPPENS.”

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beer, folks coming in for a clip and refueling after a visit to the Shelby Dog Park (though there are no plans for pet grooming, at least so far). Brooke will most likely be at the center of it all: “I’m gonna be the desk girl, and I’m really excited about it!” she exclaimed with a wide smile. As Brooke was settling into her life as a Nashvillian, she found great comfort in “I Believe in Nashville,” the DCXV Industries creation found around town on the sides of buildings and on T-shirts. “I came upon the sign,” she related, “and that resonated with me . . . I believed in doing this here, and I still do. Like I’ve said a few times, the people of Nashville are what made it worthwhile. I want to bring something back to them.” Running perpendicular to Brooke’s well-toned right triceps is a tattoo of the words “just as I am.” It’s the title of a mid-19th century hymn, and it’s a message that Brooke has taken to heart, not just in her own life but in the city that now surrounds her. Well after our interview, even after my post-class soreness had faded, Brooke sent me a message explaining her plans for after Scout’s opens—because, like anyone driven by an enterprising spirit, she’s already thinking about what’s next, even before her newest project launches. She told me about the “amazing Nashvillians” she's met who are focusing on social work, from therapeutic yoga to rehab centers and cancer support. Brooke wants to “bring all of these people together for something in East Nashville . . . a hub where people come to make their lives healthier—physically, emotionally, spiritually.” Don’t be surprised if, someday soon, you find yourself going to Scout’s for a haircut and coming out with more than just a new style. You’ll probably have a new friend or two, and you’ll be a part of Brooke Asbury’s plan to make Nashville believe in itself a little more.

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THE BIG PICTURE From the Five Points wall to a Johnny Cash mural downtown to REX2 graffiti, you’ll recognize Bryan Deese’s work—but probably not his face

By Alex Tapper | Photography by Sarah B. Gilliam

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I walk into Barista Parlor, flustered and fifteen minutes late. Did

I miss Bryan? Why would a street artist want to meet at a brewtique anyway? Before the interview, I found a time-lapse video of Bryan painting an advertisement for TPAC’s performance of Flashdance - The Musical on the wall behind the BP Station in Five Points, but he was covered from head to toe in a white paint suit, goggles, gloves, mask . . . the hazmat works. No pictures of him on the website either—but how hard could it be to pick a graffiti artist out of the typical trendy coffee shop scene? Harder than I imagined. After a lap or two, Bryan waves me over. He’s clean cut with straight reddish-blonde hair that juts above a friendly face like manicured blades of grass. His flat-brim hat rests on the table, both a colorful prop and a functional accessory in the summer heat. I try to picture him crawling around overpasses with a lumpy backpack full of clinking spray paint cans and a hoodie pulled over his eyes. I can’t—he looks too normal. Wearing a pearl-snap short sleeve over a graphic T-shirt, sneakers, jeans, and a goofy smile, Bryan seems more like an extra on Silicon Valley than one of the leaders of the street art community. But he’s not part of the techno-elite. In fact, Bryan prefers hand-painted stuff: “People can see that there’s a little bit of soul in that, as opposed to something that’s just created with technology.” He paints mostly large-format pieces: murals with a stencil and silhouette motif (you might recognize a hundred-foot-wide black-and-white of Johnny Cash downtown), big bright graffiti in inauspicious places on the east side (his graffiti name is REX2—the product of “some dumb high school shit”), sign paintings that advertise local concerts and events (he’s done the wall behind the Five Points BP Station countless times—most recently commissioned by Exit/In for a Diarrhea Planet show), and professional hand-painted logos for businesses all over town (think Hurry Back on Elliston). “What I do is kind of the closest thing to being a professional street artist in Nashville.” Growing up in Nashville, Bryan found inspiration in some of the world’s best pop and graf-

fiti artists—he cites influence from an eclectic mix of guys you wouldn’t know without proper indoctrination into the culture: Sever, Revoke, Red Grooms, Wayne White, Myles Maillie, Norris Hall . . . as he rattles off a list of names, I realize that I’m not just learning about one man’s obsession and profession, but a whole subculture of street artists of which I was previously unaware. Bryan’s eyes light up as he tells me about his “skater kid” days. He skated partly for mobility— how else would a carless teenager get around town looking for the work of his artistic influences?—and partly for the creative and supportive culture he found in the skating community. “Skateboarding is visual art and pushes kids to be creative at a formative time in adolescence. I think kids are drawn to it more for the creative lifestyle. Even if you can’t kickflip a seven-stair, if you can cruise down the street with style and bring your personal flavor and realness, then that culture appreciates it.” He says he stopped skateboarding to do graffiti, but I notice a deck in the trunk of his crossover SUV. As he pulls out two children’s car seats to make room in the back seat, he mumbles something about how he got the skateboard for his son. I don’t completely believe him. I can picture this forty-year-old cruising down the block in the middle of the night, wearing tight jeans and slapping cartoon stickers on the backs of stop signs, tagging “REX2” on public walls in obscure places. “Painting really big and colorfully drew me to graffiti . . . but also the aspect of typography.” Bryan went to University of Tennessee at Knoxville and chose to study graphic design because of his “love affair with letters.” He even remembers designing baseball cards and drawing sneakers as a little kid. We head over to the wall between The Groove and Barista Parlor, the one with the lightbulb sign that everyone Instagrams to let their friends know they’re drinking five-dollar coffee. But we’re talking about the back side. The south-facing side covered edge to edge in layers of graffiti. You may have driven by and noticed this colorful mess in your periphery. But what you may not know is that Bryan has

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helped turn this nondescript, barren wall into a place for local street artists to showcase their graffiti and collaborate, a public space to elevate their form and admire the work of their community. I ask Bryan who owns the wall. He’s not entirely sure. Barista? Maybe The Groove? It doesn’t seem that the ownership deed makes a difference. From what I can tell, he owns it. He’s claimed it for the graffiti community. By tagging the wall with your mark and your name, you establish ownership of that vertical space. During our photoshoot, Bryan refuses the photographer’s direction. “I don’t want any pictures in front of that—I don’t want to take credit for that work.” This is a community built on pride. Pride in taking ownership of a name and of the art behind that name. Pride in representing your crew. Pride in displaying your art form in a public venue. Pride in passing the torch to the next wave of artists.

As often as he can, Bryan will hire “You know, I’m out there convincing local kids in the street art communi- the businesses and decision makers ty as apprentices on jobs. One group in Nashville that having a sign paintof kids he mentions goes by the ed with spray paint in traditional name Eastside Murals. “I hire them techniques is worth your business’s on my gigs so that I can almost ap- money—it represents your brand prentice them. Aside from the sign- and will be looked at as a positive painting techniques, I teach them benefit by young people. I’m one of the business side of things. Show me the few people in Nashville who’s the school that teaches you how to going out there and carving it out. For me and the people after me.” I go out there and sell murals.” Bryan offers to drive us to his can see how the mural on the Auto studio. We pass by the Nashville Diesel College would attract the atAuto Diesel College, and he proudly tention of their audience. But that’s not to say he’s all busipoints out the window at the exterior wall. “That’s their work there.” ness. Bryan has self-diagnosed “Art It’s a painting of a single car made ADD.” He started CONCRETE, a bifrom the back half of a retro blue monthly hip-hop culture magazine, Cadillac, complete with tailfins, and ten years ago. He is also “really into the front half of a red Mustang. The Nashville pop culture history” and words “Our Past” and “Your Future” collects old game programs—like frame the sewn-together Franken- the Nashville Vols who played at the stein mobile. Oh, it’s also busting original Sulphur Dell and the first through a cinder block wall Kool-Aid hockey team in Municipal Auditorium, The Dixie Flyers. He found Man–style. Bryan places emphasis on the inspiration for his most recent projbusiness end of his creative work. ect, Kid Oak, while researching old

BRYAN DEESE: bryandeese.com Follow on Instagram @BryanDeeseRex2 native.is/bryan-deese # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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advertising icons for another mural project—a live painting at a Red Bull Sound Select concert at Marathon Music Works. Bryan calls Kid Oak the “Nashville Smiley Face.” It was the logo for Oak Motors, a now-defunct car dealership in the Sulphur Dell. Man, it really stinks that this old advertising icon is gone because they don’t have any cars to push, Bryan thought, which compelled him to “start putting this icon out there again, just because it’s a really fun image.” For no other apparent reason, Bryan resurrected this old advertising logo and started sharing it with the greater community. He made stickers, T-shirts, an Instagram account, even oversized cardboard cutouts of the friendly face. (If you drive around residential East Nashville, look on the backs of stop signs for the black square stickers.) We arrive at Bryan’s studio—picture Pee-wee’s Playhouse meets grunge-rock dungeon in an industrial park. The interior black walls tower two stories high. It almost feels like a street art black box theater. Music video props and backdrops are scattered about. Sketches and graffiti line the walls. Boxes of magazines, T-shirts, stickers, buttons, spray paint cans, and miscellaneous paraphernalia are all around—relics and swag from past projects. Bryan offers to demonstrate a live painting. “How long do you want me to spend on it? Thirty minutes? An hour? I can spend all day on something.” He starts shaking through his supply of spray cans, looking for enough paint in the same hues for a complete painting. Supplies in hand, we walk outside and across the parking lot. It starts with a busted cement wall, a milk crate full of half-empty spray paint cans, a neon pink chemicalgrade gas mask, and a clean-cut man with boyish swagger. The sun beats down, the asphalt radiates heat, and classic rock blares from the open garage doors of the custom design shop next door. A few neighbors drive up and honk hello at Bryan. More than one person leaves with a dejected look on their face, as if saying, “Man, I was going to tag that.” In conversation about the graffiti art form, Bryan has trouble containing his enthusiasm. His eyes and mouth open wide in an attempt to tell you everything he knows and feels at once. But when he works, Bryan’s demeanor changes. A calm, zen-like composure washes away the rest of the world, and he’s left with the work. He begins with the outline, a sketch of the letterforms. “I didn’t really know why I was drawn to it, but I really like the push and play of type.” He’s done these shapes so many times, in so many permutations, that he already sees the final product. He just has to fill in the details. To me—an uninitiated observer—the bands of baby-blue paint look arbitrary, but his strokes contain a hallmark of intentionality: beautiful follow-through. Like a pro golfer. And Bryan does follow through with his intentions. His numerous projects all seem to align with one goal: to pro-

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“SHOW ME THE SCHOOL THAT TEACHES YOU HOW TO GO OUT THERE AND SELL MURALS.”


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vide an immersive public experience for the communities he loves, while providing an education to help the next generation of artists make a living through their talents. Next comes the fill. In this case, we have a two-tone blue with a checkerboard stitching the top and bottom halves of the letters together. He switches between different sized nozzles for the detail work. Then come the ornaments. Contrasting colors in the checkerboard squares. Drop shadows. Outlines. Inlines. Gloss. Pairs of UFO-shaped ovals at the extremes of letters. A logomark of the letters “tm” hidden in plain sight. It’s the official icon that links the members of his graffiti crew. Usually written with three dots over the two lowercase letters (to signify Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis), “tm” has multiple meanings. Bryan rattles off a few: “Tennessee Militia, Twisted Minds, Tennessee’s Mightiest, Two Man crew—which we started out as. But it mainly stands for ‘Thoughts Manifested.’” This trademark links different pieces of art to the same crew— letting others in the community know where their allegiance lies. Within an hour, a cement wall has become a canvas. Art has become accessible. A regular dude has become a graffiti-tagging hoodlum and professional artist. Nicknames have become signatures, badges of honor—a mark respected by the enlightened. Midsummer afternoon heat pours down. Bryan painted big and colorful and has paint on most of his fingers now, but none on his jeans. All the paint cans are used up. With the work finished, I can tell that Bryan doesn’t get caught up thinking about each brushstroke or even each mural. He looks at a disjointed group of artists and brings them together to demo work and push their form forward. He looks at young sign-painters with talent and shows them how to make a business. He looks at a busted-up wall and already sees the big picture.


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A MEDITATION ON COOKING WITH THE OWNER OF BIG AL’S DELI

BY MATT COLANGELO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABIGAIL BOBO # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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The following is a list of words that will not appear again in this story: sous-vide, flash-pickled, vichyssoise,

craft, artisanal, banh mi, farm-to-table, farmto-fork, locavore, haute cuisine, molecular gastronomy, deconstructed chicken sandwich, pescatarian, flexitarian, heirloom, umami, pork belly, foraged ramps, foraged mushrooms, and, last but not least, culinary foam. For someone who writes primarily about food, this feels incredibly liberating. The language of food is cumbersome, intimidating, and almost always tinged with a self-conscious, foodierthan-thou attitude. You don’t know what caponata is? Well, I’m using it in a sentence, so you better Google that shit under the table. Never heard of sodium alginate? You clearly haven’t read Nathan Myhrvold’s five-volume, 2,438page, $600 Modernist Cuisine cookbook. I’m quietly judging you right now. The fetishizing and intellectualizing of food isn’t new. It dates back as far as recorded time, but it accelerated during the early 1800s, when more people started moving to cities and away from the agricultural sources of their food. Besides being introduced to fancy new foods from faraway places like India and Persia, these city-dwellers began forgetting how local foods were actually produced and cooked. Those who remembered or relearned these techniques became a knowledgeable minority. Making things worse were colonialism, which brought back shiploads of exotic ingredients that only some people had access to, and the Enlightenment, which encouraged the development of new, super-complex cooking techniques in its rigorous, scientific pursuit of truth and perfection. That’s where we get things like consommé (broth clarified with egg whites) and mille-feuille (a multilayered puff pastry). The French called this “modernist cuisine.” Food-wise, little has changed since the Enlightenment. We’re currently eating our way through another wave of modernist cuisine, and food knowledge is still a status symbol. As has been the case for more than six hundred years, there are people who understand food and people who don’t—which makes eating at many restaurants a pretty self-conscious affair. Sorry, how do you pronounce this five-syllable German wine again?

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Big Al’s Deli is not one of these self-conscious restaurants. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a room full of polite nods and hellos. There’s no maître d’ to take your name down and tell you that there’s going to be a forty-five- to fiftyfive-minute wait. You find an empty seat and you sit in it. Then you talk to the people sitting around you, like a normal person. If your experience is anything like mine, you find out that the person sitting next to you is the maintenance dude in your apartment building. “Nice to meet you, Chris.” When you look down, you find a home-printed paper menu that’s split up into “breakfast” and “lunch” sections. The part of your mouth that’s still a twelve-year-old and wants to eat breakfast all day waters as you read the first section. Breakfast consists of pancakes, French toast, an omelette, three kinds of biscuits, and the pièce de résistance: the “Big Al Platter,” which is two eggs, two slices of bacon (or one sausage patty), two pieces of toast (or one homemade biscuit), and hash browns. From the breakfast section, you can tell that Alfonso Anderson, the owner and head chef of Big Al’s, isn’t precious about his menu. If you want to substitute something on your plate, you’re encouraged to. If you want to suggest a new menu item, the chef will be all ears. (“I always listen to my customers. If they want something, I’ll put it on the menu.”) The guiding philosophy behind Big Al’s Deli is that the customer should always get what the customer wants, as long as they’re polite. At most restaurants, the customer gets what the chef says, because the customer doesn’t know what chicken liver pate ought to be topped with. The lunch menu is a bit more adventurous, but it’s guided by the same keep-it-simple, customer-centric philosophy. Monday you have a choice between herb-roasted chicken and pulled BBQ pork; Tuesday is BBQ chicken and baked ham; Wednesday is jalapeno-orange marmalade chicken and meatloaf; Thursday is jerk chicken and “tropical” chicken. And Friday, I’m in love with Big Al’s fried chicken, fried catfish, and the relatively healthy baked catfish. Each dish comes with two sides and a biscuit, but you can ask Al to add just about anything. My first lunch at Big Al’s fell on a Monday, so I ordered the roasted chicken with collard


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greens, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit. You know, something light to make up for a weekend of wild debauchery. After five minutes of conversation with Chris about broken locks and ceiling leaks, a heavy plate was handed to me from the kitchen. I lowered it onto the table in front of me and stared at it for a few seconds, thinking, is this how it all ends? Each of the four constituent ingredients of the dish took up a quarter of the plate and towered several inches above it. Through them I could not see a speck of white plate. My eyes widened and pupils dilated like Jared Leto’s in Requiem for a Dream. It’s an understatement to say that you get fed at Big Al’s, but that’s the best way to describe the experience of eating there. The food won’t transform your worldview or inspire you to compose a classical symphony; it won’t make you wax poetic about the life-giving power of extra-virgin olive oil or use any of the words I mentioned in the first paragraph. It’s simpler than that. It’s home cooking like your grandma used to make, but better than she used to make it and with none of her cantankerous sass. But here’s the thing: you don’t go to Big Al’s for the food. You go for the communal environment that he and his food cultivate. What he’s doing is the exact opposite of what many new restaurants are doing. Rather than making his food the star, he’s making it the straightforward, unintimidating canvas for good am-

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BIG AL’S DELI: bigbigalsdeli.com native.is/big-als-deli

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bience. You go to Big Al’s to meet your neighbors and chit-chat with your chef, not pay fifteen dollars for the fanciest new hamburger in town. While this might not sound like an important culinary innovation, it reflects a philosophy about food that is worth talking about. Big Al believes his purpose as a chef is to serve people what they want— not what he wants them to eat or what he himself wants to eat. It’s a pretty humble way to approach the cooking profession, one that he’s been toiling away at for thirty-five years and has achieved some level of mastery at. To see your role as a server is to believe that you, as a chef, aren’t above your customers and that your whole professional existence is in service of other people’s happiness. In other words, Big Al doesn’t aspire to be a culinary rockstar; he wants to be a stagehand. Big Al’s Deli isn’t an outwardly religious establishment. Apart from the occasional spiritual allusion on his website (“Al is a Christian who loves the Lord and all the people of this world”), there’s nothing preachy or evangelical about him. But his restaurant—everything from the menu to the seating plan to the kitchen to the humble way in which he runs it— definitely reflects his spiritual beliefs. First off, seating is communal, with three tables set up in a tight U-formation and four cowhide barstools facing the kitchen. This arrangement both saves space and fosters the friendly ambience I was talking about before. “All the tables are community tables. I want people to make themselves at home. Everybody is a friend here,” Al explains. Because of the limited seating, you’ll seldom find a seat all by its lonesome, and if you do, Al will probably engage you in conversation or introduce you to the lovely

family to your right. There’s no avoid- work compared to his sister’s job. As ing conversation or eye contact here; a slightly older and more mature thirwhen you’re at Big Al’s, you’re going teen-year-old, she was given the keys to say something to someone. And it to the register—a more desirable customer-facing job that didn’t, however, better be nice. The kitchen at Big Al’s is spiritual teach her any useful cooking skills. mostly in its modesty. It’s basically Between cooking with his mother at a souped-up version of the kitchen home and in the ice-cream shop, Al you have at home. He’s got a gas learned his way around a knife set stove and oven, a flattop grill, a fryer, that year. From there, he worked his way up a panini press, and a steam table for keeping his sides warm. The cooking the restaurant food chain. When he techniques he employs with these ap- was eighteen, he learned how to proppliances are the essentials: sauteing, erly bus tables and make omelettes roasting, broiling, and at a Bickford’s Pancake House, that baking. There’s very lit- bastion of hearty New England breaktle made at this kitchen fasts. Around the same time, he startthat you couldn’t make at ed bussing tables at a pizzeria, where home with the right reci- he honed his pizza-making skills. pes and experience. Not After moving to Nashville to attend that he can’t make a nice TSU, he waited tables and bartended beef Wellington. Having at a restaurant called Ireland’s (now worked at numerous res- J. Alexander’s). He soon became the taurants over the years, head bartender there and eventually Al knows how to cook “got poached” by TGI Fridays, back fancy dishes. He just when TGIF was less corporate and doesn’t want his food to more, um, local. He was twenty-three years old. be all about him. After spending some time back In truth, Al’s relationship with food has never home in Massachusetts, Al worked as been about self-promo- a cook at a slew of Nashville restaution. He learned how to cook in a time rants (some of which still exist): Sante when cooking wasn’t a super-profit- Fe, Trappers, Burger King, Jamaican’s able profession and in a culture where (now Chuy’s), Canyon Ranch, Bleachmen weren’t often found in kitch- ers Sports Bar, Broadway Brewhouse, ens—at least at home. Al is fifty-four and finally Sweet 16th Bakery. Along years old, so we’re talking about forty the way, he learned the fine art of years ago: “I started by grilling out- baking bread, flipping burgers, searside with the men in my family. The ing filet mignon, and everything in kitchen wasn’t really their domain.” between. He learned enough to start After showing a curiosity for cooking, and run a catering business on his he convinced his mother and grand- own. He still runs this catering busimother to let him into the kitchen. ness out of the Big Al’s Deli location. But by far the most formative and That’s where he scrambled his first life-changing event occurred during egg and made his first biscuit. Like a lot of chefs, Al had parents his time in Massachusetts. Sometime who also dabbled in the food industry. after getting married, having his first His father owned a bar and his moth- kid, and temporarily working at his er owned an ice-cream shop outside dad’s janitorial company, he was drivBoston, where Al and his sister some- ing by himself on a small highway near times lent an underage hand. During a suburb thirty minutes south of Bosthe summer of 1972, when he was ton. Well, not quite by himself. Out of twelve, Al slung pizzas and made sun- his rearview mirror, he could see two daes and banana splits. It was hard cars behind him, quickly closing in on

“I WANT PEOPLE TO MAKE THEMSELVES AT HOME. EVERYBODY IS A FRIEND HERE.”

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$30 foo 30 dayy foo aa nee studentt

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him. By the time he realized that they were racing each other, one of the cars swept across his left rear tire. He lost control of his pickup truck and slammed into a broken-down truck on the side of the road. He ricocheted off the broken-down truck, then hit a tree. That’s when he broke his arm in eight places and severed a nerve. Then, as if that wasn’t enough injury for one day, his truck went into a ditch and hit another tree, sending a branch through his windshield, nearly decapitating him. Oddly enough, what saved him was the fact that he was not wearing a seatbelt. The branch went straight through the driver’s seat while he was pinned up against the driver-side door. A month and a half later, after several surgeries on his arm, Big Al started cooking again. He credits the car accident as being the event that made him take stock of his life. Did he want to be in his dad’s janitorial business forever? Did he want to be tending bar at TGIF? The answer was no, he didn’t. So Al moved back to Nashville and became a cook. “The restaurant business is doing what you truly believe in, and I believe in taking care of people.” Al has carried this sense of purpose with him throughout his career. He has made taking care of people his principal objective at every stop. Had Al gotten into cooking today, or not had his car accident, or not found God at the age of fifteen, perhaps his perspective on life would be a little different. Perhaps he would say that he embraces the artistry of cooking and wants to transform how we see Southern food. Perhaps he would have more ramps on his menu or sous-vide cookers in his kitchen (sorry, I promised I wouldn’t say sousvide or ramps). Instead, he represents a welcome juxtaposition to the modernist food establishment. The fried chicken he serves isn’t ironic, elevated, or “updated”; it’s made the way it’s always been made, and that way is very good.


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The first floor at Acme honors Nashville’s vast music scene with a “funkytonk” that hosts live music reflective of Nashville’s diverse musical landscape. Its menu offers gourmet, street-food style cuisine and its two bars feature 28 regional craft beers on tap. The first floor also houses a small boutique with Nashville-based artisan goods and Acme-branded merchandise.

The second floor of the Acme is a bar & social lounge on Broadway where Nashville locals and upscale travelers can socialize comfortably. It features handcrafted cocktails with seasonally-inspired ingredients, lounge seating, intimate group spaces, vintage games, and flat screen TVs for sporting and special events. The second floor is also the new home to Nashville legend, Sam’s Sushi.

MONDAY-SUNDAY 11AM-CLOSE 56 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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The rooftop at Acme allows guests to enjoy an open-air bar with 360 degree views overlooking Broadway, LP Field, SoBro, the Cumberland River and the Pedestrian Bridge. The rooftop terrace also plays home to a variety Acme events, from DJ dance parties to weekday yoga.

EAT. DRINK. BE ENTERTAINED.

The third floor is home to The Hatchery at Acme, the largest one-level event and music venue on lower Broadway. The Hatchery provides unparalleled character, historic charm and an open floor plan with endless opportunity to transform the space. The Hatchery is available year-round for event rentals, and will also host pre-programmed music series, events and concerts.

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THE HANG WILL GO ON COACH IS A DAD, DUDE, AND DANCE-INDUCING MACHINE. NEVER DJ, SOMETIMES COACH, PREFERABLY JEREMY

BY TIMOTHY BEATON | PHOTOS BY ANDREA BEHRENDS

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It’s all about a good hang.

That’s why Coach is in the game. Yes, he loves the music (though he prefers sports talk radio in his free time). Sometimes he enjoys promoting and getting a crowd together. But he’s really in it for the hang. “I want to be around music, I want to be around friends, that’s a good hang to me,” he divulges with a shrug of his shoulders. It’s what he does full time— and what I do for just one weekend.

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Night 1: Stone Fox

me that tomorrow night at Foobar will be.

Wanting to be punctual, I arrive to the The Early Years venue early to meet Coach for the first time. He’s invited me to participate in Eight years ago, Jeremy Todd was worka weekend in the life of. The introducing on a cattle ranch, one more odd job tion is relatively brief, as I have perfectly in a career of strange occupations that timed my entrance to interrupt him also included a stint in an embroidery while he is setting up his equipment. factory and time as a construction workWith a botched thumb-lock fist bump er. When he reflects now, with a chuckle, and the promise of reconvening, I leave he fully admits he had no idea what he him to complete his set up. wanted to do with his life. Sitting on his Under the gaze of a velvet Burt Reynfront porch, decorated with beer bottles olds, I stay out of the way and wait for and empty furniture, I get the full histhe night to begin. During our brief intory. teraction, Jeremy warned that tonight The journey from ranch hand to Nashwas only his fourth time with this venue ville nightlife institution started simply and he was unsure of what to expect. enough. His friend brought home some As he anticipated, it takes a while to turntables, and the two of them startwarm up. Then, at 10:21 p.m., the first ed messing around. It was love at first brave maniac sashays into the center scratch. “I really enjoyed being around of the room. “Goldie” by A$AP Rocky people, and I really enjoyed music, and shakes the sub, and a woman shakes it so DJing came as a way that can happen onto the dance floor. Slowly, over the both ways.” course of the night, a throng builds. JerArmed with their new toy, he and his emy had explained that the key to being friend endeavored to throw a house para successful DJ is reading the crowd and ty. That night Coach was born before a responding accordingly. As the night crowd of 150 people. Tickled with their progresses, he coaxes them into putting success, the two started planning round on their dancing shoes. two. That time, two hundred came. As Eventually Nick Melidis (DJ Rate), they started to plan their third and final with whom he is partnering tonight, blowout, Jeremy prepared accordingly. relieves Coach. They take turns on the “I bought 4x4s to put under my house tables, usually in forty-five-minute inbecause last time I saw the floor movcrements. I learn later it’s an imprecise ing.” He also removed all the furniture. process. Before I have the opportunity His wife did not share his excitement. to approach Coach, he is surrounded by “I thought she was going to kill me.” At friends and followers. Like a don, he sits least his actions were defensible. More at the bar and greets them individually. than five hundred people shook the reSeizing on a break in dialogue, I clap inforced floors of his empty house that him on the shoulder and shepherd him last night. Jeremy Todd had entered the onto the porch. realm of amateur DJ. We’re not able to chat for long before a very, very drunk girl comes to him— Night 2: FooBar it’s impossible to properly identify someone as friend, acquaintance, or fan, Navigating the front room of FooBar, as Jeremy seems to possess some conwhere the dance floor obstructs your nection to most everyone here. He takes way to the bar, can be a challenge. For the opportunity to get back to the stage, some, the dense atmosphere of secondwhere Nick has continued Jeremy’s mohand smoke may be off-putting. But the mentum with some Kanye-heavy hipthree-dollar High Life and general attihop. tude compensate. It has the excitement It never quite gets cray, to borrow a that Jeremy’s trying to foster at Stone term from Mr. West, but Jeremy assures

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Fox. This time Nick has the headphones on when I get there. Jeremy is in the back, playing darts with his posse, which I am introduced to. Here, he rolls with his own crew, splitting time between them, the turntables, and his people. He is hoping desperately for a bull’s-eye so he can return to the stage; he cannot leave before then. Once he finally hits his target, it’s still not quite time to get back in the booth. First, there’s a round of drinks that has to take place. One of them winds up in my hand. Later there will be shots. Jeremy, a linebacker in a backward flat-brim, is entirely unfazed. Not everyone is as responsible. It is every bit the rowdy, raucous night he promised. It grows more obscene with each tick of the clock, and the party rages until after 3 a.m. In the game room, people cheer and yell as they play giant Jenga. On the dance floor, men do pushups on top of women. The women twerk. This is his arena; Jeremy knows this vibe and has full command of it. I lack his fortitude and am unable to make it into the wee hours of the night. I pat him on the back to signal my departure, and this time I almost nail the thumb-lock fist bump. // The success of the house parties was enough to entice Jeremy to delve deeper into the DJ scene. By the time the third party had come and gone, he had begun forging relationships and playing in bars. Agave, a tequila bar that has since been replaced by Whiskey Kitchen, was one such place. “Me and my friend Michael did a thing every Tuesday night there for about seven months, and that’s really my first weekly thing I did, and it was so much fun,” he recalls with a smile. Right out of the gate, he was blazing a trail. “There were a couple of other parties that did play dance music, that did that kind of thing, but Agave was the first kind of Nashville-y weird weekly thing.” They would do things like build a scale oil rig you could take shots out of


COACH: Follow on Twitter @MyyCoach native.is/coach

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or have a robot themed night where “people did robot shit made years ago when Jeremy was still running the show at Agave and he made friends with Skrillex’s manager—RH and wore robot stuff.” Through his Nashville-y weird thing at the tequila bar, to Jeremy. The With Your Friends after party pulled in a he bonded with a DJ by the name of Justin Kase. Justin crowd of several thousand. It was nothing like the private show he did with Skrilshowed Jeremy the ways of the ones and twos, playing an instrumental role in developing his skill and confidence. lex, Zedd, and Porter Robinson the year before. That was “Once I got to be around Justin, I could kind of see, oh, a much more intimate affair with only 250 guests or so— this makes sense, this is why this is,” Jeremy explains. It and plenty of sweating. “It was the hottest environment I was his first experience with someone taking it seriously, had ever been in,” he recalls with the wide eyes of trauma. treating it like a profession. More than knowledge, Justin “Everyone was completely soaked through their shirts— gave Jeremy the possibility of having his own professional we had to stop. The humidity was so bad, [Sonny’s] equipcareer. “I know what sounds good and what doesn’t, and I ment broke.” didn’t figure that out until I was around him more.” Soon, word of Coach’s talent for curating a good time The Redux: Schwing @ No. 308 spread across Nashville. His name appeared on more and more flyers. He had monthlies and weeklies that would Two weeks after my weekend-long Coach bender, I show consistently draw hundreds. One of his biggest weekly up at Schwing. If I’m going to do a piece on Coach, this is parties, Recognize, commanded seven hundred to one the night I can’t miss. thousand faithful come hell or high water—on a Tuesday. Jeremy instructs me to arrive at eleven, and I, no longer Jeremy first met Nick, now his close friend and frequent a rookie, do not insist on showing up early. My confidence partner, while collaborating on one of these bacchanalian on the scene may have been misplaced; I later learn that festivals. members of the posse referred to me as “the one with the Nick was the second DJ, after Justin Kase, to have a pro- tucked-in shirt” with “that coif.” found influence on Coach. If Justin gave him confidence, As yet unaware of looking out of place, I push through then Nick gave him professionalism. Nick impressed Jer- the crowd toward the back of the bar, where Coach is emy with how seriously he took his parties. They’ve been holding court in a large VIP booth. The front of the booth working together ever since the initial meet, elevating houses their setup, and at the rear, Titanic plays silently each other’s careers. on a projector screen before the entire bar. Tonight is all about the ’90s. The entire place thrums to Destiny’s Child, Santana, BFD and Jay Z. Thirtysomethings dance to their high school Jeremy’s natural talent for working the turntables and and college anthems with reckless abandon. On the a crowd is obvious. You don’t enjoy the success he has screen, water begins to pour in as Jack and Rose fumble without it. However, that may not be his greatest talent. to escape. In an act of brilliance, Jeremy cues Matt, the His success is due in large part to his intense likeabil- music cuts out, and the tin whistle wails through the loudity. He assumes that instant familiarity that puts you at speakers. On reflex, the crowd screams along with Celine in the ease without being invasive. It makes people want to be most impassioned performance of “My Heart Will Go On” around him. He is, after all, all about the hang. In 2010, he was slated to play a Halloween block party that venue has likely ever seen or will see. By midnight the place is filled to capacity, 275 people, with Designer Drugs. He picked them up from the airport, and after a quick dose of Jeremy, they asked him to hang and a crowd waits patiently for their turn to get in. A genlater. When a friend of theirs later asked for DJs for a tleman of a certain age sweats profusely in track pants, gliding across the floor to a beat that only he seems to show in South Korea, Jeremy got the call. “That was the most surreal experience,” he recalls with hear. When it’s not his turn on the tables, Jeremy floats around the back, doling out drinks, hugs, and pats on a wide-eyed guffaw. He and his wife were picked up and flown to Seoul, backs. There’s an inherent silliness to it all, and it doesn’t where he received his own personal assistant for the du- appear to be lost on most of the crowd. Any and all preration of the trip. The event was held at Heaven Nightclub, tensions flew out the door when the Titanic theme started and Jeremy played on a rotating stage to a crowd of more playing. Again, the dancing goes into the wee hours of the night, than three thousand. In August 2012, he helped organize the after party for and it will be almost dawn when Jeremy finally walks back With Your Friends, a local festival that featured Skrillex— out the front door. Sonny to Jeremy—as a headliner. The connection was

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// Our conversation is plagued by mosquitoes, which ignore Jeremy’s requests to “eff off.” We have to make our retreat inside. Instantly, I stifle a giggle. “Yeah, she pretty much runs the house.” “She” is his two-year-old daughter. I knew he had a daughter. I had met his wife twice. However, I feel this is the first time I meet “Dad Jeremy,” as he calls himself. The rubber duck on the front lawn should have been a clue. It looks like a playpen exploded in the living room. Toys are scattered everywhere. Jeremy picks up “a stuffed dude from Yo-Gabba-Gabba” and contemplates it for the remainder of our conversation, turning it over and over again in his hands. Coach is all about the hang, and there’s nobody he would rather hang with than his little girl. “I get to hang out with my daughter during the day,” he says with a grin. “I’d say, most any day of the week, we’re hanging out.” She’s usually in bed before he leaves for the night, so there’s rarely a moment when his daughter is deprived of Dad Jeremy. For that, he’s eternally grateful. He readily acknowledges that fulltime DJing is made possible by Joy, his partner in crime and wife. “She’s the only reason it could exist,” he admits, with sincere gratitude in his voice. Without her staying at home, he explains, it would be difficult to stay out until 3:30 a.m. and wake back up at 7 a.m. with an excited toddler climbing across your chest. Together, they’ve made having a full-time DJ as the primary breadwinner work, no small feat for either party. It’s been a while since Jeremy played anything as big as Seoul or as sweaty as the private Skrillex show. He never pursued fame, as it was never a priority; starting a family reinforced that choice. Currently, he’s focused on consistency, providing. He’s happy to reveal that, and if he has no complaints, Nashville certainly doesn’t. We can count on hanging with Coach for a good long time.

G O TH I ? SUS

SUSHI LUNCH BUFFET

MONDAY - SATURDAY 11:30AM - 2:30PM HAPPY HOUR MONDAY - THURSDAY 4:30PM - 6:30PM # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

5 0 5 1 2 T H AV E S . ( 6 1 5 ) 2 5 2 - 8 7 8 7

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THE COACH-CURATED GUIDE TO NASHVILLE DJ NIGHTS:

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WHAT: Schwing WHERE: 308 WHEN: Last Friday of every month WHY: My favorite monthly that I do. Matt Bell and I play all ’90s music. Starts out with a lot of grunge and alternative rock stuff then gets pop, hip-hop, and R&B heavy. Reminds me of my high school years. Always packed and always a good time.

WHAT: The Boom Bap WHERE: The 5 Spot WHEN:4th Saturday of every month WHY: The homies Case Bloom and Rate throw the best hip-hop party in town. World-class DJs come in every month. It’s packed all the time, and they play some of my favorite old school hip-hop in town. A must-go if you live here.

3 4 WHAT:ShadyNasty WHERE: FooBar WHEN:Most Saturdays WHY: My buddy Spice-J does a great party at FooBar that I play at a lot. It’s a perfect mix of rowdiness and a good hang. Basically the perfect place to be at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

6 WHAT: Super Slam Jam Sunday WHERE: Wilhagan’s WHEN:Random Sunday every 4–6 weeks WHY: Volleyball plus music makes this a really unique hang. Nick and I bring some speakers and play music outside while we all play volleyball. Don’t come every Sunday, because I don’t want it to be busy. Forget I mentioned it.

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WHAT: The West Side Dance Party WHERE: The Stone Fox WHEN:1st Friday of every month WHY: I do this party with Nick Melidis (DJ Rate) of The Boom Bap. We wanted to get something going for all of the west siders. Elise Tyler plays with us too, and we love her. We try to play music that you can shake your ass to. Super fun.

5 WHAT: Keep on Movin’ WHERE: The 5 Spot WHEN:Every Monday WHY:If I have to explain this party to you, then who are you? Classic soul, funk, and Motown. Longest running party I know of. I guest play as DJ Diane Keaton whenever they let me crash the party.

7 WHAT: Strange Brew WHERE: Canvas WHEN:Every Tuesday WHY:Kevin Perryman and Hunter do an awesome night at Canvas. They play a bunch of house and bass music. If you haven’t been, you should go. Very underrated night in the city.

8 WHAT: QDP WHERE: The 5 Spot WHEN:3rd Friday of the month WHY: Never seen a party take off like this one before. I swear, the second month there were like 400 people. A ton of energy, and it brings something different to the east side. Laura, Jason, and Keith are incredible. Love them.


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Eternal Sunshine of the

Fermented Mind LINUS HALL and his YAZOO BREWING COMPANY sparked the Nashville craft beer boom more than a decade ago, and they don’t see any limit to how far it can go

By Scott Marquart | Photos by Danielle Atkins

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IT’S HOT, AND THE SOUR STENCH great parties out there, but the closest OF BOILED MALT IS THICK IN THE place to get beer was probably ten miles HUMID AIR. I’m standing on the load- away,” he explains. “They were all kind ing dock of the Yazoo brewery, trying to of entrepreneurs, so they started a potcatch the ear of one of the workers over growing operation out there. But I was a the rattle of the machinery. “I’m looking little bit less scofflawish, and so me and for Linus,” I holler. one other guy bought a home brewing One of them nods, and I follow him kit and were like, ‘Okay, we’ll make the into the brewery. As we weave through party beer, and y’all can have the other the steel fermentation tanks, I make stuff.’” out John Lee Hooker’s throaty howl belThey ordered the kit over the phone lowing down from the rafters overhead, from an ad in Rolling Stone, and before “This is hip, pretty baby, now—you long they were up and running. “I was messed around and fell in love.” just amazed that you could make someI find Linus in the taproom. He pours thing that tasted like beer, because himself a pint of the 10-Year IPA, a bal- it seemed like beer [only came] from anced white IPA made to commemorate these huge factories.” the brewery’s first decade in existence. The guys were so impressed by the We sit down at the far side of the room. first batch that they decided to throw a The red cinder block walls are lined with party the next weekend to celebrate. Unpaintings by his wife, Lila—the origi- fortunately, because they had used cane nal versions of the artwork on Yazoo’s sugar alongside the malt, the beer coniconic bottles. The southern wall is all tinued to ferment until it tasted sweet glass, but the sun that sneaks through like a cider. “We all were so excited,” he is softened by burlap malt sacks, strung laughs, “and when people showed up together as makeshift curtains. to the party, they were like, ‘This is inOur table has a bit of a wobble, and teresting cider that you made here . . .’” Linus leans down to finagle with the Linus kept at it, though, experimenting offending leg. “This is where all my with different styles and techniques and business cards end up: underneath improving steadily with each batch. But the tables,” he jokes. Ask anyone who it was just a hobby back then. knows Linus, and they’ll tell you that After school he took an engineering he’s more comfortable getting his hands job at Bridgestone-Firestone, and he dirty welding a part in the back than he and Lila moved to Nashville, his home is serving as the public face of the brew- brewing rig in tow. He soon found othery. Not that he isn’t good at that as well; ers who shared his passion through the Linus’ enthusiasm for his work is conta- Music City Brewers club. They would gious, and his Southern-accented charm meet up each month at brewpubs like is undeniable. But at his core, he’s a Blackstone and Bosco’s to share tips and craftsman. critique one another’s work. As the feed“I don’t know anybody in this busi- back on his brewing became increasingness that started off thinking, I’m going ly positive, Linus couldn’t help but feel to be a brewer. They did something else that he had a knack for it. Daydreams in their prior lives—they were engineers, of owning his own brewery came more lawyers . . .” Linus was the former: a me- and more frequently, until he reached a chanical engineer, just like his father. breaking point. But even before he began practicing that “We were walking through Shelby Park, trade, a growing passion for beer and my wife and I, and I was probably tellthe brewing process had begun to take ing her for the millionth time, ‘I’ve got root. this idea for the beer and the labels . . . While working toward his engineer- wouldn’t it be cool if we started our own ing degree at the University of Virginia, brewery?’ She turned around and said, Linus lived in a large country house with ‘Linus, either do it or shut up. I am so seven other guys. “We would have some tired of you just talking about it. You

know I support you; you can quit your job, just make sure that you do it the right way. But I don’t want to hear you just talking about it anymore. If you’re going to do it, do it.’” So he did. But while a lot of people might have started filling bottles that night and trying to hustle their way into the market on grit alone, Linus was determined to do it the right way. “A lot of brewers were making excellent beer, but they didn’t have any idea how to run the business—or they were making terrible beer.” To avoid being a member of either camp, Linus set out to get his MBA from Vanderbilt and a brewing diploma from the American Brewers Guild. The time out of work was tough on him and Lila, but he was determined to make it work. After two years honing his skills, including a five-week apprenticeship at Brooklyn Brewery, Linus was ready to hammer out the details of his own brewing company. Though it would take months to find the space in the Marathon Motor Works building, gather the equipment, and jump through the requisite legal hoops, one thing came easily: the name. Linus grew up near the Yazoo River in Mississippi, and as soon as he and Lila said the words “Yazoo Brewing Company” aloud, they were sold. Once Linus had cleared the hurdle of getting the doors open, another challenge quickly came into focus. Yazoo was one of the first Nashville breweries to package their beer and try to get it out in any kind of volume; most people didn’t know craft beer from bathtub moonshine. This presented them with a big opportunity, but it also meant that they were facing an uphill battle to educate the market all on their own. Linus went from bar to bar trying to convince them to put Yazoo on tap. Some were receptive, but many didn’t yet understand what craft beer was. One bar owner told him, “I already have all four kinds of beer: Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Heineken.” To lower the pressure, Linus would offer to drill them a new tap hole, so they could add a Yazoo tap handle without having to take

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don’t have any, like, strawberry-kiwi-lime beer or off one of their major sellers. Barstool by barstool, he began to convert something like that,” he says with a grin. “We just people. Everyday beer drinkers started to trade like simple, easy-to-drink beers that you can have up from the domestic lager they’d been drinking three or four of in a sitting without getting drunk since college to a fresh, locally made beer with because of the alcohol or wanting to scrape your actual flavor to it. Bars and restaurants took no- tongue off because of how hoppy it is.” Linus’ beers run the gamut from small-batch tice, and soon Yazoo’s rising sun logo became ubiquitous all over town, before most of their barrel-aged sours to a classic Bavarian Hefeweizen, and each recipe has its own story. Some, competitors had even opened their doors. Linus humbly chalks up much of his success like Dos Perros, came easily. “After about two or to being in the right place at the right time. As three recipes on my home brew system, it was far as he’s concerned, all he had to do to get beer where I liked it. I made it for my little sister’s drinkers behind Yazoo was to get it out in front of wedding. She wanted to have a dark beer that them. “People were ready to accept a good local tasted like a light beer. It was in Mississippi, and beer. I knew that if we could just make a quality it was an outdoor wedding in May. She wanted a lighter beer,” he chuckles. beer, people would get behind it.” Other recipes were labors of love. “Our Pale Whether it was fate or not, there’s no doubt that getting Yazoo up and running took a lot of Ale, I probably made a hundred different variahard work. “Each day I would get in, help Zach tions of that before I settled on the one that I get the brew started, load up the truck, make de- liked. And that’s the one that—yeah, if I’m taking liveries, come back at lunch, make some more de- a six-pack home, I usually grab that one.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the system he liveries, go out and hit some sales calls, go back, probably hook up some more deliveries, wrap up uses to create each new beer. He develops each the brew, go home at night, try to sleep, and play recipe on the same home brewing rig he brought with my kid a little bit.” Though Linus is able to to town all those years ago, and he knows it like live a more balanced life now, he worked night the back of his hand. Now ten years into its existence, the Yazoo and day like this for years. “With that behind us, it all looks like it was a wonderful fun trip, but I name is synonymous with the Nashville craft beer scene. But despite the success it has enjoyed, can definitely remember some hard times.” All that hard work has paid off in the form of the brewery is not without its challenges. “Right the burgeoning craft beer scene we have today, now the segment is so hot, everybody’s growing which is not only one of the strongest in the like crazy, and there’s a need for constant growth Southeast, but one of the least pretentious any- . . . It beats the other side of it, but it’s still stresswhere. Following Yazoo’s example, Nashville’s ful. It takes a ton of resources and time and plancraft breweries don’t flaunt exclusivity; they ning, and more and more debt.” Though they just moved into their current lowant their beer to be enjoyed by people of all stripes. As a result, the Nashville beer scene is cation in the Gulch four years ago, they’ve grown made up of a diverse crowd of craft enthusiasts even faster than expected. “We’re running out from all walks of life. “I see it here—people all of space again, and it’s getting hard to fit more the time who I wouldn’t expect to be drinking, tanks in,” he sighs, running his fingers through you know, craft beer . . . We have blue-collar and his grey-streaked auburn hair. “We may have to white-collar professionals. We have hippies; we decide that we’re big enough, and we might have have hipsters; we’ve got black, white, old, young.” to stop for a while—or we’ll have to figure out a At the end of the day, Linus is a hardworking, way to put tanks out in the parking lot,” he jokes. One way or another, they will have to face blue-collar guy making beer for anybody who’s ever had a tough day they want to relax after or these challenges, because the craft beer movea good day they want to enjoy all the more. He ment doesn’t appear to be slowing down anykeeps it simple, honest, and makes beer that he time soon. For Linus, the craft craze isn’t just a would want to drink himself. “That’s why we bubble—it’s the future of the industry. “I think

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“WE MAY HAVE TO DECIDE THAT WE’RE BIG ENOUGH AND WE MIGHT HAVE TO STOP FOR A WHILE—OR WE’LL HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PUT TANKS OUT IN THE PARKING LOT.”

YAZOO: yazoobrew.com Follow on Facebook @yazoobrewing or Twitter and Instagram @yazoobrew native.is/linus-hall

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the last hundred years were maybe Middle Tennessee brewers know each more of an anomaly,” he says, refer- other, and the elder statesmen are alring to the dominance achieved by ways willing to help the newcomers the large national breweries. “It goes get the resources they need to make back to the ancient Egyptians. It’s al- great beer. “Now when it comes to ways been a locally driven, regionally selling beer, it’s completely differdriven product because it tastes best ent,” he assures me, “but I think it’s a when it’s fresh, when it’s not sterile- friendly competition.” Linus seems confident that Nashfiltered or pasteurized.” Though the 20th century saw the ville can become a major player in dissolution of local and regional the brewing industry, like Denver or brewers, the 21st century has seen Asheville before it. And why shouldn’t a renaissance in the production of it? In the time since Yazoo bottled its distinct flavors and styles from local first beer, this town has gone from breweries all over the nation. The being a culinary desert to a foodie revival has been equally kind to beer hotspot. Beer seems well poised to drinkers and producers. “People are be the next big buzz out of Nashville. deciding to drink better beer, drink “We’re heading back in the right direcless of it, enjoy the taste, and enjoy tion . . . We’re growing faster than we the flavors. That kind of movement, ever have been. There’s a whole lot like local food, is helping local busi- more local breweries competing for the same dollar, but the pie is grownesses capture that market share.” Even though Nashville’s local ing rapidly. Nashville’s in a good spot.” I ask if there’s a cap on how many breweries compete with one another for the same audience, they work breweries a city like Nashville can together under the leadership of support. Linus smiles and shakes his veterans like Linus to ensure quality head. “You don’t go to Seattle and say, across the board. “The older guys like ‘How can they support all these coffee us have been through it. We want all shops?’ If they’re good, they survive the new guys to be making great beer, and do well,” he insists. “As long as because if somebody tries somebody we’re all differentiating ourselves else’s beer and has never gotten into from each other and providing somethe craft brew scene and gets turned thing that’s unique—I don’t know off by it, it hurts everybody.” All the where the limit is.”

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Coming this month!

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LOST AND

FOUND WHAT DO TIM BURTON, MICHAEL BAY, AND KEITH URBAN HAVE IN COMMON? THEY’VE ALL BORROWED PIECES FROM RUBY GUIDARA, TENNESSEE’S RESIDENT PROP AFICIONADO

BY ANDREW LEAHEY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY REBECCA ADLER | HAIR & MAKEUP BY ELAINA KARRAS

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THE TOWN SQUARE OF WATERTOWN, TENNESSEE, RISES OUT THE CORNFIELDS AND CEDAR GLADES OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE LIKE THE SECOND COMING OF THE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS BACKLOT. It’s a Norman Rockwell painting brought to life, with a gazebo in the middle and a hodgepodge of Mayberry-worthy storefronts along the surrounding streets— Barrett’s Barber Shop, the Kleen-o-matic Laundromat, the Watertown Gazette. Opie Taylor would’ve lived in a place like this. The Little Rascals would’ve set up a two-cent lemonade stand in a place like this. If it weren’t for a long, whitewashed building on the square’s northeast corner with a hand-painted “Vote Obama + Biden” sign hanging beneath the roof, the Watertown of today would probably look a lot like the Watertown of the 1950s. Leave it to Ruby Guidara, the set decorator for ABC’s Nashville, to live in a town that so closely resembles a TV soundstage. Long before she spent her days decorating Deacon Claybourne’s bedroom and Rayna James’ kitchen, though, Ruby was a Hollywood hotshot who worked on some of the biggest films of the 1990s. She built cocaine mirrors for the characters in Basic Instinct and spruced up Alcatraz for The Rock. She decorated sets for Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. While working on Outbreak in Kauai, she responded to a last-minute demand by the film’s director—who, one day before shooting was scheduled to begin, decided the set needed more dead bodies—by running to the local market and purchasing a side of beef, which she tore apart by hand and attached to pieces of a fake human skeleton. Voila! Homemade corpses. Things started to change after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Ruby, who’d grown up on the East Coast, hated the idea of living on top of fault lines. Looking for more stability, she left Hollywood in the mid-90s and moved to Tennessee. The original plan was to open up a props warehouse in German-

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town, where real estate was still dirt cheap. When her dream building caught on fire and burned to the ground three days before Ruby was scheduled to take possession, though, she headed toward the country instead, eventually buying a 22,000-square-foot sock factory in the middle of Watertown’s historic district and turning it into one of the most renowned props warehouses in America. 22,000 square feet. That’s an entire half acre of yard sale gold. Ruby swears the place used to be well organized, back when country stars like Keith Urban and Blake Shelton would shoot entire music videos inside the building, but it’s fallen into glorious disarray ever since Nashville started occupying her time in early 2013. She seems to know where everything is located, though—apart from a stack of 8x10 portraits of Johnny Depp and Sarah Jessica Parker, both dressed in their Ed Wood costumes, which she lost several years ago—and she can’t walk past a prop without telling its story. “These posters are from the crazy video we did for ‘Icky Thump,’” she says, pointing to two circus banners used in the White Stripes’ video. Both of them feature hand-painted illustrations of half-naked Mexican women with captions like “¡Chica bonita!” and “¡Que guapa!” written in flashy old-school script. “We built a set on the old prison grounds in Nashville,” she continues, spreading the banners out for a closer look. “It was supposed to be Tijuana, and it was two hundred yards long. I took a trailer full of farm animals down there, and I had another friend bring mules and horses. We painted a white mule with red zebra stripes. It was insanity.” Several feet away, an eight-foot ceramic statue of Darth Vader looms in the darkness, with eyes made out of bicycle reflectors and a lightsaber that appears to be fashioned from a long skinny crowbar. “That Darth Vader statue is crazy,” she admits. “I don’t know why I bought it,

“WE PAINTED A WHITE MULE WITH RED ZEBRA STRIPES. IT WAS INSANITY.”

but when my kid was little, I had it in my front yard. It was hilarious. He sword fought it. He climbed it. It was his playmate. I live in a beautiful fairy cottage on a hillside, and a lot of bands shoot videos on my farm. The fuckers used to go up my driveway like bats out of hell and throw all the gravel out into the yard. So I took Darth Vader over there, put it at the end of my driveway, and hung a sign off the lightsaber that said, ‘Drive slow or DIE.’ And with that video shoot, everyone drove like decent human beings.” Darth Vader and the “Icky Thump” banners are just the tip of the iceberg. Other items glimpsed during a thirtyminute walk-through of Ruby’s warehouse include: a doll dressed in OshKosh overalls; an ornate proscenium stage from a Big & Rich video shoot; a motorized, coin-operated Batmobile; candelabras from the nightclub scene in Basic Instinct; the casket used in the final shot of Carrie Underwood’s “Just a Dream” video; endless rows of chairs, lamps, baskets, sombreros, flower vases, and mannequin torsos; animals from an old carousel; a life-sized Tin Man; and set pieces from the UK version of Keith Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me” video, which required Ruby to build an entire loft-style apartment inside the warehouse. Remember the scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where government officials wheel the ark of the covenant into an immense room that stretches to the horizon? Ruby’s place is a lot like that, with fewer cardboard boxes and more circus paraphernalia. “If I didn’t have this hoard of interesting, eclectic bullshit,” she says, “I wouldn’t be able to do Nashville. We work on three episodes at the same time—wrapping an episode, shooting an episode, and prepping a new episode—


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and the pace is mind boggling. You can’t go to the flea market and get all of this stuff, but luckily, I know what I have. I love picking out the perfect thing for each character.” Every yin needs a yang. Ruby balances the pace of her day job by spending as much time as possible at home, in a 19th-century farmhouse on the western outskirts of Watertown. To get there, you drive through the town square, past the drive-in movie theater, over the train tracks, and down a tangle of country roads, eventually arriving at a sprawling, thirty-acre farm. Ruby shares the place with her young son, Thurman, along with an army of horses, ponies, donkeys, chickens, cats, a litter of newborn kittens, a leftover goat from the “Icky Thump” video, and a Great Pyrenees dog. It’s a far cry from her former digs in LA, and she likes it that way. It reminds her of being a kid.

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“I grew up on a hobby farm in Maryland,” she remembers, “where I milked goats every day and every night. It was a really rural area, on the edge of thousands of acres of parkowned land that wasn’t developed. It was just farm after farm that the park had bought but never done anything with. The houses and barns were still there, but they were empty. So, as a child, I rode my pony all over the thousands of acres and played house in big, old farm houses that nobody lived in anymore. I realize now, ‘Holy shit! The things that could have happened to me . . .’ But I was free as a bird, riding my pony all over the place. I’d follow the river and take a trail and go through the little gate, and there was the farm—with nobody there! The people got their money and they left, and I had this great fantasy world to play in.” Much of her current farmland is undevel-


oped too. In the spirit of using everything— even her own home—as a prop, she often rents out the place to filmmakers, photographers, and music video directors. A LeAnn Rimes video was filmed on the hill behind her house. The video for Miranda Lambert’s “Over You” was shot in some nearby woods. Little Big Town’s “Boondocks” was filmed on-site too. “A tornado came through while we were shooting ‘Boondocks,’” she says. “The video was supposed to be a big farm party with about one hundred extras, and everything just went crazy once the sky turned black. There were people all over the place. A tree fell and crushed cars. We had a giant hog at the shoot—a hog—and the little boy who owned the hog was there, and he couldn’t deal with wrangling that hog while the fucking sky was falling. I’m running around while there’s rain and hail and all kinds of shit, trying to keep

my eyes on that hog, because if we lost him, there’s no telling where he’d wind up. There’s thousands of acres out here. The boy told me the hog likes tomatoes, so I walk over to the caterer and say, ‘Give me all your tomatoes,’ and she’s like, ‘You can’t have our tomatoes,’ and I say, ‘GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING TOMATOES! I CAN’T LOSE THIS PIG!’ I went completely Linda Blair on them. And so I’m out there with a case of tomatoes, giving him little snibblets, being like, ‘Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave.’ Because if he left, the little boy wouldn’t have his pet pig anymore. I mean, the shit we do! It’s not just set decoration. It includes hog wrangling.” As Ruby walks around the perimeter of her home, a Shetland pony comes trotting up. Ruby introduces the animal as “Minnie Pearl” and strokes its neck. Years ago, when Ruby’s son was two years old, he slipped out of his

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RUBY GUIDARA: See her props on Nashville, returning Wednesday, September 24. native.is/ruby-guidara

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mom’s sight and ran into the horse pen, where a stallion promptly kicked him in the head. Minnie Pearl kept the stallion away by running circles around Thurman’s body until Ruby arrived. Thurman went to the hospital that day and received several stitches, resulting in a scar on his forehead that he now refers to as his “Harry Potter scar.” You get the feeling he’s pretty proud of it. Meanwhile, Minnie Pearl became Ruby’s favorite animal—a considerable feat, seeing as Ruby seems to adore them all. “I just love being enveloped in the animals,” she admits. “In general, people who have horses don’t live like this. People who have farms don’t live like this. I’m not trying to make money by being a farmer. The only reason I even put up a fence around the house was to keep the horses out of the actual house itself, and even then, it doesn’t always work. Some mornings, they’ve opened the gate and come in. I’ve even had a horse in the kitchen, because I was carrying in the groceries and didn’t close the door. That’s how ridiculous it gets. But I don’t mind. I like the sensation of being surrounded by them.” Maybe she was a horse in a past life? “No, I was probably a mule,” she replies. “I’m too stubborn. You can ask some of my exes about that.” Later, as Ruby gets ready for this story’s photo shoot, she starts talking with the photographer about ideas. She wants to be photographed with Minnie Pearl. She wants to be photographed on the hill that overlooks the neighboring farm. She wants to include certain props, certain poses, certain costumes. Ruby isn’t pushy, but she knows what she wants, and she can’t quite suppress her inner decorator. It’s like watching the two halves of Ruby Guidara—the props guru and the rural farm girl—come together. “I love the simplicity of this place and this life,” she says. “It’s in contrast to my day job, maybe, but the day job makes all this happen.”

East Nashville Spice Company Eclectic and wonderfully versatile artisanal spice blends containing no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or fillers, handcrafted right here in Nashville.

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IF YOU THINK THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE A CAREER IN MUSIC IS AS A PERFORMER, YOU’RE ONLY SEEING HALF THE PICTURE. Our hands-on Music Business and Audio Technology Programs will help you make a career behind the scenes recording or producing music.

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Pattern of Behavior

Melanie Shelley, TRIM Legendary Beauty Photo by Brett Warren

Lay-Rite Hair Pomade, $16.50, TRIM Classic Barber Legendary Beauty 86 / /////////////////////////////// 86 //////

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The Face: Andi Sylvester | Haircut, Design: Master Barber Kevin Hagewood @ TRIM Classic Barber | Grooming, Clothes, Styling: Melanie Shelley @ TRIMNashville.com for AMAXTalent.com

Fresh prints hit the runway for fall, declaring grids and checkerboards back for menswear. “Stacking threads” is now a necessity—two or three patterns at a time—where your style is only limited by the temperature outside. But don’t forget your do. “Guys are always looking for ways to personalize their look,” says awardwinning barber Kevin Hagewood. “Adding that one extra detail to a classic cut makes it less retro and more renegade.”


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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: KELSEY WALDON

You have a song titled “Not My First Time.” What is your most memorable first-time experience? My most memorable first-time experience would be . . . my first concert. Patty Loveless at the “Big E” (Executive Inn) in Paducah, Kentucky, in 1996. The other first times I’ll refrain from speaking about—for now . . . You’re from a town in Kentucky called Monkey’s Eyebrow. How do you think being from a rural area has informed your music? Being from a town like that informed me about a special demographic of people. It’s also played a huge part in who I am and my outlook on life. I wouldn’t have it any other way! You’re a country artist, but there’s a rock ‘n roll attitude in your tunes that’s sorely missing in the modern country world. Do you just miss the “good ole days” of the genre? That is awesome for you to say. I don’t want to say I miss the “good ole days” because they aren’t gone. They are still here. I hate when people say there’s no good country music anymore. Speaking of rock ‘n roll, the last time we saw you perform you played so hard that your hand was bleeding by the end of the show. Is that the most “metal” thing you’ve ever done? If not, what is? That happens a lot! What can I say—I play it like I mean it. Growing up, I used to play on the same bills as hardcore/screamo bands. That’s pretty “metal,” right? Let’s talk about some pro tips for our readers: Advice for guys/girls who are having a hard time getting over their “First Time”? That song’s not about what you think it is . . . but keep on keeping on, first-timers! Best BBQ in Nashville? Exhausted discussion—I think I’d say Martin’s, though. But the best BBQ I’ve ever had was in Texas and Memphis. Who else should we be looking out for in the country world? Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, JP Harris, Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay, Andrew Hunt and Johnny Appleseed, and way more. Plans for the future? Do better than I did before.

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observatory

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

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illustrated by Daly Cantrell


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Your Nashville Symphony | Live at the schermerhorn

F

O C I S U M THE

N O S K C JA with the y n o h p m y S e l l i v h Nas

October 10

Experience the King of Pop’s mega-hits performed live by the Nashville Symphony, a full band and featured vocalists. From “ABC” and “I’ll Be There” to “Rock With You,” “Thriller,” “Beat It” and more, this concert will take you through each incredible era of Michael Jackson’s legendary 40-year career.

With the Nashville Symphony

September 21

Smash hits like “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Urgent,” “Cold as Ice” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

October 30 to November 1

The Nashville Symphony, a full band, and featured vocalists embody the spirit of the late Freddy Mercury and his classic rock anthems “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottom Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and more.

with support from

615.687.6400 | NashvilleSymphony.org # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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

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Profile for Native

Native | September 2014 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Yazoo Brewmaster Linus Hall, Brooke Asbury, Bryan Deese, Big Al's Deli, Coach, and Ruby Guidara

Native | September 2014 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Yazoo Brewmaster Linus Hall, Brooke Asbury, Bryan Deese, Big Al's Deli, Coach, and Ruby Guidara

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