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FEBRUARY

2015


BROADWAY AT 65 | 1512 BROADWAY, NASHVILLE, TN 37203 | 615.329.2929 | DOWNTOWNSUBARUNASHVILLE.COM # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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BONGO JAVA AT 5TH AVE JUST GOT MORE INTERESTING

AFTER 5PM A THOUGHTFUL COLLECTION OF

COFFEE BEER WINE SPIRITS SMALL BITES & IRRESISTIBLE SWEETS

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A BONGO JAVA 5TH AVENUE PRODUCTION

by Brandon Ross

General Manager, Bongo Java 5th Avenue

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the “coffee shop” experience seems the same everywhere you go. Wait in line, order your coffee. Wait for your coffee, get your coffee, and then rush out. Forget about taking your time, learning a cool thing or two, and trying something adventurous—there’s no time! It’s in and out, as quickly as possible. At Bongo Java 5th Avenue, we asked ourselves, what happened to the “break” in “coffee break,” and what can we do to bring it back? Introducing Bongo at Night. The coffee is the same, but the focus has changed. We’re stirring things up and breaking the barrier between you and the barista. Come in any night between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to enjoy a relaxing tableside

experience. We have expanded our menu to include pour-over options and have added a number of wines, local beers, and my favorite spirits. Our cocktail menu will make you wonder why you don’t mix coffee with liquor more often. Cheese, charcuterie, house-made profiteroles, and truffles offer endless pairing combinations. Sip, savor, and unwind with friends and our baristas while enjoying our collection of board games and vinyl records. Don’t like the record we are playing? That’s cool. Pick a new one and we will play it for you. It’s about having the opportunity to enjoy yourself and the people around you. Come hang out with us and experience the warmth of our people and community.

SIP. SAVOR. UNWIND. ONLY AT BONGO JAVA 5TH AVENUE

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615 . 2 5 6 . 2 0 3 3

212 0 8 T H AV E S

New MARTIN D-45

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brentwood

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white bridge

21 white bridge pike suite 210 COMING FEBRUARY ‘15


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A SHOP F OR ALL OF YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2015

23

38

56 70

26 78

THE GOODS 19 Beer from Here 20 Cocktail of the Month 23 Master Platers 51 Hey Good Lookin’ 56 Shooting the Shit 89 You Oughta Know 92 Observatory 94 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 26 Stacie Flood-Popp and Found Movement Group 38 BZRK 60 Patrick’s Bistreaux 70 Larry Kloess 78 Sarah Gavigan

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DEAR NATIVES,

T

hanks for tagging us, y’all! Be sure to check out these Instagrammers, and #nativenashville to share your photos with us.

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:

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film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

editor:

@hungryyspice

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@livinlikelarz

          writers: photographers:

@lindsaydomin

@harpethriver

founding team:

MATTHEW LEFF JONAH ELLER-ISAACS CHARLIE HICKERSON MELANIE SHELLEY MATT COLANGELO LINDSEY BUTTON SCOTT MARQUART COOPER BREEDEN

DANIELLE ATKINS KRISTIN SWEETING JONATHON KINGSBURY BRETT WARREN MIKAELA HAMILTON EMILY B. HALL AUSTIN LORD

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

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

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IN LAST MONTH’S DREW HOLCOMB FEATURE, WE ACCIDENTALLY MISSPELLED RICH BRINSFIELD’S LAST NAME. SORRY ABOUT THAT, RICH!

PROUDLY DELIVERED BY RUSH BICYCLE MESSENGERS

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Beer Name: B r e we d B y : Beer Style:

Indomitus Dolium

Yazoo Brewing Company Barrel Aged Old Ale

ABV:

10. 1

Notes:

A collaboration with our friends at Rocky Mountain

Barrel Company, this English Old Ale is aged in rare Cognac barrels from France. Dark ruby in color with warming cherry and dark fruit notes. A secondary

addition of classic “Old World� Brettanomyces strains will continue to evolve in the bottle.

Sampled By:

Matthew Leff of Rhizome Productions Inc.

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The

THE GOODS

Knucklehead “Named after the most revered and sought-after Harley. It’s a trip south of the border going 100 mph into the sunset with no helmet or regard for rules.” —Ben Clemons, No. 308

photo by danielle atkins 20 ////////////////////////////////// 20 //////

ATIVE IVENNASH ASHVI VILLE LLE ##NNAT

2 oz Vida Single Village Mezcal 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 3/4 oz agave syrup 1/2 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur

F Add all ingredients to a shaker. F Shake and finely strain into freshly chilled coupe glass with a black pepper sugared rim.


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craft beer

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BB B t f a r D 20 LENOX:

shakes

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


HOW TO MAKE: CHOCOLATE GANACHE WITH

LAUREN GARCIA, CONFECTIONARY KITCHEN MANAGER AT GOO GOO CLUSTER

THE GOODS: 3 cups bittersweet chocolate 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp vanilla extract or flavored extract*

*

YO U M AY SU BS TIT UT E FL AV O RE D EX TR AC T (LI KE PE PP ER M IN T O R AL M O ND ) O R BO O ZE (LI KE DA RK RU M ).

DIRECTIONS: F Chop chocolate and place in a large bowl. F Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. F Pour hot cream over chocolate and add the salt. F Let stand for ten minutes, add extract, then whisk until combined. NOTE: If you want your ganache thicker—like filling—you can add less cream. If you want thinner ganache—like brownie or cake icing—add more cream. The ganache will thicken as it cools. You may also let it come to room temperature, stir it every so often for about an hour, then beat with a mixer to make a lighter icing for cake or cupcakes.

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M E N ' S S TO R E • CU S TO M C L OT H I N G B A R • B A R B ER S H OP

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FINDING IMPERFECTION

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STACIE FLOOD-POPP AND HER FOUND MOVEMENT GROUP USE A CRAZED KINETIC BLEND OF DANCE STYLES AND MOVEMENT TO ACHIEVE A PROFOUND— AND PERFECTLY HUMAN—IMPERFECTION BY JONAH ELLER-ISAACS | PHOTOS BY KRISTIN SWEETING

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Arms curl. Feet intertwine. Joints twist. Countless toes scuff the black floor. Movements ripple through the crowd, a hand raised here, an ankle bent just so, here and then there, far across the mass of twirling dancers. Actions are not so much reflected as refracted. Backs arch together, but the path of the bend changes, articulated variations oscillating from body to body. Music flows across the room, dense with texture, humming with energy. Each dancer finds an idiosyncratic path into, through, and out of each motion. A knee flexes here, a head tilts slightly there: the destinations are the same, but the routes traveled by these lithe, graceful bodies vary at each repetition. There is no “right” way to move through this choreography. There is no “perfect”—and that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Stacie Flood-Popp never intended to be a dancer, much less a professional choreographer. Yet somehow her company that I’m observing today, Found Movement Group, is nearing its tenth anniversary, and they’re madly preparing for an imminent performance of their newest work, Gradient, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Johnson Theater. And madly is the word. This is the marking rehearsal, and the company is working through the piece to find their places, set with luminous arrows and long lines of tape running across the floor. The lighting designer watches from the edge of the stage, noting cues, musical changes, and points of chaotic, swirling movement. A full dress rehearsal is a distant dream, and the mood is mild hysteria: screams of delight, giggles, the occasional curse. As a particularly sensual section winds down, three women start grinding against each other. A long-limbed dancer, one foot bare and one foot wrapped in a long striped sock, laughs along with everyone and shrieks, “No no no no! That’s not part of it!” Still, through the helter-skelter hilarity,

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it’s evident that these dancers care deeply about their art. I’ve arrived on a wet wintry day to Found’s rehearsal space at Nashville School of the Arts, and though the heat is broken and the space quite below the optimal warmth for dance performance, company members still pause between movements to dab away the sweat. When a solo or duet is called, the dancers fill the narrow sidelines along the stage, stretching, practicing a challenging section, and rubbing Tiger Balm Extra Strength across fine-tuned muscles, but still laughing as they mimic the motions of those on stage. Even as the vibe in the room stays casual, they’re working with intense focus. The dancers are rehearsing today without Stacie, Found’s artistic director. She’s across the country at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she’s working on her certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis with the Integrated Movement Studies Program. Stacie and I plan a video interview, and her face blips into a Skype window as I’m tweaking my recording setup. Her blue eyes gleam, even through the blurry pixelated display, and her headful of dirty blonde hair is trussed into an updo. An enormous canvas print of a tree and rope bridge dominates the space behind her on the wall of her Airbnb rental. I apologize that she has to watch me staring at my screen as I set inputs and monitor levels. “It’s so interesting!” she laughs. “I’m working on human movement analysis.” Stacie is an expert in finding the grace and beauty in everyday actions most of us take for granted. She explains, “My first influence is not a choreographer, but my company members and human observation . . . My favorite thing to do is—I don’t like big crowds—but I love to go to the airport or the mall or Starbucks or something and just sit back and watch people. ‘Cause for me . . . life is movement.” Stacie’s choreography brings her love of all movement to the stage and utilizes a physical vocabulary drawn from myriad sources: fluidity and looseness from jazz and funk; a wild physicality that’s AfroCaribbean; pops and locks from hip-hop and breakdance; narrative structure and technical artistry


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from contemporary dance and ballet. Found’s twenty-five dancers have each taken a different path to the dance floor, and Stacie encourages their individuality to radiate through her work. “The dancers don’t have a specific body type or specific training,” she tells me, and it’s impossible to miss that the company is as diverse, body-wise and ethnically, as any I’ve encountered. She continues, “I never think of my choreography as me giving them something. I think it’s co-creative . . . It’s a collaborative event.” Stacie asks more of her dancers than most; though her steps are difficult, demanding, and technically complex, the real challenge is her expectation that her company members believe in their movements and their role in the greater piece, deeply and honestly: “I’m always asking them if they get it, if they understand it. Not just externally with

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their movements, but internally, from their souls, from the pits of their being, their guts.” After the marking run-through, I sit down with Found’s principal dancers, Chelsea Antczak, Chaz Pirtle, and Travis Cooper. “What is it like, dancing for Stacie?” I wonder aloud. Chaz, a twenty-four-year-old with a camo cap and a thick black beard, is the first to respond. “It’s a challange,” he tells me, emphasizing the last syllable, warping it to rhyme with Solange. “But I love it. She just pushes you to the point of no return. Sometimes you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, Stacie, that’s hard. I’m not doin’ that.’ But then at the end of the day, you push yourself and get it done.” Chelsea is twenty-one, the lone woman among the three principals, and the tiniest dancer in the company. She explains that the real work of Stacie’s choreography isn’t the steps:


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“Working with her on performance aspects . . . she time he’s provided music for Found’s movement. . I takes you inside different parts of yourself. Especially was curious about the chronology of the music and with this show, I’m having to fill out all these things the movement narrative, and Aaron explained that within me, and she makes me go within there and “the initial concept for this production was to create find that. And if it’s not real, if it doesn’t look genuine, the choreography around our music, so rather than coming up with a story and writing music for it, we she’ll tell you.” Rather than technical flawlessness, Stacie’s chore- created a story based around our music. Which was ography places an emphatic value on truth and hon- honestly a bit like putting IKEA furniture together esty in movement. When I ask her to explain what is without instructions.” When I ask him about how at the core of her movement philosophy, she informs composing for dance has affected his songwriting, he me that it is “ever-changing, evolving. Finding the responds, “I now picture actual physical movement beauty in imperfection . . . What I’ve experienced for as I arrange. I’m not only focused on what I want a dance is that we always strive through technical class song to sound like, but also what I want it to look like. or something like that for this unattainable idea of I think it creates a deeper, more dynamic feeling.” There is truly a deep, dynamic feeling to Gradient, perfection. And for me, I don’t want that perfection. I want reality. Humanity. Rawness. I want the everyday both in BASECAMP’s music and Found’s movement, person to identify with what the dancers are emoting, and Aaron acknowledges that the effective synthesis feeling, and moving. I don’t care if my dancers have is due to the artists’ similar philosophies. Written in the highest leg or the highest jump. I want them to chalk on the black walls of Found’s rehearsal space is a quote from one of Stacie’s mentors, Peggy Hackney: embody humanity.” Found Movement Group is hoping to tap into that “The spongy uncertainty may be the solid place.” Both raw humanity in Gradient, the piece that they will de- Stacie and Aaron respect the imperfect, and as Aaron but at TPAC at the end of February. Its loose narrative tells it, the roots of their friendship grew out of a refocuses on the intersection of the real and the surreal, gard for the power of that “spongy uncertainty”: “Our shared appreciation of imperfection was probthe who we are versus who we might become. Chelsea, in her lead role, flows between the two aspects of her- ably what subconsciously drew us to each other in self: the real, in her dances with Chaz, and the surreal, the first place, as imperfection is honest and true, in her pairings with Travis. The story itself is inspired and that’s paramount to us, artistically. Everything I by the music of BASECAMP, a Nashville-based trio do has been affected by not only her focus on found led by Aaron Miller, an old friend of Stacie’s. The mu- movement, but by her almost superhuman ability sic is opaque, frenzied, and rich, with impenetrable to give herself to her passion and to the people she lyrics reflecting the sonic landscape, like these from loves. She constantly, and without hesitation or comthe title track of their upcoming EP, Greater Than: plaint, surrenders almost all of her time, energy, and “And the obligation is not yours / When winter ends resources to fostering creativity and honest expresand we head north / You’ve kept the breath inside our sion in the people around her. She’s significantly influenced me both creatively and personally. She’s an lungs / And we stood up on your support.” Though Aaron and his bandmates composed the artist in the truest sense of the word. Wouldn’t be music and presented it to Found for choreographing, where I am without her.” When I mention the fostering of artistic comTravis points out that “Stacie’s movement and the way she choreographed this show, [it] almost makes munity to Stacie during our video chat, it obviously you question which came first. I feel like I’m inside of resonates with her. She chokes back a tear as she the music when I’m dancing her choreography to this, explains, “Found has created this community that I and I think there’s this really special connection that have been able to surround myself [with] . . .” Wipshe found with their music that just [fits] perfectly, ing back a tear, she adds, “It’s been such an amazing support system for something that I can build upon.” together as one.” Aaron and Stacie’s long shared history has yielded And she’s not alone. Nashville, Music City herself, a fruitful artistic relationship, and this isn’t the first has a massive amount of artistic capital devoted to

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FOUND MOVEMENT GROUP: foundmovementgroup.virb.com Follow on Facebook @FoundMovementGroup or Twitter @FoundMovement Go see Gradient February 27th–March 2nd at TPAC native.is/found-movement

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“IMPERFECTION IS HONEST AND TRUE, AND THAT’S PARAMOUNT TO US, ARTISTICALLY.”

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music and musicians, but the dance scene, particularly for contemporary dance, has consistently played second fiddle. But over the past few years, a handful of Nashville natives who went on to become internationally trained and well-respected dance artists have returned to their childhood home in the hopes of fostering a cutting-edge dance scene here. Since Stacie and her original artistic co-director, Erin Law, started Found Movement Group nine years ago, Stacie remarks, “The growth of movement in Nashville has been astounding . . . Now we’re forming these branches . . . People are starting to hear about us.” Full disclosure: I’m married to one of those branches, so the emergence of high-quality contemporary dance in Nashville is a personal issue. My wife, Kathryn, left her home in Franklin and moved to New York eighteen years ago to pursue a career in dance education. Today she runs the Dance Division of Nashville Metro Parks and Recreation, working to broaden the scope of the historically strong ballet program to expose people of all ages to the world of dance. Banning Bouldin, another local, came back home and established the modern dance company New Dialect; the company’s stunning debut performance at OZ Nashville received rave reviews and a massive audience that exceeded the theater’s expectations by so much that hundreds of theater-goers stood for the performance. Along with years of inspired productions and tireless artistic devotion from the likes of Marsha Barsky’s Company Rose, Blue Moves, up-and-coming choreographers highlighted by the Nashville Ballet’s Emergence series, and others, this town is primed for a modern dance renaissance. If you’re looking for an inlet to explore Nashville’s burgeoning dance scene, Found Movement Group will show you raw humanity and an accessible, appealing blend of dance styles accompanied by exciting, dynamic music—just don’t come looking for perfection.

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E W D UA T S U R T S, L IF E , L O S N O K R BZ CK L E C T IV E L O C IN G A F U P IV O G T O H IP - H N ART OF U RY N K IN G S B AND THE J O N AT H O

RSON IE H IC K E L R A H C BY

| PHOTOS

BY

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On one of the more memorable tracks from 2011’s Watch the Throne, Kanye raps: “This beat deserves Hennessy / a bad bitch / and a bag of weed / the Holy Trinity.” Tonight, as ThirdEye G, Caveman, fubar, Caustic, Mac Don, and Cropsey sit huddled in their manager’s living room, an outsider might get the impression that BZRK (pronounced “berserk”) takes the gospel of Yeezus to heart. There’s no “bag of weed,” but they are smoking a cartoonishly large blunt. They’re also drinking—but there’s no Hennessy, just a few Steel Reserve tallboys. And the last component of the trifecta? Well, that’s a little different in the world of BZRK. fubar sluggishly rises from the cloud of smoke around him like the Creature from the Blunt Lagoon, his eyes widening before he speaks. “Imma get some of this Colby Jack!” Yes, the last component of the BZRK trinity is an hors d’oeuvre cheese plate. Blunts, beer, and

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“YOU WRITE A SONG, MAKE A BEAT, AND RECORD IT, AND YOU’VE GOT A TRACK. ”

Nashville School of brie: it’s hardly a typical night in, but ThirdEye G’s Aquarian, the Arts (NSA), he then again, BZRK is anything but typical. a druggy hypnotic take was expelled from Since August 2013, the group has on Three 6 Mafia soul— Hendersonville High; built a reputation as one of Nashville’s builds upon the last like similarly, Caveman weirdest—not to mention most prolif- a new chapter in the mywas kicked out of NSA ic—hip-hop acts. Between solo and col- thology of BZRK. A myfor “like thirty things lective efforts, BZRK has released seven thology that began humrecordings in less than two years; and bly enough in the Davidson County–area . . . we used to get pink slips for office write-ups, and I used to walk around just that’s not counting singles, unreleased punk and metal scene. Most of the group moved to Nashville fanning myself with them,” he explains. tracks, a “lost” album called Tales from The straw that broke the magnet the Hood (which now exists only in the as kids, with the exception of Cropsey, form of CDRs floating around town be- who was born in Nashville and raised school’s back, however, came on prom cause ThirdEye’s computer “broke like in Hendersonville, and fubar, who was night, when Caveman showed up drunk fuck”), and Crop Circles, their highly an- “born on a farm outside of Davidson on Yager and dressed in “a little black ticipated debut album with Jeffery Drag County . . . The Farm. I was born out on dress and makeup.” He was asked to Records. Oh yeah, and the median age of a fucking hippie commune. I ain’t proud, leave three times over the course of the the group is twenty (fubar is the old man but . . .” For those not in the know, night before he was forcibly ejected from at twenty-two). And they’ve only played The Farm is an “intentional commu- the premises. Chaperones had caught four shows, the first of which still holds nity” about an hour and a half outside him in the girls’ restroom. “They saw the record for Tower II’s highest-gross- of Nashville in Lewis County. fubar’s right through my ruse!” he says, meloorigins come as a surprise to the rest of dramatically raising his Steel Reserve to ing door sales ever. BZRK’s creative output rivals that of BZRK, who cackle like schoolyard bullies the ceiling. In the end, Cropsey and Caveman Lil B or early Weezy, which is fitting be- as he sheepishly discusses his birthplace. cause ThirdEye and the crew are every Caveman takes a gulp of Steel Reserve dropped out of high school. Cropsey latbit as original as the aforementioned before yelling, “You’re a dirty fuckin’ er got his GED, but Caveman doesn’t intend to finish up anytime soon: “I don’t MCs. On “Now I’m Good,” the first sin- hippie, fubar!” have any GED or nothing. Never had a gle from their latest release, Anesthetic Such is the nature of chatting with job in my fucking life.” Mac Don and Awareness, Caustic raps, “We ain’t the same as all these other rappers / bluff- BZRK. It’s not for the faint of heart, and ThirdEye had brief stints at Nashville ing about our racks and how we busting no one gets out without getting a little State, and fubar tried MTSU, but they— caps,” and you can’t help but believe shit—including me. When I ask fubar along with the rest of the crew—decided him. Whether it’s their lyrics, which about a sample on the Gutcha EP, he re- to leave in order to pursue music full reflect on hedonism, rebellion, ambi- plies, “I’m not gonna tell you [what we time. Caustic isn’t bullshitting when he tion, and nihilism; their style—Cave- sampled] . . . Go Shazam that shit, dog!” man could pass for a hellbilly in a Rob There’s no ill intent behind the collec- raps “this is all there is / BZRK, it’s what Zombie movie; or their sole music video, tive’s brash back and forth; rather, BZRK we live and breathe” on “All There Is.” which features fubar destroying a plas- is simply prone to raising hell in any set- There’s no plan B for Caustic and the tic picnic table with a WWE-style elbow ting. There’s no off switch with these rest of the collective, no cushy office drop, BZRK truly “ain’t the same” as guys, and as far as I can tell, there never jobs waiting in the wings if this whole rap thing doesn’t pan out. “It’s do or die, has been. their contemporaries. Take, for instance, their teenage years and we’re going to do it,” Caveman asSonically, ThirdEye’s production also strays from hip-hop’s beaten path, ma- as young punks/metalheads here in town. serts. fubar nods, adding, “It’s some kanipulating Billy Idol and Electric Light When they weren’t playing in hardcore mikaze shit.” But they haven’t always approached Orchestra samples into beats that would and powerviolence bands like Intoxiwork as both a horror film score and a cated Male and Profane Command, the hip-hop with that kind of reckless abansingle on Hot 97. Each release—from guys—along with their partner in crime don. Though BZRK had always admired Caveman’s Fucking Hip Hop, a mixtape and best friend Dylan—were busy be- acts like Three 6 Mafia and Scarface, that sources samples exclusively from ing general menaces to Nashville area they’d never considered rapping for a local punk and hardcore recordings, to high schools. Before ThirdEye attended living until 2013. Hip-hop was just a nice

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“[He was] a brilliant motherfucker, a supernobreak from the tedium that comes with writing, rehearsing, and recording technically complex va human. Like, you can’t even . . .” fubar begins, hardcore. “[In hip-hop] you write a song, make searching for words. “A hyper-intelligent human a beat, and record it, and you’ve got a track,” being, almost unbelievably so. He was entirely fubar states matter of factly. ThirdEye agrees, integral to BZRK starting at all.” Over the course of the night, I never hear the saying, “Hardcore music is the opposite of that. You practice for weeks, then you record.” “If you name “Dylan” or “BasedGhost,” his nickname, without a string of titles—“genius,” “prophet,” ever even record,” Caveman adds. Unlike their work in the hardcore scene, BZ- “the greatest rapper to ever die,” “modern-day RK’s only goal with hip-hop was to simply “make Dr. Seuss”—following close behind. To BZRK, something hype,” and their primary equipment Dylan is more than a fallen friend. He’s a force was a pirated copy of Fruity Loops 10 Studio of nature, a metaphysical presence, a spiritual Edition that Dylan—who’d been rapping under guide that continues to shape their outlooks the monikers Charlie Onion and Cretin Low— on life. “He’s our martyr-prophet-savior,” Cavehad given them. So, when they finally decided to man says. ThirdEye leans forward in his seat and record their first track, a jokey trap parody they adds, “He’s like our Jesus if we were Christian.” As BZRK remembers Dylan’s life as a musirefuse to disclose the name of, expectations were low. ThirdEye explains, “We went into it cian, artist, and intellectual, there aren’t any thinking, this is going to be hilarious, we’re about wet cheeks or choked-up voices. There’s only to make this hype-ass music that’s going to be funny sheer excitement—excitement for what Dylan . . . The reason it wasn’t a joke was because our did, who he was, and how BZRK plans to preserve his memory. Caveman and fubar proudly verses were too good on that first song.” Though the guys had dabbled in minor rap show off their BasedGhost-inspired tattoos and projects before—fubar and Dylan had been in a tell me about the “pages of his writtens” that duo called Quambis Squad, and ThirdEye con- they’ve saved. Other members sing the praises of Dylan’s tinued to write verses while in hardcore bands— it took a joke song for them to fully transition old noise rock outfit, Cum Dad, and explain that from doing Cookie Monster vocals to rapping the song “Distorted” not only features a Cum Dad sample, but a BasedGhost verse as well. The over ELO samples. “[After recording the parody], we just realized cover of Anesthetic Awareness and Local Anesthetthat we spit hot fire,” Caveman says nonchalant- ic feature the memorial program from Dylan’s ly, as if realizing you spit hot fire is as common- funeral in the background. And later, during the place as realizing your favorite movie has just photoshoot for this article, the guys even put a been put on Netflix. “After that, it got real se- pair of shoes and a can of Steel Reserve in front of them to honor BasedGhost. rious, real fast,” Mac Don says. BZRK was born. “We’re going to get him [Dylan] famous,” Mac Thrilled with their new direction, Caveman and ThirdEye approached Dylan about join- Don says. The statement’s met with a chorus of ing their new hip-hop project. They even made yeps and mmhmms from the rest of the group plans to record at ThirdEye’s house later that and prompts Caveman to declare, “We’ve all month. It should have been a standard night, decided that we’ll know we’ve made it when like hundreds they’d had with him before: old there’s a BasedGhost hologram rapping with us friends, new music, and a house show. I imag- on stage.” fubar interrupts to look me square ine it would have been something like the get- in the eyes: “Now it’s just about putting on for together BZRK’s having at this interview. But BasedGhost.” After hearing about BZRK’s plans for 2015, I’d Dylan never showed. The guys later found out that Dylan—who’d say they’re doing a pretty good job in the “putsuffered from schizophrenia since his late ting on” department. They’re currently planteens—took his own life that night. He was ning to play more local shows—both as solo artists and as BZRK—in the coming months, twenty-one years old.

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and their first non-self-released album, titled Crop Circles, is due out on Jeffery Drag in “March-ish.” It’s the first time ThirdEye G has split production credit with Cropsey (hence the title), and it’s only going to feature verses from ThirdEye G and Mac Don. Crop Circles is also the group’s first full-fledged concept album. When asked about said concept, ThirdEye laughs and says, “Oh God, I’m scared to tell you shit . . . the concept is smoke a blunt, be alone, and listen to the whole fucking thing all at one time. That’s the concept for the people.” Cropsey, the quietest member of the crew, weighs in, talking more than he has all night. “You might not get it [the concept] the first time you listen.” And then, muttering under his breath: “I still don’t really get it.” The crew cracks up—just like they did before when making fun of fubar—and I get the feeling that most of BZRK is in the same boat as Cropsey. But once the laughter dies down, ThirdEye says with a sense of finality, “I think they’ll get it.” Whether or not people “get it” might be beside the point. As Caustic later points out, “[BZRK is about] doing whatever you want, regardless of what anybody says.” The crew doesn’t seek understanding or approval from anyone—authority figures, members of the press, fellow rappers, friends. Nothing matters but the squad (or as ThirdEye spells it, the skwod), and they wouldn’t have it any other way. “We’re a coiled snake that’s happy being coiled. We’re just chilling,” Caveman says. “All these other rappers and shit, they just think we’re weird. We don’t have the same sound as everyone else . . . And I don’t think they wanna fuck with us because of that.” He pauses, and a shit-eating grin— the same one that was probably the bane of many an NSA teacher’s existence—spreads across his face. “Also, they may be just a little bit jelly.”

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How did you get interested in needle felt? Who taught you how to work in needle felt? Soviet stop motion animation and the dream sequences in The Science of Sleep. It’s all been trial and error for the past seven years. When I started, there were just a few tutorials on strangely colored websites, published by much older ladies who hadn’t quite figured out the internet yet. Why needle felt animals? When you’re in elementary school and someone asks you what you want

to be when you grow up, you’ve got to know, because it’s like some people don’t know what the hell else to ask kids. I defaulted to “biologist.” I was surrounded by stuffed animals. That never went away. When I began felting, they were full-bodied, sheet felt animals, and then they became covered in wool roving. People didn’t know where to put them—on refrigerators, televisions—so I began to put them on plaques to eliminate the guesswork. Does your needle felt work influence your music, or do you treat them as totally separate artistic endeavors? All of it. They’re separate entities that meet in the middle of the Venn diagram whenever possible. I’m doing an art show in March where I combine the two. For the most part, they’re cohesive in that whatever lesson I learn about one art form, I can carry over to the other. I.e., felting, I learned to get the form perfect before the color goes on, instead of fixing anything after the fact. That translates well to songwriting and production. What can we expect at your upcoming Red Arrow Gallery show (March 14 through April 12)? I’m going to make some of the largest pieces I’ve ever made, some of them lifesize. I’ll also be scoring the show; it’ll have its own piece of music. I’ll have a good number of tracks on loop during opening night. It’ll also be my first time showcasing my hand-dyed wool

pieces. I’m now harvesting my own plants for dyes. By the end of winter, everything will be hand-dyed using fruits and roots. How did you begin playing music? What drew you to folk? I started with punk rock when I was twelve in New York, and I played right on the frets. For years, my songs were directly influenced by nostalgia. I suppose my songs started sounding folk when I embraced the country radio my parents listened to while I was growing up. My homage just came out differently. There are lots of Tim McGraw references. Explain the album title Bottomless Coffee. To me, the album represents something simple: bad coffee in a good diner, heartbreak in Naugatuck, Connecticut, finding the perfect setting on the toaster right before it breaks— I broil my toast now, tastes great. Day in and day out, the cup refills and it tastes the same. There is, however, a good dosage of Texan-gypsy-slowdance stories and mathematical and geological love analogies to break the monotony. It gets saucy. The previews you’ve posted from your upcoming album seem to stray from the folk sound of Bottomless Coffee. Why the change in direction? Basically, I started to make a pop-culture satire record, and then it became completely nonsatirical. I fell in love with leopard print and Lisa Frank. I was talking to Lisa Frank about doing the album artwork, but ultimately I think my passion was off-putting. I was also fighting as to which of the two records I wanted to make, but I had a minor revelation on an airplane and decided to merge them. The first line on the album talks about that.

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The

Muffuletta Man PATRICK’S BISTREAUX IS MORE AUTHENTIC THAN IT LOOKS

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What makes a restaurant authentic? Is it the food they cook and whether it comes from the region they’re cooking it in? Is it the people who started the restaurant and where they come from? Or is it something deeper than that, like the underlying motivations of the owners and why they opened the restaurant in the first place? In my experience, it’s a combination of little judgments that we tally up in the backs of our brains. Restaurant A is owned by a corporate hospitality group (bad), but the chef seems to be passionate about her craft (good), and the interior was designed by a reclusive local carpenter (great): that’s pretty authentic for this day and age. Restaurant B is owned by a local couple (good), but they just moved here (bad), and they insist on serving hot chicken tacos (very bad): close call, but I have to say inauthentic. This is the primitive mental calculus that goes into calling one place authentic and another not—a calculus that finds its way into most food-related conversation in Nashville. Like many boom towns before it, Nashville has become a city preoccupied with its own authenticity, troubled by all the change that rapid population growth and new development has brought. The upside of this change is called a booming economy and new jobs, which sounds great in five-second sound bites on the morning news; but the downside is drastically higher rent, stroke-inducing traffic, sprawling gentrification, and obnoxious out-of-towners (like yours truly). This downside is what seems to threaten Nashville’s authenticity and what many people are concerned about. Restaurants play a big role in this trend. In many ways they are the bellwether of a city’s authenticity, not just because they’re an important part of local culture, but because they are the first cultural institutions to come and go, to get drowned in the rising rent tide and replaced by newer and shinier spaces. Usually when a city loses its authenticity, you see it in the restaurants first. In this context, Patrick’s Bistreaux in Berry Hill doesn’t sound very authentic. It is a Southeastern Loui-

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siana restaurant in Nashville owned by a guy with an Irish first name who did not grow up in either Nashville or New Orleans. (Not to mention the whole -eaux thing, which could go either way—charming if the owners are from Louisiana but gimmicky if they’re not.) On the surface, things weren’t looking up for Patrick’s Bistreaux when I first heard about them. But looks can be deceiving. For a number of reasons that I did not understand until I went to the restaurant and met the eponymous owner himself, Patrick’s Bistreaux is authentic. The biggest contributing factor to the restaurant’s authenticity is the owner: Patrick Barber. Though he isn’t technically from Nashville, he’s lived here for more than twenty years; and though he isn’t technically from New Orleans either, he grew up just an hour and a half north. “I was adopted at birth and raised in Baton Rouge,” he says as he hands me a fresh cup of Baton Rouge’s own Community Coffee. His love of Southeastern Louisiana culture comes not only from his roots in Baton Rouge, but also from the fact that he hasn’t lived there in a long, long time. (As someone who almost started a lobster shack after being away from New England for a year, I can understand.) In any case, given his background, there’s nothing inauthentic about Patrick opening a bistreaux in Nashville. Another aspect of Patrick’s authenticity is the food, a mix of Cajun and Creole staples that leans a little bit toward the darker roux of the former. When I visited, the kitchen welcomed me with a neverending tasting menu that nearly gave me gout but was better than a lot of the traditional food I’ve had in New Orleans. They started me off with a round of “mini” muffulettas, basically muffuletta sliders with all the standard insides (mortadella, salami, ham, provolone, etc.) served on a smaller, more brioche-y version of the Sicilian sesame bread that is the sandwich’s namesake. The only unexpected ingredient was sriracha, which Patrick drizzled next to the sandwich for extra heat. Despite the geographic peculiarity of using sriracha, which comes from Thailand, the sauce is actually a good


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PATRICK'S BISTREAUX: patricksbistreaux.com Follow on Facebook @Patrick'sBistreaux or Twitter and Instagram @The_Bistreaux native.is/patricks 64 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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match. Its main ingredients of chili pep- ricotta cheesecake . . . and now apparper, vinegar, and garlic pair nicely with ently the crawfish etouffee from Patrick’s the Sicilian flavors of the muffuletta. All Bistreaux. As I had my way with the etoufee, Pattogether, it tastes like something Apollorick described his childhood in Baton nia could’ve eaten in The Godfather. The next—and what I erroneously Rouge. “As a kid, I was interested in two thought was going to be the final—dish things: music and cooking.” Luckily, his came out of the kitchen unceremoniously parents recognized these interests and in a big metal bowl: BBQ Shrimp. Though encouraged them. For his fifth birthit’s listed as an appetizer (like the muf- day, his mother got him his first drum fulettas), the shrimp was copious and as set (she was a brave woman) and his filling as an entree (also like the muffu- first cookbook (a Mickey Mouse publilettas). I counted twelve shrimp on my cation). He has a picture from when he plate. They were sauteed and served in was even younger, maybe two or three: a surprisingly light and brothy tomato- “I’m standing next to my mother in the based barbecue sauce, which was ladled kitchen, cutting a grape.” When he finally over three pieces of real-deal French moved to Nashville in his early twenties, bread shipped straight from New Orleans. he toured with a jam band, built a recording studio, and opened the When I was done original Patrick’s in Midwith it, the only thing town (in the building that left on the plate was now houses The Patterson a manhandled lemon House). wedge. After finishing my platAt this point, I was ter of rice dishes, I couldn’t definitely full. But I accept his follow-up ofwas about to get fullfer of a fried-oyster po er—the tasting menu boy, which I had told him was kicking into gear. was my favorite. But four After I soaked up the muffulettas, twelve BBQ last bit of tomato sauce with the French bread, Patrick shrimp, and three bowls of hearty Louibrought me a flight of three traditional siana stew were enough to convince me Louisiana stews: gumbo, jambalaya, and that Patrick’s food is really good. Not crawfish etouffee, each served over rice good in an intellectual, “elevated” South(or under rice, actually). My first reac- ern food sort of way—just a regular old tion was to feign incredulity, say how full traditional sort of way. He cringes when I was, and continue talking to Patrick as if simple food gets hyped up: “Mirepoix? nothing had happened, but I soon found It’s fucking vegetables, brah.” He’s the myself taking spoonfuls of Louisiana to kind of guy who calls pork belly bacon, who isn’t trying to make his food sound the face. When I’m confronted with certain fancy to justify higher prices. He makes foods, I suffer from an uncontrollable, the modest food he grew up with the way knee-jerk reflex to eat—except that my he remembers it. His modest prices match his modest knee isn’t involved at all, it’s my arm and hand and mouth and stomach, all food. Patrick’s isn’t McDonald’s Dollar working together to make me happier. Menu cheap, but for the quality you’re This happens with my Nonna Liliana’s getting and the attention that’s gone into lasagna, my mom’s Thanksgiving carrot each one of the dishes, it’s definitely on ring, and my best friend’s mom’s lemon the low end. A bowl of the gumbo comes

“MIREPOIX? IT’S FUCKING VEGETABLES, BRAH.”

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in at a basement bargain $6. The jambalaya is slightly more expensive at $10, while the crawfish etouffee is the most expensive at $12, because of the ingredients involved. For a good hearty lunch, that isn’t bad at all. By the same token, po boys range from $7 for a half sandwich to $15 for a full order of oyster, which sounds like a lot for a sandwich, but compared to New Orleans it’s pretty reasonable. A large fried-oyster po boy at Mahoney’s on Magazine Street will cost you $19.95. Patrick’s is five dollars cheaper, even though he insists on importing his bread from

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Leidenheimer’s in New Orleans (po boys are all about that crusty-on-the-outside, fluffy-onthe-inside New Orleans bread, which according to Patrick benefits from being proofed below sea level). The cheapness of the beer is also worth talking about—since everyone seems to bitch about the rising cost of beer in Nashville. The prices are reminiscent of early Dino’s: $1.25 High Life ponies, $2 Budweisers. The local brews are a little more at $3 plus, but Patrick keeps the prices as low as possible. “Every day is happy hour,” he says, delivering it like a tag-


line straight out of local advertising. Another thing adding to Patrick’s authenticity is the fact that there are no TVs. Actually, that’s a lie. There is a TV, but Patrick only brings it out for LSU games. “That’s a hard and fast rule,” he says. He’s very serious about this. “The TV is for LSU and nothing else.” It’s refreshing to see someone sacrifice the guaranteed traffic that TVs bring for better ambience. I, for one, hate sitting in a restaurant with TVs—I can’t help getting distracted by ESPN, and that really depresses me. Patrick’s does me the favor of removing that distraction. Without the TV, my eyes were free to explore the dining room, which is decorated with a lot of Southeastern Louisiana iconography. There are fleurs-de-lis on the tabletops and Mardi Gras beads strewn behind the bar. Patrick tells me how he “gutted this place to the studs” and asked local folk artist Sheila B to do all the floors and woodwork. In addition to the tables, she did all the interior walls, which are patched together using different blocks of wood: subdued greens, reds, and blues. It looks like something Mondrian would have done had he been an interior designer in Nashville. The interior isn’t what makes Patrick’s Bistreaux authentic, though. It’s the interior along with the good food and the cheap beer and the nice owner and the not having TVs. It’s all these things together that makes you want to drive out to Berry Hill for your gumbo, not any one of them in particular. If you want to go soon, a good day would be Mardi Gras, when the place is full and the outside area is opened up. Not only will you eat well, but you will experience Southeastern Louisiana culture the way Patrick wants you to: with friends and neighbors and music and food.

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THE FIRST THING THAT STRIKES ME ABOUT LARRY KLOESS as he welcomes me into his living room is how naturally inviting he seems—as if opening the door of his home to others is his second nature. Though it may be trite to say he looks like a lumberjack, it’s my first thought when he opens the door in a green plaid shirt, red heather beanie, and work boots. He speaks in a deep, baritone voice, one of the physical attributes—along with his red beard—that identifies him most among friends and acquaintances around town. If you aren’t familiar with Cause A Scene, what started as a blog has now become a booking agency that curates, promotes, and hosts small shows for indie artists. Larry’s dream of providing a platform for others to discover new music solidified in the room that we now sit in, the living room at his home in Brentwood. It’s small, with lights strung above us, a bookshelf that takes up one entire wall, an oriental rug, and two floral couches facing one another, perfect for conversation—or a house show. “I think house shows work because they make people feel like they’re a part of something,” he says. “I think ultimately we’re all fighting that battle of feeling like we’re alone and trying to figure out if we have a place. Nashville has so many transients moving here that there’s a real fear for them that they might not fit into this established community. But I think people actually find the opposite of that.” What Larry now counts as the first Cause A Scene show was really before Cause A Scene existed. It was with a band called Seryn, and it was inspired by Larry’s love for their music and his desire to create a social foundation for himself and others. “The first Cause A Scene show was really an attempt to—well, probably partly to impress a girl,” he laughs. “But

“I THINK HOUSE SHOWS WORK BECAUSE THEY MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY’RE A PART OF SOMETHING.”

really, I wanted to get people from different parts of my life together. For them to be in the same house together, for them to get to know each other. I think we have a tendency, just as humans, to be cliquey in an attempt to organize out of the chaos, and you can’t be friends with everybody, so people can become very routine. One person might always go to Barista Parlor, or always go to Crema, so they see the same people and get comfortable in one social circle or one routine or one part of town. So my intention was to get people out of their comfort zones.” That night spurred a newfound love in Larry that had never been realized to its full potential. “I had some friends there that night that were like, ‘Dude, I’ve never seen you like this. You seem like you’re on top of the world. And you talk about music all of the time. Why don’t you just go for it? We’ve got your back, we’ll read your blog, etc.’” That encouragement was all he needed. He started the blog in January 2012 and did the first official Cause A Scene show in February with Neulore and Dinner and a Suit in this room, after begging for and borrowing sound equipment. Larry’s living room was the main space for all of the shows in the beginning of CAS, but it quickly grew into other people’s houses and eventually venues as well. Though it took a little more convincing to do his first venue show at 12th & Porter, he realized it was possible to create a level of comfort and build a community in almost any space. “I was really anxious

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about being labeled as a club promoter,” he says. “But I tried to make it feel like a house show. I was on stage introducing the bands and telling my story, nervous as I’ve ever been in front of a lot of strangers.” Club shows then became a thing on CAS’s radar, and Larry worked for Paradigm Talent Agency for a short period of time until he was drawn away by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, who asked him to join Communion Music. “I was doing Communion shows and clubs, and the whole time I was trying to figure out ways to find new rooms and new experiences for artists and really tailor and curate the room around the artist. I didn’t want Cause A Scene to be synonymous with my living room. I wanted it to be synonymous with community and new experiences.” Although Larry isn’t a musician, he’s a genuine listener who cares and who has successfully built a community around musicians he enjoys listening to. “I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life,” he admits. “I own a guitar and a mandolin that were gifts, but I don’t know one chord from another and they sit in cases in my guest bedroom. I don’t sing. I’ve never taken a music business course in my life. My background is in psychology. But my whole life is about the discovery of music and finding artists I really identify with and can tell my friends about.” With a degree in psychology from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, Larry is used to constantly thinking about the way humans interact with one another, and that certainly influences the way he thinks about organizing and putting together shows. “I’m very interested in behavior and groupthink and how you can bring people together with all of their own skills and abilities to accomplish something. So I think [in college] was when I became

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interested in being around creatives and seeing how people developed their passions and talents they were born with. Then just as that curiosity was growing, I was discovering more and more music, and I found that was a way to connect people.” While he spent his childhood and adolescence in the Nashville area and considers himself a native after living here for more than seventeen years, it wasn’t until after the flood of 2010 that Larry decided he would move back. He was working as an admissions counselor at his alma mater at the time. “I moved back two weeks after the flood as a response to the community and the way we were picking each other up and just investing in each other and hearing each other’s stories and caring,” he explains. “I didn’t have that where I was living. I was on the road with my job most of the time, and I just wanted to be in a place where I was plugged in and could make a difference.” His dogs, Lily and Briley, are scratching at the window as Larry continues to speak. “I remember a week after the flood happened, The Civil Wars played on campus at Samford in a coffee shop. I remember Joy Williams specifically talking about what was happening in Nashville and how the news was just showing the devastation but wasn’t showing how people were caring for each other. That just struck a chord in me, and I put my two-week notice in. I think before the flood, everyone was very loyal to where they were from. After the flood, people really started to identify with the city and take ownership of it.” He finally lets the dogs in. Lily and Briley come running into the living room to join us in a fit of excitement before calming down and resting on the rug. “There’s a great deal of respect in


LARRY KLOESS: causeascenemusic.com Follow on Facebook @CauseaSceneMusic or Twitter or Instagram @CauseaSceneNash native.is/larry-kloess # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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this city for people,” Larry continues his praise for the way Nashville views community. “I mean, we’ve seen that after what has happened with the Ferguson protests in the city. The respect the police officers showed the protestors and vice versa is extremely rare, and that’s why the police chief’s letter went viral. It’s because his voice was needed in the midst of that. People were not able to see the commonalities between them and the shared passion for certain things but instead were focused on their differences and things that would separate them. In Nashville, we try to blur those lines on what makes us different and be cordial and respectful toward one another.” In the beginning, CAS was synonymous with house shows, but as it has grown into other spaces and venues, it has taken on new meanings. Larry started doing “secret shows” last April and within the past year has become more known for secret and pop-up shows than house shows. “I started doing secret shows because I think just the nature of the artists we were promoting at the time, if I had promoted the location, it would have been an absolute nightmare. And I also think there’s a desire to be a part of something that feels exclusive.” Larry never wants CAS to feel as if it is excluding others, but he does like the idea of CAS being a community club, one that anyone can be a part of. He even has dreams of expanding Cause A Scene to other cities and to begin recording the shows to create live albums. But Larry’s real mark of success, at least the way he sees it for himself, is when artists who have played a CAS show move on to greater things. “For some of these artists to become big— that’s a success story for me,” he explains. “Seeing a band like Colony House on Late Night with Seth Meyers and seeing Lone Bellow on late-

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night TV or witnessing the success of Wild Cub, that’s cool for me, whether I had anything to do with it or not.” Larry’s goal is to continue curating music in a way that people will trust that any CAS show will be good music, regardless of the artist. This year holds a lot of plans for Larry. He’s turning thirty, and he believes he’ll be able to go “more deep than wide with relationships and interests” than he did in his twenties. He’s also continuing to develop CAS into a trusted and wellrespected name. He will be curating the fifth season of Musicians Corner in Centennial Park and will be partnering with Ten Out of Tenn for their ten-year reunion show at the Ryman Auditorium this spring. CAS will also be collaborating with Nashville Indie Spotlight to curate shows in 2015. And that’s just to name a few of CAS’s plans for the upcoming year. Larry stays true to his vision for what creative community in Nashville means, and he speaks of the city with an authentic passion. “This city has changed because of its young creatives—be it artists, musicians, baristas, or entrepreneurs,” he adds. “And if we have opportunists come into this city that aren’t about Nashville, that aren’t indebted to Nashville, who don’t understand the heart of this city, then we lose that heart, and we lose those people. So I think Cause A Scene, in a way, is a push-back against that. Instead of going very big with our shows, it’s continuing to stay small.” Larry feels unbelievably indebted to Nashville, and as long as we have people like him in our city who honestly look out for the best interests of its people and their passions, Nashville will continue to thrive in positivity, creativity, and community.

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615.988.0513 // 525 Hagan St. // AmericanHotelLiquidators.com


THERE AND BACK AGAIN

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SARAH GAVIGAN WANTS TO BROADEN NASHVILLE’S CULINARY AMBITIONS AND CHANGE HOW THE CITY SEES FOOD BY SCOTT MARQUART PHOTOS BY EMILY B. HALL

IT’S HALF PAST NOON—THE EYE OF THE STORM THAT IS THE TUESDAY LUNCH RUSH—AND SARAH GAVIGAN ISN’T HERE. The front of house staff tells me that Sarah will be here—soon—she just had to run out to handle something. In the restaurant world, there’s always something that needs tending to, and it’s people like Sarah—for whom no task is too small and no goal too ambitious— that make it all tick. POP, Sarah’s convertible restaurant and event space on Gallatin Avenue, is spare yet sophisticated. The walls are white, the exposed iron ceiling is painted black, and the tables and chairs are made from pale close-grained wood.

At the moment, the space is flying the banner of Otaku South—Sarah’s own pop-up ramen concept. On the weekends it reinvents itself as Actual Brunch—the brainchild of Actual Food founder Dan Forberg. And on any given night, it could transform into a spotlight bistro for a Michelin-starred chef or a hub for a spontaneous, windowrattling dance party. As Sarah swings open the glasspaned double doors, it’s clear that she has a lengthy to-do list floating somewhere in the ether, with several items freshly marked off and a few dozen more to get to before the day is through. Still, she greets me with a directness not often seen in the South—a hold-

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over, no doubt, from the twenty-plus you woke up and you had a hankering and start doing it?’” She grins, “That years she spent in Los Angeles. Sarah for Ethiopian food, you just drove to kind of hit me on the right day and at Gavigan is courteous and kind, but she that neighborhood. If you decided that the right time, and the next day I went you wanted extreme Szechuan food, you to Porter Road [Butcher] and bought means business. I follow her through the dining room went to Monterey Park, and you would bones and started making the broth at my house.” to a coatrack that stands in front of a get extreme Szechuan food.” Word spread fast about Sarah’s ramen, The culinary variety of 1990s Los Anvibrant graffiti-covered accent wall. She nudges the rack to the side and slides geles was a welcome change from the and the news found its way into some open the graffiti panel, revealing a hid- city she left behind. “[Nashville] was a benevolent ears. “Erik Anderson—one den back room with long refectory ta- corporate food town in the ’70s. This of the opening chefs at Catbird Seat— bles and bay windows that look out over is where all the major corporations found out about it, and he came over did all their test marketing—Shoney’s, to my house for lunch. It was August 22, the downtown skyline. A few POP employees are seated at O’Charley’s, Houston’s. It was not indi- 2012,” she explains. “I didn’t know him, the tables, talking quietly over open lap- vidually based or chef-driven at all, ever.” and he decided to take a picture of it and Though she scoured Los Angeles for tweet it from the Catbird Seat, and my tops. White rolled paper drapes down from the walls, the detritus of marathon new and interesting tastes, there was life was forever changed.” The tweet caught the attention of brainstorming sessions. Sarah and I take one place she kept coming back to. “I a seat. Nobody pays us any mind, and would just go to the Japanese grocery Tasting Table and Food & Wine, and word store and sit by myself and eat a bowl circulated about what Sarah was doing. nobody stops working. I complement the skyline view, and of ramen,” she smiles, remembering the But beyond that, Erik’s praise sparked something inside Sarah. “I’ve been in Sarah nods, takes a sip of her tea, then place fondly. “It was habitual for me.” Little did she know that her love for business long enough to know when tells me about the new sixty-five-million-dollar apartment complex that’s that simple nuanced dish would spark you’ve got the wind at your back, and going up behind them on East Eastland. a radical shift in direction, almost two this was definitely one of those times . Nashville’s changing—that’s news to decades later, when she left Los Angeles . . So when the opportunity presented itself, I went for it all guns a-blazing. Nevnobody—but Sarah has a unique per- and returned home to Nashville. er thought about it twice, never looked spective on its transformation. back, never even took a deep breath.” XXX Sarah’s a true native—well, she grew She started to expand, working out of up here, but she didn’t stay long. When “When I first moved [back to Nashville] . a commissary kitchen that used to reshe got out of high school in the late . . I was lost. Completely lost.” In her absence, not only had the town side in the space where POP now stands. ’80s, Nashville was a very different town than it is today. Back then, for an ambi- gone through a transformation, but The pop-up ramen concept kept buildtious young person with eccentric tastes, Sarah had changed as well. It took her ing steam through its first year of opalmost two years to shake off the LA eration as the news continued to spread the thing to do was to get out. Way out. “I wanted to go out and see things, and way of doing things and begin to settle through word of mouth. “I think the I felt like I wasn’t understood here,” she in. “Coming home always comes with excitement of a pop-up and the idea of scarcity was just as exciting as the food says. “I was the only Guinea in my town its baggage,” she shrugs. Though she was excited by the new itself. And I’ll be the first one to admit other than my dad. I didn’t look like anybody, I didn’t act like anybody, and Nashville, Sarah still missed Los Ange- that the food in that first year of pop-up les, and its ramen in particular. “I was was wildly inconsistent.” She pinches I didn’t think like anybody.” Sarah split for Los Angeles to hustle trying to find myself again so much, and her sweater at her shoulder. “The peoher way into the entertainment indus- somehow . . . it ended up there.” She ple that stuck with us need some kind try. She spent twenty years working up started experimenting with making ra- of a medal, because if I was a diner . . . I the ladder, spending time in produc- men herself, and soon she got the itch probably wouldn’t have hung in there.” Eventually a new owner bought the tion, licensing, advertising—you name to share her love for the dish with all the building and offered Sarah the space all it. When she wasn’t working, she was new faces she was seeing in town. “I had been making idle threats at to herself. Whether the time was right diving deep into the cultural streams of the booming city—its music, its art, and cocktail parties for a long time to start or not, Sarah recognized a rare opportua noodle pop-up, and Miranda [Whit- nity and jumped at it. “The kitchen is giespecially its food. “One of the things that gave me the comb Pontes] of Burger Up and Dino’s, ant—it’s unbelievable. We never would most joy on a consistent basis was eat- after a couple drinks, was like, ‘When have been able to afford to do this coning in the different neighborhoods. If are you going to stop talking about it cept anywhere else. So the barriers to

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entry for us were very low, and it just seemed like the opportunity was there.” Out of this explosive period of fortune and opportunity, Sarah came up with the idea for POP—a turnkey operation that would not only house her Otaku South ramen pop-up but also enable her to incubate other restaurant concepts as pop-ups in the same fashion that had worked so well for her. Sarah and her team broadened their ambitions and got to work fast. They brought on their first official resident, Actual Brunch, and started a series of guest chef dinners that has featured notable talents such as Andy Ricker of Portland’s Pok Pok and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. At these dinners, POP opens its doors to allow anyone from the city to attend—when Dominique Crenn hosted her dinner, everyone from Crystal De Luna-Bogan of The Grilled Cheeserie to Sal Avila from Prima came out to visit with the two-starred Michelin chef. “Everyone was all smiles,” Sarah remembers. Through their two-pronged approach to sparking culinary innovation and fostering community, POP has become known not only as a place where aspiring restaurateurs can come for guidance, but also as a hub for established chefs to sharpen their skills. I ask if there’s a secret to POP’s success, and Sarah looks at me like it’s the first time she’s stood back to take a breath in two years. “I think luck [plays into it] a lot,” she says, “But timing, more than luck . . . being on trend. When those things coalesce, they’re very powerful. Luck is useless unless you do something with it.” Sarah sips her tea, catching her thoughts. “I think Nashville was really ready for someone to shake things up and do something

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different with a broad voice . . . Nashville is a much more global city than it was when I left,” she says, widening her eyes behind her tortoiseshell frames. “I’ve never lived in a place or experienced what’s happening in Nashville right now before, where everyone is so hungry for new things, new experiences. The doors that were so tightly shut for so long here are opening.” She leans forward, seeming energized by the possibilities. “I think Nashville is just beginning to explore other cultures through food . . . I hope as people get more excited about it and start to patronize these restaurants more and more, that more grow and that other immigrants come here and open restaurants. But more than that, what I really hope for is that the people who are living here now start to open more restaurants. I can’t wait.” Part of what’s so unique about Sarah is that she isn’t content with her own successes—she wants to help others succeed for their own sake and for the good of the city at large. She recalls the Catbird Seat tweet that changed everything. “I don’t think [Erik] did that because he thought my bowl of ramen was amazing. I think he did that because he wanted ramen in Nashville . . . I think that he wanted it for the city.” Through POP, Sarah sees an opportunity to pay forward the support she received early on to the next generation of aspiring restaurateurs. As her flagship concept, Otaku South, looks to move into its own permanent location in fall of 2015, Sarah is confident that the POP platform can serve as a launching ground for other daring and innovative restaurant concepts. “If I had tried to open Otaku a year ago, it


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SARAH GAVIGAN: popnashville.com Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @POPNashville native.is/sarah-gavigan

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would be a very different situation than it is now. Everything has been easier—a lease, financing, everything—because I have a proven concept. Because I’m already operating. Because someone can come in [to the POP space] and feel and touch and eat and experience and say, ‘I’m on board, I want to be a part of this.’” “The idea of, I could have a restaurant someday, it’s over here,” she demonstrates the distance by holding her tea bag wrapper out at her side. “But when the idea of POP appears, you have no more excuses, it’s right here,” she says, slapping the wrapper down on the table between us. “That immediacy changes people’s response.” But for the growth in the Nashville culinary community to reach a boiling point, it needs to foster more than just mutual support. For Sarah, the other essential side of the coin is a healthy level of competition and honest, constructive criticism. “I like competition. I think competition is good. I think that the base culture of the South is to not do that—we play nice-nice and pat each other on the back—but that doesn’t always get us where we’re going,” she says with characteristic frankness. “I look forward to a time when Nashville can be constructive in its criticism of what it likes and doesn’t like without losing its giant heart of gratitude. In order for a real creative culture to blossom and grow, you have to have hard feedback with hard edges.” Sarah is extremely grateful for the support she has received, but she believes that if Nashville’s culinary community can learn to critique itself more effectively, improving upon itself as iron sharpens iron, its potential could be limitless. “I never would have been able to do this had it not been for the culinary community here supporting me in every single way,” she insists. “It’s not easy, but Nashville has made it really fun . . . And I feel like we’re just getting started.”

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

3431 murphy road dosecoffeeandtea.com

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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: WESTERN MEDICATION

WESTERN MEDICATION westernmedication.com Follow on Facebook @WesternMeds or Instagram @westernmedication

We asked Mike Grimes who he wanted to see in this month’s You Oughta Know, and he suggested Gang of Four-y, postpunk-esque rockers Western Medication. So we met up with them at Fido, where we talked about butts, Batman, and bro reggae (amber is not the color of Western Medication’s energy, just in case you were wondering).

On our way back to the office, we were waiting at the 21st/ Wedgewood light, and someone came running through Hillsboro Village toward us. It was Justin Landis, Western Med’s frontman. He knocked on the window and hopped right in the car with us. Why? He forgot to doodle a voodoo doll on the band’s answer sheet. Check it out above. # NAT I V ENAS HV IHV L L EI L L E ///////// # NAT I V ENAS ///// /////////////////////// / /8/9 8 9


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observatory

C H R I S M O R L E Y, 2 1

K AT E PA R A D I S , 2 5

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GARRETT TYLER, 22

JOE MEMMEL, 22

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

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Written by Cooper Breeden*


There is almost nothing better than a steamy, brothy bowl of mussels and crispy fries, or moules-frites as they call it in Belgium. The mussels typically found in moules-frites and other steamed mussel dishes are the saltwater cousins of the freshwater mussels you can find in the streams and rivers throughout Tennessee. Actually, Tennessee has more than 100 species of freshwater mussels—more than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of Alabama. These bivalves may seem unassuming, but they occupy a unique niche in Tennessee. Unfortunately, the list of threatened, endangered, and even extinct mussels continues to grow. In the last hundred years, mussels have had to overcome all manner of man-made obstacles: overfishing, big TVA dams that have wiped out their habitat, and pollution. Like all bivalves, mussels are filter feeders, meaning they strain nutrients out of the water as it drifts by. As such, they naturally help clean out our waterways. In addition, they themselves are an important food source for many types of fish, birds, and mammals. If you ever come across a pile of shells in a stream, chances are a muskrat or otter recently feasted on these tasty morsels. Like most animals, the life cycle of a mussel begins with the fertilization of an egg cell but then quickly progresses into an odd and fascinating thing: the female stores the eggs in her gills where they develop into young mussels—called glochidia—that she must eventually dispatch onto a host, either a fish or salamander. Once aboard the gracious host, the glochidia will live as a parasite on its gills or skin until they mature enough to fend for th themselves. Some species just release the glochidia into the current and hope for the best. If the young aren’t able to hitch a ride on a host fish, they perish. Other species are more advanced in their methods. Certain mussels have a flap of tissue attached to the inside of the shell (or mantle), which resembles a small fish fluttering in the current. These mussels use their mantle to lure a predator, like a largemouth bass. When the bass is close enough, the mussel launches her glochidia into the gills of the bass. Other mussels

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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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Profile for Native

Native | February 2015 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring BZRK, Patrick's Bistreaux, Larry Kloess, Sarah Gavigan, Stacie Flood-Popp and Found Movement Group, and more.

Native | February 2015 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring BZRK, Patrick's Bistreaux, Larry Kloess, Sarah Gavigan, Stacie Flood-Popp and Found Movement Group, and more.

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