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Prevent Atlantafication. #NashvilleVotes Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Thursday, August 6, 2015

Last Day to Register Election Day

Meet the candidates, register, and pledge at:

www.NashvilleVotes.com

NashvilleVotes is a project led by Global Shapers Nashville. # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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source for the vintage instrument world. 615.256.2033 10 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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w w w. g u i t a r s . c o m / s t a f f p i c k s


TABLE OF CONTENTS JUNE 2015

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72 87 22 THE GOODS 50

19 Beer from Here 22 Cocktail of the Month 26 Master Platers 82 Shooting the Shit 87 You Oughta Know 90 Observatory 94 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 30 Literature Spotlight: Tiana Clark 40 Tyler Hildebrand 50 Jessie Baylin 62 Esther Martinez and Mesa Komal 72 Young Breh

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Photo: Carroll Rainwater Photography

“...a bombast of reckless experimentation.”

Available Now!

RESPECT THE UNEXPECTED. VISIT PLOWBOYRECORDS.COM FOR NEW RELEASES

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OUR ARTISTS: BLACKFOOT GYPSIES • BOBBY BARE • PAUL BURCH • BUZZ CASON • CHEETAH CHROME • CHUCK MEAD • THE FAUNTLEROYS • THE GHOST WOLVES • JD WILKES & THE DIRTDAUBERS • JIM ED BROWN


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AFTER 5PM FUL

TION C E L L CO

OF

IRITS P S + E N I W ER + COFFEE + BE EE TS ! SM A LL BI TE S & IR RE SI ST IB LE SW

UGHT O H T A

AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT

EVERY FOURTH THURSDAY

SIP. SAVOR. UNWIND.

ONLY AT BONGO 5TH AVE 250 5TH AVE S

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Hosted by: Lightning 100'S Wells Adams AND a surprise DJ (Past surprise DJs include: My Morning Jacket & Langhorne Slim!)


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:

AYLA SADLER

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

editor:

@donutloverr

​@annaliseholmes

@joycelanefarms

@hattiebs

          writers: photographers:

@creekspace

@kkbbkb

p.r. intern:

MATTHEW LEFF TIANA CLARK SCOTT MARQUART ANDREW LEAHEY MARC ACTON CHARLIE HICKERSON COOPER BREEDEN

DANIELLE ATKINS JEN MCDONALD SARAH B. GILLIAM JONATHON KINGSBURY LEAH GRAY STELTENPOHL JESS WILLIAMS ANDY DAVIS STUART WILSON

GUSTI ESCALANTE

S I P. S A V O R . U N W I N D . O N L Y A T B O N G O J A V A 5 T H A V E N U E founding team:

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

to advertise, contact:

for all other inquiries:

SALES@NATIVE.IS HELLO@NATIVE.IS

special thanks to jaime dudney for allowing us to

@eighthandroast

use the fontanel mansion and farm in this month’s

@darren2112

cover shoot.

PROUDLY DELIVERED BY RUSH BICYCLE MESSENGERS

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MULE VARIATIONS by Ben Clemons of No. 308

Named after the Tom Waits album, this refreshing summer drink is a Southern twist on a classic Moscow Mule. Our mule packs local sweet tea moonshine and a ton of mint (tip of the hat to the julep) to make the perfect porch sipper.

THE GOODS 2 oz Ole Smoky Sweet Tea Moonshine 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz simple syrup 1/4 oz fresh ginger juice 2 dashes Angostura bitters

photo by danielle atkins

F Shake, strain into freshly iced highball or collins glass, and top with club soda. F Garnish with a big sprig of mint.

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LIGHTNING 100 presents


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PHOTO BY JEN MCDONALD

MASTER PLATERS

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HOW TO: PREPARE FROG LEGS WITH

CHEF JAY MITCHELL OF TENNESSEE BREW WORKS

THE GOODS: BRINING 1 quart water 1 cup salt 1/2 cup sugar 2 bay leaves 1 quart Cutaway IPA 20 sets (approximately 5 lbs) of frog legs

DIRECTIONS:

* N AS HV IL LE -S TY LE

H OT O I L

1/4 cup smoked pa prika 1/4 cup pasilla chili powder 1 tbsp cayenne po wder 1 tbsp chipotle po wder 1 tsp habanero po wder 1 quart duck fat

F Heat first 3 ingredients and stir until dissolved. F Add bay leaves and beer and cool completely. F Brine frog legs for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

THE GOODS: BREADING flour egg wash mixture of 1/2 flour and 1/2 panko breadcrumbs peanut oil Nashville-style hot oil* finely chopped herbs (like tarragon, parsley, chive)

DIRECTIONS: F Remove the frog legs from the brine and dry them. F Bread the legs a few at a time by coating them with the flour, then dipping in egg wash, and finally rolling them in the flour-panko mixture. F Fry the frog legs in peanut oil for 4 minutes. F After frying, dip the legs in the Nashville-style hot oil for 20 seconds. F Drizzle with local honey and garnish with finely chopped herbs. F Serve over fresh toast and garnish with pickles.

SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN PAIRING BEER AND FOOD: Match Intensity with Intensity: You never want the beer to overwhelm the flavor of the cuisine. A light beer pairs great with a delicate dish. A dish with a high intensity of flavor demands a more assertive beer. Our frog legs pack a lot of flavor, so we chose one of our most intense beers to pair with it. Harmony Pairings: It is ideal to match aspects of the dish with traits of the beer. Our Hot Frog Legs are garnished with pickles that are brined in IPA. These pickles pair perfectly as a harmony pairing with the Cutaway IPA. Contrast Pairings: It is always interesting to have contrasting items that work well together. The sweetness of the honey drizzled on top of the frog legs pairs very well with the bitterness of the IPA. Situational/Regional Pairings: Hot Chicken spice has become a staple for Nashville. The Hot Frog Legs pair great with the Cutaway because IPAs enhance the spice in a dish. Complementary Pairing: Having a beer add an aspect to a dish is always a plus. We purposely leave bitterness out of the dish so the IPA can provide that flavor on its own.

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R EC L A I M E D F L O O R I N G, F UR N I T U R E , BAR N DO O R S, BA R N WO O D WAL L S & L UMBE R STO R E GOOD WOOD NASHVILLE - OPEN TO THE TRADE & PUBLIC - EAST NASHVILLE OPEN MONDAY-SATURDAY 8AM-5PM - 615-454-3817 28 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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LITERATURE SP O T LIGH T TIANA CLARK IS A PUSHCART PRIZE NOMINEE LIVING AND PERFORMING POETRY IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. AS AN LA TRANSPLANT, SHE ATTENDED HUME-FOGG HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADUATED FROM TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY. SHE SERVES ON THE BOARD OF THE PORCH WRITER’S COLLECTIVE, A LOCAL LITERARY ARTS CENTER. HER POEMS HAVE APPEARED IN SOUTH-

WESTERN REVIEW, THE RAVEN CHRONICLES, NASHVILLE ARTS MAGAZINE, WORD RIOT, AND FORTHCOMING IN CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW. THIS FALL, SHE WILL BE ATTENDING VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY’S MFA PROGRAM IN CREATIVE WRITING FOR POETRY. READ MORE ABOUT HER AT: WWW.TIANACLARK.COM POEMS BY TIANA CLARK | PHOTOS BY DANIELLE ATKINS | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MACKENZIE MOORE

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PSYCH “Loving you is complicated.” —Kendrick Lamar I came back from the hospital and smashed into my bed, folded my body into the batter of pillows and blankets. It’s still hard to explain what happened with one phone call. The male nurses that took my blood and urine with my belt and razors. The glint of terrazzo in the hallway. The half-lucid neon swirl of Ambien dreams. The word crazy echoes on every object that is clinical and white. Years later, I have been writing and re-writing this same poem, but maybe it’s not a poem, maybe it’s a love story and only the lovers know the final draft, only the lovers know about the phone call that can crack your brain to bright madness, a luminous burst, a supernova exploding in my stomach being pumped to an empty bowl.

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GIGGLES And there it was, as if the serpent was there himself, leading us with his slick muscle of a body— to find the stack of rain warped Playboy magazines by a tree. What possessed our nine-year-old fingers to delicately turn the pages and stare at naked women? Huddled like football players, our February breath combined into a low hanging cumulus cloud, or maybe it was a cartoon bubble? We instantly knew to whisper, giggle and shush each other, as we all fought to stare at our first sexual questions. We wondered with our prepubescent bodies if our breast buds would bloom and hang like so; is this what we wanted or what we thought men would want from us someday? Later that night, in our sleeping bags, I don’t remember whose idea it was to take off our panties, but we did and the giggles started again as we wiggled them down our legs. We didn’t know how to touch ourselves yet; we were all just fireflies beginning to find our light until my mother came in. One girl pushed another out of her sleeping bag, debuting our hidden game with her bare bottom. My confused mother asked for explanations, except it took me too long to clothe myself. Then she knew, like all mothers know what their daughters are hiding. She yelled at us to put our underwear back on. After my confessions, she pulled me to the back bedroom and punished me, her hand swiping across my body as she sniped, “What would the other parents think?” A foreshadow for sex: scavenger hunt, hands buckling into a roller coaster ride, fear of my mother catching me, then pain followed by crying—the first bite.

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DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION Drugs—even the word pulls like an opening to a cave. I remember the D.A.R.E. officer that came to our school with stickers and relatable rap music. Each of us pledged like Hitler’s youth to never do drugs, but there’s an order to follow. First, it was cigarettes. Just holding one and you felt like a Nirvana song was between your fingers, all grunge and carelessness with plaid, stonewashed jeans slit at the knees, then smoking your boyfriend’s pot. Then you find yourself at nineteen in the bathroom stall at PF CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO pulling a little baggy and a cut straw out of an empty Bubble Yum wrapper, snorting white lines off the metal top of a tampon receptacle. The chemical sludge sliding down the back of your throat— numbing your gums with an index finger laced with chalky residue. The zing-zap in your brain as your janky jaw pops side to side when you head up to the hostess stand, taking people back and forth and back and forth to their tables till the coke wears off. Cocaine—even the word draws up judgment, like: mafia or Krispy Kreme doughnuts… but once you do it you get it. Once you do it you get stuck in a loop, like in one of those trance songs, an itch develops that you need to preemptively scratch like lifting a needle to the groove of a record. How we rake the damages of our need across our life, like a tattoo you cannot see but the memories ink themselves as Rorschach tests—sometimes it’s a black butterfly, a dead deer, your dead grandmother, but always your damn daddy issues.

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MAGIC Light as a feather stiff as a board, Light as a feather stiff as a board, we chanted as children. We believed we could levitate bodies with our words. Like in my church, when the preacher placed charismatic fire in the palm of his hands to the crucible of our foreheads. He would shout Jesus! Blow peppermint-scented breath of Spirit on each face. The huddled congregation fell like drunken dominoes around the altar, wriggling on the swivel of spiritual intoxication. They called it slain in the spirit, consumed by divine ecstasy. I wanted to be the next ember, feel the singe from God all over my body, except when the preacher laid his hands on me—I felt nothing, only the dry heat of his dragon mouth. I wanted to believe their version of Jesus wouldn’t skip me. So when he tried again, pushing me to a slant— I gave in. Lying on the carpet, encircled by hysterical laughter and blissed out faces I cried—I was pretending. Same with the child chants, Bloody Mary was never in the mirror, and the Ouija boards— I felt nothing, just fingers guiding toward letters with no message for me. How we fake to feel the magic inside us. It took me a while to understand that I didn’t have to beg for it, God was already washing the dust off my feet. “Magic” originally appeared in Word Riot and has been reprinted here with permission of the author.

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TYLER HILDEBRAND’S ART ISN’T ALWAYS PRETTY, BUT NEITHER IS THE WORLD HE COMES FROM

BY SCOTT MARQUART | PHOTO BY SARAH B. GILLIAM

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The bay windows at David Lusk Gallery in Wedgewood-Houston act like

a magnifying glass to the late spring sun. Inside, the natural light is amplified by the room’s tall white walls, transmuting it into a fluorescent glow that doesn’t soften anything. Nine-foot canvases lean all around the gallery, featuring grotesque characters offset against bright, cheerful backgrounds. Paint cans and coffee cups litter the room at its seams. Tyler Hildebrand’s exhibit opens in four days, and it’s hard to make out what’s finished and what’s still a work in progress. I see Tyler walking along past the windows at the front of the gallery, coffee cup in hand. He swings open the heavy glass door with ease. Tyler looks like a normal guy—a guy’s guy. His Cincinnati Bengals cap is fraying around its bill, his cargo shorts are splattered with paint, and if you were related, he’d be the cousin you wouldn’t want to line up against in the touch football game at the next family reunion. The characters in these paintings are plucked out of different worlds—the streets, sports, television, newspapers. For Tyler, it’s all fair game. Pimps, drug dealers, the 1992 Dream Team, Davy Crockett, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Pete Rose all make appearances, sometimes on the same canvas. “[My inspiration comes from] other stuff than art,” Tyler says, watching a truck pass by on the street out front. “One of my main influences has always been

Johnny Cash . . . The way he carried himself, bucking the status quo, I always wanted to emulate that in whatever way I could.” Tyler’s work is nuanced and layered, but it’s as much about attitude as it is intention. Like Cash, he illuminates the harsh realities of the world outside in a way that you don’t need a doctoral degree to appreciate. “Art can be stuffy,” he sighs. “But I don’t think it has to be.” Nothing about Tyler’s artwork feels delicate or refined—it’s bold and physical in a way that isn’t always easy to look at. He doesn’t polish the edges off the world—he zooms in on them. “If I have a goal or a meaning,” he says, “it would be to kind of lift the veil to this uneasy reality that people generally don’t want to look at, or pretend doesn’t exist.” He uses color as a tool to lure people in, juxtaposing brighter shades with hulking, sometimes monstrous figures. “I’m portraying ugly realities,” he admits, “but I try to do it in sort of a beautiful way, where it almost makes it uncomfortable.” Tyler’s brazen style might seem a bit out of place in the highfalutin world of art galleries and conservatories, but then again, that’s not the world he comes from. “My dad was a cop and my mom was a crime reporter, so those were the things I was saturated with [growing up]. “Back then it was different,” Tyler says of his early days in Cincinnati. “[My dad] had a guy take his gun from him and shove it in his face. He kept trying to pull the

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“WITH ART THERE IS NO AUTHORITY— YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, AND YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH IT.”

trigger, but my dad was holding on to the cylinder of the revolver so it wouldn’t turn. And these were things that were going on. It never scared me or anything, but it was very interesting. I would always have him drive me through these bad neighborhoods so I could see what was going on. And he would tell me what had happened where and say, ‘That’s a hooker, there’s a

drug dealer.’ “When I started getting older, I was crazy, man,” Tyler laughs, a bit amazed looking back on it. “I was drinking, I was using drugs, and I was obsessed with these places. I got an apartment right at the top of the hill of this bad neighborhood, and I would get drunk and go down there. I don’t know if it was exciting or what it was, but I was just drawn to this place. And I don’t drink or do drugs anymore, but I’m still drawn to these places and these people—they’re way more interesting to me than normal people. I would love to take everyone from the street where I used to run around in Cincinnati and bring them here. Because I think they would appreciate this art too.” Tyler figured out early that you can’t please everyone, and that has given him the freedom to explore artistic territory that many would shy away from. “All the stuff that you can’t act out in normal everyday society, I can act it out in my art. It’s art, and you don’t have to accept it, but you have to look at it either way.” Tyler never lost the youthful spirit that led him to venture into the dark alleyways of Cincinnati as a kid—he just channeled it into a different medium. “I’ve always had some kind of a thing with authority, and it’s gotten me into trouble. But with art there is no authority—you can do whatever you want, and you can get away with it. That’s what I like.” Throughout his evolution, Tyler has always drawn inspiration from the people and places around him. He went from Cincinnati to Memphis to Nashville—all working-class cities with a bit of grit if you know where to look. In each city he’s found a new wealth of experience, and it’s all filtered into his art. “It evolves wherever I go because I’m feeding off people, feeding off myself and my environment. Right now I’m living in Donelson, Tennessee, on Lumberjack Road,” he laughs. “[You might think] there’s nothing crazy about Donelson, but if you can soak it up, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going

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on.” Few would call Donelson an artistic or creative hotbed, but Tyler seems to have inherited his mother’s crimereporter sensibility for sniffing out a story where others might not think to look. “There’s these little pockets of characters. Just going to the laundromat or wherever it is, you meet these people. And their stories inform my work. I’m not running amuck anymore, so I’m not making my own stories—I have to feed off other people.” Though it’s clear that Tyler’s art is deeply ingrained in his identity, he doesn’t gloss up the realities of living as a professional artist. “[Art] was something that I kind of just fit into— just something that I did. Honestly, I used to coach high school football for a while up in Cincinnati, and if I could do that and make money, I might just do that,” he shrugs. “Because art is a weird thing. You’re by yourself a lot. You’re just in your brain, painting these weird pictures, hoping that you can make some money, hoping that somebody’s going to buy it. And, like, who wants to buy a painting of Davy Crockett with a tiger that’s nine feet tall?” He laughs because that’s the first painting you see when you walk into the gallery. “But I have to do it.” (In case you’re curious, that painting, titled Victory or Death, was the first piece to sell at Tyler’s David Lusk show.) Tyler’s art has enabled him to stay true to himself in a way that no other life could—constantly experimenting, questioning authority, and shining a light on people and places that many would prefer to keep tucked in the shadows. “I never want to be comfortable where I’m at, and I want to push the boundaries. I want to be able to say what I want, the same way Johnny Cash did. I want to kick out the lights at the Grand Ole Opry, play San Quentin prison—go against the grain. And if I can make enough money doing that, then I’ll be happy. That’s all you can ask for.”

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YOU COULD TOO Teacher training begins this September


INTRODUCING

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JESSIE BAYLIN ON MOTHERHOOD, MARRIAGE, AND BEING A SHARK BY ANDREW LEAHEY PHOTOS BY JONATHON KINGSBURY

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THE LAST TIME JESSIE BAYLIN RELEASED AN ALBUM, THINGS DIDN’T GO EXACTLY AS PLANNED. The year was 2012, and Jessie had just put the finishing touches on Little Spark, a warm, woozy record inspired by ’60s songwriters like Dusty Springfield and Nancy Sinatra. The album was her baby. She had fought for it, nursed it to health, raised it on her own. She’d also paid for it herself, looking to regain the creative control she’d given up during her days as a major-label recording artist in Los Angeles. The album hit stores in mid-January. By March, Jessie was pregnant with her first child. By April, she was crisscrossing the country as the Fray’s opening act, struggling to get a grip on her morning sickness along the way. “I was in the van, vomiting every other minute of the day,” she remembers, sipping a cup of Portland Brew coffee more than three years later. “I felt so bad for the guys in my band, who were a bunch of nice, single guys with no idea what to do. We were going everywhere, from Radio City Music Hall to Red Rocks, and the travel schedule was pretty rough. I wasn’t able to eat. I wasn’t able to get better. By the end of the month, I had to pull out of the tour.” Jessie went back to her new home in Nashville, where her daughter, Violet, was born the day after Christmas. In the meantime, Little Spark—which she’d begun recording back in 2010, not long after moving from the West Coast to Tennessee to live with her now-husband—fizzled from a bright burst down to a low glow. She simply couldn’t promote it. Another

baby had come into the picture. Now, Jessie is reintroducing herself as both mother and musician with a new album, Dark Place. This one is a record about balance: the pleasures and panic of parenthood, the joys and challenges of marriage, the brightness and bleakness of life spent as an artist. In the liner notes, she dedicates the moody album to Violet, who’s grown into a wide-eyed, strawberryblonde toddler over the past two years. “After Violet was born, I sort of had this funeral for myself,” admits Jessie, who wound up spending more time than originally planned in the hospital, recovering from a staph infection. “When your health is at risk for many months, all you’re left to do is think, and I had this idea that I couldn’t be who I once was anymore. I thought I just had to be a mom. But once I got over that, I realized that the thing my daughter needed from me was for me to be myself. That was an exciting realization. I could dive into motherhood in a completely different way. When I started writing for the new album, everything I had lived through over the past year and a half was ready to be put into a song. It was all on the surface.” ***** When Jessie was born in April 1984, her parents were in the process of building their own careers. They were restaurant owners, working hard to run the New Jersey–based Italian cafe that had already been in the Baylin family for a generation. To celebrate her arrival, they hung an “It’s a girl!” sign

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“IT TOOK GOING THROUGH A BAD SITUATION . . .TO GET ME INTO A BETTER ONE.”

above the bar. Later, as Jessie became the two musicians to begin dating. For years, they were a toddler, they gave her free reign of long-distance boyfriend and girlfriend, an arrangement the place. Whenever jazz musicians that had as much to do with Kings of Leon’s busy tour would show up to play music inside schedule as Jessie’s half-joking/half-serious refusal to the restaurant’s lounge, she’d grab the move to Nashville until the city built a Whole Foods. “Years later, Nathan sent me a cell phone picture of microphone during sound check and sing nonsense syllables to anyone who the cover of The Tennessean with the headline reading, would listen. She was a natural per- ‘Whole Foods coming to Nashville,’” she remembers. “He was like, ‘Pack your bags, baby!’ And honestly, it was former, even in diapers. Her parents sold the restaurant time. We were engaged at that point, and things with my when she was three, then bought a record deal in Los Angeles were already fractured, so it nearby dive bar called The Stirling Hotel. That was was just a perfect storm to bring me to Nashville.” That fractured label situation from Jessie’s California where Jessie truly grew up, inside a wood-covered, saloon-style restaurant that her family slowly transformed days has become a thing of the past, but it’s still an iminto one of the most popular places in northern New portant part of her story. Jessie moved to Tennessee in Jersey. These days, on a sunny weekend during the sum- 2008 to join her fiancé, but she also came here to restart a music career that had stalled in Los Angeles. For years, mer, people will wait as long as two hours for a table. Growing up as the daughter of two restaurateurs had she’d been signed to Verve Forecast Records, a label hit its advantages. No one told Jessie to get a “practical” job. particularly hard by the declining sales that plagued the No one batted an eyelash when, as a teenager, she threw entire industry during the early 2000s. Jessie had been herself into acting. No one tried to change her mind af- able to call her own shots during her first year or so ter graduation, when she moved to California and shift- with the label, but things changed once Verve’s bank aced her focus to music. Instead, the Baylins encouraged counts dried up. The record execs suddenly wanted her their daughter to find her passion and let it grow, wher- to do things their way, not hers. It didn’t feel like a partnership anymore, so Jessie bailed, leaving both LA and ever it might take her. “My dad is sixty-two years old,” she says, “and he just Verve Forecast in one fell swoop. She briefly returned to added a bocce ball court and a beer garden to The Stir- Los Angeles in 2010 to record Little Spark with some of ling Hotel. Does he really need to put a beer garden into her favorite musicians—and to put some of the hard lesa restaurant that already couldn’t be any busier? Prob- sons she’d learned in California to good use. “I knew exactly what I wanted out of Little Spark,” she ably not, but he wants to keep going. My husband calls my parents ‘the sharks,’ because if they’re not moving, says. “I knew what I could do and I knew what I couldn’t they’re dead. I definitely have the shark gene too. If I’m do. I was specific about the sounds I wanted and the not making music, I’m learning how to bake bread, or people I needed to work with. I wanted to make a modI’m making a baby in my body, or I’m building a house ern love letter to Dusty Springfield, which is what every single sound on that record was born from. It took going with Nathan. Or sometimes, I’m doing it all at once.” This is probably a good time to mention that Jessie’s through a bad situation—a situation I didn’t want to go husband is Nathan Followill, the drummer for Kings of through—to get me into a better one.” Leon. The two met at Bonnaroo in 2006, within spitting ***** distance of the backstage porta-potties. (“So romantic,” she jokes.) At the time, Followill and his three bandmates were more than two years away from releasing Dark Place benefits from that same sort of hard-learned “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody,” songs that would wisdom. Like Little Spark, the album was recorded afmake them some of the best-selling rock ‘n’ rollers in ter a period of changes and challenges. It’s the second Nashville history. Jessie was already a fan, though— LP to be released on Jessie’s own label, Blonde Rat, and she’d caught the band during an LA show at the Wil- Jessie cowrote every song, apart from a lounge-y cover tern Theatre in 2005, turning to her girlfriend halfway of the ’50s classic “Do You Wanna Dance?” With few through the gig and shouting, “I feel like I believe in rock exceptions, she and producer Richard Swift (a tour‘n’ roll again . . . and I feel like I’m gonna make one of ing member of both The Shins and The Black Keys, as those boys my boyfriend!”—and it didn’t take long for well as one of her main collaborators on Little Spark)

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JESSIE BAYLIN: jessiebaylin.com Follow on Facebook and Twitter @JessieBaylin or Instagram @JezebelBaylin native.is

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are the only musicians heard on the entire album. Together, they wrap her slurred, swooning melodies around vintage keyboards, fuzz guitars, and soundscapes modeled after everything from the Xanadu soundtrack to Hank Williams’ “Kaw-Liga.” It’s a bizarre mix, but it works. It sounds like Jessie Baylin. And, once again, she footed the bill herself. “Just because of who I’m married to, people have this idea that my husband is funding everything,” she says, not frustrated as much

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as tired by the mistaken notion. “But that’s not the case. We keep those things separate. I want it that way.” She’s in a brighter place these days. Violet is a beautiful daughter—the sort of flame-haired kid who should be on TV commercials, grinning over a bowl of baby food or modeling a onesie from

Kohl’s—and Nathan will be home for most of the summer, with Kings of Leon only playing a handful of music festivals. Dark Place has been selling well, thanks to an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers and a short, successful tour that featured fellow Nashvillian Courtney Jaye on rhythm guitar and backup vocals. Jessie is content . . . but she’s moving too. There are songs to write, meals to make, family to love, dreams to track down. There’s more work to be done. A shark never sleeps.


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ESTHER MARTINEZ AND MESA KOMAL ARE GIVING THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY A CHANCE TO DREAM, LEARN, AND BECOME

BY MARC ACTON | PHOTOS BY LEAH GRAY STELTENPOHL

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If the American dream is dead, someone forgot to tell Esther Martinez. She’s running the show tonight, a graduation ceremony for her culinary entrepreneurs’ class, which for the last several weeks has been held here at Mesa Komal on Nolensville Road. The ceremony is all in Spanish, so I’m cursing my lack of studying in college but still picking up a word here and there. I’m also surprised that the night is more potluck than pomp and circumstance, with a table full of fancy-looking desserts and what must be sangria against the wall. As she talks to her graduates, Esther reminds me of a summer camp counselor, a job that might similarly combine personal loving care with an educational emphasis on practical job skills. In the weekly class, she taught about a dozen students most of the skills they would need to build their own food businesses— inventory management, ordering, ingredient sourcing and storage, and food and safety regulations. She holds several classes here, most aimed at immigrants looking to get into the food business— a popular profession for those who speak English as a second or third language, because a language barrier doesn’t usually pose a problem. The culinary courses are part of a wide variety of community outreach efforts by Conexión Américas, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help integrate Latino families into everyday American life. The class had been meeting in Mesa Komal, one of the organization’s largest efforts. It’s part commercial kitchen rented out by local chefs and part culinary school for immigrants. Their rental customers include some standouts of the hip food trucks and small-batch crafters that Nashville’s seen grow, like Riff ’s and Hummus Chick. The educational offerings are mostly like tonight’s class—geared at developing a professional skill set that can translate to a decent job, or enabling entrepreneurs like tonight’s group that want something more transformative. Along with Conexión Américas’ hefty investment in Mesa Komal, funding came through grants from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Economic Development fund. Conexión Américas also raises its own funds from things like the small fees it charges for its courses and fundraisers like their Mother’s Day brunch, catered this year by Riff’s

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MESA KOMAL: Learn more about Mesa Komal at kitchen.conexionamericas.org native.is

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sonalities of the Food Network gave her later she had to quit, overcome by terFine Street Food truck. Mesa Komal lives in Casa Azafrán, the an escape. They also gave her life a new rible asthma problems brought on by large community center that Conexión path. Two years later, when her daugh- the exposure to dust and allergens that Américas built on Nolensville Road in ter and the care she needed had stabi- the job required. “I said, ‘Okay, God, you have a plan 2012. They built the center as a space lized, Esther started culinary school. As a thirtysomething culinary student, for me. And whatever it takes for my specifically for cultural integration and then filled it with a crazy mix of fellow Esther stood out—the old maid in a kids, that’s what I’m going to do.’” A social advocates. The brightly lit, color- class of younger students. But when the few weeks later, Esther landed a job at a ful space might be the only place in the instructor saw her knife skills, which Chipotle Mexican Grill. Her English was world where a Muslim advisory council she’d learned watching hour after hour rough, but she was assigned to the front has offices directly across the hall from of Emeril and company, Esther says, line. Soon she moved up into management. Then tragedy struck her family a United Methodist Church organiza- “We were friends after that.” Getting through school was a chal- again. tion. It occurs to me that this is a microOn October 16, 2013, Esther was cosm of what an Athens of the South is lenge. “I went to school early in the supposed to look like. It’s what I imag- morning, at 7. I normally got out around walking through Walmart with her kids ine the Athenian docks looked like as 1:30. I’d pick up my kids from school and when she heard a customer scream. She immigrants from far and wide arrived my baby from childcare, and I’d spend turned around to see her next-to-youngoff the boat, carrying curious spices and time studying with them. Then, nor- est daughter, Emily, on the floor, shaking. ingredients and striving to be a part of mally at 10 p.m. I’d start studying myself, She started to give her daughter CPR, and go to bed around 1 a.m. [That went but another shopper stopped her, saying, a community of learners and dreamers. Esther is both a learner and a dreamer. on for] almost two years. But I really “She’s having a seizure.” Over the next She’s also the kind of person you’re on a wanted to do something that for me was few months, Emily would suffer from seizures that could strike at any time, first-name basis with within minutes of a passion.” After graduating, she worked long and their lives changed dramatically. Esmeeting. She has the eyes of a mother— huge almonds painted delicately tonight hours at a decent-sized local restau- ther was heartbroken. Again. “I couldn’t with hints of purple and sparkle mixed rant building her skills, then eventually cry in front of my daughter,” she told me. into blue eye shadow. There are barely a moved to Ajili Mojili, a fancy restaurant “But as soon as she went to sleep, I was few wrinkles creeping into their corners, in San Juan, working in the catering crying a lot. And I was asking God, why? but as she tells me her story, it’s clear department. “Sometimes I would work Why did this happen?” Unable to continue working because sixteen hours in a row. But I learned a she earned every one of them. Four years ago, she left her large ex- lot as a cook for my first six months, and of the care her daughter needed, eventutended family in Puerto Rico and moved then they [made me] assistant manager ally she lost her job. “That’s like where to the states with her five children. The at the restaurant.” The whole time, she who you are as a person is proved,” she kids’ dad came over, too, but they’d al- had her eyes on a bigger prize for her says. “It’s that type of situation you have no idea could happen to your family or ready been separated at that point for family. “I knew that my kids needed some- your kids. So I said, ‘Okay, it is what it is. quite a while. He was involved, but not in an “I’ll take care of this” kind of way. thing else. I wanted to do something else My daughter needs me.’” Eventually, Esther reached out to More like in a “Good luck with that” for them. I wanted them to have more kind of way, and it tells you what kind opportunities than I had.” In March community organizations that help famof person she is that she still, even today, 2011, she visited her niece, who was liv- ilies learn to deal with conditions like ing in Nashville. “I fell in love,” says Es- Emily’s. In April 2014, the young Emily talks about him with kindness. She had beaten a lot of odds just to ther. “So I went back to Puerto Rico, and started receiving treatment, prescribed get here. In 2004 her family was rocked one month later I was on a plane flying to her by doctors at Vanderbilt who had when her daughter Aurora was diag- here with five kids and fifteen suitcases.” diagnosed her with Juvenile Myoclonic She had just left everything she’d Epilepsy. She hasn’t had a single seizure nosed with autism. They were devastated, and Esther quit her job as a legal ever known behind. “I was so nervous, since. Esther’s experience with community secretary to care for her daughter full just crying. I was thinking, I have my five time. While she was at home spending kids in this plane, and fifteen suitcases, and organizations that helped her in her every day cleaning, cooking, and doing I’m going to a place where I have no idea time of need led to a passion of her own all the mothering required by a house- [what it holds]. But as soon as I got here, for helping people. That, combined with hold of five kids, now including one with I embraced my fears.” She took the only her extensive kitchen experience, made extra needs, she got hooked on Emeril, job she could find, in housekeeping at her perfect for the job when Conexión Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay. The per- the Loews Vanderbilt hotel. Two weeks Américas was looking for a kitchen man-

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ager for Mesa Komal earlier this year. Tonight, Esther commands attention in the room, only partly because of her smile and aforementioned sparkly eyes. It’s also because she gives the best hugs and talks to you like you matter. I don’t have to understand the words the man is saying to hear the emotion in his voice as he talks about what Esther’s class has meant to him. Even with my subpar Spanish, I can tell that he is talking about something that matters to him—something that has made a difference in his life. The rest of the class murmurs in agreement. The whole graduation ceremony for the budding empresarios is like the last night of summer camp, where you sit around a campfire and talk about how much your friends mean to you, and how you’ll never forget the relationships you made here, and how the things you learned will make you a better person. Esther is the wizened, caring counselor, ready to watch her charges move into the real world, hoping to see them take what they learned here and succeed. When the man who was almost moved to tears finishes, her smile is everything. Another middle-aged lady chokes up as she starts to talk. About dinero, and profesión, and el futuro. Each of the students thanks Esther. More than one talks about la corazón. The heart, that is. A younger girl with high heels and a sequined blouse, looking like any other American twentysomething, breaks down and cries before she finishes her first sentence. “Muy difícil,” she says. There’s a quiet pause as the room nods in solidarity. At the end, Esther speaks for a few minutes. This is obviously more than just a place to learn how to chop and cook things. This is Athens and summer camp, and people leave here with a skill and the knowledge of how to use it. They’ll stop being dreamers and become makers. Doers. Like Esther. She’s building a new life for her kids by spreading the gospel of food to others who are just trying to make it like she did. “And now, we eat!” Esther finally says, in English. And they do.

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THE YOUNG BREH CREW DISCUSSES SAD BOYS AND WHY IT TOOK THEM SO DAMN LONG TO RELEASE THEIR LATEST ALBUM BY CHARLIE HICKERSON | PHOTOS BY JESS WILLIAMS

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[has] no rules,” says DOZA. “That’s what “I BET YOU DON’T EVEN SMOKE!” “BACK WHEN MY FAMILY WAS SITI like about it.” —“INTRODUCTION” TING AT DEAD BROKE / NOW I GOT Simply put, the guys are unabashedly— DE NIRO CHIPS LIKE CASINO / NOW In the world of Young Breh, this is the and proudly—weird. “Aggressively nerdy,” EVERY SUNDAY WE’RE SIPPING ON worst insult you can receive—a dig that as Breh likes to put it. It’s an attitude that’s PINOT” —“WE OUT HERE” instantly calls into question your authencertainly reflected during our interview at ticity, your intentions, and perhaps most “My musical upbringing was a mix of DOZA’s house, where chicken tenders and the classic shit that every hip-hop dude is importantly, your ability to keep it real. It’s Breh’s catch-all phrase for people he dis- Courvoisier (our dinner for the night) are going to tell you—their parents listening likes and/or wants to make fun of (which referred to as “dank tendies and drank”; to Al Green and all that other stuff,” Breh is a lot of people), and it’s just one of his any undesirable is labeled a “shit boy” or says after pouring some Courvoisier into a favorite things to say in general. It’s refer- “sad boy”; and everything from Kobe Bry- solo cup. “Combined with my older sister enced in his Twitter handle. It’s said in our ant to globalization to the The X-Files is listening to the golden era of hip-hop. Tuinterview. It’s rapped or sung on nearly ev- discussed with authority. pac, Ice Cube, Wu Tang, stuff like that. And And the trio isn’t any different on their then my brother was really edgy and alt, so ery track of Lean on Us, Breh’s latest album with fellow rapper FR<>ZE (pronounced records. Throughout Lean on Us, the rap- he’d listen to Smashing Pumpkins and all pers display an encyclopedic knowledge that.” “froze”) and producer DOZA. of pop culture, spitting ingenious, streamBut for all of his aggression toward peoJust as Breh’s early influences (sans Billy of-consciousness allusions to Tom Joyner, Corgan) align with the “classic shit” that ple who don’t get high, Breh doesn’t even smoke. Instead, he spends most of his time Jeff Gordon, and Dragon Ball Z—and that’s often inspires rappers, his background as an executive recruiter (read: headhunt- just the short list. Sample lyric: “She hit also resembles the rags-to-riches narrative er) for a local staffing agency that hires em- me with that eggplant emoji / trying to get often claimed by rappers. Though, as Breh ployees for CPA firms. Hence the loosened a workout, call me Master Roshi / hit her is quick to point out, it’s a narrative that’s tie and untucked button-down he’s wear- with chop, that’s a young Shinobi / riding easy to claim but difficult to live through. ing when we meet up. When paired with with the green, breh, that’s that Yoshi.” “That’s what’s funny about our generaBut unlike other jokey pop-culture tion,” Breh begins. “Kids want to act like his snapback and Jordans, Breh’s afterwork attire makes him look like a Sterling absurdists in today’s rap game (Riff Raff, they’re from the hood, but you can ask my Yung Lean, Lil B), Breh and FR<>ZE don’t brothers—it fucking sucks to be from the Cooper exec on his way to a cypher. So, what’s this nonsmoking, corporate- rely on ethereal, synth-based beats. In- hood. It’s not tight at all. It’s literally, like, job-holding guy’s problem with people stead, they rap over expertly flipped vin- the worst fucking thing in the world.” who can pass a drug test? Is he self-loath- tage soul samples reminiscent of Kanye’s Breh spent his early life in the Edgehill ingly sober? Is he attempting to parody production on The Blueprint or Purple Haze. “housing community”—a term that he uses pot-obsessed rappers like Wiz Khalifa and And, just to make things even weirder, the with mock sincerity and a crooked grin. duo will occasionally stop rapping in the Because of his mom’s struggle with addicSnoop? “It’s a step past ‘I fucked your bitch,’ or middle of a song to let an unaltered sample tion, he spent the rest of his childhood as whatever,” FR<>ZE explains, comparing play them out, like an end credit song after a self-proclaimed orphan, living with varithe line to standard hip-hop disses. “It’s a movie. So don’t be surprised if you listen ous family members and friends throughmore of a direct insult. It’s a ‘fuck you’ just to Lean on Us and you’re abruptly trans- out Nashville. He maintains that he “left all ported from Breh rapping, “These bitches that in the past,” and says he hates “sad‘cause.” don’t smoke,” to nearly two minutes of boy narratives,” but there is genuine sadSuch is the Breh universe. FR<>ZE and Dionne Warwick belting over a chamber ness to his story—even if he doesn’t think Breh—two self-described “neo-post-hiporchestra. And if that weren’t enough, the so. Memories of Christmases without any ster lean addicts”—rap about whatever trio also manages to sneak in a goofy voice- presents. Stepbrothers in and out of prison. they want, over any type of beat they want, mail from a local laundromat owner and a Siblings he says he’s now “disconnected just ‘cause. They put a pasty, shirtless, dosample from neo-soul/goth band inc. rag-wearing, assault-rifle-wielding tween from, pretty much.” He hasn’t even seen “The music is a juxtaposition of so many his parents in years. on their album cover, just ‘cause. They play a reel of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s greatest things. It’s not like, ‘Okay, we’re going to Rather than falling victim to the streets, wrestling matches before their shows, just keep it all acoustic,’ or ‘Oh, this will be all Breh looked for something beyond the ‘cause. They wear eyeball-print bucket hats digital shit,’” DOZA says. “And I don’t feel “housing community” to help him cope. “I and bug-eyed sunglasses, like FR<>ZE is like we’ve even exhausted anything. We’re think that’s one of the main reasons I bewearing today, just ‘cause. “The aesthetic just getting started.” came a nerd or loser or whatever at the

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time,” he explains. “I was skateboarding and listening to Mos Def records . . . I always wanted to be a dude that came back to Nashville. I always thought I’d grind and bust my ass and come back and tell my high school teachers to eat my ass.” Busting his ass led him to Hume-Fogg, W.O. Smith (where, strangely enough, he was taught by members of Sixpence None the Richer), and eventually MTSU, where he received a full scholarship. For those wondering: years later, when Breh finally got his first commission check from work, he bought a new Ralph Lauren suit and had every intention of marching into Hume-Fogg and telling his former teacher to, well, eat his ass. He ultimately felt it was in bad taste, though, and decided against it. Through MTSU, Breh met FR<>ZE, an enigmatic singer who—in the words of Breh—“was trying to be the [WWE wrestler] Goldust of rap. He told me about all these bits he had planned, and I was just like, ‘Man that shit sounds wack!’” All wackness aside, Breh found a kindred spirit in FR<>ZE, who came from a similarly troubled background. Though FR<>ZE is the grandson of a world-famous steel guitar virtuoso (who he refuses to name), he grew up in a “low-ass middle-class” country neighborhood in Mt. Juliet. Having a grandfather in music introduced him to the dark side of the industry early on, and he says his grandfather’s experi-

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ence set a precedent for a “bitterness” that trickled down through his family. “[My parents] are both kind of shut-ins or hermits, and that’s a trait that my grandpa sort of has because he was so famous, but he never really made it anywhere as far as like guap [money],” FR<>ZE begins. “He never really got paid for most of the shit he did. He has to pay for his own CDs and shit. He signed some bunk contracts—he had steel guitars with his fucking name on them that he didn’t get paid for . . . and he left my dad to his parents. So there’s just alienation all around [in my family].” Despite his family’s tumultuous relationship with the industry, FR<>ZE started writing acoustic singer-songwriter material at thirteen. He went on to perform in the Middle Tennessee area under the moniker Kids are Goats, where he’d occasionally split the bill with Caitlin Rose. When he got to college, he started smoking pot and listening to Wu Tang clan—you know, things that college freshmen tend to do. His newfound interest in hip-hop led him to collaborate with Party Trash, a witch house producer who was making beats for Young Breh’s debut album, Jordan Year. FR<>ZE found time between school and recording solo material to lend a hand on the production of the record, which was a moderate success and laid the framework for Breh’s pop-culture surrealist style. But Breh


YOUNG BREH: youngbreh.bandcamp.com Follow on Instagram @localbootypics native.is

admits there was something missing TWO YEARS TO MAKE SIX TRACKS, from the album. BUT WE BACK AT IT. PROMISE IT “If you listen to Jordan Year, the prob- WON’T TAKE SO LONG NEXT TIME.” lem with that is it had too many bars,” —“INTRODUCTION” Breh admits. “And FR<>ZE’s [solo] stuff “It was hell.” was too out there. So we just needed to That’s how Breh describes the remeet in the middle.” cording process behind Lean on Us, the Meeting in the middle, however, was record that would get him and FR<>ZE easier said than done. Actually, making back into taking music seriously again. any music at all during that time was For the album, they enlisted Miami easier said than done. There wasn’t a transplant and fellow MTSU grad DOZA specific reason it got difficult to write to help produce, engineer, and oversee and record—life just kind of got in the “quality control.” DOZA’s technical exway. By 2013, the guys had moved to pertise and persistence was essential to Nashville. They got “real” jobs. They completing Lean on Us, but the addition got girlfriends. FR<>ZE got a Lexus, and didn’t come without a fair share of fricBreh even started working out. They tion with Breh. It even created a tempowere assimilating into adult life, and rary rift in the group, now referred to as that unfortunately meant putting music the “Death Grips incident.” on the back burner. “This motherfucker wanted everyBut things didn’t stay stagnant for thing to sound so perfect. I hated DOlong. They lost the jobs and girlfriends, ZA—I hated him so much,” Breh says, and FR<>ZE—as he raps on “We Out pointing to DOZA and laughing. “There Here”—crashed the Lexus, which he was a point where we were like Death still mourns to this day. The guys were Grips because there was no one in the left feeling dejected and frustrated, or band. In my mind I had kicked them out as Breh puts it, “salty.” They were ready and quit the band at the same time.” for something new, something that said DOZA is the type of producer who sad-boy season was over. They were knows what he wants and doesn’t stop ready to get back to spitting bars. pushing musicians until he gets it—a technician and perfectionist in the vein “SORRY, SOMETIMES IT TAKES US of Pet Sounds–era Brian Wilson. Which

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IN DE PE ND EN CE is fitting, considering Lean on Us was recorded on the same studio hardware Wilson used on Pet Sounds (no joke, DOZA just happens to know the guy who ended up with the equipment). While recording Lean on Us, DOZA became a taskmaster of sorts, pushing the guys and providing brutal honesty in the studio. “Everything had to be clean. But I could pick up flubs,” DOZA says matter-of-factly. “And if I can hear [something wrong], the recording isn’t good. If it doesn’t get past me, you fucked up . . . I just wanna make sure the album plays well from beginning to end . . . And if I call you out, I usually have a way to back it up.” DOZA’s discerning ear paid off: the album does in fact play well from beginning to end, and people are starting to take notice. Breh says he’s received fan emails from as far away as Miami, and by the time this article is published, the guys will have made their second appearance at Tour de Fun. They tell me it’s ideally the first of many more shows to come now that they’re out of “wrap-up hell.” The crew also has plans to release physical copies of Lean on Us via Party Trash’s Candy Drips Records & Tapes label, videos, and another short EP, hopefully by July. And while the sonic direction for the new EP is still up in the air, they already have tentative artwork picked out: a picture of Papa John’s founder John Schnatter grinning while holding pizza on a red carpet. So I think it’s safe to assume the guys are going to keep things weird. “[The new EP] is going to be lit as fuck. Everything we do gets more lit,” Breh says. “That’s one thing I can promise you—it will always be better than the last project. Just look at the jump from Jordan Year to this shit.” And I can’t argue with him. The weirdness keeps working and the sound keeps progressing. At this rate, there’s honestly no limit to what the guys could do. “We’re going to be one of those bands that’s always out here,” Breh asserts, finishing off his Courvoisier. “We’re just going to be people who consistently make good music for people.” For the sake of all the nerds out here with him, let’s hope so.

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Kate, who held various positions at Bongo World over the past 19 years, left the company and Nashville last month for the second time. Kate continuously wanted and got (or more accurately took) more responsibility. She started by pleading for the opening GM job at Fido when she moved here in 1996 from California. A year later, she became a partner and added the very necessary at the time task of running cash to the bank as it opened so checks wouldn’t bounce. After becoming a mom, she decided to sell out and move to back to the Golden State for what turned out to be a four-year sabbatical. Like many Bongoids, she couldn’t stay away. She came back in 2005 and served a year as the chef at Grins Vegetarian Café before setting her sights on what she really wanted to do: run the whole company -- a position she created and eventually named. Her first business card read “VP of All the Stuff Bob Doesn’t Want to Do.” In typical Kate fashion she had

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it reprinted without asking with the more business-correct title “Director of Operations.” Kate has been around for multiple store openings, numerous employee changes and at least one miracle. And she kept detailed lists through it all. Her last week here was spent shredding all 37 company bonus plan proposals, 423 business plans for cafes that didn’t open and 1,452 ideas that were emailed to her after 1am. She also spent time preserving some classic emails like the one offering her the then undefined administration position she has had since 2006. “I still have trouble knowing what your job will be but I’m sure it will be darn helpful.” It’s hard to know exactly what stuff Kate did around here even with the four page memo and the 125 bullet points of accomplishments she left behind. Yet, whatever it was it was certainly darn helpful. Good luck in California. We’ll miss you, Bobby, Bailey and Connor. Thanks for all you did around here.


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SHO OT ING T HE SHIT WIT H

BAHA PHOTOS BY ANDY DAVIS AND STUART WILSON

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What inspired you to start blowing glass? I have always loved glass. It especially hit a note with me when I saw some soft glass being made at a Renaissance festival my mom took me to when I was young. But I’d say what confirmed it was marbles. Not the little old-school ones, but the big crazy ones that suck you inside. I started seeing them at Bonnaroo when I worked the festival about ten years ago. Then every year I would work there partly to buy marbles, until three years ago when I stopped going so I could just make them and focus on my new passion. I also give credit to David Paul for inspiring me and giving me the opportunity to apprentice. Without him, I would not be doing what I love. Also my brother Sawyer is my shopmate and a glassblower who keeps me going and inspired. What’s the toughest part of learning the art of glassblowing? Well, really there are many things. I think everyone has their own ideas of what makes it so hard. For me, honestly it’s just pushing myself and not giving up when I break a piece I was very happy with. That’s hard to get over. It’s like breaking a part of yourself. What’s the origin behind the moniker “Baha”? That’s actually a funny story. It’s short for a fantasy character I adopted the name of years ago when I was a kid. It kinda became my gamer name on EverQuest and Halo. That turned into a nickname and a bit of an alternate identity for anything I did not want my real name attached to. So when glass happened, it just kinda seemed catchy and was already a bit of an alter ego. It’s more nerdy than deep.

was going with it. Honestly, in the art world it’s not that long . . . But I feel as I evolve it will take me longer and longer. What’s the glassblowing scene like in Nashville? And what advice would you give aspiring glassblowers here in town? Well, as far as boro [borosilicate, the type of glass Baha works with], there was not much of a scene when I started. There are some very talented softglass guys here, like Mike Allison, who is now my amazing shopmate and landlord. His work is amazing. But over the last three years, the boro scene has grown a lot . . . Now I’d say we have a very good foundation for a great glass scene, boro and soft glass. It will only grow, in my opinion. We have seen a lot of support from the locals. And to new aspiring blowers, I say keep at it and don’t think about the money. If it’s your passion, that part will follow. Future plans for your art? Honestly, it’s hard to say. My main goal is just to grow and let the glass grow with me. I have never been good at plans, but flowing with what feels right tends to work for me. Maybe classes one day, maybe new ways to incorporate more mediums. I’ll probably always make pipes and marbles, but I do want to make some larger scale glass as well. We will see. Either way, I’m excited.

What’s the longest you have ever spent on a piece? Torch time, maybe three to four days making sections and such. And if I decide I want to electroform it and add stones, etc., another few days. I’ve had one that took me about a month, but a lot of that was figuring out where I

A panorama of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where the Martinez family farm is located.

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CHALAXY

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: CHALAXY

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Do you like (or did you like) The Flaming Lips, but now you’ve got some moral hang-ups about it because Wayne Coyne has become creepy, culturally insensitive, and maybe just a little bit washed-up? Well, fear no more, my presumably glitter-faced friend. Psych rockers CHALAXY put on a live spectacle that—though not quite as grandiose as The Lips—evokes the spirit of Coyne and company at their peak. There’s a light show, gold spandex pants, and enough confetti to make you dust off your old copy of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. But even though they share some common ground with The Lips, don’t get the impression that CHALAXY is a straight rip-off. Frontman Taylor Cole’s down-played, low-register vocals bring to mind Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and guitarists Andy Heath and Jason Brooks’ phased-out strumming adds the perfect sprinkling of shoegaze. Check out their new single, “Dizzy Master,” and catch them live sometime if you get the chance—just don’t be surprised if you’re washing glitter out of your hair for a few days afterward. –Joe Clemons, Community Relations Manager

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Profile for Native

NATIVE | June 2015 | Nashville, TN  

FEATURING: Jessie Baylin, Tyler Hildebrand, Young Breh, Mesa Komal, Tiana Clark, and more.

NATIVE | June 2015 | Nashville, TN  

FEATURING: Jessie Baylin, Tyler Hildebrand, Young Breh, Mesa Komal, Tiana Clark, and more.

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