ISSUE NO. 5 NOVEMBER 2012
D AW N OF
DONOSAUR Evan P. Donohue | Bicycle Lounge | Porter Flea | Old Made Good | Dose. Fat Bottom Brewery | Parlour & Juke | Rhubarb Theater Co. | and more...
AUGUST | 2012
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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2012 7
BEER FROM HERE
Yazoo Gerst is this month’s local beer, brought to you by Village Pub & Beer Garden.
GIVE ‘EM THE CRAFT
Buying local gets a little easier with Porter Flea.
PORTER FLEA PREVIEW
A sneak peek at some of the great things you’ll see at December 1st’s Porter Flea.
COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH
Another great cocktail from the master mixologists at No. 308.
Heath and Keith want you to get yours—at Dose.
CRAFT BEER CROSSES THE RIVER— BOTTOMS UP
Ben Bredesen gives East Nashville craft beer, and it’s very, very good. Get your fat ass to Fat Bottom—immediately.
Old Made Good’s fall lookbook of smart clothes and other “cool, oneof-a-kind shit.”
The Frist’s new crowdsourced photo exhibit, Cameras and Community in Action, showcases over 500 photos taken by Nashvillians from all walks of life.
BAD TAXIDERMY, GOOD HAIR
Meet Cali from Parlour & Juke. She’s gonna do your hair, or you’re gonna leave.
Rocker Evan P. Donohue is just getting started.
DAWN OF THE DONOSAUR
Nashville street style.
NATIVE ANIMAL OF THE MONTH
HEY GOOD LOOKIN’ Melanie Shelley, a celebrity stylist and the owner of TRIM, gives you insider tips on how to look good.
Rhubarb Theater Company is acting locally.
SUBTERRANEAN BIKE SHOP BLUES
The nuts and bolts of Nashville Bicycle Lounge mechanic-in-chief, Dan Hensley.
The e l p p A
with ght- i r e on h ail, d t k fres c f o o c sh e d spla ione a slic a h , s n d a o n e t a ld F urb bu, w ugge e Bo sic O r n s m u a r t a l a a c t M ug ign The pple aw s ere a ter S r A s h , e t y e r u r d Fo -ma rs. B cher t Old Bitte ouse real h e a hin a g n , h n t w e i a o g r , w O our oran crisp thers s h of ' o s t r I a B l . e cks all. a sp of Fe he ro he F with t t f r n f o o o it e it on f finish ser v ibati l d t n c a er fe eur, the p Liqu d n a ple- of ap
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Helmsman’s Letter: Welcome back. This is issue numero cinco, and we are damn proud of it. We think it's our best issue yet. Five months ago, we figured we'd be dead in the water by this point, but you crazy kids just keep on reading, and that's why we love you. In light of that fact— and to celebrate our fifth publishing—we'd like to formerly invite you to—High-five! In fact, everyone you know should probably high-five this issue. Don't miss out on the magic. It feels good. More high-fivability is not the only thing that's better about our fifth issue. It's also got a new local beer section, a new beauty section, heaps of amazing photos, a new street style section, a fall lookbook from OMG, and a crafty Porter Flea Preview, in addition to a bunch of interesting, well-written stories about the people and things that make Nashville a great place to be. It also has dinosaurs on the cover, and we think that's pretty cool. They may not be real (we couldn't find any real dinosaurs with availability), but we got rocker Evan P. Donohue to stand next to them, which kind of makes up for it. Evan is a cool dude—even cooler than dinosaurs in some ways. After reading about him, we think you'll agree. Well, we hope you enjoy the stuff we found for you this month. Thanks for reading. See you again in December.
PLACE HAND HERE Dave Pittman HELMSMAN
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YAZOO GERST On
VILLAGE PUB & BEER GARDEN
March 25, 2011, Gerst beer returned home. This true Nashville original was brewed from 1893 to 1954 by the William Gerst Brewing Company on 6th Avenue South. After being brewed under contract in Evansville, Indiana, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this amazingly drinkable amber is now brewed a stone’s throw from its first home by Yazoo Brewery under the watchful eye of brew-master Linus Hall. Hall and his crew partnered with the Chandler family, owners of the Gerst label since 1988, to replicate the original flavor profile. Working without a preserved recipe, Hall and the Chandlers went back and forth on many batches in order to accurately represent the erstwhile body, color, and finish. They settled on a cool-fermented ale that’s a departure from the original lager. Using the cool temperature fermenting process allows the brewers to restrain their house ale yeast, curbing the fruit-forward nature of an ale and producing a clean, lager-like finish true to the original. Grab a Gerst, and toast Linus and the Chandlers for this delicious act of beverage preservation. Gerst is once again “Brewed in Dixie”—in fact, brewed in Nashville.
GIVE â€˜EM THE
Buying local gets a little easier with Porter Flea By Cat Acree | Photography By Yohannah Sherman And Emily Spence
Anyone who’s been to Marathon Village has seen the colossal line of tourists stretching half the length of the old disintegrating car factory. They flood shoulder-to-shoulder through Antique Archaeology, the eclectic collection of History channel’s Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of American Pickers. Many even find their way to Bang Candy Co. for some artisan marshmallows, while locals try to squeeze in and out with a bottle of habanero lime syrup without getting stuck between a stroller and the door.
So there’s a major thrill to seeing a line wrapping around Marathon Music Works that’s purely local love—Nashvillians supporting Nashvillians. This line first appeared there last June, and it will reappear on Saturday, December 1st, for the second annual Holiday Porter Flea. “We heard when we were opening the doors for the last flea there was a giant line outside,” says Katie Vance, commercial interior designer by day, maker of Knitlaces (upcycled t-shirt necklaces) and Skillery employee by afternoon, and Porter Flea mastermind by night. “It had never occurred to me that people would be knocking down the door at open.” As much as I would love a tour through Porter Flea from Katie and her crack team—Jessica Maloan (social media coordinator and elfin linocutter of Pine Street Makery, wearing a tooth necklace) and Brent Elrod (resident left-brainer, food truck wrangler and financial guru)—the craft market comes but twice a year. It started like this: take two crafters, add an untapped community of makers, and with a little business knowhow—you’ve got Porter Flea, Nashville’s semi-annual (and these days, highly anticipated) pop-up craft fair. The idea came collectively from craft market enthusiasts Katie and Jessica, but neither knew how to make it a reality on her own. After hearing that the two artists had the exact same idea, matchmaker/printmaker Andy Bird (of Friendly Arctic Printing and Design) brought them together. “We knew that it could exist in Nashville with all our artists and designer connections,” Katie says. “We just wanted to do something and bring it to the city.” When Katie met Brent at a conference for accessibility in architectural interior design—a “Sunday school” for design fanatics—Brent offered up Porter East, a multi-use housing development in East Nashville. So, with Katie and Jessica’s big idea, and now thanks to Brent—a location—the idea for Porter Flea really started to take form. The first flea came about in July 2011, showcasing nearly thirty vendors, and if not for the subsequent avalanche of glowing feedback, it could have been the first and last Porter Flea. “A group of vendors at the first flea asked us if we were going to do it again,” Brent says, adding, “We thought, maybe we should.” So they went ahead with a Holiday Porter Flea, this time featuring over seventy vendors, more than doubling its size. As of 2012, it’s officially become a twice-yearly event. Modeled after sprawling, curated flea markets like Brooklyn Flea and the Chicago-based Renegade Craft Fair, Katie, Jessica
and Brent have taken bits and pieces from these highly successful markets and applied it to their model for Porter Flea. Brooklyn Flea got its start in 2008, and since then, has grown into a weekly fair of antiques and crafts, with multiple locations and hundreds of vendors. Renegade is of the same spirit, but its staff is based out of Chicago, while the market itself hops from location to location all over the U.S., and even to the U.K. Unlike these enormous fairs, the Porter Flea team has no plans to increase the number of vendors, no matter how popular it becomes. This is not only to ensure the market’s flexibility in location, but also to allow all of the vendors the chance to be seen. “Too many vendors in one place, too big of a crowd—it kind of dilutes the potential for vendors to make money, really,” Brent says. “They kind of get lost in the chaos that may be like a 300-vendor mega-fair. The size we’ve grown to is the right size for Nashville, certainly. There’s a good energy, but it’s not a completely overwhelming number of people, and you can still have a chance to peruse every vendor and discover new talent locally, and not just completely miss an entire section of the market because it was just too crazy.” With over 150 applicants per flea, the final selection of booths is an art in itself. “We have a list of criteria that we consider,” Jessica explains. “Craftsmanship, innovation, uniqueness—and also cohesion. We want to make sure everything goes well together.” Jessica goes on to explain that it's just as important to ensure the unity of the market when placing vendors. “There can be people that we really like, but it’s a disservice to a vendor if you’re next-door to [another] vendor that just kind of doesn’t make sense as a whole.” The Porter Flea team strategically plans a mix of big and small booths—a collage of artists with seemingly disparate styles but equal talent. The last flea even had one vendor in a little pink vintage trailer. Also on that list of criteria—and this is especially relevant for the Holiday Flea—is affordability for both vendors and buyers. Believe it or not, Katie, Jessica and Brent aren’t millionaires. “We own banks around town,” Jessica deadpans. Entry fees and application fees are kept low, allowing start-up designers the chance to participate. And with products running the gamut from clever postcards to gasp-inducing Thump Trunk suitcase boomboxes (ghetto-blasters built into vintage suitcases), Porter Flea is accessible to just about anyone who shambles through. “We’re not a gallery,” Brent says. “There’s not an additional markup built into the price of an item. We’re creating a venue for
"IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE KNOCKING DOWN THE DOOR AT OPEN."
direct sales for the vendors to sell their stuff. There’s really no other opportunity like that for DIY makers and crafters to come together in a very professional way, and basically meet their market.” The Holiday Flea promises even lower prices in the hopes to draw shoppers away from the horrors of the great and terrible mall. “We’re really focusing on holiday-driven items, but not necessarily holiday-themed,” Katie explains. “We really want to encourage a lower-priced item from everybody that would be a great holiday gift. I think that’s our major focus, is that we want it to be accessible and affordable enough for everyone to do their holiday shopping and get it from the actual artists themselves.” Avoiding holiday mall chaos isn’t the only reason to hit up Porter Flea. A study conducted by Andersonville Development Corporation in Chicago shows that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 stays in the local economy. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise, only $43 remains in the community. “Luckily for us, [buying local] is popular right now,” Jessica says. “People are thinking about where they buy their goods and are being more conscious shoppers.” There’s plenty to say about the team’s business savvy approach, and Nashville’s continued receptiveness to young movers and shakers, but the stars of Porter Flea are, and will continue to be, the artists themselves. “Someone in your own neighborhood will apply, and they’ll be an amazing leather maker, and they’ll live right down the street,” Katie says. “It’s been awesome to see not only the sup-
port of the community, but also these emerging designers popping up out of Nashville. We love to promote them.” Brent practically gushes over artist Josh Summerville of Arcade Death, whose surreal silkscreens and illustrations wax anti-nostalgic with a mix of content from anywhere between the fifties and the eighties. “I couldn’t resist it,” Brent says with a huge smile. “The pull was too great. So, two fleas in a row, I’ve walked away with an Arcade Death piece.” Jessica feels particularly blessed to have big names like Acorn + Archer’s Carolyn Burgess Sellers, and Boss Construction’s Andy Vastagh—both Nashvillians who have been with Porter Flea from the beginning. It’s through the draw of these big names that allows Porter Flea to conquer its main hurdle—overcoming the “junk” stigma attached to flea markets. Jessica explains, “When you use the word ‘flea market’ or ‘craft fair,’ people are thinking about doilies and Grandma’s quilts.” Carolyn actually started Acorn + Archer at the very first Porter Flea, so their growth has been simultaneous, and their admiration is clearly mutual. “I've been excited to see them grow,” she says via email, “and love the commitment the team of organizers has to the vendors to make it a great event for everyone. From the level of workmanship and creativity of the vendors, to the ‘perks’ that they supply us with on the day of, they are just all-around great. . . . It's also such a great time to get to meet my customers in person, and since I don't have a storefront, my customers often wait to come see what new styles I will bring to Porter Flea!” Carolyn’s modern wooden jewelry, loved for its clean geometrical
"Luckily for us, [buying local] is popular right now ."
10 / // / /
shapes and pops of color, was recently featured on Fab.com, the world’s fastest growing e-commerce design site. “She’s been getting a lot of national attention for her jewelry,” Jessica says. “I feel very lucky that she’s done all that and still comes back and does our market.” Another big draw is Andy Vastagh’s Boss Construction, whose handmade printwork is some of the most iconic in Nashville. It includes the Next Big Nashville logo and the Hands on Nashville poster, featuring a crying Batman building. Andy travels all over the world—Barcelona, Austin, Louisville, Dover, Germany—displaying and selling his posters, a life he describes as “great, but [it’s] a lot of work to travel and coordinate all my merchandise and gear, so to have the opportunity to do that locally, and not having to ship everything weeks in advance was a welcome change.” But to Andy, it’s much more than just a convenience; it’s a hell of a lot of fun. “It’s easily one of my favorite shows I do all year,” he says, “and in my backyard, no less. No passport needed.” His take on the Holiday Flea as the “one-stop holiday shop” for Nashvillians is equally glowing: “How could I be mad at shopping for goodies while noshing on some fine local food truck fare? Beats the hell out of the food court, that's for sure.” Not everyone who likes Boss Construction will stop to pick up an Arcade Death piece, and vice versa, but as people trickle from one artist to the next, they’ll find the vastly different wares to be equally fascinating, or at least worth a rubberneckin’. “We have a lot of crafters that have been around for a long time, that are kind of a different aesthetic. There wasn’t something in Nashville like that, as far as taking traditional methods into modern craft,” Jessica says. Fortunately, now there is. So try something new, steer clear of malls (there be dragons) and give back to your community by shopping local at the Porter Flea this December.
The next Porter Flea will be on December 1st, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1402 Clinton St. Visit PorterFlea.com for more info.
RECYCLING FIRST, TRASH LAST SERVING RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, RESTAURANT, ETC.
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PREVIEW HERE’S A PEEK AT SOME OF THE GREAT THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE AT DECEMBER 1ST’S PORTER FLEA.
1.Jewelry by Acorn+Archer, 2.Screenprinted T-shirts by Friendly Arctic, 3.Textile Necklaces by Knitlaces, 4.Cards and Prints by Andy Vastagh, 5.Terrarium Kit by 400 Moons, 6.Wrapping Paper by Monkey Ink Design.
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Photos by Yohannah Sherman. (Acorn+Archer and Southern Lights Electric photos provided by vendors.)
7.Custom Lighting by Southern Lights Electric, 8.Prints, skateboard deck and mask by Arcade Death, 9.Cards and Prints by Pine Street Makery, 10.Notebooks by Linen Laid & Felt, 11.Cutting Boards and Chairs by Holler Design, 12.Prints by Camp Nevernice, 13.Toys and Side tables by Modern Arks.
COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH by No. 308
THE HOLDEN CAULFIELD IF YOU REALLY want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is why it’s called “The Holden Caulfield.”* Named for the seventeen-year-old antihero of J.D. Salinger’s classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is known for his expulsion from a northeastern prep school and his unflagging hatred of all things phony. His character is simultaneously dry and intriguing—just like this concoction. In this amber, fall-inspired cocktail, spice from the rye plays well with Cherry Heering, while homemade limoncello and vermouth join in to smooth out the rougher edges. But you don’t have to know the ingredients to enjoy the drink. It’s like Holden says: “people never notice anything.”
1 ½ oz. Knob Creek Rye ½ oz. Cherry Heering ½ oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth ½ oz. limoncello 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 brandied cherry
Combine all ingredients in a coupe. Stir. Garnish with brandied cherry. Enjoy responsibly. —Ben Clemons, No. 308
*Taken in part from the opening sentence of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Photo by Camerom Powell
May he rest in peace.
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A coffee and tea treasure is tucked into an inconspicuous strip, at the crest of West End, between the Sylvan Park and Richland Park neighborhoods. The building’s façade is a humble red brick that barely hints at the inviting atmosphere that lies just beyond the shop’s pair of double doors.
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Dose radiates warmth, from the cozy interior’s earthy color palette to the steaming coffee and freshly baked treats. Rich variations of brown hues repeat throughout the open space of the shop. Large, elevated chocolate-colored booths line the back of the room. Small glass vases of delicate white and yellow flowers top tables around the shop. Nearly every surface in the place is made from unfinished wood, contributing to the organic, raw atmosphere. The walls boast an inspired crop of paintings from one of Nashville’s many local artists. Altogether, I feel instantly grounded, a part of an intimate, balanced coffee shop ecosystem—just the right mix of coziness and culture, that given a not-so-beautiful day, you could set up camp with the company of a cappuccino, perfectly content to browse a good book for a few indulgent hours. A malevolent grinder isn’t punishing coffee beans, and baristas aren’t violently banging out expired grounds from two espressos ago. You’re not going to have to duke someone out for a window spot or a
I FEEL INSTANTLY GROUNDED, A PART OF AN INTIMATE, BALANCED COFFEE SHOP ECOSYSTEM—JUST THE RIGHT MIX OF COZINESS AND CULTURE. power outlet. Rather, there’s a soft, unacknowledged symphony—light alternative rock, hushed conversation with occasional squeals of delight, the whirring of espresso machines, and the muffled frothing of milk are all in concert with one another. Heath Henley and Keith Steunebrink are responsible for fostering this experience at Dose. Its third birthday was celebrated in style on September 9th, with a delectable chocolate and coffee tasting from Askinosie Chocolate and Counter Culture Coffee. Opening up their own coffee shop had been a dream of Heath and Keith since they met while working at Rocketown, Nashville’s nonprofit youth outreach skate park and event facility, part coffee bar. When another coffee competitor in town put a store on Murphy Road up for sale, the two friends decided the time was now—Carpe diem. They took a leap, bought the space, and began rebranding the shop to create what we now know as Dose.
ENJOY A BURGER & A PINT IN OUR BEER GARDERN!
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Heath and Keith’s goal: to create a unique hub for coffee lovers and their loved ones to hang out. Their methods: superb customer service and the superiority of their products. The majority of the shop’s goods—coffee, tea, and as of late, chocolate—come from single source suppliers. Single source means it's the same type of bean, from the same area or farm, roasted the same way to ensure that the highest quality coffee consistently makes its way to your cup. To guarantee this, the Dose co-owners have carefully selected specialty roasters like the Durham, North Carolinabased Counter Culture Coffee, and as of right now (as part of their Featured Roaster program), Kaldi’s Coffee, from St. Louis. The selection of the shop’s roasts, however, is all Heath and Keith. The co-owners’ meticulous palettes pick from the large variety of single source roasts that the aforementioned suppliers offer. Dose typically interchanges its roasts every season, often returning to a favorite from a previous year. It’s a bit like the pumpkin spice latté, but instead of artificial syrups, you get a natural,
palpable flavor. I imagine the selection process is similar to that of a kid in a candy shop: so many flavors, so many kinds, it’s hard to choose just one. With mouthwatering descriptions like white grape, pear, brown sugar, Concord grape, molasses, and cocoa—the roasts sound more like decadent items on a dessert menu instead of in an espresso. Much like wines have a bouquet, roasts have aromas that can range from light and fruity, to a rich and caramel scent. One of the shop’s more recent additions, the demitasse menu, is the perfect place to experiment with a new roast. I tried my luck with the Sidecar—a single espresso and a single macchiato, presented side by side on a petite wooden platform, made by local artisan, E.M. Swiggart. For my espresso, I selected the Guatemala San Pedro La Laguna (from Kaldi’s Coffee)—a dynamic and sweet blend of blackberry, raisin, and Meyer Lemon notes. As Keith explains to me, the arrangement of the Sidecar encourages
"THERE’S SOMETHING INTIMATE ABOUT BEING FAMILIAR WITH A PARTICULAR ROAST."
the customer to appreciate the espresso on its own, then try it with milk. While a solo espresso can be intimidating, having this option eases the transition into coffee purism. And if it’s still too strong, you can always turn to Dose’s yummy homemade vanilla or ginger syrups. Exotic notes not your thing? “We usually have a more traditional flavor available, like our Toscano,” says Keith, adding that this Counter Culture Coffee specialty roast offers a classic taste, bolstered by caramel, hazelnut, and dark chocolate. “There’s something intimate about being familiar with a particular roast,” Heath tells me as he reminisces on his experience roasting beans on a coffee plantation in El Salvador. Heath is not a coffee novice; he knows the process from the ground up, and was even one of the judges for the United States Barista Championship. “I wanted to try roasting,” he says with a subtle smile. “I guess you could say it's the romantic side of the business.” Roasting is what coffee people aspire to do, as it allows the aficionado to have complete control of the outcome. Each morning, all of the employees sample each of the five or so roasts du jour to make sure the beans are fresh and flavorful. “It’s easy to forget
how many cups I’ve actually had in a day,” Keith says with a chuckle, exchanging a knowing glance with his fellow owner. The culinary side and atmosphere of Dose comes from Keith’s experience in catering, and from his upbringing in New Zealand. “Great coffee and great food don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” he says. He left Auckland for Nashville at age 13. But when he returned to his South Pacific birthplace, Keith couldn’t help but notice the rapid development of coffee shops that had sprouted all over the city. He was surprised by how the New Zealanders would take two to three hours at a time to sit in a coffee shop and allow themselves to relish in the coffee experience, whether it was on a sidewalk at a scenic café table, or behind the closed doors of a shop. It’s this kind of gentle, casual repose that Heath and Keith are aiming to achieve with Dose. The shop not only kindles a love of coffee, but also encourages exploration. Dose’s warm atmosphere ushers you into an innovative yet approachable culture of coffee, where the passion is as addictive as the caffeine itself.
"IT’S EASY TO FORGET HOW MANY CUPS I’VE ACTUALLY HAD IN A DAY."
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Dose is open Monday–Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 3431 Murphy Rd. Visit DoseCoffeeAndTea. com for more info.
Join us for the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans™ Marathon & 1/2 Marathon February 24, 2013 Take the first step. Call 1-866-227-7915 or visit go.acsDetermiNation.org to find out more.
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9/13/12 12:48 PM
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UGLY BEAUTY Rhubarb Theater Company is acting locally. By Henry Pile
Photography by Cameron Powell
Trish Crist, Phil Brady, and Bakari King run through the last of Death and the Maiden rehearsals before show time. Table work is over. Character relationships are set. They’ve moved from the
confines of the Nature Conservancy—where they blocked the performance in a hallway—and finally enter Darkhorse Theater with a set, lights, and all the trappings of an actual theater. Heather Webber, the show’s director, is busy. “We’re all kind of tired,” she laughs. But you wouldn’t know it. Her passion for her craft overcomes a sleep deficit, and she’s not about to rest now.
Rhubarb Theater Company’s production of Death and the Maiden, written by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman, saw a week of shows at Darkhorse Theater, with an encore performance at Belmont’s Black Box Theater, and wrapped in September. The multi-vignette performance marking its tenth season, Birds in Church, is now underway. The acting group, now performing for ten seasons, faced possible closure when founder Julie Alexander’s husband was offered the position as head of the Northern Lights International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fall of 2008, Julie turned to Trish Crist, who she felt could best take over. Trish says with pride, “[Julie] asked if I wanted
615.269.8029 26 / // / /
the company, and about a millisecond later, I had it.” As the new director, Trish formalized Rhubarb’s mantra: “tolerance and diversity in slice-of-life situations.” These themes dictate the plays she picks; themes that she calls “ugly beauty.” “I love ugly beauty. It’s the things humans do to each other, for better and for worse, out of all those ugly emotions. Most [acting] companies don’t want to shine a light on greed, judgment, longing, the clash of spirituality and sexuality, or politics. All of that usually sounds like the gloomiest, doomiest show you’re ever going to see, but Rhubarb shows have a lot of laughter and I think people
2315 12th Ave. South Nashville, tN 37204
recognize, in the ugly things we shine a light on, ‘Oh holy crap, I do that too! I am judgmental and I do think those things.’” “The beauty,” Trish says, “is in the honesty of these human emotions.” Trish’s motivation is not just to entertain, but to provoke her audience. “I like to entertain folks while they’re here and then have them think about it on the drive to the grocery three days later.” But don’t let their abstract mantra confuse you; the goal of Rhubarb is not to be preachy or elitist. Bakari King, an actor and teacher at the University School of Nashville, explains his goal for the audience, “If [the play] makes you think, cry, or laugh, then I’ve changed you.” And it’s really that simple. “I think art is about expression,” Trish adds. Regarding the content, Trish keeps stories close to
home when she can. “I like my stories to have a relation to Nashville—definitely in geographic terms, but also in terms of culture and in terms of stories that I know of.” This motivation to stay local led Trish to compile The Nashville Monologues, a collection of seemingly unrelated stories that overlap and build under an emerging theme—intolerance. She crowd-sourced some of the stories from PFLAG, GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Equality Project. Writers submitted pieces that dealt with intolerance, whether suffered or enacted. To create twenty total vignettes, Trish took ten stories from submissions and wrote ten original pieces, pulling actors from local companies such as Act 1, Sista Style, Actors Bridge, and Circle Players to perform the pieces. “Oh my goodness,” she says with pride, “We had some amazing submissions. I think I used
"I LOVE UGLY BEAUTY. IT’S THE THINGS HUMANS DO TO EACH OTHER, FOR BETTER AND FOR WORSE, OUT OF ALL THOSE UGLY EMOTIONS."
everything that was submitted.” This series oozed ugly beauty. For the future, Trish wants Rhubarb to have greater engagement with the Nashville community. At a normal performance, the seats are filled with peer actors, directors and writers, but Trish wants to reach out to theater outsiders. “I need to get better at telling Nashville what we do, where we are, and why people should come see us.” In this way, she wants to appeal to people from all walks of life, in hopes of connecting and collaborating with local set builders, set designers, sound engineers, or young actors wanting to practice their art. “Kids and adults who want to be involved in theater just need to get started in whatever place and capacity available. Do small jobs. Take small roles,” interjects Rhubarb actor Phil Brady. He goes on to explain that auditions can be scary, and rejection is
"LIVE THEATER HAS MORE TO OFFER THAN GOING TO THE CINEMA. THERE’S SOMETHING MUCH MORE COMPELLING ABOUT HAVING A PERSON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, IN THE FLESH." part of it, but that’s just a piece of the process. The real experience, for the actors and the audience, comes to life in the performance, where the energy heats up with the symbiosis of the audience, cast, and crew. “Live theater has more to offer than going to the cinema. There’s something much more compelling about having a person right in front of you, in the flesh,” explains Heather, Rhubarb play director. “I love to see the brilliance and the flaws of the work all come to life. I think the people in the community miss that when they miss live theater,” Phil adds enthusiastically. Now, Trish is looking for that next step in the evolution of Rhubarb’s production. “I’ve been saying for these last couple of years that it’s time for me to put my big-girl pants on.” Enhancing the over all production means enhancing the experience for the audience. She is brimming with directive vision for
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Birds in Church, for which she plans to hire a set designer and choreographer. Although Joe Pintauro, Birds in Church playwright, did not call for any dance in the play, Trish sees dancers changing the set between vignettes adding beauty to an otherwise traditional transition. “I think it will add to the angelic flavor.” That’s about the only time you’ll hear Trish ask for “angelic flavor.” Her parlance leans on grit and hard truth. She wants to push you out of your comfort zone and onto a bumpier road, forcing people to imagine themselves wrought with these controversial, often uncomfortable situations, and to think about how they would react. On the floor-as-stage, Phil Brady (as “Gerardo”) paces with his character’s anxiety while Bakari King (as “Dr. Roberto Miranda”) lies tied and bound on the sofa. His mouth gaged with red panties. Trish (as “Paulina”) stands, red-in-the-face with her character’s power, and grips the prop pistol. She is a tremor away from full eruption. Phil, as “Paulina’s” husband and mediator, pleads like a man on trial. Tied up and helpless, Bakari’s character evokes fear, humility, and confusion. Under a blue-white spotlight, Trish doubles over in pain and ecstasy, giving you everything she has to offer. She rips her heart out, throws it on the table, and begs you to eat it. And this is just a rehearsal. “Enthusiasm and anxiety” is the cocktail, and everyone is intoxicated. In here, the bitterness of Rhubarb will pucker your mouth before you kiss the harsh truth of reality, as Trish explains it. “I don’t think acting is about being a good liar. I think acting is about being a good truth teller and finding your own story in the script.”
Birds in Church is running November 9-17 at The Darkhorse Theater. Info and $12 tickets available via firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRAFT BEER CROSSES THE RIVER
BOTTOMS UP B y L i z Ri g g s | P h otograp h y by Cam er on Powell
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"I love beer,” Ben Bredesen, resident owner of Nashville’s youngest brewery, tells me on a rainy Saturday afternoon. It’s only been open for a week, and already the family-style wooden tables and courtyard are teeming with avid craft beer drinkers. We’re sitting together at a small table in the courtyard, as rain slowly drizzles around us while we hide ourselves under the brewery overhang. The courtyard looks reminiscent of a Chicago hideaway beer garden, or an exquisitely groomed rooftop garden, but it’s positioned in the middle of a dilapidated mattress factory on one side, and Fat Bottom Brewery on the other. It is, perhaps, perfectly misplaced. Ben is smarter than you, almost to the point of being socially awkward — which is funny because he doesn’t seem to have any real problem talking to people about beer. He’s articulate with each answer, careful not to let conversation wander off into jokes about his father or how he doesn’t quite seem like the kind of guy who would name a brewery Fat Bottom. Nevertheless, he’s
passionate about beer; that’s for sure. Every time I ask a question, I can see him nodding with the kind of restlessness that comes with the elite intelligentsia. He waits for me to finish talking with his concise answer already on the tip of his tongue—like the kid in math class who’s had his hand raised since the teacher wrote the first problem on the board. It comes as no surprise then, that his elite academic background (read: Brown University), followed by professional endeavors in software development, marketing, and management, proved fruitful when he dove headfirst into starting his own brewery in East Nashville. It was never a question of “if,” but “when” the former governor’s son would break out of his shell. All it took was a healthy dose of jealousy—when he noticed his friends scoping Germantown for a warehouse space to start a brewery of their own. “I got pissed off,” Ben says. “I’m tired of hearing about other people following their dreams. And even though it’s tough, and it may not be successful, and it’s
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a lot of money—I wanted to do this.” So with Ben’s unadulterated love for craft beer, and a growing desire to spread the gospel of the yeast, the idea to cultivate his own brewery was in motion. After deciding to house it in his hometown of Nashville, and opting to use something other than a geographical name, he began writing down every name that came to mind—the first out of his brain—Fat Ass (too crass, he says), which later became Fat Bottom. “Fat Bottom really spoke to what I was trying to do with the beer—which was to make something a little bit bigger, a little bit sexier than what you can get today.” The beers were chosen with thought and care, and came primarily from Ben’s desire to do something bold and different while also staying true to some of his favorites. “Half of it is what I like to drink—at the end of the day, I’ve got to be happy with my beer. These are all recipes that I’ve brewed over the years.” And for my first time at the brewery, Fat Bottom’s got four very different brews on tap—the Black Betty IPA, the Ginger American Wheat Ale, the Bertha Oatmeal Stout, and the Ruby Red American Ale. Since becoming a regular, I’ve been loyal to the Black Betty—hoppy, but not too terrifying for IPA newbies. So for me, the Ginger tastes a little bland, not to mention creating this filmy aftertaste, but people have been known to swear by it. As for stouts, I’ve never been a fan, but the Bertha is actually mild enough for me; as for the beer connoisseur who loves a rich, full-flavored beer, it might not possess enough belly. But by far the most unique and complex of them all—the Red Betty, a combination of the Ruby Red Ale and the Black Betty IPA. I’ve never been one to mix my beers (except, probably in some questionable collegiate moments), but this is definitely something to try. Enough about beer. Fat Bottom also offers one of the most extensive and eclectic menus for a local brewery, with
everything from bangers and mash to a roasted cauliflower quesadilla, to a mouthwatering cured-salmon BLT. “I decided if I’m going to do it [running a taproom/bar], I want to do it really well. We have table service; we have a full hot menu. I hired the chef, Christopher Haston. The kitchen is about the size of a table; it’s tiny. But he makes phenomenal food out of there.” The beer, the food, and the community adopting Fat Bottom are already beginning to make a mark in East Nashville and on Nashville’s beer market—easy to see by the amount of people bustling
"FAT BOTTOM REALLY SPOKE TO WHAT I WAS TRYING TO DO WITH THE BEER— WHICH WAS TO MAKE SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT BIGGER, A LITTLE BIT SEXIER…" into and out of the wood-paneled doors on any given day. But it hasn’t all been a walk in the park for Ben. “The most difficult thing for me was staring at an empty building for about 10 months. And just waiting and waiting until I could make beer, and then I still had to wait until I could get people in the door. The day we opened and people were floating in and drinking beer, I was just so excited to have a full building and see people enjoying it.” And to my surprise, “Craft beer is a tiny, tiny sliver of the beer market; it’s
5%, and most of that is Sam Adams,” Ben informs me. As a beer enthusiast myself, this statistic astonishes me—as it should to all you beer drinkers out there—this is how difficult it can be to break into an already tiny, niche market. Most bars do their business with conventional brews—Pabst, Miller, Bud Light. Even local pubs like 3 Crow in East Nashville will only do a small amount of their business through microbrews. “It’s humbling and disheartening to see so many kegs and cases of those brews going through [even though you see so many craft taps on the wall],” Ben says, shaking his head in ostensible frustration. But with Nashville’s growing appreciation for craft beer, there is room for growth. In comparison to similar-sized artsy cities (Portland, Asheville, etc.), Nashville has far fewer breweries within its city limits. “Nashville is underserved— as big as Yazoo is, and Jackalope, Blackstone, Boscos—there are very few breweries per capita here.” And even among those, Yazoo is the only brewery in town that regionally distributes to other cities and states. What does this mean for Nashvillians and for brewers in town? Simply put, there’s a giant opportunity to develop together, which in the near future means Nashville’s own brew bus, and if my inference skills are correct, means a Nashville brewery bus tour. “One of the things I really like about this industry—while I’m certainly competing with Jackalope and Yazoo, and everyone else, it's very much a community.” This “community” is even noticeable inside the walls of Fat Bottom. The tables stretch across the inside of the brewery, with eight to ten seats at a table, and the outside courtyard is spacious, but intimate. It’s the kind of place you come to have a drink and a conversation—not thirteen drinks and no conversations. Ben wanted something that felt like home, and was inspired by Portland’s Amnesia Brewery—a neighborhood brewery with the kind of feel you get
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"THE MOST DIFFICULT THING FOR ME WAS STARING AT AN EMPTY BUILDING FOR ABOUT 10 MONTHS. AND JUST WAITING AND WAITING UNTIL I COULD MAKE BEER. . ."
when you walk down the street to a block party, but your next door neighbor is handing out his freshest batch of beer he brewed in his garage. It’s this neighborhood sentiment that Ben is adamant about—and even though he didn’t start out looking for places specifically in East Nashville, it makes a lot of sense that he ended up here. “I live over here—near Five Points. I wasn’t trying to find a location here; I didn’t think it was possible,” Ben says. “I knew I wanted to be in the urban core, but it was perfect. It was the right space, the right location; it was perfect.” Ben can walk to Fat Bottom from his house, and to Five Points Pizza, which is one of his favorite spots for a slice and a beer (a Sweetwater 420, to be exact). In fact, he spends most of his time on this side of the river, anyhow. By the time you read this, I’ll have gone into Fat Bottom well over twenty times. I established myself as a regular there just a few days after meeting the Fat Bottom crew (they probably didn’t think it was possible for somebody to frequent a brewery so often while remaining relatively sober). But it’s a pretty comfortable place to show your face again and again. The staff is unpretentious, friendly and attentive; and yes, they will let you tell them about your latest break up. They’re considerate and responsive, and have a way of making you feel completely at home in a place that’s brand new. So what’s in store for the future of Fat Bottom? Ben, with his ambitious spirit, wants it to be a packaging and distributing brewery. As for right now, Fat Bottom beers are available on tap at Village Pub in Riverside, Silo in Germantown, and are soon-to-be available at Kay Bob’s in Hillsboro Village. Still—that’s not enough for Ben. “When the last bar that doesn’t carry it puts it on tap,” Ben says, that’s when he’ll truly be satisfied with his distribution in Nashville.
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Fat Bottom Brewery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m., at 900 Main Street. Visit FatBottomBrewing. com for more info.
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Fall in Nashville can be as unpredictable as a rhesus monkey in a hot tub. With a speargun. On trucker speed. One day, it’s flip-flops. The next day it’s snowshoes (OK, warm, closedtoe shoes, at least). And some days in between it actually feels like fall. To combat rain, wind, and bouncing bipolar temperatures, we teamed up with Ashley Sheehan and Kate Mills of Old Made Good to bring you transitional styles that are ready for anything (meteorological), especially those days when you just can’t tell what the hell the weather is going to do. Autumn wouldn’t be complete without this stuff, and your wardrobe wouldn’t be either—vintage leather, one-ofa-kind boots, felt hats, long-sleeved shirts, light jackets, and a collection of other metaphorical-speargunmonkey-taming accoutrements that are ready for fashion’s front lines. These looks will help keep you warm on cool days and cool on the warm ones, but OMG doesn’t stop at smart and unique clothing. Kate and Ashley’s little tienda that could (and did) has become a one-stopshop for all kinds of “cool, one-ofa-kind shit” for humans and houses (and sometimes for non-humans, too). They’re in the process of relocating to Gallatin Pike (behind Hair World and across the street from Captain D’s, according to Kate). When the new store opens, don’t forget to show ‘em some love. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, get on an interweb and visit OldMadeGood.com
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Models: Alanna Royale Jared Colby Jacob Jones Elizabeth Cook Henry Pile Hair and Makeup: Olivia Scibelli-Olive My Love, Hair and Makeup Artistry, McKenzie GreggKenzie Hair and Makeup Boots + Shoes: Stephen Drummond, Nashville Boot Union Clothes and Styling: Kate Mills, Ashley Sheehan, Old Made Good
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A few years ago, Evan P. Donohue accidentally wrote a song about handjobs. As a high school kid in New York state, he didn’t quite realize the implications of a song he wrote entitled “Happy Endings.” “I didn’t know about the massage situation or happy endings. I wrote a pleasant song—I was really into Iron & Wine at the time. It was kind of a folky, whispery lullaby, but the hook was ‘happy endings,’ and the chorus was like, ‘with a happy ending.’ So it was a song about getting a hand job after a massage, but I didn’t know that. That was probably the worst song I ever wrote.” This hilarious anecdote induces audible laughter from the sharp jaw line of Evan, who has no problem talking about himself in jest. Evan’s already at the bar when I arrive, and it’s pretty obvious that he’s a regular at Neighbors in Sylvan Park. I figured it would be rude arriving a few minutes late, but he’s casually waiting with his lanky frame propped up on a bar stool. When I suggest an outdoor seat, he shrugs compliantly and leads me to the back patio. As our rambles begin, he candidly reveals pretty much everything about himself, including: he wishes he had braces as a kid, he’d like “Uptown Girl” played at his funeral, and you’d only have to pay him $900 to tattoo his own name across his chest. All the while, he chuckles over what he guesses is a Fat Tire—he doesn’t even seem bothered by the fact that it may not be the beer he ordered. Evan’s shoulders relax as he sips slowly, letting me inadver-
tently interrupt him on occasion, only shrugging a shoulder shyly when I do. “I don’t know. I come in, and they just give me beers,” he jokes with an endearing smile. He’s defensive about it in a lighthearted way, resting firmly on his humility and the fact that he’s not the type of guy who parades into neighborhood bars and gets all kinds of free booze. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did; he’s got the sort of smile that’s sexy in a very subtle way—it could be considered goofy, or it could be the face for Armani; either way, it’s the kind of smile that can get you both into and out of trouble. “I pay for them!” he insists, as we sip our half-price drinks on a rare, perfectly dry Tuesday afternoon in August. His covetable blonde curls hit just above his black-rimmed glasses—a signature item in Evan’s style catalog. I assume they’re real, because he wears them all the time. Despite his affinity for no-effort-coolness, he doesn’t strike me as the heavy-handed hipster type; he’s too nonchalant. Plus, he’s wearing a Ralph Lauren button-down, untucked, that fits flawlessly over his bony frame. Evan P. Donohue has been making waves in Nashville's music scene ever since he left the comfort of New York to study audio engineering at Belmont. He tells me that New York is the greatest city in the country, and Nashville is this sort of “picturesque community.” He’s originally from Pound Ridge, N.Y., about an hour outside of the city. He began playing guitar in middle school, after he was given his father’s old guitar. He later
got together with some high school buddies to form his first real band, “The Beverlys.” As we talk about The Beverlys, Evan grins like a child, snorting a laugh at the thought of his high school band, who he assumed would be playing music together forever. Choosing our “picturesque community,” instead of immersing himself in the bustling scenes of New York or L.A., Evan was able to become a part of a talented and growing community of musicians. He’s made Nashville his home, and throughout our conversation, he mentions other Nashville musicians who are more than just “other musicians” to him. They are his friends— the people he lives with and borrows bikes from (including the bike he rode to this very interview). Evan isn’t shy about his support for local talent, and he’s noticeably excited about the opportunity to draw attention to his fellow Nashville musicians, as he spits names at me like wildfire the very second I start talking about local music. If he wasn’t attempting to be concise, I’m pretty sure he would have gone all night. At one point, he tells me, he was playing with Diarrhea Planet while living with band member Jordan Smith. According to Evan, it was never really “his thing,” but living with Jordan taught him a lot about writing what he describes “a quick, awesome song.” He goes on to cite his love for Pujol, JEFF the Brotherhood, Cait-
lin Rose, Natalie Prass, Majestico and Pony Chase, and comes to a realization about his decision to move here. “In hindsight, I can’t imagine going anywhere else—and I really mean that,” he admits. And it seems to be good for him. Over the past several years, Evan self-released the full-length Rhythm and Amplitude, was featured in MTV’s Awkward (last month), acquired and retired from a job at a car dealership, became a regular at Neighbors, toured with the lovely Natalie Prass, and began writing for what will become his second record. The MTV placement of his song “And, Will It Ever Change,” was his TV debut. As such, I had to make sure he celebrated properly. “Oh, yes. Yes, I did. I went downtown for the first time. Well, I mean, I’ve been downtown, but I’ve never been honkytonking. I have no idea where I went. I started here [Neighbors] though.” Along with the success of his MTV debut, he’s been collaborating with some of his favorite Nashville musicians. For his most recent song, “One Glance,” a troupe of musicians helped flesh out the music in the studio—David Khron from the Kopecky Family Band, Jeremy Fetzer from The Deep Vibration, and Spencer and Jeff Cullum. It was recorded at the Quonset
"I’M TRYING TO HONE IN ON WHAT A GREAT POP SONG IS, AND WHERE IT TAKES YOU EMOTIONALLY."
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Hut, where Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde, and the song’s video, which debuted on American Songwriter’s website, was made by Julia Huskey, a “young and incredibly talented” filmmaker. Evan claims it’s the song he’s most proud of, if he had to pick one. “It was a lyrical challenge,” he admits. “I’m trying to hone in on what a great pop song is, and where it takes you emotionally.” He talks about that moment between musician and fan when the pieces click together and a visceral connection has been made between the stage and the audience. Evan feels he’s achieved that most with “One Glance.” Due to his charismatic, indiepop-loving, glasses-wearing image, he’s often compared to the young Elvis Costello. A flattering comparison—sort of—but one
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"I REALLY LIKE ELVIS COSTELLO. HE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY IN EVERY SONG, AND IT’S USUALLY CLEVER. I WOULD LIKE MY CAREER TO MIMIC A COMBINATION OF ELVIS COSTELLO, WOODY ALLEN, AND, I DON’T KNOW, BEN FRANKLIN . . ."
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that could perhaps be frustrating for a musician trying to come into his own. But Evan doesn’t see it that way. “I really like Elvis Costello. He has something to say in every song, and it’s usually clever. I would like my career to mimic a combination of Elvis Costello, Woody Allen, and, I don’t know, Ben Franklin—people who are great thinkers and always giving something great to the world.” It’s that sort of answer that reveals who Evan P. Donohue is—insightful and wise-beyondhis-years, passionate about his career, but whose intensity isn’t intimidating. He’s the guy who urges young musicians to learn music theory before picking up an instrument, but he’s the guy who hopes to someday play jazzpop piano. This is when I see the two sides of Evan most clearly:
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M C G AVO C K
he’s playful and facetious, but he’s focused, determined, and incredibly serious about his music. He can hang, but when we dig deep into what makes him tick, I can see drive behind his piercing blue eyes. Around this point in our laid-back, albeit haphazard conversation, it’s clear that Evan has a lot of things to say. Given our beery setting, I take this opportunity to demand a good ole rapid fire question session. He chugs half his beer while questions fly at him left and right, and with barely the blink of an eye, he responds with sincerity and speed. I am further inducted into the world of Evan P. Donohue—his most prized Halloween costume: a human replica of Wisconsin cheese; his drink of choice: a Manhattan; his favorite Nashville venues: The Basement and The High Watt—which is strange, seeing as I’m not sure that either of them could feed his lust for something as classy as a Manhattan. Considering Evan tends to play the more intimate venues around town, his liking for The Basement and The High Watt is no surprise, and he’s almost always on the bill with people he’s already mentioned as his friends. That’s the thing about Evan— he could be anybody’s friend. He’s easy-going, without any of the awkwardness often encountered with a musical brainiac. He’s quick to share and even quicker to praise other people for their talents. Evan and I have met a few times before this, and as we talk
about his favorite beer (Chimay), I’m reminded of the time we ran into each other at Frugal MacDoogal’s. He was with his mom—a potentially awkward encounter for bumping into distant acquaintances. But not only did he introduce me and my friend to his mom, but he helped us pick out high-gravity beer and wine. We don’t talk about our former run-ins, but it’s part of what makes the conversation with Evan so easy. He’s open and sociable, willing to adapt to any twists and turns in conversation or phone calls interrupting a recording session, and the fact that even after a solid hour, I’m still bombarding him with questions. As we finally start to sip the backwash of our second beers, Evan’s quick-witted answers bring our conversation to a roundabout close—even though he makes no signs of moving his seat and it’s pretty clear he’s going to be here for a while. After breaking into a rendition of The Beatles’ “I’m Only Sleeping” and shifting back in his chair, he’s told me that he has no intentions of leaving Neighbors quite yet, as some friends and his roommate will be joining him. He rests comfortably on the fact that he’ll be relaxing on this porch for a few minutes by himself, something that doesn’t bother him at all—except maybe for the fact that his song about handjobs will never find its way into the ear drums of the unsuspecting public. Visit EvanPDonohue.Bandcamp.com for music, merch, and more info.
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1200 Clinton St. Suite #25 Nashville, TN 37203/ / / / /
Long considered “The Ryman of Style,” TRIM Classic Barber & Legendary Beauty’s hallowed barber chairs have seated more famous bottoms than the green room at Carnegie Hall. Here, owner and celebrity stylist Melanie Shelley puts her modern spin on a tried-and-true classic cut. “I revere a pure, Parisian bob,” says Shelley, “but changing it up with a rounded, graphic shape instantly gives a girl that 5 Points edge.” Add a neutral face and bold, red lip and you’ll be leading the pack this winter. Photographed by Eli McFadden
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Ivory, at Woo Cosmetics $59, Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up Concealer in Porcelain, at Target $9.99, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Mats Lipstick in Rouge Rock, at Private Edition $32, Kevin Murphy Young Again Immortelle Treatment Oil at TRIM Legendary Beauty, $39 54 / // / /
Model: Nila Fredericksen for MACS/AMAX, Hair, Makeup: Melanie Shelley for MACS/AMAX, at TRIM Classic Barber & Legendary, Beauty, Blouse: by Muir K, at The Cotton Mill, Beauty Assistant: Elizabeth Rote at TRIM Classic Barber & Legendary Beauty
THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF BICYCLE LOUNGE MECHANIC-IN-CHIEF, DAN HENSLEY. BY DAN NEMES | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL MEIGS
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The directions were clear: Don’t come unless you bring beer. No mention was made of recording devices, which I’d usually use for this kind of thing. As I unpack my digital recorder and microphone at the Nashville Bicycle Lounge, Dan Hensley glares at me from behind his rimless glasses. When I hold up the equipment and ask if he minds— “Yeah, I mind,” he says, a little incredulously. I feel indicted, as if I’ve shown up at a PETA meeting with a fulllength fur. I stow the digital stuff back in my pannier, but Dan doesn’t turn his nose up at the beer. This makes me feel better; I’ve done something right. Later on Dan says, “The more technology we have at our fingertips, the more of us will die.” This seems harsh, and unfortunate, because at the Nashville Bicycle Lounge, a subterranean establishment that has the feel of an anarchist’s meeting place, the aphorisms come one after the other. And I wish I could have recorded them word for word. “We take this shit seriously,” Dan says to me, gesturing around his East Nashville shop with his beer, before setting it down on a counter cluttered with receipts, packing slips, plastic baggies emptied of their perfectly threaded screws, and some cog sets. I think there’s a credit card machine in there somewhere, too. “We test everything before we put it on the floor.” I’m balancing on the edge of a vinyltopped bar stool in the Bicycle Lounge, nodding and trying to scribble everything down. Dan has stopped talking, which is unnerving. Since I’ve arrived he’s been pummeling through complete, cogent sentences. Now, he’s looking over my left shoulder, like a cat watching a squirrel. Suddenly, he snaps a bottle cap at a customer at the other end of the shop. The cap rattles across the rough, concrete floor, and the customer, who I assume Dan knows (he does pretty well
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actually), looks up surprised for half a second, before going back to looking at handlebar tape. “If it’s not good, we don’t promote it,” Dan continues without missing a beat. “Like these lights. This is probably the best light you can buy, but it’s supposed to be waterproof.” When they took it out for a test run in the rain, the light broke. “We replaced it, and the second one broke. So we smashed it with a hammer and called the rep.” “You have to talk to us in person if you want to do business with us,” Dan says, holding up the smashed light and mounting. “You have to know us; it’s about relationships. The rep knows us. He knows we take this seriously. He brought a light from a different
" WE TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY." manufacturer to the shop that day to make it right.” Dan sets the light back on the crowded counter next to his sweating beer and walks over to the customer, who is hovering, waiting for advice. I’m left scribbling on my stool. The Saturday afternoon progresses in this way: Dan clicks away at the computer on the counter, a little space hollowed out for the mouse, ostensibly ordering parts, until some gut instinct, a sixth sense, tells him that it’s time to walk across the shop to give you his full attention. This kind of personal, approachable service at a bike shop is refreshing. Dan and his only employee, Eliot Clarke, don’t pressure the customers, many of whom are visiting the shop for the first time. The shop only
sells new frames—I pine after the Surly Long Haul Trucker, lined up next to a Jamis commuter—but Dan and Eliot do restore used bikes on consignment. The feel of the shop contrasts other bike shops I’ve been to. No up-selling, no looks of disdain—just no-frills expertise. Dan makes it clear that he’s dedicated years to understanding all things bicycle. As he talks with customers, Dan eschews the used car salesman routine. Instead, his demeanor reminds me of an enthusiastic math teacher who just can’t get enough of the Pythagorean Theorem. It’s clear that he’s eager to share his knowledge. When I ask Dan about this approach, his response is emphatic. “People walk into shops and see the same kind of people. These cocky dudes on pro teams...pictures on the wall of super-fit people riding bikes. Nothing’s more intimidating for someone like a middle-aged woman than a bunch of super-fit douchebags wearing matching shirts. If Eliot and I show up with the same shirt on, one of
us changes. If everyone was cool with it, then everyone would be cool.” I’m a sucker for tautologies. I find myself nodding, and realize that I’ve been charmed by this crank. Soft-spoken Eliot tells me that when he first started working at the shop a year and a half ago, the guys in the skate shop upstairs took bets on how long he’d last working for Dan. “Dan has a strong personality. He called me a mumbler for a long time because I’m quiet. [But] I was dedicated to the idea of working here because I wanted to learn from the best mechanic in town.” I heard this same sideways praise about the Bicycle Lounge when I asked other mechanics in town about Dan, who’s a Barnett Bicycle trained technician. It’s the same response I get from Savannah Packard, Eliot’s girlfriend, who’s sitting on a leather couch near the back of the shop, sketching a t-shirt design. Along with a decade’s worth of bicycle magazines, the shelf next to her harbors Moby Dick, Falling Up by Shel Silverstein, Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, and
HIS DEMEANOR REMINDS ME OF AN ENTHUSIASTIC MATH TEACHER WHO JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THE PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM.
A DV E NT U R E WO R K S ECO-ADVENTURE CANOPY TOURS & AERIAL TREKKING SINCE 1987
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a worn copy of A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine. “Dan has a nice, dicky personality,” Savannah says, as preface to talking about the cycling efforts Nashville Bicycle Lounge sponsors or promotes. Her tone softens, though, when she talks about its support for efforts such as Ride for Reading. “It’s building community,” she says about 80 riders delivering books to underprivileged schools by bike. “It’s about getting out and enjoying your bike, too.” The Bicycle Lounge is also home base for Rush Bicycle Messengers, Nashville’s only all bike delivery service. The shop also sponsors the annual Crush and Run, a bicycle race on backroads and trails, where the route isn’t revealed to participants until the day of the event. Iterations of the shop team’s jerseys are hanging from metal beams, along with Dan’s National Mountain Bike Patrol, Yazoo, and Ride for Reading jerseys. There’s a modest disco ball, too. This type of meaningful engagement in the community seems to be good for business, too. “We’ve grown like a blue chip stock.” Since the shop opened in April 2010, Dan credits its stability to slow-but-steady debt-free revenue. “You don’t want to grow at thirty percent because you’ll drop by thirty percent the next year, and you’ll have to fire
people or close. Slow growth builds community.” Dan dumps a bunch of framed certificates on my lap. “Here’s all that self-glorification bullshit,” he says with a genuine self-depreciation that’s palpable even when you visit the shop’s website. I ask him about the Safe Routes to School Instructor certificate. He nods and launches into a rant about mothers afraid to let children play outside, but he returns to the fun of riding a bike. “It’s freedom. Mommies need to let their kids play outside,” he says, before going on to cite a study that highlights how riding a bike changes human beings neurologically. He mentions another piece of research about how riding bikes makes neighborhoods safer, which is something he tried to communicate, he says, during a 19-monthlong kerfuffle with the East Precinct Police Commander about cars parking in designated bike lanes. Recounting the many community meetings he’s attended, Dan says, “No one likes me; they respect me though.” Jessica Johnson, a long time customer, cracks a smile at this one. She stops by the shop on an almost daily basis, after work for a beer or whatever. She brings her “six-and-a-half bikes” to the Bicycle Lounge because it’s fun. She’s here today with her fix gear Peugeot, which she rebuilt with Dan. The pastel-painted bike is leaning up against the half-wall separating Eliot’s workbench from the rest of the shop. She says, if I really want to know what the shop and Dan are all about, I should take the Peugeot outside to see how it feels. “You’re gonna fall on your ass,” Dan yells at me as I wheel the bike toward the alley. He’s shaving the hair from his Popeye-esque arm with his pocket knife to make way for a temporary tattoo—a cat’s face
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set in the middle of a gear. “Fixies” are like your childhood bike, just one gear and coaster brakes, where if you pedal backwards the bike stops. If you aren’t used to them (which I’m not), you’re liable to fall. The frame is clownishly small for me, so I’m glad no one comes out to watch me in the alley. I’m proud to report that I stay vertical the whole time. Out in the alley, and entering the shop for a second time, I have the opportunity to consider its success. When Bicycle Magazine added the Nashville Bicycle Lounge to 2011’s Best 100 Bike Shops (Dan and Eliot thought was a phone prank when they got the call), they said it had a speakeasy feel, which strikes me as a little romantic. I’d go with vacuum repair shop or storefront church. You definitely don’t end up here by accident. I follow a customer up the ramp and into the shop. Tom tells me that he’s here to buy bikes for him and his wife to ride around East Nashville. Tom, a musician, has come on the recommendation of a friend who owns a guitar shop, who apparently knew this would be right up his alley. “This is the kind of store I want—sloppy, and with people who know what they’re doing,” Tom tells me. Dan greets us by rolling up his sleeve. He flexes his bicep to make his cat tattoo jump and simultaneously gives a convincing, “Meow.” I get ready to leave as Dan buzzes from Tom to the phone to the front door. On my way out, I pick up a Nashville bicycle route map and ask if it’s useful, he shoots back, “If you want to find your way around it is. I did most of the routes for East Nashville in there.” I put a copy of the map in my pannier, right next to my digital recorder.
E STABLISHE D IN 1974
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Open Mon., Wed.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.–5 p.m. and Tues. by appt. Visit NashvilleBicycleLounge.com for more info.
For their Cameras and Community in Action exhibit (running until January 13th), The Frist invited the public to document Nashville from every angle. One thousand disposable cameras were distributed, and participants were asked to shoot things they noticed, were moved by, or would like to see changed. The bulk of the photos are on display on the Upper-Level of the Frist Center, and a satelliteÂ that showcases fifty additional images is on view at the First Amendment Center (1207 18th Avenue South). This project was organized in conjunction with the Carrie Mae Weems:
Three Decades of Photography and Video exhibition, which is also on display until January 13th. In cooperation with The Frist, weâ€™ve included 10 of the striking, crowdsourced photos in the following pages. Enjoy.
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by Valerie Wilson
by Sue Halford ///// 65
by LaSandra Phillips
by Elizabeth Allan 66 / // / /
by Katie Liggett
by Summer Ellmore ///// 67
by Julie Williams
by Sue Halford 68 / // / /
by Pamela Lee
by Alida Pinson ///// 69
B y S U S A NN A H F E LT S | P h o t o s b y E R I C S TA P L E S
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ong before Cali DeVaney opened her one-of-a-kind hair salon and barber shop in Nashville, Parlour & Juke, there stood in her hometown of Florence, Alabama, an unassuming beauty parlor named A Cut Above. It occupied a house near the University of North Alabama, and Cali, then twenty, and a few years out of cosmetology school, sized the place up—hardwood floors, big windows, lots of light—and saw what the older women who ran A Cut Above could not see. “They wanted to make money off rich white women in Florence,” she recalls. “They didn’t see that they were right by the college in a hip area, and those young people were a viable source [of income].” So Cali went to work, the youngest stylist on staff by a long shot, her vision clear: “I wanted to cash in on the college demographic,” she says. “I knew all the young people would come to me, and they did.” Cali, now thirty-three, still speaks with some wonder about that decision. “Looking back,” she says, “I’m like, how did I think like that then?” Her early business sense can be seen now, happily, as an auspicious beginning. In 2011, after years of working in salons and on her own in Nashville, Cali opened Parlour & Juke. She set about adorning a warehouse space on Cannery Row with an astonishing range of “conversation pieces”—vintage curios and furniture, posters, taxidermied creatures, and even a church altar that now holds old Tab containers filled with round brushes. The result is a visual
PARLOUR AND JUKE
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feast, a three-dimensional collage that makes the setting truly unlike any other, salon or otherwise. And word about Parlour & Juke is spreading, so much that national media outlets are knocking at its door. Last summer, in a GQ feature on Nashville, Parlour & Juke barber Michael Martin picked up some major buzz for “The Business,” his classic straightrazor shave and cut, and a reporter for Lucky wrote that she “couldn't stop looking around at all of the delights that the salon had to offer…I can say with absolute certainty that they are setting the standard for trendy salons.” Soon Cali will bring on a second barber to help whittle down the growing waitlist, which is made up of mostly men. Cross-legged on a brown vinyl couch, Cali looks around the space. With exposed, whitewashed brick and ceiling beams, garlands of white Christmas lights—the room is bright and airy. Vintage palmistry and anatomy posters, Everly Brothers 45s, and antlers
"THIS IS CALI, AND SHE’S GONNA DO YOUR HAIR OR YOU’RE GONNA LEAVE.” draped with ponytails grace the walls, along with an abundance of artwork done by Bryce McCloud (of Isle of Printing), a friend and kindred spirit of Cali’s who designed the shop’s logo. Just outside a tall, southfacing window, a freight train rumbles by. Though the room isn’t quite round, the ceiling architecture lends itself to that illusion. Cali thinks it feels a little like a circus tent, and she’s right. Guests often tell Cali that this doesn’t look like any salon they’ve ever been to. “And that is very important to me,” she says. *** It all began in the 1990s at Ray’s University of Beauty in Florence, a cosmetology school where, at seventeen, Cali enrolled with a friend ten years her senior. It was the kind of place you could smoke while you worked, which seemed like a sweet benefit at the time. Her boss, Martha, was a decent kind—when
women came in for $5 cuts and roller sets, but balked at having their hair done by “the girl with the pink hair,” Martha stood firm: “This is Cali, and she’s gonna do your hair or you’re gonna leave.” After working in salons in Florence for several years, Cali left Alabama for Nashville in 2002, and she hasn’t exactly looked back. But Parlour & Juke is layered with artifacts from her childhood—rusty implements from her parents’ farm, a distressed white shelf made by her great-
grandfather. Several cow tags, also unearthed from the farm, hang from the ceiling, as do three beautiful quilts made by her great-grandmother. On one wall, there’s a snakeskin mounted on black velvet, that her grandfather made. “It’s such a strong childhood memory; it was in his house forever,” she says of the snakeskin. Across the room, beneath flags representing the home states of the staff, stands an armadillo on his hind feet. “I love bad taxidermy,” Cali says. “I love the idea of
Black Friday Sale! November 23rd 901 Main Street Nashville, TN 37206 615 .227.7261
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Frequent Farmer Gold members get 20% off! Call or visit the store for details! (Note : cannot be combined with any other specials)
putting something that looks weird in a place that’s supposed to be beautiful. There’s just something funny about it.” When she first started planning Parlour & Juke, Cali kept thinking back to A Cut Above—an old house, high ceilings, lots of light. But after some unsuccessful searching in East Nashville, she had an agent show her the warehouse space on Cannery Row. “When I saw the ceiling, I was like, done,” she says. The space also met two of Cali’s key criteria: it lacked a storefront, and it was nearby—well, it couldn’t really be any closer to—a music venue. “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be in music,” she says—and in a way, she is. She travels to do styling on video sets (her boyfriend is Joshua Black Wilkins, the singer-songwriter and photographer). She keeps a tight rein on the music played during work hours, obsessively develops playlists, and even used to make end-ofthe-year CDs for her clients. Many of the
Cannery, Mercy Lounge, and High Watt staffers have become clients, and in a stroke of synergy, Parlour & Juke hosts live music at the shop.
"I LOVE THE IDEA OF PUTTING SOMETHING THAT LOOKS WEIRD IN A PLACE THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE BEAUTIFUL. " When Cali was planning the space, along with style inspirations like “southern gothic” and “flea market,” she says she kept mentioning juke joints—so much that a friend suggested she use the
word in the name. But from the get-go, the juke concept also meant that Parlour & Juke would host occasional concerts. Again, the marketing wheels were turning. “It’s free promotion—a great way to get people to come in and see the space,” she says. Parlour & Juke’s own concert series, Live Cuts, has featured artists like Justin Townes Earle, The Dirt Daubers and J.D. McPherson, and has been fully equipped with Yazoo beer on tap and limited-edition Isle of Printing posters for sale. At a Fat Tuesday extravaganza earlier this year, Halfbrass, a local New Orleans-style brass band, led a line parade down the stairs and around the block. *** If Parlour & Juke seems like a salon that’s overtly positioning itself as something other than just a salon, it’s not by accident. Cali refers to it not as a salon, in fact, but as a shop, a nod to the
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NASHVILLE Southern beauty shops she knew well as a teen. There are certain spot-on details: take the cans of soda offered to guests, like Cheerwine and Tab, the vintage hairdryers scattered about, and coffee served in Mason jars (though Cali tells me those may be making an exit soon—the whole Mason jar thing is getting a bit played out, she feels). But “shop” also speaks to the guys’ side of things. “I’ve always identified more with the barber shop setting,” she says. “I want that camaraderie.” This, too, is where “parlour” comes in—more than just a play on the old-school beauty parlor. “I think of this as a place for people to meet and share ideas,” she says. Indeed, one of her longtime clients, Tennessean food and culture writer Jennifer Justus, tells me she never leaves the shop without recommendations for documentaries, restaurants, music—a little cultural something extra. And the clients reciprocate, says Cali’s BFF-turned-manager, Jenny Davis, with everything from art prints to cow skulls. Cali tips her hat to Jenny, whose name is inked on her arm, alongside tattoos memorializing favorite artists Otis Redding and Bruce Springsteen. “Being an owner who works behind the chair forty plus hours a week,” Cali says, “I couldn’t do it without her.” Jenny’s just as quick to throw the credit back to her friend. Behind the whimsy and the marketing intuition, the rock ‘n’ roll, and even behind the clear merits of the staff, Parlour & Juke’s success can be boiled down to one simple factor: “Cali doesn’t accept failure."
KAY BOB’S GRILL & ALE
One year Anniversary Party December 6th 6-9pm Come Celebrate with us
During the Hillsboro Village Christmas Party
$1 domestic Drafts Sample Our New Menu $2 premium Drafts Holiday Festivities
Visit P&J at 521 8th Ave. South, Suite 302. Or visit SeeAmericaGetAHaircut.com for more info.
615.321.4567 h 1602 21st ave S.
N A S H V I L L E
FAST-PACED, DESIGN-CENTERED | SPEAKER SERIES Wednesday, DECEMBER
at THE BUILDING East Nashville | Five Points 1008C Woodland St.
6:00 - 9:00 P.M.
PechaKuchaNashville@gmail.com | S P O N S O RED BY:
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OBSERVATION DECK By Itoro Udoko
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS Kenny keeps his look simple (black jacket, black jeans) and lets the more ornate details do the talking—from his rings and bracelets, to his dread beads, tie, and the buttons on his bag. They’re all different, but the repetition of red-orange, purple, and silver tie it all together. He gets bonus points for, in this humble writer’s opinion, properly placing the tie bar.
mentary outfits and matching hair. Caroline rocks her mostly black outfit with a blue denim jacket on top, complete with buttons, naturally. Kit opts for blue jeans to complement her lighter, greyish palette. Caroline’s red rosary pops against her sweaterdress, and the lone stripes on Kit’s sleeves offer a splash of color to her getup. For anyone who had fun in the 90s, it’s time to say “hello” to some of your old best friends—combat
Route 666 When your sweater has this many colors, it can be hard to bring an outfit together, but the red and white accents on Mac's hat and button pin pull those colors out of his sweater perfectly. A no-bullshit, black faux-leather jacket keeps it all together.
NATIVE ANIMAL OF THE MONTH
et’s be honest: Everyone wants a piece of the muskrat. Don’t blame yourself, though. Muskrats have it all. Curvaceous bod? Check. Alluring mysterious personality? Check. And don’t forget that intoxicatingly sweet, sour smell… Sorry, excuse the swoon. Oh, you’re not familiar with the muskrat? Maybe you know him by his street name, Musquash. He also goes by Musscascus to some intimate pals, including John Smith and Pocahontas. Rumor has it that after those two colonial lovebirds ran into our little water-rat friend, the Native American beauty was totally third-wheeling it for the rest of the honeymoon. It also may or may not be true (read: not true) that a muskrat was originally supposed to be cast in the role of “Meeko,” played by a raccoon, in the Disney Pocahontas movie. Good thing Walt changed his mind, though, because the muskrat hates the spotlight, especially because everyone’s always trying to push him into it. He’s not elitist; he just wants his space, okay? You don’t know his life. Fierce colonials chased around his ancestors for years in order to gather pelts for so-called “beaver” hats. The North American Beaver should be so honored. As if beaver fur could ever compare to the gray and auburn sun-faded fur of the muskrat. That’s right. The muskrat was rocking the ombré look long before Rachel Bilson bleached the tips of her brunette locks. (He thinks the look really frames his adorable trademark underbite.) These fur hats were 80 / // / /
snagged by some of Jamestown’s hottest fashionistas and then taken up the Atlantic coast into the trendy New England villages. But the majority of them were sent overseas, winding up in the hands of the British (redcoats and muskrat hats were so in that season). Yeah, the muskrat’s got more to love. Lengthwise he’s about fifteen inches or so to be precise, and including his tail, he’s going to hit two feet. That’s the size of a really big rabbit. And width… well, we’re not quite sure. But to give some perspective, his thighs are hidden within his body, and he can probably see his little paws and feet on a good day. Whilst swimming, the muskrat can flatten out his scaly thick tail to propel himself through the water. He can even stay underwater for up to seventeen minutes. On land, he sometimes gets mistaken for a clod of dirt whilst chilling on a muddy, fresh water river or creek bed; he likes it that way. But nobody’s perfect. The muskrat is clumsy onshore, so he’s not that great at walking. However, he will venture wholeheartedly beyond his watery environment in order to gather some snacks. Muskrats are typically omnivores, but they have a tendency to crash diet. Right now he’s all about raw foods, so don’t be alarmed if you spot what looks like a drunken beaver, tumbling and meandering all over your vegetable patch. His faves? Parsnips, turnips, carrots, and apples. He’s also been really into fresh water mussels lately.
What he lacks in grace, the muskrat makes up for in stank. When it comes to odor, he’s got that je ne sais quoi down to a tee. Which leads us to the timeless question… What came first? Chanel No. 5 or the muskrat? We prescribe to the scientific body of thought known as “Team Muskrat.” During the long, sunny days of summer, the entire locality where the muskrat lives has been known to smell like his personal scent. Unfortunately, during the chillier months, he will most likely be nestled up in his winter lodge, made of clay, grasses, cattails, and dried sticks. In vail. The only ways into a muskrat lodge are either through one of the many underwater entrances (read: eight-car garage) or a VIP invite, but that probably won’t happen because (1) muskrats are really exclusive (2) you won’t fit and (3) they are just really, really exclusive. And the best thing about the house? It’s edible. Sometimes in the winter, when food is running low, the muskrat will take a big bite right out of his own walls. That’s like a real life gingerbread house. Not that we are encouraging poaching, but muskrat meat is supposed to taste good...pretty damn good. If you’re a fan of duck or rabbit, chances are you are a fan of filet de muskrat as well. Muskrat is still considered a traditional dish in the Chesapeake Bay area, so head north if you get a craving. Given all this timeless love for our darling Ondatra zibethicus, you might be asking yourself, “Has anyone come up with a song about the muskrat?” The answer is yes. “Muskrat Love,” a bluesy, jangling pop song written and performed by Willis Alan Ramsey topped the Hot 100 Billboard charts at a whopping #67, circa 1973. The song tells the story of an evening’s flirtations of your classic jitterbug-dancing semi-aquatic rodent couple, Muskrat Sam and Muskrat Suzie. That’s what I call sweet (and smelly) muskrat love. - Gillis Bernard
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Lunch specials daily. 1012 Woodland Street Nashville, TN 37206 (615) 915 - 4174 FivePointsPizza.com 82 / // / /
Sunday - Monday ........................11:00 am – 10:00 pm Tuesday ......................................................Closed Wednesday - Thursday .................11:00 am – 11:00 pm Friday - Saturday .........................11:00 am – 12:00 am