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OCTOBER 2016 THE COLOR ISSUE


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700 12TH AVE SOUTH - PRIMANASHVILLE.COM - 615.873.4232

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We are a brand new Nashville-based Country Music label launched as a fresh, scrappy new home for both established and rising Country stars. Above all else, we want to be a place where our artists can shine and the music rules the day.

N E W L A B E L , N E W WAY O F D O I N G T H I N G S . W W W. S I L V E R A D O R E C O R D S . C O M # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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presented by Seiji & NATIVE

SCAVENGE:

a community art project

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Photo: Kelsey Cherr y Model: Anna Mae Illustration: Taylor Brashears

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Riverside Village & West End 10 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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TABLE OF CONTENTS OCTOBER 2016

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58 48 THE GOODS 19 Beer from Here 22 Cocktail of the Month 89 You Oughta Know 93 Animal of the Month

FEATURES

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28 Foreign Fields 38 Wu Fei 48 Ashley Doggett 58 Illustration Spotlight

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M O N D AY- F R I D AY 7 A M - 7 P M S AT U R D AY- S U N D AY 8 A M - 7 P M 6 0 3 TAY L O R S T R E E T GERMANTOWN 12 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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president, founder:

publisher, founder: 

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

managing editor: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

community relations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

editor:

community representatives:

film supervisor:

          writers: photographers:

production:

POLLY RADFORD KELSEY FERGUSON CASEY FULLER BENJAMIN HURSTON LUKE DICK SAMUEL SHAW COOPER BREEDEN AUSTIN LORD BRETT WARREN SARAH B. GILLIAM GUSTI ESCALANTE

interns:

CARLY BLAINE PAULA RAMIREZ PAIGE PENNINGTON

founding team: founder, brand director:

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN DAVE PITTMAN

founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

to advertise, contact:

for all other inquiries:

per·i·o·don·tics - the branch of dentistry concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.

SALES@NATIVE.IS HELLO@NATIVE.IS

2 0 0 0 2 1 S T AV E S NASHVILLE, TN 615-385-3334

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Na s h v i l l e Pe r i o . c o m

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OCT. 23 7PM-10PM

S P O N S O R E D B Y L I T T L E H A R P E T H B R E W I N G A N D S P I K E D S E LT Z E R

• • • • • FOOD TRUCKS + BOBBING FOR APPLES • • • • •

PERFORMANCES BY EMILY NENNI AND THE COWPOKES & HUGH MASTERSON *PLUS*: SQUARE DANCING WITH MEMBERS OF THE HOGSLOP STRING BAND

COME OUT!

S U N D AY

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THE GOODS *Clo1 cuvep susygarr up

1 cup water e clov 1 tsp ground ssolved Cook till di rain. st ne fi and

Bonita Applebum by Ben Clemons of No. 308 She’s pretty, strong, just sweet enough not to be bitter and just bitter enough not to be sweet. It’s getting colder out so do yourself a favor: you gotta put her on.

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1 oz. green apple soaked Wild Turkey 101 Rye** 1/2 oz Pimms 1/2 oz Suze liqueur 1/2 oz clove syrup* 2 dashes Angostura bitters F Stir all ingredients until properly diluted and strain into freshly iced rocks glass. Garnish with an apple slice. **Green apple soaked rye: soak one diced apple in Wild Turkey 101 Rye for 1 week. Strain and bottle.


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COFFEE BREAKFAST LUNCH OPEN DAILY 7AM-4PM

700 FATHERLAND ST. 615.770.7097 SKYBLUECOFFEE.COM E S TA B L I S H E D 2 0 1 0 # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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J UST S AY

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F O R E I G N F I E L D S S P E N T T H E B E T T E R PA R T O F

SEVEN YEARS TRYING TO BE THE SUCCESSFUL

BAND OF THEIR CHILDHOOD DREAMS, BUT WHEN S U D D E N M E N TA L H E A LT H I S S U E S P U T T H AT PURSUIT IN A NEW PERSPECTIVE, THEY FOUND T H E I R W AY T O A D I F F E R E N T PAT H — O N E T H AT ’ S T A K I N G T H E M W H E R E T H E Y R E A L LY W A N T T O G O

BY BENJAMIN HURSTON | PHOTOS BY AUSTIN LORD

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THE ROOM WAS DARK, and the clock read 4:30 a.m. when Brian Holl awoke to the feeling that something was wrong. Seized by a flood of panic, he put on shoes and went for a walk around the motel where he and his band were staying in Austin, Texas. As hours crept by, the dark sky slowly began to lighten. He tried to force himself to eat breakfast, but it was no use. His brain was unable to focus on anything but fear. “I thought I’d lost it,” he remembers. “I thought I’d gone crazy.” It was March 21, 2015. The night before, Holl and his bandmate, Eric Hillman, who make gorgeous and contemplative music together as Foreign Fields, had performed possibly the most important show of their career. Following the 2012 release of their debut album and a couple of subsequent EPs, the duo had ridden an unexpected wave of success and found themselves in a coveted slot between Laura Marling and Leon Bridges for South by Southwest 2015. Every late-night-show booker was watching, as were multiple labels and publishers. The pressure was on. “It [was] time to step up to the next level and see if we could hang with the big boys,” says Hillman, slouched backward in a dark gray tank and black hat. “That was our time to really do it, and it didn’t happen.” A year and a half later, seated comfortably in their minimal recording studio behind the house where Hillman lives with his wife and two children, the duo still struggles to talk about the weeks following that night in Austin. Sipping whiskey and chartreuse and soundtracked by the calming tunes of Sufjan Stevens and Nils Frahm, they speak excitedly about the early years of the band, laughing and reminiscing about their spontaneous decision to leave their native Wisconsin and “slum” it in East Nashville in pursuit of the dream. But when the conversation reaches that night in the motel room, their voices drop and the pace slows.

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Their words, unbridled and light before, waukee, Hillman and Holl first met in early high school as a part of the same are suddenly measured and heavy. “It was bad. It was bad. I can hardly worship band at church. Hillman, a remember that first week,” says Holl, slender guy who comes from a family hunched forward and staring at a spot of career musicians, asked Holl to be on the rug. “And I’m still going through in a band over MSN chat, and the two formed Suntory, a piano rock band they it now, to be completely honest.” Four and a half years after their de- hoped would become the next Coldplay. but, Foreign Fields are finally readying The pair then split when it came time the release of their sophomore album, for college, with Hillman studying film Take Cover, due out October 28. It’s a scoring at Berklee College of Music in sprawling achievement for the band, as Boston and Holl at Columbia in Chicago. dynamic sonically as it is paralyzing lyri- They reunited a few years later in Chically. The record was inspired largely by cago with the hope of finally finishing Holl’s difficult battle with anxiety and an album, but carrying amps up three depression, which began suddenly that flights of stairs every day made that goal night in the motel room and has haunt- more difficult than they had imagined. So one night when Holl was over playing ed him consistently ever since. “The only way I can explain what I’ve Super Nintendo with Hillman and his been through is that there’s two brains wife, Janelle, he offered up another opworking,” he says, making a cohesive tion. He had spent some time in Nashbrain with his two fists. “Maybe they ville during college touring with another were like this my entire life, and then band and remembered that the housing that night just made it go like that,” he market was supposed to be extremely affordable. The three had been drinksays, as his fists violently split apart. For Holl, the week after the disap- ing and were feeling slightly impulsive, pointing show was spent in and out of so they got on Craigslist to see if East hospitals, looking for an answer to a Nashville was really as cheap as they’d question he didn’t even know how to heard. Three weeks later, they were gone. “We got down here, and we were like, ask. Over the next few months, as Hillman attempted to support his childhood ‘What the fuck are we going to do?’” Hillfriend and bandmate, he was also com- man remembers. “We were so broke.” In January 2012, seven months after ing to terms with grief of his own. From comforting a distraught fan who’d lost their move to Music City, Foreign Fields their best friend to suicide (Hillman released their debut album, Anywhere remained in contact with the fan while But Where I Am, which was written and recording Take Cover) to facing the real- recorded for the most part in an abanity of a stagnating career, the high of the doned and heatless office building durband’s initial success had completely ing a brutal winter in West Bend, Wisworn off, and both men found them- consin. Though they say just about no selves surrounded by a cloud of suffer- one listened to it during the first month, the album slowly began attracting more ing. “It’s like when you read a good Ker- listeners as the weeks wore on. One of ouac book . . . and you realize, ‘Yeah, those early listeners was Adam Duritz those [good] times all ended,’” says of Counting Crows, who liked what he Hillman, his reddish curls on display heard so much that he posted about it for a brief second as he turns his cap on his Facebook page and got in touch backward. “Everyone kind of got fucked with the guys, sparking a friendship that eventually, and the good times don’t roll still exists today. A couple of months later, Holl and Hillman were playing forever.” From neighboring towns outside Mil- their first live show ever—at South by


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FOREIGN FIELDS: For more on Foreign Fields, visit native.is/foreign-fields

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Southwest 2012. “[It] was like a movie, like Almost Famous,” says Holl. “It was the closest I’ve ever felt to my boyhood dream coming true.” Though their whirlwind of newfound success was intoxicating, Holl and Hillman say it was also destabilizing. As they started spending more time on the road, they had less time at home with their families. New to playing live, they also began unwittingly tailoring their shows to sound more like the bands for whom they were opening instead of playing their music the way they’d been inspired to create it. Then, there was the pressure they felt from managers and labels to write new material that was catchier and more likely to get them a hit on radio. Music had become less of an art form and more of a job. But all of that changed that night in the motel room. Though the guys say the South by Southwest 2015 show went “fine,” they had hoped it would go a lot better. After years of trying to be a successful band by music industry standards, the pressure and disappointment of the night made them come to terms with the fact that it just wasn’t going to happen—at least not in the way they had previously imagined success to look. And the stress from that sobering realization activated a latent anxiety in Holl that was far more complex and comprehensive than a simple letdown after an unsatisfactory show. The weeks passed, and the initial disappointment faded, but this new dark part of his brain refused to lighten. As the reality of a chronic mental struggle began to set in, the dream of Foreign Fields as it existed was dead. “Everything that we had been through for the last three years—trying to do the whole band thing—none of that made any sense anymore,” says Hillman. “It was clear to me that we were through unless we changed everything.” A couple of months after his first panic attack, Holl was still learning to deal with the onset of his mental health issues, but he was also feeling the need to make something of his distress. In May last year, he and Hillman got back into the studio to try and put a sound to their suffering. Unlike the music they’d been making the past couple of years, this time, they decided that they were not going to play the

“IT WAS CLEAR TO ME THAT WE WERE THROUGH UNLESS WE CHANGED EVERYTHING.”

songs for anyone during the process—not their wives, not their friends, and not even their manager. For six weeks, they holed up in the studio with the hope that they could surface with something meaningful. “After that whole three-year period of not knowing what we were doing, I think all of a sudden, we had such a pure feeling of, ‘This is it,’” says Hillman. What they came up with was Take Cover, a record that is as deeply personal as it is sweepingly beautiful. More tightly recorded and intricately produced than its predecessor, it’s the kind of album that reveals more rewards with each listen. Devastating lines like, “Since that day that I tore off my wings . . . I let gravity do what it does and correct me,” are wrapped in lush string arrangements, piano, saxophones, electronic pulses, and driving drum beats. Some tracks, like the single “I,” throb with an almost pop-like energy, while others, like the entrancing “Weeping Red Devil,” tremble with the desperation of a tired heartbeat. It’s an undeniably sad record in every way, but what’s impressive is how alive it feels at the same time. It’s not the sound of numbness. It’s the sound of a sorrow that is every bit as active and emotive as moments of pure happiness and joy, and that’s what makes it all the more devastating. “I don’t want to glorify [what I’ve gone through] at all. I would give up my entire musical career to not feel the way that I do,” Holl says, putting his pain in perspective. “But if the album can be a part of helping someone who’s going through something similar, which I think it can, I’d be so proud of it.” As much as that night in Austin was a catalyst for Take Cover, it’s also sparked a significant shift in the way Holl and Hillman want to live their lives. After the unexpected reception of the first album, they found themselves feeling the need to say yes to everything in order to achieve the success they wanted. What they’ve realized is that saying yes to all of those opportunities didn’t really take them where they wanted to go. Sure, it got their music in front of more people and probably helped sell more

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records, but at this point, they can say with confidence that their idea of success isn’t necessarily the same as others’—specifically those in the music industry. “We don’t want to be just another cool Nashville band,” says Holl. “And it’s not that we don’t like that kind of band, because we do. But we’ve realized these past few years that we’re not that. And you have to say no to something to say yes to something else.” So what is Foreign Fields saying yes to? Right now, that answer is very simple. They just want to focus on making each day in front of them a good day. They want to get exercise. They want to spend more time with family and less time on the road. And when it comes to their music, they don’t care about selling records or playing sold-out shows anymore. They just want to create work that’s honest and about the real joys and sufferings of life and hope that it can connect with those that need it. “If we’re not really rolling into some sort of emotional, psychological content, we’re just wasting everyone’s time,” Hillman says. “We’re wasting our own time.” When the band releases Take Cover later this month, it will have been a year and a half since Holl woke up in that Austin motel room in a state of panic. Though he still struggles with depression and anxiety, he says he also experiences moments of overwhelming gratitude, and those are the times he lives for. Sometimes it happens when he’s on a hike with his wife, sometimes when he’s having a morning cup of coffee and reading a great article. And sometimes, it happens when he’s outside doing yoga—a peaceful album on in the background, the sun hitting a tree just right. “It’s this one moment where it all aligns, and I’m like, ‘Holy shit, how do I get back to that moment? Because I’m just so grateful,’” he says with a contented smile on his face. “That’s the kind of music we want to put in the world. The kind that gives people more moments like that.”

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MASTER COMPOS ER

AND MUSICIAN WU FEI SHARES ABOUT LOVE, A BEAUTIFU L ANCIENT INSTRUM ENT, AND THE FREEDOM OF TRUE IMPROVIS ATION BY LUKE DICK | PHOT OS BY BRETT WARR EN # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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SOMEWHERE ON A SOCIAL MEDIA FEED IN NASHVILLE, right this second, someone is debating the authenticity of new country and venerating an artist of fifty years ago. Somewhere else, a dad is grinning and bearing his daughter’s Spotify playlist, thinking, That’s not real music. Both are taking the short view when it comes to music and its place in human history. I’m guilty of playing along. At one point I’m pretty sure Kanye had me convinced he had invented beats and apocalyptic sweatpants. I’m still mostly convinced that Prince invented sex. All that aside, in the context of culture, music is so much bigger than the past sixty years or so of contemporary popular music in all its glitz and glory. In the midst of my own ties to musical modernity, I sit on a sun porch, visiting with master composer Wu Fei, who plays the guzheng, a Chinese stringed instrument that dates back roughly twenty-five hundred years. The instrument looks like a zither or a wooden harp laid flat, and it’s about the size of a coffee table. A recent Nashville transplant, Wu is both a futuristic visionary and an expert on ancient Chinese folk music. If that’s not enough, she also plays in an experimental Chinese-Appalachian folk duo with banjo extraordinaire Abigail Washburn. If that’s really, really not enough, she also collaborates with Washburn and Kai Welch on a Chinese operatic/’80s electronica/Uyghur desert folk project called The Wu Force. Her path from Beijing to Nashville is nothing short of an epic adventure of human awakening and expression. It’s almost as if you need a musical time-traveling machine to get a grip on her understanding of music. My first experience of Wu was watching her on YouTube in an entry called “Serendipity Improv” (posted on May 19, 2016) recorded in Nashville. The entry description of the video reads: “My secret wish came true today—I had the privilege [of] jamming with a train. It’s the most metal piece I’ve ever collaborated with. I’m still high from this encounter . . .” So, I push play. There she sits with the guzheng on a stand on gray gravel, fifteen feet from a railroad track. The trees, drunk on summer rain, sway and set a deep green background. After a one-second intro to her improvisation, she begins with a trill reminiscent of a mandolin. Nine seconds into the video, a train blows its horn in the background. Ten seconds later, over the sound of her picking, the camera rattles, the train passes, and her hair and dress begin whipping around. She moves her hands to the low strings and the train brings all the chaos and power right next to her, forcing every molecule of air out of its way. She can’t help but laugh beneath the rumble. The sound of her instrument barely registers. Playing seems futile, as there is no place for sound to fit except for underneath the decibels of the train. But you can still see her hands as she’s playing along to the rhythm of a million tons of freight shaking the earth. It’s like trying to make music with a tornado. Two minutes and seventeen seconds into the video, the train is gone, leaving all the air, space, and frequency for the guzheng to resonate within. It reminds me of the shock of the sound before and after a gun fires, piercing and leaving silence in the middle of nowhere. And up from the silence comes the sound of Wu plucking—it doesn’t sound particularly Chinese or folky. It sounds like an accompaniment to the birds and the trees and the new quietness. In between the tweets

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and the breeze, there’s a softness in the expression that’s intended to harmonize with nature. Wu is about to start recording her third solo album this fall, due out in spring/summer 2017. In the meantime, she’s been building a home with her husband in West Nashville and doing impromptu performances (like the train performance) by herself and posting them on YouTube. Maybe it’s that the guzheng and sound of the music are foreign to me, or maybe it’s the idea of playing an instrument in what feels like an unlikely environment, but the performances themselves seem avant-garde at the outset. Wu explains that some of the motivation was born out of necessity: “At the beginning . . . I just wanted to share my music, and since I became a mother it’s really impossible to practice at home. You know babies are sleeping and this and that. So, I’m like, ‘Hey . . . The instrument is beautiful. I want to share that to this part of the world.’ The type of improvisation that I play, it doesn’t sound like anything that I’ve heard, and [it’s] just a combination of all my backgrounds. Life in China. Life in America . . . I just felt like the true improvisation should be a true reaction to something that you don’t have to make yourself.” The “life in China and America” of which she speaks is an unlikely global intersection of circumstance and education that began in Beijing. Some unique concoction of family and culture (along with the bustle and buzz of one of the world’s most populous cities) combined in just the right way to bear the young, prodigious Wu Fei: “My music training started when I was actually a kid, I think about five or sixish, and I started playing the guzheng, as well as piano, then in choir and everything. By the time I was fourteen, my music teachers suggested that I should try to get into the conservatory.” She would be one of thirteen teens selected in all of China to begin studying composition at the China Conservatory of Music that year. But her education 42 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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there served mostly as a rigidly intensive formal study on Western musical theory: “I was prohibited to play whatever [I wanted] in the conservatory, because that’s considered messing around. That’s not allowed. In the conservatories in China, there’s no such thing [as] improvisation. I didn’t know anything about improvisation until I came to the States. Nothing! Not even the word.” After conservatory she continued her study of composition at the University of North Texas, another renowned program. At UNT, her arc and intention were similar to her Chinese education, as she explains, “I had no clue. I just thought I would get as high [of a musical degree] as I can. Then I’d get a professor job, you know, music theory or composition writing for a string quartet.” At the advice of the famous composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski, she decided to continue her education at Mills College. She stumbled into something she didn’t expect when she began studying under improvisational composer Fred Frith. From what I hear, even being inside the world of experimental and formal musical training feels a bit esoteric and exclusive. Being an everyman, I need pop cultural references to ground me. It turns out Frith has made his living as a professor and as a collaborator in experimental music with artists such as Brian Eno and Mike Patton. This helps, while also giving new understanding to the sonic adventure that is Faith No More (Patton’s experimental band that gained prominence in the early ’90s). So, a talented and fairly sheltered Chinese composer found herself in a San Francisco college she describes as “a nest for people who want to break boundaries.” “Basically the first lesson, he [Frith] asked me to bring most of my recordings. He wanted to hear my music. That’s mostly my ensemble work that I wrote and played him. He said, ‘I hear a lot of craft, but I don’t hear Wu.’ That was like a hammer to my forehead, and after that one lesson [I didn’t] go to school for a week . . . just to think. I [had] spent twenty-some years devoting my life to

becoming a composer. And like, ‘What have I done? What does this mean? Am I wasting my life?’ [Up until then I did] what my professors had planned for me. Slowly, gradually, I just started playing with so-called jazz, rock, world music, Indian musicians, African musicians, electronic musicians, folk musicians.” After obtaining a master’s degree and the newfound freedom of improvisation from Mills, Wu began her own artistic career, releasing recordings and exploring New York’s experimental scene. She eventually moved back to Beijing, where she began studying ancient Chinese folk music and opera, taking private lessons, and learning ancient poetry. Her knowledge and recognition of Chinese roots music is so developed that oftentimes she can pinpoint the origins of a song by its language and colloquial style. It’s this kind of creative hunger and historical curiosity that makes Wu’s brand of experimental music relatable, and it’s led her to her primary collaborator, Abigail Washburn. The two have developed a sibling-like connection over the past decade, which was a big part of Wu’s relocation to Nashville. Wu says Music City also enticed her because it is “a city of pickers,” full of people with “heartfelt sincerity that goes beyond customized responses.” What started as Wu lending her talents to Washburn’s record turned into a relationship built on their musical and cultural curiosities and respect. Before ever picking up a banjo, Washburn moved to China on her love of Mandarin and Chinese culture, chasing a dream of becoming an international lawyer. When someone suggested she needed to become more versed in American culture to help with her career, she moved back to America and began learning clawhammer banjo. Conversely, Wu began learning American Folk music at a young age (“Oh! Susanna” and John Denver are hugely popular in China— who knew?!). She continued learning about folk music when she moved to the states, following the roots music of Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Elizabeth Cotten,


WU FEI: For more on Wu Fei, visit: native.is/wu-fei # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E ///// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 4 3


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and Ricky Skaggs, among others. Wu and Washburn seem to skip between cultures musically and intellectually, the two being somewhat opposite sides of a cultural mirror in their education and love for each other’s roots music. This global interplay is a part of their show both as a duo and as a part of their other project, The Wu Force. Before a Wu Force TEDxUNC performance, Washburn introduced the band with a mission statement: “We want to tell you that we truly believe in the power of musical and artistic collaboration to lead the way to a much more beautiful global future.” She continued with a description of their song “Piao,” which as Washburn explained, “means ‘floating’ and the words are . . . ‘This morning I woke up / I had not a single plan / not a single care / not a single ambition / I just floated.’” What follows is a pleasant ditty, sung in Mandarin and set to Hawaiian-style lilting that’s as dreamy as a Pixar intro. Now far from the rules of the conservatory, Wu’s artistry has traversed the world and become the kind that takes the long view of music and culture. It is not embedded in the times like a Prince record (as far-out and indispensable as Prince’s “Kiss” might be). Hers is the kind of music that gets lost in ancient cave paintings, the kind of music that uses instruments played thousands of years ago to express solace, respect, sadness, and vitriol. Wu’s music doesn’t see the contemporary world as the starting point for music. It sees the history of song and nature as the beginning, which in a way is both foreign and timeless in respect to contemporary popular music. When I ask her about her musical ambition, her answer is as basic as it is indicative of her odyssey: “If I can open up one child’s world that could change his or her life, that would be my best achievement, I think. That could potentially bring out the best capacity of this person. I think that’s the best that I have to [offer] humans. Just spread love.”

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T H E

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GALLATIN& STRATTON

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A HARROWING HISTORY ASHLEY

DOGGETT’S

TA L E N T H A S GAINED I N T E R N AT I O N A L AT T E N T I O N , AND NOW HER HOMETOWN IS TA K I N G N O T I C E

BY SAMUEL SHAW | PHOTOS BY SARAH B. GILLIAM

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NAVIGATING A LOCAL ART SCENE AS self. But the compositions here are already A YOUNG ARTIST CAN BE, to use one of far beyond what we might expect from a Ashley Doggett’s favorite words, “harrow- college sophomore. Work Is Entitled to All it Produces (2015) ing.” The term means something like splitting open at the head. A harrow is a tool demonstrates Doggett’s progression as with lots of blades on it, designed to tear an artist. In this Sherman-esque series of up the earth. It was harrowing when my photographs, she now positions the self in mom had an operation that required drill- Victorian-era costume among period fabing a hole in her skull. Could Nashville’s art rics and props, as if the artist is quilted into scene be so wicked? “Honestly, I don’t get a confining historical narrative that exists out much,” says Doggett. But you have to with or without her, a narrative that the get to know Ashley Doggett, the Nashville- artist can take agency within but cannot esbased, transfeminine, person of color artist cape. Here one can imagine an art student with unlimited potential and unreal expo- inspired by the currents of contemporary sure for someone who has yet to graduate visual art, but art school students are not supposed to make such coherent mixed from art school. I meet up with Doggett at Watkins, which media work—installation, performance, currently serves as her school, workplace, and photography—appear as natural and and studio. “I’m a Nashville native. My personal as Doggett does here. Her profestwenty-first birthday was in August. I have sor gave her a C for printing it on the wrong experienced the changes in Nashville. I paper. There are conventions in art. “You grew up in East Nashville,” she says. “My don’t do that!” Doggett imitates the profeswork was recently featured in AfroPunk, The sor, and then resolves, unapologetically, as New Engagement, Creamer, and Nashville if speaking back, “Oh yeah? I just did.” Finally, Neo-Olympia (2016)—photoArts . . . People have told me I’m an old soul.” I can see that; there is a striking maturity to graphs of Doggett lying on her side on a Doggett’s art. “I work on technique all the bed, à la Manet—positions the artist not time . . . but the content has always been as a contradicted or challenged self, but as one that is self-consciously willing to chalthere.” Let’s start with the self-portraits since lenge art historical conventions, including 2014. War Stories (2014) is actually harrow- its raced and gendered assumptions. It is a ing. The collages are cut-out headshots su- profound shift of consciousness in any field perimposed with various sculpted facial fea- when a practitioner moves from exploring tures: eyelids sewn shut; a bullet hole in the one’s self to interrogating the parameters forehead; splitting, decomposed, missing, of the world in which the self is embedded. and bloody tissue around the face. One can Doggett’s art and self-concept reflects that imagine an early art school student com- shift. “Me and a friend did that on a whim . . pelled to explore her identity and coming . in an antique store . . . I just noticed the bed up with an incomplete, distorted, violated looked like that Manet painting.”

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extending those networks and opportuniTRANSLOCAL PATHWAYS “I have been told to tone it down,” Doggett ties to other places. Some take an organitells me, referring ambiguously to local au- zational role, launching galleries and projdiences, some peers, and some professors. ect spaces that animate these translocal Even her mother—whom she describes as scenes. In the twenty-first century, artists a hero, a collaborator, and a critical voice are increasingly “placemakers” as well, adnot found at Watkins—has pushed her to vancing the supposed virtues of their local work in a way that people can relate to, to scene to taste in other places who are inmake subject matter that is not so “in your creasingly interested in what goes on outface.” Still, while Doggett credits some of side their own scene. But Doggett hardly her mentors at Watkins with encourag- gets out at all. Although Nashville’s creative city maning and even promoting the work to local audiences, she has found an audience at a tra means attracting young artists, Doggett finds that the dominant artistic voice here global rather than local level. Doggett’s exposure has come through is a white, male, cisgender one. It is not online and print publications that have an that alternative voices are not welcome, international scope. AfroPunk is a critical but until critical dialogue about race, genculture and politics publication put out der, sexuality, and development politics by a young, black arts collective based in are a central part of Nashville’s arts identiNew York City. Creamer is an online and ty, Nashville won’t contain Ashley Doggett. print journal from London. The New En- Of course, moving to New York or Los gagement is from California. Coming from Angeles would not solve this issue, but it the global centers of the art world, these seems easier to imagine Doggett connectare distinguished sources of publicity ing to global audiences from the global art for anyone, but especially for someone centers. Doggett spends sixty hours per week who has yet to show in her own city (as of this writing). To be fair, she is now get- at Watkins and another ten hours a day ting local press and local shows too, but, working in her home studio, which is in says Doggett, “I don’t feel committed to a closet. She has effectively utilized the Nashville . . . Don’t get me wrong, I love Internet, promoting her work on social Nashville, but people on the national level media platforms such as Tumblr and Inare encouraging, and Nashville is . . .” Un- stagram. But before we assume that the Internet allows artists like Doggett to derstandable. Let’s appreciate how rare it is to meet “live anywhere,” we should note that it has an artist that has been able to get such at- become just another career prerequisite tention before paying her proverbial dues that can be as homogenizing as it is distinin a local scene. The image of the artist guishing. Most artists have online profiles, starving alone in the garret before being and most artists still do the monthly art “discovered” is of course a romantic myth. crawl ritual. But not Doggett: “I’ve only Many artists develop networking skills in been [in] one art crawl, and I’m only goart school and/or by going out to as many ing to the next one [which took place at art events as possible, around which cer- Zeitgeist last month and featured four of tain conversations and opportunities be- Doggett’s pieces] because my mom wants gin to take shape. Many artists travel a lot, to see the show.”

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ASHLEY DOGGETT: For more on Ashley Doggett, visit: native.is/ashley-doggett

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A HISTORY I ask Doggett if we can do a studio visit. She shows me what was published in AfroPunk: two cross stitchings on fine lace; one of a mammy head with the caption “MAMMY IS DEAD,” and another head of an ambiguously gendered, dead-looking character with the caption “THROWN OVER BOARD.” These are part of a series Doggett is working on called A History, a mix of drawings, paintings, and cross-stitchings that were shown at the Zeitgeist gallery in September. Based on plantation romance novels, the A History images are disturbing, depicting sexual violence, masked and distorted faces, white masculine domination, and contradicted black femininity. In the drawing titled Master Leeroy’s Mansion, Master Leeroy is blinded by the confederate flag, and his penis is hanging out of his pants while a slave woman in chains appears to be trying to seduce him. In the painting titled A Scourge of Antiblackness and Self Hate, Courtesy of Master Leeroy, a black woman is posing for a portrait in whiteface while being haunted by a silent crowd in blackface. There is a brilliant, albeit painful, lack of affirmation in A History. Plantation romance novels—widely read in the South and elsewhere from the late antebellum era up to Gone With the Wind (1936)—misrepresented social life in the South in ways that sought to rationalize slavery and justify Jim Crow. They invariably featured genteel Southern men, idolized Southern belles, and contented slaves happy to protect their owners from harm. Doggett’s work turns those narratives on their head, closer to where they belong, but the result is frustrating. In A History we see double negations, masks facing off against masks, representations of representations, and fragmented characters. What I learned from Doggett is that it is the frustrations that ring true. Harrowing is working backward against a hegemonic narrative in which the truths are more disorienting than the lies.

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THERE’S A NEW BARRE IN TOWN

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SPOTLIGHT The NATIVE Color Issue is a Nashville community art project we launched two years ago. For one issue of NATIVE, illustrators, photograph ers, graphic designers, and advertisers come together to create an issue that is entirely black, white, grayscale, and one spot color. The idea is that working in a limited color palette can yield

unexpected results. This year our color is periwinkle, and our theme is “Sweet and Sour.” In the following pages, you’ll see illustrations from seventeen local artists who were kind enough to contribute. If you’d like to learn more about them, check out the contributor spread at the end of this section. # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ILLUSTRATION BY BROTHERS DESIGN CO. 60 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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ILLUSTRATION BY KYLE JONES


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ILLUSTRATION BY ANDY BIRD # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY MILLER


ILLUSTRATION BY AVA PUCKETT

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ON BRIANN: Artifact Crop

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MACKENZIE MOORE


ILLUSTRATION BY HOLLY CARDEN

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ILLUSTRATION BY KYLE NUMANN


ILLUSTRATION BY MOLLY BROOKS

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ILLUSTRATIONS BY MATTHEW SHURRRR

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ILLUSTRATION BY SYDNEY BALDWIN # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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CAPPA: Check out a 360° light show performance with CAPPA: www.native.is/cappa360

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BROTHERS DESIGN CO. Handcrafted visuals. Traditional branding, film photography, and illustration services. brothersdesignco.com

EMILY MILLER Nashville illustrator Emily Miller is currently focused on revitalizing walls and beautifying old buildings. You can find her artwork in hidden and surprising places throughout town. emilyelizabethmiller.com

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KYLE JONES A true native, I live in East Nashville with my wife, Mandy. I’m an illustrator, motion designer, and creative director at GoNoodle. I really like Mitchell’s sandwiches. justkyle.com

ANDREW VASTAGH, BOSS CONSTRUCTION A one-man design and screenprint shop specializing in limited edition show posters and other assorted debauchery. bossconstruct.com

ANDY BIRD, FRIENDLY ARCTIC PRINTING & DESIGN Our shop is located in East Nashville at 1045 Granada Ave. friendlyarctic.com

AVA PUCKETT Ava Puckett is an illustrator based in East Nashville, specializing in handmade greeting cards that are often punny and sometimes inappropriate. Ava is a lover of coffee, pit bulls, and all things chocolate. etsy.com/shop/aviatepress

ERIN ALISE BORZAK, PERIGEE PRESS Erin Alise Borzak is a freelance illustrator, printmaker, art director, and barista just trying to make it through each day without spilling anything on herself. She has always lived in Nashville and probably will for awhile longer. erinalise.com, perigeepress.com

HOLLY CARDEN Holly Carden specializes in high-detail, hand-drawn illustration, with a particular fondness for cartoon maps and cutaways. Her work includes puzzles, seek-and-finds, colorable maps and mazes, and the occasional sad animal. hollycarden.com


KYLE NUMANN Working mainly with ink and paper (and digital coloring), Kyle enjoys creating detailed scenes and depth using the simplest of ingredients. When he is not making art, Kyle makes music and plays in the local bands Cloudmouth and Crack Mammoth. kylenumann.com

MOLLY BROOKS Molly Brooks is a freelance illustrator and comics maker. At this very moment she is probably eating jelly beans and definitely drinking tea. Graphic novels forthcoming from First Second (Flying Machines with Alison Wilgus, May 2017) and Disney-Hyperion (Sanity & Tallulah series, 2018 and beyond). mollybrooks.com

MATTHEW SHURRRR I’m actually from here. I like stuff and things. I like to make stuff and things. shurrrr.com

MICHAEL KORFHAGE Hi there. I’m an artist, illustrator, and lifelong Nashvillian lucky enough to make a living drawing pictures. mkorfhage.com

SYDNEY BALDWIN, PERIGEE PRESS Sydney Baldwin is an illustrator, printmaker, and graphic designer from Burbank, California. She spends most days singing show tunes to distract herself from the unrelenting reality that we will all one day die. She also likes pizza. sydneybaldwin.com, perigeepress.com

CHRIS CHENEY, SAWTOOTH PRINT SHOP Chris Cheney is an illustrator and co-owner/operator of Sawtooth Print Shop, a local letterpress and design studio. sawtoothprintshop.com

GRAEME MORRIS, RISOLOGY CLUB Co-owner of Risology club, a risograph printshop located in Nashville, TN. I created my piece for this issue using found imagery and utilizing the risograph’s unique look of printing. The piece is entitled “Stay in Bed.” risology.club

RACHEL BRIGGS Rachel Briggs is an illustrator and designer based in Nashville. She was formerly the art director and editorial designer at American Songwriter and Time Out Chicago magazines, and she’s behind Lonesome Mountain, a slowly unveiled graphic novel published online (with a print release set for next year). rachelbriggs.com # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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STUDENT SUBMISSION

ILLUSTRATION BY DEREK ANDERSON 80 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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DEREK ANDERSON I am a senior graphic design student at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Lately I have been working with Anderson Design Group making poster art. I recently finished working on their 59 Illustrated National Parks Coloring Book. derekandersondesigns.co.nf

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THE CITY THAT LISTENS MUSICIANS CORNER TURNS THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE FINEST ARTISTS RESIDING AND MAKING MUSIC IN MUSIC CITY

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W H E R E T H E G O O DS YO U BU Y H E L P M A K E T H E WO R L D B E T T E R

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 - 11AM-4PM NASHVILLE ENTREPRENEUR CENTER

FREE EVENT!

This unique marketplace is open to the community and ensures that shoppers have the opportunity to make a difference in the world with every purchase made. Join us for family-friendly holiday shopping, as local social purpose businesses set up their unique collection of goods in this marketplace alongside Nashville’s favorite food trucks!

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G O O D M A K E R S M A R K E T. C O M


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The idea of turning into one of your past Halloween costumes is a terrifying thought (we would still be stuck as the Little Mermaid, the Red Ranger from Power Rangers, and Minnie Mouse). Luckily, the guys in the rootsy Delta-psych duo Walking Man have better taste in costumes than we do. Read how they’d survive a post-apocalyptic Halloween hellscape above, and order the 45 of their latest single, “Maybel,” online.

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HIFIPHOTOBOOTH.COM # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

Every once in awhile, a story will trend about a grizzled old fisherman that wrestled a seldom-seen beast out of the depths and into his small boat. The expansive sea is undoubtedly full of cryptic creatures, but these oddities are not bound to saltwater; there are leviathans that call the bottom of Tennessee’s larger rivers home. The lake sturgeon is one such fish, but catches are more rare than they once were. The lake sturgeon is a member of an ancient family that has evolved little in the last couple hundred million years, and its age is apparent in its prehistoric, dinosaur-like appearance. Unlike most fish, sturgeons do not have scales. Instead, they have five rows of bony plates called scutes that run down their sides, backs, and bellies, kind of like the large plates that ran along a stegosaurus’ back, just not as conspicuous. The sturgeon also has te tentacle-like organs, called barbels, that hang down in front of its downward-facing mouth, giving it an alien-like appearance. It uses these barbels to detect food on the river bottom. The lake sturgeon’s size also places it in the ranks of the dinosaurs—it can grow to be more than eight feet long and more than 200 pounds. Though lake is in its name, lake sturgeons are also found in large rivers. The fish likely earned this name because it lives in the Great Lakes. Here in Tennessee, lake sturgeons are nearing the southern threshold of their range in the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Throughout the span of their life, lake sturgeons travel long distances. When spawning (a fish’s reproductive process), sturgeons will travel to shallow areas to lay their eggs. Once the babies mature, they will return to the stream where th were born to spawn. Scientists still do not know much they about lake sturgeon migration, but in situations where sturgeons

Written by Cooper Breeden*

were raised in captivity and released, they were found hundreds of miles from where they were released. Lake sturgeons were once a common catch in their native waters. However, as is the unfortunate case of many of our native creatures, human “progress” in the way of pollution, dams, and overfishing have given them a run for their money. Though these factors have led to the downfall with many different animals, they have been particularly detrimental to sturgeons because of their life cycle. For one, it is no surprise that dams have been destructive given the sturgeon’s migration patterns. But also, their growth and reproduction cycles have not worked in their favor. Sturgeons live about as long as humans (maybe much longer in some cases) and reach sexual maturity at roughly the same age. However, unlike many animals, they are slow to reproduce—females only once or twice a decade and males roughly twice as frequent. This sl slow-to-mature, slow-to-reproduce pattern makes it hard for populations to bounce back. Fortunately, many agencies have made efforts to bring back the lake sturgeon. In Tennessee in particular, multiple state, federal, and conservation agencies have worked together to release young sturgeons into the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers since the early 2000s and have seen success in the program. Though it is unlikely that we will see the removal of dams in the near future, there is still hope for this prehistoric fish. As long as citizens continue to take an interest in their revival by supporting these restoration programs and clean water practices, we will hopefully continue to see their populations bounce back.

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NATIVE | ISSUE 52 | OCTOBER 2016 | NASHVILLE, TN  

NATIVE's third annual Color Issue, featuring Wu Fei, Ashley Doggett, Foreign Fields, and seventeen Nashville illustrators.

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