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FEBRUARY 2017 BRIAN WOODEN

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2017

56

22 36

46 66 THE GOODS

17 Beer from Here 18 Cocktail of the Month 22 Master Platers 75 You Oughta Know 79 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 26 The Southern V 36 DEDSA 46 Artist Spotlight: Brian Wooden 56 Speakeasy Spirits 66 HuanDao

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Roses are nice : T-shirts are better 727 Porter Rd, 37206 / dcxvindustries.com / @dcxvindustries

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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:

production:

POLLY RADFORD KELSEY FERGUSON

GUSTI ESCALANTE

          writers: photographers:

CHARLIE HICKERSON LUKE WIGET JONAH ELLER-ISAACS CAT ACREE COOPER BREEDEN JEN McDONALD DANIELLE ATKINS AUSTIN LORD SARAH B. GILLIAM DYLAN REYES CHRISTOPHER MORLEY

marketing interns:

CAMILLE FAULKNER LAUREL SORENSON

founding team: founder, brand director:

DAVE PITTMAN

founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

for all inquiries:

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

HELLO@NATIVE.IS

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7 0 0 1 2 T H AV E S O U T H - P R I M A N A S H V I L L E . C O M - 6 1 5 . 8 7 3 . 4 2 3 2

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PALE ALE

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OLD ZANDER by Ben Clemons of No. 308 ph o t o by j en m cd o n al d

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ben Clemons, our resident Cupid.

No incredible story here. Named after one of my closest longtime friend’s drunken alter ego, this drink is . . . well, damn delicious. Make one at home or swing by and we’ll gladly make you a few.

THE GOODS 1 egg white 2 oz London Dry gin 1 oz strawberry purée 3/4 oz Earl Grey tea syrup 1/2 oz lemon juice FAdd all the ingredients to a shaker with no ice. Shake for at least 15 seconds. FAdd ice and shake again. FStrain into a freshly iced pilsner glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

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OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK - 733 PORTER ROAD - T H E T E R M I N A L C A F E . C O M


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MASTER PLATERS

THE HOPSCOTCH MILKSHAKE

B Y C RY S TA L D E LU N A- B O G A N & J O S E P H B O G A N , O W N E R S O F T H E G R I L L E D C H E E S E R I E M E LT S H O P PHO TOS BY DAN IELLE AT KIN S

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THE GOODS 3 tbsp housemade butterscotch, divided 1 1/4 cups Pied Piper Creamery Sweet Cream Ice Cream 2 tbsp brown butter caramelized bananas 1/2 fresh banana 1/3 cup half & half (we use TN Real Milk) dollop of whipped cream* FOR THE BUTTERSCOTCH: yield: 1 cup 1 cup brown sugar

DIRECTIONS METHOD FOR THE BUTTERSCOTCH: F In a heavy bottom sauce pot combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium heat. Swirl the pot, but don’t stir the mixture, until the sugar is dissolved and toasted. Remove from heat. In a separate pot, heat the bourbon, vanilla bean, cream, and salt over low heat until heated through. Remove from heat and slowly whisk the heated cream mixture into the sugar mixture. Whisk in the cubed butter in increments until all is incorporated. Let cool.

1 tbsp corn syrup 1/2 cup water 1 tbsp bourbon (we use Belle Meade) 1/2 vanilla bean 1 cup heavy cream 1 tsp kosher salt 4 tbsp cold butter, cubed FOR THE BROWN BUTTER CARAMELIZED BANANAS: yield: about 2 cups (8–10 milkshakes) 1/2 cup room temperature butter, cubed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 tsp kosher salt 4–5 ripe bananas, sliced

METHOD FOR THE BROWN BUTTER CARAMELIZED BANANAS: F Add the butter to a cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook until it just starts to brown, stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and bananas. Stir well and increase to medium-high heat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bananas are cooked through and the brown sugar is completely dissolved. The bananas should be the consistency of a pecan pie filling. Cool well before using. ASSEMBLY: F Garnish the milkshake glass with 1 tbsp butterscotch. In a blender combine 2 tbsp butterscotch and the ice cream, caramelized bananas, fresh banana, and half & half and blend until smooth (while still maintaining a thick consistency). Pour into the garnished glass and top with a dollop of whipped cream. * To see The Grilled Cheeserie’s milkshake bar whipped cream recipe, visit native.is

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G I V E V ( E G A N I S M ) A C H A N C E T H E V

S O U T H E R N WA N T S

C H A N G E WAY S O U L

T O T H E

Y O U F O O D

S E E A N D

V E G A N I S M

B Y

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H I C K E R S O N

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P H O T O S

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A T K I N S


SOUL FOOD TASTES GOOD. This is probably because salt, meat, cheese, and butter—the almighty cornerstones of southern cuisine— taste good. I know a lot of subjects (like facts, for instance) are up for debate in America right now, but for the sake of this piece, let’s agree on this. Another thing we should agree on: soul food tastes good, but most of it isn’t good for you. I’m from rural Middle Tennessee. I love fried chicken and cornbread and biscuits and country ham. I have the stomach and love handles to prove I love fried chicken and cornbread and biscuits and country ham. And apparently, I’m not alone. A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

found that the South—at 31.2 percent—is the most obese region in the United States. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tennessee doesn’t fare much better: somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of our state’s residents are obese (we’ve got the ninth highest rate in the country). None of this, of course, would be a problem if obesity and obesityrelated illnesses weren’t fatal. As of 2016, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America, and adult diabetes—which is projected to inflict 939,564 Tennesseans by 2030— isn’t far behind. We love our greasy, buttery, fried food. We love it so much that it might just kill us. Part of the problem with turning Tennesseans (or anyone, for that matter) on to healthy, plant-based

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diets is the fear of venturing into the unknown. If Clifton soon followed suit. The change kept their you’re like me, fried chicken and banana pudding daughters healthy, but they soon found out that feel like family members at this point in your life. Nashville wasn’t exactly a haven for veganism. “Once we started and went both feet into veganKale, cauliflower, and quinoa probably do not. New equals scary, and plus, as we established earlier, the ism, we said, ‘Okay, what are some things around unhealthy stuff tastes really, really good. Not to town, where are some places that we can go to eat? mention the healthy options are generally more ex- What’s missing?’ Because I wanted a donut! [But] pensive and only available in certain (read: wealthy there wasn’t a donut,” Clifton explains, laughing. “That was one of the hardest things I would say. and white) areas. But what if you didn’t have to reinvent the There were Saturday nights where we would go out wheel? What if you could just adjust it so it didn’t and do things as a family, and it was like, ‘Let’s go steamroll you? That’s exactly what Tiffany and get some . . . no, we can’t go get ice cream.’ Tiffany adds, “Any time I was tired of cooking Clifton Hancock—the married couple behind Nashville’s only vegan soul food restaurant, The that day, there was no place for us to go to eat [where] everybody could find mac and cheese, and Southern V—want to do. “When we decided to go ahead and open this greens, and so on and so forth. I was just like, ‘We place, it was to bring that Southern-style option need to do this, because I’m tired of going out and to Nashville, but [we wanted it to be] vegan be- not being able to really eat like we want to.’” And “do it” they did. What started with vegan cause we knew that transition was tough for a lot of people,” Clifton tells me in The Southern V’s caramel apple pies progressed to Clifton’s longedcourtyard/outdoor dining room, located on Fisk for donuts, which the Hancocks began selling at the Street. “Not many people can go from eating steak Southeast Nashville Farmers’ Market in Antioch. and potato to kale and avocado . . . When you make With the exception of watching her grandmother that transition, it’s like, ‘I can’t have [soul food] and mom cook when she was a child, Tiffany, who does all of TSV’s cooking, had zero culinary trainanymore.’” Tiffany looks at Norah and Eden, the Hancocks’ ing. But that first weekend at the farmers’ market, young daughters, as they run around the courtyard. it didn’t seem to matter. “We got flooded. Everyone came, which was great. “And we’re like, ‘No, you can.’” One reason Tiffany and Clifton are such staunch We were surprised and overwhelmed but excited believers that this transition is not only possible at the same time,” Clifton remembers. “Then [we] but also relatively painless is that they made the started seeing those same people coming back that switch themselves not too long ago. Soon after weren’t vegans. That kind of let us know, ‘Okay, Eden was born six years ago, the Hancocks dis- something’s going on.’” The Hancocks’ sweets were also a hit at Lightcovered that their newborn daughter had a dairy intolerance. That, coupled with Clifton’s growing ning 100’s Chocolate Affair, where their seconddistaste of the meat industry’s practices, led the place win earned them radio spots and exposure to Hancocks to a vegetarian, dairyless diet (Tiffany a new audience beyond Antioch. Still, they couldn’t had already been a vegetarian for six years, so the help but notice the lack of vegan options in town. change wasn’t so jarring for her. The toughest part Specifically, there wasn’t a vegan alternative to for Clifton? “I couldn’t let go of the frozen yogurt, Nashville’s staple dish: hot chicken. So, TSV debuted their hot “chick’n” (the chick’n is made with man!”). A few years later, they found out that their sec- their in-house seitan, a wheat-based meat substiond daughter, Norah, had even more allergies tute) biscuits at Nashville’s first annual VegFest. than Eden. As a result, Tiffany went full-on veg- The vegan-vegetarian festival drew more than four an—“cold turkey,” as the Hancocks explain—and thousand attendees to Vanderbilt last year, and the

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biscuits passed Nashville’s ridiculously high hot chicken obesity rates. It linked the unhealthiness to limited recreational facilities, high crimes rates (which kept people standard. “I tell [customers] all the time: it’s not the meat you’re from going outside as much), and low access to nutritious enjoying; it’s the seasoning and the flavor that you enjoy,” food at the neighborhood grocery store. Clifton holds that in addition to these issues, the probClifton explains. “If you take a piece of chicken, and you just throw it on lem with bringing healthy alternatives to low-income arthe skillet and then you eat it, it’s going to be bland. You’re eas is perception. “When you think of soul food—I mean culturally it is not going to like it. But when you throw it in batter that’s been seasoned and you may put some hot sauce on top of something that originated in the black community,” he it—now you’re starting to get the flavor and now you’re says. “You have to go back and you have to really look at history and realize [that was] a lot of the food that was really enjoying it.” With that philosophy in mind, Tiffany and Clifton available. Because that’s really what it came down to hisopened TSV’s brick-and-mortar location last fall in the torically: the food that slaves got were scraps . . . That’s Watkins Park area. It’s a pretty spartan affair: the kitchen/ what you had to use and that’s what you had to make, and prep area is a 600-square-foot shack, orders are placed at they did. Hey, there was some flavor in there, and [they a pick-up window, and the only dining space is the court- tried] to make it taste good. “Now you take basically that perspective and then you yard. But the spot works, considering they’re currently take veganism—which veganism, honestly only open on weekends (Tiffany spends when you really look into it, it’s diverse. weekdays homeschooling both the kids There are so many different cultures, I and prepping for the weekend; Clifton mean races and ethnicities, that actually works as a speech pathologist at Summit practice the lifestyle. It’s just not really Medical Center). marketed that way . . . The face that’s been In addition to being centrally located to marketed for it, and then the locations downtown, The Gulch, and the interstate, that those places are placed in, are just in the location presents a unique opportuniareas that are not as diverse.” ty for the Hancocks. As Clifton, who grew According to the Hancocks, the first up in the John Henry Hale Apartments step in marketing veganism for a new de(formerly John Henry Hale Homes, a pubmographic—besides location and price lic housing community) down the street, point, of course—is making the food look explains, “It [felt] good to be able to find familiar. People are more likely to try vega location that’s centralized to the city an mac and cheese, for example, if it actuand all the different areas. It’s right off ally looks like traditional mac and cheese. the interstate, but then also it puts us in As Tiffany puts it, “What we want to do the community where—honestly this area is appeal to people first through the eyes.” didn’t have many options of food. Yeah, After our interview, I sit down for hot you had your Burger Kings and you had chick’n biscuits, “ribs,” stuffing, mac your fast food places, but not many cleanand cheeze (made with in-house vegan er or healthier options. It really worked out for us to be located here and then to be able to spread “cheeze” sauce), greens, sweet potatoes, and apple fritters. I take a look across the picnic table, and as advertised, the that influence to those who may not try it.” Unfortunately, Watkins Park’s dining options are the spread catches my eye (and my nose), and I promptly get rule, not the exception, when it comes to low-income to stuffing my face. My favorite out of the bunch are the areas in Nashville. For instance, in 2012, Vanderbilt’s Hu- hot chick’n biscuits, which are somewhere around Prince’s manities and Social Sciences Department conducted a mild or medium in the heat department. Hot enough, but study on childhood obesity rates in two vastly different not masochistic. The biscuits are doughy and “buttery” Nashville neighborhoods—Bordeaux and Belle Meade— and give the Sharon Benton (of Benton’s Bacon) recipe I called “How the Built Environment Contributes to the use at home a run for its money. I inhale two biscuits—I Adolescent Obesity Epidemic: A Multifaceted Approach.” don’t leave much for our photographer (sorry, Danielle). While everything is delicious, I won’t lie: it is different As one might guess, the study found that Bordeaux (the from the real deal. But Tiffany and Clifton will be the first lower-income community with a largely minority poputo admit that. “For some people, they come and they exlation) suffered from a lack of physical activity and high

“WE NEED TO DO THIS, BECAUSE I’M TIRED OF GOING OUT AND NOT BEING ABLE TO REALLY EAT LIKE WE WANT TO.”

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THE SOUTHERN V: For more info on The Southern V, visit thesouthernv.com native.is # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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pect that same texture,” Clifton says. “I’m like, ‘No, you’re not going to get that exact same texture as a rib, like a pork rib.’ It’s not going to be the same. The flavor is going to be great, but don’t expect to have that same texture while you’re chewing it.” He pauses, a sly grin coming to his face. “But we sell out of it every time.” I can see why. While it does feel kind of weird to eat ribs with a fork, I can’t argue that they’re not pretty damn good. Unlike some (bad) ribs, the seitan keeps TSV’s ribs from drying out, and Tiffany—through some sort of vegan alchemy—has managed to mimic the charred, glazy goodness of a Memorial Day or Fourth of July rack. But the best part about the meal (aside from Eden’s rundown of the ingredients: “There’s no cow’s milk in that”) is that I don’t feel like shit afterward. I don’t want to puke, I don’t want to go into hibernation, and I can actually walk. Tiffany and Clinton proudly explain that I just experienced a soul food meal sans the “itis”—i.e. the bittersweet, nap-inducing food hangover after a large meal. It feels nice to eat food that hits close to home without vowing to never eat again, and I’m starting to see how the Hancocks have enough energy for homeschooling, working, and running a restaurant/catering company. I ask what else, aside from the energizing food, keeps the family going— how they balance it all. “It’s been a roller coaster; it’s been some ups and downs. A lot of long, sleepless nights by Tiffany. There’s nights where she’s in here all night long getting things prepared,” Clifton answers. “At the end of the day, to see people coming back, and to look out our window and see this diverse group of people sitting at this table—who probably would never have sat with each other if it was in a restaurant, booth style—communicating and talking, no cell phones. That’s awesome, man. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”

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COFFEE BREAKFAST LUNCH OPEN DAILY 7AM-4PM

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INSIDE

THE

P R O G G Y, P O S TA P O C A LY P T I C WORLD

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DEDSA


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IT’S TORNADO WEATHER THE DAY I MEET DEDSA. I show up early and catch the tail end of their rehearsal, what I can hear of it—the drums a house or two down, a synth line along with the beat at the end of their driveway. As I walk up it’s easy connecting faint synth riffs and drums to “Dream About Fish” or the fast driving fuzz to “Dinner Bell,” both songs from their forthcoming full-length, Salmon Velocity. It’s Saturday. Their street is a typical East Nashville blend of old and new, with redone houses beside beat cottages and eventual teardowns. A few houses down a Buick is up on two-by-fours instead of jack stands. It’s dark and warm for December. DEDSA’s music sits perfectly here, even muted by the house. Their songs are memorable and, like most good art, pull your own memories out into the open. “I want to disappear into the way things used to be,” Stephen DeWitt hollers in “Annihilation,” conjuring a futuristic nostalgia that’s woven throughout the eleven-song album set to come out March 3, following a release at Mercy Lounge on March 2. They finish right on time and let me inside the house. We go downstairs. “This place used to be a casino,” drummer Grant Bramlett says as DeWitt pushes open a trap door and we duck inside a hidden room off the basement. Before the two sets of longtime friends that comprise the band moved in together and set up the DEDSA house, their neighbors recall seeing slot machines being dollied away. There must have been a bust. Something happened. They’re told the ceilings used to be mirrors. There were probably poker tables, craps tables, maybe. Our eyes adjust to the dark. Dewitt

leads. He’s tall and lean in jeans and black boots. His head is just shy of the unpainted sheetrock ceiling. It’s easy to imagine mirrors, gold or silver marbled, reflecting people slipping in and out, gambling. Bramlett sways in the doorway in a cutoff denim jacket, jeans, Vans; he’s comfortable, chewing a toothpick. We turn into a smaller, darker space that used to be the band’s control room. “Until water started leaking in,” Dewitt says. To record Salmon Velocity, their first true LP, the band installed a mixing board and additional studio gear in DeWitt’s downstairs bedroom, which shares a wall with a rehearsal space where the other two band members, Ben Carreon and Robbie Ward, are tinkering with their gear in preparation to play a few songs from the electronic rock sprawler. DeWitt and Bramlett explain how the extra room was described in the rental listing: wine cellar. There was even a “dinky wine rack” in one of the corners, DeWitt recalls. There are other rumors about the place, too, among them that it used to be a funeral home. This again from neighbors. “It’s all hearsay,” DeWitt makes sure to clarify. Today, between the recording studio downstairs and keyboardist/illustrator/ filmmaker Ward’s animation studio upstairs, the surprisingly clean, post-collegeage house is devoted to a different gamble. The large, red brick house is a kind of Noah’s Ark if you sub boat with space shuttle and are hoping to establish a world of cats and dogs and artists. After a tour of the studio and another set of songs, the band circles up inside the dimly lit control room and makes conversation with a symbiotic ease that speaks of an accumulation of life together. While

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“We have similar eclectic musical palates,” Bramlett Bramlett and DeWitt were sneaking out of the house in high school to play “sketchy” shows in Birmingham, says. “Cartoons?” I circle back. Carreon and Ward were conducting their own experi“Robbie was raised on all the classic cartoons,” Dements with music and rudimentary animation projwitt says of the lead synthesizer player, the “Jimmy ects in Colorado. “It was all kind of tied together,” DeWitt says of the Page of keyboards,” DeWitt calls him. “Robbie’s a Loowork that eventually evolved into the spastic and rov- ney Tunes scholar.” Ward, a less-angular David Fricke-type in metal ing songs and accompanying visuals for Salmon Velocity. “We’d make movies and make noise in the garage frame glasses and a brown leather jacket, thinks on it that eventually became what got us through high and says, “Yeah, I think a lot about cartoons when I’m trying to come up with something on the synthesizer.” school.” Now the twentysomethings self-produce it all, the *** music and the Monty Python-inspired animations. Their first, most fully realized music video came a few At ages nineteen and twenty, Dewitt and Ward, who summers back when they released “Lighter Click,” a started the band, found themselves essentially homeless in Nashville. They’d moved to town synth-glitch and groove song that a few weeks apart and within months features a near-six-minute video were broke and mostly alone but driven that, to date, has reached more to play music. than eighty thousand views. “We realized later that we’d both gone “It’s an unconscious thing,” Ward through this really tumultuous time says, regarding their influences where we totally unmoored,” Ward says and process. “Grant might have of the time the two struggled to establish some jazz thing that he brings to themselves. the table, and I might throw in Yes After staying in his girlfriend’s Wator Black Sabbath or Animal Colleckins dorm room, DeWitt wound up in tive.” his car. “I slept in my Miata, across the Though they’re generally incenter console. I parked it behind a rock spired by the local scene and mupile behind the dorms.” sicians who drive them to “push One of those nights Dewitt called harder,” they admit they’re an odd Ward from his Miata, trying to land a fit in Nashville. “Naturally we’re better place to crash, only to find out kind of outsiders in our own scene Ward was possibly worse off. because we just kind of have our “I was very, very sick [that night],” own worlds,” DeWitt says. “We Ward says. “I was basically living in the would have made the same record bathtub because I was in so much pain.” in Antarctica,” he adds when I later “We were kids dealing with big problems for the first press the band on how the city has impacted their time,” DeWitt says and recalls another night driving work. Really, DEDSA is DEDSA. Their prog dream world as far outside of town as he could for a cheaper room of synths and classic rock riffs, the colorful and co- and spending sixty dollars at a hotel that booted him medic post-apocalyptic imagery, the mythology—it’s at nine the next morning. “It was shitty. It was like ten all generated from a shared consciousness, a “library,” dollars an hour.” Seven years later, sitting in DeWitt’s basement bedWard calls it, that’s made up of music and film and the result of the guys spending so much time together. room/studio control room, it’s clear there wasn’t anThey grew up on jazz and rock, house and prog, and other plan. These four are all-in. “I’ve never thought I could do anything else,” Ward they can talk academically about bands ranging from Black Sabbath to the New York Dolls to The Hives. says. “It never crossed my mind, even when I was toThere’s even a deep love of cartoons in Ward’s case tally out of money and my friends had left me out here and an appreciation of that love among his bandmates. . . .”

“WE’D MAKE MOVIES AND MAKE NOISE IN THE GARAGE THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME WHAT GOT US THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.”

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DEDSA: For more info on DEDSA, visit dedsa.org native.is

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“So, no escape hatch?” I ask. “No,” Ward says immediately. “If you know what you want to do, you should just do it.” *** It’s still light outside, but grayer than before. We keep ending our conversation, DeWitt and Bramlett and I, only to pick back up again with ideas like installing in-ground trampolines in the backyard. Then there’s the story of Bramlett digging a fire pit in the yard by hand. We stand and talk and look at the neighborhood, all wet and stripped, waiting for winter. We’ve just watched the video for “Annihilation,” which Ward labored on for nearly a year and will be released this month. Taking Terry Gilliam’s lead, Ward did it all by hand. Colored pencils, large sheets of paper under museum glass, a camera, and a focused, regimented life, all resulting in something human that cuts through so much of what’s out there—“the noise,” Ward calls it. “Even if they don’t really know that it’s handmade, you feel it. There are smudges on the grass,” Ward says. “Cat hair,” Carreon adds. It’s Dante’s Inferno meets Monty Python. It’s about the end or an end. A journey and a dark hope, and it lingers in the backyard, cast out over the neighborhood where everything is heavy and saturated. “I wonder what the world is coming to . . . should I just drift along?” DeWitt asks in the song. “What is the world coming to?” I ask. “At the risk of sounding like an idiot cynic, society is kind of a joke, right?” DeWitt says. Bramlett laughs in agreement. “That’s safe to say at the end of this year,” Ward adds. “And what can you do?” DeWitt asks rhetorically. Build another world the way DEDSA has. Bramlett gets a text from his mother warning him about a storm. It is catastrophe weather, but we all have somewhere to be.

CLEAN, COHESIVE PRODUCT P H OTO S QUICK TURNAROUND

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JULY TALK w/ MONA - THE HIGH WATT YACHT ROCK REVUE - CANNERY BALLROOM THE RAMONES VS. THE CLASH TRIBUTE NIGHT - MERCY LOUNGE APOLLO WILD w/ KELSEY KOPECKY - THE HIGH WATT COUNTRY NIGHTS ft. WAGES, COLIN ELMORE, & MORE - THE HIGH WATT STEPHEN KELLOGG w/ MATT HIRES - MERCY LOUNGE S TAYING FOR THE WEEKEND - THE HIGH WATT LAWRENCE & ANDY FRASCO - THE HIGH WATT STEVE’N’SEAGULLS - MERCY LOUNGE KHRUANGBIN - THE HIGH WATT ALEX DEZEN w/ MIKE DUNN & GRANVILLE AUTOMATIC - THE HIGH WATT DEDSA - MERCY LOUNGE BIRDTALKER - MERCY LOUNGE LEE FIELDS & THE EXPRESSIONS - MERCY LOUNGE COLONY HOUSE - CANNERY BALLROOM MIKE DOUGHTY - MERCY LOUNGE DELICATE STEVE - THE HIGH WATT THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT w/ UNKNOWN HINSON & BIRDCLOUD - MERCY LOUNGE 46 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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A R T I S T

S P O T L I G H T:

P H O T O S

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B Y

S A R A H

B R I A N

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W O O D E N

G I L L I A M


BRIAN WOODEN IS A VISUAL ARTIST AND MUSICIAN FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO. HE DESCRIBES H I M S E L F A S P O L I T E LY C Y N I C A L , AND HE’S INTO THE COLOR P I N K A T T H E M O M E N T. H E LIKES POETRY BUT THINKS IT’S BULLSHIT, AND HIS CURRENT SERIES DEALS WITH F R A G M E N TAT I O N A N D L AY E R S .

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BRIAN WOODEN: To see more of Brian’s work, follow him on Instagram @brianwooden native.is

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Riverside Villiage - 1400 McGavock Pike - d o s e n a s h v i l l e . c o m # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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SINCE FOUNDING SPEAKEASY SPIRITS IN 2011, JEFF AND JENNY PENNINGTON H AV E D E V E L O P E D A S T R O N G F A M I LY OF BEVERAGES. B U T T H I S FA L L , THEY’RE STEPPING IT UP BY OPENING THEIR FIRST BARRELS OF AGED TENNESSEE WHISKEY. DRINK UP

BY JONAH ELLER-ISAACS | PHOTOS BY DYLAN REYES

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MORE INFO: For more info, visit: nolonashville.com, huntsupplyco.com, rocketown.com/sixth-avenue-skatepark-nashville native.is

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ANOTHER ROUND OF BACHELORETTE PAR- “When we first moved in over here, they were tryTIES on pedal taverns woooo past the honky- ing to rename this area the Historic West Town,” tonks. Legs churning, booze flowing, their screams Jeff recalls. Then The Nations quickly became one are audible far from their usual route through of the hottest neighborhoods in Nashville, and the Lower Broadway. The procession of girls with dick- rebranding effort disappeared. We’re walking as we talk, and we arrive in their themed accessories drink their way past Tootsie’s, Robert’s, Paradise Park: each block of neon-lit bars laboratory, where they develop recipes and test makes it harder to believe that Tennessee was one products for values like proof strength. Hundreds of tiny bottles containing taste profiles line the of the first states to pass laws prohibiting alcohol. State lawmakers spent decades attempting to rid shelves. I don’t see snozzberries, but I don’t doubt Tennessee of alcohol well before the Eighteenth that they’re around here somewhere. Their R&D Amendment ratified Prohibition nationwide in partner sends them all kinds of odd flavors. Jeff 1919. Making whiskey was hugely popular in 19th- tells me with a big laugh: “Airplane cookie? I don’t century Tennessee: at one point, distilling was the want an airplane cookie!” Jenny proudly points out state’s largest manufacturing industry. Before Pro- that the bottles are only for recipe planning; the hibition, Tennessee had the most distilleries of any flavors in their products like Picker’s Blood Orstate in the union; after, it had the least. The years ange Vodka come from real fruit, not a naturally of resistance to making booze devastated the busi- derived flavor extract. They fly blood oranges from ness. From scores of distilleries, only two—George California and infuse their vodka directly, which imbues the spirit with a rich, authentic flavor and Dickel and Jack Daniel’s—survived Prohibition. Jack Daniel’s managed to escape the wrath of an electric red-orange hue. The Penningtons started their Speakeasy adventemperance by skipping town, producing whiskey across the border in Missouri for decades. When ture with a different strategy than many of their they finally returned to their Tennessee distilling fellow distillers. Jenny lays it out for me: “So many facility in the 1950s, the state was still conservative, of the other craft distilleries start with that whole anxious to avoid the return of the wild moonshiner look: the tasting room, that beautiful gift shop, all days of the early 20th century. Daniel’s was able of that, where we really have approached it differto reopen their distillery by agreeing to stringent ently. We’ve been all about production since we regulations that made it essentially impossible for started this.” Because of their focus on manufacany other whiskey makers to establish new facili- turing rather than a sleek, sexy visitor experience, ties in the state, giving them a robust market share Speakeasy was able to build out a massive facility, and easing fears of unrestrained sin and iniquity. far larger than they could fill at first. “Breweries Then, in 2009, nearly one hundred years after Pro- were the only kind of blueprint we had to go by hibition took hold, Tennessee lawmakers came to for craft distilling, because craft distilling was—is their senses and reevaluated the distilling rules. still—burgeoning, still kind of [an] infant now,” With the easing of regulations came a renaissance Jeff says. “I talked to a couple breweries, asking, ‘What would you have done differently if you could of craft distilling that’s just hitting its stride. This abridged history of one of Tennessee’s start again?’ The most common thing I got was, ‘I greatest and best-known traditions leads to me, would’ve built a bigger operation the first time.’” The outsize distillery succeeded in the early here, outside the Speakeasy Spirits production facility in The Nations, looking at the glass doors and days by copacking, or private label bottling. Jeff exwondering which bell lets someone know I’m here. plains that the process benefits both parties. “A lot of other clients who were trying to start their own I hit them all. Eventually, Shafer comes out to greet me. Shafer, brands would come to us, and we would package a friendly mutt, has been named Chief Barketing them to help pay for the equipment, pay for labor, Officer by her owners, Jeff and Jenny Penning- pay for rent. And now I think there’s four other ton. In 2011, encouraged by the friendlier regula- distilleries operating in Tennessee that started by tory environment, the Penningtons opened their bottling their stuff here with us.” There are conSpeakeasy Spirits facility in The Nations, which fidentiality agreements involved, so Jeff holds off was going through an identity crisis at the time. on naming names, but if you’ve enjoyed a few lo-

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cal bourbons, it’s likely that the whiskey passed through Speakeasy’s gates. Back when it was almost Historic West Town (whatever that means), Jeff and Jenny’s decision to focus on production made sense. Not a whole lot was happening in the neighborhood, and drawing a crowd would’ve been difficult, if not impossible. But The Nations is a wholly different place than it was five or six years ago. Now that their distillery is in such a prime location, the Penningtons are revisiting their strategy. They weren’t ever opposed to the tasting room and the gift shop—they just didn’t think they could pull it off at Speakeasy’s location. They also couldn’t afford to start in a more popular part of town. Jeff shares with a laugh: “We decided that we wanted to build the facility first and hopefully build somewhere like that in the future. But luckily, we were sitting in the area where the neighborhood came to us! It saved us having to go away, so we’re really excited.” The Nations has changed enough to where Jeff and Jenny feel comfortable moving forward with 2017’s big plan: a tasting room, a gift shop, and a greater emphasis on outreach to locals and tourists alike. There’s more than just a gift shop in the works for Speakeasy. Jeff and Jenny look at each other conspiratorially as they share the first of their big reveals: this spring, they’re going to change the name to Pennington Distillery. The name change isn’t just for show. The first five years of Speakeasy have focused on niche products. Their flavored vodkas and ryes. Their cordial mixes. Whisper Creek, their award-winning Tennessee Sipping Cream, which is a Bailey’s alternative that’s dangerously smooth and drinkable. All the while, they’ve been putting away whiskey, and this fall, they’ll open the first of their barrels for public consumption. Jeff has a huge smile on his face as we tour the factory floor. He’s practically giddy. He guides me between their stills with all the pride of a new parent—but his child is whiskey. Whiskey takes patience. Tennessee whiskey has to sit in oak barrels for at least four years to be called Tennessee whiskey. Not exactly a money-making operation right out of the gate. Jeff and Jenny bridged the four-year gap through their copacking partnerships and a wide range of products that could be ready almost immediately. The Pennington Plan (as I just thought to call it but it sounds official) allowed the distillery to establish a market share while their whiskey aged. Though their ready-made liquors, liqueurs, and cordials will continue to win fans, as Jeff points out, “The end goal for all of us in Tennessee is whiskey. I mean, that’s what makes us unique.” The Pennington Plan has paid off, and their long wait is almost over. Though it’s not quite ready, Jeff and Jenny share a taste

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“CRAFT DISTILLING WAS—IS STILL— BURGEONING, STILL KIND OF [AN] INFANT NOW.”

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SPEAKEASY SPIRITS: For more info on Speakeasy Spirits, visit speakeasyspiritsdistillery.com native.is

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of their barrel-strength whiskeys. There are three: a rye, a bourbon, and a straight Tennessee whiskey. The rye is closest to launch, with a grand opening coming this fall. The others will need another year or two. Even a couple years from full maturity, the Pennington whiskeys are full-bodied, complex, and supple. The rye is spicy, with notes of cinnamon, clove, and honey and a lingering burn that’s not unpleasant. The bourbon is buttery and tastes like smoked caramel. And their Tennessee whiskey, the secret alchemy of grains and time, the drink that’s made Tennessee famous around the world . . . Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. You’ll have to wait. On a whiteboard in one of the Speakeasy offices is a list of values. First on the list: “Keep true to our heritage.” We’re all lucky that a few brave lovers of Tennessee whiskey persevered through years of limitations on the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Seriously, the temperance folks were intense: in 1916, the mayors of both Nashville and Memphis were removed from office for refusing to enforce a ban on liquor. When America’s “Great Mistake” mercifully came to a close, it still took decades for Tennessee’s whiskey industry to recover. And that work only began again in earnest with the 2009 regulations overhaul. Jeff hardly dared to dream that his birthplace would come around. “I never thought that people would be accepting of alcohol the way it’s become, seen as an art, and not necessarily as a devil’s tool.” And now he and Jenny are part of a long history, nearly shattered but now stronger than ever. Between fits of booming laughter, Jeff gets serious. “This whole making the three different whiskey recipes and patiently waiting for them all to age? I think that really is sparking something inside of both of us, where we feel this heritage, a legacy that hopefully we can pass that on one day. When we’re dead and gone, there might be whiskey in a barrel that we helped put there. And I think that’s pretty cool.”

W W W . M U S I C C I T Y O P T I C A L . C O M

25 MUSIC SQUARE EAST

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

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DIRECTOR SUEANN SHIAH DISCUSSES HER DEBUT FILM, HUANDAO, C U LT U R A L I D E N T I T Y, AND THE IMPOR TANCE OF EMBRACING THE INBETWEEN

BY CAT A CRE E | P HOTO S B Y CHR I STO PHE R MO R LE Y

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IN LATE 2014, twenty-two-year-old SueAnn Shiah strapped a GoPro and a couple saddlebags to her bike and dragged one aching friend on a 470-mile, 13-day journey around the entire coastline of Taiwan. Somewhere between the jungle and the sea, on the traditional bike trip known as huandao (literally, “around the island”) that has become a cherished rite of passage within Taiwanese culture, Shiah hoped to shake loose some answers about her dual identities, as an American and as the daughter of two Taiwanese parents. She shares her story in HuanDao, an 86-minute documentary and identity-by-biking odyssey that premiered in 2016 at the Vanderbilt Sarratt Student Center. Shiah, a 2014 Belmont graduate who is currently working as a music producer in Nashville, was raised speaking Taiwanese Mandarin in her home and attended a Chinese school just outside of Detroit, “where the suburbs meet the cornfields.” But upon moving to the South to attend Belmont, Shiah felt a unique pain set in: the isolation and confusion of a non-white person discovering what it means to live somewhere so lacking in diversity. “I think a lot of us who make art are asking ourselves, How do I make something beautiful out of my pain?” Shiah says with a little laugh. “How do I find redemption in all my suffering, whatever it might be? I think that’s how I process, that’s how I deal with darkness and brokenness.” Shiah and I are speaking at Ugly Mugs on the day before Christmas Eve. A section of her hair is shaved on the side, and in her bag is a T-shirt from giving blood earlier in the day, which she has done regularly since the shooting at Pulse. Shiah goes on: “Often if we have enough comforts and privileges we can . . . segment ourselves away from having to engage that kind of stuff—self-medicate, whatever it is. But the answer’s not away, it’s through. What made me different from everybody else was the source of my pain, but the answer wasn’t to become like everyone else so I could avoid that. It was to embrace the thing. That’s how I could find my healing.” Embrace seems like the perfect word for huandao, as the trip draws a loop around the island that looks a lot like a loving embrace. Or for Shiah, perhaps a surrounding shield for the place that she hoped would

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provide her with answers. But as much as HuanDao was an attempt to find healing, that goal probably could’ve been accomplished simply by doing the bike tour. By turning it into a movie, she didn’t just go “through” her pain; she offered a glimpse of her journey for anyone who wants to see it. It was a way to help her connect, to counteract the alienation, and maybe, just maybe, help some other isolated Taiwanese-American kid. Shiah’s search for Taiwanese identity is a much more complicated question than simply discovering roots, tying together past and present—all those normal coming-of-age things. To this day, Taiwan is denied statehood by Mainland China. “Taiwanese identity is inherently political, because of the really nefarious diplomatic situation that is Taiwan,” Shiah explains. “To say that you’re Taiwanese as opposed to identifying as Chinese is an inherently political act.” Neither of Shiah’s parents was born in Taiwan. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, the formerly occupied China saw a rise in communist power, which drove people like Shiah’s parents’ families to flee. In the film, Shiah’s mother shares the story of her family, who fled south to Taiwan, eventually landing in a military village in Luodong. Shiah’s father had a passport that read, “No country. No land.” After the Chinese Civil War, Taiwan was giving citizenship to displaced Chinese nationals, and so he landed there. Therein lies the complication: Are her parents Chinese, or are they Taiwanese? What is Taiwanese identity, and how is it different from Chinese identity? “The language that we speak and the cultural practices that we have, and even traditional and religious and indigenous engagement, mirror that of Chinese culture,” says Shiah. “It’s fruitless and also shortsighted to have a conversation about what Taiwanese-American identity is without also talking about what ChineseAmerican identity is.” So on October 30, 2014, Shiah, along with director of photography Anne Zhou and Shiah’s white friend Rachel Akers (also twenty-two and from Michigan), began to bike the entire border of Taiwan. The trip, funded via Kickstarter, was captured through long shots as pavement, jungle, seacoast, and river gorges zip past. Interspersed are in-depth interviews with


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locals met throughout the countryside. Shiah and Akers, often wearing Halcyon Bike Shop shirts, stay in hostels and take occasional breaks to look out over the rocky edge of the sea, to pluck fruit from trees and hope they don’t get sick, and to discover caves, temples, and the stories of people they may never see again. Shiah acts as a guide for the viewer, providing voice-over narration and sharing diary-like private moments with the camera to keep us in the loop about her emotional journey as well as the physical one. In these moments, Shiah is soft-spoken, sometimes almost stern or somber, as though she might be nervous about playing too much to the camera. The only times she shows animation similar to the person who sits across from me today is when sharing food with Akers or talking to locals—like when a group of aboriginal villagers invites the young women to visit and eat with them. Just a few days into the girls’ tour, a group of aboriginal Taiwanese is hanging out around a red table covered with drinks and food. They invite the girls to sit down and chat and shoot footage of clams. A man shows off his handmade knife and later a spear the length of his body. Speaking in Mandarin, Shiah finds common ground with this group of women and men through their dual cultures: they are in a similar situation as she is, as they have their own culture separate from their majority countrymen and women. Of the Taiwanese population of 23.5 million, 98 percent

are Han Chinese and only 2 percent are aboriginal. “We must preserve our own traditions,” says a man in a gray t-shirt and buzzed silver hair, “so that we can continue to pass them on, it’s like this.” Shiah responds: “A person and their native land have a bond. But I think it’s hard, like I grew up in America and sometimes feel like America isn’t my home. When I’m in Taiwan, I feel like me, Taiwan, and the Taiwanese people have a bond. But when I’m in Taiwan, I will miss America too.” Introspective, immersive moments like this are the heart of the film. Language provides an obvious gateway for Shiah, as she was able to “meet some random musicians” and record aboriginal music for the film’s soundtrack. An interview with two charismatic, chatty hostel owners reveals a village’s attempts to stay relevant and hook tourists while preserving their history. A tea service in a town above the cloudline is incredibly fascinating and nearly meditative. “It’s preparation,” Shiah says of the serendipitous nature of these encounters. “People in Nashville talk about the practice of songwriting, and it’s not like you walk around one day and then you write an amazing song. You prepare and you hone your craft . . . so that when inspiration does hit, you are equipped to ride the wave, so to speak. You can’t manufacture when the wave is going to come, but you have to be ready for when it does, so you can ride it!” Shiah laughs. “The only rule I have for people is that people will always surprise you. You need to leave room for

“I THINK A LOT OF US WHO MAKE ART ARE ASKING OURSELVES, HOW DO I MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL OUT OF MY PAIN? ”

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creativity to strike or happenstance or people you meet along the road.” During the conversation with the aboriginal villagers, Akers, who speaks no Mandarin (her second language is German), sits quietly. She’s noticeably separate, her hands clasped between her knees, and throughout the film, she never shares her own experience of being an outsider in these moments. But the viewer notices. “In order to see detail, you’ve got to turn the contrast up,” Shiah says. Akers was intended to provide contrast, but perhaps what she did better was provide a mirror opposite to Shiah’s parents, who also came on the trip. They didn’t bike with the girls, but from time to time, they joined for meals. On this trip of identity, Shiah brought specters of her two conflicting identities in tow, through the people that traveled with her: her Taiwanese family and her white friend. Shiah’s parents came to the United States from Taiwan about thirty years ago, and she had traveled with her family to Taiwan several times before the huandao. Her extended family lives in the capital city, Taipei, and she also studied abroad in Taipei between her sophomore and junior years of college. But in discovering the rural areas of Taiwan, Shiah began to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about the island. “I realized I had a very limited understanding . . . because my experience was limited to Taipei,” Shiah says. “My understanding of what Taiwan is to me is different than someone whose family has been in Taiwan for hundreds of years, which is different from someone who is aboriginal, who has been there for thousands of years. For that, you have to go to different places. You have to meet people from different areas.” For people caught between cultures— or even caught between lands—stories like HuanDao could provide some salience for the search for redemption. For Shiah, the act of telling her story provided just that and more.

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e v o L e h t e r a Sh N O W S H I P P I N G AT W W W. S W I T T E R S C O F F E E . C O M

IT’S ALL ABOUT RESULTS CARDIO BARRE NASHVILLE 76 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: CAROLINE SPENCE

CAROLIN SPENCE E

You could argue that Nashville— particularly in the wake of constant bicoastal influence—is a city obsessed with authenticity. Are the restaurant owners from here? Is it real hot chicken? Is that guy in the bolo tie, the one who’s singing his heart out about heartbreak, really country? Authenticity is one of those qualities that’s impossible to quantify—you either perceive the song, the food, or the bar as “real,” or you don’t. Caroline Spence is one of the real ones. On her upcoming sophomore LP, Spades and Roses, Virginia-born

Spence mixes the dive bar despondency of Blue-era Joni Mitchell with yearning vocals that make succumbing to love sound like the terrifying and beautiful experience that it is. And if you don’t believe us, just ask Kerrville Folk Festival, American Songwriter, Rolling Stone Country, and Miranda Lambert— all of whom, like us, are big fans. Spades and Roses is out March 3, followed by a show at The Basement March 4 with Liz Cooper and Robby Hecht. And if you make it to the show, bring tissues. You’ve been warned.

For more info on Caroline Spence, visit caroline spencemu sic.com native.i s

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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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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

Written by Cooper Breeden*

LUNA MOTH The coming-of-age tale of the caterpillar is one of the small wonders of the animal world that most of us heard about when we were kids. As memorable as a cocoon is, you may have forgotten the bit about cocoons being made by moth caterpillars as opposed to butterfly caterpillars (which make a similar hanging home called a chrysalis). If, by chance, you happened to have carried that tidbit with you this far in life, then you probably also know that moths, in general, are much more drably colored. But there are some stunning exceptions to that generalization, one of which is the luna moth. The luna moth is one of the largest moths in North America, with a wingspan approaching five inches. Like all moths and butterflies, they have four wings (two forewings and two hind wings). Luna moths are among the more distinct moths not only because they’re so large, but also because they have unmistakable pale green wings and their hind wings each have a long tail. One postulated purpose of these tail extensions is to throw off a bat’s echolocation, thereby giving the moth a leg up in the survival game. Similarly, the luna moth—like many other moths in the saturniid family—has an eyespot in the middle of each of its four wings. These eyespots are thought to mimic the eyes of a larger animal and hopefully keep predators away. The Saturniid family contains multiple species, many of which are common in Tennessee and larger than the typical moth we see fluttering around our porch lights. But that begs the question: If they’re common and so large, how come we don’t see them more often? The most obvious answer is that they’re nocturnal. This is actually one of the general features that distinguishes moths from bu butterflies. Aside from coloration and nocturnal habits, moths tend to hold their wings horizontal or against their body, while butterflies fold them back behind their body. Additionally, moths have feathery antennae while butterflies have slender, club-shaped antennae.

Another reason we may not see luna moths and some of their Saturniid brethren very often is that luna moths only spend one short week as an adult. The majority of their life is spent in previous life stages. Like other moths, the luna moth undergoes a complete metamorphosis: it begins life in an egg, hatches into a caterpillar, spins a cocoon, and pupates before emerging as an adult. After emerging from its silken dwelling, the moth has only one thing on its mind and spends its final days in search of a mate. To this end, evolution has stripped the adult moth of all superfluous aspects of its anatomy, namely its mouth. As such, the adult moth must find a mate before it surrenders to starvation’s cold clutches. If its nocturnal nature and abrupt adulthood are not enough to make the luna moth seem scarce, then its food preference is (during the part of its life when it does eat, that is). Many moths and butterflies are very particular in their choice of food. Some species are so selective that they will only feed on the leaves of a specific plant. For example, a monarch only eats a few species of milkweed. The luna moth is a little more liberal in its preferences and may feed on the leaves of several trees: hickory, walnut, sweetgum, sumac, and some others. These trees are common around here, but since the luna moth spends the majority of its life among the leaves of these trees, seeing one is a rare treat. A combination of the luna moth’s lifestyle, tree-top habitat, and short adulthood makes it seem rare, but it is actually considered common. In that regard, it falls in rank with animals like the flying squirrel, pileated woodpecker, or praying mantis. They’re all common but unfamiliar animals that elude our observation as they eke out some colorful and outlandish existence in the trees above head our heads.

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NATIVE | ISSUE 56 | FEBRUARY 2017 | NASHVILLE, TN  

Featuring Brian Wooden, DEDSA, The Southern V, HuanDao, Speakeasy Spirits, and more.

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