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THE JOURNEY DOWN BUTTERMILK ROAD
BANG! POW! NASHPOP!
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VICTORIA SCHWAB IN REAL LIFE
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Overheard @ NATIVE
J A NU A RY 2 013
Native Animal of the Month
SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS
KNOWLEDGE FOR SALE
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Sparkle Darling! One can only begin the New Year with bubbles. In that case, a Sparkling Limón is called for. Chandon sparkling wine paired with the Bistro’s house-made Limoncello finished with a twist.
Darling... I do believe you're Sparkling. Enjoy this New Year’s cocktail at
Rosebud Bistro... on Hayes! 1806 Hayes Street Nashville, TN 37203
Congratulations. If you are reading this, you’re one of the chosen few who made it through the “Apocalypse.” You should be thanking your lucky stars, because someone up there decided to overrule the Mayans and save your soul. Just like the sistas of Destiny’s Child, you’re a survivor. So keep on survivin’. So while you’re reading by candlelight, licking the zest off your fingers from your last bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and dipping into that hidden stockpile of Franzia White Zinfandel you’ve been collecting, know that we’re in this together. And no, we’re not above drinking box wine either. We could very well be the last people on the planet, so we might as well party together. In fact, we’re still recovering from celebrating the end of the world (we were really counting on the Mayans). There’s still some leftover spiked eggnog in the minifridge, and apparently everything gets better with age—cheese, wine, sex, eggnog—it’s a proven fact. And we at NATIVE are aging too. Not in the receding hairline, droopy wrinkles kind of way, but we’ve reached a coming of age with our seventh issue. We wanted to start fresh, kicking off the New Year and post-apocalyptic world with a homemade cover from street artist Ryan McCauley, and a kickass lineup of fellow resident badasses who have also triumphed the “Apocalypse.” And since we’re left to brave this crazy world together, we thought you deserved to know what’s going on in our heads. So check out our new section, Overheard @ NATIVE. Once again, none of this would be possible without everyone who makes it possible. And you know who you are. Much love.
All For One, One For All, THE NATIVE TEAM
It’s the New Year, which means resolutions. What a fantastic idea (in theory), but how often do you actually follow through? Well, we wanted to challenge ourselves for 2013 and make a vow to keep things fresh. When we came across a robot print from street artist Ryan McCauley’s blog, we all shared a glorious light bulb moment—instead of us making the cover in some design program, we thought, let’s have Ryan make the cover by hand,
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street style. So one cold and dreary day in December (quite the rare occurrence these days), Ryan came in with thirty-five robot prints, a bucket of wheatpaste, and a paintbrush. We laid the prints out like a grid, and replaced one of those cute little robo-dudes with a photo of Ryan in a cardboard-cutout robot costume. Then we scoped out a beautiful brick canvas, and Ryan went to work on our cover. /////// 5
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%&'(%&) Prohibition forced Charles Nelson to shut down one of the nationâ€™s largest whiskey distilleries in 1909. Now, his great-great-great-grandsons are on a mission to bring it back to life by claire gibson
photography by andrea behrends
!"#$%$&'(#)*%'+,&#%"-#."-/# 0&+12"#1&&3#42#*%5&#%#+24#,"# 62332"7 Just two years apart in age, these brothers are both tall, stately, and entirely gregarious. They were born in Los Angeles. Both played basketball. And, together, they’ve resurrected their great-great-great-grandfather’s business creating small-batch whiskey—Green Brier Distillery. Read about them in Garden and Gun, where they were recently named runners-up in the “Made in the South” Awards, and you might think they’re twins. 10 / / / / / / /
But they’re not. Charlie is a big-picture thinker—a twenty-eight year old bearded brunette with a slow drawl and a quick wit. When I ask about his workload, Charlie laughs and says he has nearly a thousand unread emails in his inbox. Andy, on the other hand, is a details man who subscribes to the “inbox zero” philosophy. He has blue eyes and shaggy blonde hair, and towers at a remarkable six-foot-four. But then again, Charlie’s six-foot-four, too. “There’s always been an unspoken competition between us,” Charlie says, then pauses. “I mean, he’s right-handed, and I’m left-handed.”
But for all their idiosyncrasies and quirks (and oh-so-psychologically important “handedness”), Charlie and Andy will always have one thing in common: lineage. Their family history reaches all the way back to July 4, 1835, when their great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Nelson, was born in Germany. In 1850, Charles’ father, John, sold his soap and candle factory. Wanting to offer his family a better life in America, John made a plan. He converted the family’s earthly possessions to gold and had special clothes made so he could wear that gold on his person, because he was fearful that other passengers on the jour-
â€œTHEREâ€™S ALWAYS BEEN AN UNSPOKEN COMPETITION BETWEEN US.â€?
ney might turn out to be thieves. On a cold October day, John gathered his wife and six children, including Charles, and together they boarded the Helena Sloman, a vessel bound for New York City. While at sea, the boat began to rock. Waves were crashing onto the deck, and the storm was intensely violent. In the confusion and chaos, a few passengers were thrown overboard. John Nelson was one of them. Weighed down by the family fortune, John sank to the bottom of the Atlantic. His family survived, and his oldest son, Charles became the head of the household at the mere age of fifteen. Charles eventually moved to Nashville, where he started distilling whiskeyâ€”six years before Jack Daniels. But in 1909, Prohibition forced him to shut down his distillery, which operated in both Nashville and in Green brier, Tennessee. At that point, Green Brier was the largest distillery in the United States. Nearly one-hundred years later, Charles Nelsonâ€™s ancestors were standing in front of a rusted-out barrel house, mouths open in shock, in awe of what their great-great-great-grandfather had done. Charlie explains the day in 2006, when he, Andy, and their father drove out to Greenbrier, Tennessee, to pick up a butchered cow they selected. A rural town (population 6,433) just twenty minutes north of Nashville, Greenbrier has streets with names like â€œSunday Silence,â€? and â€œEasy Goer.â€? Driving up the gravel road towards the butcher house, Charlie and Andy had a hard time imagining that a century ago, it was the countryâ€™s hub for Tennessee whiskey. When they arrived at the butcherâ€™s home, they asked if he knew anything about the old distillery. â€œHe said, â€˜well look across the street,â€™â€? Charlie recalls. Weâ€™re standing together in a grassy field, by that same road. Charlie points to a wood and aluminum edificeâ€”his great-great-great grandfatherâ€™s whiskey barrel warehouse. It stands on stilts, and could be the set of
LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED MONDAY - SATURDAY: 10-9 SUNDAY: 12-6 THE MALL AT GREEN HILLS 41&$4/"4)7*--&$0.Ĺ” /////// 11
a horror film, or the raw material for a really great new “farm-to-table” restaurant. Instead, it’s made its way to the historic registry, and stands as a testament to Charlie and Andy’s heritage. Inside, long wooden beams intersect from floor to ceiling, creating a grid where a hundred years ago, Charles Nelson’s whiskey barrels aged. “It was like I fell in love,” says Charlie. Seeing the shock on Charlie and Andy’s faces, the helpful butcher directed them toward the Greenbrier Historical Society—a small museum that houses dusty artifacts from this little town’s past. There, Charlie and Andy held a few original (albeit empty) bottles of Greenbrier Whiskey. “The bottles had my name on them,” Charlie says with an air of reverence. “We just looked at each other and thought, this is our destiny.” Andy agrees. “This is
+ Local BEER ON TAP! CATERING & DELIVERY & ONLINE 112 19TH AVE S. · NASHVILLE, TN 37203 · 615.678.4795 · HATTIEB.COM 12 / / / / / / /
business loan. “If things don’t the first thing I’ve ever felt like I’m really go well, the bank could take my meant to do,” he says, blue eyes shining, dog.” Charlie laughs, “We believe but tired—probably a side effect of many in this so much that we’re litersleepless nights. As it turns out, reviving ally betting the house.” a hundred-year-old distillery isn’t the So far, it seems they made a easiest thing to do. If only they could have swam to the good bet. On March 30, 2012, bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to find their Andy and Charlie launched the family’s lost fortune. That could have Green Brier Distillery, beginning helped speed the process along quite a bit. with their new small-batch Belle Meade Bourbon, “There were many times based on an original in the last seven years where recipe. Since then, it was just too daunting, and “WE the business has we could have just said screw DIDN’T expanded to over it,” Charlie says slowly and thoughtfully. “We didn’t have HAVE ANY six states, and has steadily increased sales to any money. All we had was an MONEY. several thousand cases per idea. If we had a lot of money month. Though they don’t then we would have been up ALL WE foresee reopening in the and running a long time ago.” HAD WAS original Greenbrier location, Instead, Charlie and Andy they’ve begun construction have spent the last six years AN IDEA.” on a Tennessee whiskey disrounding up a small team of tillery and tasting room, to family and friends to invest in the business. They recount stories of open in Marathon Village this year. But despite all the seemingly “overeating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ramen noodles, and making phone night” success, Charlie and Andy calls to alcohol distributors who hung up understand that they’re playing the long the phone after discovering the brothers game. Charlie’s home, which doubles as a makeshift office, is decorated with were still in their twenties. By fall 2011, the family finally decided framed hundred-year-old documents: to put up some collateral to secure a patents, an original label (made by the
same artist who designed the dollar bill), and lots of old pictures. They serve as a reminder of what they see as their duty. “It’s a real source of pride for us to be able to keep this going,” Andy says. “We’re captaining this ship.” Let’s hope no one falls overboard this time.
GREEN BRIER DISTILLERY INFO: Visit Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery at
and follow the brothers on Twitter @TNWhiskeyCo.
by beverly carlton
14 / / / / / / /
photos by eric staples
AFTER A VAGABOND JOURNEY OF SERVICE AND SELF-DISCOVERY, CHUCK BEARD LANDED IN NASHVILLE. THEN, A NATIONAL PR COMPETITION AND A SPACE FOR LEASE GAVE THIS WANDERER A PLACE TO CALL HOME
)*869#:&%'-#,1#4*	,"-#2;# $&'12"#4*%4#3%9&1#/28#;&&+# +%</7 This tall, fast-talking, brownbearded Kentucky man studied abroad three times while at Centre College, ran his first marathon at age twentyfive, and wrote his first novel in four weeks. Now, at thirty-two, he’s founded East Side Story, a local bookstore that features exclusively local authors. And before his scrabble-inspired O-PE-N sign was even hung on the door, Southern Living designated Chuck’s sixteen-by-sixteen-foot shop “Nashville’s new literary hub.” East Side Story opened this past August on the same day as the annual Tomato Art Festival, nestled among eight other shops on Woodland Street in East Nashville. It’s the newest addition to the Five Points Collaborative “Idea Hatchery,” a project designed by Meg and Bret MacFadyen to foster creative retail in an area dominated by thriving restaurants and bars. Surrounded by clothing boutiques, a rustic printing shop, and a florist, East Side Story’s large windows expose an interior full of one thing: locally crafted words. In the back right corner of his un-air-conditioned space, Chuck sits behind a small desk next to a growing box of files labeled with the names of over a hundred local writers. The other three walls are lined with white painted shelves, topped with scrabblelettered labels. Chuck’s self-published novel, Adventures EAST SIDE Inside a Bright STORY INFO: Eyed Sky, rests inconspicuEast Side Story, ously on a small located at 1108 Woodland Street, triangular F-I-CUnit B in Five T-I-O-N shelf in Points in East the middle of the Nashville. Hours: room, flanked by Tues-Fri 1-6 p.m. Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m. other local works For more info visit eastsidestorytn.com
like J. Wes Yoder’s Carry My Bones and Ann Shayne’s Bowling Avenue. But Chuck didn’t open East Side Story just to have a place to sell his own book. “If I had just done this to promote my book or my writing, none of this would have happened,” Chuck says. “This isn’t about money.” So if it wasn’t for money, and it wasn’t about Chuck or his book, what was it for? In the age of Amazon, the ebook, and blogdom, how crazy do you have to be to open a bookstore? Chuck’s writing adventures started in 2003 during his two-year stint with AmeriCorps. Forsaking a predictable post-graduate identity crisis back in his hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Chuck packed a bag and spent two years on an altruistic journey across the American West. “It’s almost like military service for humanity,” Chuck says, reflecting on those formative years when he lent a hand in disaster relief, YMCA work, youth programs, and outdoor projects. He roamed from San Diego, California, to Orcas Island, Washington, and made stops in Nevada and the San Bernardino Mountains. During his travels, Chuck relentlessly put pen to paper. “I started writing when I started traveling,” Chuck says. “Whether it’s diary or journal, it’s the easiest way to practice creatively and record what’s going on. In the end, what is a book? What is writing other than telling a story of a different world?” In 2005, with educational grant money left over from his AmeriCorps service, Chuck decided to pursue his creative passion with another trip abroad, this time to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. There he finagled a part-time job, registered for the Loch Ness Marathon, and enrolled in creative writing classes with titles like
“How to Write Short Short Stories,” and “Bloodlines: How to Write a Family Memoir.” Soon after arriving, Chuck caught wind of a professor’s plan for November, a sort of literary-geek version of no-shave November called “novel November.” In that month, the professor said they weren’t just growing beards; they were writing novels. After Chuck’s 4:09:09 marathon finish in October, and with no more training, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands a month early. “With that month, without telling anybody, I wrote and finished my first story,” Chuck says, with an air of nonchalance. Then he talks fast, chuckling a little, “So when November came around, I told him, ‘Alright, it’s already finished. What’s next?’” What came next were several grueling years working to publish Adventures Inside a Bright Eyed Sky, Chuck’s fiction novel about a character whose life is suddenly altered by an encounter with cancer. Later, Chuck’s friend Andee Rudloff, a Nashville visual artist whose mother was at the time fighting a winning battle with brain cancer, offered to illustrate the cover. The collaboration and positive response to
his story led Chuck to a turning point in his career and another new project. “I let two other friends read the book: one who lost his dad to cancer, and my uncle who’d been affected by cancer,” Chuck says. “It kind of made sense, instead of selling it, we decided ‘why don’t we just start our own non-profit?’ So in the middle of learning how to design a book, we started our organization—Adventures Inside a Campus for a Cure.” Putting his own book on hold, Chuck established the non-profit and organized his first major
16 / / / / / / /
event December 2007 alongside the likes of Nashville greats like Fred Wilhelm, Butterfly Boucher, and Brooke Waggoner. Together, they raised money for cancer research centers and hospitals. It actually wasn’t until 2009 that the book that started it all finally went to print. “The whole thing taught me that each book is a process, and every idea isn’t guaranteed to be in a book,” Chuck says. With his book published, Chuck was dreaming of what his next adventure might entail. His twisting winding journey is one that from the outside might look a little haphazard or crazed. But maybe that’s just the kind of mind it takes to launch a store selling hard-copy books in an era when the Internet sells the digital versions for next to nothing. But as Chuck and his wife Emily (who he married in September
2009) looked around Nashville, they noticed that while there were avenues for musicians and visual artists to convene, discuss projects, and network, there wasn’t a spot for local writers to meet. He’d published his book alone, and it took three and half years. What if writers could walk that road together? So, an idea began formulating for a local bookstore that could function as a writers hub. Meanwhile, another local business was dreaming of its own brilliant idea that involved a national competition. Across town, a Nashville public relations firm called Proof Branding Solutions was setting out on its own adventure—a nationwide search for an aspiring entrepreneur in need of comprehensive branding. And if anyone needed a free logo, free web design, and free marketing strategy—it was the guy who, in 2012, decided to
,-"%% ,&($"' FULL MENU SERVED â€™TIL 1:30AM 7 DAYS A WEEK open a bookstore. Â Chuckâ€™s idea for a local bookstore supporting local authors caught the eye of Proof Brandingâ€™s leader Matt Cheuvront, and within weeks, Chuckâ€™s idea was crowned the winner. In a stroke of synergy, a Nashville PR firm found a local needle in a nationwide haystack. Early in July, Matt and Chuck met for beers and brainstormed at 3 Crow Bar, and Matt encouraged Chuck to start looking for a commercial space. All Chuck had to do was walk across the street. â€œI walked straight to Bret MacFadyenâ€™s Art Invention, and asked if he had any space open in the Idea Hatchery,â€? Chuck says. â€œHe called me back that night, and said the lease would start August 1st.â€? Â After three and a half years waiting for one book to be published, Chuck never imagined his idea for a bookstore would come to life in a matter of weeks. But then again, weâ€™re talking about a guy that wrote a novel in a month, ran a marathon in the Scottish hills, and started a non-profit from scratch. He shakes his head, quickly moving from one thought to another and says, â€œWhether itâ€™s music or books or whatever, it just takes one person thatâ€™s in a position to read it, see it, hear it, or believe in it that has the power to connect the dots to make it a reality. And that can be after thirty years, or randomly passing a CD in a car. Thatâ€™s the mentality I go with every day. Â It happens every day in a place like Nashville.â€?
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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH !"#$%&#'()
It may not snow in Nashville this winter (or ever again, if the Mayans were right). If you want that kind of sloppy, freezing weather, you’d have to travel up to Ben’s hometown: a city that’s had its fair share of drinks. There’s the ever-popular Manhattan, the Green Point, the Bronx, and even the South Side. In the same spirit, this month’s cocktail is a tip-of-the-hat to New York City—a tongue-incheek variation on a classic. Toasty and masculine, smoky and sweet, this warm caramel-colored creation is perfect for any winter night.
1 ½ oz Glenrothes Select Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino (sweet vermouth) ½ oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur 2-3 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir, and string into your favorite glass. Enjoy responsibly. -Ben Clemons, No. 308
*** Hey you! If you're planning on making December's Cocktail of the Month, The Griswold, make sure to use 1 oz. of Fernet Branca in place of amaro.
18 / / / / / / /
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Mary C. Ragland Foundation
#)*+,)-&./&$01&$12*34&05&26678*)0*,)& 059&1782:205&62;25<&25&=083;266>4& ?>55>88>>@&$>>&1,)>&,A&328&+,)-&0*& 80181/*3@5>*@ /////// 21
by justina bieber, jr.
photography by daniel meigs
IT’S MIDNIGHT. THERE’S ONE BOWL OF WHEATPASTE AND ONE ROBOT ILLUSTRATION. A STREET MISSION WITH RYAN MCCAULEY BRINGS ONE WRITER TO THE BRINK OF INFAMY
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=5&'/-%/#>&#>%+9#4*%3&# 14'&&41(#$%11#4*%3&# ?8,+-,"@1(#@2#42#4*%3&# 62;;&*2$(#2'-&'#4*&# 1%3&#-',"97 We are creatures of habitâ€”part of a monotonous routine whether we want to accept it or not. But what if those streets and walls and buildings suddenly became different overnight? What
if a color monsoon took over the decaying brick wall you pass every morning at 8:37 a.m.? It would no longer be a wall, but a painted canvas. Perhaps then you might appreciate your routine. Maybe you'd even look forward to it. One day as I was leaving work (and practically pulling my hair out from stress), I spied a life-size lime green robot pasted on a brick wall.
In that moment, I was confronted by art in the midst of my day. This robot with a blank stare and a toothy underbite got me to crack a smile when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I said, "Mr. Robot Man, whoever you are, thank you." It wasn’t until later that I decided I was going to meet this guy, who was named “Nashville’s Best Street Artist” last year. Not only was I going to meet him, but we were going on a street mission.
RYAN McCAULEY INFO: Check out Ryan’s latest projects at ipaintrobots.blogspot.com
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••• It’s 12:30 a.m. I’m frozen in front of my computer for something like a ten-hour stint of editing, Facebooking, more editing, and probably watching videos of dudes rapping about pancakes. I turn to my phone in a zombie-like state, and it lights up: “1 new text message from Ryan McCauley.” Open message. “Hey, we’re gonna be chillin’ around a fire in the woods behind my house if you would like to come hang before the mission...We’re kickin’ it old school.” Don’t mind if I do. As I mount a vintage road bike I borrowed, with the seat way too high for someone of a stature only inches away from dwarf status, I think back to our first meeting at his house in East Nashville. Somehow we got on the topic of coffee—I had to pee an abnormal amount of times, and I blamed it on my caffeine addiction. He then replied that he’s never had a cup of coffee. My jaw dropped. I was offended—appalled even. I mean, I judge people for drinking decaf. “OK Ryan,” I thought. “I’m gonna give you a chance to explain yourself.” “I would say your cup of coffee is my bike ride to work.” He had a point: endorphins— good, caffeine—bad. Anyway, he doesn’t drive. He’s a bike man. That goes for street missions, too. To get the full monty, I needed to respect this man’s chi. So that meant going on bike. His art, his rules. I button up my green trench jacket, put on a wool beanie, and strap on my outdated Jansport backpack. I’m off to an uphill start heading towards Gallatin Road from behind Holland House. I boastfully chant to myself as I take off, “I’m goin’ on a mission. I’m goin’ on a mission.” I arrive to Ryan’s little-box-on-the-hillside of a house, and there’s a silhouette of a man peeing on the front wall. I shuffle down the hill in the direction of a fire pit hidden behind a cluster of twiggy trees donned in vintage Christmas lights. Ryan’s face emerges from the darkness and into the orange glare of the streetlight. He greets me with a warm smile, “Oh, great! You brought your bike.” Discussing the plans for tonight’s robot mission, we approach a small group scattered about the bonfire, and the beat of The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” becomes more pronounced. Ryan introduces me to the crew: Goose,
his best friend who moved here with Ryan from Tucson, Arizona; Alex, his roommate; and his "Cinci friends"— a tight-knit group who moved down from Cincinnati and the first people Ryan met in Nashville. We all engage in a little stomping in place to the song, unanimously agreeing that the Bee Gees classic is, in fact, hands-down the best walking song of all time. We head inside through the living room to gather materials, and I notice the impressive windowsill-long collection of hot sauce. Then we enter what Ryan calls his office/studio/ “I’VE bedroom. Right BEEN now, I’m wishing had an iPhone to ARRESTED Iuse the panoramic PLENTY app—his room packed to the OF TIMES." isbrim with musical instruments, art supplies, and commissioned robot pieces. I might miss something. Among the clutter, I spot Ryan’s paint masks hanging behind a robot Elvis painting. Next to it sits a piece he did for the Tomato Art Festival, and grabbing all my attention is a lime green cardboard robot costume. Ryan, along with twenty-nine others, paraded through The Arcade at the September Art Crawl dressed in robot cutout costumes, all constructed and painted by Ryan and a few others. He called it “March of the Robots.” While Ryan cuts out robot prints, I stand there taking it all in. Never having done anything that illegal (in public), a little part of me envies him. How does he get away with it? “I’ve been arrested plenty of times,” Ryan says nonchalantly, cheapening the allure. He jumps up, grabs a manila folder and laughs, “I’m collecting personal things that I want to make art out of.” As he opens the folder, we both read the top sheet—a warrant for his arrest in Tennessee for failure to pay medical bills. “If I don’t pay for it, it’s free— that’s my philosophy,” he says. Despite Ryan’s f*ck-the-system attitude, he might be dead without a doctor. He suffers from epilepsy, which explains the unpaid medical bills from regular doctor visits. But even more than im-
THE BOTS GO MARCHING 2 BY 2: Robot march photo courtesy of Dabney Morris
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pacting his views on the American health care system (read: disaster), his condition speaks through his work. Itâ€™s been years since Ryanâ€™s last seizure, which surprised him on top of a ladder while working at a hardware store. But he still has flashbacks of being strapped down in the ambulance. And even though his medication keeps him healthy, the memories always stay with him, and thatâ€™s why, Ryan says, â€œI want to create a visceral connection in my art.â€? In other words, he wants to be confrontational with his imagery, and more than that, emotive. So other than stamping the streets with his moniker and doing commissioned pieces, he f*ucking loves live painting, which he does regularly at East Nashville Underground. This is how Ryan likes to keep things fresh and also where, he says, â€œart happens to people.â€? And â€œnobody wants stale soup,â€? he continues. He couldnâ€™t be more right. We quickly return to the rap sheetâ€”a giant list of minor offenses starting with an arson charge in Tucson. We go through
the rest of the page as I read aloud, â€œRyan was smoking a cigarette. Ryan was skateboarding on middle school property. Ryan was drinking at a party,â€? and finally one about graffiti, â€œRyan was spray painting a wall.â€? As Iâ€™m investigating his house, Iâ€™m noticing that robots are everywhere. And even though Ryan works on other forms of non-robot inspired art, for whatever reason, he identifies with the robot. And this relationship really started to take form when he came to Nashville. â€œWhether people know it or not, theyâ€™re being confronted with a pretty harsh critique of their lives,â€? he says. â€œIâ€™ve taken it beyond just a silly robot drawingâ€”it represents all those people just living in boxes, not really trying, working a day-today job, watching the nightly news. Maybe they have a little fun on the weekends, but they wake up and do it again. Theyâ€™re kind
of dead inside.â€? Iâ€™m convinced this guy is somehow a form of Kurt Vonnegutâ€™s psyche reincarnated. In another life, they would be the best of friends. In the same way Vonnegut presents bold social commentary disguised by charming, outlandish storylines, Ryan delivers harsh social analysis incognito. But donâ€™t get the wrong impression here. Ryanâ€™s no elitist vegan who wears sustainable underwear and supports himself purely through his â€œart.â€? Although he accepts commissions, he also keeps a routine job. Itâ€™s probably cooler than your typical nine-to-five though. Heâ€™s in charge of logistics and organization for a movie set catering business. But he reiterates, â€œI make a conscious effort to be out there. I would love the world if everybody was super weird.â€? So after gathering our prints, glue and a few cans of spray paint, we set off cruisinâ€™
"NOBODY WANTS STALE SOUP."
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through the side streets of Eastland en route to Five Points. We’ve got a bit of a dilemma though, because the streets are littered with drunkards, and by the laws of nature that means cops. But I’ll be damned if they stop this. Not on my watch. A cop speeds by, but that doesn’t distract Ryan from finding his street canvas—white painted brick, completely untouched and dangerously visible. I envision us handcuffed in the back of a cop car, and all of a sudden I become aware of my role in this mission: the lookout. My head like a swivel, I keep my eyes peeled for any stragglers as he pulls out his black spray paint can. To my relief, he completes a pretty big robot in a quick five minutes—a little sloppy, but still his trademark. I snap a few photos, and we slither off to our next
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location, this one much less exposed. We end up at the dumpster behind The Bicycle Lounge to do some wheatpasting—a more technical way to say glue, except it’s made au natural with water, sugar, and flour. It’s Ryan’s favorite and most efficient way to execute his street art. He paints everything at home on paper, then uses the wheatpaste to stick the posters to whatever he chooses on the streets. No matter how big, they’ll be up in a matter of minutes. And here’s the kicker: cops aren’t looking for a bucket of glue and a bunch of painted posters. They’re looking for spray paint...good luck finding it. “You can eat it, but it probably wouldn’t taste very good,” Ryan tells me while I dunk my hand into the round Tupperware container filled with what
looks like a bowl of splooge. Who knows, he could be on his way to the sperm bank tomorrow. I hear it’s pretty lucrative. But something tells me this guy wouldn’t fool me like that. If there was "WHETHER one word I PEOPLE would use to describe KNOW IT OR Ryan, it NOT, THEY’RE would be genuine. BEING Cars roll CONFRONTED by left and right while WITH A he pastes PRETTY a robot print on the HARSH dumpster. I
CRITIQUE OF THEIR LIVES.”
can sense the anxiety building, so I suggest a mid-mission break for a beer. Now we’re sitting at 3 Crow Bar. “When Doves Cry” is blaring, and the high fives are flying as Ryan tells me how his move to Nashville completely turned his life around. “Where I grew up, it was just violence and drugs—all vice. I carried a 9-millimeter handgun.” I’m shocked. I don’t believe this guy, who radiates positivity, could even operate a gun or have any enemies for that matter. But when things started to heat up with his graffiti arch nemesis in Tucson (who also happened to be in a gang), Ryan had to buck up and join the club. As silly as it sounds, the beef was their similar tag names. “He was like, ‘your
name is too close to mine, you’re jackin’ my style, man.’ And I just told the guy, ‘Just cool out dude, it’s just graffiti, just write your name on a wall,’” he rehashes. It all came to a head one night at a dive bar in Tucson. I imagine it happening in slow motion: Ryan works his way through the crowded bar; the two come face to face. “Then out of nowhere, my buddy Goose bashes a bottle over his head,” Ryan laughs. Naturally, the incident escalated into a dive bar boxing match, and Ryan knew his fate: his enemy’s gang would be after him. And after a lifetime spent in what Ryan calls a “crime utopia,” ridden with gun violence, drugs, and death, “that was the breaking point,” he says with a hint of frustration.
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M C G AVO C K
" THEN OUT OF NOWHERE, MY BUDDY GOOSE BASHES A BOTTLE OVER HIS HEAD.” Immediately, Ryan and Goose started planning their exit from Arizona, and it was Bonnaroo that led them to Nashville in 2009. At the time, they were playing music together, so moving to a place that had a rich underground scene was a must. And it just so happened that their camping neighbors at Bonnaroo suggested they check out East Nashville. It’s been almost three years since moving here in February 2010, and the Tucson native doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. For someone that grew up in a dog-eat-dog kind of place, Nashville and its unrelenting southern hospitality, Ryan says, “showed me that the world is awesome.” So much that he even got rid of his gun. And Ryan is showing Nashville something awesome, too: street art. Although the scene is still in its infancy, all it takes is the presence of one to push the movement—one artist, one wall, or one recurring image. A lone robot has the power to change this city and bring vibrant life to an otherwise colorless existence. Whether you like it or not, Ryan says, “You’re gonna see it. And I guess I like to stir the pot a little.”
Cooking &DWHULQJ:LWK/RYH IN HOUSE CATERING PREPARED MEALS GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS GIFT BASKETS IN A PINCH? I CAN COME AT THE LAST MINUTE... AND I DO THE DISHES!
SCHWAB IN REAL LIFE, FOR ONCE by becca capers
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photos by daniel meigs
A,642',%#B6*>%?#,1#%#5&',4%?+&#$2>&'# $+%"4#;2'#;%"4%14,6%+#142',&17# A shameless workaholic and a prodigious overachiever, this quick-tongued redhead already has four in the queue—quite a feat for a twentyfive year old—or for anyone, really. Despite a hectic schedule full of deadlines and stops on her upcoming book tour, Victoria exudes a calming, ostensibly down-to-earth disposition. Which is curious, since all of her books are otherworldly. In 2011, Victoria wrote her first teen novel, The Near Witch, while still in school at Washington University in St. Louis. Published by the Disney
Book Group, Hyperion, The Near Witch follows the story of sixteen-year-old Lexi, who finds herself mired in the mysterious history and danger of her hometown. The novel accrued mass readership thanks to Victoria’s relentless online fan outreach and community building. Plus, Victoria says, “Sixteen is a good age for the protagonist of a fantasy. At that age, you’re right on the cusp of personhood.” In fact, when Victoria was sixteen, she moved from California to Nashville, and enrolled at Harpeth Hall—Nashville’s prestigious all-girls school, and a different kind of fantastical place. Her experience inspired her to narrate with /////// 33
a strong, female voice, and it’s also where she started writing. After a brief stop in New York City, Victoria decided to move back to her family’s historic brick house in the heart of East Nashville. "Nashville is the easiest city for me to work," she says, though she admits to preferring the romantic artist lifestyle she enjoyed in the Big Apple: "If I weren’t on deadline, I would probably still want to live in New York." But she has been on deadline. Following The Near Witch, HYperion picked up two more of Victoria’s novels: in 2013 The Archived, and its sequel is scheduled for 2014. Victoria’s first adult fiction novel, Vicious, will be re- leased in 2013, too.. The Archived is a haunting, richly imagined novel about a “keeper” named Mackenzie Bishop, who is tasked with the morbid work of cataloguing the dead, called “histories,” in a vast realm called “the Archive.” It will hit shelves January 22, and will launch Victoria’s expansive book tour which will take her across the US and Europe. Here, Victoria shares a short excerpt of The Archived to whet your appetite for the paranormal.
THE ARCHIVED: AN EXCERPT The narrows remind me of August nights in the South. They remind me of old rocks and places where the light can’t reach. They remind me of smoke— the stale, settled kind—and of storms and damp earth. Most of all, Da, they remind me of you. I step into the corridor and breathe in the heavy air, and I am nine again, and it is summer. My little brother, Ben, is sprawled inside by the fan, draw-
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ing monsters in blue pencil, and I am on the back porch looking up at the stars, all of them haloed by the humid night. You’re standing beside me with a cigarette and an accent full of smoke, twirling your battered ring and telling stories about the Archive and the Narrows and the Outer in calm words, with your Louisiana lilt, like we’re talking weather, breakfast, nothing. You unbutton your cuffs and roll your sleeves up to the elbows as you speak, and I notice for the first time how many scars you have. From the three lines carved into your forearm to the dozens of other marks, they cut crude patterns in your skin, like cracks in old leather. I try to remember the last time you wore short sleeves. I can’t. That old, rusted key hangs from its cord around your neck the way it always does, and somehow it catches the light, even though
"NASHVILLE IS THE EASIEST CITY FOR ME TO WORK."
the night is pitch-black. You fidget with a slip of paper, roll it and unroll it, eyes scanning the surface as if something should be written there, but it’s blank, so you roll it again until it’s the size and shape of a cigarette, and tuck it behind your ear. You start drawing lines in the dust on the porch rail as you talk. You could never sit still. Ben comes to the porch door and asks a question, and I wish I could remember the words. I wish I could remember the sound of his voice. But I can’t. I do remember you laughing and running your fingers through the three lines you’d drawn in the dust on
the railing, ruining the pattern. Ben wanders back inside and you tell me to close my eyes. You hand me something heavy and smooth, and tell me to listen, to find the thread of memory, to take hold and tell you what I see, but I don’t see anything. You tell me to try harder, to focus, to reach inside, but I can’t. Next summer it will be different, and I will hear the hum and I will reach inside and I will see something, and you will be proud and sad and tired at the same time, and the summer after that you will get me a ring just like yours, but newer, and the summer after that you’ll be dead and I’ll have your key as well as your secrets. But this summer is simple. This summer I am nine and you are alive and there is still time. This summer when I tell you I can’t see anything, you just shrug and light another cigarette, and go back to telling stories. Stories about twisting halls, and invisible doors, and places where the dead are kept like books on shelves. Each time you finish a story, you make me tell it back to you, as if you’re afraid I will forget. I never do.
VICTORIA SCHWAB INFO:
For more about Victoria’s fantastical worlds visit victoriaschwab.com or follow her at @veschwab on Twitter
!"#$%&'()&'(*&+#,-.)#&/'*& $''0#2)-&+.)"&3435.26&3()"'*-7 3900 Hillsboro Pike Nashville, TN 37215 615.953.2243 parnassusbooks.net /////// 35
T H A C RE U S G S T H G I E H
O EL VER FIR LSW BE ST OR ERS “H TH AT OL & Y S TH 12 S HIT E G OU ” M REA TH OM T L TAP EN AKE ROO T S T M, AL DA K A NI BO EL UT TH EIR
by liz riggs | photos by dabney morris 36 / / / / / / /
!"#%#*24#%"-#*83,-# C&-"&1-%/#%4#DE# B284*#F%$'223, I had a blind date with four handsome strangers. It felt more like an interrogation now that I think about it, but nobody cried, and we all drank beers. So I think they— the comically charming members of Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes—made it through just fine. ••• I sit my sweaty self down at a picnic table on the porch
near an oversized fan, and Daniel strolls in a few minutes later. I think it’s him because I remember his beard from a show I’d caught of theirs a few months ago at The Basement, and because, like most men in Nashville, he looks like he’s in a band. I shout his name like an overjoyed groupie, and he comes over and energetically shakes my hand as he sits down to join me. This is the first time we’ve ever spoken, but there’s something oddly familiar about it. It’s like I’m catching up with an old friend. Daniel notices that one of his bandmates—Joel Wren,
the mustachioed drummer— has arrived and is standing at the bar wearing a gray tank top. Within a few minutes, Timon Lance, who plays electric guitar, and Marshall Skinner, who plays bass, show up—Timon in a button-down, and Marshall in a V-neck sporting wayfarers. I’m halfway through a Schlafly when the rest of the group grabs a few beers, and after drinks are in everybody’s hands, Daniel tells me the story of how they all ended up in the same place. “Joel and I went to school together back in the day at /////// 37
Belmont,” Daniel says jokingly, as if they were students thirty years ago, and now they’re just two veteran rock stars reuniting for a Greatest Hits tour and reminiscing about their college days. “Timon was also a Belmont student and Marshall came down from Ohio...” says Daniel, before trailing off. With the help of their manager, Erin, we attempt to navigate the family tree of Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes. It becomes unclear if they even know how the band came together, but we’re at least certain that Daniel was in the midst of pursuing his singersongwriter career. “I hated it,” he says matter-of-factly, looking disgusted as if he just swallowed a piece of old cheese. “Plus, I always wanted to be in a band. It started out as just having guys play with me, and then it was just a process of finding the right group of guys.” Since he grew up in Minnesota, Daniel felt like his future band name should reflect his geographical roots. “I gave myself a band name to force myself to find guys to play with me. And ‘The Great Lakes’ was paying homage to the home state.” The four bandmates have been playing together officially as Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes for almost a year, which is a surprisingly short amount of time considering what they’ve accomplished. Even though the guys once maintained a variety of side jobs—Joel, a cook; Daniel, a barista; Marshall, a photographer; and Timon, a “student”—the band was their number one priority, requiring equal commitment to the touring, writing, and recording that comes with being in a band. But unlike many bands in Nashville trying to distinguish themselves in such a competitive market, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes have encountered quite a bit of success for a band who hasn’t been playing together all that long. In fact, after Daniel crooned his way onto NBC’s The Sing-Off (the a cappella performance show hosted by Nick Lachey), Amazon named their song, “Shoe Fits,” last year’s No. 7 Song of the Year, sandwiched between songs by LMFAO and Jay-Z. Not too shabby for a band that didn’t have a label, a manager, or
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"I GAVE MYSELF A BAND NAME TO FORCE MYSELF TO FIND GUYS TO PLAY WITH ME."
NASHVILLE a publicist. When Daniel received the news of the Amazon nod while returning to Nashville from Los Angeles, he says his initial reaction was, “Holy Shit!”
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While everyone is happily chowing down on some hummus, Joel echoes Daniel’s excitement about the band’s unexpected recognition, especially after going the singer-songwriter route for so many years. With his stately mustache and his sufficiently gauged ears, Joel is easily the most gregarious of the four, peppering the conversation with snarky bits of verbal irony and bantering with me like maybe we’re on our own date (which for the record, only happened once, and that was later). “None of us had been pursuing the singer-songwriter thing for that long,” Joel recounts. “But for me, I had been in bands ever since I was fifteen, pursuing the dream—whatever you want to f*cking call it—but I’d been from band to band just trying to build a career in music, and to have something like that happen…it’s just like…holy shit.” Since their “holy shit” moment, it doesn’t appear that the band’s warmhearted dynamic has changed. They still tour in a van, they still hold each other a lot, and they still maintain a strong fan base in Nashville. So what has changed? They’ve garnered a sizable West Coast following, as well as secured a manager, a publicist and a string of tour dates—over 150 in 2012. Consequence of Sound named them one of the “10 acts to write home about, check out, see live, and start going to bat for” at New York City’s CMJ Music Marathon. In November, an older (preCivilized Man) B-side was used on Grey’s Anatomy. And on the day of our interview, the boys have to curb the beer slamming so they can be up early to start yet another leg of their tour with Nashville’s Heypenny.
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Now on the topic of their tour, considering I cannot sing and I probe them about their favorite they’re professional musicians van games, music, and touring who are paid to sing so other traditions. Timon and Joel break people don’t. Regardless of the caliber of into boisterous laughter, sounding like two young brothers who outdated rock they listen to, are trying to recount a ludicrous touring has paid off nicely, esround of Cross Fire to their pecially in The Windy City. Four unison replies of “Chicago,” setparents. tle my query about their favorite “Timon’s always playing a place to play. game called Whiskey in the “Chicago loves us. And that’s Backseat. I’m usually drivwhy we love Chicago,” Daniel ing, so I don’t know how it says, while the others nod in works,” Daniel says, rolling agreement. But no matter how his eyes at their mischief. special Chicago might be, the Well, at least when someone boys still proudly call Nashville wants to get rowdy in the home. backseat, someone else takes “The best the driver’s part about seat (who’s sobeing a band ber of course). "WE PRETTY in Nashville is Now that’s MUCH that if none of love. us were here, But durLISTEN TO we wouldn’t ing times of WARREN be playing in inevitable a band with sobriety, when ZEVON each other. I Daniel doesn’t EXCLUSIVELY wouldn’t have have to shout met Dan; I things like, BEFORE wouldn’t have “Are you guys SHOWS.” met Joel; I drinking right wouldn’t have now?! It’s 9 met Timon,” a.m.” the boys admits Marlisten to a “shit-ton” of music while they’re shall. But this dynamic doesn’t alon the road, ranging from ways exist within bands, parnineties chick rock, like Alanis ticularly in a city where every Morissette, to a myriad of other other person you meet is part of classics. “We pretty much listen to one. Bands break up; they find Warren Zevon exclusively before new ways to hate each other; they change their names. But shows,” admits Daniel. “Or Eve 6,” interjects Timon Daniel, Joel, Timon, and Marwith an impressively straight shall are more than just a band; they’re a family. And I sure as face. Immediately, we break into hell wouldn’t mind being a part a rough rendition of Eve 6’s of it.. “Promise,” at which point I’m fairly certain I’ve soDANIEL ELLSWORTH & THE lidified these guys as my GREAT LAKES INFO: lifelong friends and potenFor more information tial groomsmen for my hyon the band, visit danielellsworthandthegreatlakes. pothetical wedding. Only a com You can purchase their couple of us are able to carry music online via amazon.com the first verse through the and iTunes, or directly through chorus, which they’re probDE&TGL. ably sorry I participated in, 40 / / / / / / /
by henry pile 42 / / / / / / /
photography by ryan green
LISA DONOVAN, MASTERMIND BEHIND BUTTERMILK ROAD SUNDAY SUPPERS, JUMPS ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO HOST HER POP-UP AT ONE OF NASHVILLE’S MOST RENOWNED RESTAURANTS. BUT IS IT POSSIBLE TO POP UP IN THE WRONG PLACE?
0%1*5,++&G1#*%-#,41#;%,'# 1*%'#$2$H8$#&5&"417 Pop-up flea markets, pop-up movies in the park, pop-up food trucks, and pop-up pop-ups. It seems like everyone wants to get their projects off the ground. Still, the path from imagination to creation is not a smooth road. It’s not the pop-ups, but the breakdowns that keep us moving forward. No one knows this more than Lisa Donovan, the chef behind Buttermilk Road Sunday Suppers. Though she went to school for visual art, Lisa cut her culinary chops under the tutelage of Margot McCormack, co-owner of Margot Cafe. From there, she joined Tandy Wilson at City House, making her way to head pastry chef. In the summer of 2012, Lisa launched Buttermilk Road with immediate success, selling out at Burger Up, Barista Parlor, Mas Tacos, and Eastside Manor. But this Sunday night at The Catbird Seat, I watch Lisa hit a 44 / / / / / / /
bump in her Buttermilk Road. Let me start at the beginning. Lisa started her exploration of food with one of the most humble yet deceptive challenges of baking—bread. She grew up in Germany, and when her military family moved back to the United States, she wanted to recreate the food she missed. “The bread just tastes so different than any bread you can find here,” Lisa tells me, her eyes growing wider. She tackled this challenge head-on. “I became obsessed.” That meant seeking out specialty grains and varieties of water in the hopes of reproducing authentic German bread. “I got really damn close,” she says spritely, with a hint of Dr. Frankenstein in her voice. To be honest, she’s far more animated than Dr. Frankenstein. Her hair’s short, pinned back in the front, and she wears glasses and rocks food stains on her jeans. She speaks with intent, choosing her words wisely, leaning in to tell me how she really
SHE MAKES CASSEROLE LOOK SEXY. feels. And when she laughs, she really laughs. In the time it takes us to finish a cup of coffee, I swear we’re best friends. Lisa loves food. She enjoys every part of the process, from the trip to the Farmers’ Market to the prep table. Watching the Southern revival take over Nashville, she incorporated her knack for home-cooked food, launching Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper. ••• I’m sitting with Lisa as she flips through handwritten cookbooks that look like worn-out treasure maps, adorned with torn covers and bleeding ink stains. Nonsensical sketches from her two children have found their way onto the recipe pages of pumpkin panna cotta and chocolate pudding. Lisa summons these almost-forgotten recipes from their graves and brings them to life, creating a highbrow version of a lowbrow food. In other words, she makes casserole look sexy. From the beginning, her Sunday-only dinner event found an audience salivating for the down-home experience, and her relationship with local restaurateurs helped to open doors. “It’s nice to be in a town where people want to bring other people up,” Lisa says about folks like Andy Mumma, owner of Barista Parlor, and Teresa Mason, owner of Mas Tacos. “People want to give you a chance.” Early on, the owner of Burger Up, Miranda Whitcomb Pontes, gave Lisa a shot to host her pop-up at the 12th South location. Miranda had already made it ritual to close the restaurant early on Sundays so she could host dinners, spotlighting the farms she uses. As it turns out, Lisa’s supper
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serving inspired, locally sourced cuisine. tuesday thru sunday 5p.m. - 10p.m.
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fit Miranda’s mission to foster “thoughtful consuming through community.” Plus, Burger Up’s space, with its rich wooden interior and warm decor, offers an inviting, if not slightly modernized version of the country style get-together. When I ask her about Lisa, Miranda responds, “Lisa is a badass.” It’s that reputation that opened Nashville’s most exclusive elevator door. When the head chefs at The Catbird Seat, Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, ask you to cook at their restaurant, you just don’t say no. And, for those who’ve never been in the space, it’s a stark room with tall seats wrapped around a square bar. In the center, Josh and Erik perform gastro-magical feats and intricate microcooking, dazzling the audience with tricks of the trade usually relegated to BRAVO cooking shows. Their intensity earned them a place among Food and Wine’s “Best New Chefs of 2012." When Lisa announced that Buttermilk Road would be popping up at their restaurant, the event sold out immediately. She decided to add more chairs, and just as quickly, those sold out. Everyone wanted this collaboration to work, but is it possible to pop up in the wrong place? ••• Just before seven o’clock, I arrive at The Catbird Seat for dinner. I see Lisa circling silently around the stainless steel kitchen. Though she’s been in the 46 / / / / / / /
same room for eleven hours slaving over a hot stove, she still has the energy for a warm smile and an earnest welcome to an excited room full of guests. The spiced apple cider Old Fashioned with roasted cherries and Tennessee sorghum loosens everyone up, and the volume grows. The sound of a knife hitting a glass begs our attention. Lisa’s calling us to dinner, and the performance begins. As our glasses fill with dry, crisp Domain Collin, no one notices the tray of burnt bread that slips out of sight. Lisa bites her tongue as we take our first bite into the sweet apple beet salad. I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round as boulder-sized biscuits, bowls of buttermilk cheese soup, fried oysters, and plates of oxtail slide on and off the counter. For me this isn’t a typical Sunday night dinner. With bottomless drinks and quite the spectacle unfolding before us, you would think Lisa’s audience would be alive with laughter and cross-conversation. But the minimalist layout of The Catbird Seat caters to a much more intimate experience. We’re sitting at a wraparound bar surrounding an open kitchen. I’m easily twenty-five feet from the person in front of me. I look to my left, and the guy next to me has his back turned. To my right is my wife—the only person I can really engage with for the entire three-hour dinner. Naturally, we grow tired. The fact is, Lisa cooks more like my mother, which is to say, deep with soul and rich with engagement. At home we ate sweet potatoes and thick cuts of pork chops. We told stories, made fun of each other, and left feeling like family. This is the exact feeling Lisa is going for—great food and great conversation.
BUTTERMILK ROAD INFO: Have dinner with Lisa at her next Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper January 6th. Set up your reservation at buttermilkroadsundaysupper. com
We got the food, but the chink in the armor was the missing “family.” The day after, I call Lisa. Although she tells me she’s grateful for the opportunity to cook for The Catbird Seat, she admits that something was missing. She’ll take her show back to those long tables at Barista Parlor and the cozy space of Burger Up. She knows where she hits the home runs and will stick to what works best. Lisa dared to take the road less traveled knowing her success wouldn’t be achieved overnight. And who can blame her for jumping at the offer to
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LISA DARED TO TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. . . cook at one of the most renowned kitchens in town. Lisa may have had a little breakdown, but she’s not broken. So, when Lisa puts a plate of warm biscuits in front of you, and you greedily grab one before the plate hits the table, know that you’re not eating just any old biscuit. You’re tasting ten plus years of late nights and early mornings, sweat and tears, sweet success, and a few scars too. Oh yeah, and buttermilk. Lots of buttermilk.
NASHPO by gillis bernard
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photography by ryan green
C*%4#-2#%#+,+%6#?814#2;# I2<%'4(#%"#%J8%H62+2'&-# '2%',"@#+,2"(#%"-#%#*24# $,"9#6&'%3,6#@&,1*%#*%5&# ,"#62332"K All three were once some layman’s trash and were found and transformed into treasures by the creative flairs of Nashpop’s Veronica “Evey” Leto and Sara Smaha. Nashpop offers the fruits of the fusion of two of Evey and Sara’s shared passions: thrifting and art. Together, the best friends dig through consignment shops, thrift stores, yard and estate sales, and even the neighborhood Goodwill, to save abandoned busts of pirates and composers, peeling picture frames, and long-forgotten ceramic sets. They see the potential in these seemingly worthless finds and revive the value by completely drenching the objects in color so bright that even a rainbow would be envious. Evey and Sara broadcast their recreations on Nashpop’s Etsy site, and voila, that big-bellied lime green Buddha is open for bidding. From find to finish, Nashpop’s up-cycling process pays homage to lost decades of home decor. According to Evey and Sara, it all
started with a love of color and a commitment to saving kitschy retro pieces that make you think of the seventies. “Style has become such a commodity. I want to go into my house and feel like it says something about me and makes me happy,” Sara shares. I meet Evey and Sara on a sunny afternoon at Jeni’s Ice Cream in East Nashville. I cast my eyes around the shop and find the duo giggling as they share the same side of a table. Even though the co-founders of Nashpop consider themselves serious entrepreneurs, the stiff formalities fall to the wayside. The ice cream haven doubles as Nashpop’s conference room where the longtime friends tell me how they started a business together after reuniting in Nashville. You can’t tell the story of Nashpop without first telling the story of Evey and Sara. “Oh, the power of the Internet,” Evey jokes, as she rolls her eyes with dramatic flourish. The two met through an online art swap, coincidentally buying each other’s artwork. At the time, Evey and Sara were mostly producing mixed media pieces and zines. After finishing school in Gainesville, Florida, Sara settled in Fort Walton Beach and was on the look-
out for two roommates. She posted her plea on the online art swap site, among other places, and hoped for some takers. As fate would have it, Evey was searching for a fresh start, and after one phone call with Sara, she spontaneously decided to head South from New York City to move in with her new bunkmate and future best friend. “It was like kismet or something!” Evey exclaims, her face breaking into a grin. With such creative energy under one roof, their shared abode soon blossomed into an art house. The Florida apartment was, like their art, eclectic. The little flat was filled with mismatched pieces of furniture that were usually occupied by a furry feline friend. “We had cats everywhere,” Evey tells me. After some time, the two went their separate ways—Sara to Nashville to become a middle school science teacher, and Evey to New York City to start her own bookkeeping business. In August 2011, Sara received a call from Evey with some
surprising news: Evey was making plans to leave her life in New York City and come to Nashville. “I was so excited, I ran from one room of the apartment to the next,” Sara announces, glancing at Evey with a grin. “I actually jumped up and down!” she continues. Just two weeks after the call, Evey secured a house and in October, she headed to Music City. Along with stacks of suitcases full of Yankee relics, Evey brought with her the idea for Nashpop. And after what I can assume was a very joyous reunion, the two friends immediately threw themselves into their new business venture. “That’s what’s so great about Sara,” Evey says, smiling in her friend’s direction. “She’s game for anything!” On a strong mission from the start,
they plundered through all the secondhand stores in Davidson County. They opened a shop only a month after Evey’s arrival, and within the debut week, Evey and Sara sold their first item—a painted neon pink cat.
NASHPOP INFO: Brighten up your home at www.nashpop.com
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Together, Sara and Evey put the “pop” into Nashpop: “I go for jewel tones, and she,” Sara states, gesturing to Evey, “goes for neons.” Although neither has an official background in art, they are artists in the purest sense, working off true inhibition and passion. But even though they possess the same vision for Nashpop, their individual styles and methods differ greatly. “I’m a rip-some-paperup-and-splash-some-paint-on-it kind of person,” Evey explains. Like her counterpart, Sara possesses that same raw, spontaneous spirit, but comes at the process with a more calculated approach. “I’m trying to find a nice word for anal,” Evey jokes. Despite their personality differences, Sara and Evey’s creative preferences complement each other pretty well. The art practically comes together on its own. “It’s hard to explain. We don’t talk about it. We don’t plan it. It just happens,” Sara says. But the economy is making for some trying times. People are forced to sacrifice self-expression for the price tag when furnishing their personal space. “It makes me sad thinking that people can’t afford really original pieces and have to settle for the lowest common denominator. Your house should represent who you are,” Sara asserts. Part makeover story, part brilliant business idea, Nashpop offers a solution to just that. By way of Etsy, Nashpop can provide inexpensive, one-of-a-kind items to art lovers all around the world looking to add something bright and fun to their interior spaces. Glancing over to meet Sara’s gaze, Evey says, “I like the idea of art being accessible to everyone. And we’re not just selling art…we’re telling stories.”
“Another jumping up and down moment,” Sara says, shooting a glance over to Evey who nods in agreement. And the proud new owner? “It went to someone from a random Midwestern state,” Evey shares, adding that Nashpop’s first international sale went to Taiwan. Sara then chimes in, “I think that’s one of the cool things about doing art. We’ve made all these items, and I like to imagine where they are.” As the main buyer, Evey has quickly gained a reputation in local resale haunts for her eclectic and particular taste. “I think sometimes storeowners think I’m a bit of a hoarder,” she laughs. Evey’s obsession is widely known, even among her friends’ parents. When her friend’s mom found a box of ceramic unicorns while cleaning out her house, she knew exactly who to call. “We were, like, ‘uh, SCORE,’” Evey recalls. And unicorns are just the beginning. Both Nashpop’s Etsy site and Evey’s home are filled with miniature multi-colored menageries of trinkets and figurines of all kinds. At first, they started with religious pieces because of their ubiquity in thrift stores in the Bible Belt, and their obvious irony (pairing a typical item with an atypical color struck gold among art collectors). Soon after, Nashpop moved toward more practical items, like bookends and furniture. Regardless of what you may think, Evey’s pretty satisfied with her version of the layman’s nine-to-five. “I just put on some pants, and go to a thrift store,” she jokes. When Sara isn’t teaching middle school, she works on a number of projects, which include a small organic farm and a social networking site. “We have really horrible hobbies…” Sara jokes. “Evey loves to start businesses...I love to register websites and domain names.”
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TURN OF THE CENTURY As the festivities wind up and temperatures spiral down, we still have the romance of New Year’s celebrations past to stir our passions. “The Chanteuse is a recurring theme in fashion,” says Elisha Holden, top makeup artist and resident brow guru at TRIM Legendary Beauty. “I love to keep the smoky eye fresh by using antique gold instead of the gray and black we’ve seen so much of.” Polish off your look with expertly tamed natural brows, and gather in your closest friends for a night of absinthe and Downton Abbey. Photography by Eli McFadden
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Alabaster, Woo Cosmetics, $42 // MAC Glitter Brilliant Loose Shadow in Antique Gold, Nordstrom, $19 // TIGI Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette, trimclassicbarber.com, $16 // Sisley Hydrating Lipstick in Rouge Passion, Private Edition, $55 // Davines Defining Invisible Styling Cream, trimclassicbarber.com, $22.50
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Beauties: Quinn Lake and Rachel Ruff for MACS/AMAX Makeup: Elisha Holden @ TRIM Legendary Beauty Hair: Melanie Shelley @ TRIM Legendary Beauty for MACS/AMAXVintage Beaded Blouses: Kim and Kit Vintage, $115
KNOWLEDGE FOR SALE By Kelly Hays Photography by Cameron Powell
THE SKILLERY OFFERS LESSONS IN JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM CLOTH DIAPERING TO WHISKEY TASTING. BUT WHEN KNOWLEDGE IS FOR SALE, DOES IT BREED COMPETITION OR CAMARADERIE?
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Here’s a common question posed by the annoyingly ambitious: what if you took the time you spent tweeting, pinning tutorials on Pinterest, and Instagramming what you ate for lunch and instead spent it learning new skills? Maybe you want to play the guitar, or can your own vegetables, or hell, actually use one of those Pinterest craft tutorials you’ve bookmarked, but let’s be honest, are never actually going to use. Couldn’t all the time you spend in front of your monitor be put to better use? Like I said, this is a question posed by the overly ambitious— people who wake up earlier than they have to, go jogging every morning at 6 a.m., and don’t own televisions. It’s a question that led local entrepreneur Matt Dudley to launch The Skillery. The Skillery is an online marketplace designed around the concept that there are smart people in Nashville who can pass on their eclectic skills to other people in their community. It’s been in operation since 2011 and is slowly gaining steam, growing from three classes and a single employee, to hundreds of courses and a small, dedicated staff. Think eBay, but rather than selling velvet paintings of dressed-up cats, the only item on sale here is knowledge.
COULDN’T ALL THE TIME YOU SPEND IN FRONT OF YOUR MONITOR BE PUT TO BETTER USE?
If you have a skill—anything from juggling ears of corn to making an impressive spreadsheet—you can create a class on The Skillery’s website, and local Nashvillians can sign up to attend. The teachers who invest time (and sometimes money) reserving a space, planning lessons, and getting together materials, are independent contractors. They set their own prices and sometimes offer free classes, while The Skillery only takes twentyfive percent of the profit. Matt’s a super-reflective go-getter who quit his glamorous, fast-paced job working for NBC to move out to a little town in the middle of nowhere and teach middle school at twenty-five. He says the idea for The Skillery was born out of the frustration he felt as a middle school teacher. “I loved being with middle school kids. There’s something about that age—they’re wide-eyed, eager to learn, and not jaded,” Matt recalls. But sometimes they would ask him, “Why do I have to learn this?” and he didn’t always have the answer. So he started a business to help people of all ages learn what they wanted to learn, when they wanted to learn it. I tell him that going from middle school curriculum to starting an online knowledge marketplace is a pretty big jump. Why not just stay in the education system and try to change the curriculum? Run for school board? “I guess I wanted to free myself of trying to solve it institutionally,” Matt offers. “What interested me was changing the approach to learning to a more individual perspective.” Matt may have his work cut out for him. Outside of a few like-minded enterprises like Brooklyn Brainery and
the jumbled compost of paranormal it.” Interestingly, some of the most investigators and knitting circles they popular classes have involved alcohol, call meetup.com, there are few services such as the whiskey-tasting sessions like The Skillery. Usually when people offered by a bartender from Holland want to master a new skill, they enroll at House—a class that I wouldn’t mind a university or for-profit training center, taking and failing, if it meant I got to or they find the YouTube tutorials and repeat it. Intrigued by The attempt to teach themselves in the Skillery’s concept of comfort of their own homes. “Online learning has a place, but an online knowledge there are some things you just can’t bartering system, I learn staring at a screen. The difference sign up to attend one between watching a carpentry tutorial of their free sessions online and actually getting in front of a entitled, didactically, saw are two very different experiences.” “How to Teach A Class Which is why you can learn everything at The Skillery.” Just by showing up from Cloth Diapering 101 from a stay at home mom, to Preservation Matting to the meeting, I’m from Brick Factory Nashville. I ask Matt already learning new if they’ve ever refused to offer a class things. I learn that the based on “hot button” issues—religion, Entrepreneur Center is on the corner of sex, and mind-altering substances. “As long as there is some sort of Broadway and First educational component, we’ll consider Avenue. It seems
an odd place to have a community business space—I hear someone singing a “Hallelujah” cover in the honky-tonk next door. Upon entering, I notice fashionably disheveled twentysomethings with laptops lounging with looks of consternation on their faces. Perhaps they’re writing a business proposal for the next Facebook, or maybe they’re looking at porn and trying to suppress an awkward boner, who knows? The whole place has the vibe of an HR office at a cutting-edge tech startup. Any moment, I expect to walk around a corner and see guys in black turtlenecks doing
“WATCHING A CARPENTRY TUTORIAL ONLINE AND ACTUALLY GETTING IN FRONT OF A SAW ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES.”
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trust falls. As I walk into the classroom, the first thing that strikes me is the demographic of the students. Because it’s a fairly new online startup, which promotes principles like community building and knowledge sharing, I expected a bunch of hipsters with big egos. Instead, I’m greeted by a scattering of housewives, middle-aged businessmen, studious-looking young women, and a pink-haired girl who looks like she just fell out of an Urban Outfitters catalogue, all armed with legal pads and pens poised for note taking. I grab a cookie and take a seat. Matt’s holding this information session himself, and as he starts his introduction, I completely miss what he’s saying as the person next to me thrusts the sign-in sheet into my lap. The sheet asks for name and email address, but there’s also a box that asks the million-dollar question: what class are you teaching? I haven’t thought this through very well (maybe I’m the hipster with the big ego). I start to panic because I feel like I’m taking too long with the sign-in sheet, and the Urban Outfitters model just wants me to get on with it, and that’s when it hits me—I feel like I have absolutely no skills that are worth teaching, let alone worth asking someone to pay me to teach. It’s probably because I’ve spent too much time on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, instead of getting rid of my TV, jogging at 6 a.m., and attending classes at The Skillery. That’s okay, I tell myself. I’ll just offer my class for free. And thanks to a few years spent as a secretary at a local university, I own the bullshit title of being a Microsoft Office Certified Specialist, so I hurriedly scribble down “Introduction to Excel.” I could share my knowledge of spectacular spreadsheets with a housewife or small business owner who might find that knowledge really valuable. Just for good measure, I throw a slash in there and write “Intro to Photoshop.” I’ve made more than a few flyers for terrible Murfreesboro bands in my day, so why not? As the class gets into full swing, Matt asks the room to throw out suggestions for classes they want to teach. To get the ball rolling, he writes down “Spreadsheets” on the whiteboard, and for a moment my ego soars. Maybe I really do have a skill worth teaching! But then he jokes
ANY MOMENT, I EXPECT TO WALK AROUND A CORNER AND SEE GUYS IN BLACK TURTLENECKS DOING TRUST FALLS.
that few people would actually be interested in taking a class on spreadsheets. “There goes that idea,” I think to myself. The most confident woman in the room then offers her idea to teach a class that trains people to be life coaches. I reflect for a moment on the meta-qualities of a life coach coaching other people to become life coaches, but I am quickly distracted by her flipflops. I can’t decide whether her choice of footwear indicates that she is, in fact, a really terrible life coach, or that she has succeeded so fully in her quest for self-actualization that wearing floppy foam footwear to what is essentially a business meeting doesn’t even register on her give-a-f*ck meter. Finally, the Urban Outfitters model volunteers to teach a writing class. As a writer myself, when I hear this, I immediately think “COMPETITION” and begin to eye her suspiciously. I even write “THREAT” in my notes and underline it twice. This visceral reaction surprises me, and I wonder why I feel so protective of my skills as a writer— paltry as they may be. When I discuss this protectiveness with Matt later, like a parent soothing a fussy preschooler, he assures me, “If you both want to teach writing, there’s enough room for everyone.” But I’m not so sure. Knowledge is a commodity. The things that you know and would be able to teach others are valuable—not just in an esoteric, philosophical sense, but in real economic terms, especially when it comes to something like The 60 / / / / / / /
Skillery, where you can charge to teach a class and potentially profit from it. This made me think differently about The Skillery’s model. I went into the class thinking it was a tool for community involvement and civic engagement, designed to help Nashvillians come together and share their knowledge in a grassroots sort of way. And while it is that, it’s also a solid business model based on economic principles: knowledge is the product, and how it sells is based solely on demand from local consumers. I ask Matt about this concept later—The Skillery as a well-oiled economic machine made up of independent business owners selling their knowledge, rather than a tool for civic interaction. “It’s interesting that you went from one perspective to the other,” he says. “It’s more of a community engagement tool,” he begins confidently, but then capitulates, “The truth is, it’s probably a little of both.” I feel vindicated. As “How to Teach A Class at The Skillery” concludes, we all grab one last cookie and head for the elevator. The writer-nemesis glances at my shoes— leopard print ballet flats straight from the bargain bin at Target. “Oh wow, I love those shoes!” she gushes, and as I thank her for the gracious compliment, and we all board the elevator, I think to myself that maybe there is room for more than one writing class at The Skillery after all. Or maybe I could offer a class on “Building A Sense of Community Using Unsolicited Positive Compliments on Women’s Footwear.” Anything but spreadsheets.
One Of A Kind Gifts
. . .WEARING FLOPPY FOAM FOOTWEAR TO WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A BUSINESS MEETING DOESN’T EVEN REGISTER ON HER GIVE-AF*CK METER.
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Call us to personalize your LOVE package Valentine’s Day is February 14th!
HAUS OF KIM Kim Logan’s musical influences range from Giuseppe Verdi to Lady Gaga. With her swamp roots and gritty sound, Kim’s on her way to becoming a southern icon in rock ‘n’ roll
by marissa r. moss
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photography by daniel meigs
L4G1#4*&#-%/#%;4&'# M%++2>&&"(#%"-#?&;2'&# N,3#O2@%"#%"-#L#-,5&# ,"42#123&#'%'&%4(#>&# -&6,-*#&%4#%#628$+# &/&?%++17 Well, gummy ones, anyway. Kim has presented these to me along with a few other edible trinkets from last night’s festivities—including a packet of candy blood, which is a gooey pinkish mess that tastes sort of like a Jolly Rancher left in the sun too long—and we pop them in our mouths while browsing the menu at The Pharmacy. Last night, Kim dressed up as Poison Ivy, the raven-haired supervixen with a toxic kiss. The look isn’t too far of a stretch: with her thick locks already crimson, her skin pale and lips always tweaked into a bit of a mischievous grin, all she needed was the leafy, sexy costume and her tattoo-adorned legs peeking out to pull it off. But now, in the light of day, it’s time to eat our prey. “I feel like being a huge fatty right now,”
Kim says, settling on a burger with cheddar cheese. It’s a rather brazen choice for someone who, in a few hours, will squeeze into a dress and head to the CMA Awards next to tiny country starlets in sequin gowns. Most women would be munching on sad strips of lettuce, hoping to lose another pound. Not Kim. “I’m a dirty carnivore,” she adds, making sure to ask for her lunch nice and red in the middle. “I eat meat and I eat it rare. Dino’s has one of my favorite burgers because when I bite into it, blood drips all over my face.” There’s a certain kind of girl who likes her meat still mooing. Often, it’s the same kind of girl who shows up to lunch in a dress, high leather boots, giant sunglasses and a fistful of rings, then orders a beer and curses as much as she drops German expressions; the same kind of girl who simultaneously sings opera and then plays swamp rock tunes to a crowd of drunken East Nashville musicians; the same /////// 63
girl who leaves the internationally-renowned Berklee College of Music to come to Belmont and Nashville for a “fresh start.” The kind of girl, maybe, who knows exactly what she wants. “If the worst thing I’ve ever been called is arrogant or career obsessed, then fine,” she says, taking a bite of potato salad. “I’d much rather that than boring.” To be fair, “career obsessed” is probably an accurate statement. Though for Kim, it’s bigger than just the dream of success: it’s her art, namely music, which drives her. But world domination would do just fine, too. She released her first self-titled record on Halloween, appropriately, and it’s a full-force dive into the Kim stratosphere. Conjuring up dirty blues, classic country, and rock ‘n’ roll, the music all lies under an eerie, macabre coating. Kind of a touch-meif-you-dare sound. The songs make you think of a haunted old Nashville singer, wailing into a microphone, peeking out 64 / / / / / / /
through a cloud of smoke and seducing you with winking eyes. “I’ve always been a sucker for the dark side,” she sings on the twangy “Devil Makes Three.” But that confession is most evident on the closing track “Keep Your Love,” which sounds as if it were recorded in a graveyard, chain-gang beat and all. Along with her band, comprising drummer Gaelen Mitchell and the Blackfoot Gypsies’ Michael Paige on guitar (who, incidentally, is also Kim’s long-time boyfriend), she’s created an unusual niche that makes you unsure whether or not this LP should be sold at Third Man, Logue’s Black Raven Emporium or Ernest Tubb. And that’s probably the way she’d like to keep it. The day after a holiday always has a certain solemn, off-kilter sense to it—abandoned streamers post-New Year's Eve stomped with footprints and frayed at the edges; the 26th of December, when the bottom of the tree is bare and littered with brown-
ing needles and cookie crumbs. Halloween is no different, with skeletons now hanging crookedly off houses and remnants of decorative spider webs littering driveways and fences. Somehow, it’s the perfect setting for a lunch with Kim. All the mischief happened after midnight, and here we are, with remnants of last night’s makeup, trying to blend back in with the normal crowd. Except Kim never really blended. She grew up in Florida (“the swamp,” as she likes to say) with musical, bohemian parents: her father played guitar and sang for a local band called Sage in the seventies, and her mom was a public relations and event coordinator for acts like Charlie Daniels, Clint Black, The Marshall Tucker Band, and Toby Keith. “Apparently I was always singing and making noise,” Kim says, “singing from the time I could make any noise out of my face.” Though her mother worked in the industry, it was her grandmother, “Nana,” who really introduced her to country music. “Nana had an old Oldsmobile and drove like a bat out of hell,” she laughs. “And she smoked with the windows up, with me in the car. But she liked country music. She
“IF THE WORST THING I’VE EVER BEEN CALLED IS ARROGANT OR CAREER OBSESSED, THEN FINE."
"I’M A DIRTY
had a bodacious crush on Alan Jackson.” Kim would take her cassettes and listen to them while roller-skating around Nana’s black-and-white kitchen floor, sometimes working on impressions. But Nana wanted to make sure her granddaughter had a deeper history than just nineties radio hits. “She said, ‘if you like that music, you’ll love this,’ and showed me Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.” Eventually, Kim was around country artists all the time, particularly at a yearly event her mother would organize to benefit children with cerebral palsy. The likes of Charlie Daniels and The Marshall Tucker Band would play, and Kim would often find herself backstage after the show, harmonizing along in a big old-time jam. On one occasion, Doug Gray, the lead singer of The Marshall Tucker Band, pushed her onstage at the Ford Amphitheater in Clearwater, while Charlie was performing. She was wearing a Spiderman sweatshirt and belted “Amazing Grace” along with him. She was ten. “I had developed a particularly close relationship with Doug,” Kim says, talking briskly and barely having time to eat the burger in the basket in front of her. “He was the first one who told me, ‘if you don’t write your own songs you ain’t nothing.’ I was thinking, how the f*ck am I going to write my own songs? But little did I know, here I was, writing poetry, short stories and singing.” The most credit, however, goes to her father. “He is my biggest influence. Once he figured out I was a music child, it was the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin. Above all, it was Bonnie Raitt,” she says. “She was my queen. She changed my life.” Ah, Bonnie Raitt. Mention her, and Kim’s eyes glow, the way a new mother might talk about her infant child. It’s easy to see why a young redhead might take a liking to a singer with equally fiery hair. But for Kim it was /////// 65
about more than just finding someone in the public sphere whose physical characteristics somewhat mirrored her own. “My most important memory was going to my dad and saying, what is Bonnie Raitt?” she recounts. “What is she? Is she country? Is she rock ‘n’ roll? Is she pop? Is she reggae? It’s almost like he was waiting for me to ask that, because he got a huge "HE WAS THE smile on his FIRST ONE face. And he WHO TOLD ME, said, ‘she’s everything.’ And I ‘IF YOU DON’T said, I want to be everything! WRITE YOUR Because I love OWN SONGS, the blues and I love rock ‘n’ YOU AIN’T roll and I love NOTHING.’" country. That’s what made me start looking back and digging deeper.” A sense of history—a context and appreciation for our deep musical roots—is something that drove Kim both then and now. She is clearly a student of art, but also an aspiring teacher, and sees her work as a vehicle that could perhaps enlighten younger audiences to icons other than Justin Bieber. When Kim's family moved from Clearwater to Sarasota so Kim could attend a gifted magnet program, the first thing her father did was enroll her in the local youth opera. “He said, ‘if you’re going to sing, you’re going to do it right,’” she says. She was resistant at first, but eventually became entranced with it, belting arias and studying the likes of Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi. She recently appeared in her fifteenth major opera, the Nashville Opera’s performance of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. “I had a crazy Italian voice teacher, and god, what an influence she was,” Kim says. “She’d punch me in the stomach to get notes out and then say, ‘your muscles need to be doing that, not my hand!’ And she’d put a lighter in front of my face to make sure I didn’t expel excess air, and she’d make me sing entire arias lying down. She whipped my ass into shape and made me a classical singer. And the better I became at that, the better I became at all this rock ‘n’
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roll and blues and country that I’d always done.” Kim was considering going to a conservatory after high school, but she applied to Berklee on a whim at the age of sixteen for songwriting, and got in. The notoriously tough music school (John Mayer, Bruce Hornsby, Natalie Maines, and Quincy Jones are all notable alumni) was the rigorous environment she needed to explore her own voice and lyrical capabilities. “Berklee gave me the hunger, for the first time, to truly write a great song,” she says. “I don’t think I wrote anything great while I was there, but it put the bug in me.” But Boston has its limits. While the college itself is a masterful incubator, the city itself didn’t offer much to Kim in terms of a creative community. So at nineteen, she moved to Nashville, transferring to Belmont to study opera and pursue a more important course: being Kim Logan. “I came here because I knew I wanted to write songs and knew I wanted to make records,” she says, diving immediately into the subculture of her new town: going to
Glen Danzig’s house, hanging out at The End at punk shows and playing East Nashville Underground. “I’m in love with this place,” she says. “I never felt more at home than I do here. I was always searching for a home, and I built my own life in Nashville. I have friendship and love and music.” Love, of course, is boyfriend and guitarist Matthew Paige, one half of the Blackfoot Gypsies. The night they met, a friend dragged her out of bed while she was snuggled under the covers, watching Lady Gaga’s HBO special. She didn’t want to go, but a quick internet search brought up a picture of Matthew. “I thought, oh my god, this kid looks like Graham Parsons and Keith Richards,” and there she was, out of bed and ready to go meet this rock ‘n’ roll lovechild. Later, she mentioned to Matthew that she thought he resembled Parsons, and he told her that was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him. They’ve been together ever since, over a year and half. Seeing them together is like a psychedelic, vintage Elvira dream: bell-
"I THOUGHT, OH MY GOD, THIS KID LOOKS LIKE GRAHAM PARSONS AND KEITH RICHARDS."
bottoms, fringe, leather, fishnets, thick black eyeliner, and tight Brady Bunch sweaters. A n d there’s that Lady Gaga again. The Mother Monster is a huge influence on Kim—not so much in sound, but in theory. She talks about the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, a concept discussed by Richard Wagner in a series of essays to describe the “complete and total artwork.” It’s a term used to describe Gaga as well. For her, life is art, art is life, and every moment—from cooking a pie in a Chanel suit to mint hair and lipstick at bedtime—is part of the overall oeuvre. Like the notoriously self-confident, brutally ambitious pop-star, Kim also wants full-court domination. She isn’t someone that would be content with a headlining gig at Cannery Ballroom— Bridgestone or Madison Square Garden would do better, thank you very much. Kim thinks that for her vision to succeed, she needs to hit the masses. “I do want to appeal to the mainstream and integrate my art with fashion and film,” she says. “Something like Lady Gaga has done. She is a cultural icon, and I’d like to do that for southern music. Because no one in southern music has done what she has done for pop.” She uses words like “concept career,” and admires the way that Gaga has fostered relationships with couture designers, filmmakers and other artists to create her “haus,” a model that Kim admires. “I want to use the raw materials of the South the way Lady Gaga has used the raw materials of the future to convey her influences,” she says. “Fur, denim, leather, stone, wood, feathers, suede, anything that’s natural or often deemed masculine, to convey western wear, to convey history, to convey America—to convey the fact that jazz, blues, gospel, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll were in so many ways birthed here.” The macabre is also a crucial ele-
ment in the picture. Kim appropriately points out a fascination our culture has with darkness, amplified recently by shows like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and movies like Twilight. “That’s why I feel such a kinship to Robert Logue at Black Raven,” she says of the East Nashville shrine to the weird and unusual. “He’s celebrating the underbelly of humanity. And that’s the direct antithesis of everything Nashville sells to the world. I mean, hey. Maybe we need to get weird.” Kim knows it’s not going to be an easy rise, and she’s building her empire slow"I SPENT THE ly: playing the Rock Showcase at BelFIRST YEAR mont, appearing freAND A HALF quently around her home of East NashHERE FIGURING ville, and writing OUT HOW TO new music. “I spent the first year and a BRIDGE THE half here figuring GAP BETWEEN out how to bridge the gap between THE RECORD the record buying BUYING PUBLIC public and the true underground,” she AND THE TRUE says. “And I realized UNDERGROUND." the trick was going to be duping those fans into liking what I was doing.” But now she must face off with those fans, and we finish up the last scraps of our burgers so Kim can go back to her house on Douglas Street and prepare for the CMA Awards, which probably means a few minutes devoted to getting dressed and many more devoted to drinking beers. “I always loved the pictures and videos of people super f*cked-up on the red carpet,” she says. “I figure if I have to be there, I may as well make it a little bit more fun.” Something tells me she’s a bit too savvy to ever show up to an event drunk and disorderly, unless, of course, it’s all part of the Gesamtkunstwerk. You’d be more likely to see her floating along in feathers, fringe and mischievous black suede, simultaneously living and concocting her next move, one step ahead of you, both figuratively and literally.
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NAT I V E
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SUIT YOURSELF TWO YEARS AGO, JON AND HOLLY POWELL LEFT NEW YORK CITY TO RECORD AN ALBUM IN NASHVILLE. INSTEAD, JON’S EYE FOR STYLE AND HOLLY’S ATTENTION TO DETAIL WENT TO WORK by jessica jones
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photography by will holland
P2"#Q2>&++#>%1#>2'9,"@#%1# %#'&1$,'%42'/#4*&'%$,14#>*&"# %#*83?+@@&14,2"#;'23#%# 14'%"@&'#6*%"@&-#*,1#+,;&7 One day he was casually shopping at a Ralph Lauren store in New York when he found himself wrapped up in a conversation about menswear with the store manager. “I was just shopping and talking to him, and he said to me, ‘You’re doing the wrong thing,’” he recalls. Jon stored the manager’s comment in the back of his mind, but inevitably his thoughts began to drift toward the idea. Maybe this guy was right. In a snap decision, he boldly quit his nine-to-five, starting fresh with a part-time retail position at Rugby Ralph Lauren at NYU. Thanks to Jon’s drive and a twist of fate, a month and a half later he was managing the store, which happened to be the highest-grossing Ralph Lauren in the world. This soon parlayed into a design position at the corporate headquarters. And in the midst of all this, Jon married Holly, a skilled seamstress, in the library of an old mansion. Together they were searching for their next step. “We were a young, struggling married couple trying to dig inside ourselves and figure out where our destiny was going,” he tells me. The idea for their clothing line, J and HP, formed one night on a park bench while eating Chinese take-out. “We said, alright, let’s do this,” he recounts with a slight smile. ••• We’re nestled cozily in the J and HP store on Porter Road in East Nashville. “So, how’s your lady?” a woman asks Jon, as he fits her soon-to-be husband for his first tailored suit. “She’s actually down the road getting her hair cut about as short as yours. She’s never done anything like that and she’s kinda freaking out. I worked her into it,” he grins. Dressed in a brown and white plaid 72 / / / / / / /
Fine-tune your style at J and HP Clothing, located in East Nashville at 717 Porter Road. Shop online at jandhp.bigcartel.com
button-up underneath a navy blazer, Jon stretches a green and white measuring tape across the client’s shoulders, and then across his chest. “Flex for me. Give me your best shot,” he says jokingly. He walks over to a long wooden desk sitting in the back of the tiny store. A map of East Nashville adorns the wall next to J and HP’s motto: “Timeless style, flawless fit, genuine expression.” Jon hovers over the table below, intently jotting down measurements on a piece of paper. He pauses abruptly from his note-taking and looks up, continuing the conversation about Holly as if snapping out of a trance, “She woke up the other morning and said she wanted a change. She’s been Googling every haircut possible and sending them to me. I actually booked the appointment for her.”
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"THE BIGGER A COMPANY GETS, YOU’LL FIND THE BIGGER ITS CLOTHES GET."
He places the end of the measuring tape on top of the client’s shoulder and traces it down his arm to his wrist. “So where would you like things to fall, twenty-five or twenty-six inches?” Jon asks. The customer seems unsure. “Twenty-five-and-a-half would be ideal,” Jon suggests, “That way you show a little bit of shirt, but when you raise your hand it doesn’t come too far up.” As he returns to the desk to make another note, the client bursts, “I’m so excited for this suit; I’ve been telling everybody.” Jon smiles. J and HP is a clothing brand that emphasizes fit. “The bigger a company gets, you’ll find the bigger its clothes get, because there’s a large market to satisfy with a broad range of body types,” Jon reveals. He pulls out a thick, spiral-bound book with hundreds of patterned and solid wool swatches. “A guy can come in and say, ‘I’ve got an event coming up’ or ‘I just need a really good black suit,’ and we’ll go through body profile, measuring him down completely, and then talk through the design. Three-and-a-half weeks later, it’s back and totally customized for him.” Along with custom suiting, J and HP carries a ready-to-wear line for both men and women. Blue, white, charcoal, and red plaid and gingham oxfords are immaculately spaced along the shop’s dark blue walls. Quilted topstitching adorn some, while others feature a buttoned tab to hold your tie in place while leaning over—a more stylish option for the guy who half-heartedly throws it over his shoulder. Pinpoint and club collar options hang in the front window for shoppers who want to customize their own shirts. “I like to get away from what you can normally find. In here you’ll find a lot of English cut-away collars...something that’s old world, early haberdashery,” Jon explains.
“CRAFT DISTILLERY OF THE YEAR” – WHISKY MAGAZINE
NASHVILLE DISTILLERY AND TAPROOM TUE -FRI : 3:30-8PM /SAT : 1- 8PM 1200 CLINTON STREET #110 // NASHVILLE, TN 37203 615 // 200 // 0320 WWW.CORSAIRARTISAN.COM /////// 75
When I return to the shop for the second collects vintage cars (a ’55 Buick time, the two are sitting in front of me, and Special and a ’59 Austin Healey I observe, somewhat self-consciously, that among others), and has a deep together they are one impeccably dressed love for sports. He confesses, couple. Holly has a fair complexion and “I’m a ridiculous sports addict. pale blue eyes that steadily focus on me Right now, I’m in an indoor socfrom underneath a vintage lapis wool hat. cer league, and I’ve never played She’s wearing a shirt of her own design— a soccer in my life.” Jon seems to be the type of neatly pressed red and blue plaid oxford with elongated ten-inch cuffs, topped with person to dive into a situation thick yellow suspenders. Jon is her male while Holly hangs back, analyzing counterpart—clean-shaven with a warm it. These personas seem to work smile, and dressed in a maroon blazer over perfectly together in running a a chambray button-up, wearing a brown business. “She’s more structured, bowler hat. This is how they dress daily, even if the only thing on their agenda is a trip to the post office. The couple places an emphasis on aligning their appearance with the craftsmanship of their fine-tailored garments. “There’s nothing wrong with wearing a nice tailored jacket, shaving, and putting on a tie,” Jon says. A friend of theirs told him recently that she was reluctant to dress up because she was tired of people asking where she was going. “We get that a lot,” Holly sighs. Jon elaborates, “Whenever we go to a restaurant and we’re being seated, the hostess says something like, ‘Oh y’all look snazzy, where you coming regimented, gets the tasks taken care of,” from?’” He gives me a puzzled look, “It’s Jon says. “If it’s something that she can take care of, I don’t hear about it. But if just what we wanted to wear.” it’s something we’ve never Their sense of dealt with before, she slides style might have it over. She doesn’t even been what caught "THERE’S say anything—just hands one another’s eye NOTHING me the phone and I go to while attending town.” I laugh at this imseminary school WRONG WITH age of Holly because even in Indiana. Havthough I’ve only known her ing both grown WEARING for thirty minutes, I can toup in households A NICE tally picture her doing this. with pastors, they “It really works because I remain heavily TAILORED don't like doing the tedious involved with their JACKET, day-to-day stuff,” Jon says, church here. Holly “and I enjoy doing it,” Holadmits that beSHAVING, ly finishes. tween that and the AND PUTTING Despite her organized store, she barely disposition, Holly doesn’t has any free time. ON A TIE." hold back from exercising I ask Jon if he has her creativity. She’s solely any hobbies and responsible for designing Holly interjects, the J and HP womenswear line, and she’s “He has like a trillion.” He just finished recording an album been sewing since the age of nine (her that he describes as “Christian funk soul,” Barbies among her first clients), thanks to 76 / / / / / / /
her mom. Aside from teaching Holly how to sew, she passed on to her an appreciation for the past, which now serves as her design aesthetic. “I’ve always loved all things vintage, from decor to clothes. Vintage everything. Cars! Just everything,” she enthuses, her eyes lighting up. “My mother gave me a vintage clutch she got when she was seventeen. It’s probably my favorite piece to this day.” A gathered white cream-colored dress reminiscent of the forties hangs to my left, and a pair of seventies-inspired highwaisted Fair Isles trousers are across the room, both of which I bet Holly would rock with her tall and slender frame. She concedes, “My personal style blends into what I design. I go back and forth each season depending on what mood I’m in. I’ll pick an era and base my designs off that.” Much like Holly, Jon had an ongoing lesson in fashion throughout his youth. In his case, he learned from his father, who considered fashion a lifestyle. “His clothes were custom-made in New York where I grew up. He schooled me in the catacombs of menswear,” Jon says of his dad. He influenced everything from Jon’s taste, inspired by American style from the thirties through the sixties, to his thirst for superior quality. “He always taught me
In their winter line, J and HP exudes 1930s style with a modern fit. Peplum details, eccentric prints, and tailored blouses for the ladies; full suits, buttoned vests, and cufflinks for the gentlemenâ€”these duds depict Jon and Hollyâ€™s modus operandi. Models: Lyle Phillips Jared Byers Jessica Wardwell Amanda Gary Monica LaPlante Aaron Michael Hair + Makeup: Lisa Koonce with Ardon House Salon Clothing: J and HP Clothing Co., 717 Porter Road Nashville, Tennessee 37206 Accessories: Vintage finds /////// 77
ENJOY A BURGER & A PINT IN OUR BEER GARDEN!
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that no matter what economic climate age. It’s leaving a job where you’re makyou’re in, you need to look your very best ing amazing money, and then dropping at all times,” he recalls easily, as if he car- it to go back to nothing, to making partries that little bit of guidance in his front time wages. But it’s yours, and you’re building it.” Change is not something coat pocket. that will stop the pair from moving forInitially, Jon and Holly intended to ward. He continues, the sincerity in his stay in Nashville for only six months to voice building, “It’s like a record Jon’s album and BMX rider trying to jump. had plans to move back The more you do it, the to New York. “It’s been "THE more air you get, and the two years,” Jon tells ALLURE easier the next jump beme. And he believes comes.” their distance from New OF THE Jon’s client sits leafing York actually works in through a large binder DISTANCE their favor. “The allure full of every button imagof the distance and AND THE inable while Jon silently the unknown attracts sketches, his brows furpeople here,” Jon says. UNKNOWN rowed. His concentration As affordable as NashATTRACTS breaks when he discovers ville is, the couple could that he and his client have envision opening their PEOPLE similar measurements in first brick and mortar HERE." their jackets. “Hey, do me here. a favor and try this on,” J and HP’s recent Jon says suddenly, taking growth, with its readyto-wear and custom-tailoring business, off his own jacket and handing it over. is starting to push Jon and Holly out of The customer slips it on and it falls eastheir little nook on Porter Road. The ily into place, cupping his shoulders and couple sees themselves expanding their hanging perfectly by his sides. “Yeah, it space as early as Spring 2013. Along with feels really nice,” he says softly to himtheir obvious talent and vision, Jon at- self. Jon holds up a mirror and the client tributes much of J and HP’s success to looks shocked. Straightening his posture, he looks at his reflection and says taking risks. “I think the biggest part of this is cour- in awe, “That’s great.”
the observatory apocalyptic street style by itoro udoko
Ryan// Bruisin’ ‘em// When you don’t feel like trying too hard, but are still interested in relentlessly styling on everyone you come across, there’s maybe no better go-to than a dark-wash, blue denim jacket with black denim jeans. The uniform is perfected when you pair those dark colors with a lightcolored tee. Oh, and someone’s probably warned you about pairing black with brown before, right? The only thing Ryan does with that piece of advice is kick it to the curb with the brown boots he wears to finish this look. You’re leaving the game black ‘n’ blue when you pair those colors this effortlessly. Ryan had no choice but to bruise ‘em.
Military-inspired style has been huge this winter, and it seems to show no signs of fatigue. But it makes sense for military wear to blow up in the wintertime. After all, it’s made specifically to combat the elements. Almost everyone has at least one militaristic piece that they like to deploy on occasion. But how many people can say that they have actual military-grade items in their closet? Here, Chase utilizes his grandfather’s Army jacket to elevate his style, instead of opting for a more formal blazer. It’s a flawless tactical move, partially because nothing is warmer than authentic garments from the armed forces.
NATIVE Animal of the Month Kingdom: Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species:
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Blattodea Blattidae Periplaneta Americana
By Dan Nemes
Cockroaches are survivors. If you believe that he’s never coming back. I guess that read German. “Maybe,” he told me, “if you acted more that the fossil record is a reliable source means viva la cucaracha. Let’s face it, popular culture’s fascination like us and less like human beings, you of our planet’s natural history, then the cockroach has been skittering around for with the roach-as-heir-to-a-ruined-world wouldn’t have brought on the end of the over three-hundred million years. With a says more about you and me than it does world.” So, if you’re reading this, that track record like that, the roach is probably about the roach. Consider Pixar’s WALL·E means you’ve outlived billions of human weathering the Apocalypse better than you. (2008). While the remnants of the human beings and the horrors of the Apocalypse. Along with the zombies, your other new species are chubbing out in space, WALL-E Congratulations, you’re more of a roach neighbor has six hairy legs, a hunched-over gets along just fine with a roach named than a human being. Or, maybe you’re reading this before thorax, and the ability to flatten himself Hal, the only other conscious life left on through just about any crack. Get used the planet. Hal survives on Twinkies (alas, crumpling it up as part of a feeble attempt to the cockroach; there’s no moving out goodbye Hostess) and lends emotional to start a post-apocalyptic fire. Sorry, to the ‘burbs (you Yuppie sell-out) since gravitas to WALL-E’s existence. This odd MacGyver, you’ll probably be eaten by a the gun-nuts emerging from their bunkers couple warms my heart, even if Hal the roving band of cannibals pretty soon. Consider another pearl of cockroach don’t appreciate vinyl, superfluous scarves, roach’s animated antennas gross me out wisdom: a verse from the Mexican ballad just a little bit. or an overdeveloped sense of irony. I got news for you: even if you’re surviving “La Cucaracha.” As the cockroach's cells only divide four “The cockroach, the cockroach, / can or five times over the course of a lifetime, “the last days,” the roach doesn’t want to we can pretty much assume that he be your friend. He’s not into that band- no longer walk / because he doesn’t have, handles fallout exponentially better than of-brothers sentimental bullshit. In fact, because he lacks / marijuana to smoke.” humans do. While our cells are mutating he said that we deserve the Apocalypse, Admittedly, it’s a little catchier in Spanish, like motherf*ckers, the roach just cruises and he drives his point home by quoting but you get the joint, I mean, point. As you right along. But at least we’ve got one thing Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis:” “As Gregor survey the wasteland around you, just be going for us: we know how to handle Old Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy chill. Rolling with the ups and downs of Man Winter. Not the cockroach. But who dreams, he found himself transformed in life on this crazy planet has worked for the knows, maybe we’ve greenhouse-gassed his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.” cockroach—maybe burning one down will the hell out of Old Man Winter, so much And if you didn’t know already, roaches get you through Doomsday.
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Featuring Nashville's Ryan McCauley, Green Brier Distillery, East Side Story, Victoria Schwab, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, J&HP, Nas...
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Featuring Nashville's Ryan McCauley, Green Brier Distillery, East Side Story, Victoria Schwab, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, J&HP, Nas...