Hanzelle 8th & Roast Shea Steele Price Harrison Amanda Valentine Modern Arks Kendra DeColo Bicycle Guide And More!
RODERICK BAILEY 1
SETTLES DOWN WITH THE SILLY GOOSE NATIVE
AUGUST | 2012
Bikes you love and leave.
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Easy to pick up & return bikes. Pedal to grab lunch, see the sights, or commute. No trafďŹ c jams, exhaust emissions, or parking fees. Good for Nashville and you, too! More info: nashville.bcycle.com or scan the QR code. Made possible with funding from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
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At Regions, our goal is to be the best bank we can be. And we have a responsibility to be the best people we can be, too. After all, our mission statement is to “Make Life Better.” So it’s not uncommon to see our associates volunteering at shelters, giving people hope when they need it most. Or stocking thrift store shelves to help families keep clothes on their backs. Or teaching ﬁnancial education classes so people can stay on the road to ﬁnancial independence. That’s just who we are. And it’s who we’re proud to be.
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A fresh take on the sixties fembot cat eye, brought to you by celebrity stylist and owner of TRIM, Melanie Shelley
BEER FROM HERE
We get it. You pledge allegiance to Guinness this month. But when it comes to whiskey, call for the real stuff—Tennessee-bred Collier and McKeel
PRAISE THE ROOF: OVER THE HILLS AND THROUGH THE WOODS When it comes to architect Price Harrison, simplicity is the key
Cocktail of the Month
While everyone else is warming up with Irish Car Bombs, be bold like Wes Anderson. Get warm with tequila
Eggs Benedict are so last month. Awaken your tastebuds with a twist on a Dr. Seuss classic from head chef John Stephenson at Fido—Green Eggs and Ham (and Green Chile Grits)
GREEN TRANSPORTATION GUIDE
Hit the road jack, but don’t you drive back. Bike. Here’s your guide to Nashville’s bike shops and bike-share hotspots.
Hey Good Lookin’
Native Animal of the Month
Senile St. Patrick ran all the snakes out of Ireland. Little did he know he could actually learn a thing or two from them
Nashville street style so fly you’ll be green with envy
Overheard @ NATIVE
So outrageous we had to remind ourselves that yes, those things did come out of our mouths
M A RCH 2 013
THE DECONSTRUCTIONIST: LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
Poet Kendra DeColo talks human nature in all its glory and shame, and makes us blush
42 HANZELLE IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW Hanzelle’s musical influences range from bach to prog to hip hop, but i bet your dad’s never heard anything like this before
SCHOOL OF ROAST
Lesa and Brad Wood will give you something to pour over at 8th & Roast
A NOVEL APPROACH
Mathew Portel takes reading on a ride
Jamie Bennett thinks outside the box and back in time
FARM IN THE CITY
Two dirty hands at a time, Josh Corlew proves the ground beneath you can sustain itself— even in the city
She’s not too cold, and she’s not too hot—Amanda Valentine is just right for Nashville
STEELE THIS LOOK
A Nashville pioneer in hip-kid retail leaves the rabbit hole for the big city
24 SOBERING UP AND SETTLING DOWN Roderick Bailey dropped a bad habit and replaced it with food, spawning The Silly Goose ///////// 3
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DEAR NATIVES, WOO!!! March is here. Old Man Winter can’t ever seem to make up his mind. He’s hot, then he’s cold. He’s happy, then he’s sad. And my head feels like a freakin’ balloon. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The grass is turning, the buds are sprouting, and soon everything will be green, including the beer. And if you haven’t noticed, Nashville is growing quickly and going green too. As buildings go up and our city evolves, sustainability has become a top priority. For this special issue, it’s our mission to give credit where credit is due—to the people in Nashville who are planting the seeds of sustainability and making our city a better place to live. From urban farms and alternative transportation, to progressive architecture and repurposed furniture, the key to success is Nashville’s creative class uniting as one. This is why we’ve launched a new section to highlight the visionaries designing the spaces that define the city—our architectural community. It’s not easy being green, but we can all do a little something to make a big difference. We are a family, and Nashville is the home that we share. Mama will always take care of you, so don’t you forget to take care of her too. Join us on this mission,
ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN
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SARAH SHARP MACKENZIE MOORE ELISE LASKO ITORO UDOKO LAURABETH MARTIN HANNAH LOVELL
KATRINA HARTWIG CAYLA MACKEY JOSHUA SIRCHIO COLIN PIGOTT JOE CLEMONS
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EDITOR- IN- CHIEF
For our Green Issue, we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle. How do you do green when green has been done so many times before? But in a rare moment of clarity, we shared a collective belly growl, and badabing
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badaboom kabam—it was decided. Roderick Bailey, the head chef and owner of The Silly Goose, was to be our March coverboy, and he was going to bask in a bed of greens. Ohhh yeahhh. So we headed to the grocery store and gathered bunches of collard greens, kale, cabbage, Italian parsley, and celery, and went to work assembling a leafy mattress. Although we didn’t actually eat anything (we seem to think coffee is a food group), the sacrifice was 100% worth it.
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COLLIER AND MCKEEL TENNESSEE WHISKEY In a Quonset hut in the middle of a time-stained industrial park on the west side, Mike Williams and his crew distill the third true charcoalmellowed Tennessee whiskey. This state treasure is Collier and McKeel Tennessee Whiskey. It’s not unheard of for microstartups to outsource to contract distilleries in other states. But after all, this is Tennessee. And if Mr. Williams has anything to do with it, every single drop will be distilled in this state. This arcane craft begins with a grain bill heavy on the corn. After liquefying in 200-degree water sourced from both Davidson and Humphreys Counties, the wort is fermented in cypress wood mash tubs—sour mash style. The non-
porous nature of cypress makes it an age-old favorite among distillers, as this breed is every bit as watertight as stainless steel. After a double distillation process in a copper pot still, the spirit mellows through maple wood charcoal in a cylinder about half a foot wide and five feet tall. This special micro-filtering system brings an ultra-smooth finish to the whiskey. As tradition dictates, it then rests in new, charred oak barrels, where the desired color and flavor can fully saturate. The distillery is transitioning to a two-year aging process using fifty-three-gallon barrels, giving the finished product an even more balanced, mature profile. So when life calls for whiskey, call for Collier and McKeel—where you can taste the Tennessee.
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MAN ABANDONING ARCHITECTURE FOR FURNITURE DESIGN, JAMIE BENNETT BREATHES LIFE INTO FORGOTTEN OBJECTS
by elise lasko 8 / / // / / / / /
photography by danielle atkins
I pull into a dirt driveway in what I would aptly call the middle of nowhere. After a thirty-minute drive from Nashville, I land in the rural suburbia of Whites Creek, Tennessee. As I approach what looks like an abandoned shed or an old garage, I wonder if Google Maps played an evil trick on me. Dust clouds my windows, transforming my vision into a blurry sepia world, as if I just entered a time warp and traveled to 1929. As the dust dissipates, I see a man dressed in plaid standing casually, looking in my direction, not phased by my arrival. He dangles a cup of coffee in his left hand, tapping his wedding band against the ceramic. This is Jamie Bennett. Although he is a man of the twenty-first century, it’s not hard to imagine the thirty-two year old in a 1920s dapper suit, sipping a Manhattan and blowing smoke rings at a speakeasy’s mahogany walls. Jamie has a passion for treasures of the past—things that have and will continue to outlive their owners. With a penchant for collecting antiques, he and his wife, Robyn, began a tradition of sifting through the rubbish that often litters flea markets and antique stores, in search of shipping crates from the twenties and thirties. Their living room soon turned into something of a storage space for old typewriter crates, which originally attracted the couple because of their distinct, vintage typography. And in a matter of time, their collection became the inspiration for Jamie’s newest project. “We would stack them beside the couch, using them as side tables,” he tells me, while I envision leaning towers of empty wooden boxes resembling a cityscape. He knew he had to get creative when he realized how cluttered his room had become. “I looked at the crates, and though they are beautiful as is, I knew I
had to do something more with them. I rience in the field, he found himself wanthought people should have these in their dering. Luckily for him, the architecture firm homes,” Jamie recalls. Upon moving back to Nashville after also housed a woodshop. “That’s when I a brief stint in Cleveland, Ohio, Jamie started messing around with building furlooked at his living room and came to a niture,” he explains. Despite his relative moment of clarity. He thought, why not dissatisfaction with the direction of his rework these old, forgotten crates into career, he would soon find that architecfully-functioning tables that could be used ture would prove to be useful down the road. again? So he went to work. As fate would have it, the economy Before Jamie explains how he got into woodworking, he suggests we take a seat took a nosedive, and shortly after, Jamie on the porch next to the studio space he was fired from his job. Naturally, he panshares with his cousin, Brian, a graphic icked. “I thought, what the hell am I going designer. Jamie prefers the fresh air, but to do?” After moving back to Nashville in all I can think about is how cold it is out- 2010, Jamie came to an epiphany—with side. He looks rather relaxed as I face him his expertise in architectural design proagainst a forest backdrop, donning only grams and stacks of shipping crates waitone layer, while I, fully armed for winter, ing to be used, he realized he already had remain frigid, doing my best to withhold a foundation to become a full-time furniany shivers. Again, he reminds me of a ture craftsman. When I can no longer hide my chatterspirit of the past—someone who lived in a time when it was common to open win- ing teeth, Jamie offers to move into his dows in the winter to keep fresh air flow- studio to get out of the wind. As I tour the ing, clearing out germs, dust, and stale space, he shows me the other half of his studio that Dual Identity Design occupies, breath. I quickly learn that Jamie is as much consisting of his cousin and a few fellow of an architect-turned-craftsman as a graphic designers. “It’s cool that one side collecting junky. Despite his prowess in is doing design, and the other, woodworkwoodwork, Jamie wasn’t always a handy- ing. It’s fun to be around them. It would be man. He went to Watkins for film, but ad- a bummer to be around someone whose mits, “I was bored by school, and I didn’t work I didn’t like.” But more than sharing space, they share know what to do.” Dropping out a year later to accept an apprenticeship at an ideas. Brian and his co-workers design book covers, and Jamie architecture firm, Jais often called in to make mie left his grounds executive decisions with in Nashville with the graphic design team. his wife-to-be and "JAMIE HAS A “We bounce ideas off each headed to Cleveland PASSION FOR other. It’s a very creative in 2004. TREASURES environment.” During his five On his side of the stuyears there, Jamie OF THE PAST— dio, Jamie bends down, quickly realized that THINGS THAT running his finger along architecture wasn’t HAVE AND WILL his most recent table, and his calling either. explains how he transWith no prior expeCONTINUE TO
OUTLIVE THEIR OWNERS."
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forms collected treasures into useful furniture. He first takes the bottoms off the crates and turns them into tabletops so that the graphics remain right side up. After measuring the crates and building a custom leg system, they effortlessly slide over their supports, allowing them to remain unharmed from drilling. “The idea is to reuse the crates without damaging them at all,” Jamie confirms. Initially, after playing with these tables, he put them on Etsy, not expecting much of a response, but he says of the experience, “I was really surprised that people actually bought them.” It’s apparent that his products are already getting some buzz, despite Jamie’s initial uncertainty. He was a part of the first Porter Flea, back when it was on Porter Road. I glance down at one of the crates-turned-tables, and I can’t help but wonder if this crate was once used to push liquor during Prohibition. Yet now, it has a new purpose. Jamie’s side tables closely resemble the work of the 1950s husband and wife designers Charles and Ray Eames—the hairpin table legs supporting the boxes scream an era of TV dinners, baseball games, and nights spent watching Johnny Carson. In a sense, Jamie pairs contemporary elements with this retro design to build functional and inventive furniture. “Rather than making my products all modern, I use refurbished materials. But I go for a modern aesthetic to get something unique,” Jamie begins. “The crates are meant to energize,” he continues, suggesting that these worn and seemingly useless items are reincarnated by his own hands. In this way, Jamie gives things we would otherwise discard like last week’s newspaper a second life. After he landed some street cred in Nash-
ville and beyond, he began expanding his repertoire to include coffee tables and bookshelves made from recycled barnwood, as well as toys from maple plywood, and credenzas from barnwood and cedar. Jamie emphasizes that the primary source of his materials is regional. He has a guy that takes down old barns and resells the lumber, the majority of which come from Tennessee. Perhaps the most accurate categorization of Jamie’s work is mid-century modern-meets-Nashville. His use of vintage materials is both purposeful and innovative—making the process seem almost effortless. But I find that to be a product of his modesty. And although he is particular about his aesthetic vision, looks aren’t the only driving force behind Modern Arks. “I wanted to do something that was helpful by finding a cool way to reuse crates and barnwood so they don’t get dumped,” Jamie tells me. “My aim is to save this beautiful stuff that’s been around for hundreds of years.” Only a year after his arrival in Ohio, he turned away from architecture and on to music. Cleveland’s music scene is to the Midwest as Nashville’s is to the South. While Nashville is the home to legends like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and now Jack White, Cleveland has Dean Martin, Tracy Chapman, and Alan Freed. With the prevalence of music in his new city, Jamie didn’t waste any time finding jam mates. He soon after formed the band Unsparing Sea, a cello-infused, indie, folkrock band who played alongside the contemplative singersongwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy and psychedelic-pop outfit Yeasayer. As a guitarist and singer, Jamie admits, “I liked music more
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than architecture. It’s much more doable, and you don’t need quite as many people to help you keep your vision.” Despite his entrenchment in music in Ohio, Jamie shies away from finding musicians to play with in Nashville. Although this city is overflowing with musical talent, he hasn’t actively sought anyone out. “I went through that whole process of finding a band in Cleveland, and it takes so much energy. When we got back to Nashville, I thought I don’t want to go through that again.” And time is of the essence for Jamie and his wife with their one-year-old addition to their family. Though Jamie undoubtedly draws influence from the Eames couple, Nashville has proven to be a muse of its own. He is inspired by other local designers such as Matt Alexander of Holler Design, who also uses raw, rural elements with a modern sensibility. Others include Jonathan Malphrus from Steric, who specializes in rugged, geometric woodwork, and a personal friend, Ryan Richardson, whose data furniture adds a modern, pre-fabricated inspiration to Jamie’s own work. MODERN ARKS: Jamie adds as he grabs his longneglected coffee, “This seems like For more information, a great time to be in Nashville. visit modernarks.net, or purchase directly from There’s so much creativity, and Jamie on his Etsy site, I hope I’m adding something to etsy.com/shop/modernarks what’s here already. I don’t know or Twitter / Instagram @modernarks how this really took off, but I’m blessed that it happened.”
SOME FEAR MONSTERS.
T H E
H I L L S
A N D
THROUGH THE WOODS
PRICE HARRISON GREW UP ON A FARM FEEDING CATTLE AND DRIVING HAY. NOW HE INCORPORATES THE SIMPLE LIFE INTO HIS MODERN, MINIMALIST ARCHITECTURE
There’s one thing I’ve noticed in my short time living in this city—the amount of damn trees. It’s not just their presence; they have an impeccable ability to obscure the exact street sign you’re looking for, especially when you’re running late. I pull my black Volvo to the side of Bowling Avenue (for the third time) to study my directions, only to spot under the green-leaf canopy of a strategically placed pine the street sign for Brighton Road. Rushing frantically through the quiet, lush neighborhood of whitecolumned houses, I just barely miss a collision with a squirrel. Finally, I spot “3707” plastered onto an abstract, bronze steel mailbox.
At first I’m a little confused—an ultramodern architect lives in the same neighborhood with the overgrown trees and scampering squirrels? I’ve seen modern homes in magazines before, and they always seemed too geometric and futuristic to attract woodland creatures parading around or neighborhood kids playing ball in the street. I turn into the driveway of 3707—a stark, white, glasswindowed cube plopped onto a pristinely manicured landscape. I can’t help but feel like I’ve walked right onto the cover of Dwell magazine. It would be an understatement to call Price Harrison the black sheep of his neighborhood. His state-of-the-art contemporary home in the heart of South-
by kristen mcdaniel | photography by emily spence
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ern suburbia makes little effort to blend in, yet he’s never been one to conform. Once inside, I sit and watch the midafternoon sun stream through the glass walls of his dining room, the light dancing off the frames of photographs, illuminating the vibrant interior. Price invites me into the world he’s created—a lair of modern, minimalist architecture. Price’s design philosophy is much like his preference for Italian shoes— he’d much rather buy an expensive pair of long-lasting, quality shoes than several pairs of cheap kicks. “I’m totally obsessed with maintaining things. So I’d rather have fewer things to take care of,” he says. “I can’t imagine having another home in Florida, not being there
PRICE HARRISON: For more information visit priceharrison.com Follow him on Twitter: @FeraletteMedia or on Instagram: @priceharrison
and having to worry about hurricanes. In my mind, there's no downside to simplifying.” But sitting at the black, wooden table in his dining room, I struggle to find simplicity in the room surrounding me. From the photographs and vases, to the white furniture and color-washed floors, every object is a carefully crafted puzzle piece, now forming a picture that wasn’t quite apparent at first. It seems as if everything is in its right place; even the magazines on the coffee table lay in perfect order. And if his work is the puzzle, then Price, smirking under the shade of his black cap and thick-framed glasses, is the kid who’d rather spend his Saturday afternoon piecing it together than playing kick the can with the neighborhood rats. On the surface, Price is easy enough to label—a logical, calculated perfectionist. And in his defense, most architects have to be.
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But there’s more to Price than an intimidating and convincing sense of logic. He is a reflection of his home. At first glance of the exterior, you couldn’t possibly anticipate what lies within. Price’s ingenuity is understated in the simplicity of his home. Photographs dot the walls, all from artists like Price, who strive to accentuate the ordinary to show its true extraordinary nature. In the corner of the naturally lit living room sits a pair of electric guitars and a bright orange, cube-shaped amplifier, offering a stark juxtaposition to the white backdrop. Occupying an entire corner of the space, it’s evident that music sits pretty high on his totem pole. “While all this architecture stuff was going on, I was really involved in music. One of the reasons I wanted to come back to Nashville was because of the music industry,” Price explains. “I played guitar in a band called The Botswanas. We had a girl singer, and it was this punk, garage thing.” With the garage revival sweeping over Nashville, this
"SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT MY WORK AND SAY, ‘YOUR ARCHITECTURE DOESN’T BELONG HERE.’ I LOOK AT THEM AND THINK, YOU’RE TOTALLY WRONG." strikes me as quite fitting. Getting their start in the early nineties, Price and longtime friend Eileen Ziontz, along with bassist Danny Ly, and a rotating lineup of drummers, blended sixties and seventies garage and punk. They had some mild success over the years—playing South By Southwest in the late nineties, and releasing three albums in total. After Price moved from New York to Nashville to start his own firm in 1998, the band, with its members scattered about different states, took the backseat to architecture. Still, music will always be a part of Price’s work. The calculated man he is, Price does nothing without purpose. He incorporates his inner rock star into his designs, melding the worlds of music and architecture to create rhythm in his creations. Perhaps that’s what drove him and buddy, Kye Kennedy, to start a company developing boutique, hand-wired tube amplifiers, called P3 Amplifiers. Getting a bit more comfortable in his black leather chair, Price opens up about the struggles a modern architect faces in a Southern city like Nashville. “Nashville is a perfect city for modern houses, but there’s a fair amount of resistance to modern architecture.” Price pauses and casually sips his bottle of lemon-lime, sparkling water before wiping away the condensation left behind on the table. Folding his arms, he sighs and looks at me, and explains how close-mindedness can stifle creativity. “Some people look at my work and say, ‘Your architecture
doesn’t belong here.’ I look at them and think, you’re totally wrong.” Some here in Nashville view Price’s designs as rebellious and foreign—almost as if an alien dropped these buildings and houses onto empty lots around town. But Price is no otherworldly creature; he’s accustomed to Southern living. In fact, he grew up on a farm just outside of Murfreesboro. There, with his brother and parents, he learned to raise Angus cattle. But something tells me the cowboy lifestyle wasn’t really his thing. “My brother Mark and I weren’t into the farm life at all,” he says. “We did all the typical stuff—feeding the cattle and driving the hay out. But that was more of my dad’s thing.” His mom, on the other hand, was an interior designer. She’s the one
C!RCA Thursday, April 4
7:30 p.m. Student Life Center
From Brisbane, Australia, a bold vision of contemporary circus presents a blending of bodies, light, sound and skills.
Tickets are available at Sarratt Student Center or Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
Photo: Alan Simmons
“…so knee-tremblingly sexy, beautiful and moving.” —The Guardian, UK
www.vanderbilt.edu/greatperformances 16 / / / / / / / / /
"SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT MY WORK AND SAY, ‘YOUR ARCHITECTURE DOESN’T BELONG HERE.’ I LOOK AT THEM AND THINK, YOU’RE TOTALLY WRONG."
responsible for introducing him to a whole new world outside the rolling green pasture. From a young age, Price was fascinated with the design world, though it took him some time to find the exact path to take. “I was torn between painting, sculpture, and architecture,” he says, looking outside the dining room window. As fate would have it, due to a mishap in the mailing system, he says, “My portfolios didn’t get to the MFA programs in time. But I ended up getting into all the architecture schools I applied to.” Taking this as a sign, he concluded that architecture was the most logical career choice. “In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, I love to play guitar. I love to paint. I love to do all these things. But architecture is a profession, and I’m still designing and creating. It’s easier to make a living.” While the path he chose may be lucrative, it’s his clients that make his career so worthwhile. They tend to be like him—fearless and eager to venture out into the unknown. He sees architecture as a chance to collaborate with people’s needs and preferences. After all, they are the ones who will hopefully be enjoying the fruits of his labor. “I have a friend that says the best way to tell if a building is successful is to throw a party and see how people interact with the space,” he tells me. “You’ll find the most successful public spaces are places where people want to hang out.” It’s easy to see that this guy, setting his beverage next to a small (and pristinely crafted) model of his next project, knows what he’s doing. But when it comes to design and architecture, the best don’t just know their work—they live it. Being an architect isn’t something he can just turn off; it’s the lens through which he views the world around him, with his philosophy and perspective following him everywhere he goes. It’s fearless confidence
BEING AN ARCHITECT ISN’T SOMETHING HE CAN JUST TURN OFF; IT’S THE LENS THROUGH WHICH HE VIEWS THE WORLD AROUND HIM.
and outward thinking like Price’s that overpower passé traditions and ignorant thinking, teaching people to accept a world characterized by change and progression— something Nashville will be seeing a lot of. When I pulled up to 3707 Brighton Road, I was just another critic. I couldn’t quite see how this geometric oddity of a house fit in with the neighborhood. In my eyes, it didn’t belong. But once I stepped inside Price Harrison’s home, in a way, I stepped into his psyche. Looking at the surface, without any knowledge of the mass beneath, I was too quick to judge. But once I started to realize that everything was done with a thoughtful purpose, there was no way I could deny the mind of this master in architecture. So for all the naysayers who argue he has no place in Nashville, think again.
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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH by No. 308
Alright people. It’s March. And even though it’s our favorite saint’s shining month, lay off the Guinness and Jameson already. You’re really starting to look like you might explode—swollen face, sweaty upper lip—almost like you’re actively gaining weight. Before you know it, the grass will be green, and you’ll be squeezing into those hot pants again. Try something refreshing. Try something citrusy. Try something with tequila. Because even if you feel like a lard ass from an entire month of heavy drinking and late-night eating off your own gut, you’ll still feel like a fox when you rip those clothes off after enjoying “The Bottlerocket.” Named after the nineties Wes Anderson flick starring brothers Luke and Owen Wilson, think about it this way: even with all that curvature in that nose, Owen’s still sexy. And even with that gut, so are you.
1 ½ oz. unaged tequila (we use Tequila Ocho) ¼ oz. green Chartreuse ¾ oz. rosemary syrup ¾ oz. fresh lime juice 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
Rosemary syrup: with equal parts sugar and water and a handful of rosemary sprigs, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a tin, double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a salted lime wheel and sprig of rosemary. -Ben Clemons, No. 308
photo by eric staples | intro by sarah sharp 20 / / / / / / / / /
MASTER PLATERS RECIPE BY CHEF JOHN STEPHENSON OF FIDO
GREEN EGGS & COUNTRY HAM WITH GREEN CHILE GRITS
occasionally until liquid is absorbed and grits are thick and tender. Grits should have a soft, mashed potato-like consistency. Turn off the heat and gradually stir in pepper, cheese, egg, and remaining butter. Pour into a small glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until set. Serve immediately.
I am not Sam I am, but I do like green eggs and ham. I would eat them on a cloud. I would eat them really loud. I would eat them with my hands. I would eat them with no pants! INGREDIENTS: GREEN EGGS & HAM
3 eggs, scrambled 4 oz. country ham, shredded ½ cup tomatillo salsa 1 tbsp. shredded cheddar 1 cup green chile grits 1 tbsp. sour cream ½ avocado hot sauce of your choice to taste 1 lime 1 pat of butter CREAMY STONE-GROUND GREEN CHILE GRITS:
4 cups water 1 ¼ tsp. salt 2 oz. unsalted butter 1 cup coarse stone-ground white or yellow grits (Falls Mill, if possible) 1 cup whole milk, 1 diced poblano & seeds, mixed together 1 tsp. black pepper 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese 1 cup egg, scrambled GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA:
4 cups tomatillos ½ cup red onions, finely diced ½ cup poblano, finely diced ¼ tsp. jalapeño, finely diced 1 lemon, juice and zest
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½ tbsp. chopped garlic ¼ cup chopped cilantro ¼ cup chopped parsley 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. paprika ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. ground coriander ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 1 tsp. brown sugar salt & pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: GRITS
Bring water, salt, and half the butter to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add grits gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat, and simmer while stirring frequently until water absorbs and grits thicken. Cover for 8 minutes. Stir in half of the milk-poblano mixture, and simmer while partially covered. For 6 minutes, stir occasionally to keep the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the remaining milkpoblano mixture, and simmer while partially covered for 10 minutes. Stir
Preheat oven to 325˚. In a bowl of water (this makes the process easier), dump the tomatillos in and remove the paper skins and stems. Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet, add a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. Place all in a large bowl and stir together. When tomatillos are cooled, place them in a blender, and pulse until roughly chopped. Add tomatillos to other ingredients in bowl and mix it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. ASSEMBLY
The grits should be hot before plating. Heat the country ham in a small skillet until warm and slightly crispy, and keep warm. Heat a skillet with a pat of butter. When the butter foams, add eggs, salsa, and cheese. Cook the eggs while stirring gently with a spatula. Cook until they’re set but still soft. Set aside momentarily. On a plate, place a helping of green chile grits, then pour the tomatillo eggs on top. Arrange the crispy country ham on the eggs. Top with sour cream, avocado, and hot sauce to taste.
–Photo by Andrea Behrends
Take a symphonic journey into Wagner’s mythical world of The Ring, including “Ride of the Valkyries.” BUY TICKETS AT: NashvilleSymphony.org 615.687.6400
Artwork by Sam Smith, an illustrator and musician living in Nashville, Tennessee. See more of his work at samsmyth.net.
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SOBERING UP AND SETTLING DOWN TRAPPED IN THE DEPTHS OF A CRIPPLING ADDICTION, RODERICK BAILEY TOOK A DANGEROUS TURN THAT FORCED HIM TO STOP RUNNING AND OPEN HIS EYES by christina vinson | photography by andrea behrends
Roderick Bailey hit rock bottom on August 22, 2008. It’s a date he will never forget, etched in his mind as clearly as the last drink he had: half a fifth of vodka with a splash of orange juice. His past includes a debilitating addiction to drugs and alcohol that led him to rehab two different times. It’s a reminder that we are more than we appear to be; Roderick is more than the bandana-wearing owner and chef of The Silly Goose in East Nashville. His life is a story of sobering up and settling down. We meet at Portland Brew on Eastland Avenue. The day is ending as a rose-hued sky gives way to inky night, and street lamps are starting to glow. Roderick strides into the coffee shop at precisely 5 p.m., clad in
a black David Bowie t-shirt and faded denim. He smiles broad and leans in for a hug, launching into an apology for any possible disorientation. He’s battling insomnia, running on two nights of long hours at the restaurant without sleep. Roderick’s ease with others is apparent; he’s talkative and outgoing, his boyish face giving only the slightest hint of his thirty-six years. He insists on paying for our tea, and it’s clear that he enjoys taking care of people. We sit across from each other in the loft upstairs, and the story tumbles out. “I was a drunk. I was a drug addict. And I was a loser,” he says, his blue
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eyes wide with emphasis. Born and raised in Memphis, Roderick began experimenting with alcohol and drugs in his early teens and quickly became addicted. He dropped out of high school (later obtaining his GED) and hopped from job to job in Memphis, later in Europe, and then in Colorado. This marked the beginning of his tendency to run away and escape—an attempt to alleviate the restlessness that constantly plagued him. In 1997, after returning to Memphis, he left for the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. According to several publications, Roderick graduated from the prestigious culinary school. But he’s never made this claim. “I always say I attended—I never say I graduated.” I raise my eyebrows and lean forward, intrigued. He was near the top of his class with good grades and a prestigious apprenticeship in Charleston. But his substance abuse gradually got in the way of school. It wasn’t long before he missed one too many classes and was suspended. “I couldn’t wake up, you know? I was blacked out or too hungover to be seen in public.” He describes his spiral deeper into the grip of addiction, “I just couldn’t stop. I’ve tried everything that was ever put in front of me, and I sought most of it out myself. Every single thing I did, I did in excess.” After his suspension from school, he went from Hyde Park to South Florida to Oregon, then back to Memphis, leaving behind several dead-end jobs and a diminishing reputation in the restaurant industry. Roderick sets his tea quietly down on the table and opens his hands. “Everybody knew I was a cook,” he shrugs and continues, “and everybody knew I was a handful too. No one wanted to touch me.” Coming to terms with the gravity of his addiction, in August 2005,
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Roderick checked himself into a twentyeight-day rehab program at Cumberland Heights in Nashville. But one time wasn’t enough. After his first stint in rehab, he only managed to remain sober for three months, before diving back into his old habits. At the height of his substance abuse, Roderick was spending $100 a day on drugs to curb any feelings of withdrawal. “I put on a show every day, for everybody,” he admits. “If I couldn’t muster up enough energy to put on a show, I’d close
the blinds and put a bedspread over the window so no one could see.” Then, one morning, everything changed. On August 22, 2008, still drunk from the night before, he poured himself a stout vodka and orange juice, downed it in a matter of minutes, and jumped into his car. In his intoxicated, irrational state, Roderick hit a minivan and fled the scene, panicked. He abandoned his car and bolted four blocks to his apartment, shutting the blinds and peeking out periodically in
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trepidation. For the first time since we began talking, there is complete silence. The espresso bar is quiet, and most of the coffee shop dwellers have packed up and gone home. Across from me, Roderick stares into his almost-empty tea, frozen and lost in the past. He finally looks up, regret etched all over his face, “I knew I was going to jail...and going to stay in jail.” I can feel his fear as I sit listening, his voice infused with
strains of weary remembrance. “I was at the point where I didn’t want to live. I had totally given up on myself.” After several long hours staked out at his apartment, Roderick realized that no one was looking for him. He would, in fact, not be caught. He came to the realization that he couldn’t keep going down this road. The next day, thirty-two-year-old Roderick willingly checked into rehab at Cumberland Heights for the second time. “I was
in shambles—in no shape to re-enter society.” Following his stay at rehab, he entered a halfway house (which he later managed) and took a job at Provence Breads and Cafe—the first time he had worked outside of a kitchen in sixteen years. Although Provence wanted to hire Roderick as a manager, he declined, and opted for a cashier position, focusing his energy on recovery. After a few months, he was promoted, managing the Green Hills location
Third Man Records is a non-genre specific record label that specializes in the exploration of the romance of the vinyl record and expanding the confines of the imagination of the record industry. We feature 45's and LPs produced, pressed and distributed from our hometown of Nashville TN. Our catalog takes in not only varying styles and genres spanning the musical spectrum, but also spoken word records, long lost re-issues, records recorded live to analog tape from guests to our live venue, Fan Club releases in the Vault, and much much more. Come and visit our shop or see a show in our live venue. Everything is made with love and pressed with soul!
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(no longer in existence), and then he moved to the 21st Avenue storefront. After years of drowning himself in drugs and alcohol, Roderick tells me that his passion for food had fizzled out. But as his body and mind slowly healed, he was able to rediscover a love for cooking more profound than ever before. He sits up straight, his eyes brighten, and he describes the feeling of finding his mojo again. For the first time in years, he had money in the bank and an insatiable penchant for creating food. It wasn’t long before he thought, I’m going to open a restaurant. While at Provence, Roderick learned
"I WAS IN SHAMBLES —IN NO SHAPE TO RE-ENTER SOCIETY."
how to use the internet. I laugh as he confesses that until 2008, he’d never even had an email account. Cyberspace brought Roderick to Craigslist, where he found an ad for a commercial space next door to Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea in East Nashville. In an act of pure determination, he put together a business plan, talked his way into the confidence of the landlord, and signed
a lease for his future restaurant with a business partner he later bought out. He laughs, recognizing the irony. “I signed the lease while still living in and managing a halfway house on Nolensville Road.” On October 13, 2009, Roderick opened The Silly Goose with two employees, an untested menu, and four tables. Since that day, the space has
"I’M HESITANT TO USE CLICHÉS LIKE ‘IT’S A MIRACLE,’ BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY."
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doubled in size, the menu has evolved, broadening its flavors, and The Silly Goose has been recognized as one of Nashville’s treasures. It’s easy to see why. The ambience is lighthearted, with mismatched silverware wrapped in red bandanas, which playfully serve as napkins. An impressive chandelier hangs regally in the middle of the restaurant, the family-style tables and bar are crafted from smooth slabs of dark walnut, and diners sip from mason jars. It’s not just the atmosphere. The menu is an eclectic curation of exotic ingredients and unexpected combinations that react and explode with flavor almost like a perfect chemistry experiment. With every mouthful, your belly is provided with a true culinary experience, whether it’s a side of herbed couscous or something more extravagant, like the Bambina—a cast iron flank steak with roasted fig, plum, avocado, cashew, hoisin demi, and cilantro chimichurri. Dry-rubbed pork ribs nod to Roderick’s Southern roots, and the house-made ice cream selection whimsically scrawled on the chalk wall includes flavors like Honey Beet. Each offering is impeccably seasoned, plated with style, and integrates local purveyors, including Noble Springs Dairy, TruBee Honey, Provence Breads and Cafe, Silke’s Old World Breads, and Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese. But it’s not all about the food. Roderick is deeply committed to his staff. His voice takes on a serious tone, “Everybody who works for me—they’re my closest friends.” But with recovery
ups and downs of the past four years flash through his mind. “I’m hesitant to use clichés like ‘It’s a miracle,’ but I don’t know what else to say,” he laughs. “Then it’s time to go to bed, get up, and go to work.” Roderick looks tired, possibly due to lack of sleep, but probably related to the emotional journey he spent almost two hours re-living with me. He stretches and laughs, “It’s exhausting just to tell that story.” We toss the remains of our tea in the garbage as the stars begin to pinprick the sky, and the temperature drops to forty-four degrees. Headlights stream past the windows as we part ways, and I walk to my car, the smell of roasted coffee beans still permeating THE SILLY GOOSE: my senses. Roderick is heading home too—not running away Visit The Silly Goose at 1888 any longer. He has finally become Eastland Ave. in East Nashville Hours: Sun and Mon: closed someone he doesn’t want to run Tues-Thurs: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. from. And he’s staying put, standFri and Sat: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. ing firm, and settling down. 615.915.0757. For more info comes change, and his social life has dramatically shifted, with few friends outside of work. I ask if it’s hard for him, and he answers with frank honesty and deep gratitude. “Sometimes. Fair or not—that’s the lot I was dealt. And it was a pretty fair hand to be dealt for what I lived.” While his addictions will always be a part of who he is, Roderick has overcome too much to regress. “I can feel that pain and anxiety like it was yesterday; it’s a very uncomfortable place to be.” Sometimes when Roderick finds himself alone, or when he’s preparing for another day at the restaurant, the
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FROM A YOUNG AGE, KENDRA DECOLO WAS FASCINATED WITH UNCONVENTIONAL SEXUALITY. NOW THE YOUNG POET DECONSTRUCTS IT WITH LANGUAGE, UNCOVERING LIFE’S MOST UNCOMFORTABLE REALITIES by becca capers | photography by cameron powell
Kendra DeColo is a very good listener. It’s a strange thing to point out after hours of intentionally listening to her— but she asked so many questions and the discussion went in so many different directions that our interview quickly became more of a conversation. Even though she blamed her spotlight shyness on being jet-lagged from a week of family Christmasing, I don’t think this poet could have been any more prepared to talk concretely about herself. A dewy-eyed observer, Kendra feels most comfortable garnering the information and embellishments that others have to offer. They saturate her mind, and she spills them methodically onto the page. But she doesn’t prefer to use the kind of language that communicates clearly with others. She prefers to destroy what she is given, and in doing so, she creates something uniquely her own. Reading her destructive creations makes you feel a little dizzy, like you’re on the verge of realizing that your religion is a scam. In “The Strap-on Speaks,” a violent, beautiful rhapsody that won her third prize in SplitThisRock.org’s Poetry Contest in 2011, she writes, “I want to be your tongue / torching a city, / a storm wrenched / into formlessness / as the threat of a wave.” Ever since Kendra could read and write, she’s been torching dull cities with the images she’s “mined” throughout her three decades. Where does she find these mines? Well, just about anywhere she looks—in conversations with prisoners she tutored at Suffolk County House of Correction, and in the poems and stories of others, like those she edited when spearheading the Nashville Review with Matthew Baker in 2009. Originally though, she gained inspiration from her hometown of Provincetown, Massachusetts.
"SEXUALITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN OBSESSION FOR ME."
She coins it the “gay vacation town of the Northeast.” Imagine a historically Puritanical backdrop bespeckled with shivering, bikini-clad men on rollerblades. There, Kendra was surrounded by images of sexuality, leading her to question her own sexual identity at an early age. “I had crushes on gay men, drag queens, and lesbian women. It was a constant parade of gender representations; sex was a performance there.” Though her physical appearance— borderline mousy, short brunette hair, a nose stud, and a penchant for dangly earrings—is not as intimidating or bombastic as that of a transvestite, her lyric is. Poems like “The Strap-on Speaks” reflect her tumultuous relationship with femininity. “Sexuality has always been an obsession for me,” Kendra explains. Despite her lack of experience as an outright victim of sexual violence, she has always felt a deep sensitivity towards misogyny and homophobia. “Me and my close friend, now a married gay woman, used to be very militant when we were young, without knowing why. We just knew certain things were wrong, and that we needed to defend ourselves from them.” But though she’s had girlfriends, she never feels the need to categorize her sexuality. At the core, she identifies as a human. When she applies for grants, as MFA-
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wielding artists often do, Kendra describes her own poetry as dealing with what it means to be on the threshold of sexual identity. I get the feeling that she doesn’t particularly relish painting all of her work with the same brushstroke, but her description, unsurprisingly, is spot-on. Her poems wade non-stagnantly in the no man’s land of androgyny. And like the androgynous nature of Patti Smith or David Bowie, it has an unmistakably arousing and gravitating quality. Accessing a voice that transcends gender, Kendra says, is one of her biggest victories in writing. Her lines are normally unaligned and enjambed, betraying another truth about Kendra—she deconstructs not only gender but language itself. But she doesn’t intend to obscure the meaning of her words. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Kendra relishes Ilya Kaminsky’s idea of “breaking language to wake you up.” “The entire time I’ve been writing poetry, people have been telling me that it’s too much; it’s excessive, or there are too many images canceling each other out.” But she doesn’t care about too many images. She wants to express the wild, allencompassing, mortal nature of her poetic self. Rules are for the real world. “When I’m writing,” she begins, “I really like to free myself from those sorts of constructs.” She tries to write three pages every morning, not for production, but for purging. As a writer myself,
I understand this impulse. Her poems are crowded not only with images, but also with sounds and ineffable emotions, which might otherwise blindingly buzz in her imagination. Happily shipwrecked in Nashville since earning her MFA at Vanderbilt in 2011, Kendra lives in 12South with her fiancé, a screenwriter (and a man, in case you were wondering). She’s taking a break from full-time teaching to work on her manuscript, which she hopes to turn into her
first published book of poetry. Nashville is the first place where Kendra has been able to identify solely as a poet, shedding other parts of her personality. And you wouldn’t believe it, but the baby-faced beauty turned thirty in February. “That's a real number,” she sighs. “I guess my life is actually happening, and I can’t just keep wandering.” After finishing her undergrad at Sarah Lawrence, she wandered as much as she could—when her age was a little less real. While traveling in South America, she did some image mining at the hands of hospitable artists and beautiful people she came across. One woman in particular, a sardonic and jaded Argentine poet named Cecelia Pavone, taught Kendra something she already suspected: naïvete in art is a privilege, and one that she would never fully enjoy. A sponge for imagery, she’s already absorbed too much life to pretend otherwise. Kendra’s induction into the world of hyper-educated collegiates is not what fuels what she pens. In fact, she never really followed the traditional canon of poets and writers. Her early exposure to deviant sexual activity (and titties) made it difficult to relate to the subtle, Victorian sexuality in Jane Eyre, for example. She preferred the sensational twentieth-century modernists. She’s only now returning to Ovid and Shakespeare. The education she cherishes and incorporates into her writing is the one she started in Provincetown—the same town where she became familiar with banana hammocks and strap-ons. Her poetry emanates from sex dungeons and homeless shelters more so than hallowed halls of learning, though she has
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more personal experience in the latter. And the two converged when she volunteered at a women’s prison in New York City while at Sarah Lawrence. Kendra says that the solidarity among the women was inexorable, and after only a day, she remembers feeling it herself. Spend any time with this girl, and I swear she’ll absorb the run-off emotion from your skin. During her MFA program, when she wasn’t editing poetry for the Nashville Review, Kendra wrote poems about sexual trauma. These “poems of witness” don’t mirror her own experiences, and at the time she often wondered if she was perpetuating violence with them. She inevitably decided that she has a social duty to write about uncomfortable realities. She’s out of her comfort zone writing about sexual trauma, but she’s also on to something. The effect of her words isn’t limited to herself, so her words aren’t limited to her own experience or identity. Like her sensitivity to injustice as a child, her overwhelming poetic impulse toward issues like these are motivated by a courage to empathize, rather than a need for catharsis. In empathizing with others’ dark spots, Kendra tries to give hope to those that have gone through what she illustrates. “Hope is in the brokenness,” she explains. “It isn’t in looking away,
"HOPE IS IN THE BROKENNESS."
KENDRA DECOLO: Follow Kendra on Twitter @KendraDeColo
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but in finding the beauty in what is happening.” And I can hear this in her poetry. She douses would-be trauma with magic, bringing to life a brutal fragility to which she herself identifies. In Argentina, Massachusetts, or Nashville, she mines images of people and places that color her sense of our ephemeral world. Ever the responsible citizen, the poet recognizes that her part in influencing change is describing it. “The purpose of poetry is naturally environmentalist,” she says. “We’re acknowledging that we’re part of a system, and that it all could disappear tomorrow.” The poem below is a part of the manuscript Kendra is working to publish.
ODE IN WHICH I PEE STANDING UP Like a drunk staggering home through a field of slit-open blossoms lit up and green as a jukebox or the man leaning behind the club astonished by his own heat and immense echo threading the moonslathered alley I pee standing up, too, in love with the v my legs make straddling a shadow the phosphorous hiss of night air, fingers slicing mist in love with the teeth of my hand as it smiles the pulled curtain of rain and wooziness
the river can’t understand sleek and innocuous always having to look up at the same rootless dark Because the stars are impotent but I am not the field accosted by wings scuffled and flame-throated with eyes like ghosts I know how to work flesh into useful contortions blossoms or boats the way a body bends to hijack the shape of another’s breath each note of praise lodged in the octaves’s cold arc
curled tongue of lamps
Because to pray is to listen, each cell hustling in my liver letting the small hands
Because the walk home is full of too many bridges whose slang
of light shake me down.
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HANZELLE IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW HANZELLE’S MUSICAL INFLUENCES RANGE FROM BACH TO PROG TO HIP HOP, BUT I BET YOUR DAD’S NEVER HEARD ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE
by sarah sharp | photography by dabney morris
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Hanzelle is like a washing machine, or a salad tosser, or maybe even a steaming pot of gumbo. Okay. Let them clarify: “Hanzelle likes Yes, kinda, but they probably like Janet Jackson more. Maybe? As postmodern hitmakers from Nashville’s hidden corners, Hanzelle aspires to CUT TO THE BONE.” That should clear things up. If you haven’t heard Hanzelle, this probably makes no sense at all. But after a night spent with these five music nerds that make up the genrefusing, cosmic dance-pop outfit, it all makes perfect sense.
I’ve lived in Nashville for seventeen years. This would give the impression that I’ve got a treasure chest of years under my belt. Well, I don’t; I’m only twentythree. And when I relocated here from L.A. at the ripe age of five, I only had so much on my mind. I wasn’t pondering the meaning of life (although I did survive a tornado upon my welcome, thinking it was “fun”), and my most profound questions were something along the lines of, “Mom, when are we getting a dog?” and “How
many teeth can I pull out today?” I was living in glorious lala land. Needless to say, I would never consider L.A. to be my hometown—I’m a Nashville native. My dad being a pretty badass guitar player didn’t hurt either. Growing up here, my life was and still is, completely intertwined with music. It’s tradition. It’s practically law. And it’s Music City, where music holds just about as much importance as God, if not more. As “they” say, Nashville is a tough crowd—correction: the toughest crowd. And I’m exactly who “they” are talking about. I’ve
done my darndest to leave the snark snout at home when I see bands, especially for those that are local. But in a town where practically everyone’s a singersongwriter, in a rock band, or trying to be a country star, it’s almost impossible not to become desensitized, indifferent, and inconvincible. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Don’t get me wrong—this is Music City. Any night of the week, you can walk into a bar on any side of town and hear live, more than decent, original material. Music is all around you; and it’s the reason why I love living here. But when you’ve been here “forever,” you stop being surprised. You stop hearing it. In the same respect, thanks to programs at MTSU, Belmont, and The School of Audio Engineering, people from all over the state and country come here to study and pursue careers in the music industry. So naturally, Nashville is a breeding ground for new ideas, and is ultimately a land of promise to meet the right people who know, think, and breathe music. Knowledge is power, and power is key. And if there’s one thing I can say honestly about Casey, Jeremi, Dustin, Steven, and Peter of Hanzelle, it’s that they all possess a supreme understanding of music, miles beyond that of your average “Joe Strummer” (not to be confused with the member of The Clash). •••
ODESSA ROSE INFO: Follow Odessa on Facebook at facebook.com/odessarosemusic
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The first time I met Casey Kaufman, I was in college at MTSU. She was bartending at The Boro Bar & Grill across from campus, slingin’ beers to some crusty Carl who’d been there since noon, and hustling to our corner booth decorated with an abundance of neon beer signs. Casey was rocking the au natural look with grace, her petite frame carrying her in a way that demanded your attention, like she had some gravitational pull. When she walked back to the bar, my friend, a musician, was raving about how cool she was. He yelled over whatever music was playing, “She plays cello and sings in a band.” Sold, I thought. A musician’s wet dream. Fast-forward a couple years to to-
MUSIC IS ALL AROUND YOU; AND IT’S THE REASON WHY I LOVE LIVING HERE.
day—9:32 p.m. on a Monday night. I’m entering the wrought-iron back door of the Hanzelle house. Casey greets me with a whole-hearted hug that reminds me of a hug my mom gave me when I was ten, after I catapulted off a trampoline and landed in the splits. It didn’t stop the pain, but it was a damn good hug. Casey’s grip is equally as comforting, even if I didn’t fall off a trampoline. Aside from being a fantastic hugger, she’s still one of the coolest girls in town. People know of her as a functioning badass, playing in bands like The Ascent of Everest and Hanzelle, and she’s still everyone’s favorite bartender. These days, she hustles around 12 South Taproom. Her big, bulb-like eyes are friendly as ever, except now, the brunette rocks a short bob slightly past chin length with a fierce sideburn. Artfully greased into a slight curve on the left side of her face, this thick-cut ladyburn is one of Casey’s trademarks, along with a pair of galaxy leggings she wears. Onstage with Hanzelle, Casey owns the microphone while backed by a barricade of sound and a team of men—a team she assembled at MTSU. “Mitsu,” as some of us alum call it, is like one big, happy, extended family. With an avid house show scene, you tend to run into the same people with the same things in common: 1) music 2) drinking 3) bikes 4) partying 5) El Camino Real Mexican Restaurant. This is Murfreesboro in a nutshell. During my four-plus years there, these fives things ruled my life. And for that short time, life ruled. Number four is how I met the other founder of Hanzelle—Jeremi Morris or “Jerei,” he corrects me, while his kitty, Elle-Belle, nestles herself right underneath his chin, cooing and purring at the sound of his voice. I was stumbling around at one of Murfreesboro’s notorious late night hangs called Ragland Manor. C
HANZELLE: For more info visit hanzelle.com. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @_Hanzelle
To be fair, my recollection of this night is a tad blurry. Jeremi rolled in around 4:30 a.m. with a couple friends cuttin’ up—shades still on. If I remember correctly, we danced to a repertoire of electro and hip hop until the wee hours of the morning. There, in that bare living room, Jeremi was laying down mad freestyles—quite the entertainer he was. He’s the type of guy who’s always on stage, and thrives on entertaining those around him. He is a man of many personas, yet they all come back to one source, who you can safely call Jeremi, Jerei, or Jerri. He goes by all three. Tonight, he wastes no time. When he gives me a tour of their practice room, he points to a framed picture of a ginormous Early Times hot air balloon that looks like it’s toppling over. He swags up his posture, busting out in a dirty South, ghetto-fab accent, “That’s what gettin’ day drunk feels like.” After my cackling subsides, I actually consider this statement, and in all its ridiculousness, I agree. Jeremi is like an Aryan teddy bear. He has blonde facial scruff and bright blue eyes, and more often than not, he’s wearing a mischievous smirk on his face. He gets a kick out of making other people laugh, and he owns a very distinct spastic chuckle. Though he’s almost ten years Casey’s senior, you’d never guess it by his playful nature.
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Camille Utterback and RomyAchituv. Text Rain (installation view), 1999. Interactive installation; custom software, video camera, computer, projector, and lighting. Courtesy of the artists. 46 / / / / / / / / /
The two started out writing, recording, and producing their own music, which turned into their first album released in 2009, dubbed Bio-Electric Flower Pot. Both players at heart—Casey, a cellist from the age of five, and Jeremi, an all-around rhythm enthusiast with a love for production, they weren’t satisfied with just putting a record out. “We thought, how can we make this happen live?” Casey recalls. Soon enough, they rounded up a band one by one, with one very important thing in common: when it came to music, it was time to nerd out. So they got Dustin McCormick on the drums, Peter Wallace behind the upright bass and synthesizer, and Steven Palassis on guitar. Jeremi begins, “When we got together to play music for Bio-Electric Flower Pot...” Dustin interjects, “We started to stray from the songs.” Then Casey chimes in, “What was very organic about it was that we were writing new material with everyone’s input.” What initially started as an electronic project between Casey and Jeremi quickly turned into a five-piece collaboration. “It never really sounded like Bio-Electric
Flower Pot,” Peter projects through a wild cursion—someone that can speak bear and mane of a beard. “No matter how hard you spark a fire in thirty seconds flat. He’s at one try to play what’s there, it never really turns with nature—a unity that translates to his out the way it was intended. Our sound is musical philosophy. “The ratios in rhythms, a product of the proharmonies, and chords are cesses we use to make the same ratios that make up it.” "WE HAVE our bodies—like your body Jeremi then takes is vibin’ with the vibrations,” the floor, “We’re kind AN IDEA WE he says. It becomes clear of like StumbleUpon. TYPE INTO that Peter is definitely the We have an idea we talker and a philosopher of type into the cue, and THE CUE, AND strong voice and conviction. we end up stumbling WE END UP He moves to the edge of the upon the sound.” As I slate-blue cushion, strokes look around the woodSTUMBLING his beard, and elaborates. paneled living room, I UPON THE “Music is the most important realize how different thing to most of the people in all five are from one SOUND." the world.” another, not just in Like the rest of his bandappearance, but in demates, Peter got an early start meanor. Peter looks like Chris McCandless from in music, in church and the middle school Into the Wild, except maybe he would have band, learning music theory and studying survived. He readily announces, “I’m rug- the classics. These things proved to be a maged as hell.” But that’s exactly the type of jor part of his development into a musician, guy you’d want to take on an outdoor ex- though for Peter and Casey, music educa-
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tion was in some ways stifling. “You’re not taught to improvise, you’re taught to play a specific style. And rhythm is something inherent for me. I hear the shoes in the dryer and record it with my phone because I like the way it sounds,” Casey explains. And for Peter, playing to someone else’s standards took the magic out of the creation. His biggest influences are artists that defy tradition. What took his music to the next level was a fascination with the exploration of sound. “It’s like a game. How many ways can you put the code together? How many ways can it make you feel?” Dustin and Steven are the rest of the puzzle. Though they’re more reserved, their outward thinking, knack for improvisation, and musical mastery are essential to Hanzelle’s ability to create music with no boundaries. I met Dustin at a house show where he was playing drums for his other band, Technikiller. Smack dab in the nucleus of cop central, a parade of fix-gear bikes and kids with cool haircuts littered the front lawn. I walk into the living room steaming with sweat and hot breath, and I’m greeted by a giant wave of swaying dudes banging their heads to the spastic and heavy rhythms of Dustin’s
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handiwork, and to the metal-progressive riffs of his guitarist. Like his role in Technikiller, Dustin is the backbone of Hanzelle. Behind a drumset, he’s a maniac for rhythm, but in person, he’s a man of careful words. He resembles Dexter Morgan, but not in a creepy way. He’s got a straight, composed look about him. Now it makes sense when he says, “Growing up, I played drums for the choir on Sunday mornings, playing to old
hymns.” For a guy raised in such a traditional environment, he seems to have no problem abandoning the standard when it comes to music. His influences range from The Beatles to Pearl Jam to Ford & Lopatin. Suddenly, I hear “chirp, chirp, chirp,” sped up three times fast. This is Dustin’s hidden talent, and he calls it the “Disney bird.” Then from the other side of the room, I hear an impressive eagle caw, sounding as if it’s bouncing off every wall of the Grand Canyon. This is Steven. As we’re sitting in our drum circle minus the drums, I’m completely engulfed in the dynamic of these five. After three years of playing together and winning every Battle of the Bands they have ever entered, these guys (and girl) possess the closeness of a family. And one thing I know about families is there’s always that person (i.e. baby brother) who is the butt of all the jokes. But in the end, it’s out of love. In Hanzelle, Steven receives all the love. Steven is polite and proper, yet the first time I met him, I was feeling pretty improper with the help of liquid courage. Our initial half-hour conversation was as spastic as Dustin’s drumming. Tonight, though, he patiently waits for his turn to talk as the conversation carousels like a game of duck-duck-goose. As soon as it comes around to him, he can barely even get in a word. But Casey, the mama goose "I HEAR that she is, THE SHOES calls order to the floor and IN THE clears it for DRYER AND Steven, who claims to be RECORD more of an obIT WITH server anyway. Like the rest MY PHONE of the crew, Steven grew BECAUSE up infatuated I LIKE THE with music, particularly WAY IT with guitar. SOUNDS." “When I was 8 years
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old, I got my first electric guitar called “The Terminator,” and it had a built-in speaker,” he starts. And this was around the time that hair bands were huge, so electric was everything—at least to Steven. “I opened it up and strummed it, and it sounded just like a crappy acoustic guitar.” These days, his electric guitars actually sound plugged in. And it comes as no surprise to me that he’s turned into quite the electronics engineer. Along with playing with Hanzelle, he’s the band’s in-
house Mr. Fix-it. And this self-taught skill has landed him work with other musicians. A guy who can play the guitar (well) and fix an amp—Hanzelle’s got it made with Steven. With only three years under their belt, the five have accomplished a few things that many decades-old bands wouldn’t even attempt. Back in Murfreesboro, they wrote and performed a musical score to Alice in Wonderland, played an entire set of Outkast covers at the Southern Girls Rock
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M C G AVO C K
and Roll Camp (where both Casey and Jeremi rapped), and have been a staple of the beloved bike/music festival Tour de Fun, where they wrote a song in its honor. “Lift that ass, let me smell that seat” are just a few words. And in the midst of all this, they released a self-titled EP in 2011, and two singles, “Body Rock” and “I Know” in early 2012. Due to a lifetime’s worth of music education, and thanks to a suburb of Nashville that lives, breathes, and thrive
MOVING ON UP TO THE
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s on music, these five found each other and started something that no one else can touch in Nashville. They’re not singersongwriter. They’re not garage rock. They’re not country. They’re prog-rock, R&B, and classical. They’re hip hop, Krautrock, and pop. They’re everything. They’re Hanzelle. And for them, there are no boundaries. As for now, they’re working on a new album, which should be released by this summer, and they’re gearing up for a tour which will lead them to Austin for South By Southwest, where they’re playing five showcases, and the Nashville DIY showcase, South By SouthWendy’s. Yes, it’s a stage set up outside of the Wendy’s in downtown Austin. What could be more appropriate? Well, maybe an entire tour playing Battle of the Bands. With their brains, stage presence, and guts to explore the bounds of sound, they deliver smart pop without all the inaccessibility that comes with art pop. I would even go as far as to say that no band could beat them in a battle. As I suggest this on my way out, everyone pauses, and Jeremi breaks into his “Charlene” character, “Well, honey! We’ve nevah lost!”
THEY’RE PROG-ROCK, R&B, AND CLASSICAL. THEY’RE HIP HOP, KRAUTROCK, AND POP.
IN THE MALL AT GREEN HILLS ...for now
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OF SCHOOL ROAST LESA AND BRAD WOOD ARE NO AMATEURS WHEN IT COMES TO COFFEE, NOR ARE THEY THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK TO NASHVILLE’S BEAN SCENE. 8TH & ROAST HAS BEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING
Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in Nashville. It seems like every shop has its quirky shtick—it might be a record player, or twenty-dollar chocolate bars, or baristas dressed like Christian Bale in Newsies. You pick your favorite one, and you go religiously. But when they’re all so cool, what makes one stand out from the others? 8th & Roast is even more all that than All That. Yeah, nineties babies. You walk in feeling classier than if you were wearing a five-piece suit, yet comfier than if you were chilling in a poncho and Uggs, eating Doritos off your stomach. You can run in and out in under five minutes, or you can camp out for a while over your favorite copy of fantasy fiction while practicing Parseltongue. Whichever you prefer, Lesa and Brad Wood have created a unique coffee experience to get that steaming cup of joe in your hand faster
than you can say mocha java. And they’ll give an education along the way. The cold wind ravages my cheeks as I shuffle down the sidewalk. I hurriedly shove open the front door of the shop and am immediately greeted by warmth. The aroma of coffee fills my head, and for once, I’m excited to try something stronger than my usual hot chocolate. The space has an early twentieth-century vibe—which is around the time the building was developed. The ceiling is a soft black expanse of patterned tin, and its edges meet with walls of exposed brick and marshmallowcolored paint. There are plenty of places to take a seat and enjoy a tasty delight. Slabs of walnut make up the bar area, and vintage bowling lanes that were manufactured locally are repurposed into tables. Behind the barista station lays a metallic roaster that fills every nostril in
the neighborhood with the smell of fresh grounds. A vintage, pour-over brewing station runs along one of the walls, where those looking to set up shop may brew their own coffee. And if you’re no barista, don’t fret. One of the staff, if not Lesa or Brad, will gladly teach you how it’s done. Lesa—a brunette with rectangular specs and a friendly smile—greets me and asks what I would like to drink while we wait for Brad to join us. Trusting her expertise, I order the mocha she recommends—after all, she’s the sole roaster at 8th & Roast, and knows more about coffee than you could imagine. The entire concept for the place—from the service to the décor—comes from a passion for quality coffee that began when she brought home a little roaster for her husband some years ago. We walk to the storage room in the back of the building to begin my tour of
8th & ROAST: Visit 8th & Roast on 8th Avenue across the street from Zanie’s. Hours: MonFri 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. // Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. // Sun 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Follow them on Twitter @roastinc
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the shop. While I steadily gulp down my new favorite treat, I notice a tattoo of a caffeine molecule on Brad’s right forearm. And as Lesa gives me a run-through on all things java, I realize this coffee-lovin’ couple means business. So we get down to it. I ask why they chose to restore the space to represent the period in which it was built—the 1930s. Brad tells me, “One of the reasons why we’re here is to preserve Nashville’s history. This town is notorious for taking out the old and bringing in the new. And the old’s got a lot of cool to it.” When they began scouting a place to relocate their coffee-roasting venture, Lesa was bent on finding an industrial location. But once they walked into the space, nestled among a strip of antique shops and boutiques, they fell in love. Before opening to the public, the space needed one extreme makeover. Where’s Ty Pennington when you need him? Well, turns out they didn’t need him at all—they had Brad. With the help of shop manager Tim Carey, the couple took jackhammers to the walls to expose the original foundation, handcrafted each light fixture, and even cut the walnut slabs that now make up the bar—all in-house. Lesa’s vision for a coffee shop straight out of the early twentieth century was brought to life by her man, Brad. With every facet of the interior, their meticulous attention to detail is stunning. In the ladies’ bathroom, the porcelain toilet paper dispenser is topped with an ashtray, although I don’t think smoking inside is encouraged. But if you were a female nicotine fiend during the Depression era, you would have to take your smoke break to the potty or be labeled a floozy. The brewing counters are made with galvanized steel in place of stainless, because back
"...THIS IS NOT A THREE COURSE MEAL. THIS IS A CUP OF COFFEE. AND YOU WANT TO GET IT AND GO."
in the day it wouldn’t have been available, Lesa tells me. This impressive level of thoughtfulness gives customers something for their eyes to feast on as their mouths slurp down quality joe. But looks aren’t everything. They wanted to be as authentic as possible, so they strove to only use Americanmade products. They even salvaged some antique gems that give it the kind of character a decades-old coffee shop had to work for years to achieve. Brad and Lesa knew there had to be history behind some of the impressive items they were able to salvage. So they went through the process of authenticating the pieces when possible. What they found was pleasantly surprising. After some investigation about the table used for the pour-over station, they discovered that not only was it built in the thirties, but it was the same counter where young activists of the Civil Rights Movement conducted a sit-in at Nashville’s Union Bus Station. They went above and beyond to perfect an aesthetic for their space and were adamant about making sure their business would be accessible to those with disabilities. “We went ahead and said, ‘If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it well,’” Lesa affirms. This promise translates to every aspect of 8th & Roast. “Everything we did—from the equipment, to the set up, to the flow—was geared toward the fact that our customers want a specialty, gourmet coffee; and they want it fast,” she explains. They noticed how
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"THERE’S A LOT OF ART TO IT—A LOT OF SUBTLETIES GOING ON."
coffee shops have become a time commitment, and it seemed like waiting in long lines for a simple cup to-go was part of the deal. Inspired by the movement in larger cities to serve gourmet, artisanal foods with fast food timing, Lesa and Brad adopted the same model. “The longest line I’ve seen is four or five people. We’re moving as fast as we can. Not because we’re trying to rush you out, but we’re aware of the fact that this is not a three course meal. This is a cup of coffee. And you want to get it and go,” Lesa expounds. Their baristas are trained to be efficient, use very descriptive words (and not a lot of them) to give you what you need to make an educated decision. But if you’re looking to park it for a spell, while cupping a warm mug of in-house roasted coffee, this is still the place for you.
When they opened Roast, Inc. three years ago—the parent company of 8th & Roast—Brad and Lesa were the first in Nashville to serve coffee exclusively via pour-over method, adding more complex mechanisms and services as they went along. Pour-over coffee moved West from Japan, and is the process of brewing a single cup at a time. Each time you brew, you have complete control of each component of the procedure. Reminiscent of the learning experience that ignited a fire in Lesa’s heart, they pay it forward by encouraging their customers to selfbrew, perhaps in the hope that they will never go back to Hazelnut Folgers with Mr. Coffee. (Contrary to popular belief, the best part of waking up is not actually Folgers in your cup.) But a specialty brewing method is useless without a quality bean. No beans can be grown in the United States because coffee needs sunshine, humidity, and altitude to reach fruition. So about a year ago, Brad began globetrotting around the equatorial belt. He periodically visits Central and South American farms, handpicking
BOURBON beans roasted by Lesa and served in their shop. They do all of this to bring gourmet coffee to those who relentlessly crave until they get their fix. I ask Brad if scouting beans is exhilarating or magical. He laughs at me and says, “It’s like being in the rainforest; it’s not magical. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But it’s hot and sweaty, and there are spiders.” But Brad braves the spiders because he believes in what they’re doing. He and Lesa are careful about the people they work with—making sure the planters are honest about their coffee, the farmers are paid fairly, and that they’re receiving the beans they order. When scouting, Brad is hosted by the people he works with and gets to know them over home-cooked meals. He can even count the hands that have touched the coffee that ultimately makes its way to 8th & Roast. Lesa and Brad are on an eternal quest for better coffee, and they look for complexity when choosing their beans. Lesa elaborates, “Everybody wants their coffees to be sweet and kind of chocolatey, but what else is there?” It turns out coffee has a flavor spectrum with over forty-five descriptors, ranging from pipe tobacco to cucumber, and the couple wants to introduce Nashville to the unique side of everyone’s favorite morning beverage. But these distinct flavors cannot be tasted from a fresh coffee bean. Someone has to roast them first.
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"MORE SO THAN SAYING SOMETHING IS ORGANIC, I WANT TO HEAR THAT IT’S LOCAL." Before Roast, Inc. was conceived, Brad did all the home roasting while maintaining a full-time job. They took the coffee to local farmers’ markets, and were received so enthusiastically by the community, that Lesa took over, and roasting became her passion and life’s work. Roasting is almost exclusively a maledominated profession; Lesa is one of the only women in the country doing it. “Some don’t take you seriously, and then some do. Some take you really seriously.
drive, Tim is now her apprentice and is following in her footsteps. But for now, Lesa still handles each roast on her own. Because they work with high-end, specialty coffees that cost a handful of pretty pennies, it’s imperative that Tim understands everything about the chemistry of roasting before he can tackle the process himself. “He’s truly what an apprentice should be, which is just someone starting to gather information.” One day, Lesa will recommend
The more I build my brand and my reputation, the more seriously they’ll take me.” Becoming a roaster doesn’t happen overnight—it’s hard work. And to be certified, you must be recommended into a guild after apprenticing. There aren’t formal classes for learning the trade—you have to be taught by someone else. Lesa apprenticed under another female roaster she happened to meet when purchasing some coffee. And just as she began her journey with a spark of interest and some
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Tim to join the guild, and that means her name will be attached to his reputation as well. And after talking with him, I have no doubt he will one day make her proud. “There’s a lot of art to it—a lot of subtleties going on,” Tim explains. “We spend hours and hours perfecting each one of these profiles. They’re big into the science side of it. And they’re teaching me why everything is happening.” He continues about acid breakdowns and moisture content—it’s more than most people would care to know, but absolutely necessary to Brad and Lesa. They are teachers, and with an education from them comes a lesson on how to be a teacher as well. As Tim heads out to give a demonstration at Whole Foods, I’m curious to know the other ways 8th & Roast connects with Nashville’s community. They’re quite involved around town. You may have seen them at the Nashville Film Festival, where they set up a “sober station” at the Belcourt, or at the grand opening of Mike Wolfe’s Antique Archaeology in Marathon Village. They also partner with restaurants and stores—distributing to Whole Foods, Edgehill Cafe, and Watermark. And the baked goods they offer are sourced locally from Dozen Bakery, Café Fundamental, and The Wild Muffin. “We are very passionate about the whole local movement. It doesn’t make sense to bring things from across the country if you can source locally. More so than saying something is organic, I want to hear that it’s local,” Lesa states passionately. She and Brad are intentional when it comes to forging strong relationships within the community, just like those created with the farmers and importers from whom they select their beans. That all falls into their concept—their vision. This is the artisan movement built on a community that supports one another. Lesa and Brad are true to Nashville, and that’s where their relationships will stay. Alas, it’s finally time to leave. And as I grab a black coffee to go for the first time in my life, I know I’ll be seeing much more of Lesa and Brad.
Can I Write This Off?
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NOVE APPROA by claire gibson | photography by ryan green 60 / / / / / / / / /
In his first year of teaching, Mathew Portel discovered a staggering reality about children’s literacy. With a library on his own two wheels, he set out on a new route
There’s something familiar about walking into a public school. Linoleum floors, echoey hallways, a smiling secretary behind a wooden desk— it’s enough to send anyone flashing back to spelling bees, lunchrooms, and recess. But for me, passing through the big glass doors on the way into Cole Elementary School doesn’t remind me of my eighteen years as a student, but of the two short years I spent as a Nashville public school teacher. Those years when I felt simultaneously inspired and dejected, while witnessing students of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds strive to achieve an education despite the incredible challenges they faced daily. And in Nashville public schools, literacy is one of the biggest obstacles these students face. I experienced this literacy famine firsthand. Day after day in my own classroom, I watched seventh graders avoid work they couldn’t complete. I remember Takeria* throwing a dictionary at me, rather than writing in her journal for eight min-
utes. Acting out and taking the role as the “bad kid” was better than admitting her struggles with reading and writing. Going to the principal’s office was better than going to the reading specialist. Other students, like Chris, never raised their hands or their heads. They were desperate to keep themselves and their deficiencies invisible. Statistics support what I observed as a teacher. According to the 2012 Nashville Metro Public Schools Report Card, only fortyfive percent of children in grades three through eight are proficient in reading comprehension—and that number decreases dramatically when you look solely at children in poverty. For many teachers like me, the symptoms of illiteracy can distract from the real problem. To kids like Takeria, we become disciplinarians trying to maintain control. For kids like Chris, we become clowns and entertainers trying to engage everyone in the room. None of it works. And rarely does it even band-aid the root issue at hand. Mathew Portel felt that sense of frustration early in his teaching ca-
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reer too. Five years ago, in his first year of teaching, Mathew asked his fourth-grade class to read every night at home. Then came a surprising conversation with a student named Martez. “Martez innocently said, ‘I don’t have any books to read,’” Mathew recalls, reenacting their conversation. “So, I said, ‘Wait, you don’t have any books at home to read?’ Martez said, ‘No, I don’t have any books.’” Like any good teacher, Mathew did some research. And as it turned out, Martez wasn’t lying—and he wasn’t alone. Literacy experts estimate that in low-income neighborhoods, there is only one age-appropriate book per three hundred kids. One book per three hundred kids. The figure staggered Mathew, inspiring him to start collecting books for his classroom—for kids like Martez. If they couldn’t get the books, he’d bring the books to them. At the time, Mathew was a member of a mountain biking community called Tennessee Mountain Bike, so he turned to his friends for help. Together, they scheduled the very first “Ride for Reading”—a disjointed, impromptu bike ride, where everyone brought books for Mathew’s students. But quickly, the humble idea took on a life of its own—people donated money, and friends suggested the group collect books for the whole school, not just for one classroom. The momentum spurred Mathew to
morph his book-collecting, bike-riding idea into a legitimate non-profit organization, which required a lengthy application he completed by himself. By February 2008, the application was approved, and Mathew was no longer just a teacher, but the CEO of a non-profit organization. “I don’t even know how it happened,” he says, sitting on a blue exercise ball behind his desk and clicking his pen nervously. Mathew is young, with formidable facial hair and a reputation for fitness. Behind his desk at school, he parks his road bike, complete with saddlebags and a helmet. “It was unbelievable when we got the approval. It was scary in a sense, but exciting because I knew it came with a lot of responsibility.” Initially, Mathew was hoping to collect as many books as possible and get them in the hands of as many children as he could. In Ride for Reading’s first year, he was driving books to schools and allowing teachers to pick out books for their students from the organization’s storage shed. People in the bike community were donating books and lending their support, but beyond that, Mathew says, there was no true connection
RIDE FOR READING: To find out more about Ride for Reading, visit rideforreading.com
between the riding and the reading. Then in 2009, everything changed. Over coffee at Fido, Mathew’s friend Austin Bauman, the founder and owner of Nashville’s Green Fleet Messengers, posed a simple question that forever changed the heartbeat of the organization: why not deliver the books by bike? “I remember the exact booth we were sitting in, and having the ‘ah-ha’ epiphany moment, thinking, this is what makes it Ride for Reading,” Mathew tells me. “So, we began to purchase trailers, gather cyclists, and post the plans through social media. The first bike delivery, we had six people.” Since then, Ride for Reading’s mission and following has exploded. Over the last five years, they have collected and delivered over 100,000 books to more than twenty different schools and organizations serving low-income communities. Last summer, Mayor Karl Dean joined sixtyfive cyclists on a ride to drop 3,000 books at East Nashville’s Martha O’Bryan Center. And later in September, one hundred cyclists from around the country joined Ride for Reading to deliver 2,000 books to a Las Vegas public school while at Interbike—North America’s premier cycling trade event. On the day of a ride, all of the volunteers meet and load up saddlebags, backpacks, and bike trailers full of books of
emmaâ€™s on the MOVE
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all shapes, sizes, and colors. With helmets adjusted and gears cranking, the team takes off in queue, climbing up the streets of Nashville’s poorest neighborhoods. At stoplights, under bridges, and through construction zones, Mathew leads his rolling library, ready to meet an unseen need in our neighborhoods. When the pack arrives at the chosen school, they’re greeted with beaming smiles, waving posters, and cheers from children and teachers. Once inside, the cyclists immediately turn into librarians without missing a beat. Together, they line up books by grade level, while kids wait anxiously, bouncing and buzzing—excited for their turn to find a treasure and a new adventure, ready to put their little hands on books. The excitement builds until Mathew finally allows the children to line up and peruse the brand new collection of books that, moments before, appeared in their school. Across the children’s faces, you’ll find smiles, uncertainty, and sometimes, sheer thrill.
"I ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO NEVER THROW A BOOK AWAY, BUT TO PASS IT ON."
If Ride for Reading wants kids to be excited about books, it’s working. In recent months, Ride for Reading has partnered with professional mountain bikers, Swiftwick Socks, and national organizations like First Book, to spread its message. Following Mathew’s lead, riders from all over the country have established Ride for Reading branches—with routes reaching into Colorado, Florida, and Nevada. “I encourage students to never throw a book away, but to pass it on,” Mathew says. “In low-income areas, books aren’t treasured as much as other things because of the mobility rates. When they move, they can only take certain things. So I’ve tried to instill in kids that books are very important. They’re special; they’re not supposed to be ripped and torn and drawn in. They’re precious, and aren’t to be taken
for granted.” And while Ride for Reading’s monthly excursions are making a marked difference, Mathew knows there’s more work to be done. He’s not simply pedaling books around and waving his finger in kids’ faces. He still works in an elementary school—not as a teacher, but as a reading specialist. On any given weekday, you can find Mathew working with children to master phonics, comprehension, and reading retention. And once a month, you can join Mathew as he leads a slew of cyclists across Nashville, with thousands of books in tow. For kids like Takeria, Chris, and Martez—that might just be the thing that changes their outlook. It may be the motivation they need to pick up a book, open its pages, and find within a world of adventure and radical change. * All students’ names have been changed for privacy purposes
HERE, KITTY KITTY This spring, sharp, graphic liner takes the stage, outshining the smudgy eye of seasons past. "This look goes way beyond the classic cat eye," says celebrity makeup artist Melanie Shelley, known for the looks of songstress Jewel and country breakout darling Clara Henningsen. "It's a futuristic nod to the past," Melanie grins, paying homage to the signature looks of Cleopatra and Audrey Hepburn. Photography by Eli McFadden
The Beauty: Laura Hanson for MACS/AMAX // Concept, Hair, Makeup, Styling: Melanie Shelley @ TRIM Classic Barber & Legendary Beauty for MACS/AMAX // Striped Sweater: Malene Birger, H. Audrey, $158
Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash, 8.4 oz.TRIM Legendary Beauty, $28 // Stila Kajal Eyeliner in Onyx, The Cosmetic Market, $18 // Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick No. 522, Woo Skin Care and Cosmetics, $30 // U-smooth Flexible Styling Spray, TRIM Classic Barber, $22 //
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From emergency response to youth summer camps, Josh Corlew is on a mission to unite the community. Now heâ€™s planting the seed at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm by dan nemes | photography by ryan green
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Last week, it rained for two days straight. It’s now 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. And even though you can feel Mill Creek in its banks, you can’t hear the water as it flows over the river rock. The sound of cars cutting the wind as they barrel down I-24 into downtown drowns out the voice of the peaceful stream. Semis downshift, cars whoosh by, rubber thrums over the concrete—the din of traffic never wavers. Mill Creek is quietly headed in the other direction, flowing into the Cumberland right across from Shelby Bottoms. Less than five miles away sits a street lined with modest ranch houses on Wimpole Drive. On the same street, four lots are decorated with greenhouses, garden beds, young fruit trees, elderberry bushes, and cedar gazebos, among a cluster of green vegetation. These lots represent the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. Next to a row of mile-high trees marking a forgotten property line, wheelbarrows are turned upside down and stacked like cascaded dominoes. Scattering from slabs of limestone to discarded tires and sunken pieces of lumber, the endangered Nashville Crayfish lives beneath the Mill Creek waters. I notice a few tree limbs
HANDS ON NASHVILLE: Find out how to get involved with Hands On Nashville by visiting hon.org/urban_agriculture. Or follow them on Twitter @HONashville
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quivering as a miniature raptor takes flight into the afternoon air. A car rolls down the gravel driveway and parks, and the man who emerges from the driver’s side has the stature of a linebacker or bouncer. He's wearing a zipped Carhartt jacket and boots crusted with gray hardpan clay. This is Josh Corlew. His brilliant blue eyes are centered on his broad and open ScotchIrish face. He’s the Hands On Nashville program manager, and the farmer responsible for transforming these five acres into a source of food and a vision for a different future. After only one growing season, the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm paints a picture of permaculture—a synergetic approach to agriculture that focuses on the relationships between man, environment, and species to maximize benefits. Through that lens, Josh Corlew and thousands of community volunteers have transformed this natural space into a center of energy, where growth can exist on its own in its natural habitat. This isn’t your grandma’s garden. It’s an urban sponge. It’s a classroom. It’s a forest grafted onto forsaken ground, taking root right before your eyes.
The “drainability” of this particular area, Josh says, is virtually non-existent. And that’s why he and Hands On Nashville asked Metro government if they could create an urban farm to capitalize on this man-made issue. “Any time you create impervious surfaces,” Josh says, tilting his head as if to encompass asphalt driveways and concrete roads. “Water can’t go into the ground like it used to. It has to go somewhere. So it rushes towards the water system.” There’s a stolid practicality in his words—hard work hitched to a penchant for dreaming big. We’re standing in the Urban Farm’s woodchip parking lot. I can feel the squish of the previous days’ rains still soaking through the ground. This is as it should be, according to Josh, because those storm waters carry contaminants that need to be filtered out before they make it into Mill Creek. But more than anything, it’s the volume of water itself that threatens this waterway. “That creek used to be as big as it needed, but now it has to take on forty or fifty tons more water. For the last forty or fifty years, this place has been flooding.” Josh is no amateur when it comes to
floods. Before he was digging his hands in the dirt and planting tubers, he helped lead Hands On Nashville’s emergency response crew. After the disastrous torrent in May 2010, Hands On Nashville was called into action. In the first month following the flood, Josh assisted in the coordination of more than 18,000 volunteers, and Mill Creek was one of the primary areas in need. “Being able to reclaim and repurpose space is really important,” Josh says. We head toward the seventy-foot field across the farm. This land was vacant during the flood, and as a result, it became a target for vandalism and dumping. We walk down a row of compost bins filled with food scraps from Gaylord and woodchips from lumberyards. Up close, it’s fragrant like your lazy brother’s kitchen drain. A train horn punctuates the waning afternoon, and for the first time since I’ve arrived, I begin to notice the trill of songbirds. Josh waves to a couple taking an evening walk. For him, it’s not so much a “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” moment, as it’s “Heigh-Ho It’s Off to Work We Go.” And it’s no walk in the park. Along with Josh, more than
"BEING ABLE TO RECLAIM AND REPURPOSE SPACE IS REALLY IMPORTANT."
2,100 volunteers worked the farm last year, donating 7,141 hours of their time. This composting system requires regular turning and sifting to get to the nitrogen-rich till. He’s a farmer, an emergency response coordinator, he’s dabbled in IT, but perhaps most of all, he’s a teacher. Last summer, with the help of eight high school interns, Hands On Nashville partnered with nonprofit agencies to teach children about gardening and nutrition—called the Crop City Youth Development Program. Children who face the reality of food insecurity are taught how to make healthy nutritional choices using the farm-to-table method. Not everyone shops at Whole Foods.
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Broccoli and cucumbers, Josh says, can be unappealing for many kids, because vegetables don’t instantly gratify like Cheetos. “We think it’s a really important piece of fixing a broken food system,” he says as he points out a row of garlic, their green shoots grabbing at the fading sunlight. “It’s more than having access, but also wanting to eat those things.” And it’s at this point that our discussion over legumes as nitrogen fixers, drainability, and Nashville Crayfish, becomes something greater than its cumulative parts. For Josh, this fiveacre farm isn’t just about Mill Creek, and it isn’t about the 1,200 pounds of food grown and donated to local
agencies last year. It’s about subverting Big Food—PepsiCo., Coca-Cola, and Monsanto. And the way to do that, according to Josh, is through education and community development programs. “There’s a larger systematic problem,” he says, as we turn around and walk across the woodchip parking lot. “I don’t think change is going to happen until the consumers demand it. Even if we can reach future consumers right now, it’s not going to fix itself in the next year or two. If we can start demanding a different quality of food, hopefully that can make its way up the money chain.” This spring, the Urban Farm is piloting a nine-month-long fellowship program. Josh says youths will
"WE THINK IT’S A REALLY IMPORTANT PIECE OF FIXING A BROKEN FOOD SYSTEM."
"YOU CAN ONLY BE ANGRY FOR SO LONG. SO I DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING."
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learn how to identify problems in their communities, and Hands On Nashville will help them find the tools, writing the grants to solve those problems, thus bringing about forces of change. As we walk, he explains that for two years he fed himself through dumpster diving. “I was angry,” he says as we stop in front of a grove of fruit trees. “I was going to exploit the food system that was responsible for so much waste.” He pauses for a half a beat, “You can only be angry for so long. So I decided to do something.” If the garden and compost bins are Josh’s classroom, then the other half of the farm is his laboratory. He then tells me that the orchard we’re standing in marks the beginning of a food forest—a compact, self-sustaining habitat where mutually beneficial plants are cultivated in guilds. In a few decades, as the fruit trees grow alongside berry shrubs, climbing vines, and shade-loving vegetables, this space will not only produce delicious food, but it will also become a self-sustaining habitat for animals and insects. “We’re looking to mimic existing patterns in nature that are proven to work,” Josh says. I’m envisioning a place that resembles the Garden of Eden, with apple trees as far as the eye can see, and tomatoes the size of a grown man’s head. “In thirty years, I want to see this place full of food for everyone—something people can use as a model for their own backyards.” He says that Urban Farm will be offering monthly workshops throughout the spring and summer for anyone interested in sustainable gardening. I’m not quite ready to leave this little stand of fruit trees, but the sun is gone, and there’s a gathering chill that moves us along. Josh wants to show me one more thing. I catch the whiff that any barback
would recognize—stale beer and booze. He points to three big mounds that are each a little smaller than a Chevy Geo, grabs a pitchfork, and turns the damp soil. Steam rises, and the distinct smell of fermented grain wafts through the air. “We pick up grains from local breweries and distilleries, and we mix them with another carbon source—either leaves or woodchips.” Josh sticks a thermometer in the pile and the needle moves up to 150 degrees. This is where most of the soil for the farm will come from. He waves me over to a smaller pile. As he sinks the pitchfork and turns the soil over, worms crawl to the surface. Once they eat their way through the soil, what’s left behind is a product richer in nutrients than any synthetic fertilizer on the market. As we shake hands goodbye, I glance once more down at the worms and come to the conclusion that these slimy invertebrates are the perfect representation for Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm. These indicators of healthy, productive earth are simply a piece of the permaculture puzzle, and so is Josh. In all likelihood, I-24 will roar and hum just a few hundred yards away, and Mill Creek will jump its banks after a fierce gully washer. But if Josh Corlew has anything to do with it, armies of worms and insects, leftover lumber, donated wheelbarrows, community volunteers, and muddy-kneed, dirt-huggin’ youngsters will transform these once-wasted five acres into a model for a better earth.
V I DEO | P H OTO | AU D I O | D E S I G N Wi t h a foc u s on c re a t i ve we b co n te n t , G e m s On V HS i s a f u l l -s e r vi c e prod u c t i on h ou s e for e n ga g i n g m u l t i m e di a .
FLY GIRL After returning home from fashionâ€™s awardwinning reality TV series, Amanda Valentine is feeling the love in Nashville
by susannah felts | photography by will holland
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I sit down with Amanda Valentine in her sunny home studio just a few days before Project Runway’s season premiere airs. Tucked downstairs in her Germantown condo, the space is both busy and tidy—a palette of inspiration and raw material. Shelves of neatly folded fabrics and bins of beads line one side of the room, and what wall space remains is tacked with patterns and swatches. One work in progress—a statement necklace constructed of matte, gold pop-tabs—hangs on a dress form, awaiting completion. A 31-year-old native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Amanda moved to Nashville about seven years
ago from L.A., where she earned her chops as a wardrobe stylist. Over the past several years, the edgy garments she’s brought to life under the name Valentine Valentine have earned her a rep as a rising star in Nashville’s indie fashion community, and she’s showcased her designs at Nashville Fashion Week since its start in 2011. At last year’s show, she turned heads with a collection she dubbed “French Medieval Fly Girl”—think patchworked combinations of hologram material and quilted black fabric; think metallics meet dewy forest green. Now, after a year running the reality TV gauntlet, she’s playing catch-up, digging back into her career as a stylist while ramping up her own designs.
NATIVE: Tell me about top-secret reality show production. AMANDA VALENTINE: We called it TV jail. I didn’t have a phone or internet for five weeks last summer, which was awesome. I’ve learned a lot from the other contestants. There’s one guy who was the stylist for the Fly Girls on In Living Color. Growing up, I was obsessed with the Fly Girls. So the fact that we’re buddies now is just crazy. N: Post-Project Runway, are you hoping to design full-time? AV: I knew it would send me one of two ways: burnt out or totally charged up. Luckily, I came back charged up. I’m not making any money yet, but it’s what I have to do. It’s like a bad boyfriend I just can’t break up with! I get into this weird zen mode when I’m making clothes. Every business and artist I admire went through a period when they just went for it. I’ve always felt foolish taking time off from paying work, but I just have to do it. It’s a little scary at times. N: Which designers do you admire? AV: I’m obsessed with the design house Vena Cava—two friends fresh out of college, who designed their first collection out of their living room. And they’ve just blown up. Zac Posen was the same way. He borrowed money from his family. So I don’t feel ashamed of sewing out of my basement. N: How has being the youngest sibling of five influenced where you are today? AV: They’re all really successful. My oldest brother is a doctor; I have a brother [guitarist James Valentine, of Maroon 5] who’s a rock star; my sisters have four and five kids and still run marathons. Growing up in their shadows made me want to do something that nobody else in my family was doing. I wanted to do it my way. If there’s a clear path, I always resist it. I was always the rebellious one. I didn’t move to New York and assist designers like my college peers did. N: You moved to L.A. instead. AV: I had a safety net. My brother invited me out to assist the stylist on their first music video. I didn’t know anything about wardrobe styling, and it wasn’t a profes-
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sion that existed in Nebraska. And this was pre-Rachel Zoe Project. The stylist dropped me off at a costume house and was like, “Here’s what I need. If you see anything else in this vibe, pick it up.” I was hooked. I spent the next few years assisting everybody I could in town. N: Do you enjoy working on commercials? "I LIKE AV: I love it! I get a kick out UNFUSSY of dressing happy families. Like, what would this mothCLOTHING— er wear while she’s making EASY SHAPES pancakes? It’s a challenge, maybe because it’s such a AND LOTS departure from what I make. OF PATTERN On one Verizon commercial, we were searching for futurOR TEXTURE istic costumes for waiters. In WITHIN one day, I called eighty costume houses around THOSE the country. Finally I sketched something SHAPES." up, and the director loved it. And I was like, “Crap, now I have to make it.” I didn’t sleep for three days. But it was the greatest feeling to hear people on set say, “Where’d you find these great costumes?” N: Tell me about your design aesthetic. AV: I’ll never be a couture designer. I like unfussy clothing—easy shapes and lots of pattern or tex-
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ture within those shapes. I want things to be comfortable and wearable, but still bold. I’m also very aware of body types. I want my clothing to be translatable and affordable. I mean, I’m not sample size, and I want to wear it! I also do a lot of patchwork pieces, which comes from watching my mom quilt. N: Did your mom sew a lot? AV: She’s a far better seamstress than I am. She made our clothes and taught me how to shop in thrift stores and alter what you find. She always looks like a million bucks. N: You work with a lot of bold and ethnic prints and patterns. What’s the appeal? AV: I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures, ancient and modern. My dad travels internationally for work, and he’s really interested in fashion. One time he went to England and brought me back green Doc Martens. Sometimes he’d return with silks from Hong Kong and rugs and tapestries from South America. I was fascinated by these places I’d never—and still haven’t—been. I also love the challenge of matching one set of colors and shapes with a totally different set. In theory, it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. When I do solids, I like to color block them. Patchwork is my favorite right now. But I’m trying to refine it a bit, make it a little less wild, so it doesn’t look too costumey. N: How has your design evolved lately? AV: A few months ago, [my husband] Will was watching me struggle through a design, and he said, “You’re worried about this imaginary customer. But would you wear it?” That changed everything. Now I’m thinking about my uniform: a lot of crazy-patterned pants and old ratty
t-shirts. I’m making a ton of sweatshirts and screen printing tees. N: Tell me about your signature “shredded” look. AV: I do these shredded pieces out of jersey spandex, which is not fragile. I use what Tim [Gunn of Project Runway] calls my “slicey thing,” which I found at JoAnn’s. I still don’t really know what it’s
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for, maybe quilting. I first used it in college for an advanced textiles assignment. My friends were spending $400 on silk, and I said, “You think I need to buy the finest materials? I’m gonna show you that I can make the cheapest, ugliest material look awesome!” I bought double-knit polyester—the most horrible fabric—and made a dress with color-blocked panels that I covered with shredded polyester. I
called it “Neo Nefertiti.” I was so over the top about it. It ended up winning a couple of awards, and I was like, “This dress cost $15 to make.” That was ten years ago, and I’m still shredding. I’ve tried to get away from it, but I keep finding different ways to play with it. Now it’s morphing into handcutting and hand-sewing panels of fringe.
“THIS IS LIKE THE PORRIDGE BEING JUST RIGHT." N: Why fringe? AV: The way it looks walking down the runway—it’s thrilling. And jersey knit has some weight. It’s a way of being feminine without being flowy. I’ve never been a flowy girl. Who doesn’t feel good wearing a ton of fringe? You just want to shimmy! N: What has been the highlight of Nashville Fashion Week for you? AV: Last year, the night I showed, they paired designers with bands. They paired me with Five Knives. They didn’t know I’ve been friends with the lead singer, Anna Worstell, since I moved here. I loved that they put us together stylistically. N: You’ve been in Nashville for almost seven years. Are you planning to stick around? AV: Nashville splits the difference between Nebraska and L.A. Lincoln was a little too small for me, and L.A. was too big. This is like the porridge being just right. Plus, I can travel and still afford to live here. I think there’s a group of us—Shea Steele, Jamie and the Jones, Poni Silver—that have pushed things along. We’ve worked really hard to be a part of something that’s growing.
AMANDA VALENTINE: To shop for Valentine Valentine, visit amandavalentine.com Follow her on Twitter @avvalentine or on Instagram @valentimes
STEELE THIS LOOK Designer Shea Steele has made her mark on Nashville's fashion landscape. Now she's asking herself what's next
by susannah felts | photography by eric staples
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In 2005, before Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters set up shop in Nashville, a 25-yearold clothing designer named Shea Steele opened a tiny boutique in 12South called Local Honey. Offering a carefully curated collection of vintage and locally-made designs, the shop quickly became a destination not only for Nashville’s growing constituency of edgy young men and women, but also for the city’s up-and-coming designers. Eight years later—a lifetime in retail—Local Honey is going strong. The boutique, which now occupies a rustic foursquare on Belmont Boulevard, is a study in
artful simplicity. The same can be said of Shea’s designs. “If I hadn’t opened Local Honey, I wouldn’t be a designer,” Shea tells me as we sit down to talk at the shop on a cold January morning. “It’s that simple.” For a pioneer in hip-kid retail, Shea, a native of Paris, Tennessee, is remarkably down to earth with her soft Southern drawl. These days, she divides her time between Nashville and Brooklyn, a straddling of worlds that suggests Local Honey is likely to be more of a means than an end for her. A regular at Nashville Fashion Week, and after thirteen years in Nashville, she’s ready to take on markets beyond. As we dig into what’s on her horizon, Shea looks around the room and
says, “I don’t ever want to sit in one place too long.” NATIVE: How did you get your start in design? SHEA STEELE: I went to college [Watkins College of Art, Design & Film] planning to be an artist, but I didn’t know what kind. I was painting, doing photography, and printmaking. I was showing and selling my work. But it began to feel chaotic and unrealistic, so I stepped away from school to figure out what I was doing. I got my first retail job at Fire Finch [in Hillsboro Village]. It changed my life.
SS: It was the start of this whole new way of looking at everything in life as a creative task. All the work I could handle was thrown at me. Along the way, I started to experiment with old clothes, deconstructing and reworking them. That’s how I learned about garment construction. Wanting things I couldn’t find made me start making clothes.
"WANTING THINGS I COULDN’T FIND MADE ME START MAKING CLOTHES."
N: How so?
N: Tell me about your first Nashville Fashion Week. SS: Having this whole new audience to wow was a pivotal experience. It was one of those things where you work yourself so hard you nearly get sick. Here I was, a young, self-taught designer,
who out of sheer desire to connect with other creative people, jumped headfirst into business. If any of the smallest decisions I’d made had been any different, I wouldn’t be here. N: What was the highlight of that first year? SS: The main guest speaker was [fashion publicist] Kelly Cutrone—she’s basically my guru. She comes backstage, helps me get my models dressed, and starts talking about my collection. It was surreal. Not only was I working back of house at a fashion show with a legend in fashion production, but the woman was giving me a great review. She seriously hugged my head to her chest and told me to be proud. I think she could tell my heart was swelling. My face hides nothing. N: Back then, you were designing under the name White Rabbit. Why the switch
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to Shea Steele? SS: It was easier to have that moniker at first, because promoting my name felt weird. But everybody was like, “Why on earth would you not just use your name, Shea? It sounds great.” N: What’s the basis of your aesthetic? SS: I love graphics. I love playing with shapes and proportion. I use large graphic prints as the statement and combine them with a wearable silhouette. The simplicity comes in the ease of the shape. I’ve always aspired to be a woman who looks effortlessly cool. And that’s what I aim to do with my clothes—comfortable, yet becoming. They’re accessible. Finding that happy medium is the perfect place to be. Just enough effort, without overdoing it. N: What’s piquing your interest in style right now? SS: I’m really into playing with layers and density. The tendency is to wear something sheer over something solid. I like the idea of flipping that on its head, so you have something transparent sticking out of something solid. And also pairing different textures. For example: a monochromatic shirt with an opaque collar and cuffs, but with sheer sleeves. Lately, I’ve also been into neckties and structured garments. I haven’t done a lot with structure; normally, I use simple, loose shapes. But I like the idea of balancing a tailored silhouette with simplicity. I might be going for a tailored fit this year, which is new for me. N: What missteps do people often make in fashion? SS: People over-purchase. They’ll have ten jackets, instead of two good ones. Then they’ll throw together these weak pieces, and the clothes end up wearing them. You’re just a vehicle for this mania on your body. That’s why it’s so important to find good, versatile items.
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N: Where do you source fabrics? SS: You can find good stuff anywhere, as long as you know what you want. I go to Wal-Mart; I don’t care. Sometimes they get the overstock of quality fabrics and sell them at a discounted price. That’s where you find the deals, overstock of nice textiles.
OLD MADE GOOD
N: Seems like you’re pretty into chiffon. SS: I used to hate it! One day it just clicked—I found out how to manipulate it. And now I’m just obsessed with the way it drapes. But in New York, I worked with heavy knits for the first time.
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N: Which designers inspire you? SS: Caitlin Mociun. Louise Gray. Vivienne Westwood—she’s my rock. But it’s not only the designer; it’s how editors and photographers take elements and put them together to continue the artistic intent. Like Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue—she’s unreal. Unreal. Fashion photography is what made me want to study photography; I’m a total glutton for magazines. Studying photographers in college has had a huge impact on my relationship with the people shooting my clothes, and we’ve been able to achieve unique results. These shoots have been my playground. I’ve often made clothes specifically for shoots with photographers whose concepts I wanted to be part of. Collaborating in this way is so stimulating and rewarding! The idea that you can create a fictional character or present a fantastic scenario through fashion
"CLOTHING IS SUCH A HUGE PART OF HOW WE SEE THE WORLD."
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is something I’ll never grow tired of. Clothing is such a huge part of how we see the world, and the fact that I can take part in changing someone’s view is beautiful. N: Local Honey has been going strong for eight years now. You’re showing in Nashville Fashion Week for your third time, and you’re spending a lot of time in Brooklyn. What does the future look like for you? SS: I just want to bury myself in design. I did that with the store, but it’s been going long enough that it just runs on its own now. My team here is so solid, making it possible for me to branch out. I want that feeling where you wake up thinking about something, you chip away at it all day, and you go to bed ticking your foot, still thinking about it. I was shocked at how naturally retail came to me. Now I’m ready to be challenged again. I think traveling and putting myself in another city might do the trick.
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N: But isn’t this is a good time to be in Nashville? Are you ready to jump ship? SS: I don’t see spending time away from here as a permanent thing. I might even appreciate this city more with a little break. After thirteen years in Nashville, along with my upbringing in West Tennessee, I crave being in a new place. I crave the things it reveals about you and forces out of you. Being a tiny part of a big city strips you down to your core. I feel like I’m tapping into something bigger than myself—on a universal level. I never want to sit in one place too long, and I especially never want to wonder “what if ” about anything.
LOCAL HONEY: Visit Local Honey at 2009 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212 Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 615.915.1354
animal of the month:
the snake by Gillis Bernard
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata
Put down those stale candy hearts and grab a Guinness already, dammit. March is here, and thanks to St. Patrick, you can finally stop cursing his equally pious pal Valentine for single-handedly spoiling February (emphasis on the single). The seventeenth is the perfect time to take the salt poured in the wounds of your broken heart and use it to line your shot of tequila instead. Because what’s greener than recycling? But amidst all the shamrocks, leprechauns, and parades, your boy St. Patty forgot to warn you to watch out for snakes. And I reckon a snakebite hurts a bit more than a pinch or a hangover. According to Irish lore, St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The people rejoiced, St. Patty became an island 92 / / / / / / / / /
celeb, and the world declared a holiday dedicated to the color green. Boom. The end. Or so we thought... All the reptiles wanted to do was have some fun. Yeah, so they weren’t on the guest list. But for goodness snake, it wouldn’t hurt to slide a glass of whiskey their way. While the unwanted party animals were mid-debacle with the bouncer, St. Patrick rolled up to the fête, fresh off a forty-day fast in solitude. Needless to say, he was ready to chow down on some soda bread and shepherd’s pie and catch up with the bros. So when St. Patty stumbled upon a fellow Irishman getting harassed by some serpents, he took the situation into his own hands and banished every last one of them into the frigid, roiling waters of the Irish Sea.
Super Family: Varanoidea
So where exactly did the oh so rudely exiled reptiles go? No, they weren’t scooped up from their dark, watery doom and thrown into the cargo of an airplane headed for BNA or LAX. Scholars have reason to believe that St. Patrick was trying to steal Mama Nature’s thunder and rid the world of snakes. Around 10,000 years ago, the verdant isle was practically a glacial ice rink. Even after it got a bit toastier, snakes still preferred to sun their scales on the sandy beaches of Southern Europe. Can you blame ‘em? Now there are only three slithering species in Great Britain, and the only serpentine reptile you’ll find in the Celtic Kingdom is the slow worm—also known as the thickbodied, lizardlike, unwanted, twice-removed step cousin in
the House of Serpentes. The crags and valleys of Tennessee, on the other hand, are home sweet home to a whopping thirty-two species of snakes, four of them venomous: Copperhead, the shy guy of the crew; Western Cottonmouth, the feisty and fatal brute; and Western Pigmy and Timber Rattlesnake, the party boyz. Altogether, they call themselves the “Bed of Snakes”—no wonder the lusty reptile symbolizes desire. Take it from the snake— next time you find yourself in between the sheets, throw some Parseltongue in there. So make sure to keep an eye out for Ireland’s supposed slithering ex-pats while you’re on the hunt for your lucky fourleaf clover this month. Because Samuel L. Jackson won’t be there to save you. ////// 1
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the observatory by Itoro Udoko
NAVAJO PRIN T This
MATCHING TRENCH COATS
neighborhood. This couple shows
of your look with the colors of
how versatile a trench coat can
your camo print. The red, green,
One of the coolest things about
camouflage is matching the rest
Navajo print, which you typically see
BLACK, RED, & CAMO
throughout, on her sleeves and
be. Dressed up or dressed down,
and black in Eric's jacket can
in her sunglasses, nicely offset
single or double breasted, male
the rest of the outfit.
or femaleâ€”anyone can rock one.
Overheard @ N A T I V E
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