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OCTOBER 2017 DANIELLA MASON

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for the

Reserve your ticket today at n a s hv i l l efa s h i o n a l l i a n ce.co m

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CONTENTS OCTOBER 2017

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58 THE GOODS 19 Beer from Here 20 Cocktail of the Month 24 Master Platers 77 You Oughta Know 81 Animal of the Month

FEATURES

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28 Marlos E’van 38 Daniella Mason 48 Cafe Roze 58 Brendan Malone 68 Theater Spotlight: Radical Arts

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CLEAN, COHESIVE PRODUCT P H OTO S QUICK TURNAROUND

president, founder:

publisher, founder: 

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

editor in chief: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

operations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

copy editor:

senior account representative:

production:

KELSEY FERGUSON

GUSTI ESCALANTE

          writers: HILLI LEVIN NATHAN DILLER CHRIS PARTON photographers:

ANGELINA MELODY DANIELLE ATKINS LAURA E. PARTAIN DANIEL CHANEY EMILY DORIO DYLAN REYES AUSTIN LORD

interns:

MORGAN JONES YASMIN MURPHY ZOE KELLER AMBER NASH

founding team: founder, brand director:

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN DAVE PITTMAN

founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

for all inquiries:

HELLO@NATIVE.IS

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COFFEE BREAKFAST LUNCH OPEN DAILY 7AM-3PM 700 FATHERLAND ST. 615.770.7097 SKYBLUECOFFEE.COM E S TA B L I S H E D 2 0 1 0

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SCRAPPLE FROM THE

APPLE by Ben Clemons of No. 308 ph o t o by An g el i n a M el o dy

It’s Halloween time! Here’s a boozy lil’ number to help you use up that apple cider in your fridge. This one is for fans of the Negroni and tiki favorite the Jungle Bird.

THE GOODS 1 1/2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum 1 oz apple cider syrup* 3/4 oz Campari F Stir all ingredients and pour into a freshly iced rocks glass. Garnish with green apple.

*Ap Cider Spylre up: 3 cups a pple cid er 2 cu 1 tsp Jam ps sugar aican all spice

Cook till

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fully dis

solved an

d let chil

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2006 BELMONT BLVD - @HOUSEOFNASHVILLE - WWW.HOUSEOFNASHVILLE.COM

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MASTER PLATERS

ROASTED CHICKEN BY EXECUTIVE CHEF RJ COOPER OF HENLEY PHO TO S BY DAN IELLE AT K IN S

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THE GOODS 1 pasture-raised chicken 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature 2 tbsp chopped thyme 2 tbsp chopped rosemary 1 tbsp minced shallots juice of 1 lemon salt and pepper to taste 6 slices dry/old brioche bread

DIRECTIONS F Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Combine the butter, thyme, rosemary, shallots, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Separate the skin from the muscle of the bird and rub the butter mixture under the skin, covering the whole chicken. Let the chicken stand for 24 hours uncovered in the refrigerator to dry the skin. FPreheat the oven to 425 F. Place the brioche on the bottom of a parchmentlined sheet pan. Place the chicken on top of the bread. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes or until golden brown and internal temperature is 165 degrees. The bread will absorb the juices. FAllow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Place the bread dumplings onto a platter. Carve the chicken and serve on top of the bread.

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LUNCH SPECIALS HAPPY HOUR MONDAY - FRIDAY 3PM - 6PM 2 FOR 1 SANGRIA ON THURSDAYS

Have your event catered with Nashville's best Puerto Rican food. Call the number below for details!

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Torso, photo by Marlos E’van

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AN INTERVIEW WITH LOCAL ARTIST MARLOS E’VAN BY NATIVE STAFF PORTRAITS BY LAURA E. PARTAIN

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MARLOS E’VAN IS A LOCAL PAINTER, sculptor, and director originally from Biloxi, Mississippi. In 2012, he relocated to Nashville to attend Watkins, and in the time since he graduated, he’s shown everywhere from the Watkins Arcade Gallery to Zeitgeist Gallery to an abandoned North Nashville warehouse. E’van’s work boldly addresses socioeconomic and racial issues in America, and last year, the Nashville Scene awarded his Dyin’ By Tha Gun! exhibit “Best First Solo Show.” In anticipation of Y.N.P., his upcoming November 4 show at Track One, we talked to E’van about race in the South, the bittersweet joy of fast food, and why you should be happy if someone walks out of your show. You made a Confederate flag for part of your Dyin’ By Tha Gun! exhibit last year. Back then, did you imagine something like the Charlottesville attack would happen? And do you think the work takes on new meaning now, as the country debates the significance of Confederate monuments? When I first made the work, I don’t think I could have predicted it happening. But since Trump crashed the party, nothing surprises me anymore. The door is open again for all kind of weird stuff to go down. The piece you’re talking about is actually the Mississippi state flag, which still has the Confederate flag in the top left corner [laughs]—the one we used to pledge allegiance to back home in elementary school. So yeah, I feel it totally takes on current meanings and kind of makes you wonder how things like that slipped under the radar for so long. We have to understand that overt racism never died. It just adapted to the times in order to survive. You did a show with Brandon Donahue back in August called Somebody Say Cool-aid? Walk us through the collaborative process behind that. Man, Somebody Say Cool-aid? was a crazy experience! It’s a series of work based on a conversation me and Brandon were having one day about American consumer culture when the thought hit us: other than Coca-Cola, Kool-Aid is one of the most iconic American brands that has ever existed. It’s cheap, accessible, and was mainly marketed to brown and black people from its beginning. We kept that conversation going over the next few months and really unpacked everything we could about Kool-Aid. The first show included performance art, live painting,

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and about four to five different flavors of Kool-Aid on hand for everybody to enjoy. The blue Kool-Aid was a hit, and I drank way too much of it that day. Speaking of Kool-Aid, food—particularly fast food and cheap food—comes up quite a bit in your work. What are you hoping to communicate by including food like Kool-Aid, fries, and burgers in your work? Fast food and sodas are still very much a reality in my life, ya know? So I wanted to talk about equal access to food and food equality/food deserts—all things that affect my community. I haven’t eaten it in a while, but let’s be real: on a good Friday night, sometimes the best thing to do at the end of the night is to grab ratchet fast food with your friends. There’s nothing like it, and it’s cheap! But it screws us up. And when you don’t have cash, it becomes one of the few options you have. Make America Farm Again. In reference to your short film, “Northern Gardens,” which premiered at McGruder Family Resource Center, you said, “If nobody walks out on your film, you didn’t do it right!” Do you apply that same mindset to your paintings, and if so, how? Oh, I have to. By choosing the way I want to create and present to the people, taking chances, and most of all, making things that I enjoy, it keeps me free. I’m sure John Waters enjoyed watching Pink Flamingos, and people walked out on his films all the time. In some weird way that makes it worthwhile to me. It means that ultimately, people are thinking and feeling. Everyone from William Faulkner to historian Joseph Crespino has argued that Mississippi’s racial woes can be seen as a metaphor for—or a microcosm of—America’s racial woes as a whole. As an artist originally from Mississippi who addresses racial issues in his work, how do you feel about that idea? Great question. For the most part, Mississippi has always been unapologetic when it comes to racism and inequality, while other places seemed to be more low-key with it for a while. Some of the most important assassinations during the civil rights era happened down there. Emmett Till’s murderers walked away free in 1955, just like Trayvon Martin’s


“WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT OVERT RACISM NEVER DIED. IT JUST ADAPTED TO THE TIMES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.”

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murderer did in 2012. At the time, some white Southerners rejected civil rights in order to preserve Jim Crow and keep division. Destroying DACA is a similar act. America’s not hiding it anymore, and if you’re not a part of the patriarchy, then the hunt is on. Colin Kaepernick got blackballed from the NFL for a silent protest.

In the past few years, Nashville’s seen a rise in public art and art spaces. Do you think we’re on our way to being more of an art destination, or is there more work to be done? I feel that we’re one of the most interesting art destinations in the nation and could possibly be one of the top ten art destinations in the world within the next few years—especially when we get our just due. There’s so many great, diverse artists here that make great work across all kinds of mediums, and it’s beautiful how some of these communities support each other. On the flip side, there’s still work to be done. Some of it comes down to people’s willingness and understanding of purchasing art. Everybody loves a good show, so next time you’re at one, take a chance and buy some art. This helps artists sustain themselves in order to keep making great work. It’s okay to be an art collector. What are you working on now, and what do you hope to see continue in Nashville’s arts communities? So, right now I’m working on my next solo show called Y.N.P. It’s gonna be during the art crawl on November 4 in the Silo Room at Track One in the WedgewoodHouston area. It’s the show of the decade, and everybody who’s anybody should be there! I want our community to keep pushing each other, supporting each other, holding each other accountable. Collaborating with organizations like the Metro Arts Commission and Learning Lab also helps bring artists’ visions to life. They helped me and Courtney Adair Johnson start and fund one of the only artist residencies in Nashville right now. We run it out of the McGruder Center in North Nashville. Your work doesn’t strike us as particularly subtle.

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Do you think it’s necessary to make big, bold statements in this day and age to cut through the constant stream of media we consume every day? Oh yeah, for sure! We swim in images every day—that’s why I keep it real and raw. With so many images out there, I’m trying my best to cut out the confusion of what you’re looking at. I’m not tryna trick you, I’m tryna have a conversation with you. On the subject of media, particularly new media—some of your work features digitally manipulated images. A couple of examples that come to mind: there’s a cutout picture of Chuck Norris with an American flag behind him in Dyin’ By Tha Gun! Part 2 and a picture of some Jordans with dollar signs drawn on them called Things We Die 4. What draws you to the images you use in your work? Jordans are like an unstable family member: they’re always there and sometimes they can get you killed, but we can’t get enough of them. I manipulate iconic images digitally and present them in ways that ask us to consider them in a different context, sort of like memes do . . . It’s kind of like a microscope and middle finger to commercialism, while still appreciating the aesthetic quality of these items.

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You’ve done everything from painting to sculpting to directing to performance art. How do these various mediums interact with each other in your world, and do you approach each differently? All of these components come together to say something and really make an environment. I’m all about creating environments for my audience when they step into my shows. Music is also a big part of what I do. I think exploring different mediums provides different sides to Marlos E’van. I want to tell a story. I want to make you cry, make you think, and make you laugh at times—really tap into your emotions to say, “Hey, we’re all here together. Let’s work it out.” Y.N.P. is showing November 4 at Track One.

East Nashville:

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Belle Meade:

6592 Highway 100 Suite 1


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DANIELLA MASON AIMS TO MOVE YOUR HEART AND YOUR FEET (IN THAT ORDER) WITH HER NEW SELF-TITLED LP

BY HILLI LEVIN | PHOTOS BY DANIEL CHANEY

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“I’M NOT DOING A BUBBLEGUM POP, SUGARY THING,” Daniella Mason tells me point-blank during our chat about her upcoming selftitled album. It’s a rainy evening in Marathon Village, but as soon as I walk inside the building, she instantly gives me a big hug and is ready to dive into conversation. Her energy is infectious, even after a (characteristically) busy day in which she’s hired her first intern at her production company, AYA Records, and has arrived straight from a vocal production session. In a town that loves to revel in its country music roots, Mason’s shimmering, atmospheric compositions are both a revelation and something completely out of left field—they’re not hollow confections, though they are definitely pop songs. She’s not alone, however. Mason hopes that Nashville’s tight-knit group of like-minded independent pop artists—think previous NATIVE cover story BASECAMP—will grow to receive national acclaim like our now-lauded DIY rock and punk scenes. She’s particularly confident in the scene’s incredible creative freedom and frequent collaboration.

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“The pop community here is smaller, and it’s not a lot of the business side—it’s just the artists making it work. You don’t have a lot of the opinions like you do in other cities. I don’t have people breathing down my neck, telling me, ‘I need this hook to be a certain way’ or asking, ‘What is radio going to think?’” The Texas native comes from a musical family: her mother started her on piano lessons at the age of three, and later, upon seeing Daniella’s burgeoning talent, placed her in voice lessons at thirteen. “I owe a lot to the fact that I was trained up very young. I don’t know if I had a choice in the matter; I definitely feel like it chose me,” she says. Although she was already writing full songs during her teenage years, her early passion was musical theater: “I thought I was going to go to school for acting. I got a full ride to go do theater at another great school, but for some reason, I ended up going to Belmont. I still don’t know why, because it didn’t make sense on paper. Once I was there it became very clear—my whole life unfolded once I got here,” she says. Nashville’s deeply ingrained tradition of honest storytelling inspired Mason to switch to commercial voice with the goal of pursuing a career in pop music. “I’m really glad I ended up here and not in New York or L.A. Not to take anything from those cities, but Nashville is a city of storytellers, and I just don’t know what else I would be doing if I wasn’t saying something. I’m a storyteller at heart. “As an artist, even when I’m writing the poppiest pop song, I still end up telling true stories. The authenticity that is in Nashville really seeps through, and I’m really thankful for that. I just can’t walk into a room and write a song that isn’t true. Even when I’m writing songs with other people, I at least want to get into their head and tell their story. I’ve got to tell somebody’s story,” she says.

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It’s safe to say her songwriting and storytelling chops have caused people in the industry to take notice. Not too long after Mason wrapped up her time at Belmont, international pop star Demi Lovato heard her single “All I Want.” Lovato loved it so much that she tweeted it to more than forty million followers and asked Mason to open one of her sold-out shows during her 2014 The Neon Lights Tour. And this wasn’t Mason’s only brush with pop superstardom—she actually grew up with the Jonas Brothers and has written songs for Nick’s last two albums and toured with Joe’s new dance-rock band, DNCE. And for those who might have developed an aversion to modern pop music, Mason’s expertly crafted new album proves just how much complex emotion and artistry can be contained in a single three-minute track. “I’m a struggling musician, so my life isn’t the shiniest thing. If I can put a really meaningful song into a shiny package, then the people who want music to drive to, they have it. But if someone wants to go there with me emotionally, then I’m there to support you in that space. That’s the goal overall,” she explains. Mason describes the first two singles, “Cruel Summer” and “Tell Me It’s Over,” as songs of heartbreak, but with a twist. “A lot of the breakup songs are really about my career. I feel like my career has been my biggest source of heartbreak, but also I think it’s going

to be my biggest source of triumph. It’s still unfolding,” she says. “Tell Me It’s Over,” especially, is a surefire hit. The track beautifully showcases Mason’s vocal power—it’s an infectious club banger that doubles as an emotional gut punch, the kind of knife-edge balance that’s been missing since Robyn’s 2010 pop masterpiece Body Talk. Mason has been a happily married woman for a few years now, so it makes sense that many of the heavier songs are balanced by gushing love ballads. “Nightshapes” is a sweet, R&B-tinged love song that soars high on layers of reverb with a distinct James Blake influence, and Mason describes the lilting “Butterflies” as “vomit worthy.” Mason’s style of songwriting prioritizes these ups and downs. It’s all part of her desire to connect with an audience on a deeper level and to make art that’s honest. “This record spans the last three years of my life, and those years have been some of the biggest years of change and growth. So the record is very representative of me in my emotional journey. I probably had sixty or seventy songs to sift through, but I think what we’ve arrived at is the highlight reel—both sonically and emotionally. So you’ll hear songs that sound like breakup songs right next to songs about being in love, but that’s like what life is.” Crafting such a deeply layered, expertly produced pop piece and then releasing it as a completely independent artist is no easy feat, as Ma-

“WITHOUT AS MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN, I’VE REALLY BEEN ABLE TO DIG DOWN AND SEE WHAT’S LEFT: ME.”

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son can attest. “I’m working ninety-hour weeks! I’m having to do a lot right now because I’m independent. I’m doing the graphic design; I’m doing videos; I learned how to do web design. I feel like a crazy person 75 percent of the time. This project is my blood, sweat, and tears. It’s on my own terms. Nobody has been able to reign this in. It’s me, and nobody can say that it’s not because there’s no one else here to put their brand on it. Without as many cooks in the kitchen, I’ve really been able to dig down and see what’s left: me. I’m the common denominator.” Her work is paying off: she boasts more than two million total streams on Spotify alone, and she’s played shows to thousands of pop fanatics. But the most impressive part? It’s all thanks to her own incredible drive and artistic insight. As one of the pioneers of the city’s electro-pop scene, she seems perfectly poised to be our next hometown hero— leading the charge to bring Nashville’s DIY, bootstrap approach to music to the pop world at large. “I want to keep evolving, and I want to keep growing and making better and better music and bringing that authenticity—both on the sonic side and on the message side. I can’t just write a hooky song. It’s going to say something and it’s going to be cool. That’s what Nashville demands of me.” And as far as her goals for this fulllength that she’s poured so much of her heart into? It seems in line with the rest of her artistic desires: honest connection. “I hope that [listeners] can get a sense of a real-life human journey. I think that if we all had a little bit more respect for the process—for our own process and for other people’s—then we would all have a lot more grace for each other. I think storytelling changes the world. Once you hear somebody’s story, it’s a lot harder to judge, and it’s a lot harder to ostracize somebody and make assumptions about them. If I can come out of this with people really hearing my story and make them brave enough to tell their stories . . . that would be the best-case scenario. And then giving them something to dance to—but that’s secondary.”

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Daniella Mason is available October 13. Catch the album release show at The Basement East on November 1.


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AFTER YEARS OF OPENING R E S TA U R A N T S F O R OTHER PEOPLE, JULIA JAKSIC HAS FOUND HER OWN

NICHE WITH CAFE ROZE

BY NATHAN DILLER | PHOTOS BY EMILY DORIO

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IT’S THE CALM BEFORE DINNERTIME on a business trip, she got a call from a friend a Tuesday evening. Owner Julia Jaksic smiles that 1115 Porter Road was available. Her friend and greets me from behind a marble counter went next door to Dandelion Salon, got the across the room. “I really like this hour where phone number of the building management it’s just a few tables and it’s like, you can have company, and Jaksic signed the lease from a glass of wine and French fries or you can Southeast Asia. Three and a half months latjust have a coffee,” she says as we settle into er, they were open and, Jaksic says, got busy our seats at one of the small pink tables along sooner than expected. “It took us a second to catch up to it, you the wall, the day’s leftover sunlight pouring know?” she says. “But we were doing the best through the huge front windows. “This is one we could, and people were super understandof my favorite times to be in a restaurant.” ing. And I think that’s the hard part in New Jaksic, who moved to Nashville from New York—it’s so competitive and there’s so many York a year and a half ago with her husband, places. There’s so many options when you has spent plenty of time in them. She served want to go out and eat in New York . . . so you as a consulting chef for American-Mediterhave to get it right. That’s been the biggest ranean bistro Jack’s Wife Freda, and she was thing. I mean, people thank me for opening the executive chef at Employees Only, an unthis restaurant, and I want to start crying. Just derstated West Village nightspot where she like, ‘Why are you thanking me? Thank you for is still a partner. Only after Jaksic moved to showing up and being a part of this and supNashville, where her husband had lived previporting me.’” ously and where his parents intended to retire, In a city that by and large does sleep, Cafe did she make plans to open her own place. Roze keeps long hours. The restaurant is open “For a very, very long time in my career, I from 8 a.m. until midnight, serving customers never wanted my own restaurant. I think after who are on their way to work, heading out on the consulting and going through and openthe town, and everyone in between. ing things for other people, it kind of made “I feel like New York doesn’t start until 10 me realize, ‘Hey, wait a second. I should do a.m.,” says Jaksic. “It’s a later clock there.” this for myself,’” says Jaksic as she pours me Jaksic usually wouldn’t eat lunch until midafta glass of water from a bottle on the table. “I ernoon, but she found that restaurants in always tell people, consulting was like graduNashville often closed between lunch and ate school for me.” dinner and rarely stayed open too late at night. When she first relocated, Jaksic, thirty“So when I moved here it was just like, ‘Wow, nine, was working on projects all over the where do I go?’” She sought to fill that niche. world, opening Employees Only locations in “Don’t get me wrong—I love eating at Dino’s Miami and Singapore as well as helping with a friend’s restaurant in Panama. On her weeks and Five Points,” Jaksic stresses, laughing. “I off, she’d drive around and explore Nashville, survived on those for so long. But yeah . . . it’s and she often found herself at the corner of just a handful of places.” Jaksic was born in Milwaukee and comes Porter Road and Greenwood Avenue, where by her culinary skills honestly. Her dad, who Cafe Roze now stands. She’d looked at a few is originally from Croatia, is a butcher, and spaces to lease but hadn’t found the right one. she credits her grandmother, who lived in a Then in March while she was in Singapore for

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“WHEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING’S RIGHT, YOU CAN’T JUST SHAKE IT OFF.”

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small village where they “grew Jaksic. “You can feed the baby, their own everything,” with you can do whatever, you inspiring her love of food. She know?” The menu follows suit. For moved to Chicago after high school, and after a stint work- the first time, Jaksic found ing for an internet service pro- herself with total creative vider, she decided to enroll at freedom, which resulted in Le Cordon Bleu. Her father a menu of dishes that is deliinitially balked at the idea. cious by design but unfussy. “[He] was a little like, ‘What are “A lot of things are just things you doing with your life?’” she that I would make for myself says. Jaksic second-guessed it at home or just things that I herself, but she couldn’t stay wanted to eat,” Jaksic says. out of the kitchen. “When you During the day, these include a know something’s right, you tried-and-true avocado shake with banana, kale, and bee polcan’t just shake it off.” In 2000 she moved to New len, as well as a bowl of savory York, where she began col- oats served with a poached lecting restaurant ideas. After egg, shiitake mushrooms, moving to Nashville, she de- mustard greens, and gomasio. veloped the concept for Cafe Jaksic also emphasizes quality Roze—named for the Croa- ingredients. One of the cafe’s tian word for pink—from an best sellers, the Country Ham old folder of those ideas: a Toast, is thinly sliced Benton’s casual, simple dining spot that country ham over Rolf and feels communal, serving as a Daughters’ sourdough, topped watering hole of sorts for the with parmesan cheese. The dinner menu features neighborhood. “You can come here in your workout clothes, items like Farro Risotto with you can come here dressed up, Swiss chard, spiced tomato, you can come however,” says feta, and olives, and Spring-

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fed Rainbow Trout with sugar snap pea succotash, corn broth, and pea tendrils. Both menus include a number of vegan and gluten-free options, offering something for everyone. “You can come and eat a super clean meal here, or you can come and eat a rich hangover sort of meal here,” Jaksic laughs. Jaksic’s approach to the decor was similarly laid-back; she decided to do the interior design herself. “It was a ton of internet searches,” she recalls. She started with a set of sleek black stools by Danish furniture company HAY and went from there, slowly filling out the space with work by local artisans—Salt Ceramics made all of the cream and sugar caddies, and Ferrin Ironworks did all of the metalwork. A gallery wall that she’ll add to over time features pieces by Molly Ledbetter, Michael di Cosola, and others. She even brought empty San Pellegrino Sanbitter bottles from home to use as vases. The result is clean and minimal but charming. One thing Jaksic didn’t account for, though, was noise. Between a concrete wall and the tin ceiling, customers have commented on the acoustics. “Being in a musical town, everyone’s so sensitive to sound,” she says. “But that’s something—we’ll work on it.” In fact, Jaksic is totally okay with a work in progress, allowing the restaurant to evolve as it goes, serving great food along the way. “It’s never like, ‘Okay, great, we’re cool,’” she says. “We have so much growing to do just as a space, you know? But it’s so amazing to have people that will support you while you grow, and I think that’s the takeaway for me in this.” Jaksic says she spends most of her time at the restaurant, but she loves where she is and what she does. “After working an eighteen-hour day, when I drive home at night I’m really happy I’m here,” she says. “It’s like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna sleep for five hours and go back and do it again tomorrow.’ Should just set up a cot upstairs, save myself a trip.” Cafe Roze is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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THE JAG VINYL RELEASE w/ HR_LEXY - MERCY LOUNGE BEER & HYMNS - MERCY LOUNGE AGAINST ME! w/ BLEACHED AND THE DIRTY NIL - CANNERY BALLROOM GOOD OLD WAR - THE HIGH WATT GRIZFOLK w/ ARMORS - THE HIGH WATT TORRES w/ THE DOVE & THE WOLF - THE HIGH WATT PICKWICK w/ THE ELWINS - MERCY LOUNGE E NOAH GUNDERSEN - CANNERY BALLROOM HUM w/ SWEET COBRA - MERCY LOUNGE THE CRYSTAL METHOD - CANNERY BALLROOM GUILTY PLEASURES - MERCY LOUNGE MY SO-CALLED BAND - CANNERY BALLROOM DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - CANNERY BALLROOM CANNERY BALLROOM COIN - CANNE THE STRUMBELLAS w/ NOAH KHAN - CANNERY BALLROOM COLD SPECKS w/ LA TIMPA - THE HIGH WATT HUMMING HOUSE w/ SMOOTH HOUND SMITH & AIRPARK - CANNERY BALLROOM MIPSO, THE LIL SMOKIES & THE BROTHERS COMATOSE - MERCY LOUNGE # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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Tuesday Night Fever

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H O W H O N K YTONK POLITICIAN BRENDAN MALONE

IS MAKING COUNTRY G R E AT A G A I N

BY CHRIS PARTON | PHOTOS BY DYLAN REYES

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“SOMEBODY TOLD ME Y’ALL LIKE TO and “Ernest Tubb pants” he loves to wear. “I consider myself a honky-tonk politician, DANCE,” croaks Dale Watson, classic-country because I try to make it to all the traditionalstalwart and legendary Nashville agitator. It’s country events and show support, shake hands late August, and Watson’s first time onstage at and kiss babies, that kind of thing,” he says, Honky Tonk Tuesday Night—the wildly popukicking back at the now-empty Legion just a lar Eastside event held weekly at the American few days later. “It just seems to me like this Legion Post 82. But with one eyebrow raised music is slowly dying, and unfortunately it all the way to his silver pompadour, you can needs to be revived. I think the more people go tell he doesn’t quite believe it. around supporting it, presenting the idea that Although Watson and others like him beit’s a family and it needs to grow, then you’re lieve that Nashville has turned its back on gonna see more of it everywhere.” traditional twang, tonight, his skepticism is Malone still works at Robert’s, but he also put to rest. With the first notes of his openplays bass in The Cowpokes and spins classicing Texas shuffle, dozens of twentysomethings country gold at Duke’s every Thursday night, and Legionnaires hit the floor in their finest “honky-tonking 24/7” as he likes to say. On top Western wear to twirl and two-step and smile of the weekly Legion shows, he hosts a monthas the roots of Music City bask in neon light ly Saturday night version at The Basement once again. East, and an hour-long CNN documentary Hundreds more surround the spinning mass, titled Honky Tonk Moonlight—based largely on hooting, hollering, and jumping into the fray his exploits—is set for November. as the spirit moves them. Low-budget decoThoughtful, soft-spoken, and genuinely rations hang from the drop ceiling, a whiff of friendly, you might not figure Malone for a community fills the air, and if you squint just music-industry mogul. But in his mind, the reright, it looks like a scene straight out of 1951. vival on display at Post 82 was sorely needed . . Gradually, Watson’s heart begins warming . and inevitable. to his surroundings—the perfect setting for “It’s like that saying ‘History repeats itself,’” his “Ameripolitan” blend of honky-tonk, rockhe says. “And I also think people are getting abilly, Western swing, and outlaw music—and tired of this electronic nonsense that’s everyhe soon arrives at the same grinning concluwhere . . . Country music is the people’s musion as those on the floor: There’s something sic, and no matter what kind of background special going on here. you have or what kind of future you’re gonna Held each and every week in a lovable buncome along to, it’s something that everyone ker off Gallatin Road, Honky Tonk Tuesday can relate to because it comes straight from Nights are the brainchild of Brendan Malone, the heart. All this other bullshit that’s coma San Diego–area native who in five years ing from Music Row, they just built shit out of has gone from doorman at Robert’s Western nothing.” World to what some call the “Mayor of East That refrain has been heard on the fringes of Nashville.” Nashville’s country community for quite some The grandson of Dust Bowl migrants who time, but now it’s gaining traction due to a brought their love for country and western uniquely polarized set of conditions. Contemwith them to California, Malone has become porary country has never been more processed a leading figure in what can only be described or urbane, while at the same time independent as the city’s growing traditional-country reroots artists like Margo Price, Jason Isbell, and vival. He’s arguably the movement’s common Sturgill Simpson have become bona fide comdenominator, equipped with a passion for the mercial stars. music as authentic as the embroidered shirts

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“Realness” is a big selling point elsewhere, too— just look at the portion of your local supermarket dedicated to organic food—so the renewed interest in Malone’s music might actually be part of a broader cultural shift. Honky-tonk has even topped the pop country charts this year, with major-label artists like Jon Pardi and Midland scoring number-one radio hits. “They hear us knocking on the door, they honestly do,” Malone explains. “I get asked by some pretty big people on 16th Avenue about who they should keep their eye on from our honky-tonk scene, so they’re curious. They’re getting wind of the smoke signals.” On the East side, smoke started rising when Malone grew frustrated with the lack of live honky-tonk options. Jerry Pentecost’s Country and Western Wednesdays had come to an end at the 5 Spot, so all that remained was Lower Broadway. “I was already working at Robert’s, but I’d still be hanging out there when I was off too,” he explains. “I kind of wanted to do the same thing but in East Nashville, and I didn’t ever find the place.” Then about two years ago, fate intervened. After bowling one night with a few like-minded buddies (Cory Younts of Old Crow Medicine Show and singer-songwriter Hugh Masterson), Malone’s crew was looking for a place to get away from the weekend crowd. A friend from Robert’s had visited Post 82 some time earlier, reporting back that it had classic country and plenty of empty seats at the bar. They decided to check it out. “We walked in, and I think Carl Smith was playing,” Malone recalls. “It was great. I ended up spending like forty dollars on the juke box, and all three of us bought a membership. After a couple hours we called Josh Hedley and he came down, and it then became our secret bar for al-

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most six months. At this point we promised we would never post pictures or tell anyone about it, but pretty soon our little group would be hanging out and you’d turn to your right and David Rawlings and Gillian Welch are here.” The Legionnaires embraced their new friends, but Malone was soon pulled aside by the Post Commander with some bad news. “He was like, ‘Hey, you’re helping us out by getting people here, but just so you know, we might have to close our doors soon because we can’t afford the bills anymore,’” Malone explains. “He said, ‘Would you be interested in putting on a music night?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah . . . yeah.’” Featuring two or three traditional bands each night (fiddle or steel guitar were a must), plus The Cowpokes for an after-show dance party, the first few weeks only drew about twenty people, but soon the growth was exponential. Those smoke signals now hitting Music Row were first seen by eager Eastsiders who invited their friends, enthralled by the raw country music, low-key atmosphere, and welcoming, extended-family feel of the regular crowd. “Everyone here is so friendly, after talking to them it’s like talking to your aunt or grandma or cousin,” Malone says, adding that he’s never bothered to hire a security guard. “There’s never been any mischief here—no fights or anything. Coming from working the front door at Robert’s, where you’re kicking people out all the time, to doing this two years straight and you’ve never had to manhandle anyone? That’s special.” It’s also the most affordable joint in town. There’s never a cover, just a donation box at the front door which goes to the Legionnaires, and Malone says people are very generous with it. Combine that with drink and food sales (also ridiculously cheap by Nashville standards), and


“ALL THIS OTHER BULLSHIT THAT’S COMING FROM MUSIC ROW, THEY JUST BUILT SHIT OUT OF NOTHING.”

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it’s enough to keep Post 82 running while attracting big crowds. “We have a no-excuse policy,” he says with pride. “What more can you ask for? You’re not paying a cover, you’re getting to see Jim Lauderdale, Margo Price, The Cowpokes . . . anywhere else you’re going to pay big money, and here it’s free.” But on show nights, the dancing and camaraderie are clearly what people love most. Old and young take the floor side by side, trading partners and belly laughs as the whirling action powers a time machine of dolled-up retro fun. Walking in for the first time, it’s honestly hard not to feel connected to the social past of rural America. “People come here and they’re like, ‘It was crazy. I’ve never wanted to dance in my life, and then all the sudden I was dancing,’” Malone says. “You see everyone having a ball, and you’re like, ‘Dang, I need to be doing that.’” That’s the essence of this honkytonk revival: a bunch of youngsters rediscovering simple joys that the modern world has left behind. Twangy sounds. Wooden instruments played from the heart. A true community spirit. Not to mention the feel of a nice cowboy hat and slacks. Malone’s numbers keep trending up, with artists like Lee Ann Womack asking for last-minute gigs and his calendar booked solid until March 2018. Lauderdale was so impressed that he’s even planning a monthly Post 82 residency. Yes, there really is a revival underway in East Nashville, and even though some might dismiss it as just another trend, this mayor knows honky-tonk politics are all about the long game. “Even if it’s a bandwagon to some people for a couple weeks,” he says, “it’s gonna turn others into true fans for a lifetime.” Legion Post 82 will host Honky Tonk Tuesday Nights on October 17 and Honky Tonk Halloween on October 31.

MEN. WOMEN. HOME. GIFT. # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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where the west meets the south EDGEHILL VILLAGE castillejanashville.com 66 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / //////

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T H E AT E R S P O T L I G H T: RADICAL ARTS

PHOTOS BY AUSTIN LORD HAIR AND MAKEUP BY LACEY WALKER PROPS BY LUKE GANNON COSTUMES BY TYLER WATKINS

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RADICAL ARTS IS A 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater organization originally based in Murfreesboro but currently expanding into Nashville. We’re an artistic endeavor promoting acceptance and equality, and our mission is to bring the arts to Middle Tennessee in a positive, enlightening, and educational way. Artistic Director Seth Limbaugh founded Radical Arts in an effort to stray from the safe and expected spectrum of typical theatrical repertoire and focus on the underrepresented. We encourage patrons of all ages to open their minds, explore the unknown, and listen to the unique stories of the marginalized to build a better community. We made our Music City debut at Music Valley Event Center with our original burlesque show, Down the Rabbit Hole, in March 2017, and we continue to perform burlesque in the space one weekend a month. For our next Nashville project, we’ll be taking on Candarian Demons from another realm in Evil Dead: The Musical, which parodies the 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead by Sam Raimi. This is Radical Arts’ second rendition of the show, and it will feature our iconic Splash Zone for VIP ticket holders. Don’t be afraid to join us at Music Valley Event Center October 20 through November 5. It’s sure to be hellish, guaranteed. —Radical Arts cast and crew For tickets and more info on Radical Arts, visit radicalarts.org.

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RESPECT THE UNEXPECTED. VISIT PLOWBOYRECORDS.COM FOR NEW RELEASES

OUR ARTISTS: BLACKFOOT GYPSIES • BOBBY BARE • PAUL BURCH • BUZZ CASON • CHEETAH CHROME • CHUCK MEAD • DEAD BOYS • DRIVIN ‘N’ CRYIN • THE FAUNTLEROYS • THE GHOST WOLVES • JD WILKES & THE DIRTDAUBERS • JIM ED BROWN • THE KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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LIVESCREEN PRINTING CUSTOM EVENTDESIGNS

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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: ZAYDE WØLF

ØLF ZAYDE W sit info vi For more com f. ol ew Zayd lf @zaydewo

It almost seems odd to say “You Oughta Know” ZAYDE WØLF (Grammy-nominated producer Dustin Burnett’s brooding alt-pop project), considering there’s a strong possibility you’ve heard the one-man band’s music without even knowing it. Under the WØLF moniker, Burnett—who formerly fronted The October and has written and produced for acts like Dave Barnes and Augustana—has been a fixture in film, TV, and video games. His songs have been featured in trailers for Matthew McConaughey’s Gold and Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back; TV shows like Shameless and The Night Shift; and marketing campaigns for video games like Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry Primal. Obviously, we had to ask him a few questions about video games for this month’s You Oughta Know. Check out his answers above, and check out his video-game-inspired video for “The Jungle,” out now.

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Nashville's Skyway Man specializes in psychedelic rock and gospel noise. We caught up with central member James Wallace after his mind-blowing performance at Musicians Corner.

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

by NATIVE Staff

In 1999, State Representatives Tommy Burchett (a politician who’d once attempted to repeal Tennessee’s motorcycle helmet laws) and Tommy Head introduced what would come to be known as “The Roadkill Bill.” In short, it would allow Tennesseans to keep and eat roadkill. After a little tweaking, TCA 70-4-115 (the bill’s real name) passed.

y y killed b cidentall c a o ls s a r y pe n anim ed by an l: “Wild s il s b e t s s a o th p Per ay be .” vehicle m umption a motor nd cons a e s u l a n o for pers But before you get to grillin’, yo notify a w u have to ildlife reso first urces agen enforceme c y or any la nt officer th w at you hit animal wit and killed hin forty-e th e ight hours to give the . You also m your nam h av e e and addre ss. If you hit a bear, though, you have to get a “kill tag” issued from an enforcement officer of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

None of these ru les apply wildlife to feder protecte ally pro d by Ten tected a nessee u nimals o nder Tit r le 70, Ch apter 8. ethe most fr gly, one of n si ri gh rp u su ro n th erhaps u e. October Deer are, p in Tennesse s cidents al ac im d an te la it re for deerquently h e m ti st or season). the w and hunting December is g in at m r ee use it’s d (this is beca

If you hit an animal and don’t want to eat it, we suggest taking it to our friends at Hail Dark Aesthetics. If you hit an animal and do want to eat it, we suggest (at your own risk) picking up Buck Peterson’s The Original Road Kill Cookbook.

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C U I S I N E O F T H E I B E R I A N P E N I N S U L A I N T H E H E A RT O F E AST N AS H V I LL E S PA N I S H ST Y L E G I N & TO N I C M E N U

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NATIVE | OCTOBER 2017 | NASHVILLE, TN  

Featuring Daniella Mason, Brendan Malone, Cafe Roze, Marlos E'van, Radical Arts, and many more.