I apologize in advance for any blatant typos — thanks to this week’s pollen eruption, I have sneezed no fewer than 100 times while writing this edition of East Side Buzz and my eyes are so watery it’s hard to see exactly what I’m typing.
If you, too, are suffering now more than usual, you’re not alone. Science has shown that climate change and global warming have caused allergy season to be both more potent and longer-lasting. Music City? More like Mucus City!
Anyway, related to allergies, the hilarious folks at Nashville Severe Weather recently released this pollen-covered T-shirt design and it’s a must-have in the ol’ Allergy Bowl. Proceeds from the shirt will help them keep the weather trackers up and running.
‘Tis the sneezin’! Pass the Flonase.
And speaking of swag, to celebrate the release of March/April cover star Todd Snider’s latest album, First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder, we’re offering a “Mag & Mask“ combo on our merch site. That’s right, groovers! Have the Todd Snider cover issue + an official Todd Snider mask delivered to your door for only 15 bucks (shipping included)! Quantities are limited, so don’t miss out.
What’s Happening for Independent Bookstore Day, Megan?
Saturday, April 24, is Independent Bookstore Day and several bookstores around town are celebrating. Here’s where to go Saturday (or any day, really) if you want to support the indie bookshops in East Nashville:
- The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Ave.): The Bookshop’s owner Joelle Herr says all appointments for in-person Independent Bookstore Day shopping have been snatched up, but there are still lots of items in the online store, all of which are available for shipping or pickup this weekend (Saturday pickup hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m.). There will also be IBD exclusives like the ABCs of Black History poster and a Baby Yoda onesie, freebies for anyone who spends $20 or more, and every order made on Saturday will be entered in a drawing to win a Bookshop tote bag and $50 gift card. More here.
- Fairytales (1108 Woodland St., Unit G): Fairytales is celebrating IBD with giveaways, sales, contests, and more, including 15 percent off all books both Saturday and Sunday. They’ll have limited-edition IBD items and merchandise — this canvas tote is especially cute — and they’ll also be hosting a couple of virtual events on Saturday, too. Award-winning children’s book illustrator Estelí Meza will lead a Zoom art class for kids at noon and later, at 2 p.m., authors Thien-Kim Lam, Georgia Clark, Talia Hibbert, and Paul Rudnik will discuss the modern romance novel. Read more about their IBD events and specials here.
- Defunct Books (1108 Woodland St., Unit A): Defunct Books is Nashville’s go-to if you’re looking for a rare or out-of-print book. They won’t have any special events for IBD, but they are open for shopping by appointment and curbside pickup. If you want to swoon over some very rare items, check out their inventory on Biblio.com. They’re also a must-follow on Instagram, as they’re always sharing photos of some of the more notable and/or strange books that come through their door.
- Grimey’s (1060 E. Trinity Lane): Sure Grimey’s is the place to go for records, but the shop also has a well-curated book selection, especially for music fans. There are no specials planned for Saturday, but they’ll be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and they have Brandi Carlile’s new memoir Broken Horses and autographed copies of Richard Thompson’s Beeswing, both of which were released April 6.
Read more about Independent Bookstore Day — and find stores participating near you — here.
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What’s Happening with the Exit/In, Megan?
So glad you asked, reader! This week Exit/In co-owner Chris Cobb announced the Nashville Helping Nashville: An All-Star Benefit to Preserve an Independent Exit/In benefit concert. The show, which takes place May 30 in East Park, will feature performances by tribute bands comprised of some of the city’s best musicians.
No More Depression, a tribute to Uncle Tupelo, will feature members of Dirt Reynolds, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Luke Schneider, Joe Andrews, Charles Butler, Andrew Leahey, Jon Latham, Brian Wright, Allen Thompson, India Ramey, Joey Fletcher, and more.
End of the Line, an Allman Brothers Band tribute, will feature keyboardist Peter Levin (an actual former member of the Gregg Allman Band), Jimbo Hart, and Chad Gamble, with more special guests announced soon.
Tickets to the family-friendly event are $25 and every cent goes to the Music Venue Alliance of Nashville and will be made available to Exit/In owners Chris and Telesha Cobb “as part of any purchase of the property from the Chicago-based hotel developer who recently purchased the venue.”
The Preserve Exit/In! GoFundMe campaign was at $224,604 as of Thursday afternoon.
What’s Happening in the Legislative Session, Megan?
Again, glad you asked! Here’s the latest:
On Wednesday, the Senate cleared House Bill 1233, a bill that would, as WPLN reports, “allow students and teachers to refuse to share restrooms with transgender people.” In March Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that prohibits transgender students from participating in school sports. Ugh.
On Thursday WZTV reported that the TN House passed a bill that would prevent “any local or state government from requiring citizens get the COVID-19 vaccine.” The Senate will look at the bill next and, if passed, Gov. Lee will almost certainly sign it, as he believes getting the shot is a “personal choice” that the government should not be involved in.
What’s weird, though (and by “weird” I mean “hypocritical”) is that when it comes to other “personal choices,” Gov. Lee is less lenient. On Wednesday, the Senate also passed House Bill 1181 — it’s now awaiting a signature from Gov. Lee. If signed into law, the bill would require pregnant women having a surgical abortion to choose either cremation or burial for the fetal remains. (The havers of sperm who are partly responsible for the fetus are not required to do anything.)
There’s nothing in the law about remains from miscarriages — nor should there be — but that goes to show that this bill is less about “respect and dignity” for the fetus (as the bill’s supporters suggest), and more about shaming the women who choose to terminate an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy.
Where’s your support of “personal choices” now, Guv’nah? Lee has not signed the bill as of Thursday afternoon, though he is generally very supportive of anti-abortion legislation.
The bill would also require women to choose “the location for the final disposition.” The bill’s examples include burial, an urn, or “scattering the cremated fetal remains in a dignified manner, including in a memorial garden, at sea, by air, or at a lawful scattering ground.”
A memorial garden! Interesting!
Unrelated: The Governor’s mansion (882 Curtiswood Lane S.) has several beautiful gardens. More than 64,000 daffodils bloom in the front gardens every spring and the property’s arboretum is home to 175 trees. The 2,800-square-foot Kitchen and Cutting Garden grows a plethora of fruits and vegetables that the Executive Chef of the Tennessee Residence uses for meals, as well as flowers that are used for fresh bouquets throughout the residence. Lovely!
The residence is currently offering public tours free of charge at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings by appointment.
What’s Happening with COVID-19, Megan?
Metro Public Health Department announced Thursday that they will be closing the Music City Center’s vaccination site on May 28, as demand for appointments has decreased.
The Music City Center will offer up to 1,000 walk-in appointments a day until then, with plans to administer the first and second Pfizer shots through May 7 and then offer only the second Pfizer shot through May 28.
No closure date has been announced for Meharry Medical College’s vaccination site at the former Kmart on Murfreesboro Pike.
Earlier this month Mayor John Cooper announced he’d like at least 50 percent of Nashvillians to have received at least their first dose of the vaccine by May 1. As of Wednesday, Davidson County’s vaccination rate was 38.6 percent. (With 24.2 percent being fully vaccinated.)
On Thursday MPHD announced there are currently 1,606 cases of COVID-19 in Nashville. There have been 90,937 cases in Nashville overall and 900 deaths. Please continue to wear a mask, even if fully vaccinated. Please continue to stay away from me, even if fully vaccinated.
For more COVID-19 updates and vaccination information, visit asafenashville.org or call 615-862-7777.
- Tennessee’s first black senator Thelma Harper has died at the age of 80. She served in the state senate for 27 years before retiring in 2018. RIP.
- Maneet Chauhan won the Food Network’s Tournament of Champions and she’s giving her $30,000 prize to Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Margot Cafe & Bar, and Mangia Nashville. Maneet is the best.
- Tickets are on sale now for June’s Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party featuring Kyle Tuttle and Greenwood Rye. Tuttle plays the banjo faster than anyone I’ve ever seen while wearing a Subhumans T-shirt to boot. Bluegrass has never been so punk. But act fast — tickets to the May 15 season-opener are sold out!
- The Department of Justice has awarded Tennessee $1.3 million after last year’s Christmas Day bombing.
- A Tennessee man rolled a 150-foot joint.
- Remember Death Charades? The card game created by East Nashvillians that I wrote about a few weeks ago? It’s now available at the very great Gift Horse.
I’ve been a fan of Buick Audra’s for years. I have loved Friendship Commanders, Audra’s hard and heavy two-person doom band with melodic tendencies, since first hearing their Junebug EP in 2017. This week, though, Audra stunned in an unexpected way when she released her first solo song in more than 10 years, and doom music it is not.
“All My Failures” is a dreamy, country-kissed number in which Audra lays out all the thoughts that keep her up at night — “lost recordings, lost friends,” the inability to “shake the fear that I’m just taking up space.” It’s a highly relatable message, especially now that we’re more than a year into a pandemic that has left so many feeling unproductive, disconnected, and worthless.
The song features Jerry Douglas on dobro, Brian Sutton on guitar and mandolin, Lex Price on bass, and FC bandmate Jerry Roe on drums.
The song isn’t the only way in which Audra is taking ownership of past mistakes — as part of the song’s release, she’s also sending those failures out into the world via postcards to fans as a way of letting go of them completely.
“I’m writing out the things I have considered to be my failures and sending them to whoever wants one,” she tells The East Nashvillian. “Sort of a symbolic release of the shame.”
The song, and your own handwritten failure, are available on Bandcamp.