The Ornaments. (L-R) James “Hags” Haggerty, Jen Gunderman, & Martin Lynds. Photograph by Stacie Huckeba

East Side Buzz, Dec. 24

Greetings kids young and old! It’s time for your Christmas Buzz! But before we get into the nitty-gritty, a quick reminder that voting for the East Nashvillians of the Year closes today at 5 p.m. Cast your ballots for the business and individual who best represent the East Side spirit before time runs out. Visit the Historic East Nashville Merchants Association website to see the list of nominees and to vote.

We’ll be announcing the winners in the Jan/Feb edition of The East Nashvillian — and for any businesses out there wanting to start the year off right, advertising space is still available. Just reach out to sales@theeastnashvillian.com to make it happen!

Matters of Development

The Metro Development and Housing Agency celebrated the opening of Red Oak Townhomes this week, the fifth new mixed-income development at Cayce Place, according to Tennessee Tribune.

The FieldHouse Jones Hotel building, 811 Main St., has sold for $27.75 million, according to the Nashville Post

A 256-unit apartment building, “900 at Cleveland Park,” is set to be built at 900 Dickerson Pike, after a land sale this month, The Tennessean reports. The $90 million development will offer 256 units of multi-family affordable housing. 

The George Jones museum downtown has permanently closed, according to The Tennessean

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The Ornaments Show Available to Stream

Holiday faves The Ornaments have teamed up with Volume and INSTRUMENTHEAD Live to make their recent performance of Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas at Eastside Bowl available today and tomorrow at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m., with proceeds to benefit the Music Health Alliance. Tune in to our Facebook page to watch.

Find out more about how The Ornaments came to be by reading our 2015 feature by Randy Fox, which includes an in-depth interview with pianist and band cofounder Jen Gunderman.

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Live Performances Are Cancelled With Rising COVID Cases

With the COVID-19 Omicron variant on the rise in Nashville, we are once again seeing the cancellation of concerts, due to caution, or infection.

Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison announced Monday on Instagram that out of “an abundance of caution,” music would be canceled for Monday and Tuesday, and that a mask policy would be reinstated for staff and guests who were standing/moving around. “We are disappointed, but feel it’s the right thing to do for everyone’s wellbeing,” the post states. Then, the following day, the popular music venue announced it would be closed through Dec. 26, and it would update the status on social media at that time. “Numbers are rising exponentially in Nashville,” the post states. 

The Drkmtter Market scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 21 at all-ages venue Drkmtter, 1111 Dickerson Pike, to include records, art, and more, was canceled — along with other upcoming events — via an Instagram post announced on Monday. 

The Dec. 19 scheduled JD McPherson show at the Basement East was canceled after COVID-19 “breached the walls of the JD McPherson crew,” the roots rocker’s social media stated. “Everyone feels ok, but we feel it would be irresponsible to perform this evening at Basement East,” an Instagram statement said. 

All-ages music venue Bellshire Pizza, 2504 Dickerson Pike, also announced on Instagram that it would no longer be doing shows “until it is safe again to do so.” 

Music venues are not the only businesses taking caution. According to Eater Nashville, Cafe Roze has also closed its dining room temporarily (shifting back to take-out only), as well as Hathorne, Urban Cowboy (and its pizza pop-up Roberta’s), and vegan spot Guerilla Bizkits. 

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Redistricting Moves to Council

The Metro Planning Commission’s final recommendations for Metro Council and School Board redistricting were introduced at Tuesday’s Council meeting. 

Council will review the ordinance in its process of approving and adopting new district lines, and in January will move the item to committee review, then to two more council readings before adoption. 

“The Metro Council cannot amend the plan without having a voter referendum, and that seems unlikely,” District 6 Councilmember Brett Withers said via text message. 

The latest proposed district maps, available for review on the city’s redistricting website, were approved at the Dec. 9 Planning Commission meeting with four amendments to the Council district lines, and none to the School Board lines. 

One amendment to East Nashville lines finds shifts among Districts 3, 5, 6, and 7 that return the Renraw and East Hill neighborhoods to District 5. 

Initial redistricting draft maps were released by the Planning Commission in October, and have seen two revisions based on community feedback.

Redistricting is part of a regular redrawing of Council and School Board district lines, which happens every 10 years. Elected officials will continue to represent their current districts until the next election. 

Quick Bits

  • New cold weather shuttles will help the homeless get to shelters.
  • Curbside recycling pickup services have been temporarily suspended for Nashville residents, due to staffing shortages.
  • More than 190 homeless deaths occurred in Nashville in 2021, the highest number ever recorded, according to The Tennessean. Open Table Nashville gathered Dec. 18 to remember the lives lost at the group’s annual Homeless Memorial.
  • House democrats allege a Republican redistricting plan pits them against each other, according to the Tennessee Lookout.
  • You can view the “Christmas Comet” this week.  

Love Buzz

Allison Russell

In May Allison Russell released one of the best albums of 2021 with Outside Child, a powerful record that, Russell says, “is about resilience, survival, transcendence, the redemptive power of art, community, connection, and chosen family.” Russell was rewarded for her brave, emotional songwriting — not only was she nominated for Americana Awards’ Emerging Act of the Year (Charley Crockett won), she also received three Grammy nominations. Her song “Nightflyer” is up for Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance and Outside Child is in the running for Best Americana Album. 

She’s ending the year — this weird, overwhelming year — by releasing a remarkable version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” one of the most melancholy Christmas songs ever written. The song features minimal orchestration — just a little guitar and weepy violin (or is that cello?) — allowing Russell’s emotive and rich voice to carry all the complicated and nuanced feelings of the season. It’s gorgeous.

Want something even more hopelessly romantic in a sad — like Seasonal Affective Disorder — kind of way? She also performs the song in French.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may the end of your year be filled with love, peace, and heart-wrenching French songs.

“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling