East Side Buzz: Got the NFL-Draft Downtown Blues? We’ve got a few of this weekend’s Draft Alternatives and more

If the idea of Lower Broad turning into Nashville’s version of Disneyland has you down, don’t despair — there’s plenty to do without crossing the river.

4th Annual American Roots Hoedown at The 5 Spot, April 26 and 27

Going to pass on the NFL main stage events? For music with a more down-home, hometown feel in a small club setting, join musicians from the Magnolia Roads Family of Artists and Bands for the 4th Annual American Roots Hoedown at The 5 Spot. The two-day event will feature multiple artists and music spiked with Southern groove and a touch of psychedelic.

The show starts at 9 p.m., Friday, with Funkyjenn, Don Gallardo & How Far West, Chris Wilson & The Heresy, and The Truehearts. Saturday’s Hoedown starts at 6 p.m., with Lady Couch, Bonnie Blue, Rich Mahan, Arkansas Dave, Jeff Mix & The Songhearts, Mike Younger, Jason Daniels, Bryan Haraway, and Jenny Van West in the lineup.

A portion of the show proceeds will benefit the Ben Eyestone Fund at Music Health Alliance. A silent auction is being held in conjunction with the Hoedown to benefit the Alliance as well, with items donated by artists and musicians, including LPs, box sets, framed prints, original art and more up for bid. The auction closes at 11 p.m. on April 27.

Music Health Alliance’s mission is to “heal the Music by providing access to healthcare through services that protect, direct, and connect music professionals with medical and financial solutions,” according to the organization’s website. Sponsors of the Hoedown include Founder Brewing Company and GHS Strings. For more see The 5 Spot, Magnolia Roads, and Music Health Alliance.

Black Diamond and a Pointer Sister at Cambria Hotel True Music Room and Bar, April 27

If you do happen to find yourself stuck downtown for reasons beyond your control late on Saturday night, you might want to hide out over at Cambria Hotel with the likes of Black Diamond, aka Theron Denson, Nashville’s very own Black Neil Diamond impersonator. Denson has been developing, honing, and polishing his act for almost two decades, and has gotten raves from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Ruth Pointer (of The Pointer Sisters), and Neil Diamond percussionist Errisson Johnson. In addition to Denson’s Neil Diamond stylings on Saturday night, Sadako Pointer (yes, also of The Pointer Sisters) will bring her soulful sounds to the stage. The show starts at 9 p.m. Cambria Hotel is at 118 Eighth Ave. S.

Wine Tasting and Cocktail Drinking

Drink wine and support the community literacy efforts of the East Nashville Hope Exchange at this year’s Wine Tasting & Silent Auction. The event will feature a variety of different wines and beers from premier event sponsor Midtown Corkdorks, as well as a silent auction featuring items donated by local artists, contractors, vendors, restaurants, and other organizations that support the mission of East Nashville Hope Exchange. Proceeds will help to fund summer and school-year literacy programs for East Nashville’s at-risk children in kindergarten through fourth grade. St. Ann’s Episcopal Church is hosting the wine tasting at 419 Woodland St., this Friday from 6–9 p.m. For tickets and silent auction information, see East Nashville Hope Exchange.

The Nashville Cocktail Festival will have a several events this weekend, including two at Pavilion East. See our East Side Buzz from last week for more or visit The Nashville Cocktail Festival.

Independent Bookstore Day

Saturday, April 27th is National Independent Bookstore Day (IBD), when booksellers and readers around the country gather at their hometown bookshops to celebrate the power of the printed word. And yes, the hometown bookshop is alive and well, even in the age of Amazon. How is that possible? Well, maybe it’s because, as the website for IBD states, “Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.”

And yes, even amidst the tweets and memes and algorithms, the reading world still craves the printed word and appreciates a knowledgeable, human bookseller, one who will help a reader find her way through a lovingly curated collection to just the right next book. So to celebrate the literate, the literary, and those who serve them, here’s our list of a few IBD shops offering special discounts, special events, and in-store-only, IBD-only merchandise and giveaways.

On the East Side, The Bookshop, 1043 West Eastland Ave., offers a thoughtfully curated selection of literary classics and new titles in beautifully designed volumes. On Saturday, the shop will have goodies from East Park Donuts, a coloring station for kids including crayons and free activity sheets (in lieu of their usual Saturday Storytime), special limited-quantity merchandise created exclusively for IBD, and exclusive giveaways. “Independent Bookstore Day is, hands down, our favorite day of the year, an all-day party for anyone and everyone who loves books and appreciates everything that indie bookstores bring to their communities. There’s so much going on in Nashville on Saturday, but we hope lots of bookish folks will brave the traffic mayhem to come help us celebrate. Donuts, giveaways, a happy hour, and of course a cozy shop stocked with beautiful books — need I say more?” says The Bookshop owner Joelle Herr. Happy hour will be from 4-6 p.m. with wine and Writers’ Tears whiskey for customers 21-years-old and up. See our item in an earlier East Side Buzz, and learn more at The Bookshop.

In the Idea Hatchery at 1108-A Woodland St., Defunct Books, seller of used, out-of-print, rare and collectible books will be donating 10 percent of IBD sales to the Free Nashville Poetry Library. See Defunct Books.

Fairytales Bookstore and More at 114 S. 11th St. will be offering 10 percent off all books for the occasion. You might also want to check out the Silhouette cutout event a day ahead of IBD on Friday, April 26th, from 1–6 p.m. Former Disney artist Keith Donaldson will create freehand silhouette portraits in paper using only a pair of scissors. For more about Fairytales and the cutout event see Fairytale Bookstore and More.

Across town, Parnassus Books will have a sing-along storytime with Emily Arrow,DJs from WXNA spinning records live, prize drawing (drop your name in the bowl any time) free audio books from Libro.fm, the audio book seller that supports indie bookstores and special giveaways. Special merchandise for sale only on Independent Bookstore Day will included signed editions of recent and collectible titles, literary tea towels, and a Charles Bukowski’s Uncensored vinyl album. Parnassus is at 3900 Hillsboro Pike. See Parnassus Books for more info.

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St. Jude Rock and Roll Marathon, Saturday, April 27

Fleet-of-foot or not, there’s a race for almost any ability level folded into the St. Jude Rock and Roll Marathon this Saturday. Run or walk full- and half-marathon courses, a 5K, a one-mile race, the Kids Rock course, and even a Doggie Dash. It’s all for a good cause, as proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in the fight against childhood cancer. More than 30,000 runners and walkers will be participating. And, of course, if you’re not racing, you can join the spectators to cheer on the runners and walkers (including the furry four-footed ones). In the evening, stop by the East Nasty Running Club Marathon After-Party at Pavilion East, from 6-10 p.m. Expect road closures in the morning downtown and on the East Side. Major thoroughfares will be affected, so for more information on road closures and marathon courses see the St. Jude Rock and Roll Marathon Community Information Page.

Record Pop-up, Bill Crosby at East Nashville Beer Works

Heart of Vinyl, a record pop-up, will be at East Nashville Beer Works on Trinity Lane this Saturday, April 27 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stop in for a local ale, go home with a vintage record. On Sunday, the pub will have a kid-friendly event from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Bill Crosby and the Bahama Llama Orchestra starting at noon. East Nashville Beer Works is offering 20 percent off all weekend for marathon runners who come in with a bib or medal.

Avenge the Cherry Trees By Getting Back to Nature

Remember the NFL-Draft cherry tree debacle of a few weeks ago? Now is your chance to be a champion of the natural world. Take the City Nature Challenge, April 26-27, anywhere in the city. Become a citizen scientist and help document the biodiversity of Nashville’s parks, natural areas, or even your own backyard. The City Nature Challenge is organized by The Cumberland River Compact to help create a better understanding of the plants and animals that make their home in Nashville. All you need to do is snap some photos of wildlife in your area (plants and/or animals), and upload them to iNaturalist.org, and further the cause of research.

If you need to get more physical in your environmental work, lend a hand with Cooper Creek Cleanup on Saturday April 27. Friends of Cooper Creek will gather at Dalewood Baptist Church, 1586 McGavock Pike, at 8:30 a.m. Wear good waterproof boots and, if you have them, bring along a few handy tools like loppers, handsaws and wheelbarrows. The cleanup will help prevent flooding by keeping the stream healthy and clear of debris.

Later on Saturday, you could become a trader at the Spring Plant Swap sponsored by the Nashville Public Library Seed Exchange at the Inglewood Nashville Branch Library on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A casual “bring-what-you-have, take-what-you-need” gathering will give Inglewood gardeners a chance to share extra seedlings, seeds, and divided perennials. For those new to gardening, the plant swap is a good way to get started and to meet other gardeners. Be sure to check out the seed offerings from the NPL Seed Exchange. The Inglewood Branch is at 4312 Gallatin Pike.

Getalong with Emily Arrow

Emily Arrow is coming back to town for the first time since she closed her Singalong Shop (now The Getalong) and will be performing with a full band this Sunday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at The Getalong, 1100 Fatherland St., Suite 107. The event will be a family-friendly Singalong concert. Tickets are $12 (include up to 2 adults and 2 kids). Each additional ticket is $4 per person. Limited space is available. Advance tickets can be purchased in store at The Getalong or online here.

Jessy Wilson Live at Grimey’s, May 2

Get on over to Grimey’s New and Pre-loved Music on Trinity Lane to check out Jessy Wilson’s free, all-ages live performance on Thursday evening, May 2, from 6–7 p.m. She’ll be previewing songs from her debut solo album, Phase, produced by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney and set to drop on Friday, May 3. Listeners at this pre-release in-store show will be able to buy vinyl and CD copies of the album a day ahead.

Formerly of the duo Muddy Magnolias (with Kallie North), Wilson has co-written and done backup singing with John Legend and has co-writing credits on two Grammy-nominated albums, Fantasia’s Back to Me and Ledisi’s Pieces of Me. A Brooklynite-turned-Nashvillian, Wilson grew up listening to Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield on her parents’ stereo, and Lauryn Hill and Biggie on the radio. The move to Nashville helped her find new loves in rock and roll, blues, and roots music. Phase offers up songs infused with Wilson’s unique take on a wide range of musical interests and influences.

By the way, Wilson will be the cover story of our May/June issue. Pick up a print issue, or check out Randy Fox’s conversation with Jessy online next week.

Pay It Forward with The Big Payback on May 2

This coming Thursday would be a good day to reach into your bank account and give a little extra to a nonprofit organization you love, with The Big Payback. Hosted by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, The Big Payback is a community-wide, 24-hour online giving challenge. Over 900 local and regional nonprofits are signed on with the event, including organizations that support the arts, education, healthcare, youth programs, and a host of other important causes, so chances are, if you don’t have a beneficiary in mind this minute, you’ll find one with a mission you admire by visiting The Big Payback website.

Yum! East Set for May 30

Tickets are on sale now for Yum!East, a favorite East Nashville foodie event. Now in its seventh year, Yum!East brings together East Nashville restaurants, chefs, and food artisans in a celebration of the community’s diverse culinary offerings. All proceeds benefit Fannie Battle Day Home—a local nonprofit, rooted Nashville since 1891 providing affordable, high-quality childcare to Nashville families in need. Get tickets at the Yum!East website.

Quick Bits

–Roads will be closed all over town this weekend, due to the NFL-Draft and St. Jude Rock and Roll Marathon. All modes of transportation will be affected, including many bus routes. Before traveling around the city this weekend, you’ll want to do some careful planning ahead of time. Many folks who work downtown are being persuaded to take days off. See this Quick Guide to Nashville’s Closures During the NFL Draft from WPLN.

–A vendor has been selected to manage Nashville’s on-street parking. LAZ Parking Georgia LLC is currently in negotiations with Metro regarding contract particulars. The Traffic and Parking Commission will meet to discuss the issue on May 13 at 3 p.m. at the Sonny West Conference Center in the Howard Office Building at 700 Second Ave. S. For more reporting see The Tennessean.

–The NFL Draft is bringing lots of attention and revenue to Nashville this week. But at what cost? And how should revenue from big events like this be channeled? For some responses to questions like these from city officials, see a WPLN story on economic impacts of the Draft here. Mayoral candidate John Cooper said he’d like to see “greater assurances that revenues from big events will go to arts and culture organizations that benefit both locals and tourists. With the increased hotel tax revenue collected, we should provide increased funding to revered institutions such as the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Frist Art Museum that are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike,” the press release states. Mayor Briley’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment.

–Eleven major corporations have sent an open letter to Tennessee lawmakers opposing recent efforts to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation. Warby Parker, Hilton, Ikea North America, InterContinental Hotels Group, Lyft, Marriott, MassMutual, Nike, Replacements, Salesforce, and Unilever agree such legislation is bad for business. See more at WSMV.

–Nashville is negotiating to sell its Downtown Energy System, which heats and cools some 40 buildings downtown. Engie, LLC, a French energy corporation, is hoping to purchase the system for $60 million. But the plan is not without controversy. Read more from The Tennessean.

–The Tennessee House of representatives approved Governor Bill Lee’s controversial school voucher bill. The education savings account bill gives public money to parents who take a student off the roll of public school district and allow the parents to use those funds toward expenses like tuition at a private school or other education-related expenses. However, the money allotted for each student who opts out of the public school is not guaranteed to cover the cost of education at a private school. See more on this story at The Tennessean.

–Fond Object, the vintage vinyl and clothing shop at the corner of McGavock Pike and Riverside Drive, has been demolished, along with the rest of the attached structure at the site. Inglewood Partners LLC acquired the property in 2016. A demolition permit was issued to property developer ZMX Inc. on April 3. For a bit of history on Fond Object and the controversy surrounding the site, see The Nashville Scene.

–East Nashville Magnet Middle School, which currently makes its home in the former Bailey Middle School building at the corner of Greenwood and Scott Avenues will be vacating the premises at the end of this school year, and the growing Nashville Classical Charter School will move in, leasing the building the building from Metro Nashville Public Schools. East Nashville Magnet Middle will merge back in with East Nashville Magnet High School at the 110 Gallatin Road campus. For more on this story see The Tennessean.

–Mayor David Briley will give the 56th Annual State of Metro address, Tuesday, April 30 10 a.m. to noon, at the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. The event is free and open to the public, with seating on a first come, first served basis. For more information go here.

­–Hip Donelson Farmers Market kicks off on Friday, May 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Two Rivers Mansion, 3130 McGavock Pike, with over 35 vendors, food trucks, live music, local restaurants, and family fun. The market will continue at the same time and location until October. For more information, visit the website here.