Brittany Howard is set to perform at the GRAMMYs on Sunday.

East Side Buzz March 12

Happy Women’s History Month to me, a woman! Did you get me a present? Why didn’t you get me a present? Anyway, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re dipping into The East Nashvillian archives to shine a light on some of the talented ladies we’ve been lucky enough to feature on the cover of the magazine. There was Elizabeth Cook in 2016, Bermuda Triangle in 2017, Margo Price in 2018, and Jessy Wilson in 2019. Randy Fox interviewed Lillie Mae, Holly Gleason chatted with Sarah Potenza, and Tommy Womack sat down with Aubrie Sellers. So many rad ladies doing so many rad things! Follow The East Nashvillian on Instagram and join us on this stroll down memory lane, won’t you? 

And speaking of the print edition, there is still time to advertise in the March/April edition! Email us at sales@theeastnashvillian.com for rates and information. 

Porter Road Butcher Raises Big Bucks

On Monday the Nashville Post reported the good news: East Nashville’s Porter Road Butcher has “raised a $10 million Series A round of funding in order to expand its butcher, processing and direct-to-consumer operations.”

Porter Road Butcher is owned by Chris Carter and James Peisker. They opened their East Nashville shop in 2011 and began supplying meat for dozens of local restaurants including Lockeland Table, Arnold’s, Burger Up, Dino’s, and Margot Cafe. If you’ve eaten meat at any decent restaurant in Nashville, chances are you’ve eaten Porter Road Butcher meat.

To meat (lol sorry) demand, the two bought their own processing plant in Princeton, KY in 2015 and they began selling online in 2018. Even when the restaurant industry — and therefore their wholesale business — took a hit in the 2020 pandemic, home chefs have kept PRB going strong.

Carter tells The East Nashvillian that “business has grown year over year every year. The direct-to-consumer side definitely picked up the slack of anything we felt on the lost revenue from the restaurant industry.

The Series A funding will help Porter Road Butcher move into a larger, 28,000-square-foot processing space in Princeton and expand its workforce.

“We still do every bit of the process,” says Carter, “It’s really hard for us to just take a dial and crank it up and have an endless amount of supply. James and I are very stubborn when it comes to core values and the mission of Porter Road — we had to scale within our means. That’s the whole purpose of the new facility.

“It’s really amazing what we’ve been able to do in Princeton, and how much that town has grown on us,” he adds. “When we bought that [first] slaughterhouse we were two 20-year-old dudes from Nashville owning a slaughterhouse in Princeton Kentucky. We took it from 4 employees to 40 today, and we’ll have 80 in the next 12 months.”

The shop on Gallatin will continue serving the local community. They recently opened the doors for in-person shopping for the first time since shutting down for online and curbside sales only, a move that left some regulars reeling. 

“Nobody likes change,” Carter says with a laugh. “It’s so funny how many people walk past that giant sign that’s blocking the walkway to pull on the door and open it up and tell us we have a sign blocking the walkway. But I get it! I’m guilty of that, too. [The staff is] so excited to be able to work with customers face-to-face again.”

The face-to-face interaction also allows the PRB team to do what they love most, talking meat with other cooks. When asked for a cooking or grilling tip for the spring and summer seasons, Carter says an open mind is a chef’s best tool.

Honestly, one of the things that James and I love about our jobs is education,” he says. “There’s a series of questions that we always ask at the butcher shop, like ‘How many people are you cooking for,’ ‘How much time do you have,’ ‘Do you have a preferred protein like pork, beef, chicken, or lamb,’ and ‘What’s your gear and how comfortable are you with your cooking experience.’

I think as long as you’re adventurous and willing to learn and test and try new cuts, you can find something new for the grill almost every week and along the way, you get to learn new techniques. That’s what it’s all about. It’s like problem-solving. It’s a delicious problem to solve.”

Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville Premieres “Radical Thoughts”

On Saturday the Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville is premiering “Radical Thoughts”, a group exhibit “inspired by the social inadequacies laid bare by the crises of our time.” The traveling show will be hanging at a temporary location at 1004 Gallatin Ave. through May 29 and it features pieces from 20 different artists including Suzy Slykin, Marlos E’van, Woke3, Jazlyn Eubanks, and more. It looks cool as hell. Read more here and buy tickets here.

The Beast Opens, The Beast Closes

This weekend, after The Basement East celebrated its reopening one year after the March 3 tornado, the venue announced a staff member who was working on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19.

“The staff member is asymptomatic,” the statement read. “They were wearing a mask the entire shift and in limited contact with guests. … The rest of our staff is getting tested, we are re-sanitizing the venue and readdressing future events. We will reopen through the spring as safety allows.”

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Nashville Takes Over The GRAMMYs

Nashville’s invading this weekend’s 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Music City’s own Miranda Lambert, Mickey Guyton, Brittany Howard, and Maren Morris are all scheduled to perform during the show and the four women have collectively racked up 10 Grammy nominations. Lambert is up for Best Country Solo Performance (“Bluebird”), Best Country Song (“Bluebird”) and Best Country album (Wildcard), Morris is up for Best Country Song (“The Bones”), Guyton is up for Best Country Solo Performance (“Black Like Me”) and Howard’s up for a whopping five golden gramophones, including Best Rock Song (“Stay High”), Best Alternative Music Album (Jaime) and Best R&B Performance (“Goat Head”). Oh, and Taylor will be there, too. Is Taylor still considered a Nashvillian? I think of her more as a beautiful woman who died of a broken heart in 1820 and now exists everywhere and nowhere at once.

Beyond those who are performing, several more Nashvillians up for awards, including Ingrid Andress (Best New Artist), Noah Cyrus (Best New Artist), Sturgill Simpson (Best Rock Album), and practically everyone in the country music categories — Brandy Clark, Vince Gill, Old Dominion, and entitled name stealers Lady A.

Eric Church, who, surprisingly, has yet to win a Grammy despite nine nominations since 2012, recorded “Stick That In Your Country Song“ in East Nashville at producer Jay Joyce’s studio, which is where this video was shot. Church is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for the song.

Good luck to all of Nashville’s nominees and also Phoebe Bridgers!

Massive Vaccination Event on March 20 at Nissan Stadium

Phase 1c is officially open in Tenessee and appointments have been filling up fast. To meet demand, the Metro Public Health Department announced a massive 10,000 vaccine event at Nissan Stadium on March 20. The event will be offering the Johnson & Johnston vaccine, which is a single-dose vaccine. All 10,000 appointment slots were filled within hours of the sign-up site’s launch on Wednesday morning and appointments at Music City Center are also full through March 19. MPHD says they’re “continuing to open additional slots at Music City Center” and to check asafenashville.org for when those will become available.

Some local Kroger and Walmart locations have also started offering the vaccine to those who are eligible — more info is available on their respective websites. And if you’re not already, be sure to follow MPHD on Twitter and/or Facebook for the latest announcements.

Nearly 110,000 Nashville residents (15.8 percent) have received their first dose of the vaccine, and more than 61,000 (8.8%) have received their second dose. 

In other COVID-19 news, as of Thursday, there have been 91,173 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County and there are currently 1,623 active cases.

Keep wearing your masks, keep washing your hands.

Airport Pickin‘ Party Returns

Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party is returning this year, with monthly concerts scheduled through the summer starting May 15. The kick-off concert features Brazibilly and The Cowpokes. There will be food and drinks from Yazoo, Woodland Wine Merchant, Gypsy Crepe Co., and Il Forno (mmm, pizza) and the outdoor seating will be arranged in pods to help ensure the safety of all guests. The shows benefit Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms and tickets are on sale now!

Edit: People are not encouraged to bring their own instruments as previously stated.

Quick Bits:

  • On Tuesday, the Tennessee Historical Commission voted 25-1 to allow the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust currently on display at the Tennessee State Capitol. What will happen to the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue on I-40, though, is still anyone’s guess.
  • The office building across from Fanny’s House of Music is for sale for $1.5 million, according to the Nashville Post. The building, which could be a live-work or small retail space, was previously owned by Carrie Sissom, a notorious Nashville slumlord in the 70s and 80s.
  • Donelson nanobrewery Barrique Brewing and Blending is moving into the 10,000-square-foot building on the East Bank formerly occupied by Little Harpeth Brewing.
  • Gov. Bill Lee’s beloved Constitutional Carry Bill has passed through another subcommittee — it was approved by the criminal justice committee Wednesday. 
  • Local business owners and the Second Avenue Strong organization have lit up the trees that line Second Avenue between Union and Broadway. Organizers hope it represents “Second Avenue coming back to life” after the Christmas Day bombing. Related: If you or your business were impacted by the bombing, Ron Gobbell, project manager for the Second Avenue rebuilt effort, is hosting another listening session on March 12 at 10 a.m. A member of the Small Business Administration will be on hand to answer questions about SBA Disaster loans. Register for the virtual event here.
  • This Sunday is 3/14, otherwise known as Pi Day. I highly recommend celebrating by eating anything and everything from East Nashville’s own Caity Pies. They’ll be selling their Pi Day specials — Key lime! Coffee chess! Peanut butter mud! Banoffee! — at Citizen Market Friday and Richland Park Farmer’s Market Saturday. Fun fact: Porter Road Butcher’s lard is how Caity Pies manages to get that flaky AF pastry crust. And it all comes full circle.
  • Five million dollars is headed to the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing, Mayor John Cooper today announced. “Our affordable housing needs are urgent,” Mayor Cooper said. “After regaining financial stability in Nashville, we are getting back on track and fixing problems — and this investment is part of that pressing work.”

Love Buzz

The 5 Spot hasn’t hosted an audience for I don’t know how long, but its stage hasn’t been sitting empty — the bar has reinvented itself as a video studio of sorts, supplying a steady stream of virtual events via the online concert website StageIt. This weekend, on March 13, H.A.R.D. (aka “Have a Rad Day”) will take the stage at 8 p.m. CST for a pay-what-you-can show

H.A.R.D.’s 2018 self-titled EP is a must-hear if you like raucous, hook-filled, punky and poppy songs about feelings (see: Jeff Rosenstock) while their newer material, including the weeks-old “Bedhead,” recalls a more wistful mid-era Jimmy Eat World sound. Still, my favorite continues to be 2019’s “People Like Me,” a song about coming to terms with the fact that you’re a fuck up. We’ve all been there, H.A.R.D., and that’s why “People Like Me” is this week’s East Side Buzz jam of the week.