Brandi Carlile's livestream from the Ryman Sunday to benefit Fanny's School of Music, among others.

East Side Buzz, March 26

Yes, April 1 is right around the corner, but don’t worry, friends. I’m not gonna play any pranks on ya. This week’s installment of East Side Buzz is full of nothing but the truth!

For example, I’m not joking when I say that TODAY our March/April issue hits the streets! You’ll be able to grab it at all the usual spots, or you can order it through our online shop and have it sent straight to your mailbox.

Now would be a good time to catch up on the Jan/Feb issue, if you haven’t yet given it a look. We have a story about the Out East Comedy Club, interviews with the East Nashvillians of the Year, and a profile on artist Madison Thorn. Jump in!

Brandi + Fanny’s = ❤️

On Sunday, March 28, Brandi Carlile and her full band will livestream their concert from The Ryman. Tickets to watch are $25 each and $2 of every ticket will be donated to Rainey Day Fund and Fanny’s School of Music. What’s more, on Tuesday, CMT’s Equal Pay project announced they would match those donations, up to $15,000, for Rissi Palmer’s Color Me Country Artist Grant Fund, which provides microgrants for BIPOC country artists. AND! Carlile joined in on the giving extravaganza, saying her Looking Out Foundation will match the donations to all three organizations. 

It was last summer that East Nashville’s beloved Fanny’s House of Music launched their new non-profit Fanny’s School of Music. While things were a little slow going at first — understandably, there was both tornado recovery and a pandemic to focus on — this week Fanny’s owners Pamela Cole and Leigh Maples told The East Nashvillian that things have started to pick up in the new year.

“Maybe January/February things really started coming together,” says Cole. “Up until then, I think we were just trying to manage every day. Between the virus and the repairs, it was just a full-time job keeping Fanny’s open. Now we’ve got an advisory council that’s just been off the chart fantastic.”

In January the school, which will be built next door to Fanny’s on S. 11th Street, was approved by the Metro Historic Zoning Commission, and in February Brittany Howard, who is on that advisory board, put Fanny’s school in the spotlight when she featured the non-profit during the Verizon Big Concert for Small Business benefit show.

Credit: Scott Guion

Once the school is completed, Cole and Maples hope to do what Fanny’s does best, create an accessible, welcoming space for everyone. They plan on working with local organizations including the Martha O’Brien Center and the W.O. Smith Music School to ensure their resources are available to low-income families, and they’re also looking into creating programs specifically for seniors and people living with autism. As always, they hope to continue correcting the gender gap in the music industry, too.

“I am so hopeful, and it seems to be working out this way, that women are gonna be the ones that build this school,” says Cole. “The people that are giving us money so far, I think the women really get it on a different level.

“Not that we won’t take men’s money!” she adds with a laugh.

“Being in the middle of the pandemic, we knew things would go slower than usual,” says Leigh. 

“We would love to break ground in August,” adds Cole, “but if it’s next August, that’s fine too. We have to have $1.25 million, and however that comes, we’ll just keep stocking it away until we have it.”

To learn more about Fanny’s School of Music, and make a donation, visit fannysschoolofmusic.org. Tickets for Brandi Carlile’s livestream are available here. And though they couldn’t give too many details yet, Fanny’s next fundraiser will be an online auction in May. “We have lots of people that are willing to donate all sorts of fun stuff,” says Cole. Looking at their long list of superstar supporters, it’d be wise to start squirreling away some money now.

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Dolly + Jeni’s = 🍓🥨

Just yesterday Jeni’s announced the flavor of their highly anticipated Dolly Parton ice cream. If you haven’t heard by now it is … STRAWBERRY PRETZEL PIE, BAYBEE! And yes it is worth screaming in all caps.

It is a cream cheese ice cream base with layers of salty pretzel streusel and a swirl of strawberry sauce. Sales of the flavor will benefit Parton’s Imagination Library.

Sounds amazing, right? Getting it won’t necessarily be easy. The flavor will be available in scoop shops starting Thursday, April 8, and available online for nationwide shipping starting at noon EST. But because it’s likely to sell out, Jeni’s is limiting pints to two per purchase.

Weird to get this excited about ice cream, like it’s some kind of limited-edition sneaker or Lizzo concert tickets, but here we are and I’m not mad about it.

Covid-19 + Nashville = 💉

On Monday Mayor Cooper announced Davidson County has moved into Phases 2A and 2B, meaning anyone who is 55 or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Sign up at asafenashville.org. Several local Kroger, Publix and Walmart locations are also vaccinating folks — visit their respective websites for more info.

Thanks to last weekend’s major vaccination event at Nissan Stadium, more than 13 percent of Nashville residents are fully vaccinated — and another 23.9 percent have received their first dose — but don’t let these vaccination numbers fool you. The pandemic still isn’t over. As of Thursday, there were 1,930 active cases of COVID-19 in Nashville. That’s actually 190 more cases than were active on March 1.

Hospital capacity has gone down so far this month, too. On March 1, 18 percent of hospital beds were available — that number has since dropped to 13 percent. Deaths have jumped from 633 to 862.

Still, the city continues to reopen for some reason — on Thursday it was announced that bars and restaurants can have 175 people on each floor (with a maximum of 2,000 customers), up to 175 people can attend special events like weddings, and up to 10 people can attend indoor parties. More here.

Wear masks. Wash hands. Listen to Slayer.

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I Don’t Have Cute Emojis For This One, Just Lots of 🤬 🤬 🤬

In far less happy news, some Tennessee officials continue to show their bigoted asses during the current legislative session.

A bill introduced by Rep. Bruce Griffey (HB 0800), which would ban textbooks and instructional materials that “promote, normalize, support, or address controversial social issues, such as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles,” will be considered by the Education Instruction subcommittee on March 30.

It’s just one of more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been presented this year, and the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce released an open letting admonishing these bills earlier this month.

Despite protest, the transgender athlete bill also advanced this week — it passed through the house and is now awaiting signature on Gov. Lee’s desk. Lee has been supportive of the bill in the past but, as activist Eric A. Patton points out on Twitter, this ban doesn’t just send a hateful message to trans kids, it could also end in costly lawsuits.

I know Lee doesn’t care much about human rights, but maybe a swift kick in the wallet will get this bag of creamed corn’s attention?

Gov. Bill Lee’s phone number at the state capitol is (615) 741-2001. He can also be reached via online contact form here. Maybe let him know that this week — Wednesday, March 31 — is the 12th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Quick Bits

Love Buzz

On Monday Bully shared a cover of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” that had me seeing stars but since I’ve already featured Bully as an “East Side Buzz” song of the week, I want to spread the love to someone you may not be familiar with, Bleached Out. 

Bleached Out released their self-titled EP on March 19 and it’s six minutes of blissed-out, fuzzy and bright bedroom punk that has been bit by the surf bug. Utterly delightful for a spring day, sunny and fleeting like the season itself.