Lilly Hiatt returns to The Basement East to mark the venue's return, one year after the tornado. Photographer - David McClister

East Side Buzz, March 5

The Beast is back, baby! No, I’m not referring to the fact that I’m coming in hot with another installment of East Side Buzz. (Although a year of pandemic life does have me feeling a little bit like some kind of monster, now that I think about it.) I’m talking about The Basement East, of course, and as we reported last week, the beloved Eastside club is ready to open its doors for the first time since the March 3 tornado. Beginning yesterday (March 4) and continuing today, the venue hosts a rotating line-up of guest DJs starting at 5 p.m., including sets from Spice J, Jerry Pentecost, Patrick Sweany, Terry Rickards, Grimey, Geezuss, and Jonas Stein of Sparkle City Disco. On Saturday, March 6, from 3-7 p.m., there will be live performances from Lilly Hiatt, India Ramey, Tim Easton, The Minks, Adams Street Trio, and The Tiger Beats (feat. Patrick Sweany) with a post-show set from DJ Spice J from 8 p.m. to midnight.

There will be distanced and limited seating inside the club and on the patio and The SmoQe Signals BBQ truck will be on hand if you get hungry and the whole shebang is free (though 21+ and ticketed due to seating availability/restrictions). Go give The Basement East and its staff some much-deserved love.

Speaking of supporting local businesses, there’s still time to advertise in the March/April edition of The East Nashvillian. Email us at sales@theeastnashvillian.com for rates and information. 

Shep’s Deli Is Open

As of Thursday morning, Shep’s Delicatessen is open! The new Jewish deli was opened by Howard Greenstone, Ken Levitan, and Pennington Pribbenow of Red Pebbles Hospitality in the old Marche space and when you first walk inside the smells hit you immediately. Lox, pastrami, bagels, pickles. It smells like a legit NYC-style deli and it’s worth it to stop by if only to soak in the scent for a minute or two. 

The plan was to serve breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, but when I rolled up just before 1 p.m. the staff was already starting on shutting down the kitchen for the day after underestimating just how popular they’d be. So while I can’t say how delicious the bagel sandwiches are (yet), I can say the space is bright, charming, and bustling as a delicatessen should be. Subway tile covers the floor and red neon signs reading “PASTRAMI” and “SALMON”  line the windows. At the to-go counter, a cute bagel board displays the day’s options — Plain, Everything, Jalapeno Cheddar, Poppy, and more. There’s a pastry case stocked with oversized New York-style cheesecakes and wire baskets filled with loaves of challah and rye. I can’t wait to spend a morning people watching from a window seat.

Shep’s will be open Wednesday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’re closed Monday & Tuesday. You can place to-go orders online here. Eventually, they’ll offer delivery, too. Keep an eye on their Instagram for updates.

Orange You Glad

Big news, music lovers: There’s a new record store in town and it just might change the way you buy and discover music. At the very least, it’ll help you grow your physical music collection. Tangerine Records Co. is the online record subscription service started by Cara Clinton. Every month Clinton combs through her customers’ playlists and music collections via Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud and picks anywhere from one to five vinyl records or CDs she thinks they’d love. (Don’t worry, you can upload a list of records you already own so you don’t get any duplicates.)

Initially, Clinton set out to press personalized playlists on vinyl — a pretty cool idea, right? — but, she says, “After talking with United Pressing they basically said, ‘Applaud you for the idea, but financially it’s not possible. And they were right. So then I decided, ‘What if I listen to peoples’ Spotify playlists and send them records each month from their favorite artists?’ That way it’s still incredibly sentimental and personable, but with the mystery of, ‘What am I getting this month?’ ”

Of course, musical tastes can be especially fussy. Liking one particular punk rock record doesn’t mean you’ll like another. Hell, liking one particular band’s record doesn’t mean you’ll like that same band’s next record! As a life-long music fan, Clinton gets it, so she does extra digging to ensure her selections will be a good fit.

“It’s kind of like when people say they love Saosin, but not Circa Survive because of Anthony Green’s voice,” she says. “For me, I love Manchester Orchestra, but I draw more to their Simple Math album versus their other albums because to me, it just sounds better. It can be very subjective.

“I usually send people at least one record I know for a fact they love, either because they’ve saved the whole album or several albums [on Spotify],” she adds. “Then, if I see they have liked at least one song from a similar artist I know, I kind of use my gut and try it out. So far that has really worked, people have loved the albums I’ve sent them.”

Monthly vinyl subscriptions start at $35 for one record a month. If you don’t collect physical records, but still want to be exposed to new music, Clinton also offers customized Spotify playlists for $5. Just link to your Spotify account and she’ll build you your own playlist based on whatever genres or mood you’re looking for.

“Music really is a personal thing,” says Clinton. “It shows your heart and what makes you sad and what makes you happy and what makes you feel understood. It’s pretty beautiful, actually. Because I love that process and connecting with people on that level, I’ll spend an hour to two on each playlist [and] as of right now we have about 10 subscribers. It’s almost a rabbit hole — once you start finding great songs, you can’t stop adding and wanting to send people more things.”

Starting this weekend, Tangerine Records Co. will also be home to a new weekly livestream series. Every Saturday night Clinton will invite a musical guest to perform a 25-30 minute show followed by a short Q&A with the virtual audience. March’s line-up includes Seth Taylor (March 6), Rasmus Leon (March 13), Raviner (March 20), and Creature Comfort (March 27). 

Get a peek of what Clinton is listening to on Tangerine Records Co.’s Spotify profile and learn more about the service at tangerinerecords.co

Tennessee Senate Passes Controversial Bill

On Monday Tennesse’s senate passed a bill that would “ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.” Chris Sanders, the executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, told the Associated Press that supporters of the bill “never produced evidence that there is a need for this legislation.” Adding, “It never was about sports. It was always about discrimination against transgender students.” 

The house is expected to vote on the bill in the near future, although no date has been set.

Other bills being discussed in the current session include the Gov. Lee-supported bill that would allow Tennesseans to carry a gun without permits (a bill that is opposed by both the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, bee tea dubs …) and HB 513, the bill that makes drivers “immune from prosecution” should they “unintentionally cause injury or death” to anyone blocking the road while protesting.

So basically the Republicans want to give guns more protection than actual human beings exercising their right to protest. Cool priorities, dummies.

Quick Bits:

  • On Tuesday, March 2, Metro Council approved Mayor Cooper’s $474.6 million capital spending plan. The final vote was 31-7. Read more about what the spending plan includes in the Feb. 12 edition of East Side Buzz.
  • Madison Town Center, the 33-acre site at 721 Madison Square, has a potential buyer. Nashville Post reports that “Nashville-based real estate investor and developer Tyler Cauble and Mattew Taylor and Colin Brothers of Austin-based ARTESIA-RE, plan to close on the purchase by month’s end.” The retail property has also been approved for up to 1,000 residences and Metro Councilmember Nancy VanReece told the Post she hopes 30 percent of that will be developed as affordable housing. 
  • On Thursday, March 4, the folks at Pomodoro East announced on Facebook that there was a restaurant fire in their building on Porter Road. They will be closed until further notice. “Everyone is okay and we appreciate the ongoing support through a time like this,” they wrote. “We will keep you updated on our re-opening.” Godspeed.
  • March is “Soup for the Nashville Soul” month at the newly opened Eastwood Deli. A dollar from every soup order will be donated to a different charity every week. Beneficiaries include Room in the Inn, East CAN, Gideon’s Army, and Margaret Maddox YMCA. More info here.
  • Tennessee will enter Phase 1C of the vaccination plan beginning Monday, March 7. Phase 1C includes anyone 16 and older with high-risk medical conditions and their family members and/or caregivers, anyone who is pregnant, and those who are living with and/or caring for a pregnant person. See what high-risk health conditions are included in Phase 1c here. Related: Tennessee is also expected to receive 54,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one shot. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two. Find out which phase you’re in, and make an appointment if you’re eligible, at covid1.tn.gov.
  • Speaking of, Dolly got vaccinated, y’all! 
  • On Friday, March 12, Hispanicize will host #DeTiDepende (It’s Up To You), a free virtual event that will address how COVID-19 has impacted the Latinx community in America. Guest speakers — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Paola Ramos, John Leguizamo, front-line workers, and health care experts — will speak about everything from vaccination education and overall health and wellness to economic recovery. Register for the event at hispanicize.com.
  • CMA Fest 2021 has been canceled. In the March 2 announcement, organizers said, “While we are encouraged to see COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our fans around the world the CMA Fest experience they have come to expect.”

Love Buzz

This weekend Lilly Hiatt will perform at The Basement East’s highly anticipated reopening party and, like all of us, really, Hiatt had her own bullshit to deal with in 2020. She released her latest full-length album Walking Proof on March 27, just two weeks after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. She was supposed to celebrate the release with a 35-date U.S. tour that ended April 18th, coincidentally enough, at The Basement East and, of course, all that was canceled. 

So I want to end this week’s Buzz with my favorite song from Walking Proof, “Never Play Guitar,” a sunny jam with some legit Tom Petty vibes. I highly recommend you turn it up loud while enjoying this weekend’s sunshine. The chorus is especially fun to sing along to while cruising around town with all the windows down — “Baby, paint your cheeks up / Tell ‘em who you are! No, I can’t write a song / If I never play guitar.” 

Hiatt also released a live album this year. Live at Exit/In During COVID was recorded at an otherwise empty Exit/In in August and even without an audience Hiatt and her band — Jon Radford, Robert Hudson, and Mike Lopinto — managed to deliver a hell of a show. The album is a Bandcamp exclusive and whaddya know, today is Bandcamp Friday! Bandcamp is waiving their fee so artists and record labels get 100% of your purchase. Get your copy here.