It was after midnight when I got home and checked my email. I had been out with a friend, was tired, and had completely forgotten that I had earlier tossed out an email to David Lynch’s people about getting a comment on Alicia Witt. You see, Witt, an East Nashville-based actor and musician featured in the September/October print issue of The East Nashvillian — out now! — was given her very first acting job by Lynch, who cast her in Dune as a child (she was later cast in other Lynch projects, including Twin Peaks). And after interviewing Witt, I just thought it would be so cool if Lynch would talk to me, but didn’t expect a speedy reply.
Well, when I looked at my phone late that night, I had an email from Lynch’s assistant, telling me that Lynch would be available to speak to me the following day, at noon, for 10 minutes — and I wasn’t ready. Nevertheless, I crammed for those 10 minutes with the legendary filmmaker like never before, reaching out to a couple of Lynchophile friends to pick their brains about what kinds of things they would ask him, running through all kinds of scenarios in my mind, expecting the weirdest, most difficult interview I’ve ever encountered. But that’s not what happened.
When I got Lynch on the phone, after being put on hold to a tension-building Dave Brubeck song in what felt like a Lynchian moment, I found a very normal, cheerful guy, who was more than happy to talk about his friend. He gave me great quotes and background information about Witt, kindly volunteered to call me for a tour(!) if he ever came to Nashville (surprisingly, he’s never been here), told me to start meditating (“it will change your life”), and when the 10 minutes was nearing to a close, I could sense that he was ready to get off the phone. We said our goodbyes, and when I hung up, I just thought, “Damn, that’s a pro.”
Witt, who has been acting and playing music for most of her life, is also a pro, and gave me a great interview about her new album The Conduit. As is the September/October cover artist, Nashville comedian Joshua Black, who spoke to East Nashvillian Associate Editor Randy Fox about the winding road to his newfound success — a success Black has worked hard for, while also holding down a day job as a Nashville firefighter.
I just want to say thanks to people who are cool and work hard. If that’s you, keep it up — it sure makes a journalist’s job easier. Also, go pick up the September/October issue of The East Nashvillian (or read it online). It’s the first annual “Best of East” issue, featuring your favorite cool, hardworking East Nashville businesses and personalities.
Nashville Pride is This Weekend
The 2021 Nashville Pride festivities will take place Saturday and Sunday at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
The family-friendly celebration, recognizing the past struggles and future possibilities of the LGBTQ+ community, will kick off with a parade starting Saturday at 10 a.m., at the intersection of Union Street and 2nd Avenue South. (View the route here).
This year’s entertainment includes ’90s R&B act Salt-N-Pepa, masked country artist Orville Peck, rising pop star Kim Petras, and many more, performing on three stages.
The event will include the presentation of the Nashville Pride Equality Awards, recognizing people, businesses, and community groups for their community service. Many vendors and food sellers will also be on hand.
And after two days of fun in the sun, be sure to save some energy for the “sex, drag, and rock ‘n’ roll” themed Nashville Pride Pageant, taking place Sunday night at Play Dance Bar, 1519 Church St. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
AMERICANAFEST Starts Next Week
The 21st annual AMERICANAFEST takes place Sept. 22-25 in Nashville. The world’s premier roots music festival and conference offers many artist showcases spread across the city’s venues, as well as an awards show, and industry and creative panel discussions (taking place this year at The Westin Nashville).
We have made this easy for those of you who don’t like to cross the river and compiled a complete list of AMERICANAFEST events in East Nashville this year. (For a complete list of events and festival passes, visit the Americana Music Association website.)
Wed., Sept. 22
- 12 p.m. Mule Kick Records Rock And Roll Brunch at The Groove, feat. Desert Hollow, Rosie Flores, The HawtThorns, NOCONA, Side Pony.
- 10 p.m. Olivia Management Presents Live From Historic Eastland, feat. Jill Andrews, Ruthie Collins, Hush Kids, Peter Groenwald, Smooth Hound Smith, and more.
- 10 p.m. Jonathan Tyler’s The Dance at The Basement East, feat. Jonathan Tyler, Jackson+Sellers, Mike & The Moonpies, Joshua Ray Walker, Grady Spencer & The Work
Thurs., Sept. 23
- 1 p.m. Nine Mile Day Party at The Wash at Eastside Bowl, feat. Sierra Ferrell, Kevin Galloway, Greyhounds, Early James, David Ramirez, and Patrick Sweany
- 1 p.m. Atomic Music Group’s Second Annual Uncanny Hootenanny at The Basement East, feat. Olivia Jean, Clownvis Presley, Strung Like a Horse, The 40 Acre Mule, The Dead South, The Nadas, Volk
- 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. New West Records AMA Day Party at The 5 Spot, feat. Sam Doores, Riley Downing, Joshua Hedley, The Texas Gentlemen, and The Pink Stones Revue (feat. Lilly Hiatt and Nikki Lane)
- 4 p.m. Country Queer presents Rainbow Happy Hour at Vinyl Tap, feat. Mya Byrne, Paisley Fields, Lilli Lewis | Louisiana Red Hot Records, Lizzie No, Jett Holden, and more
- 7 p.m. Katie Toupin at The Basement East
- 8 p.m. S.G. Goodman at The Basement East
- 8 p.m. Harper O’Neill at The 5 Spot
- 9 p.m. Kristina Murray at The 5 Spot
- 10 p.m. The Little Miss at The 5 Spot
- 10 p.m. Jill Andrews at The Basement East
- 11 p.m. Langhorne Slim at The Basement East
- 11 p.m. Clint Roberts at The 5 Spot
Friday, Sept. 24
- 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. AMERICANAFEST Day Stage at The Wash at Eastside Bowl, feat. Brandy Clark, Jackson+Sellers, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Sue Foley, The Dead South
- 12 p.m. East Coast Social Club at The Bowery Vault, feat. Maya de Vitry, Wild Ponies, Marc Douglas Berardo, Amelia White, Rod Picott, and more
- 1 p.m. Bungalow Bayou at Audio Authorities, feat. Petty Chavez, Kevin Daniel, Casey Noel, Forest Sun, Mare Wakefield & Nomad, and more
- 4 p.m. Tim Carroll’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Happy Hour at The 5 Spot
- 5 p.m. Seventh Annual Wild Ponies Happy Hour at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, feat. Will Kimbrough, Crys Matthews, Cary Morin & Ghost Dog, Wild Ponies
- 7 p.m. Kazzi Valazza at The 5 Spot
- 8 p.m. Grace Pettis at The 5 Spot
- 8 p.m. Power to the Music: The Songs of 1971 – Winter at The Basement East, feat. Kashena Sampson, Emily Scott Robinson, Lilly Winwood, Jon Latham, Tim Jones, and more
- 9 p.m. Power to the Music: The Songs of 1971 – Spring at The Basement East, feat. Leah Blevins, Mando Saenz, Emma Swift, Tim Easton, Leigh Nash, and more
- 10 p.m. Power to the Music: The Songs of 1971 – Summer at The Basement East, feat. Jonathan Tyler, Kristina Murray, Emma Hern, Erin Viancourt, Zach Schmidt, and more
- 11 p.m. Power to the Music: The Songs of 1971 – Fall at The Basement East, feat. Drumming Bird, Jill Andrews, Jim Lauderdale, Kristina Murray, Ruthie Collins, and more
- 9 p.m. Caleb Lee Hutchinson at The 5 Spot
- 10 p.m. Dee White at The 5 Spot
- 11 p.m. Logan Ledger at The 5 Spot
Sat., Sept. 25
- 12 p.m. Brunch Jam with Jack Silverman at The 5 Spot
- 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. AMERICANAFEST Day Stage at The Wash at Eastside Bowl, feat. The Whitmore Sisters, S.G. Goodman, Hayes Carll, Tré Burt, Jason Eady
- 3 p.m. Andy’s AmericanaMitzvah at The Groove, feat. Amelia White, Amy LaVere, Will Sexton, Johnny Dowd, The Sweet Lillies, and more
- 7 p.m. Adam Chaffins at The Basement East
- 7 p.m. Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno at The 5 Spot
- 8 p.m. Charlie Marie at The Basement East
- 8 p.m. The Shootouts at The 5 Spot
- 9 p.m. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers at The Basement East
- 9 p.m. Sam Doores at The 5 Spot
- 10 p.m. Lilly Hiatt at The Basement East
- 10 p.m. Riley Downing at The 5 Spot
- 11 p.m. Tyler Boone at The 5 Spot
- 11 p.m. Carlene Carter at The Basement East
This Week In Guns
- Multiple teenagers have been arrested after a Monday crime spree, involving a handgun, in East Nashville, according to WKRN.
- Two men shot each other Sunday, on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge downtown. One of the men died, according to The Tennessean.
- A man was critically injured in a shooting at the James Cayce Homes in East Nashville Monday, according to WKRN.
- The East Nashville property home to Duke’s and Shep’s Delicatessen has been listed for sale, according to the Nashville Post.
- An Atlanta developer has purchased an East Bank property, located at 51 Oldham St., for $12.5 million, according to The Nashville Post, and has plans for a 350-unit apartment complex.
- A Nashville non-profit this year has treated four times the usual amount of foxes for mange, in East and West Nashville, a result of the city’s growth.
- COVID-19 has now killed one in every 500 Tennesseans, according to The Tennessean.
- Nashville musician Adam Doleac has been reunited with $250,000 in equipment stolen from East Nashville.
Adia Victoria, “You Was Born to Die”
Holy sweet goddamn, y’all! Today Adia Victoria drops A Southern Gothic, and it is the album of her career. It’s not just a celebration of the blues as a vital, historical genre, A Southern Gothic is a contemporary resurrection, a record that breathes life back into so many of the voices that have inspired Victoria on her own journey.
For her latest single “You Was Born to Die” — a version of the Ernest B. McTell song — Victoria collaborated with Kyshona and Margo Price, as well as Jason Isbell, because, as she says of Isbell, “he makes a guitar talk like it can speak to the devil.” The way director Joey Brodnax worked the collaboration into the video is genius: Victoria and her band are performing in a rehearsal space, and amongst them are four large vertical screens. As each woman sings her part, videos of them flash across the screen — they’re literally larger than life, commanding and demanding to be seen.
The record was produced by T Bone Burnett — who Victoria worked with for her 2020 single “Souths Gotta Change,” and he even makes a cute cameo in the “You Was Born to Die” video, riding shotgun as Victoria sits behind the wheel of a black convertible GTO. (Dream car.)
“Last year the lessons I have learned on my walk in the blues — the business of love, lies, loss, and spectacular death — surrounded my every waking thought like armor. In a society that attempts to suppress death into the unspoken, the blues has allowed me to dance in death’s face and sing her entire name.”
Adia Victoria will open for Jason Isbell at The Ryman on October 24.
“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling