Liz Cooper performs Sunday at 3rd & Lindsley. Photo by Cara Merendino

East Side Buzz, Sept. 3

I don’t know about you, but I have Covid-statistics overload. It seems like every day, a new alarming Covid-19 statistic is announced, or a new Covid-related record is broken. It’s especially fatiguing here in Tennessee, where Covid-19 vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country, and per-capita cases are, as of yesterday, the highest in the nation (Tennessee also leads the United States in Covid-19 cases in children, and, according to NPR, is one of the top states in terms of Covid-19 risk level). 

On top of that, we have a Governor who’s so hell-bent on appeasing the anti-mask contingent he issued an opt-out mask order for schools, resulting in a federal investigation this week, because the order may violate the civil rights of at-risk students. (But every news organization in town is reporting on this, and you don’t need to hear it again from us.)

I did, however, come across one interesting statistic while researching Metro Public Health Department data this week: The average age of someone with COVID-19 in Davidson County is 36.6 years old. Do you know who is almost exactly 36.6 years old? Me! Additionally, according to the MPHD, there have been more Covid-19 cases (30,439) in the 25-34 age range than any other age group — by far. And do you know who, I would be willing to argue, falls into the 25-34 age range in Nashville, as much as anyone? Working musicians.

I don’t have data to back this up, but in my experience, the 25-34 age range is, with the exception of college students and homegrown locals, the age at which most Nashville musicians get it together and leave their hometown to chase a silvery dream in Music City. It is also the age, I am willing to argue, that musicians do their hardest work, digging in and playing local shows, networking, sharing cigarettes, and in general, just breathing all over each other. After 34, you’re either too tired to go out every night, you’ve “made it” and are too cool or busy for local shows, or you’ve sold all your dreams and gone home. 

Surely, millennials breathing all over each other is something that extends beyond the music scene, and considering that musicians probably make up a small percentage of Davidson County’s total 25-34 demographic (even though it doesn’t seem like it), and most Nashville music venues were shut down for the majority of the pandemic, shows cannot be to blame for my generation’s high Covid numbers. Live music on Broadway is something else entirely, but I’d bet that most of the bachelorettes packed into bars, as well as the super-spreader tavern pedalers, were tourists, and therefore would not be showing up in Davidson County Covid-19 data. 

It’s all just one more reason why local venues’ vaccine/test/mask requirements are a good thing. 

In science, they say correlation is not causation. Nashville musicians, venues, and music lovers have been some of the most proactive and compliant with any kind of effort to combat the pandemic. But still, as much as I’m sick of hearing about them, the numbers don’t lie. 

Keep up the good work, is all I’m saying. It matters. 

And if you need a glimmer of hope, The New York Times reported this week that the number of new daily U.S. Covid-19 cases has risen less over that past week than any point since June, asking the question, “Has the Delta-fueled Covid-19 surge in the U.S. finally peaked?”

Bonnaroo Was Cancelled, But Here Are Some Otheroo Things To Do

After heavy rains left tollbooth paths and campgrounds “incredibly saturated,” Bonnaroo announced on its website Tuesday that the twentieth annual Manchester, Tenn. festival, planned for Sept. 2-6, had been cancelled. 

This news undoubtedly threw a wet blanket over the weekend plans of many Nashville music lovers and artists scheduled to play — including Nashville artists Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Brittany Howard, Devon Gilfillian and more — but music lovers fear not, there’s always something happening in Nashville. 

In place of a scheduled Bonnaroo set, Third Man Records announced that tonight, Friday, West African musician Mdou Moctar — who creates a trancelike blend of Saharan music and shredding, psych/blues guitar rock — will be playing The Blue Room. (8 p.m./all-ages/$15) 

Bonnaroo announced an official “Bonnaroo Presents” show featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, and Sylvan Esso — all were scheduled to play the festival — Saturday at Ascend Amphitheater. (7 p.m./prices vary). Bonnaroo also announced a pop-up merch shop this weekend in Nashville, Friday-Sunday at The Music City Shop, 501 Broadway.

Saturday, Lil Ugly Mane — an experimental hip-hop artist who made an album Pitchfork actually liked — plays The End. Nashville punk-influenced hip-hop artist Kent Osborne and lo-fi punk duo Snooper also perform. (7 p.m./18+/$20) 

Former Nashvillian, Brooklyn-based indie rocker Liz Cooper, who was scheduled to play Bonnaroo Thursday and has a new album out today, announced a last-minute show at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl tonight with Houston-based Khruangbin, who were scheduled to play Bonnaroo tonight. Unfortunately, this show has already sold out. But fear not, because Cooper also plays 3rd and Lindsley Sunday, as part of the Lightning 100 Nashville Sunday Night series. (8 p.m./18+$18)

The Dive Motel has announced “Divaroo,” a Labor Day pool party, Monday, Sept. 6. The event will run from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the motel’s ‘70s-inspired pool, with live music on the poolside stage from Feelrs, Paul Nelson, Randy Michael & Nikki Speake, and Peter Raffoul. Antiquated Vintage will also be doing a pop-up. ($25)

This Week in Guns (And Other Crime)

Metro Nashville Police have launched an online data dashboard depicting searchable crime data throughout Davidson Country — including a gunshot injury map. The interactive dashboard, which police say is automatically updated daily, offers crime maps with a breakdown of type of offense, and users can search the data based on zip code, police precinct, or Metro Council district. 

For example, a search of East Precinct crime data between Sunday and Wednesday afternoon, on the dashboard’s Uniform Crime Reporting Incidents Map, showed 14 property offenses, six violent offenses, two auto thefts, 10 larcenies, one residential burglary, one commercial burglary, and six aggravated assaults. 

A separate Gunshot Injuries Map offers location and demographics for what it said Wednesday were the five fatal and 46 non-fatal gunshot injuries East Precinct has seen this year. (The map also offers a breakdown for gender, age, and “race” — only offering “white” or “black” categories.)

The Gunshot Injuries Map also states that only gunshot injuries resulting from homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults are included in the data. Suicides, suicide attempts, accidental shootings, and property damage incidents are excluded. 

Another dashboard feature offers police use of force details. In 2021 so far, 164 Metro Police officers have been involved in 218 force applications. These include six firearm uses, seven K9 uses, two baton uses, two “other” weapon uses, two “knee strikes,” four “hand strikes,” 51 takedowns, 33 taser deployments, two chemical sprays, four tear gas uses, 34 instances of grappling, 64 “soft empty hand” applications, and seven “other” physical applications of force. 

Other features of the dashboard include victim and suspect demographics, vehicle stop outcomes, police interactions, Metro Police employee demographics, officer attrition, and community engagement activities.

“These first-ever MNPD data dashboards enhance the police department’s transparency and present timely information in an easy-to-understand format that can be accessed on a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone on the go,” Chief John Drake said in a statement. “The dashboards help better inform the community at large about crime issues and police responses.” 

Quick Bits

  • A coalition of Nashville labor and equity organizations has called for the Metro Nashville Planning Commission to slow down the East Bank Planning Study and increase community engagement, according to The Tennessean.
  • Metro Nashville Police have issued a warrant for a man in connection with an Aug. 26 break-in at Boombozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse.
  • Edley’s Bar-B-Que plans to open a Donelson location next year.
  • Both Five Points Pizza locations will celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year-anniversary, offering free pizza slices Sept. 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • A Todd Snider song has inspired the feature film, “Hard Luck Love Song,” out Oct. 5. 

Love Buzz

Margo Price has had a busy 2021. In May she launched a limited-edition seven-inch series called A Series of Rumors. The box set is being released in phases, with each record featuring a song from her 2020 album That’s How Rumors Get Startedas well as surprise B-sides and other unreleased material. In July she released a new EP, Live From the Other Side, with special guest vocalists Adia Victoria, Allison Russell, Kam Franklin, and Kyshona Armstrong. This month she kicked off a fall tour (IN A PANDEMIC) by having to drive her own truck to the show because the band couldn’t find a vaccinated bus driver.

Margo Price now! Margo Price forever!

For this week’s Love Buzz, though, I also want to talk about her husband Jeremy Ivey, a skillful songwriter himself. Last year Ivey not only battled COVID-19, but he also released his full-length album Waiting Out the Storm and ran around downtown Nashville filming a video in a hazmat suit. That’s basically like the 2020 version of a hat trick, right? 

This week the couple paired up to release a new duet, “All Kinds of Blue,” and it’s the perfect track for these warm, waning days of summer. It has a fun Tom Petty vibe — harmonica! — and the video is full of sweet moments the two shared while collaborating in the studio. It’s all just really nice. Today also happens to be Bandcamp Friday, so if you purchase the song — or any music from Ivey and/or Price — Bandcamp is waving their fee so all your money goes to the artists.

“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling