Looking for something fabulous to do this Labor Day weekend? Check out the Musician's Corner at Centennial Park on Saturday. Musician's Corner celebrates their fall season kickoff with a pretty stellar lineup, including the most fashionable lady in Nashville.
The fun starts at 11 a.m., when the mobile food court opens, and it's probably a good idea to eat something before you partake in the beer and wine garden happy hour from 2-3 p.m. For those who are not celebrating their long weekend by raising their blood alcohol levels — i.e., children — there are fun activities in the "Kidsville" area.
Catch some great live music on the main and acoustic stages from 3-6 p.m., including The Blind Boys of Alabama, Ms. Elson, A Nashville Symphony Quartet and Jeremy Lister.
We're big fans of Elson's music, and we're big fans of her style, too, especially when she tells us about her favorite vintage spots, via Lucky magazine.
As I was writing the post about people to watch, I came up with a nice list. In looking it over I realized that several people on it recently moved to Nashville from New York. So I split the list in half — here’s the section dedicated to the Big Apple for giving us such great transplants:
Laugh all you want about what Disney considered — what was — the state of the digital art in 1982. Not just the visualization of the binary-coded ether as one giant dorm-room black-light poster, but also the clunky hardware on screen that’s the equivalent of those breadbox-sized wireless phones used in old war movies. And yet the same year William Gibson was just introducing the term “cyberspace,” Steven Lisberger’s through-the-monitor-screen fantasy Tron was advancing the concept, using the tale of a programmer turned uploaded warrior (Jeff Bridges) who challenges the tyrannical ruler (David Warner) inside a vast mainframe. (Perhaps “vast” needs some qualification: The computer used for the movie’s groundbreaking digital animation held a whopping 2MB of memory.)
The movie’s awkward, stilted quality makes it seem all the more alien. And it even works as a generally prescient portrait of the modern-day Internet — a realm of enormous power and promise, yet with anonymous assholes lurking everywhere. Tron is the midnight movie tonight and tomorrow night at The Belcourt; we can't wait to see what elixir Pat is concocting in its honor at the bar. (Using Cutty Sark, perhaps?)
Lest you think cult movies are all campiness and laughs, here’s a great reminder of the stylistic treasures to be found off the well-beaten cinemaplex path. Dario Argento’s 1970 directorial debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, showing tonight and tomorrow at Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville, is a triumph of style, suspense and — since this is an Italian giallo thriller — completely illogical plot elements.
As with many film critics turned directors, Argento’s influences — Lang, Hitchcock, Antonioni and others — are easy to spot. But even in his first film, he was able to go far beyond imitation and establish the visual style that would lead to classics like Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977). And with its cold, sloping concrete floors and deep red lighting, there is no more perfect place to see this symphony of menace and violence than in the Cult Fiction Underground, the projected-DVD grindhouse cinema located in the basement of Logue's at 2915 Gallatin Road. But have no fear — unless the door suddenly locks and you hear the music of Ennio Morricone rising behind you.
When: Aug. 31-Sept. 1
If there is one thing you should know about Hannibal Buress — aside from all of that stuff about writing for 30 Rock and co-hosting the (brutally and wonderfully insane) Eric Andre Show — it’s this: In 2008, he went on tour with notorious Israeli madmen Monotonix and survived to tell the tale. As part of Fuck Yeah Fest’s traveling roadshow, Buress either had to open for or follow (I’m not sure which is preferable) a rock band that, over the course of an hour, would start fires, hang from the rafters and dump trash on each other.
But if there’s one comic who could weather that storm, it’s Buress. You could triangulate his style of comedy somewhere between Mitch Hedberg, Aziz Ansari and Donald Glover, but Buress walks a hilarious line of insightfulness and absurdity that is completely his own. $18
Aeschylus with a bucket of fried chicken, William Friedkin's nasty, noirish film adaptation of Tracy Letts' bizarre Southern Gothic tragicomedy Killer Joe unleashes its cavalcade of NC-17 grotesquerie with a brazen opening salvo. One dark night, ratty, good-for-nothing Chris (Emile Hirsch) comes desperately knocking at his dim-bulb father Anselm's (Thomas Haden Church) door. What he finds is Anselm's wife Sharla (Gina Gershon) sans panties or modesty. "Put some clothes on, for God's sake," he yells. "I didn't know who you were!" she retorts.
Consider this Friedkin and Letts' warning to leave the theater if you're looking for anything resembling subtlety, plausibility or demurral — or for that matter, characters worth caring about. And yet their brakes-off hellride has an elemental force that keeps you riveted, even as you're shaking your head in disbelief, disapproval, or even shame.
The set-up is so grimy you'll need a shower after reading it: Chris is in desperate need of some money because (naturally) a murderous loan shark is after him. He's hatched a not particularly foolproof plan to zotz his biological mom and get her life insurance, which supposedly goes to Dottie (Juno Temple), his virginal, otherworldly teenage sister. To do the deed, they hire a police detective, the titular Joe (Matthew McConaughey), who apparently has a lucrative side business handling this sort of thing. When someone asks whether it's a problem if he ever has to investigate one of his own killings, Joe replies, "It's a convenience."
I was talking to an art teacher friend recently about how difficult it is to teach people how to be artists when all you have are slides of other people’s work in front of you. Nashville has Fisk’s Romare Beardens and Cheekwood’s James Turrell, but no matter how prestigious the collection, it’s hard to showcase examples from every artistic genre — imagine how we’d find room for specimens from Christo and Jeanne-Claude, or examples from each of Picasso’s artistic periods.
It’s lucky, then, we have the Frist’s excellent contemporary art programming, which often includes art-making workshops by exhibiting artists with local connections. The drawings by Kristi Hargrove that are part of the Frist’s Metamorphoses exhibit are spectacular examples of art that uses, as curator Mark Scala puts it, “the humblest of mediums — paper, pen and pencil.” She’s also a professor and chair of Watkins’ fine arts department, and tonight she’s leading a studio workshop at the Frist.
The workshop will begin in the exhibition gallery, where Hargrove will explain her work from a first-person perspective. Then she’ll lead a class on how to make your own drawings using similar materials and techniques. If you want to learn about the work in the Frist exhibit from the actual artist, and learn how to make your own work, tonight’s your night. The workshop is $45 for members, $65 for non-members, and supplies are included.
Are you excited about the recently opened Patsy Cline: Crazy For Loving You exhibit that Jewly Hight wrote up for this week's Scene? We are, too, and we also love any excuse to dress up, so we rounded up some of our favorite Patsy looks.
Get inspired, hit some of our awesome local vintage stores and get down to the hall to check out the incredible exhibit, filled with stage costumes, previously unheard recordings, personal photographs and letters, and some of Cline's possessions (we heard rumors of an awesome salt-and-pepper shaker collection).
Red capris and gold booties? Way before your time, Miss Cline. Pick up something similar at Hip Zipper.
Gene Kelly 100th Birthday Celebration: An American in Paris
Sept. 1-3 at The Belcourt
One of the best jokes in Singin’ in the Rain has Gene Kelly laying out to a studio mogul his big “Broadway Melody” number — which the movie stops dead to unfold in elaborate art direction, vivacious choreography and eye-popping, screen-filling Technicolor — only to have the suit reply, “I can’t quite visualize it.”
It may have been a subtle dig at the 17-minute ballet that climaxes Vincente Minnelli’s 1951 Best Picture winner An American in Paris, one of the most extravagant extended sequences in all of movies. It’s fashionable today to knock the movie for its naked ambition and lust for prestige, but even in its pretentious moments you’ve never seen anything quite like it — it’s a movie besotted with beauty, whether it resides in the sublime Gershwin songs, the Impressionist canvases that Minnelli and his art directors meticulously recreate, or the face of Leslie Caron, the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who off-screen was still suffering the effects of her near-starvation during World War II. And for a welcome dose of tartness, there’s the great character actor-pianist Oscar Levant, whose sour-apple kisser and sardonic delivery never failed to improve a picture.
The movie is not to be missed on the big screen in 35mm — thank you, Belcourt. The theater's current Kelly series ends next weekend with the underrated It's Always Fair Weather and a Skype Q&A with Kelly's widow Patricia Ward Kelly.
According to the library foundation website (and linked on Atwood's home page), Atwood will be in Nashville Oct. 26 and 27 to accept the honor, previously bestowed upon luminaries such as John McPhee, John Irving, Ann Patchett, Doris Kearns Goodwin and the late John Updike. (The first was awarded in 2004 to the late David Halberstam.) The event typically includes a patrons party, a public reading and a gala awards presentation, sometimes accompanied by a citywide reading of a selected book (e.g., Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany).
If that's the case here, we'd be happy with Atwood's ingeniously structured The Blind Assassin — but for topicality's sake, it'd be tough to beat The Handmaid's Tale. Alas.
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