Thursday, January 31, 2013

Field Trip: Textile Fabrics With Alexia Abegg

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:30 AM

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I've had a longstanding fascination with quilts — Country Life readers might remember that last year's Gee's Bend exhibit at The Frist stoked my quilt-obsessed fire, and I signed myself up for a weekend-long quilting class under heavy metal quilter Ben Venom's tutelage. But when I discovered that one of my all-time favorite quilters Alexia Abegg had written an instructional book about quilting and sewing with Liberty fabrics, I knew that I had to graduate to Quilting 201. I called Alexia right away. She agreed to guide me through the process, and I'll be posting updates continually until my quilt is finished.

(Spoiler alert: Her book, Liberty Love, is fantastic, and I'll be writing a feature in the Scene about it in an upcoming issue. It's available at Amazon.com now, and also at Textile Fabrics, the scene of our recent field trip.)

Alexia worked at Textile Fabrics, the enormous fabric store that's been operating out of Nashville since the 1960s, when she was younger, so she was able to give me an insider's tour of the space. There's a section devoted to prints designed by Alexia's husband Rob Bancroft, a section of Japanese imports, a section of Dolly Parton-esque glitz, a wedding section that's stored inside an antique armoire, and on and on. The store is just off Franklin Pike in the Melrose neighborhood, and after an hour I had barely scratched the surface of its 10,000 square feet of space. Some of Textile's greatest hits are pictured after the jump.

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Free Concert Tonight: Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet at Ingram Hall

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 7:07 AM

From the Vanderbilt events calendar:

The world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet caps off its week at Blair with an exciting and wide-ranging program showcasing their range of expression, tonal spectrum and conceptual unity. The evening will include a special double quintet performance with the Blair Woodwind Quintet of Joachim Raff’s Sinfonietta, Op. 188.

The evening of music begins 8 p.m. at Vanderbilt's Ingram Hall, 2400 Blakemore Ave., free and open to all ages.

UPDATE, 3:55 p.m. 1/31: An earlier version of this post had the information from last night's concert. We apologize for the error.

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What You Missed: The Rock-afire Explosion's Reunion Tour

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Where: Hillwood Strike & Spare
When: Sunday, December 30, 2012 8:03 pm

If you’re a musician who has played a Sunday night gig in Nashville and wondered where the hell everybody is, you probably don’t want to hear about the venue on the west side that is totally packed.

I’m not talking about the Bluebird. I’m talking about the Hillwood Strike & Spare, the 42-lane bowling alley off Charlotte near the Nashville West shopping center.

When I try to reserve a bowling lane for the Bad Idea Friends, the guy behind the counter tells me I’m fourth on the waiting list.

“There’s a waiting list?” I ask incredulously. What is this, Studio 54?

I’m only slightly annoyed, partly because we already got a pitcher of beer from the bar, but mostly because we didn’t really come here for bowling tonight. We came to check out one of the most epic aural, visual — and, in most cases, olfactory — adventures that a child of the ‘80s could have experienced.

We are here to see The Rock-afire Explosion, the subject of this week's Scene cover story.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PeaceJam Comes to Belmont: One Student's Experience

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM

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(Editor's Note: Hannah Hyde has been an intern at the Scene for two semesters, and she's currently a senior at Belmont. She wrote this post about her experience with last weekend's PeaceJam, which took place on the Belmont campus.)

In September 2006, 10 Nobel Peace Laureates and more than 3,000 young people traveled from all over the world to gather in Denver. It was the largest gathering of Laureates in history, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the PeaceJam Foundation. What started as an idea between colleagues Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff has become an international organization advocating equal human rights for all global citizens.

Belmont University and S.T.A.R.S. (Students Taking a Right Stand), a local organization with programs in more than 50 Middle Tennessee schools and community sites, worked together for almost a year to bring PeaceJam to Nashville. There are conferences and chapters around the world — from Texas to the U.K. to West Africa. PeaceJam sponsors year-round youth programs where students create and carry out service projects in their community. After months of planning and recruiting, and with assistance from Florida State University’s experienced staff and volunteer mentors, their efforts finally came to fruition last weekend.

I learned about PeaceJam Mid-South from a friend last August. She mentioned something about a Nobel Peace Laureate, Shirin Ebadi, and high school kids. I was intrigued but hesitant. I understood the concept of PeaceJam, but really had no idea on how it was going to be carried out. It was difficult to find college students to be mentors, and most likely just as difficult finding student organizations with kids who were willing to give up their whole weekend to do more learning. But somehow, it came together.

Little did I know that by the end of the weekend, I'd walk away with the best experience of my four years at Belmont.

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Notes for the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference: Ouija Board

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM

When I opened the door to the auditorium, I accidentally let out a rush of murmuring, just as one might let out a determined indoor cat. I was at the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference and was shuffling around the suddenly silent room trying to find a good seat from which to hear the first speaker. Invisible attendees and the incessant flickering of the numbers on the arms of the seats made it an awkward process. When I finally landed in an empty chair, Algernon Dogwood, professor of ghost-o-logy emeritus had already begun speaking. Professor Dogwood was one of a handful of non-wraith invitees, and is well-respected on both banks of the River Styx. He was lecturing on the soothsaying properties of the backyard potato:

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Tonight: Louis C.K. at TPAC

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Louis C.K.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30
Where: TPAC's Jackson Hall

Even in the world of “comics’ comics,” Louis C.K. is a maverick, or better yet, the Ian MacKaye of standup. Turning a cult following into cold cash, the comedian made millions when he independently released his 2011 concert film Live at the Beacon Theater and 2012 album WORD: Live at Carnegie Hall online for a flat $5 each. C.K. pulled a similar move when he started selling tickets to his concerts directly through his own site, for $45 apiece.

On screen and stage, C.K tangles in uproariously twisted logic: His M.O. is to approach mundane daily plights and take them on a nosedive down the weirdest wormholes of the human mind, in the process shocking audiences with the uncomfortable, unutterable observations that most people would never let slip past their inner monologue. His surrealist style is the basis of his Emmy-winning FX series Louie, in which the comic plays a slightly less iconic version of himself. To recharge and keep content fresh, C.K. postponed the show’s fourth season until 2014. So is this a transitional period? See for yourself at TPAC tonight.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White Zombie at Black Raven, and Other Tales from the Cult Fiction Underground

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

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Cult Fiction Underground, the basement DVD grindhouse tucked away under Logue's Black Raven Emporium on Gallatin Road, is becoming one of the best hangs in town for lovers of psychotronic cinema. I saw the uncut version of Scott Spiegel's infamous ’80s splatter movie Intruder there, and missed many others I'd love to have watched with a rowdy roomful: the William Lustig-Larry Cohen Maniac Cop, Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case and Brain Damage, Russ Meyer's eternal Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Factor in a cheap hot dog and a Coke with the $5 admission, or a can of discount suds, and it's still just about $10. (Though of course you'll want to grandly tip the lovely Lisa at the foyer bar.)

The CFU just posted its February schedule, which looks like the calendars I used to collect at Murfreesboro's dearly departed Cinema One. Here's what you can expect for the month of Cupid and the elusive groundhog:

Stunt Rock (Feb. 1-2): Oh HELL yes. Long have we sung the praises of this side-splitting Aussie mix of daredevil stuntwork and fire-spitting prog-metal sword 'n' sorcery, courtesy of Brian Trenchard-Smith, the auteur behind The Siege of Firebase Gloria, BMX Bandits and Leprechaun 4: In Space. The idea that you can see this at 8 p.m. Friday and still catch Django at The Belcourt at 11 should inspire the cult-movie fanatic's version of the Gumball Rally from East Nashville to Hillsboro Village. Stay on the sidewalk, infrequent pedestrians!

Mr. Vampire (Feb. 8-9) You will believe a vampire can ... hop. Yes, this is the 1985 horror comedy that spawned a franchise of Hong Kong "hopping vampire" movies (or to be more accurate, movies featuring a folkloric figure known as a jiangshi). Trust us when we say that if you have a soft spot for Army of Darkness, you need this movie in your life. Oh, and beer.

Wild Zero (Feb. 15 only) Randy Fox (who'll likely be sitting in the CFU's seedy-Victorian-bordello parlor when you arrive) is a big fan of this OTT zombiepalooza pitting Japanese rock god Guitar Wolf against interplanetary invasion. It packed the joint last summer and is back by popular demand.

White Zombie (Feb. 22-23) Deserving of better than its status as the ultimate in public-domain terror, this atmospheric 1932 shocker gives Bela Lugosi one of his best non-Dracula roles as Dr. Legendre, general practitioner of voodoo, whose HMO covers casting evil spells over new bride Madge Bellamy.

Cult Fiction Underground is located downstairs at Logue's Black Raven Emporium, 2915 Gallatin Pike, at the corner of Gallatin and Trinity Lane in East Nashville. Go early and geek out with the regulars.

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La Camioneta Director Mark Kendall at Sarratt Tonight for Free Screening

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 7:53 AM

One of the surprise favorites at last year's Nashville Film Festival was Mark Kendall's La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus, a real-life picaresque exploring an unusual phenomenon: the purchase and delivery of retired American school buses for repurpose (and repainting) as public transportation in Guatemala. That's not exactly a gotcha premise, as Variety reviewer Andrew Barker acknowledged — but along with NaFF audiences, he found the movie an unexpected delight.

"Happily, first impressions couldn't be more wrong here, as the film wrings an almost bizarre amount of political, humanistic and spiritual substance out of this limited frame," Barker wrote last fall. "Kendall's eye for untold stories, as well as his instinct for catching evocatively framed images on the fly, mark him as a name to watch."

Without narration, Kendall traces the tortuous route of one bus from its handover in Pennsylvania through Mexico to its ultimate destination in Guatemala. There, its would-be driver hopes his vehicle will be his ticket out of farm labor — even if it means risking thugs who rob and even kill bus drivers on their rounds. Much of the movie is devoted to the people who encounter the bus along the way, including the local craftsmen who handpaint the boldly decorated vehicles.

Kendall, a former student of anthropology and Latin American studies at Vanderbilt, will appear at 7:30 p.m. tonight in VU's Sarratt Cinema for a free screening of the film, presented as part of the university's "International Lens" series. Click here for more information, including details about where to park.

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Alexia Abegg's 'Liberty Love' Book Party: Saturday at Chestnut Square

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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It looks like Chestnut Square is going to be the place to be again this weekend — I got this beautiful invitation in my office mailbox yesterday, complete with its own swath of Liberty print fabric. It's from Alexia Abegg, artist, quilter, and now author who is celebrating the release of her first book Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt & Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics with a party at her dad Jimmy Abegg's Chestnut Square studio.

Party details are after the jump. Look for a full feature on Liberty Love in an upcoming dead-tree edition of the Scene.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Elise Joseph Launches Pennyweight Goods

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:26 PM

You might already be familiar with Elise Joseph, creative genius behind Pennyweight, media director at Imogene + Willie and Nashville's reigning Pinterest Queen with well over a million followers. If not, click here and here and resign yourself to the fact that you will be scrolling through a multitude of gorgeous photos and curious finds for the next few hours (sorry, bosses across Nashville).

Today, Elise announced some very exciting news! She is finally launching Pennyweight Goods, a new venture that will offer exclusive, limited-edition products that have been curated by Elise. She will update the site on the fourth Monday of each month, and will feature small batches of pieces made by artists from around the world.

"The site will include a wide variety of goods from makers around the world that appeal to both men and women," Elise told Country Life. "Next month will be a kitchen good, and I've also got a piece of jewelry coming as well as some beautiful wood pieces from a local furniture/goods maker. Each month will be a little bit different, but hopefully equally exciting! There will be different price ranges as well."

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