Reviled by critics and beloved by many cult movie fans, Sam Peckinpah’s 1978 ode to vehicular destruction, Convoy, is the perfect way to unwind after a day of stuffing yourself to the gills. Based on C.W. McCall’s massive 1975 hit song, the movie was an obvious cash-in on the CB radio and trucker craze of the mid-1970s, even if it rolled into the chicken coop just a little behind schedule.
By this point in his career, Peckinpah was well into his epic journey of self-destruction, and the results are reflected on the screen. After throwing most of the script away, Peckinpah instructed his actors to ad lib scenes, and then disappeared into his trailer to ingest more booze and drugs, leaving a good portion of the direction to second-unit director James Coburn.
But despite the big sloppy mess that the movie became, or perhaps because of it, Convoy works beautifully as a portrait of the big, sloppy cultural mess that was the 1970s. Combine that with the on-screen charisma of Kris Kristofferson and Ali MacGraw, great character actors like Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young and Madge Sinclair, and throw in massive amounts of car crashes and things blowing up real good from back in the pre-CGI days where movie crews really did have to destroy property, and you’ve got a mix that will inspire many a “Hell YEAH!” in the right audience.
The 20 for this parade of polyester-era mayhem is the Cult Fiction Underground in the basement of Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, Friday night only, 8 and 10 p.m. So slap your ears on and look out for Smokey. And on the flip side, be sure to catch Saturday’s Cult Fiction Underground salute to William Shatner, A Taste of Shat. 10-4, good buddy?
Tonight, the new multi-use performance space OZ Nashville unveiled its first season's programming at a gala people won't soon forget, from the splashy large-screen visuals to the lavish spread (halved, notched limes as taco support — genius!) to the Ozgener family's heart-swelling generosity in explaining the rationale behind the place.
But it's the programming that left people agape, ranging from season opener Wayne McGregor — the galvanizing British choreographer who's become one of the world's major figures in contemporary dance — to composer Philip Glass in performance with violinist Tim Fain. Ever thought you'd see a performance in your hometown staged by theater director Peter Brook, of Marat/Sade and The Mahabharata renown? Even if so, ever thought you'd see it in an industrial stretch of North Nashville best known for correctional facilities, trucking and TDOT?
Below, read the full schedule, including appearances by the Austin radio play-slash-comic book ensemble The Intergalactic Nemesis and beloved children's-music rocker Dan Zanes, as well as a monthly series curated by local artists. Then imagine what this will do for the city's arts scene — and let your imagination off the chain.
Around 75 people gathered in folding chairs in a venue called The Building, just off Five Points in East Nashville, curious to hear just what kind of gospel the antic-yet-earnest Brits are spreading. Despite reports from other cities, including the comedians’ home base in London, The Sunday Assembly isn’t a concept that is easy to figure out.
Evans and Jones were invited by organizers of The Sunday Assembly Nashville, including artist Landry Butler.
As Jim Ridley explained on Country Life earlier this week, The Sunday Assembly Nashville “promises a lot of the things people traditionally get from church services: music, fellowship, a raising of spirits and voices. Just, y’know, without the dude in the sky.”
If you missed out on yesterday's Nash-Up conference — a rousing success, if we do say so ourselves — consider yourself lucky that technological advances have allowed a Cliff's Notes version of the event to be available: We storified it!
Browse the greatest hits from the conference below, and look for a feature on it in next week's print edition.
I could feel the excitement in the air as the audience eagerly awaited the beginning of the Grammy-nominated ALIAS Chamber Ensemble’s first concert of the season on Tuesday. Four living American composers (including three women) and a practitioner of the Italian Baroque were represented: Caroline Shaw, Kenji Bunch, Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli, Jennifer Higdon and Margaret Brouwer. All things considered, this concert was not a disappointment.
The first piece on the program was a brand new arrangement of Shaw’s “Cantico delle creature” performed by mezzo soprano Lea Maitlen, violinist Zeneba Bowers, pianist Melissa Rose and baroque cellist Matt Walker. This setting of a poem by St. Francis of Assisi may be characterized by its text-painting and evocation of Gregorian chant, both of which were crystalized in this deeply sensitive and moving performance.
Bunch’s Suite for Viola and Piano (1998) is considerably earthier. Violist Chris Farrell, accompanied by Rose, executed every double-stop pizzicato with a sharpshooter’s accuracy and every dizzying run with uninhibited gusto. Perhaps a bit too uninhibited in the finale, in which Farrell’s death-defying choice of tempo had the side effect of making runs in the instrument’s lower range resemble the sound of a braying camel.
We also talked about Nashville.
Abumrad grew up here, the son of a scientist and a doctor, and as many of us do, he had mixed feelings about his hometown. "The moment I went to school, Nashville didn't exist for me anymore," he told me. "I didn't have Nashville to go back to anymore. And ... I also just somehow had an idea of Nashville in my mind that I think is wrong, so I didn't want to go back." Then his dad moved back here a few years ago to take a job at Vanderbilt.
Christian Moeller is about to join Alice Aycock's "Ghost Ballet" and the Batman building in the race for Nashville's most iconic structure: His installation was just approved by Metro Arts for the roundabout at Korean Veterans Boulevard.
Moeller is a German-born artist who currently teaches at UCLA's department of Design Media Arts and works out of a studio in Silver Lake, Calif. The proposed installation will be "an homage to the Native Americans who first populated Middle Tennessee," composed of 35 painted red cedar poles. Each pole will be 85 feet tall, and will be spaced in an irregular organic pattern on the roundabout. At night, the installation will be lit by up-lights, and a custom-made LED cap will glow from the tip of each pole. A timetable for the project has not been established.
Read Metro Arts' full press release after the jump.
In this week’s issue of the Scene, you can read about my visit with Dathan “Dee” Ostrander, a crab-leg-loving skateboarding star who grew up in Antioch. (Side note: When I turned onto Ostrander’s street in a well-maintained subdivision, I noticed exactly one beat-up sedan covered in skate stickers. Ah, I thought, this must be the place.)
Though Ostrander is Nashville’s highest-profile skater, he is not the first Middle Tennessean to achieve international renown within the skateboarding world. That distinction belongs to pro skater Raymond “Ray” Underhill, who grew up in Hendersonville and went on to join the 1980s skateboard dynasty The Bones Brigade, a super-team notable for nurturing the career of Underhill’s close homie Tony Hawk, among other stars.
Throughout the ’80s, Underhill toured the world, and while in Britain with the Brigade, even wound up taking an epic trip to George Harrison’s mansion. (Harrison’s son loved skateboarding.)
By all accounts, Underhill, who died of a chordoma brain tumor in 2008, was an extraordinarily talented and super-nice dude — someone with the social finesse to navigate California’s treacherous skateboard subculture while staying true to the better angels of his small-town nature.
Some fun facts:
I had a chance to interview Glass before his May 31, 2008, performance at War Memorial Auditorium. As I was writing this post, I thought I'd go back to the interview to find an excerpt, and I discovered something interesting: Somehow, we got on the topic of our mutual admiration for Tim Russert, and Russert's interactions with Chris Matthews. Two weeks later, Russert died unexpectedly. I still miss him on Sunday mornings. He was a gem. The excerpt is below:
Glass: Why is it that, when you download Tim Russert, they won't let you put it on your fucking iPod. What the fuck, Tim Russert? They'll put the sound on your iPod, but they won't put the picture. I really like him.
Scene: Maybe they figure he's not visually compelling, but I think he is. I love him. He looks like a bulldog. Did you happen to read the New York Times story about Chris Matthews a few weeks ago?
Glass: Oh my fucking God! It was so great.
Scene: Since then I’ve been watching some of the election coverage and watching Russert and Matthews interact.
If only they would show HUDSUCKER PROXY, the Coens' most overlooked and underrated movie. It…
One I'm really looking forward to is KANSAS CITY LIGHTNING, Stanley Crouch's book about Charlie…
Another excellent idea: Prints! Check out Sam Smith's shop of awesome limited-run movie posters: http://samsmyth.wazala.com/widget/?nicknam……
Just realized Rayna is wearing the same frilly pirate blouse I wore for school photo…
The shooting location for hard bodies gym was formerly the Paramus, NJ location of Tower…