Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Q&A With Fahamu Pecou: On Role Models, Kanye and Fatherhood

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Plexiglas Ceilings, Fahamu Pecou
  • "Plexiglas Ceilings," Fahamu Pecou

Fahamu Pecou is an Atlanta-based artist and Ph.D. candidate whose exhibit, Fahamu Pecou: Artist and Scholar, is currently on display at The Arts Company as part of Culture Fest. Read more about the work in this week's Scene. And below, read a transcript of part of the conversation I had with Pecou.

Country Life: You talk a lot about wanting to be a black male role model. Why? Who were your role models?

Fahamu Pecou: For me, particularly in how it relates to black masculinity, it comes from a position of a lack. Growing up, no I didn't have a father around, and not many males in my life. I was raised by mostly women, but I always longed for that kind of a relationship. I would watch TV and see fathers and wished I had something like that. I did have my grandfather around, who was definitely a major influence on me, in terms of the way he carried himself. He was very well-respected in the town I grew up in. He was also very much a man of few words. He didn't do a bunch of talking. You didn't have to ask him for anything — he saw a need and he filled it. In many ways his silence has been a big influence on me. Because I'm less about talking about what needs to be done and who needs to do what. But instead I'm interested in stepping in where I see a lack. If I recognize a lack, it's my responsibility to try to fill that void.

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An Evening of Poetry and Music With Joseph Whitt and R. Stevie Moore Tonight at David Lusk Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 8:30 AM

An Evening of Poetry and Music With Joseph Whitt and R. Stevie Moore
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28
Where: David Lusk Gallery

It’s no accident that Joseph Whitt featured heavily in our 25th anniversary issue’s oral history of Nashville’s art scene — people are still talking about the handful of shows he curated in the mid-Aughts. Tonight, the guy who brought Jules Balincourt to Nashville is back for the first time since 2009, and he’s bringing along a cadre of poems and a new collaboration with beloved home-recording soothsayer R. Stevie Moore.

Moore will perform a series of “text rages,” stream-of-consciousness lists of double entendres and left-field observations that he’s been collecting for the past several years. Whitt will read pieces from his three chapbooks of poetry, as well as a few new things he’s prepared for the occasion. Who knows if it’ll make the Scene’s 50th anniversary issue, but it’s going to be a weird hang, for sure, and you don’t want to miss it.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Field Trip to Karissima and Al-Rasoul With Jen Uman [Artists Club]

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM


Welcome to Country Life's Artists Club, a new series that gets familiar with some of Nashville's best artists through more than just art. In this post we hang with Jen Uman, a longtime favorite of the Nashville Scene whose work takes some of its cues from the aesthetics of the Middle East.

Jen might be one of the most socially curious artists I know. That's not to say she's more social than most — in fact, the opposite might be true. But going out with her is always a rain of insightful questions about conversations we'd had on previous meetings, or wide-eyed stories about the kids she befriends as a preschool teacher that stick with you for days. When I asked her to take a few hours to show me around her favorite Nashville spots, she told me about Karissima, a Pakistani-owned boutique that doubles as an eyebrow-threading salon.

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See Guerrilla Urbanist Take Over 51st Avenue in Photos

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Alongside last weekend's Nashville Outlines block party — which The Spin called "a day of quintessentially topsy-turvy Nashville weather and kick-ass music" over on Nashville Cream — residents of The Nations also banded together to propose a radical change to 51st Avenue, the major thoroughfare which bisects the neighborhood.

You can read about the premise of the project in last week's paper, but the gist is that (surprise, surprise) people living in The Nations aren't super down with gas tankers screaming through their neighborhood — especially in light of the explosion that occurred on Centennial Boulevard just a couple of weeks ago. For one day, 51st was partially reshaped to fit some of those ideas. Although they couldn't go whole hog and take over the entire street with Guerilla Urbanist, it was a good showing of what could be possible.

I brought my camera along, so you can peep the parklets, traffic calming measures and more after the jump. Keep in mind that everything was built in a five-week period by volunteers — including the restored sign above — which is pretty impressive by itself.

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Meet the Artist: Lindsay Meacham and the Scene's 25th Anniversary Artbox Project

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 8:30 AM


On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, the Scene asked 25 of our favorite local artists, painters, designers and printmakers to art up our newspaper boxes and turn them into something uniquely Nashville. Every Monday and Wednesday on Country Life, we'll be highlighting a specific artbox and give you a little insight into each artist's creative practice.

Today's artist is Lindsay Meacham, whose artbox is dispensing papers at its new location in the Gulch. Look through some other examples of Meacham's work after the jump.

• What was the inspiration behind your box design?

I am a tilemaker and own a handmade ceramic tile company called Red Rock Tileworks. Each side of my box features a different relief patterns out of our catalog. I am inspired by textures and patterns found around the world and like to say my tile has a contemporary twist on tradition. The front has a classic chevron pattern glazed in our Tuxedo color way. Gloss black, satin black, and white gloss give the box a graphic feel with and the satin and gloss glazes giving the classic colors a bit more texture.

The right side of the box is in our Voltaire pattern and is a simple, modern diamond pattern. This tile has been featured in Southern Living, Architectural Digest and Interior Design Magazine. The back of the box is done in our new Coco pattern. This tile is my current favorite, and is an interlocking pattern that incorporates the grout lines into the design. The left side of the box is in a classic paisley pattern. The paisley motif makes me think of country music and seems fitting for Music City and the box's location, in front of the Lucchese store in the Gulch.

• What materials did you use?

Typically our tile is made from a combination of Tennessee ball clays and Texas talc. Unfortunately this clay composition is not suitable for outdoor use, so for this box I used a stoneware clay body from Nashville's Midsouth Ceramics. The clay was fired to a cone six, which is about 2232 degrees Fahrenheit. I than glazed the tile in Midsouth Ceramics' cone six glazes.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

100 Things to Do in Nashville Before You Die Book Party Tomorrow at Howlin' Books

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 3:15 PM

100 Things To Do In Nashville Before You Die Book Party
Where: Howlin' Books, 1702 Eighth Ave. S.
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27

AAN Award-winning Vodka Yonic editor and troublemaker-about-town Abby White has added "book writer" to her already impressive list of accomplishments with the just-published Music City guidebook 100 Things to Do in Nashville Before You Die. Join her tomorrow at Howlin' Books for a celebration.

From the book's description:

Nashville has been called many things: ''Music City,'' the ''Athens of the South,'' or even ''It City.'' (Thanks for that last one, New York Times.) But many of us just call it home, and while we're grateful that a bunch of travel and food magazines think we're awesome, we still have a few tricks up our sleeves. Whether you reside in the 615 or just like to visit, there is a lot to eat, drink and experience here. Perhaps you were a karaoke star at Santa's Pub way before Jimmy Buffet and Toby Keith filmed a music video there, but have you washed down a Donkey Leg with a Donkey Punch at Donks? Meat and three at Arnold's is indisputably fantastic, but what about the Italian meat and three at Savarino's? Everyone knows that you can get a superb cocktail at Patterson House or City House, but do you know which bar has the best Bushwacker? Maybe it's been a while since you hit the honky tonks on Lower Broad, so you might want to know which one is the best one for dancing with a stranger, and which one is filled with frat boys. Whatever you're looking for-hiking trails, arthouse theaters, record stores, shopping malls, hot chicken — this city has it, and this book will help you find it.

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Just Announced: Seana Reilly at Zeitgeist in September

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 11:25 AM


From the gallery's press release:

Dark Matter by Seana Reilly uses photography and graphite pours ­to acknowledge present day geo-environmental realities while recapturing some aspect of the complex emotional reaction people have when encountering nature in a profound and visceral way. Reilly spent 20 years as an architectural planner and got her painting degree from Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta. She currently lives in Atlanta, where she has work in the High Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

Dark Matter opens Sept. 6 at Zeitgeist. Look through more images of Reilly's work after the jump.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet the Artist: Emily Laird and the Scene's 25th Anniversary Artbox Project

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 2:11 PM


On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, the Scene asked 25 of our favorite local artists, painters, designers and printmakers to art up our newspaper boxes and turn them into something uniquely Nashville. Every Monday and Wednesday on Country Life, we'll be highlighting a specific artbox and give you a little insight into each artist's creative practice.

Today's artist is Emily Laird, whose artbox is dispensing papers at its new location at Marathon Music Works. Look through some other examples of Laird's work after the jump.

• What was the inspiration behind your box design?

I've always loved putting googly eyes on inanimate objects to lend them a little extra personality. For my Scene artbox, I wanted to create something that could interact with passersby in a very visceral way, so I turned the box into a charming little monster. You open her mouth and abracadabra! She gives you a free Nashville Scene.

• What materials did you use?

To create the monster, I used fluorescent and opaque spray paints, acrylic paint markers, hand-cut stencils, one roll of masking tape, and lots and lots of patience.

• When you're not making Nashville Scene newspaper boxes, what kind of art do you make?

I make EVERYTHING. I am into sewing, knitting, painting, sculpture, 2-D and 3-D printmaking, paper crafts, carpentry, metallurgy, botany, all kinds of things. I like to say that it's hard not to be materialistic when you're obsessed with materials.

I used to do in-store display and installations for West Elm, but more recently I've been working in the television industry, making props and costumes for an awesome children's show called the Mother Goose Club. I also do sales and marketing for Sarah Souther at the Bang Candy Company, which includes taking her mobile candy unit, the Cocovan, out to events on the weekends. You can find me in the Cocovan most Saturdays at the Richland Park Farmer's Market in the morning and parked in front of Imogene + Willie in the afternoon. Come say hi! Unlike my Nashville Scene artbox, I won't bite.

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Crowdfundin' Monday: LumaPlay, Big World Audiobook, Taco Bike

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Nashville is no stranger to crowd-funded projects, and there's a smorgasbord of local creative projects seeking capital from the masses. We're keeping an eye on what Music City thinkers, makers and other creatives are up to, and putting a spotlight on a few of them each week. This week, we'll take a look at a locally made portable loudspeaker and light show (no, they didn't call it Disco2Go™, but it still looks pretty cool), a forthcoming audiobook narrated by a slew of great local songwriters, and a breakfast taco delivery service that lit up the Bites Open Thread last Friday.

Think one of these projects is the best thing since sliced bread, or perhaps would be better if it incorporated a bread slicer? Know of a cool project we missed? Sound off in the comments! Without further ado, this week's Crowdfundin' Monday.

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Tony Earley Author Event Tomorrow at Parnassus Books

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM


Tony Earley
Where: Parnassus Books
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26

From Ed Tarkington's story in this week's Scene:

"Well, since you're so damn curious, let me tell you the secret to a long marriage," writes Tony Earley in "Haunted Castles of the Barrier Islands," the first story in his new collection, Mr. Tall. "If you want to stay together, then don't leave." This epiphany arrives courtesy of "a desiccated old woman with skin the color of nicotine" — one half of an elderly couple who own the Wade 'n' Sea, a deteriorating Outer Banks motel on the verge of being submerged in the Atlantic thanks to the erosion of the coastline. Afterwards, the other half of this odd couple — an invalid in a wheelchair — delivers his own insight: "Your car," the old man says, "is shit." This gem of a scene sums up much of what makes Mr. Tall such a small miracle of a story collection: pathos and insight juxtaposed with a moment of pure comic absurdity.

The broader context of "Haunted Castles" establishes the central theme of Mr. Tall: the perils of negotiating life's second acts. Darryl and Cheryl, small-town newspaper publishers who have taken early retirement when their paper gets bought out by a conglomerate, arrive in Wilmington, N.C., to surprise their daughter, a freshman at the university, on her birthday, getting their own surprise when they interrupt the girl in the midst of an afternoon rendezvous with "a scrawny wannabe surfer" in "temporarily indecent board shorts." After a brief and awkward effort to engage their annoyed and aloof progeny, Darryl and Cheryl sulk away to the Outer Banks, where Cheryl hopes a chance to look at the ocean will soothe them through the troubling experience of discovering that their child is growing away from them. There they meet the elderly proprietors of the Wade 'n' Sea, whose very existence embodies the tension between risk and reward inherent in the passage of time.

Read the full story here.

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