It's cruel. It's sweet. It's wet-hot. It's like a merry-go-round. It seems to last forever. The breeze makes you feel fine. And the livin' is easy. But oh — those nights. In Nashville, summer brings the height of the open-air concert season, the pinnacle of the al fresco dining season and the apex of the plein-air Shakespeare season, to name but a few seasons that overlap with the hottest, sunniest, most freedom-flavored months of the calendar. Speaking of calendars, we've filled ours in with a few of the best Music City has to offer in the near future. Feel free to rip it out and pin it to a fridge or fencepost near you. Check out our top picks below, and keep up with new additions at nashvillescene.com/calendar. Find us somewhere there's a body of water and something cold to drink.
When it comes to sunning, the Stones summed up our feelings perfectly: "The sunshine bores the daylights out of me" — unless you've got a good book to alleviate that sense of lying under a heat lamp. Thanks to indie booksellers such as Parnassus Books and the cool new Grimey's offshoot Howlin' Books, as well as catalysts such as Humanities Tennessee and the Nashville Public Library, there's enough engrossing reading material this summer to while away those baking hours.
The author event of the summer may be Neil Gaiman's reading and signing July 10 at War Memorial on what is billed as the British author's final tour, supporting his new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But Parnassus has a full summer slate of visiting authors, from Kevin Powers, author of the acclaimed Iraq War novel The Yellow Birds (see story here), to perennial best-seller Mary Kay Andrews (June 13), Walt Longmire creator Craig Johnson (June 18) and American Rust author Philipp Meyer (June 25).
Among the local talents appearing at Parnassus this summer are Jennie Fields, who imagines the life of Edith Wharton in her well-reviewed novel The Age of Desire (June 3), and Confessions of a Practical Joker scribe Jim Harwell (June 26), who summons a secret social history of Nashville's most devious pranksters. And we can't recommend strongly enough that you join the reserve lists at Nashville Public Library for titles such as Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, George Saunders' short-story collection Tenth of December, Jill McCorkle's Life After Life (and we hear Kate Atkinson's book of the same title is really good too). —JR
Ah summer, the time for sun-drenched sweaty days and endless starry nights; a time when steamy dreams come true and lifelong memories are made. And no summer is complete without a killer soundtrack. On the local rock front, 2013 offers no shortage of killer releases to time-stamp another summer of dreams.
So don't get started on your summer mixtapes — er, playlists — until you snatch a copy of The Features' self-titled fourth stellar long-player, which dropped this month. The album's New Wave-y lead-off single "This Disorder" is a choice selection. Follow that up with a standout like the driving "No One's Gonna Know," from Tristen's forthcoming sophomore stunner C A V E S, which drops July 23. Or perhaps some sunny Fleetwood-Mac-meets-Melveen-Leed from Courtney Jaye, whose Love and Forgiveness is fresh on shelves. Then pump up the volume with a joyous shout-along fist-pumper from happy hardcore punchers Diarrhea Planet, who promise a full-length will land by summer's end. Keep the harum-scarum hookery going with a track from Bad Cop's Light On EP, due in July.
Looking to temper that with a little rocked-out Southern swagger? Throw in a track of The Weeks' recently released Dear Bo Jackson. Keep rolling on the Southern rock train with "Yes You Can," the A-side from the soon-to-be-renamed Promised Land's brand new Third Man Records 45, Live At Third Man. And with any luck, Nikki Lane's Dan Auerbach-produced Seein' Double album will drop before the trees lose their leaves. —AG
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Ok? Would a warm beverage help you?