Hugh MundyIf you ever have an uncontrollable desire to get Hugh Mundy alone in a room, it’s easy as pie—just commit a felony or two. This 35-year-old federal public defender, erstwhile stand-up comedian and notorious bachelor is saving the world, one lady at a time. “Every time I try to think of something genuine and sincere to say about being a public defender, it sounds like some bit of self-important nonsense Sting would say about global warming or world hunger,” Mundy says. This Pennsylvania native and Notre Dame grad has a big head, literally—that’s where all those impressive ideas come from. “I started doing stand-up to get over my anxiety about public speaking—not exactly an exciting quality in a trial lawyer,” Mundy says. “I’ve learned that I’m much more at ease after four or five gin-and-tonics, preferably after 10 p.m. I’m working on getting all my big court hearings moved to Friday nights at The Basement. Come on, Felony Fridays at the Basement? No cover with an electronic monitoring bracelet.” Zing! A handsome man who can make you laugh (notice that Mad magazine in the pic) and represent you well in front of a judge? Form a line, ladies. Form a line. Glory CoatsThe stylists over at Trim Classic Barber & Legendary Beauty in 12South are just as hip as the bustling salon’s crisp, vintage interior, but they aren’t always so gosh darn cute! Memphis-raised stylist Glory Coats has been at Trim for three years and in Nashville for eight. The 25-year-old stylist and self-proclaimed “pickiest eater ever”—“I can’t stand tomatoes. Not in things, near things, close to things, cooked in the same room as other things”—cuts and colors with the best of them. Being a good stylist requires mastery of beauty-shop banter, and Glory is always up for offering relationship advice—she’s in one herself. Her best quality, according to her man? “I would like to think he’d say my sense of humor, but after being with him for so long he probably doesn’t think I’m so funny anymore.” One glimpse at her funky style and crisply cut locks, and you know you can trust her to steer you right in the chair, even if you’re still reeling from the devastating knowledge that she’s taken. Charmaine HuntMost reality television “stars” aren’t chosen on their ability to intelligently debate whether the United States should promote democracy globally, and most television stars don’t fall into the good graces of Donald Trump—just ask Rosie O’Donnell. Charmaine Hunt, however, is different. The 29-year-old Madisonville, Ky., native and Nashville import brokered deals and turned The Donald’s lopsided, combed-over head on last year’s season of The Apprentice—an experience she describes as “lighthearted, intelligent and fun.” (We would describe Charmaine in the same terms, only we would add exceedingly hot.) These days, when Charmaine isn’t dealing with her 5,000 clients at First American Home Buyers Protection—a Fortune 500 company—she’s either hanging with friends, running marathons or investing herself in various charities. Her one true love is her bulldog Knox, but there may just be room for one more. “I’m single,” Charmaine shyly admits over the phone…. She wouldn’t be for long if we had anything to say about it.
Charlie StrobelThere’s not a lady over 50—or under, for that matter—who hasn’t wondered if or how the charmingly guileless Charlie Strobel, a priest who left the active ministry 20 years ago to dedicate his life to nurturing the homeless, could be lassoed. Keep wondering. Shy only in matters of a personal nature, Strobel’s main squeezes are this city’s marginalized and most vulnerable citizens. (In fact, he agreed to be included in this feature only if we “gave attention to the homeless and all the love and support they need.”) His mistress, then, is baseball. He plays on a team called the Gray Sox, in any position that “will get me off the bench,” he says. Founding director of Room in the Inn’s Campus for Human Development, Strobel found his calling in 1985, as he lay in his rectory bed and heard some homeless outside trying to find a warm patch of earth to sleep. “I just invited them in to stay the night, and they ended up staying long enough that I decided to do this,” says the 63-year-old who has a smile that could melt an Arctic iceberg. “It’s not complicated. The need was there.” Last year, about 4,000 unique visitors came through Strobel’s program, and on any give day, it serves 200 to 300. Of course, he has no idea how attractive his single-minded focus on helping the most needy among us makes him. Then, of course, comes this, which melts us even more: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had this romance with the homeless?” To donate money or volunteer time, call 251-9791 and ask for Martina.
Stephanie JohnsonJust as there are “destination” restaurants, Stephanie Johnson is a “destination” bartender—though in reality, she doesn’t so much tend bar as hold court. Blessed with a lightning wit and and no shortage of opinions, she’ll let loose on the topic of the day, whether it be Britney’s appearance yet again on the cover of OK! magazine (“Hell, she’s the same white trash she was last week”) or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (“That girl needs to take some black lessons—seriously!”). Of course, the 43-year-old stunner could get by just on her beauty if she chose to, but what fun would that be? She’s sartorially fearless, and can look just as breathtaking in her Cat in the Hat T-shirt and jeans as she does in her one-of-a-kind mirror-encrusted evening dress. “It weighs about 20 pounds,” she once confided to us, after wearing the dazzler for several hours. Asked about her relationship status, she says, “It is what it is. If they want to know, tell ’em to come ask me.” We’re not sure if she’s prepared for the bar fight that may ensue after such an elusive reply, but then again Stephanie’s always ready for anything.
Tracy BidochkaThere’s nothing hotter than a cute bartender who actually gets your order right. Tracy Bidochka, the dark-haired, hip-banged weekend warrior at Red Door East has been at the Five Points bar for four years and in the service industry for over 15—in other words, she’s experienced. With a sweet smile and quiet confidence bound to keep the natives from getting restless, this barroom babe has become the unofficial queen of this ecclectic hot spot. “The Red Door East is like a big family,” she says. “You can come in a stranger and walk out with a couple of friends.” Raised in Quebec, this foxy Canuck met her husband (damn!) up north and then followed him to Music City. While being a mother to her son and stepson, she still manages to work the busy weekend shifts on the East Side—doling out PBRs and Jäger-bombs without breaking a sweat. “I love bartending,” Tracy says. “I love talking to people, and there are always plenty of interesting characters in this place.”
Travis NicholsonNashville native Travis Nicholson has zombies on the brain. Though the 27-year-old actor spends some time traveling back and forth to L.A., mostly for commercial work, he devotes the lion’s share of his energy to writing and raising money for The South Will Rise Again, a zombie movie about karate-fighting rednecks (thesouthwillriseagain-themovie.com). Hey ladies, think you might look sexy in fake blood and tattered clothes? Once they get the funding together, they’re sure to need extras, and Nicholson, who’s single, will be more than willing to show you the ropes. This Hillsboro grad’s boy-next-door appeal and infectious smile have helped him land national ad campaigns, but he’s more interested in the arduous process of actually making movies. “What got me into acting in the first place was just hanging out with friends, making movies and winding up in them,” he says. Nicholson also paints and plays guitar and admits that if he weren’t doing film, he would be pursuing music. One final mysterious tidbit: though he denies any official association, there have been rumblings about Nicholson’s involvement in El Rick Haun (myspace.com/lrickhaun), an elusive leprechaun tribute band that appears every St. Patrick’s Day—or as often as rainbows.
Drew KimAs much as we love all those tight-fitting jeans on all those indie-rocker butts, what we really long for is a big ol’ brain. And since we can’t tell whether it’s his big noggin or his 95-county margin of victory that makes Phil Bredesen so freakin’ steamy, we’re naming his policy chief Drew Kim our proxy for Nerd Lust. When Kim, 36, drafts a memo on “universal Pre-K” or “raising teacher pay,” it makes us want to throw down our alt weeklies and roll around on a bed of government-funded white papers. The last guy in the world to think of himself as sexy, Kim says in classic self-deprecating style, “I like to think I put the physical in physical note.” (Some lawmakers confuse “physical” with “fiscal.”) A graduate of Wesleyan University, with a master’s in public policy from Duke University, Kim, a.k.a. Bredesen’s Extra Brain, proves your mother’s adage about smart boys being sexy. Or is it smart girls who are sexy? Ask his wife Nancy, Harvard Law grad and Drew’s high school sweetheart. She’s pretty hot, too.
Miranda WhitcombWarning: when consuming Frothy Monkey coffee in the presence of the establishment’s owner, Miranda Whitcomb, the following side effects may occur: palpitations, sweatiness, dizziness, inability to focus, tingling in the limbs. In rare instances, these side effects can be fatal...or at least fatally attractive. Though we assume the “Frothy” in the name refers to the fluffy steamed milk that rests atop the shop’s delectable cappuccinos, it could just as well be a reference to the smitten customers who are frothing at the mouth at the mere sight of the comely Miranda. The 37-year-old mother of a 3-year-old son is exceptionally fit—she ran in the first Country Music Marathon, has climbed Kilimanjaro and has walked 1,200 miles across Tanzania. (“It wasn’t your Abercrombie & Fitch safari,” she says.) Still, Miranda enjoys extreme luxury as much as extreme roughing it. “I’m just as happy trekking across Tanzania as I am staying at the Soho Grand,” Miranda says. “It’s just that in Tanzania, our campsite got trampled by elephants, and at the Grand, we were trampled by the Black Crowes.” Sound like your ideal woman? Well, you better switch to decaf—she’s got a boyfriend.
Stevon NelomsIf ever there was a case to be made for an exceedingly tight T-shirt, this guy’s it. Buff from head to toe, Stevon Neloms is also the consummate nice guy, always ready with a spotter’s hand or a kind word. As facility coordinator for the new Hadley Park Community Center—complete with gym, swimming pool, senior and youth activities, a weight and aerobics room and an indoor track—the 28-year-old Neloms oversees 25 employees at one of the city’s landmarks. Hadley Park was once home to the Hadley family, whose plantation became the site of Tennessee State University at about the time the park was purchased. In 1912, Mayor Howse described it as the first public park for black citizens by any city in the world. Neloms simply describes it as “the best place to be.” Born in Alabama, he’s been in Nashville for four years. He works out twice daily—cardio in the morning and weight training in the afternoon—so, by our count, that’s roughly 2,900 opportunities so far for admirers to glimpse his muscular glory. But, suckers, put those dumbbells down. When he’s not reading, traveling or producing that sweet, sweet sweat, he’s “in a relationship.”
Joe CrokerEasily the only metrosexual roots-rock musician on the Harpeth Hall faculty—and arguably the only one in the entire 37215 zip code—Joe Croker exudes the kind of fervor and creativity that teenage girls aren’t likely to find in Daddy. (And his plaid knickers, knee socks and white suede bucks are definitely not in Daddy’s closet.) In Croker’s high school English and media arts classes, the emphasis is exactly what you’d expect from a prep school curriculum: lots of the kind of reading, writing and critical thinking that gets kids into good colleges. And yet his website also advises worried students, “If you must obsess about something, choose all of the sweet candy that this life affords. Lord knows there’s enough strife in it.” (A nice girl-crush touch: The word “candy” links to the title song from his own CD, Candy World.) Croker’s extracurricular passion—in addition to wife Denise and daughters Saffron and Seville—is songwriting, so the subtext in his classes is always about falling in love with language, writing what’s in your heart. As one of his colleagues says, “He truly listens to what girls say. What could be sexier than that?” Candiness.
Nicole KeiperRemember the coolly reserved brainiac in AP English—the one who was so quiet but wrote so fiercely, you were sure she nursed a secret life? And then you went to a house party, and there she was: rocking a floor tom in a noise band, an unruly strand of hair keeping time on her forehead? In high-school terms, that’s the essence of Nicole Keiper’s hotness. As The Tennessean’s pop critic and indie-beat reporter—who doubles as drummer for three local groups—the club crawler with the perpetually unfazed expression has aced the first rule of being cool: not caring about being cool. “I’m a big geek, but I don’t worry about it,” says Keiper, who brushes off claims of her hottitude with a shrug that of course makes her even hotter. As a Long Island teen, inspired by Stone Gossard—“I still love Pearl Jam,” she says, no matter what the Pitchfork police say—she picked up a guitar at age 14 and switched to drums at 18. The former CMJ editor moved to Nashville to be with her now-husband, guitarist Keith Childrey, and juiced 1100 Broadway’s once-moribund rock coverage with her sympathetic, refreshingly snark-free style. But it’s the combination of her laid-back poise and super-tight drumming—the hint of hidden passion—that makes pulses quicken. Especially if you’ve never stopped crushing on Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind of Wonderful.
Josh AndersonThere’s something ironic about Josh Anderson being the one behind the camera. Distractingly attractive, Josh has professional game too. While his primary gig is as staff photographer at The City Paper, he regularly shoots for The New York Times and has been published in both The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. (At one time, he freelanced for the Scene.) “He’s an insanely talented guy,” says CP editor Clint Brewer. “He’s very respected, and I think women like that.” Indeed they do. Brewer says the ladies at the paper are discreetly vocal about this 30-year-old Cincinnati native who moved to Nashville to be closer to his 12-year-old daughter. “He’s the nicest guy in the building,” Brewer says, adding that the staff has been giving him the business ever since learning of his inclusion in this feature, “making lots of references to his dreamy green eyes, his salt-and-pepper hair and his very long limbs.” But, it’s all been very respectful, because it’s well known that Josh is spoken for. That shouldn’t keep Calvin Klein from calling, though. If Anderson were wearing it, we’d buy whatever CK was selling. Rollum HaasA lot of people think Rollum Haas—the hyper-fueled drummer for local rock darlings The Features and The Privates—looks like Tom DeLonge (you know, the dude from Blink 182). We say Haas has a boyish yet goofy charm all his own, heightened more by the stark contrast between his on- and offstage persona. Haas mans the drums with a frantic urgency, all loose-limbed and trotting one minute, heavy-hitting and precise the next. But you won’t find this reticent 27-year-old with a lilting Southern accent on the bar scene—unless he’s behind the drum kit. “Any free time I have when I’m not working is spent on music,” Haas says. And that kind of work ethic is damn near required for someone who is often tagged as the best rock drummer in town. Offstage he’s far more reserved, though every bit the quirky-cool boy we suspected: “I like video games. I’m an RPG nerd—it’s kind of a loner thing,” Haas admits, referring to his affection for the geeky role-playing games. But Haas isn’t a loner in love—he just celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary with his former crush, the adorable Katie Krampf, who had no idea of Haas’ affection for sci-fi when they first met. “What surprised me the most about Rollum was how much of a dork he was about science fiction, Star Trek and video games,” she says. “He’s the sort of guy who watches MacGyver and The Mighty Ducks without a hint of irony.” But she quickly fell in love with his childlike sense of humor, musical prowess and creative notions of romance. “Early on, I knew he wasn’t the kind of guy to bring you chocolates and flowers,” she says. “One night on my birthday, he stayed up really late making me this book out of construction paper. It was this whole story just filled with these funny illustrations that he made. It was so sweet.” Caryn CastIf musicians strike a chord with you and artists make your paint splatter, you may want to keep the defibrillator handy when you meet the enchanting Caryn Cast, who happens to be both. If you look closely at her sultry pastel portraits of exotic women—currently hanging at The Art House, Rumours Wine Bar, Vintage Nashville and Plowhaus (the “My Bloody Valentine” show)—you can practically see the steam rising off of them. Also a talented pianist, Caryn gives both music and art lessons, and can be found one or two nights a week serving at Rumours. The lithe 29-year-old is currently playing keyboards with Pizza Party USA, who mix originals with ’80s covers. (We’re not sure if they employ pepperoni or anchovies, but we hear there’s blood involved, when you least expect it.) Now if your mouth is watering at this tempting slice of pizza perfect, be warned—she has a boyfriend. (And we hear he bears a striking resemblance to the late, great J.C.—yes, the “He is risen” guy.) Apparently, the two lovebirds have just returned from a cross-country trip in a van they bought for $200 in Queens, N.Y. (She’s a smart shopper and an unfussy traveler. What a catch!) Her most defining feature? According to Caryn, “I really like eating beef jerky. And not the Slim-Jim kind.” Guys with feelings of inadequacy, don’t read too much into that last remark. Check out Caryn’s art at leroyandthegirl.com.
Courtney WilderAt first glance, Courtney Wilder might seem like just another fashionable it-gal on the music scene, at peak visibility manning the DJ decks at The End or Mercy Lounge for Left Can Dance, Nashville’s only regular indie-rock dance party. But the 25-year-old admitted Francophile is more than just a slave to the turntable. She’s also a beacon of good taste: not only does the petite Wilder own the sort of wardrobe that would’ve made Audrey Hepburn envious (vintage pieces with elegant, clean lines and a dash of whimsy), but she also has the brains to match the gams. This renaissance femme studied art history at Vanderbilt, hosts two summertime radio shows on WRVU-91 (91 Montmartre fulfills her love of French pop; Night Clothes & Headphones broadcasts a more mellow groove) and is something of a wine connoisseur. If you can’t make the dance party, visit her at The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills, where she’ll gently transition you from Yellow Tail into a more pleasing, but affordable, Spanish wine. And if you’re lucky, she’ll introduce you to one her favorite champagnes, or something in the white wine family. “There’s a misconception that red wine is more serious than white,” Wilder says. “But they’re actually equal—it’s just that white wine is underappreciated.” Just look for the doe-eyed blonde who is almost certainly wearing a skirt. “I don’t like to wear pants,” she says. “I like to be feminine, but with an edge.” Too bad she’s seriously spoken for. Her boyfriend of four years is Austin Wilkinson of electronic duo Jensen Sportag. Patrick FroggeUpon learning he made the cut as one of the city’s most desirable, Patrick Frogge’s response: “There’s been a mistake. Have you seen me?” After convincing the Nashville lawyer he wasn’t the butt of some cruel courthouse joke, he agreed to participate (although he remained suspicious that someone, somewhere was enjoying a hearty laugh at his expense). “I assumed somebody had put you all up to this,” he said, adding that his wife of five years (that’s right, he’s taken) shared that sentiment. A self-deprecating sense of humor is part of this native Nashvillian’s charm, but don’t be fooled by his modesty—he’s made a name as a prominent criminal defense and civil rights lawyer. Frogge, 37, worked with the public defender’s office before starting a law practice with his wife, an attorney he met while clerking for a judge after law school. Although now a successful lawyer and father of two, Frogge wasn’t always so responsible, he recalls, referring to his stint as a rowdy undergrad at the University of Tennessee. Careful not to reveal too many details, Frogge explains, “Let’s just say I was invited to leave because of a little prank I pulled with the computer system.”
Jon DeciousIf you mixed a fresh-faced young Paul McCartney with a little glammy punk, you’d end up with something pretty close to teen-scream Jon Decious, the sweet-faced, trashy-mouthed bassist for The Pink Spiders who could hold down the cover of Tiger Beat all year long as far as we’re concerned. The 23-year-old-going-on-17 has a messy new-wave haircut, drainpipe jeans and serious attitude—the underside of his bass guitar has “You’re Welcome” spelled out with electrical tape, which he flips up with a smug grin in response to applause at shows. When asked about the rumors that he gets most of the action backstage, he doesn’t miss a beat. “That’s definitely true,” he says with a boyish laugh. Decious is the Spider who taunts the crowd, has perfected an impeccable air of nonchalance and nails every prerequisite for teen heartthrob. And—he knows it. “It’s definitely been mentioned to me,” he says of his dreamy appeal. “I mean, I’m a grown man, but I look 16. People in the industry will say, ‘Oh, he’s the face,’ about me. We laugh about it.” Normally, he enjoys writing, reading and working on songs in his downtime. But given that all his time is spent touring, playing clubs and navigating new cities, these days he prefers doing absolutely nothing. “I like hanging out and not doing shit,” Decious says. We were surprised to hear that the purported player has a serious lady friend. “I do have a girlfriend, but it’s recent—only in the last month,” he intimates. We’ll just have to settle for him on the cover of Bop. “Hey,” he says. “Teen heartthrob would be an OK thing with me.”
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