Have a look at the above painting. Anything about it seem especially peculiar to you? I mean, aside from the fact that the entire thing is absurd and peculiar. Yes, that's Al and Tipper Gore. And yes, that's Demetria Kalodimos, former mayor Bill Purcell, former chief of police Ronal Serpas and local legend Marty Stuart.
First, let me give you a little bit of back story: Scene photographer Eric England and his girlfriend Shannon are currently expecting the birth of their first baby boy. Over the weekend, Scene food critic Carrington Fox hosted a shower in the couple's honor at her abode. While casing the joint with my partner in crime Adam Gold, Carrington's husband David pointed out a very intriguing painting that hangs in the Fox kitchen. He could place each face represented in the piece — except, that is, for the pair of relatively out-of-place-looking young dudes in the top right corner. "My God," I muttered within a second of seeing the painting. "That's JEFF the Brotherhood."a piece called "One Helluva Potluck" for the 2006 Holiday Guide issue. And, as a matter of fact, the piece ran exactly four years ago today. In it, several noteworthy locals shared recipes for their favorite holiday dishes. There was Marty Stuart’s Applesauce Cake, Al Gore and Tipper Gore’s Green Beans with Toasted Almonds — because "the Gores like their beans green, the same way they like their environment," har har — Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas’ Pralines, and JEFF's Beer-and-Raisin Salad. As you can see in the story, the recipe reads as follows:
The band JEFF are brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, co-founders of the Nashville indie-rock label Infinity Cat with their father, Robert Ellis Orrall. Until recently, Jamin served as drummer for breakout band Be Your Own Pet. They first encountered this recipe in a gulag.
Please begin by placing the lettuce in a rather large plastic bowl, the color of this bowl being preferably yellow, please. Then you must chill this bowl, but not by conventional means of chilling. That is to say, one mustn’t use a refrigerator as one would usually, please. This bowl of lettuce must be chilled by unconventional means. An example would be to go to a place where a fresh snow has fallen and place the bowl on the earth. Once the preferably yellow bowl of lettuce has been sufficiently chilled by unconventional means, please add beer to it. Now the next thing is to mix this very thoroughly with an electric hand-held mixer. Get the raisins please now. Place them in a fancy glass dish. Now is the last step, the serving and eating of beer-and-raisin salad. Please place the bowl of salad and the dish of raisins on a table in the living room. Make sure all is silent, unplug all electrical devices from the walls that may make a whirring noise so you can eat your salad, please. Take a raisin from the dish and dip it in the salad and eat the raisin. This is to be done until all of the raisins in the dish are gone. Here is a tip from Cake Bake Betty: once all of the raisins are gone, and only if there is still salad left over, place the remaining salad on the hood of your car in the garage to stay cool. If you desire a second round of beer-and-raisin salad in the next six days (on the seventh it is spoilt), simply refill the raisin dish, please.
That's all well, good and hilarious ... but what about the painting?! Well, turns out that was the masterful doing of one Robin Eley. After the story ran — image and all — Carrington decided to purchase the piece from Eley. Since then, it has hung in her home, the long-misplaced visages of the Brothers Orrall perplexing the Foxes at every family meal.
But this all got me to thinking: Where have I seen the Orralls' painterly depictions in the past? There's something hauntingly familiar about those goofy countenances that rings a primordial bell for me. And then I cracked it. Like a da Vinci Code — nay, Infinity Cat Code of sorts. Not unlike the Canadian Time Traveler, JEFF have been craftily working their way into works of art for centuries, and I only now noticed. The Brothers Orrall are like a Magic Eye: You only see them once you know they're there. There's a conspiracy afoot, folks. Maybe JEFF the Brotherhood's plan for world domination isn't a new one!