Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to Nashville, Vancouver Canucks

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Oh, it's on. H/T: Area 52 Films.

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John Lennon Exhibit Detractors Claim Fraud

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Controversy is almost always expected to follow good art, and that's generally a good thing: It spurs conversation and gets people to think about things they may have otherwise overlooked. But when does controversy become tired?

How about when it involves calling the posthumous publishing of artwork fraudulent?

Come Together: The Artwork of John Lennon, coming through Franklin this weekend (see the interview I had with Yoko Ono about it here), is thick with borderline obsessive detractors. It seems to speak less to the quality of the art, and more to the skewed view of art that some people seem to maintain.

Gary Arseneau called the upcoming art show at Franklin a fraud, and has created an entire website around the idea that “The dead don't create artwork.” He claims that Yoko is attempting to trick the public into believing that Lennon himself printed the artwork in the exhibition, when in fact Yoko and her assistants tint and manipulate the pieces, obviously without Lennon's consent.

Nothing that Arseneau claims is untrue — it's just uninteresting. If someone bases the value of an art piece around the physical presence of the artist in its creation, then their ideas about artistic originality are both flawed and outdated.

The Scene spoke to a source closely tied with the Come Together exhibit, and he told us this argument isn't anything new, and that he's been dealing with people crying foul since his involvement with the exhibit began, some 10 years ago. He says the exhibit's detractors are missing out on more than just the last 50 years of contemporary art — they're also missing the point of the whole exhibit:

Continue reading »

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Tennessee GOP: We're on a Drug Called Charlie Sheen!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:47 AM

It ought to be pretty easy to insult the Tennessee Democrats and their Unity Breakfast with Al Gore. There's so much to be snarky about. You could easily go with any of the following:

"$250? For $250, I'd better end up prominently featured in the next National Enquirer story about Al Gore."

"Looking at the sponsor list, it's apparent that some of us would be more welcome at the Ladies' Auxiliary Unity Breakfast."

"$250 for breakfast?! Well, I guess that keeps the riff-raff out."

Really, you could go with pretty much any variation on what a dickfest it is — or how much money they're charging when the party needs to appeal to regular Tennesseans, or just something that makes fun of Al Gore. It's not that difficult. In fact, until this very moment, I'd say that just about anyone could pull it off.

And then I read this, the press release the TNGOP has with the transcript of their anti-Unity Breakfast radio ad:

“Winning” Radio Ad Transcript
VO- Paid for by the Tennessee Republican Party.

CHARLIE SHEEN- Winning, anyone?

VO- Charlie Sheen knows about winning. But Tennessee Democrats? Well, Al Gore is hosting a Nashville Unity Breakfast with the largest gathering of losing Democrat politicians probably ever.

VO- Besides losing elections, Democrats have a lot to unify over; Barack Obama’s healthcare takeover, a failed budget-busting stimulus boondoggle, and trillion dollar deficits.

VO- Now that’s Democrat unity and a recipe for losing elections.

VO- Help us defeat Barack Obama. Go to

CHARLIE SHEEN- Losers. Winning. Buh bye.

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Pick of the Day: Rubber, the Citizen Kane of Killer Tire Movies

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:06 AM

Where: The Belcourt
When: Midnight April 29-30

Well, here's something you don't see every day. From Steven Hale's rave in this week's Scene:

If at some point in a movie version of Waiting for Godot, the tree suddenly developed a mind of its own and whacked off Estragon's head — well, it wouldn't top anything in Rubber for splattery absurdism. Written and directed by Quentin Dupieux (aka French techno artist Mr. Oizo), Rubber, starring Stephen Spinella, Wings Hauser and a tire, is postmodernism in a B-movie blender. It dances — or rather, rolls — so brilliantly along the line between avant-garde and exploitation movie that I'm inclined to say it's both ... though I'm not sure it really matters.

Released by Magnet — the Magnolia Pictures genre arm behind Troll Hunter, the Graveyard Shift Audience Award winner at this year's Nashville Film Festival — Rubber is perfect late-night fare. Robert, the film's once-inanimate protagonist, is a tire who comes to life in an unspecified desert, discovers that he is endowed with destructive powers and becomes enamored of a travelling brunette. (As often as I read those words, I cannot believe I actually typed them.) As he rolls, wobbly at first, through the beginning of the film, Robert's path becomes littered with the exploded victims of his self-discovery. Along the way, Robert is personified in a variety of ways, to amusing effect. Think the Red Balloon with a sour disposition.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Al Gore's Our Choice: There's an App for That

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM

As I'm sure you all are aware, Al Gore is on a bit of a mission to do something about climate change. (He spoke to the Scene about such things for an August 2010 cover story about the local and regional impacts.) He's also big on technology, and his 2009 book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis launched today as an app for Apple's iPad. It's $5 at iTunes.

Now, I don't own an iPad, so I can't tell you if it's a good presentation of the book's contents or not, but here's a bit of what Cool Hunting has to say about it, in a rather glowing review:

You can interact with any element within the pages; a quick two-finger pinch will pull out infographics or pictures, expanding them to full-screen. All of the expandable elements also contain geotags that display on a global map, giving the user a vision of how the facts presented fit into the big picture. Some infographics and videos contain further interactive features, letting users focus on certain areas or concepts.

Sure, I've been known to express some rather old-fashioned ideas about books, but I have to admit this looks pretty cool.

(Via Cool Hunting.)

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Nashville Scene Declares War on Vancouver — Sort Of

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Miss 604 — that lovely facade masks nothing but pure Canadian trouble.
  • Miss 604 — that lovely facade masks nothing but pure Canadian trouble.
Yesterday, we intercepted a flaming cauldron of death headed straight for Bridgestone Arena, stamped "From British Columbia, Land of White-Hot Hate." OK, so really it was a cheery, perfectly pleasant email from Rebecca Bollwitt, who runs a very cool Vancouver site called Miss 604 regarded as one of the 10 best blogs in the entire country. (Think Nashvillest with every line punctuated by an implied "eh?")

In light of the Stanley Cup rivalry between Nashville and Vancouver, Rebecca sent Music City a missive, asking if we wanted to make some sort of wager on the playoffs' outcome. "I was wondering if you would be interested in this friendly challenge leading up to tomorrow's first game of the Canucks/Predators series," she wrote.

This politely worded Canadian aggression will not stand. Yes, Miss 604, we accept your "friendly challenge." The terms, agreed upon by our dueling partner in the godforsaken frozen North — OK, the lushly green, conifer-scented, beautifully landscaped North — are as follows: The blog from the winning team's city will receive a hotly coveted, generously apportioned, lavishly assembled (yet small enough to sneak through Customs) package of goods from the losing city's hometown.

The Scene edit staff considers appropriate gifts.
  • The Scene edit staff considers appropriate gifts.
Of course, we haven't put much thought into what such a package from Nashville might entail. Why should we tantalize our Canadian rivals with what they'll never see? "Because that will only torture them further," you say? We like the way you think.

So give us some tips on what we might include — y'know, in this package we'll never have to send. Scene photographer Eric England has already thoughtfully made the first suggestion: an open can of 200-proof Davidson County WHOOP-ASS!!!

UPDATE, 12 noon: Oh, look, here comes Mayor Karl Dean with some side action. Press release after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Whaling & Gnashing: 'Nuck You, Canucks!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Q: The Number One reason to hate the city of Vancouver?

A: There is absolutely no good reason to hate the city of Vancouver.

It's clean, it's beautiful, the weather's nice (by Pacific Northwest standards — which is to say it doesn't rain constantly), it wins all these livable city awards. The X Files was filmed there.

In the last two decades, the number of cars has declined as the population has increased.

Get this: it's illegal to build a freeway in the city limits. In America, we try to cram as many interstates as we can into the smallest place possible.

Unlike Anaheim, the home base of the Predators now-vanquished first round opponents, Vancouver was not founded by a Klan member. Instead, Vancouver's first tavern was built by a man named "Gassy" Jack Deighton (reports unconfirmed it was known as the "Keep Upwind Inn"). Naturally, the settlement built around the tavern (yes, they built the town AROUND the bar) was called "Gastown," which, despite having an analogous name to Tennessee burghs Spot and Only, is not under the gun.

This is Music City, though. Surely we can mock their contributions to music? Of course we can't. Being Canadian, Vancouver politely provided us with music for people with good taste (The New Pornographers, Destroyer), people with bad taste (Sarah McLachlan, Michael Bublé) and people with no taste (Bryan Adams).

So, screw you, Vancouver. Now we have no choice but to make fun of your hockey team.

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Pick of the Day: Just So ... at Estel Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 5:05 AM

  • Kelly Williams, "Console TV"
Just So ...
Where: Estel Gallery, 115 8th Ave. N.
When: Through April 30

Estel Gallery’s exhibit Just So … was slated to close two weeks ago. Lucky for us, it got a last-minute extension — but you don't have too much time to waste. The gallery has limited hours, so plan carefully for this one: you don’t want to miss it. Kelly Williams’ photorealistic interiors focus on her grandmother’s home. There is no warm apple pie, though. The sterile, almost surgical treatment of domestic spaces hints at voyeurism and detachment.

Mark Bradley-Shoup’s studies of industrial objects are simple yet profound. Claire Brassil’s drawings take inspiration from family photographs, but their creepy vibe results from her exploration of family relationships. Chris Scarborough’s paintings explode across canvases with jagged, broken edges. Loud and brain-jarring, they add a jolt to this otherwise quiet, interior show.

Call 251-8997 for more info.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NPR's Jacki Lyden Reports on Magdalene/Thistle Farms

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM

On Monday, we alerted Pith readers to a three-part story about Nashville's Magdalene program airing on National Public Radio this week. Jacki Lyden's fascinating, in-depth report is at times disturbing but ultimately inspiring, as she follows police on prostitution stings, gets a tour of Nashville's roughest streets with former prostitutes, and talks with Magdalene founder Becca Stevens and women from Magdalene who've turned their lives around.

The third (and final) installment of Lyden's report aired today on Morning Edition. Below are links to all three reports. The above video, shot by National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez, provides a compelling overview of the series and puts faces to many of the voices heard in Lyden’s reports.

Tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m., Lyden, Stevens and a Magdalene graduate will be on Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan, and will be taking questions from callers.

Part 1: "For Prostitutes, An Alternative To The Streets"

Part 2: "Relapse And Recovery: A Tale Of Two Prostitutes"

Part 3: "A Business That Helps Prostitutes Bloom In Recovery"

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Donnie Wahlberg Rescues Nashvillian Through the Internet

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 9:40 AM

The first concert I ever went to was New Kids on the Block. I had a huge crush on Donnie Wahlberg. He was the "bad" one. Oh, he was dreamy.

Anyway, cool story out of Boston today about how Wahlberg learned one of his fans needed a kidney and so he tweeted a plea for a kidney for Bobbette Miller. A bunch of his fans contacted the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, volunteering one of theirs, and now Miller is scheduled for a transplant in June.

I guess you could say, one of them had "The Right Stuff."

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