The Nashville Post has started a running tally of the layoffs — which were announced with a rather curious spin earlier this month — that are reportedly now underway at 1100 Broadway. Early reports indicate that sports columnist Joe Biddle and city editor Jerry Manley are among the many who have been let go, and esteemed music writer Peter Cooper has been cut to part-time. Metromix editor Heather Byrd and features writer Nicole Keiper are also reported among those laid off. [Nashville Post]
The store will be operated by B&N, and will offer books and materials for a general audience, as well as typical campus bookstore items, textbooks, course materials, apparel, etc.
From the press release:
“A strong and thriving bookstore where a campus community can easily gather for literary and intellectual offerings is critically important to a university,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “This new location and partnership give us an even greater opportunity to advance our academic mission for the campus and the larger Nashville community.” ...
Several factors came into play in the university’s decision to relocate the existing bookstore. Because it is in the interior of campus, there is no adjacent and little nearby parking, making it difficult for off-campus patrons to reach. The 2525 West End location has access to a 200-space garage and 100 surface spaces. The Rand bookstore has limited hours of operation; the new one will be open evenings and through the weekend. Because the new store will be near Memorial Gym, Vanderbilt Stadium and other athletic venues, it will be more convenient for sports fans to purchase Vanderbilt apparel. ...
“We're honored to have formed this new partnership with Vanderbilt University and look forward to bringing them what’s next in educational content and retailing excellence,” said Max J. Roberts, president, Barnes & Noble College. “Our commitment to driving innovation, delivering advanced technology, understanding what students need and supporting the needs of higher education will help us to transform the Vanderbilt bookstore into a robust and vital part of the university and the surrounding greater West End community.”
Aaron Rose’s skate-and-street-inspired Beautiful Losers was one of the definitive art exhibits of the 2000s. Juxtapoz has the highest circulation of any arts magazine in America. Galleries are opening inside of tattoo shops, and exhibits are more like social gatherings than art events. It’s quite certain that the underground has turned into a mainstream force to be reckoned with. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be cool.
Curated by Adrienne Miller, a local artist and staff member in the Vanderbilt art department, All Together Now is a show of 19 artists from around the country who don’t aspire to re-create the stalwarts of traditional high art, but instead use culturally relevant influences to inform the kind of work that shapes and is shaped by contemporary life.
Miller nails this sentiment in a curatorial statement: “The rise of the rock poster, the influence of folk art, graffiti, craft elements and commercial design are infiltrating traditional gallery shows and should be seen as significant influences for the upcoming generation of fine artists.” We can dig it.
But whatever it is — protective bubble, rose-colored glasses, lots of Tennessee moonshine — I want in on it.
Because out here in the real world? Things are painfully stupid, and our governor seems completely unfazed by the state's troubles. Rachel Walden at Women's Health News has the story about how Haslam acted like he didn't know that cutting funding to Planned Parenthood would cut health services to women. (Jesus Christ, we're not even six whole months into his tenure and I'm already praying that the governor is a liar — because the alternative is that he's honestly too stupid for the job he has.) She also writes about how inadequate his response is when told what will happen. She says, " 'Nobody’s told me that' is a brush-off, one that doesn’t commit Haslam to any future worrying about or follow-up on this issue."
The federal suit, filed by the ACLU of Tennessee on behalf of the newspaper, comes after Brentwood officials cited vendors seven times in a two-month period for violating a city law that prohibits the selling of merchandise in public rights-of-way.
From Jeff Woods at The City Paper:
“This newspaper is all about the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great,” said Calvin Hart, one of the newspaper’s vendors who was ticketed in Brentwood and joined the lawsuit as one plaintiff. “The selling of this newspaper is important because it allows the people in the community to directly help the less fortunate. It’s a win-win situation.”
The newspaper, which is printed by a nonprofit, works with close to 400 vendors and claims to have sold some 117,000 copies of this month's issue, Woods writes. It has also helped some formerly homeless people earn enough to afford housing.
According to Adult Swim's press release, The Heart, She Holler is a "new live-action soap opera about folk who ain't never used soap or seen an opera. It's a satire on the emotional Hee-Hawification of America, set in a town so inbred, the folks have become almost supernaturally wrong. The series is produced by PFFR, and premieres this fall on Adult Swim." What could be a better intro to such a show than a punky kid with a swimsuit and a perm prancing around an above-ground swimming pool in Adam Ant-style face paint? We can't think of a thing.
This all may sound a little random, but these videos are amazing. It was only a matter of time before they infiltrated living rooms (or dorm rooms, more likely) throughout America, and it totally makes sense that Adult Swim, with its absurdist humor and psychedelic non sequiturs, was first in line. Joseph describes the videos as examples of what kids in nowhere towns did for fun before Ritalin and the Internet. Amanda is as punk-rock as any 10-year-old ever was, and the lo-fi editing and complete lack of self-consciousness make the videos more art than home movies. The audio tapes of Amanda already have steady, cult-like recognition on WFMU (New York and New Jersey's 91.1, sniff sniff) on DJ Irwin Chusid's show. Chusid explains the appeal of Whitt's Amanda tapes in a recent WFMU blog post, including a connection between the Whitt siblings (who, incidentally, hail from the famous barbecue family) and fellow lo-fi aficionado R. Stevie Moore — who is playing at Exit/In on Tuesday, July 5 — and a ton of audio clips.
But the videos are our favorite. Joseph did, after all, grow up to be a brilliant visual arts curator who was responsible for some of the most relevant art showing in Nashville during his time at Vanderbilt, including an exhibition by Jules De Balincourt, Harmony Korine's Pigxote series, and a mashup of Warhol Polaroids and work by artists David Horvitz and Grant Worth. The Amanda tapes are just as weird and fun to watch as anything by Korine or Ryan Trecartin, but without any of the dark undercurrents.
We've included some of our favorite Amanda videos after the jump, including a tribute by musician Hawnay Troof.
By now the sound of cicadas in the nearby fields has likely dulled from the buzzsaw whine it must have been a month ago. But even that would only have added to the ambience of one of Middle Tennessee’s summertime joys: taking in a double feature at Watertown’s Stardust Drive-In, one of the state’s few remaining car-lot movie theaters (or as Variety used to call them, “ozoners”). The drive-in is now a family hangout rather than the sleaze-infested “passion pit” of our youth — dammit — but there are upsides to the upgrade beyond the vanquished threat of some delinquent swatting the pizza out of your hand during The Swingin’ Cheerleaders.
The Stardust’s broad menu of burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, funnel cakes and top-drawer junk food is way more appealing than the popcorn-with-occasional-Junebugs I recall from my youth, and the sound (broadcast on an FM signal through car stereos rather than the window-hooked speakers of yore) is a vast improvement, especially when it’s raining. As for the movies, double features of first-run flicks predominate: Starting tonight, the attractions are the location-appropriate Cars 2 (with The Green Lantern) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (with Super 8). Make sure you arrive early for the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Tickets are $7, $4 for ages 6 to 11, with children 5 and under free. See their website for directions and more info.
In a story on the WTVF NewsChannel 5 website about TSU's awesome community garden program, there was this eyebrow-raising paragraph:
"I grew up on the farm, so I know a little bit about it, but I love to get my hands in the dirt," said North Nashville resident Dolores Wright. The fruits of her labor are plentiful as she picks through the produce. But, she wouldn't have the handful of red tomatoes or rows of homegrown vegetables without her 30-acre plot on Tennessee State University's new Community Garden off 28th Avenue.
Thinking it might be a typo, I decided to watch the video clip of the report. No, it wasn't a typo: Reporter Kim Gebbia clearly says, "... without her 30-acre plot ... ."
Is Gebbia right? Is Wright's plot in the garden really 30 acres?!
My god! How big must the whole garden be?
As the state preps to drop some dime on a totally avoidable lawsuit brought upon by passage of his bill to keep LGBT people from enjoying the same workplace protections as everyone else in Tennessee, here again comes state Rep. Glen Casada, sticking his fingers in a decidedly unnatural place.
Casada, who is neither a resident of Nashville nor an official elected to represent it, is slated as the keynote speaker at a Tennessee Tea Party event this Thursday at Logan's Roadhouse on Elliston. The event is billed as a strategy session for right-wingers who want more representation on the Metro Council.
This meeting will help us to identify our strengths and objectives in helping to elect a new slate of conservative candidates to the city council of Davidson County. We want to identify our conservative candidates and let them identify the help they will need in canvassing for these positions.
Williamson County's Casada, whom the TTP announces "has fought for the true conservative and will help to lead us in the future of freedom," will offer what we can only assume will be an illuminating lecture on the creeping homosexual agenda in between swallows of free peanuts.
Here at Pith, we can't quite figure which is more absurd: Casada going back to the well on this in the wake of a major lawsuit, or the TTP asking for advice from a guy who claims he has none to offer.
In State of Wonder, Patchett returns to the jungle, this time to the central Amazon basin. But where Bel Canto was necessarily interior and psychological, State of Wonder unfolds across a vast but impenetrable landscape where the air "is heavy enough to be bitten and chewed," insects fly "with unimaginable velocity into the eyes and mouths and noses" of humans, and eagles swoop close enough that one can see "the expression on the face of the small monkey that dangled from its curving talons." There's a magnificent chapter set in an opera house, but the real point of this book is to get its protagonist, Dr. Marina Singh, out of suburbia, away from her phone, and into "the beating heart of nowhere" — a jungle teeming with spiders, snakes, quicksand and cannibals.
Marina conducts statin research for a giant pharmaceutical company named Vogel, but when Anders Eckman, her friend and officemate, dies during an expedition to find rogue Vogel researcher Annick Swenson, everything changes. Swenson's jungle lab is so secret that even the CEO of Vogel has no idea where it is, and Swenson hasn't been heard from at all in more than two years. Marina's assignment is to fly to Brazil, discover where Swenson is hiding, and find out what has really happened to both Anders and the fertility drug Swenson has spent decades developing.
If that's not enough Wonder for you, NPR has been on Patchett like fertility-granting bark on an Amazonian tree, reviewing the book on Fresh Air (Maureen Corrigan), All Things Considered (Alan Cheuse) and Weekend Edition Sunday (Liane Hansen). Nashville Public Radio's Nina Cardona provided the local review. Speaking of local, I know I heard Patchett on NPR last night talking about her plans to open a bookstore in Nashville, which we told you about a while back, but I can't seem to find a link to it. (Something about how she walks into empty buildings half-expecting the bookshelves to already be there, and that e-readers are cool and all, but we still need bookstores — just not 30,000-square-foot bookstores — and how her business partner Karen Hayes is great.)
Anyway: Ann Patchett, tonight, 6:15 p.m., downtown branch of the library.
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