1. All of the industrial stuff between the river and I-40 out to Briley Parkway would be ripped out, and in its place would go a walkable neighborhood that took advantage of the views of the river. People could walk up to Lebanon Pike and grab a bus and go to work. It's nuts to me that space so convenient to downtown, with such a view of the river, is industrial.
2. Speaking of buses, I'd have more routes. Routes that go downtown are fine, but people don't just work and shop downtown. Right now, the bus routes are mostly like deformed petals of a flower situated downtown. But to folks in my neck of the woods, it seems reasonable that someone who lived on Trinity Lane might want to go to the Bordeaux Kroger to shop. It'd be nice if bus routes matched the needs of the neighborhoods instead of being so focused on bringing people downtown. But, by god, if you're going to bring people downtown, at least run late enough at night that I can have a good time and take the bus home again.
3. We'd have a heritage radio station like New Orleans' WWOZ, but, obviously, focused on Nashville music. All kinds of Nashville music. I mean, man, the other day when Lightning 100 did that full day of Nashville musicians? That blew my mind. A radio station that played only people who lived here, from any and all genres and any and all eras? I'd love that.
4. Every kid in the city would have a school in their neighborhood they could walk to. Like actually walk to. Not like the kids across the street from me who are close enough to walk but can't because there aren't sidewalks.
Ha, so, yeah, we'd either have much higher taxes or we'd have to change the city flag to a Jolly Roger and send folks out to raid nearby towns — but I totally think we can totally take Clarksville.
Tuesdays with Terrence Malick: The New World
When: 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, June 28
Where: The Belcourt
I have never forgotten the sensation of walking out of Terrence Malick’s evocation of 17th century colonial America — a yet-unspoiled land of rippling waters and virgin forests, so becalmed that the rustle of each branch in the treetops is sonically distinct — into the assaultive glare of the Green Hills megaplex lobby. I might as well have stepped from a twilit cloister into a Tunica casino.
And yet Malick’s take on the meeting of American Indian and British expansionist cultures is far from a knee-jerk noble-Indian-vs.-ignoble-white-man polemic: It’s more about man’s yearning for whatever lies beyond those rustling treetops, beyond the scope of laws and rulers, while searching for a way that wildness of spirit and the civilizing impulse can possibly coexist. That seems like an impossibly complex and contradictory concept for an actor to convey — and yet the movie’s marvelous Pocahontas, Q’orianka Kilcher, embodies it with euphoric unselfconsciousness, as though cameras have yet to be invented in the world she inhabits.
I’ve never left a movie feeling more profoundly dislocated from my own century or my current bearings. Sadly, this — along with the current run of The Tree of Life — marks the end of The Belcourt’s hugely popular Malick retrospective. But take consolation that Malick has already shot his next feature — a romance starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams that his collaborators say is madly ambitious even by his standards — and if all goes according to Malick’s usual timetable, it’ll be the most awesome movie of … oh, 2016. The New World screens today only, at The Belcourt.
Location: Don't even get me started.
Size of Park: Large
Approximate Age of Patrons: Just my age
Topics of Conversation: "Wow, the interstate is loud."
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: n/a
Perceived Safety: Medium low.
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: Fine
Number of pitbulls sighted: None
Accessibility: Very good
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: Anyone who can find it
From Itzkoff's recounting of the show, it's clear Morgan is a changed man:
Resuming his routine, Mr. Morgan warned his audience, “Don’t ever mess with women who have retarded kids.” As groans and cries of “Uh-oh” were heard, he continued, “Them young retarded males is strong. They’re strong like chimps.”
Finally, he concluded with a bit about his alleged teenage romance with a girl he described as “a cripple” with a prosthetic arm, a mechanical larynx and a portable dialysis machine.
See you at the next apology?
People, believe me, I know you're rolling your eyes just reading that paragraph. Have pity on me. I tried to read the whole thing. You may ask, why did I not read the whole thing? Because you, conservative Tennesseans, have ruined me. Every time I was bopping along thinking "Oh, that Al Gore. He seems well-meaning," someone would pop up — in person, in a post, wherever — and say, "Al Gore? That condescending hypocrite?" And I would think "Oh, those conservatives. Al Gore is a good guy. Dull, yeah, but good."
I defy you to get more than four pages into that article without feeling like Gore thinks that you, dear reader, really need someone with a big brain to explain to you these important things in a way your little brain can comprehend.
At their premiere performance in March, a quintet of seriously powerful women blew audiences away by channeling Audrey, Marilyn, Liza, Judy and Barbra. The cabaret-style show included solos, as well as all five women performing an original retelling of Chicago’s “Cell Block Tango” — which included personalized versions of former lovers’ transgressions that updated the 1975 version, including a woeful tale of a man who wore jorts. It was only a matter of time before the divas would be back for more.
Melodie Madden Adams, Megan Murphy Chambers, Cori Laemmel, Laura Matula and Erin Parker now return with an encore presentation of FIVE, their minimally titled cabaret. These gals are true professionals and solid talents, so expect them to work on a few new acts — but there’s no doubt they’ll rely on the same showmanship that brought the house down the first time around.
1. The loopy handwriting that dominated his early graphic work and continued even into his career as a fine artist — that famously flowery handstyle that was constantly fluctuating between thin and thick lines — was actually his mother Julia's. She even signed some of his canvases.
2. Warhol's IQ was reportedly 104. That's just a hair above average. No matter how much of a Warhol fan you are, it's hard not to get a bit queasy when critics wax poetic about the man as a genius who single-handedly navigated the art world into the modern age. It's much more complicated than that, and in some ways, much simpler. I love the idea of Warhol being the art world's Forrest Gump, being in the right place at the right time, knowing the right people, and being savvy enough to wedge himself into the genius-shaped hole that was waiting for him.
Part of the reason that the Frist's exhibit is so successful is that — as its exhibition title suggests — it brings Andy Warhol to life. Blockbuster prints like the self-portraits, the Campbell's soup cans, the Marilyns and the Double-Elvises are positioned next to Polaroids of Warhol with the Lennons and the Stones, treasures from Warhol's archives like an autographed photo of Shirley Temple, installations that replicate the avant-garde performances and club-going nightlife Warhol was obsessed with (one bit of signage quotes Warhol saying, “I've got Social Disease: I have to go out every night”), a plethora of record covers, and (my personal favorite) a wig that Warhol's estate lent to David Bowie for his role in Basquiat. It positions Warhol on a pedestal, to be sure — but in his life Warhol placed himself on a pedestal as well, and so there is no other place where he so naturally belongs. That's why the curators' conversation was so interesting: It brought that pedestal down to earth, where being an art world leader isn't so different from being kind of a momma's boy whose genius had nothing to do with being smart.
(Keeping on the theme, there's also this.)
For those aspiring to join the city's 40-person legislative body, there's a session about the arts in Music City on Monday, June 27, that's probably worth attending. During the workshop, the Nashville Arts Coalition will present findings from a recent study that offer some rather promising new intel:
An analysis prepared for the Metro Nashville Arts Coalition, measuring the years 2007-08, found that the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fourth-highest cultural vitality index value in the nation, trailing only Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City. In 2008, there were about 23,500 highly creative jobs in Davidson County and more than 35,000 in the Nashville MSA.
Presenters will also discuss grant and public art programs in Davidson County, and Stephen J. Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, will talk specifics about the cultural and economic effects of the arts here.
“Nashville’s arts community is a big force in our economy and makes a mighty contribution to education and quality of life for everyone who lives here,” Nashville Arts Coalition member Vali Forrister said in a release. “Metro government is a strong partner in a very large community-wide effort that has built a vibrant arts scene."
“I have finally realized the name of the concerto,” Riley wrote in a recent email. “It came to me as I was waking up the other morning in a post-dream, pre-awakened state.”
Nashville violinist Tracy Silverman, who will premiere the work at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 3-5, 2012 before taking it to Carnegie on May 12, says the name refers to the concerto’s opening tonality, a dissonant eight-note chord spelled A, B-sharp, C-sharp, D, E-sharp, F-sharp, G-sharp and A.
“The riddle has to do with the way the chord resolves itself over the course of the concerto’s 37-minute duration,” says Silverman. The affected spelling of "ryddle" is intended to suggest an ancient origin for the chord.
It's structured not unlike Mahler's Second Symphony, which the NSO gave a thunderous performance a few weeks ago: It segues from the grave — the first movement, in which the O'Brien family learns of the death of one of their three sons — toward light and a final triumph over death itself. It proceeds along a symbolic pathway as bold as silent film: a mother (Jessica Chastain) who represents the path of grace; a father (Brad Pitt, performing the astonishing feat of turning into an average human being) who embodies the severity of nature; and an adult son (Sean Penn) who feels the pull of both influences as he wanders the chilly canyons of an angular contemporary metropolis. To tell the story of his own childhood and upbringing, Malick literally goes back beyond the first spark of creation; in the end, he sails past toward whatever comes next.
That tells what The Tree of Life does, but it hardly conveys the exhilaration of what it is — a philosophical inquest that leaps eons in an eyeblink of a cut, yet also a pitch-perfect recreation of a Southern childhood, captured by Emmanuel Lubezki's camera in flickers as lyrical as a shot of lightning bugs blinking on a summer lawn, or a toddler's knee-high marveling at a curtain rippled by a light breeze. You can accuse the writer-director of grandiosity in framing his boyhood as the elemental story of all existence — picture asking an acquaintance where he came from, and he starts at the Planck epoch. (Afterward, a friend recalled the moment the movie took hold for him: "I didn't even blink when the dinosaurs showed up.") But what other fixed point does any of us have? The movie tries to reconcile what it means to be one person formed by individual experience, yet one among billions of others whose life cycle and basic wants have been hardwired across millennia.
Love it, hate it — come back and tell us what you thought.
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