Bon Iver w/The Rosebuds
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27
Where: The Ryman
(Excerpt from the article in July 21's Scene. Read the full story here.)
The narrative of Bon Iver's ascent has been covered thoroughly, but it's worth detailing once more for the uninitiated. In late 2006, a downtrodden Justin Vernon retreated from his short-lived home of Raleigh, N.C., to his father's Wisconsin cabin to gather himself after two heart-rending breakups — one with a band composed of his best childhood friends (DeYarmond Edison), the other with a longtime girlfriend. After a bout with mono, he returned to songwriting as a means of catharsis, writing and recording For Emma, Forever Ago — Bon Iver's haunting yet joyous debut.
Nearly universal acclaim ensued once the album received adequate distribution in 2008 — thanks to Secretly Canadian — the din growing loud enough that Vernon would soon appear on the radar of hip-hop iconoclast Kanye West, who went on to sample Bon Iver and to employ him in the production of 2010's My Dark Twisted Fantasy. Once merely conceived as a home project, a reprieve from sadness, Bon Iver has all but become a household name.
Yet perhaps there's a deeper, more intangible reason that Justin Vernon is on the tip of everyone's tongues — one that can't be quantified in the war rooms of Music Row, New York City or Tinseltown. The far more interesting aspect of Vernon's success lies in what it tells us about our culture — one that is fast-paced and self-obsessed, yet loathe to wear its heart on its sleeve. Our new reality is constant posturing and image cultivation, and because we know this about ourselves, it's increasingly being defined by cynicism. These days we spend more time analyzing each other's motives than we do each other's contributions — which is anathema to the approach of Justin Vernon.
Bon Iver fills a void, as an idea and as a gorgeously wrought musical endeavor, that social media and constant invocations of "cool," in any setting, only perpetuate. This music, simple but remarkably elegant, is an antidote to all that perturbs us about our current condition, a world to get lost in alongside others equally weary of trying to keep up.
Yeah. Hey, on second thought, I guess this is exactly how baby Jesus of NASCAR-eth would want it. God bless America!
Blackburn's office is at 198 E. Main St. Franklin, 37064.
Here is the purpose of the protest, from the press release:
"To demand that Rep. Blackburn not gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and not push America into default while she protects tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and her corporate"There was no word after "corporate," but you can fill in the blank. Pals? Buddies? Co-conspirators? Cronies? Ne'er-do-wells?
Anyway, I realize it's short notice, and many of you can't get to Franklin at noon today, and others of you may want to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, push America into default and keep tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and corporations. But for the rest of you, consider this your bugle call. And if anyone gets down there, please report back in the comments.
Nashville-based artist Izel Vargas was raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, and he cites his upbringing as playing a vital role in his approach to artmaking, which is decidedly mixed media. His paintings include hints of James Rosenquist’s pop-cultural appropriation overlapped with the late Cy Twombly’s painterly palimpsests. But there’s something more thoughtful underlying Vargas’ graphic symbolism, which his artist’s statement says “are informed by identity, border culture and displacement.”
Growing up on the U.S.-Mexican border has ingrained in Vargas an awareness of the kinetic energy that exists in the space between things, something Victor Turner called “the betwixt and between” of liminal existence — the state of being neither here nor there. Vargas’ juxtapositions are calamitous rather than fully integrated, and that tension parallels the relationship that sometimes exists between cultures: sometimes conflicting, sometimes harmonious, always compelling.
More images of Vargas' work after the jump ...
You'll hear a lot of folks attribute Borders' death to Amazon, and I think that's true, though not in the simple, "Everyone went to Amazon instead of Borders" way you're hearing people say. In hindsight, Borders sealed its fate way back when it declined to develop its own online bookstore, instead farming their online presence out to Amazon so that Borders could concentrate on expanding its physical presence in expensive real estate. It'd be like Wal-Mart saying, "Oh, hey, Kmart! We're busy building new box stores. Could you guys run our online store?" In retrospect, the moment they conceded the job of selling Borders books to Amazon online, we should have known it was only a matter of time.
But I have to say, after sitting in an Apple store while on vacation, I am feeling like that might be a model for the future of the bookstore. You'd have physical copies of of a select, small number of books, curated either around a genre or all bestsellers or staff recommendations or however; a number of various ebook readers for purchase and for folks to try out. And (this is the crucial part, I think) someone there who can walk you through how to use your eReader or your preferred ebook app and to fix your reader when it breaks.
I mean, sure, for the kinds of folks who have eReaders now, if it breaks, you can just get a new one. But as they become more ubiquitous for students and people with lower incomes, having some place to go to get them fixed becomes more important. Some enterprising bookstore owners could do worse than to steal some ideas from Apple.
These are weird times, but I'm feeling kind of excited to see what a bookstore looks like in the next few years.
Unfortunately, Ketron didn’t respond to an interview request before press deadline, so the story only quoted from his recent op-ed on the matter. But he did get back to Hale eventually. Here, in its oblique glory, is what Ketron had to say.
On the possibility of scenarios in which the law could ensnare parents with no ill intent: “The language says ‘knowingly refuse to make all reasonable efforts to report a missing child.’ So I would imagine that would cover that. ‘If a parent is physically able to do so and they fail to make or knowingly refuse to make all reasonable efforts to the appropriate authorities’.”
On whether the proposed law will be vetted by legal experts who can evaluate such scenarios: “I think the Judiciary Committee, I would assume it will probably be referred to that. That will be the lieutenant governor’s choice, obviously. I think we have several bright, brilliant minds in the Senate that will be able to appropriately vet that. ...
(Excerpt from the article in July 21 issue of the Scene. Read the full story here.)
The current exhibit at Zeitgeist combines three kinds of work — a piece by Justin Plakas, and two very different projects by Jessica Wohl — that together create a dialogue about the clandestine nature of suburban life.
In between Wohl's two projects is Plakas' "Lullaby," a video of a spotlighted man in a shaggy hunting suit who tap dances while singing Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire." The video is slowed down so dramatically that the vocals are almost too deep to comprehend, necessitating subtitles at the bottom of the screen. The slow speed also makes the movement disarmingly ominous and inhuman. It's a spooky piece that recalls everything from African tribal rituals to the scene in Say Anything ... in which Lloyd Dobler serenades Diane Court while holding a boom box over his head.
A pack of cartoon ’50s hubcap thieves time-warped to the hedonistic ’70s, the Ramones were so stunningly out of step with the glitzy mainstream that they made uncoolness cool. Their gawky diffidence spawned what’s known as punk, and yet the youth-culture swamis at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures were sharp enough to see that their three-chord Bowery beatdown had more in common with the prior decade’s bubblegum pop than with the Class of ’77’s safety-pinned sloganeers. As a result, this tailor-made vehicle from 1979 — a celebration of pizza, mild petting, and the iconic power of leather jackets draped over scrawny frames — is more AIP beach-party flick than rock ’n’ roll swindle, a loving send-up of Corman’s drive-in delinquency epics and don’t-knock-the-rock B movies.
Despite the end-of-the-’70s setting, the sensibility is pure Eisenhower era right down to the costumes and the PG-rated sex. Our peppy punkette heroine Riff Randell (P.J. Soles) dresses and acts like a Happy Days carhop even as she wages culture war on the Ramones’ behalf against stern Miss Togar (Mary Woronov), the new principal at Vince Lombardi High (“where winning is better than losing”). The corny Frank Tashlin-esque jokes, concocted by three credited screenwriters (including Joseph McBride, now a noted film historian), miss at least as often as they connect: Some of the best ones go to Paul Bartel’s tweedy music teacher and to Clint Howard as an amiable fixer who literally keeps office hours in the boys’ room. But director Allan Arkush maintains a sugar-rush energy level, aided by the blitzkrieg bopping of ’70s sexpot Soles and the deliciously butch villainy of former Warhol trouper Woronov.
Best of all, the movie gives ample screen time to the Ramones in all their rip-kneed, splay-legged glory — a poignant sight now that Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone are rock ’n’ roll phantoms. To see the eternally young Joey sing “She’s the One” — propped against a mike stand with graceless grace — is to realize the irrelevance of the fine line in rock between brilliant and stoopid.
I got a library card last month.
And it's actually worse than that. I work in a heavily library-dependent industry. I have dreams of being a poorly selling author. And I did not have a library card until this June.
Sure, I've been in a few libraries around town to vote, and I've headed downtown to visit the Nashville Room in my quest to find out where Zora Neale Hurston lived when she was in Nashville. (The answer: with her brother on Lafayette, between the projects and the interstate.) But I just never had a library card. If I wanted to read something, I either bought it or, if I was particularly desperate, I got it from the library at work.
But then something happened, and I decided to get a library card. And may I just say, as someone so very late to the game, our library is really awesome. You can use the library's website to request any book from any library system-wide, and you can pick it up at the library most convenient to you. You can check yourself out, and if you repeatedly mess up, the people behind the desk will not snicker at you. You can download music from the library's website. And when you're waiting for, say, the Adam Ross Salon@615 to start, the staff will be delighted you are there, will make sure that you don't miss the announcement telling you to get your butt to the reception.
Our library is really great. And I was foolish for waiting so long to take advantage of it.
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