Thursday, July 21, 2011

Carol Penterman Steps Down as Nashville Opera's Executive Director

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Carol Penterman
  • Carol Penterman
Nashville Opera just announced that Carol Penterman is stepping down after 17 years as the organization's executive director. John Hoomes, who's served as artistic director since 1995, will take over as executive director.

Elizabeth Papel, the president of the opera's board of directors, had this to say:

Carol has transformed the Nashville Opera Association during her tenure and has left a lasting mark on the arts in Middle Tennessee. It has been so meaningful to experience the fantastic advancements under her leadership, including the development of the $7 million Noah Liff Opera Center, the Nashville Opera’s first home, as well as the establishment of a $5 million Fund for Artistic Excellence. We are eternally grateful to Carol for all she has done to propel the Opera to its current splendor and respect her decision to make a change. We are confident that John Hoomes will continue to move the Opera forward to greater heights still.

Read the entire press release, after the jump:

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ArtScene: Japan Addendum Feat. Tony Youngblood's "Forecasting"

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Burnt cars from Japan quake
  • Burnt cars from Japan quake

The Japan 日本 exhibit at gallery f. is so wide-ranging that condensing it all into an 800-word review meant that I had to cut a lot of really good stuff out. One of the most compelling and unusual aspects of the exhibit was an audio performance by Tony Youngblood called "Forecasting."

At the exhibition opening on June 11, Youngblood performed this piece, which brought another layer of creativity into an exhibit already stuffed full with photography, video art, paper art and works on canvas. It was an incredible event, and Youngblood — joined by cellist Rhendi Greenwell and harpist Virgile Ganne — created the unique and spontaneous piece that encompassed ambient sound, news bites, pop cultural and field recordings mixed together in what sounded like the global collective unconscious in the wake of the tsunami.

From Youngblood's artist's statement:

The depth of the devastation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan hadn’t truly reached me until I began culling sound bites for this performance. Instead of a nation in crisis, here was one man crying in his apartment as bookcases fell around him, one American college student in Japan video-blogging about the scores of American-friendly “junk food” remaining on the shelves after the other food was picked clean, or one devastated soy sauce business owner who faced a 5-year re-fermentation period before his product could be sold again.

Japan 日本 is on view at gallery F. through Aug. 21.

After the jump, watch "Infinity," a video by Mai Yamashita and Naoto Kobayashi that is featured in the exhibit.

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GOOD Intentions: Magazine Asks, 'Why Are People Still Having Weddings at Plantations Slaves Built?'

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Amanda! Theyve got still got open dates for spring 2012!
  • Amanda! They've got still got open dates for spring 2012!
We admire the intentions of the folks behind GOOD magazine — really we do. How could you fault an organization whose slogan is "FOR PEOPLE WHO GIVE A DAMN"?

But when former Scene culture editor Tracy Moore McDonald sent an email linking to Amanda Hess' story questioning why people still have weddings at plantations slaves built, the recipients (all of them Scene writers) took issue with the story — which, incidentally, includes shout-outs to Belle Meade and Carnton plantations, and a large photo of the latter.

You don't have to sell us on the horrors of slavery (then and now) and the ugly legacy of racism. Exposing bigotry of any kind — whether it's anti-gay legislation, anti-Muslim furor, or unfair treatment of immigrants — is one of our greatest passions. In fact, we're usually the ones being accused of being too liberal or politically correct. But Hess' obnoxious tone and complete lack of context or perspective was too much for some of our staffers. As one writer put it, "It's the classic liberal problem — your heart is in the right place, but you're also a condescending turd."

And since we're also PEOPLE WHO GIVE A DAMN, here are some more uncensored responses from our crackpot staff:

"It's pretty much a straight-up indictment of the South, and there's more holes in the logic than a human centipede. HA!"

"It's nicer than the church basement."

"Ha. As more than one person has pointed out to me since moving here, 'Southerners are the only people left that it's OK to make fun of.' "

"What exactly does she think modern plantations are? Places where rednecks get together on the weekend to restage lynchings and hold weddings?"

Amanda, there's a whole lot more love after the jump ...

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Pick of the Day: Kathy Griffin at TPAC

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 7:08 AM

Kathy Griffin
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, July 21
Where: TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall

Comedian Kathy Griffin achieved a rare feat in the world of entertainment: Her reality show was actually watchable. My Life on the D-List explored the life of Griffin, a workaday stand-up and sometimes actress, as she traveled her way through obvious reality show conventions. The scenarios may have been faked, but her wit was not. Working on the periphery of the entertainment industry for decades helped cultivate her insider’s outsider perspective, and the sometimes delightful, sometimes schadenfreude-laden tales she tells about celebrities always manage to come off as funny and sincere rather than bitter and jaded.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tennessee Democrats Seek the Party's Future ... on Craigslist

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Back in my day, if you wanted to pay strangers to do things you'd all be embarrassed for your neighbors to discover you engaged in, you picked up a fine paper like, say, the Nashville Scene and flipped to the back and looked through the ads. Much to the financial chagrin of said papers, these days the kids go on Craigslist.

What kinds of weirdo stuff are folks on Craigslist looking for?

The Tennessee Democratic Party is currently looking for enthusiastic, politically interested individuals for our grassroots field program.

Oooh, yep, that's some weirdo stuff.

You'll build rapport with targeted voters, sharpen your communication skills, and inspire Democrats in Tennessee.

I have to tell you, at this point, I'd almost be willing to shell out $325 for someone to come tell me what should inspire a Democrat in Tennessee. Is it our exciting ability to run a candidate for governor who looked perpetually surprised and dismayed to discover he was running for governor? Whose belief that gay people shouldn't be able to adopt ended up being more liberal than Haslam's "my forcing cities to allow discrimination against gay people doesn't mean I discriminate against gay people; it's my stance on gay marriage that means I discriminate against gay people" position just by dumb luck? Or is it the bold way that we stand for people and kids? If the TNDP has a message more exciting than "We like people and kids and we're not as bad as the Republicans, even if that's not immediately apparent," I would love to hear it.

Perhaps I should post my own "Blogger Seeking Party" ad on Craigslist and see what responses I get?

Note to Tony Shipley: Tennessee's Grand Divisions Aren't Media Blockades

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 8:20 AM

This whole Tony Shipley/Dale Ford thing is strange. Some people died. Some nurses were suspended. Some politicians were outraged. Some pressure may have been exerted. The nurses were exonerated.

But did Tony Shipley and Dale Ford apply pressure to get the nurses a fair hearing? If so, cool. Or did they apply pressure to get their undeserving pals their jobs back? If so, not cool. I assume it will all become clear over the course of the TBI investigation.

But there is one aspect I'd like to dwell on just a second. Tony Shipley said to David Oatney, "I do have to wonder just why it was that this 'story' broke in Nashville in the way that it did. This is an East Tennessee story and no one has questioned anything about this until now."

I have heard politicians make similar claims about things being "West Tennessee" business as well and I have to just ask: Do these folks not understand that there aren't actually literal barriers of communication between the Grand Divisions? I can read blogs and newspapers from anywhere in the state as easily as I can read The City Paper or The Tennessean.

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CP: Metro Finance Strips Arriola of Purchasing Power

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 6:35 AM

How much worse can this get? Joey Garrison in the CP:

The Metro Finance Department has decided to temporarily strip the purchasing power of the Davidson County Clerk’s Office, the latest move following damaging television reports on clerk John Arriola.

“I think we all felt, in light of the issues that have come up, that it’s in everyone’s interest to just rescind that temporarily until all these matters get resolved,” Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling told The City Paper.

Riebeling said the ban involves only small items under a certain amount that Arriola could purchase on his own without going through the Metro Purchasing Department.


Pick of the Day: The Bo-Keys at Music City Roots at the Loveless Cafe

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 4:19 AM

The Bo-Keys at Music City Roots
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20
Where: The Loveless Cafe

(Excerpt from the article in July 14's Scene. Read the full story here.)

The Bo-Keys began when Memphis bassist and producer Scott Bomar needed a band to back up Sir Mack Rice, a noted songwriter and singer who had recorded for Stax Records. As a member of the Memphis quartet Impala, Bomar had provided the soundtrack for John McCarthy's 1995 surrealist rockabilly movie Teenage Tupelo, and would go on to score director Craig Brewer's acclaimed Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan.

"That's the film that Craig Brewer heard my music in and thought, 'Hey, maybe this guy can do the music for my movie,' " Bomar says of Tupelo. Working as an assistant to famed Memphis producer Willie Mitchell, who died in 2010, Bomar began formulating his concept of a soul band whose repertoire would combine instrumentals and vocal tunes — just as Mitchell's had during the '60s and '70s. ...

Got To Get Back! may be less profound than, say, the superb O.V. Wright records [drummer Howard] Grimes cut as part of Mitchell's' famed Hi Rhythm Section, but Bomar's instrumentals demonstrate a sophisticated take on blues, complete with atmospheric organ and jazzy saxophone solos. Grimes sounds lazy even as he swings the beat, while the horn section boasts former Bar-Kays trumpeter Ben Cauley and baritone saxophonist Floyd Newman.

The record is faithful to a musical aesthetic that has nearly vanished, and proves that so-called "light entertainment" can be funky, profound and complex — not to mention deeply idiomatic. It's in the tradition of Willie Mitchell, who knew how to stay cool even when deeply engaged. As Grimes says of Mitchell, "He never was a man that was in a hurry or pushin' things. He taught me how to set the time. Willie was a very difficult person to move, but if you saw his feet move, he was listening."

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Judge Denies Metro's Appeal for Appeal in 287(g) Case

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Last week, we told you about the city's attempts to keep from answering some devastating claims in a lawsuit brought by a U.S. citizen, Daniel Renteria-Villegas, who was detained for an extended period of time under the 287(g) program.

That's about to change.

U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Sharp on Tuesday denied the city's request to send the case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That leaves the city with a few weeks to finally answer the claims made in the suit.

"Allowing Metro an interlocutory appeal will get the parties no closer to a decision on the merits, and, in the Court’s opinion, will not materially advance the resolution of this case..." Sharp wrote in the ruling.

In other words, get on with it.

The suit, built on a clever legal strategy that is unique to Metro Nashville, has the potential to curb 287(g), a program in which local officers are trained to interact with — and on behalf of — federal immigration officials. Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall has been the chief proponent and operator of the controversial program since its adoption in 2007.

Though the suit has been tied up for more than six months with a variety of crafty procedural maneuvers and other such delay tactics offered by Metro attorneys, we'll now finally be able to hear Metro respond to claims of illegal detention that might invalidate deportation proceedings for some 585 people.

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Tennessean Political Editor Clint Brewer Finds New Home at ECD

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Former City Paper editor Clint Brewer, the Tennessean's political editor of late, has resigned from 1100 Broadway to meet the press. Effective immediately, he'll lead what the press-release subhed terms "communications and marking efforts" as assistant commissioner of communications and creative services for the Tennessee Dept. of Economic and Community Development.

An excerpt from the release:

Award-Winning Reporter, Editor and Publisher to Lead ECD’s Communications and Marking Efforts

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today named veteran journalist Clint Brewer as Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Creative Services.

“I’m pleased to have someone with Clint Brewer’s depth of experience joining our economic development leadership team,” said Commissioner Hagerty. “As a former business owner and media executive, Clint Brewer will effectively lead our department’s communications and marketing efforts.”

“I’m grateful to Governor Haslam and Commissioner Hagerty for this opportunity,” said Brewer. “Tennessee is one of the very best places in this country to do business, and I am excited to help spread that message.”

Brewer comes to ECD with more than 15 years experience in the Tennessee media as an award-winning reporter, editor and publisher. He was previously at The Tennessean in Nashville as the newspaper’s political editor. He has also previously served as editor of the daily Lebanon Democrat and of Nashville’s City Paper. Brewer started his own company in 2000 where he owned the Mt. Juliet News, a weekly newspaper in Wilson County.

Prior to his tenure at the Tennessean, Brewer was executive director of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a non-profit, free market think tank.

In his current role, Brewer will lead all communications and marketing efforts for ECD, including oversight of the department’s press and creative services teams. ECD’s Communications and Creative Services division keeps staff, legislators, other state and city departments, local agencies, the media and the general public informed of ECD services, programs and activities. The division also provides strategic communications planning for the department and the coordination and execution of all ECD public events.

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