Writers Night At Drifters BBQ

I talk all the time about how there’s so much in Nashville that I have yet to discover and how I need to explore more. Well last week I was able to check one more thing off of my must see/must do list. A Nashville Writers Night! A new friend invited me out to see him play, and of course I said yes. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to find once I got there. The only thing I knew for sure is what my friend’s voice sounded like. What I experienced was a nice surprise.

 

Drifters BBQ

Drifters BBQ

Tucked away right off of Woodland Street is Drifters BBQ. Apparently this place has great food and is pretty popular. I’d never heard of it. (the perks of being a recovering hermit) I was greeted by multicolored Christmas lights adorning a spacious patio with tables strewn about. In the corner was a small stage. I walked in at the end of what I’m sure was a pretty cool performance by two brothers. Kind of sad I missed it. Here is how it worked:

Two artists at a time with their respective instruments (read: guitars). Four songs each. Back and forth. Just that simple.

This place was pretty much organic greatness. No frills. No lights. No big production. Just people who love their music and others who love to listen. So Cool!! My ears heard so many voices. So many stories. So many emotions. There were some gems and some duds. I wish I would have taken pictures, but that would have been beyond creepy.

There was a kazoo playing reserved rocker who sang about missing his lady while in a bar in Brooklyn. He voice reminded me of Kings Of Leon, but I could understand what he was saying. There was also a butch lesbian with the highest soprano voice ever. She sang about sunshine and rainbows, and not being accepted. Appropriate. I’m pretty sure someone should hire her to sing lullabies to their children. Everyone wasn’t amazing though. There was a guy who, to my understanding, is a regular. I’ve never seen someone so passionate about the simplest of pointless songs. Ever. This particular week he decided to bring his homeboy from the sticks of Tennessee. This man had a song about a speckled hen. A hen. Needless to say, he was the source of more than a few laughs.

Overall, I loved the writers night experience. My friend and his stage buddy did an amazing job. Good conversation. Interesting people. Will definitely be venturing out again. Any cool writers nights around the city that I should check out?

Hi, I’m Just Visiting. What’s Cool Around Here?

*dusts off Macbook* *waves*

Hellooo!! Anybody there?!

It has been quite some time since I’ve visited my little space on the world-wide web. It’s been almost as long since I’ve written anything other than my prayers. Much has changed about me and my surroundings. But that’s not what brought me back here. Well… Yes, it is, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today.

Last weekend I received a random direct message on twitter from a fellow Bison. She was in town and invited me to the 12 South Winter Beerfest, something I had never heard of before. No way was I turning the offer down. After assistance from my trusty GPS and a few wrong turns (I have no sense of direction, even which technology handy) I found myself in a part of Nashville that I had never seen before. Mind you, I was only about 7 minutes away from home. It hit me. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY CITY ANYMORE. *hangs head in shame*

I’ve been back here for over a year, and am totally happy, but I still feel like I’m visiting. Pitiful, I know. I could write a laundry list of excuses for why I spend the majority of my time between home and work, but none are worth me wasting the word count. Truth is, I’ve been unmotivated and lazy. And I have the nerve to complain about having nothing to do like it’s not my own fault. Alas, there’s an easy solution to my problem. I’m going to start living like a visitor.

One of the best things about going to visit friends in an unfamiliar city is that you have a tour guide. No need to wander about or only venture to the über famous tourist attractions. Local restaurants and hot spots are at your disposal thanks to your in-the-loop local buddy. This is how I want to start treating my city – it may be unfamiliar to me, but I have the inside scoop necessary for an amazing journey. Where will I get this information? Anywhere. Everywhere.

I don’t know why, but people love to write Yelp reviews a about Nashville and everything here. Not tourists, Nashvillians. I am currently sitting in a coffee shop that received rave reviews from plenty of Vanderbilt University students. Yelp is about to become my best friend. I was also told about a cozy bar in Inglewood that I should visit, and met a few people who perform at a spot right down the street from my house weekly. This happened while standing under a tent surrounded by strangers this weekend. Who would’ve thunk! I also plan on utilizing local blogs that post the happenings around town.

My ultimate goal is to make this place my own. I need to find where I fit  and flourish. So I’ll be venturing out (and probably getting lost), and I won’t stop until I feel at home. I’m open to any recommendations.

*Raise coffee mug* Here’s to the journey!

The Bonnaroo Experience Part 2: Night One

20120627-224629.jpg

Let’s see… Where did I leave off? Oh yea! Sonic was calling us. You would think that turning around in a parking lot would be simple. No. We pull into this lot because we noticed that there were plenty of exits that would get us back to the wonderfulness of a slushie. The lot is huge. The building, bigger. And we soon discovered that all of the 9,000 exits were blocked. This parking lot was clearly against us getting to Sonic. As we drove around aaaaand around I started to wonder what was housed inside of this massive building. In a fit of frustration I say, “watch this be Creflo Dollar’s church or something.” We start searching for a sign of any sort, and all we see on the outside of every door is a globe. When we finally get back out of the lot, we see the sign and it says “blah blah blah Creflo Dollar”. Ha! And you know what does not exist at this church? A cross. Not one cross. On the outside of the building. On the sign. Nowhere. Solidified my belief of his crookdom. He’s a crook. Don’t debate me.

After we finally partake in all of Sonic’s greatness, we hit the road and make it to the farm in record time. We get settled and assemble our massive tent in record time also. Sidenote, there were a grand total of two of us in our tent. It was big enough to sleep a small army. We took up so much space. And we were done before everyone around us. Yes, I’m bragging. We were finally ready for the fun to begin.

We make the journey to the actual festival. Journey is an understatement, but the walk was well worth every step. When I say that place was huge, I mean gigantic. Five stages, all types of tents and barns and food, two ferris wheels, and a huge fountain in the middle. I can’t accurately describe it all. We spent most of the afternoon exploring because our must see performance wasn’t until 10pm. I did discover Danny Brown that day; the first performance that I witnessed of the weekend. We pretty much chilled and people watched until it was time for Kendrick Lamar.

We discovered early that the best way to get a good spot for a performance is to head in when everyone is leaving the previous show. Yelawolf was slated for the spot before the love of my life (Kendrick Lamar). I would like to take this time to apologize to all of the Yelawolf fans that may have been injured in the process of Jada bulldozing through the crowd and pulling me along. She was on a serious mention and would not settle for less than an up close and personal relationship with the stage. I’m almost positive that she hit a few people in the face. Her mission was a smashing success.

20120627-224517.jpg

Doesn’t he look amazing?

The love of my life has that title for a reason. Kendrick Lamar is a BEAST. A freak of nature. I had the time of my life. I was high off of the energy of the crowd. There was crowd surfing and beach balls. All around amazingness. There’s really no other way to describe it.

20120627-224734.jpg

This happened. Right beside me.

We ended the night hanging out with two white girls who approached us with this: “do you mind if we ask you an offensive question?” The question was why don’t black people swim. I feared far worse than that though. We danced in the beer tent. We talked about everything. We sang old Hot Boys songs and did New Orleans bounce dances. Oh! and Jada attempted to light dance. She failed.

Amazing first night.

The Bonnaroo Experience Part 1: The Journey

A few weeks ago, I went to Bonnaroo. What is Bonnaroo? This simplest way to describe it is modern day Woodstock. Four days of camping out and walking from stage to stage to take in great music. It looks a little something like this:

huge farm full of people

Yes, I wanted to go. Yes, I was aware that I would be outside for almost a week before I signed up. No, I did not go alone. My buddy Jada was excited to be my partner in crime for this adventure. And let me tell ya, it was and Ad Ven Ture.

I’ll start with our journey to Manchester, TN.

My buddy (that’s what I call her in real life) lives in DC, and I live about an hour away from the 700 acre farm that is Bonnaroo. The plan was for her to fly here, and we head to the farm. And them my car died in The Middle Of Nowhere, TN while I was at work, a week before the festival. That’s another story. Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was the universe’s first attempt at trying to keep us from making it to Manchester. So I signed over my first born to pay for a rental. Why did it cost so much? Because the wonderful state of Tennessee schedules the Country Music Festival in Nashville on the the same weekend of Bonnaroo and the city is guaranteed to sell out of rental cars. Just wrong. Evil. The wound is still fresh, can’t you tell?

Fast forward past the rental car fiasco, it’s the morning of our trip. I wake up bright and early, ready to hit the road to pick up my buddy. I get a call. “Hey buddy I missed my flight. I’m going to see if there’s a later one. I’ll keep you posted.” Keeping me posted resulted us both thinking that all hope was lost. She wouldn’t be able to get to TN for less than all of her extremities, and there was no way that I was going to Bonnaroo alone. Enter, Jada’s mom who suggested her flying into Atlanta. It’s only a few hours from Nashville, and since I was already up a prepared to drive, she could hop on the plane and I’d meet her there. I’m pretty sure I heard the dramatic Hallelujah choir.

Four hours later, and I’m at Hartsfield-Jackson picking up my buddy. A pit stop at Walmart was necessary for snacks and water before hitting the road. We were on our way!! …And then we drove passed a Sonic. There was no way that we could just keep going, we were forced to turn around. Our lust for a slushie got us stuck in the parking lot of Creflo Dollar’s “church”.

The journey continues in the next post!