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Bill Burr Speaks to Nashville

Bill Burr Speaks to Nashville

馃幁 Bill Burr gets it 路聽WeGo, TheyLeave 路聽Swifties and Preslies 路聽Felons and Chemtrails 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Jerod went to Bill Burr's show last week and does a nice write-up of it here focusing in particular on how his approach to comedy mirrors, in ways, O'Connell's more measured approach to his role as mayor.

"Like Burr, O鈥機onnell has proven aware of the reality that Nashville is a city that has to cater to multiple contingencies," he writes, "a reason he spent the week talking about increased police presence and modest yet impactful transit improvements while his former council mates continued to stoke the culture wars."

As is tradition, we also present our weekly film rundown for those of you interested in getting out to see a flick this weekend.


The line to get into the Bill Burr show at Bridgestone Arena last Friday was still spilling out onto Broadway by its 7:30 p.m. start time. Those working crowd control attempted to stuff as many cell phones in time-locked security bags as they could before the impending rain set in. The result was utter chaos鈥搄ust a different kind than was going  on a few yards over as police began closing the street to kick off a weekend of revelry. 

As he鈥檚 done since the days before he graduated to Bridgestone from the Ryman, Burr was demanding that his fans live in the moment, preserving the impact of his show for those who would see it later on this nationwide tour or the ensuing Netflix special later this year. In return, he promised a ribald evening that would broach topics off-limits to other comedians while maintaining a sense of decorum otherwise too far gone in most other social situations. Not only did Burr deliver, but he managed to capture the ideological fissures that threaten the promise of the city鈥檚 future better than any pundit or politician trying to make sense of the New Nashville.

While Burr would never claim he has Nashville street cred, his ties to the city go far deeper than most other Los Angeles interlopers. As he told the audience during an impromptu introduction of Brian Dorfman late in the show, the Zanies owner was an early supporter in the days when Burr was just a blistering funny unknown trying to make connections outside his hometown of Boston who allowed him a venue to hone the angry white man persona that has led to many sold-out arenas.

That might explain why Burr harbors so much contempt for the California transplants that served as the butt of many jokes throughout the show. 鈥淭hey aren鈥檛 from L.A. They just moved there from somewhere else and couldn鈥檛 make it,鈥 Burr said. 鈥淒on鈥檛 worry. They will leave here soon, too.鈥

As Burr told the Scene last week, he tries to bring a regional sensibility to each stop on his tour, an equal-opportunity offender who needles social mores in Red and Blue areas alike. One of the reasons Burr鈥檚 star has risen exponentially over the past decade is his refusal to kowtow to correct political sensibilities.

While other comedians traveling through Nashville from Nick Offerman to Taylor Tomlinson have made MAGA vitriol a cornerstone of their act, Burr continues to approach all sides of the political spectrum with a devastating equity that serves to challenge the tribalism at the core of American politics over the last decade. It鈥檚 why he is the only comedian who could have opened his Saturday Night Live hosting gig in the Fall of 2020 with jokes that laid BLM and COVID hypocrisy bare while not just surviving but flourishing in their wake. 

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馃殞 WeGo, TheyGo, YouLeave Over the past twenty-four hours, there have been three incidents on WeGo buses or at WeGo stations. Yesterday, 21-year-old Bradarius Knapp was arrested for waving a gun on the bus during a dispute. The same day, 38-year-old Thomas Winbush was arrested for masturbating at the 11th & Broadway stop downtown. And this morning, 19-year-old Dejuan Prime was arrested for attempted criminal homicide after he shot a 20-year-old man three times.

According to WKRN, the victim of this morning's shooting told officers he was walking at the bus station and noticed Prime, whom he did not know, staring at him. Prime then began to follow and threaten him. MNPD reported he threw a cup of coffee on Prime and began to run but Prime followed, caught up with him on the steps, and began shooting. This comes just a few days after a WeGo bus driver was stabbed in East Nashville and a week after another shooting at the downtown bus station. Since 2017, WeGo expenditures on contracted security services has doubled from $1.2 million to $2.4 million.

I鈥檝e gotten into it with bus advocates quite a few times, and they鈥檙e always eager to downplay safety concerns that non-transit riders have. If they refuse to take safety concerns seriously, they will not build the type of support it takes to win a referendum. DAVIS HUNT

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馃挜 Felons and Chemtrails and J6, Oh My! Results from Vandy鈥檚 latest spring poll have left some curious impressions. For starters, support for re-electing former president Donald Trump only drops from 47 percent to 42 percent if the Donald is deemed a convicted felon. VU also kept things interesting by including a few topics they categorized as worthy of a tinfoil hat.

In a section labeled 鈥淐onspiracy Theories,鈥 Vanderbilt asked their pool of participants how strongly they believed in the 鈥渃hemtrails鈥 theory and the possibility of January 6th being organized by the FBI.  Over a third (34 percent) think the federal government releases substances into the air to control the weather; an even larger share of respondents (43 percent) believe it鈥檚 at least somewhat likely the FBI had a hand in the events at the Capitol following 2020鈥檚 election. 

鈥淭hese results speak to the current political situation where Democrats and Republicans are seeing the world in very different ways,鈥 said Joshua Clinton, Vanderbilt professor and co-director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. 鈥淲hen partisans differ so dramatically about basic facts about the world, this makes it harder for voters to come together on policy. There are opportunities to exploit certain information sources for political gain, but hopefully politicians and public officials choose to be responsible and point people toward accurate, reliable information so that we can have debates about policy and not about what facts are true.鈥

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馃帿 Swifties and鈥 Preslies? Two years ago, AG Skrmetti went to war for Swifties, launching an antitrust probe into Ticketmaster following the botched Eras Tour presales. Yesterday, the AG and the US Department of Justice, joined by 30 other states and the District of Columbia, filed an antitrust lawsuit against LiveNation Entertainment, the parent company of ticket sales platform.  

鈥嬧嬧淪ince Ticketmaster鈥檚 Taylor Swift ticketing debacle in 2022, my AG colleagues and I have relentlessly sought justice for Americans wanting to attend concerts without having their pocketbooks pillaged by Live Nation鈥檚 monopoly,鈥 said the attorney general in yesterday鈥檚 press release. 鈥淚 will continue to fight on behalf of the artists, venues, and concertgoers in Tennessee, and I am glad to partner with the DOJ in the bipartisan effort to break up the Live Nation/Ticketmaster monopoly.鈥

Swifties aren鈥檛 the only ones getting some attention from Skrmetti. Elvis Presley fans (I wonder how they鈥檇 feel about being referred to as Preslies) may be relieved to know the AG plans to look into the attempted foreclosure of Graceland.  

鈥淓lvis made Memphis the center of the music universe, and Graceland stands as a monument to his legacy and a fond remembrance for his family,鈥 Skrmetti is stated saying in yesterday鈥檚 press release. 鈥.....I have asked my lawyers to look into this matter, determine the full extent of any misconduct that may have occurred, and identify what we can do to protect both Elvis Presley鈥檚 heirs and anyone else who may be similarly threatened.鈥


  • 馃摳 See Inside Portman鈥檚 Upcoming Ballpark Development In Nashville (Now Next)
  • Investors to develop city鈥檚 first Chinatown in Antioch (Post)
  • Long-eyed Edgehill project might see movement (Post)
  • Work to start for bar and grill on Music Row (Post)
  • West Trinity Lane land listed for sale (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


馃幐 Cave Jam @ The Caverns, 3-Day Festival, $149+, Info

馃幐 Noah Kahan @ Bridgestone Arena, 8p, Info

馃幐 Sam Evian @ The Blue Room, 8p, $25.88, Info

馃幐 The Decemberists @ Ryman Auditorium, 8p, $49.50+, Info

馃幐 Musicians Corner @ Centenial Park, 5p, Free, Info
+ Wilby, Neil O'Neil + more

馃獣 The Cowpokes @ Acme Feed & Seed, 12p, Free, Info

馃崁 Live Irish Music @ McNamara鈥檚 Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

馃幐 Kelley鈥檚 Heroes @ Robert鈥檚 Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info


The latest releases and special screenings hitting Music City this week. For a complete list of upcoming releases, check out our 2024 Film Guide.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga We鈥檝e waited nine years to revisit the unadulterated spectacle that George Miller brought to Fury Road. Now, it鈥檚 finally time to witness the origin of the one-armed Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) as the world collapses and she contends with a new gluttonous madman (Chris Hemsworth). Miller has long been the Spielberg of Australia. If the film鈥檚 reception at Cannes is any indication, he may also be the unofficial savior of the summer box office. Now playing in theaters

Sight Angel Studios鈥檚 summer release focuses on Nashville eye surgeon Dr. Ming Wang, who escaped Communist China to become both a world-renowned leader in restoring vision to orphaned children and the epitome of the American Dream. With Terry Chen and Greg Kinnear. Now playing in theaters.

Battle Royale and The Faculty See the Japanese movie The Hunger Games mercilessly ripped off and that undervalued late-90s classic about aliens taking over Usher and Elijah Wood鈥檚 high school in one weekend. Playing at Belcourt Midnights this weekend

Cape Fear No disrespect to DeNiro and Scorsese, but seeing Gregory Peck as a good-natured lawyer defending his family against Robert Mitchum鈥檚 revenge-seeking madman is one of cinema鈥檚 all-time great face-offs. Playing this weekend at The Belcourt.

Babes Ilana Glazer stars as a single woman stuck in arrested development while preparing for the unexpected birth of her first child. It鈥檚 sure to be the post-Dobbs narrative of empowerment most people never asked for. Now playing at AMC Thoroughbred 20 and The Belcourt