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Drinkin' Beer Ain't What It Used To Be
Photo by Lance Anderson / Unsplash

Drinkin' Beer Ain't What It Used To Be

馃嵒 Beer ain't what it used to be 路聽Civic bandwidth 路 NeverTrumpers dine 路聽PF downtown 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Hope you had a nice post-Fourth weekend. Going out to some bars Saturday, I couldn't shake the impression that, however slowly, the walls of this city were closing in around me. I am not trying to lament this in an overly dramatic fashion, but to reckon with it.

Maybe using a bar to gauge the freedom index of the city is misguided, but I'm old enough to have lived on Belcourt Avenue when you were able to light a cigarette on your front porch and snub it out in the ashtrays at the Villager. Whether or not you enjoy smoking, there鈥檚 something liberating about smoking as you walk into an establishment. On Friday afternoons soon after Covid lockdowns lifted, I used to smoke a cigar on the back porch of Neighbors in Sylvan Park with some regularity. Of course, the indoor smoking ban eradicated that nice little ritual, and I've yet to replace it with anything comparable. 

I went back to Neighbors Saturday evening for the first time in a long time and, sitting on the front patio, I was again confronted by the fact that I could not smoke there. Additionally, they've now got a door guy who checks your ID on the way in鈥攁nd then when I head to the bar to order a beer, the bartender checks my ID again. Security cameras dot the exterior and, as I was reminded by the guy manning the door, those are piped directly to MNPD.

I鈥檓 not trying to pick on Neighbors. They have their reasons (underaged kids using fake IDs). But it doesn鈥檛 change the fact that a fairly benign trip to grab a beer and enjoy the weather was colored by all of these impressions. It's easy to dismiss the importance of seemingly benign (and occasionally degenerate) social rituals like this. Still, I'm of the mind that they are crucial to maintaining a healthy social fabric. And when a neighborhood bar adopts a posture of distrustful hostility to its patrons, that undermines the fragile, loose social ties that makeup a neighborhood.

This little anecdote probably makes me sound like an old grouch (which I can be guilty of), but the evolution of a small, neighborhood staple into a bloviating security apparatus serves as a reminder that something in this city鈥攎aybe even this world鈥攈as changed, and it鈥檚 not clear to me who is benefitting.

In other news, Patriot Front marched through downtown on Saturday which ignited a lot of hysterics, so I linked to a great piece in the American Mind about the organization down below if you鈥檙e interested. 


At the end of July, we have a few events we're hosting. If you're interested in learning more or attending, click through to find out. (More Info)


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馃棑锔 Civic Bandwidth For certain council members, voter fatigue is a real concern when it comes to this November鈥檚 ballot. Though strong turnout during a general election year is to be expected, some fear that loading the ticket with too many Charter Amendments could muddy the waters. As of now, voters could be looking at as many as four council amendments alongside Mayor O鈥機onnell鈥檚 transit referendum鈥 but will Nashvillians have the time and inclination to properly grasp what they鈥檙e voting for?

Tom Cash thinks so. During May鈥檚 Charter Revision Committee meeting, the Hillsboro-West End council member expressed confidence in voters, countering the pessimism shown by some of his colleagues. 鈥淚 don't think it's that complex,鈥 he said. 鈥淚 don't think we should avoid putting any amendments on because of the transit referendum.鈥 This statement from Cash followed comments made by members bent on getting O鈥機onnell鈥檚 initiative passed鈥- a recurring theme which appeared during many of the committee鈥檚 meetings from councilmember Clay Capp. During last month's meeting, Capp renewed his sentiments by expressing his fear that focusing time and energy on anything other than the transit referendum might distract from what could be 鈥渁 hugely important moment鈥 for Nashville. 

Last Tuesday, the committee decided to defer the council鈥檚 vote on the resolution containing all proposed Charter Amendments until August 6th. But before they do, there鈥檚 one final step. This Friday, the Charter Revision Commission will meet to review the scope and language of all proposal amendments. Come August, they will report their recommendations to the council during the resolution鈥檚 final reading. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃嵐 NeverTrumpers Dine Out Last Tuesday, Republicans gathered at the Hillwood Country Club for the Principles First Dinner. Hosted by founder Heath Mayo and attended by 80th US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and author Nancy French, among others, the event was touted as both a 鈥減ro-democracy鈥 and 鈥渁nti-Trump鈥 event.

As various election campaigns heat up across the state, the pro-Trump vs. anti-Trump rift within the GOP has found its footing in a few primary races. In Tennessee鈥檚 5th Congressional District, Councilmember Courtney Johnston is running as the more centrist option in the hopes of unseating pro-Trump incumbent, Andy Ogles. Meanwhile, in the rural Northeast, newcomer Jessie Seal is in a pitched battle against incumbent state senator Frank Niceley, with mailers claiming Niceley puts "radical unions and anti-Trump Democrats" before his constituents. (Yes, the same Frank Niceley who attempted to rename a portion of Rep. John Lewis Way, President Donald Trump Boulevard.) 

While the TNGOP continues to sort out its differences, Democrats are doing some housekeeping of their own. 鈥淵ou've got that giant group in the middle, both Democrats and Republicans, that are not happy with the extremes in either party,鈥 said former vice mayor Jim Shulman on Fox17 yesterday. 鈥淚 think what's happening is that people are trying to find some ground in the middle.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK


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Off the Cuff


Via American Mind Patriot Front may not technically be staffed by FBI agents, but the effect is the same. By Kyle Shideler

To many on the Left, the group known as 鈥淧atriot Front鈥濃攌nown for its surprise marches while wearing a uniform of khaki pants, blue t-shirts, and white balaclavas, displaying American flags and banners reading 鈥淩eclaim America鈥 or similar sentiments鈥攊s a terrifying example of how rapidly fascism is metastasizing across American conservatism. Miles of column inches have been written about the group, both by professional 鈥渉ate-watchers鈥 such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and by various fear mongering journalists at Slate, Daily Beast, and the like, nearly all of whom exclusively cite and quote these so-called experts.

Meanwhile to the Right, given that Patriot Front dresses like cannon fodder for COBRA鈥攖he eternal (and always incompetent) enemy in the cartoon TV series G.I. Joe鈥攖he group is regarded as an FBI office costume party. Patriot Front, from this perspective, is a thinly-disguised 鈥渙p鈥 to trap foolish right wingers into supporting a criminal conspiracy in order to meet the Bureau鈥檚 statistical need for white supremacist terrorist arrests. According to FBI whistleblowers, special agents can receive substantial cash bonuses for hitting white supremacist arrest targets, so official perfidy seems plausible.



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 Pedro the Lion @ The Basement East, 7p, $35.45, Info

馃獣 Bronwyn Keith-Hynes @ Dee's Lounge, 6p, $10, Info

馃幐 Open Mic Mondays @ Tennessee Brew Works, 6p, Free, Info

馃獣 Val Storey, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle & New Monday @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

馃拃 Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 8p, Free, Info

馃暫 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info