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Leave Them Broadway Signs Alone
Photo by Drew Hays / Unsplash

Leave Them Broadway Signs Alone

馃 Council wearing whiskey glasses 路聽Permission to carry 路聽Colonizer or colonized 路 Back to Black ( Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Fielding reader questions: 鈥淚s there a German word for lashing out at one trivial thing because you are impotent in another (more important) thing?鈥 I don鈥檛 know the answer to this question, but if there is such a word, it would describe the Metro Council.

Last night, a benign and routine resolution that would have permitted Morgan Wallen鈥檚 Broadway bar to put up signage was voted down with 30 nos, 3 yeses, and 4 abstentions. Councilmember Jacob Kupin, who represents the Broadway district, pulled the bill off the consent agenda鈥攎eaning that, instead of bundling it with a bunch of bills that would pass with a simple vote, it would be brought to the floor for discussion before going up for a vote.

鈥淭his is a sign encroachment for Morgan Wallen鈥檚 new bar that crossed my desk right about the time that he decided to throw a chair off a rooftop, nearly hitting some first responders,鈥 Kupin announced. 鈥淚t struck me that we鈥檙e putting up a sign with someone鈥檚 name on it who has not been a good actor downtown.鈥

Kupin spoke in favor of the resolution (and was one of the three yes votes), but opened the bill up to discussion which set the stage for what was to come. The subsequent discussion led to a series of moralizing soliloquies from a number of council members on why they鈥檇 be opposing the bill.

鈥淚s this the same Morgan Wallen that got in trouble for making racist comments and using the N-word?鈥 Councilmember Porterfield asked rhetorically, before announcing her intention to vote 鈥渘o鈥 on the resolution.

The council鈥檚 petulant display was clearly meant to send a message to Wallen, and more broadly, the culture of Broadway. You can see a highlight clip on our Twitter of some of their other comments, which I don鈥檛 want to dignify further in print (and I鈥檓 late getting this out).

The whole discussion and ensuing vote ate up eight minutes of the three-hour meeting, constituting four percent of the time spent in session inside the chamber. Porterfield later tweeted, 鈥淲e just voted down a resolution allowing an Aerial Encroachment with Morgan Wallen's name on it. Yes THAT Morgan Wallen. The one who throws chairs & uses racial slurs.鈥

I鈥檇 fully expect this tweet to be used as evidence in a lawsuit that will cost the city at least a couple hundred thousand dollars, if not more. According to the Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, local ordinances may regulate signs so long as the regulations are content-neutral, but not if the regulation is content-based. 

Because the council members didn鈥檛 have any misgivings about the sign, aside from the fact that it contained the name of notorious outlaw Morgan Wallen, their vote against the resolution is likely a violation of the First Amendment and bound to end up in court. What an absolute waste of time, energy, and money. DAVIS HUNT

Onward.



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Nashville

馃敨 Permission To Carry, Ungranted Last month, days before the governor added his signature to a newly passed law permitting school employees to conceal carry, MNPS announced it would not allow teachers or staff members to arm themselves on their campuses. The council backed the district鈥檚 decision last night by passing a resolution supporting its stance. 鈥淭he permissive guns-in-schools law was only a bandaid brought up to pacify those who wanted real, sincere change to address some of our violence challenges,鈥 said sponsor Antoinette Lee. 鈥淚 commend our school district for researching and doing their due diligence to listen to employees and the community.鈥

According to Lee, only four Tennessee school districts haven鈥檛 released a public statement rejecting the new law. This near-unanimous response across the state, she said, is proof the legislation was a terrible idea.

However, a Vanderbilt poll released this morning shows Tennesseans are split on the issue: 47 percent support the new law, while 47 percent oppose it. A look at the partisan breakdown shows 77 percent of 鈥淢AGA鈥 Republicans and 71 percent of 鈥渘on-MAGA鈥 Republicans support the option of armed teachers, while 47 percent of Independents and only 11 percent of Democrats are in favor. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃椇锔 To Colonize or Be Colonized Councilmember Delishia Porterfield brought forward a late-filed resolution condemning white supremacy after flyers were found advertising Kentucky鈥檚 Ku Klux Klan in North Nashville. The council waived the rules to pass the resolution with little discussion. 

Emotions ran high toward the end of the meeting when the council took up a resolution recognizing May as Jewish Heritage Month. One of the council鈥檚 Jewish members, Jacob Kupin, sponsored the legislation and spoke openly about the tensions felt by the city鈥檚 Jewish community. 鈥淚've had friends of mine whose children have been threatened in MNPS school bathrooms and told that, because they are Jewish, they are not welcome here,鈥 he said. In a display of camaraderie and friendship, he reached out to his Muslim colleague, Councilmember Zulfat Suara, across the room: 鈥淚t's a tough time for Jews, it's a tough time for Palestinians, for Israelis, for Muslims.鈥

Suara was emotional as she commented on Kupin鈥檚 resolution. 鈥淚 think the Jewish community has done so much for our nation, and I think that being persecuted for who you are is very, very wrong,鈥 she said. 鈥淎nd I shouldn't have to say that鈥eople shouldn't be surprised that I said that. As somebody who's lived in this town for so long, and done a lot of interfaith work and has a lot of Jewish friends, it shouldn't be surprising that any one of us would want to recognize Jewish Americans.鈥 The resolution passed unanimously. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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The status of other noteworthy bills from last night's meeting.

RULES OF PROCEDURE
  • Rule 43.4 (Passed) Gives a one week deferral for any reintroduced item that has been off of the agenda for more than 60 days, with exceptions for zoning bills.
RESOLUTIONS
  • Late-filed Resolution (Passed) condemning white supremacy due to recent materials found in North Nashville 
  • RS2024-351 (Passed) asking Metro to study safety and security along the Cumberland River
  • RS2024-459 (Passed) allocating $500,000 from the Metropolitan Government to the new Strobel Permanent Supportive Housing Residence for the homeless
  • RS2024-467 (Failed) permission for aerial encroachments at Morgan Wallen鈥檚 bar
  • RS2024-455 (Deferred) approving three option agreements authorizing the purchase of properties for a new elementary school in Antioch
  • RS2024-473 (Passed) supporting the decision of MNPS to reject the state law allowing teachers or staff to carry firearms on campus
BILLS ON FIRST READING
  • BL2024-375 (Passed) "Build It Right" bill regarding workplace safety and audits of Metro construction agreement
  • BL2024-187 (Passed) NEST; substituted based on guidance from planning department, allows construction of single-family, two-family, and multi-family in all commercial zones 
BILLS ON SECOND READING
  • BL2024-183 (Withdrawn) NEST bill related to fireproofing requirements, but council will come back with a substitute to adhere to new state laws
  • BL2024-343 (Deferred) change of code regarding the membership of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the process for approving the criteria for awarding funds
BILLS ON THIRD READING
  • BL2024-184 (Passed) NEST; DADUs, daycare centers, and mixed-use zones 
  • BL2024-336 (Passed) Accelerating Resilience of the Community through Holistic Engagement and use of Renewables

DEVELOPMENT

Nashville developer aims to preserve forest, historic land for Williamson County community (More Info)
  • Printer's Alley investor brings back Beer Sellar under new name (NBJ)
  • Meta approved for another data center on Gallatin campus (NBJ)
  • Airport board prioritizes 309-acre site for second terminal (NBJ)
  • Austin men's fashion retailer, Stag, to open local store (Post)
  • MDHA committee OKs plan for Gulch hotel project (Post)
  • Hillsboro Village events building listed for sale (Post)
  • Charlotte Avenue property sells for $2.05M (Post)
Off the Cuff

鉁 REVIEW: BACK TO BLACK (2024)

(R 路 2h 2m 路 6.6/10) Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and Starring Marisa Abela

鈥淚 want people to hear my voice and just forget their troubles for five minutes,鈥 Amy Winehouse (Marisa Abela) says in voiceover as she runs down a London street. It鈥檚 the kind of sentiment one would expect from a big-budget popstar biopic of a figure mired in tragedy and unrepentant substance abuse. But this recounting of Winehouse鈥檚 life is also a Sam Taylor-Johnson movie, so all is not what it seems. 

As the opening begins to induce eye-rolling, Taylor-Johnson cuts to Winehouse reading these words from a diary entry she wrote as a teenager, leaving us to wonder how someone so mired in adolescent clich茅 ended up producing one of the most emotionally raw records in rock history. Rather than ripped-from-the-headlines melodrama, we see Winehouse interacting with her beloved nan (Lesley Manville), who would also become the primary inspiration for her grandaughter鈥檚 hybrid of fifties glamor, blues, and R&B鈥搕he pioneering sound that paved the way for the likes of Lana Del Rey鈥檚 and Taylor Swift鈥檚 more managed eras. 

Most famous for her photography in Interview magazine, Taylor-Johnson has always been more interested in interrogating iconography than succumbing to tawdry self-seriousness. Such makes her a rightful heir to that publication鈥檚 founder, Andy Warhol. Consequently, her work often provokes hostility from critics who can鈥檛 see beneath the surface. Such is why her Fifty Shades of Grey remains a punchline a decade after its release even though it's a movie about the reality of corporate power on par with The Social Network.

Back to Black has no patience for dramatizing hard drug use and bulimia. We had our fill of that in the years before Winehouse鈥檚 untimely death. Instead, Taylor-Johnson offers an astute exploration of pop mythos that elevates the traditional above the tabloid nihilism that probably would have garnered it much better reviews. JEROD HOLLYFIELD

Entertainment

THINGS TO DO

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.

TONIGHT

馃幐 Wild Child @ The Basement East, 8p, $35.45, Info
+ indie pop duo from Austin, TX

馃幐 Richard Bennett Band @ Station Inn, 9p, $25, Info

馃幐 Marcus Miller with the Nashville Symphony @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $36+, Info

馃幐 Jack Silverman Quartet @ Vinyl Tap, 7p, No Cover, Info
+ Nashville jazz with a psychedelic rock twist

馃獣 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info