Good morning, everyone.
If you missed our reporting on the questionable financial dealings of Chris Cobb, ex-owner of the EXIT/IN, you can catch up here and here. Since investigating what, exactly, Cobb has done with the money he's raised to "save" the venue (still unknown) and fact-checking the lies that hold together his public image, Cobb has vacated the property and moved on. But not without throwing a fit first.
The venue threw a series of farewell shows last week, hosting a panoply of local bands— an increasingly rare occurrence despite Cobb's localist claims. If you drive past the EXIT/IN on Elliston Place today, you'll notice a couple of things:
- The mural on the side of the building has been painted over in black
- The EXIT/IN sign has the dates "1971-2022" displayed on it
- The famous mural of bands on the front of the building has been boarded up
These are all petty attempts to deface the venue before AJ Capital takes over the property and reopens it in late January after making some key improvements. Cobb's dramatic and hysterical attempts to declare the Death of the EXIT/IN are patently dishonest. A cursory glance at the venue's history will reveal that.
Steve Martin famously got his career started by practicing bits at the EXIT/IN in the 70s. Back then, it was a classic listening room with thrifted dining room furniture and old throw carpets scattered about the place— an intimate room that appealed solely to locals and had what could be described as a proper grassroots "scene." In the ensuing years, it mostly became a stop for touring acts. The Wikipedia article (pointing you there out of convenience) states: "Exit/In has reputedly had over 25 separate owners during its half-century of existence, and the club has been closed in the past for extended periods, meaning its history is not continuous, despite its age."
Why have we chosen to focus so much on this relatively indistinct venue? Well, for better or for worse, a good deal of the New Nashville vs. Old Nashville debate expresses itself into the venue’s fate. We know that Cobb has close relationships with the Metro government and most of the media outlets in town. It is through Cobb’s desperate attempt to define Nashville’s Soul and the establishment support he’s garnered that we can understand where the city actually stands with regard to preserving some vestige of Old Nashville.
Speaking about the city and country music, Lamar Alexander famously noted that the industry “still sits uncomfortably in Nashville, like McDonald's in Japan.” That’s undoubtedly changed in the past couple of years, but non-musicians who flock to the city for its music— yes, even despite that Music City moniker— are the New Nashville. Bob Dylan floated down here in the 60s to record his famous Blonde On Blonde because it was out of the way and quiet, absent the furious fandom that pervades the city today. The music industry was tucked away, distinct from the rest of the city.
I grew up in this version of the city—the one segregated from the music community. As did most of the people who grew up here. The music industry was always transient and temporary. What Cobb tries to define as Old Nashville has more in common with New Nashville than it does the legacy that allowed a sleepy little club like the EXIT/IN to gain a reputation.
The term reactionary is thrown around a lot these days, especially in reference to people on the right. A meme circulating the internet that expresses the sentiment well is RETVRN, which humorously points out the changes to a place or object over time and implies that its earlier version was better. Cobb, though decidedly not right-wing, has displayed a kind of denatured reactionary perspective in his desire to retain the faux-punk attitude of the 80s and the “fight the power” irreverence that dominated the culture in his youth.
The problem for Cobb, and the core contradiction of his public persona, is that he’s firmly aligned with the city’s establishment. And if one were to pick a bone here, it’s the city’s establishment that has created New Nashville.
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❍ WHO WILL LEAD THE 113TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY?
The state’s GOP leadership positions remain occupied by familiar faces. Meanwhile, Democrats make a change after losing two House seats during midterms.
In spite of party divisions, the Tennessee General Assembly’s Republican supermajority seems to be unified when it comes to choosing the party’s leadership. House Republicans voted unanimously to reinstate State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-25) as Speaker for a third term. Senator Randy McNally (R-5) was also reinstated both as the senate’s Speaker and lieutenant governor– who, in accordance with the new amendment passed this November, is obligated to fulfill the duties of the governor until recovery or an election is held if anything should temporarily or permanently befall him. And State Representative William Lamberth (R-44) and Senator Jack Johnson (R-27) were re-elected as house majority leader and senate majority leader, respectively.
Three weeks ago, Leaders Lamberth and Johnson set the tone for this year's assembly and filed bills prohibiting gender-altering surgeries and medical practices on minors. Johnson has since filed three additional pieces of legislation, including a bill codifying Covid vaccine mandate restrictions and a bill addressing children’s exposure to drag shows.
Other positions filled:
- State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-11), Caucus Chairman
- State Rep. Johnny Garrett (R-45), Majority Whip
- State Rep. Pat Marsh (R-62), Speaker Pro Tempore
- State Rep. Mark Cochran (R-23), Assistant Majority Leader
- Senator Ken Yager (R-12), Caucus Chairman
- State Rep. Paul Sherrell (R-43), Floor Leader
- State Rep. Scotty Campbell (R-3), Caucus Vice Chair
- State Rep. Michelle Carringer (R-16), Secretary
- State Rep. Rebecca Alexander (R-7), Treasurer
- State Rep. Jody Barrett (R-69), Assistant Floor Leader
As for the Democrats, while they kept State Representative Karen Camper (D-87) as House minority leader, they replaced State Representative Vincent Dixie (D-57) with State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-55) as the caucus chair.
Other positions filled:
- State Rep. Harold Love (D-58), Assistant Minority Leader
- State Rep. Bill Beck (D-51), House Floor Leader
- State Rep. Jason Powell (D-53), Minority Whip
- State Rep. Bob Freeman (D-56), Caucus Vice Chair
- State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-90), Caucus Treasurer
- State Rep. Ronnie Glynn (D-67), Caucus Secretary
- State Rep. Larry Miller (D-88), Leader Pro Tempore
- State Rep. Dwayne Thompson (D-96), Joint Fiscal Review Committee
- State Rep. Johnny Shaw (D-80), Joint Fiscal Review Committee
The 113th General Assembly will convene on Jan. 10, 2023.
EAST BANK PUBLIC COMMENT UPDATE
Last night, the East Bank Stadium Committee held its second public comment meeting at the Southeast Regional Community Center. Similar to last week, it was a mixed bag of support and opposition. A notable comment came from the President of the Kurdish Community Council, Tabeer Taabur, who attended the meeting in support of the new stadium on behalf of the twenty-thousand Kurdish residents in the Nashville area. Here is the breakdown of the public comment period:
- Explicitly against the new stadium: 6
- Explicitly in support of the new stadium: 9
- Declared as undecided: 2
- Made public comments regarding community benefits without addressing whether they were in support of or against the stadium: 7
- ⛈ Severe storms likely Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday (WKRN) The two primary threats for the entire area will be damaging wind gusts and heavy rain. A few tornadoes and some hail will be also be possible.
- Garth Brooks offers support for proposed new enclosed Nashville stadium (Tennessean) In a letter exclusively released to The Tennessean, Country Music Hall of Famer Garth Brooks has expressed "gratitude for thinking about an enclosed stadium for the people of Nashville and Tennessee" to the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County.
- DCS Budget Continues To Grow While Number Of Children In State Custody Decreases (TCN) Tennessee’s population grew by 9.8% from 2010 to 2021 – from 6.3 million to 6.9 million. However, the number of children subject to involvement with a child welfare agency in Tennessee has decreased.
- Tennessee is 31st highest in average retail price for electricity (Center Square) Tennessee ranked 13th in total retail sales of electricity and was 31st in average retail price, according to new data from 2021 released recently by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The state also ranked 21st in summer megawatt capacity and was 11th in direct use.
- Governor Lee’s Voucher Program Clears Another Legal Hurdle (Star) Tennessee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) plan, often portrayed as a voucher program, won another legal challenge filed by opponents of the controversial legislation that targets Memphis and Nashville schools.
- Cooper, MNPD Moving Forward With License Plate Readers (Scene) The Metro Nashville Police Department and Mayor John Cooper’s administration are forging ahead with a proposal to implement a countywide license plate reader program in Nashville.
- Metro Nashville school board renews 4 charter schools (Tennessean) Intrepid College Prep, Purpose Preparatory Academy Charter School, KIPP Nashville College Prep Middle School, and Nashville Classical Charter School all received approvals, giving them the go-ahead to operate in the district for at least the next decade.
- Property Eyed For Mixed Use Development In The Nashville Gulch (Now Next)
- Roze Pony, Café Roze owners tap Arcade for third concept (Post)
- 12South-area church property sells for $1.6M (Post)
𝓧 CHART OF THE DAY: HOMEBUYERS
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- ✈️ Some JetBlue pilots are outraged after the airline hired a violent felon to fly planes even as it refuses to hire people who haven’t taken the COVID vaccine, citing safety.
- 🏦 New York Federal Reserve President John Williams on Monday said the U.S. central bank needs to press forward with rate rises but did not say how fast and how far it will need to boost short-term borrowing costs, even as he reckons a rate cut is possible in 2024 as inflation pressures likely ease.
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands laid out plans to buy out hundreds of farms near nature reserves, an attempt to quell the fury of Dutch farmers over its goal of halving nitrogen emissions by 2030.
- 📈 Food-price inflation hit multidecade highs this year in the U.S. and elsewhere, outpacing overall consumer prices. While food inflation has cooled in recent weeks, food prices globally are still 25% higher than before Covid-19 struck in early 2020.
- 🏝 The world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii, is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years. Though lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, the eruption in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not threatening communities.
- 👯 An amendment adding religious-freedom protections to the Respect for Marriage Act cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Monday, paving the way for a final vote on the full bill on Tuesday.
- 🛤 President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation that would avert a rail shutdown by imposing a proposed contract that members at four railroad unions had rejected. The move would cut short a long-running labor dispute between the country’s biggest freight railroads and more than 115,000 workers.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
Check out the following event guides...
⚽️ World Cup Watch Party @ Von Elrod's, 1p, Free, Info
+ USA vs Iran
⚽️ World Cup Watch Party @ Tailgate Brewery, 1p, Free, Info
+ USA vs Iran
🕺 Blu DeTiger @ The Basement East, 8p, $23, Info
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two-step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
ON THE RADAR
🤣 Louis C.K. @ Ryman, (12/14), $35, Info
🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone, (12/30-31), Info
🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, (12/31), $35+, Info
🎸 Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Ryman, 1/23-25, 8p, $49.50, Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Bridgestone, 1/24-25, 8p, $TBA Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Ryman, 1/26, 8p, Info
+ Only elligable if you purchased a ticket to one of his previous nights' Bridgestone shows
🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/22, 8p $23+, Info
Around the Web
"I wrote in my field notes: Marty is in Carhartt, pants and jacket. One thing was clear: I did not conceptualize him as a typical environmentalist, or at least not as the conception we have for what an environmentalist looks like. But as the conversation developed, my perspective began to shift. On the topic of fishing alone, Marty expressed concerns about pollution, species decline, fish life cycles, and nuclear radiation, among other conservation-oriented topics.
Since at least the beginning of the popular environmental movement, sociologists have focused on political environmentalists, identified by their concern for human-caused climate change. This group tends to be white, of high socio-economic status, left-leaning and highly educated. Probably not surprisingly, literature also shows that those who identify as environmentalists tend to be among the greatest greenhouse gas emitters by function of their overall wealth."
Source: Stop ignoring the real environmentalists
Spectator World, 23 November 2022, Read Online
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Words of Wisdom
"A joke is an epitaph on an emotion."