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Vols look strong headed into tournament
Photo by Mark Duffel / Unsplash

Vols look strong headed into tournament

⚾️ Tennessee and Vanderbilt both make tournament · Metro Arts shakedown · Not a citizen, not a problem · Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Someone shared with me the speech Lt. Gen. John Kelly gave in 2010 at the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, just four days after his son was killed in combat. At the close of his speech, he recounts the bravery of two young Marines in their final six seconds. Worth a read.


As wild weather rolled through the northern part of Middle Tennessee yesterday, Tennessee was battling a bit of craziness of its own in the SEC Baseball Championship. After an insane ride through the double-elimination tournament, the Vols avenged an earlier beatdown at the hands of rival Vandy to advance to the title game Sunday where they would ward off a pesky Louisiana State ball club.

The LSU Tigers, coming off last season’s highly publicized national title—part due to Livvy Dunne dating their pitching ace, Paul Skenes—were rebuilding all season. Sitting as the 11-seed in the SEC tournament, few predicted they’d make a deep run. However, the Bayou Bengals caught fire and qualified for Sunday’s finale versus the Vols.

LSU jumped out to an early lead, but a third inning three-run homer by Tennessee’s Billy Amick put UT in control. Even after adding an insurance run in the seventh to go up 4-1, the Tigers refused to die off. Back-to-back doubles cut the lead to two and a costly fielding error at third brought the game to 4-3 with one out and a runner in scoring position. Let’s be real, would it be SEC baseball without ninth-inning drama?

However, the nation’s best team put the hammer down and closed out the game with back-to-back strikeouts giving the Vols a Tennessee two-step - SEC regular season and tournament champions.

Tennessee has been number one in the nation for nearly a month straight and easily secured the number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament, giving them home-field advantage throughout on their quest to reach the College World Series in Omaha for the second consecutive season. They open against Northern Kentucky in Knoxville.

Meanwhile, here in Nashville, the Vandy Boys took it on the chin most of the season during conference play. Yet, despite an underwhelming 2024, Vanderbilt will be in the field of 64 and have a chance to make noise no matter who they are slotted to face.

This program has immense experience and is no stranger to being written off as they were in this year's SEC Tourney before making a semifinal surge. The Dores have made five CWS appearances since 2011, which is among the most in the nation over the last decade and a half. Vandy grabbed a 2-seed and will open up against Coastal Carolina in Clemson.

Double Elimination Regional play commences Friday and will continue through next Monday. The following weekend, Super Regional play starts which has a best 2-out-of-3 head-to-head format before moving onto the College World Series in mid-June. MILES HARRINGTON

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🗳️ The Non-Existent Problem of Non-Citizen Voting This year, the General Assembly passed a law to ensure non-US citizens aren’t voting in Tennessee elections. “This would require that [county election commissions] compare those databases (the state-wide voter and the Department of Homeland Security databases) to assure that voters are properly registered and that everyone is a citizen when they’re registered,” explained Senate sponsor Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald). Some have called the precaution misguided, claiming that the GOP has turned the issue into a boogeyman. National outlets have insisted that noncitizen voting is a minor issue, and those who say otherwise are conspiracy theorists

You’ll recall that Metro Council approved a participatory budgeting process last fall that allowed non-citizens and teens as young as 14 years old to “vote” on how to spend $10 million in ARPA funds. The entire endeavor was a disaster. Not only did the marketing plan to encourage participation cost over half a million dollars, but less than 14,000 people voted (to put that into perspective, each vote cost $44), and Metro has yet to announce the results. Mayor O’Connell, panned this dismal effort in February: “I expect if it does go forward, it will be revised pretty significantly,” he said. “Even with hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing, we are not seeing particularly heavy voting rates on participatory budgeting.” MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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🦾 Don’t Call It A Shakedown Daniel Singh’s reign of terror is over at Metro Arts. On Friday, the commission voted unanimously to accept a deal by which Singh would resign and dismiss his complaint filed with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission in exchange for $200,000. Ironically, the sum will come from the money allocated to Metro Legal by Metro Finance in part for the second round of Thrive funding, which Singh instrumentalized to introduce diversity, equity, and inclusion into the grantmaking process. The council is set to review the settlement at its June 4th meeting, and it’s likely to sail through. In his wake, Singh leaves a dysfunctional Metro Arts Commission that not only failed to promptly deliver the arts grants for which it was created, but has also ingested the most noxious ideology known to man. DAVIS HUNT

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🤠 Is Wallen The New Waylon? On the second day of his three-night headliner at Nissan Stadium, Morgan Wallen announced that This Bar & Tennessee Kitchen would open on Broadway over Memorial Day weekend—but there was a hitch in his plans. 

According to Scoop Nashville, the Metro Beer Permit Board denied Wallen’s permit, delaying This Bar’s debut. We already knew there wouldn't be a sign: though Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places was allowed to have the largest sign on Broadway and Kid Rock was granted permission to erect a guitar shaped like a lady’s bottom, the sign-off Wallen needed to put up his standard-issue honky tonk neon was rejected by the Metro Council last week. 

Though the council’s 30-3 vote against the sign was a decisive defeat, it stood in stark contrast to the support it received from members the day before. Both the Transportation & Infrastructure and the Planning & Zoning committees unanimously voted in favor of the aerial encroachment— aside from Councilmember Sean Parker, who recused himself due to a conflict of interest.

“When we open, we want This Bar to be an exceptional experience for guests,” reads a statement given to Billboard by Wallen’s team. “Unfortunately, the process requires more time, and we are not able to open and provide that experience this Memorial Day weekend. Rest assured it will be well worth the wait.” No new opening date has been announced.

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📰 Locals in the News In sports news, Hendersonville native Josef Newgarden won his second consecutive Indy 500 on Sunday, making him the first driver to do so since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. On Saturday night, Nashville native and Cardinals pitcher Sonny Gray improved to 7-2 with a five inning, one hit, no earned runs outing. I faced Sonny once in high school. He struck me out in three pitches. DAVIS HUNT


  • Printer's Alley investor brings back Beer Sellar under new name (NBJ)
  • Local developer pays $9.5M for motel, plans conversion (NBJ)
  • Mediterranean-inspired bar opening in West End (NBJ)
  • Mediterranean-inspired bar opening in West End (NBJ)
  • Start looms on ballpark-area apartment project (Post)
Off the Cuff


Our recommendations to help counteract the endless scrolling.

Ferrari (Hulu) Director Michael Mann (Heat and Miami Vice) recreates the summer of 1957 when former racer Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) staves off bankruptcy and the death of his young son to dominate the automaking world. The result is one of the director’s best interrogations of driven men who compromise personal happiness for glory that should have been a much bigger player during last year’s Oscar season.  

Movin’ On (Tubi) Claude Akins stars in this 1974-1976 television series as a veteran trucker who partners with Frank Converse’s law-school expat to travel the country and lend a hand to the salt of the Earthers they meet along the way. With a banger of a theme song by Merle Haggard and a depiction of an America that Hollywood now only trots out for poverty porn exploitation, it’s no wonder Gerald Ford never missed an episode

Divinity (Apple TV+)  When two alien brothers travel to Earth to punish a mogul for mass marketing a serum that provides humans immortality, a self-help cult led by Bella Thorne threatens their mission by showing them the pleasures of life. Mythic and gorgeously shot in black and white, this film is the perfect antidote for self-important prestige TV and franchise fatigue.



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

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

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

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


🎸 Bleachers @ Ryman Auditorium, 7:30p, $54+, Info
+ indie pop

🎸 Buck Meek @ The Blue Room, 8p, $25.88, Info
+ contemporary folk singer-songwriter and guitarist

🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:00p, Free, Info‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street

🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 8p, Free, Info‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌
+ two-step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p