Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city

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As we move toward the Thanksgiving season, please do not forget those less fortunate than you. For decades, homeless, lonely people have been able to find warmth, shelter, and a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Nashville Rescue Mission. In a letter I just received, the mission writes, “About 5,000 people will find their way here on Thanksgiving Day alone.” To make sure they receive love, friendship, and a nice meal, please call (615) 255-2475 or visit Nashvillerescuemission.org.  Thank you.

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Dissing Neil Young at Bongo Java

by Dave Carew

The other day I was over at Bongo Java, waiting on the front porch for Kenny Bernstein and another friend. My friend had a performance idea for Bongo Java After Hours Theatre she wanted to discuss with Kenny. While I waited, I suddenly became an inadvertent eaves-dropper to a conversation going on behind me.

“I mean, Neil Young, right? What’s up with that? Here’s a guy who’s one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived . . . and he hasn’t put out a decent album in 30 years!  Are you kidding me?”

I turned and looked over my shoulder, to get a glimpse of Mr. Young-Disser. From his Elliott Smith-esque features (complete with scruffy beanie) and over-all Gen Next vibe, I’d say he was about minus-10 the last time Neil Young put out a decent album. He was talking to a sweet-looking girl attempting heroically not to cringe at his every word.

“I mean, you know? If you’re a great songwriter, isn’t it because, in part, you know how NOT to be a CRAPPY one? Does he have so little self-awareness that he’s forgotten why his own first albums were so great? I mean, now, with Young, it’s just dreck after dreck after dreck.”

At that point, I’d pretty much taken in the gist of the guy’s rant, so I let my mind wander away. I’m pretty sure he went on to set the Guinness World Record for “most frequent use of the word ‘dreck’ in a five-minute period.”

God, I love hanging out at Bongo Java.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.”

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