Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a Nashvillian” or the Nashville experience. “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


As we move toward Thanksgiving, please do not forget those less fortunate than you. The Nashville Rescue Mission just released a statement declaring “about 5,000 people will find their way here on Thanksgiving Day alone.” To make sure they receive love, friendship, and a comforting meal, please call (615) 255-2475 or visit  Thank you.


Lightning 100 gets it exactly right . . . except . . .

by Dave Carew

So my friend and I are hunched over a cup of coffee at Fido, and he suddenly looks up, as if the entire weight of the world were on him.

“Anything wrong?” I say.

“No . . . it’s just that I don’t get it.”

“Get . . . ?”

“This thing about Lightning 100,” he says. “I mean, here’s a station that’s EASILY one of the best in the country. I should know. I’ve lived a lot of places, right? Heard a lot of pretty cool rock radio. And I’ve never heard anything that TOUCHES this station. I mean, before I came here, I had this very distorted view of Nashville. Very skewed view, based on TV and movies and what-not. And I come here and…it’s totally different. And I remember—very clearly—the first time I heard Lightning 100 I was like…man, this is way cool. It was, like, my intro to the real Nashville.”

“So what’s bothering you?”

“Basically….how can the coolest station on the planet NOT play tracks by the best singer/songwriter of the last decade, Elliott Smith?”

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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