Archive for July, 2011

Interview with Valerie S Hart, author of the new play “Rising & Falling…”

July 27, 2011

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************
Interview with Valerie S Hart, author of the new play “Rising & Falling”

By Dave Carew

From Friday, August 12 through Saturday, August 20 (except Monday and Tuesday of that week), Nashville’s Rhubarb Theatre Company at The Darkhorse Theater will present Valerie S Hart’s much-anticipated new play “Rising & Falling…”

Underground Nashville is proud to present this exclusive interview with Valerie S Hart, one of Nashville’s most gifted and interesting playwrights, two weeks before the world premiere of her new play:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: Your new play “Rising & Falling” was inspired by a real-life, public arts controversy that erupted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. What was and is particularly compelling to you about this controversy?

VALERIE S HART:Artists ask questions and posit theories that the rest of the world can’t or won’t; so they are society’s antennae to our future.  And, while we may not like what they say/think/ask, if we squelch them, then we’ve cut off a key avenue for us to proceed out of big tragic events and arrive in better places.  That’s what the real artist was trying to do—integrate and process this horrible event (9/11) for himself.  Some weren’t ready for a visual representation though; and their needs overwhelmed his and his sculpture.

UN:  In what ways does “Rising & Falling” relate to or build upon your previous work as a playwright?

VSH:There are three explicit gestures in this play that I’ve played with over and over again in my work:

This isn’t what’s termed a “straight” (i.e. tightly realistic) play.  Historical figures float in and out, functioning as chorus and play reel of the thoughts of other characters.  A statue animates, speaking now and again.  I’m not very interested dramatically in just rendering reality.  And I think a lot about our historical and anthropological roots, and love to bring them forward whenever it works with a piece.

I find exploring the personal motivations for action fascinating.  Why we do what we do or what we intended to do—it’s frequently far from obvious or rational and can completely alter how we interpret an action.

And finally the see-saw between the needs of the individual and the group is something that I’ve explored in other work.  This tension is present here from the “the inciting incident”:  the sculptor creates a public piece to help him grieve (exercising his freedom of expression) but others believe it is offensive (based on their sense of taste).

UN:  Ultimately, what do you hope members of your audience derive—intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually—from “Rising & Falling”?

VSH: I hope they reflect on how the arts help us survive and comprehend our lives and what happens to us.  And because of that, the arts are worthy of our interest and support.  I think Tennesseans really get that with respect to music.   All music genres: folk music, country, blues, opera; they all deal with the rough patches of life.  The visual arts must as well.

Performance Information:

All tickets are $12.  For reservation or additional information, please call (615) 397-7820 or send e-mail to rhubarbnashville@gmail.com.

Performances are at The Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville, opening Friday August 12 and running through Saturday August 20. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows at 7:30pm, Sunday matinee on August 14 at 2:30pm. No performance Monday or Tuesday.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 

Advertisements

Valerie S Hart’s thought-provoking new play “Rising & Falling…” to debut at Darkhorse Theater one month before 10th anniversary of 9/11

July 23, 2011

By Dave Carew

The world premiere of Valerie S Hart’s 9/11-related play “Rising & Falling…” will be presented by Nashville’s Rhubarb Theatre Company at The Darkhorse Theater on Friday, August 12.  (See below for other performance dates.)

Valerie S Hart describes “Rising & Falling…” as “a play about art set against one of the largest tragedies of our time.”

The story is inspired by a real-life, public arts controversy that flared in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, where public arts funding was spent on a statue that many in the public rejected and which was removed after just eight days on display. That story and the feelings around it are told by fictitious characters exploring the questions of who gets to decide what public art is, how much is spent on it, how a city mourns or celebrates a major event, what is acceptable art and good art, and what is the proper timeframe to acknowledge tragic events through art.

A panel discussion around these topics featuring experts and artists will follow the performance on Saturday, August 13.

All tickets are $12.  For reservation or additional information, please call (615) 397-7820 or send e-mail to rhubarbnashville@gmail.com.

All performances are at The Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville, opening Friday August 12 and running through Saturday August 20. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows at 7:30pm, Sunday matinee on August 14 at 2:30pm. No performance Monday or Tuesday.

Editor’s note: An interview with Valerie S Hart will be posted on ‘Underground Nashville’ on Wednesday, July 27.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

Interview with Daniel Lewis, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Metro Nashville / Davidson County

July 21, 2011

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************

Interview with Daniel Lewis, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Metro Nashville / Davidson County

By Dave Carew

Although it was extremely active and disproportionately influential during the anti-state-income-tax revolt that successfully erupted in Nashville a decade ago, the Libertarian Party of Metro Nashville/ Davidson County has, in recent years, kept a much lower profile. That may be changing, as the party is now running Bruce Casper as its candidate for mayor (see brucecasper.lewisdt.net) and regularly lobbying the Metro Council and state legislature.

Underground Nashville recently caught up with local Libertarian Party chair Daniel Lewis for this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: In a nutshell, what is the Libertarian Party’s political philosophy?

DANIEL LEWIS: The Libertarian philosophy advocates for individual freedom on both economic and personal issues.   Liberals advocate for individual freedom on personal issues.  Conservatives advocate for individual freedom on economic issues.   Libertarians advocates for individual freedom on both economic and personal issues.  Government restricts individual freedom: the bigger the government, the less individual freedom.   Libertarians support reducing the size, scope, and power of government on every issue and oppose increasing the size, scope, or power of government on any issue.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: If I Libertarian, rather than Karl Dean, had been elected mayor in 2007, how would Nashville be different?

DANIEL LEWIS:  Nashville would have less government, not more.  A Libertarian would have opposed Music City Center.   Government should not own and operate a business.   Also, the construction of Music City Center is the classic Broken Window Fallacy.   It is argued that Music City Center will benefit the economy of Nashville, when, in reality, had the $500 million being spent on Music City Center stayed in the market, it would have been used more efficiently.  Also, with a Libertarian mayor, business would have less regulation.   Two examples would be the regulation of sedans and limousines and the regulation of home businesses.  Metro is being sued over the regulation of sedans and limousines.   A Libertarian mayor would have vetoed both of these measures.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: What specific, beneficial impact is the LP of Metro Nashville / Davidson County currently having on local citizens?

DANIEL LEWIS:  LPMNDC provides an alternative to the two major parties.    LPMNDC also provides many resources that promote individual freedom and personal responsibility.   Most of the resources are located on our website at lpmndc.org.  The website is updated a number of times each week (almost every day).  We also provide a vehicle for pro-liberty candidates that the other parties cannot offer. On a regular basis, members of our party lobby for and against bills in the state legislature and Metro Council.

For more information, visit lpmndc.org.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 

 

 

“Two Old Hippies” store to open in Nashville

July 18, 2011

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

************

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************

Interview with Molly Bedell of “Two Old Hippies”

A few weeks ago—thanks to a well-placed Help Wanted ad in The Tennessean and other auguries—word began leaking out that Two Old Hippies is about to open a second store in Nashville, in the Gulch. (The presents store is in Aspen; the tentative date for the Music City opening is September.) The store’s co-owners, Tom and Molly Bedell, retired from successful careers several years ago. After the Great Recession hit in 2008, they felt they needed to regroup and reinvent themselves.  They reflected on their lives and realized some of their most fun years were in the 60’s and early 70’s.  Shortly thereafter, Two Old Hippies was born.

The idea of the store, say Tom and Molly, is “an outlet for the values and beliefs that two ‘born’ hippies acquired long ago: Seek peace and harmony for all living things. Inspire community.”

Underground Nashville recently conducted this exclusive interview with Molly Bedell:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: What will be distinct about Two Old Hippies?  What unique elements and atmosphere will customers find there?

MOLLY BEDELL:  Two Old Hippies is a lifestyle concept store we created on the foundation of “peace, love & rock n’ roll.”   Our guests in Aspen always comment that we are the most fun, experiential and friendly place to shop; our sales team make you feel at home. We sell acoustic guitars; women’s, men’s, and kids’ apparel’ jewelry; unique gifts…so many fun things that everyone of all ages have fun at Two Old Hippies.  We also sell rock n’ roll memorabilia.  Whether you have $5 to spend or $5,000, there is always something at our store. And, we will have our signature 1965 VW bus inside the store as a display feature. Plus a full-on stage venue for musicians to play their music.

UN:  What drove your decision to open this second store?

MB:  Well, Nashville is “Music City” and we love music.  We also have some really great friends who live in Nashville, so it we also have a built-in fan base.  We have fallen in love with Nashville and its energy, lifestyle, and how family-oriented it is, plus its natural beauty.

UN:  What do you hope your future customers in the Gulch say about their experience in your forthcoming store?

MB:  That they felt at home and welcome.  They had a lot of fun.  They loved our lifestyle concept and think it is the coolest place in town.

Underground Nashville will cover the opening of Two Old Hippies when the store officially opens in Nashville.  Until then, you can visit TwoOldHippies.com.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 

 

Interview with Mary Carolyn Roberts, candidate for Metro Council, District 20

July 11, 2011

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

************

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************

The ‘Underground Nashville’ Interview with Mary Carolyn Roberts, candidate for Metro Council, District 20

Mary Carolyn Roberts is a small business owner who resides in the Historic West Nashville/Nations neighborhood. She has deep roots in Middle Tennessee, having lived there for more than 20 years.

In announcing her candidacy for a seat on the Metro Council, District 20 (west Nashville), Ms. Roberts declared:

“Our neighborhood has been on the back burner of every city agenda for long enough. We need a strong voice in Metro Council that will lead, not just follow. I promise to listen to your concerns, consult with our neighbors, and inform you before I take action on any matter that may affect our district.”

Underground Nashville recently conducted this interview with Ms. Roberts about her candidacy:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  Please tell us—as specifically as possible—exactly how your constituents will benefit if you are elected to the Metro Council.

MARY CAROLYN ROBERTS: The residents in District 20 will immediately see the benefits of my open-door communication style. I have made myself readily available to all constituents via our website, Facebook page, email, and by phone. For the first time in many years, the people of our community will finally have a voice. They will be among the first to learn of the issues that are likely to have a direct impact on our neighborhoods and their lives. Open communication is key to creating the dialogue that will help us make better decisions for our communities. I plan to be a conduit at the Metro Council for the people of the 20th District.

UN:  What compelled you to run for this particular office?  Did it involve something you felt the Metro Council was NOT doing, that it SHOULD be doing?

MCR: I was actually asked to run for Metro Council by some of my neighbors who felt our district deserved better representation, who felt we deserved someone who would really listen to our needs and then represent “our voice” on council and not the voice of special interests. I chose to run because I felt I can make a difference in our community. The vast majority of people I talk with who are living in District 20 are for preserving our neighborhoods, saving the fairgrounds, and blocking the development of May Town—all issues our current councilperson voted against.

UN:  If you are elected what will be your highest governing priority?

MCR:  My highest priority will be listening to the people living in District 20 and making sure their concerns, and no one else’s, are heard loud and clear in Metro Council. I will focus on preserving our neighborhoods as places where we can raise families, making our schools places where our children can succeed and broaden their horizons.  I will work on partnering with our local police precinct to make our streets safer places.  My job is simply to represent the people of District 20 and to make their concerns my highest governing priority.

For more information about Mary Carolyn Roberts and her campaign for Metro Council, visit  MaryCarolynRoberts.com.


Early voting begins on July 15 and ends July 30. The election will be held on Thursday, August 4.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 

 

Interview with Brady Banks, Metro Council Candidate, District 4

July 5, 2011

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.
************

Interview with Brady Banks, Metro Council Candidate, District 4

Two of the greatest frustrations of being a Nashville voter are (1.) completely inadequate coverage of local political races by the mainstream media and (2.) candidates whose campaign literature tells you, essentially, NOTHING about what they stand for—and will vote for—if elected.

To attempt to counter this—in some small way—we present this brief interview with Metro Council District 4 candidate Brady Banks, whom I recently met when he knocked on my front door on a blistering hot afternoon. Mr. Banks serves as a literacy and education advocate, involved in efforts to strengthen and sustain Imagination Library programs in all 95 Tennessee counties for the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. (In that capacity, he has served both the Bredesen and Haslam administrations.)  Before joining the GBBF, Mr. Banks served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods for Mayor Karl Dean.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  How—specifically—will your constituents benefit if you are elected?

BRADY BANKS: As someone who has served constituents before as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods, I know how Metro Government works and have relationships that I can bring to bear in a favorable way for District 4. I will be able to manage relationships I have with other council members to be as productive as possible for the district. In a council body with 40 members, relationships that are productive are very important.

UN:  Why did you feel compelled to run for this particular office at this time?

BB:  I felt compelled to run for office out of a sense of duty and service to community. I’ve always enjoyed tackling a problem for a group or an individual, and then coming to a positive resolution to that problem or issue. It may sound strange, but I enjoy being the guy that folks call on to take care of those kinds of things. I also believe I need to be working now to make this city the best it can be, because my wife and I are expecting our first child.

UN:  If elected, what will be your highest governing priorities?

BB:  If I’m fortunate enough to be chosen to serve as the next council member from District 4, my highest governing priorities will be to work closely with other community leaders to deliver on improving our public education system, working to find new ways of thinking and educating our children. Outside of that priority, my top governing principle will be to deal openly and honestly with the citizens of District 4, and to be as accessible as possible to them.

For more information about Brady Banks, visit BradyBanks.com.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations copywriter.

 

Libertarian Party Blasts War in Afghanistan

July 1, 2011

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.
************

Libertarian Party Blasts War in Afghanistan

Exclusive Interview with Wes Benedict, Executive Director, Libertarian National Committee, Inc.

Although it supported the initial U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of September 11, the national Libertarian Party has staunchly opposed most of the ensuing conduct of the war. In this exclusive interview for Underground Nashville—conducted shortly after President Obama’s recent announcement of a forthcoming troop draw-down—LP Executive Director Wes Benedict explains his political party’s firm stance against the present war:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  How do you respond to people who say we must stay in Afghanistan at least through 2014, to keep Al Quaida (via the Taliban) from regaining a foothold that could lead to more attacks against the West?

WES BENEDICT:It was wrong to go there, it is wrong to be there, and we should get out now. Our response to the terrorist attacks has caused far more damage to the West than the terrorist acts themselves. If you’re a Western Christian, I’d say take your finger off the trigger and have some faith in God. If you’re a Western believer in the superiority of freedom, have some faith that authoritarian societal arrangements will self-destruct, like the Soviet Union did. I don’t like Al Quaida, but we can survive with it if we stop doing what they want.

UN: How do you and the LP believe potential terrorist attacks against the U.S. should be countered?

WB: Every human being is a potential terrorist, thief, and murderer. Get over it. People need to get out of their heads that we should be focusing on preventing every possible terrorist attack. Most terrorism against America is a symptom. It is a reaction to our foreign policy of meddling in others’ affairs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The 9-11 perpetrators were criminals and we should have only gone after those involved—not entire countries.

For more information about the Libertarian Party, visit LP.org.

Editor’s Note:  The fact that Underground Nashville presents ideas from a certain political figure or organization should not be construed as support of that person or organization. When we write political posts (which happens rarely), we present ideas from across the political spectrum. We believe people should study ideas from a wide variety of sources. It’s what used to be known as “thinking.”

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations copywriter.