Nashville. Day off.
I managed to feel a little like a tourist today and didn’t mind a bit. My native friends took me for lunch at a place called Mas Tacos which is a small shack on the east side of town that dishes up the most wonderful grub for next to nothing. From there, a state visit to Jack White’s record store/studio/performance space Third Man Records. It’s tiny, but a little piece of perfection, all done with the knowingness and dedication to detail of a true labour of love. They only sell vinyl, of course, and the sensation of flipping through the stacks of records in the wooden browser racks brought back extremely strong physical memories from pre-digital teenhood. They also sell the kind of accessories that have long been extinct, like a 45s carrying case (which I bought as, weirdly, it’s something I have a genuine need for) and even a small portable record player (which I nearly, nearly bought but in the end sanity prevailed). It’s a great place, defiant and wilfully obscure – I actually laughed out loud to see adjacent sections in the browser dedicated to the recorded musical oeuvres of B.P.Fallon and Carl Sagan.
Evening found me in the bustling and suffocatingly touristy old down town district. With its wall-to-wall drinking barns and chain restaurants, it’s a nostalgic reconstruction of a Nashville that probably never existed. It’s pretty hideous but there’s live music everywhere so at least it’s keeping musicians employed and giving families somewhere to go.
My friends and I found a quiet(ish) corner and passed a happy evening feasting on mediocre food whilst arguing about punctuation (most particularly the proposed discontinuation of the use of the Oxford Comma), before heading out to a gay bar. That’s the kind of friends I have.