Saturday, January 24, 2015

"...Suddenly, The Term "Country Music Foundation" Seems Very Ironic...."

Life imitates art.

Art imitates life.

Potato, patahto. 

(reprinted from Music Row Magazine)
The landscape of Music City continues to change as one of Nashville’s longstanding music venues will close in late February. According to 12th & Porter owner Keith Hayman, the music venue will hold its last event on Feb. 28.

The business is being sold to a party with “intentions to enhance the North Gulch” area of Nashville, according to Hayman. Details of the sale were not disclosed.

As the home of classic live recordings dating back to Townes Van Zandt’s Live and Obscure, recorded in April 1985, the stage at 12th and Porter has hosted some of the greatest touring artists and songwriters ever to play including such notables as Mickey Avalon, Keith Urban, Kings of Leon, Ke$ha, Safety Suit, Jon Bon Jovi, Run-DMC, Vince Gill, Richard Marx, Jonny Lang, Marc Broussard, John Hiatt, Beauty School Dropouts, OURS, Bob Schneider, Jayhawks, Tim Easton, Amy Ray, Ryan Adams, Will Hoge, King Crimson, Angie Aparo, Medeski Martin and Wood, The Features, Radney Foster, Allison Moorer, Glenn Tillbrook, Michelle Shocked, Trent Sumnar, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Julie Miller, John Prine, Reckless Kelly, Pinmonkey, Jay Farrar, Kenny Loggins, Ben Folds, Jill Sobule, Jewel, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, David Meade, Muzik Mafia, Family Force 5, the Katies, Silvertide, Florez, Sam Brooker, Tyler James, Chris Mann, Jody Raffoul, Crew, Michael Inge, Vic Chesnutt, Bushwalla, Anthony Smith, Black Label Society, Wichita Stallions, Auto Vaughn, Big Fella and Te’Arthur, Chris Mann, Cecil Adora, Submersed, LIGION, The Black Andy Roddick Show, Jonathon Richman, Tyler Cain, Chris Milam, Mista D, Jeffrey Steele, Luna Halo, Atomic Blonde, and countless others.

Hayman took over management of 12th & Porter in 2014, acquiring 100 percent management of the venue. He is also an owner of Music City Pizza.

Among various laments and observations on this latest change to the Nashville landscape, Juliette Vara, a reporter for Fox News in San Diego and a country music radio host, had this to offer.

 This is VERY sad. Sadly, money will win every time. Have any of you guys gone down to meet the people in charge of housing and other city developments? Because I have--- and the ones I met were young and one was just about out of college--and making decisions on the cityscape. Nashville is losing it's HISTORY. If we're lucky maybe Tootsies will be around in 10 years. Lord knows--Broadway Avenue is getting more boutiques - than honky tonks. This makes me sad as someone who moved here to want to nurture and be around the history here of country music.

The ongoing saga of Nashville slowly but surely evolving (or mutating, depending on who you talk to about it) from musical mecca to money mad metroplex has been both a source of national conversation and a sore spot for locals for some time now. Most recently, the sale, or pending sale, of the legendary RCA studio building(s) on Music Row, for example, was fuel to the fire of resentment burning the beleaguered behinds of those who hold Music City tradition sacred and are almost instinctively chafing at a future that is looking more and more to be long on strip malls and short on studios.

I get it. 

My own autobiography will be good for at least a hundred pages or so on the twenty years I lived and worked there, being privileged to not only visit some of the industry sites and live music venues that were once numerous, yet special, shells scattered across a very unique beach, but, for some years, work them as well.

I made music with friends, peers, colleagues and/or clients in a least a dozen of Nashville's best recording studios.

And sat shoulder to shoulder on stage, or knee to knee in the round, as it were, with some of the finest writers, singers and players anywhere as we offered our words and music wares to sharp, savvy, song sophisticates in now fabled houses of harmony like Exit In, Douglas Corner, the Bluebird Cafe, 12th and Porter, et al.

Lots of music.

Lots of memories.

Time, though, marches on.

And landmarks come and go.

The knee jerk emotional response to the loss of a beloved place, be it a studio or listening room is both predictable and understandable.

Especially when that beloved place is replaced with something cold, calculated and cash flow oriented.

A lot of people feel that way about the evolution (or mutation, depending on who you talk to about it) of Nashville from musical mecca to money mad metroplex. 

Much in the same way, actually, that a lot of people feel about the evolution (or mutation, depending on who you talk to about it) of country music itself from songs of the soul to songs to be sold.

As art imitates life.

And life imitates art.

Potato, potahto.

As a sentimentalist, I can't help but feel some pangs of pathos as the passing of an era.

As a pragmatist, I totally understand that the business of the country music business, in so far as the music itself is concerned, has become the business of manufacturing.

Making it only natural, of course, that the city itself would follow suit.

Embracing the business of construction.

Transforming a musical mecca into a money mad metro plex.

Long on strip malls.

Short on studios.


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