Investigating the Nashville
of Taiwan Deth, Tan as Fuck, New
and Vegan Brand: An Interview with Angela Messina
J. Fortunato Perez
Several months back, Wayne “Twisted Village” Rogers posted
to the Hanson board praising the axe work of one Angela
Messina who plays (and has played) in Taiwan Deth, Tan as
Fuck, New Faggot Cunts and her solo project Vegan Brand.
Within minutes of reading Rogers’ e-words,
I surfed over to www.tanasfuck.com,
signed-on to my PayPal account, and made an invaluable e-purchase
of several wicked-sweet Taiwan Deth CD-R’s. You see, when
a true fret-wizard like Rogers speaks-up
about another guitar player then I am sure as shit going
to check him/her out. (However Rogers, I will
still take the Doors over Day Blindness.
I too have
become totally taken with the many groups Angela Messina
currently plays in (and has played in throughout her incredibly
productive life). But, more importantly, I quickly learned,
after a little research into her music and visual art, that
Angela and her partner, band mate, best friend, and artistic
collaborator, Derek Schartung, are involved in their own
unique project of radically (re)shaping the world outside
their minds in the image of the world living inside
their minds. What I mean by this statement is that Angela
and Derek are so much more than busy and productive musician,
multi-media artist-types. All the mind-bogglingly diverse
artwork that they create feels as if it fits perfectly together
(like a puzzle) into a single, unified world-reality. There
is an organically nurtured one-ness about all their
disparate drawings, crafts, music, CD-R cover art, pillows,
gallery exhibitions, animation, etc. Like the now defunct
Forcefield collective and the Bobbi Clothes/USAISAMONSTER/Elvish
Presley tribe of freaks, Angela and Derek view the (re)shaping
of reality as a predominantly imaginative enterprise. And
since I am a fanatic for any artist or collection of artists
capable of magickally superimposing their imaginary realms
upon the objective, material world then I just had to interview
this Angela Messina and find out what the hell has been
going on in Nashville over the
past several years. I hope you enjoy it.
Perez: I own a short stack
of Tan as Fuck and Taiwan Deth CD-R’s, but I know very little
about either group, and I know next-to-nothing about New
Faggot Cunts, Vegan Brand and your art activities in Nashville. Please supply me with the lowdown about all these activities so I may
become just a little less ignorant in this life.
Messina: The first on the list
is the New Faggot Cunts. They started up soon after Derek
Schartung and I moved to Nashville in late 1998 and met
up with Chris Davis. Chris had been playing in bands like
the Cherry Blossoms, the Scallions, Frothy Shakes (whose
sole LP is the infamous Killed By Death #11), the Tiny Corkscrews,
and drumming for Dave Cloud. So, we started hanging out
and jamming with the line-up as Chris on drums and some
vocals, Derek on guitar and keyboard, and me on guitar,
some vocals and some bass. We did this for a couple of years
or more with Matt St. Germaine (of Freedom From Records)
as a sometimes guitar-playing road member. We did several
small tours with bands such as Reynols and No Doctors, and
we played more than a few shows with Wolf Eyes, Death Beam,
Hair Police, Pengo, and Newton. Our shit was heavy,
loud, droning-psych chaos with most shows breaking down
after everyone began spazzing-out. Equipment was tossed
and chords were pulled-out, creating a mess. Chris would
stack his drum kit up, climb up on ‘em and dive headfirst
onto the floor. It was just a pile of guitars, pedals and
people. After a while, Chris began focusing more on the
Cherry Blossoms, and I think he and I were pissed at each
other (at the time) for something that I can’t even recall.
We can both be very sensitive folks. It’s okay. We’re making
sounds together these days, and everyone is behaving. Anyway,
Derek and I went back to doing the duo project, which at
that time was called Sweet, Small Children.
Okay. So, I should
back up a bit; I forget things, and when getting it all
down, it all starts to blur and the chronology gets tossed
aside. Before moving to Nashville and playing with Chris,
Derek and I lived in Memphis, playing together
under several monikers since 1994. The longest lived being
Cornfed, a three-piece bratty garage-influenced,
Fall-influenced, and too-influenced band that managed
to hammer-out several 7-inches and a full-length CD on Shangri-La
Records. That shit fell through when the drummer quit, and
our mostly girl band became a mostly boy band, and the shtick
was no more. This was fine for Derek and me; we never had
a lot of heart for the music we were making. It was all
a little too straight for both of us. No love lost -- we
just started doing a lot of duo recordings at home and very
little playing out. Eventually, Memphis got old and stale,
and we both needed to get away from its terrible clutches.
That town has a way of sucking you in and sucking you dry.
It’s cheap, easy and lawless, and that has its momentary
appeals. But after a while, you get sick of all your shit
getting ripped-off and seeing the depravity of the drug-addled
all around you. It’s too easy to do nothing. A fun town
to visit, but I wouldn’t recommend sticking around for too
long; it will seize you.
and after the New Faggot Cunts, Derek and I had continued
on doing all these unnamed duo recordings and occasionally
bringing it out live under Sweet, Small Children. It was
both improvised and prepared. I should also mention that
we each have solo projects. Derek originally began as Taiwan
Deth, named after an SK-1 he tweaked-out. His solo stuff
is loud, beat-centric, very damaged electronic music, and
sampling. He is the brains behind the robot shit you hear
in Taiwan Deth and Tan as Fuck. The Vegan Brand is my solo
stuff, which ranges from super-duper pop to ambient guitar-scapes
to twenty-minute psych-jams. The name is just something
that makes me giggle like vegan-brand meat products, vegan-brand
Vienna sausages and vegan-brand
tenderloin -- silly stuff.
the summer of 2002, Derek and I met up with Josh Elrod (of
Phase Selector Sound) and began jamming and recording almost
constantly that summer. This was and is the current Tan
as Fuck. In the fall of that year, we started getting out
on the road -- touring as much as possible for the next
year and half. During this time, we released several CD-R's
UVA/UVB, and Heavier than Excitement. Then the Audiobot label (out of Belgium) released (SARS)chasm, and the U-Sound label (here
in the States) put us out in the form of U
Sound Archive #17. Josh then moved to New York in 2003, and we started
working as a tour-only project as we still do today. Oh
yeah, the line-up is Josh on vocals, samplers, and drums;
Derek on vocals, keyboards, and sax; and me on vocals, guitar,
Josh’s move to New York, Derek and I returned to our duo project,
and this time we just adopted his Taiwan Deth solo name.
So, then more recording and playing-out as the two of us,
which is just easier. Derek and I have been playing together
improvised and planned for more than 10 years. We kind of
know where each other is heading. It is our favorite musical
endeavor to date.
this is a totally glossed-over and lightly detailed account
of musical things here in Nashville. I’m leaving off a
dozen other projects Derek and I have been involved with
together and separately. This glib overview is merely a
portal into a much larger thing, one that involves art,
performance, as well as, music. This is really a skeleton
-- a small portion of my musical family tree.
JFP: Damn, you are thorough. It’s a
funny thing that you should mention Shangri-La Records.
I had a really intense Grifters and Oblivians phase sometime
back in college. I will guarantee that I once saw the name
Cornfed in a Shangri-La advertisement or catalog and told
myself that I had to buy it because you were on the label.
Also, you mentioned the fucking Frothy Shakes. I love Killed
by Death #11. Did they ever play out?
AM: The Grifters and Oblivians were our neighbors,
roommates, and band mates at times. They are all good folks.
The Frothy Shakes only played out in Nashville, and that was before
my time. But, I have heard some live tapes, and they are
JFP: Sometimes you use
the group name Tan as Fuck is Taiwan Deth. Why?
AM: The name was sort of a fail-safe for our last
tour. At the time that we were setting up the shows, Josh
wasn’t sure which ones he could make. So either way, we
had our bases covered with the name. Tan as Fuck is still
around, but geography makes it difficult for regularity.
It is fun when it happens.
JFP: What unique qualities does Josh
bring to Tan as Fuck that make it a different project from
Taiwan Deth? To my ears, Tan as Fuck definitely feels a
bit heavier and more…how should I say…vibed-out? Maybe these
qualities can be attributed to Josh’s interest in dub?
AM: Yeah, I’d say he definitely brings out the
dub with a playful approach. His sampling is very near his
DJ work -- emphasis on mood and making the beats flow.
What, if anything, does the name Taiwan Deth mean?
AM: Derek came up with that name. It’s poking
fun at the Asian co-option of American words that are awkwardly
strung together and emblazoned on t-shirts. You know --
like “happy fresh” and “super rad”. Sometimes they are misspelled
and almost make sense. Also, part of our sound is derived
from Taiwanese export electronics, which are ultimately
disemboweled and given a Tetsuo rebirth.
As in the movie Tetsuo?
AM: Yeah, exactly.
Since I have yet to see Taiwan Deth live then please describe your live
set-up. By the way, I was quite bummed when I found out
that you were not making it out to the Bay Area.
AM: The live instrumentation involves Derek on
keyboards (homemade, souped-up, and other wise). He’s got
this amazing giant midi-controller for his MiniKorg. He
made it over a couple of months a year ago after he smashed
his heel to bits and was in bed for a while. The thing is
insane. He also does vocals through it, as well as, playing
percussion and sax. As for me, I’m playing guitar, flute,
and doing vocals. We trade on-n-off on the drums, and our
set up is easy because Derek is right-handed and I’m left-handed.
We can put drums in between us, and the rest of our shit
is on either side. The shows vary in content from being
one long piece that is planned only in terms of mood or
specific instrumentation with every other aspect improvised.
Then there are shows with separate, specific elements --
songs I guess -- with structured grooves and beats.
Oh, and we plan to
make up the West Coast dates in late-spring/early-summer.
We got walloped with badness including multiple van problems,
and Derek developed a staph infection that became deadly
serious with several days of 104° fevers. It required
a series of nasty shots, many days at the doctor’s office,
and a couple of week’s worth of heavy antibiotics. Barring
any other major medical traumas or auto disasters, we should
be making up the dates in the new year.
JFP: Do you know if Derek hallucinated
while in his feverish state? I suffered from awfully high
fevers when I was a little shaver. Once I hallucinated that
Congress was actually in session in
my bedroom, and I had to give a speech in front of everyone
including Tip O’Neill. My mom quickly hurried into my room
asking me what the hell I was yelling about.
AM: Damn, that’s nuts. I don’t think he did. But,
back when he crushed his heel, he was whacked-out for a
while, post-surgery, on heavy pills. He would have these
crazy hallucinations where he thought friends had come to
visit who had not. Then he would blank-out entirely when
folks really would stop by, convinced that others and I
were messing with him somehow.
On T.D.'s self-titled CD-R (VR007), the rhythms that maniacally hop up-n-down,
up-n-down like malfunctioning robots remind me, quite obliquely,
of Faust’s sense of rhythm especially how both Faust and
your group are seemingly capable of turning any repetitive
pattern of sound into a kick-ass mutant groove. In fact,
some of your more ambient parts remind me of Faust, too.
Are you and Derek fans of their music?
AM: We’re both into Faust, probably me more than
he. I love how their records have this purposeful journey
vibe about them. It just keeps unfolding and changing, and
it’s all valid and all good. They are kings of segue, like
on Faust IV --
how it goes from this looping hippy-jam into some poppy
almost Trio-sounding piece, which is interrupted by what
sounds like water-robots percolating and morphing into something
new and different. You travel through their stuff; you have
to hear it all together. That is what we try to do -- using
musical change to transform the atmosphere. It becomes more
than just about a song, though it may have stand-alone value,
it is the whole of a record or disc or whatever that truly
gives it legs. We try to create environments for your brain
to see -- journeys through sound.
JFP: Speaking of Trio (whom I learned
to love via the Oblivians’ cover of “Sunday you Need Love”),
have you ever listened to many of the bands from the Neue
Deutsche Welle like S.Y.P.H., Abwarts, Die Krupps, Palais
Schaumberg and the Zickzack label?
AM: Down with all that. Greg Oblivian actually
got me into Trio and all that good German stuff. He was
our roommate for a time in Memphis. When he couldn’t quite make the rent
he’d hand over some records including a lot of the Zickzack
I know you touched on this earlier, but how much of T.D.’s music is improvised
and how much of it is planned or worked out? Sometimes I
get the feeling that you guys are just releasing these wild
loops of Atari-like sounds and worrying about how to shape
them into rhythms after they have been let out of their cages.
AM: It’s about 50/50. Sometimes parts of the songs
are very planned and specific, with very purposeful arrangements;
the first track on the Angel
Babies…Forever! CD-R was all planned out. Then there
are pieces that are purely improvised with no forethought
or observing of the time elapsed, like the whole of the
Blue Pesher recording we did a few months
back with a friend, Rob Smith. The entire disc was unplanned
right down to the real bird sounds that chirp through the
musical silences. Then everything else we do falls somewhere
The quality of T.D.’s music that
I just might enjoy the most is your ability to create these
meditative vibrations from some pretty playful yet minimal
beats and snippets of sound. Do you ever listen to any of
the minimal techno released on the German label Kompakt? I see some
very odd but definite parallels between the respective rhythmic
ideas of Kompakt and T.D.
AM: I have heard of the label but don’t own anything.
I think the influences for us range pretty widely including
Cabaret Voltaire, Skip James, International Harvester and
all associated groups, a lot of Southern-based roots music.
I grew up around the real-deal pickin’-n-grinnin’ shit;
it’s unshakable and certainly one of my approaches to Taiwan
Deth. Both of us are huge fans of the Sun City Girls, Bob
Thompson, Blue Humans, Throbbing Gristle, Tower Recordings,
Jim O’Rourke, Henry Flynt, Joe Meek. The list of usual suspects
goes on and on and on.
Switching to visual art -- I assume you sew on a regular basis. What else
do you make besides pillows? Do you make your own clothing?
Do you make stage props? Does Derek sew and draw, too?
AM: I sew daily, constantly; it’s my job. I work
for a nutty interior designer making window treatments,
slip covers, pillows, duvet covers, and all that shit. Besides
that stuff, I make purses, clothes, whatever. For the last
tour I made this huge 20’x5’ banner covered in machine-sewn
drawings and patches. I’m a bit obsessed with fabric; my
collection is extensive.
Derek draws with a
fervor. It’s very comic-like and certainly humor-based.
He has this amazing ability to get across vast loads of
information using only a few lines. He is also a book and
printmaker. He’s working on a book show right now -- a group
show at the main branch of the public library here in town
for February of this year.
How did you learn to sew and do you primarily hand- or machine-sew?
AM: My grandmother taught me most everything.
On Saturdays and sick days starting from about the age of
5, I was a faithful attendee of my grandmother’s quilting
bees where they always let me work on my own little quilts.
Occasionally, I would get in a few stitches on the big one
they were currently gathered around. Living in the South
gave me exposure to all these arcane and beautiful rituals
like sewing, storytelling, berry picking, hill climbs, and
These days, I mostly
machine-sew; it has been where it’s at for me over the past
3 or 4 years. I just love drawing on the damn thing. Many
of my ink drawings reflect that; its useful and the results
JFP: I often wish that every square-inch
of my apartment would be buried in wildly colorful pillows,
small and large. I have often daydreamed of sleeping inside
mountains of soft pillows. I never relinquished my childhood
desire to live inside a sprawling pillow fort. In fact,
pillows are the most comfortable objects that modern man
has ever created. What is more comfortable than a body-sized
AM: Pillows are the ultimate comfort, and they
are a functional, utilitarian art. I am a huge observer
of craft as Art (big A) movement. My formal training was
in fiber arts -- weaving and surface design. I’m madly obsessed
and passionate about craft. With a pillow, it’s a gift to
anyone. You can use and appreciate it for its function,
and you can enjoy it for its color, textures, and patterns
and shapes, making it a complete piece of aesthetics and
utility (the duality of form and function) without question
as to which is more important.
JFP: William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know
to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I am a huge fan
of the Arts and Crafts movement. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, where the movement
was quite popular and my mom got me into its philosophy
and artwork. It was simultaneously ancient and
futuristic. It looked to antiquity but also foresaw the
long-term consequences of modern society better than most
JFP: What is the worse sewing accident
that you have ever had? Was blood drawn? I am telling you.
Stay away from boozing and sewing. I learned the hard way.
AM: I can’t say that I have had any sewing-related
tragedies. Most of my bruises, broken bones and bloodshed
have occurred during normal activity.
JFP: I – knock on
wood – have never broken a bone, but I did receive several
stitches from a horrible wiffle ball accident back in third
grade. Have you ever injured yourself while performing live?
AM: Yes, a few times, the worst was in Memphis with Cornfed. The
drummer had a nasty temper at times and would throw these
big fits on stage, tossing her drums everywhere. One show,
she shoved her entire set over, and it came crashing down
on me. The ride cymbal went, long ways, into my face, breaking
my nose (which wasn’t the first time for that) and knocking
me out cold, blood everywhere. I always squirm at recounting
this, and unfortunately I have a scar to remind me of someone
JFP: A friend of mine, Hanna “Little
Cakes” Fushihara, was part of a show at Granny Square in Nashville. Were you involved
with that show? Your artwork definitely fits in with the
fine-freakery arts-n-crafts neon-vibe of Fort Thunder, Dearraindrop, Little
Cakes, Paper Rad, etc.
AM: Granny Square is a gallery run by
my friend, Emily Holt, and me; Derek helps out too. It’s
a moveable gallery that exists in concept. This summer it
was in the form of a yart sale, music festival, and gallery
opening. I met Hanna when we played the No Fun Fest, last
year (2004), and we hit it off and just clicked on everything.
I asked if she wanted to do the opening and she did; we
proceeded to have the most fun June weekend on record --
two nights of music including the Laundry Room Squelchers,
Dave Cloud, Temple of Bon Matin, Corndawg, Jack Wright
Trio, the Cherry Blossoms, Nautical Almanac, and us doing Taiwan
Deth. The yart sale contained both local and national artists,
as well as, lots of awesome food. Artists in the sale included
Hanna, Barbara “Bobbie Clothes” Schauwecker, Ed Wilcox,
Patrick DeGuira, Bridget Venutti,
and on and on. There were more ear-to-ear grins than I have
The Granny Square was more or less a
continuation of the bookstore and salon I ran when I when
I first moved to Nashville. Halcyon Books was
a tiny 12’x12’ box containing as many fucked-up titles as
I could afford. I started the store in late 1999 with all
my 401k money from a corporate bookstore job that I held
down for four years. I kept the store until the building
owners tripled the rent. That, coupled with poor sales following
the arrival of Bush in the White House, did me in, and in
the late fall of 2003, I closed the place down, selling
the stock to a local record store, which later folded, too.
So, Granny Square is an easy, rent-free
answer to my need for a salon atmosphere even if only for
a weekend. And besides, do you need any excuse to show Hanna’s
work? It’s so awesome.
JFP: Do Derek and you collaborate on
drawings or does he draw some and you draw some?
AM: We do some collaborating, including this big,
stretched cloth-based piece that we’ve been back and forth
on for the last 4 or 5 months. But, the drawing and visual
stuff is more separate due largely to different choices
Please elaborate on the differences between those respective
AM: Derek does quite a bit of his work in the
form of animations. But, come to think of it, he has animated
some of my drawings like on the Malocchio DVD/VHS
release he did last year. And then he also makes a lot of
books, using that term loosely, especially these days when,
in some cases, the books he makes are vehicles for shadows
of the actual book structure. They are crazy and hard to
explain without seeing them. And then I do much of my drawings
on the sewing machine with fabric. We are both exploring
different themes and ideas. So, it’s good that we pursue
this stuff individually.
Do you think of your music, drawing,
and crafts as a single artistic endeavor?
AM: For the most part, yes, it is one unified
aesthetic. For me, they all play together in the formation
of space -- creating an atmosphere that in its entirety
is manipulated and presented through my own perspective.
Aural, visual, and textural are all interconnected and cross-pollinated
through genres that just make things thicker and more interesting.
With us, it’s most evident in our self-releases. Our packaging
certainly reflects our current visual mindset as influenced
by the recordings we made, mixed, and hovered-over until
they permeate your noggin and spew out into visual stuff.
Creating a total world-reality seems
to be one of the fundamental obsessions for many of the
artists we both know and enjoy. Who do you think really
excels at it? Who are your absolute faves? Mine has to be
the Bobbi Clothes-USAISAMONSTER-Elvish Presley axis. I want
to live in their world; it would be a wonderful place to
call reality even if I had to traipse naked through the
forest with gangly Native American elves.
AM: I’m with you there; I love their world. I
also dig Twig and Carly of Nautical Almanac. And until its
recent demise, the BLD folks in Columbus, Ohio. And around these
parts, like in Watertown and Short Mountain, there are these folks
that have these communities that explore nothing but puppetry
or stilt walking, and everyone’s there to mainly do that
one activity. So, the folks are soaked in it; I admire
their full-on commitment.
Do you ever sell any of your drawings and crafts?
AM: Yeah, both of us are into selling our shit
and have. Though, most often, our friends reap the benefits
of our work in the form of gifts. Oh, and I’m currently
selling pieces out of a local shop/gallery.
Who is responsible for the large black and white drawings hanging on either
side of the television at the Fugitive Show? Those are incredible.
AM: Both of the drawings are mine. The TV holds
a still of Derek’s animations. Pen and ink is, by far, my
favorite drawing medium. Those pieces are small drawings
blown up to poster size -- another fun past time. Poster-izing
as much of my work as possible is a cheap thrill with instant
results. I guess that doesn’t explain a lot about the content.
Post-art school, my shit’s been full-time otherworldly –
a series involving a rotating cast of key figures including
birds, various ‘eye’ creatures, and these sharp-penis gouge-eyed
dudes. These guys just make me laugh -- my own little comics.
It comes from a love of adult comics and mini comics; I’d
equate it to the passion of a record collector. I’m always
looking out for an obscure Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, Charles
Burns, any ol’ Drawn
and Quarterly artist or some rare numbered Mats!?! Guilty
or not, adult comics contain some of the smartest writing
and original artwork; it’s two birds with one stone.
JFP: So, both Derek and you have lived
in Memphis and currently Nashville, but where were each of you born and raised? When did you start making
AM: Derek is from Owensburg, Kentucky, by the Indiana border. He was born
and raised there until he moved to Memphis in 1993 to go to Memphis
College of Art. We met up there a year later.
I was born in
Nashville, but I actually didn’t live here until
Derek and I moved in 1998. I lived all around until I was
5, and then my family moved to Hohenwald, Tennessee (just a couple of hours southwest of Nashville, population of about 1500); this was where
I grew up. The writer William Gay is from there, too; he
has written two books, and I can safely say that they are
dead-on accounts of the town. Hohenwald is where Meriwether
Lewis (of the Lewis and Clark exhibition) died or was murdered;
no one really knows. It is also home to more thrift stores
per capita than anywhere else in the United States. And next door is the Farm, one of the
longest running hippie communes in the country. I guess
what I’m saying is that my normal gauge started out pretty
kilter. By the time I was 14, I had to leave; it was too
isolated for good learning. My folks sent me to high school
in Sewanee, Tennessee. I attended a very progressive boarding
school; I read amazingly hip shit, got to make awesome music,
was exposed to a good college radio station, and, most importantly,
I had access to likeminded folk. I moved to Memphis in 1990 and attended Rhodes College for two years; the art program was horrible.
So, I switched to the Memphis College of Art where I studied
fiber arts and small metals. Derek started at MCA a semester
later. Then a year later we met up and pretty much started
playing music together immediately. He studied printmaking
and book arts. He graduated, and I dropped out my last semester
after a teacher told me I wasn’t gonna pass a class that
was offered only once-a-year and only by this teacher. So,
I quit and never finished. No regrets, what can you do with
a degree in weaving, anyway?
so here is another glossing over -- failure to mention either
of our musical backgrounds -- oops. Derek started taking
guitar lessons at 12. He played in school jazz bands and,
of course, lots of high school punk projects. He picked
up sax a few years ago. The keyboards and tweaking and such
has been going on as long as I’ve know him. His creations
are insane, emotional robots perfectly crafted, beautiful
I started playing music
at age 7 -- the required age in my house to pick out an
instrument and start learning. I chose the flute; I spent
many years in orchestral groups and doing junior symphony.
By junior high I picked up the sax and also began playing
guitar. My folks always had stuff lying around like dulcimers,
mandolins, and acoustic guitars, and we were encouraged
to play them. By high school, I picked up the bass. I didn’t
start playing with other folks until college. Before that,
I was content to spend my time writing and recording at
home, multi-tracking on jam boxes. The only decent department
at Rhodes was music. While there,
I received two years of classical voice training, performing
mostly standards like Mozart’s Requiem.
I have never been to Nashville. What is it like? Is it expensive?
AM: Whenever someone asks me about Nashville, I have to decide
how much I will temper my answer. For some folks, you don’t
want to shatter their illusions. If someone asks about it
and follows their inquiry with ignorant, arrogant statements
of regional stereotypes then usually I’ll confirm all their
suspicions and more. But, in truth, it’s beautiful, hilly,
and lush. The folks here are friendly; there’s a nice little
underbelly of subculture. The food is awesome, lots of amazing
home cooking, including and especially hot chicken and fish.
More than anything, Nashville is a place to get
shit done. I’ve never been more productive in one place
than here. I can’t clearly pin point why that is – access
to equipment and supplies? (This is an industry town.) Or, if it’s just
the vibe here -- the energy is palpable.
You asked about cost
of living. Well, it’s not too bad but more than you might
think. But, it’s nothing like New York, San Francisco, or Boston. You can do more with
your paycheck than just pay the rent. And, as with anywhere,
search hard enough, and you’ll find a good deal.