Photos by Mike Severson
- Another great day in the DR with ridiculously talented singer/songwriters. A supergroup of artists who have giant hearts. @WVArtists 5 hours ago
- Day 3 w/ songwriters in the DR has been incredible. Witnessing how much & in how many ways @WorldVision is lifting up children & families. 1 day ago
- Into our second day & we have met some amazing kids. One a phenomenal singer who wrote an incredible song. #undiscoveredtalent #worldvision 2 days ago
- Long travel day done. After 2 flight and a 3.5 hour bus ride we are safely in Barahona, DR. Dinner time & hang time! 3 days ago
- We all ran into @hollywilliams1 at the gate in Nashville. Great to meet her. The amount of talent at B concourse this morning was intense. 3 days ago
- And we're off. World Vision songwriters trip is Dominican bound. What a great bunch of artists. 3 days ago
- @russelled Hey man, are you planning on bringing a guitar? Trying to get a final count. 4 days ago
I recently read an interesting article from the Charleston City Paper entitled “Will Nashville of 2013 be the Charleston of 2012? “ It is about how Nashville is poised to become the next fine Southern fare capital.
I am by no means a restaurant and culinary expert, but for me Nashville’s got a ways to go before it’s ever up to the standards and quality of Charleston restaurants. National award winning Husk coming into town this spring will help us begin the transition from good to great.
For years I knew there was something missing in my restaurant visits in Nashville, but I didn’t know what it was. I was sometimes paying exorbitant prices for what was not equal value food. I nearly always left more regretting the price I paid rather than savoring what I was hoping would be an exceptional night of cuisine. And I’m not talking about just the food.
Then there was Charleston. After a couple of visits to this historic city in the low country of South Carolina, it became clear what had been missing. First of all the food was spectacular and not much more in price, and in some cases less, than the upper-tier restaurants in Nashville. Some of the finest dinners I have ever had and all in one city. Just as important though was the service we received at Husk, Fig, and a host of other incredible restaurants that blew away anything we had received in Nashville. It turned a great night of food into a culinary EXPERIENCE and so much so that when the hefty bill came it was completely worth it. No concerns, no second thoughts. Worth it. I’ve rarely said that about a high level Nashville restaurant.
So many prime eateries in Nashville rely upon their interior space, bar, location, or LA/NY sophistication. Or they rationalize the expense of their dishes because they are organic or “farm to table” when they are simply trendy and pretentious without the cooking to back it up.
Such as it was at a recent dinner at a Nashville suburb restaurant just outside of Franklin, TN. A group of us made New Year’s Eve plans at a popular place that sounded like it would be a wonderful experience with a set menu, but was just a plain rip off. An expensive evening of good farm to table food, but terrible service and nothing even close to being an experience to remember, other than a special time with friends. I’m sure we will always talk about that evening and our reactions when we got the bill, which was nearly twice as much as we expected it to be. Everyone at the table agreed it was not even close to being worth it. Needless to say I won’t be going back there and is just another story of little value from a high price tag.
With that said, I agree that Nashville is poised to be the next Charleston as it relates to Southern cuisine. We have a good start with places like The Southern, Capitol Grille, City House, Mack & Kate’s and Cork & Cow in Franklin, but not without Husk and more Charleston type restaurants leading the way to discovering incredible food, stellar service, and the adventure of dining experience.
Now if we can figure out the beach thing.
Best Musical Groups of 2012:
Mumford and Sons, MuteMath, Little Big Town, The Lumineers, Dawes, Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters & Men, Zac Brown Band, PawnShop kings, Fun, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Avett Brothers, Group 1 Crew, Thousand Foot Crutch
Best Female Musical Artists of 2012:
Adele, ZZ Ward, Pink, Kacey Musgraves, Kristin Capolino, Kelly Clarkson, Brooke Fraser, Angel Snow, Tristan Prettyman
Best Male Musical Artists of 2012:
Michael Kiwanuka, Marc Scibilia, Gotye, Drew Womack, Eric Church, TobyMac, Steve Moakler, Gregory Porter
Best Albums of 2012 (not in any particular order):
- Mumford and Sons – “Babel”
- MuteMath “Odd Soul: Live in DC”
- Michael Kiwanuka – “Home Again”
- Marc Scibilia – “EP”
- Little Big Town – “Tornado”
- Imagine Dragons – “Night Visions”
- The Lumineers – “The Lumineers”
- Jamey Johnson – “A Tribute to Hank Cochran”
- Gotye - “Making Mirrors”
- Various Artists “Deep In The Heart – “Big Songs For Little Texans Everywhere”
- TobyMac - “Eye On It”
- Gregory Porter – “Be Good”
- Drew Womack – “Sunshine To Rain”
- Zac Brown Band – “Uncaged”
Best Singles of 2012:
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”, Eric Church – “Springsteen”, Gotye – “Somebody I Used To Know”, Marc Scibilia – “How Bad We Need Each Other”, Fun – “We Are Young”, The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”, MuteMath – “Blood Pressure”, Carter’s Chord – “Love A Little Bigger”, Little Big Town – “Pontoon” and “Tornado”, Group 1 Crew – “He Said”, Adele – “Skyfall”, Neon Trees – “Everybody Talks”, Alex Clare – “Too Close”, Needtobreathe – “Keep Your Eyes Open”, Drew Womack – “Sunshine To Rain”, Anna Sun – “Walk The Moon”, Train – “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”, Ellie Goulding – “Lights”, David Guetta and Sia – “Titanium”, Thousand Foot Crutch – “War Of Change”, Michael Kiwanuka – “I’m Getting Ready”, Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”, MuteMath – “Allies”, Linkin Park – “Burn It Down”
Best Comeback: The Mavericks
Best Concert: Mumford & Sons at The Ryman, Sarah McClauchlan at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
The end of one year and the beginning of a fresh new one, I’m reminded of this….
Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, – act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
I admit I got into a rut with my blog. Mostly due to my work, hobbies, and not really being inspired to post anything. I’d rather let the blog sit idle than conjure up something just to have content. I want to be inspired creatively or motivated by outside sources to make the time and give something that is worthwhile.
That brings me to Michael Kiwanuka. I recently stumbled upon one of his songs and then checked out the entire album. I immediately purchased the album, which I don’t do nearly as often as I used to, and found the inspiration within the music. There is a refreshing vintage soul vibe and yet a new welcoming sound of restoration.
Kiwanuka grew up in London and is the son of Ugandan parents who escaped the Idi Amin regime. He is the male answer to Adele, who he opened for in 2011, and I hope will be as popular as she has come to be. Firstly because Michael is Ridiculously Talented, and secondly, we need more artists like him rising above the ocean of musical mediocrity our culture spews out.
It’s really good to be inspired.
Invariably when watching the press conference following a professional sports game or in the locker room directly afterwards, some of the reporters are asking some stupid questions. At the same time many of those sports journalists are asking very pointed, uncomfortable, and direct questions that may seem a little over the top. After all , the people that are being questioned are just athletes and coaches, not the President or a member of Congress.
If only we switch out members of sports journalism with those of the news and political press who are too soft on our politicians and don’t do the dirty journalistic work required to get to the bottom of a story. Sometimes they don’t even chase a viable story at all and look as bad as the NFL replacement referees. Let them go cover sports, while the sports reporters take on the duties of the news and political reporters. The same goes for interviewing. How about we get Jim Rome, Skip Bayless, Andrea Kremer, Frank Deford, Dan Patrick, and those eager sportscasters we watched on the Olympics fire away on the politicians as they do on the athletes? As well as the many local sports journalists that get it done and get answers.
This action would go a long way in bringing back journalism and investigation. No more phoning it in or giving someone a pass because you are in their camp. We’d get hard questions (yes, sometimes stupid) and real answers to why things are happening the way they are and what our leaders and representatives are going to do about it. There won’t be much BS allowed because the stats will be picked apart, stories will be found out, and we’ll all know the moves elected officials will make when they try to hide them. Sportscasters would bring back real news again.
Don’t think they’d be up to the task? I would disagree. If anything they would be tougher and more gutsy. Not the softened kid glove reporters and editors who are cuddled up with the politicians and leaders of our country. Would YOU want to interview and question Ray Lewis after a loss?
Sports reporters have to be seasoned in asking tough questions and getting factual analysis from professional coaches, managers, players, and owners. They have to hit the street to get genuine reaction from fans and keeping pulse of what is happening with their teams and why things aren’t happening the way they should.
The only drawback is that sportscasters are just as opinionated, if not more so, than news reporters (I’m looking at you Bob Costas). They love to debate, and that’s fine, as long as they are getting answers and uncovering the truth.
I know it sounds like a joke and is fictional thinking, but I believe it would work and we would all be better off for it. We need to see authentic journalism and true investigative news make a comeback. Who better to help than our detailed, competitive, and analysis crunching sports industry?