Axios Nashville

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January 14, 2022

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Today's newsletter is 963 words — a 3.6-minute read.

1 big thing: 3rd and Lindsley quietly turns 30

Singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun performs at 3rd and Lindsley
Joy Oladokun performs at 3rd and Lindsley in June, 2021. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Flying under the radar due to a brutal year for music venues, SoBro club 3rd and Lindsley quietly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021 without any fanfare.

  • Few industries celebrate milestone anniversaries with more gusto than the music business. Owner Ron Brice tells Axios he'd like to commemorate the accomplishment early this year but doesn't much feel like celebrating right now.
  • "Obviously we had some things in mind to make a big deal of it. But we just said to heck with it," Brice says, adding a celebration could be planned for later in the year.

Why it matters: 3rd and Lindsley has been a vital cog in Nashville's live music scene. It's a unique concert venue capable of hosting intimate songwriter rounds, up-and-coming local bands, and touring artists.

  • Little Big Town, Lady A, and Kacey Musgraves are among the artists who graced the stage there before becoming huge stars.

What he's saying: "I'm one of those guys that I don't look backwards too much, I mostly look forward," Brice says. "It's really not about me. It's the artists and my staff and all the people who make it work. I'm just a gatherer of talent and trying to do cool shows."

  • "I love the people I've been on this journey with," Brice says. "That's what I think about most."

Between the lines: After being shut down for months, the club reopened in October. It was just getting back into the swing of things when the latest COVID-19 surge hit and chaos returned.

  • Between navigating public health protocols, facing capacity restrictions, and artists canceling gigs, venues have had a difficult time running their businesses.

Yes, but: Even before the pandemic, Nashville's independent music venues have endured a brutal stretch. The Exit/In rock club was sold to new owners, likely leading to current operators being forced out.

  • The operator of the Mercy Lounge trio of clubs announced they would have to relocate from the Cannery complex.
  • The skyrocketing real estate market and corporatization of live music are pushing independent clubs such as 3rd and Lindsley to the brink.

The bottom line: "Just trying to keep our heads down at this point is all we can do," Brice says.

2. Subdued Senate redistricting

Image courtesy of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting

Tennessee Republicans yesterday revealed a new map of redrawn state Senate districts to a measured response from at least one Nashville Democrat.

Why it matters: The state Senate map departed from the strategy shown in the congressional and state House plans, which put incumbent Democrats on the defensive.

  • One significant change would see Senate District 17 extend from Wilson County into southeastern Davidson County.

What they're saying: State Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, called the Senate map "a phenomenal starting point." His criticism was muted — while he said he'd prefer more time for review, he acknowledged this plan was less aggressive than others this cycle.

  • "In the scheme of the plans that we're talking about, this is a mature plan," Yarbro said during a meeting of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting. "It doesn't appear to be motivated by any type of pettiness."

Meanwhile: Yarbro blasted the congressional map, the same as the one revealed in the state House Wednesday, as "a mess."

  • The committee approved both maps over his objections, sending them to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The latest: Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, hailed both maps as "excellent work" in a statement. They are both expected to pass the conservative General Assembly with ease.

3. Police starting activities group for youths

Police Chief John Drake
Police chief John Drake. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

Police chief John Drake is creating a new division that he says expands on the most rewarding part of his 34-year career in the department.

  • The "Police Activities League" will oversee athletics and other programming for young people, according to the department.

Why it matters: The police department has tried for years to address youth crimes. A juvenile crimes task force that started in 2018 disbanded last year.

  • The new league illustrates Drake's approach, one more focused on relationship-building than punishment.

Background: The league mirrors the former Police Athletic League, where Drake worked in the 1990s.

  • That program ended in the 2000s.

What he's saying: "We touched the lives of countless young people during those years and were able to offer counsel to parents along the way as well," Drake said yesterday in a statement.

  • "It is clear to me that Nashville more than ever needs a Police Activities League to help kids stay on track and away from bad influences that can negatively impact their lives for years."

Meanwhile, Drake also announced the launch of the Office of Crime Control Strategies, which will seek to track developing crime trends.

4. The Setlist

Illustration of a chicken wearing sunglasses with fire reflected in the lenses.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Retired Nashville Judge Barbara Haynes passed away on Thursday.  (The Tennessean)

🔬 Tennessee college funding may be retooled to encourage more STEM and health care students. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

💰 North Nashville and Bordeaux want to send participatory budget funding to parks and transit. (WPLN)

Campaign finance officials plan to subpoena former House Speaker Glen Casada as part of a PAC audit. (The Tennessean)

5. Mocktails to go

Mocktails from Anzie Blue
Anzie Blue mocktails. Photo courtesy Mary Craven

Nashvillians looking to cut back on alcohol in 2022 can find high-class alternatives at many local restaurants.

Driving the news: A growing number of Americans — as many as 15% — have been participating in "Dry January" to kick off the new year in a healthy way.

Local options for alcohol-free drinks include:

🍓 The Strawberry Cucumber Spritz blends fresh ingredients with Topo Chico and is one of several offerings at Anzie Blue.

🍋 The Virgin Dragonfly at Lockeland Table boasts fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, hibiscus tea, lemon and soda water.

🌿 The Clean Slate at the W Hotel's Living Room bar features blackberry, basil, demerara sugar and tonic.

🍍 Pineapple Sage soda at Butchertown Hall.

📬 Reply to this email with something else we should sample.

Our picks:

🍔 Nate is reveling in the green chile cheeseburger he had at Redheaded Stranger and preparing for a weekend of trashing his boys in Mario Kart.

ğŸŽ‚ Adam is wishing his youngest brother Luke a happy birthday.