Civil War, Slavery, History from a Non-Southern Perspective| @Darrah_Glass #nashville

“In summer 2013, I finally roused myself to take an interest in Nashville and the Mr. agreed to accompany me to visit Civil War sites in and around the city. It wasn’t so much that I was interested in the Civil War specifically, but I like history, and I like research, and that’s really what there is to be interested in around here besides the music industry. I was apprehensive when we started visiting battlefields and house museums, expecting to be presented with a lot of pro-Confederate opinions and romanticizing of the Southern cause, but that hasn’t been our experience at all. All of the surviving antebellum mansions were occupied by the armies for one side or the other at some point, and most served as hospitals, as well. The history everywhere is a combined Union/Confederate history, typically presented by people who are passionate about the facts and delighted to share their knowledge. So far, it’s always been a presentation of American history, of intimately human history, and not a politically-motivated interpretation, and I’ve definitely appreciated this.”

read more interesting observations about the Civil War and the South from the perspective of a non-Southerner via Nashville history | Darrah Glass.



Cory Branan/Matrimony/Gaslight Anthem — Nashville, 3/6/2013

Hmm. Sometimes I write a title in a draft post and I think what I have to say is so memorable there is no way I’ll forget it. Obviously, I wanted to write up about my show experience in March. And yet…I have no idea what I’d planned to say.

So, let me just hook you up with three of the songs I heard from each band. Totally worth buying all these musicians.

Cory Branan “Girl Named Go”

Matrimony “Obey Your Guns”

Gaslight Anthem “Bring It On”

Performance: Jay Brannan in Nashville 2012


Dear Jay Brannan’s Fan Named Kim and All Of Her Drunken Friends,

I understand that you love Jay Brannan. I do. Heck, I love Jay Brannan, too. I understand that his music moves you. His music moves me, too. Luckily, though, his music doesn’t move me to get obnoxiously drunk, scream loud things throughout his set, crash his songs in the middle by trying to give him beers, or to sing along really loudly like I got confused, forgot they were singer-song-writer songs, and thought they were rousing pub tunes or something. Nope, his music just doesn’t move me like that. And I wish it hadn’t moved you like that, either.

Thanks for making the night a mess of second hand embarrassment, amazement, and anger. Believe it or not, I came to hear Jay Brannan, and paid money for that privilege. I didn’t come to see you misbehave and hear you and your friends sing. Okay, fine, I admit it. It was entertaining in a horrifying way that can only be described as oddly affirming. As in, I might not be the most awesome human in the world, but I am not so wretched as all that. And, Kim, seriously, honey, that’s not that kind of life affirming that you want to be to people. It’s just sad. Do better. Be better. I believe in you.


Leta Blake, who wishes you well


Because I was traveling to Nashville after I got off from work, I missed the first opening act and I was only there for most of the second opening act–a guy named Jesse Ruben who had some fine enough songs, but also seemed to suffer from ‘nice guy’ syndrome and possibly wanted to pick up geeky-hot girls (or boys, maybe) by throwing out his emotional investment in everyone worldwide reading Harry Potter and The Hunger Games? Which I found charming if rather transparent? Um, I might’ve been paying more attention to his persona than his music. He was kinda cracking me up with his pretty blatant appeals for someone (though not necessarily someone in Nashville, mind you) to give him a good college try. And I’m not talking about trying his music. But he was all right. And not bad to look at. That’s always a plus. See?



Now, on to the main event.

Jay Brannan was delightful and classy given the antics of Kim and Her Drunken Friends. His voice was on point, his anecdotes funny, and his attitude good given the circumstances.

I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but I will say that his set list left a bit to be desired.  In case he’s out there reading this–Jay, the Brendan story is awesome, the song is…not the best for a live show, especially when psycho Kim is making a ton of noise with her table full of beer bottles and drunk friends.

And, seriously, “‘Denmark’ or ‘Greatest Hits'” should never be words that come out of your mouth. Thank you for playing both of them. No one should be made to choose. That’s just cruel. They were lovely and only marred by Kim’s sing-along gang. Somehow I just couldn’t get past the inebriated and misplaced enthusiasm they had when singing the lyrics, “A punch in the gut, some black ’round the eye, there’s red from my lips, and I’m asking God why.” You, however, were flawless.


I did not take this photo. I have no idea who did. It was not from the Nashville show.  

Now for an annoyingly entitled proposed future set list for Mr. Brannan:

Everywhere There’s Statues
Can’t Have It All

Video Games (cover)

Spanglish Song
La La La
Ever After Happily or Bowlegged and Starving (if you have a piano)
Rob Me Blind

Super Bass (cover)

At First Sight
Greatest Hits
The State of Music

As for whether or not I recommend going to see a Jay Brannan show, I have to say yes. Because Kim probably won’t be at your show to ruin it for you. Also, buy stuff from him. Guy needs money so that he can eat more sandwiches before he wastes away to nothing. Bruises not withstanding, Mr. Brannan.

Go forth and buy Jay Brannan’s music! And watch him on YouTube, too!