Before I moved to Nashville, I had been listening a lot to Tristen. Not for any particular geographic-reason, but because songs like “Baby Drugs” and others off of Charlatans At The Garden Gate infected my mind; there was something so brilliantly unique about her voice and the melodies that blend the esoteric with the effortlessly catchy, a winking moodiness caged in jagged candy shells.
“You know she’s from Chicago, right?” a friend said to me after listening to her record, wanting to claim her to anywhere but Nashville (this was at a point when many of my fellow New Yorkers still found it odd that I wanted to move south – in the era before the articles in the Times, GQ, wherever else – i.e. Nashville before Nowville).
I explained that Tristen now lived in Nashville, but it didn’t quite matter. In her view, the lack of consistent “Americana” themes on the record indicated that Tristen must be living in Nashville by some weird happenstance; a job, a marriage, something beyond her control. Of course, she gets it now. It takes a train to cry.
I hadn’t been living in Nashville very long when I caught Tristen playing a show at Fanny’s house of music in the neighborhood. A deadline had me working late, so I missed most of it, rushing in towards the end while nearly still tying my shoes. Three seconds of her performance – singing full-force with a hand mic, barely a few feet away from the small audience – and I was stunned by both the guts and beauty of it all. By Tristen most of all, but by the whole experience, too – I knew I moved to the right place. And I vowed never to be late to see Tristen again.
Which is why we are so happy to be presenting Tristen, live at Exit/In this Saturday, along with Adia Victoria and the Wans. Get all the info here, and make sure to grab your tickets. And stay tuned to our twitter for more information on how to win a spot to the first of our new Soundcheck Parties at Exit/In, where you can grab a private set with Tristen and have a beer on us.
Now, for Tristen’s Nashville Five :::
1. Tennessee Wildflower Honey – This dark, unfiltered honey is a staple in my house and will genuiunely alter your expectations for how honey should taste. It is my go-to gift for my friends living all over the country. It’s made in Goodlettsville, TN and you can find it at the Farmers Market on Rosa Parks Blvd.
2. K & S World Market – Despite it’s stinkiness (it stinks in there), K&S World Market on Nolensville in south Nashville is my spot. It’s a bit of a haul (by Nashville standards) from East Nashville where I live but the prices and the selection make it worth the trip. You can find a full selection of asian produce (the ginger is cheap!), as well as standards, special teas, spices and best of all, you can buy fresh fish, head intact.
3. Shipley Do-Nuts – If you want a real, fresh doughnut, that reminds you of the doughnuts you got as a kid before dunkin donuts infiltrated your donut psyche, this place is it. They’ve been around for 76 years and they’ve got appropriately weak coffee and doughy rounds in all the right shapes, sizes and flavors.
4. Sip Cafe – Despite all the new coffee shops in town with their restored barn wood motifs and richster (rich hipster) staffs, Sip cafe, in it’s small understated pocket of Riverside Village, with it’s friendly staff, french presses (totally not a verb) the heck out of some coffee. Their espresso is great too. It’s my favorite and usual stop when I run out of coffee at home. They have a great patio in back with a community garden in the summer. Just precious, eh?
5. Last but not least a shout out to Mas Tacos. Teresa Mason, let us not forget was the pioneer of the food truck in Nashville, started her business by hitting the late night spots with her delicious tacos that often include savory slow roasted meats, fried avocados, quinoa, etc. Now located on the corner of Eastland and McFerrin in East Nast, Mas Tacos has a permanent spot and serves a simple and 100% awesome menu. The agua fresca is spot on too. Doooooo it.
Watch the video for “No One’s Gonna Know” off of C A V E S :::