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March 2008

Nashville I Know: A Muxtape By Me

I made a mix on, the biggest shit this side of the Tumblr/Twitter line*, of bands from Nashville (and Murfreesboro) that I like. Some of those songs are demos, so forgive the quality. I know many of the people in some of these bands, I hope they'll forgive me my trespasses.

* went up about two days ago and basically blew up like nothing I've ever seen. Because it's awesome. And about to get shut down soon, I imagine, so I had to get in on that.

Nashville Post Makes Super Smart Move

Current Mood: elated

Because Kleinheider got a job!:

Adam "A.C." Kleinheider, who until recently ran the respected site for WKRN-TV News 2, will on Monday join to augment the site’s breaking news coverage with a political blog.

Kleinheider ran for almost two years, amassing a loyal readership of local business and political leaders with his aggregation of and commentary on political blogs from all corners of Tennessee.

Kleinheider’s work will supplement the political reporting of veteran Ken Whitehouse, who among other stories recently broke the news that John Wilder will retire.

“We’re excited about bringing on board A.C., whose skills and network are a terrific addition to our team,” said Geert De Lombaerde, associate editor of “Diversifying our content with his aggregation experience will cement our place as the premier source for Nashville-area political news and views.”

Go read the rest from the Nashville Post. It has always been a good paper, but it just got a lot more valuable in my eyes.

The Start of Something That Could Be So Many Things

As I Wait for ItSo, some shit went down. You probably gathered that from the cryptic post and change in tone around here. (However, if you are following me on Twitter you are probably catching on to plenty.) Things, to categorize the situation sloppily, are different around here. And they are continuing to change.

My job is the same (and I'm very happy there), but my personal life is in transition in many facets. I may be moving soon, away from Berkeley and into the city of San Francisco. If not soon, it will be as soon as the lease is up. I will live alone. The very, very short of it is I fucked up, made some hard decisions, hurt some people, got some courage and went out on all sorts of tiny, fragile limbs.

Despite all that, and in part because of it, I'm flying where I have always wanted to go, on to fulfilling lifelong imaginings. Oh, the things I would do differently, but I've never been more primed and ready to steer this singular life I've been given into one that is fully realized. Whatever that means. I'm going to fucking find out.

There are some people whom I love dearly who may never speak to me again. Meanwhile I'm meeting some of the most fascinating and generous people I've ever encountered, people who make me feel more alive than I have felt in recent memory. Everything is a blur. Almost all of it. Since moving I experience air, food, faces so intensely and fully that I can't make heads or tails of anything.

It's been four months since I left Tennessee for the Bay Area, and this crazy parrot-having place I landed in could not be more different than where I lived for the entirety of three decades. When I think of trying to put down into words how it makes me feel to be walking the dogs in the morning just as the sun is pulling itself over the crests of the Berkeley Hills, to see a palm tree in my peripheral vision, I go numb. Which is insane, it's just a palm tree. What could be so fabulous and compelling about it that I cannot manage to convey its impact in writing? The issue isn't the tree itself, it's the unexpectedness of it. It's purely foreign to me. A palm tree, to a girl who always lived in Tennessee, is an exotic thing. It is a large, looming figure of otherness; an iconic beast that exists in postcards and at the movies and on vacation. Never when you are walking the dog. So, when I see it out of the corner of one eye my chest brims with the thrill of not just something new, but a regular something new. Something different from what always was, and I can see it whenever I want. I just walk outside.

I am still experiencing culture shock a third of a year later. Today as I rounded the corner to take the stairs down at the Embarcadero BART I got stuck behind two older gentlemen, one of which walked with the aid of a cane. They slowly ambled forward at a pace just quick enough to prevent me from easily slipping around them. Side by side they walked down each step at an exceedingly slow pace making it impossible for me, or anyone, to pass.

Initially this annoyed me. I thought about walking too closely on the heels of the man not assisted by a cane to not-so-subtly imply I wanted to pass on the left, which is standard operating procedure. The thought quickly dissipated, and I decided instead to enjoy the leisurely trip down the stairs while I gave thanks for my youth and my healthy, able legs.

Moments later, over the roar of mp3s in my ears, I heard a hostile voice. "Move it. Move over! You can't take up the whole fucking staircase!"

My immediate thought was that the loud voice I heard was a friend or acquaintance of the older gentlemen, and that he was teasing the men somehow. It became quickly apparent this wasn't the case. Music was playing at a substantial volume in my ears - in part so I can avoid these situations, mind you - but I heard one or both of the older men say something in response to the guy yelling. And it wasn't friendly banter, I can tell you that much. It was then that a man with long hair shoved under a baseball cap pushed past my left shoulder, and the men blocking the stairwell while yelling, "I don't care how old you are!"

Stunned, I took the opportunity to follow the screaming man into the gap he so forcefully made for us and past the two bewildered men. I let the interaction wash over me as I scrambled down the left side of the escalator, which happened to be clear.

Had the yelling man not forced his way past the amblers I would have missed the Richmond train. My wait would have been another six minutes.

birdoverbridgeOnce on the train car I found a place to hang on since all the seats were taken. I let the previous few minutes run over in my mind and I stood, mouth agape, at how I was in such a different place where the dynamics of daily interactions are played out in ways fully foreign to me. Frankly, I think if people rode mass transit in any significant numbers in Tennessee and that had happened, rude dude might have gotten a beat down, cowboy-boot-in-his-ass style. Or at least the serious threat of one. You just don't curse seniors like that in public without someone calling your ass on it. At least, I think I'm right about that. It's been a while since I've been home.

Anyway, I want to tell you, favorite reader, about my adventures in this fantastic place where every red cent I pay in rent is worth it because I love my life more than ever. I want to chronicle all the newfound fascinations I find in The Big City at every turn. I'm just too mired in the wonderfulness of it all to know how just yet.

It's coming.

KPIX On-Air Piece #2

This morning I was on the t.v. again, this time with the super smart Sweet Melissa, who could teach me a thing or two about how to act in front of the camera. If you watch the video above, notice when they cut to the two-shot of us how she is leaned forward on her forearms in a very serious, woman-to-watch-for way while I lean back with the goofy grin on my face. She looks so self-assured. I should smile less.

There were less uh's and um's this time, so cheers to that. And thanks to Melissa for getting up so early on a weekend to come in for the show. She was my first choice for the blogger segment, which may become a regular thing*

*I need to find out how often I can appear on the air before I am considered "talent" and have to pay $1500 in dues, I was told today. I'd NOT like to get surprised with that sort of bill, so thank you very much, Mr. Producer, for the heads up.

In Praise of Bill Hobbs (No, Really.)(Seriously.)

I'm no fan of Bill Hobbs*, but I try to give props where they are due, so here goes nothing. Hobbs left a comment at the farewell post at Volunteer Voters that deserves praise on a couple of levels. First, I'll make with what he said:

It’s been a week, and I’ve come to a conclusion about the demise of It’s not a big loss. It’s a MAMMOTHLY HUGE loss. There is a giant hole in the media fabric in Tennessee when it comes to political news. VV was the indispensable go-to source for all things political involving Tennessee, and provided depth and context that the various disparate news outlets often lack.

Additionally, while MSM outlets mention or quote from press releases and documents and such, VV often uploaded the whole thing, or gave readers a link to it - making it a far more valuable resource than any single MSM outlet for politics junkies.

It’s a damned shame that WKRN couldn’t figure out how to monetize the single most valuable political news property in the state. Here’s hoping that some other news outlet, one which understands the new media - and the new media consumer - and wants to be an information portal for its readers rather than just an information destination, decides it wants to take over VV, or at least hire Kleinheider to build a VV replacement for them.

This comment from Hobbs is about as close to how I feel about the situation as it can be. That site was special. It did something no other site does, at least not on the same level (hard for those with other jobs to compete with a full-time, paid blogger), which is streamline local and related national political news and opinion for an influential and sizable audience. Nashville editors, Tennessee senators and journalists all over the country logged in on a daily basis to read what Kleinheider brought. Surely someone with some smarts and a little vision can turn that into a profitable endeavor, at least in the long term. Bill's dead on with that statement.

Here's what also deserved recognition, and what prompted me to write this post: Kleinheider gave Hobbs hell. I mean, he deserved it, but VV was relentless when it came to the GOP blogger who is, no matter how you slice it, a force to be reckoned with. And yet, Hobbs comes to one of his biggest critic's defense because what Volunteer Voters gave to its readers was bigger than all that. Cheers to Bill for being a big man. At least about that.

*Oh hai, understatement.

Old Media Mindset On Display at V-Squared (R.I.P.)

This comment was left by a Nashville News 2 staffer on the farewell post at Volunteer Voters, the political blog once run by that station:

Although, I always hate to see any one lose their job and I appreciate the work that Adam did here at WKRN. I have to say that if his departure saves the job of just one employee that actually does tv work then it was worth it to me. This is a tv station not a blog station. I saw a lot of tv employees lose their jobs while Internet people remained. Before Adam was let go we had 3 Internet people and only 4 directors. For a TV station that is just not smart. Blogs are a luxury for a tv station not a necessity and this station can’t afford any luxuries.

While I can totally see why this employee would feel this way, it is evident that they are completely unaware of how the internet is changing their profession in radical ways that cannot be ignored. People with this mentality will either catch on or get swept away in the new media tide.

Adapt or die.

Stunned and Mostly Speechless

I'm slowly oscillating between really sad and really pissed off. Nashville -- hell, all of Tennessee -- just suffered a great loss. WKRN fired the only blogger left on their premises. They shitcanned the best blogger in the state; the best by a wide margin.

What a fucking shame. I'm in tears.

Adam, you are a scholar and gentleman. I do not worry for you. Your future holds many more scoops and successes. Hold your head high, sir. You are irreplaceable.