1. We’re called Music City — not Country Music City — for a reason.
Believe it or not, the plethora of musical talent steaming off Nashville isn’t just twang. There’s the Black Keys, The Allman Brothers, Kings of Leon, Paramore, Jack White, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Civil Wars, Kelly Clarkson, Kyle Cook, Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, Little Richard – and that’s just skimming the surface. Not to mention, it’s here in Nashville where Jimi Hendrix learned to cut with his teeth, Ray Charles smoothed Jefferson Street with his soul, and Etta James recorded her first album.
Also, while we’re on the subject, let’s go on and clarify that Bristol is the actual birthplace of country music. Nashville just had the show that made it famous.
2. Avoid Honky Tonk Highway like the plague.
Just because there’s an aura of neon light pollution hypnotising bachelorette parties to compete with who can slur “WOO!” the loudest on Pedal Taverns doesn’t mean you, too, should be sucked in like a moth to a flame. Go share a PBR with Santa instead. Your sanity will thank you.
3. Yes, our roads are paved.
With one of the fastest growing large metros in the country, it was decided recently to smear some cement on all those downtown dirt roads. Now our revving, souped up trucks won’t churn dust everywhere at intersections. Nashvillians: they’re just like you!
4. And no, we don’t sport studded cowboy hats and rhinestone belts.
…well, okay, some do. But that’s beside the point.
5. Trailer Trash? You want it.
A brilliant concoction of vanilla blended with Twix, Oreo, Snickers, Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch, M&Ms, and Reese’s Pieces? Trashy has never been so creamy.
6. You can thank us for all that vinyl.
On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got United Records Pressing, which is the largest vinyl pressing plant in the United States, having pressed records for artists such as The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Jack White, Justin Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Radiohead, and The Black Keys. Then on the more local end, there’s Grimey’s New & Preloved Music, which played a huge part in the recognition and growth of independent record stores, branding the third Saturday of April as Record Store Day. And, of course, who can forget Jack White’s Third Man Records?
7. Fried eggs. Fried eggs on everything.
Fried eggs on pasta, fried eggs on biscuits, fried eggs on salads, fried eggs on burgers, fried eggs on BLTs, fried eggs on pizza, fried eggs on pulled pork sandwiches, fried eggs on eggs on eggs…
8. “I’m broke” doesn’t cut it here.
The first time you step foot in a bar flooded with live music free of charge, you might feel a little special. The fifth, 12th, or 27th time? Now, that’s just Nashville, baby.
9. You can’t handle our chicken.
Seriously. Complain away about how you’re never satisfied with the level of spicy you want at restaurants. Just be warned, the second some Shut the Cluck Up hits your tongue, the instant glistening of sweat and face reddening translates to “Well guys, I’m actually a bitch when it comes to hot chicken.” Now, admit your defeat with a heat numbing cup of red skin potato salad, pimento mac & cheese, and dill pickle slice and move on.
10. For the last time, it’s ‘Da-mun-bree-un.’
11. You should always go to Church.
Mind you, Church means Church Street and Church Street means spending the evening entertained by badass drag queens dressed as Maleficent or Dolly at Play.
12. You might actually make it here as a musician.
You don’t have to be Beck at Blackbird Studio to make it big here. For up-and-coming musicians, in addition to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s 14-week initiative Project Music, Nashville opened Ryman Lofts as the city’s first subsidized housing designed for artists at an affordable rate. Also, according to the local Chamber of Commerce, for every one thousand working-age population, Nashville leads the nation with 7.8 jobs in the music industry as opposed to Los Angeles’ 2.8.
There’s a unmatched support system here — one you feel the second that Batman Building comes into view.
13. A meat and three is a perfectly good part of a balanced meal.
Because nothing screams clean eating like a plate of sliced roast beef cozied up with pinto beans, creamed corn, and mac & cheese — which is totally a vegetable — from Arnold’s.
14. You will be treated with kindness here.
Voted #1 Friendliest City in America 2013, Nashville has the ability to slap a genuine smile on the bitterest of faces and draw a “Yes ma’am” out of the foulest of mouths. Don’t think we’re weird — we’re just really hospitable.
15. But please, for the love of god, don’t call it Nashvegas.
Cue the eye roll.