Friday, November 30, 2007

Apple(bee's) of my I(hop)

Pancake house operator IHOP Corp. said Thursday it had completed its $1.9 billion purchase of casual dining chain Applebee's International Inc.

Under terms of the deal, shareholders of Overland Park, Kan.-based Applebee's will be paid $25.50 per share, a 4.6 percent premium over its closing price on the day before the offer was an nounced in July and 2 cents above where the shares ended trading Thursday.

Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP also is assuming $155 million in Applebee's debt as part of the deal.
The combined company has $6.8 billion in annual sales and more than 3,250 restaurants.

Read more in the Tennessean newspaper.

Evel Knievel, My Hero as a Child, Has Died

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

"It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?" Rundel said.

Immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution as "America's Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

Read the complete story at Yahoo News.

Keith Urban is Finally Back Home in Nashville

~Keith Urban has toured internationally this year, but it's tonight's Sommet Center show that really makes him excited.

~As he begins what he says is a new chapter in his life, he can't help but reflect on his career.

"It doesn't feel like it was that long ago that I was playing the Ace of Clubs and 12th and Porter.

To go from those little places up to this venue is just amazing. It's a great feeling; I certainly don't take it for granted."

The couple purchased a Middle Tennessee farm this year that they're currently renovating.

"Ironically, the first place I took her to was out near Leiper's Fork," he said. "That ended up being out in the general area where we will now call home. I just knew that she would love it for the exact same reasons I love it. There's a pace and a way of living that is much more spiritually satisfying to me than a lot of other places."

Of his farm, he says, "It's something that has quite a bit of room to walk around and grow some grass under our feet and have some privacy, but not feel like we're isolated. We don't want to live in a compound. It's the great thing about Tennessee and especially Nashville. The people are just real people, so they just accept you being neighbors.

He said the couple has a good rhythm here. "Nashville suited us as a couple very quicky. So having been away now for so long making this film, we are just both anxious to get back into that groove again."

Read all about Keith being at the Sommet Center and loving Nashville in the Beverly Keel column in the Tennessean newspaper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Overheard on the Subway in New York City

"ladies and gentlemen, i'm sorry to be bothering you while you're working, but i just need some money for a warm breakfast. my only talent is my singing voice, but it's too early for me to sing at the moment. please give me money."
Find more cool stuff at Jazz in Strange Places blog.

Stevie Wonder, Keith Urban and Trans-Siberian Orchestra coming to the Sommet Center in Nashville

November 30
Seating Chart: View Chart
Event Website(s): Keith Urban

KEITH URBAN brings his "Love, Pain, & the Whole Crazy World" tour to the Sommet Center on Nov 30th at 8pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept 28th at 10am. Don't miss this amazing performer!

December 1
Seating Chart: View Chart

Grammy award winner Stevie Wonder is set to take the stage at the Sommet Center on Saturday, Dec. 1.

With 35 U.S. albums and sales totaling more than 72 million units, it comes as no surprise that the talented and experienced Wonder will put on an unforgettable show that fans can enjoy.
In 1989 Wonder was inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. Then in 1996 he received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy. These significant awards are only two among the many that he has won over the years, which has made him one of the most prolific artists in music history.Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 3rd at 10:00AM.
Event Website(s): Stevie Wonder

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Purchase Tickets
Dates: December 30,
Seating Chart: View Chart

Winter's Hottest Annual Arena Rock Attraction is coming to the Sommet Center.
Established in 1996 by producer/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill, TSO has been a true rock mega-success, both on record and the concert stage. The band’s four CD releases, including the holiday-themed Christmas Eve & Other Stories (1996), The Christmas Attic (1998) and The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), have sold more than 5,000,000 units, over 900,000 in 2006 alone. TSO’s 2001 DVD release, The Ghost of Christmas Eve, also achieved platinum status.

Event Website(s): Trans-Siberian Orchestra

December 26
Seating Chart: View Chart

WWE Presents RAW at the Sommet Center Dec 26th at 7:30pm.
Event Website(s): WWE

A Country Music Christmas at the Viking Store with Edie Hand

First Saturday Art Gallery Crawl- December 1

First Saturday Gallery Crawl
Saturday, December 1. Various locations.
6 - 9 pm.
Art galleries throughout downtown host receptions and art openings on the first Saturday of every month. Most galleries serve free wine and other refreshments. A free shuttle provides transportation among the galleries from 6 pm to 10 pm. See the shuttle map and gallery listing here. Listings below include additional information about some of the openings. Please NOTE that 19 galleries are officially on this month's tour. The map (hyperlink above) includes a complete list of galleries that will be open this Saturday.

The Arts Company
215 5th Avenue North
6 - 9 pm
11th Annual Holiday Arts Market and three new exhibits on display. "Elastro Pops" features paintings April Street. "Staged Narrative Paintings" features works by Jim Hubbman. "Contemporary Tintypes" features vintage Christmans Ornaments by David Sokosh. Exhibits on display through December 22.

The holiday arts market is full of new artwork by gallery artists, including Brother Mel, Lekhleti, Bob Schatz, John Nikolai, John Guider, and many others. Plus, art books, new photography, paintings, sculpture.

Dangenart Gallery
83 Arcade
6 - 9 pm
"Self Series" features photography by Laura Young. Exhibit on display Saturday night only.

Estel Gallery
115 Rosa Parks Blvd (8th Avenue N)
6 - 9 pm
"The Paradox of Change" features paintings by by Richard Heinsohn. Also, TAG's show "Assembling Utopia" featuring works on paper by Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth, will be on display at Estel. Both exhibits close on December 21.

The Rymer Gallery
219 6th Avenue North
6 - 9 pm
Featuring works by Tom Baril, Drew Galloway, and Richard Jolley. On display through January 4, 2008.

SQFT Gallery
61 Arcade
6 - 9 pm
Deck the Walls: an affordable art holiday show featuring works by Agnes Barton-Sabo, Eleanor Grosch, Caitlin Keegan, James Keegan, Jessica Rosenkranz, and Shea Steele.

Susan Tinney Gallery
237 5th Avenue North
6 - 9 pm
"Narratives" features figurative paintings by Greg Decker. Exhibits on display through December 24.

Tennessee Art League
808 Broadway
6 - 9 pm
Featuring works by Martin Coffeen and Stephanie Helmey. Exhibits on display through December 31.

Take 121 Arts
121 3rd Avenue South
6 - 9 pm
"Holiday Art Crawl" showcasing small format artists. These technical, small works make great holiday gifts. $50 gift certificates for $25 through December 31.

510 Church Street
6 - 9 pm
Featuring the exhibit, "Contemporary Art of Julian Cole." On display through December 15.

Twist Art Gallery
73 Arcade
6 - 9 pm
"Plate Tone Printshop" on display through January 26, 2008. Plus unique, affordable art for purchase for the holidays!

Ruby Green
514 5th Avenue South
"Composite Things" features works by Steven Finke. Free parking at Ruby Green. This gallery is not a stop on the shuttle route, but is open for the First Saturday Gallery Crawl!

Downtown Presbyterian Church
154 5th Avenue North
6 - 7 pm
Potluck dinner and art show opening = Art-Luck. Bring a dish to share and go gallery hopping afterwards. This month's show highlights works from the collections of members and friends of the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Exhibit on display through December 7.

Dunn Bros. Coffee - Live Music & Art
401 Church Street
Open until 10 pm
The walls of the shop are lined with paintings, portraits and photographs. Works by water color artist Wendy Latimer and painter Marleen De Bock are currently on display. Show runs through December 31. Live music by the Karen Johns Band from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Fire Finch
305 Church Street
6 - 9 pm
Open house featuring refreshments. First Saturday Gallery Crawl attendees are encouraged to drop in to see one of downtown's newest retail shops!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wine and Art at Vinea

Hey there lovers of wine and ceramics...

On Saturday we have more than wine to show off. Corrieri's Formaggeria is also having an art show featuring Nashville's premiere potter and old friend, David Rhine.

In celebration of David joining us on Saturday, we will be opening several 90 +/-point boutique Australian wines from master importer Dan Phillps of the Grateful Palate. Believe me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to just drop by and sip great wines!

The tasting will begin at Corrieri's at 2 pm and end at 5 pm. The tasting is FREE. All you need bring is a love of world class wine and a couple of great friends.

Drink Great Wine,
MJ the Sommelier

David Rhine

David developed and perfected a coil/throwing method of construction to create large outdoor and indoor planters. These distinctive andsturdy vessels are made to evoke prestige and integrity for centuries to come.Made with durable high-fired stoneware, they are completely frost proof and will never fade or crack.The planters are embellished with handmade stamps, creating designs and patterns inspired by various forms of nature. The complexity of each unique piece results in a quality which exceeds the usual industrial, mass produced planters. Slight nuances of form, surface design, texture, and glazes make every piece a one of a kind work of art.

David Rhine, an exceptionally talented potter from Nashville, received a bachelors degree in education from Middle Tennessee State University. Hewent on to a residency program at the Appalachian Center For Crafts in Smithville where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Treusner Shiraz $32.99 a Bottle

The 2006 Joshua is an unwooded cuvee composed of 65% Grenache, 25% Mataro, and 10% Shiraz. Dark ruby-colored, it offers expressive, fruity aromas of violets, black cherry, and black raspberry. Supple-textured, layered, and sweetly fruited, the wine has no hard edges straight through to its pure finish. Drink it over the next 6 years.

91 Points R.P.

Troll Creek Shiraz

Usually $87.99 but on Saturday $49.99
The 2005 Shiraz was sourced from 40- to 60-year-old vines. The wine spent 30 months in French and American oak, 30% new. Opaque purple-colored, it exhibits aromas of toasty oak, spice box, saddle leather, licorice, blueberry, and chocolate. Sleek and racy on the palate in spite of its ample size, the flavors reveal succulent blue fruit and chocolate, and a long, savory finish. Give it 3-5 years in the cellar and drink it through 2024.

95 Points R.P.

Loan Semillion $19.99 a Bottle

The dry-grown 2005 Semillon was tank-fermented and spent 8 months in seasoned French oak. Medium straw-colored, it offers an expressive perfume of mineral, melon, spring flowers, and candle wax. This leads to a medium-bodied, ripe, well-balanced Semillon with good depth and length. Enjoy it with shellfish over the next 2-3 years. Loan was the second farm planted in the history of the Barossa. Today the Loan property is the only certified organic vineyard in the Barossa.

89 Points R.P.

Restaurant Health Scores This Week

273 Hicks Road
Date Inspected: 11-21-07
Score: 93

La Authentica Michocana
1086 Murfreesboro Road
Date Inspected: 11-20-07
Score: 94

Tennessee Business Enterprise/Gateway Grill
426 5th Avenue North
Date Inspected: 11-19-07
Score: 94

290 Hicks Road
Date Inspected: 11-21-07
Score: 94

Café Le Crumbs
327 Union Street
Date Inspected: 11-20-07
Score: 94

Player’s Inn
7097-B Old Harding
Date Inspected: 11-19-07
Score: 97

1038 Murfreesboro Road
Date Inspected: 11-20-07
Score: 59
Major Violations:
· Employee washing dishes but did not sanitize them
· Rat droppings in closet with electrical boxes
· Rat poison in open tray in closet
· Rat droppings on shelving unit by the rice, pasta and aluminum foil

No updates for this week.

Jason Brumm of Radius 10 to Open a Mexican Restaurant

Jason Brumm, chef-owner of upscale spot radius10, is getting ready to open a second restaurant with a completely different concept: a casual Mexican joint on Belmont Boulevard.

Dos Locos will take over the space currently held by Tabouli's, 2015 Belmont. Blvd.

Brumm is adding a full bar with margaritas and Mexican beers. He says everything on the menu will be under $10, but made with high-quality ingredients and preparation methods. Look for queso dip made from scratch from a blend of Mexican cheeses, plus tacos, burritos, nachos and fresh seafood ceviche.

Read the complete article in the Tennessean newspaper.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Naked Cowboy Invades Nashville at Fan Fair

I can't imagine doing this myself but from what I hear, he makes a ton of money this way.

3rd & Lindsley Calendar November 28- December 2

November 28
Tayla Lynn - 6:00 pm
Lydia Salnikova (Bering Strait) - 7:30 pm
The Wooten Brothers - 9:30 pm

November 29
Brooke Fraser - 7:00 pm
Caddle w/ Rachael Williams - 9:30 pm

November 30
Soul Cages "The Music of Sting and The Police" – 7:00 pm
The Midnight Riders (Allman Brothers Revue) – 10:00 pm

December 1
12 Against Nature (A Steely Dan Experience) w/ David Wells – 9:00 pm

December 2
The Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan w/ Sam Ashworth, Judd & Maggie – 8:00 pm

Ellendales Lunch Buffet for November 26 - 30

Turkey Pot Pie
Brown Sugar & Cranberry Glazed Sirloin
Roasted Garlic New Zealand Mussels

Steamed Vegetable Medley
Country Style Green Beans
Candied Baby Carrots

Southwestern Penne Pasta
Vegetarian Lasagna

Rice & Potatoes
Great Northern Beans
Roasted Red Pepper Mashed Potatoes

Salads, etc.
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Potato Salad
Vegetable Pasta Salad
Red Pepper & Soy Hummus
Caesar Salad
Fresh Fruit
Soup du Jour

Bonus dish:
Chili Con Queso

2739 Old Elm Hill Pike
Donelson Tn

A Lion Chasing Cars; Maybe He Was In The Mood for "Fast" Food

Check out the video that goes with the story

Ohio motorists watched in awe as a lion chased down cars on a major highway near Columbus, Ohio, last Wednesday.

"He just ran after them like a dog chasing cars, he'd run 10 to 15 feet and come back," a driver said.

The lion was an escaped pet named Lambert.

Lambert's owner, Terry Brumfield said his pet broke out through the top of his pen.

"It stands and like attacks someone's car. It's trying to attack the cars? It like came at my car. It's going back across the street now," a driver said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and sheriff responded but Brumfield coaxed the cat back into his cage.

Brumfield raises lions as an escape from depression.

He owns two lions, Lambert and Lacey.

Although he loves his pets, Brumfield said he was prepared to shoot Lambert yesterday if necessary.

Here is a snippet from a 911 call about the lion:

911: Pike County

911Caller: I’m on 23 and there’s a lion on the road.

911: A lion?

Caller: It’s a lion! It almost hit my car.

Wildhorse Saloon Concerts

Friday, November 30, 2007

Keith Anderson
Doors open at 6:00 pm
$65 Meet n Greet VIP Lounge
$45 VIP Lounge
30 Reserved Seating
$18 General Admission
Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tommy Shaw of Styx and Jack Blades of Night Ranger
Doors open at 6pm
Meet n Greet $65 SOLD OUT
VIP $45
Reserved $30
General admission $18
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Happy Wendy and Carnie Christmas
Doors open at 5:30
Opening Band begins at 6:00
Meet and Greet with VIP lounge Seats $65
VIP Lounge seats $45
Reserved Seating $30
General admission $20
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Scrap Metal Jingle Bell Rock Party
This 'Rock and Roll Rat Pack' stars the original lead front men of popular 80's and 90's bands including Gunnar Nelson (NELSON / "Love & Affection"), Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER / "Fly to the Angels"), Kelly Keagy (NIGHT RANGER / "Sister Christian"), and Matthew Nelson (NELSON / "After the Rain").
Doors open at 9pm
Show time 10pm
$60 Meet and Greet
$30 General Admission all areas
Saturday December 22
World Tour featuring Manny Charlton

Black Hole Sun by Chris Cornell with Peter Frampton

Black Hole Sun performed by Chris Cornell with Peter Frampton sitting in. Recorded at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tn.

Emeril Leaves the Food Network

I hate to see him go but I actually quit watching a good while ago. I still enjoyed but the BAM BAM's just didn't entertain me anymore. The gimmick grew old.

Now here is the this from the USA Today blog.

Can no one get along in TV land? After contract negotiations went sour between Emeril Lagasse and parent corporation Scripps, the chef is leaving the network. Foodies can savor their last morsel of Lagasse's live show on Dec. 11.

But Lagasse will continue to work with the Food Network on his other show, the take-it-down-a-notch Essence of Emeril.

Thanks to my friend ChezBez for sharing this with me.

Upcoming Projects by Webbspun Ideas

I'm working on an audio tour of Nashville. It has been quite the experience and I hope it will be enjoyed by visitors and locals for a long time.

I also have a webcast in the works and I have most of that worked out for the first show or two but if anyone has information or an idea for something unique or great in Nashville to show, please let me know.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jewel, Jessica Simpson and Beyonce Go Country

All three of these talented and incredibly beautiful women are working on country albums. I don't think anyone would have ever imagined country music being the music of choice for these ladies but now that it is selling as good or better than any other genre of music, here they come to Nashville and country music.

Am I glad to see these newcomers? I don't know and I'm not sure I will know until I hear what they sound like. I just hope they are doing this for a love of the art and of the music and not just another way to make money.

Ladies, welcome and welcome back to Nashville....make us proud and don't try to make light of our music and our city. This is a great and proud area so just do us right.

Now let me refer you to a letter from Beverly Keel to Jessica Simpson, just to reiterate my point. She says it so much better than I do.

Dear Jessica Simpson,

Word of your desire to make a country album has become a frequent topic of conversation here.

First of all, let me welcome you to Nashville. I encourage you to spend some time immersed in our wonderful creative community.

There's nowhere else like it on earth.

As you embark on the next chapter of your young life, I encourage everybody to begin with a blank slate and no preconceived notions when they first meet you.

Few people can truly understand what it's been like for you to be constantly hunted by the paparazzi, and I'm sure more than a few erroneous stories have been repeated in the press. Few of us here actually know you, so we should begin by giving you the benefit of the doubt.

You are a lovely woman with a fine voice. My hope is that now you will focus on your artistry and work on developing an authentic, honest musical style. After your very public heartaches and disappointments, I'm sure you've got something to say.

Pair up with a few of our tunesmiths and pour those feelings into your songwriting. You'll get much more respect than if you quickly make an album of radio-friendly pop-country tunes. It's time to get serious, leave the L.A. flash behind and let your substance show through. Enough with using "dumb blonde" stereotypes as a marketing tool.

We take our country music and its heritage very seriously around here. I didn't take kindly to your lack of preparation for the Dolly Parton tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors. I found it unprofessional and disrespectful and was bothered that you wasted a spot that had been denied to many worthy country singers.

Given the wide exposure of that debacle, I'm sure you've learned your lesson. You're certainly not the first performer to make a mistake onstage.

It's time for all of us to move forward. If you treat us seriously, we'll try to do the same.

Be sure to visit the Tennessean and read Beverly Keel's column.

Gaylord to buy San Antonio hotel

Gaylord Entertainment Co. will make the biggest hotel acquisition in its history under a deal announced Monday by the Nashville-based lodging company.

Gaylord will pay $252.5 million for the Westin La Cantera Resort, a suburban San Antonio hotel with 508 rooms, 39,000 square feet of meeting space, two golf courses and a 691-acre campus. The company also plans to pour $250 million into a three-year expansion effort that will nearly double the number of rooms and quadruple its meeting space.

“This is a premium property in that market place that fits very well with what we’re trying to do,” said David Kloeppel, Gaylord’s chief financial officer.

The deal, which could wrap up early next year, is the first step in Gaylord’s strategy to supplement its core, convention center hotels with smaller resorts.

Visit the Tennessean newspaper to read the entire story of this purchase.

So Who Else Wants to do a Country Album? Well, Beyonce of course!

Beyonce is working on an album of country and western songs.

The Bootylicious singer has enlisted the help of award winning singer/songwriter Amanda Ghost - the genius behind James Blunt‘s smash hit You’re Beautiful - for the project.

She decided to go for it after testing out her new sound by singing a surprise country version of her hit Irreplaceable at the American Music Awards in LA last weekend.

The former Destiny’s Child star performed the reworked song with US country duo Sugarland.

A show source said: “Beyonce wants to try something completely different.

“She’s a fan of country music and thought that would be an interesting and exciting way to go.

“She tested the water at the American Music Awards and she is up for it. She contacted Amanda early this week and she is going over to work with her on it.”
Read the full story in The Sun.

Bill Marriott Talks About Tipping

This is from an old story, back in the '30s, in the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less.

A 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" the little boy asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins he had. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing very impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry. As she wiped down the table, there placed neatly beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae because he had to have enough money to leave her a tip.

Read the entire story and visit Bill Marriott's blog.

Book of the Week: "A Year Without 'Made in China'"

In "A Year Without 'Made in China,'" (Wiley, $24.95) Bongiorni tells how she and her family found that such formerly simple acts as finding new shoes, buying a birthday toy and fixing a drawer became ordeals without the Asian giant.

Bongiorni takes pains to say she does not have a protectionist agenda and, despite the occasional worry about the loss of U.S. jobs to overseas factories, she has nothing against China. Her goal was simply to make Americans aware of how deeply tied they are to the international trading system.

"I wanted our story to be a friendly, nonjudgmental look at the ways ordinary people are connected to the global economy," she said in an interview.

Read the complete review in Reuters.

Buy it at

Houseboat by Drew Heath

Read and see more at Drew Heath's website.

See more unique houses at Offbeat Homes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Famous Fat Dave Talks About Pumpkin Pie

Learn about the history of Pumpkin Pie from Famous Fat Dave.

Crash of the Titans?

Bengals rout Titans 35-6

After emerging as one of the NFL's first-half surprises, Tennessee (6-5) has lost three in a row and its hold on a wild card playoff berth. The offense has been sloppy and the defense has lost its ability to stop anybody, giving up 28, 34 and 35 points during the slide.

This one really got to them.

Forlorn quarterback Vince Young sat on the bench by himself for seven minutes after the game ended, all kinds of things running through his bowed head.

"Thoughts, man, just thoughts, trying to see what's going on, what's the problem, what we need to do to get back to where we need to be at," said Young, who was limited by a bruised thigh and a strained ankle. "Why is this all of a sudden happening to us, going back to that bad feeling that we had last year with getting our butt whooped?"

Read the full article in the Tennessean newspaper.