The Oui We team shares a guide to the best murals in Nashville, TN!Read More
In my coming book there's a whole chapter on what I've nicknamed the rock n’ roll highway; it features quite a few backstage beauties that live and hang along the route from Nashville to Florence, AL to Athens, GA.
The backstage beauty is the type of girl that knows the words to every Rolling Stones song, and lives on a weekend diet of cheap beer and diner food (we can all have a cheat weekend now and then right?!). She throws the best house parties and she and all her friends are right on the brink of discovery. She’s always the most laid-back, glamorous girl in the room in her vintage band T-shirt.
Since I moved to Nashville I've been asked A LOT to share a list of where that type of girl shops and hangs here ... last summer I shared this where to hang for 24-48 hours list (and I stand by it still) so this is the expanded list of venues and shops that made it into my book.
This little tour today is where to get your music fix and find the most fabulous vintage gems all around town. So here we go: a music & vintage tour of Nashville.
Can’t Miss Nashville
For the Music Lover:
Most visitors to Nashville come for the music because there’s truly so much to see and hear. Here are a few favorite spots, and trust me... there's SO many more:
The 5 Spot: What I love about this place is that you can catch a killer early show on a weekend night (I saw my friend Andrew Duhon play to a packed house on a Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.) or go on a Monday night for the Motown Monday dance party. SO. MUCH. F'N. FUN.
Robert's Western World: If you’re ready to spend the night two-stepping the real deal, Honky Tonk is Robert’s Western World. Fried bologna sandwiches, dancing cowboys, and cheap beer make for a wild night down on the Broadway strip.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge: A world famous historic watering hole, legend has it that Tootsie kept IOUs behind the counter for the hungry musicians. At the end of the year, the Grand Ol’ Opry guys would pay off the IOUs for the up-and-comers to make sure Tootsie stayed in business.
The Ryman Auditorium: The Ryman Auditorium is the birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry. Not only have the famous feet of Elvis and Johnny Cash graced the stage of this stunning gothic auditorium, but the acoustics make it one of the best places in the country to see live music. Recently Phoenix was there (my fave) and I'm planning to see Father John Misty in September.
The Grand Ole Opry: “The show that made country music famous” continues to feature a broad spectrum of country styles nightly. Take the backstage tour and gaze into the mirrors where gals like Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood get dressed before their shows.
For the Vintage Devotee:
An entire week could be spent diving into the vintage shops of East Nashville. On my personal best-of list:
Opium Vintage: by appointment only - stocked with a vibrantly obscure collection, including Japanese vintage sourced by owner Laura Citron. It's my favorite of the entire list.
Hip Zipper: great for well-priced denim and accessories.
Starstruck Vintage: gorgeous winter coats for under $100.
Local Honey: hand-dyed vintage by Magness Collection, and this is where I get my hair done... super hip salon and good vintage shopping, win win.
High Class Hillbilly: the place for authentic cowboy goodies and western wear.
Goodbuy Girls: located in the Idea Hatchery (a test kitchen shopping center for new brands) this shop is great for graphic T’s and loads of fringe.
Old Made Good (OMG): Just north of the East Nashville neighborhood is this kitschy vintage shop with a glitter covered floor and adorably charming handmade goods.
Savant Vintage: Over in 12 South, find this favorite of Vogue magazine, photographers, rock stars, and stylists—Savant has an extensive collection of highly curated pieces. Be prepared to spend a little more for the tremendous quality of the jackets, dresses, ponchos, and hats filling its racks.
Hope you guys put this list to good use, and if you haven't pre-ordered my book I would LOVE for you to do so now! Let me know how you love Nashville!
Hi loves! I'm barely a week out of the wildness of Bonnaroo and it was one of those somewhere over the rainbow, traveling to the north star and back, 100 trips around the sun types of experiences.
I could write for days on end about the feelings, the music, the friendship and the food we experienced.... however here today I've got three things to share with you.
1. How to get in the mood for a festival of this size.
2. How to spirit guide yourself into the best style & beauty choices for a festival weekend.
3. My top picks of the weekend in regards to bands, pop-up shops and food!
Sound good? Let's go.
Getting in the Mood
1. Focus on the possibilities to come: to be honest if I was an impatient person a festival of this size could be daunting... the first day will require you to navigate traffic, figure out parking, sort out gate entries, and learn the grounds... however keep in mind that every moment is an opportunity to experience something new. I traveled to Bonnaroo with my little sister, and lucky for me, she'd been several times before... so good news! She knew how to navigate our way around as we finally got settled on day 1. We sorted through the waves of people and settled in ready to take the weekend in stride.
2. Be Present: There is so much good music, yes - but a festival like this will give you time to connect with your friends (new and old) on a completely different level. I checked my iPhone health meter and we were literally walking 8-10 miles everyday... journeying from stage to stage, to the campgrounds and back... and with that sort of time you can really bestow some heartfelt attention on your traveling partners. Michelle and I were able to connect on so many things during that time, I think it's truly one of the reasons I love festivals the most.
3. Find a thrill in curiosity: If I only saw the bands I knew when I arrived at Bonnaroo I would have missed so much. On the first night we saw Mondo Cosmo... why? I had never heard of them, but the name sounded right up my alley (hi "cosmo") so we went and it was a blast. The last day Ben joined us and recommended a UK band Royal Blood... again, never would have thought of it, but watching the wild 90's style mosh pit that formed at 2 pm (from a safe distance) was a bit of a thrill!
Spirit Guide Your Style
I am girl that dresses myself the same way I did when I dressed in costume as a child. There were a few mornings that I wondered... is this too much? However, here's my thoughts when it comes to festival style.
1. Be your boldest you: Well, first start with a comfortably stylish shoe and then move forward. There's not many times on a given week that you'll feel comfortable donning loads of patches, fringe, sequins and twirly dresses.... or dying your hair shades of highlighter yellow (which I did the night before) ~ however, this IS a time to be bold. I honestly pursue getting dressed in the morning for me and me only, and I highly recommend taking that approach too... so if you're your boldest you on the festival grounds you'll surely get more comfortable being that in regular life too.
2. Let it breathe: while being bold is one thing, keeping your skin happy and healthy goes along with it. I chose light weight dresses and cotton patterned sets and layers and layers so as the cold air set in at night I'd be able to warm up. Quality fabrics will allow your skin to breathe and you'll feel better for it.
3. Channel your inner dancing queen: I truly danced the days away every.single.day. When I was little I was certain I'd be a dancer on one of those 80's TV shows... Solid Gold anyone? So put your hair up, slather on the glitter and make the festival grounds your own personal dance floor.
Top Picks of the Weekend
1. Favorite shows: Mannnnn, this is a hard one - there was so much good stuff! However, here's a few acts that I was MIND BLOWN 💥 by:
Crystal Castles (for their punked out ghostly insaneness), Glass Animals (hiiiii that's me twirling madly way down front), Tegan & Sara (yep, me again down there), The XX (the interaction on stage is sheer magic), & Aaron Lee Tasjan (best dressed, best guitar shred and the best of Nashville for sure).
2. Best pop up shops: Mamie Ruth! I stopped by everyday for glitter freckles and new wardrobe.
3. Best food: Subway. Every day at 4:30 we ventured back to the Subway Greenroom (they literally built an entire store including a stage for acoustic sets on the fest grounds). We ate red pepper hummus wraps (soooo much better than overpriced fest pizza), an awesome vegetarian option and dudeeees it was free - to everyone.
I truly can't thank you guys enough for following along on my festival adventures. As the music loving girl that I am, these trips have been so incredibly special. So as the sunsets on Bonnaroo, I promise to be back again with more of these to come!
This fest season I've been so incredibly fortunate to be invited by Subway to hit the road with them to attend a few of the top music festivals across the country. I shared my 10 Things to Stay Cool at Summer Fests' list right before taking off for Hangout, and I'm happy to report back that my packing list served me well. This post was a paid partnership.