Vinyl City & Willie

Being avid vinyl collectors we wanted to hit Jack White’s Third Man Records to pick up some limited edition pressings and see the hipper side of Nashville. It was close to our hotel in a transitional neighborhood just a few blocks from The Gulch. It didn’t disappoint. The Third Man store is a mix of hipster and branded merchandise (books, shirts, accessories) as well as Third Man Records pressings, many recorded live to acetate at the studio next door. It is also a museum of unusual instruments, mechanical devices, and a rare Voice-o-Graph booth that lets would-be musicians record directly to vinyl and produce a record on the spot. While the store is small we probably spent an hour there perusing the wares.

We had a list of used record stores to hit in hopes of finding some blues and classic country music that is hard to come by in Seattle. Our first and only used record store stop in Nashville turned out to be Grimey’s. The selection and the prices were good. We spend another hour or more and probably bought 50 records (blues, rock, southern rock, country, alternative, etc). We had worked up an appetite. Nearby was Arnold’s Meat & 3 (a new dining concept for me). We heard about Arnold’s from Diner’s Drive-ins, and Dives. When we arrived the line was out the door and we took at as a sign to stand in it. Everybody seemed to have the fried chicken and we did the same. It didn’t disappoint. The icing on the cake was the slice of spicy chocolate pepper pie.

Our afternoon found us across the tracks in another transitional and gentrifying neighborhood of Nashville called Marathon Village. The old Marathon Motor Works building has been taken over by a concert venue, some boutique shops and restaurants, a Jack Daniels tasting room, and our destination, Antique Archaeology. While the old building and spaces where very cool, Antique Archaeology was somewhat disappointing. While they did have some interesting artifacts from the show and a few antiques for sale, it generally was little more than a crowded and touristy t-shirt shop peddling American Pickers paraphernalia.

We drove out towards the Grand Ole Opry, Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, and Opry Mills Mall. It looked like an absolute nightmare. So we avoided it and instead headed across the street to Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store. The store was just tourist trap wares, but the museum in the back proved interesting and informative. And we had the place to ourselves.

We took the afternoon to rest at the hotel and walked back into The Gulch to try and see the infamous Doyle & Debbie Show at the Station Inn. Unfortunately, we were unable to get tickets so headed nearby for a nice dinner at Adele’s. We made the most of our time in Nashville but felt like there was so much more we could see and do. We’ll just have to return to Music City another in the near future.

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Categories: Nashville, Tennessee | Leave a comment

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