09/06/08: Tennessee Music Conference/Southern vs. Tennessee State

Bands, Breakfast, Desserts, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, Food, Football, Hip Hop, Hotels, music, Music Conferences, Nashville, rap, Restaurants, Sports, Travel

Since conference events wouldn’t get under way until 11 AM, I had time to drive down to J. Christopher’s in Franklin for breakfast, and they were just as good there as they have been in their Atlanta locations, and not as crowded as I had feared.
Afterwards, I drove back to the hotel and registered for the conference, which was being held in the ballroom on the top floor. Mr. Serv On was there from Louisiana, Cowboy from Buck Wild Productions, C. Wakeley from Florida who used to manage Bloodraw, a rapper and producer named Blacktime from Cincinnati but now living in Nashville, and many others. I was on the initial panel about the pros and cons of getting a major label deal, and Freddy Hydro arrived from Memphis and joined us during it. I hung around the hotel lobby networking after that until it was time for me to go to the ball game at LP Field.
The stadium was visible from the ballroom of the hotel, so it wasn’t far away at all, but I had not expected the $20 cost of parking when I got there. The Tennessee State Aristocrat of Bands marched into the stadium first, rocking their cadence “Psychotic Funk”, and soon, the Human Jukebox of Southern University was entering the stadium from the other side as well. They proceeded to battle back and forth, but the John Merritt Classic had evidently sold advertising over the scoreboard, so every time there was a time out, they began drowning out the bands with commercials, and we fans couldn’t enjoy the marching bands, which is half the fun of a Black college football game. Tennessee State ended up winning the game, although they had trailed Southern for much of it, and there was then a really good “Fifth Quarter” of band battling afterwards. It was about 10 PM when I left to stadium area, and I still had to run back by the Maxwell House to get my baggage and check out.
Tom Skeemask from Memphis had pulled up in front of the hotel and was just checking in as I was leaving. We talked briefly, and then I headed out to the Mall at Green Hills to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. College football highlights and results were flashing across the TV screen as I waited for my hamburger and french fries, and then I began the three-hour journey back to Memphis, made more difficult by my extreme fatigue, which made me have to stop several times for energy drinks. I arrived home about 3 AM and went straight to bed.

09/05/08: Tennessee Music Conference, Nashville

entertainment, events, Hip Hop, music, Nashville, rap

I grabbed a breakfast at Waffle House near Wolfchase Galleria, and then drove up I-40 from Memphis to Nashville for the Tennessee Music Conference and Hip-Hop Awards.
I drove by Grimey’s Records, but for once I didn’t buy anything there, and I didn’t find much at the thrift stores in West Nashville on Charlotte Pike either. I had seen a billboard announcing the Tennessee State vs. Southern University game Saturday, and driving down West End Avenue, I saw the Southern University band members coming out of the Holiday Inn and getting into their buses, so I decided to get a game ticket and go to the game Saturday.
At the Ticketmaster inside Kroger, I learned that there was a Battle of the Bands Friday night on the TSU campus, but apparently it was already sold out, so I purchased a game ticket, and then drove to the Maxwell House Hotel where the conference was taking place and checked in.
The hotel was also home to a gospel music conference of some sort, and also was the headquarters hotel for the John Merritt Classic football game that I had just purchased a ticket to, and the Southern University football team and staff were staying there. The Maxwell House had been considered the nicest hotel in Nashville when my parents and I had stayed there in the 1970’s, but nowdays it was beginning to show its age. Everything looked as it did in the 1970’s, although the hotel was very clean. The whirlpool had evidently been removed, although hotel literature still claimed they had one, and the pool was outside, so with rain beginning, I couldn’t go for a swim. Robski the conference organizer agreed to meet me for dinner, so he came up to the hotel and we decided to go to the Longhorn Steakhouse, but the location on Lyle Avenue was closed, so we ended up having to go to the one in Brentwood, which was fairly good.
When I got back to the hotel, I wanted coffee, but most of the coffee bars I called on my iPhone were either closed or not answering their phone. I decided to go to one called Fido on 21st Avnue South near Vanderbilt, but I couldn’t find it, and ended up going to J & J Cafe and Market on Broadway instead. By then, it was too late to go to the Battle of the Bands, even if I could have gotten a ticket, and it was raining, so I went back to the hotel. Despite the rowdiness of some of the Southern players, I had no trouble falling asleep.