My First Nashville House Party

Tonight marks the beginning of week 3 as a Nashville resident! So far, I’m loving it!

Weeks 1 and 2 have been spent meeting musicians, writers, ASCAP representatives, agents, and other random people in the music industry. Mostly, these people are friends-of-friends, or even friends-of-acquaintances and, similar to blind writing dates, you never quite know what to expect when you show up for the casual “drink” with these strangers! It’s always awkward to put people in this position…

“Hey, we’ve never met, and you’ve never even heard my name, and really, I’m barely friends with the person who gave me your info, but I’m new to town, soooo wanna spend your hard-earned spare time hanging out with me and sharing all of your industry secrets?” ::::flashes big smile::::

Some people don’t write back. Some people write back saying, “Welcome! You’ll love it here,” completely ignoring the part about how I asked them to meet for coffee. Some people enthusiastically write back with nothing but exclamation points and smiley-faces and invite me to their show, then drop off of the face of the earth when I respond that I, unfortunately, am unable to attend “this time.”

But “Chip” (for the purposes of this blog) was different. An Athens friend recommended that I holler at this fantastic musician who played the Green Room a few months ago. So I sent a request to this guy through facebook and he hit me back immediately! Chip was eager to welcome me to Nashville. He texted me in response to my fb message and invited me to a party. “Hey! Welcome!! I’d LOVE to get coffee sometime!!! Are you free this week?! We’re all going to a house party on Friday and you should come!!!” Of course I accepted his kind invitation. He even followed-up on Thursday to make sure it was a go AND offered to give me a seat to the party in his band-van full of friends! And the party was all the way across town by the college!

Given his enthusiasm and my general knowledge of heterosexual boys and girls, I was a little hesitant to ask if it was kewl to bring my other half, but he excitedly responded, “the more the merrier!” … Was this a cult recruiting party? It didn’t matter. This was week 1 1/2 for me and I was in no position to turn down invitations. My man and I got a six-pack of PBR and headed toward Belmont.

A couple of blocks away we found cars lining streets and we could already hear music. We parked and began walking. I was impressed to see all of the license plates from different states. “I wonder what that’s about,” I thought. As we approached the house, a guy was standing on the front porch ordering people to go around back to the basement entrance. He seemed cranky. (There’s always that roommate.) Along the side of the house and all the way to the backyard, people were making out, relieving themselves in bushes, having very loud heart-to-hearts, laughing so loudly, you’d think they’d never heard a joke… it reminded me of college.

I should take a moment now to say that it has been a few years since I became the proud recipient of a B.A. in English (thus, my extensive prowess in the service industry…) and my man is a few years older than me. While we still “party like rockstars” on occasion, it’s usually in a public forum to avoid the risk and hassle of finding vomit on your living room floor, or some random girl passed out with her shoes on in your bed, or your bathroom looking like it belongs in a dive bar at 4 AM on a Saturday night.

OK, back to the story.

Making my way to the basement, I started asking people if they knew where I might find Chip, who had gone dark on me. No one seemed to know him. I plowed through and found a PACKED basement, lined with Christmas lights and a five piece band in the back-center. The barn-like basement doors were wide open to the freezing-cold night, but everyone was sweating bullets and dancing their skinny jeans off. The band was incredible! It was impressive they were even able to play, given how much the audience was crowding them and bumping into the necks of their guitars. But the musicians were not even phased! How could they forgive the crowd’s recklessness with all of that nice equipment?

Nashville House Party

Then it hit me. The making-out in the bushes… the cranky roommate… the out-of-state license plates… the carpool across town… the general disconnect associated with the price of instruments… THIS WAS A COLLEGE PARTY! Chugging the last bit of my warm PBR, I pushed my way inside to find the bathroom. The interior of the house was exactly what I expected. (See paragraph 8.) I joined the jumbled line of underagers in the hallway.

“Hey! I like your feather earring!!! It is sooooo kewl! I love feather stuff,” said the pretty girl with Amy Winehouse eye make-up, who was working diligently to earn her Freshman 15, 1 Busch Light at a time.

“Thanks,” I replied.

“Where ya from?!”

“I just came from Athens.”

“Oh awesome!!! I’ve heard Athens is, like, really kewl!!! Did you love it?!”

“Yeah, it was great.”

“I reallllly want to visit there sometime. Like, soon!!! So, what year are you?!”

“WHAT’S WITH ALL THE COP QUESTIONS, B****?!”

Oblivious to my insecurities, she jumped out of the bathroom line and ran down stairs squealing, “O-M-G, this is my FAVORITE SONG!!!!”

Eventually, it became my turn for the bathroom (which surprisingly had working plumbing AND toilet paper) and I worked my way back downstairs to meet Chip, just in time to hear the 3rd band cover a song by The Whigs. Chip was all that I expected. Super friendly, and young, but WAY more mature than I was in my college years. We had a couple of warm beers (crossing my fingers that he’s at least 21…), talked music, and went our separate ways with plans to meet up again soon.

All together it was a fantastic night! Belmont college parties are similar to the ones that I attended in my college years, except for that they all are smart enough to wear earplugs and the bands are MUCH better! On the way back to the car, the cranky roommate sarcastically yelled, “Oh, hey, thanks for coming, guys! Hope you had a great time! At MY house!!!” We replied in all sincerity, “You know what? We really did! Thanks so much for having us. Enjoy the rest of your night!” Jokes on you, bud. No matter how old you are, college parties will always be fun. Especially when there’s live music.

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