February 18, 2004

Music Row has to be one of the most beautiful neighborhoods I've seen in any city. (It's a musicians' paradise.) From the mammoth ASCAP building to the tiniest houses hiding world-famous studios, it's a glorious place to see. I can only imagine what it will look like in the spring with the foliage and flowers. Immediately surrounding Music Row are several blocks of ritzy shopping and great dining. I can see why Nashville is so beloved by the industry, but it's also a town of great dichotomy. You go from the poor industrial sections immediately into the wealth of Music Row. Of course, this is true of many big cities, but Nashville has more the feel of a small town. Just as Music Row is a loop to drive in, once you're "in the loop" so to speak, you get to know people very quickly, and the circle isn't that big.

We also went to see a couple other studios in Berry Hill, which is a mile or so from Music Row. Just bunches and bunches of little homes that have been converted into studios for recording, mastering, mixing, what have you. 75% of the businesses in Nashville, it appears, are directed at the music industry in one form or another, be it directly music-related or an offshoot like photography, disc pressing, advertising, lawyers and agents, etc. It is almost overwhelming, but it's a living example of why networking is so important, and in Nashville the "network members" are all within a few miles of each other.

I'm tired. I'm going to drink some Throat Coat and take a nap. Today Matt took some serious time on "Brave New World," and it's shaping up to be a fascinating tune with subtle string sound, harder-edged guitar, and a very cool drum track where Steve Brewster took a kick drum, turned it on its side, and used it as an extra tom. It creates a huge, low, open sound that is very unique.

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