About: Olivia Chin
Originally from Medon, Tennessee, Olivia Chin is the Circulation Manager at the Union University Library. Her best Halloween costumes (so far) have been David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Her favorite hobbies include drinking local coffee, reading true crime novels, and going to emo concerts with her husband.
Check out Olivia's latest contributions to Our Jackson Home:
Did you know that Tennessee was the deciding factor in ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment? I’ve lived here my entire life, and I didn’t realize this until a few days ago. I’m a woman who started voting in Madison County elections in 2011, but I would not have had that privilege if I had been born before 1920. If I were a black woman, I would not have been able to vote in the South without threats to my life and racist voter suppression state laws until 1965.
There’s something inherently special about a concert in someone’s yard. It’s personal because you’re visiting a person’s home, and yet it’s public because the music is for anyone to hear. Music sounds so free outside—there’s no high ceilings to provide good acoustics, just the blue sky above. The concert venue isn’t a building; it’s a neighbor’s porch or a friend’s front lawn. As the summer sun begins to set behind the vibrant green treetops, a cool breeze gives the concert attendees some relief, and the band plays a brand new song for the first time. This is Porchfest.
“third wave coffee.” noun. 1. The most recent cultural phenomenon in the history of the coffee industry and consumption. Comes after the first wave of coffee, which included “growing coffee consumption exponentially,” and the second wave of coffee, which began to “define and enjoy specialty coffee.” 2. Purchasing coffee due to its “origin and artisan methods of production.” 3. A movement aspiring to produce the highest quality of coffee possible at every level while pleasing and intriguing the coffee consumer. “UrbanHouse.” noun.
Martin, Tennessee, is a town with a population of around 11,475. It’s known for its annual Tennessee Soybean Festival and for the University of Tennessee at Martin. If you drive down University Street, you’ll go right through the university, pass by Sammie’s (an aptly-named sandwich shop), and mosey by several boutiques and small shops. It’s a small, charming place. Locals support the UTM Skyhawks and the Westview High School Chargers and eat at The Grind.
I’m sitting by myself, the steady thrum of others’ voices around me, and I’m looking at a white sign with neat black lettering: “WHERE HOT COFFEE AND WARM CONVERSATION FLOW.”I’ve got the hot coffee part—it’s steaming pleasantly in a glossy brown mug—and I can hear the groups talking around me. There are some college students in the corner of the room. (I can tell they’re in school because of their tired eyes trained on the laptops perched in front of them, even as they continue to hold conversation with each other.)
It’s a cloudy, dreary December day outside, but the laughter between the three musicians I’m sitting with is making things seem brighter. It’s their first time at theCO, and I had them crash on the couches to create a comfy environment for our interview. Ben Gilbreath, Nathan Megelsh, and Tyler Marberry are meeting with me today to talk about their band, Forked Deer Homeschool Parade. If you’re from around the more southern West Tennessee area, you probably know that it’s pronounced “Fork-ed Deer.”
Maybe it will be a high school production of the musical Camelot. An exhibit of stunning photography by a local class may catch your eye. Perhaps you’ll just want to see the downstairs museum, where dozens of photos, plaques, awards, and costumes recall the acting careers of Dixie Carter and her husband, Hal Holbrook. What will bring you to The Dixie? The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center is a historical performing arts and enrichment center in Huntingdon, Tennessee.
I bought the most reasonably-priced vinyl record of my life at a record store in Jackson. This is the kind of sentence I never thought I’d write. For one thing, reasonable prices, particularly for a brand new, remastered vinyl of an iconic rock star like David Bowie, are hard to come by in most record stores. If you go to Wuxtry Records in Athens, Georgia, you’ll find records for around twenty to thirty bucks.
Each year, we gather together on July 31 to recognize Jackson, Tennessee, and all that makes it special. 731Day is not about Our Jackson Home but rather about what OJH stands for: "celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love." An essential aspect of the 731Day celebration is music. We have many talented local musicians in our area, and we'll be lucky to hear their tunes in person at our first-ever Porchfest.
What would happen if a natural storm wiped out the heart of a city? How would the identity of a community remain intact if vital parts of it are destroyed? These are questions that the Madison County Archives prepares to answer with every property deed, court record, and legal notice that is carefully preserved on its shelves. “You could re-create local history with the files we have,” Archivist Thomas Aud tells me from his seat in the Archives atrium.
It’s time for another Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re excited to celebrate or planning to treat it as just another day, this playlist will have you singing along. Let’s give our local artists a round of applause and enjoy their romantic (or anti-romantic) songs this Valentine’s.
The air hovers thick. It’s almost too heavy with moisture to breathe in. The field is still green with summer’s gift of abundant rain and sunshine, but the leaves on the nearby trees are starting to shrink up, dry out, turn brown. Fall is coming soon, bringing with it the growing anticipation of a new cross country season.The year is 2009, and I’m in high school at Trinity Christian Academy. It’s another oppressively hot August, but most people don’t notice too much since they’re properly air conditioned.
There’s a new show in town; Jackson, Tennessee, has been chosen to host the inaugural TN Music Awards. The TN Music Awards is a red carpet event focused on fostering community feedback, supporting local music, and expanding entertainment. Nathan Hunnicutt, along with the Jackson Area Music Society (JAMS), has been planning an event like this with Jackson in mind for some time now.
Terry Prince & The Principles is a Memphis-based band with a well-developed sound and solid local roots. They’ve recorded a new EP entitled You Are Here at Rocket Science Audio in Memphis. Their talents will soon be showcased through a live set at the well-beloved Grimey’s, a Nashville record store. And, perhaps most importantly for our audience, Terry Prince & The Principles will be at Bassmnt Jackson this Saturday night.
It's that special time of year again: 731Day! Of course, as with any holiday, you'll be looking for the perfect soundtrack to boost your celebration. That's why I compiled a playlist of thirty-one songs, all by artists and bands who call Tennessee their home. What better way to enjoy your hometown than hearing the music that your neighbors have created? Now you can support local music along with the local businesses participating in 731Day.
Small Town Big Sound started off with a dream: Keegan Paluso’s desire to use his musical background to help others in West Tennessee realize their potential. What began as this idea soon formed into a community of local artists, each with different and diverse experiences, working together to create original music. Keegan shared with me about how Small Town Big Sound writes, records, and produces the music of our area.
Being young with creative aspirations takes hard work and initiative, sometimes particularly so in smaller towns. Yet Jackson is the lucky home to a plethora of up-and-coming talent with big plans for the future. Having lived and worked here for several years now, the members of Coopertheband are no strangers to the trials and rewards of the independent music world. They have recently played several shows back-to-back in the community, extending their central messages of hope and joy through their lyrics.
In eager anticipation of their upcoming concert this weekend, I jumped at the chance to speak with singer-songwriter couple Cody and Melody Curtis as well as vocalist/musician/visual artist Thomas Griffith about PSALLOS. PSALLOS is a musical group made up of fourteen individuals currently supporting their ambitious ROMANS project, a concept album that details the book of Romans in the Bible.
Strong is a word I used to hate. What does strong mean? What is strength? I feel like Pontius Pilate as I ask these kinds of questions. When I graduated from Union University a semester early, summa cum laude, I was called strong because I had achieved something. When I crawled out into the barren wasteland called the economy, I was called strong because even though I contemplated suicide, I kept trying to live.
You can glance over almost any music magazine or publication this time of year and find endless “Best Of” suggestions: “The 50 Best Songs of 2015,” “The Best Albums of 2015,” “All of My Favorite Songs and a Few That I Think You Should Hear Simply Out of Moral Obligation,” etc. When I set out to create a New Year’s Eve playlist, I also thought back to all of the stellar music that has made 2015 so memorable. Still, I wanted to hear what’s next.
In between casually referencing James Blunt, discussing My Chemical Romance’s best records, and pouring over photos of the various orcs from The Lord of The Rings, Rob and Thomas Griffith of Flying Colours spoke with me this week about the band’s upcoming show in Jackson. The Flying Colours have been featured before in Our Jackson Home; for this interview, Rob and Thomas opened up about the latest news for the band and their gratitude for the support that Jackson has shown for them throughout the years.
The start of August signals several changes for West Tennessee. Not only is summer (slowly) beginning to give way to fall, but for kids, college students, and teachers, it is also time to return to the classroom. Many songs have been composed over the years to celebrate this special time of year. As you look forward to beautifully colored leaves and new textbooks, enjoy this playlist of school and fall-related songs. Listen now here on the Our Jackson Home Spotify.