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Second First Friday brings art, culture to chilly weekend

Despite the chill in the air, November’s First Friday still managed to heat up the night with a mashup of local art and culture, drawing in an excited crowd.

The second event in the monthly series organized by Hooligan Recordings was held at Local Honey Nov. 7 and attracted Belmont students and community members alike with its live performances and local vendors.

After brief technical delay, local rock band Auction the Secret opened the evening at 3 p.m. to a crowd of roughly 50 music lovers. The Pressure Kids, Kyler Daron and Cotton later added their spin on musical accompaniment to the night as well. It was loud and proud with a musical energy that nearly filled the small lot with bobbing and swaying guests.

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However, the night wasn’t all about music.

Vendors included Dirty Clothing Co. and jeweler Scott Osterbind, who offered T-shirts, hats and totes for sale. Meanwhile, spray painter Jed Rice and photographer Shelby Carol offered up their artwork to the gathered crowd as well, joining other visual artists with canvases and photographs lined up on tables around the lot.

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What’s Hubbin’ — a Nashville music scene website created and run by Belmont students— also set up a preview booth, drawing in interested attendees to sign up and take part in the new project as well as passing out invitations to the site’s first Fall Fest on Saturday.

The evening was not without its mishaps, however. The plywood stage on which the bands performed had to be quickly mended early in the night when The Pressure Kids’ lead singer Nick Johnston’s foot went straight through the stage during the band’s first performance of the night. Johnston appeared uninjured and continued to sing despite the incident.

Refreshments for the evening were also provided. Halfway through the event, First Friday sponsor Bongo Java provided free coffee to the crowd providing warming relief. For those who needed a little extra boost, free Red Bulls were also passed through the crowd during one of the sets.

A dollar raffle was also held. Proceeds went to nonprofit Rock for Hunger.

“The charity raffle raked in about $60 (240 meals) for Rock for Hunger, the parent organization of a band that donates to local food banks throughout Nashville, Tenn. as well as Detroit, where the band was founded. The purpose behind the cause is to utilize music as a tool to end the struggles of hunger and poverty,” co-owner of Hooligan Recordings Matt  Baratz said.

The organization is one dear to Baratz’s heart because one of its founders acted as a mentor to him in his transition to Nashville. He hopes to work more closely with the organization in the future.

“I would definitely like to focus on building a lot more hype around the raffle and Rock for Hunger. The organization has raised upwards of 70,000 meals since its establishment, and those guys work way too hard for me to let that progress go unnoticed on our end,” Baratz said.

Friday’s event will be the last of the year, however,  as Baratz has decided that it will not be held during the months of January and December.

“It’s too much stress on myself and our assistant manager, Cole McDonnell. We’ve been hustling non-stop since August, so I guess I just need a second to catch my breath and process everything that’s been going down since my move to Nashville,” Baratz said.

Article and photos by Riley Wallace.

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