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by Jamie Cooley // Staff Writer Tucked away on Lytle Street just off the square, there’s a quaint business that houses and makes some of the finest local guitar parts and custom “made just for you” electric guitars. A welcoming scent of fresh wood shavings and newly polished guitars permeates the room. This is an …

Forrister, formerly known as The Star Killers, provides honest punk-visceral songwriting minus the angst and war flashbacks to middle school. Singer and guitarist Julien Baker’s silky voice propels the already powerful emo indie rock outfit to a new level. The Memphis-based group has one full-length record, “American Blues,” and a split with the band Little …

Two young girls with pink matching backpacks walk out of Build-A-Bear Workshop and catch a glimpse of a familiar character roaming Opry Mills shopping center. The woman, wearing a teal sequined dress with a long, sheer train, flashes a welcoming grin in their direction. Their eyes widen, two smiles follow. “Elsa,” they say, in perfect unison. It’s a bustling day …

Although she sat perched in a plush armchair inside the Student Union Building on a sprawling university campus, she was not a student, at least, not anymore. Dissatisfied with her classes and scheduling, she ceased her academic studies to pursue an education in something a little less orthodox. She decided to swap her textbooks for …

Bob Pondillo is a generous, warm-hearted man, nestling into the laid-back cool of his retirement in a hoodie and jeans, a salt-and-pepper beard framing an eternally youthful face and a worn ball cap with the Human Rights Campaign logo stitched in. So, when he talks about directing short films, it isn’t all that surprising that he doesn’t …

The house lights ease down, the stage lights slowly creep up and a cloud of smoke invades the stage, creating a barrier between the audience and the evening’s headlining act. Finally, a crisp, familiar voice escapes the speakers and drowns out the uproar of applause coming from the packed arena. Although it may appear to be a …