College Week: Vanderbilt University

26 08 2010

Today’s college is one we’re all no doubt familiar with. Vanderbilt University in downtown Nashville, Tennessee is a private university founded by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1873. Landon Garland served as first chancellor. Vanderbilt now houses over 12,000 students. While it’s located at the heart of urban downtown Nashville, the campus is a beautiful lush space filled with traditional buildings and landscaping.

Cornelius Vanderbilt

Their Vanderbilt University Medical Center is one of the best medical facilities in the country. But Vanderbilt also boasts the opportunity for carefully-selected students to pursue over 70 majors. The University also offers hundreds of extracurricular societies, clubs, and sports teams, a radio station, television station, ten journalistic publications, and a high population of Greek organizations. Most students live on campus and enjoy all that the university has to offer from campus life.

Vanderbilt Medical Center

All us SEC fans know that Vanderbilt is part of the Southeastern Conference, the only private school member of the SEC. And they boast among their graduates Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winners, Rhodes Scholars. Fred Thompson, Amy Grant, James Patterson — all just a few of Vanderbilt’s illustrious graduates.

This “Southern Ivy” is a Southern point of pride among academic institutions. Go Commodores!


Southern Music Week: Sam and Ruby

5 07 2010

This week, we’re guessing a few of you are heading out on family vacations, summer road trips, or just sipping something cold and mellow out on the front porch.

Whichever you’re doing, you’ll need some good tunes to take you along, yes?

So we’ve compiled some of our favorite new bands that you may be familiar with to feature. Pick up some of their cds, or load your own playlist onto the iPod and take along some great music. While not every member of every band is from the South (bless their hearts!), it’s the sound, the mood, we’re after, so we’ll grant them honorary SIT status for this week. Enjoy!

Our first recommendation is a Nashville-based team, Sam and Ruby, made up of Sam Brooker and Ruby Amanfu. They blend folk with R & B, making a perfect mix that makes you just fall in love with them. Ruby’s voice is soulful, reminding you of those gospel days in church, while Sam brings that something Southern that is relaxed, yet sure. Ruby has recorded before, independently, but you’ll be glad these two teamed up.

Get their new album, The Here and the Now, and make sure you don’t miss these for my favorite picks: “More,” “Need Me Less,” and the title track “The Here and the Now.”

Bonus, these two are traveling this month, and will be in Nashville, New Orleans, Rock Hill, Hendersonville, and Miami, just to name a few. As well as out my way in Truckee, CA! Road trip, anyone?

We Are Nashville

10 05 2010

Most of those living in the South can not yet forget the flooding of recent days in Tennessee and Mississippi and other surrounding areas. There is still much recovery to take place, so if you’re interested in helping out, but perhaps live to far away, or just don’t know what to do, here is a way to get a cool t-shirt, and donate money to the relief funds.

Brought to us by Cool People Care, they are also offering bumper stickers. Be patient though. This tee has been featured on the popular cable news show, Anderson Cooper 360, so they are currently making shirts as fast as possible to meet the demand.

Aussie turns Southerner

7 03 2010

Gearing up for the Oscars tonight, I thought I’d feature one of my favorite (non-Southern by birth) actresses.

The beautiful and classic Nicole Kidman is Australian by heritage, but has now settled down in Nashville to raise her family and be married to country star Keith Urban.

She has the nicest things to say about the South…

P.S. – She tells the Nashville Tennessean, “I’m glad that [Sunday Rose, her daughter] is able to say she’s born and bred in Nashville and Tennessee.”

Kings of Lions (er, ahem, Leon)

20 01 2010

My dad is impossibly cool… Keeps up with trends, dresses stylishly (for a guy), always has the latest technology… He’s just one of those cool dads. But, he loves his old music – a little Elton, a classical record or two, even some Frank or Billie now and again, even some Southern Gospel. Doesn’t know too much about “what the young kids are listening to these days.” (In his defense, most of it really is junk.)

So, one of my favorite stories about him involves him screaming across the street to his friends about a new band called the “Kings of Lions” playing downtown one night on a double date with my mom. We love to tease him about that.

Mostly because I actually love the, ahem, dad, it’s the Kings of LEON. (Just kidding, daddy… Love you!)

I knew there was some reason I loved them so. They’re originally from Nashville!

It gets even better… they are family. In typical Southern style, three of the group are brothers, and the fourth is their cousin.  They started out singing southern rock and blues, and have gradually morphed into a variety of alternative sounds.

Jared Followill, the bassist, just bought a new house in his hometown. Check out the beautiful home he bought in one of my favorite Southern cities.

[Side note, dear readers: Pretty home, rock ‘n’ roll music, but I make no comment on Followill’s life or choices. I don’t know him at all, haven’t seen a word about him in the grocery-line tabloid headlines, but I’m just sayin’. He’s a rockstar, so my love of their songs in no way endorses any sort of rockstar lifestyle. Unless he’s a sweet, church-goin’, library card-carrying, Little League-coaching sweetheart. Hey, it’s possible.]

Around the South…

5 01 2010

Over the break, I couldn’t help but stumble over a few great southern treats.  Of course, some of these goodies would make perfect gifts for those friends or family members you forgot or perhaps you are ready to give yourself a gift.  I also found beautiful, beautiful wedding invitations from Nashville. 

Normally, we do try to post original content, so I hope you will forgive the detour and thoroughly enjoy!

Death and Texas, a Dallas based company specializing in leather and canvas goods has hit the mark. I love these items.  Available for purchase via The Brook Farm General Store or their etsy page.

The Transparency Blown Glass Curly Pitchers, from The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans are also stunning and would I love to have just one. Pretty please.

Lastly, you must relish the most beautiful wedding invitations from Perky Bros.  They are truly stunning.  Perky Bros is a graphic design and creative services company based out of Nashville. Their work is beautiful.

Enjoy the fun!