In a recent telephone press conference, actor and comedian Bob Saget, legendary punk rocker Billy Idol, and festival founder and promoter Rick Farman chatted with reporters about the upcoming festival.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bonnaroo Comedy Theater, and Bob Saget will perform two sets there on Sunday, June 16th. “I’ve done some festivals, but nothing of this height, and I’m very excited about it,” Saget said. “Lewis Black kept asking me to play Bonnaroo year after year. He said it’s one of the best festivals he’s ever been to because it’s got so much heart behind it.”
Saget said he’ll combine comedy and music in his act, pulling material from his recent comedy specials and incorporating some new material. He’ll feel out the audience, soak in the vibe, and form his act around that. “There won’t be any synthesizer screens coming on as I tell kids what they should and shouldn’t do and don’t drink beer at the Sock Hop or whatever the hell I did on Full House,” Saget said. Though he did jokingly express concern over possible mishaps during the show: “Nobody can like accidentally slingshot some ecstasy into my mouth from the audience right, where by the end of my second set, I’m just in love with everyone?” he asked. “I might wear a beekeeper’s hat in order to keep anything from coming toward my mouth.”
English rocker Billy Idol will be performing a late-night slot Saturday, June 15th and promises to play a “party set.” “It’s around midnight, and I know Bonnaroo’s pretty famous for partying,” Idol said. “In fact, I usually go on stage pretty straight these days, but I’m hoping to get the biggest contact high of all time.”
Idol’s “party set” will include hits like “Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “White Wedding,” "Dancing With Myself,” and “Mony Mony,” as well as a few Generation X songs and a new song or two. Idol said the set will be a representation of all of the music throughout his career, and fans can expect “balls to the wall” energy from his performance. He is excited to play for an audience that may not come to a Billy Idol concert otherwise. “It’s even more exciting to get to come to something like Bonnaroo and play to a bunch of crazies at 12 at night and have one hell of a party,” he said. “They throw things at me, I understand. But if they come up there and they want to fuck me to death, I understand that as well.”
Bonnaroo founder and promoter, Rick Farman, is amped for this year’s festivities and said they are offering a new program to bring more of the surrounding community to the event. “This year, we’re focusing on Nashville and offering a combined package where you buy a ticket, and you have a shuttle to get down to the festival and take you back,” Farman says. This is a way for those who are curious about Bonnaroo but don’t want to commit to the four-day camping experience to get a taste of what the festival has to offer.
“Over the years, we’ve really sought to diversify the ways that you can do Bonnaroo,” Farman said. Of course, attendees can stay in an area hotel or bring their own camping gear or RV, but Bonnaroo also offers on-site RV or tent rental. “It’s always been a part of our plan to try and make Bonnaroo as attractive and accessible to a variety of different audiences and a variety of different economic levels,” he said.
Farman says the inspiration for Bonnaroo comes from European festivals like Glastonbury, Roskilde, Reading, Leeds, and Lowlands. “They’ve been going on for 30, 40, 50 years and have really become iconic and part of the overall culture of the countries that they’re situated in,” Farman said. “I think that’s what we aspire to be. We’re on our way to being 12 years in. We’ve still got a lot of growing up to do, but we really believe that we’ve got a very long life ahead of us. We couldn’t be happier about that, too."
For a chance to win tickets to Bonnaroo 2013, go here and complete a short survey. Winners will be notified via email by noon tomorrow (Friday, June 7) and must be able to pick up tickets at our office downtown.
Live music fans in Memphis are in for a rather hectic, choice-filled treat tomorrow night (Wednesday, June 5), as there are no less than four high-quality shows taking place at various venues around Midtown - most of which are scheduled to take place concurrently.
The early-bird offering of the evening is an appearance by local soul-jazz trio the City Champs at the Levitt Shell. This show was originally scheduled for this past Saturday, but had to be re-scheduled due to the rain. The show starts at 7:30 and admission is free.
Now it's taken another step closer to reality, according to The Wrap.
The headline news is that Forest Whitaker (an Oscar winner for his portrayal of MLK-antithesis Idi Amin) is in talks to step into the role of King.
Tomorrow night (Thursday, May 30), The Lamplighter will host a special DJ night featuring local record-spinner DJ Jameson (a.k.a. Jameson Sweiger, formerly of the Ohio psych-punk outfit Puffy Areolas) and touring Madison, WI resident DJ Clay.
For those who attend Thursday's gig, Sweiger has a special treat in store - a free, hand-made mix CD featuring selections from the evening's set that will be given away to the first 30 people that come through the doors.
"It's an eclectic mix of obscure 45s," says Sweiger. "It's all-American neglected white-people music. Stuff that's rare, but very few people care about."
The organizers of the first annual Delta Country Jam are ready to bring country music back home to Mississippi.
“With this festival, music is coming back home to its roots, and I can’t think of a better spot to bring thousands of people together to listen to country music and to experience the musical heritage that we have in Mississippi” said Webster Franklin, President and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The first annual Delta Country Jam, to be held at the Abbay and Leatherman Plantation (the former home of blues icon Robert Johnson) on October 4th and 5th, boasts a solid lineup of country music’s elite, including a performance by three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Tim McGraw. A country music icon, McGraw has sold more than 40 million albums and has more than 33 number-one singles. Not afraid to venture outside of the genre that made him famous, McGraw has also gained a following from mainstream music fans for his collaborations with artists like Nelly and Def Leopard. McGraw has also made a name for himself on screen, appearing in “Friday Night Lights” and as a host of Saturday Night Live, as well as the film about Briarcrest Football Standout Michael Orr, The Blind Side.
Another act scheduled to perform at the first Delta Country Jam is Thompson Square, the husband-and-wife duo responsible for two Grammy nominations and numerous country music awards. Thompson Square were flying below the radar for 15 years before signing with Broken Bow Records and are now becoming one of country music’s most popular acts.
American Country Music award winner Brantley Gilbert, an artist who has already notched four number-one singles and sold over a million records, is also scheduled to perform. In 2011, Gilbert won the honor of being the only new country music artist to have a number-one hit on country radio. Rising country music artists Jerrod Niemann and Josh Thompson are also among the first group of acts announced for the Delta Country Jam.
With so many big names already scheduled to perform, Franklin said he is eager to bring a country music festival of this magnitude to North Mississippi.
“One of the missing elements of our music product has been our destination’s ability to showcase several acts in a festival-like atmosphere,” Franklin said. “There’s no better place suited to honor our musical heritage by hosting a country music festival of this magnitude than right here in Tunica.”
The close proximity of the various casinos in Tunica will provide an opportunity for concert-goers to rest near the festival grounds, a chance that Tunica Music Group representative Bobby Leatherman said is rare for a country music festival.
“Most country music festivals happen way out in the country,” Leatherman said. “Tunica is all-inclusive, so people won’t have to drive a long way or take a bus to get to a hotel.”
In addition to being close to Tunica casino hotels, Leatherman said that he hopes being close to Beale Street will also boost attendance. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
Renovation has begin on the Hotel Chisca, where WHBQ's "Red, Hot, & Blue" disc jockey Dewey Phillips first introduced the world to Elvis Presley, and rock-and-roll. Working with a skeleton crew of volunteers filmmaker turned preservationist Mike McCarthy removed glass, and acoustic tile from the booth where Phillips conducted the world's first Rock-and-Roll interview.
Mike McCarthy gets his hands dirty to preserve a piece of Memphis' musical legacy.
In a previous interview with The Flyer developer Terry Lynch of Main Street Partners LLC said he had identified areas where the historic booth might be incorporated into the renovation.
This Thursday, May 9, The Poplar Lounge will host a special "welcome home" party of sorts for Memphis blues singer and former contestant on NBC's The Voice, Patrick Dodd.
Dodd, a longtime fixture on Beale St. (he was named "Performer of the Year" by the Beale St. Merchants Association in 2011) and the local music scene in general, is fresh off a run on Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine's team on the popular reality series. Unfortunately, he lost in the "battle rounds" of the show to folk duo Midas Whale. But a lot of good has come out of the opportunity for Dodd - he recently struck an endorsement deal with Killer B guitars, and was tapped to sing the national anthem at game 3 of the Grizzlies/Clippers NBA playoff series, among other things.
Here is Dodd performing Marc Cohen's immortal classic "Walking in Memphis" on The Voice:
Tickets for Timberlake's Memphis concert — part of his first tour in six years — are slated to go on sale on Friday, May 17th, with members of Timberlake's “The Tennessee Kids” fan club eligible for “pre-sale” purchases at 10 a.m. that day. You can register for Timberlake's fan club and access to the pre-sale at justintimberlake.com/tennesseekids.
Timberlake's third solo album, The 20/20 Experience has already gone double platinum since it's release a few months ago and has been the year's fastest-selling album. Timberlake last set foot in FedExForum for a Grizzlies game earlier this year. He's now a minority owner of the team.
I didn't really know Selvidge well, but had crossed paths with him several times over the past decade, first for a Flyer cover story on Beale Street Caravan, the made-in-Memphis but broadcast worldwide radio show Selvidge presided over. More recently for a Father's Day-themed story in Memphis magazine, where I had the privilege of sitting with Selvidge and his musician son, Steve, and talking about his life — as a musician and as a father.
From that piece:
Sid Selvidge was raised in Greenville, Mississippi, the son of a laundry business operator. (“Greenville Steam Laundry, Sid says. “I always thought that would be a nice band name.”)
“There was no encouragement,” Sid says of his family’s view of a musical career. “If you got to be musical in my family, it was said to be a fine avocation. They were very practical people. They didn’t like the music business.”
Like so many in his generation, Selvidge wanted to be Elvis, and played around Greenville in a rock-and-roll cover band (go-to song: Sonny Burgess’ “Red-Headed Woman”).
It was after moving to Memphis to attend Rhodes College (then Southwestern) that Selvidge began to turn toward folk music.
“They made me take my Danelectro guitar and put it in the student center so I wouldn’t play electric guitar in my dorm room and bother everybody,” Selvidge remembers. “That’s how I got into acoustic guitar.”
For a while, Selvidge pursued a career in academia, doing graduate work in anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and returning to Rhodes as an instructor. But, eventually, Selvidge devoted himself full-time to music.
“I was a better musician than I was an anthropology teacher,” he says.
Beyond his enormous musical talents and varied imprint on several decades of Memphis music — and the Commercial Appeal's Bob Mehr does a terrific job of recounting Selvidge's career in his obituary today — I was always struck by what an exceedingly intelligent and decent man Selvidge was.
Selvidge leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Shirley Selvidge, and five children. In that Memphis magazine interview, he spoke with gratitude about his family:
“It’s difficult to be a musician without [a partner] that is solid and secure and has a lot of self-confidence, that can let somebody go out on the road for a long period of time,” Sid says. “I realize that now. I was a lucky guy. A great wife, a great family, and I got to go out and play music. I just thought it was great fun. Which it was.”
Selvedge was a natural-born storyteller and effortless guitar picker with a gift for blending early African and Anglo folk traditions.
Born in Greenville, MS, Selvidge got his first taste of celebrity while he was still in high school, spinning Jazz, and Rock-and-Roll records for WDDT radio. He would later spin for KWHAM in West Memphis and eventually founded the internationally broadcast radio program, Beale Street Caravan.
While looking back over past articles I stumbled across a piece I'd written prior to Jones' 1998 appearance at The Mid-South Fair. And while I may have overstated my point when I said he ignored Rock-and-Roll completely (some great Rockabilly cuts for Starday say otherwise), it's a fun read touching on the good, the bad, and the ridiculous. And I thought I'd share with other Possum fans.
Here's the link.
"She Thinks I Still Care" was written by Memphis songwriter Dickey Lee
No heartfelt tribute to the man can be free from all the lurid details. So here's a teaser excerpt:
"Once in an unfounded (and possibly coke-driven) fit of jealousy, he chased Porter Wagoner into the men’s room of the Grand Old Opry [and] grabbed Wagoner by the penis."
Yes, you read that correctly.
And while we're looking back and remembering, here's my perfect George Jones set list circa 2009.
This Friday, Austin, Texas natives Spray Paint play Murphy's in support of their first full-length record. Featuring members of Austin punk bands Dikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Spray Paint has been gaining steady attention for their debut album on California's SS Records that was released at the beginning of 2013 and fans of off-kilter garage punk a la Britain's Hygiene, or perhaps Memphis' own Sharp Balloons should make plans to attend. Stream a track from Spray Paint's first album below.
Flagstaff's Custody Battle, also on tour, were a last minute addition to the show, according to promoter Mikey Bibbs. Melding typical hardcore punk songwriting with fuzzed out garage rock; Custody Battle should have no trouble fitting in with the overall theme of the night. Stream Custody Battle's entire self-titled 10" below.
In recent years, the local indie-pop group Star & Micey has seen its stock rise from relative obscurity to one of the most consistently enjoyable and hardest-working acts in town. The group's 2012 E.P. I Can't Wait earned the band rave reviews from both critics and fans, as well as slots on high-profile national music festivals such as the Folk Alliance Conference and South By Southwest.
This Sunday, April 21, Star & Micey will perform a special last-minute show at The Poplar Lounge. Singer/guitarist Josh Cosby spoke to the Flyer this week about all that's been going on with the group and more.
Memphis Flyer: What have you guys been up to since last we spoke?
Cosby: We went to Canada for the Folk Conference and it was beautiful - we found a manager and a booking agent there. Then we went to Austin and broke our backs, but made an impact. Now we're back home in Memphis.
The format change — a re-formatting, if you will — was first reported by Radio Insight yesterday.
A website seemed to indicate as much, but anyone with $5.99 can make a hoax website.
The station is owned by Flinn Broadcasting. 96X was a staple of the mid-late-90s radio, bringing alternative rock to Memphis. It originally broadcast on 95.7, but the new 96X shows up on 96.1 WIVG and is broadcast out of Tunica, Mississippi.
Right now, tune in to 96.1 and you can hear the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" playing on loop.
More as we know it.
Craig Brewer's $5 Cover was the canary in the coal mine, and another MTV production, Savage County, followed. This weekend, a new Memphis-shot web-based film series premieres in the form of Headshop, a series that follows nine characters whose lives intersect around a local headshop where a new designer drug is being sold.
The series features a primarily local cast and crew and was filmed at locations such as the Tennessee Brewery, Mollie Fontaine's Lounge, and the Arcade Restaurant.
A free screening of the first two episodes tomorrow night at the Ridgeway Four. Reception at 6 p.m. followed by screening at 6:30 p.m. There will be a Q&A with the series' writer/director Giri Swamy afterward.