Ronald “Brickhouse” Brown, the self-proclaimed “master of seduction” who once wrestled as “The Black Prince,” has never had any trouble talking trash. Once, while grappling in Memphis in the mid-1980s, he snarled at Jerry “The King” Lawler, who'd recently become a national figure after slapping comedian Andy Kaufman on Late Night with David Letterman. “Nobody never ever touch me unless I want them to, and I'm talking about a young, lovely tenderoni," Brown said to Lawler. "And you don't look anything like lovely.” Then he turned on a fan and barked. “You know I'm better than 'fairly decent.' I'm a superstar!”
It’s a sour-sweet week for me here at Sing All Kinds. Unless you’ve been living under a rock — a very nerdy, unsociable, awkward-around-girls rock — you would have absolutely no idea whatsoever that this week saw the release of the last-ever issue of comic book series 100 Bullets.
For the uninitiated, 100 Bullets is an R-rated crime series of the imprint Vertigo, which publishes "Comics and books for mature readers." 100 Bullets #1 came out in August 1999, a shot across the bow of American sequential art, fired by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso. Ten years and multiple Eisner and Harvey awards later, issue #100 has been released. Its passing marks the end of the defining comics story of the current decade.
Brooklyn rock duo MGMT, who were one of the biggest pop music breakouts of 2008 with their debut album Oracular Spectacular and its great single "Time to Pretend," have announced a concert Thursday, June 11th at Minglewood Hall.
The band, which features Memphis-bred singer Andrew VanWyngarden (the son of Flyer editor Bruce VanWyngarden), plays their second Memphis show — following a sold-out appearance last year at the Hi-Tone Cafe en route to the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Opening will be Kuroma, an indie-rock project featuring another former Memphian, VanWyngarden's former Accidental Mersh bandmate Hank Sullivant.
Tickets for the concert are $23 and go on sale Friday, April 24th at 10 a.m., available via the Minglewood box office or at MinglewoodHall.com.
Tonight at B.B. King's Blues Club, an all-star list of Beale Street musicians past and present will come together to celebrate the life of late guitar prodigy Corey Osborn (who died in an automobile accident last November) and raise money to help with the medical bills of "Queen of Beale Street" Ruby Wilson, who suffered a stroke in January.
To learn more about the concert, see our feature on the show in this week's paper.
Sardonic Brit rock, charismatic indie rap, and catchy college pop are on tap for my second Listening Log:
Art Brut vs. Satan — Art Brut (Downtown): After spending a lot of time on girlfriend problems with album #2, Art Brut singer/stand-up comic Eddie Argos leads his noize-tune cohorts back to the diversity of topics that animated the band's great debut, Bang Bang Rock and Roll. Here, the band offers spirited defenses of arrested development and sloppy recordings and focuses their deadpan aim on Stuff They Like (public transportation, the Replacements, D.C. Comics) and Stuff They Hate (employment, U2, the general populace). Rousing chorus: "The record-buying public?/We hate them!/This is Art Brut vs. Satan/Don't worry/We can take them!" ("Demons Out!," "The Replacements," "Alcoholics Unanimous")
Okay, here's a story that sounds like the most untrue thing ever. Naturally, I'm going to link to it.
The word on the e-street is that Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple and all-around master of the universe, may be on the move to Memphis. The reason: health. Jobs is on a leave of absence from his post while suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Alexander Haislip, the guy with the original blog supposition about Jobs relocation, points to the presence of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a reason the man may be coming here. I think it's safe to scuttle that theory, as Jobs, 54, is a little too long in the tooth to qualify for treatment at St. Jude.
Nevertheless, we'll keep you abreast of any developments — most likely the debunking ones.
The infamous but rare William Buckley-Gore Vidal debates from 1968 screen at the Brooks Museum of Art tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 or free to museum members. You can read my feature story on the screening from this week's paper here.
Memphian singer Lil Rounds survived another week on the ratings giant American Idol. However, the clock might be ticking on how much longer she'll be around. Lil finished next to last in voting for the week. Good news: She'll be back for disco night next Tuesday. Bad news: They're kicking two contestants off on Wednesday.
Snider tells ESPN readers that he likes baseball because it's "stoner friendly" and he doesn't care much for football, though he does call Nashville Titans coach Jeff Fisher "a Dylanesque sage."
On the local front, Snider encourages ESPN readers to check out Memphian Amy LaVere and announces a free show at the Overton Park Shell on June 18th.
Some other highlights:
On breakfast foods:
Zac (IN): Todd, what's your favorite flavor of poptart?
SportsNation Todd Snider: (2:52 PM ET ) britney spears
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder — once derided as an "epileptic midget" by one of my college roommates, though that is apparently a minority opinion — is playing a solo show at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, June 20th, and tickets go on sale this Saturday, April 18th at 10 a.m. Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketmaster (not at the Orpheum box office).
Oh sure , IKEA and Apple may have been among the first to use cool product-based mosaics in their branding campaigns. But Bose has gone 21st Century Warhol with celebrity portraits of Elvis, Madonna, Jim Morrison, and Kishore, a superstar among Bollywood's playback singers.
Hat tip to Boing Boing.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, rockabilly — “a style of rock 'n' roll mixed with rowdy country music” — is making “an encore performance.” In less garbled terms, Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation transforming the stretch of U.S. 67 from Newport to Pocahontas into "Rock 'N' Roll Highway 67.” The road, which sounds like it might have been named by a Japanese tourist was actually named by State Representative J.R. Rogers, and honors Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins,” and scores of other guitar-slinging greasers who played the Arkansas roadhouse circuit in the 1950's.
Rogers told the Democrat-Gazette that he wanted to call 67 the "Rock 'N' Roll" highway instead of the "Rockabilly" highway because, “Arkansas people didn't want to be put into a group with hillbillies.” Apparently he didn't mind Arkansas people being put into a group of people who spell Rock and Roll with a big silly N'.
With little space in print for non-local record reviews, I'm bringing the old "listening log" mini-review format back as a regular Sing All Kinds feature. Not sure if it will be weekly or bi-weekly or something more random than that, but it will be recurring. Up first: My two favorite albums of 2009 so far.
The Baseball Project, Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails — The Baseball Project (Yep Roc): The Baseball Project is alt-rock journeymen Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) — neither of whom have meant much to me in their previous pop lives — spinning a baker's dozen of terrific songs about what is still America's greatest game. With jangly bar rock as apt a song-for-song's-sake vehicle as solo-acoustic, and with the likes of Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, and forgotten hurler Harvey Haddix as worthy of the troubadour treatment as Pretty Boy Floyd and John Henry, you might call this the best non-Dylan folk record of the decade. And while it's true that you might not respond to it as quickly (if at all) if you've never heard of Bert Campaneris or Oscar Gamble, this lifelong baseball devotee wouldn't have responded to it as quickly (if at all) if it weren't so smart, funny, and unsentimental. Highlights include an imaginary Ted Williams analysis of all the great players of his era who weren't as good as he was, an opening cultural litany-as-mortality lament, and a spirited defense/remembrance of the aforementioned Haddix, who pitched 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26, 1959, only to lose the game in the 13th. ("Ted Fucking Williams," "Satchel Paige Said," "Past Time," "Harvey Haddix")
Released locally last fall on vinyl (and dubbed the fourth best local release of 2008 by, um, me), John Paul Keith & the One Four Fives' terrific debut Spills and Thrills gets a national CD release today via Big Legal Mess, a subsidiary of Oxford's Fat Possum Records.
Check out Chris Davis' profile of the band here.
And Keith's isn't the only locally connected album hitting the racks on this new-release Tuesday. Fat Possum will also release its first batch of Al Green reissues born out of a licensing deal with Hi Records. Remastered editions of Let's Stay Together, I'm Still in Love With You, and Greatest Hits will also be available today under the Hi/Fat Possum banner.
The weekend's box office numbers are in from BoxOfficeMojo, and if you had Hannah Montana: The Movie in your office pool, congratulations! The hotly anticipated (from the tween set) big-screen feature from Miley Cyrus grabbed hold of #1 with $34 million, kicking last week's winner, Fast and Furious, to the curb. One can only hope this means we haven't seen the last of Miley Cyrus. Oh wait, I mean the opposite of that.