Elvis is alive.
I'll say it again: Elvis. Is. ALIVE.
So sayeth Derek Clontz, an author of words on the Internet. His history-pwning revelation, replete with photos and shocking truth verbs was birthed on the www yesterday here.
What's that? When you go to that link, the website has been taken down by WordPress for violating the terms of service? You better believe it. The fix is in, people. The vast bat-winged conspiracy has its claws in little old Derek, coz they don't want Elvis' #1 fans to know what really happened.
All this business about Michael Jackson dying has reminded us here at the Flyer of that August day back in 1977 when Elvis almost died. The similarities are eerie, though I suppose they could be overstated, seeing that Elvis went on to have an eventful life and owned an NFL team, and Michael, well, won't.
As for other matters, the fallout from Jackson's demise continues. AbsoluteNow.com says Memphian Justin Timberlake may play a part in rescuing Jackson's sold-out shows in London. The report quotes an unnamed Timberlake confidant, who says, "Michael was Justin's idol, like he was for many artists. Right now he's still in shock but already there is a big feeling that he and maybe some others in the entertainment industry should do something to show their admiration for Michael and his music. Michael was working so hard to make his comeback in London work so it would be fitting if Justin and some of his friends fulfilled at least some of that commitment in some small way."
The UK's Daily Mail corroborates that JT may be involved in some kind of memorial show(s).
I only wish Elvis hadn't died two years ago, cuz then he could be in the memorial concert, too. I'd have loved to have seen Elvis duet with Tito on "The Girl is Mine."
Filmed and set in Detroit, Hung opens with shots of for-sale signs, American flags, and Tiger Stadium coming down. It's an abandoned-building travelogue. The voiceover by the protagonist Ray Drecker (played by Thomas Jane) explains: "Everything's falling apart, and it all starts right here in Detroit, the headwaters of a river of failure."
Ray is a basketball coach and history teacher at West Lakefield High School. Struggling to make ends meet as he raises twin teens, battles an ex (Anne Heche), and watches as his childhood home burns, Ray is feeling the pinch. He used to be on the way to something great: The former sports star and Atlanta Braves signee was "magical, a king, popular," his ex-wife, Jessica, tells him. An injury derailed his athletic career, and, one suspects, the intervening years have not been rosy before the show starts, right at the nadir.
But, against this backdrop of the dispossessed and the repossessed, Hung is a comedy. The jumping off point is right there in the show's name: Jessica — a former homecoming cheerleader beauty queen — has to admit that even if Ray used to be magical, he still is hung. (i.e., he's well-endowed in the swimsuit area, if you catch my drift.)
Pat Mitchell Worley, Director of Development and Communications for the Memphis Music Foundation since July 2008, is in the midst of planning a huge party — the Music Resource Center's first birthday celebration, which runs tonight at their headquarters at 431 S. Main from 6 to 9 p.m.
Worley, a lifelong champion of local music and a veteran of the Blues Foundation, Memphis In May, and MPACT Memphis, took a quick break this afternoon to answer five questions about the MMF and the MRC and the myriad ways that she and her fellow staff members — president Dean Deyo, business coordinator Catrina Guttery, director Cameron Mann, marketing manager Courtney Wilgus, program assistants Sam Farries, Aryen Moore-Alston, Michael McMannus and J.D. Reager — are offering a helping hand to Memphis musicians.
The monthly South Main Trolley Tour is tonight, and the Memphis Music Foundation is taking advantage of the foot traffic to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its Memphis Music Resource Center with an open-house "birthday party" from 6 to 9 p.m.
Visitors can catch some modern Memphis music as well as take a look at the center, a free information center and workspace available to local musicians and others involved in the music industry. There will be two performance spaces set up for the night with confirmed acts Black Rock Revival, Sore Eyes, Teflon Don & Young Producer Kriss, Good Luck Dark Star (pictured), Queens of Zion, and Battle Victorious.
Though not music-related, another "Trolley Night" event you might want to take note of is the debut of the trailer for the local feature film Daylight Fades. A vampire-themed film from Old School Pictures and director Brad Ellis (who are two-time Indie Memphis winners for "best local feature," most recently for Act One), Daylight Fades is an unusually ambitious local production, and the clips look great. You can see the trailer at 506 S. Main, where it will debut at 7 p.m. and be shown on a loop until 9 p.m.
The internet was made for things like this: insane, foolish, utterly magnificent things like this.
Sometime in the early 1990s, the members of Neighborhood Texture Jam, a storied sextet whose members were already well on their way to becoming distinguished elder statesmen of Memphis punk, came up with a brilliant publicity stunt. The band had recently stumbled across a massive, incredibly loud device that crushes gravel for cement and decided it would be a good idea to — as Texture Jam guitarist John Whittemore says — “jam with this giant rock crushing machine.” The stunt attracted the attention of at least one local news station and the raw footage from that spot has since been edited into a video by local film technician Eric Wilson and posted at Google video. And here it is...
Wow, just wow. The lead singer of the Jackson Five-turned-pop star extraordinaire — reduced, in more recent years, to a caricature of his former self — is dead.
I remember the death vigil TV news crews held for the Duke, and I recall our next-door neighbor in Lafayette, Louisiana, coming home for lunch with the news that Elvis was dead.
But, on a day that's already been dominated by the death of Farrah Fawcett (and, in my personal rock-and-roll iconography, Sky Saxon), I never imagined I'd hear that Michael Jackson had left the building.
Sky Saxon, leader of iconic 1960s-era L.A. garage rock group the Seeds, died in Austin, Texas, today.
According to Austin360.com, Saxon was hospitalized on Monday with "an infection of the internal organs," just two days after he performed at Antone's with local group Shapes Have Fangs.
Sabrina Saxon, Sky's wife, posted this message on Facebook: “Sky has passed over and YaHoWha is waiting for him at the gate. He will soon be home with his Father. I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep him here with us. More later. I’m sorry.”
Best known for British psych-meets-American blues rock numbers like "Pushing Too Hard" and "Can't Seem To Make You Mine," Saxon reportedly coined the term "Flower Power" in the '60s, joined the Source Family religious commune in the '70s, and resurfaced on the garage-rock festival circuit in more recent years. In 2004, Saxon and the New Seeds appeared at the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation's "Tryin' To Mess My Mind" festival in New Orleans.
Last week, the Oblivians, the Gories, and Staff stepped up to the proverbial mic.
This Saturday, June 27, the Tennessee Boltsmokers return to the local scene after an extended hiatus, with a performance at Otherlands Coffee Bar.
The reason for the hiatus, according to TB guitarist Mark McKinney: "After we played at SXSW last year, we decided to take time off [from live performances] to record our next album." The TBs third full-length, Vintage All American Dream, recorded at Paul Ebersold's East Memphis studio, is slated for release this fall.
The field for the Academy Awards Best Picture nominees will increase from five to 10 beginning in 2010, the Academy is announcing.
They're saying the move will align them more with the award ceremonies in much of the '30s and up to the 1944 show. Blather. They're doing it because if the Academy recognizing five movies can make the industry $XYZ billion, think how much more with double the number of films. They're printing money over in the Hollywood Hills. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Think of a movie like Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, which got zilch in nominations this year. Great movie, but with the Academy's recognition increasingly being seen as a key base-line indicator of a successful grown-folks film, Torino probably took a hit in the box office/video intake. Granted, it did great in domestically and internationally, and it's doing quite well on video. It should be. Just imagine if they could plug on the cover of the box with "Nominated — Best Picture."
So, is it too soon to take a crack at what the 10 Best Picture nominees will be when they're announced sometime in January 2010? Let's play.
Where the Wild Things Are
The Lovely Bones
The Human Factor
Back in April, SING ALL KINDS noted the unveiling of Justin Timberlake's line of tequila, called 901 in honor of his native-West TN area code.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to be able to report that said tequila will appear on liquor-store shelves in the Greater Memphis area as soon as later this week.
901 Silver Tequila will be available in the Volunteer State, New York, California, Nevada, and Missouri ASAP. A press release we received today indicates that 901 is made using 100 percent Blue Weber Agave and produced by Tequilera Newton, "in the heart of Jalisco, Mexico."
Mmmm, I'm getting drunk already. And not that crappy El Jimador kind of drunk. Classy, bringing-sexy-back drunk.
Factor in the Oblivians and Gories reunions at the Hi-Tone Cafe, and there's a time-machine trifecta going on this weekend: Today, the men of Staff — best known for that unforgettable indie rock ditty "George W. Hitler" — step into the spotlight for the first time in a half-decade with a 5 p.m. show at the Buccaneer Lounge.
With Tim Prudhomme — known locally for his frequent collaborations with Harlan T. Bobo and nationally for his work with onetime Matador signees Fuck — at the helm, along with fellow Fuck-er Geoff Soule and former Grifters bassist Tripp Lampkins, Staff simmered under the radar in the early 2000s, despite a coveted touring spot as an opener for Sonic Youth.
Also on the bill at the Bucc tonight: Teledildonics 5000, the brainchild of organist Brendan Spengler, an alum of Harlan T. Bobo's live band and Viva L'American Deathray.
I first saw Eddie Vedder live in 1994, when he and the band he fronts, Pearl Jam, played the Mid-South Coliseum. The grunge band's second album, Vs., had recently been released, and the concert was everything my 18-year-old heart could've hoped for. Pearl Jam played every song from their debut album, Ten, and all save one ("Rats") from Vs.
And yet what I remember most of that show isn't the music but the Vedder's politics. At one point at the '94 show, he asked the audience, "Is it okay to be gay in Memphis?" The crowd mostly booed back, "no." To my present shame, I was one of them. (At least I would eventually outgrow my childlike homophobia.) Vedder had a comeback to the Memphis masses: "Then you're all a bunch of fucking assholes."
The musician has been famous for his politics and socially liberal lyrics in his career, culminating, in my mind, with songs from Pearl Jam's Riot Act, released in 2002, an anti-Bush statement — pre-Iraq War, no less — at a time when it was very unpopular to be so in mainstream music. Vedder was ahead of the curve.
SING ALL KINDS noted back in April the rumor traveling around the web that Steve Jobs, CEO/co-founder, Apple, had moved to Memphis for health reasons.
That rumor has gotten some substantiation today with the Wall Street Journal's report that Jobs had a liver transplant in Tennessee about two months ago. Only three hospitals in the Volunteer State do liver transplants: Vanderbilt in Nashville, Le Bonheur in Memphis, and Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. Le Bonheur doesn't treat adults. Circumstantial evidence suggests he was/is in the Bluff City.
Why Tennessee as opposed to another of the lower 48? The WSJ indicates it may have been because the waiting list for transplants in Tennessee is significantly shorter than other states.
Now, Alexander Haislip has some really juicy details. Jobs lives in "a quiet cul-de-sac" in a swank neighborhood? A 7,500-square-foot mansion built in 1914, yellow with white trim? Upgraded security and a white Jeep guarding the resident? I'm pretty sure this isn't happening on my street in Berclair.
And who was that guy ordering foie gras at Chez Philippe a table over the other night?
So is he here or not? Citizen journalists/commenters of the world, I command you: Respond to this blog with every nugget or truth and rumor you have in your possession.
It's not recommended that you see the Jennifer Aniston indie romantic comedy Management, opening today. My review.
You may or may not want to see the Jennifer Biel/Colin Firth adaptation of minor Noël Coward, Easy Virtue, also opening today. Chris Herrington's review.