First off, local hero Jack Oblivian and his group the Tennessee Tearjerkers — still celebrating the release of The Disco Outlaw — are playing a free show at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street at 7 p.m.
Jack-O will be the perfect warm-up for former Flat Duo Jets frontman Dexter Romweber, who is in turn opening up for the Detroit Cobras at the Hi-Tone Cafe later tonight. The Flyer's own Chris Davis is a big fan of the Cobras, but my money's on the utterly raw — and extremely talented — Dex, a North Carolinian who has performed at nearly every "alternative Memphis" venue over the last two decades, including the Antenna Club, the Loose End, the Pyramid Club, the Hi-Tone (where he opened for Cat Power a few years back), and Murphy's.
Regular readers of SING ALL KINDS know that the Flyer's Chris Davis has reported on the Burger King imbroglio (imbroilglio?) — with the Mid-South franchisee, Mirabile Investment Corporation, of the BK fast-food brand putting up signs reading "Global Warming is Baloney" — on May 27, May 29, and June 2.
I've enjoyed watching the story ripple out to newsmedia around the world. (To date, to my knowledge, no one else in Memphis has covered this story.)
The coverage got its biggest showcase on last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC as he declared the BK franchise owner's the day's "worst persons ... in the world!" See video below. (The clip starts with an ad touting Applebee's "Realburger." Unintentional schadenfreude?)
But MSNBC is hardly the only news vendor to pick it up. I threw a google lasso around Burger King and Memphis in the news search and came away with a few quick hits. It's interesting to read the variations the story takes depending on who's telling it.
The Burger King Corporation (BKC) seems to be in denial regarding the decision by Mirabile Investment Corporation (MIC), a Memphis-based management company with more then 40 Burger King locations across the Mid-South, to place the words “Global Warming is Baloney” on many of not all of its exterior signs.
BKC distanced itself from the message last week, claiming that the the “two” signs in question had been removed. At the time of Burger King's official statement, Flyer readers had already reported at least 10 such signs in various locations between Batesvile, Mississippi, and Martin, Tennessee.
Well, the last episode of $5 Cover aired last Friday night, and so far, life remains relatively normal for the Memphis musicians featured in the series. In this week's print edition of The Memphis Flyer, I report on upcoming releases by Harlan T. Bobo, Lucero, and Two Way Radio. And today, I caught up with Valerie June to talk about her plans for the summer.
Flyer: Has anything changed for you since $5 Cover first aired?
June: Regionally, people don’t call my phone and expect me to do gigs for free anymore! Nationally, I haven’t gotten any response yet. I have a lot of producers interested in working with me based on my appearance in $5 Cover, which is awesome. One of the things that has really slowed me down is I haven’t had a good recording. I've done a lot of bedroom sessions, [but] I need to have a good record to get me to the next level.
Heroic hip-hop trio De La Soul will hit Minglewood Hall on Tuesday, August 4th as part of their "20 Years High and Rising Tour". Tickets for the concert, which are $22 in advance, go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday, June 5th.
The tour's title is a reference to the 20th anniversary of the band's landmark 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, an esoteric hip-hop classic that won that year's Pazz and Jop national critics poll while pulling the generally declamatory genre in a whole new cultural direction. If De La Soul may have peaked at the outset, like so many pop geniuses before and since, they also, arguably, aged better than anyone else in what has largely been a young man's form. The band's overlooked 2001 album AOI: Bionix should be the standard-bearer for what hip-hop as "grown folks' music" can be.