Scandal-inflamed former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is in the news again. Of all things, it's because he was videotaped singing Elvis' "Treat Me Nice" at a Chicago block party last Friday.
Uh, I supposed Elvis Week can officially begin now? I believe he's missed the deadline for this year's Elvis Tribute Artist contest, but he's got an early jump on the class of 2010. Hey Rod, don't quit your day sleaze.
Back in June the Academy Awards announced the doubling of Best Picture nominees to 10, beginning with this year's race. Ever ready to think about such things, I gave out my predictions for this year's class of Best Pic nominees.
Where the Wild Things Are
The Lovely Bones
The Human Factor (now apparently retitled Invictus)
Why not update that list?
Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is screening In a Dream, a documentary by Jeremiah Zagar about his father Isaiah (pictured), who has created more than 50,000 square feet of mosaic murals in Philadelphia over the last four decades. Jeremiah examines the man as an artist and husband, warts and all.
Head here for more information on the film. Tickets are $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers
As mentioned in the Letter from the Editor in this week's Flyer (I’m filling in for Bruce VanWyngarden), last weekend I visited the Vintage Pinball Museum, about 200 miles east of Memphis. What I could not include in that space, however, were pictures of these fabulous games.
To recap from the Editor’s Letter: Doug Moore and Kathy Dunn opened Yesterdaze Pinball about a month ago. The museum includes a rotating display of vintage machines (1940s-1970s) from a collection of 400. A grand opening will be held Labor Day Weekend.
Given that Doug’s first job at age 12 was at an arcade, you might think of him as having come full circle. But, to hear him tell of the chance twists and little bounces of fate, this story has the trajectory of, yes, an in-play pinball.
Chris Herrington was on assignment this week (I've always wanted to say that!), so Chris Vernon asked if I would fill in for the "Movies" segment on Vernon's show.
I'm an avid listener, but there's a reason I write for a living rather than work in broadcast journalism. That said, this one was a no-brainer: It was on.
You can hear how it went down yesterday if you click on that Vernon link and go to the MixPod feature on the website. Keep clicking back on the track listing and you'll eventually get to me. Each segment is its own track.
I took a bit of abuse from the host and callers, but I was expecting it, and, I must admit, thirsting for it a little. Baptism by fire, they say.
Without further ado, the top five Adam Sandler movies:
The short answer, for those who haven't figured it out on their own, is that MSNBC has moved to Comcast channel 81. Well, sort of. It's on channel 81 for customers with the kind of digital converter box that Comcast told its lucky customers in countless pre-digital-switch advertisements they wouldn't be needing. For basic expanded cable viewers without a box, MSNBC has been moved to Channel 105. That means that fans of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow who currently only have expanded basic are probably going to require an upgrade. The big question, obviously, is “Why only MSNBC?” Why not CNN? Why not Fox News?
Comcast customers who call the cable giant's Memphis office to find out why they now need a digital box to keep watching MSNBC have been getting answers ranging from “Government regulation” to “We're phasing out analog cable.” After being told there was nobody in management who could field questions and explain the decision in detail, one customer service rep told the Flyer that the decision to move away from expanded basic and into cable box-only territory was made by the network. MSNBC, she said, thought it would be “beneficial.” MSNBC says none of this true.
We continue our countdown to tonight's De La Soul concert at Minglewood Hall. Let's go back to the beginning with this promo video from the group's first albm, 3 Feet High and Rising:
Unlike their rock-and-roll counterparts, who are busy over-analyzing the death of music magazines or pondering the navigational routes of social networking sites, blues fans Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel aren't content to cool their heels while the music biz struggles to reinvent itself for modern times.
Last year, the duo, respective owners of the Clarksdale, Miss.-based Cat Head record label and retail store and the Missouri-based Broke and Hungry CD imprint, combined their mission via M for Mississippi: A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues, a blues tourism-oriented documentary film that celebrates contemporary performers such as guitarists Duck Holmes, T-Model Ford, Robert "Bilbo" Walker and the late Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson, who succumbed to cancer on July 22.
We continue our countdown to next Tuesday's De La Soul concert at Minglewood Hall. Since I missed my self-appointed De La duties Sunday, I'll double-up today.
First, "A Rollerskating Jams Called 'Saturdays'":
It looks like it's going to be quiet at Midtown hangouts like the Hi-Tone and the Buccaneer this fall, as this trio of local stalwarts — which encompass a wide range of local sidemen, including John Paul Keith, Rick Steff, Adam Woodard, Mark Stuart, and John Argroves — hit the road soon after the release of Lucero's major label debut, 1372 Overton Park (more on that here).
Lucero's Ramblin' Roadshow & Memphis Revue, featuring John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives and Jack O. and the Tennessee Tearjerkers:
Monday Oct. 26 - Ft. Collins, CO - Aggie Theatre
Tuesday Oct. 27 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
Thursday Oct. 29 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
Friday Oct. 30 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
Sunday Nov. 1 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
Wednesday Nov. 4 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
Thursday Nov. 5 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
Guitars at half mast, please. Billy Lee Riley, the Sun Studio rockabilly artist who recorded atomic age classics such as "Flying Saucers Rock and Roll" and "Red Hot" is dead. It was recently reported that Riley, who had been in poor health since taking a bad fall in 2005, was suffering from the final stages of terminal cancer.
On August 30th, there will be a memorial show in Newport, Arkansas, featuring Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, WS Holland and his band, Travis Wammack, Carl Mann, Smoochy Smith, Ace Cannon and his band, Jr. Rogers, Warren Crow, J.M. VanEaton, Dale Hawkins, C.W. Gattin, and the Blues Brothers Band.
We'll have more to say about this influential and under-sung Memphis artist, in the meantime here's a clip from a live performance in 2003.
We continue our countdown to next Tuesday's De La Soul concert at Minglewood Hall with the band's statement of principles, "Me, Myself and I":