Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Memphis Beat: "Baby, Let's Play House"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:32 AM

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Memphis Beat, "Baby, Let's Play House"
Originally Aired: June 29, 2010

Episode Named After: Elvis' Sun Records cover song of the Arthur Gunter original. Elvis' version hit #5 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in July 1955.

Plot Synopsis: Dwight (Jason Lee) sniffs out some graffiti artists just by staring them down — he's a crime whisperer or like the guy in The Mentalist. Alex (Sunny Mabrey) is introduced as Dwight's ex-wife with benefits. Dwight and Whitehead (Sam Hennings) straighten out some fighting youths and check out one of the boys' strange tale about a daddy kidnapped by terrorists. The boy's mom, Cleo (special guest star Juliette Lewis), plays dumb but the truth comes out in dribs and drabs. Dwight joins his mom and her neighbor on a date. Dwight's dad is revealed to have been a Memphis police officer. Whitehead reveals his thespian proclivities. Dwight plays "Baby, Let's Play House" alone on his couch.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Local Power Pop Musician Tommy Hoehn Dies at 55

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

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Local musician and power pop cult figure Tommy Hoehn died on Thursday at age 55 after a long struggle with cancer.

Hoehn is perhaps best known as a sometime collaborator with the members of Big Star (he sang back-up on Third/Sister Lovers) and the Scruffs, but was a gifted pop artist in his own right, releasing two fine solo albums in the mid-late 70s on London Records. The 1977 single “Blow Yourself Up” was his biggest hit, eventually earning Hoehn a new generation of followers thanks to its inclusion on 1993 Rhino Records compilation D.I.Y.: Come Out and Play: American Power Pop I (1975-78).

Hoehn's last official release came in 2002 with Blue Orange, his second album as a duo with friend and fellow Memphis pop legend Van Duren. He was also hard at work on new solo album before his most recent hospitalization; the project is now slated to be completed by his many friends in the local music scene later this year.

Hoehn's memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday at the Church of the Holy Communion, 4645 Walnut Grove Road.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sound Advice: RootStock

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM

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This Saturday, June 26, the emerging local hard rock trio the Dirty Streets will headline an interesting three band bill at the Hi-Tone Cafe. Dubbed “RootStock,” the show will also feature Black Rock Revival and the Sheriffs of Nottingham.

The concept behind RootStock, according to show promoter LaDonna Marie, is simple.

“Basically, myself and the boys in the bands all feel that the everyone's music comes from the roots of rock n roll, 60s and early 70s stuff,” she says. “Each band has that as a common thread, even though there are differences in their sounds as well.”

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memphis Beat, Pilot Episode

Posted By on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 4:36 PM

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“Have mercy.” The utterance — the first line in the new TV show Memphis Beat — drips with 50-plus years of pop cultural associations about music-blooded regular folk who made the big time and about those living a sweet slow life content with the small time.

Is this what Memphis is? Memphis Beat thinks so. The show, premiering tonight on TNT at 9 p.m. and airing on Tuesdays throughout the summer, embraces these associations. The extent to which you, as a Memphian, or you, as a neophyte, can live with the portrayal will determine the level of your enjoyment. (By the way, look for Chris Herrington’s Flyer cover story, out tomorrow, about the city from Mystery Train to Memphis Beat.)

Based solely on the pilot, titled “That’s Alright, Mama,” the show is a failure on multiple levels and a success on others. Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) stars as Memphis police detective Dwight Hendricks, an unconventional investigator who performs hometown songs for big crowds at night. His day and nighttime jobs are full of one thing: love for Memphis.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Bonnaroo Recap, Day 3

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 7:47 AM

Saturday we were running on fumes after two days camping in the muggy heat and walking back and forth from Centeroo. Staying hydrated was key to our survival and drinking beer helped to lighten the discomfort. I realized you kinda have to maintain a buzz if you plan to make it through the entire fest. Otherwise, the heat, lack of shade, crowds, long lines (for everything), and disgusting port-a-johns might get the better of you.

Alas, we trudged on, blistered feet and all, to hear some tunes. We caught the godfathers of grunge, The Melvins, who rocked the crowd with their sometimes off-key, unkempt guitar riffs and wailing vocals. Next, we stopped by to see Jack White's newest project, The Dead Weather, before walking over to Which Stage for Weezer. Weezer played an awesome set, including lots of oldies like "Why Bother," "Say It Ain't So," and "The Sweater Song." Near the end, they covered MGMT's "Kids," mashing it up with Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." They closed their show with "Buddy Holly" as thousands of fans sang along.

Though we planned to see several other acts Saturday night, we were all exhausted. We walked back to camp for a nap, which (oops!) lasted until 7:30 Sunday morning. That's the thing about Bonnaroo. It's next to impossible to catch everything. There's just so much going on, and only so much you can handle.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bonnaroo Recap, Day 2

Posted By on Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Friday I spent the day hopping from the Comedy Tent to What Stage to Which Stage. Then to This Tent, That Tent, and The Other Tent. And yes, those are literally the stage names. Way to confuse the hippies
Bonnaroo!

Day two was rough — scorching, inescapable sun, thick humidity, and temps near 100 degrees. But we made it through, first seeing comedian Margaret Cho who (staying classy) joked about pooping and anal sex. Next, there was Tenacious D, who accumulated the largest crowd yet, playing hits from their first album and The Pick of Destiny, including their infamous rock-off with Satan, during which the devil crept in from side stage. The song ended with Satan's defeat.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bonnaroo Recap, Day 1

Posted By on Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 8:23 AM

My crew and I pulled into the fest grounds just after 7 p.m. After
unloading and setting up camp, we headed over to Centeroo to spy the
scene.

We stopped by the Troo Music Lounge for a moment of Frank Turner's show but could hardly hear him because of loud music emanating from a distant stage.

It was the newly added Lunar Stage that ultimately owned Thursday night's crowd, with DJs Dieselboy and Afrojack fueling the party. Thousands of obviously intoxicated festival attendees meandered over as their heavy hitting, highly infectious beats overpowered Centeroo.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Hooked on Junkies: The Cowboy Junkies play a free show at the Levitt Shell

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Margo Timmins
  • Margo Timmins
They say you never forget your first, and it's true. I bought my first CD player at Goldsmith's in 1992 and went to some record store in the Mall of Memphis and bought two CDs: Small Change, a Tom Waits classic, and Black Eyed Man by The Cowboy Junkies which was hot off the presses. A recent break-in had seriously depleted my music collection so for months these discs and a handful of cassette tapes were all I had to listen to. And I never got tired of them.

The Cowboy Junkies made a name for themselves in 1988 with The Trinity Session, a fantastic collection of songs recorded at Ontario's Church of the Holy Trinity. It's still widely considered to be the band's most important recording, and "Sweet Jane", a quaalude-country take on one of the Velvet Underground's definitive songs—is probably still the group's best known cut. But for my money, it's all about Black Eyed Man and I hope to hear many of those songs when the group plays a free concert at The Levitt Shell on Saturday, June 12.

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Sound Advice: Delta Girls Rock Camp Fundraiser

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 9:46 AM

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This Sunday, the Delta Girls Rock Camp will host an all-ages, matinee fundraiser at the Hi-Tone Cafe featuring the Warble, the Hot Pink Paperclips, and other surprise guests.

The Delta Girls Rock Camp, entering its second year since branching off from Murfreesboro's Southern Girls Rock Camp, is a week-long summer camp at Hutchison School for girls ages 10 — 17 that educates attendees about all things related to rock and roll, including musical performance and songwriting, making flyers for gigs, and D.I.Y. t-shirt printing. During the week, campers are divided into different bands, assigned instruments, and given time to write and rehearse material for the camp's climax, the camp-band showcase in Hutchison's plush Wiener Theater.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Antenna Club Reunion is Having a Reunion

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 9:05 PM

The Crime at Murphys
  • Greg Roberson
  • The Crime at Murphy's
Last year's Antenna Club reunion was a guitar smashing success and Antenna Reunion 2: Excessive Antenna! is just around the corner. (Okay, I just made up that name, but wouldn't it be great?) This year Memphis' defunct punk palace presents The Crime, The Randy Band, Neon Wheels, The Klitz, 68 Comeback, Reigning Sound, New Mary Jane, Pezz, Small Room, Recoil, Linda Heck & The Train Wreck, Fluorescent Butt Jam, Distemper, Four Neat Guys, Barking Dog, Sobering Consequences, Soul Capitalist, Gasoline Grace, and the Psychic Plowboys

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Hearing Things: Dragoon's "The Offending Party" sounds familiar... in a good way

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 4:30 PM

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I don't hear 'my kind of music' very much anymore and I want to make it live again somehow even if it's through our admittedly limited means. I miss bands like Fugazi and Jesus Lizard. I like really hard rock and who makes it anymore? I can't get into nu-metal really. There are tons of bands who want to authentically replicate the sounds of hard rock from the 70's and 60's. Who is out there trying to create hard rock that's original and not just a nod to a foregone sound? Queens of the Stone Age maybe?... WHO ROCKS ANYMORE?

—Dragoon bassist Tripp Lamkins

It's tempting to start any review of Dragoon by saying something like, “Grifters fans who aren't paying attention to this band are missing out on a loud, crashing, chaotic echo from the past.” That would be an accurate enough introduction to the band's sound but it wouldn't really be fair. Former Grifters Tripp Lamkins and Stan Gallimore, who also make up Dragoon's expressive and always experimental rhythm section, have been playing together since they were in the 9th-grade. To no small degree The Grifters' sound was an extension of BOB, Lamkins and Gallimore's high school band. These guys have been working on a bass-driven fusion of prog, metal, punk and pop for decades.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pastor, Christian-Rock Pioneer Dana Key Dies at 56

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Numerous sources have reported that Memphian and Christian-rock pioneer Dana Key died on Sunday at the age of 56 due to complications from a ruptured blood clot.

In 1978, Key, along with lifelong friend Eddie DeGarmo, founded the groundbreaking Christian rock band DeGarmo & Key, which was the first Christian act ever to receive airplay on MTV. (The 1984 video for “Six, Six, Six” was briefly banned from the network under the mistaken assumption that it was pro-Satan.) The pair released 21 albums and received seven Grammy Award and 17 Dove Award nominations over the span of a nearly 20-year career.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bonnaroo Preview

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Kings of Leon
  • Kings of Leon
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will sprawl across 700-acres of nearly shade-less farmland in Manchester, Tennessee this week, bringing tens of thousands of music fans to Middle Tennessee June 10th through 13th. This year, I'll be representing the Flyer amid the sea of of acid-ingesting, sunburned, barefoot hippies, and will be filing reports throughout the fest. Stay tuned.

Some of this year's performer's recently held court at a press conference promoting the event, and we had a chance to listen in.

Friday headliner Kings of Leon has been working on a yet-to-be-released “fun record,” which drummer Nathan Followill says “has songs that are beachy; songs that are a little more like our Youth & Young Manhood days. It’ll be tough not to play the whole thing at Bonnaroo.”

Followill says the members each have their “go-to songs — the songs that we get to show off on,” but they will perform a nice mixture of oldies, goodies, and a few more new ones than fans may expect. “We might have a couple of aces up our sleeves, maybe a couple of cool covers, so it’ll be interesting,” he says. “It’s in our backyard, in Tennessee, so it’ll be fun.”

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Sound Advice: Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Surfer Blood at the Hi-Tone Café

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
There's an extremely promising indie-rock bill on tap at the Hi-Tone Café tonight, featuring New York's Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Florida's Surfer Blood.

On their eponymous 2009 debut, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart spin more daring variations on collegiate sex than Vampire Weekend — doing it between the library stacks, making time with a prof, etc. — and would have fit right in as the house band on Gilmore Girls. In other words, they're smarter, sweeter, and dorkier than your average blog-rock hype-of-the-moment. They also rough up their twee with shoegazer noise and "Be My Baby" beats. I caught them at SXSW shortly after the album came out and the band's chiming, hooky pop translated better than I expected onstage.

Lead by songwriter/guitarist John Paul Pitts, Surfer Blood display a spikier sound on their 2010 debut album Astro Coast, reminiscent at times of Pavement and Weezer (big difference there, I know), but with elements of the implied surf-rock sound (both Dick Dale and Beach Boys varieties). But it's when the band gets polyrhythmic on a purloined Eagles title that I really fall for them.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Erykah Badu Ticket Giveaway

Posted By on Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 9:18 PM

UPDATE: We have a winner. Thanks to everyone who entered.

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Erykah Badu is arguably the most iconic soul singer of her generation. She debuted with an idiosyncratically earthy take on neo-soul with 1997's Baduizm, flaunted her mischievous wit on superb singles "Tyrone" and "Southern Gul," beefed up her songwriting with 2000's Mama's Gun, polished her hip-hop bona fides via collaborations — personal and/or artistic — with the likes of Andre Benjamin, The Roots, and Common, and has let her freak flag fly from Dave Chappelle's Block Party to Dealy Plaza.

Lately, Badu has segued into musically smooth, philosophically combative funk with her New Amerykah series, the second of which, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, released earlier this year.

Touring in the support of the album, Badu lands in Memphis Thursday night, June 10th, to play The Orpheum, with the like-minded Janelle Monae opening.

We've got a pair of tickets to give away, which also include admittance to a post-show meet-and-greet with Badu. For a chance to win the tickets, all you have to do is e-mail me at herrington@memphisflyer.com by noon Tuesday with "Badu Contest" in the subject line and your name and a contact number in the message. A winner will be chosen at random from all entries.

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