Ace Memphis session drummer and neo-soul singer-songwriter Ryan Peel will release his long-awaited debut solo recording this week in the form of a 2-song single ("Even If" b/w "Didn't See It Coming") available in both digital and 7" vinyl formats.
The single is being released by local producer/musician Scott Bomar's emerging Electraphonic label, which also issued the most recent albums from home-grown modern soul acts The City Champs and The Bo-Keys. Bomar, who plays bass for The Bo-Keys, also served as the producer for all three projects, including Peel's.
"Scott is very laid back and easy to work with," says Peel. "A lot of his production style is about making sure the vibe is right and that the artist is comfortable. We spent a lot of time joking around and having fun, while still taking the music seriously and trying to get the best takes."
In this week's Flyer, I profiled local rapper Don Trip, who signed to Interscope Records earlier this year and recently finished recording his debut album for the label, Help is on the Way.
But Trip has released an enormous amount of self-distributed mixtape music over the past year — by my rough count 8 full-length mixtapes since last August, along with several standalone singles. This is an awful lot of music to wade through, but I've given most of it a spin. If you're new to Trip and intrigued, here's an entry point — the track list with links for my own "Best of Don Trip" mix. (Needless to say most everything here is probably NSFW):
1. "Letter to My Son" (Crossface Crippler): The game-breaker. A breathtakingly raw and intimate piece of music.
2. "Halloween" (Terminator): Where Trip recounts the call from Diddy that came after "Letter to My Son" started to spread.
3. "Karate in the Garage" (Step Brothers): An early promo selection taken from the "Outtakes" of his recent mixtape collaboration with Nashville MC Starlito is probably the most purely entertaining thing on Step Brothers.
Rumors broke out yesterday afternoon and now it's official: Craig Brewer confirmed to the Flyer this morning that he's holding an impromptu sneak preview of his Footloose remake in Memphis Thursday night.
The screening is at 8 p.m. tomorrow night. If you want to go, tickets will be available — one per person — at Spin Street (3484 Poplar Avenue) tomorrow — Thursday, July 28th — between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The first 350 people will get a ticket to the screening. Theater location will be on the ticket.
Here's a taste of what to expect:
Kapone and Bomar will act as tour guides as the show visits such Memphis sites as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Earnestine & Hazel's, and Raiford's.
Check out the Flyer's recent feature on the Bo-Keys and their terrific new album Got to Get BackI here.
After a highly successful theatrical run earlier this year, Memphis Heat, the locally produced documentary about the city's professional wrestling golden age, returns to an even bigger screen tonight at the Orpheum.
Screening as part of the Orpheum's Memphis Film Fest, the doc features classic Memphis wrestling figures such as Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Jackie Fargo, and "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant. Showtime tonight is 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $7.
Check out Chris Davis' feature story on the film from its initial release.
Rowdy Memphis (Plot Synopsis): While Dwight (Jason Lee) and his mama (Celia Weston) are shopping at a nursery, she tells him that one of his old friends and former band mates has been arrested. The former friend, Jimmy (Vincent Ventresca, who played Billy in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion), needs Dwight's help to clear his name. The crime was an armed robbery on a party boat parked at a marina. The case is being handled by a detective (Jonathan Adams) out of the 7th precinct. (Memphis Beat is set around the 9th precinct.) Dwight feels that the detective has the wrong man for the crime and tells him so, creating friction — especially since this isn't Dwight's case to work. The three criminals took off across the lake on jet skis. Damp wetsuits in his boathouse implicate Jimmy. That seems flimsy to Dwight.
Hardworking and classically trained singer-songwriter Davy Ray Bennett has maintained a steady presence (both as a solo artist and a member of groups like Chinook and Rae-Ray) in the local music scene since moving to Memphis from Murfreesboro, TN back in 1996.
But in all of those years gigging around town, Benett never managed to get an album together — until now. This week he unveils his long-awaited debut recording, the aptly titled Homemade With Love.
“My girlfriend commented on a loaf of bread that I had baked,” says Bennett. “She said it was homemade with love. I decided that I should just call my album exactly what it is. I wanted people to know that it was homemade so they would know what they were getting.”
I come back from vacation to this? After a two-week reprieve from Memphis Beat duties, I'm taking the baton from Greg Akers for last night's episode:
Episode Named After: The burden of family tragedy Det. Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee) has carried for years, since his cop dad was killed on the job when Dwight was a young boy.
On the second track, Lt. Rice (Alfre Woodard) steps in for Dwight, going into the field as Det. Whitehead's (Sam Hennings) number two as the pair investigate a potential arson case at the Carver movie theatre, a case that takes a detour — no, really — into private sex parties that were being hosted at the theater. (In an otherwise poorly written show, the sex-party bit allows Woodard a funny line reading while interrogating a sex-club member: "I don't know what kind of woman you usually go for, but I'm of the dominating variety.")
For Dwight, this week's story is about coming to grips with his father's murder — including evidence that his dad might have been on the take. Back on the home front, the other case is a mechanism for continuing to build on the at times prickly, at times combative relationship between Rice and Whitehead, who find a new level of respect for each other as they solve the case.
The summer concert film series sponsored by Indie Memphis and the Levitt Shell is bringing a classic concert film to the big screen in Overton Park each Friday through mid-August. This week's selection is Gimme Shelter, the Maysles' brothers document of the Rolling Stones' 1969 tour, including the tragic Altamont date, where a concert attendee was killed by one of the Hells' Angels hired to provide security.
The series concludes on August 12th, and you get to help choose the final film. As a co-sponsor of the event, the Flyer is hosting an open vote to determine the final film, featuring the following nine options:
Awesome, I ... Shot That (2006): A 2004 Beastie Boys concert at Madison Square Garden, edited from footage shot by fans.
Friday night at the New Daisy Theater, four up-and-coming local acts - The Delta Collective, Butta MD, Arvada, and Go Judo Presents: Sunny Uppercut - competed for the grand prize in the Memphis Music Foundation's first Memphis Music Launch showcase/competition.
At the end of the night, the judges selected The Delta Collective as the overall winners based on their live performance and recorded song pitch for the original composition "Valley of Kings." In achieving victory, the band claimed a prize package valued at over $4,000 that includes studio time, CD replication, and other varied promotional services.
The Pixies have announced via their official website that Memphis will be included in the band's next batch of tour dates. The legendary alt-rock band will perform at the Orpheum Theatre on November 14.
Dubbed the "Lost Cities Tour," the run of shows will bring The Pixies to several cities they've never previously performed in, including Memphis, Knoxville, and Louisville, KY.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 15 and will be available via the Orpheum box office and Ticketmaster.
Enter here for your chance to win tickets to see Bob Dylan live in concert with Leon Russell at Mud Island Amphitheater on Saturday, July 30th!
You can enter as many times as you like. Winners will be notified via email on the morning of each drawing.
Here are the drawing dates:
Friday, July 15th
Friday, July 22nd
Rowdy Memphis (Plot Synopsis): Sutton (DJ Qualls) responds to a call of a disturbance at an old folks' home. He finds a dead man in the room, the victim of a gruesome attack. The man is Sam Walters, a defense attorney. The dead man's legal assistant, Deloris (Jillian Armenante), says he'd lost a number of big cases in the last couple years, but that he had a bleeding heart and wouldn't do anything bad to anyone. He was, however, making money on the side by meeting people and helping them off the books. An infant is put in the back of Sutton's car, parked in front of the scene of the crime. It is surmised that Walters was helping someone illegally adopt an unwanted child, and that this is that baby. Sutton is put in charge of the tot. He's nervous about it, but with the help of Dwight's mom (Celia Weston), he becomes a pro. The investigation leads Dwight and Whitehead (Sam Hennings) to a halfway house run by nuns. It appears that the baby's mother is Sister Katherine Thomas (Danielle Panabaker). But Sister Katherine is really covering for her real sister, who's the real mama, and for her father, who was getting a hefty finder's fee to get the illegitimate kid adopted (and to pay off a gambling debt to boot). Dwight and Katherine talk Sam Walters' murderer out of a hostage situation, and social services come get the little baby from Dwight. All is right again in the world.