Twelve things to look forward to this month:The film starts at 7 p.m.
2. The Hi-Tone Relaunches (Saturday, August 3rd): After a soft opening earlier in the summer, the main stage at the new Hi-Tone is christened in a double-bill of two newish, rootsy local bands, Dead Soldiers and Bottom of the Bottle. J.D. Reager has more here.
3. Pink Flamingos at the Brooks (Thursday, August 8th): John Waters' 1972 midnight-movie outrage goes respectable with a local museum screening. If you want to watch a 300-pound transvestite eat dog shit at a fine-art museum, this is your chance. You can make your own pink flamingo lawn ornament at 6 p.m. and stay for the film at 7 p.m. for this “Art & a Movie” event.
4. The Oblivians at the Hi-Tone (Friday, August 9th): The living-legend Memphis garage-punk trio play their first local show since the late summer release of their 16-years-in-coming reunion album Desperation. Chris Davis profiled the band in this recent Flyer cover story. I reviewed the album here.
5. Frances Ha at the Brooks (Saturday, August 10th): If you missed this during its brief local theatrical run in June, here's a last chance to catch one of the year's very best films on a big(gish) screen. Writer/director Noah Baumbach and star/co-writer Greta Gerwig's black-and-white portrait of an adrift young woman is often prickly, sometimes exuberant, and always sharp. I reviewed it here. Screens at 2 p.m.
6. Lucero Family Picnic in Little Rock (Saturday, August 10th): The Memphis stalwarts take their annual “Family Picnic” big show to Little Rock's First Security Amphitheatre. For the show, the band will be performing their second (or third) album, Tennessee, from front to back, along with a second set of “Lucero classics.” Five hundred copies of the out-of-print Tennessee will be sold at the show. The musical undercard includes rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson, Little Rock artist John Moreland, and Lucero guitarist Brian Venable's local musician father, Guy Venable. Most interesting, perhaps, is a Q-&-A with Lucero frontman Ben Nichols' filmmaker brother Jeff Nichols, who has emerged as one of the most significant new filmmakers in the medium via his three features, Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, and this year's Mud. See here for more info.
7. Valerie June's Pushin' Against a Stone (Tuesday, August 13th): After more than a decade poking around the margins of the Memphis music scene, this onetime “best kept secret” gets all the way out with the U.S. release of idiosyncratic roots/folk singer June's 11-track debut album, for the Concord label. June has been conquering Europe — and National Public Radio — since the album's overseas release earlier in the year. With this release, she's getting quite a homecoming.
An album preview:
June giving a solo acoustic performance of the first single, "Workin' Woman Blues," in Belgium:
8. The Band Perry at the Botanic Garden (Friday, August 23rd): I don't believe in guilty pleasures, at least not when it comes to pop music, so let's call the Band Perry a confusing pleasure. The sibling trio's “backwoods Fleetwood Mac” vibe fed one of mainstream country's most unlikely commercial and artistic success stories over the past few years. And Kimberly Perry's deep twang in conjunction with my fascination with the inscrutably filmed video made 2011's “You Lie” one of my most-listented-to singles that year. The singles from this year's Pioneer haven't grabbed me the same way, but Kimberly's artsy-Everygirl charisma and her brothers' unbelievably awful hair still makes for good fun. Anyway, this is the penultimate performance on this year's Live at the Garden slate.
9. A Big Film Friday (Friday, August 23rd): If current release schedules hold up, this could a particularly fruitful movie weekend, with four notable new releases: Woody Allen directs Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) team up again for The World's End. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley work through their night moves in the promising teen romance The Spectacular Now. And, most anticipated of all, at least in these parts, Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster. It's a biopic about the man who trained Bruce Lee. More importantly, it's a motion picture in which Wong Kar-Wai is behind the camera and Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi are in front of it:
11. Big Star: Live in Memphis at the Levitt Shell (Saturday, August 24th): Big Star's big summer and Indie Memphis' concert film series both conclude with this 1994 concert from the New Daisy Theatre.
12. Juicy J's Stay Trippy (Tuesday, August 27th): The Three 6 Mafia co-founder has found new life of late as a solo act. That rebirth culminates with this major-label solo debut, on Columbia Records, which promises collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, and more.