Some Memphians may have been disappointed in the national impact Craig Brewer's made-for-MTV series $5 Cover: Memphis had, but apparently MTV was satisfied.
The network's new media division is going ahead with plans to turn Brewer's $5 Cover concept — semi-fictional short films set in real places and starring real musicians — into a new franchise, with $5 Cover: Seattle set to begin shooting sometime this summer.
W&H: What are you working on next?
LS: I'm shooting "$5 Cover Seattle", a music-based web series being produced by MTV. It was the brainchild of another independent filmmaker, Craig Brewer, whose original version, "$5 Cover Memphis", can be seen on MTV.com right now. I'm very excited about the project because it's a great fit for my creative style, plus I get to work intimately a bunch of sexy rockstars..pretty much a dream come true.
Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer has found some 10-year-old rehearsal footage he shot for the Memphis Confidential Burlesque Show at the Hi-Tone Cafe, and has posted on his BrewTube channel:
SING ALL KINDS noted back in April the rumor traveling around the web that Steve Jobs, CEO/co-founder, Apple, had moved to Memphis for health reasons.
That rumor has gotten some substantiation today with the Wall Street Journal's report that Jobs had a liver transplant in Tennessee about two months ago. Only three hospitals in the Volunteer State do liver transplants: Vanderbilt in Nashville, Le Bonheur in Memphis, and Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. Le Bonheur doesn't treat adults. Circumstantial evidence suggests he was/is in the Bluff City.
Why Tennessee as opposed to another of the lower 48? The WSJ indicates it may have been because the waiting list for transplants in Tennessee is significantly shorter than other states.
Now, Alexander Haislip has some really juicy details. Jobs lives in "a quiet cul-de-sac" in a swank neighborhood? A 7,500-square-foot mansion built in 1914, yellow with white trim? Upgraded security and a white Jeep guarding the resident? I'm pretty sure this isn't happening on my street in Berclair.
And who was that guy ordering foie gras at Chez Philippe a table over the other night?
So is he here or not? Citizen journalists/commenters of the world, I command you: Respond to this blog with every nugget or truth and rumor you have in your possession.
After making an extremely successful return from a rather length hiatus in March, Live From Memphis' Li'l Film Fest is back this Saturday at the Brooks Museum for its 10th installment. Each Li'l Film Fest charges local filmmakers with making short films on a theme, with this weekend's installment on the subject of family.
There are 11 films in the "Family" program, and while I'd echo my complaint from the last fest about the preponderance of hand-me-down horror-flick conceits on display, some of the films find success on this path, such as Reunion from the filmmaker Pandora, a film with a final twist that I didn't see coming but probably should have. The conceptual uniformity helps other kinds of films stand out, such as Downer, from Jason Rawlings and Jason Davenport, with its interesting use of still shots, and Eric Swartz' Monday, which is a simple, well-shot, and, enjoyable glimpse at everyday life.
In a world of media and news overload, some stories grab you and plenty of others that should get your attention slip away instead. The pained re-ignition of the seemingly insolvable abortion debate following the heinous murder of Kansas late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller grabbed me, though I've been disappointed by the tenor of so much I've read and heard.
What I've found rattling and at times revolting about the rhetoric of anti-abortion-rights advocates from Operation Rescue's Randall Terry to Fox News talking head Bill O'Reilly isn't their fundamental anti-abortion position, which I respect and find ultimately rational; it's the utter unwillingness to acknowledge — much less sympathize with — the tragic circumstances that bring women and families to the question of whether to terminate a pregnancy, especially one late in the gestation period, which is often a wanted pregnancy stricken by severe complications.
For a civil and serious take on this issue, I've turned to The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan's terrific blog for Atlantic Monthly. Sullivan is a Christian, self-described conservative, and has expressed an opposition to the legality of late-term abortions that he is starting to second-guess. Over the past few days, he's opened a significant portion of his blog space to a detailed, open-minded discussion of the issues surrounding late-term abortion, letting people tell their own stories in a series of anguished but illuminating "It's So Personal" posts that are gripping, essential reading, and allowing space for readers to dissent from both ends of the abortion debate.
Another oasis of cultural seriousness amid the noise is Lake of Fire, a colossal 2006 documentary from British filmmaker Tony Kaye (American History X) that deserves renewed attention in the wake of Tiller's assassination. Kaye shot his film (on black-and-white celluloid) over the course of 18 years, winnowing his material down to a two-and-a-half-hour epic that nobody saw.
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.
A week ago, SING ALL KINDS reported on local pop band 40 Watt Moon, who lyricized their ardor for CNBC anchor Becky Quick in the song, named, appropriately enough, "Becky Quick." (Band member Chip Googe is an Account Executive for the Memphis Flyer.)
Although where somebody got the idea that 40 Watt Moon is a country band, we'll never know.
In the way of things Internet, the news got back to newsbabe Quick, who has since been in contact with members of the band. The word on the street is that the song may make an appearance on Quick's show "Squawk Box" tomorrow, Friday, May 29. Tune in to CNBC from 5-9 a.m. CST to find out. We'll be.
40 Watt Moon's "Becky Quick"
Craig Brewer has posted the infamous "director's cut" footage from "Track 10" of $5 Cover on his YouTube channel. The footage, deemed "too hot" for both MTV and FiveDollarCover.com, features Hill Country Revue's Dickinson, actress Grant, Dickinson's electric washboard (dubbed the "Psychedelic Sex Machine"), and a "silver bullet" vibrator. Let your imagination run wild, or just watch. Needless to say, this video is likely NSFW, and may not be up for long:
$5 Cover was featured on the popular blog Boing Boing yesterday, including a Boing Boing-created video with fresh interview content from Craig Brewer:
The $5 Cover rollout picks up steam tonight as the 15-"track" series has its world premiere at Malco's Paradiso. There are screenings at 7, 7:15, 9:30, and 9:45. The three earliest screenings are currently sold out, but extra tickets may be available at the last minute and will be sold via a wait list at the door. There are some tickets still remaining for the 9:45 showing. Tickets can be purchased at the Paradiso box office starting at 3 p.m.
You can read about the series in our cover story this week, on the streets and on the web now.
Craig Brewer will also be interviewed a 5 p.m. today on The Chris Vernon Show at 730 AM. (Personal plug: you can hear me every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the Vernon Show.)
Okay, here's a story that sounds like the most untrue thing ever. Naturally, I'm going to link to it.
The word on the e-street is that Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple and all-around master of the universe, may be on the move to Memphis. The reason: health. Jobs is on a leave of absence from his post while suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Alexander Haislip, the guy with the original blog supposition about Jobs relocation, points to the presence of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a reason the man may be coming here. I think it's safe to scuttle that theory, as Jobs, 54, is a little too long in the tooth to qualify for treatment at St. Jude.
Nevertheless, we'll keep you abreast of any developments — most likely the debunking ones.