A follow up to our post on Phish's song about Darius Washington Jr.
“Darius Washington Jr.'s story was incredibly moving to all of us in Phish,” Trey Anastasio wrote in an email to the Flyer. Anastasio is the lead singer of the jam band Phish, which should in all probability have exactly nothing to do with Tiger hoops. But this is Memphis. Things get weird.
At a Halloween show in Atlantic City, Phish played a song called “The Line.” The song is about Washington's infamous free throw attempts against Louisville in the 2005 C-USA tournament. The song is also about overcoming adversity. Darius Jr.’s Twitter handle is @Mr_Adversity. Following the emotional loss on national television, Washington’s father, Darius Sr., refused to let his son wallow in self-pity and led him on a walk up and down Beale Street to face the fans and to revel in their support.
We reached Darius Jr. by Twitter. He is playing basketball for Olin Edirne Basket, a Turkish team, and deferred questions to his dad. We spoke to Darius Sr. by phone yesterday.
Explaining Phish to Darius Sr. is not what one expects to do on a music-writing gig. But, again, this is Memphis. Initially confused by the news, the Washingtons have developed a sense of humor and perspective on the song, the event, and what it means to people.
“Is he a famous country singer?” Darius Sr. asked. “I don’t know them.”
Phish is somewhat famous for being a jam band, primarily a touring act that invests less time in the studio and in pursuing radio success than in playing live shows for its dedicated fans. It’s not for everybody.
“If the people that sit there and listen to this — if they don’t follow sports and don’t know that this took place — what are they thinking? What’s going through the fans minds?,” Washington Sr. wondered.
“It really spoke to me on a personal level, because I've gone through some difficult moments in public, too,” Anastasio wrote. “I'm sure most people have, in one way or another. Those tough moments can ultimately become gifts though.”
The Washingtons were not immediately sure of the musicians’ motives when they heard about the song on CBS Sports.
“We had to sort through and figure out which rout to take. I’ve got rap artists — people that could have just blasted him out,” Washington Sr. said. “I had a lot of scenarios going through my head about how I would respond if it was something that I felt that he was trying to pour salt on a wound or something like that. Maybe I can get one of my rap guys to rap something about it.”
But the awesome possibility of a musical standoff between Phish and the Washingtons was quashed as Darius’ Sr. again demonstrated the character that led him and his son out onto Beale to face the music.
“They show it on ESPN,” Washington said. “They talk about it on March Madness and at the beginning of the year. It’s been following us forever. But it’s not a bad thing, though. There’s something that people fail to realize. Yeah, that was a history making moment, but we got up off the floor and we’re still doing what we do.”
Anastasio was among those moved by the display of family, character, and civic goodwill that went on display.
“You learn a lot about what's really important in life when
something like that happens,” Anastasio wrote.
“This is the question I pose to people,” Washington said. “If he would have just walked off the court after missing those free throws and sat on the bench like it was nothing, then people have said, damn that kid didn’t even care. But being that he is so passionate — and he hated to lose — that was the main issue. That wasn’t a national championship game. That was a freaking conference game to get into the big dance. That should show the world the passion he has for winning. The kid was always and still is a winner. He’s not a kid anymore, he’s a man. He did that in rec league. If he missed a shot, it bothered him. To this day, that’s how it stands,” Washington said.
In an even more conciliatory gesture, Washington laid the groundwork for what could become Phish’s masterpiece.
“If he decides to do a video, tell him to call us.”
This looks awesome. Never miss a cello.
Cleveland Avenue becomes the center for underground music in Memphis this week, as both the Hi-Tone and the Buccaneer are trading off shows Tuesday, November 5th through Saturday, November 9th. Here's a guide (complete with videos!) to the diverse shows both venues are offering this week.
Tuesday, November 5th - Hi-Tone - Small Black, Dream Team, Grid. 8pm doors, $10.00 advance, $12.00 at the door, 18+.
Brooklyn's Small Black play what is best described as chill wave, but don't let that scare you off. Underneath the repetitive synth beats are carefully crafted songs, and though the band hails from Brooklyn, their latest video (above) was partially shot in Memphis. Opening the show are locals Dream Team (members of Tiger High) and the new band Grid.
Wednesday, November 6th - Buccaneer - Hunters, Paradice, Loser Vision. 9pm doors, $5.00, 21+.
Hunters have been on the road for most of 2013, touring with big name acts like Jeff The Brotherhood and Hunx and His Punx. With that much time to hone their sound, it's no wonder Hunters are being heralded by music writers as one of the best live bands to see in 2013. Opening the show are locals Paradice (formerly Warm Girls) and the new band Loser Vision.
Thursday, November 7th - Hi-Tone - Nobunny, Moving Finger, Buldgerz. 8pm doors, $10.00, 18+.
The hardest working rabbit in garage rock returns to Memphis on Thursday, in support of his new album Secret Songs released on Goner Records earlier this month. Known for raucous energy, rampant nudity and killer power pop riffs, NoBunny's live show is one that must be seen to be believed. Opening the show are locals Moving Finger (read more about them here) and the new hardcore band Buldgerz (featuring members of Hosoi Bros and No Comply).
Friday, November 8th - Buccaneer - Toxie, Trampoline Team, Toxie. 9pm doors, $5.00, 21+.
Local new wave group Toxie had a productive summer touring by themselves as well as opening for the chill wave group Toro y Moi on a string of East Coast shows. The group seems to be due for another single, as the "New Gate" single that was released on Goner earlier this year gained a lot of attention. Also playing the show is Trampoline Team (a new punk group from New Orleans) and 60's Rock and Roll Revivalists The Sheiks.
Saturday, November 9th - Hi-Tone - Nights Like These, Crowlord, Holy Gallows. 9pm doors, $7.00 18+
After almost a four year hiatus, Memphis' metal kings Nights Like These have decided to reform. The story of Nights Like These is an interesting one. The band went from the suburban underground label Smith Seven to one of the largest Metal labels in the world (Victory Records) seemingly overnight, only to fade back into obscurity after a behemoth of a second album. If the Nights Like These reunion show at Minglewood Hall this past summer serves as any indication, this group certainly remembers how to shred. Opening the show are local metal groups Crowlord (featuring members of the Unbeheld) and Holy Gallows.
According to the weekly City Pages of Minneapolis, one person is dead following a shooting in a night club where Memphis rapper Yo Gotti was performing.
These guys have been snubbing your dress code for 20 years now.
Duwayne Burnside knows about guitar solos:
According to CBS Sports, noodle institution Phish has apparently written a (7:51) song about the Darius Washington free-throw incident from the 2005 Conference-USA tournament in which he missed two of three free throws giving the game to Louisville. Washington's emotional reaction and his father's guidance as to how to handle the setback amount to a touchstone moment for Tiger basketball fans. When the lyrics arrive at "Big D is watching ...," we have to conclude this is about that dramatic Tiger moment.
This showcase features Memphis' Reggie Bean along with Jason Harris, Pell, Alex Wiley, and more.
Is this town big enough for two bad-ass classic country bands? This could get interesting!
Dude has an acoustic bass. That's a sin we can live with.
It's pretty scary. Just to be safe, check yourself into that abandoned college in Holly Springs before you listen to this Halloween Jam from Clay Otis and and the Dream Sheiks.
All sorts of stuff going on here:
The Mallett Brothers look like they know how to party and fix your suspension. They're at the P&H Wednesday night.
Stop it, y'all. You're scarin' me. It's gonna get worse at Earnestine and Hazels on Saturday night.