Many people hate Dana. It's a thing. I actually like her, but just not on Homeland. Spin her off. Let her get into hijinks that don't involve national security — or that do, but don't have anything to do with Carrie and Saul. I'd love to watch Dana try to date boys in the insular, inside the Beltway District of Columbia. What happens when Dana dates the Muslim son of the Iranian ambassador? How does her Mom feel about that? I'd watch that.
Until then, we'll just have to amuse ourselves with Dana memes. Interestingly, her image is finding purchase in the pop cultural Zeitgeist ancillary to college football.
I wrote the cover story (plug, plug) in the November Memphis magazine, on the Grove scene in Oxford, Mississippi, during football season.
A sharp-eyed reader — Flyer Managing Editor Susan Ellis — noticed something odd on the Memphis magazine cover, and paired it with a Tweet she saw last weekend.
It appears Dana is on the cover of Memphis magazine. Play Where's Waldo? and see if you can find her, or just take a gander below:
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the concert, the downloadable clip was linked in the news section of the official David Bowie site.
Beale Street mainstay and contender for TV’s The Voice Patrick Dodd is back in Memphis and recording tracks for a new EP of thematic songs at Ardent Studios. The dreadlocked blues guitar phenom is looking to explore a smaller form than the traditional album as an outlet for his trio and his meal ticket: his voice.
With his new burst of TV-derived notoriety, Dodd could easily have upped the ante with a full album and a larger-format band. But he seems confident and content to move in the opposite direction. Asked why he isn’t going for bigger things, Dodd looks at his career with a sense of humor born of relentless gigging on Beale and throughout the region.
“Everybody wants to get paid,” he joked, going on to mimic the lines he must have heard a million times. “It’ll be good exposure. I know you’re only 40.”
But in all seriousness, his band is in a better place than before his run on the popular NBC primetime singing contest in which he sang a convincing “Walking in Memphis” before his elimination.
“It absolutely helped,” said Landon Moore, Dodd’s bassist who with drummer Harry Peel rounds out the trio. “But I’m glad to be doing what we were doing before he left.”
What the trio does is provide a solid blues-rock foundation for Dodd’s gutsy, powerful voice. Dodd was recording a few overdubs and made quick work of them; his Paul Rogers-like voice needing very little fuss from engineer Jeff Powell.
Powell, longtime Ardent veteran, is a major proponent of the shorter-form approach and sees more clients opting to focus on fewer songs with more preparation beforehand. The trio was in the studio for one long day cutting two Dodd originals: “End of the Line” and “I’m Gone.”
“The one-day thing works if the band is ready to go. We’ll mix this tonight,” Powell said.
The songs mark a major development in Dodd’s songwriting and arranging since his last full-length recording, Future Blues. The new material has a wider breadth due to rolling chord changes that add harmonic richness to the recordings. Dodd hopes to a series of five-song concept recordings that are thematically woven together with lyrics and artwork. “I’m Gone” will serve as a single for the first new collection, which, at this pace, could be ready to go in as little as six weeks.
The mission of the “Becca Does Best Of” social media project was not to encourage voters to vote for certain things, but rather to remind them that the Best of Memphis competition that launched in 1994 is covered with history, much like Memphis itself. I found that whether I was talking to dominating winners of the BOM media categories, restaurant categories or retail categories - everyone I spoke to was passionate about Memphis and thankful to have the enduring love of their city in the annual Flyer poll.
Here are the past dominating winners in the Best of Memphis broadcasting category:
Joe Birch, who has won first place in the Best TV Anchor category since it began in 1994, said that winning Best Of Memphis is always a thrill. “I aspire to be the best everyday and often fail,” Birch said, “but I do really love this city. For every problem, there are armies of Memphians to solve them."
”It’s very gratifying! We do this job for the people, and we try to give the best information to the viewers,” said Dave Brown, who has been awarded Best TV Weatherperson since 1995. He advises hopefuls to do the best they can, adding ‘“technology is changing much faster than it did for me.”
Jarvis Greer, who strongly values his family as his support system, said he is honored to have been awarded Best TV Sportscaster since 1997. “I am humbled and honored the people like what I do. I just try to have fun with it,” he said.
Read on for the reigning Best in Memphis competition's winning restaurants:
Several Memphis eats have been awarded “Best of Memphis” in their various categories every year since the categories originated. These places are Huey’s (Best Burger), Folk’s Folly (Best Steak), Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous (Best Ribs), Sekisui (Best Japanese/Sushi) and Memphis Pizza Cafe (Best Pizza - Non-Chain).
And now for the dominating retail winners of Best of Memphis:
A few Memphis retailers have also been first in our Best of Memphis readers’ hearts for many years: Buster’s (Best Liquor Store), First Tennessee (Best Bank), Burke’s (Best Used Bookstore) and Tobacco Corner (Best Smoke Shop).
(Not pictured: First Tennessee - Best Bank since 1996.)
Take a gander at the history of Best of Memphis on Memphis Flyer’s Instagram, @memphisflyer/ #bestofmemphis or #beccadoesbestof. And as you look through these little pieces of Best Of Memphis history, become a part of history yourself by voting for this year’s winners. Voting for 2013 ends this Sunday, July 28th at midnight!
If you’re a frequent Instagram-mer, hopefully you follow the Memphis Flyer (@memphisflyer), and maybe you’ve noticed recent posts related to the annual Best Of Memphis issue, hashtagged with the super-catchy phrase “#beccadoesbestof.”
Hey, I’m Becca.
As a marketing intern for the Memphis Flyer, I’ve spent an abundance of time researching the history of the Best Of Memphis poll, which began in February 1994 (making this the 19th year!). While all of Memphis is dripping with history, I found, so is the Flyer’s annual Best Of Memphis competition. It is truly amazing to see the categories throughout the years that didn’t make it - such as “Best Place to Celebrate Divorce” (1994), "Best Place to Use Your Dog as a Chick/Dude Magnet” (1996) and “Best Place to Cure a Hangover” (1996).
There are many winners that have been voted “Best Of Memphis” the entire run of the competition, and these winners and Memphis have undeniable chemistry. Some have even celebrated seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen years of Best Of stardom.
For the past three weeks doing “Becca Does Best of” (so catchy, right?), I have also thoroughly enjoyed coming up with some silly categories of my own, for example: the Peabody Ducks are clearly the Best Ducks Around, and Beale Street is the Best Place to Legally Beat Open-Container Laws.
Check out these and more interesting categories and pictures on Memphis Flyer’s Instagram, @memphisflyer/ #bestofmemphis. And while I continue to revisit the history of the annual competition, be sure to cast your vote for the 2013 Best of Memphis using the online ballot now until July 28th!
In a recent telephone press conference, actor and comedian Bob Saget, legendary punk rocker Billy Idol, and festival founder and promoter Rick Farman chatted with reporters about the upcoming festival.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bonnaroo Comedy Theater, and Bob Saget will perform two sets there on Sunday, June 16th. “I’ve done some festivals, but nothing of this height, and I’m very excited about it,” Saget said. “Lewis Black kept asking me to play Bonnaroo year after year. He said it’s one of the best festivals he’s ever been to because it’s got so much heart behind it.”
Saget said he’ll combine comedy and music in his act, pulling material from his recent comedy specials and incorporating some new material. He’ll feel out the audience, soak in the vibe, and form his act around that. “There won’t be any synthesizer screens coming on as I tell kids what they should and shouldn’t do and don’t drink beer at the Sock Hop or whatever the hell I did on Full House,” Saget said. Though he did jokingly express concern over possible mishaps during the show: “Nobody can like accidentally slingshot some ecstasy into my mouth from the audience right, where by the end of my second set, I’m just in love with everyone?” he asked. “I might wear a beekeeper’s hat in order to keep anything from coming toward my mouth.”
English rocker Billy Idol will be performing a late-night slot Saturday, June 15th and promises to play a “party set.” “It’s around midnight, and I know Bonnaroo’s pretty famous for partying,” Idol said. “In fact, I usually go on stage pretty straight these days, but I’m hoping to get the biggest contact high of all time.”
Idol’s “party set” will include hits like “Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “White Wedding,” "Dancing With Myself,” and “Mony Mony,” as well as a few Generation X songs and a new song or two. Idol said the set will be a representation of all of the music throughout his career, and fans can expect “balls to the wall” energy from his performance. He is excited to play for an audience that may not come to a Billy Idol concert otherwise. “It’s even more exciting to get to come to something like Bonnaroo and play to a bunch of crazies at 12 at night and have one hell of a party,” he said. “They throw things at me, I understand. But if they come up there and they want to fuck me to death, I understand that as well.”
Bonnaroo founder and promoter, Rick Farman, is amped for this year’s festivities and said they are offering a new program to bring more of the surrounding community to the event. “This year, we’re focusing on Nashville and offering a combined package where you buy a ticket, and you have a shuttle to get down to the festival and take you back,” Farman says. This is a way for those who are curious about Bonnaroo but don’t want to commit to the four-day camping experience to get a taste of what the festival has to offer.
“Over the years, we’ve really sought to diversify the ways that you can do Bonnaroo,” Farman said. Of course, attendees can stay in an area hotel or bring their own camping gear or RV, but Bonnaroo also offers on-site RV or tent rental. “It’s always been a part of our plan to try and make Bonnaroo as attractive and accessible to a variety of different audiences and a variety of different economic levels,” he said.
Farman says the inspiration for Bonnaroo comes from European festivals like Glastonbury, Roskilde, Reading, Leeds, and Lowlands. “They’ve been going on for 30, 40, 50 years and have really become iconic and part of the overall culture of the countries that they’re situated in,” Farman said. “I think that’s what we aspire to be. We’re on our way to being 12 years in. We’ve still got a lot of growing up to do, but we really believe that we’ve got a very long life ahead of us. We couldn’t be happier about that, too."
For a chance to win tickets to Bonnaroo 2013, go here and complete a short survey. Winners will be notified via email by noon tomorrow (Friday, June 7) and must be able to pick up tickets at our office downtown.
Renovation has begin on the Hotel Chisca, where WHBQ's "Red, Hot, & Blue" disc jockey Dewey Phillips first introduced the world to Elvis Presley, and rock-and-roll. Working with a skeleton crew of volunteers filmmaker turned preservationist Mike McCarthy removed glass, and acoustic tile from the booth where Phillips conducted the world's first Rock-and-Roll interview.
Mike McCarthy gets his hands dirty to preserve a piece of Memphis' musical legacy.
In a previous interview with The Flyer developer Terry Lynch of Main Street Partners LLC said he had identified areas where the historic booth might be incorporated into the renovation.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, there was an art auction, with pieces donated by local artists and photographers. Proceeds benefitted Literacy Mid-South. The event provided a sample of the creativity, politics, and vision that has surrounded Underground Art and its burgeoning community for the past 20 years.
“We’ve evolved to encompass a lot of smaller local communities,” said Angela Russell, who opened the shop in 1993. “I think that the shop itself has proven to be a safe haven for all sorts of people, and we’ve built our own tight-knit community of friends and chosen family.”
Live From Memphis, the volunteer-supported film, music, and arts organization that has captured so many Memphis music moments and showcased them to the world, is calling an end to its 12-year run.
Founder Christopher Reyes posted a letter on livefrommemphis.com today letting fans know that the website has run its course.
From the letter:
"You may have noticed that livefrommemphis.com has been having some issues lately. The bottom line is that our site has far out grown our resources to run it. Over the last two years, I've been juggling content between servers to keep costs down. It's finally come to that point where we just can't do it anymore. We had the passion, just not the financial support."
Reyes included some tough advice for his city at the end of his letter:
" To Memphis, demand more from your leadership. Stop celebrating mediocrity. Stop funding crappy advocacy groups and meaningless brand campaigns. The creatives of Memphis need more than just cheerleaders. Filling out the check box is no way to make change."
Live From Memphis was responsible for many arts events and projects over the course of its run, but most notable are the Lil' Film Fest (a quarterly theme-based film fest) and the Music Video Showcase (an annual round-up of local music videos run in conjunction with the Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Reached by Facebook on Tuesday, King declined to comment on how he caught up to the software entrepreneur whose flight from the law following the alleged murder of a neighbor is the subject of tabloid intrigue.
King and Vice editor in chief Rocco Castoro posted a short piece and photos from Guatemala, where they reported McAfee had contracted an attorney. The article says the two are at work on a documentary film about MacAfee and his time on the lam following the alleged murder of a neighbor with whom he had quarreled.
King has a long history of finding his subject. Earlier assignments have found him in the company of Julian Assange and Moqtada al Sadr. He is the subject of a documentary film, Shooting Robert King, and an article in Rolling Stone about journalists working in the warzone of Iraq, where King was kidnapped and then released. He has photographed in Iraq and chronicled conflicts in Chechnya and the Chiapas region of Mexico. King’s video work in Syria led to his recently being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN.
King grew up in Memphis the son of John King, an early partner with John Fry in Ardent studios.
After an unexpected 8-month hiatus, the Nothing To See Here podcast returns to the interwebs this week with a brand new home - the Shut Up And Listen network - and a dynamite first guest, actor/comedian (and Memphis native) Chris Parnell.
NTSH creator/host Kirk Rawlings spoke to the Flyer this week about re-launching the podcast and more.
Memphis Flyer: Tell me how the idea for doing this podcast started.
Rawlings: Two years ago I got heavily into podcasting as a listener. I had a new job sitting on my ass in a cubicle all day so I needed something to kill time after having gone thru all my music. They were pretty great on many levels. They helped kill the time, but they helped in a lot of other unexpected ways. It was refreshing to hear people be themselves instead of some stuffed version for radio, television, or print. So, I wanted to try it.
Here are some video excerpts from the pre-gig interview.
The 11th Annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival rolls into Manchester, Tennessee this week, bringing in 150 performers to its 10 stages and 80,000 campers to soak it all in. The larger-than-life four-day festival will consume 700 acres of farmland in the small town June 7th-10th. This year’s bill boasts headliners Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, and the Beach Boys and comedic performances by Aziz Ansari, Steven Wright, and Reggie Watts.
In a recent telephone press conference, old school rocker Alice Cooper, Jack Antonoff of the indie-power pop breakout act Fun, and Canadian singer-songwriter Feist chatted with reporters about the upcoming festival.
Cooper performs his first Bonnaroo in a Saturday midnight time-slot in That Tent, one of the fest’s main stages. He promises a full-out high-energy show complete with his infamous guillotine act. “If you’re in the first 20 rows, you’ll probably get some blood on you,” he says. “My band has the instructions to kill the audience.”
They’ll be “killing the audience” with a continuation of last year’s show, the same show Cooper is presenting at several festivals on his 2012 “Terror Tour.” Cooper intends to inject a few additional songs like “Caffeine” or “Runaway Train” to the set list, “but we’ll still do ‘Bite Your Face Off,’” he says.
Cooper is looking forward to playing for Bonnaroo’s young crowd, an audience who he suspects has never seen an Alice Cooper show. “I just hope that this generation gets a big shot of testosterone because a lot of the bands just don’t seem like they want to be rock stars,” he says. “I can’t wait to kill this audience because they’re not expecting me at all. I think they might be expecting the old scary, skinny guy.”
Jack Antonoff, whose band Fun has become a recent sensation with the popular hit single “We Are Young,” first took the stage at Bonnaroo in 2005 and has played the fest three times in different bands. He describes the 2005 performance as a magical, life-changing experience. “It’s really like no other festival, like no other shows,” he says. “To this day I’ve never had a show like that.”
Reminiscing on that, Antonoff says it is nearly impossible to describe the feeling of playing in an outdoor tent to 10,000 people. He says it became a “glimmer of light” that he’s continued to strive for. “So when we plays shows, whether I’m consciously thinking about that night in 2005 at Bonnaroo, or whether it’s just the feeling of that night, I’m always trying to get there,” Antonoff says. “[Being] back at the scene of the crime seven years later and still making music in a band that I love is so emotional and so special.”
Antonoff says they have a few tricks up their sleeves to make this a “next-level-type” show for Fun. He hopes for it to be their best show of the year, one they’ll talk about for years to come. Fun takes the stage in That Tent on Sunday.
Canadian singer-songwriter Feist, who is a member of the indie-pop outfit Broken Social Scene, brings her solo act to Bonnaroo for a Friday set on Which Stage. Having played Bonnaroo in 2007, which she described as a “fun, sweaty, chaotic show,” along with a handful of other festivals, she has learned to adjust her performance to work in an outdoor setting.
“When you’re on a festival stage, there are certain things that will just completely get swallowed by the wind and get carried off into the breeze and not be audible if you’re playing a really sensitive, dynamically quiet ballad song,” Feist says. “I don’t try to reach for those extreme subtleties [at a festival] even though in a way it’s sort of a misrepresentation of what I do.”
She describes festival sets as being so unpredictable that they can become a bit of a challenge. Taking into account the weather and other possible on-stage catastrophes, she says it can sometimes feel like riding out turbulence. “There can be a lot of pride in riding those scenarios out,” she says. “And when half the power on the stage goes out, and all you’ve got left is drums and the lead vocals, you can turn it into something worthwhile while everyone else is scrambling around fixing whatever the problem is.”
Feist hopes to have time to check out a few acts from this year’s diverse lineup, including Alice Cooper, Kenny Rogers, Tune Yards, and Bon Iver.
At a campaign event last night, with the right Rev. Al Green apparently in attendance, President Obama croons a little "Let's Stay Together."
Ladies and gentleman, the radical socialist Manchurian candidate bent on the destruction of all that is American, in action:
Venerable local arts/film/music organization Live From Memphis will celebrate its 11th birthday this Friday night (01/13) at 7 p.m. with an open-house party at company headquarters (1 S. Main).
Founder Christopher Reyes spoke to the Flyer this afternoon via telephone about the past, present, and future of LFM.
Flyer: What does it mean to you to be celebrating 11 years of Live From Memphis? Did you ever think you'd make it this far?
Reyes: Oh, no. I never thought we'd get to 10. Now I'm thinking about if we can make it to 20.