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.
After multiple local screenings and successful theatrical runs all over the region, the long-awaited DVD release of Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin' has finally come to fruition.
Officially, the DVD doesn't hit the shelves until tomorrow, but Memphians will have an early opportunity to purchase the film in person later today (Friday, Sept. 30) from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Midtown location of Central BBQ (2249 Central). Memphis Heat is also currently available for order online right here.
The film chronicles the glory days of Memphis professional wrestling and features rare footage and exclusive interviews with the likes of Jerry "the King" Lawler, "Superstar" Bill Dundee, "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, and many more.
This week the website Live From Memphis unveiled the latest addition to its already robust arsenal of freely distributed online components promoting Memphis music, film and creative work, a weekly podcast titled "Nothing To See Here." Live From Memphis will celebrate the launch of the new podcast with a party this Thursday, August 25, 7 p.m. at the Lamplighter Lounge.
Hosted by local musician Kirk Rawlings (Organ Thief, The Oldest Profession) and musician/filmmaker Chris McCoy (Pisshorse, The New Intruders, the still in-the-works Antenna Club documentary), each installment of "Nothing To See Here" will feature a 30-minute conversation with a different local artist. The first episode withThe Hi-Tone Cafe owner/booker Jonathan Kiersky, can be heard here.
Rawlings and McCoy spoke with the Flyer this morning about what the new podcast is all about.
Flyer: What is the mission of "Nothing To See Here?"
Rawlings: There is no real mission in mind for this show beyond having as much fun as we can. It is not a means to an end or something we have grandiose dreams for, we just wanted to try it. The show is about bullshitting over drinks (sometimes many, many drinks) and getting to know someone. Memphis so often keeps each other at arm's length, and while it can be for good reason, we are bored with it.
Tony “T Y” Yoken, a DJ at Elvis Radio, sat down to answer questions about the station.
Can you tell me a bit about the history of Elvis Radio?
The Elvis Radio Channel launched live from Graceland right here in Memphis on July 2nd, 2004 — just in time for the huge city wide 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Big Bang Of Rock & Roll!
Elvis’ longest on-going friendship was with George Klein who hosts two weekly shows on Elvis Radio. George and Elvis met and started hanging in 1948 when Elvis’ family moved to Memphis and he enrolled in the 8th grade at Humes High School. George says they met in music class!
We provide live coverage of landmark music, entertainment, and sports events here in Memphis including an annual Candlelight Vigil show every August 15th.
Here is one perspective on how to describe Elvis Radio…
“If you are an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary. If you are not an Elvis fan…no explanation is possible.”
The Onion's AV Club is doing an online travel series called Pop Pilgrims, in which a three-man crew is road-tripping to visit 36 pop culture landmarks around the country and shooting five-minute videos at each destination — one city a week for 12 weeks, three landmark locations in each city. Among the initial stops have been California locations that are featured in films such as Vertigo, The Graduate, and Reservoir Dogs. The crew's visit to Memphis is featured on the site this week. The three Memphis locations featured are:
The Arcade Restaurant, where they visited with Shangri-La Projects' Sherman Wilmott to talk about his experience as a production assistant on Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train:
Ardent Studios, where they talked to owner John Fry and studio manager Jody Stephens about the studio's history.
Sun Studio, where they took in the studio tour, including getting some input from Goner Records' owner Eric Friedl.
See the joke? You know the kid's Puerto Rican because he's got a switchblade.