Saturday, April 30, 2011

Backstage at Beale Street Music Fest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

I was backstage during MGMT's and the Flaming Lips' performances Friday night. Before the performances, we wandered in and out of various musicians' trailers, enjoying the scene. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips dropped into MGMT's trailer and they did a brief, rough rehearsal of MGMT's "Kids." Coyne wanted Andrew V. and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT to join him onstage during the Lips' rendition of the tune — which they did.

Below are a few pictures from the evening ...

Sunset on the Mississippi
  • Sunset on the Mississippi

The water was within 30 feet of the sidewalk backstage
  • The water was within 30 feet of the sidewalk backstage

Coyne watches MGMT play Time to Pretend
  • Coyne watches MGMT play "Time to Pretend"

As MGMT performs, their manager (orange shirt) checks the Grizzlies score on an iPad. MGMT gave score updates between songs. Also visible is Big Star's Jody Stephens.
  • As MGMT performs, their manager (orange shirt) checks Grizzlies' score on an iPad. MGMT gave score updates between songs. Also visible is Ardent Studio's (and Big Star's) Jody Stephens.

The opening to the Flaming Lips bomb-tastic show
  • The opening to the Flaming Lips' bomb-tastic show

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Some of the Dorothys from back-stage
  • Some of the "Dorothys" from back-stage

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rising Tide

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 5:46 PM

My son and I drove around north of Memphis and in the Shelby Forest area today and it was water, water, everywhere. You couldn't get to the Mississippi River through the park, due to high water in one of the streams. Lots of salamanders, small snakes, leeches, frogs, and small aquatic creatures were swimming in the road.

The first two shots were taken off of Benjestown Road in the Loosahatchie bottoms. One of the locals stopped to chat and said that they were expecting another 11 feet of water and that several houses would be affected along the road.

The last three were taken Sunday at Tom Sawyer RV Park, as it succumbed to the rising waters.

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We parked and walked from my car.
  • We parked and walked from my car.

With 13 feet of rise to come (on Sunday), these martins may have to move.
  • With 13 feet of rise to come (on Sunday), these martins may have to move.

The roads were getting moist, as we left.
  • The roads were getting moist, as we left.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beale Street Landing is Looking Good

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Beale Street Landing is looking ... a little damp. I'm guessing work has stopped for a while. The top part of that ramp looks pretty sweet, though. Waterslide?

Beale Street Landing, April 26th, 2011
  • Beale Street Landing, April 26th, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Memphis: One of the Best Cities for Young Artists

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

What does Memphis have in common with Dresden, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Macau, and Sao Paulo? We're named by the website Flavorwire as one of the best cities in the world for young artists. Or as the article says, "Move over, Austin." Read the article here.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Tennessee House Overturns Scopes "Monkey Trial" Verdict

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Welp, they did it. The Tennessee House voted 70 to 28 to pass a bill that would allow science teachers to teach alternatives to broadly accepted scientific thought, including evolution. The language of the bill is broad, designed: "to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

But the intent is clear: to allow teachers to teach alternative "theories," such as creationism, in science classes.

It is, of course, absurdist political theater, yet another example of social engineering and meddling in places where our legislators shouldn't be meddling. Creationism is Christian theology, period, and has no business in a science class in a public school. But that doesn't bother these clowns, who seem intent on making Tennessee the backwoods, possum-eating, snake-handling laughingstock of the U.S.

In truth, the bill is fairly meaningless, as it's written. It's a symbolic gesture, meant to appease the rubes and the GOP's far-right base — and piss off progressives. Mission accomplished, you morons. Of course, these people never bother to consider that any corporation looking to relocate to Tennessee might think twice about asking its employees to move to a state that allows creative "interpretations" of scientific learning.

The bill will accomplish something: If Governor Haslam signs it into law, we'll have another clear indicator of just how low he's willing to go to pander to his party's neanderthals. And how little he cares about its effect on job "creationism."

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Equals "Free Porn"

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 1:50 PM

An odd thing happened to the Flyer website over the weekend: 130,000 people went to this June 25th, 2010 post in Memphis Gaydar by Bianca Phillips. The subject? An ice-cream social at First Congregrational Church benefiting the Tennessee Equality Project. That's a LOT of web traffic for such an obscure and out-of-date posting.

So what happened? We're not really sure. Sunday was International Ice Cream Sundae Day (who knew?), but why would so many of the world's "ice cream sundae" googlers hit our site? And why was so much of the traffic from Asia? Even the three comments on the post are recent and appear to be from people not particularly proficient in English.

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We're not complaining, of course. Any weird spike in traffic only helps our numbers — and our web revenue. And there are companies out there that specialize in what's called "black hat" practices, schemes to game Google search results. Here's a good article from The New York Times on the phenomenon, and how J.C. Penney made it work for weeks.

Like I said, we don't really know what happened, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared for next year, so here goes: Ice Cream Sundae Porn Sex Boobs Cleavage. And Butt.

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