Monday, July 23, 2007

Memphis' Bikini-clad Lawncare Story Sweeps the Globe

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

What could be better than a woman cutting your grass in a bikini?

Well, according the mass media, not very much. News outlets from Cleveland to Bangkok have picked up on the story about Tiger Time Lawn Care, which offers lawn-cutting babes in bikinis to Memphians who don’t mind paying a little extra to, well, watch lawn-cutting babes in bikinis.

Lee Cathey, Tiger Time owner, told a local TV news team, "We had a couple of customers sitting in lawn chairs drink beer just enjoying the bikini cut."

Cathey, every bit the forward-thinking businessman, plans to offer leaf-raking babes come fall. He adds that he’s fielded no requests for similar services employing scantily-clad men.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Timberlake Nominated for Emmy for "Dick in a Box"

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

(AP) -- Justin Timberlake might actually get an Emmy for singing "Dick in a Box."

Timberlake performed that song with Andy Samberg on Saturday Night Live before Christmas, and it's nominated for an Emmy for original music and lyrics.

That might seem like it's in bad taste, but the competition includes "Everything Comes Down to Poo" from the musical episode of "Scrubs." Prince's Super Bowl halftime show , which brought its share of controversy over Prince's silhouette, is nominated for special class program.

American Idol is also nominated for several Emmys, as is the Grammys show. Tony Bennett and James Taylor were nominated for their music specials.

Harlan T. Bobo

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Singer-songwriter Harlan T. Bobo is the personification of amused self-doubt. "Bobo," he grumbles, meditating on his own nom de plume. "It's such a perfect name for me. It translates directly from Spanish as 'stupid,' and, if you put my name into a translator, it comes out Harlan T. Stupid.

"My family thinks I'm ashamed of them because I don't use my real name," he adds, coughing up a chuckle.

Bobo is currently in a tight spot. This week, the lean, bearded troubadour launches I'm Your Man, his long-awaited sophomore recording as a solo artist, released on the local Goner Records label. ...

Read the rest of Chris Davis' Flyer cover story on Memphis' favorite angst-ridden performer, Harlan T. Bobo.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Is It True? Does Harry Potter 'Go Black' A La Tony Soprano?

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Hogwash to some is Hogwarts to many, many more – as indicated by the lengthier lines and lengthier waits at local book stores for the long-awaited concluding volume in J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally popular Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Midnight Friday was the moment, and this was the scene at the Barnes & Noble outlet on Germantown Parkway. For the record, by the way, things end this way: Harry…

Oh, go read the book. The lines are shorter today. (And check out the photo series for stages of the journey.)

j.b.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Memphis "Idol" Gets an Emmy Nod

Posted on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Quick! Name what the following episodes from today’s most popular TV series have in common: The Amazing Race: “I Know Phil, Little Ol' Gorgeous Thing" (CBS); American Idol: “Memphis Auditions" (Fox); Extreme Makeover Home Edition: “The Thomas Family" (ABC); Project Runway: “Iconic Statement" (Bravo); and Survivor: “An Evil Thought" (CBS).

Give up?

On Thursday, the five were announced as nominees for a primetime Emmy Award in a category called “Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming.”

Congratulations to the makers of American Idol’s Memphis episode. Maybe the city itself inspired them. And maybe there’s good reason for the other nominees: easy to imagine “an evil thought” on Survivor and easy to picture an “iconic statement” on Project Runway. Plus, we’re glad for the Thomas Family, whose house got extremely made over. But who/what is “Phil, Little Ol’Gorgeous Thing” of The Amazing Race? A possible Emmy winner? Or will it be AI’s “Memphis Auditions”? Find out when the winners of the primetime Emmy Awards are announced mid-September.

For a full list of this year’s Emmy nominees, go here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Evidence in West Memphis 3 Case

Mother of victim believes three are innocent.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 4:00 AM

From the Arkansas Times: Reviving an investigation that ended 14 years ago, West Memphis police recently questioned the mother and stepfather of Stevie Branch, one of three 8-year-old boys murdered in 1993. Three teenagers were convicted of the killings.

In a telephone interview on Monday, Stevie's stepfather, Terry Hobbs, confirmed that West Memphis police had videotaped an interview with him within the last three weeks. Pam Hobbs, Stevie's mother, also said she had been interviewed by police. The Hobbses are now divorced.

Terry Hobbs, who lives in Bartlett, said police requested the interview with him as a result of recent DNA tests on items found with the bodies. Prior to the police interview, he said, he had been informed of the test results by Ron Lax, a Memphis private investigator.

Terry Hobbs said, "Ron claims that a piece of my hair is in the knots that tied up [victim] Michael Moore. ..."

Read the rest of Mara Leveritt's extensive story from the Arkansas Times.

BBQ and Pickle-cicles: Timberlake's New Restaurant Gets Ink in New York Magazine

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 4:00 AM

New York magazine's "Grub Street" blog paid a visit to Justin Timberlake's NYC restaurant, Southern Hospitality, last night, and they spotted JT chowing down in a booth. (Or as they put it: It was "either Timberlake or Osama bin Laden.")

The magazine promised to post the entire menu, including pickle-cicles and haystack onion rings, later today.

Check out the post here.

Anna Mae He Case is Resolved

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Jerry and Louise Baker have ended their seven-year custody battle for Anna Mae He. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in January that the 8-year-old must return to her biological parents Shaoqiang and Qin Lou He.

The Hes initially entered Anna Mae into temporary foster care after Shaoqiang -- then a graduate student in the economics department at the University of Memphis -- lost his living stipend following a sexual assault charge. He was acquitted, but the Bakers kept Anna Mae. A local judge gave the Bakers custody of the child, ruling that her parents had abandoned her.

Anna Mae will fully return to her parents at the end of this month, following a court-mandated period of visitation. The Chinese citizens will return to their native country.

Read some of the Flyer's coverage of the story here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sauce Boss Plays the Blues, Makes Gumbo

Posted on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Bill Wharton's music performances are smokin' -- from his swampy Florida blues to the gumbo he cooks onstage.

For 17 years, Wharton (better known as "Sauce Boss") has fed his fans gumbo that he specially prepares during each show.

The Tallahassee, FL-based musician is now set to jam with his band at Blues City Cafe from July 18 to 21 and at Memphis Union Mission July 22.

At his upcoming Memphis performances, Sauce Boss doesn't plan on letting anyone go hungry, especially when it comes to those in need. "We’re all about the food," he says.

Four years ago, Wharton founded Planet Gumbo, a non-profit organization that aims to provide hope and sustenance. Since then, he has performed for and fed homeless shelters nationwide. Wharton explains, "We try to give a message of hope -- and a big pot of gumbo. Food breaks down all barriers and brings people into the kitchen. We bring the kitchen to people, no matter where they are."

Playing blues and cooking gumbo are "one and the same," and only Wharton's special Liquid Summer Hot Sauce rivals his energetic music in spiciness. But for Sauce Boss, "giving back to the communities where we play" is most important.

"I thought I had it really good before I starting doing this. But now that I have a life with service, it's opened up so many avenues," he says. "It's amazing, totally amazing. You’ve got to give to receive, and you receive an awful lot when you give."

--Rachel Stinson

American Idol Taylor Hicks To Sign Books at Davis-Kidd

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The "Soul Patrol" will soon be headed to Davis-Kidd Booksellers.

American Idol's 2006 winner Taylor Hicks is set to sign copies of his book, Heart Full of Soul, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 26. The book chronicles the time preceding Hicks’ success on American Idol and explains the motivation behind his emergence as a star in the music industry.

Thanks to Hicks' numerous "Soul Patrol" fans, the singer's self-titled album is a certified platinum bestseller, and he will also sign CDs for customers who have bought books.

Tickets for the signing are required and available with the purchase of Heart Full of Soul. Davis-Kidd is located at 387 N. Perkins.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Timberlake to Open NYC Soul Food Restaurant

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

You can't say Justin Timberlake lacks ambition. He's got the second-largest grossing concert tour of 2007, his own clothing line, his own record label, a hotacious girlfriend, and now ... he's opening a soul food restaurant in New York City.

Timberlake and childhood friend Trace Ayala are opening a restaurant called Southern Hospitality on Second Avenue on the Upper East Side today. The eatery is a barbecue-and-soul-food joint themed to reflect Timberlake's Memphis roots.

Wonder if they'll serve beefcake.

Memphis Company Will Do Your Grocery Shopping

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ever order pizza delivery and think, "Man, if only I could get my groceries delivered to my door?" Well, now you can. With Memphis Shopping Bag, you can send someone else out for your week's food supply without ever moving off the couch.

Here's how it works: Go to the Memphis Shopping Bag website and fill out the grocery order form, specifying brand names and sizes. Someone will go to the store, buy all your groceries, and deliver them to the door. In fact, they'll even put stuff in your 'fridge.

Now, this may sound like a stoner's dream come true, but there's a catch -- you’ve got to order at least 24 hours in advance. So potheads, that mile-long list of junk food may not be so enticing a day later.

Currently, the service is only available in downtown, Harbor Town, and select parts of East Memphis. Memphis Shopping Bag will visit the following stores: The Fresh Market, Wild Oats, Krogers, Schnucks, and Costco.

Shelby Farms Buffalo Babies Need Names

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Three fuzzy new members of the Shelby Farms buffalo family are running around the grassy pasture without names.

Help solve their dilemma by entering the Shelby Farms Park Alliance Buffalo Baby-Naming Contest. Submissions are due this Friday. Staff members and rangers will vote on the selections, and the winner will receive an official Shelby Farms toy buffalo.

For information on how to participate, visit the Shelby Farms Park Alliance website.

Oxford American Names Memphian Best Director

Posted on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Making the current issue of Oxford American's "Best of the South" list is Memphis' very own exploitation director Mike McCarthy.

Of McCarthy, whose work includes Teenage Tupelo, Superstarlet A.D., among others, writer David Smay declares, "Who needs a grindhouse when you've got the best drive-in director in America living right in Memphis?" and says that Teenage Tupelo is "something weirder than genius."

Smay urges the reader to "dig into" McCarthy's oeuvre. "Do it because you're a horny, deep-fried, hip-wiggling, butter-bean-eating, hairdo fanatic."

British Channel to Gest: Ta Ta!

Posted on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Looks like David Gest has worn out his welcome in England. The Liza Minnelli-ex, one-time Memphian, and music producer has been canned from his gig with the British channel ITV.

Gest surprised everyone when he became a viewer favorite on the British reality series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here. That gig led to a role as a judge on Grease Is the Word as well as his own documentary series This Is David Gest.

Both Grease and the documentary series have failed to draw viewers, however, and Gest has been let go from ITV with six months left on a one-year contract.

ITV boss Simon Shaps said: “We don’t have any plans for him. We’re not signing him to another deal — I’m not sure what you would do next.

“We’ve got to match the talent with ideas — and we haven’t had any ideas for him. I wouldn’t rule out working with him in the future.”

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