There is something wild about Newby's the night before Thanksgiving. Memphians go away to school and get back together for the first time. It's usually freakin' haywire in there. Detroit's 22-year-old producer Griz will likely whip up some sort of major frenzy.
Jeff Nichols, brother of Lucero's Ben Nichols, was nominated for Best Director for his work on Mud which was made not too far away in Arkansas and released in Memphis this past spring. Mud is also the winner of the Robert Altman Award for it's director, casting director, and cast.
Short Term 12, which premiered at and won Indie Memphis' Best Narrative Feature Audience Award, received 3 Indie Spirit nominations, including for Best Female Lead (Brie Larson), Best Supporting Male (Keith Stanfield), and Best Editing.
And Nebraska, which also got it's regional premier at Indie Memphis a few weeks, ago, received 6 Indie Spirit nomination, including for Best Feature, Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Male Lead (Bruce Dern), Best Supporting Female (June Squibb), Best Supporting Male (Will Forte), and Best First Screenplay (Bob Nelson). Nebraska is scheduled for wide release in Memphis on December 22nd.
Finally, The Act of Killing is nominated for Best Documentary. The film had an exclusive screening in October at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
See the full list of Indie Spirit nominees at the bottom.
Additional reading, Memphis Flyer reviews:
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
The Spectacular Now
Dallas Buyers Club
The Act of Killing
Blue is the Warmest Color
Memphis rapper Juicy J is probably not going to be on the Lilith Fair reunion. But last night on Arsenio, he made it rain. And in doing so, he helped the audience prove that people of any class, ethnicity, or gender can jump after ones like whores. Good job, studio audience, you are now officially Memphis' bitch.
The venue was close to capacity, made up predominantly of fans with a 1 in front of their age and those for whom that wasn't so long ago the case. (At age 37, I found myself in the 97th percentile — or, as I was corrected by Twitter friend @meghanshelby, "If you're over 19 you're in the 99.9th percentile."
The show was terrific in many ways, though much of it can be condensed to: MGMT played about as broadly embraceable a set as they could based on the wide range of types of fans in attendance.
You wanted to hear their big hits, like "Kids," "Time To Pretend," and "Electric Feel?" Score.
You wanted to hear the trippy stuff like "Siberian Breaks" and "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters?" Score.
You wanted to hear material from the new album? Score.
MGMT's set list broke down cleanly, with 6 cuts from Oracular Spectacular, 5 from Congratulations, and 5 from the newest album, MGMT.
You could use those numbers as a guideline and come up with many permutations of set lists, but MGMT elected to play their most accessible material. So they didn't play "4th Dimensional Transition" but they did play "Weekend Wars"; they didn't play "Lady Dada's Nightmare" but did "Flash Delirium"; didn't play the 2nd half of MGMT but did the first half.
The band's musicianship was fully on display, if you chose to look for it. I don't know that you call MGMT a rock band, and you certainly don't in the traditional sense. As such, a guitar's place is secondary to the hooks, noises, and environmental such and sundry produced by Ben Goldwasser. With an ear toward disassembling the construction to pick out the pieces, you can hear it all there, emanating from the stage. And the lyrics and vocals, though not always as conspicuous, are uniformly excellent. (A line like "I hope I die before I get sold" is pretty easily buried among a dozens of others in a song like "Siberian Breaks," but it's no less terrific.)
Saturday, November 23rd
The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN
Dodd + Monkey = GO!
Hop a train to Newby's and check this out:
Are you feeling under-dressed? It's probably this video of the Manhattans that's making you feel that way. They are at the Fitz in Tunica on Saturday.
The Blues Foundation will host Johnny Winter this Tuesday, November 26th. There will be an auction and a meet and greet for top-tier ticket holders. “An Intimate Evening with Johnny Winter” will benefit the foundation’s efforts to finish a new museum and home for the Blues Hall of Fame. The building at 421 S. Main was purchased in 2010. Plans are in place for the exhibit and $1.8 million has already been raised toward the goal of $2.5 million. See an artist’s rendering of the space below this slammin’ cool video of guest of honor, Johnny Winter, himself a 1988 Hall of Fame inductee. Winter is a titan of '70s rock for dang sure. But his depth comes from his long collaboration with Muddy Waters, which earned Grammys and financial reward for both of them. Winter is a certified legend. You can hang out with him by going to www.blues.org and buying tickets.
The sometimes-existing Oxford American magazine released its Southern Music issue for Tennessee this week. There are some obvious Memphis names and some that make you think they really know our hearts. The track list kicks off with Sid Selvidge's "That's How I Got ti Memphis." It looks like a great playlist. Local musicians include Motel Mirrors, Human Radio, The Bo-Keys, The Grifters, and Van Duren. Obviously, the old guard makes the list too. Have a look after you read the entire Flyer and patronize at least half of our advertisers.
Paul Rodgers, the voice of Bad Company, Free, and the Firm, will release an album of tunes cut at Royal Studios called "Royal Sessions." Rodgers cut the tracks with Reverend Charles Hodges on organ, Michael Tolls on guitar, LeRoy Hodges Jr. on bass, “Hubby” Archie Turner on Wurlitzer organ, and Steve Potts and James Robertson Sr. on drums. All proceeds from the sales will go toward local music education, including the Stax Academy.
See our review of the new CD from Jeremy Shrader and Ed Finney. The duo has a release party Thursday night at their natural habitiat, The Cove. Here is Schrader leading a band through his original "True."
The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Pam Dobbs, mother of murder victim Stevie Branch. Colin Firth is Ron Lax, a Memphis private investigator who assisted the defense of the West Memphis Three. (Note: the real Ron Lax died just a month ago of brain cancer.)
No release date has been set for the film.
After the jump is the trailer:
Local art punks Magic Kids licensed a song for a Disney Hong Kong ad. Well, I think. Truthfully, I don't read Chinese. This could be anything. Hey, Fragrant Harbor, get your mouse ears on! It's the Magic Kids.
If you're not too damn scared to leave the house after watching their video, you can go see the Night Beats at the Hi-Tone. That video's nuts. Just goes to show be careful who you put in a scary torture mask, because OBVIOUSLY they're gonna come crawling up out of the ground to seek revenge. Bear that in mind.
Here comes a whole lotta trouble with some FIERCE guitar sounds: