Browse by Year

  • Issue of
  • May 4-10, 2006
  • Vol. 1, No. 897

News

  • Stomp To It
  • Stomp To It

    Wednesday’s your last chance to experience New Orleans swamp pop and blues while its in the Bluff City. Catch Sleepy Labeef, Lady Bo, Fillmore Slim, The Rebirth Brass Band, and more during the last day of Ponderosa Stomp at The Gibson Lounge downtown.

    Normally hosted by New Orleans, the show temporarily moved to Memphis as the Crescent City re-builds. Proceeds benefit musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. For more, go here.

  • 13 Ways to Steal a Story Concept
  • 13 Ways to Steal a Story Concept

    About a year ago, Little Rock writer Leslie Peacock wrote a story about the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas. The article first ran in the Arkansas Times. A couple weeks later, we edited it slightly for our Memphis readership and popped it into the Flyer.

    Peacock is a strong writer and she'd come up with a clever concept, to wit: "Poet Wallace Stevens’ '13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' is about the vagaries of perception. This story is about how we see things too. And so: 13 ways of looking at an ivory-billed woodpecker."

    Imagine our surprise when we opened Sunday's New York Times Sunday Magazine article on the Ivory-bill, also broken into 13 segments and also called — you guessed it — "13 Ways of Looking at an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

    It may not exactly be plagiarism, but it's damn close, and our feathers are ruffled. You can read our story here. You can find theirs on your own.

  • As Wendi Thomas Turns ...
  • As Wendi Thomas Turns ...

    “It really does look like some sort of personal wet-feet [issue],” says Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Hill, whose newsroom desk was near Thomas’. “I got to know her a bit, and we had nice talks about Baltimore ... and she seemed, you know, quite interested and engaged.” When he arrived at his desk Monday afternoon, Hill noticed on his desk a pair of Baltimore-history books he had lent Thomas. “It was almost poignant.”

    The Baltimore City Paper has more scoop on the Wendi Thomas saga. Read it here.

  • American Idol Chatter
  • American Idol Chatter

    After watching last night's video footage of American Idol contestants at Graceland, we just have one question: Where was Lisa Marie? The king’s daughter was nowhere to be seen, despite reliable reports that she was there, along with mom Priscilla and the four Idol finalists (who will be winnowed down to three after Wednesday night’s announcement of fan voting).

    Our scores: Elliot Yamin schleps all the way up to A+ for “If I Can Dream” and “Trouble;” Taylor Hicks gets a B- for “Jailhouse Rock” and “In the Ghetto;” “Chris Daughtry a C+ for “Suspicious Minds” and “A Little Less Conversation;” and Katherine McPhee a D for off-center/over-the-top renditions of a “Hound Dog/All Shook Up” medley and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

  • Hot and Steamy ... and Quirky
  • Hot and Steamy ... and Quirky

    It’s way beyond short and stout: The teapot collection of Sonny and Gloria Kamm is 10,000 strong, and much of the best of it will be on display at the Dixon beginning May 14th. If today’s feature of the Kamms on CBS Sunday Morning is an accurate depiction of what’s coming to the Dixon, then these quirky pots are sure to please even Memphis’ biggest coffee lover. “The Artful Teapot” includes works designed by top artists and craftspeople and pots and sets culled from the rich history of the art form. See the Dixon Web site for more information.
  • The Lowdown on Downloads
  • The Lowdown on Downloads

    Thanks to the Memphis Public Library & Information Center, you can now download 700 e-audio books (whole or in-part) onto your computer, PDA, or a CD. The charge is $5 per title, and the "check-out" period is 21 days. (“Returns” are automatic: no late fees.) According to the library's Lillian Johnson, the service is a convenience for those who normally borrow audio books. But the library also sees it as a way to reach impaired Memphians who cannot read a traditional book. What you'll need: a library card, a PIN, a Visa or MasterCard, access to the Internet, and free software off the library's e-books Web page. For more info, go here. or call LINC at 415-2700.
  • American Idol Finalists Hit Graceland Today
  • American Idol Finalists Hit Graceland Today

    American Idol had to bypass Memphis for a planned audition date late last summer because of regional havoc wrought by Katrina, but the hit Fox TV show has made amends by arranging for a brief tour of Memphis by the four surviving contestants. The young hopefuls were flown to Graceland after Wednesday night's Idol broadcast for instruction from the series’ latest guest guru, record exec (and former Mariah Carey flame) Tommy Mottola.

    Tommy Mottola? Graceland? Don’t ask. Or, rather, ask Mr. Sillerman, Prsicilla, Scientology International, Kevin Kane, or all of the above. Somebody’ll know the connection. Anyhow, the four finalists – Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, and Elliot Yamin – were in town ostensibly to tune up with Mottola for next week’s performance round, after which one more of them will be Returned to Sender.

  • Free Your Inner Bumpkin
  • Free Your Inner Bumpkin

    While Memphis is undisputedly the home of the blues, you might be surprised to learn there are some fine fiddle and banjo players around too. They turn out in droves for the annual bluegrass fest this weekend at the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center. The 4th Annual Pickin’ Picnic Bluegrass Festival runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Bring out your fiddle and jam, or pull up a lawn chair and enjoy the show. It’s free. Indoor concert Saturday night features Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum. Show’s at 8 p.m. $20.

  • Bright Lights, Big City
  • Bright Lights, Big City

    A CBU graduate named David McKenzie is presently working as an assistant professor at the solar physics group at Montana State University. Among other things, he is working on “the analysis and observation of solar flares and the structures that produce them, and the behavior of magnetic fields during solar flares.” We’re sure this is all very interesting, but what we like the most about his website is this rather unusual aerial photo of Memphis, taken in the dark. The view is looking south. It’s a large image, so you’ll have to scroll back and forth, up and down, to see the whole city. That’s the Mississippi River to the right, and if you look carefully you can make out the parallel lines of the runways at Memphis International Airport.

    Take a closer look here.

  • It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimpfant
  • It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimpfant

    If there’s any further evidence needed that Three 6 Mafia is well on its way to world domination, here it is: Pimp clothes for kids. Yep, “baby-beater” tank tops, “Jr. Pimp Squad” jerseys, and “My Mom is a MILF” T-shirts. Just the thing to get your little ones into thug culture at the earliest possible age. Next up: Baby Grills. Yo, check it here.
  • No Cracks
  • No Cracks

    A current listing on eBay advertises two antique bottles — one for Cocaine Hydrochlorate, the other for Glyco-Heroin — originally from a Memphis apothecary. Currently, bidding is up to $100 for the set. Sadly, both are empty, but they date between 1910 and 1915. Oh, for the days when you didn’t have to hide your stash in a balloon in your bum.
  • Healing the Whole Person
  • Healing the Whole Person

    A new medical clinic in Gallatin, Tennessee, just outside Nashville is modeled after the Church Health Center in Memphis.

    The Salvus Center is operated by a former United Methodist physician who has "reclaimed his call from God" and opened a faith-based health clinic for working people who have no health insurance coverage. “Salvus” is Greek for “salvation.”

    Fees range from $5 to $30, depending on a person's income. For people below the poverty level, prescription drugs are issued on a sliding scale, from $1 (generic) to $3.

    The Church Health, which opened 17 years ago by Dr. Scott Morris, a former Methodist minister, sees 40,000 patients a year and has an annual budget of $10 million.For more about the Salvus Center, go here.

  • Two Memphis Cops Busted on Drug Charges
  • Two Memphis Cops Busted on Drug Charges

    Two more Memphis police officers have been arrested in the corruption investigation known as Tarnished Blue.

    At a press conference Monday, U.S. Attorney David Kustoff and Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin identified the officers as Patrolman Ted M. Williams of the Traffic Enforcement Unit and Officer Terrance Lashun Harris of the Southeast Precinct. They were arrested Sunday and are in custody pending a Monday afternoon court appearance.

    The arrests bring to 19 the total number of Memphis policemen arrested in the wide-ranging corruption investigation.

    Williams, 43, has been on the force since 1994. He is charged with robbing drug dealers traveling on Interstate 40 in Memphis. An undercover informant set up a sting operation supposedly involving Mexicans dealing marijuana. Harris, 32, has been an officer since 1997. He is charged with dealing cocaine. An undercover investigation began after IRS agents told police that Harris had assets far in excess of his income. He owns a Dixie Queen fast food restaurant, a house in Southaven, a 2003 Hummer, a 2001 Corvette, and had deposited $132,297 in the bank between March and May of 2004.

  • Sibling City Rivalry
  • Sibling City Rivalry

    Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine released its first “50 Smart Cities” list yesterday, and guess what? Memphis didn’t quite make the cut. Using cost of living and quality of life to determine the rankings, the magazine cited Nashville as its number one. Dang it. They must have thing for Shania Twain.

    To view Kiplinger’s slide show go here.

  • Cameron and Lindsay and Justin, oh my...
  • Cameron and Lindsay and Justin, oh my...

    It wouldn't be a good week here at the Buzz without a Cameron/Justin story. And we'll throw in Lindsay Lohan and Scarlett Johansen just for good measure, 'cause that's how we roll.

    It seems Lindsay is battling Justin's gal Cameron Diaz over jealousy about their mutual former heartthrob Jared Leto.The battle took place inside the VIP section of Shag club (wherever that is).

    Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan, and Cameron Diaz have a lot in common – including dating Jared Leto!

    Read all about the catfights, the writing on bathroom walls, the "please don't smoke" tiff, and more here.

  • Could Elvis Presley Win on <i>American Idol</i>?
  • Could Elvis Presley Win on American Idol?

    Legend has it that in his struggling years Elvis Presley aspired to appear on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour (the American Idol of the 1950s), but flunked the tryout.

    A writer named Lea Brandenburg included the story in a list of inspiring factoids for the Web site creativityforlife.com. Her version goes this way: “In the 1950s, one of the best ways struggling new talent could start on the road to fame and fortune was to appear on a nationally televised program called the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. A singer from Tennessee tried out for the show, but failed the audition. Today few people under 50 remember the Ted Mack Amateur Hour or any of the ‘winners"’ of the audition the singer failed, but every year the legend of the young man from Tennessee, Elvis Presley, grows.”

    For comparison’s sake, some of those who did win on Mack’s highly rated TV show were Pat Boone and the Rock ‘n Roll Trio, a Memphis group that included Tommy and Dorsey Burnette and Paul Burlison, all of whom became well-known in their own right.

    True or not, the question took on a quirky relevance last week when American Idol sent its four remaining competitors to Graceland for some instruction from record exec Tommy Mottola. Proving that in pop music as in life, what goes around comes around. Sooner or later.

  • Night Walk
  • Night Walk

    Memphians march in a national effort to raise awareness about kidnapped children in Uganda.

We Recommend

Politics

  • Imus Hearts Jr.
  • Imus Hearts Jr.

    For the umpteenth time, Memphis congressman Harold Ford Jr. appeared Monday on MSNBC’s “Imus in the Morning” show. Ford, who has been under fire in some quarters for his out-of-state contributions, explained to his host that he was in New York for “a series of political events and some fund-raisings.”

    Ford also discussed his Tennessee Senate race, claiming to be “leading in all the polls” and to have “out-raised everybody.” He showed his new TV ad attacking big oil profits (but sounded accommodating toward new drilling in Alaska), took issue with President Bush’s appointment of General Michael Hayden to head the CIA, defended his “dear friend … almost like a cousin or brother,” Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy, and – piece de resistance – touted FedEx founder Fred Smith as a possible successor to current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose resignation Ford has called for.

    It was enough to once again win Imus' adoration. The host said at one point, Ford would be elected to the Senate “if there’s a God in Heaven.”

  • What Did Karl Rove Know and When Did He Know It?
  • What Did Karl Rove Know and When Did He Know It?

    "It now seems beyond question that, at the very least, Karl Rove will be indicted for perjury, false statements and/or obstruction of justice in what's come to be known as "Plamegate" (the outing of a CIA agent to extract revenge against her husband, Ambassador Wilson, for challenging the President's assertion that Saddam was buying nuclear materials from Africa). The corporate media and the blogosphere are abuzz, speculating on the timing of Rove's indictment, and laying the foundation for such an indictment."

    The Gadfly (aka Marty Aussenberg) is back with more ruminations on the Rove/Plame affair. Read it all here.

  • American Dreams
  • American Dreams

    Prayer and football. How much more American can it get? If that’s your cup of tea (er…um…glass of iced sweet tea), join retired pro football player John “Bull” Bramlett as he leads the 54th National Day of Prayer at Lakeland City Hall Thursday, May 4th, from noon to 1 p.m. Sheriff Mark Lutrell, Thomas Lindberg of First Assembly of God, and other religious and/or political types will also be on hand. Bring your own apple pie. For more, go here.
  • Hey, He Almost Sounds Like a ... gasp, DEMOCRAT!
  • Hey, He Almost Sounds Like a ... gasp, DEMOCRAT!

    The Washington Post today reports that "Tennessee Representative Harold E. Ford Jr. is betting that voters' discontent with rising prices at the gas pump will translate into a desire for change at the ballot box this fall."

    Ford is launching television and radio ads tomorrow that attack the oil companies for getting rich off of the average American family. The Post reports that In the commercials, Ford is shown pumping gas at an Exxon station while detailing the $100 billion in profits "Big Oil" made in 2005, and the $400 million retirement package for former Exxon Mobil chairman Lee Raymond that "you and I paid for."

    Ford goes on to propose an elimination of tax breaks for oil companies and an investment in alternative fuel technology while also making an appeal for change. "If you're fed up every time you fill up, send a new generation to the Senate," he says.

    Read all about Tennessee's newest populist here.

  • Rodney in May
  • Rodney in May

    Big doin's in town this weekend. No, we're not talking about Memphis In May Musicfest. We're talking about Rodney Herenton's birthday bash, er, bashes. An e-mail from Rodney's wife Andrea says there's a tuneup party at the Silver Spoon, then a blow-it-all-out "party of the year" for the Mayor's son at Senses on Saturday night. Rock on, Rodney.
  • "Mr. Twelve-to-One"
  • "Mr. Twelve-to-One"

    Simultaneously with Thaddeus Matthews giving up the ghost on his Operation FedUp recall and a confident Mayor Herenton planning his long-term succession, former city councilman John Vergos has tossed his hat into the mayoral ring ... sort of. Vergos, best known these days as the head man at the family-owned Rendezvous restaurant, says that, while he is by no means committed to a race for mayor in 2007, he wants to make known his "availability."

    The nickname "Mr. Twelve-to-One"? It's an acknowledgement of his willingnness to cast the single dissenting vote on the council. Read more here.

Opinion

  • Letter from the Editor

    I just got back from a fishing vacation in the deep woods of Pennsylvania -- no phones, no Internet, no worries ...

Film/TV

Books

  • Shianndrea Will Protect Us!
  • Shianndrea Will Protect Us!

    "Prophesy says Shianndrea of the Toshigawa clan is the Chosen One, the one who will protect the earth from the impending invasion of the demon army of the Knave. But all she wants is to have a normal life."

    So says the press release for Rain, the third installment of Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa. Rain is the latest graphic novel — available at comic-book shops, conventions, and the authors’ Web site — and it's from husband-and-wife team Martheus and Janet Wade of Memphis. He's the graphic artist; she's the co-writer and inks her husband's drawings.

    And Shianndrea (I swear I saw someone wearing that nametag at Mapco, the other day.)? She's a "female butt-kicker." The earth's future is in her hands. You've been warned.

Art

Food & Drink

  • Cheese 6 Mafia
  • Cheese 6 Mafia

    Three 6 Mafia! They're everywhere! They're everywhere! Even the foodies are into the Memphis supergroup.

    Steve Austin, the $6 million-dollar food reporter for The Detroit News interviewed Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul this week, asking the Oscar-winning rap star questions about his group’s dining habits. As it happens, DJP is a Food Network junkie, and he gave a special shout-out to the award-winning cheeses of Fiscalini Farms. “Superb,” Paul said, name-checking his dairy broker, “the Cheese Impresario,” Barrie Lynn. Lynn, who authors a column in The Beverly Hills Times called “Cheese Matters,” created special cheese baskets for winners at the 78th Academy Awards. Read more here.

Sports

  • Exposed

    There is plenty of blame to go around for the Grizzlies' post-season failures.
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree

    Memphis Grizzlies’ Dahntay Jones has been named one of Ebony Magazine’s Bachelors of the Year. A press release says "the magazine’s 11 million readers will get a glimpse of the handsome guard and find out what he is looking for in a mate. Although the New Jersey native enjoys being single, he says that when Ms. Right shows up, he’ll be ready.

    "The 25 year-old Jones states “ my ideal mate is intelligent, has a sense of humor, goal oriented, sweet, sincere, and honest … a woman who is capable of making me a better person.”

    Well, at least he's not a confirmed bachelor.

  • Draft Limbo, Hoops Style
  • Draft Limbo, Hoops Style

    Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn counts down the six college basketball teams he feels have the most to lose with early defections to the NBA. John Calipari won’t like what he sees at number 4. Read all about it here.
  • Parsing Jerry West
  • Parsing Jerry West

    Grizzlies president of basketball operations met the media today for a post-mortem on the team’s season. West had plenty of interesting things to say, but most notable by far was the way he hung current head coach Mike Fratello out to dry.

    Asked about the upside of little-used (by Fratello) rookies Hakim Warrick and Lawrence Roberts, whom West selected in last summer’s draft, The Logo said, “I think Hakim Warrick could be a great player if he played. Maybe I’m wrong. I didn’t coach him. I think Lawrence Roberts would rebound the ball, if he played.” Ouch!

    Later, West was asked about former Grizzly Bonzi Wells, who is playing brilliantly for the Sacramento Kings in the playoffs but whom Fratello dismissed from the Grizzlies during last year’s playoffs. The question was, “Why couldn’t [Wells] play for this team?” West’s pointed response: “I’m not the one to answer that.”

    For more on what West said today and what it might mean, see our Grizzlies blog here.

  • Derby Delirium
  • Derby Delirium

    It’s said to be the greatest two minutes in sports, so find your fanciest hat, dig out your most expensive bourbon (for the mint juleps, of course), and pick a horse with just the right name (or odds or colors), and you’ve got the ingredients for a Kentucky Derby party. SI.com’s Ethan Trex has a few more pointers on how best to celebrate the first Saturday in May.

    Hopefully, Victoria Gotti won't show up.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation