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  • Issue of
  • May 25-31, 2006
  • Vol. 1, No. 900

News

  • That's Alright, Mama!
  • That's Alright, Mama!

    Elvis Presley Enterprises feels your pain. They know times are tough, and getting tougher every time the price of gas goes up. To combat the Petroleum Blues, EPE is offering visitors to Graceland three dollars off the price of a Platinum Tour ticket in exchange for gas receipts, and a coupon that can be downloaded here. Graceland calls this special relief program… (wait for it)“Tank you. Tank you very much.”

    Folks, you just just can’t make these things up.

  • The Best of the South
  • The Best of the South

    Yes, it's June, but The Oxford American's spring issue has just arrived. And this one was worth the wait. A host of big-time writers, including Bobbie Ann Mason, John Updike, and Roy Blount, pay homage to the "Best of the South," with odes to their favorite diner, recipe, novel, actor, street vendor, governor, and a Memphis night.

    Former Flyer writer Ashley Fantz also checks in with an ode to a jewel thief. It's a fine package. Get you one today, here, y'all.

  • Look for a Really Tan Crook with Clean Clothes
  • Look for a Really Tan Crook with Clean Clothes

    WMC's Website is reporting that two Midtown businesses were burglarized, one after the other, Sunday night. Memphis Police officers were first called to Happy Day Cleaners on Union Avenue, then about 20 minutes later they were called to the Tan N Go, just down the street. The crook took off with 36 bottles of tanning lotion and a keyboard.

    If you have any information about either of these burglaries, call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.

  • Meroney to Fight Rape Charges
  • Meroney to Fight Rape Charges

    Fox 13 anchor Ron Meroney, told a Shelby County judge yesterday that he plans to return to Maryland to face charges that he raped a young girl 30 years ago.

    Meroney was arrested May 3rd after a Maryland grand jury returned indictments alleging he raped a girl under the age of 14 in 1974. Meroney was contesting a fugitive from justice charge in court, which will be dropped when Meroney turns himself into authorities in Maryland.

    Meroney's attorney, Mark Messler, said Meroney wants to prove his innocence in court.

  • Dream Town, U.S.A.
  • Dream Town, U.S.A.

    Memphis may well receive a stampede of retiring Baby-boomers after making AARP magazine’s short list of dream towns. An article in this month’s issue describes the Bluff City as a “revitalized cultural mecca.” Of course, being ground zero for two of the hottest movies of 2005 — Walk the Line, Hustle & Flow — certainly adds to the city’s buzz. According to the article, lifestyle perks such as Memphis’ small town charm, abundance of parks, and affordable housing — real-estate experts cite Memphis as “One of the best values in the country” — are among selling points that appeal to empty nesters. To read more, go to here.
  • Timberlake to Portray Elton John?
  • Timberlake to Portray Elton John?

    Elton John's "partner" David Furnish says Justin Timberlake is at the top of the wanted list to play the role of Sir Elton John in the singer's forthcoming biopic, Rocketman.

    Sounds good to us, as long as Cameron Diaz doesn't insist on playing David Furnish. Read more here.

  • WMC Stations to be Sold?
  • WMC Stations to be Sold?

    The Memphis Business Journal reports that CBS Corp. is exploring the possibility of selling radio stations in 10 markets, including Memphis. CBS Radio is one of the largest major-market radio operators in the U.S., operating 179 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation's top 50 markets.

    In Memphis, CBS owns WMC-AM 790, WMC-FM Hot 99.7 and WMFS-FM 93x. Read more here.

  • Taylor Hicks and the Band He Left Behind
  • Taylor Hicks and the Band He Left Behind

    It's official: Taylor Hicks is the new "American Idol." But what about the guys he left behind in Alabama while he flew out to Hollywood to become famous? We're talking about the members of the Taylor Hicks Band, who now call themselves the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra. (They sound like our kind of fellas.) So how are they holding up without their lead singer? You can find out right here.

    The most amazing factoid: the band is named after band member Brian Less, who's from Memphis and is known as "Little Memphis." Who knew?

  • From Black Snake Moan to Country Croonin'
  • From Black Snake Moan to Country Croonin'

    Memphis-based director Craig Brewer's next film will be called Maggie Lynn, reports Variety. The film is the story of a woman who gets her heart broken and achieves a sense of self-worth by returning home to Tennessee, where she teams with her older brother to play country music in honkytonks. John Singleton will produce, with production to begin later this year.
  • Justin's New Album
  • Justin's New Album

    Justin Timberlake is getting ready to release a new album this fall, with a single due to be released this summer.

    Timberlake's last solo album was 2002's Justified, which garnered two Grammy Awards. Timberlake's Web site says “Justin is bringing it back … The new single coming Summer 2006. The new album coming early Fall 2006."

    According to MTV.com Timberlake has already written and produced 11 or 12 songs and has worked with hip hop producers like Timbaland, Rick Ruben, and the Black Eyed Peas.

  • March (sort of) of the Penguins
  • March (sort of) of the Penguins

    Though FedEx flew pandas Ya Ya and Le Le from Beijing to their current home at the Memphis Zoo in 2003, this week’s special cargo included 19 African blackfooted penguins and two sea otters. The animals were on their way back to New Orleans after being rescued from an aquarium there post-Katrina. They have been living in a California aquarium since September.

    When the animals arrived home, they were greeted at the airport by a brass band. There was no word on what the in-flight movie was.

    And the picture? It really has nothing to do with this story. We just liked it.

  • The Thrill is Preserved
  • The Thrill is Preserved

    An 18,000-square-foot museum honoring B.B. King is scheduled to open late next year in Indianola, Mississippi. Construction begins next month.

    The B.B. King Museum will be built around a cotton gin where King once worked and will showcase four phases of King’s life, from his years in the Delta to the present. The museum has raised $8 million toward its $10 million goal. For more info, go here.

We Recommend

Politics

  • Shocked! (and Suckered) Again
  • Shocked! (and Suckered) Again

    The inimitable Gadfly has returned – this time to tell us that we’ve been suckered once more by the unholy combination of Big Oil and Little W. The FTC earlier this week “found no anti-competitive, collusive or manipulative activity by the oil companies in the runup of gasoline prices following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

    Barely controlling his outrage, the Gadfly says: “The FTC has succeeded in telling the American public that, when it comes to gasoline pricing, if something looks like gouging, feels like gouging, and acts like gouging, it isn't gouging.” For more, go here.

  • Nikki is a Hottie, But Marsha's Sizzling
  • Nikki is a Hottie, But Marsha's Sizzling

    “Nicole” Tinker (that’s “Nikki Tinker” to followers of our own 9th congressional District’s crowded Democratic primary race) is one of 10 political women nominated for www.politics1.com’s annual online poll to identify “the hottest woman in US politics.” Also featured in the list is the 7th District’s Republican incumbent, Marsha Blackburn, who also represents part of Memphis. Which would make Memphis the home of two of politics' hottest babes.

    Other nominees include Louisiana Senator Mary Laundrieu, Representative Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota, and California congresswoman Mary Bono (yep, Sonny’s widow).

    To cast your vote for one of the hometown gals, go here.

    Update: Marsha Blackburn has surged into second place with 21.5 percent of the vote, trailing only the pulchritudinous Herseth. Tinker, on the other hand, is in the bottom three.

Opinion

  • Letter from the Editor

    What About Bob? is a 1991 film starring Richard Dreyfuss as a psychiatrist named Leo Marvin and Bill Murray as an absurdly needy patient named Bob ...

Music

  • Symphony and Musicians Reach Contract Agreement
  • Symphony and Musicians Reach Contract Agreement

    Playbill is reporting that the Memphis Symphony and its musicians have reached agreement on a new three-year contract retroactive to 2005 and running through 2008.

    The contract includes salary increases of 5 percent, 7 percent, and 8 percent. The salary for principal musicians, which was $24,781 in 2004-05, will increase to $30,069 in 2008.

    The contract also calls for the addition to two full-time musicians to the MSO. The orchestra currently has 34 full-time players and 45 part-time players. "No single factor affects an orchestra more than the quality of its musicians," said music director David Loebel. "Expansion of our core orchestra and improvement of our musicians' salaries are the most meaningful steps the MSO can take to enhance both its artistic standing and its level of community service."

  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Night of the Living Dead

    Bring out the fake blood and white pancake makeup and prepare for the Resurrection, a new goth night at the Poplar Lounge.

    The weekly event kicks off Friday, June 2nd at 9 p.m. Local death metal band Legion of Divine Punishment will rein in the darkness on opening night, and DJ Chucky will spin goth and industrial tunes.

    Prizes will be awarded for the best dead person costume, and Black Lodge Video will provide video visuals. According to the Resurrection MySpace page, these videos are “so filthy and disturbing, [Black Lodge] can not risk putting them on the shelf.”

  • Todd Snider Set for "Relaunch" of Gibson Lounge
  • Todd Snider Set for "Relaunch" of Gibson Lounge

    Nashville (by way of Memphis) folk singer Todd Snider will play the Gibson Lounge Saturday, along with Amy & the Tramps. The concert will serve as something of a relaunch for the venue, which has been under-used in recent months.

    Snider says he might play with Amy and friends, "or if I get into to town in time to drink half a bottle of wine, I might wing it." Either way, it should be a great night of music. Read more about it here.

  • So, How Much for Elvis’ THIRD House?
  • So, How Much for Elvis’ THIRD House?

    Psychic/showman Uri Geller recently purchased Elvis Presley’s first home, at 1034 Audubon Drive, for more than $900,000. Two years ago, entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman bought the Graceland estate, and a good portion of Elvis Presley Enterprise as well, for $125 million.

    So, how much would Elvis’ third house go for?

    We recently turned up a 1974 Commercial Appeal article which mentions that Elvis had purchased a home at 1576 Lehr, just behind Graceland. On September 20, 1974, he paid precisely $33,925 for the one-story 1,500-square-foot property, and the newspaper story noted the homeowner had been told that the King of Rock-and-Roll never planned to live there but had purchased it for an investment.

    We’re not sure how much this investment has paid off over the years, but if the present owner ever considers selling it, may we suggest eBay?

  • Lily Afshar's New Release
  • Lily Afshar's New Release

    Memphis' internationally renowned classical guitarist, Lily Afshar, will release Hemispheres, her fourth and most ambitious recording to date this week.

    The local CD release party will be held at Cielo (679 Adams) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 1. Afshar will perform music from the new release and will be available to sign copies of the CD.

    Hemispheres features an intriguing collection of pieces written or arranged by international composers, including Reza Vali, Ricardo Moyano, Gerard Drozd, Carlo Domeniconi, John Schneider, Leo Brouwer, Garry Eister and Morteza Neydawood.

    For more information, go here.

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Film/TV

Books

  • Things That Make You Go Hmmm.
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmm.

    First Lady Laura Bush has a new book out called Laura's List: The First Lady's List of 57 Great Books for Families and Children. At number 19 on the list: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Eric Cale, recommended for infants to age 4. In her "Reader's Guide," the first lady asks that young readers ask themselves: "What is the house called that [the caterpillar] built around himself?"

    One very famous reader could answer: the White House. You see, in 1999, Governor George Bush of Texas told reporters that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his favorite book growing up. Trouble is, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969 — when Bush was 23 years old.

Art

Food & Drink

Sports

  • And the FedEx St. Jude Leader Is ...
  • And the FedEx St. Jude Leader Is ...

    ... journeyman pro Chris Smith, currently 207th on the PGA Tour money list. Smith shot a six-under 64 to become the first-day standard-bearer. D.A. Points was two strokes back and veteran Paul Azinger was three strokes behind with three holes left to play.

    The "Long-Ball Rebel" aka John Daly? Looks like he'll be heading to Tunica this weekend on the heels of a not-so-hot 77. Get all the scores here.

  • Double-A Vision
  • Double-A Vision

    What are fans of the Memphis Redbirds to do, considering the dearth of talent taking the field at AutoZone Park these days? They might start shifting their gaze northwest, to Springfield, Missouri, home of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. If the downward spiral continues for the Redbirds, look for some younger talent — particularly of the pitching variety — to start making the drive south to Memphis. At the top of Springfield’s prospect list is Collierville’s own Stuart Pomeranz, who has won his first six decisions this season. Read about Pomeranz’s latest start here.
  • Shawne is Gone
  • Shawne is Gone

    CBS SportsLine.com wire is reporting that University of Memphis forward Shawne Williams, who led the Tigers to their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, will enter the NBA Draft.

    The Conference USA Freshman of the Year declared for the draft on Thursday. The 6-foot-9 Williams averaged 14 points and 6.0 rebounds this season. The Tigers lost to UCLA in the finals of the Oakland regional.

    Coach John Calipari said Williams is well-suited for the NBA. "Shawne is ready to take the next step in his professional basketball career without question," Calipari said.

  • Cardinal Questions
  • Cardinal Questions

    With the baseball season almost a third over, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon answers some questions being tossed around in Cardinal country. Including whether or not Memphis star Anthony Reyes should be traded. Read it here.
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