The lineup for Memphis in May's Beale Street Music Festival will be officially announced on Thursday, March 3rd. It's being heralded by Memphis in May as "the biggest lineup ever." At the very least, if the announced lineup matches the widely rumored one, it will be the most interesting lineup in some time.
Among the artists confirmed either via their own published tour schedules or the reliable concert site Pollstar.com are soul man Cee-Lo (of "F--- You" fame), pop-radio-certified Atlanta rapper B.O.B., soul-blues favorite Bettye LaVette, and excellent alt-country/bluegrass band the Avett Brothers, fresh off a breakout Grammys performance. Among the rumored artists to be hinted at heavily on the festival's Facebook page are rap star Ludacris and Top 40 titan Ke$ha.
Three-day passes for the festival, which takes place April 29th through May 1st at Tom Lee Park, are on sale now. Single-day tickets go on sale starting at 2 p.m. March 3rd. For more information on ticketing, see MemphisinMay.org/musicfesttickets. For a full breakdown of the festival lineup, see the Flyer's pop culture blog, Sing All Kinds (MemphisFlyer.com/SingAllKinds), shortly after the March 3rd announcement.
The long BSMF weekend will get an earlier than normal start this year when the Orpheum hosts Montreal's Arcade Fire on Thursday, April 28th. The band — one of the most critically lauded pop acts of the past decade — makes its Memphis debut shortly after their surprise Album of the Year Grammy win for last year's The Suburbs. Tickets for the Arcade Fire concert at the Orpheum are $45 and go on sale Friday, March 4th, at 10 a.m. See Orpheum-Memphis.com for more info.
Community radio station WEVL-FM 89.9 will hold its annual spring concert this weekend at the Hi-Tone Café. The bill will feature Goner-connected songwriter Harlan T. Bobo and country-soul band Holly & the Heathens, featuring Holly Cole. Spinning between sets is DJ Eric of WEVL's "In the Basement" show. Showtime is 10 p.m., Saturday, March 5th. Admission is $10, with proceeds going to WEVL.
Bobo will be among the generous Memphis contingent traveling to Austin, Texas, later this month for the annual South By Southwest Music Festival, which runs March 16th-19th. Bobo will play an unofficial showcase for local label Goner Records, alongside fellow Memphians the Limes and non-local Goner acts the Overnight Lows, Ty Segall, John Wesley Coleman, and Quintron & Miss Pussycat.
Among the area artists scheduled to play official showcases at this year's festival are: On Wednesday night, Ardent Music's folk-rockers Star & Micey and Oxford, Mississippi, bands Young Buffalo and the Colour Revolt. On Thursday night, Amy LaVere will play a showcase for the management company/label Thirty Tigers alongside former Drive-By Trucker (and former Memphian) Jason Isbell and Murfreesboro's Those Darlins, the North Mississippi Allstars return, and Valerie June makes her official showcase debut after slipping into the $5 Cover showcase a couple years ago.
On Friday night, the Allstars return for a second showcase, shoegazers Cloudland Canyon play a showcase for the Chicago label Thrill Jockey, former Memphian Ross Flournoy debuts his new band Apex Manor at a Merge Records showcase, and Skewby brings a new generation of Memphis hip-hop to the festival for the first time, playing a packed showcase in between Atlanta rappers Gorilla Zoe and Pill. Finally, on Saturday night, the River City Tanlines play a showcase for the Dirtnap label, rising artist and recently relocated Memphian Bosco Delrey plays a showcase for his Mad Decent label, and north Mississippi artists Shannon McNally and Charlie Mars perform as part of an official Mississippi Music Showcase.
After taking last year off, the Flyer will be in Austin for the festival this year, covering locals and some of the hundreds of other interesting artists from around the world.