After experimenting with bringing movies back to Overton Park during the past two Indie Memphis Film Festivals, Indie Memphis and the Levitt Shell are partnering for a summer "concert film" series that will kick off on July 1st.
The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese's star-laden 1978 documentary on the Band's final concert, which also features performances from Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Muddy Waters, among others, will lead off the series, which will run for seven consecutive Friday nights, culminating in an "audience choice" screening on August 12th.
In between, selections will include Radiohead: Live in Prague (7/8), the seminal Altamont-era Rolling Stones doc Gimme Shelter (7/15), the partly Memphis-filmed U2 tour diary Rattle & Hum (7/22), the George Harrison-organized '70s classic Concert for Bangladesh (7/29), and the all-star blues concert film Lightning in a Bottle (8/5).
Indie Memphis has had designs on doing a concert films in the park series for a couple of years but needed to find the proper funding, something made possible this year by a First Tennessee Foundation Award for Innovation in the Arts.
The films are being shown on a big screen off DVD or Blu-Ray editions and will start at dusk each night (roughly 8:30 p.m., though times will vary). The screenings are free and open to the public. Information on the "audience choice" voting — with Woodstock, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, and Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same among the likely contenders — should be available soon. — Chris Herrington
Angel Sluts Debut
Hardworking local punk rockers The Angel Sluts have spent the better part of the year on the road touring in support of the band's latest effort, the fierce EP Suesie Was a Nihilist. The record, released by the emerging local independent label Fat Sandwich, has been available in stores around town for a couple of weeks now, but the band will officially celebrate its release Saturday night at Murphy's.
"The last two years we have been on the road six months out of the year, so we have been hitting it pretty hard," says lead singer Harry Koniditsiotis. "I grew up traveling a lot, so I love the road."
But despite all of the time spent on the road, Koniditsiotis and the group (which includes drummer Walt Stallings, bassist Timmy Kitchens, and guitarists Doyle Schaeffer and Matt Burns) have managed to stay prolific in the studio as well — the follow-up to Suesie Was a Nihilist is already in the can.
"As for finding the time, I have no idea how I do it," Koniditsiotis says. "Must be some weird subliminal time-management thing. I like being busy and productive, but I've been called obsessed. Part of it comes out of the MS thing. [Koniditsiotis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005.] Once I got better, I just went into overdrive to make up for lost time."
The Angel Sluts will continue to pound the pavement this summer and fall, as the band has several lengthy trips throughout the U.S. on the books — not that anyone is complaining.
"Someone asked me on the last tour if we were trying to 'make it.' I said we already had," Koniditsiotis says.
The Angel Sluts play Murphy's Saturday, June 18th, with Hosoi Bros. and Secret People. Showtime is 10 p.m. A $5 cover includes a copy of Suesie Was a Nihilist. — J.D. Reager
Beale Street Caravan fund-raiser
The Memphis-based, globally syndicated radio program Beale Street Caravan holds its fourth annual "Beale Street Caravan Blow Out" fund-raiser Thursday, June 16th, at Ardent Studios.
The event will include food, an open bar, a silent auction, and entertainment from local up-and-coming blues act Will Tucker. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 and are available at the door, by phone at 527-4666, or online. See bealestreetcaravan.com for more details. — CH