Even if you're a fixture on the local club scene, you'd be forgiven for not recognizing many people in the crowd at the Hi-Tone Café last weekend. During the final night of Gonerfest Saturday at the Hi-Tone, Goner co-owner Zac Ives estimated that only about a third of the festival's attendees were locals. Has there ever been a local music event that brings so many out-of-towners into small local clubs? After five fests, the semi-annual event hasn't become just a fixture: It's become a destination.
Even with the most recent festival in the rear-view mirror, things aren't slowing down much for Goner. The label arm of the Goner empire has two new releases to push: Primary Colours, by the Australian band Eddy Current Suppression Ring, is out now. It'll be followed October 14th by Too Thirsty 4 Love, a new album from New Orleans-based cult favorite Mr. Quintron.
In semi-related record-release news, Goner cohort Jay Reatard (who opened for the Black Keys at the New Daisy last weekend but apparently didn't make his scheduled Saturday afternoon Goner set) will release Matador Singles '08 on October 7th. The vibrant 13-track album collects the limited-edition singles he's released in recent months for the venerable indie label. Reatard hits the road again next week for a month-long tour that will take him to Canada and the East Coast. His studio-album debut for Matador is slated for next May.
The Indie Memphis Film Festival announced its final schedule last week with the addition of a couple of films with serious local music connections. Johnny Cash's America, a documentary made for television network A&E by filmmakers Morgan Neville and Memphian Robert Gordon, will have its regional debut at the festival, screening at 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 15th. In addition, the feature Gospel Hill, directed by actor Giancarlo Esposito, will screen at 6 p.m., Sunday, October 12th. Scott Bomar — Bo-Keys bandleader and frequent Craig Brewer collaborator — provided original, recorded-in-Memphis music for the film's score. Local musicians Amy LaVere and Al Kapone also appear on the soundtrack. You can see the full schedule for the Indie Memphis Film Festival, which begins Thursday, October 9th, at Studio on the Square, at IndieMemphis.com.
Memphis bands interested in the South By Southwest music festival in Austin next year might want to drop into the Memphis Music Resource Center at the Memphis Music Foundation offices. The first 50 bands that visit the center can get their SXSW registration fee waived. The offer is available until November 4th.
While there, bands also can convey their interest in being part of the official Memphis showcase at SXSW, which the Foundation is hosting along with the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and a new advocacy organization, Music Memphis. The Memphis Music Resource Center is located at 431 S. Main, Suite 201.
Music notes: Local fixture Charlie Wood has joined the likes of LaVere, Lily Afshar, and Sid Selvidge on the stable of performers for Archer Records. Wood has been at the label's Music + Arts Studio working on his Archer debut with producer (and Norah Jones collaborator) Adam Levy. ... Former Stax executive Al Bell recently received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Ahmet Ertegun Leadership Award. Meanwhile, another Memphis music fixture, Knox Phillips, will be feted this month as the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts by the College of Communication and Fine Arts at the University of Memphis. ... True Memphis Invisible, a company founded by local investor and philanthropist Bob Compton to help low-income artists produce and distribute their work, just delivered its debut release, Lovesick, a DVD of performances from poet and storyteller Denisha Fisher. You can learn more about the venture at TrueMemphisInvisible.com. ... Justin Timberlake's Tennman label recently released the EP Backstage at Bonnaroo by singer-songwriter Matt Morris.