Friday, April 30, 2010

"City Island": Secrets and Lies

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 8:06 PM

In the guilty film City Island, Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) wants to tell you his deepest, most personal secret. One thing he hides from his wife is that he aspires to be an actor. That’s why he tells spouse Joyce (Julianna Margulies) that he’s out playing poker when actually he’s taking an acting class with coach Michael Malakov (Alan Arkin). He reads a Brando biography in the bathroom and scurries when he’s caught, like some kind of hangdog, irrepressible teenage boy. His lame attempts at lies makes Joyce think he’s seeing another woman. For Vince, that’s preferable to the truth.

That’s not all he’s hiding. Vince, a corrections officer, chances upon the son he abandoned before birth. That kid, Tony (Steven Strait), is now all growed-up and in the clink for a grand theft auto beef. Tony would be released on parole if only he had a family member to claim him. Vince, with two-plus decades of guilt coming down on him, takes him under his care under the suspicious auspices of having Tony do a construction project for him.

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On the Record: Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Last month, the Drive-By Truckers released their 8th studio album, The Big To-Do, a typically excellent collection Southern rock character sketches and story songs. The Georgia-based band — whose co-founders, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, once lived in Memphis — has often peppered their music with local and regional references, including songs about Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and the night punk provocateur G.G. Allin played the Antenna Club.

The Drive-By Truckers (Patterson Hood third from the left.)
  • The Drive-By Truckers (Patterson Hood third from the left.)
And The Big To-Do continues the band's Mid-South connection, the album dedicated to late Memphis producer Jim Dickinson and featuring a song about the notorious 2006 murder case in near-by Selmer, Tennessee, in which Mary Carol Winkler shot her husband, a local minister.

Ahead of the band's scheduled Saturday night set at the Beale Street Music Festival, I exchanged e-mails with Hood about some of the band's more recent Memphis and Mid-South connections, among other topics:

Flyer: The Big To-Do is dedicated, in part, to Jim Dickinson, and you reference your relationship with the Dickinson family in the liner notes. Can you elaborate a little on your connections to the Dickinsons and what Jim means/represents for you?

Patterson Hood: Jim was very much a hero of mine and to some extent the whole band. Not only the work he did but how he did it and the point of view he represented with it. I met him many years ago when [co-frontman Mike] Cooley and I were in Adam's House Cat. We were managed by [Memphis Grammy chapter director] Jon Hornyak and he introduced us. I really wanted him to produce that band and actually always wanted DBT to work with him too on some level. In later years, I've become good friends with [Dickinson's sons] Luther and Cody, who I also admire so. Luther and I had this idea to form a side project band with my Dad and Jim. Between the five of us, it's a pretty kick-ass band and covers the bases. Not long before Jim got sick, we all convened at [Dickinson's studio] the Zebra Ranch for a couple of days and tracked a few songs with the intention of making an album. Of course, between DBT's schedule and the many irons Luther and Cody have in the fire, getting all of us together is next to impossible so it never got finished. I still hope to finish it all at some point and maybe turn it into a tribute to Jim and what he meant to us. Jim and my father had their own history together which made it all even cooler.

Also, Big Star's 3rd [which Dickinson produced] is one of my desert island discs and "Kangaroo" is one of my all-time favorite songs. Jim told me the cowbell story and autographed my vinyl copy of 3rd.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Profiles in Awesome: Jerry Lawler draws the cover for "WWE Heroes" comic book

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM

And here it is...


Sound Advice: Shortwave Dahlia/Grupo Jobu CD-Release Show

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Shortwave Dahlia
  • Shortwave Dahlia

This Saturday night, two fiercely independent Memphis artists, Shortwave Dahlia and Grupo Jobu, will share the stage at Nocturnal in celebration of the release of new material by both groups.

Shortwave Dahlia, a New Order-ish synth pop group fronted by Jack Alberson, will unveil their newest collection of songs, The Wilderness. Meanwhile, Grupo Jobu, the project of eclectic local singer/songwriter Jobu Babin, will release Mytheme. Both frontmen spoke to the Flyer this week about the release show and their respective new albums.

The Memphis Flyer: How did this combined release show come together?

Jobu Babin: For our part, it seemed natural . . . the timing was perfect. Both records were completed around the same time. We'd known Jack for some time, and had discussed doing shows in the past, but my other musical activities precluded it before. Jason (Grupo drummer) turned me on to The Wilderness, and I just got to liking it. Reminded me of that strange in-between period where Joy Division became New Order, very cool.

Jack Alberson: It just seemed to make sense. Rather than run the risk of splitting up the audience, why not combine forces?

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Local Musicians Salute Alex Chilton on May 1st at Nocturnal

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Alex Chilton
  • Alex Chilton
After hearing of Alex Chilton's passing Memphis musician and long time music scenester Harris Scheuner expected someone to announce a tribute concert. He assumed there would be an event like the one held for Jim Dickinson, which he describes as, “grand, and perfect.” Every day he posted a message to his Facebook page: "Whoever put on the Dickinson tribute, please put one on just like it for Alex." But nothing happened.

“I heard about, and attended the memorial for Alex at Minglewood Hall, which caused me to tear up,” Sheuner says. “It was touching, and beautiful, but it was not a musical event.” After the Minglewood event he called Ross Johnson who played drums with Chilton in Tav Falco's Panther Burns and told him that he had either a terrible idea or a great idea to put on a Chilton tribute concert. “He told me that he thought that a tribute show had to be done," Scheuner says. "So I hung up the phone, and went straight to the computer.” Not knowing where or when it would be he posted a message on on his Facebook page announcing an event that would allow local musicians influenced by Chilton to pay their respects in song.

“When Jews die, other Jews sit Shiva,” Scheuner says. “When musicians die other musicians play their songs. That's just how it is.

Throughout high school Scheuner thought of himself as a “rock-n-roll elitist.” He played the drums, had big hair, and was into Led Zeppelin, and Rush. When he started started college at MSU he found out about a whole world of music that he didn't know existed: The Velvet Underground, The Soft Boys, The Dbs, and Alex Chilton.

“It was truly an epiphany,” he says. “I realized that I had been duped by the record industry,and that the real rock-n-roll, the true spirit of rock-n-roll was kept alive by musicians from underground. It not only opened my eyes about music but about culture in general, the difference between product and art.”

Scheuner & Greg Cartwright perform the Bell Notes hit "I've Had It" at the Antenna Club Reunion. The song also appears on Alex Chilton's LIKE FLIES ON SHERBERT LP with vocals by Jim Dickinson.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Craig Brewer on Remaking Footloose

Posted By on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM


One of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood is out: Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer has signed on to direct a remake of the 1984 teen-cinema fave Footloose for Paramount. Brewer has been rumored in connection with the remake since late last year and had recently been working on a new script for the project, but the final deal for Brewer to helm the rebooted Footloose was reported Monday night by industry trade publication Variety and confirmed by Brewer shortly thereafter.

"I'm now directing Footloose," Brewer told the Flyer this morning. The next step in the process is casting the film and choosing a location, but Brewer says he expects the film to begin shooting sometime this summer.

The project had initially been set up for High School Musical director Kenny Ortega and envisioned as a lighter, musical-theater-style piece. Brewer had turned down the project after being approached by Paramount last year, but took another look when Paramount executive Adam Goodman gave Brewer the go-ahead to scrap the initial rewrite and take the project in his own direction.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Craig Brewer Remaking "Footloose"

Posted By on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Variety is reporting that Craig Brewer is set to remake the classic 1984 rebellion film Footloose. Brewer replaces filmmaker Kenny Ortega (High School Musical and the Michael Jackson doc This is It) on the project.

No word on who will fill Kevin Bacon's pert shoes in the lead role as a city boy who relocates to a small town that has banned dancing and rock-and-roll (or who will take John Lithgow's role as the bible-thumping buzzkill), but casting will begin promptly with an eye to start filming this summer.

Brewer has rewritten the remake's script to keep it "edgier" and more dramatic (rather than, one speculates, a musical a la High School Musical or Glee).

This apparently pushes back Brewer's project Mother Trucker.

Brewer commented on the news on his Twitter account, @MyBrewTube, saying simply, "Wild."

Craig Brewer: The Forshadowing

Posted By on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Craig Brewer & Lindsey Roberts
  • Craig Brewer & Lindsey Roberts
If you built this kind of detail into a screenplay the critics would dismiss it as being too heavy handed. On the night when Craig Brewer's first completed film The Poor & Hungry was named Best Digital Feature by the Hollywood Film Festival Kenny Loggins, the musician who had penned hit theme songs for movies like Top Gun and Caddyshack, was also honored for his lifetime achievement as a songwriter. Loggins entertained the crowd that night with an energetic mini-concert and brought the house down with his performance of "Your Heart Will Lead You Home."

While some members of Brewer's party giggled and accused Loggins of being cheesy the man of the hour protested, confessing his deep and abiding affection for Footloose.

Tonight, after Variety reported that he would be directing the long-anticipated remake of Footloose based on his own rewrite of the script, Brewer tweeted a one word acknowledgment: "Wild." No kidding.

BluesTube: Richard Johnston takes Beale Street online

Posted By on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Richard Johnston
  • Richard Johnston
Why would I simply tell you that Memphis bluesman Richard Johnston is planning to launch a new video project when I can relay all the pertinent information in the form of a pithy personal anecdote with a good punch line? It all began when Johnston, Beale Street's uber-busker and the subject of an Award-winning PBS documentary titled Richard Johnston: Hill Country Troubadour, showed up at my house. He's been my neighbor in Uptown for a few years and we have been known to talk at length over the fence. Still, I was somewhat surprised to find the tightly wound musician ringing my doorbell and vibrating at an even higher than usual pitch.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Outtakes with Harlan T. Bobo

Posted By on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Harlan T. Bobo celebrates the release of his third — and potentially best — album, Sucker, with a concert Saturday night at the Hi-Tone Café. Bobo will also play a free in-store at Goner Records Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Sample the lead track from Sucker, "Sweet Life," here:

We've got a feature on Bobo in this week's Flyer. But there was plenty of interesting interview material that we didn't have space for in the paper, so here are a few outtakes from our interview with Bobo:

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Sound Advice: Overton Square Crawfish Festival

Posted By on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 9:26 AM


Adding to what is an already loaded local music schedule this weekend, the Overton Square Crawfish Festival will return for its 15th year Saturday with the festival's strongest music line-up in recent memory.

Emerging local bands Star & Micey and the Bulletproof Vests will kick things off early, before turning things over to what should be the day's musical highlight, Jack Oblivian & the Tennessee Tearjerkers. Oblivian and company, who recently released a new, split-7" single with Chicago's Mannequin Men, are gearing up for a big European tour in May and June, and Saturday's gig could be the group's last local appearance for some time.

Local psych-pop stalwarts Snowglobe (currently at work on a long-form film project for DVD release) performed at last year's Crawfish Festival, and will serve as this year's headliner.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sound Advice: Susan Marshall & Friends

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM


This Friday, April 9th, Germantown's Poplar Pike Playhouse will stage an unique event, bringing home-grown Memphis music to the suburbs in an attempt to raise funds for Germantown High School's Fine Arts program.

The show is being billed as "Susan Marshall and Friends" but is in actually a showcase for three well-known local artists. The soul-singing chanteuse Marshall, who released her second LP, Little Red, in 2009 to critical acclaim, will be joined on-stage by folk/blues guitarists and songwriters Sid Selvidge and Alvin Youngblood Hart.

The evening won't be the first occasion the Germantown High graduate Marshall has lent her talents to support the award-winning Fine Arts program at GHS.

“Susan has brought dynamic performers together for a benefit concert at the Playhouse for many years now, and it has grown quite a following as one of the best concerts in town, bar none,” said Frank Bluestein, Chairman of the GHS Fine Arts department and Artistic Director of the Poplar Pike Playhouse.

Reserved seating for "Susan Marshall and Friends" can be purchased in advance at or by calling the Poplar Pike Playhouse box office at 901-755-7775. Tickets are $22 for adults; $18 for seniors; and $15 for students.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Film Fest Updates: On Location Releases Schedule; Indie Memphis Sets Date

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Memphis' two primary annual film festivals both made announcements this week.

The On Location: Memphis International Film Festival released the full schedule for its upcoming festival, which will be held April 22-25 at the Ridgeway Four.

Meanwhile, the Indie Memphis Film Festival has announced that its 2010 festival will be held October 21-24 at Studio on the Square, a tighter schedule than the week-long fest that had become the norm in recent years.

“Though attendance has grown by 80 percent in the past two years, most of that growth has been during our weekend screenings," festival director Erik Jambor said in explaining the changes. "The increasing number of out-of-town visitors will find the new schedule much more convenient, and local filmmakers will be pleased to know that their work will screen during the same few days when everyone is here. ”

Indie Memphis has also announced entry deadlines and submission fees for the festival, with staggered deadlines running from April 12th to June 21st. For more info, go here.

Memphis Music Invades Nashville

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:36 AM

This Tuesday night, March 30th, the Memphis Music Foundation hosted the first of a proposed series of songwriter showcases in partnership with the Nashville Songwriter's Association International at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The showcase also came with the added prestige of being a part of Tin Pan South, the music industry's premiere professional songwriter showcase event.


The showcase was hosted by Music Foundation Chairman and former Stax Records executive Al Bell and Memphis-to-Nashville transplant Rivers Rutherford, a well-known songwriter responsible for numerous modern country chart toppers by the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw.

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