Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don Trip Releases Help is On the Way Mixtape

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

As a Halloween treat for rap-starved fans, Memphis MC Don Trip released his second full-length mixtape of the year today, Help is On the Way, which follows the excellent Guerrilla from earlier this year. Trip has a third full-length collection, a sequel to his Step Brothers collaboration with Nashville rapper Starlito, in the can, which could see the light of day in the near future.

In an interview with the Flyer last month, Trip described Help is On the Way as as “honest and dark,” with more “Chris Wallace” (Trip's real name) and less “Don Trip” in the songs. The 16-track mixtape features producers such as Cool & Dre and Young Ladd and guest appearances from rappers such as Starlito, indie-scene fave Danny Brown, and Memphis mainstay Juicy J. Help is On the Way is available as a free download from the mixtape site You can get it here.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sound Advice: Blair Combest and the Quitters, Water Liars, and Mission South

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 5:46 PM

  • Laura Dacus

This Thursday night (November 1), Murphy's will host a dynamic triple bill pairing two up-and-coming acts from out of town along with a local scene veteran fronting an brand new combo.

St. Louis, MO/Oxford, MS indie duo Water Liars will serve as the evening's headliners. The band is currently touring behind a solid debut LP Phantom Limb, which was released earlier this year by Misra Records. Here is video of Water Liars performing live at Ardent Studios:

For more on Water Liars, see Stephen Deusner's feature story from earlier this month.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why Memphians Should Hate the Tennessee Titans, Part II

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Previously on "Why Memphians Should Hate the Tennessee Titans," I re-prosecuted the war against the NFL team that is today based in Nashville. Part one took us from the beginning of time, the dawn of an asteroid-smashed planet, up to where the Oilers were leaving Houston for Tennessee. Part two picks up the thread there.

In a 1997 viewpoint in the Memphis Flyer, publisher (then as now) Kenneth Neill wrote about the impending decision that the Oilers would play their first two seasons in Memphis. “Look long and hard," Neill wrote, "for some sign that Bud Adams gives a hoot about Memphis. Try to find something that suggests he has even a fuzzy fondness for what goes on in the western part of the state. Try to find anything that suggests that Mr. Adams’ motives in setting up shop in Memphis are anything less than 100 percent Machiavellian.”

Flyer editor Dennis Freeland agreed with the sentiments of those “who think the NFL abused the good faith in Memphis and is about to do so again,” but that wasn’t necessarily the prevailing opinion in town. There was plenty of support for the Oilers at the outset, especially from many in corporate Memphis and the local Sports Authority.

In the Flyer’s June 26, 1997, issue, the week after the Oilers confirmed they’d be playing two seasons in Memphis before moving on to Nashville, there was a full-page ad announcing the arrival of a major new player in the Memphis community. “We’re so happy to be in Memphis,” the ad basically said. It struck just the right note, coming across as grateful for an opportunity and excited for the future in Memphis.

The advertisement in the Flyer was for Barnes & Noble, the national bookseller chain, which was opening two locations in Memphis. The newly dubbed Tennessee Oilers didn’t bother taking out an ad, that week or any other, as a measure of thanksgiving or goodwill in the city. That’s not reflective upon the Flyer’s ad sales, either. The Oilers didn’t advertise anywhere.

The attitude emanating from the franchise was, I’m Bud Adams, we’re the Oilers, here we are love us we don’t have to do anything. The perspective persisted throughout the season in Memphis, as Adams, despite his public promises otherwise, simply would not untie the purse strings and promote his team and try to sell his new city on the venture. The Oilers even selected a local PR firm, Walker & Associates, but never gave them a budget or direction. The extent to which the team had a presence in Memphis at all, other than on game day, was due mostly to Memphian Pepper Rodgers arranging local practice sessions and other events.

Comically, outrageously, in the press conference in Memphis announcing that the Oilers would play here, Adams made a mess of it and a fool of himself, referring to Memphis mayor Willie Herenton as “Mayor Harrison.”

Freeland let Adams have it in a column the next week. “Why would an NFL team wanting to win the hearts and minds of Memphis sports fans rush through an introductory press conference/autograph session after months of prolonged negotiations with Houston, Nashville, and Memphis? The event left the impression, once again, that this city is just an afterthought to the Oilers.”

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Sound Advice: Woods, Widowspeak, Toxie at the Hi-Tone Café

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

  • Woods
Indie rock aficionados can get an earful Friday night at the Hi-Tone Café when Woods, Widowspeak, and Toxie take the stage.

With seven full-length albums under their belt, Woods are the main attraction, as their signature brand of self-recorded lofty melodies have propelled them across the United States since the mid 2000s. The band's latest effort, Bend Beyond, sees the group move from ultra lo-fi (think Donovan recording in someone’s closet) to a more cohesive, sometimes darker sound, even though the album was recorded in front man Jeremy Earl’s home. Earl is also behind the acclaimed Woodsist record label, responsible for putting out vinyl for groups such as White Fence, Vivian Girls, and Kurt Vile.

On tour with Woods is Brooklyn-based indie-gaze band Widowspeak. Sounding like a hazier, slightly stoned Dum Dum Girls, Widowspeak slide through simple spaced-out chord progressions with front woman Molly Hamilton’s alluring whisper pushing the songs along.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Memphians Should Hate the Tennessee Titans, Part I

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 4:30 PM

A month ago, the local Fox TV affiliate chose to show a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than a game featuring the home-state Tennessee Titans versus the Detroit Lions. Most Titans games are broadcast on CBS, and this was a rare Titans game Fox was carrying nationally. In Memphis, however, its airing was declined by the affiliate, Fox 13.

My Twitter feed (under the handle @gregakers) was rife that Sunday with Memphis-area Titans fans who were mad they couldn’t watch their team.

I was a little surprised because, in my mind, Memphians by and large hated the Tennessee Titans as much as I personally do, and for the same history-based reasons. I didn’t think it very controversial when I tweeted out, “Twitter blowing up with Memphians mad they can't watch Nashville football. Where'd our self respect go?”

Here was my real surprise: The hate I got was instantaneous and widespread. I tried to play it off to responders that I was just talking NFL trash, which I was, but the Titans’ Memphis contingent wasn’t having it. People said I was a sore loser; that I should let the past go; that my dislike was sour grapes; and that I sucked and I was trash. (Many objected to me insisting on calling the team the “Nashville Titans,” some of them correcting me as if I didn’t know the team’s real name. I maintain it’s rhetorically funny trash talk.)

In light of the ardent response, I wondered for a while if I had this Tennessee Titans thing all wrong and a few hours later tweeted out my conclusion: “I've been pondering and now will reassert that the Titans of Nashville should not be enjoyed by the people of Memphis.” One Twitter friend said I was trolling, which is true but I was also expressing my heart-felt belief, however trollish.

I wanted to explain exactly why I hate the Tennessee Titans and why I feel all Memphians should hate them, too, but Twitter isn’t the best vehicle for making my case. So, it’s time to play 2012 Morning Quarterback and plumb the depths of my sports and civic hatred for the Tennessee Titans.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Daylight Fades DVD Release, Big Screen Encore

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Daylight Fades, a handsomely staged, locally shot 2010 vampire feature from director Brad Ellis and his Memphis-based Old School Media crew, gets a DVD/Blu-ray release today, with an encore theatrical screening to celebrate the release.

The DVD release party will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m today at the Booksellers at Laurelwood, followed by a “final cut” screening at 8 p.m. at Studio on the Square.

The screening is $10 or free with a DVD purchase.

Our feature story on the film's initial release is here.

The trailer:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New "Memphis Music Hall of Fame" Announces 25 Initial Inductees

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

A new "Memphis Music Hall of Fame," a project of the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, announced its first batch of inductees this afternoon.

Via the official press release:

At a press conference hosted by Mayor AC Wharton held here today at the The Warehouse, a video and performance facility in downtown Memphis the names of the 25 initial inductees to the recently announced Memphis Music Hall of Fame were announced. The induction ceremony is set for Thursday, November 29th at Cannon Center for Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. Tickets are now on sale through

The inaugural inductees were selected earlier this year by a Nominating Committee of local and national music professionals, including studio owners, producers, authors, and historians who discussed and debated at length who would be tapped for induction based on a variety of criteria reflecting the fact that Memphis has long been, and continues to serve as the fulcrum for music's most original creators working in all genres including blues, gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, country, rockabilly, rock and roll, hip-hop. The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is under the administration of the Smithsonian-developed Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.

Alphabetical listing of 2012 initial Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductees:

Estelle Axton & Jim Stewart

Bobby “Blue” Bland

Booker T. and The MG’s

Lucie Campbell

George Coleman

Jim Dickinson

Al Green

W.C. Handy

Isaac Hayes

Howlin’ Wolf

B.B. King

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jimmie Lunceford

Professor W.T. McDaniel

Memphis Minnie

Willie Mitchell

Dewey Phillips

Sam Phillips

Elvis Presley

Otis Redding

The Staple Singers

Rufus Thomas

Three 6 Mafia

Nat D. Williams

ZZ Top

Star & Micey Release I Can't Wait EP, Raise Funds for the Road

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Local folk-rockers Star & Micey, our readers' third favorite local band according to the recent Best of Memphis poll, released their new four-song EP, I Can't Wait, today. Recorded in Oxford, Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring and released via Ardent Music, it's the band's most high-profile release since their eponymous 2009 debut album.

The band will celebrate the release with a show at the Hi-Tone Café Thursday night and then hit the road for a month-long tour. To help finance the tour, they've started a Pledge Music account to raise funds. There, fans can make pledges that will garner rewards ranging from simply a download of the EP along with band updates to a signed guitar or a lifetime guest-list spot, with plenty of items and services in-between.

We feature Star & Micey in this week's paper, on the streets of Memphis tomorrow and online Thursday.

Until then, here's the fun new video for the EP's title single:

Monster Ball Ticket Giveaway

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 9:15 AM

We've got tickets to the 4th Annual Monster Ball on Friday, October 26th at Bluesville inside the Horseshoe Casino and we want to send you and a friend there for a fun night of freaky fun.

The event features music and video from DJ Swagg and a costume contest with a 1st place prize of $1,500!

You can enter as many times as you like. Winners will be selected on Friday, October 19th, and notified via email. Must be 21 to enter. See additional info below.

Click here for your chance to win free admission to the Monster Ball!


- Guests with a mask or facial paint will not be allowed on the gaming floor. Any guests with mask or face paint must enter & exit through hotel valet.
- General admission tickets may be purchased for $20, plus Ticketmaster service charges. VIP booths are available for $300 plus service charges.
- There is no charge to enter the costume contest, but participants must register when they arrive at Bluesville between 10pm and 12am.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Indie Memphis Announces Festival Features

Posted By on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

At a “Peep Show” hosted by filmmaker and longtime festival supporter Craig Brewer Thursday night, Indie Memphis announced the slate for its 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, which will be held at multiple locations in and around Overton Square (with Playhouse on the Square the fest's home base) from Thursday, November 1st through Sunday, November 4th.

Ira Sachs (center) on the set of Married Life.
  • Ira Sachs (center) on the set of Married Life.
Among the highlights of the festival are, by my count, half a dozen titles that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival early this year and another handful that recently premiered at Toronto, perhaps North America's highest-profile film festivals.

The festival will also welcome the return of Memphis-bred filmmaker Ira Sachs, who will be on hand for the local premiere of his new film Keep the Lights On, which will screen along with a career retrospective that will include Sachs' two Memphis-shot features, The Delta (Saturday, Brooks Museum, 2 p.m.) and Forty Shades of Blue (Friday, Studio on the Square, 6:45 p.m.), his star-studded period piece Married Life (Sunday, Studio on the Square, 7:15 p.m.), and a program of his short films.

For a full schedule and ticketing information, check, where the schedule should be posted, in parts, over the coming days.

Here's a quick, early look at some of the high profile selections and potential highlights:

Gala Screenings

These are the feature screenings for each night of the festival, which will each be shown in early evening screenings at Playhouse on the Square

Thursday: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (6:30 p.m.)
This documentary portrait of the legendary Memphis band of the ’70s had a private, work-in-progress screening earlier this summer that I reported on then and will have its official Memphis premiere to open the festival.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sound Advice: Hosoi Bros Record Release

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

  • George Hancock

This Friday, October 5, local thrash-metal rockers Hosoi Bros will celebrate the release of both a new 7" vinyl single titled Snorlokk and a music video for the song of the same name with a show at the Hi-Tone Cafe.

Though the band was founded back in 2010, Hosoi Bros began to really turn heads earlier this year with the release of the fine debut single (and the ridiculous/funny accompanying video), Wine Witch.

Continue reading »

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