Pop Culture

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nothing To See Here Podcast Re-Launches

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM


After an unexpected 8-month hiatus, the Nothing To See Here podcast returns to the interwebs this week with a brand new home - the Shut Up And Listen network - and a dynamite first guest, actor/comedian (and Memphis native) Chris Parnell.

NTSH creator/host Kirk Rawlings spoke to the Flyer this week about re-launching the podcast and more.

Memphis Flyer: Tell me how the idea for doing this podcast started.

Rawlings: Two years ago I got heavily into podcasting as a listener. I had a new job sitting on my ass in a cubicle all day so I needed something to kill time after having gone thru all my music. They were pretty great on many levels. They helped kill the time, but they helped in a lot of other unexpected ways. It was refreshing to hear people be themselves instead of some stuffed version for radio, television, or print. So, I wanted to try it.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wayne Coyne talks about his 24-hour tour

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Wayne Coyne in Memphis
  • Wayne Coyne in Memphis
In a press conference before The Flaming Lips' Beale Street concert Wayne Coyne described his 24-hour tour as a "trek" and compared it to Easy Rider and to the Sex Pistols tour through the South. He tried to make nice with Erykah Badu and said he didn't care if he broke the world record for most concerts in 24-hours or not. The party, Coyne said, would be good enough for him.

Here are some video excerpts from the pre-gig interview.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bonnaroo's Back

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 3:52 PM

  • Adam Macchia

The 11th Annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival rolls into Manchester, Tennessee this week, bringing in 150 performers to its 10 stages and 80,000 campers to soak it all in. The larger-than-life four-day festival will consume 700 acres of farmland in the small town June 7th-10th. This year’s bill boasts headliners Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, and the Beach Boys and comedic performances by Aziz Ansari, Steven Wright, and Reggie Watts.

In a recent telephone press conference, old school rocker Alice Cooper, Jack Antonoff of the indie-power pop breakout act Fun, and Canadian singer-songwriter Feist chatted with reporters about the upcoming festival.

Cooper performs his first Bonnaroo in a Saturday midnight time-slot in That Tent, one of the fest’s main stages. He promises a full-out high-energy show complete with his infamous guillotine act. “If you’re in the first 20 rows, you’ll probably get some blood on you,” he says. “My band has the instructions to kill the audience.”

They’ll be “killing the audience” with a continuation of last year’s show, the same show Cooper is presenting at several festivals on his 2012 “Terror Tour.” Cooper intends to inject a few additional songs like “Caffeine” or “Runaway Train” to the set list, “but we’ll still do ‘Bite Your Face Off,’” he says.

Cooper is looking forward to playing for Bonnaroo’s young crowd, an audience who he suspects has never seen an Alice Cooper show. “I just hope that this generation gets a big shot of testosterone because a lot of the bands just don’t seem like they want to be rock stars,” he says. “I can’t wait to kill this audience because they’re not expecting me at all. I think they might be expecting the old scary, skinny guy.”

Jack Antonoff, whose band Fun has become a recent sensation with the popular hit single “We Are Young,” first took the stage at Bonnaroo in 2005 and has played the fest three times in different bands. He describes the 2005 performance as a magical, life-changing experience. “It’s really like no other festival, like no other shows,” he says. “To this day I’ve never had a show like that.”

Reminiscing on that, Antonoff says it is nearly impossible to describe the feeling of playing in an outdoor tent to 10,000 people. He says it became a “glimmer of light” that he’s continued to strive for. “So when we plays shows, whether I’m consciously thinking about that night in 2005 at Bonnaroo, or whether it’s just the feeling of that night, I’m always trying to get there,” Antonoff says. “[Being] back at the scene of the crime seven years later and still making music in a band that I love is so emotional and so special.”

Antonoff says they have a few tricks up their sleeves to make this a “next-level-type” show for Fun. He hopes for it to be their best show of the year, one they’ll talk about for years to come. Fun takes the stage in That Tent on Sunday.

Canadian singer-songwriter Feist, who is a member of the indie-pop outfit Broken Social Scene, brings her solo act to Bonnaroo for a Friday set on Which Stage. Having played Bonnaroo in 2007, which she described as a “fun, sweaty, chaotic show,” along with a handful of other festivals, she has learned to adjust her performance to work in an outdoor setting.

“When you’re on a festival stage, there are certain things that will just completely get swallowed by the wind and get carried off into the breeze and not be audible if you’re playing a really sensitive, dynamically quiet ballad song,” Feist says. “I don’t try to reach for those extreme subtleties [at a festival] even though in a way it’s sort of a misrepresentation of what I do.”

She describes festival sets as being so unpredictable that they can become a bit of a challenge. Taking into account the weather and other possible on-stage catastrophes, she says it can sometimes feel like riding out turbulence. “There can be a lot of pride in riding those scenarios out,” she says. “And when half the power on the stage goes out, and all you’ve got left is drums and the lead vocals, you can turn it into something worthwhile while everyone else is scrambling around fixing whatever the problem is.”

Feist hopes to have time to check out a few acts from this year’s diverse lineup, including Alice Cooper, Kenny Rogers, Tune Yards, and Bon Iver.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Testing Out a New Campaign Theme Song?: Obama Croons "Let's Stay Together."

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 7:55 AM

At a campaign event last night, with the right Rev. Al Green apparently in attendance, President Obama croons a little "Let's Stay Together."

Ladies and gentleman, the radical socialist Manchurian candidate bent on the destruction of all that is American, in action:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Live From Memphis Turns 11

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM


Venerable local arts/film/music organization Live From Memphis will celebrate its 11th birthday this Friday night (01/13) at 7 p.m. with an open-house party at company headquarters (1 S. Main).

Founder Christopher Reyes spoke to the Flyer this afternoon via telephone about the past, present, and future of LFM.

Flyer: What does it mean to you to be celebrating 11 years of Live From Memphis? Did you ever think you'd make it this far?

Reyes: Oh, no. I never thought we'd get to 10. Now I'm thinking about if we can make it to 20.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Memphis Heat DVD Out October 1st

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM


After multiple local screenings and successful theatrical runs all over the region, the long-awaited DVD release of Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin' has finally come to fruition.

Officially, the DVD doesn't hit the shelves until tomorrow, but Memphians will have an early opportunity to purchase the film in person later today (Friday, Sept. 30) from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Midtown location of Central BBQ (2249 Central). Memphis Heat is also currently available for order online right here.

The film chronicles the glory days of Memphis professional wrestling and features rare footage and exclusive interviews with the likes of Jerry "the King" Lawler, "Superstar" Bill Dundee, "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, and many more.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Live From Memphis Launches "Nothing To See Here" Podcast

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 3:12 PM


This week the website Live From Memphis unveiled the latest addition to its already robust arsenal of freely distributed online components promoting Memphis music, film and creative work, a weekly podcast titled "Nothing To See Here." Live From Memphis will celebrate the launch of the new podcast with a party this Thursday, August 25, 7 p.m. at the Lamplighter Lounge.

Hosted by local musician Kirk Rawlings (Organ Thief, The Oldest Profession) and musician/filmmaker Chris McCoy (Pisshorse, The New Intruders, the still in-the-works Antenna Club documentary), each installment of "Nothing To See Here" will feature a 30-minute conversation with a different local artist. The first episode withThe Hi-Tone Cafe owner/booker Jonathan Kiersky, can be heard here.

Rawlings and McCoy spoke with the Flyer this morning about what the new podcast is all about.

Flyer: What is the mission of "Nothing To See Here?"

Rawlings: There is no real mission in mind for this show beyond having as much fun as we can. It is not a means to an end or something we have grandiose dreams for, we just wanted to try it. The show is about bullshitting over drinks (sometimes many, many drinks) and getting to know someone. Memphis so often keeps each other at arm's length, and while it can be for good reason, we are bored with it.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Live from Graceland: SiriusXM's Elvis Radio

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM


It ain’t nothin’ but non-stop Elvis for SiriusXM’s Elvis Radio channel which has been broadcasting live from Graceland 24/7 for the past seven years.

Tony “T Y” Yoken, a DJ at Elvis Radio, sat down to answer questions about the station.

Can you tell me a bit about the history of Elvis Radio?

The Elvis Radio Channel launched live from Graceland right here in Memphis on July 2nd, 2004 — just in time for the huge city wide 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Big Bang Of Rock & Roll!

Elvis’ longest on-going friendship was with George Klein who hosts two weekly shows on Elvis Radio. George and Elvis met and started hanging in 1948 when Elvis’ family moved to Memphis and he enrolled in the 8th grade at Humes High School. George says they met in music class!

We provide live coverage of landmark music, entertainment, and sports events here in Memphis including an annual Candlelight Vigil show every August 15th.

Here is one perspective on how to describe Elvis Radio…

“If you are an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary. If you are not an Elvis fan…no explanation is possible.”

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Who's that Girl (Kissing Elvis)?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Vanity Fair reveals the identity of the woman touching tongues with the King in one of Elvis's best known photographs.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Onion's AV Club Visits Memphis Landmarks

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

The Onion's AV Club is doing an online travel series called Pop Pilgrims, in which a three-man crew is road-tripping to visit 36 pop culture landmarks around the country and shooting five-minute videos at each destination — one city a week for 12 weeks, three landmark locations in each city. Among the initial stops have been California locations that are featured in films such as Vertigo, The Graduate, and Reservoir Dogs. The crew's visit to Memphis is featured on the site this week. The three Memphis locations featured are:

The Arcade Restaurant, where they visited with Shangri-La Projects' Sherman Wilmott to talk about his experience as a production assistant on Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train:

Memphis: Arcade Restaurant - Set of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train

Ardent Studios, where they talked to owner John Fry and studio manager Jody Stephens about the studio's history.

Sun Studio, where they took in the studio tour, including getting some input from Goner Records' owner Eric Friedl.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

King of Puerto Rico: Your occasional dose of vintage Lawler

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 11:26 AM

See the joke? You know the kid's Puerto Rican because he's got a switchblade.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bob Friedstand on Animation History Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM

On Sunday, January 23rd, the Germantown Performing Arts Centre presents “Rhapsody in Boop,” a concert celebrating the animated, jazz-loving sex-pot Betty Boop, who was first introduced to audiences in the 1930s.

But first, a little education courtesy of GPAC’s ArtSavvy series on Tuesday, January 18th, at 7 p.m. Bob Friedstand, chief IMAX technician, will give a presentation on the history of animation.

“I’ve been a fan of animation and visual effects since childhood, and I’ve worked in film and video all my life,” Friedstand says.

In the ’70s and ’80s, Friedstand lived in L.A. and worked on the first Star Trek movie. Back in Memphis, he’s been involved in a number of projects — from film features to music videos to the odd commercial job. (One promotional video he made for a medical company featured tear-duct plugs dancing to swing music.) At the IMAX theater, he’s the projectionist and does maintenance on the machines.

Friedstand says that his ArtSavvy presentation isn’t so much a lecture as it is a show-and-tell. Using PowerPoint, he’ll show clips and other materials that delve into the history of animation that extends from the early days to stop-motion on through to computer-generated advances in the form.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Signs: A holiday greeting or just bad advice?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Honestly Pastor Williams, I love Christmas but after thinking it over I've decided to see other holidays...

St. John Baptist Church on Vance
  • St. John Baptist Church on Vance

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ryko Releases Bill Hicks Anthology

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 9:44 AM


Bill Hicks
The Essential Collection

This month, Ryko rolled out a long awaited four-disc (2 CDs, 2 DVDs) retrospective on the now legendary late comedian, Bill Hicks. Since his untimely death in 1994, Hicks' status has slowly but steadily risen to the level of a cult icon, thanks in part to the success of “alternative” comedians such as David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and even Russell Brand, all of whom Hicks is often credited as being an artistic influence on and forerunner to.

Whether that's true or not, Hicks was definitely a dynamic, unconventional, but still polished (you'd never see Hicks carry notes onstage) performer. And his material still feels fresh and relevant, whether he's talking politics (Reagan, Bush, the first Iraq war) or pop culture (art vs. commerce, reality TV, manufactured pop stars).

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Very Unfortunate Elvis Item

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM

From the department of the ghoulish and disgusting: Medical instruments and other materials relating to the autopsy of Elvis Presley are being put up for auction by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

The items — which include a toe tag — were apparently saved by for many years by an embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home and will be put up for auction in two lots (estimated at $6,000-$8,000 and $4,000-$6,000, respectively) on August 12th. You can see the Hindman site for more details — if you dare.

(Credit to Boing Boing for unearthing this.)

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