Monday, July 31, 2006

Craig Brewer in Nashville

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2006 at 4:00 AM

“If we can’t get through this take, we’re cutting some gang members,” the director says. He doesn’t yell; he doesn’t have to. It’s the tone a coach uses just before someone gets booted off the squad. As if sensing some recalcitrance, the director adds, “You should thank me for stopping it. A year from now, you’re gonna be watching this at the premiere, and you’re gonna have your friends and family there. And I don’t want you looking silly.”

The "director" in this scene is Memphis' own Craig Brewer, whose work with some gang members in Nashville trying to make a movie is the Nashville Scene's cover story this week. Suffice it to say, our homeboy looks good while doing good works.

Remembering Hell

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2006 at 4:00 AM

More than a dozen Memphians are included in a traveling photography exhibit that focuses on the lives of men and women who survived the Holocaust. Called “Living On,” the exhibit offers larger-than-life portraits, accompanied by text panels that describe each person’s experience in his or her own words.

The exhibit is currently on view at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville, and was produced by University of Tennessee associate professor of journalism Robert Heller, with assistance from writer Dawn Weiss Smith. Heller visited more than 70 Tennesseans who were concentration-camp survivors, refugees, or soldiers who helped liberate the camps after Nazi Germany fell. For more about the collection, go here.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Foote Notes

Posted By on Sun, Jul 30, 2006 at 4:00 AM

This fall, PBS will air a series by the acclaimed Ken Burns on World War II. Which got us reflecting on the epic Civil War documentary by the same filmmaker, first aired in 1990. Memphis’ own Shelby Foote, of course, became the star of that series, earning as much fame for his on-screen reflections as he did for the three-volume Civil War narrative he spent the prime years of his life writing. Now just over a year since Foote’s death, we consider his life — and his reflections — well worth remembering. Read this comprehensive interview with Foote — conducted shortly after his 1999 induction into Washington’s Academy of Achievement.

King's Ransom?

Posted By on Sun, Jul 30, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau this week rejected a request to help fund a proposed $262,000 expansion of the Elvis Presley Museum.

Board members were asked to contribute $50,000 to the project but declined because they have not seen the Foundation's operating budget. If they see a budget, they might reconsider, said board member Everett Kinsey.

"We would look at it, but we already spend about $70,000 a year on the birthplace," he said. "We buy billboards for them and do other things."

Read the rest.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Man Indicted for Voting Twice

Posted on Fri, Jul 28, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Just in time for election season, D.A. Bill Gibbons issued a press release today announcing the indictment of 60-year-old Willie F. McCain of Nesbitt, MS. McCain is charged with two counts of illegal registration or voting and one count of false entries on official registration or election documents. According to the indictment, on November 2nd, 2004, McCain voted twice in the same election — once in Mississippi and once in Tennessee.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Yep. Memphis finally won one of those irritating national surveys — the kind where we typically finish as one of the fattest, sweatiest, or worst for women ... or something. Not this time, by God. The Bluff City has — wait for it — the cheapest downtown parking in America! A story in the Columbus Business Journal has all the glorious details.


Posted on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Memphis Animal Services is looking for a black female chow-chow who escaped the animal control vehicle last Friday night.

“It’s important that this dog be found as she was involved in a bite case,” said Phil Synder, Memphis Animal Services administrator. “[She] does have a family that desperately wants her back home.”

Synder says she could be anywhere between the shelter and the owner’s home in Frayser. She responds to the name Tina and weighs between 35 and 40 pounds. Anyone with information about the dog should call 362-5310.

Sure, Memphis is rough, but come on!

Posted on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Mississippi’s Sun Herald recently reported that two men from Memphis were arrested and charged with grand larceny after trying to rob a bank in Oakland, Mississippi.

But what really caught our eye was this: “Police from Oakland, deputies from Yalobusha and Tallahatchie counties, state troopers and Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officers were involved in the arrests.”

Wildlife and fisheries officers? That seems a little excessive. Why not just call in lion tamers or Dog the bounty hunter?

The Memphis men took $11,000 in the hold-up, but police believe that all the money has been recovered.

Lance and Justin Sittin' in a Tree ...

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In a shocker (Well, actually, not so much), former 'N Sync boy-bander Lance Bass has just told People Magazine that he is gay. More important, (or at least more interesting) however, is this old McDonald's commercial in which Britney Spears and the boys of 'N Sync play spin the bottle.

You see, Lance spins it and when it stops, it points at Justin.

That's comedy gold, folks.

Wanted: Offbeat Houses

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The idea came to you in a flash. You’d saved all those Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, and the roof was leaking, so it seemed only natural to patch the roof with flattened beer cans. Then you liked the effect so much that you just went kinda crazy, and over a period of days, weeks, and months, you managed to cover your entire house with beer cans — and even used the pulltabs for decorations.

Sure, your wife left you because she thought you were crazy, and you’re battling that lawsuit from the neighborhood association, but there’s good news: You might get your house on television.

A new HGTV series called Offbeat America is looking for houses in Memphis that stand out from the rest of the homes on your block, residences they describe as “unconventional and unusual houses or yards that are truly amazing.”

Each half-hour show features five or six homes from across the country. Recent episodes have featured an aluminum house in the Mojave Desert that spins like a top, a house in Pennsylvania covered entirely in mirrors so it virtually disappears amid its wooded surroundings, and a home in Wisconsin owned by a man who loved slot-car racing so much he designed his house to resemble a giant racetrack.

Obviously these are extreme “offbeat” examples. Other homes have interiors with unusual themes, or distinctive features. If you live in a house like this, or know someone who does, e-mail the show’s producer, Joni Emily, at or visit the Offbeat America Web site.

Hmmmm. Wonder if they've seen the Jungle Room?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Freedom Awards

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In a press conference yesterday, National Civil Rights Museum Executive Director Beverly Robertson announced this year's Freedom Award winners. Music legend Stevie Wonder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference co-founder Dr. Joseph Lowery, and Doctors Without Borders founder Dr. Bernard Kouchner will all be in Memphis to accept their awards October 17th. Go here for more information about the event.

Strike! No Chance for a Spare

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The oldest and fanciest bowling alley in Memphis is scheduled to be demolished and replaced with a strip shopping center.

Imperial Lanes opened in 1958 at 4700 Summer. Along with its sister center, Cherokee Lanes on Lamar, it offered bowlers considerably more upscale surroundings – and with 50 lanes, more bowling — than any other place around town.

According to the Web site of the Memphis Area United States Bowling Congress, at one time, Imperial had “one of the finest sit-down restaurants in the entire city, complete with chefs, waitresses, and menu ordering. Many leagues had their end-of-year banquet there. The restaurant was closed in 1968 for a very odd reason — no parking. Imperial was so busy that, unless you got there early, you had to park in an adjoining lot or on Summer Avenue.”

In recent years, however, bowling alleys have added newfangled scoring machines and “cosmic” bowling using glow-in-the-dark pins and balls. Imperial had none of that; in fact, it didn’t even offer automatic scoring.

The bowling equipment will be auctioned off. There is no definite date for demolition.

For photos of Imperial Lanes in its heyday, and a tribute to a Memphis landmark, go here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shuffle Steps

Posted on Tue, Jul 25, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The iPod may be universally recognized as elegant, but it is not universally recognized as being easy. Or so says Memphis-based Dittos, a company that is releasing an instructional DVD on iPod entitled Sneaky Little iPod Secrets. No word on whether the Shuffle, the Nano, or the Mini is the sneakiest, but we’ve always thought the Shuffle looked a little shifty. If you want to read more, click here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Fast One

Posted on Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Now making the rounds again is an email hoax with the heading “Memphis' 30-day speeding ticket frenzy,” detailing a 30-day ticket-writing operation by Tennessee State troopers, starting July 31st. The missive goes on to state that exceeding the speed limit 5 miles per hour will be grounds for a ticket and that troopers have been directed to issue a ticket every 10 minutes.

According to, this email hoax started in New Jersey in May 2005.

Hungry For Art?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Time’s running out on your chance to see the provocative performance art of C.S. Dailey at Montyshane Gallery. “Starve” is a show that deals explicitly with, among other things, male sexual assault and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dailey’s hunger strike, which began on July 13th and will end July 25th, is but one component of the show, which also features an art installation by Dailey and Jeremy Hebert. Most affecting of all: “Starve” is taking place exactly one year after Dailey was sexually assaulted.

“Starve” is open nightly” from 7-11 p.m. at the Montyshane Gallery at 2160 Young Avenue. The performance art aspect runs through July 25th, and the installation will remain on exhibit until July 29th. Admission is free.

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