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by Tim Sampson

thursday, august 13

I miss Paula Jones. The poor thing, she’s just been shut completely out of the news in the wake of the more seemingly steamy stories about Monica Lewinsky, and if you ask me, Monica is a total bore, which is why I’ve never really written anything about her. I’m so sick of hearing about it that I’ve almost – but not quite; I’m still hanging in there – stopped watching Matt Lauer on the Today show. At least the Paula saga came with good trailers. And the makeover and the nose job and the unforgettable culotte-wearing. It was exciting. But this whole Lewinsky thing lacks any good elements, save for that dress with the stain on it, which, from looking at Lewinsky, I’m convinced is going to match the DNA of a big ol’ tub of Cool Whip. No, the whole story is a bore. Here we have American embassies being blown up all over Africa, volcanoes erupting, heat waves killing people, and all the media can harp and harp and harp and harp on is whether two consenting adults “did it.” Please. So she honked the president’s bobo a few times. Whoop-ey. Worse things could have happened. It wasn’t like when they were doing the naked pretzel he got all excited and accidentally hit the nuclear-war button. And if they were engaged in a consensual little affair, whose business is it anyway, save for theirs and Hillary’s, who I’m sure has probably had an arrangement worked out with her husband for years? (Rumor even has it that Chelsea’s real father is Janet Reno.) But let’s just face it: Bill Clinton is a good-looking man, and the most powerful man in the world. Who wouldn’t do it? And take a look back at history. Thomas Jefferson was boinking his slaves right and left. George Bush reportedly had a mistress. John F. Kennedy was the king of the Hollywood casting couch. And you can bet half the “members” in Congress have been somewhere they shouldn’t have been. So what is the big deal? I say something needs to be done to spice this story up some. In fact, let’s start conjuring mental images of other people having sex with the prez, as long as this is going to be the story of the century until the media break us down to sniveling idiots. How about, say, Pat Buchanan? Ooooohhhh. I’m gonna get sick. Let’s not go there at all. How about, say, Meg Ryan? At least when it was all over and done they could make a movie about it and call it Saving Ryan’s Privates. At any rate, I’m sick of politics, sick of this whole story, and not the least interested in what happened. I just want Paula back. In the meantime, there’s that little matter of what’s going on around town this week. Today, it’s still Elvis Tribute Week, and the tributes keep on coming. Too many to list them all here, but you might think about tonight’s Elvis Memorial Charity Dinner at The Peabody, which includes live music, an auction, and appearances by Sam Phillips and other Elvis associates. Or take a Moonlight Elvis Cruise on one of the Memphis Queen Line’s riverboats. Or if you just want to go down to Beale Street to people-watch, check out Reba Russell at the Black Diamond; the Preston Shannon Band at Blues City Cafe (say hi to Art for me); the ever-fabulous James Govan at Rum Boogie; and gospel by the Vance Ensemble and Bobby Carnes Blues Band at the Center for Southern Folklore. For a really, really big show, don’t miss tonight’s Drag Olympics at Amnesia, a benefit for Friends for Life. Finally, if you feel like getting out of town, don’t forget PATSY!, the musical tribute to Patsy Cline, is playing at Sam’s Town down in Tunica.

friday, august 14

Yes, there are many Elvis events tonight, too, but the two that look the most promising are the Shake, Rattle, & Roll concert at The Orpheum by some musicians who used to play with Elvis; and for the more cerebral Elvis fan, there’s today’s Elvis: The State of his Art seminar at the University of Memphis, with a lineup of speakers that includes Greil Marcus, Peter Guralnick, and Sam Phillips. Back down in Tunica, T. Graham Brown is playing at the Horseshoe Casino, and Joe Diffie is at Sam’s Town. And back here at home, local-rappers-made-it-big Three 6 Mafia are playing at Six-1-Six.

satuday, august 15

And I suppose tonight concludes Elvis Week, so there are a few big events. First, it’s the final night of the Images of Elvis Impersonator Contest at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, so you might want to go see who the big winner is. Blue Hawaii is showing at The Orpheum. The P&H Cafe is hosting its annual Dead Elvis Ball. And last, but certainly not least, the Candlelight Vigil at Graceland begins at 9 p.m. I don’t think I need to explain it. But there’s more to life than Elvis, and more going on around town. Back down in Tunica once again, Rick Derringer & the Edgar Winter Band (ah, shades of microdot in Parkway Village when I had hair) are at the Horseshoe Casino. At St. Francis Hospital today, there’s an India Independence Day Concert featuring singer Minu Purushottam; Indian snacks will be served. At the Memphis Zoo this afternoon, the Dr. Wayne Luther Memorial Picnic will raise money for the zoo’s new animal hospital. Later, in the way of live music there’s Stoned at the Moment, Loudermilk, and Dawg at Barristers; the Continentals at Cielo; and Neighborhood Texture Jam and Snake Hips at Young Avenue Deli.

sunday, august 16

Well, perhaps Elvis Week isn’t altogether over and forgotten. There’s a big Gospel Brunch with live music by the Jordanaires and Terry Mike Jeffrey at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. And I think that’s that as far as ETW goes. At the Overton Park Shell today at 3 p.m. is “A Tribute to Jerry Garcia,” featuring the bands FreeWorld, YOW, and others; admission is $5 and proceeds benefit Save Our Shell and the Rex Foundation. If you don’t see any other of the Brooks Film Series movies, please go tonight and see Touch of Evil, a masterpiece. Let’s just say it involves Janet Leigh getting attacked by a band of lesbians, and Marlene Dietrich playing a dark-haired gypsy telling someone to “lay off the candy bars.” You won’t be disappointed. Down at The Map Room, it’s live music by Compulsive Gamblers and Viewmaster. And Michael Franks is playing at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre tonight.

monday, august 17

It’s finally out, so just go to Midtown Video, rent Jackie Brown, and plan on being spellbound.

tuesday, august 18

The Bar Kays, Stephanie Bolton, Dewayne Briggs, First Degree, G Style, and Lois Lane at the Hard Rock Cafe.

wednesday, august 19

Nothing much going tonight, except, Joe Christ at the Parallax Theatre. There might be more, but I don’t really feel like looking into it. As always, I really don’t care what you do, because I don’t even know you, and unless you are Mary Hughes out at Kennington Pointe, I’m sure I never want to go through the sheer torture of having to meet you. Besides, it’s time for me to get up off this bed of nails and go see if we can’t get race-car driver Dick Trickle a job at the White House.

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