Friday, October 17, 2014

Tyler Keith and Limes in Harbortown Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

  • Photo by Don Perry
The last of the River Series concerts at Harbortown Amphitheater is Saturday night. Tyler Keith & the Apostles and Limes will wrap up the series benfitting Maria Montessori School. Limes founder Shawn Cripps will be accompanied by Chris Owens and Stephanie Richard. Weather should be perfect for busting out that rad sweater. See below for video by Wheat Buckley of an earlier iteration of Limes.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Memphian Rules the Road for Widespread Panic

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM

(L to R) Mike Smith (Production Manager), Jeff Duckworth (Merchandise), John Herman (Keys), Steve Lopez (Tour Manager), John Bell (Lead Vocals & Guitar) - JOSHUA N. TIMMERMANS
  • Joshua N. Timmermans
  • (L to R) Mike Smith (Production Manager), Jeff Duckworth (Merchandise), John Herman (Keys), Steve Lopez (Tour Manager), John Bell (Lead Vocals & Guitar)
Widespread Panic will play the Orpheum for two nights, October 18th and 19th. The Athens, Georgia-based jam band is in their 28th year of touring and still play from 70 to 100 dates a year, despite the members being in their 50s and older. None of that deters the new and long-time fans who follow the group and come to multi-night engagements.

Manning the helm of their nightly show is production manager and Memphian Mike Smith, who has worked with the band on and off since 2001, and who has done work for TCB Entertainment, the North Mississippi Allstars, and Big Ass Truck. I was a member of that last band and watched Smith learn the trade. He's come a long way from being a bank teller (he counts cash like a machine) to our small van to managing a daily retinue of 50 people over 15-hour days. 

"When we were doing Big Ass Truck, you had an AAA card and a pocket full of quarters," Smith recalls of early tours in the 1990s before smart phones. "Now, everyone has everything they need to know on the phone. It was just riding through the night. If you broke down and something happened ... It's amazing."

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stevie Wonder Honored at Epitome of Soul Awards

Posted on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 1:37 PM

With literally thousands of songwriting credits, dozens of Grammys, and decades of musical experience assembled in one venue it’s hard to imagine that any single person would dominate the room with their mere presence, but despite his humble demeanor Stevie Wonder managed to do just that Saturday night at the inaugural Epitome of Soul Awards.

Held at the Cannon Center for the Preforming Arts and hosted by the Consortium MMT, a local nonprofit devoted to cultivating the Bluff City’s music industry, the event featured a lineup of celebrity singers performing lyrical tributes to Wonder while occasionally mixing in a few of their own songs that lead up to a performance by Wonder himself that brought the crowd to a thunderous roar at the intimate yet raucous venue.

“[We’re] recognizing the one who is the personification of the greatness that all artists inspire to be,” Consortium MMT founder and Songwriters Hall of Famer, David Porter said while presenting the award. “His lyrics and his messages are so powerful and profound that it is something not only to live by, but to love by.”

Close friend and 10 time Grammy winner, “Queen of Funk” Chaka Kahn was also on hand to present the award.
“He has been like a brother to me since I first started singing,” Kahn said. “I love him so much he’s like a guardian angel to me. He’s one of the few people in the world that can make me actually blush.”

But it was Wonder who, upon receiving the award, summed up the night in manner that only he could have.
“When we think about soul, we have these various categories,” Wonder said. “When they say R&B soul it normally means black, when you hear pop it normally means white, and it’s all funny to me because I’m not looking at either one of them.”
The first artist to preform was former “American Idol” winner and R&B singer, Jordin Sparks who opened with Wonder’s “Superstition.” The house band, which remained stationary during the flux of artists was anchored by former “The Tonight Show” bandleader, Rickey Minor.

Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, was next up and preformed “Signed, Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours” and “Isn’t She Lovely.” Jones, who recently battled with pancreatic cancer, expressed her gratitude to be able to perform at the show cancer-free.

Ledisi had the crowd singing along to “All I Do,” and Eddie Levert of the O’Jays brought everyone to their feet when he performed his song “Backstabbers.” Next was BeBe Winans who sang “I Wish.”

The last act to perform before Wonder was Kahn, who at one point responded to an audience member’s profession of love with a coy “You don’t want none of this, honey” that reminded the crowd of her status as a preeminent diva. The atmosphere was electrifying during her rendition of “Tell Me Something Good,” which was actually penned by Wonder.
However, it was Wonder’s finale that truly demonstrated why he was chosen as the pioneer recipient of the award. The 64-year-old, 22-time Grammy winner captivated the crowd while seamlessly transitioning between different keyboards and harmonicas and performing hits like the crowd favorite “My Cherie Amor” before being joined on stage by several of the other artists to sing the Porter-penned tune “Soul Man,” and finally ending with the uplifting “Higer Ground.” 

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stevie Wonder at the Cannon Center Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM

"We have to be proud and start acting on that pride,” songwriter and performer David Porter says of Memphis and its soul music. “This music, and the brand value that soul music has for this city should be embraced and acted upon. I’m happy to see that many in this community are doing just that. That’s what I’m doing here.”

Porter, a fundamental Stax luminary whose songwriting with Isaac Hayes created the Memphis sound, founded Consortium MMT, a developmental effort to foster Memphis soul talent locally and to create connections with industry operators and performers at the national level. Porter partnered with the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors to create the Consortium as a bridge between Memphis and big-time talent. There have been similar efforts. Where those lacked credibility, this effort is on another level. Witness the Consortium’s inaugural Epitome of Soul award ceremony honoring Stevie Wonder at the Cannon Center on Saturday, October 11th. Wonder will perform, along with Chaka Khan, Jordan Sparks, Sharon Jones, and others. The band will be led by Rickey Minor, bandleader for the Tonight Show and American Idol.

People may associate Wonder with Detroit and L.A. But he is an example of how Memphis soul reaches beyond the borders of Shelby County.

“Stevie loves what was being done at Stax Records,” Porter says. “About six years ago, when Stevie was in Memphis, he wanted to do a tour of the museum. Everybody knows who Stevie Wonder is. So the museum was closed down for a minute, and Isaac Hayes and I personally took Stevie Wonder through a tour of that museum. We explained to him everything that he was not able to see in such a way that it was an emotional experience for all of us.”

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Goddamn Gallows at the Deli Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 10:18 AM

The Goddamn Gallows, who play the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, October 11th, started way back in 2004 as a three piece in Portland, Oregon. Founded by Michigan natives Mikey Classic-guitars and vocals, and Fishgutzzz (given name Courtney Kostrick) on bass and vocals, with local Portlander Amanda Kill on a standing cocktail drum kit, the band quickly made a name for itself opening for larger touring acts. In 2006 Classic and Kostrick relocated to Los Angeles where they further honed their sound with the addition of new drummer Baby Genius. They hopped trains, and slept and practiced in squats. They made their way back to Michigan in 2007, which has been their home base ever since, and have toured non-stop, playing over 200 shows a year.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Addison's October Film Journal

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM

[Ed Note: Flyer film writer Addison Engleking's popular Summer Film Journal series will now appear monthly, regardless of season.] 


Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014, dir. David Zellner)—At first, the Zellner brothers’ third feature plays like a black-comic refurbishing of a J-horror film; it’s thick with urban alienation, mental instability and menacing analog technology. It follows Kumiko, a lonely Japanese office girl (Pacific Rim’s Rinko Kikuchi) who withdraws from society to spend her days re-watching a mysterious VHS tape she discovered in a cave near the sea. Then things get interesting. The tape is a badly worn copy of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 hit film Fargo, and Kumiko’s obsession with it inspires her to visit Minnesota and attempt to recover the briefcase full of money Steve Buscemi’s character buried in the snow near a barbed-wire fence. Kumiko’s grasp of time and weather may be beyond rudimentary, but she’s never painted as a buffoon. And the Zellners’ treatment of the Midwestern do-gooders she meets is far less cartoonish and the Coens; in fact, the befuddled generosity of frontier ladies, county sheriffs and deaf cab drivers enhance the film’s coagulative sense of tragedy. It’s hardly surprising when the line between reality and fantasy starts blurring once Kumiko finds herself in America, but her cry near the end of the film (“It’s…not…fake!”) will ring in the ears of everyone who loves art and make-believe a little too much. How about that—a footnote that supersedes the text it appears to be annotating. Grade: A-

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Sound Advice: Berkano Album Release Party

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 10:30 AM


Local indie rockers Berkano will release their third album tonight at the Hi-Tone Cafe. Berkano have been around since 2012, but the band has recently been gaining more attention after opening for national touring acts like Jeff The Brotherhood and The Growlers.

Also on the bill are fellow up-and-comers Ugly Girls, one of many new bands in Memphis along with groups like Loser Vision, Liquid Teens, and Nervs. It's a good time to like underground rock and roll in Memphis, so head to the Hi-Tone tonight and support local music! Check out Berkano's last EP High School Sweetheart below, and get to the Hi-Tone by 9pm. $7 gets you in.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Manateees Madness

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 3:16 PM


Local punk group Manateees have just released their debut album, and that's the grotesque album artwork above. After a few tours and a handful of now hard-to-find singles on labels like Tic Tac Totally and Goner Records, Manateees have finally sat still long enough to crank out a full length that their record label calls a "nasty, cruel journey into dark places."

New Orleans punk label Pelican Pow Wow is responsible for the full length, the same institution behind Buck Biloxi and the F*cks, Mac Blackout Band and other fine musical acts. Pick up the Sit and Spin album directly from the band, or from one of the handful of record stores in town. Check out the video below to get a better understanding of what Manateees are all about, or road trip to one of their upcoming shows listed below!

Manateees West Coast Tour:
10-09 Springfield, MO - Blackbox
10-10 Kansas City, MO - Johnstown
10-11 Omaha, NE - The Sydney
10-12 Denver, CO - HiDive
10-13 Salt Lake City, UT - Diabolical Records
10-14 Boise, ID - Neurolux
10-15 Seattle, WA - Victory Lounge
10-16 Portland, OR - The Know
10-17 Eureka, CA - Little Red Lion
10-18 Oakland, CA - Stork Club
10-19 San Francisco, CA - Hemlock
10-20 Los Angeles, CA - Permanent Records
10-21 Tempe, AZ - YuccaTapRoom
10-22 Las Cruses, NM - TrainYard
10-23 Austin, TX - Hotel Vegas
10-25 Jackson, MS - Hal and Mal's
10-26 Hattiesburg, MS - The Tavern
10-31 New Orleans, LA - OneEyedJacks
11-07 Memphis, TN - The Hi-Tone

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces 2014 Lineup

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 5:20 PM

At a gala party last night at the High Cotton Brewing Company, Indie Memphis announced the lineup for their 17th annual film festival, which will be held October 30 to November 2. More than 40 feature length narrative and documentary films, as well as dozens of short subjects, will screen over the course of the four-day festival.

John Carpenter's They Live
  • John Carpenter's They Live

Four classic films will receive gala anniversary screenings. Director Michael Lehman and writer Daniel Waters will be on hand when Heathers, the 1989 black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the festival.

Friday night of the festival is Halloween, so it is appropriate that the work of one of America’s greatest horror directors, John Carpenter, will be honored with two gala screenings, beginning with his 1988 science fiction classic They Live, starring Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David.

At midnight, Carpenter’s Halloween will screen. A direct descendant of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Jamie Lee Curtis’ film debut defined the 80’s slasher genre and holds up better than ever today.

The festival will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the best documentaries ever made, director Steve James' Hoop Dreams.

Hometown filmmakers are well represented at the festival with three narrative features: Chad Barton’s comedy of filmmaking errors Lights, Camera Bullshit; Anwar Jamison’s workplace comedy 5 Steps To A Conversation; Marlon Wilson and Mechelle Wilson’s Christian drama Just A Measure Of Faith. The sole local documentary is Pharaohs Of Memphis, director Phoebe Driscoll’s history of jookin’.

Twelve films will compete for Best Narrative Feature, including the Brooklyn heist comedy Wild Canaries, Onur Tukel’s vampire comedy Summer Of Blood, the time travel drama Movement & Location, and the Texas-based crime drama Two Step.

The thirteen films up for Best Documentary Feature include the kenetic sport doc American Cheerleader; The Hip Hop Fellow, tracing producer 9th Wonder’s experience as a teacher at Harvard; Man Shot Dead, an intimate history of a family torn apart by an unsolved murder; and Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back, about Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali’s fight to keep the heavy metal dream alive.

Other notable films include Sundance winner Whiplash, a music drama starring Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer and J.K Simmons as his demanding teacher, and The Imitation Game, an early Oscar contender starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the eccentric British codebreaker whose work in World War II led directly to the invention of the modern digital computer.

The festival, which will also include numerous panels, special events, and parties, will take place in venues around Overton Square, including Playhouse On The Square, Circuit Playhouse, the Hattiloo Theater, and Malco’s Studio On The Square. The Memphis Flyer will have an in-depth examination of the festival as the cover story for our October 30th issue. Go to for details on how to buy passes for Memphis’ greatest film weekend.

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Spaceface at Minglewood Friday Night

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

  • Erika Mugglin
  • Spaceface
Jake Ingalls is a jet setter. When he isn’t touring the world with The Flaming Lips, he’s hitting the road in a short, yellow school-turned-tour bus with his own band Spaceface. Last week, the band embarked on a seven-day tour that ends this Friday with a hometown show at Minglewood Hall, where they will open for dream pop New York natives Phantogram. Spaceface formed in 2012 and has since been touring extensively to build a regional fan base. They even made their way to this year’s Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and were put on stage by The Lips to play an unexpected set.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dr. John Digs the Mighty Souls

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:03 AM

American musical Titan Dr. John played at GPAC last weekend. Born Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Dr. John has been in studios since the 1950s and the trickster God of American music since the gods know when. He was a protégé of Professor Longhair and is as essential as roux to New Orleans. His first album, Gris Gris from 1968 is definitive spooky voodoo and his 2012 Locked Down is a tour de force of songwriting. Of note last Saturday was 11-year-old Ayler Edmaiston, who played tambourine onstage with Dr. John and the Mighty Souls Brass Band, one of his father, saxophonist Art Edmaiston's gigs. Art also plays for Gregg Allman and a host of other jazz and soul luminaries. Memphis is home to many talented people. But how many played with Dr. John at 11? Look out.

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Win Tickets to Pearl Jam!

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Pearl Jam brings their Fall US Tour to FedExForum on Tuesday, October 14th, and we've got tickets.

Enter here to win.

You can enter as many times as you like. Winners will be drawn and notified via email on Thursday, October 9th.

You can purchase tickets here.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

10 for 10: October Sound Advice

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 2:37 PM

  • Aviana Monasterio
  • Neev
1. Neev with Aviator, Rescuer and Gone Yard

Crosstown Arts, Oct. 5. $5. 7:00 p.m.

For those looking for something heavier than Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour, post-hardcore local NEEV will be opening for Aviator and Rescuer as they make their way through Memphis on their “Death-to-False Music” tour. While both touring bands have recently released records on No Sleep Records, NEEV put out their first full-length album Those Things We Tomorrowed on cassette in May through Ireland based ndependent label Little League Records. The post hardcore outfit combines melodic math rock with chaos, and while no song meets the three-minute mark – they are each packed with unpredictable twists and turns that keep you on your toes. This is not a band to ignore.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Gonerfest 11: Blood, Sweat, and Beers

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 8:27 PM


The 11th edition of Gonerfest roared into Midtown last weekend, with punk, garage, power pop, noise, and just plain weird bands from all over the world converged on the Bluff City in an annual gathering of the tribes that has gotten bigger and more exciting each year. Festivities kicked off in the Cooper-Young Gazebo with New York's Paul Collins Beat

I spent the weekend embedded with the Rocket Science Audio crew, who were live streaming the performances to people from as far away as Australia watching on the web. I've done this for several years, formerly with Live From Memphis, and this year we brought the full, multi-camera experience to the audience. It's a lot of fun, in that I get to be up close and focused on the music, but also quite grueling. 

The Rocket Science Audio van outside Goner Records.
  • The Rocket Science Audio van outside Goner Records.

The highlights of Thursday night at the Hi Tone were Ross Johnson, Gail Clifton, Jeff Evans, Steve Selvidge, Alex Greene, and a host of others playing songs from Alex Chilton's chaotically beautiful 1979 solo album Like Flies On Sherbert. The mixture of old school Memphis punks who had played on the album and the best of the current generation of Memphis music made for an incredible listening experience.

The Grifters' Dave Shouse on the Rocket Science Audio livestream.
  • The Grifters' Dave Shouse on the Rocket Science Audio livestream.

Thursday night's headliners were 90s Memphis lo-fi masters The Grifters. Recently reunited after more than a decade of inactivity, Dave Shouse, Scott Taylor, Trip Lamkins, and Stan Galimore have their groove back. At the Hi Tone, they even sounded—dare I say it—rehearsed. 

I couldn't make Friday night due to another commitment, but Friday afternoon at The Buccaneer hosted a great collection of bands, starting off with a blast from Memphis hardcore outfit Gimp Teeth

Cole Wheeler fronts Gimp Teeth at the Buccaneer.
  • Cole Wheeler fronts Gimp Teeth at the Buccaneer.

Next was one of the highlights of the festival: The return of Red Sneakers. Back at Gonerfest 5, the duo from Nara, Japan showed up unnannounced wanting to play the big show. When Jay Reatard cancelled, they got their chance and blew the roof off of Murphy's in front of an unsuspecting crowd. This year, they did it again, only they were invited, and they substituted a soulful "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" cover for the smoking "Cold Turkey" they did five years ago. 

Yosei of Red Sneakers about to take the stage.
  • Yosei of Red Sneakers about to take the stage.

Afterwards, returning to the Rocket Science Audio van, we found that one of Red Sneakers' drum sticks had flown over the fence and embedded itself into the earth. No one dared touch it. 

Red Sneakers drum stick, fully erect.
  • Red Sneakers drum stick, fully erect.

  • Buldgerz

Hardcore Memphis vets Buldgerz played a sweaty and confrontational set of hard and fast punk nuggets, followed by Mississippi's Wild Emotions

The weather cooperated again the next day for a memorable afternoon show at Murphy's. Two stages, one inside and one outside, alternated throughout the afternoon. 

Roy from Auckland, New Zealand's Cool Runnings plays the indoor stage at Murphy's under the old Antenna sign.
  • Roy from Auckland, New Zealand's Cool Runnings plays the indoor stage at Murphy's under the old Antenna sign.

Goner Records co-owner Zach Ives sings with Sons Of Vom, as seen from the Rocket Science Audio webcast monitor.
  • Goner Records co-owner Zach Ives sings with Sons Of Vom, as seen from the Rocket Science Audio webcast monitor.

There were many great performances on Saturday afternoon, but the most incredible was Weather Warlock, an experimental heavy noise act centered around a light-controlled synthesizer custom built by New Orleans' mad genius Quintron. The cacuphony rose and fell as the light changed with the sunset, and Quintron and co-conspirator Gary Wong swirled around it with guitars and theremin, while a plume of smoke rose over the stage. 

Photographer Don Perry, AKA Bully Rook, dressed for Gonerfest.
  • Photographer Don Perry, AKA Bully Rook, dressed for Gonerfest.

Gonerfesters stumbled into the Hi Tone Saturday night, a little bleary from three days of rock, but with a lot of amazing music ahead of them. 

DJ Useless Eater keeps the crowd hopping at the Hi Tone.
  • DJ Useless Eater keeps the crowd hopping at the Hi Tone.
  • Obnox

The highlight of the show for me was Nots. Fronted by steely-eyed, ex-Ex-Cult bassist Natalie Hoffman, the four piece arrived with something to prove. And prove it they did, with punishing, athletic songs delivered amid a shower of balloons and waves of reverb. 

The Nots, Charlotte Watson, Natalie Hoffman, Allie Eastburn, and Madison Farmer,  backstage at the Hi Tone.
  • The Nots, Charlotte Watson, Natalie Hoffman, Allie Eastburn, and Madison Farmer, backstage at the Hi Tone.

Austin, Texas No Wavers Spray Paint on the monitor Saturday night.
  • Austin, Texas No Wavers Spray Paint on the monitor Saturday night.

Detroit, Michigan's Protomartyr on the Hi Tone stage.
  • Detroit, Michigan's Protomartyr on the Hi Tone stage.

English guitarist, songwriter, and ranter The Rebel delivers a solo set to a packed house.
  • English guitarist, songwriter, and ranter The Rebel delivers a solo set to a packed house.

Ken Highland and Rich Coffee of The Gizmos get bunny ears from their drummer after a celebratory closing set at Gonerfest 11.
  • Ken Highland and Rich Coffee of The Gizmos get bunny ears from their drummer after a celebratory closing set at Gonerfest 11.

The crowd, the largest I've ever seen at the Hi Tone, never flagged throughout the night, which ended with a reunion of The Gizmos, a seminal American band that developed something like punk in 1977 in the isolation of Bloomington, Indiana. The playing was loose, the mood buoyant, and the band vowed to not stay away for so long. And after a Gonerfest as great as this one, next year can't come soon enough. 

[Ed Note: The first edition of this story incorrectly identified The Nerves "Hanging On The Telephone" as being written by Blondie.]

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Mike Watt's Il Sogno del Marinaio

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Mike Watt rolls through Memphis Thursday with his newest project, Il Sogno del Marinaio. They play Thursday at the Hi-Tone. The trio features Italians Stefano Pilia on guitar and drummer Andrea Belfi. The band's second album, Canto Segondo, came out in August on Watt's own Clenchedwrench label. The album is more of what you've come to expect from Watt, prog infused jazzy post hardcore crossed with about fifty other genres. They're doing fifty-nine shows in fifty-nine days, an impressive and brutal touring schedule.

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