Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Grammy futureNOW with Ledisi at Stax

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

  • Ledisi
Soul singer Ledisi has eight Grammy nominations. While that may sound like a smooth-ballad rendering of the Tantalus myth, Ledisi has learned a thing or two about the music industry. That's how you get a million Facebook fans and over a quarter-million Twitter followers. Ledisi will be at the Stax Music Academy on Saturday, September 27th, for Grammy futureNOW, another very valuable yet typographically insane career-development conference from the Grammy folks. It's free for NARAS members and $50 for non-members. So JOIN! or call 901-525-1340 for more information.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Amy Schumer at Horseshoe Tunica Friday

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Amy Schumer will raunch up Bluesville at Horseshoe Casino this Friday, September 26th. Schumer got her big break on the 2007 season of Last Comic Standing. Since then, she's had a slew of guest roles on series like Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, Louie, and Delocated. Cultivating a large cult following with her own brand of gross-out and sex-based humor, her comedy falls into the same territory mined by Chelsea Handler — only not pretentious.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

John Paul Keith at Harbortown on Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 9:47 AM

The River Series at Harbortown is back this Saturday, September 20th, with Memphis workhorse John Paul Keith, who will be joined by his former sidekick-turned-spinoff, Mark Edgar Stuart. If you've never been to the small space behind Miss Cordelia's, you're just nuts. You can see the Pyramid. The series benefits Maria Montessori School. Like my daddy said, "I'm not asking you. I'm telling you." Go support that school in a cool location while listening to great music and enjoying delicious food and satifying beer. And stop fighting everything.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guitar Attack IPA Hits Shelves Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Guitar Attack IPA Label artwork by Jeff Mahannah
  • Guitar Attack IPA Label artwork by Jeff Mahannah

Goner Records has officially entered the craft beer game. After being the premier indie label in Memphis for over 20 years, the folks at Goner decided to team up with Memphis Made Brewing to create the "Guitar Attack IPA" named after the Sector Zero song "Guitar Attack". Sector Zero features Goner co-owners Zac Ives and Eric Friedl, and the beer's label artwork was done by Jeff Mahannah, the artist behind the Goner Fest 11 poster. The IPA hits shelves tomorrow (Friday), and will also be available at the following establishments, as well as Goner Fest 11:

-Tamp & Tap
-Joe's Wine and Liquor
-Kimbrough Liquor Store
-Raffe's Deli and Beer Garden
-The Corkscrew

Brewing the Guitar Attack IPA
  • Chris Shaw
  • Brewing the Guitar Attack IPA at Memphis Made.

Goner Records and Memphis Made Brewing will also be unveiling the "Goner Blue Ribbon" beer soon, which will be available on draft only. The Guitar Attack IPA will be sold in 24 oz bottles.

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Analog Valley Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM


This weekend, The Yalobusha Brewing Company in Water Valley, Mississippi presents Analog Valley, a two day record fair featuring 10,000+ vintage vinyl records for sale. The immense record collection has been growing for decades and a local Mississippian finally decided to open his collection to the public for this two day event.

The festivities will begin on September 20th and go through the 21st at Yalobusha Brewing Company in Water Valley. The record fair will be accompanied with Yalobusha Brewing tours and tastings for guests 21 and over. Food trucks will be onsite along with refreshments for purchase.

Each day will require a separate ticket purchase of $10 per person. For an additional $5, guests can enter the record fair two hours before the general public.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sound Advice: Rat Columns Saturday at Murphy's

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 9:46 AM


A couple of issues ago, Joe Boone wrote a feature on all of the Australian bands coming to Goner Fest this year. If you're a fan of any of the bands mentioned in his article, head to Murphy's this Saturday to check out Rat Columns, a band that boasts members of acclaimed Australian acts Total Control and Lace Curtain . Opening the show is Toxie and the new band Aquarian Blood, which features members of the now defunct Moving Finger. Check out the Rat Columns video below and get to Murphy's by 9 p.m. Saturday. $7 gets you in.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Sunday Morning Coming Down at GSL

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Grace St. Lukes is hosting a musical lecture series that starts this Sunday, September 7th. Luther Dickison is the inaugural guest of the series that focuses on religion in Southern music. Luther's topic is “Up over Yonder: The Sights and Sounds of Heaven.” Robert Gordon, author of Stax history Respect Yourself, talks about “My Baby on Saturday Night, Jesus on Sunday Morning” on Sunday, September 14th. Look out: Sunday, September 28th is a big deal: Al Gamble and  Paul Janeway from St. Paul and the Broken Bones discuss "“From Gospel to Soul.” St. Paul and the Broken Bones are on a major roll as second-generation purveryors of Southern soul. Gamble is the go-to Hammond organ wizard of his generation. The lectures run from 9:30 until 10:15 a.m.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Film Journal #7

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(1974; dir. Tobe Hooper)—I spent last Saturday night in an ill-lit movie theater with a bunch of misfits, longhairs, punks, and a guy in a Leatherface costume. Why? To see the special 40th anniversary restoration of Tobe Hooper’s notorious horror classic, of course. It’s strange to watch a cleaned-up digital print of something that used to look like it had been dredged up from a swamp. But in its shiny new restoration, it’s impossible to miss all the chicken feathers, rotten flesh and furniture made from human bones, and Hooper’s knack for juggling long shots and extreme close-ups benefits from the digital smoothing-out. The film’s many shocks are well and truly sprung, and it’s also I-guess-you-could-call-it-funny in spots; an early scene where a wheelchair-bound weirdo absently chews a sausage is quietly nauseating for anyone who’s seen the movie before. The film’s final 30 minutes, a nightmare of familial derangement and extreme psychic trauma, is overpoweringly loud and uncomfortable, and it’s the key to this absolutely horrifying and sickening experience that, honestly, I never want to see again. Grade: A+

Women Aren’t Funny
(2014; dir. Bonnie McFarlane)—Last week’s episode of IFC’s Garfunkel & Oates was predicated on the idea that women aren’t funny, a pernicious lie that might be laid to rest after it’s been proven false 700 more times. I looked up this movie on iTunes after I saw director/star/comedian Bonnie McFarlane’s stand-up set ignominiously cut short on The Late Show With David Letterman a month ago. What gives, man? I was hoping for a more legitimate inquiry into a complex, messed-up, industry-wide misconception that persists in spite of the work of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, the Broad City girls, Morgan Murphy, Jen Kirkman, Maria Bamford, Jenny Johnson, Casey Wilson, Mindy Kaling, etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately, McFarlane is too much of a prankster and a serial ironist to truly and fully confront sexism in comedy. (Relying on Artie Lange doesn’t help.) Still, there are some jokes and some revealing observations here, and wisdom and enlightenment come from two unlikely sources: Sarah Silverman, who’s always welcome in anything, and Todd Glass, who I saw open for Louis C.K. twice and who never made me laugh once. It’s inconceivable to me that McFarlane’s husband, comedian Rich Vos, is a bigger name than she is, but that’s just part of the problem. Women can’t get no respect. What do I know, though? I’m just a sex-positive feminist who’s heading to a Garfunkel & Oates show on Friday night. Grade: B

(1965; dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz)—An ancient Egyptian sword-and-sandal epic with real swords, real sandals, real sand, and crowds of real extras, Kawalerowicz’s long, solemn, deliberate film about the rise to power of Ramses XIII contrasts smug, impassive authority figures with scurrilous hustlers and balances regal scrolling tracking shots in the royal chambers with ragged, jagged handheld vignettes in the streets and the desert. One battle scene is shot entirely from the point of view of a footsoldier who doesn’t make it back; another claustrophobic set piece watches a sweat-grimed man slowly lose his way in a labyrinth. There’s betrayal, mysticism, a solar eclipse, and a foxy grey-skinned temptress who feels like she’s been imported from a Mesopotamian skin flick. In other words, it’s another helpful reminder of the rest of the world’s cinematic riches. In addition to being available on DVD, Pharoah is one of the highlights of Martin Scorsese’s “Masterpieces of Polish Cinema,” series, which has screenings in Kansas City and Atlanta later this fall. Grade: A-


Je t’aime Je t’aime
(1968; dir. Alain Resnais)—Watching an Alain Resnais movie from the 1960s is one of the more exciting and rewarding cinematic challenges you can set for yourself. They resist easy categorization and they demand your full attention; they’re puzzling and provocative and more or less impossible to take the measure of after just one viewing. These movies take time: once you can trace the through-line of the plot, the rhythms of the editing move to the forefront, and new thematic concatenations begin to emerge from the headspace between shots. Avoid these if structural ingenuity isn’t your thing. Anyway, in this film—which anticipates Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by 35 years—a suicidal author is asked to participate in a time-travelling experiment. So some scientists put him in a contraption that suggests a giant head of garlic and set him loose. Things don’t go smoothly. In the best scene, our hero sits in an office and contemplates his place in the universe. I bet if he looked into a coffee cup just then, he’d probably see the Milky Way in the cream. Grade: A- (but likely to improve after multiple viewings)


He Ran All The Way
(1951; dir. John Berry)—After surfacing briefly on for a week, this excellent film noir has disappeared into the digital depths on Monday; if you want to see it, you need a multi-zone DVD player and a decent chunk of change. For the casual moviegoer, it’s probably not worth the trouble; for fans of raw domestic melodrama, the cinematography of James Wong Howe, and Marlon Brando’s performance in A Streetcar Named Desire (which was released the same year), it’s probably a must-see. John Garfield, in his final performance, plays an unlucky hoodlum who botches a robbery and hides out from the law by escaping into a public pool. He seduces Shelley Winters while he waits for the heat to lift, and he eventually cons his way back to Winters’ place, where he winds up holding her, her kid brother, and her mom and dad hostage. Garfield lurches around the family’s apartment like an ape and kills time by mocking and terrorizing middle-class rituals—family meals, day jobs, first loves. His volatile anger and flashes of need are inseparable; it’s no wonder that Winters—who, at this stage in her career, played lots of girls with lousy taste in men—is drawn to him. Terse, tense, terrific, and only 78 minutes long. Grade: A

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Meanwhile In Memphis at the Shell Friday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Meanwhile in Memphis screens Friday, September 5th, at the Shell. There will be an after party at Rocket Science Audio with music by Hope Clayburn's Soul Scrimmage. The film will be released on DVD in 2015 and will include a segment on producer Jim Dickinson that will premiere later this year. 

Directors Nan Hankins and Robert Allen Parker produced a valuable piece of history. In the days of Sun and Stax, creating a filmed visual record was cost-prohibitive. In taking on the epoch after Memphis' largest musical successes, from the late 1970s until today, the directors found a trove of film and video resources to which they added interview footage. This Memphis music didn't earn as much money as the big names of the past. But this film documents our stubborn musical community that survived the shift from music as a mass market to a niche market. It's interesting that many of these bands still have international followings. This is a fun movie for those of us who were there. Given the recent losses to the musical community, I know I'm not the only person who is thankful they shot it. 

MEANWHILE IN MEMPHIS: The Sound of a Revolution Trailer 2013 from Meanwhile in Memphis on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rocket Science Audio Rock for Love Telethon

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Tonight at 8 pm Rocket Science Audio will be hosting a telethon to benefit the Church Health Center and Rock For Love Eight. Staying true to the theme that Rocket Science Audio has developed over the last two years, there will be comedy, live music and "all around tom foolery," according to Rocket Science co-founder Robin Pack. visit to stream the entire telethon for free. To get a feel for what's in store for tonight, check out Rocket Science Audio performances by Memphis' own Time and The Oblivians in the videos below.

Here's the complete list of tonight's performers and special guests:

Nick KnowledgeNick Hicks, The McStays featuring Lori and Jared McStay, Benny Elbows, Katrina Coleman, Joshua McLane, SUPER WITCH, J.D. Reager, Mark Stuart, Faith Ruch, Jason Pulley, Harry Koniditsiotis, vi, Ross Johnson ,and Many More! The telethon wil be hosted by Stephen and Michael Kline.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Jimi Jamison: 1951-2014

Posted By on Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 8:14 PM

When Casey Kasem calls you "The Voice," you can sing. Jimi Jamison, who passed away yesterday from a heart attack, could sing. Best known as the front man of Survivor, Jamison racked up his own hits and backed up some of the biggest artists of our time. He seems to have been loved by everyone who ever met him. From his jingle days to the height of his career, Jamison touched those around him with his humility as much as his talent. His work with Target, Cobra, and Survivor stands on its own. His hits with the latter group dominated radio in the 1980s. See next week's paper for an in-depth tribute to one of Memphis's great talents. Videos after the jump.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Time Warp Drive-In: Motorcycle Madness

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM


Tonight's August edition of the Time Warp Drive In, Summer avenue’s biggest summer event, kicks off with a wedding. Kim Stanford and Coley Smith from Tupelo, Mississippi will say their vows at 7 PM, with Mike McCarthy, the Time Warp Drive-In empresario, presiding.

After the nuptials, the evening of motorcycle movies begins with the genre’s biggest classic, Easy Rider. Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s transcontinental epic captured the zeitgeist of its era like few films have before or since. But often lost amidst the Baby Boomer nostalgia is the fact that Easy Rider is a fantastic, and hugely influential, movie. Not only did it make a movie star out of Jack Nicholson, but it also has the first, and still greatest, use of “The Weight” in a film.

The second film of the evening is 1953’s The Wild One starring Marlon Brando. Another hugely influential film, The Wild One was made at a time when Brando was one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. The same year he was playing the sensitive juvenile delinquent Johnny Strabler opposite Lee Marvin, he also played Marc Antony in Julius Caesar opposite James Mason and Sir John Gielgud. The film is the iconic template for the motorcycle movie, and nobody ever wore a Perfecto leather jacket better than Brando.

Made three years before Easy Rider, The Wild Angels was Peter Fonda’s first foray into motorcycle movies. Directed by Roger Corman, the film’s high point is a confrontation between biker gang leader Fonda and a judge, which has become one of the most sampled moments in movie history.

The evening closes out with the psychotronic exploitation drive in classic She Devils On Wheels:

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kiwi-Pop Primer

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

To get you excited for The Clean playing the Hi-Tone tonight, here's a video playlist of some of their earliest videos, along with some other great hits from the golden age of Flying Nun records.

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Summer Movie Journal #6

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM


(1979; dir. Steven Spielberg)—Hollywood will not rest until every inspirational story from World War II becomes a hand-over-heart ode to the Greatest Generation. Brad Pitt plays Sergeant Wardaddy—oh, come on—in Fury, which comes out in October; Angelina Jolie directed Unbroken, an “inspiring true story” about WWII prison camps which opens on Christmas Day. In this context, Steven Spielberg’s self-proclaimed “blast in the face” about the night the Japs tried to invade southern California is, if anything, even more vital and necessary. Spielberg and his co-conspirators (among them Robert Zemeckis, John Milius, and anyone who happened to drop by the set) put everything they had into this hyperactive, all-ages demolition derby, and their work shows: it never settles down and never lets up. Nothing is safe; everything is demolished. Among the casualties are the Hollywoodland sign, the USO, the concept of military intelligence, the concept of female virtue, many huge vats of paint, Christmas cheer, the fantasy of living a quiet life in the suburbs and the sanctity of a morning skinny-dip in the Pacific Ocean. It’s infantile, lewd, sticky, gross, and popping with nasty urges; Nancy Allen’s J.G. Ballard-like airplane fetish is maybe the third-kinkiest thing here. And gol-lee, how about that cast: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Robert Stack, Toshiro Mifune (who, naturally, speaks only Japanese), Christopher Lee (who, unnaturally, speaks only German), Slim Pickens, and Samuel Fuller, plus a dozen other major and minor cameos. (Three of the four leads in Laverne & Shirley? Mickey Rourke???) I found it an unfunny mess, but I also found it a fascinating free-for-all and a heartwarming piece of civil disobedience that would warm Thomas Jefferson’s heart. Upped a notch for chutzpah. Grade: A-


Get On Up
(2014; dir. Tate Taylor)— In his magnificent and perceptive 2006 Rolling Stone profile “Being James Brown”, Jonathan Lethem made the following claim: “James Brown is, like Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, a man unstuck in time. He's a time traveler, but unlike the HG Wells-ian variety, he lacks any control over his migrations in time, which also seem to be circumscribed to the period of his own allotted lifespan. Indeed, it may be the case that James Brown is often confused as to what moment in time he occupies at any given moment.” This wildly original sci-fi thesis informs Tate Taylor’s superb new Brown biopic, which conceives of the Godfather of Soul’s life as an endless groove where the needle can be picked up and dropped at random. The jumbled chronology and gallery of James Browns striding through the film only adds to the legend; after seeing Get On Up, I went back to RJ Smith’s biography The One to confirm some details. Did Bobby Byrd really spring Brown from prison and bring him home? (Yes.) Did Little Richard really flirt with Brown at a hamburger stand one night and tell him about the white devils running the music industry? (Probably.) Did a pre-teen Brown win a “battle royale” straight out of Invisible Man? (Yes.) Did he hear the strains of “Cold Sweat” as he did so? (Maybe. Time travel, remember.)As Brown, Chadwick Boseman is sensational—he’s funny without being a parody, and his lip-synching feels like the real thing. His James Brown is electrifying, seductive, materialistic, mythic. And scary, too; watch Boseman look straight into the camera at you after he decks his wife on Christmas Day. Then try to deny Brown’s place at the forefront of pop music today. It can’t be done, because James Brown is history. Let the record show that, to my surprise, I found Get On Up superior to Boyhood in pretty much every way. Grade: A-


The Trip
(2010; dir. Michael Winterbottom)—In this semi-authentic travel documentary, actor/comedian Steve Coogan and actor/comedian Rob Brydon travel around northern England, eat fine cuisine, and try to make each other laugh. There’s a little more to it, of course, but not much; Coogan cheats on his American girlfriend twice and falls into a stream, while Brydon quotes Wordsworth in a Scottish accent and tries to talk his wife into phone sex. Will you like it? Depends on how intrigued you are by the prospect of dueling Michael Caine impressions. Civilians like me imagine that this is how professional funny people interact, and it’s simultaneously hilarious and exhausting to watch them engage in endless, irritating, look-at-me riffing that doesn’t stop until someone either laughs or leaves the table. But watching Coogan and Brydon critique each other’s attempts to sound like Sean Connery and Roger Moore, or listening to them as they endlessly repeat the Goldfinger line “Come, come, Mr. Bond, you derive just as much pleasure from killing as I do” is something, like the Lake District, that must be experienced first-hand. Mere words fail me. The sequel, The Trip to Italy, arrives in select cities—like mine—this Friday. Grade: A-


Katzelmacher (1969; dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder)—Of the dozens of films Fassbinder cranked out before his untimely death in 1982 at age 37, I’ve only seen a handful. But I’ve never been disappointed by his infectious tawdriness and sadistic stylistic voluptuousness; movies like Martha and The Marriage of Maria Braun are not soon forgotten. Katzelmacher, Fassbinder’s second feature, is about working-class belligerence, fear and boredom in a drab, desolate Munich apartment complex. Apparently, in the days before cell phones, people who couldn’t afford to entertain themselves or smoke cigarettes all day squatted outside their apartment, swapped gossip and lies, and beat up foreigners before returning to their hovels for some brutally clinical sex. The actors look worn down to their gums by whatever it is they do for a living off-camera, and the camera is almost entirely motionless; like the characters, it can’t seem to go anywhere or get out of its narrow rut. Grade: A-

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Al Bell To Introduce WATTSTAX at the Shell Friday

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Indie Memphis' concert film series plays host to Stax co-owner Al Bell, who will introduce and discuss the origin of the musical documentary film WATTSTAX. The film captures the Stax roster at the height of the label's success during a 1972 concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The opening sequence strikes you immediately in light of recent events in Ferguson. Richard Pryor's monologues are disturbingly prescient. Bell organized the festival that Mel Stuart captured in the 1973 film. Al Bell's remarks will be a Memphis history lesson. The music makes you move, and the dialog makes you squirm and think. It's the funkiest lesson in civic morality in the history of humanity. Friday, August 29th, at 8 p.m.

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