For the sake of it


Investment Opp, or something

If somebody wants to help me put up a guarantee of 5 grand, we can have LCD Soundsystem in our own backyard in late May. No? Ok.


Reality called, wants you to check in.

I got a phone call the other day from an old friend. (Though I don't know if "old friend" is appropriate terminology, I only met her about 4 months ago.) I didn't answer the phone. I get like that sometimes, I hate talking on the phone for anything other than very necessary sorts of things, and I hadn't spoken to her in so long, I knew she'd have some outrageous request and I was in no frame of mind to deal with in any manner befitting a relatively civil human being. I met Nelli at the internet cafe in New York. She's from Guyana, works as a massage therapist in a strip club in Atlantic City. She was trying to find (A) An apartment, (B) Her boyfriend, and (C) A rental car. I helped run some stalking program to look up the deadbeat's phone number, and then I directed her to a rental car website and returned to satisfying my internet addiction. Before I knew if, Nelli was introducing herself properly and asking me to drive with her to North Carolina to hunt down her Egyptian boyfriend. Um, what? "Ok," I said. Fortunately, one way or another it didn't happen. What may perhaps be unfortunate is that I continued a friendship with Nelli for the duration of my stay in the city. I'm not sure how mentally stable Nelli is, but she was entertaining to hang out with and that's important for a girl who's alone in a place like that with no real social outlet for interpersonal communication of a more than casual sort. She took me to AC with her the weekend before I left. We spent our days sleeping in some suite at the Taj Mahal (I guess she knows people, I hope she just knows people,) and our evenings dining in the President's Club and having cocktails in the lounge before I followed her to work. I won't go into details of the awkward hilarity that ensued. Anyway, I left, and I've talked to Nelli once or twice since. She's sweet, but she's a strong personality and has a tendency to throw caution to the wind and require serious bailing out. She called me once asking for money when I had been arguing with family for days on the very subject and was far less than broke. I never called her back; I didn't need that extra stress and guilt--there was nothing I could do to help her and I couldn't take constant updates of her terrible situation. So, she calls again the other night.
"Rachel, it's Nelli," says the message she leaves. "I haven't heard from you in a while, I don't know if you're back in New York or what. Anyway, I booked my ticket for Egypt and I was wondering if you still wanted to come. I have the money and everything, I just need to know if you're coming so I can book your flight too. Say hi to your family for me, I love you, call me soon."
How the hell do I end up meeting people like this? Let me explain something. This girl not only has an extremely unhealthy relationship with one Egyptian man whom treats her like shit and randomly disappears and then shows back up at intervals for sex, but she has a long distance infatuation with another Egyptian beau whom she has never even met. A situation which I suppose she intends to remedy, preferably with me in tow. Uh. I don't really know how to approach this. Part of me despises my tendency to just simply not deal with situations that I find difficult or uncomfortable, but I really don't see the point in calling her only to tell her she'll have to go this one on her own. I don't relish the drama that would surely ensue. Then again, there's a miniscule part of me that is itching to call her and tell her I'll meet her in Cairo. I've been meaning to go there for a while. Carpe diem, right?

The School of Rock

For those of you that were waiting 'till Sunday to see Augustine, you missed out. A death in one of the band members' family has forced them to cancel their slot. However, The Antique Curtains and Half Acre Gunroom will still be playing, so check that shit out. Nick Ray of Deathray, photo by Dan BallViva L'American Deathray Music announced Wednesday that they will be playing the XYZ with The Antique Curtains and Po Nave Nunk Rock DJs tonight. I see this becoming another all night dance party with firecrackers, hot girls, good natured barfights, and you can probably expect to come home (at 5:00am) wearing a beer or two. You should also be wearing comfortable shoes because you WILL be dancing. (I will be, this time.) In any case, if you missed Deathray due to Valentine's Day happenings, don't miss out on this. It's what they call an "intimate" setting and you might get a chance to grope Harlan or something. We're going to say doors at 11:00, $3.00 cover. The Beale Street Zydeco Festival is tonight. $12.00 wristband gets you in all the clubs to see all the washboardin', accordian playin', foot stompin' you care to see. (God that sounds cheesy.) But frankly, you can listen to Zydeco Wednesday afternoons on WEVL (House Bayou with Nancy! 4-6pm!) and you've probably got better things to do tonight. Like MAXIN' with The Memphis FEEL-Harmonic DJ Symphony Orchestra. (That is a mouthful.) They'll get off to a late start, Empire Coffee Co. at Madison and Main. This place was previously the Map Room, they say they're finishing the basement and to expect to see more goings on there in the near future. Should be more "polished" than old times, but fun none-the-less. Anyway, the FEEL-Harmonic. According to The Memphis Scene you can expect disco, funk, fusion, Afrobeat, evil cut-and-scratch techniques, sound effects, et cetera. Late, $5.00, special guest Gator Lacoste. And as if all this wasn't enough, I fully intend to check out Jenny Jeans at the Buc. They're playing with Nashvegas acts The Clutters and The Tough & Lovely. I don't know jack about those guys, but I do know the Jenny Jeans is supposed to be badass and with a line-up like Tyler Keith, Twinkle Van Winkle and Scott Rogers, I would expect no less. On a side note: At some point The Tunnel Clones were supposed to play the Buc tonight. Obviously, something went awry, but The TC have more upcoming shows planned and you will just have to catch them at a later date. Right? Right.


Because Lightnin' Hopkins Told Me So

  • Nashville's indie pop Jetpack plays the Deli tonight (9pm;$5) with Augustine for their The Art of Building A Moat EP release party. Listen here and here.
  • The one man version of Johnny Smash and the Cash plays a free show at Huffman's Deli Cafe in Cordova. (7pm)
  • British Sea Power to release second full length album,Open Season, on 04.04.05. US tour dates planned for spring.
  • The new Mars Volta album Frances the Mute, is already getting play on 93X. Most discouraging of all? It fits into the playlist quite nicely.
  • I'm on a new music binge. The fodder:
    • The Calico Sunset's 2004 release deep, deep paranoia has a fucking great sound. Plus, that chick is hot in a more-girly-than-Annie-Lennox kind of way. They apparently played this place called Jerry's Pizza in Bakersfield, CA with the Moving Units and the Fever (an awesome line-up, by the way.) The funny thing, though, is my sitting here remembering the fantastically horrific stories my ex used to tell me about going to punk and hard-core shows at Jerry's as a kid and ... wow. I'd loved to have been there. Anyway, you can hear The Calico Sunset here and here. Comparisons that come up: Souxie and the Banshees, Joy Electric, Blondie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
    • The most inexplicably unsigned band award goes to Arctic Monkeys. This teenage powerhouse hailing from somewhere in South Yorkshire packs a punch and has more buzz with the younger UK set than a dead raccoon in a Mississippi summer. They haven't released anything you can buy, yet, but here's some songs off of their red-hot demo. Someone somewhere pegged them the new Pulp.
    • I've always had a thing for eccentric cello-rock debutante Melora Creager and her Rasputina, but could never quite take them seriously. Now, however, I've got The Tiny to listen to which features a cello and a similarly fabulous vocal arrangement by some German chick called Ellekari Larsson. What makes them better? They're lyrics aren't about, like, talking bunny rabbits and shit and you can look at them and think that maybe they live in the same realm of reality that you do. Listen to their single, "Closer", off of Close Enough, scheduled for a US release of 03.08.05.
    • And I'll leave you with controller.controller the similarly fun Canadian show currently on the road with Death From Above 1979. I don't know, there's hype and stuff and I like them, so, whatever. It's now 5:00 am and I should have gone to bed at least 30 minutes ago. At least.


The Days of Our Lives

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. What does Wednesday mean. I'm drawing a blank. At some point, I'm pretty sure it meant Church and family oriented car travel across town which translated into sitting still longer than any four year old should have to and having screaming contests with my sister in the back seat, much to my parents' chagrin. Then, I fell in love with the word as a name for eccentric little girls of Gothic persuasions. At some point, it meant 4-H meetings and maybe piano lessons, except I'm pretty sure I never took piano lessons so I don't know where that came from. It meant newspaper deadlines in highschool, before I dropped out. Ah, yes. Wednesday. Now I remember. I have to go write a story and eat some fried chicken or something. And American Idol tonight, yo. My life is a thrill a minute, I tell ya. If you're more adventuresome than myself, you could check out Dan Montgomery and Blair Combest at the Hi Tone. According to the Digital City review on Dan's webpage, he plays "a unique blend of folk and blues music that rocks about as hard and steady as a solo artist can without spending the night in jail." Could be a good time when paired with Memphis' very own Blair Combest as he channels Bob Dylan with songs off his Prettier Than Ugly album. (I wonder if he gets tired of that comparison.) Wait, isn't Blair the guy getting ready to release his next album? Can't recall. Gotta' check into that one. Also, some svelte Mississippi kid of Nordic/Venezuelan anarchist descent named Misha Hercules is playing with the Ruffin Brown Band at the Glass Onion. Update: DJ Latchkey Kid and guests spinning all kinds of good shit at XYZ. Plus, you've got $0.50 domestics, free pool, and more hot hipster kids than you can shake a stick at.


One small step for Starbucks, one giant leap for American capitalism

Random crazy Starbucks guy pictureI think there was a brief period centered somewhere around the release of Fight Club where I, too, was completely addled by the idea of consumerism/capitalism. I thought it was a monster of the American Way and that I should buy my (logo-less) clothes strictly at Goodwill (out of principal, not fashion savvy,) I should not patronize Big Business America, I should, in fact, boycott such empires as McDonald's that were surely destroying the world, one acre of Rain Forest at a time. At the time, Starbucks was the perfect icon for everything this "anti-everything" faction of American youth thought was evil. Somewhere along the way, rationale kicked in. I realized I liked money, I was inspired by business savvy and the carefully cultivated gem of American Ingenuity that is exploitation of the expendable income. I was fascinated, really, by the culture revolving around spending money. Think about it, I grew up in an era dominated by Mall Rats and Valley Girls and we are watching a phenomenon unfold involving these once allowance-dependent youth sprouting into money hungry young adults who are spending more than ever on things they don't need! Somehow, it's miraculous to me. And this article on the Starbucks take of the action is fascinating to me. It may actually have been my involvement in the company that began to turn my opinion from loathing to contented adoration for Big Business and cut-throat capitalism. Then again, though my psyche has always had one foot planted on the ground of emotionalism, the other is standing firm on logic and pulling away for its mate to join it.

HBO Is My Lover

The past week was full of historically significant dates for me and it sort of all caught up with me over the weekend. Sometimes I think that maturity is being able to control your moods to some degree, and that my lack of ability in that arena is surely a symptom of my age and inexperience. The rest of the time I realize that's probably bullshit, based on the actions and reactions of friends and acquaintances which are on average ten years older than myself. Regardless, people let you down. Specifically when you need them the most and strength is being able to say that's ok; understanding that they're locked in their own bubbles filled up with oddities that they are trying to understand and that they, too, are merely human. Thankfully, HBO is a higher entity. When I need a shoulder to cry on, HBO is there without fail with its touching docu-dramas and dramatic series. When I need a 4am booty call, HBO is there with its campy mature themed films and Real Sex episodes. When I need someone to laugh with, HBO is there with funny stories, funny people and situational humor. And the best part is that HBO will never go an entire night without talking to me when I just need it to show a little concern. It will never diss me for a more interesting or upbeat persona when I'm down. It will never abandon me for a drunken, public make-out session with some titillating member of the opposite sex. It will be happy when I am happy, supportive when I am sad, and entertaining when I need to take my mind off of other shit. So, thank you HBO. Anyway, Saturday. The Antique Curtains played XYZ for Jenna J's birthday party. This was their first show with their current line-up, but they play great together and it was a fun set. I told lead-singer Mike that they sounded like what would happen if Quinten Tarantino made another low budget movie, except, of course, it was music. What I meant by this, of course, is that there were a lot of Tarantino style themes that sort of came across in the lo-fi garage rock sound. The Antique Curtains are playing the XYZ again on Saturday with more DJs spinning betwixt sets. They're also playing the Hi-Tone on Sunday with Augustine who is currently recording their first album at Easly-McCain studios in Memphis and also plays the Deli on Wednesday with Jet Pack. I stopped by Dish for a bit Sunday night. I thought I would love it, but...I don't. It seems like the extra room should be a good thing, but it made the environment a lot less intimate and a lot more Swig, which just isn't cool. I also didn't appreciate the absence of bar stools which ruled out the possibility of my sitting by myself at the end of the bar and taking in the minimal dance floor action. The less than excited mood might have had something to do with the crowd, though. Seemed like the usual set was absent, entirely replaced by a rather generic sort that I don't typically understand very well.
P.S. Seeing as how the subtitle of this website is directly related to Hunter S. Thompson, I should probably say something in memoriam. But I won't be waxing poetic partially due to the fact that it's not exactly a shocking turn of events. I mean, how else did anyone thing the guy was gonna go? It's an appropriate end and calls for no lementation.


Extra, X-Tra, xtra

  • Sherman over at Shangri La is going to be doing a major college radio mailing at some point in the next six weeks. If you want your shit heard on the radio, get your CD and press info to him ASAP.
  • SXSW has the official listing of bands playing this year, plus links/audio. All I got when I searched for Memphis bands was The Bloodthirsty Lovers, Lucero, Retrospect, and some metal band called Epoch of Unlight. However, there are some interesting sounding Non/Anti SXSW shows in the works, though still no Memphis bands in sight. SXSW Blog is HERE. A great SXSW MP3 Blog is See You In The Pit.
  • Memphis In May Music Fest Dates are up. April 29th-May 1st, 2005. Same dates as Coachella. Oh no. (That was sarcasm. Really.)

BDSM Photo Session

Last night was the two year anniversary of The Glass' first show. They always have a fun turnout and Brad was as en pointe as always. I was told that I really missed out by not arriving in time to see Knoxville's Dixie Dirt. I'll take your word for it and catch them next time around. I want to start hitting every karaoke junt in Memphis to check out what's what. I want to start going to the Salsa night where they do lessons and shit, except I need a tall man to dance with. I keep meaning to make time for The Hollywood Allstars at Wild Bill's, but there's always something else. I want there to be more of me so one of me could be sleeping right now, one could be in NYC watching Lost Sounds play tonight at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn, and one could be in my 1987 Toyota Minivan on the way to Alaska. One of me should get a job. It would also help out on nights like tonight where there are like five different shows I intend to check out. For example, I have to go to the mahvelous XYZ to hear The Antique Curtains new line-up. My friendster Greg is in that, plus other people I sort of know but not really. I'll also need a clone sitting in on the action at the Buc for the Preacher's Kids and The Tearjerkers while they do their thang. And of course the FREE Bella Sun show at the Glasshouse; but that one's easy provided I get off my ass, change out of my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, quit eating chicken fingers, turn off Surreal Life 4 re-runs on the TV and go. Why? It's an early show, 7:30ish. Good stuff. (I changed my calendar on the side to make it easier to read. You can thank me later, if you want.)


"I knew every raindrop by its name."

The most beautiful scene in any mediocre movie based on a great book ever is when wet-headed, bare chested Billy Crudup (AKA Fuckhead) eats the note in Jesus' Son with his dead girlfriend laid out on the bed behind him. Denis Johnson really is one of my favorite writers, but this movie doesn't do him justice. I personally don't even think it's very good in its own right, as some movies based on books can be despite the fact that they don't match the book. I hope Johnson isn't doomed to the same cinematic disparity as Brett Easton Ellis who has seen his work transformed into such features as Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho; all of which at least did have something going for them as independent entities, but which poorly represented his writing.
"I think short stories are right for a story about druggies. Their lives are too episodic to add up to a novel; the highs and lows settle out into disconnected adventures and anecdotes, separated by voids and blackouts." - Roger Ebert on Jesus' Son

These legs were made for breakin'

I have a split preference for hard rocking punk shows and soul shaking acoustic R&B sets. There's no better act in Memphis than Bella Sun to fill the latter part of that bill. Ethereal, dread-locked Valerie Joyner surely has the most talented voice in the city. It's a unique, soulful sweetness that, to my mind, find's its closest comparison to R&B insta-classic Erykah Badu with the jazz sensibilities of Billie Holiday and the activist attitude of Janis Joplin. Valerie is joined by her husband Michael for the kind of live soul/folk acoustic show that really, as silly as it sounds, fills you up with some kind of emotion that doesn't quite have words to describe it. The couple has been playing Memphis coffee shops and small venues for several years now and released their first full length album, No Crystal Stair, last year. Valerie is currently working on her solo debut and, frankly, I can't wait. The acoustic version of "Can't Tell No Lies" on their Broken String Records site is a must hear. Somehow, this stripped down single just doesn't compare to the studio version found on their CD. It's the same sort of "back-to-basics" approach that makes their live show so appealing, so if by some chance you must miss them play the artsy Glasshouse on Main this Saturday night, be sure to catch them February 25th for the Broken String Records showcase at the Hi Tone with Solstice and Full Circle. I don't know. Everyone's always talking about shows like The Glass and, in some circles, MOTO. I sort of feel like doing something different this weekend. The Wiseguys Comedy Improv group is holding a Habitat for Humanity benefit show this Friday night at the Blue Moon above Zinnie's East. You may remember that this troupe used to hold down a regular gig at the Hi Tone. They're back from their sabbatical with a vengeance and I hear they've been doing several new games, a la Who's Line Is It Anyway, that sound like a riot. The cover is $5.00, show starts at 9:00. Tonight, there's a Camel Toe party or something at the Hi Tone. Whatever. I don't know what that's all about. DJ's, games, free, 80's. Right. I think I'll check out Amy & The Tramps at Ernestine and Hazel's. I've been hearing good things about Amy LaVere, and it's about damn time I see her show. Last night was Lost Sounds with Atlanta's Beat Beat Beat. The latter was worth it for the eye candy if nothing else, notably the bass player. They have more shows lined up here in March. You should check him out. Them, I mean. The band. Right. For some reason, Lost Sounds made my pinky toes numb. I still haven't figured that one out. Also, with Alicja's help, we determined that Memphis loses approximately five working bands when Lost Sounds goes on tour. In no particular order: Lost Sounds, Final Solutions, Care, River City Tan Lines, and Mouserocket. So basically you guys are single handedly depriving us of all that for about three months. Fine. Just go make your money, do your thing, and hurry home safe so we can continue to exploit you.


A Real Sword Would Kill You

Whew. Glad I got that out of my system. The review, I mean. I haven't done one in something like three years, and it's time to get back in the saddle. In the future, I'll place my focus on Memphis oriented albums/bands/shows. This morning (yesterday morning?) when I was still up, bleary eyed, at 7:30 I was channel surfing as is my early morning habit (news, weather, VH1,) when I saw that Seven Samurai was playing. Holy shit. On TMC. Yessss. I popped a tape in to record it and proceeded to watched it until I fell asleep around 9:15.
"A real samurai would never get so drunk."
A classic. Incidentally, I got turned onto director Akira Kurosawa in a roundabout way, my friend Chris was always raving about the guy but I think I fell asleep every time he tried to show me a film. Finally, he gave me this big fat book called The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt, which has nothing to do with the movie starring Tom Cruise, but rather has a good deal to do with the movie Seven Samurai and when I finally got around to reading that this past summer, I got hooked and I've been a fan since. You should be a fan, too. Even though you have to read subtitles. Also, I noticed Carlos D must be feeling better. Interpol is scheduled to play the St. Louis' Pageant with Q And Not U on March 15. If anyone wants to give me a ticket, I guess I'll go. I'm good for car trips. I sing along relatively in tune and only demand pit stops every 45 minutes. Oh, and as if you haven't heard, there's a going away show for Memphis' own Lost Sounds with Atlanta based Beat Beat Beat. You should go, support the worldwide domination of Memphis music. The troops load up Thursday morning to start their tour of the Northeastern US, Canada, and Europe and need gas money. If you go, everybody's happy.

"Snap" has its own Syntax

I get a lot of junk mail, primarily because I sign up for all kinds of stuff on the internet that I have no practical reason for signing up for. It's mostly the usual suspects: various body part enlarging solutions, appealing letters from unfortunate wealthy Kenyans, GAP advertisements, et cetera. Tonight, though, I got an e-mail for something I forgot existed. The Street Team Network. They're plugging what Launch.com calls "The Next Big Thing," Eisley. Now, this is one of those bands I've seen/heard the name with some regularity over the past few months, but haven't specifically heard anything from or about. Tonight, though, I took the time to listen to some of their work and, surprise, I like it. Rather a lot, actually. It's probably what would fall into the category of shoegaze pop, which I'm not typically a fan of, but it's so damn...sweet. Soft. Sincere. Melodic. I haven't heard anything of comparable quality and appeal in a while. DuPree sisters Chauntelle, Sherri and Stacey cleverly construct a rock candy castle out of a mountain of spun sugar--somehow without going overboard. Maybe, and this could be a stretch, Eisley could be compared to a neophyte, less complex Yo La Tengo of the Summer Sun set or distant cousin of Rufus (or Martha) Wainwright or maybe Clem Snide if Clem was a sweet girl vocalist and her sisters. They're basically in that whole Snow Patrol, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes vein. I guess I could have just said that in the first place. Whatever. So the story is this--cute, long faced, home schooled Texas kids get bored in suburbia and pick up a guitar and pen and get to work. Their parents open a coffee shop in small home town Tyler and the three sisters enlist big brother drummer, Weston, and neighborhood bass player, Johnathan Wilson, and play shows at said venue. Viola, they're building a following. Next thing you know, the siblings are opening for Coldplay and then playing lots of festivals, including upcoming Coachella 2005, as successful young musicians are wont to do. Anyway, Eisley has everything going for them right now. Their first full length album, Room Noises, dropped February 8th, preceded by two EPs and a host of tours opening for big name acts. They've apparently got it all, from an emerging artists' POV: The producers (including Rob Schnaph, Rob Cavallo, and John Shanks,) the plugs (WB, Launch.com,YM Band of the Month) the sound, and the look. The only thing is, though perhaps I'm a secluded case, Eisley risks missing out on what could be a wider and very eager audience simply by being young and consequently drawing such a young crowd of fans. I know I for one doubted how much I would like the quintet after reading of both recent and up-coming tours for the likes of New Found Glory and Brand New. Regardless of this touch of cynicism, Launch.com has no doubt got something in calling Eisley "The Next Big Thing." And for once, I'm hoping they're right.


Go ahead and call the cops, you don't meet nice girls in coffee shops

This has become something of a mantra for an ex boyfriend of mine. It's a classic, really, and I'm convinced it's true. How can I state this with such authority? Because, of course, I've been the coffee shop girl. I've also been the barfly and let me tell you, mister, that chick sitting at the end of the bar with a cigarette, an empty shot glass, and a bleary eyed stare is going to give you more love and insight than any coffee swilling, poetry reciting, Heathers watching coffee shop girl. And that's just how it is. Moving on. To all of you who missed Viva L'American Deathray due to some wanton Valentine, I win. Nick, Harlan and Jeff pounded out a succinct and sweet set that would have easily rocked my socks off had I been wearing any. As it stood, I was pretty sure I broke a heel at some point, but I think I was just momentarily levitating. Tonight weird Japanese concept rockstars Peelander Z play with Memphis' own sexy robot oddities known as Automusik at the Young Avenue Deli. Should be entertaining if nothing else. There is also a post Valentine's Day rock and roll party at the Glass Onion featuring the Zippin Pippins and the Menstruals (Minstrels? I don't know, my sources are conflicting, so whatever. Personally, I prefer the former.) I don't know anything about these bands, but it might be worthwhile if you're not down for the "Animation meets Musicianship" art/experimental rock sort of thing you'd get at the Deli. Have fun. I'm going to play dress up and sit at home watching old movies. All this going out lately is cramping the anti-social part of my style. It's just not cool to have something to do every night. Or haven't you heard?


Homewrecker v6.0

So I've sat here and finished off the remaining gummy bears, even the green ones, while American Splendor drones on in the background thanks to HBO. I'm about ready for the bag of potato chips I've got in there calling my name. Gotta balance the sweet with the salty, you know. I really don't see what all the fuss was about this damn movie. I mean, who does this guy think he is, Woody Allen? Whatever. His version of Annie Hall isn't nearly as hot, and that's a deal breaker in my book, bubba. Really, darling, learn to distinguish quirky from cynical and blase and that'll be a good start for you. Ugh. I really have to do something about my lifestyle. The junkfood, the utter lack of physical activity, the staying up all night. Yeah, it could be worse and it has been, lots. But I don't feel healthy right now and that, my friend, is frustrating because a mere 4 months ago I did. I was. I was toned and muscular and my now sluggish circulation was stellar. I probably weighed at least 10 pounds more than I do now, but I looked better. My ass was a national treasure. But I might as well shut up about it because there are zero immediate plans to remedy my current situation. Honestly. And then on a totally unrelated note, how does a dead guy clean up at the Grammy's? I bet the only reason they don't make you automatically ineligible if you die is because they're secretly pulling for you, looking forward to the opportunity to shave minutes off of the broadcast due to one less emotional deity praising acceptance speech prefaced by 5 minutes of applause and plastic handshaking, et cetera ad nauseum. A ladybug just bit me. Twice. Do ladybugs bite? Weird. Anyway, I sat on my ass last night and missed the Limes, again. But I made it for the DJ thing at XYZ, except I was about a million hours early and it was sort of like being in an episode of "Are You Being Served" except featuring a cast of Memphis hipsters instead of stodgy British people and there really wasn't much in the way of dry humor. None at all, actually. And now it's Valentine's Day. Damnit.


Of course Cry-Baby is an American classic

Last night I opted for my cowboy boots and Papa Top's West Coast Turnaround at the Buc. I think it was a good decision. It was a lot of fun, anyway. Then there was this birthday party for someone at this house on Tucker which was fine. I'm not really into house parties, but I seem to keep forgetting that. Fortunately, I'm easily amused and can stand for hours in a corner with a cigarette watching the keg empty and holding up random individuals who are no longer vertically self-supporting. Then I provided proof of my urban driving skills with a stellar parallel parking job when I made a brief appearance at Alex's. All in all, good times. Except my pointy boots pinched my toes. Gotta hate that shit. Tonight, there's some buzz on this Limes show at the Buc. It's been tossed around that the Limes are the "worst band in Memphis". Shawn Cripps begs to differ, and I think there will be a Robitussin induced ass kicking going down. Either way, it'll be worth your while to asses for yourself. The Limes consists of what has been called a selection of the finest musicians in Memphis, but I have yet to witness this particular combination of Jack Yarber (The Cool Jerks, The Tearjerkers, Oblivians) Shawn Cripps, Nick Ray (Viva L'American Deathray Music), and Harlan T. (Whose album is sold out at Goner!)....So I'm looking forward to it. After that, dance party at XYZ. Some dude that did his thing on American Idol is rumored to be participating. Midnight, $3.00 for gents, gratis for ladies.


The Withering Ways of Immaturity

A problem I need to work on: compulsive junk food consumption. I just ingested a box of Giant Cheese Nips and a (fairly large) bag of gummy bears. Except for the green gummy bears. I don't feel so hot. I found out a few days ago that a couple of my favorite Starbucks girls, in tandem with their respective boyfriends, are going to be kicking it with me in Alaska this summer. I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping Jason, my cousin and occasional partner in crime, will also be join the troupe. We just have to conquer his recently acquired workaholic tendencies, is all. A growing Memphis website has asked me to write music related content for them. This leaves me with what could be a slight conflict of interest. Another possibility would be to transfer all of my music related writing to that page which would leave this with a more focused personal/travel directive. Or I guess I could always just spread the love around a bit. Finally, I've been sending out e-mails to booking agents of bands I have a personal interest in and as a result of that, I'm booking a show for April 7th at the Hi Tone. Asobi Seksu will be playing after their SXSW stint. I'm looking into opening/co-headlining acts right now. I was hoping to get the Bloodthirsty Lovers but it looks as if they'll be in New England by that time, so suggestions are welcome. Furthermore, you've got some entertainment options tonight. Papa Top's West Coast Turnaround is playing the Buc. I hear they're good, classic country covers and such. Should be a good time. And if you liked Mouserocket at the WEVL show, you might want to see what else Alicja Trout can do. I just found out that her other (other, other?) band, The River City Tanlines, is playing in conjunction with the Withdrawals and possibly something called "I'm Not Hot Dog" at Murphy's. This could be a good show. And I like Murphy's hamburgers. They're super greasy and sort of gritty and usually severely undercooked. Good eats, I tell ya'.


The Syncopated Sickness

I've been looking over the Emergenza line-up for the next few weeks and am overwhelmingly disappointed. It seems to be a whole host of Memphis' greatest butt rock and aging hippies with pony tails and cigarette vocal chords. They've got a few pop-core (isn't that a genre, yet?) bands thrown in here and there, for good measure, I suppose. Perhaps I'm narrow minded, but I just don't understand how these things can supposedly scour a city for the best musicians and come up with the sludgy shit at the bottom of the barrel. It's discouraging to me to think that in certain arenas, this is what Memphis Music is represented as being, and I'm wondering how it happens. My sneaking suspicion is that [what I consider to be] the really worthwhile musicians in this town have opted to leave these main stream mediums to the aforementioned sludge and cloister themselves in a safe, closed environment where they are guaranteed undivided attention, high face value, and "friends and family" type atmosphere. You're selling yourself short, guys. And the city, too. In friendlier news, there are some good shows coming up over the next few months, a list of which you can find on that nifty collumn over there. Resources included Scenestars, Rachel and the City, Snax Memphis, the Hi Tone, and the Deli. Also, as a possible alternative to tonight's Blair Combest show (a recurring event, I hear), consider some good rockin' at the Deli with High on Fire and Planes Mistaken for Stars. Not my thing, really, but, uh. You know, whatever gets you hot under the collar. Planes Mistaken for Stars is on my shit list because they're also going to be touring with Hot Water Music, a band name which is blasphemy of Bukowski proportions.


Sistah, please

So over the past three or four weeks the W-2s have been rolling in. I realized I've had a considerable number of jobs this year. At this time last year, I was still at Starbucks. Immediately thereafter I was working for Princess in Alaska. Got fired, bummed around for a few weeks, then got a job at Denali Park Resorts. Then, on to NYC. Bummed around a lot. Did some odd jobs, none of them on the books. Provided a lot of work for the street sweepers. Tried being a shot girl at a strip club in Atlantic City for a weekend. Didn't like that. Came home. Picked up a promotions job at Grizzlies games. Picked up a promotions job at Elvis week. Picked up a marketing gig for AT&T. The only thing I'm still doing is the Grizzlies games. I think I'm going to be delivering Valentine's shit to people. How perfect is that. But it's ok. I realized I don't really want a real job, or I'd have gone out and gotten one. Mostly I just want to make enough to get by until summer. The more money I make when I'm here, the bigger my drinking problem gets, so I might as well stay broke and sober instead of broke and drunk. Being drunk all the time gets old. It's been good that I have such a drive home, it's prevented me from drinking at all, really. But, I think someone should come pick me up so we can have a night out. I sort of need that. I don't really know what this all is supposed to be. I mean, this web site. I wanted to avoid it being an opportunity to ramble endlessly about personal things, and focus more on developing my writing. Yet, here I am rambling. At the same time, some of the best writing I've ever come up with happened somewhere in the middle of lengthy written rabbit trails, so maybe it's not such a bad idea. Except, I was hoping to come up with something more polished. Finished, you know? Readable. Appealing. All of those things. Oh well. Maybe some day. Now, I have to go hawk credit cards at the game.

Dead Letter Office

Why the hell would MTV have a white girl (Joss Stone) do a spot for Black History month? Ok, so it's an obvious politicically correct move from the Caucasian POV, but...I don't know. Here's this cute little blond Brit poptart talking about how Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin and Erykah Badu have all influenced her music to some extreme degree which is all fine and good, but wouldn't it somehow be more effective for the whole purpose and spirit of Black History month if they had one of the multitude of universally appealing black musicians chatting up the same icons? I guess it all sort of depends on how you look at it, I never really payed much attention to Black History month because I just sort of felt like it wasn't really one of those things that included me in any way, shape, or form. I mean, I'm not going to go out and learn more about black history just because it's February, and I'm really not very likely to appreciate any more (or less) the influence of African Americans on my life. I feel the same way about Jewish holidays, I don't feel included in them one way or another because I'm not Jewish. But, they're fine. It's an opportunity for Jews to celebrate an important part of their life, religion, and heritage. Similarly, I sort of think of Black History month to be an opportunity for African Americans to embrace their heritage and learn more about the history of it. Right? I mean, that's what it's touted as, isn't it? So, when did it become a tool to break down racial barriers by making an attempt to align white celebrities with black role models? Anyway, I started out with every intention of going into details of the weekend. I'm just gonna touch on the highlights, though.
  • The glorious events of dog washing day. 5 hour marathon grooming session. Pass out exhausted, awake to rain. Rain results in wet, muddy dogs that SMELL like wet muddy dogs and LOOK like wet muddy dogs.
  • Time spent marveling at my ability to still be able to carry on three hour cross country phone conversations with my high school sweetheart (topics ranging from product placement and airbrushing cellulite in porn to the future of higher education,) while consuming copious amounts of nicotine, caffeine, and carbohydrates in a midtown CK's at 4am on a Saturday morning.
  • The brilliance that is Crispin Glover in Bartleby. Really, it's weird, but I love this movie.
  • The ins and outs of bar hopping in order to see good music in Memphis.
Though others have already done it, I must say something about the musical servings of Saturday night. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the Hi Tone. Jucifer at the Deli. Snowglobe at the Glass Onion. What's a girl to do? Spread herself thin, of course. The bright side, got more than ample opportunity to drive by Overton Park and watch all the pretty lights and news casters speculate on the missing gunman that shot some cop. Nice. Jucifer was fabulous. Lights, sweat, broken ear drums compliments of the literal wall of amps. It was hard to go from head banging to ass shaking when I left the deli after the Jucifer set to catch the tail end of Mrs. Jones and her Dap Kings. There was a healthy turn out of Memphis' hipster elite shaking it in a drunken soiree, even after it was left to the DJ's to provide the tunes. But you know? How many times have I seen great funk delivered by a charismatic soul sister? Countless. That stuff is all over the place, mostly in cut rate juke joints. The point is, she was good, but the show was over hyped. BUT, hype is what makes a good show, 9 times out of 10, so whatever. It's all good.


Public Service Announcement

You know that feeling of spending 45 minutes writing something after going 3 days of not being able to put anything out due to screwed up internet service, ONLY to have your browser freeze up and shut down, effectively deleting the whole damn thing? No? Well I do. Back to the drawing board.


The Bossanova Burnout

The Roadrunner gods have frowned upon me the last day or two, effectively preventing me from sharing with you every titillating detail of my unemployed life. Fortunately, not much to report. (Imagine that.) I mean, I made chili yesterday. And it was good and I ate some and then I ate some more today. I drank some water. Then I fed Bruce Campbell and cleaned his cage. And I watched a little Oprah on the telly. What was I thinking, these days are crazy with activity. I thought some more about the Fat Lady in Hollywood phenomenon. Here's what I decided: Instead of Jenny Craig and TrimSpa and E! helping these morbidly obese and moderately famous chicks make money by sweating their lard asses off on TV, why don't they just go get the goddamn lipo, maybe do a great little prime time special a la Tom Green with his testicle thing, AND THEN...(and this IS the best part)...they can sell the fat to a niche soap manufacturing company to make Celebrity Fatass Soap! Imagine! You could lather up with a little Ode de Anna Nicole Smith! You could get naked with Kirstie! Be dirty with Courtney Love! Oh my god. Fuck StarStrings, this is StarSoap.