The Other Weekend Stuff

There's plenty of promising shows this weekend if you're looking to an alternative to the mud and misery of Music Fest. Friday Short List:
  • S. Main Trolley Art Tour to start your night off right. Some good openings to look out for. 6-9pm down town.
  • The Menstruals and The Zippin Pippins at Murphy's. I've been meaning to check these guys out for ages. Doors at 9:00, $5.00 cover.
  • Drew Holcombe CD Release Party. He's a good guy. HiTone, Doors at 9:00, $5.00 cover.
Saturday Short List:
  • Joint Chiefs play Murphy's with The Secret Service. Both bands entertained crowds last Sunday at the Two Way music fest, and I must say--they impressed me. I had not yet seen Steve Selvidge's side project (The Secret Service) before then, and I'm now a fan. Doors at 9:00, $5.00.
  • Some kind of something's going down at the Buccaneer with PBR Beer Bust and T-shirts. There seems to be conflicting reports as to whether or Papa Top's West Coast Turnaround or The Unknown Pleasures will be providing live entertainment, but it seems like it could be a win-win situation.
Sunday Short List:
  • The Dempsey's play Huey's Midtown. I haven't seen these guys in a while. If you have friends from out of town here, take them to see these guys. They're about as Memphis as you get. Doors at 8:30.
  • Dude from The Roots is doing a DJ set at Plush Club with Messiah Surat and Nappy Wilson. Doors at 9:00, $10.00.
Let's face it, though. Everyone's probably just going to end up at the Two Way for the after party. My shoulders hurt.


Hasil Adkins: April 29, 1937 - April 26, 2005

In case you hadn't heard.
DATELINE: CHARLESTON, W.Va. Rock-a-billy artist Hasil Adkins, a one-man band whose screaming vocals and freestyle approach to rhythm landed a cult following, has died at 67. Adkins’ body was found Tuesday at his Madison home, where he lived alone. The cause of death has not been determined but it does not appear to be suspicious. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner’s office, Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy J.M. Thompson said Wednesday. “Someone had gone to check on him and had found him,” Thompson said. Guitar. Harmonica. Drums. Foot-rhythm instruments. Adkins played them all - often while singing. A yodel, screaming and a high-pitched female’s lark were some of his many voices. The son of a coal miner, Adkins learned to played guitar before he was 10. He claimed the only time he practiced his songs was on stage. Known to his fans as The Haze, Adkins struggled for decades to get noticed. In a 2002 interview, he said he mailed out thousands of tapes and records over a 30-year period while fishing for a record deal. Even Richard Nixon got one, courtesy of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. The president’s reply to Adkins came on White House stationery in 1970: “I am very pleased by your thoughtfulness in bringing these particular selections to my attention.” “Hasil was one of a handful of artists I think (who) are truly unique and truly individual. There aren’t very many people whose music you can identify in seconds. But he was one of them,” said Michael Lipton, a Charleston musician and writer who wrote stories about Adkins for newspapers and magazines and later became friends with Adkins. “And like those kinds of singular artists, they have good nights and bad nights, on a good night it was the most rhythmic, primal music I think I’ve ever heard,” Lipton said Wednesday. “On a bad night, it was still good.” Adkins was the original star of Norton Records, a label built around the primal recordings Adkins produced in his mountain home, beginning in the Eisenhower era. “People told me they wondered how I could stick with it, so many heartaches and letdowns. I had ‘em by the hundreds, millions I guess,” Adkins said. “I said, well, I didn’t start to quit.” Adkins, who claimed to have written more than 7,000 songs, first emerged hooting and wailing in the 1950s, only to disappear again. European fans kept the rock-a-billy rage alive, and when the Cramps did an early 1980s remake of Adkins’ “She Said,” his records suddenly became hot again. What Adkins sang about was just as unique as his delivery, which was fueled by a 2-gallon-a-day coffee habit. New York-based Norton Records combined new and previous recordings to release “Poultry in Motion,” a collection of 15 Adkins songs about chicken from 1955 to 1999. His “Chicken Walk” and “The Hunch” became two short-lived dance fads. There also were tunes like “Chocolate Milk Honeymoon” and “Boo Boo The Cat.” Despite his antics, acquaintances described Adkins as good hearted. “He’d do anything for you, sing any song for you if he knew it,” said Juanita Pridemore of Washington Heights. Adkins often performed at Charleston’s Empty Glass bar, where some out-of-town acts stipulated that he open for them. “It was just amazing. It was like nothing you’ve ever heard,” said Leslie Nahodil, a Boone County nurse who met Adkins during his occasional visits to her hospital’s emergency room. “It was just pure, homespun, country rock-a-billy music.” -- By JOHN RABY, Associated Press Writer
2 gallons of coffee a day. Legendary. Services are scheduled for Saturday. Condolences and memorials can be sent to Hasil's sister at:

Metalcore Saviors

I don't listen to a lot of metal (or metalcore, mathcore, noise punk, or whatever it is you choose to call this,) on my own time, but there's nothing I love more than a good metal show, and rumor has it that The Dillinger Escape Plan puts on one to remember. They used to breathe fire on stage; if we can get the guys at the Hi Tone to OK it, maybe they will this time, too. Either way, you can bet your granny's brass balls I'll be at this show. (Even if I have to hawk my Danelectro.)

Staying Put is Hard to Do

Last fall while I sat at my desk in Alaska looking out over the Brooks range and watching the snow collect on the peaks, I realized I had to figure out what I was doing next because they were going to make me leave that place soon. I spent a lot of time on the internet, looking for the next step. I applied to baby sit sea turtle eggs in Hawaii and got accepted, but decided that I probably was not yet completely ready to relinquish my distaste for sand. (I hate the stuff with a passion.) I talked to my friends who were traveling to Asia, but then they hooked up and I opted to not be the third wheel. Then I subscribed to the Caretaker Gazette thinking maybe I could just find some cabin somewhere and spend the winter in solitude maybe writing or working on some art pieces I've been wanting to do. Obviously, I didn't find anything that worked, though I almost did accept a position for this summer in a little surfing village in Baja. I ended up stranded in New York City instead, and then back in Memphis where I am trying to be content to stay because there are specific goals that I wish to accomplish that can only be accomplished here. However, thumbing casually through copies of the Gazette that I continue to get, I find every once in a while that they still occasionally come up with something that tempts me. For example:
CALIFORNIA, THE EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT is looking for a caretaker(s) to provide security and assist District Naturalists in providing tours at Brooks Island, located off the shore of Richmond, California. The person(s) must be able to adjust to living 24/7 on a remote island dependent on the tides for trips to shore and back. Caretaker must provide a boat for treks to the main land for groceries and other errands but must remain on the island for weekend activities and every evening. The District provides a two bedroom home with generator and solar power plus monthly compensation. Brooks Island is home to a thriving protected Caspian Tern colony. District prefers an individual or couple who has an interest/knowledge of birds or plants and is outgoing and friendly when providing tours.
Thinking about that and how much I want to be there doing that, I think maybe, with unabashed horror, that I am Sylvia Plath incarnate. Or maybe, (and not so terrifying,) Thoreau or Emmerson. Absolutely absurd. I am not the nature type.

BSMF or Bust?

The Beale Street Music Fest Blog by The Commercial Appeal is back up and guess what--this year I'm writing for it. Let the good times roll.

Memphis Music Part I

RachelAndTheCity* is working on a project to map out the convoluted branches of the Memphis Music Family Tree. What she's looking for is a succinct outline of your Memphis based band, past or present, including when it was active, the line-up, and perhaps the genre. Submissions can be sent to RachelAndTheCity through her MySpace profile.
* Not me, the other Rachel. Yes, I know it gets confusing, but stay with me, ok?


And I'll Say it Again Next Week, too

Beer Bust starts a little later this week--midnight. So technically you'll have three hours to tap the keg and shake your booty, so live it up.


Posted at the Young Ave. Deli, Midtown

I've never had anyone hateme so enthusiastically before. It's kind of refreshing.

My Condolences

I feel like I should write something, you know, just to keep you interested. But I don't really feel like it right now.


Because I Said So

I'm DJing. Sort of. So you better be there, damnit.


Top Ten Reasons to Live in Memphis in the Summer

I was lying on my back on a 14 foot trampoline staring up at the absence of clouds in the sky and getting a blistering sunburn. I was trying to figure out why staying in Memphis was worth the sweltering summer temperatures, atrocious humidity, and abundance of crawly bloodsucking bugs. I came up with a lot of good reasons to be nocturnal in Memphis in the summer-time.
    10) You can hear crickets and bullfrogs at night almost anywhere in the city, and we have awesome thunderstorms. 9) No matter where in Memphis you are, you're probably within a half hour of woods, swamps, rivers, and other nature-like things. Eh, ok, so all that comes with bugs and high humidity and poison ivy and such, but if you're an outdoorsy type, I'm sure you'll deal with it. If you, you know, like outdoorsy activities and stuff. 8) It's not impossible to find a place to live where I don't have to pay exorbitant deposits in order to have my 70 pound sheepdog with me; and I can probably even find a place with a yard so I don't have to come home early to walk him. 7) Pretty hard-wood floors so the dog hair doesn't get matted into gross old carpet. 6) You'll probably have to own a car in this city, which can be a burden, but on the flip side it makes it a lot easier to take summer road trips! We're centrally located to be able to get to all kinds of relatively awesome places within a day's drive; plus, as high as gas prices are getting, they're still lower here than in most of the country. 5) The beers are cheap, the rock 'n' roll is raunchy, and you can smoke in the bars. 4) A unique music scene founded on and heavily influenced by a rich history in a wide variety of genres. Whether you realize it or not, this place is kind of happenin'. 3) Memphis kids aren't bad at throwing parties, really. It probably has to do with the fact that booze is cheap and consequently, everyone can afford to be an alcoholic; but really, in the last week alone there's been a house party/cook-out/birthday party almost every frikkin' night. They set up the tables, throw a keg in the bathtub, push the furniture out of the way and put Evil Dead on the TV while people dance. Good times. Think about it--rowdy house parties are nearly an impossibility in larger metropolitan areas because, well, nobody lives in houses. 2) An extremely healthy environment for making art of all sorts from music, to film, to sculpture, et cetera. Low living expenses and a wealth of inspiration (if you look for it) makes Memphis fertile ground for creative juices. and my number one reason... 1) $5.00 Beer Bust and Dance Party with DJs Sex Pot Piper and Bad News Ang every Tuesday at the Hi Tone for the rest of the frikkin summer. Ooooh yeah.


So Much to Give

A lot going on this week. Let's get on with it, eh?
  • WEVL is holding it's spring pledge drive to support the activities of Memphis' volunteer radio station. Special guests, including Ben Nichols, Cory Branan, and Harlan T. Bobo, are scheduled to perform live throughout the week. You can check the schedule of special programming here. Help these guys achieve their goal of $62,000.00 by the week's end and maybe they'll be able to afford to put the programming online so that those of you who don't own radios can hear this stuff too! You can call to pledge at (901) 528-1990 or join online.
  • The Memphis Film Forum is hosting the 6th Annual Memphis International Film Festival April 21-24.
    This year's opening night film will be STRANDED IN CANTON which will be screened at the state of the art Malco's Paradiso Theatre. Drawing on intuition and ego, STRANDED IN CANTON is Eggleston's scathing study of Memphis' shady underground and exposes a world of wild nights, hard liquor, rock, drugs and firearms, of which he was a principal hell raiser. STRANDED IN CANTON has screened at many sold out screenings across the world, but this will be the first public screening of the film in Eggleston's hometown of Memphis. -- more
    Screenings will be held at the Malco Paradisio and Studio on the Square, for a full schedule click here.
    Monday, April 18
  • The Pirates with ElDorado and the Ruckus at the Hi Tone. Doors at 9:00, $3.00 cover. Tuesday, April 19
  • New Monsoon at the Young Avenue Deli. Doors at 9:00, $8.00 cover.
  • 80's Dance Party and Beer Bust featuring DJs Bad News Ang and Sex Pot Piper at the Hi Tone. Doors at 9:00, free. Wednesday, April 20
  • MIG Project at the Full Moon Club. Doors at 9:00, 21+ $3.00, 18-21 $5.00. Thursday, April 21
  • Hedgecreep, Damn Your Eyes, Christine, and The Sonsabitches at the Buccaneer. Doors at 9:00, $5.00 cover(?). Friday, April 22
  • Party Cannon (featuring Rarty Dude and Shane Kandy) with The Guacos and the Novak duo Bodie Green at Murphy's. Doors at 9:00, $5.00 cover(?).
  • The Mosquitos with The Hook Up at the Hi Tone. Doors at 9:00, $8.00 cover.
  • Luv Clowns at First Congregational Church. Kids show starts at 7:30 sharp, grown-up's show starts at 10:00, free for kids, $5.00 for adults Saturday, April 23
  • Scenestars' One Night Stand featuring the Scenestars DJs and Young Agent Jones at the Buccaneer. Doors at 10:00, free show.
  • PerCee P with The Tunnel Clones, DJ Red Eye Jedi, and DJ Leroy at the Hi Tone. Doors at 9:00, $10.00 cover.
  • The Angel Sluts Record Release Party with The Six String Jets and The Drip at Murphy's.
  • Viva Voce with The Natural Kicks at the Young Avenue Deli. Doors at 9:00, $5.00 cover. Sunday, April 24
  • Spring Music Fest featuring a long list of Memphis' finest bands at the Two Way Inn. 1:00pm until whenever, free to watch.
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Warm and Sunny Days

  • Walkie Talkie and The Antique Curtains at the Buccaneer. I don't know what Walkie Talkie's about, but I know the Antique Curtains put on a good show. Doors at 10:00, $5.00.
  • The Fucking Champs are apparently a big deal metal act. There are people coming in from as far away as New Orleans and Little Rock to see these guys, likened to Iron Maiden, Metallica without vocals? I don't know about that, but I may have to check it out. They're playing the Hi Tone with Parchman Farm and Doors at 9:00, $8.00.
  • Chris Davis at the Flyer says Drums & Tuba has "gotten too electronic for their own good." Is that supposed to make me not want to see them? "Too" anything is always intriguing. At least to me. They're playing the Deli tonight with local instrumental rock 'n' rollers Noise Choir. Doors at 9:00, $8.00.
  • There's been a street party going on on Walker all day in the University District. The Tunnel Clones and a bunch of others did/will play. Afterparty at Newby's with The Gamble Brothers, who I don't like a whole lot, but a ton of people seem to. Check it. If, you know, you want to and stuff.
I didn't go to the cook out on Linden. Someone better have saved me a hamburger, damnit.


Termite Wings Stuck to Windowsills

When the perpetual goosebumps go away and your ass cheeks start sliding together in your sweat soaked pants, you know it's summer in Memphis. Fortunately, I've got a few weeks yet before the ass cheek slide starts happening. I'm hoping amassing a thick collection of thong panties, perhaps in ultra absorbent terry cloth, before then will help keep it at bay. Thursday night at the Buccaneer started out as the kind of rock show that's been a staple in Memphis, probably forever. It dissolved into a soul searing dedication to the Gods of drunken debauchery and bad music, drawing nearly every unassuming bystander into the mix at one point or another. Drums were thrown across the room, young Rivers Cuomo look-alikes wailed into stolen microphones, Frenchmen played with tambourines, amplifiers were humped tenderly, guitarists demonstrated the literal meaning of "shredding", and a drunk santa clause type would have been perfectly content to keep on jamming into the night. His eyes rolled back in his head a little when someone unplugged him, he said he'd discovered his calling in life. No more picking on his back porch with a forty, he was going to join a band, goddamnit. He says he's going to join a band. His name's Tim, I think. He introduced himself cordially. Keep an eye out about town for this one. Tonight, you'll find me at the Tunnel Clones show at the Hi Tone. Then it's off to serenade the neighborhood at the block party on Evergreen. Free booze. I'm there. P.S. Power Douching


Wear Out Your Muscles, Mary

For those of you that became fans of The White Stripes after being personally serenaded by frontman Jack White, you might like to know that The 'Stripes new album, Get Behind Me Satan, is due for release on June 7th.
The album, which was written, produced, and mixed by Jack White, was recorded in the band's home stomping ground of Detroit at White's Third Man studios. It was additionally mixed in Memphis at Ardent Studios and mastered in New York at Masterdisk. -- more
Is Meg even a part of The White Stripes anymore? Frankly, I find the title of the album interesting. Perhaps it's the palor of the rockstar's skin, his giant black Mercedes, or the appearance of a maniacal handlebar mustache, but it somehow seems an appropriate line for good ole' Jack to be reciting. I wish him the best. Tonight, it's Goner-style locals The Dutchmasters with Detroit spawned Demon's Claws and The Golden Boys at the Buc. I haven't been out since Sunday night. I need a drink. Tomorrow, I've got to choose between jam bands, hip hop, hard core, and electronic. What's a girl to do. You'll probably find me against the wall at the Hi Tone where The Tunnel Clones are playing with The Memphis FEEL-Harmonic DJ Symphony Orchestra. Should be a good show. I posted some Tunnel Clones tracks on Scenestars. Check it. EDIT: Download the first single off of Get Behind Me Satan, Blue Orchid, at Scenestars.


Public Service Announcement

  • Britney Spears is indeed pregnant. Sounds like a nouveau emo kid waiting to happen.
  • If the third collumn is encroaching on the layout in your browser, please drop me a line.
  • The events calendar is relatively caught up. Thank you, Hi Tone, for having, like, the only reliably updated venue-run calendar in Memphis.
  • I want to marry House. He reminds me a little of Harlan T., don't you think?
  • I cut my hair. My self. Pictures forthcoming.

You Heard Helsinki

I've been absent. Doing a little bit of "research" for stories and such. Actually, Memphis has been blowing my mind, lately. There seems to be a pervading belief that there's nothing much going on in Memphis. I think the problem is, there's just not many ways of finding out what's going on. The Asobi Seksu/Viva L'American Deathray Music show Thursday started my weekend out with a bang. Both bands were great, Asobi Seksu was fantastic. Little Yuki has a phenomenal voice that just swells up and buries you in it; the bass player, Glenn, was very chivalrous, offering to beat some heathen type up that was making a scene by shouting at me. Asobi Seksu is recording their new album now, planning for a fall release. If the new material they played at the show is any indication, it will be a stellar sophomore album. Friday, I'm thinking there was a series of house parties, a lot of hanging out, dance parties in living rooms, beers on back porches, and somewhere or another, the occasional acoustic guitar made an appearance. If you're not a member of Memphis Parties on MySpace, I recommend it. Boy gets all the scoop on house parties, and it's a good way to meet people. Particularly in the mid town area. Saturday, I checked out the Tunnel Clones at the Deli for a hot minute, then scooted back over to the Hi Tone to check out The Circuit Benders (with a guest appearance by Robbie from Vending Machine,) and The Bloodthirsty Lovers. After that, we made a quick exit for a rooftop birthday party somewhere down town. Though it was wrapping up by the time we got there (sometime around 1:00am,) it was a great change of pace. A lot of Mpact people, international types, good DJ's and perfect weather. The view was great. I need to find out how to book shows there. We went from there over to writer/comedian/hot stuff about town Andy Earles' new apartment where records were played, beers imbibed, and music dissected viciously until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning when the party moved to Hurley's and continued until about noon when everyone crashed. Sunday, I sought to find out how many Sparks I could drink before going into cardiac arrest. I don't know how many that is, I started getting nauseas after three and ate a lot of potato chips. Viva L'American Deathray Music played the Buc and I enjoyed it, again. A bunch of kids planned on seeing a double feature of Sin City and The Ring Two at the drive-in, I passed on the opportunity in favor of dinner and a nap. All of this is not intended to bore you, only to prove my point that there are endless opportunities for good times in Memphis if you know where to look and who to call. And I've done that, right?


What's What

Check out Memphis rockstars Nick Ray and Harlan T. Bobo in Viva L'American Deathray Music as they play with Brooklyn shoegazers Asobi Seksu. Hi Tone. Tonight. You're fired as my friend/casual aquaintance if you don't show. Afterparty at the Buccaneer for Buck Wilder and The Hook Up. It's Buck Wilder's birthday and rumor has it there will be birthday suits and spankings. Listen: Asobi Seksu - It's Too Late


An Update after Mimosas in the Hot Tub

So the 80's Dance Party/Beer Bash at the Hi Tone is on hiatus just as it starts getting extremely fun. It was replaced last night by Southern Culture on the Skids, and next week by Oteil and the Peacemakers. If The Gris Gris wasn't enough psychedelic whatever for you, A Fir Ju Well plays a free "On The Road" show tonight at the Deli. I like their website, but I'm not really into the excess sonic waste that goes with the genre. Alternatively, you could check out The Mountain Goats and The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, a pairing of what might be two of the worst band names ever, at the Hi Tone. A while back, it seemed like everyone had a secret love affair with The Mountain Goats. I never really understood it. But, whatever. Tonight, as usual, what will probably be the best music in town will be found at the Full Moon Club where the Memphis Industrial Goth Project will take over once again. Good stuff, I say. You can get a taste of what to expect on MIG Project Radio.


Sin City, Et Cetera

I've been having technical difficulties this week. House sitting for my godparents and can only occasionally get the laptop to pick up the wireless internet signal. I got tired of messing with the thing and gave up pretty easily. So tonight, the psych mastery of The Gris Gris, whose current album is being compared to Neutral Milk Hotel, will mesh with the dirty Rock n' Roll sound of The Six String Jets and Jenny Jeans at the Buc. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better. Last night was pathetic. I sat in a chair by the door at a fairly slammin' house party with a paper cup of Port and a bag of potato chips, coughing violently at periodic intervals. I didn't even feel well enough to eat the hamburger Terrance bought me at the Two Way, but I wrapped it up and brought it home with me. It tasted good when I ate it a few minutes ago. Thanks T. Brown.
Terrance and I and some other hot hipster types went to see Sin City. I was enthralled. The visuals were so captivating, the gratuitous sex and violence so perfectly executed, that I had trouble answering questions about whether the plot was any good and if the soundtrack was interesting. It's apparently very true to the graphic novels created by Frank Miller who collaborated with Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn) to create what is already being touted as the new standard in comic adaptations. It's a stunning insta-classic, and even if "Comic Noir" isn't really your thing, any film buff should appreciate the level of brilliance achieved in this flick.