Another Memphis Weekend

I found this picture of Cory Branan when I was looking at his website today. Best ever. He plays tonight at the Hi Tone. I hear he's growing his hair out again. Before Cory, check out the Memphis FEEL-Harmonic at Dish and after Cory, go to the Buc for the Thursday Night Debacle. Someone said something about riding bikes. Stupid greenies. Don't they know it's too damn hot for that shit? Tomorrow night, the Orpheum is playing Rocky Horror Picture show and all that jazz. I believe the show starts at 7:15pm and tickets are $6.00. Barring that, check out The Feverfew at Sip Coffee and Conversations. It's an earlier show, about 7:00pm. Tickets are $5.00, BYOB and get hopped up on coffee. Because then you have to go to Murphy's for the late show featuring Esque [Esque is my neighbor, they practice a lot and sound something like Joy Division and the Cure and things in that vein which figures because Darren, the singer, is sort of into that kind of stuff. At some point I think he was referred to as New Wave Darren, which hints at his interests.--Ed.], Jet Jag KR3-Kill Spree, The Circuit Benders and Agape. When I googled Agape, I came up with a lot of, like, Saints and Catholic stuff and somehow I don't think that's what they're about...Show starts at 9:30, $5.00 cover. Saturday, there's the Glass CD Release show with Brad Postlethwaite at the Deli. I hear We March is pretty worthwhile, but I know ZIP about them so you're on your own. They'll be at the Buc, possibly with the Guacos. 10:00 or later, $5.00. Sunday, War of the Worlds drive in party. Best Tom or Katie costume gets a Sparks (I'm serious.) 8:30 at the Summer Drive In, $6.00 unless you figure out some way around it. BYOB.


What I Do In My Spare Time

Painting bare chested frat boys at a Topless Tapas party last weekend. Marvelous. Photo by Josh Hailey. It so looks like there's somethng strange going on behind me...


"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

I just got around to reading the infamous Steve Jobs commencement address for the Stanford University class of 2005. Not to sound campy or anything, but it's quite possibly the most inspiring thing I've read in a long fucking time. Because I like it so much, I'm posting it in its entirety. Edit: It's too damn long. You can read it all here.


Bear Meat no longer accepted at the Glory Hole

The facts of the story are only marginally interesting, but when you can come up with a legit headline like this for a story about a homeless shelter in Juneau, Alaska, it's good conversation waiting to happen. Full story here. [via Waste Lagoon]


Movie Plans

Hopefully the free Reigning Sound show at Goner Records will be done by 8:30 on Sunday. I mean, I know everything starts late in Memphis, but if it's SUPPOSED to start at 3:00pm, surely we could make an 8:30pm movie. Soooo...Land of the Dead Sunday night at the Summer Drive In, we're meeting at Goner or in the parking lot across the street after the Reigning Sound show, in case you need a ride. Movie starts at 8:30, $6.50 admission unless you hide under a blanket in the trunk or back seat. Also of note, the Godfather is tonight at the Orpheum. $6.00 @ 7:15. Beer in the Balcony, et cetera.


Show Stuff

So last night I missed Augustine playing with The Colour Revolt and Stella Maris at the Hi Tone. I'm sorry guys, this damn day job is wearing me down. Fortunately, we'll all get another chance to see you in a couple of weeks (July 8th, to be exact,) at the Makeshift benefit show with Walkie Talkie and The Noise Choir. Hopefully you'll go on before Walkie Talkie because, as I recall, their sets last for HOURS and I don't know if I could stick around. (Just kidding, I'd do it for you.)
Tonight, I'm going to try to make it out to see Jack Oblivian and The Tennessee Tearjerkers play with the Jenny Jeans at the Buc. I ran into the Tearjerker's T. Money the other day at the Flea Market. He's still recovering from a motorcycle accident from several months back but says he mostly practices with his bass strapped to his belt so he can do it right at shows. This will be good. You should go. Tonight, $5.00, Buccaneer. The dates for Goneroo Too have been announced. Look like more rock 'n' roll insanity will ensue September 23-25. Furthermore, plans are in the works for a Halloween weekend music fest October 28-30. It's shaping up to be a good fall.


Ladytron Releases 'Sugar' Re-Mix on iTunes

UK goth-synthers, Ladytron, are releasing a re-mix of "Sugar," the new single from their upcoming release, "Witching Hour." Check it out on iTunes, then register at their website and view the full-length video.[via arjanwrites] Plus: Toothpaste on Ladytron

Samsung patents unsending, local drunk texters furious

Samsung recently announced a patent on a service which makes it possible to "unsend" sent text messages made, frequently, under the influence of some shit or another. Local celebrities, who in large part have built their name up via drunk texting, are disheartened. "It's just part of who I am," laments Rebecca Marley*, 31, of Memphis. "If I am able to delete sent messages, I will. There's a certain boldness and spontaneity, a thrilling quality the capability of 'unsending' will remove. It is a sad day." Marley finds so much comfort in her drunk texting, in fact, that she recently created Memphis Drunk Texters, a MySpace support group for those suffering (or not) with the problem. Samsung, however, anticipates great success of this service but warns that deleting the message will not achieve desired results if the recipient has already read it. [via Cellular-News] *Names changed to protect the inebriated. Quotes may or may not be completely fabricated for their entertainment value.


Happy Summer!

I'm bad with dates. I forget birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. I forget when I met my boyfriend, when I had my first kiss, and what year my little brother was born in. I will not, however, forget every last detail of what I was doing on June 21st, 2004. See, here in the south, Summer Solstice is not really much of a big deal. I don't think anyone even notices it unless they hear the weather man casually mention it on the 10 o'clock news. In Alaska, however, it's a holiday and a big one at that. We're talking BBQ cookouts, music festivals, house parties and all other manner of fabulous debauchery ensues; all the stuff us lower 48'ers do on July 4th, which, by the way, is a holiday greatly diminished by the midnight sun, since you can't appreciate the fireworks and such. Last year at this time I was finishing up at work, scooping ice cream for the last of the Australian tourists and hurriedly trying to get closing tasks done so I could go shower and change. We would meet up at the overlook for margaritas, throwing little rocks at the strange inland sea gulls that harassed us and probably sweating a bit on the deck while we watched the last of the day's rafting tours float by lethargically below us. There were usually a couple of small ground squirrels chasing each other raucously about the interim of the area and we would laugh at them when conversation would quiet. At some point we walked over to the Lynx Creek pizza cafe/bar where interesting woman named Lulu, who both looked and sounded suspiciously masculine, was singing drinking songs and playing her guitar. The bartender was decked out in beads and one of those silly hats, it sort of reminded me of New Years or St. Patrick's day. Maya and I were taking turns buying rounds of Long Island Iced Teas before we loaded up in the back of someone's run-down pick up truck and headed 12 miles north for the mouth of the Stampede Trail. The Stampede Trail has some interesting history to it involving idealistic dead youth and antimony mines, but I've heard it so many times I'd rather not recount it here and you probably don't give a rat's ass anyhow. Suffice it to say the Stampede Trail traverses a narrow spit of tundra along the border of Denali National Park and nestling up against the Brooks Range. It's a good spot for watching the sun not set, and that's exactly what we did. And then I threw up half a bottle of Southern Comfort in the truck on the way back. I got fired because of kidney problems shortly thereafter. After getting fired, I spent two or three weeks in Healy. In a really run down trailer. With a bunch of good ole' boy types from Louisiana. This was actually a good thing, I took the time to recover and spent lots of time shooting moose with paint ball guns, climbing around abandoned mining camps (pictures of this place here, here, and here), swimming in creeks, riding up to the tops of mountains, avoiding bears and moose, shooting guns at mountain sides and playing with dogs. I feel like I've put all this in here before. Oh well, I have very few interesting stories in my life. That's why I repeat the same ones all the time. Anyway, I've been getting my daily Alaska fixes through my friend Nicole who, on my recomendation, went to work for the company I completed the season last year with last year. Check out her Denali photo album.

Best Hi Tone Beer Bust Flyer Yet

I'm going to be there tonight. I swear.


I should post more often. Work is just a little too much for me today, is all. Interesting things in the works, by the way. Very interesting things.


Furthermore, Pulp Party this Sunday night at the Summer Drive-In. 8:35pm, Batman Begins. You better come watch us make fools of ourselves and take our pictures when we show our boobies. I mean other girls. When other girls show their boobies.


Take That, TNF

Nashville has Thursday Night Fever, TNF has "Bewbs". I would like to bring to everyone's attention, however, that Memphis has the best party photo-bloggers in the south. Even more importantly, we have better boobies than you. For example: Via Pony Boy Raila Via Rachel And The City Yep, we win. Memphis Photo-Blogs:
  • Pony Boy Raila
  • CherryBloss.org
  • RachelAndTheCity
  • Please note, nearly everyone in each of these pictures successfully follows the rules of how to appear in a hipster photo blog.

    Love In Action Schedules National Press Conference

    Via DetourMemphis:
    MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, JUNE 15, 2005: Love in Action International, a Christ-centered Memphis-based international recovery treatment center, is calling upon the community to extend open-minded consideration and tolerance towards young people with same-sex attraction who are currently undergoing the organization's youth program called Refuge. International controversy over an individual's right to self-determination and choice in sexuality has recently been the subject of current debate. Also under assault is the right of parents to determine appropriate therapeutic intervention for minor children according to social and personal conscience. Community and youth leaders, as well as individuals, who have been through the Love in Action International program, will address these issues at a press conference being held tomorrow. The press conference is at 11 a.m. [Thursday, June 16] at our facility, 4780 Yale Road, Memphis. For more information, contact Tommy Corman at (901) 751-2468.--Official Link to Press Release
    Go and hear what this alleged cult facility has to say in an attempt to defend themselves. Show your support for Zach and anyone else subjected to this brainwashing. Other Pertinent Links:
  • One gay Christian currently struggling with his own sexuality speaks out against Love In Action.
  • History of the Ex-Gay movement.
  • "Inside 'Love In Action'", a WMC TV Story
  • June 14, 200columnmn in the Commercial Appeal
  • June 14, 2005 Article in Commercial Appeal
  • UK Gay News Commentary
  • Links to articles and commentaries in this week's Memphis Flyer will be added as soon as they are put up. Also note that the Love In Action protest now has a home at the Queer Action Coalition website.


    John Smid Gets Around

    I did a little research on Rev. John Smid, the current Director of Love In Action International. I came across this interesting article about Smid's relationship with his father. Referring to his earlier experiences in life with homosexuality and his father's disagreement but ultimate understanding of his struggle, he says:
    "My friends were aware of my dad's respect for them. They respected him and trusted him, not because he accepted their homosexuality, but rather because he treated them as human beings loved by God."
    In the end, Smid did revert back to a heterosexual way of life. It seems to me that someone that had themselves experienced a peaceful resolution to what they now consider a "problem" would be more understanding of someone undergoing the same struggle. Furthermore, the hypocrisy that is revealed through articles such as this, written by Smid himself, is absolutely stomach-churning. Why would he forcefully enact "counseling" and reform on youth going through what he himself once experienced, why would he encourage parents to do this tot heir children, when he so respected the compassion and understanding from his own father that allowed himself to find his own way? More works on and by John Smid:
  • Journey Out of Homosexuality by John Smid
  • Interview with John Smid by PlanetOut.com
  • Testimonial from John Smid on Exodus-International.org
  • "Let Love In Action Be", Memphis Flyer viewpoint piece by Brian Pera
  • Love In Action: The Final Indoctrination, an interview with Tom Ottosen, former LIA ex-gay
  • A Memphis Flyer article from fall 1999 accounting LIA's two year anniversary includes this quote by ScottHobbs, a former LIA member who calls the organization a "cult":
    "I felt so manipulated because I thought no one else could help me," he says. "I was suicidal. When you're brought up Christian, you just want to fix it if you're homosexual. At Love in Action there are rules six or seven pages long. The whole thing is so far-fetched. It's taken me so long since leaving to get back in touch with reality. Since I've spoken out against them, they treat me like a leper."--Full Article
    John Smid will be conducting a "Homosexuality: Roots and Responses" seminar at Cornerstone Festival 2005 taking place June 30-July 3 in Bushnell, IL. Also, Mission Impossible: Why Reparative Therapy and Ex-Gay Ministries Fail and a workbook of appropriate response by the Human Rights Coalition. Questions or suggestions about Love In Action can be directed to John Smid at jjsmid@loveinaction.org.


    "In other news" is so over-used

    Flyer for Tuesday Beer Bust and 80's Dance Party with DJs Bad News Ang and Sex Pot Piper. 9:00pm at the Hi Tone. So, you know, there's that thing on Tuesday nights, that Beer Bust thing that goes on Tuesday nights at the Hi Tone. It's usually pretty fun and stuff, $5.00 all-you-can-drink PBR, lots of great geighties for you to dance to, hot girls and boys everywhere you look. Memphis Parties thought they were being witty by saying "Tuesdays are the new Fridays," but let me remind you that I called that one back in the day. Like, the second time Piper & Ang ever DJ'ed the Beer Bust. Except I said "Tuesdays are the new Sundays," because that was in the aftermath of the Melange (now Dish) redesign and their badass 80's Sunday Nights going downhill. Also, keep in mind I have no vested interest in promoting this. It's just the hottest thing you could possibly do with yourself on any given Tuesday night, or--in some cases--the entire week, and so I'm telling you about it. Because that's what I do.
    Flyer for Thursday night's DJ party with Buck Wilders and The Hook-Up. 9:00pm at the Buc, no cover. Maybe you can't do Tuesdays though, and that's fine. The next best thing is Thursdays at the Buccaneer with DJs Buck Wilders and The Hook-Up. How much fun can you have on a Thursday night at the Buccaneer? I can't remember. But I'm told the potential for 2:00am Fried Chicken runs is very, very good.
    Flyer for Fantastic Romantic Freaks featuring DJs Buck Wilders and the Hook-Up and the Memphis FEEL-Harmonic DJ Symphony Orchestra. Saturday at the Buc, 9:00pm, $5.00 cover. If that's not enough Buccaneer action for you, go back Saturday for the Fantastic Romantic Freaks thing. The dude on their flyer looks like Ron Jeremy and it promises to have Rachel passed the &*%$ out by the time it's over.


    Love in Action or Child Abuse?

    Protester Sue Cook being interviewed by local media outside of Love In Action headquarters. Many of you have probably heard by now of the Love In Action controversy over one 16-year-old Bartlett boy who recently revealed to his parents that he was gay. Last week they responded by informing him they had enrolled the high school student in a program which would, essentially, scare him straight. He was given no choice in attending. Love In Action is a Raleigh behavior correctional facility, endorsed by Exodus International and a number of Memphis area churches, which "re-programs" gay youth through a program known as "Refuge" which utilizes a list of techniques and rules that can be described as outlandish and backwards at best, and positively inhumane at worst.
    Protesters outside Love In Action International headquarters in Raleigh. A few of the particularly disturbing rules of the program include:
  • No hugging or physical touch between clients. Brief handshakes or a brief affirmative hand on a shoulder is allowed (exception is when observed by therapeutic accountability).
  • Absolutely no journaling or keeping a diary outside of the MI process unless directed or approved by staff.
  • LIA wants to encourage each client, male and female, by affirming his/her gender identity. LIA also wants each client to pursue integrity in all of his/her actions and appearances. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FI¹s). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and "campy" or gay/lesbian behavior and talk.
  • All new Refuge clients will be placed into Safekeeping for the initial two to three days of their program. A client on safekeeping may not communicate verbally, or by using hand gestures or eye contact, with any other clients, staff members, or his/her parents or guardians. In case of a practical need, Safekeeping clients may write down their question or request and show it to another client, staff member, or their parent or guardian. Writing may only be used when absolutely necessary. Parents and guardians must enforce their child¹s safekeeping status at home or in their temporary lodging.
  • Safekeeping clients are required to spend a minimum of two hours (in one sitting) a day alone in their room (note: by ³alone² it is understood that parents or guardians can be in the room but are not to interact or disrupt the alone time of the safekeeping client). During the alone time Safekeeping clients may work on their treatment plans, read program materials or the Bible, pray, or work on other assignments from their staffworkers.
  • No television viewing, going to movies, or reading/watching/listening to secular media of any kind, anywhere within the client¹s and the parent¹s/guardian¹s control. This includes listening to classical or instrumental music that is not expressly Christian (Beethoven, Bach, etc. are not considered Christian). The only exception to the media policy is the weekly movie.
  • Refuge clients are allowed a one-time 15-minute maximum closed bathroom door time for shower/grooming purposes. The only other closed-door alone time allowed is for using the restroom.
  • Furthermore, "Refuge clients are expected to maintain a committed pursuit of a positive and thankful attitude." Seems like a lot to ask when even the program directors admit that many of the young adults are brought in against their will. Please also note the convenient incorporation of promoting business at the program's favorite church and bookstore (and corporate sponsors?):
  • Refuge clients and their parents/guardians are required to attend Love in Action¹s host church, Germantown Baptist Church, on Sunday mornings. More information about GBC can be found online at www.gbconline.net.
  • Clients are not allowed to visit any video, music or media stores that are not expressly Christian, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Clients may visit LifeWay Christian stores with a parent or guardian.
  • Today was the first day of a two week long protest at the facility, planned to take place every morning at 8:30am. For on-going information on the protest, click here. More thoughts and information can be found at:
  • River City Mud
  • The Pesky Fly
  • CherryBloss.org
  • Born Into This Mess
  • Saturna
  • Tribe.net
  • Photos of the protest here and here. News Coverage:
  • Eyewitness News Memphis video clip and story
  • WMC Stations video clip
  • UPDATE June 8th, 2005 @ 1:20pm
    "I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery."
    This is allegedly a quote from John Smid, the director Love In Action International, according to an interview with an ex-LIA group ember. Though Smid denies it, the fact that ex-members of his program even suggest hrecommendccommend suicide speaks volumes for the effectiveness and the residual side-effects of the program. UPDATE June 9th, 2005 @ 12:43pm Much, much more information about Rev. John Smid.

    Monday Morning

    Monday is a shock to the system for those in productive arrest. I have a funny feeling I'm going to die in this building. Here, on the 15 floor with my glass walls and industrial grade carpet. In my house shoes and heavy sweater, thanks to the incessant running of the air conditioner. The clouds are all bubbling, boiling up and spitting things out like rain and lightening and who knows what other sorts of meteorological things. I'm hungry. And contemplating Halloween music fests in Memphis.


    Friday Night

    Do you really need to ask what the recommended show is tonight?
    River City Tanlines play Murphy's with Holy Shit! and the Rat Traps. $5.00 cover, doors at 9:00ish.

    By the way

    This is probably going to be a big deal. You should think about going.
    P.S. Have I mentioned lately how much the whole 8-5 thing SUCKS? Cause it sucks a lot. EDIT: This thing is now $5.00. What a steal.

    Andrew Bird: Memphis' Pied Piper

    Ok, my first tendency was to say that I am not prone to gush over a musician, but, in all honesty, I am. I am VERY prone to it. However, due to that and the classic "cry wolf" paranoia that I have instilled in my loyal audience, please allow me to emphasize and RE-emphasize how fucking (yes, gratuitous profanity, just to catch your attention,) amazing Andrew Bird is. At times in my life, I have more or less lived at the Hi Tone and therefore I feel aptly qualified to state that it is possible the building has NEVER in its history contained such a large audience so perfectly and raptly focused on a single musician with a violin. These are the same kids I see at the Beer Bust, the same kids I see at punk rock shows getting rowdy, the same kids purportedly ripping doors off of household appliances at house parties, and every single one of them was successfully wooed by a classically trained musician with floppy hair and an alluring stage manner. There are few men in this world I could honestly say I wouldn't mind getting knocked up by. Andrew Bird is one of them. There are fewer musicians I see on stage for the first time without precursory information that I feel the insatiable urge to get to know. Andrew Bird is one of them. That should be enough to urge you to check him out, if you haven't already done so. If there is an a single album that I recommend everyone I know to listen to, and buy, it would be The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Seriously. I'll be posting an interview on Scenestars shortly. Rest assured I'll alert you when I do.


    Your Weekend Art Fix

    Midtown photographer Christian Patterson has an exhibit going up this weekend.
    "The photographs in "Sound Affects" were made in Memphis from 2003 - 2005 at barbecue joints, dive bars, liquor stores, parties, and everyday locations including laundromats, supermarkets, and my own home. The moments I captured are unmistakably musical: the lighting may be soft, the colors sometimes loud. There is also a more elusive, underlying musicality that I found. These moments are compelling but ultimately fleeting, until they are captured on film." -- Christian Patterson
    The "Sound Affects" opening will be this Saturday, June 4th, at the Power House (45 G.E. Patterson) from 6:00-8:00pm. More information on the exhibit can be found here.


    Tonight: Beer Bust at Murphy’s. There may be Scenestars DJ’s tonight, if not they have a pretty badass digital jukebox so it’s basically a win/win situation. Also, chances are the beer won’t run out like it does every week at the Hi Tone. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usTomorrow: Andrew Bird at the Hi Tone. Everyone’s talking about this show and I’m kind of thinking it’s going to be a good one. You can hear Andrew play live on WEVL FM 90 for The Music Lovers tomorrow at 4:00pm. Doors open at the Hi Tone at 10:00pm and the cover is $10.00. Listen to "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" and other gems here. I think he’s hot. I’m going to get an interview. After the Andrew Bird show, check out "Thursday Night Fever" at the Buccaneer with DJ’s Krissy and Lacey. It’ll be historic. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSaturday: Harlan T. Bobo and Jeff Evans at the Hi Tone. Another good show, I’m sure. Doors at 9:00pm, $5.00 cover.

    Evidence of more wasted time

    PostSecret and a NY Times slideshow on the project. I like this idea. I'm going to start sending in a scandalous postcard about one of you every single week.