8.28.2005

Built Like Snowflakes

I must admit it's unsettling to see Katrina bearing down on New Orleans with 165 mph winds considering only Thursday I slept on a porch (it was very hot inside,) in Fort Lauderdale while it terrorized Broward county with 75 mph winds. Many of the people there still do not have power or provisions now four days later and are under stressful conditions after enduring minimal damage. I keep thinking about New Orleans and the things that I love about that city. The things that have happened there, the memories that live there and the people that live with them. I keep thinking about it all. It's enough to make an atheist pray. I'm in Atlanta, I head home tomorrow. See you then.

8.20.2005

It's a Saturday Night

So I just talked to Khylan (did I spell that right?) from 1057 Walker who is being billed as "The Best Band from Planet Mars." I asked him what that meant, and he said they decided on that because they're really different from the other things you might hear in Memphis and some how it just made sense. He said I'll see what it means when I hear them tonight at the next installment of Punk Wok Buffet at Pho Hoa Binh. They're playing there with the Six String Jets and the Dutch Masters after Augustine had to cancel the show that they originally had planned to play with 1057 Walker at the Buc. Anyway, if you want to catch a rare appearance of ME and see something a little different, you can check it out, too. Tonight at Pho Hoa Binh, 10:00pm with $5.00 $4.75 cover. Alternatively, you can support Huntington's Disease research and get to see The Antique Curtains, Esque, and Issen tonight at the Hi Tone. $5.00 cover, doors at 9:00pm. Last but not least on my agenda is the kegger at Kudzu's. There a couple of birthdays and a going away party being celebrated. Somebody's spinning records and apparently if you get there early enough you'll get to drink off the keg for free. Anyway, see you tonight. I leave in the morning for Florida for a week so don't expect anymore updates until, ohh, I'd say September or so.

8.18.2005

Memphis Post Secret

[edited August 18th, 2005] You may or may not have heard about the anonymous community art project called Post Secret. If you have, you probably think it's pretty damn cool, like I do. If you haven't, you should check it out. The following will make a lot more since if you know what I'm talking about. I want you to send in your Post Secrets, Memphis-style. We're re-writing the rules. Forget the old format: we know secrets sometimes require more than a 4x6 inch space to be told. Now you can use whatever it takes to tell your secret. Write us a letter, or even a book. Hell, write us a letter in a book. A message in a [beer] bottle. Put your secret in a pizza box. Write it on a Barbie doll, a favorite CD, or an old t-shirt. Make a video, take a picture, record a sound. Whatever it is that reminds you of your secret. Be creative. Or not. We take post cards and notebook paper, too. Selected submissions will be photographed for publication in various print and online formats and will also be available for viewing in area galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and libraries. Submissions can be sent to:
Memphis Post Secret 677 Landis Street Memphis, TN 38104
Questions? E-mail me.

Help a Sistah'

So obviously I've updated the events calendar. My goal is to list pretty much everything that goes on in Memphis that might be of interest to someone that lives here, so I need help not only because there's stuff going on that I forget about, but also because I've not been able to go out so much (broke!) and I'm basically out of the frikkin' loop. If you know of something that should be on that list that isn't (be it art openings, film events, festivals, concerts, shows, house parties, whatever,) in any part of town please let me know and I'll put it up. Also, if your favorite venue isn't on the list, send me the info and I'll put that on there, too.

Poplar Pike, circa 1930

Poplar Pike and Forest Hill-Irene, circa 1930 looking East. Now what's there...Well, the property shown now sits beneath the Belmont Grill. I believe there's a Sherwin Williams, a strip mall on the other side of the street with some "other" corporate coffee shop. There's a restaurant on the southwest corner which has changed ownership a few times. Up the street there's a target and an Exxon, more strip malls. A Blockbuster. I love randomly coming across old pictures of Memphis. It's interesting to consider that in 1920, if you weren't living in midtown or downtown Memphis, you were basically living in rural America. Memphis, 1920 Here's one more old picture of Memphis that I love: Memphis Bridge, 1906

8.15.2005

Short Cuts

  • The best news I've heard all day: WEVL FM 90 has their webcast back up and running. Now I can listen to The Music Lovers [Thursday 4:00-6:00!] at work, and so can you.
  • A reminder that the American Idol auditions are rapidly approaching. September 5th at the FedEx Forum. Get your song on.
  • Bruce Campbell's [not the rabbit] "Summer of Love" tour is slated for a Memphis appearance on August 24th. No details have been announced, and I'll be in Florida anyway, but someone better go and get pictures for me.
  • If a late night field trip to Graceland isn't in the plans, you can watch the CandleLight Vigil from the comfort of home tonight on PBS starting at 9:00pm. Check out VigilCast.
  • Elvis Ate Them

    I spent an exorbitant amount of time watching Elvis Impersonators perform yesterday and arrived at this conclusion: we have lost some of the most talented male vocalists of our time to this obsession with a dead man. I mean seriously, they're freakin' good. They're awesome performers with great voices and some of them are damn hot, too, and they spend their lives and talent impersonating someone that died a long time ago. Sure, if you're good at the gig it's a proven way to make money (and a good deal of it,) in the entertainment industry while otherwise they might struggle for years without acclaim, but it makes me wonder if any of these guys ever come to a point where they feel entirely unfulfilled emulating someone else's career and try to go out and make one for themselves. A few Elvii facts:
  • There are now more than 35,000 Elvis Impersonators worldwide.
  • There were only approximately 150 Elvis Impersonators at the time of his death in 1977.
  • Some Elvis Impersonators make more than $50,000 a year performing. Contracts on cruise ships or in Vegas can bring much more.
  • Some Elvis Impersonators have been Elvis longer than Elvis was Elvis.
  • 65% of Elvis Impersonators are of Asian descent.
  • All that being said, I'm becoming more of an Elvis fan as time passes. I wonder if one of these days I'll be toothless and wrinkled and raspy-voiced and chasing the memory of Elvis all around the world. As far as fashion goes at these types of things, it's sort of lacking. Endless parades of bad commemorative t-shirts, tacky plastic sunglasses, sloppy pompadours, and a positively garish procession of bedazzled jean jackets. (I didn't even know they still sold Bedazzlers, but behold.) I, however, have come across a few accessories I think I could pull off quite well at any Elvis convention anywhere. These are my favorites: First of all, any Elvis fan worth her salt should have a hot pair of Blue Suede Shoes. Check out Autumn Twilight, Lochinvar, and my personal favorite, the Dharma Wedges (see left). $148.00 to $358.00 at Anthropologie. So really, there's not a whole lot wrong with the classic Elvis aviators we all know and love, but there's always room for an upgrade, right? How about these "Suspicious Minds" Elvis shades. Nice. $103.03 from Retrospecs. I think the last necessity for the fashion conscious Elvis fan is a kick-ass Elvis belt buckle. Now, I've spent some time looking at these and there are plenty to choose from, but my pick goes to a subtle ode to Elvis via "Viva Las Vegas". $17.95 from Plush.

    8.12.2005

    Elvis is Back

    Heading in to Elvis Death Week, I'm going to suggest one thing: bring a spare pair of panties to throw and go check out Travis LeDoyt while he sings Elvis 50's rockabilly-style at the old Daisy Theatre this week. I've never really had the luxury of worshipping a pop icon, never found one I thought was worth while (except Henry Rollins and he doesn't count,) but when I saw this guy with my mom last week I thought I'd drop like a Tennessee fainting goat. Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Old Daisy Theatre on Beale. 523-0052 or ticketweb. Just do it, ok? Now, I'm going to go fight off hordes of European tourists at some Elvis memorabilia trade show while we pimp the magazine.

    8.11.2005

    Thursday, Thursday, Thursday

    The Oneida gig with UME and The Color Cast should be well attended tonight if you're in the mood to see and be seen. $8.00 at the Hi Tone, doors at 9:00pm. Alternatively, there are DJ nights going at Dish and the Buc. Both have my seal of approval.

    Jackson moves to Bahrain

    So several sources have reported that Michael Jackson bought property near a friend's estate in Bahrain. While the reports have since been amended to conclude that Jacko is simply "vacationing" (with his 20 year old Norwegian "ward", Omer Bhatti,) I found it interesting that the star heads off for some R&R to a rumored haven for pedophilia. While I've heard that Bahrain is another one of those countries where the problem proliferates due to the fact that nobody really wants to talk about sex one way or another, I didn't know the details and got curious. There doesn't seem to be much available, but here's a sample of what I found:
    Filipino men and others working in barber shops approach their customers by offering to massage them. Such approaches are reported by many men including Bahrainis and expatriates. Men report having to shop around for a barbershop where they feel comfortable and "don't have any problems." Women report friends and families warn other families where they should take their sons to have their hair cut and where not to leave their sons alone. -- Julanne McCarthy, M.A., M.S.N., Humboldt University in Berlin
    Regardless of his actual intentions, this sounds like a bad move for a pop star who narrowly escaped a child molestation conviction a mere four weeks ago.

    Reduced to the copy and paste

    This touched me.
    Dear Alcohol, First & foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours. As my friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around in the holidays, hidden inside chocolates as you warm us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings. However, lately I've been wondering about your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unwise consequences: 1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity takes place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call those ex-boyfriends/girlfriends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me during the day, let alone! All hours of the night? 2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat a taco with chili sauce, along with a big Italian meatball and some stale chips (washed down with WINE & topped off with a Kit Kat after a few cheese curls & chili cheese fries)? I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time. 3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see NO need to hammer the issue home by causing me to fall down. It's completely unnecessary, and the black & blue marks that appear on my body mysteriously the next day are beyond me. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock. 4. Furthermore: The hangovers have GOT to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for our previous evening's debauchery may be in order, but the 3pm hangover immobility is completely unacceptable. My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal and in no way interfere with my daily activities. Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now & would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets. In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above & ad dress them immediately. I will look for an answer no later than Thursday 3pm (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions & hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership. Thank you, Your biggest fan
    God. I really should be more discriminating. And not forget to wear deodorant. Yeah. Deodorant is good.

    8.09.2005

  • My "phone voice" is the most rediculously professional/sexy secretary phone voice in the world. I could probably make a lot of money with that. Seriously.
  • EJ is playing a free show with ex-Snowglobe frontman Brad Postlethwaite at Murphy's tonight. It'll start early--as in before midnight, er, well actually about 9:00pm--so you can still make it to 80's Night at the Hi Tone by hipster hour.
  • I wonder if someday I'll end up like her or, much worse, her.
  • 8.08.2005

    blah blah blah

    See that guy over there? He may look like a cheesy 70's porn star mugging hipster-style, but he's actually a med student or something. (He also happens to be my boyfriend.) That was such a sappy girl moment. Next thing you know, I'll be posting pictures of my pet rabbit eating, and chewing on a hot wire, and pooping on my new flokati rug and looking cute while hiding under the couch, and running away from me, and pooping on my bathroom rug, and chewing on my couch leg... Moving on. Duke's of Hazard at the Summer Drive In tonight. Obviously, this requires you bring lots and lots of beer (domestic only, preferably in cans). And fried chicken. And wear cut off blue jean shorts. And have big hair. Right. So around dusk, $6.00. Will someone come pick me up?

    8.03.2005

    Wednesday!!!

    My, I am being prolific today. This is important, though: Automusik is holding their last show ever at the Brooks Museum tonight for the Brooks first Wednesday open house or whatever it is they do. Automusik Can Do No Wrong, the film about (you guessed it) Automusik, goes on after the band. Anyway, doors at 6:00pm, band at 7:00pm, film at 8:00pm. $5.00 cover. It's a steal. After that, you're going to Murphy's, right? I am. Go early so I'll be entertained.

    Ecotome II

    Obviously, I don't quite feel the same about Memphis as I did 5 months ago in the dirges of some sort of angst. A lot of my change in opinion and mood has to do with the fact that I am (finally) gainfully employed and have my own space within the marvelous confines of Midtown as opposed to setting up shop in the 'burbs. Hell, I'll just post a thing I wrote on Craigslist not very long ago. It sums my feelings up quite well.
    As one of the supposed 1% of eligible, somewhat rational, reasonably attractive, ambitious, and childless 20 something females in the city that doesn't live here because her family does, I stay in Memphis for the following reasons: Big Fish Syndrome. For anyone that has some serious goals and ambitions to do some things and build a reputation (especially in the music and film industry,) Memphis is a fantastic place to do it. There is a surprising amount of resources available, and in this industry, the name of the city alone seems to carry you a surprisingly long way. Furthermore, there's enough of a lack of "doers" and leadership in the industry in this city that if you are motivated, you can do pretty much do whatever you want. Low Cost of Living and Operating. Because of this, people can afford to do things they might not otherwise be able to afford. Recording costs are more reasonable, renting locations is a realistic possibility, printing and publishing costs are a steal, et cetera. Furthermore, it's actually possible to live a comfortable lifestyle (edit--if you can find a job!!) and have money left over to invest in what you want to do. Character. Ok, so most of you probably look around and think "What a shit hole," but the fact is that shit holes make interesting stories. The adversity and colorful characters and slum feel of much of Memphis provides a setting far more interesting than, say, the Virginia suburbs or the ever more gentrified sections of Manhattan, et cetera. Who wants to read, watch or listen to a bunch of comfortable, clean, well-to-do white people raise 2.5 kids and drive SUVs to soccer practice? Not a whole lot of people. And even if you aren't an artist or writer, you'll probably have much more entertaining stories to tell whenever you hang out with your yuppie Texas oil money friends or whatever it is you do. So there it is. From my perspective, who wouldn't want to live somewhere where they can afford to do exactly what they want to do with their life, doesn't have to deal with trust fund kids competing with them to do it, and actually receives extra acclaim for doing it in Memphis? It's a pretty good deal for me. And really, the food is pretty good here once you get away from the chain restaurants, the shopping is unique (ask any NYC transplant if they'd rather peruse Memphis thrift stores or shop in Manhattan and almost all of them would opt for Summer Ave. pretty much every time,) and if you know where to look for it, a decent arts and culture scene is there for the taking. If Memphis had a better public transit system, I'd consider it absolutely perfect for me at this point in my life and career.
    I'll talk about MATA later.

    Case In Point

    These guerilla garden gift set airplanes by Shannon Hoff allow you to send a little love, wherever you want to. Designed to biodegrade quickly, the paper is infused with wildflower seeds to turn anywhere--an interstate median, an empty lot, an unkempt neighbor's yard--into a garden. I can think of a few places in Memphis this might come in handy. $6.00 from Blissen.com, who has a ton of really great stuff.

    Target's still ok by me

    As long as Target keeps making stuff like the DJ Kreemy Booth by Karim Rashid, I'll consider them the best in mass low- to mid-range retail. (Yeah, I think I like them better than Ikea.) Plus, Target uses "Say Something New" by The Concretes, who happen to currently be one of my favorite bands. I'll probably continue to put shopping related things on here because lately so much of my job requires I, well, shop online. All the frikkin time. And frequently my favorite items aren't suitable for our audience. That's why you get to see it.

    8.01.2005

    Ecotome

    I found something I wrote a few months ago, sitting here in my parent's house, unemployed and gaunt with depression and too many foul memories for my own good. This is what difference a day makes.
    Damn the inspiration factor. It seems to run me dry as an empty bone in this godforsaken city. Memphis has no wings, it is as grounded and "real" as any place you'd ever think of being. But, see, "real" is so over-rated. "Reality TV." Now there's a subtle scam on the American psyche! Memphis is real like ghettos, muggings, homicides and crack heads in the parking lot and damn dirty hippies and general filth, permeating every fiber. Memphis is real like hopelessness is real. And that's why I run dry here. Because Memphis just might be that legendary lost cause that I might spend my whole life trying to save and never get anywhere. Sure, it has its charms. It has an eclectic cast of characters that you don't find a lot of other places; it has a legendary history. But the bottom line is that Memphis is a good place to be from. It's a terrible place to stick around--ask anyone. They pretty much all know it, even the ones that will mold graves here. They know it. Like I know it. And still, here I am. Sitting at a computer with my face all slack and wonderless, looking at this opalescent screen like it’s some kind of oracle—sure to deliver the answers I seek in succinct and sometimes cryptic messages, but ultimately answers just the same and useable, just the same. I'm told the definition of insantiy is when one repeats the same action and each time hopes for a different results. I won’t. I won’t, I can’t. I’ve got too much to do.

    Thursday, Thursday, Thursday

    So I'm basically still feeling like something my pet rabbit, Bruce Campbell, pooped out and played with, but I will definitely be dragging myself off the couch and away from my favorite shitty network reality TV shows to see the debut of my neighbor's other band, Jock with Hi Red Center and local instrumental surf-rock extravaganza Noise Choir. $5.00, Thursday night, at the Hi Tone. It should be a good show, see ya there.
    Flyer by Basil Bayne Whatley
    If you want something to do tonight, The Pirates are playing at Kudzu's (603 Monroe Ave | 525-4924) around 10:00pm. 2$ domestics, 3$ well drinks, and a dance off in the basement for the afterparty, according to Scotty.