Memphis Flyer 3/28/2024

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In the Shadow of the Moon OUR 1831ST ISSUE 03.28.24 FREE Quintron readies his Weather Warlock for the great darkening. JAZZ ENSEMBLE OF MEMPHIS P15 • WE SAW YOU P23 • KINFOLK P25 2024’s total solar eclipse and the Ecliptic Festival.
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OUR 1831ST ISSUE 03.28.24

Editor’s note: Other writers may occasionally share this space. is piece was originally published in the Flyer in August 2017.

You can’t prepare for magni cence — not really. Months ago, I blocked o August 21st on my Outlook calendar — “TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE” — knowing that Something Was Going to Happen, and that I needed to put myself in its path.

I remember as a child spinning a globe, lightly tracing the sphere with a ngertip as it slowed, hoping to rest on a city with an entrancing name where I might one day travel. My strategy for picking an eclipse-viewing location was not terrically more sophisticated. I looked at the path of totality on a map and picked the town within a day’s drive with the most entrancing name: Cadiz, near the southwest corner of Kentucky.

In search of a singular experience, I didn’t want to be in a crush of people, a crowd of awestruck gaspers all wearing our cardboard ISO-certi ed glasses. And the name — Cadiz, a er the ancient Andalusian city in Spain — resonated in my mind, su cient mysticism right there in Kentucky, 196 miles from my front door.

My eclipse companion and I never made it to Cadiz. We didn’t need to. Close to our planned destination, we crossed a long, gracefully arching bridge over the “lake” part of Land Between the Lakes, and we knew: this bridge, this height, this dark water beneath glinting silver and deep.

We parked in a parched, rutted eld anking the bridge, walked past the makeshi tent city occupied by hundreds of people and onto the bridge itself, which, to our surprise, wasn’t crowded — barely a couple of dozen people across the length of the span. Tra c thinned as the moments of totality approached. From our perch, we could see boats below drop anchor, waiting; the birds above, which I had read might y into full-throated frenzy, were silent.

e light shi ed, dimmed, slanted eerily sideways. And then: All light was evacuated. ere was no noise from tra c, and little from other watchers. e temperature plummeted by what felt like 20 degrees — the di erence between day and night. e wind died; the sky became ink-black. At the moment of totality, it’s safe to remove the special solar-eclipse glasses, so I did, and saw the entire bright body of the sun obscured by the interjecting moon. Solar ares escaped from the sides of the interlocking spheres, bursts of bright energy ashing in a wild halo.

It’s hard to know what to do in those two minutes: try to capture the event with a photo? A video? Leap up in sheer confused wonder? Laugh, overcome by the strangeness of it all, the overpowering perspective shi ? Stare and stare and stare some more, trying to imprint the darkness, the coolness, the sun’s energy unfurling frilled ery ribbons from behind the moon — as if there were any chance in the world you might forget this moment? I seem to recall doing all of these. A kind of eternity opened within those two minutes.









MUSIC - 15







ARTS - 24

FOOD - 25



FILM - 28




It’s hard to know what to do a er those two minutes, too. e sun began to escape its temporary obscurity, and brightness returned to the early a ernoon. Everyone looked a little dazed, like people staggering from the doors of a cosmic cinema back into summer a ernoon.

ere are certain things we think we know for certain, like: what is day, and what is night? Totality spun my certainty around like a globe, and when the sun returned, I found myself slightly but indelibly shi ed.

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A view of the 2017 solar eclipse
National Newspaper Association Association of Alternative Newsmedia

MEM ernet THE fly-by


Memphis on the internet.


“Le ist agitators disrupted the Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter event hosting Kyle Rittenhouse last night at the University of Memphis,” reads a story from Turning Points USA the day a er Rittenhouse was booed from the stage and chased away from campus by protestors.

MEMernet celebrity Allan Creasy asked Memphians on X and Facebook for their most Memphis insult for Rittenhouse. ey didn’t disappoint.

“Kyle says mane but spells it main,” wrote Forrest Quay Roberts.

“Kyle Rittenhouse walked into the Rendezvous and ordered the shrimp,” wrote Jonathan Green.

“Kyle thinks Chili’s has the best ribs,” wrote Danny Bader. “He also eats ribs with a fork.”

“I 100 percent know his favorite Grizzly was Chandler Parsons,” wrote Henry A Wallace.


“ is kid eating an insane amount of cotton candy has been the best performance we’ve seen in ve games in Memphis this weekend,” tweeted Jessica Benson, a Grind City Media host on the March Madness games played at FedExForum last weekend.


Memphis rapper GloRilla met President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House last week. In a brief Instagram sel e video with Biden, GloRilla says, “Yeah, Joe!” e president responded, “Not yeah, Joe. Yeah, you!”

Questions, Answers + Attitude

Rittenhouse, Satan Club, & Foot Baths

Collusion questions swirl a er event, school board sued, and a podiatrist convicted in fraud case.


Questions remain a er protesters cut short Kyle Rittenhouse’s “Rittenhouse Recap” speech at the University of Memphis (U of M) last week.

Frustration and confusion emerged as many found their tickets, issued from event host Turning Point USA, were invalidated. A new link to the event was sent by the U of M, “due to the university’s stringent ticketing requirements.”

Many thought the move was a tactic to disparage the “empty auditorium” protest, as people reserved tickets with no intention of actually going.

Conservative talk show host Charlie Kirk tweeted that he will seek an investigation into the event from Tennessee lawmakers and threatened a lawsuit. He wants to know if the school “colluded with local protesters to sabotage” the event.


e Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) led a lawsuit last week against the Shelby County Board of Education on behalf of the Satanic Temple over what the group calls discriminatory practices.

e organization sought to bring its A er School Satan Club to Chimneyrock Elementary School in November. ey were granted permission in January but the board assessed a “special security fee” of $2,045.60 on the Satanic Temple for “additional security.” It also levied a $250 fee for eld lights. e Christian Good News Club was not charged any of these fees, according to the Satanic Temple. But the Satanic Temple paid the fees anyway. ese fees are the crux of the FFRF lawsuit.

MSCS “cannot pick and choose how much it charges an organization renting its facilities based on how much it does or does not favor the organization’s viewpoint, the content of its speech, or its religious beliefs,” reads the lawsuit led in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.


e “Memphis Challenge

Explore Report,” released last week, emphasized multiple areas of transportation improvement here and invited entrepreneurs to help solve them.

e challenge was launched by Ford Motor Co., the Greater Memphis Chamber, Start Co., and Christian Brothers University. e report found people were concerned about their safety when using any mode of transportation in the city. Many surveyed said Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) was “unable to get them to their destination at a time that works for them.” Others said their work commutes were a 20-30 minute drive, making walking or riding a bike to work “infeasible.”

e companies asked entrepreneurs to come up with solutions, promising challenge winners up to $150,000 in pilot grant funding with an additional $450,000 in seed funding for challenge nalists. Past winners included community mobility hubs, pick-up/drop-o services for school children, farm-to-door food delivery, and more.


A Memphis podiatrist faces 50 years in federal prison in a $4 million fraud case involving foot baths.

A jury recently convicted Nathan Lucas, 59, of Memphis on ve counts of healthcare fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s O ce for the Western District of Tennessee. O cials said Lucas had his pharmacies submit nearly $4 million in fraudulent claims from October 2018 to September 2021.

Some of the foot bath drugs prescribed were not even water soluble, o cials said.

Visit the News Blog at memphis for fuller versions of these stories and more local news.

4 March 28-April
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PHOTO: (ABOVE) KYLE RITTENHOUSE VIA X; (BELOW) THE SATANIC TEMPLE Kyle Rittenhouse was booed o the stage at U of M.
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Banning ‘Meat’

House Republican wants to ban lab-grown meat in Tennessee because its e ects on humans, she said, were unknown, and state citizens shouldn’t be used as “guinea pigs,” and, heck, Florida did it.

Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) explained her bill to the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee last week. It would have outlawed cultivated meat for human consumption at the business level, meaning no manufacturing, selling, and more.

Cultivated meat — sometimes called cultured meat or lab-grown meat — is real animal meat but is produced by cultivating animal cells directly, cutting out the need to raise animals, according to the Good Food Institute.

e meat is di erent than products by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which are made with plant ingredients.

e U.S. Department of Agriculture approved cultivated meat for sale in the U.S. in June.

e news was welcome for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

e group said it funded some of the rst research for cultivated meat and, beginning in 2008, o ered a $1 million prize for the rst lab to produce commercially viable cultivated meat.

products would a ect bodies and did not want Tennesseans to be “used as Guinea pigs.”

“It’s simply just too soon and too dangerous to allow this process to move forward before we know what sort of e ects cultivated meat may have on people,” Lynn said.

If that wasn’t enough to entice fellow Republicans, Lynn said the Florida legislature had already passed such a measure. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has not yet signed the bill but showed his support for the ban last month.

Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) agreed, pointing vaguely to the Nuremberg Code, which outlawed experimenting on humans without their consent, and to the “experimental shock” of Covid. But his approval of the bill seemed more plain.

“Some folks probably like to eat bugs with Bill Gates, but not me,” Hulsey said.

e news was also welcome to Berkeley, California-based Upside Foods, the world’s rst cultivated meat company. When it was founded in 2015, the company was called Memphis Meats, a tip of the hat to the city’s barbecue culture. When the feds green-lit its meat products, the company was ready to go and already valued at over $1 billion.

“ is approval will fundamentally change how meat makes it to our table,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods. “It’s a giant step forward towards a more sustainable future — one that preserves choice and life.“

However, two Tennessee state lawmakers urged caution on the products, suggesting an outright ban on making and selling them in the state.

ey said they didn’t know how the

Lynn said she was not aware of any cultivated meat being sold anywhere in the state. Also, she had not discussed her bill with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Another bill up this year would have clari ed that cultivated meat could not be labeled as meat, poultry, or such food products. It was heard by House members already, who decided to send the issue to “summer study.” at is, ultimately, where the bill to ban such products ended up. Lawmakers said they hoped to get expert opinions on the safety of cultivated meat.

Summer study is usually a kinder, so er death knell for legislation in the Capitol. But the House agriculture committee promised to give the issue of cultivated meat a serious review before the legislature meets again next year.

6 March 28-April 3, 2024 open now
SUE: The T. rex Experience was organized by the Field Museum and is part of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience, made possible by generous support from Kenneth C. Griffin. PHOTO: COURTESY UPSIDE MEATS Cultivated chicken from Upside Foods
Legislators promise a review of lab-grown meat this summer.
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District 97 Race Looms

It is a matter of record that Republican Governor Bill Lee easily won reelection in 2022, routing his Democratic opponent Jason Martin with 67 percent of the statewide point.

e under- nanced, relatively unknown Martin, an emergency physician from Sumner County, was never really competitive, winning only two of Tennessee’s 95 counties — the state’s two remaining Democratic strongholds of Shelby (Memphis) and Davidson (Nashville).

But more to the point of this year’s state elections, Martin also came out ahead two years ago in state House District 97, site of a likely showdown this year between GOP incumbent John Gillespie and his probable Democratic challenger, businessman Jesse Huseth.

Gillespie was rst elected in 2020, when he edged out Democrat Gabby Salinas at a time when District 97, which straddled the eastern boundary line of Memphis, was already evenly enough divided to make for a competitive race.

As Martin’s strong showing indicated, redistricting a er the 2000 census shi ed the district’s center of balance even more de nitively into Memphis. But Gillespie was able to win reelection two years ago over unsung Democrat Toniko Harris.

the Republican Supermajority and it has to end.”

Gillespie can count on generous nancing as an incumbent, but Huseth, who has a fundraiser scheduled for next week and more in mind, clearly intends to run tough, with assistance from campaign manager Je Ethridge, the able activist who is the newly elected president of the Germantown Democratic Club.

• As suspended Criminal Court Judge Melissa Boyd moves ever closer to being ejected from o ce altogether, Shelby County voters are looking forward to the prospect of two special judicial elections in the not too distant future.

A legislative panel voted unanimously last week to recommend the removal from o ce of Boyd, who has been charged with various irregularities, including use of cocaine on the bench.

A successor will also be needed for Circuit Court Judge Mary Wagner, who has been named to the state Supreme Court.

During his rst two terms, Gillespie maintained the kind of moderate political pro le that was called for in a district that, in the current parlance, is neither red nor blue but purple. But, as was noted here two weeks ago, Gillespie has moved perceptibly to the right on party-line issues, those having to do with law enforcement, especially.

He has sponsored legislation that would nullify the Memphis City Council’s action, in the wake of the beating death of Tyre Nichols by an MPD unit, to prohibit police from making preemptive tra c stops for minor o enses. And Gillespie moved his bill to that e ect onto the House oor (and to passage) a er, his critics maintain (on the basis of conversation captured in a somewhat ambiguous cell phone video), he had assured Nichols’ parents he would hold it for later.

Democrat Huseth sees no ambiguity in the video, maintaining that Gillespie “lied to the family of Tyre Nichols a er promising to postpone the vote one week to allow them to attend. is is life under

Both circumstances will require a judicial panel to recommend potential successors to Governor Bill Lee, who may, at his discretion, select from the list or ask for additional names.

In both cases, whoever gets the governor’s nod would ordinarily serve until a special election can be arranged on the next August ballot that is scheduled at least 30 days from the date that the vacancies become o cial.

But the pending vacancies might not be lled at all if a bill advancing in the Assembly this week is passed. e bill by Rep. Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) and Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) would realize what has been a longdiscussed redistributionist goal in some quarters — by the expedient of transferring the two aforementioned judicial seats from Shelby County to districts elsewhere in the state.

8 March 28-April 3, 2024
PHOTO: COURTESY JEFF ETHRIDGE Jesse Huseth Gillespie-Huseth contest could be ballot highlight; plus, the latest on special judicial elections.

The Banality of Evil

How “ordinary” men become useful.

He was small, scrawny, middle-aged, with a receding hairline and ill-fitting teeth. His name was Otto Adolf Eichmann and he was on trial for his life, charged with facilitating the murder of 5,000,000 Jews in extermination camps in the years preceding, and during, World War II.

Israeli Mossad special forces had tracked Eichmann down in Argentina in 1960, where he’d fled after the war, and brought him back to face charges in Jerusalem. Eichmann’s defense became known as “superior orders,” also known as the Nuremberg defense or “just following orders.” It is a court plea that a person should not be considered guilty of committing a crime that was ordered by a superior officer or official.

Eichmann’s defense team argued that under the Nazi legal system the deeds he was accused of were not crimes but “acts of state” that it had been his duty to obey. His conscience was clear because his conscience required him to follow orders.

Human beings can rationalize pretty much anything.

Eichmann said that he would have had a bad conscience only if he had not done what he had been ordered to do — to ship millions of men, women, and children to their death with meticulous care and efficiency.

“I will jump into my grave laughing,” he said, “because the fact that I have the death of five million enemies of the Reich on my conscience gives me extraordinary satisfaction.”

I have been reading lately the 1963 account of Eichmann’s trial in The New Yorker by Hannah Arendt, subtitled “A Report on the Banality of Evil.” I am struck again and again by the “ordinariness” of Eichmann, an aimless, unambitious young man who stumbled up the ladder in the Nazi hierarchy and found himself assigned to the most horrific task imaginable — ruthlessly exterminating millions of men, women, and children. It’s a textbook lesson in how human beings can rationalize pretty much anything.

In August 2020, 17-year-old Kyle Howard Rittenhouse traveled from his home in northern Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where there was unrest fol-

lowing the shooting by police there of a man named Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and joined a group of armed citizens in Kenosha who said they were there to protect local businesses.

During the unrest that night, Rittenhouse said a man chased him into a parking lot and grabbed the barrel of his rifle, whereupon he fatally shot him. Rittenhouse said he fled and was pursued by a crowd, and then fatally shot a second man after he struck him with a skateboard and tried to grab his rifle. Rittenhouse said a third person approached him with a pistol and he shot and wounded that individual.

In his subsequent trial, Rittenhouse was acquitted after tearfully testifying that his actions were in self-defense. After that, things went quite well for the young man. He went to meet former President Donald Trump, who said nice things about him; he was lovingly interviewed by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and soon became a cause célèbre for right-wing organizations, with his image being used to sell T-shirts, coffee mugs, and other products. He announced the creation of a video game, Kyle Rittenhouse’s Turkey Shoot, and became a speaker for Turning Point USA, an outfit that advocates for conservative policies and politics on college campuses.

Last week, Rittenhouse brought his “Rittenhouse Recap” speaking tour to the University of Memphis and it did not go well. Initially, there was a movement on social media to reserve tickets and then not show up, leaving Rittenhouse with an empty auditorium. Even after a last-minute reshuffling of the ticketing process, Rittenhouse still found himself speaking to a half-full room, most of whose inhabitants were there to run him out of town. After 27 minutes of tough questions, most of which he dodged, Rittenhouse had had enough and hurried off stage left, dragging his poor “support dog” behind him.

One gets the sense that Rittenhouse has no idea what to do with the remainder of a life that was indelibly defined by his actions on that August night four years ago. Now he’s a prop, famous only because he shot and killed people; a shill being used to raise funds; a washed-up, one-hit wonder at the age of 21; an aimless, unambitious young man who stumbled up the ladder in the right-wing hierarchy. Now he’s just following orders.

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In the Shadow of the Moon

2024’s total solar eclipse and the Ecliptic Festival.

Throughout the day on Monday, April 8th, the moon’s vast shadow, 100 miles across, will pass over the face of the Earth like some great mother ship, blocking light in a creeping path from the Paci c Ocean’s Cook Islands to a point in the Atlantic Ocean some 200 leagues west of France.

ose under the hundred-mile-wide band of the shadow will experience a total eclipse of the sun, wherein the apparent size of the lunar disc will exactly match and obscure the sun’s disc, in one of the great coincidences of orbs and orbits in our cosmos, dimming the day as it swings into place and nally blocking all direct sunlight for a few minutes. en the moon will move away and the day will enjoy a second dawn.

“It’s like a fast-forward sunset and sunrise,” says Quintron, the New Orleans-based musician and inventor who created Weather Warlock, an analog synthesizer and audio processor triggered by signals from an array of wind, humidity, sound, and light sensors. e eclipse, with its stark contrasts, is a time for his creation to shine.

He’s noted the Weather Warlock’s sensitivity to the changing light of dusk or dawn before, but the eclipse, he says, is “approximately 10 times as fast.”

Blonde Redhead, Deerhoof, and Shannon and the Clams; mythologist and storyteller John Bucher; theoretical physicist Kelly Reidy; and author and astronomer Rebecca Boyle, who will conduct a guided stargazing session. Of course, the rst three days of the bash will be much like any other festival, albeit with more telescopes, as the moon and sun won’t yet be engaged in their cosmic pas de deux. en on Monday, the music will take a le turn. When the moon begins its creep across the face of the sun, experimental harpist Mary Lattimore will help usher in the darkness. ough faster than a sunset, the dimming of the day occurs over more than an hour and 20 minutes. Halfway through it, music on the main stage will stop and the headlining “artist” leading up to and through the total occultation of the sun will be a robot, tuned in to the sounds of nature.

The Ecliptic Festival

Like thousands of others, Quintron will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when it all goes down. e classic resort town lies directly in the path of totality, as does much of the Natural State. In Hot Springs, the eclipse’s timing corresponds to a time-honored tradition, the Valley of the Vapors music festival, now in its 20th year.

is year’s version will be unique, as it’s being co-produced by Atlas Obscura, a company specializing in unorthodox travel packages. Together, they’re calling this hybrid celebration the Ecliptic Festival, and it’s huge.

From April 5th to April 8th, up to 4,000 attendees will gather at Hot Springs’ Cedar Glades Park for musical performances and events with artists,

philosophers, astronomers, and other speakers — along with ringside seats to the spectacle of a full solar eclipse. ese astronomical pilgrims will be staying in glamping tents, camping on their own, or booking other accommodations (quickly lling up) in Hot Springs or nearby Little Rock. e startlingly eclectic lineup includes performers like Allah-Las,

All Hail the Weather Warlock

Although Quintron sometimes assembles a band that’s billed as Weather Warlock, at the heart of it is the machine he designed some 10 years ago, a device that “uses sun, wind, rain, and temperature to control a monster analog synth designed by Quintronics,” as his website explains. Multiple sensors convert changes in wind speed, barometric pressure, rainfall, and light into voltage and thence synthesizer tones. When the weather or light is shi ing, no band is necessary: e device creates fascinating tonal paintings entirely on its own, worth recording and releasing.

“During Hurricane Ida,” says

10 March 28-April 3, 2024
• • •
Alex Greene
PHOTO: PANACEA THERIAC Quintron and the Weather Warlock, with control panel schematic

Quintron, “we knew a weather event was coming and I knew it was going to get really nuts. So I tuned up all the sensors, dialed it in, and then just set it to record as long as the power stayed on. And it stayed on quite a while, pretty deep into extreme hurricane winds and rainfall. And that became the record, PEOPLE = ANTS.”

Well before Ida, of course, Quintron and his device were active during the 2017 total solar eclipse, perched on the roof of ird Man Records in Nashville, the audio of which was later released as the record, Path to Complete Totality But Quintron’s approach has evolved somewhat since then.

“I’m going to have mics set up in the area too,” says Quintron of his Hot Springs setup. “My whole microphone system and the electronic ltration of that source has now come to be called the Wildlife Organ, which is just a series of all-weather microphones at di erent elevations in the wilderness, capturing the critters. Because how the animals and insects and birds respond to an eclipse is kind of the most mindblowing thing about it.”

“I just want to let the lords of the skies and Mother Earth do their thing.”

As day turns to night, birds and bees stop their activity and the crickets come out to sing. While the Weather Warlock’s mics and sensors will in fact be running throughout the festival, “like a little weather station that people can visit, going on 24/7 during the entire fest,” he says, the approach to and immersion in totality will make for the most dramatic e ects from Quintron’s device. “ is is the Super Bowl Sunday for Weather Warlock, so during totality it’s only going to be Weather Warlock playing. I’m not going to mess with it too much. I just want to experience this machine that I built, reacting to the sky.”

Accordingly, he hopes the festival attendees will respect the moment.

“I begged [the festival organizers] to please let me be the only soundgenerating human during the actual eclipse,” he says, and his wish has come true, assuming festival partiers cooperate and simply listen. “I just want to let the lords of the skies and Mother Earth do their thing. I don’t want to comment or interact or join in because it’s such a rare weather event.”

During totality, from roughly 1:49 to 1:53 p.m. in Hot Springs, the sun’s disc will be blocked, but it won’t be entirely dark. Rather, an eerie twilight will set in, and stars will appear. As in 2017, Venus and Jupiter (and other less

visible planets) will appear on either side of the occulted sun. For close to four minutes, observers will be able to remove their protective sun-viewing glasses (the only time it’s safe to do so) and marvel at how small we are. People = ants, indeed.

And then, gradually, Weather Warlock will surrender its command of the festival, giving way to what many, including Quintron, are most keenly anticipating: an appearance by the acolytes of Sun Ra himself.

The Sun Ra Arkestra

Booking the Sun Ra Arkestra on the day of the eclipse was an inspired choice by Atlas Obscura and Valley of the Vapors, and not just because it’s arguably the longest-running, continuously operated jazz ensemble in the world today. Sun Ra, born Herman Blount in Birmingham, Alabama, transformed himself and his music by putting the transcendent possibilities of cosmic bodies — the moon, Saturn,

the stars, the sun — at the heart of his creativity. Changing his name to honor the Egyptian god Ra in the mid-Fi ies, he never looked back, assembling an ever-shi ing big band that paired increasingly free jazz with more disciplined compositions and even the sounds of exotica, as they chanted, “We travel the spaceways/From planet to planet …”

ough its leader passed away

continued on page 12

PHOTOS: (TOP) PANACEA THERIAC; (ABOVE) COURTESY EL RA RECORDS (top) e sensor array triggering Weather Warlock; (above) e Sun Ra Arkestra, led by Marshall Allen (center)

continued from page 11

in 1993, the Arkestra — pairing “orchestra” with an allusion to a wandering ark — sailed on, led today by its oldest surviving member, Marshall Allen, who joined the group in the late ’50s. And Allen, now 99, has kept the Arkestra’s guiding aesthetic in place, from the bold, colorful costumes to the eclectic mix of big band swing tunes (Fletcher Henderson is a favorite), chanted songs of space, and free improvisation.

Tyler Mitchell, who rst played with Sun Ra in the ’80s before rejoining the Arkestra in 2010, still marvels at the saxophonist’s vigor. “Marshall’s amazing,” he says. “He still moves around and is in good shape, man! I admire him. He’s just such a great example to mankind, to people. Not just to musicians.”

“If a song’s too nice and neat and clean, [Marshall will] come in and mess it all up.”

Quintron, for his part, is especially excited that the Arkestra will immediately follow him. “I’ll be taking the baton between the harpist, Mary Lattimore, and Sun Ra. I’ve been given the go-ahead to overlap and kind of join those two artists.” And he couldn’t be more pleased. “Sun Ra,” says Quintron, “is on my personal Mount Rushmore of how to think about music and how to approach music.” Having said that, neither Quintron nor the Arkestra members themselves know exactly what to expect when they take the stage.

Recalling the Arkestra’s performance at Atlas Obscura’s 2017 eclipse event in Oregon, Mitchell explains, “ e last time we did it, we just followed Marshall’s cues. Neither Sun Ra or Marshall tell you what they’re going to play. Sometimes Marshall is known to just get up and have us play a space chord, where everybody just blows a note, and he directs you with his hand. And just the di erent textures of the space chords would be the song.”

But things could be more arranged. “We also have what we call stomps,” says Mitchell, “like the old Fletcher Henderson stu . Marshall covers all the di erent styles in jazz when we do a concert. And if a song’s too nice and neat and clean, and all too perfect, he’ll come in and just mess it all up. You don’t want it to be too perfect. He likes to have that chaos.”

And so, as the sunlight gradually reemerges, expect the unexpected, but know that the Sun Ra Arkestra, having

such songs in their repertoire as “When Sun Comes Out,” “Solar Di erentials,” “Dancing Shadows,” and “Satellites Are Spinning” are well-prepared to capture the moment.

Lighting Out for the Graze Zone

For Memphians who want to experience totality, Hot Springs is arguably the most musical destination on April 8th, but there are other options, from low-key gatherings to camping on your own. e zone of complete occultation stretches from the southwest to the northeast of the state, with many planned events and over two dozen state parks in that area. e Crystal Garden in Mt. Ida, Arkansas, for example, will have camping and acoustic music amidst the largest quartz crystal deposit in the world, nestled in the Ouachita National Forest. e University of Arkansas in Little Rock will have a family-friendly event, and Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will participate in the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project, sponsored by NASA, releasing dozens of weather balloons laden with scienti c instruments to record atmospheric changes during the eclipse. Meanwhile, the website lists several smaller-scale celebrations in the Ozark foothills, all in the path of totality.

As the site notes, some prefer to be on the margins of that path, in what’s called “the graze zone.”

In some ways, being on the borders of totality’s path can make the eclipse even more striking. As described by NASA, “An observer positioned here will witness a solar crescent which is fragmented into a series of bright beads and short segments. … ese beading phenomena are caused by the appearance of photospheric rays which alternately pass through deep lunar valleys and hide behind high mountain peaks as the moon’s irregular limb grazes the edge of the sun’s disk.” Properly viewed with protective glasses, this near-total eclipse ringed with beams and ares of light can be spellbinding, especially for astrophotography bu s.

Closer to home, outside the path of totality, the eclipse will still be impressive. Indeed, the village of Wilson, less than an hour away, will be especially active. eir Craw sh Festival takes place through the day of April 6th, giving way to live music that evening and ultimately an eclipseviewing gathering two days later, when the sun’s disc will be 99.38 percent blocked at its peak. (Protective glasses must be worn the entire time when observing the sun.)

Just down the road in Dyess, Arkansas State University’s KASU radio station will host the Arkansas Roots Music Festival in front of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home on the 6th, with El Dorado-native Jason D. Williams headlining, plus a “lunch and learn” with NASA scientist Dr. Les Johnson on

the 7th, and the option to park campers near the historic home for the following day’s astronomical event.

And nally, lest one forget the wideranging impact the eclipse will have on all of nature, one NASA initiative may persuade you to eschew the music and hoopla and simply listen. Known as the Eclipse Soundscapes Project, it puts the invisible at the center of the celestial experience, encouraging people from all walks of life to document the stark changes in animal behavior when all goes dark. As noted on the NASA website (, the eclipse o ers “the perfect opportunity for a largescale citizen science project.” Volunteers will be asked to use a low-cost audio recording device to capture nature’s sounds during the eclipse, or to write down their multisensory observations for submission to the project website.

“I’m so glad that they’re doing that,” says Quintron of NASA’s Eclipse Soundscapes Project. “I’m very happy that I won’t be in a big city, but in a forest. And making recordings out in the eld, where there is not a large amount of human in uence, is really important. We need recordings of what the critters and the birds and the insects are doing during this event because it’s really remarkable. ey’re not reading on the news that the eclipse is coming. ey’re purely reacting to it. And in a similar way, I just really want to draw people’s attention to the physical world that they live in, in whatever way I can.”

12 March 28-April 3, 2024
PHOTO: COURTESY ATLAS OBSCURA e path of totality across North America, moving from southwest to northeast

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We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews


You for Being a Friend

Picture it: Miami. 2024. e Golden Girls are still up and at ’em. Sophia’s out on bail, naturally. e DEA busted her for running a drug ring for retirees. Meanwhile, Blanche and Rose have founded a dating app for seniors that’s doing quite well (of course); it’s even landed Dorothy her current beau, who just so happens to be Sophia’s prosecuting attorney. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? e cast of Golden Girls: e Laughs Continue seem to think so.

e parody show, done completely in drag, will take over the Orpheum’s stage on ursday, March 28th. “I like to say it’s like meeting an old friend in a new place, with all the ingredients you know,” says Vince Kelley, who plays Blanche. “We got the taglines, we got the ‘picture its,’ but we’re talking about cell phones and apps and all this stu from today.

“So it’s fun because the show was so in its time,” Kelley continues. “ ey were so quick on the references; something would happen in the news and they’d be talking about it on the show in the next two weeks. We like to embrace that as well. e show is never the same twice; if there’s something going on in the world, we’re going to nd a way to bring it into the world of e Golden Girls for that night.”

Kelley says e Golden Girls was a xture in his household growing up. “I remember being like 5, 6, 7, and my grandma would watch it all the time and I used to call it the ‘old lady show.’ ‘Oh, are we gonna watch the old lady show?’ And then when Nick at Nite was big and they started putting them in syndication, I was just obsessed, watched every episode. … [But] you can only watch every episode so many times, so [this show] is like getting to experience something new.”

For Kelley, choosing to play Blanche was a no-brainer. “She doesn’t take herself too seriously at all. She doesn’t mind being a bit of a joke and she had the best clothes, so that was a big draw for me,” he says. “If I had to pick a second it would be Sophia just because she doesn’t lter. I’m not quite there yet. When I’m old enough to play Blanche, then I can nally play Sophia.”

Kelley goes on to say, “You nd di erent times in your life that you’ll relate to di erent characters. It’s part of the reason that people in the LGBTQ community are so drawn to them.

ey’re just these four big over-the-top, powerhouse comedians.”

While this show might not be the cable-friendly Golden Girls (“It’s like e Golden Girls if they moved to HBO,” Kelley says), the cast have strived to stay true to their characters. “When we come on stage, we’re just here to have a good time,” Kelley says. “And I think the spirit of the Golden Girls helps us through that every night. … We know that they would be like 100 percent on board with what we’ve come up with.”


POTUS (Or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive)

Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper, performances through April 14, $25/general admission; $20/senior citizens, military, and rst responders; $15/children under 18

Meet the guardians of democracy: bold, humorous, and unapologetically outspoken. With this hilarious comedy of farce, POTUS delves into the world of politics, power, and the presidency. Witness the team of women behind a newly elected president and how they navigate the treacherous waters of Washington, D.C., and ght to make their mark on history.

Performances are ursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m. this week. A pay-what-you-can performance is on Saturday, March 30th. Purchase tickets at or call 901-726-4656.

Cx eeblack to Africa (2022)

Documentary, Demonstration, and Q&A

Memphis Museum of Science & History, 3050 Central Avenue, Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m., $12/adult, $10/senior and youth

In celebration of Women’s History Month, join MoSH for an in-depth roasting/brewing demonstration and Q&A about the Indigenous history and science of co ee in Africa, with Renata Henderson, Memphis’ rst Black female co ee roaster, and her co-founder and husband Bartholomew Jones, a teacher-turnedhip-hop-artist who’s on a mission to reclaim the history and science of a stolen fruit — co ee — from his motherland of Africa.

e talk begins at 11 a.m., followed by the lm screening at 11:30 a.m. and demo at 12:15 p.m. Purchase tickets at

Art by Design

Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove, WednesdaySunday, April 3-7

Art by Design is a curated series of events and presentations designed to highlight Memphis’ interior design community and simultaneously support the local arts community. Centered around vignettes and arts activations in a gallery showroom format, this production — a series of four signature events coupled with general admission — will feature a cast of emerging and established Memphis designers and is expected to attract over 2,000 attendees from across the Mid-South. e four signature events include Dinner with Designers, e Art of Mahjong, Morning at the Marketplace, and Cocktails by Design. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

14 March 28-April 3, 2024
DAYS & TIMES March 28th - April

All the Young Dudes

e Jazz Ensemble of Memphis shows o the city’s best and brightest.

Sometimes the best way to champion the music of today is by looking to some milestone from the past. Take the experience of David Less: Having worked in and around Memphis music for half a century, writing dozens of articles and the book Memphis Mayhem, promoting shows, producing records, he’d known about an especially rare Memphis jazz LP for some time.

“Fred Ford had told me about it in 1975 or ’76,” he says, “and told me what a great record it was. I always wanted to hear it, but it was very hard to nd.”

So potent was the album’s music that when Less nally got a copy, he was motivated to produce one of his own.

The legendary album in question? Young Men from Memphis: Down Home Reunion , released in 1959 on United Artists Records, for which the groundbreaking producer Tom Wilson assembled a band that reads like a Memphis jazz who’s who: on alto saxophone, Frank Strozier; on tenor, George Coleman; on piano, Phineas Newborn Jr.; on guitar, his brother Calvin; on bass, Jamil Nasser; on drums, Charles Crosby; and on trumpet, Louis Smith and Booker Little.

pany, Memphis International Records, had heard it,” recounts Less. “In fact, Johnny kind of grew up listening to it. So when I found a copy, Johnny and I and his son Je , who owns the label, started talking about doing an updated version of this.”

and University of Memphis graduate who made a splash locally before pursuing a master’s of jazz performance degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Trumpeter Martin Carodine,19, came to the sessions from the University of Miami. And drummer Kurtis Gray, 17, is, in Less’ opinion, “an absolute savant.”

“It featured the great Memphis jazz players when they were young and just getting to New York,” says Less. “ at group of people later became very wellknown, but at the time they were not, so the record went into obscurity.”

Other Memphians also knew of the album. “Johnny Phillips, whose father owned [record distributor] Select-OHits and later bought my record com-

is April 2nd, at a Memphis Listening Lab event from 6-8 p.m., the world will rst hear the full realization of that thought, Playing in the Yard by the Jazz Ensemble of Memphis (J.E.M.). (It will be o cially released on CD and vinyl three days later.)

Just as Wilson had done, Less set out to recruit a band. “First of all, we approached the teachers, where it all comes from,” he says. “We called Sam Shoup, Gary Topper, Steve Lee, Michael Scott … you know, the guys! And we found these ve players. Some

of them knew each other. Most of them didn’t.”

As the sessions for the album unfolded, the players developed a powerful group chemistry. Tenor saxophonist and autist Charles Pender II, a University of Memphis alum, was the senior member of the group, 26 at the time. His grandfather, E.L Pender, taught such greats as Maurice White, David Porter, and Booker T. Jones. Keyboardist and vibraphonist DeAnte Payne, 25, a standout member of James Sexton’s band, plays the vibes with a breathtaking, playful dexterity. Bassist Liam O’Dell, 21, is an Arkansas native

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On the title track, there’s a notable cameo from the old guard. “Jim Spake is on the rst song, playing soprano,” says Less. “I brought Jim in because I was afraid that they would not know where we set the bar for this record. I wanted them to understand that this is the best saxophone player in town. I wanted to put them with him, playing at that caliber, from the very rst song. And so we cut ‘Playing in the Yard,’ which is by Sonny Rollins.” e bar clearly set, the ad hoc quintet shines through the rest of the album. e Ellington staple “ ings Ain’t What ey Used to Be,” also featured on Down Home Reunion, is the clearest echo of that 20th-century predecessor, while other tunes, like Willie Mitchell’s “ e Crawl” and Dan Penn’s “ e Dark End of the Street,” situate the album squarely in Memphis. Payne’s vibraphone casts a spell on “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a tune that’s reprised at the end as a pensive arco solo by O’Dell. e album feels like an instant classic.

While clearly delighted, Less is not surprised by the results. “Memphis is a jazz city,” he says. “Jazz is just as good as it ever was in Memphis.”

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PHOTO: STEVE ROBERTS (l-r) Liam O’Dell, DeAnte Payne, Martin Carodine, Charles Pender II, and Kurtis Gray
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3, 2024

AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule March 28 - April 3

Amber Rae Dunn and Co.

Saturday, March 30, 6 p.m.


DJs April Garcia & Stephany Medina

Friday, March 29, 9 p.m.;

Saturday, March 30, 9 p.m.


Blues and Brews: Elmo & Lester

A harmonious blend of music and cra ed brews. ursday, March 28, 6 p.m.


Elevation Memphis

ursday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.



Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m.


Live & Local Music

Live and local music, every Wednesday night on the all-weather patio. Wednesday, April 3, 7-10 p.m.


Memphis Jones

Friday, March 29, 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 1, 4:30 p.m.


The BB King’s Blues Club All-Star Band

Friday, March 29, 8 p.m.;

Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m.


5 Fridays of Jazz:

Michael Townsend with special guest Alvin McKinney

Listen to fantastic free live music. Friday, March 29, 6:30-8 p.m.


John Williams & the A440 Band

ursday, March 28, 8 p.m.


Landslide~Fleetwood Mac Tribute

$10. Friday, March 29, 8 p.m.


University Singers presents “Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics” e concert presented by the University Singers, focusing on the ree Laws of Robotics and featuring the music of Vienna Teng, promises to be a thought-provoking and unique experience. Tuesday, April 2, 7:30-9 p.m.



Van Duren Solo ursday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.


Almost Elton John & the RocketMen

Friday, March 29, 7 p.m.


Almost Famous

Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.


Crowbar with Morbid Visionz

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.


Deadborns and Alicja N


Saturday, March 30, 9 p.m.


Discoveries with Snake Father, Divisive

Saturday, March 30, 4:30 p.m.


Drifting Roots, Anthony Michael, Life, Explicit Small Room-Downstairs

Friday, March 29, 8 p.m.


God’s Computer, Whit3Corset, Speaker Girl

Wednesday, April 3, 8 p.m.


Goth Night, A Vampire Ball by Dystopia Productions

DJs Evonech, Graveyard Gloria, and St. Faust play Goth, Darkwave, Industrial, and Dark Electro! $12.

Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.-3 a.m.


Freakfest With Louise Page, Deadborns, San Salida, Lil R.U.D.Y., Rosey, Lina Beach, and Mi Ozo.

Friday, March 29, 6 p.m.


Heet Deth, Little Baby Tendencies, Runi Salem

ursday, March 28, 8 p.m.


Jack Oblivian

Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.


Jazz Ensemble of Memphis Album Listening Event

For this album, David Less assembled some of the top young jazz musicians that were at the beginning of their careers but showed promise

of future greatness. Tuesday, April 2, 6 p.m.


Jerry Joseph, Mark

Edgar Stuart

Jerry Joseph is a musician who’s been inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

ursday, March 28, 8 p.m.


Kolby Cooper

ursday, March 28, 7 p.m.


Lumi Lounge

With DJ Shai, Rosamii, and Mike Maxis. Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m.


Memphis Reggae featuring Damion Hype and DJ Static

Sunday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.


Neon Demons Rave!

DJs Brian Hamilton (of MDHT) and Wholefoods keep the music going all night. $10. Friday, March 29, 10:30 p.m.


Oakwalker Album

Listening Event

Listen to a preview of Oakwalker’s upcoming album release, Tiger Sun Moon

Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m.


Pam & Terry

Tuesday, April 2, 6 p.m.


Paul McKinney and The Knights ft. Jamille

“Jam” Hunter

With a core in the music experience of the Black Church, e Knights salute the contributions of traditional jazz artists and composers. $15. Friday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.


Shamarr Allen

Friday, March 29, 8 p.m.


Spring Is in the Air: Patrice Williamson and Friends

Patrice Williamson’s sensitive ballad work and uent scat style have garnered invitations to perform at the famed Blue Note Jazz club in New York City and with many well-known jazz artists. $15.

Saturday, March 30, 7 p.m.



Silver Broncos Debut with Jeff Hulett

Friday, March 29, 4 p.m.


Steely Dead - A Fusion of Steely Dan & Grateful Dead

Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.


Steve Hopper

Monday, April 1, 6 p.m.


Sucker Punch, Fading Melodies, Moses Crouch

Friday, March 29, 8 p.m.


System Exclusive (CA), General Labor

ursday, March 28, 9 p.m.


The Carlos Ecos Band

Saturday, March 30, 5 p.m.


The Lost 45s

Sunday, March 31, 7 p.m.


The Neon Mooners

Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m.


Dave Mason

Dave Mason, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, is bringing his “Traffic Jam Tour” to Graceland Live. $45.

Saturday, March 30, 8-10:30 p.m.


Justin Hinson & Justin Joint Junction

Friday, March 29, 9 p.m.


Scott Levi Jones & The Holy Cows

Friday, March 29, 7 p.m


The Afternoon Delights featuring Will Sexton & Amy LaVere

Saturday, March 30, 4 p.m.


Balourdet Quartet Concert

St. George’s Friends of Music in conjunction with Concerts International brings the Balourdet Quartet to St. George’s Episcopal Church for a free concert. Monday, April 1, 7:30- 9:00 p.m.


Richard Wilson Soulful Blues

Friday, March 29, noon.; Sunday, March 31, noon.


PHOTO: (ABOVE) BEAR LAWLER Rosey PHOTO: (BELOW) CRAIG THOMPSON Graham Winchester of the Silver Broncos

CALENDAR of EVENTS: March 28 - April 3


“A Place For Everything”

Exhibition of work by Jana Travis. rough April 26.


“A World Apart”

A solo exhibition from Roger Allan Cleaves, taking viewers on epic adventures through the multiverse of e Land of Forget Me Nots. rough April 27.


“Artists’ Link Spring Exhibition”

In this show, Artists’ Link members o er visitors a variety of creative subjects and artistic media to enjoy. Free.

Wednesday, April 3-30.


“Branching Out”

Discover intricate connections between students, teachers, and casting communities, which branch out much like a family tree. rough Sept. 8.


“Breaking the Rules: Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown”

Seventy- ve paintings, watercolors and drawings spanning the entirety of the artists’ careers. rough March 31.


“China Blues: The World of Blue and White Ceramics” e collection includes a range of objects from the Ming and Qing dynasties in a wide array of materials, including beautifully carved jades, paintings, textiles, and ceramics. rough May 31.


“Come Cruise Alaska” Exhibition of art by Ann Brown omason. rough March 30.


Compositions in Color: Exhibition of abstract works by Jon Woodhams. Wednesday, April 3-April 29.


“Everyday People: Snapshots of The Black Experience”

A photography exhibition showcasing Memphis artist Eric Echols’ photo collection of 20th-century African Americans. rough July 14.


“Faces & Facades” rough her portraits, Debbie Likley Pacheco delves into the lives and narratives of the people she encounters, capturing eeting moments and emotions with remarkable depth and sensitivity. rough March 31.



“Iliumpta” “Iliumpta” by Birdcap is a retelling of Homer’s Iliad set in the Southernmost bayous of Mississippi. rough April 28.


“Lest We Forget … Images of the Black Civil Rights Movement “ is traveling collection, showcasing 35 powerful portraits and images by Robert Templeton, captures key gures and moments from the Black Civil Rights Movement. rough May 6.


“Memphis/Germantown Art League Annual Spring Juried Exhibition”

The Memphis/Germantown Art League (MGAL) is a nonprofit organization of visual artists and associates supporting the work of its member artists. Through March 31.


“Nature’s Palette: Art Inspired By the Earth” Oil landscape paintings by Collierville artist Wes Ashworth. rough May 4.


“People Are People” is exhibition honors famed American designer Christian Siriano’s electrifying contributions to fashion. Drawn from his extensive archive, the exhibition features bold creations from Siriano’s decade-plus career that celebrate selfexpression for every body at every age. rough Aug. 4.



Comedian Mo Alexander

Nationally touring comedian Mo Alexander (Comedy Central, Stand Up Records) headlines a fun night of standup. Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m.


Mark Normand: Ya

Don’t Say Tour

Friday, March 29, 7 p.m.


Peter Antoniou

An international sensation who combines mind-reading with comedy and improvisation. Thursday, March 28, 9 p.m.


Rodney Perry

ursday, March 28, 8 p.m.; Friday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Saturday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m.




“Radical Jewelry

Makeover: The Artist Project” is show brings together jewelers working together to examine mining issues while making innovative jewelry from recycled sources. rough April 14.


“Remy Miller and Joe Morzuch: Marking Time” e joint exhibition places two distinct bodies of work into counterpoint. rough April 14.


“Shelby Canopy: Our Shared Connection

Discover Shelby County’s green spaces and the importance of trees through an immersive public art experience. rough April 19.


“Southern Railway”

Discover the national history behind the Southern Railway Company, its lasting in uence on the local community, and a creative play area featuring hands-on train activities for young visitors. rough April 20.




Amy Hutcheson explores the world and the nature of visual representation through line, shape, and form. rough March 31.


“SUE: The T. rex Experience”

Step into the world of SUE the T. rex. rough May 12.


“The Earthworm and the Hawk”

Melissa Dunn’s “ e Earthworm and the Hawk” is the overlap between two states of being. rough April 28.


“Twists of Nature”

Exhibition by Sheila Bentley. rough March 31.


“Verdant Stories”

An experience of visual storytelling through paint and ber by Janet Weed Beaver, Melanie Beaver, and Suzanne Martin. Free. rough March 29.


“What Were You Meant For?”

Kevin Brooks’ “What were you meant for?” is an art exhibition that delves deep into the world of lm to uncover the seldom-seen layers of Black male identity. rough April 28.



Art By Design: Dinner with Designers

Dress festive and oral for an evening garden party with an intimate, design-inspired dining experience. $500. Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m.


South Main Trolley Night

South Main is open late with live music, great shopping, restaurants specials and nonstop fun. Friday, March 29, 6-9 p.m.


Beginner Houseplant

Propagation Workshop

Instruction from a pro on the basics of propagating houseplants from both cuttings and division. $55. Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m.


Mosaic Tulips with Tonya

Lynn Art

Join artist Tonya Pearce of Tonya Lynn Art for a twohour workshop where you’ll learn the basics of making mosaics. Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m.


Spring Flower Arranging Workshop

During this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of ower arranging and you’ll leave with a beautiful arrangement, perfect for your spring table.

ursday, March 28, 6 p.m.


Try It!

Two nights only: collaborative improvisation by Our Own Voice eatre Troupe. Help shape the show as you explore honest spontaneity. Friday, March 29-30, 8 p.m.


Yes& Improv Workshop

Blu City Liars hosts this free, no-commitment workshop on the rst and third Monday of each month. Monday, April 1, 6-7 p.m.


The Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis Queen’s Brunch and Awards Show

A bene t for the Tennessee Equality Project and Friends for All. Saturday, March 30, noon.


The Mystic Live at the Green Room

e Mystic is hosted by a rotating panel including Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Dr. Scott Morris, Rev. Joshua Narcisse, Dr. Rev. Lillian Lammers, and Kirk Whalum. Tuesday, April 2, 6-7 p.m.



Line Dancing with Q Line dancing lessons, Tuesdays with “Q.” 21+. Tuesday, April 2, 6-9 p.m.


Neon Demons Rave!

DJs Brian Hamilton (of MDHT) and Wholefoods keep the music going all night. $10.

Friday, March 29, 10:30 p.m.


Sunday Argentine Tango

Mini-Lesson & Practica

Mariallan and James will be conducting a short tango class directed at beginning dancers (5:30-6:15 p.m.), followed by a guided practica (6:15-7:30 p.m.). $15/lesson and practica, $10/practica.

Sunday, March 31, 5:30 p.m.


continued on page 20

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to
PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS Celia Hottenstein as Glinda and Olivia Valli as Elphaba in the National Tour of Wicked

March 28-April 3, 2024

continued from page 19

Swing for Spring

New beginner swing dance series. Try just one type or learn all four. $80/general admission.

Tuesday, April 2, 6-7 p.m.



Bunny Brunch

Hop on by the Memphis Zoo for brunch with the Easter bunny. This family-friendly event is complete with a delicious buffet-style breakfast and an exclusive animal encounter. $45.

Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Bunny Brunch

Family-friendly brunch menu, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and a balloon twister.

Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m.; Sunday, March 31, 11 a.m.; Monday, April 1, 11 a.m.


Children’s Ranger Program – Easter Rock Hunt

Join Overton Park Conservancy for an Easter Rock Hunt on the Greensward. Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m.



Easter Bunny Photos at Saddle Creek Hop on over to Saddle Creek for free digital and printed photos with the Easter Bunny. Leashed, well-behaved pets are welcome anytime. Saturday, March 30, noon-4 p.m.


Egg Hunt

Dixon’s Annual Egg Hunt! Bring the whole family, meet the Easter Bunny, and enjoy a festive hunt on the Dixon’s South Lawn $10. Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m.


FUNBOX Bounce Park

The world’s biggest bounce park with 25,000 square feet of continuous jumping zones connecting 10 different play areas. Friday, March 29, 10 a.m.; Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m.; Sunday, March 31, 10 a.m.; Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.


Good Friday Basketball Tournament

A one-day series for youth teams in grades 1-8 to supplement their basketball skills. The tournament will also promote daily exercise and forming healthy habits leading to a healthier lifestyle. Friday, March 29, 8 a.m.


Good Friday Easter Egg Hunt! Kids will enjoy face painting, food, an Easter basket giveaway, bounce houses, and games

Friday, March 29, 11 a.m.


Memphis Athletics Egg Hunt

Kids 12 and under are invited to join Memphis Athletics for an egg hunt. Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.



Black Creators Forum Pitch Rally

Eight talented creators pitch their projects.

Tuesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m.


Cxffeeblack to Africa (2022)

Documentary, Demonstration and Q&A

An in-depth roasting/brewing demonstration and Q&A about the history and science of coffee in Africa. Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m.


Roadhouse: 35th Anniversary Screening

Celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of Patrick Swayze’s most fun, quoted, and beloved films. Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m.


The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018

For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550

For Release Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Edited by Will Shortz No. 0212

The Motive and the Cue

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. Sunday, March 31, 1 p.m.


Wings Over Water 3D

Michael Keaton narrates this breathtaking film that soars above the clouds and takes you on an amazing journey to the heart of the prairie wetlands. Thursday, March 28-April 3, 11 a.m.



Memphis Pickle Fest

Pickle-themed food and beverages. Sunday, March 31, noon.


Whiskey Pairing Dinner

Join us for a whiskey pairing dinner hosted by our in-house whiskey connoisseur DJ Naylor. $75. Thursday, March 28, 7-9 p.m.


Wolf River Crawfish Boil

An event sponsored by Tennessee Ducks Unlimited. Thursday, March 28, 6 p.m.



Body Balance

A new generative yoga class that will improve your mind, your body, and your life. Free. Thursday, March 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m.



The Hike-a-Thon is a monthlong fundraising and adventure competition in April where participants can hike, bike, paddle, climb, and trail run to protect Tennessee’s lands and waters. Monday, April 1-April 30.


Hustle & Flow Pilates

Join instructor Bridget for free Pilates classes at A Monument to Listening in Tom Lee Park. Please bring an open mind and your own mat/ towel and water. Free. Monday, April 1, 6-7 p.m.


Slow Your Roll | Saturday Morning Meditation

A serene start to your Saturday with some morning mindfulness, led by the experienced mindfulness educator Greg Graber. Free.

Saturday, March 30, 8-8:30 a.m.


Taijiquan with Milan Vigil

This Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. 16+. Free. Saturday, March 30, 10:30-11:30 a.m.


Twilight Yoga & Pilates

Join the Shell each Monday for a full-body burn during rotating yoga and Pilates classes. Free. Monday, April 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m.


Wednesday Walks

A casual stroll around the Old Forest. No agenda, just a chance to meet new people and get a walk in. Where: Rainbow Lake Playground Kiosk. Wednesday, April 3, 4-5 p.m.



Strengthen your yoga practice and enjoy the health benefits of light exercise with yoga instructors Laura Gray McCann. Free. Thursday, March 28, 6-6:45 p.m.



Dance your cares away at the Overton Park Shell with a dynamic, weekly Zumba workout. Free. Tuesday, April 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.


ACROSS 1 Fab Four hairdos 5 Spiced tea variety 9 Hail Mary, for one 13 Totally awesome 14 Defense in a snowball fight 15 Chops finely 17 Psychedelic stuff from the Evergreen State? 19 Shrek and Fiona 20 Nash’s “two-l” beast 21 Lure 23 A, to Beethoven 24 Inning : baseball :: ___ : curling 26 Underwear from the First State? 28 Gambler’s action in the Cornhusker State? 32 Member of Islam’s largest branch 33 Tennis serving whiz 34 National Hot Dog Month 37 Music genre for the Village People 39 Calder Cup rink org. 40 Forest animal in the state nicknamed Old Dominion? 42 Ate 43 Opposite of día 45 ___ stick 46 Snow blower maker 47 Birds on Canadian dollar coins 49 Mosquito from the state nicknamed Land of Opportunity? 51 Highway divider in the Centennial State? 54 Mr. Turkey 55 Diamonds, slangily 56 Someone ___ (not mine or yours) 58 Moving around fast 62 Entire range 64 Pasta from the Golden State? 66 Word next to an arrow on a maze 67 Hard ___ (toiling away) 68 Lo-cal 69 Frequent Sicilian erupter 70 Daddy-o 71 © follower, typically DOWN 1 Whimper 2 October birthstone 3 Tuscany tower site 4 Amount of cream cheese 5 Corporate $$$ overseer 6 Hilarious type 7 Ready for battle 8 Reply to “Who’s there?” 9 Jut out 10 Bailed-out insurance giant 11 Attachment you might send to a tech person when you have a computer problem 12 “Whatever!” 16 Some Form 1040 data, for short 18 “You ___?” (butler’s response) 22 “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” airer 25 ___ vu 27 Magician’s name suffix 28 Palindromic bread 29 Navigate like a whale 30 Sign of hospitality 31 Backside 35 British throne? 36 Popular fitness class 38 Dumpster output 40 Blood feud 41 Put in proper piles 44 Something a tired gardener might lean on 46 How wallflowers act 48 The “S” of R.S.V.P. 50 Doofus 51 Pack of butts 52 Music copyright org. 53 Old-fashioned “Cool!” 57 Salon sound 59 Ballet bend 60 “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” grp. 61 Belgian river to the North Sea 63 Coffee dispenser 65 Tiebreaker periods, for short PUZZLE BY TOM PEPPER Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE 123456789101112 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 242526 27 282930 31 32 33 34353637 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 4950 51 525354 55 56 5758596061 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 SHUTSNASALBYOB HADATOVINEIOWA


A Conversation with Composer Earnestine Rodgers Robinson

Earnestine Rodgers Robinson will speak on the creation of her Harriet Tubman Oratorio

Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m.


Science Cafe: Whiskey, Wine, and White Oaks

Wind down from the workday by learning something new over drinks. Shawn Brown presents expanded research into white oak forest restoration focusing on fungi and pathogens. Tuesday, April 2, 5:30 p.m.



Dru’s After Dark Burlesque

Freak Nasty is back with the “Dru’s After Dark” burlesque show. Friday, March 29, 11 p.m.


Just Larry’s Mayhem Magic, dance, illusion, comedy, and burlesque, hosted by and starring Memphis’ master showman, Larry Clark! $15.

Friday, March 29, 7 p.m.


Kink Night with Freak Nasty

HOIST Men of Leather & Fetish and Kink Club 901 will be there to give you some


jaw-dropping demonstrations.

Friday, March 29, 9 p.m.


QCG Presents Big Top Tease: Neon Jungle Performances by aerialists, drag performers, fire eaters, and flow artists. Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.


Sing, Sistah, Sing!

Hattiloo’s production celebrates the indomitable spirit of Black women with concerts; step routines; original all-women dance performances; and spoken-word from talented Black female artists. Saturday, March 30, 2 p.m., 7 p.m.



Goth Night, A Vampire Ball by Dystopia Productions

DJ’s Evonech, Graveyard Gloria, and St. Faust play Goth, Darkwave, Industrial, and Dark Electro! $12. Saturday, March 30, 10 p.m.-3 a.m.


The Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis Queen’s Brunch and Awards Show

A benefit for the Tennessee Equality Project and Friends for All. Saturday, March 30, noon.



Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

This jukebox musical takes you on a journey that realistically documents Carole King’s rise to fame and superstar status as a songwriter and performer. Through March 30.


Golden Girls - The Laughs Continue

Miami’s sassiest seniors have returned for one more hurrah. Relive the heartfelt hilarity of four ladies who never stopped being your friends. 18+. $44-$69.

Thursday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.



POTUS delves into the world of politics, power, and presidency. Witness the team of women behind a newly elected president and how they navigate the treacherous waters of Washington, D.C. Through April 14.


You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Join Charlie Brown and his friends as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up, set to a timeless and catchy score. Through April 13.

SHE 901 Tour takes guests to women-owned businesses and historic sites Downtown.


The Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz … but from a different angle. Wednesday, April

3-April 21.



Haunted Pub Crawl

Visit three local bars for ghost stories, dark history, and tales of the paranormal.

Friday, March 29, 7:3010 p.m.


SHE 901 Tour

A special tour to support women-owned businesses in downtown Memphis, honor the contribution of women to Memphis’ history, and empower the next generation of women leaders. Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m.


Spring Blooms at the Garden

Discover native wildflowers as they make their brief annual appearance in MBG’s Woodlands. Enjoy a children’s activity, a cash bar, and food trucks. Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m.


The Original Memphis Brew Bus

The Memphis Brew Bus is a Saturday afternoon trip into the amazing Memphis craft brewing scene. Visit three local breweries for tours, talks with the brewers, and of course beer. $59. Saturday, March 30, 2-5:30 p.m.



Bringing Black Kink

Memphis has always been a kinky city full of kinky people. But it can be a challenge for adventurous Memphians to nd safe spaces where they can express their sexual curiosities and fetishes without fear of judgment, exploitation, or worse.

is is especially true for members of our city’s marginalized populations: Black, Indigenous, and other people of color who are in search of sexual selfdiscovery in a state whose legislature recently tried to criminalize performing in drag. e stigma surrounding any sexual activity deemed abnormal or “prurient” leads to shame and exclusion.

But this weekend, Black kink is taking a big step into the Memphis mainstream, and you can be part of the conversation. Professional dominant and local fetish leader King Khan is hosting a panel discussion called BIPOC x BDSM: A KINKY CONVERSATION at the Medicine Factory in Downtown Memphis. He will be joined by guests with expertise in sexual freedom, healing, and therapy.

e stated goals of this panel are to demystify sexual fetishes such as bondage, dominance/discipline, submission/ sadism, and masochism (BDSM) and to empower sexual subcultures in our city, especially for those of people of color.

For those who are unfamiliar with the idea of BDSM, think of it as erotic play that involves inequity of power. Some people play the role of doms while others are subs; some are tops while others are bottoms. Along the way, there’s plenty of voyeurism, taboo play, and, yes, whips and chains. But there’s much more than that.

“[At this panel], we can share our collective and individual lived experiences,” says Khan, who chooses to remain masked in public to keep his BDSM life separate from his everyday

life. “We can learn from each other’s insights and journeys. We can support and lean on one another. We can occupy the locus of our own pleasure experiences, drive our sexual liberation, and be free to be ourselves. is panel is for us and is open to our community, coconspirators, and allies.”

e panel on Saturday will be emceed by Phoenix, the Goddess, an educator and speaker specializing in creating a healing and sex-positive space for the curious.

It will also feature discussion from Phillis Lewis, CEO of the nonpro t organization Love Doesn’t Hurt, which aids members of the LGBTQ who are experiencing crisis.

Lewis, also known as Freak Nasty, has been hosting the quarterly Kink Night at

and host multi-room games. ey recently celebrated their rst anniversary with a rose ceremony play party.

Dru’s Place on Madison Avenue. She has been a familiar part of the Memphis kink community for over 20 years.

Also on the panel is Black Magick, an experienced tantric dominatrix priestess and healer. Black Magick specializes in a variety of safe sexual alternative practices and is also a burlesque dancer.

King Khan, the spokesperson for Saturday’s panel event, is also the owner and founder of MeetAtJewels, Memphis’ only Black-owned dungeon and play space.

MeetAtJewels hosts parties for those with an open mind about exploring their sexual lives in a judgment-free environment. ey host all-night parties on a regular basis (you can nd out when and where if you’re inclined at where they also sell sex toys, give BDSM demonstrations,

BDSM demands informed consent from all partners, and the motto for the BDSM play at MeetAtJewels is “Keep it kinky, keep it classy, and keep it consensual.” Khan’s goal is to ensure a “safe, inclusive, and empowering space for Black, Indigenous, and people of color,” and he personally screens each member who wishes to join. He gets to know applicants and asks about each member’s boundaries before accepting them to the club. No member is required to participate in any activity unless they feel comfortable.

e panel discussion on Saturday is open to the “kinky BIPOC kinfolk” and their allies. Khan hopes it will be the rst of a series of such discussions to bring kink to the mainstream and that this uncensored conversation will allow curious members of our majority-Black city to break down barriers around bondage play and other fetishes.

BIPOC x BDSM: A KINKY CONVERSATION will be held at the Medicine Factory on Saturday, March 30th, from 2 to 4 p.m.

22 March 28-April 3, 2024
is BIPOC x BDSM panel aims to encourage dialogue and break down barriers. PHOTO: (ABOVE) COURTESY KING KHAN King Khan PHOTO: (LEFT) COURTESY BLACK MAGICK
Black Magick

We Saw You.


Irish eyes are still smiling a er the Memphis Irish Society/Cooper-Young St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“ ere was green beer owing all over Cooper-Young that day,” says Tamara Cook, executive director of the Cooper-Young Business Association.

e annual event drew 2,000 people this year, Cook says. “ is is like the eighth one. We have them on St. Patrick’s Day every year. Next year, it will be on a Monday, although I keep asking them to have it on Sunday a er the Beale Street parade. But they want to have it on the day.”

Memphis Irish Society and Celtic Crossing presented the event, Cook says. Mayor Paul Young was king of the parade and his wife Jamila Smith-Young was queen. Memphis Fire Department Chief Gina Sweat was the parade marshal.

is year’s parade featured 30 participants, including Memphis 901 FC soccer team, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Memphis Police Department. ere were bagpipers, horses, and dancers, including the Inis Acla School of Irish Dance step dancers. DJ Naylor opened up his Celtic Crossing Irish bar/restaurant for outdoor and indoor partying.

PHOTOS: MICHAEL DONAHUE above: (le to right) Patrick Reilly and DJ Naylor; Terrance Gaines and Kamilah Muhammad; Gina Sweat below: (le to right) Zach Brummett, Amy Dempsey, Lindsey Howell, Stegen Burkett; back: Morgan Max, Bristol Max, Maisey Johnston, Ramanda Johnston, Keith Johnston, front: Maverick Max, Christopher Johnston, Adilay Johnston bottom row: (le to right) Dylan Borczak, Noe Meza, Emerson Hyndman, Akeem Ward, Carson Vom Steeg, Luiz Fernando from Memphis 901 FC soccer; Shuntonisha Clark, Makenzie Clark, Kervin Mason, Michael Clark

‘People Are People’

Taylor Swi , Celine Dion, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Leslie Jones — these are just a few of the well-known gures who have donned the clothing now housed temporarily in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Arts’ latest exhibition, “People Are People.” On display are dresses and suits worn to award shows, galas, and speeches, milestone moments in their wearers’ lives — moments when everyone wants to feel their best, their most con dent, and, yes, their most beautiful. It’s a kind of transformation, says Christian Siriano, the designer of these 36 pieces.

“My sister and I, we were ballet dancers when I was little, and I really loved the idea of transformation,” he says. “Like when you see a ballet dancer in her warm-ups but then they transform into a Sugar Plum Fairy, I always thought that was really special.

“I guess that’s what drew me to [fashion]. I love seeing people transform when they put on a certain thing — heels or a dress or a jacket — you hold yourself a di erent way.”

When Siriano rst broke into public consciousness at 21 a er winning Project Runway in 2007, the fashion scene really only catered to one body: thin, very thin, and young. Even today, one could argue the same, but Siriano, from the get-go, embraced all bodies, genders, and ages. “It’s important to celebrate beauty and whatever that is for the person,” Siriano says.

If anything, “People Are People” demonstrates just that. Siriano says, “It’s really cool to see all these shapes and sizes of women or men or whoever they are on mannequins in clothes next to one another. It’s kind of never been done actually, probably ever, in a

museum, because for so long fashion retrospectives didn’t have di erentsized mannequins.”

“Just being able to see di erent body shapes, sizes, heights even, it’s really a di erent experience for people experiencing fashion,” says Patricia Daigle, the Brooks’ curator of modern and contemporary art. “… is message of inclusivity is something that really [will] resonate with our community here. is is something that we really also want to champion as an institution as well.”

“People Are People,” Siriano’s rstever solo exhibit, debuted at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Museum of Art in 2021, before its run at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film shortly a er. is is the rst time the exhibit has traveled outside of SCAD, and it’s the rst time the exhibit will be shown at an institution whose primary focus isn’t fashion but art in general, Daigle points out.

“I love that art museums are really starting to embrace fashion in this way

and kind of pull down some of those barriers which are, at this point, quite antiquated of thinking about fashion as something else,” Daigle says. “I think we all love to see beautiful things; whether it’s a painting or a dress, these are all works of art.”

But a barrier Siriano and the Brooks are more concerned in breaking is that of access — and not just in the name of body inclusivity. “We want people that don’t always get to see things like this to get access to it,” Siriano says of the show’s choice to travel to Memphis. “ at’s kind of the whole point. at’s why it’s kind of special and unique. ere’s a million shows in New York every day. ey don’t need another one.”

For the show’s stay in Memphis, Siriano insisted on adding one of his most recent pieces worn by Lily Gladstone at the Critics’ Choice Awards this year. (Gladstone received a slew of awards and nominations for her role in Killers of the Flower Moons, even becoming the rst Native-American woman to be nominated for the Acad-

emy Award for Best Actress.)

“I took her dress back literally a week ago,” Siriano says. “I was like, ‘No, I need it back. I want to put it in this exhibition.’”

Ever involved in the making of the show, Siriano himself helped with the nishing touches before the Brooks’ opening, positioning mannequins’ precise poses, draping the fabrics exactly right, and wrapping the tulle that covers the models’ faces. e e ect of that tulle, Siriano says, blurs their identities, distancing the dress from the celebrity wearer and creating an anonymity that any viewer can assume. “In a way they kind of actually feel more, I think, dreamlike,” Siriano says. “ ey all mean di erent things in a way. ey all have di erent voices in a way, you know.”

“People Are People” is on display at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art through August 4th. Visit for a schedule of complementary programming like workshops and gallery talks.

e Brooks Museum’s latest exhibition celebrates the work of designer Christian Siriano. PHOTO: ABIGAIL MORICI e clothing on display showcases Siriano’s evolution in design.

Country Kitchen


ole Jeanes named his restaurant “Kinfolk” for several reasons.

e restaurant, which opens Wednesday, March 27th, is “based on a country kitchen,” says Jeanes, 34, chef/owner of the restaurant at 113 Harbor Town Square. “So, it’s a bunch of di erent things. But it means family and your blood.

And when I think of food, that’s what I think about.”

Menu items include “Biscuits and Buns,” “Bowls,” and “Sweets.”

One of the “Sweets” is “Banana Pudding Tiramisu,” which is made with co ee caramel, banana, and Moon Pie.

“Kinfolk” is a “Southern saying,” says Jeanes, who heard the word a lot when he was growing up. His father was from a small Mississippi town. “ ose folks literally sat on their porch and shot squirrels out of the tree. ey’re country country.”

In addition to evoking memories of going hunting and eating with his dad, “kinfolk” also evokes memories of his mother’s biscuits. “She made them and they were great. But I also liked the frozen ones she made.”

“Now it’s growing to, essentially, a fancier Waffle House.”

But more than the actual biscuits was the “great memory” of “sitting around” in the dining room or living room “eating sausage and biscuits.”

Jeanes, who was 12 years old when he lost his dad, says his “core” are the people in his life. “What I enjoyed with them most of the time was eating food. Going to anksgiving and being with all my cousins and all my aunts and uncles. ose were some of the best memories.”

As for that food, Jeanes says, “I grew up in the era of the South when CrockPots were big.” But, he says, “I love American cheese. I love Velveeta. I love frozen biscuits. I’m not knocking any of that stu . I’m just trying to really do something that has a positive e ect on not just this community, but the Earth in general.”

Biscuits were a big thing for Jeanes when he was in culinary school at the old L’Ecole Culinaire in Memphis. “I made them and put a little bit of herbs

de Provence in there. en I started adjusting it. Every time I made them I’d write it down and see what I didn’t like and what I liked and I went from there.”

Jeanes came up with his square biscuits, which he made with the folding method of building layers of dough with butter in between.

He included his biscuits in his rst “Kinfolk” food stall in the old Puck Food Hall at 409 South Main. “I was the rst tenant there.”

Two years ago, he began doing Kinfolk pop-ups at Comeback Co ee. “It was great. I sold out almost every weekend. I saw that there was a desire for us.”

at was a chance to “test the

waters, get some data, see if it’s plausible to open a full space.”

He met his current business partners at the pop-ups. A buddy then told him about the Harbor Town location, which already had a new kitchen in it.

Jeanes still makes his biscuits, but he also serves a wide range of items. “You could only do so much at the co ee shop,” he says, adding, “Now it’s growing to, essentially, a fancier Wa e House.”

“ e menu is based o of breakfast sandwiches you can either get on our buttermilk biscuits or on a milk bun with benne seeds.”

e breakfast sandwiches are served on an “egg plate. It has a French omelet on it or, basically, any two eggs you want. With grits or fries. Whatever side you like.”

He also serves rice bowls, including one that “literally has Japanese pickles in it.” It also includes Delta jasmine rice, crispy chicken thigh, chili crisp, jammy egg, and toasted benne seed. “ ere’s a thread that kind of goes through that menu that has Japanese and Scandinavian in uences.”

Jeanes also serves “ attop griddle cakes,” but he uses oat our instead of white our “to give a gluten-free option.”

For now, Kinfolk, which is open Wednesdays through Sundays, is open for grab-and-go from 6 to 7 a.m. e full-breakfast menu is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. e full lunch menu begins at 10:30 a.m.

e Harbor Town restaurant location is great for Jeanes and his kinfolk. “I can ride my bike here from my home,” he says. “My wife can literally walk up here with our kids.”

Kinfolk is now open in Harbor Town.
DO GOOD. BETTER. We help Mid-South nonprofits succeed. 901.726.5725
PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE Cole Jeanes at Kinfolk


Expectations: Unmanaged

April 12 - 14

At an event billed as “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” on Feb. 24 in Glasgow, Scotland, children and parents were so underwhelmed that police were called, The New York Times reported. The event, which promised Willy Wonka-themed chocolate fountains, performances by Oompa Loompas and “optical marvels,” turned out to offer just a few jelly beans and a nearly empty warehouse. Stuart Sinclair, who paid about $44 per ticket to bring his kids to the show, said it amounted to “maybe 20 chairs, a couple of tables, and a half-inflated bouncy castle.” Jenny Fogarty, who was hired to play an Oompa Loompa, said she was given a 15-page script the night before and that “the wigs were very cheap.” The organizer canceled the event on Saturday afternoon; it was unclear who had called police. The event organizer, House of Illuminati, said ticket purchases would be refunded. [New York Times, 2/27/2024]

Bright Ideas

Details have recently emerged about an incident in Willow Springs, Missouri, in November, the Springfield NewsLeader reported. The Howell County Sheriff’s Office had investigated after a man in his 60s, who was a paraplegic, lost his feet while brush-hogging. “It was a poorly executed plan,” said Lt. Torey Thompson. He said it was clear almost immediately that the accident had been staged: The cuts were very clean, the feet were nowhere to be found, and tourniquets had been applied to both legs. Allegedly, the victim had help from a man from Florida, who cut off the feet with a hatchet to help him commit insurance fraud. However, since the unnamed man never filed the claim and he was so severely injured, the sheriff’s office declined to charge him. And the missing feet? “A couple of days later, we got a call that a relative found them in a bucket obscured by tires, so we went and got them,” Thompson said. Mystery solved. [Springfield News-Leader, 2/15/2024]

The Golden Age of Air Travel

• On Feb. 13, as a Delta flight soared from Amsterdam to Detroit, maggots began falling from an overhead compartment onto passengers below, The

Guardian reported. Philip Schotte, who was on the flight, said attendants traced the source to a bag stowed above and found a rotten fish wrapped in newspaper. They removed the offending item, and the pilot announced that the plane would be returning to Amsterdam.

Apologizing, Delta said the passengers were placed on another flight and the plane was removed from service for cleaning. Passengers were also given 8,000 air miles, hotel room compensation, and a $30 meal ticket. But who’s hungry? [Guardian, 2/15/2024]

• Sri Lankan Airlines was forced to ground one of its Airbus A330 planes for three days after a rat was spotted on the aircraft, United Press International reported on Feb. 27. The rodent was seen during a flight from Lahore, Pakistan, to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Workers sprayed the plane with poison, and technicians checked wiring for damage done by chewing. [UPI, 2/27/2024]

Try the Decaf

Brandie Gotch, 30, of Peoria, Arizona, told police that her children were being bullied by other kids, and she had reported it to the school and law enforcement, but nothing happened. So on Feb. 27, she took matters into her own hands, CBS5-TV reported. With her four children in her Silverado, Gotch drove to a local park, where she allegedly approached a group of kids and started yelling at them. Police said Gotch grabbed a 14-year-old boy by the hair and yanked his head back and forth as she yelled at him, then grabbed a stick from her truck, and chased him, yelling, “I am going to kill you and run you over!” She then jumped back into her truck and drove it toward the group of kids, running over a girl’s ankle in the process, although she told police she didn’t think she hit the girl. “I hope I didn’t,” she said. Her own children told police they were bouncing all over the truck during her jaunt through the park. Gotch was charged with six counts of endangerment, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of attempted first-degree murder. [CBS5, 2/29/2024]


© 2024 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

26 March 28-April 3, 2024

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus novelist Lionel Shriver writes, “There’s a freedom in apathy, a wild, dizzying liberation on which you can almost get drunk.” In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend you experiment with Shriver’s strategy in the coming weeks. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, Lionel Shriver’s comment is one of the dumbest thoughts I have ever heard. Why would anyone want the cheap, damaged liberation that comes from feeling indifferent, numb, and passionless? Please do all you can to disrupt and dissolve any attraction you may have to that state, Taurus. In my opinion, you now have a sacred duty to cultivate extra helpings of enthusiasm, zeal, liveliness, and ambition.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): At enormous cost and after years of study, I have finally figured out the meaning of life, at least as it applies to you Geminis. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to reveal it to you unless you send me $1,000 and a case of Veuve Clicquot champagne. I’ve got to recoup my investment, right?! APRIL FOOL! Most of what I just said was a dirty lie. It’s true that I have worked hard to uncover the meaning of life for you Geminis. But I haven’t found it yet. And even if I did, I would of course provide it to you free. Luckily, you are now in a prime position to make dramatic progress in deciphering the meaning of life for yourself.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): For a limited time only, you have permission from the cosmos to be a wildly charismatic egomaniac who brags incessantly and insists on getting your selfish needs met at all times and in all places. Please feel free to have maximum amounts of narcissistic fun, Cancerian! APRIL FOOL!

I was exaggerating a bit, hoping to offer you medicinal encouragement so you will stop being so damn humble and selfeffacing all the time. But the truth is, now is indeed an excellent time to assert your authority, expand your clout, and flaunt your potency and sovereignty.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Michael Scott was a character in the TV sitcom The Office. He was the boss of a paper company. Played by Leo actor Steve Carell, he was notoriously self-centered and obnoxious. However, there was one famous scene I will urge you to emulate. He was asked if he would rather be feared or loved. He replied, “Um, easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” Be like Michael Scott, Leo! APRIL FOOL!

I was half-kidding. It’s true I’m quite excited by the likelihood that you will receive floods of love in the coming weeks. It’s also true that I think you should do everything possible to boost this likelihood. But I would rather that people be amazed and pleased at how much they love you, not afraid.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Now would be an excellent time for you to snag a Sugar Daddy or Sugar Momma or Sugar NonBinary Nurturer. The astrological omens are telling me that life is expanding its willingness and capacity to provide you with help, support, and maybe even extra cash. I dare you to dangle yourself as bait and sell your soul to the highest bidder.

APRIL FOOL! I was half-kidding. While I do believe it’s prime time to ask for and receive more help, support, and extra cash, I don’t believe you will have to sell your soul to get any of it. Just be yourself!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Happy Unbirthday, Libra! It’s that time halfway between your last birthday and your next. Here are the presents I plan to give you: a boost in your receptivity to be loved and needed; a constructive relationship with obsession; more power to accomplish the half-right thing when it’s hard to do the totally right thing; the disposal of 85 percent of the psychic trash left over from the time between 2018 and 2023; and a provocative new invitation to transcend an outworn old taboo. APRIL FOOL!

The truth is, I can’t possibly supply every one of you with these fine offerings, so please bestow them on yourself. Luckily, the cosmic currents will conspire with you to make these things happen.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Now would be an excellent time to seek liposuction, a facelift, Botox, buttocks augmentation, or hair transplants. Cosmic rhythms will be on your side if you change how you look. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said was a lie. I’ve got nothing against cosmetic surgery, but now is not the right time to alter your appearance. Here’s the correct oracle: Shed your disguises, stop hiding anything about who you really are, and show how proud you are of your idiosyncrasies.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I command you to love Jesus and Buddha! If you don’t, you will burn in Hell! APRIL FOOL! I was just kidding. I was being sensationalistic to grab your attention. Here’s my real, true oracle for you: Love everybody, including Jesus and Buddha. And I mean love them all twice as strong and wild and tender. The cosmic powers ask it of you! The health of your immortal soul depends on it! Yes, Sagittarius, for your own selfish sake, you need to pour out more adoration and care and compassion than you ever have before. I’m not exaggerating! Be a lavish Fountain of Love!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you gave me permission, I would cast a spell to arouse in you a case of ergophobia, i.e., an aversion to work. I think you need to take a sweet sabbatical from doing business as usual. APRIL FOOL! I was just joking about casting a spell on you. But

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

In the coming days, your hunger will be so inexhaustible that you may feel driven to devour extravagant amounts of food and drink. It’s possible you will gain 10 pounds in a very short time. Who knows? You might even enter an extreme eating contest and devour 46 dozen oysters in 10 minutes! APRIL FOOL! Although what I just said is remotely plausible, I foresee that you will sublimate your exorbitant hunger. You will realize it is spiritual in nature and can’t be gratified by eating food. As you explore your voracious longings, you will hopefully discover a half-hidden psychological need you have been suppressing. And then you will liberate that need and feed it what it craves!

I do wish you would indulge in a lazy, do-nothing retreat. If you want your ambitions to thrive later, you will be wise to enjoy a brief period of delightful emptiness and relaxing dormancy. As Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein recommends, “Don’t just do something! Sit there!”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In accordance with current astrological omens, I suggest you get the book Brain Surgery for Beginners by Steven Parker and David West. You now have the power to learn and even master complex new skills, and this would be a excellent place to start. APRIL FOOL! I was half-kidding. I don’t really think you should take a scalpel to the gray matter of your friends and family members — or yourself, for that matter. But I am quite certain that you currently have an enhanced power to learn and even master new skills. It’s time to raise your educational ambitions to a higher octave. Find out what lessons and training you need most, then make plans to get them.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the religious beliefs of Louisiana Voodoo, one God presides over the universe but never meddles in the details of life. There are also many spirits who are always intervening and tinkering, intimately involved in the daily rhythm. They might do nice things for people or play tricks on them — and everything in between. In alignment with current astrological omens, I urge you to convert to the Louisiana Voodoo religion and try ingenious strategies to get the spirits to do your bidding. APRIL FOOL! I don’t really think you should convert. However, I believe it would be fun and righteous for you to proceed as if spirits are everywhere — and assume that you have the power to harness them to work on your behalf.

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Putting Memphis Film on the Map

nwar Jamison set out to do something very few people have ever done: e Memphis-based lmmaker wanted to shoot a movie in Ghana. e second-largest country in West Africa is undergoing a period of economic expansion, and Jamison was fascinated with the young democracy’s success story. It was a long ght, but a er enduring setbacks such as the lead actor bailing on the project right before he was supposed to get on the plane, Jamison nally completed Coming to Africa — just in time for the 2020 Covid pandemic to shut down movie theaters worldwide.

“ e premiere was at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, which I believe the rst physical lm festival that opened back up during that time,” says Jamison. “ en I had the chance to come back and do Indie Memphis. … I took it to Ghana, had a great response over there in the cinemas. But, again, it was somewhat slow because I guess we were kind of pioneers in that space. We were one of the rst movies that came out as their cinemas reopened because they had been closed a lot longer than ours over here due to Covid.”

A er an indie theatrical release in the U.S., Coming to Africa was released on Amazon Prime Video, where, Jamison says, “It was really, really well received! en I moved it over to Tubi and [Roku streaming channel] kweliTV, who I really enjoy working with. DeShuna Spencer runs it right

here out of Memphis.”

But if the original Coming to Africa was a struggle, things were easier for the sequel, Welcome to Ghana. In the rst installment, Jamison took over the lead acting role out of necessity, playing Adrian, an ambitious American business executive who has his life changed on a visit to Ghana’s bustling capital, Accra. Much of that life-change is thanks to Akosua, a charming schoolteacher played by Nana Ama McBrown. “It was my rst time in Ghana, literally,” he says. “In a way, that helped me play the character because I was in the same situation as the character. I literally was seeing these things for the rst time. is time, I was able to have more of a game plan ahead of time and say, ‘ is is how I want to do things.’”

As a result, Welcome to Ghana is

considerably more ambitious. Akosua and Adrian are planning to get married, but her family doesn’t approve — and that’s just the rst complication. Jamison wanted to make an ensemble comedy, and the success of the rst lm in Africa and the opportunity to work with McBrown, the biggest star in Ghana, helped open lots of doors. “It really turned into a who’s who of actresses and actors who are the cream of the crop over there. It is a true ensemble cast. ey were looking around at each other on the set like, ‘Wow! We’ve never really been in a movie together!’ I was able, from the outside, to kind of pull people together. In Ghanian lm, you’re going to have

political ties. is actor works with their director only, or, this actor works with this production company. But me from the outside, I was able to just grab people who I was familiar with, who are some of my favorites in Ghana and Sierra Leone, and pull ’em all together.”

e lm had its world premiere in Accra on the same day last summer as Barbie. “ e biggest Hollywood movies are big in Ghana,” says Jamison. “So I was proud that we smashed Barbie that day! Barbie had a nice crowd. But for us, Coming to Africa: Welcome to Ghana, it was out of control!”

e lm is now streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi. “ e story is very universal, so it crosses geographical, cultural, racial, ethnic boundaries,” says Jamison. “You’re getting all of these cultural things, but once you sink into the story, you realize they do a lot of the same things we do. So you get to see di erences in the culture, but you also get to see those similarities.”

Jamison says he’s finishing his doctoral dissertation on African cinema before he starts prepping the final film in the trilogy. “I want Memphis to know that this was made by a Memphis filmmaker, and I want them to know that we took a lot of pride in putting it together, and that we put Memphis on the map in Ghana!”

Coming to Africa: Welcome to Ghana is streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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FILM By Chris McCoy
Anwar Jamison’s hit lm Coming to Africa: Welcome to Ghana premieres on streaming. Anwar Jamison and Nana Ama McBrown reprise their roles in Coming to Africa’s sequel.

Our critic picks the best films in theaters.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Adam Wingard’s sequel to 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong adds a weird “x” to the title. The big lizard and the big ape team up to fight off a mysterious threat from beneath the Hollow Earth. Expect extremely large things smashing into other extremely large things. Also, King Kong’s got an axe.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

The second film with “Empire” in the title on screens this week features the old Ghostbusters cast, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, teaming up with the new Ghostbusters cast, Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Mckenna Grace, to battle a supernatural force so scary it literally freezes

everyone and everything.

Kung Fu Panda 4

Jack Black returns as Po the Dragon Warrior panda who is given a new assignment by his master, voiced by Dustin Hoffman: He is to oversee the Valley of Peace. Will the hot-headed warrior warm to his life change? Or will he open a can of panda kung fu whoop-ass on The Chameleon (Viola Davis)?


Sydney Sweeney stars as a Sister Cecilia, a nun headed to a new convent in Italy on the express invitation of Father Sal Tedeschi (Alvaro Morte), who is definitely not trying to clone Jesus and use Cecilia as a surrogate Virgin Mary, because that would be blasphemy, right?

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Chris McCoy



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Immigrant Stories: Rajan Thakur

From Nepal to Memphis: a journey lled with optimism and tenacity.

Editor’s note: is is part two in a ve-part series focusing on immigrant contributions to our nation and city. In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville published Democracy in America. e French aristocrat visited America, including Memphis, and found the people a bit provincial, too religious, yet he characterized the young nation as nearly unlimited in terms of economic, political, and social development.

Rajan akur from Nepal might not be this century’s de Tocqueville, but as an immigrant to the USA, more speci cally Memphis, akur’s background has forced a focus on optimism; he doesn’t dwell too much on the prevailing pessimism.

e national mood, now, is sour. People in America are uncertain of the future; the economy seems great for some, not so great for most; politically we’re living in very strange times; and the pandemic demonstrated our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities. Approximately 1.2 million Americans have died from Covid-19 over the past four years.

Yet akur’s re ections on his personal American journey place him squarely in the optimistic camp. He holds an M.S. degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Tech University and works as a project engineer at FedEx headquarters here in Memphis. He’s been living in the USA for nine years. “ e U.S. right now, concerning AI technology, money, and technology in general, is at a di erent level from the rest of the world,” says the young engineer. “ e American dream is the real thing. I’ve seen it. Here, people are respected and heard; there’s a strong civic sense that you don’t nd in other places.”

akur grew up in a small village in the Tarai region near the border with India. “ ere’s an open border between my country and India to the south.” He describes Nepal as a nation whose economy is essentially tied to India’s. “ ere are few jobs in Nepal and the nation is close to ‘failed state’ status.”

His parents, with little formal schooling, invested in their son’s education, and akur attended a prestigious boarding school about 30 miles from his home. “I went there not because we were rich, but because my parents knew they had to invest in their future by investing in my education.” akur was sent away as a 4-yearold, returned home infrequently, excelled at all sports (especially cricket and soccer), and was a dedicated student. He spent 12 years at boarding school, followed by two years at a college preparatory school in India — where he studied from early morning to late at night, and gained admission to one of the best universities in India, the highly competitive National Institute of Technology, Warangal. ere, he studied mechanical engineering.

Upon graduation from university, akur worked for a year in India and a year in Nepal, then began the process of applying for advanced education in the USA. “At university in India, I met a lot of people who took the GRE and GMAT and they helped me study; they taught me about the entire process of going abroad.”

akur saw that there was a path to the USA “but getting to the USA is not completely based on merit or talent: 80 percent of it is luck.”

akur had multiple acceptances from U.S. universities and ended up at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was there on an F1 student visa. He immediately noticed some di erences between the USA and home. “It’s quiet here! It’s clean, too, and you don’t see people everywhere you look.” akur’s student visa status allowed him to work for minimum wage at the university dining service for 20 hours per week. “At the end of my shi , we were forced to throw away food that hadn’t been eaten — this would never happen in Nepal. rowing away food is tantamount to sin.” Meanwhile, he and some fellow students in Virginia on F1 visas were struggling to scrape by and feed themselves.

Upon graduation from Virginia Tech, akur began a job search in the USA; by the terms of his F1 student visa he had a 90-day window to nd a position with a company that would sponsor a more permanent (H1-B) visa arrangement. With persistence and some luck, he was o ered a position at FedEx — a global corporation that sponsors/supports talented people from all over the world.

At FedEx, akur met his ancée, and they plan to marry in the next few months. Last week, they returned from a threeweek visit to Nepal to meet his relatives. His south Alabamaborn future wife was “a bit overwhelmed” by Nepal, the tight-knit social structure, and the fact that four or ve hundred people showed up for the engagement party!

According to World Bank data, about 23 percent of Nepal’s GDP comes from remittance payments (people outside the country sending money in). akur regularly remits funds back to his family in Nepal. “My dad invested in my education starting when I was a 4-year-old. I’m his insurance policy.”

For our country, welcoming people like akur — whose tenacity and optimism are infectious — is our kind of insurance policy, ensuring that we continue to see the good America o ers.

Bryce W. Ashby is an attorney at Donati Law, PLLC. Michael J. LaRosa is an associate professor of history at Rhodes College. THE LAST WORD By

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