Memphis Flyer 5/9/29024

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ISSUE 05.09.24 FREE
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JUSTIN FOX BURKS SUNSET JAZZ P16 • MADISON TAVERN P25 • THE FALL GUY P28 Soul & Spirits takes top honors in our Beer Bracket Challenge. IPA All the Way
Blair Perry, Chris Batchelor, Ryan Allen
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Managing Editor


Senior Editors


Associate Editor



Film and TV Editor

ALEX GREENE Music Editor


Staff Writers


Contributing Columnists


KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher


Senior Art Director


Advertising Art Director

NEIL WILLIAMS Graphic Designer


Advertising Director Emeritus



Warehouse and Delivery Manager


THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129


ANNA TRAVERSE FOGLE Chief Executive Officer


Controller/Circulation Manager

JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer

MARGIE NEAL Chief Operating Officer

KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director


Circulation and Accounting Assistant

I can’t even think about my bones. I’m not sure why, but envisioning the inside of my body — nerves, muscles, veins, and organs — gives me the ick. I’m the type to faint while a nurse gathers blood for a routine lab test. And I’ve learned my veins are small and hard to find, so even the pushing and prodding of my flesh as they attempt to plump up a good one to poke makes me woozy. Once I was watching a TV show where a character had undergone breast augmentation surgery and described the feeling as having salt rocks in her chest, and I went pale and tingly and had to splash cold water on my face and lie down on the bathroom floor. Until recently, although I’m probably the clumsiest person I know, I’d prided myself on never having broken a bone. All my structural pieces were intact and in working order, aside from some likely weak tendons from many ankle sprains through the years — most recently a gnarly sprain to the left ankle last May (and another the previous December). Walking is harder than one might think.

Today, there are seven prescription bottles on my nightstand, and I am writing this from bed with my left foot iced and elevated on a pile of pillows. Some of you may have noticed I’ve been absent from this space for a few weeks — and a shiny new table of contents with accompanying photos teasing the week’s feature stories took the place of my editorial. We already had plans to occasionally run an illustrated table of contents in lieu of an editor’s note on those pesky weeks when words escaped me, but wound up launching it unannounced. I was down for nearly a week in early April with a flu-like illness, and in my feverish haze was unable to conjure up a column. So the first of the designed table of contents pages was set forth into the world. When I started feeling better, I decided to get dressed and go visit a friend. I’d been cooped up for days, swapping out one pair of pajamas for another, and at that point needed desperately to speak to another human in person before turning into a goblin. I put on some makeup and real pants and my favorite clunky platform Doc Martens (middleschool Shara would think today Shara was so cool with those boots) and left the house — free at last!

As I mentioned above, walking is harder than one might think, especially for a person who is prone to rolling their ankle, and even more especially when that person is wearing heavy platform boots. All I know is I was walking down the sidewalk one second, and the next I was on the ground in pain. When I managed to get that supercool boot off, my ankle shifted unnaturally and sort of dangled at the end of my leg like a pendulum on a grandfather clock. Needless to say, a trip to the emergency room was in order, and what followed was as close to me living my actual nightmares as I’ve yet to get in this life. (I had to think about my bones!)

Medical staff sedated me and attempted to perform a manual “reduction” on the dislocated ankle. A funny aside, one of the medications they gave me before the procedure was propofol, which, a nurse informed me while I was still somewhat alert, was the drug that killed pop star Michael Jackson. After a dose of morphine that didn’t quite do the trick, I saw them coming toward me with another needle and asked, “Is that the Michael Jackson drug?” Then proceeded to sing, “got to be startin’ somethin’ …” as I drifted off to dreamland (I have no recollection of this). The reduction — basically several medical professionals roughly tugging at my foot — was unsuccessful, there was mention of risk of necrosis, and I was rushed to the OR for surgery. I awoke with metal pins in both sides of my heel and two in my shin. The contraption — a multiplanar external fixator, to be exact — holding everything together was bulky, heavy, and increasingly uncomfortable, and I laid up for several days in the hospital awaiting the second surgery, in which I had a titanium plate installed to hold my “blasted” fibula in place. (The surgeon said the mess I made by simply falling looked like a “high-impact” injury. I never half-ass anything.) There’s a pin in there some where holding things in place that will have to be removed in a few weeks. So, yeah, a broken fibula and tibia, a dislo cated ankle, 30 staples, bionic parts, and seven nights and eight days in the hospi tal. (I’ll spare you the gruesome photo of my mangled Frankenstein leg.) The past couple of weeks since surgery have been both physically and mentally taxing, as I consider myself an incredibly indepen dent (and stubborn) person — laying around unable to do things on my own is a pain unlike any other. Well, aside from that hospital bill.

Anyhow, that’s where I’ve been. I’ll be recovering for several more weeks at least but now I’m on the other side of the worst of this ordeal (and mostly out of the painkiller coma). See you here again soon. In the meantime, don’t break a leg!

Shara Clark

National Newspaper Association Association of Alternative Newsmedia NEWS
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Questions, Answers + Attitude

Memphis on the internet.


e inaugural RiverBeat Music Festival drew throngs to the Mississippi last weekend. Most on the MEMernet agreed Tom Lee Park was amazing and the production value was second-to-none.

But being Memphis and that park in particular, detractors complained the crowd was smaller than Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Festival and that hurt Downtown businesses. Others griped that ticket prices didn’t match the lineup.


If you are looking for a local drama rabbit hole to fall into, head over to the Memphis subreddit and look for “Fox and Cat Vintage drama.” e basic story is there to get you started. en, follow the links to fall as far as you’d like. Yowza.



“Only a matter of time before someone turns Germantown Lumber into a brewery/tap room,” u/etherian1 predicted on Reddit.

It’s a tting prophecy for our beersoaked issue, focused on the winners of our 2024 Beer Bracket Challenge.

“First round on me for whoever can will this into existence,” wrote u/HeyYouGuuys. Agreed. Second round on us.

Freakniks: Bringing Black Joy

Big parties and group gatherings are seminal to Black culture.

Temperatures are rising, and the sun sets a little later, ushering in the perfect setting for group gatherings and parties. Nostalgia has become the trendiest accessory for a summer to remember, with Freaknik-themed parties ooding social media feeds.

Freakniks pay homage to the epic Atlanta, Georgia, festival made popular in the ’90s. Ahead of Hulu’s recent documentary Freaknik: e Greatest Party Never Told, National Public Radio (NPR) said, “Freaknik was an annual party held in Atlanta over spring break in the 1980s and ’90s that attracted tens of thousands of people at its peak.”

to observe. With this, however, there’s bound to be people from outside the culture writing o these experiences as super uous with harmful rhetoric.

e original Freaknik proved to be a seminal moment in Black popular culture, producing images that exude Black joy, with hordes of carefree men and women blasting tunes from boom boxes and hot cars. Vibes were immaculate.

The recent iterations of these parties may come off as fleeting trends, with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it social media invites and FOMO-inducing disappearing posts. But there’s true cultural significance that comes from these massive events rooted in the reclamation of spaces and narratives.

“ e reason why the new generation is so obsessed with ’90s culture is because there’s been a renaissance of Black people realizing that the things we were shunned for, and the things that we were supposed to be convinced were ghetto and not relevant to culture, are actually a very big part of what makes us who we are,” Zorine Truly said. Truly is a native of North Memphis and known lovingly as a Hoochie Historian on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

rough her social media presence and her annual event, HoochieCon, Truly has been able to reclaim Black fashion, cultural trends, and respectability politics.

“ e renaissance of the whole ’90s Freaknik is just basically giving honor to our immediate ancestors who a lot of people brushed as just being ghetto,” Truly said.

Freaknik-themed parties are just an extension of creating space for Black people to be themselves, and it’s not uncommon for them to spill out into the city for the masses

It’s important for Black people to have spaces where they can exist without fear of judgment, especially in the South, Truly said. She said she’s always found comfort in going places where she’s going to be around people who like her. She adds that these are the results of many places in the city “catering to white folks,” with seemingly anti-Black dress codes and restrictions.

“We all have to constantly code-switch and wear these masks,” Truly said. “It’s very important for us to be in an environment where we can relax and enjoy ourselves without the worry of judgment or somebody calling the police on us.”

Degarrett Javoll grew up in the heyday of Black-Memphis party life, calling them the “Denim and Diamond days.”

“If I had to put it in a nutshell, it was Memphis ’90s night-life as we saw it on television,” Javoll said. “We had the big club, the big parking lot — people had a little money so we had cars — so we got a chance to display our cars, put on our good clothes, and go to a place that was available for 21-year-olds, and 19- and 18-year-old people to go to and get away from the house and act like we were in Atlanta.”

Javoll said o en-rowdy parties are common to all cultures, but they are typically viewed di erently when Black people are involved.

Truly said her biggest takeaway from these events is that Black people get to have joy. She advises that people who see Black people “together and having a good time” without harm should “mind their business.”

4 May 9-15, 2024
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PHOTO: NEZ MILLS VIA FACEBOOK It’s important for Black people to have spaces where they can enjoy themselves without fear of judgment.
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Menthol Ban

Feedback pauses federal rule to ban those minty smokes.

The Biden administration paused a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes last week a er it received an “immense amount of feedback” on the move.

e U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the long-awaited move toward a menthol ban in April 2022. e agency has worked on the issue since at least 2011. A 2009 law banned all avors in cigarettes, except for tobacco and menthol.

e FDA estimated in 2019 that more than 18.5 million people aged 12 and up smoked menthols in the U.S. It recorded high rates of use by youth, young adults, African Americans, and other racial and ethnic groups.

e FDA said banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lower smoking by 15 percent nationwide in the next 40 years, and over that time, an estimated 324,000 to 654,000 smoking deaths overall and 92,000 to 238,000 African-American deaths could be avoided.

rettes does not reduce smoking or advance public health. Instead, like the experience with prohibition of other entrenched products, it simply leads to more illicit sales,” said Doug Kantor, general counsel at NACS. “We hope the weight of evidence showing the ine ectiveness of what was originally proposed leads the department to change course entirely.”

e NAACP pushed for the national ban. at group is now calling on states to issue their own bans on menthols. Tobacco-related chronic illness is one of the leading causes of death for African Americans, it said.

e FDA opened the proposal up for public comment in April 2022, a necessary step in federal rule-making. e comment period was expanded by 60 days in June at the urging of lobby groups advocating for convenience stores, truck stops, and marketers of gasoline and diesel.

e ban was rst delayed in December 2023, and plans to nalize the ban this March never materialized. However, administration o cials said they were still committed to implementing a ban. White House o cials said last week comments from the public led to the pause.

“ is rule has garnered historic attention and the public comment period has yielded an immense amount of feedback, including from various elements of the civil rights and criminal justice movement,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement last Friday. “It’s clear that there are still more conversations to have, and that will take signi cantly more time.”

Banning menthols would only push sales underground, said o cials with NACS, the national lobby rm for convenience stores and gas stations.

“Real-world data and results have shown that prohibition of menthol ciga-

“ e targeted marketing of menthol cigarettes to Black individuals has contributed to about 77 percent of Black smokers using menthol cigarettes, compared to 23 percent of white smokers,” reads a statement from the NAACP. “ is statistic is no accident; it is the result of decades of marketing strategies by tobacco companies. Menthol use has resulted in increased rates of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke among Black Americans.”

Some said, though, that the ban would unfairly target African-American consumers. Writing in e Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson said he understood tobacco companies targeted Black consumers for years.

“But I can’t rush to cheer a new policy that puts a terribly unhealthy — but perfectly legal — practice enjoyed so disproportionately by African Americans on the wrong side of the law,” Robinson wrote.

Enforcement of the new law would have only addressed manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers that deal in cigarettes. e new rule would not have included a prohibition on individual consumer possession or use.

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Course Correction

To get his body back into the swing of things, one writer hits the links.

The jokes write themselves.

In January, when I asked Dr. Nickalus Khan — the talented young neurosurgeon from Semmes Murphey Clinic who had rebuilt my upper back a year earlier — if I could play golf again, his answer was a reassuring “Absolutely.” When I told my friend John Ryan that my doctor had said I could play golf, his response was: “ at’s amazing! You couldn’t before.”

See what I mean?

For six months, I had been working to get my body back in some sort of shape a er a bout with lymphoma and a concurrent rebuild of my upper back because of damage from the tumor. I was declared in remission last July — a happy day to be sure — but I’d lost 30 pounds and almost all my muscle tone during the six-month chemo protocol: too much time on my back; too little time moving. I’m in my 70s, and it didn’t take long for me to realize the road to full recovery would be long.

When I began my comeback in July, the slightest exercise made me stiff and sore. Getting out of bed required pushing off the wall into a seated position. My oncologist, Dr. Mike Martin of West Clinic, said my condition was a common one following chemo treatment and that I needed to begin — slowly — working to strengthen my stomach and back muscles.

anks to the fact that I have two very persistent dogs, I resumed walking every day last summer, mostly in Overton Park. When I began, I was winded a er 15 minutes, but a er three months, I worked my way up to a brisk 35 to 40 minutes with no stress. Progress! I also began something of a tness regime at home: pushups (at rst, from my knees), leg li s, stretches, sit-ups. As hair returned to my head, strength began to return to my muscles. What about playing golf again? I

used to play at least once a week, but my golf-friends and I got out of the habit during the pandemic.

ey still play, though less frequently. Now that Covid is a lesser concern and cancer is in my rearview, I began thinking maybe it was time to get myself out on the links again. Perhaps golf could even be a way to accelerate my physical recovery.

Feeling frisky in early January, I tried swinging a 5-iron 100 times. e next morning, the pain in my lower back was nearly intolerable. It was obvious that I would need golf-speci c exercises.

I checked in with Dr. Google and found lots of interesting connections between golf and tness. I learned that golf is o en used to rehabilitate people from addiction: “Since golf is a type of exercise that enhances the release of endorphins, it becomes an e ective way for patients to recover from substance abuse disorders,” claims a site called

Healthy Life Recovery. And I learned, from the same source, that golf is used in the treatment of some mental health disorders: “Gol ng enables patients to form and foster cordial relationships based on shared interests, a crucial factor for mental health recovery.”

All good to know, but what about getting my ancient body back in shape to make a full swing at a golf ball and not embarrass myself in front of my friends? You know, the physical stu (and the pride stu ). As I’d learned the hard way, golf puts a lot of stress on the back muscles. is paragraph from a golf-instruction website sums it up: “ e athletic, correct golf swing is a total body movement that requires exibility, mobility, and stability in a wide range of joints. Utilizing the

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PHOTOS: JOHN RYAN Getting back into the swing of things

ground for a powerful hip extension through the shot along with pulling le and delaying release of the clubhead puts a great amount of strain on the body. at is the swing most of us are searching for.”

ere’s a huge body of literature online on the subject of how to get your body in “golf shape,” and lots of instructional-video options: “Best Back Exercises for Golfers,” “Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Back While Gol ng,” “Rehabilitation of the Back for Golfers.” e list goes on longer than a Dustin Johnson tee shot. I eventually settled on

Coach Mike Hansen has a loapproach, and looks a little lumpy, like the kind of guy who’s not going to be too judgy, even if he can’t see me. He clearly lays out the issues for senior golfers, and for those trying to return to playing golf a er injury or illness. I quali ed on both counts.

What about getting my ancient body back in shape to make a full swing at a golf ball and not embarrass myself in front of my friends?

e three major issues that Hansen addresses are, yep, exibility, mobility, and stability. If we can improve those three areas, he says, we’ll be well underway to nding a real golf swing again. Hansen’s exercises are easily done at home on a carpet or yoga mat and focus mostly on strengthening lower back muscles, stretching and turning the torso, strengthening the knees and thighs, and my favorite, “ ring your glutes.” Frankly, mine should have been red a long time ago. I jest. But anyway, yes, strengthening your butt muscles is important.

A er a couple of weeks, I was swinging that 5-iron 100 times a day with no pain cropping up. I still couldn’t turn into a complete backswing because of the reconstruction of my upper spine, but I felt like maybe I was ready to try the real thing — with a ball. I enlisted my cynical friend John and we drove out to Mirimichi Golf Course and each bought a big bucket of balls to hit on the practice range.

As I rolled a shiny, white Pinnacle into position on the astroturf practice mat with my trusty 5-iron, I got a little nervous. I was worried I might be unable to hit the ball straight with my shortened swing, or worse, shank it horribly. It was my rst time on a golf course in 16 months.

I said something to John about not feeling comfortable over the ball and he

said, “Just swing smooth and easy and try to make contact. You don’t have to kill it.”

He was right. I focused on just hitting the ball and took what felt like a half-speed swing. I was elated to see the white pellet y straight, and to feel the joy of ushing a shot right in the middle of the clubface. I hit the remainder of the bucket of balls, maybe 75 or so. Sure, I hit some clunkers, but I hit enough good shots with my new, easy swing that I was eager to try the real thing.

Playing a round of golf is, of course, much di erent than hitting balls from a mat. ere is grass and dirt and trees and water and sand, all of which delight in diverting golf balls from their mission of falling into a hole on a green. I drove to the Links of Riverside on a Sunday a ernoon in late February for my rst test. Riverside is a modest, nine-hole muni run by the city. Nothing fancy. I gured I’d be able to play by myself with no issues. But nope. As I drove my cart to the rst tee, a single golfer was preparing to hit. “Hey,” he said, cheerfully, “Want to play together?”

e guy looked to be about my age and was playing from the old-man tees, so how bad could it be, I thought. “Sure,” I said, “but I have to warn you I haven’t played in more than a year, so I might slow you up.” No worries, he said.

And there weren’t any. We had a great time and I didn’t embarrass myself. A er the round, we had a beer in the clubhouse and agreed to play again. I’d made a new friend and was back in the swing of things. You might even say I was rehabbed. Huzzah.

Out of Love

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Buying a Home?

ree questions to answer before obtaining a mortgage.

In a seller’s market, buyers can end up getting the short end of the stick. Housing inventories have yet to revert to normal levels, and the demand is high for mid-price homes, o en driving multiple o ers on many properties. If a buyer is lucky enough to get an accepted o er, they still need to contend with the reality of higher interest rates taking a bite out of their household income (unless they’re an all-cash buyer).

So, what’s a buyer to do? Before you start looking at homes, you need to know three key numbers: what the bank will lend you, what you can a ord, and what you’re willing to pay. It’s essential to understand the di erence between these three numbers, or you might end up biting o more than you can chew.

1. What Will the Bank Lend You?

Unless you’re holding enough cash to buy a house outright, your rst step is getting preapproved for a mortgage. is is especially important in a hot real estate market. When there are multiple o ers on the table, sellers may reject o ers outright that aren’t accompanied by a preapproval letter.

But don’t take the rst mortgage deal you’re o ered. Even if you have an existing relationship with your local credit union or community bank, it’s in your best interest to get at least one comparison quote before you sign on for a mortgage. A rate di erence of as little as 0.25 percent can really add up over 30 years. While you can shop di erent lenders for the best terms and rates, a better option is to use a mortgage broker. ey can save you time by shopping di erent lenders on your behalf.

Because brokers work with multiple lenders, they o en have more exibility in how they structure your loan. ey can alter terms like cash down, interest rates, closing credits, and loan duration, which will likely result in a mortgage that better ts your nancial needs.

2. What Can You A ord?

Unfortunately, regardless of which lender you work with, you can’t rely on them to tell you what you can a ord. While they will tell you what they will lend you, that is by no means a bellwether for what you should spend because the calculation they perform is essentially a measure of risk, not a measure of cash ow.

Credit scores are used as an indicator of how much risk a lender assumes when they sell you a mortgage. Not only can a very low credit score impact your ability to get a mortgage, but it will also factor into the interest rate you’ll pay. e lower your

score, the higher your interest rate will be. at translates into a larger mortgage payment overall.

3. What Are You Willing to Pay?

e last number you need to know is what you’re realistically willing to pay. is number will change from property to property, depending on what features the home has and what projects you may have to take on. Understand that in a seller’s market, you’ll likely have to pay above list price, and you may have to pay above the property’s appraised value. If you’re willing to pay more than the appraised value of the home, you’ll need more cash in the deal because your lender won’t cover the gap between the o er price and the appraised value with a mortgage. is can put you in a sticky situation if you have little le over cash to cover the unexpected expenses that inevitably come with home ownership.

Keep a Healthy Cash Reserve on Hand

Home buying is a stressful process, but owning a home without adequate cash reserves is a recipe for disaster. Regardless of the condition of the real estate market, it’s important to keep a healthy cash reserve on hand to handle emergency expenses without going into credit card debt.

It’s a tough market for buyers right now. But if you go into the home buying process armed with the appropriate information, you’ll be well positioned to make a strong o er on a property that meets your needs and budget. In the end, your perfect house is probably the one that allows you to sleep soundly in the short term and helps you build value over the long term.

Gene Gard, CFA, CFP, CFT-I, is a Partner and Private Wealth Manager with Creative Planning. Creative Planning is one of the nation’s largest Registered Investment Advisory rms providing comprehensive wealth management services to ensure all elements of a client’s nancial life are working together, including investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management. For more information or to request a free, no-obligation consultation, visit

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IPA All the Way

Soul & Spirits takes top honors in our Beer Bracket Challenge.

12 May 9-15, 2024
Soul & Spirits’ Hoochie Coochie wins this year’s Beer Bracket.

Soul & Spirits Brewery’s Hoochie Coochie IPA is the best cra beer in Memphis, according to the more than 800 voters of the Memphis Flyer’s 2024 Beer Bracket Challenge, sponsored by City Brew Tours, Eagle Distributing Company, and Cash Saver.

is marks the rst time Soul & Spirits has won our challenge. e brewery had not yet opened its doors in 2021 when we last held it. eir win unseats Crosstown Brewing Company, who has held onto the VanWyngarden Cup since 2021. Back then, Crosstown’s Tra c IPA upended Meddlesome Brewing’s three-year reign atop the Flyer’s annual beer bracket contest with its 201 Hoplar.

Ghost River Golden took top honors in 2017, the rst year of the competition. But it’s been IPA all the way since then. at’s ve wins for an IPA — apparently the top style in Memphis — almost every year we’ve done this.

Since Soul & Spirits opened in 2021, it’s won top honors — Brewery of the Year — in 2022 and 2023 in the Tennessee Championship of Beers.

“Winning a competition against your peers is really cool but to have people locally vote for us — that this is their favorite beer in Memphis — that means a lot,” says Blair Perry, who co-founded and owns Soul & Spirits with her husband, Ryan Allen. “We’re still really new, so it is nice that people acknowledge that we’re around and like what we’re doing.”

Allen and Perry say Hoochie Coochie IPA started as an American IPA, “but it just turned into chasing a avor.” When asked what avor, Allen says “goodness.” Hoochie Coochie’s hops change from batch to batch, he says, based on what’s available.

“But just trust me, we’re going on a road,“ Allen says. “We’re going on a journey.”

Perry says they’re always chasing a “juicy, citrusy avor with a nice bitterness that makes you want to keep drinking.”

As for the name? It’s fun to say, they note, and one of the rst beers they named. But it also t with the Soul & Spirits naming convention. Memphis-area music plays onto the labels and into the names of Soul & Spirits beers. So conjure up “I’m a Hoochie Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters next time you sip a pint and search the can label for song references.

is year was completely di erent for the Beer Bracket. First up, we opened up the challenge to any brewery in Memphis, any size, whether or not they had beers in stores or not. at brought in Boscos, who, one could argue, blazed the path for

cra beer in Memphis. e change also made room for some newcomers like Urban Consequence Brewing, Memphis Filling Station, Cooper House Project, and Memphis-area beer bar and brewpub, Mississippi Ale House.

Gone were any divisions that have, in the past, separated our bracket into very basic beer categories — light, dark, IPA, and seasonal. e beers commingled — stouts vs. IPAs, for example. ough, we

Coochie up against Cooper House Project’s Midtowner lager, which won a narrow victory over Hampline’s Tandem Pilot double IPA to make the nals. In the end, Hoochie Coochie emerged as the winner, edging out Midtowner by only 130 votes.

e Memphis Flyer Beer Bracket had more than 10,500 votes this year from states across the nation, though most votes came from Midtown Memphis.

made sure no two beers from the same brewery were seeded against one another. In the end, we had 32 beers from 16 breweries. Each brewery selected two beers for random seeding. (I literally pulled the match-ups out of a hat.) ese went right on our bracket. at bad boy was digitized, and over two weeks these beers faced o , fell out, or advanced to the next round.

e nal round had Hoochie


Law and Your Beer

It wouldn’t be a regular session of the Tennessee General Assembly if lawmakers didn’t change the way you drink, or try to, anyway.

Lawmakers thought about cold beer, drunk cops, and Sunday sales. ey also thought about more serious matters like date rape and treatment programs for DUI o enses. Some ideas worked. Some didn’t.

No Cold Beer for You

Rep. Ron Gant (R-Piperton) knew his legislation “got quite the buzz,” a phrase pounced upon by another GOP lawmaker with “no pun intended!” Har har. at legislation would have banned the sale of cold beer at stores. So you don’t have to go back and make sure you read that right, here it is again: at legislation would have banned the sale of cold beer at stores.

Eyebrows raised everywhere. Headlines stacked up. Message boards dripped with disbelief.

But when Gant rst spoke about the bill, he said “the buzz” about banning cold beer sales was moot. It was part of the original legislation, but a er meeting with stakeholders across the state (probably meaning lobbyists for retailers), it was no longer part of his proposal.

He clari ed this during an early committee review of the bill. e intent was never to target 12-packs or 24-packs, it was on “high-alcohol, single-serve containers.”

“Some people have educated me on this,” Gant said. “ ey call them 2x4s or tallboys. You see them laying on the side of the road where they’ve been obviously thrown out. So, we know that they’re being abused, and people are drinking these, and not making it home to enjoy at their house.

“So, there was never going to be any intent — by me as the sponsor — to take away the right and the privilege for the good actors of being able to buy a 12-pack or 24-pack and take that home as responsible adults. I just want to make that clear, you know, for the record. So that everybody feels at ease. But none of that is included in this legislation.”

And feel at ease they did, it seems.

You know we love beer at the Flyer And we know you do, too. (Well, at least hundreds of local voters do, anyhow.) So, we felt a duty to let you know that state lawmakers had you on their minds this year. Here’s rundown of some legislation that could nd its way to a pint glass near you.

ose hard headlines that read like “Proposed Tennessee Bill Bans Selling Cold Beer” (from VinePair) had so ened to jokier ones like “Tennessee’s Cold Beer Ban Bill Is O cially On Ice” from Nashville’s News Channel 5.

For many, though, the idea seemed

continued on page 14

Soul & Spirits takes home the prestigious VanWyngarden Cup.

continued from page 13

in range and on-brand for the GOP.

Memphis Reddit users called it “stupid shit” and “bullshit” and that (sarcastically) these lawmakers were “tackling the real issues.” It also reminded them of another GOP fave: gun control.

“But … but … beer is an inanimate object,” wrote u/Boatshooz. “It doesn’t drink itself. And we don’t need to pass further laws that just hurt responsible drinkers, we just need to enforce existing laws.

“I swear I’ve heard that same argument from those same legislators about something else … can’t remember what it was. Why are they taking the opposite stance with beer?”

e law would, however, create a new group to study alcohol consumption and abuse in the state, with a report due annually. Gant said (but didn’t cite sources for his information) that drunk driving and alcohol consumption has surged in recent years. e bill was passed by the legislature but had not been signed by Gov. Bill Lee as of press time.

Sunday Sales

You’ve been there, probably. You’re headed to your Sunday Funday, walk into the grocery store only to nd the beer section dark, maybe with shades drawn over them or a lock on the cooler door. en it hits you. at backward-ass state law says I can’t buy beer here until noon. You may even have a thought about some pious state lawmaker sitting in a church somewhere, praying that the law will somehow nudge you out of the beer aisle and into a pew somewhere. Well, those beer lights will remain o on Sunday mornings, at least for another year.

Nashville Democrats Rep. Bob Freeman and Sen. Je Yarbro tried to change that. ey described the bill simply as “the alignment of the sale of alcohol on Sunday to every other day of the week.” ey said many sporting events are overseas and on di erent time zones. Some venues, they said, would like to sell alcohol to those who want to watch them. e only real vocal opponent of the bill was Rep. Tom Leatherwood (RArlington), the former Shelby County Register of Deeds. He tried hard to marry the Sunday-sales legislation with another Freeman bill focused on preventing sexual assault. He called them “twin bills” even though they could not have been more di erent. But still he told his GOP col-

leagues that limiting Sunday sales could save a life, and someday, maybe, end up on your end-of-life sizzle reel.

“Now, any of us that have drunk the alcohol [yes, he said the alcohol] before … it will just naturally reduce the natural defenses of some. It’ll increase the natural aggressiveness of others,” Leatherwood explained. “Hence, it’s good to be aware of what can happen, as we will hear more about later. If you vote no on this bill, you may never know what young lady you save from sexual assault and harassment,

substances and certain other circumstances,” reads the bill description on the state website.

Hensley said all he wanted to do was allow everyone to carry weapons on college campuses, for crying out loud. ( at idea didn’t even get the support of his GOP colleagues. e bill failed.) e drunk cops thing was added without his knowledge, he told Fox 13. But there it was in black and white pixels and the damage was done.

“TN GOP probably: Wait guys, I’ve

to use the language coming up. You may never know. But then again, on the other hand, in that nal judgment we will all face, you may nd out who you save by voting no on this bill.”

For his part, Freeman tried to separate the two, saying, “You should be able to drink responsibly without being raped.”

Loaded Cops, Loaded Guns

Sen. Joey Hensley swore he had no idea where the idea came from or how it ended up in his legislation. But there it was, raising almost as many eyebrows as the cold beer ban: We were going to allow drunk cops to carry and use concealed rearms.

“As introduced, allows law enforcement o cers to carry a rearm when under the in uence of alcohol or controlled

got an idea,” tweeted Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville). “I know Missouri oneupped us with their bill arming 3 [year olds], but I think we can counter with arming police o cers who are drunk or high. Hear me out on this one …[three clown emojis].”

One supporter, though, over on a forum at had another take.

“I know many seem to nd fault with the concept of being armed and drinking, but really, as long as you’re not impaired,” wrote a user named Defender. “If you feel that strongly against it, maybe we should allow cars at bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.”

Date Rape

Rep. Freeman’s legislation (discussed earlier here) on alcohol and sexual assault passed this year, was signed by Lee, and will go into e ect in January. at law will require anyone who serves alcohol to the public to take a course on the role of alcohol in sexual assault and harassment and on recognizing and reporting signs of human tra cking.

“If any of you remember, several years ago, the horrible rape case on a university campus here locally where a bunch of men carried a passed-out woman past 20 or more individuals that allowed it to happen,” Freeman said. “Not one of them stopped, said anything, felt empowered to do it, [or] understood what they could say.”

A er this, the Safe Bar Tennessee program was developed by the Sexual Assault Center of Middle Tennessee. e program’s slogan is “See Something. Do Something.” Such training is already underway in Nashville, including some 50 bars Downtown, Freeman said.

Odds and Ends

Right now, certain folks under 21 can taste alcohol legally in the state. But they can’t drink it. Make sense?

Motlow State Community College, Jack Daniel’s, and Uncle Nearest have developed an associate’s degree in distilling that could produce more professionals in that industry’s workforce. Tasting the product gives students “real-world, practical experience” to “meet the critical need for their industry.” But they have to spit it out.

If you get a third DUI or BUI, you’ll have to wear a transdermal patch that will send a report to law enforcement if you have a drink. e main part of this legislation reduces jail time for the third DUI. Yet that only serves to give more time to commit to a 28-treatment program.

But the stranger, kind of Big Brother-y part of the law would make you wear that tattletale patch under your skin (so many questions) for three months or until your case is resolved, whichever came rst. It goes into e ect in July.

A bill would have yanked the alcohol license of a venue that served someone who later got into a car wreck that killed someone. It failed. Another bill sounds like it’s from the Prohibition era. It would have reduced “from two to one the number of credible witnesses who must be present when a law enforcement o cer destroys an illegal distillery, a still, fermenting equipment, or related property.” It failed, too.

14 May 9-15, 2024
Blair Perry, Ryan Allen, and the ever-famous writer Toby Sells

steppin’ out

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

In the Stars

Quark eatre is gearing up to nish o its season in the coming weeks with the regional premiere of Constellations by Nick Payne, opening Friday, May 10th.

“I have been calling this a multiversal love story,” says director Tony Isbell. “Because it’s about two characters — Roland and Marianne — and the story is they meet, they go on a date, they hit it o , they fall in love, they break up, they get back together, and they deal with some very serious issues along the way and some very funny issues. But it’s not that straightforward: We follow their relationship through the lens of the multiverse. … It jumps to di erent universes and it occasionally jumps back and forwards in time as well. So there’s a lot going on.”

At just about 80 minutes, the play, Isbell says, feels like a montage sequence. “Like short scenes cut together,” he says. “But these two actors [Carly Crawford and Nathan McHenry] are phenomenal because when they switch universes there’s no technical aspect — there’s not necessarily a scene change or sound change. It’s all conveyed by the actors and just something as simple as a change of tone of voice or a change of their posture or the way they’re relating to each other. And the amazing thing is you can almost always tell when there’s a change, when they jump through the universe, not only because they end up repeating some of the same lines but just because of the nuance they bring to the characters as they move from universe to universe.

“I call it a love story because that’s really what it is. e most important thing here is the relationship between these two people and how much chemistry they have and how much the audience roots for them. Because they’re both really likable people most of the time, and in a couple of universes, they’re not so nice, but most of the time they’re really likable and the audience is really rooting for them. I think people will just really be fascinated by the show.”

Isbell hopes this production follows the success this season has o ered so far with e Wasp and e Sound Inside. “In terms of audience we’ve just done really well,” he says. “ is has been our most successful season, and we’d like to continue that with this show.”

Tickets for Constellations can be purchased at Performances run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m., May 10th through May 26th.


VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES May 9th - 15th

A Picture of Home: Chalk Drawing Competition

Crosstown Concourse, 1350 Concourse Avenue, Friday, May 10, 4-6 p.m., free Join Hospitality Hub for a short conversation about the complexities of chronic homelessness and the Hub’s work with encampments, then ex your creativity by creating a chalk drawing of what “home” means to you. Winners will be announced the following week.

e Hub will be at the Crosstown Plaza in May raising awareness about Hub Village. See the full calendar at

Gabriel Iglesias

FedExForum, 191 Beale St., Friday, May 10, 8 p.m., $47-$96

Laugh with one of the world’s most successful stand-up comedians, Gabriel Iglesias, when he brings the Don’t Worry Be Flu y Tour to FedExForum.

Art For All Festival

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Avenue, Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free e Art For All Festival is back! From performances to art-making to bubbles, the Art For All Festival is a celebration of art, culture, and community.

Here’s what you can expect: free admission to the Brooks; musical and theatrical performances from Stax Music Academy, Opera Memphis, and New Ballet Ensemble; pop-up galleries and art-making stations from Arrow Creative, Opera Memphis, Metal Museum, UrbanArt Commission, and RiverArtsFest; art and culture activations from Orpheum eatre and Stax Museum; and so much more.

While this is a free event, make sure you register at

Asian & Paci c American Heritage Month’s Hungry Tiger Tour

Various locations, select dates in the month of May is May take a delicious food journey highlighting Memphis’ Asian ethnic communities. Joining the tour is simple. No pre-registration required: Just grab some friends for lunch/dinner — or make some new ones along the way — and get ready to taste the best of Memphis eats. e schedule is as follows: Friday, May 10, 12:30 p.m., at Casarap; Monday, May 13, 7 p.m., at Petals of a Peony; Friday, May 17, 12:30 p.m., Mochi & Mi (inside Rio Grande Market); Monday, May 20, 6:30 p.m., at Sen Trang; Friday, May 24, 12:30 p.m., at Ryu Sushi & Pho; and Friday, May 31, 12:30 p.m., at Mosa Asian Bistro. Find out more about AAPI Heritage Month in Memphis at

PHOTO: TONY ISBELL Nathan McHenry and Carly Crawford

Sunset Jazz

When the sun sinks low, the free series refracts the many aspects of Memphis jazz.


s many music lovers savor memories of hearing their favorite bands on the Mississippi’s shores at last weekend’s RiverBeat Music Festival, another such experience is just heating up: the Sunset Jazz series at Court Square. And while the performances, taking place once a month from May through October, may lack strobe lights, ame cannons, or the feeling of a weaponized kick drum rattling your chest, they will o er their own kind of reworks: the sheer virtuosity of the series’ featured artists. e musicianship is top-notch partly because the series’ producer and curator, Deborah Swiney, is a seasoned jazz singer herself. A er she released her 2017 album, I Remember Rio, there were precious few jazz-friendly venues in which to promote it — so she took matters into her own hands.

“I had been wanting to do something at Court Square Park forever,” she recalls. “It’s a beautiful park, with the gazebo there to use as a stage. So I contacted Penelope Huston at Downtown Memphis and threw the idea out there, and she loved it. We did a pop-up event and had a great turnout, far beyond what we would have ever imagined. So I did a couple more.”

Pivoting from her own work to the likes of Chris Parker and Kelley Hurt, who had only just premiered their stunning No Tears Suite in Little Rock, those other 2018 pop-ups set a tone of eclecticism and quality that has continued to mark the series, now in its h year (a er a two-year break during the worst of Covid). “I try to do something di erent each time,” Swiney says.

Ted Ludwig is year’s lineup carries on that tradition, while keeping the focus rmly on Memphis-based artists. Season opener Ted Ludwig (appearing on Mother’s Day) has become a xture at e Green Room at Crosstown Arts, for instance, with his trio o en backing talent visiting from elsewhere (as in this Wednesday’s performance with New York saxophonist and composer Jim Snidero). “To me, he’s one of the top guitar players around,” says Swiney, “and we have a bunch of great guitarists in Memphis. He grew up in New Orleans and won the Louis Armstrong Award in high school there, then studied with the great pianist Ellis Marsalis.”

Ekpe & the African Jazz Ensemble June’s concert will feature the more international side of Memphis jazz

with percussionist Ekpe Abioto’s African Jazz Ensemble, one of the few local groups who pursue the sounds of contemporary Africa. “Ekpe also has a great resume, and he does a lot of studio work,” says Swiney. “He played on my Rio album and if someone needs a percussionist here it’s likely to be either Ekpe or Felix Hernandez.” While Abioto’s ensemble is o en known to delve into Afrobeat territory, Swiney says, “he’s likely to focus more on the jazz part for this series.”

Stephen M. Lee

While many parents and aspiring young players know of Lee as a teacher, some may not realize that he’s a world-class pianist in his own right. He studied under fellow Memphian Donald Brown in his college years, then went on to develop a career in New York for over a decade. When he received the Steinway and Sons Top Teacher Certi cate Award in 2017, he returned to Memphis and founded the Memphis Jazz Workshop to ll in gaps in public school music education here. e program has been a great success. Swiney sees his July performance as a chance to showcase “more straight-ahead jazz.”

Soul Ingredient

A er Lee’s July performance, the following month will present the best of what his educational e orts have wrought. Soul Ingredient collects some the Memphis Jazz Workshop’s


PHOTO: (ABOVE) D&D PRO IMAGING Patrice Williamson


nest young players into a powerhouse ensemble. “Have you ever heard these guys?” exclaims Swiney. “I heard them at an event last year, and had I been in another room and not seen that these were kids, you couldn’t have convinced me that they were so young. Of course, all their instructors are professional musicians and you can just tell they’re getting taught by some of the best top players.”

Patrice Williamson Memphis doesn’t see enough of the singer featured in the September

Sunset Jazz show, possibly because she teaches at Berklee College of Music in Boston. But Jazz Times magazine wrote that “Patrice Williamson isn’t a singer, she’s a one-woman jazz sampler. She is a woman of many voices, each distinctly intriguing, all distinctly her own.” Growing up in Memphis, Williamson’s father introduced her to both gospel and the music of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne, and that blend influences her singing to this day.

Brian “Breeze” Cayolle

Further cementing the close ties between New Orleans and Memphis, this Crescent City-native has been a fixture in Memphis since Hurricane Katrina nudged him northward. “He brings a bit of New Orleans wherever he goes,” says Swiney of the clarinetist and saxophonist, who held down Wednesday nights at Lafayette’s Music Room for years. “He’s played with a bunch of people and he’s quite celebrated,” Swiney adds. Cayolle will wrap up this year’s Sunset Jazz series on October 13th. Visit for details.

16 May 9-15, 2024

AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule May 9 - 15

Gerry Finney

Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m.


DJ Skratch Bastid

DJ Skratch Bastid is back at Eight & Sand and ready to party. Free. Friday, May 10, 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.


Eric Hughes

ursday, May 9, 7-11 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.



Friday, May 10, 10 p.m.



Future-Everything label heads

Strooly and TEHKAL will deliver deep house. Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.


Jeremy Scott and Bill Bloomer

Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.


Kristy Lee

Saturday, May 11, 6:30 p.m.


Soul St. Mojo

Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.


Sunset Jazz: Ted Ludwig

A monthly series with Memphis’ nest jazz artists.

Sunday, May 12, 6 p.m.


The Chaulkies

Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m.


The Orchestra

Unplugged: Tchaikovsky Comes to America

MSO’s Robert Moody brings you inside the minds of composers to discover new connections and meanings.

$39.50. Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.


Triumph Like A Girl

Music composed either for women or by women.

Featured composers are: Robert Schumann, Florence Price, Timothy Takach, and Rene Orth. Free. Saturday, May 11, 6 p.m.



Vince Johnson

Monday, May 13, 7 p.m.


Wyly Bigger

Join Eight & Sand every ursday for Live at the Tracks. ursday, May 9, 6:309:30 p.m.


Elmo and the Shades Elmo and the Shades with the great Eddie Harrison on vocals and keys. Free.

Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.


Jeff Hulett and Turnstyles

Free art-making, garden tours, and musical performances. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


John Williams & the A440 Band

ursday, May 9, 8 p.m.


Laser Taylor Swift 2: Bigger and Better!

A Taylor Swift playlist set to laser lights. Friday, May 10, 7 p.m. | Friday, May 10, 8:30 p.m.


Memphis Funk N Horns Friday, May 10, 8 p.m.


Memphis Jazz Workshop Spring Showcase

An a ernoon of smooth tunes and impressive talent. Saturday, May 11, 1 p.m.


Organ Rededication

Recital Series

A series of organ recitals in 2024 to celebrate the rededication and refurbishment of the parish organ. Monday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.


Symphony in the Gardens

Celebrate Mother’s Day with big band music performed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on the Dixon South Lawn. $5/children (7+), $22/ adults, $18/adult members and subscribers. Sunday, May 12, 5-7 p.m.


The Deb Jam Band e Deb Jam Band featuring Deb Jamison. Free. Tuesday, May 14, 6 p.m.


The Mixers

Playing ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s music. Sunday, May 12, 4 p.m.


Van Duren

e singer/songwriter, a pioneer of indie pop in Memphis, performs solo. ursday, May 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Wednesday, May 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Amber McCain Band Friday, May 10, 6 p.m.


Brent Cobb - Livin’ The Dream Tour

With Zach Russell. Friday, May 10, 8 p.m. GROWLERS


With Miss Lonely, Little Baby Tendencies, Screamer [Small Room-Downstairs]. Friday, May 10, 8 p.m.


Chat Pile

With Portrayal of Guilt and Nightosphere. ursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.



With Post Pro t & Deaf Revival. Sunday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.


Dead On A Sunday Blending rock, dark-wave, emo punk, and Goth. With Nite. Saturday, May 11, 7 p.m.


Deathspiral of Inherited


With Ruined God, Heavy Machine Gun, Dependant, Pantheon. Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.


Devil Train

Bluegrass, Roots, Country, Delta, and Ski e. ursday, May 9, 10 p.m.


Die Human Shield, Dryer Fire, Spite House [Small RoomDownstairs]. Tuesday, May 14, 8 p.m.


Duane Cleveland Trio

Join Park Friends at the golf clubhouse for burgers, dogs, and live music. Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m.


Guitar Fight From Fooly Cooly

With Week Knees, Beef, Cherry Smoke [Small RoomDownstairs]. Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.


Ironing (Gainesville)

With Aster, Asmik, Drop Ceiling. Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.


Jack Oblivian

With Turnstyles. Friday, May 10, 9 p.m.


James & the Ultrasounds

Memphis rock-and-roll favorites, newly reforged in the crucible of New York City. Tuesday, May 14, 9:30 p.m.


J.D. Westmoreland Band Monday, May 13, 10 p.m.


Jeff Hulett and the Hand Me Downs

With e Down Sprouts. Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.


Joe Restivo 4

Guitarist Joe Restivo leads one of the city’s nest jazz quartets. Sunday, May 12, 11 a.m.


John Nemeth and Doug MacLeod

Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m.


Landslide (Fleetwood Mac Tribute) Sunday, May 12, 7 p.m.


The Chats Goner Records & Memphis Made Brewing Present Coolum, Queensland’s nest. With Dirty Fences, Paint Fumes. Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.


The Super 5 Friday, May 10, 10 p.m.


ThunderGun Presents: Jailbreak! (Thin Lizzy Tribute)

Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m.


Trinity Adair and Band

Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.


Celebrity Cypher

Southern Soul and Blues

Southern soul and blues in an open mic hosted by recording artist Marqee of Soul. Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.


Reilly Downes & Molly Brandt


Marcella Simien

L.J. Cates with Walt Phelan Friday, May 10, 9:30 p.m.


Marcella Simien & Her Lovers

Friday, May 10, 8 p.m.


Memphis Knights Big Band

Solid swing music, both vintage and modern. Monday, May 13, 6 p.m.


Mystrio Sunday, May 12, 7:30 p.m. B-SIDE

Rose Gold Jones Album Listening Event

Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m.


Royal Blues Band Jam

Tuesday, May 14, 6 p.m.


Seeing Red

Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.


Songbirds: Singing, Dancing, and Burlesque

Papa Chubb hosts an evening of singing, dancing, and a little burlesque. $20. Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.


Souled Out Dates

Friday, May 10, 9 p.m.


Sweet Darlin

With Los Psychosis, Assemble, Pity Invite [Small RoomDownstairs]. Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.


With Alexis Jade. Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.


Silas Caldwell & The Magnolia Sound ursday, May 9, 8 p.m.


The Pistol & The Queen Sunday, May 12, 6 p.m.


T Jarrod Bonta Trio Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m.


Jazz in the Box: Champian Fulton

The hottest little jazz club around is GPAC’s Jazz in the Box. $35/general admission. Friday, May 10, 7-8:30 p.m.


Marcella Simien

Concerts in The Grove: a dueling hybrid of classic Memphis soul and the swagger of New Orleans funk. $7/general admission. Thursday, May 9, 6:308 p.m.


Singer Songwriter Sundays

Enjoy some of the areas best local musicians every Sunday. Sunday, May 12, 4-6 p.m.


Yella P

Happy Hour in e Grove. Friday, May 10, 5-8 p.m.



‘Historic Decision’ ·CannaBeat·

e fed move could make way for looser laws in Tennessee.

The White House will remove cannabis from the federal list of the country’s most dangerous drugs, according to an Associated Press story last week, a move that could lead to looser laws in Tennessee.

In 2022, President Joe Biden promised to reevaluate cannabis’ placement on Schedule I. Schedule I is the federal government’s classi cation for some of the worst drugs, such as meth and heroin. ese drugs are highly addictive and have no medical use, according to the government.

Biden promised cannabis reform in a statement in October 2022. It outlined three steps his administration would take to end what he called the government’s “failed approach” on cannabis so far.

Back then, Biden pardoned all federal o enses of simple possession and urged governors to do the same. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee did not make any cannabis pardons.

Biden said the next step to reclassify cannabis was to check with the secretary

of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. attorney general to “expeditiously” review how cannabis is scheduled under federal law.

ose conversations went on, apparently, behind the scenes, even out of congressional view. Last summer Congressman Steve Cohen and Congressman Matt Gaetz grilled Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram for details during a meeting of the House Judiciary Crime and Federal Government Surveillance Subcommittee. ey got very few.

Milgram said her agency couldn’t move on the matter without word from HHS. She said the DEA had not heard anything and had not even heard of a timeline for when HHS might send word.

Last week, the AP reported that the DEA will move to reclassify cannabis, citing ve anonymous sources. at proposal must then get the approval of the White House O ce of Management and Budget and go through a public

comment period. If approved, cannabis would be listed on Schedule II, alongside drugs such as ketamine.

Tennessee lawmakers have long said they wouldn’t approve any looser laws for cannabis unless the drug was moved from Schedule I at the federal level. Despite the creation of the Tennessee Cannabis Commission years ago, a group tasked with establishing a cannabis program for Tennessee, no material changes have been made in state laws.

State Rep. Jesse Chism (D-Memphis) said he hopes that with the reclassi cation “we can start the ball rolling soon and begin having serious discussions here in Tennessee.”

“Our state has spent millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to enforce cannabis laws that are outdated and harmful to a lot of people, including many Tennesseans who are trying to get relief from painful chronic medical issues,” Chism said in a statement. “In addition to wasting those dollars, we’ve completely ignored the nancial bene ts that could be coming the state’s way.

Tennessee won’t move on cannabis until the feds do.

“I’ve led several pieces of legislation ranging from allowing medical use to decriminalization to even trying to put a non-binding referendum on the ballot to hear from Tennessee’s voters. e main point of contention has always been its federal classi cation. Hopefully, with this movement we can start the ball rolling soon and begin having serious discussions here in Tennessee.”

Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Sen. London Lamar (D-Memphis) applauded the move, saying it will have bene ts for Tennesseans seeking medicinal cannabis.

“Reclassifying marijuana as a lessdangerous drug at the federal level is a historic decision, driven by common sense,” Lamar said in a statement.

18 May 9-15, 2024

CALENDAR of EVENTS: May 9 - 15


AAPI Student Art

Competition Art Show

On display are the winning artwork from Memphis and Shelby County K-12 students.

Let these works of art be not just a re ection, but a celebration, of the rich mosaic of voices and experiences that make up the AAPI community and the impact of AAPI culture. rough May 26.


“Branching Out”

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


“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.


“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. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY

“George BougherTimeless Time”

Paintings focused on the storytelling element in the artist’s work. rough May 29.



Bruce Brainard is well known for meditative, allegorical landscapes of in nite skies, elds, and oceans. rough June 1.


“It’s All Relative”

Sicilian/Puerto Rican postsurrealist sculptor Morgan Lugo uses permanent materials, such as bronze, to speak to the lasting e ects of past experiences. rough July 7.


“Made in Dixon | Hecho en Dixon”

“Made In Dixon” features artwork from more than 300 program participants of all ages, diverse cultural backgrounds and interests. rough June 2.


“Maritza DavilaIrizarry: Homage to the Human Heart”

Maritza Davila-Irizarry’s large format accordion-style book she created using printmaking techniques honed over decades embodies an homage to all of the people who have crossed paths with the artist. rough May 31.


“Memphis 2024 Exhibition”

Experience visual art in various genres and media from artists across Memphis. Free. rough June 30.


“People Are People” is exhibition honors famed American designer Christian Siriano’s electrifying contributions to fashion. rough Aug. 4.


“Perseverate” Visual artwork from documentary lmmaker Joann Self Selvidge and musician Steve Selvidge. rough May 10.




“Progression” is show features works encapsulating a diverse range of subjects, from enigmatic gures set within interior spaces to boldly painted still lifes and abstract landscapes. rough July 7


“Sow”: Works by Emily Leonard Emily Leonard is known for sublime representations of landscapes and wildlife.


Iwona Rhodes’ “Seaside and Beyond” features works inspired by the ocean.

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to


rough June 8.


“SUE: The T. rex Experience”

Step into the world of SUE the T. rex . $18/General admission - adult, $17/general admission - senior, $13/ general admission - youth. rough May 12.


“The Artistic Touch” Exhibit featuring artists Carol Caughley, Sheila Bentley, Joe Umphress, and Barbara Hicks Taylor. rough May 29.



Munch and Learn:

Lauren Kennedy Presentation by the owner and director of Sheet Cake Gallery. Wednesday, May 15, noon-1 p.m.


“Seaside & Beyond”: New Works by Iwona Rhodes

Explore “Seaside and Beyond” with artist Iwona Rhodes, featuring her captivating oceaninspired collection and published linear prints, available for purchase. Friday, May 10, 5-7 p.m.



“Perseverate” features works by lmmaker Joann Self Selvide and musician Steve Selvidge.

“The Real & Imagined” Opening Reception Imaginary environments and creations by Erin Harmon and Kong Wee Pang. Friday, May 10, 5-7:30 p.m.


“The Season of Carl: Drawings by Rose Marr” Opening Reception Drawings by Rose Marr. Free. Saturday, May 11, 4-6 p.m.



A Novel Book Club: A Gentleman in Moscow

Discuss the novel about a man ordered to spend the rest of his life in a luxury hotel. Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.


Creative Aging Studio Course: Exploring Black American Poetry

English enthusiast and educator Aaron Brame guides both experienced and reluctant writers through this popular poetry workshop, which gives participants many opportunities to write individually and collaboratively. Free. ursday, May 9, 11 a.m.


Sit Will Happen: Mastering the Basics of Obedience Training

Join renowned dog trainer Jacque Bonéy in this engaging webinar as he delves into the essential foundations of obedience training for your furry companion. ursday, May 9, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ONLINE

Tree ID with Anna Vo

Join native woodlands

horticulturist Anna Vo on a Tree ID walk to learn how to identify trees from bark, leaves, and buds. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.



Comedy on Beale Comedy and music, hosted by comedian Christopher Ingram. Saturday, May 11, 2-6 p.m.


Comedy Open Mic Hosted by John Miller. $10. Tuesday, May 14, 8 p.m. HI TONE

Gabriel Iglesias Don’t Worry Be Flu y Tour. Friday, May 10, 8 p.m. FEDEXFORUM


Chunky Chains with Brandy Boyd

Make a chunky silver chain using di erent kinds of sterling silver wire. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


PAL (Play & Learn)


A docent-led learning experience for kids and kids at heart. Nature-themed topics and activities vary. Free with admission. Friday, May 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Floral Oil Painting Workshop

Immerse yourself in the beauty of spring orals through oil painting. $45. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.


Long Exposure


David Johnson teaches long exposure photography. ursday, May 9, 6-8 p.m.


Lunchtime Meditations

Looking for something relaxing to do to clear your mind and improve your overall health? Head to the Dixon for free meditation sessions every Friday. Friday, May 10, noon-12:45 p.m.


Joe Torry e former host of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. ursday, May 9, 8 p.m. | Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, May 10, 10 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 10 p.m. | Sunday, May 12, 8 p.m.


Saturday Night Showcase is underground comedy show, hosted by Tylon Monger, boasts a diverse and interesting line up that causes uproarious laughter. $15. Saturday, May 11, 7 p.m.



Buckman Dance Conservatory Spring Celebration e fanciful choreography of artistic director Mandy Possel. $20. Friday, May 10, 6 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 5 p.m. | Sunday, May 12, 2 p.m.


Ladies Dance Class Boost con dence and femininity through dance. ursday, May 9, 7-7:45 p.m. DREAM BALLROOM ACADEMY

Line Dancing with Q Line dancing lessons, Tuesdays with “Q.” 21+. Tuesday, May 14, 6-9 p.m. DRU’S PLACE

continued on page 20


continued from page 19

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, May 12, 5:30 p.m.


When Dinosaurs Ruled the Dancefloor

All-ages event celebrating the last day of the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Science and History. Sunday, May 12, 7 p.m.


Swing for Spring

New beginner swing dance series. Try just one type or learn all 4. $80/general admission. Tuesday, May 14, 6-7 p.m.



Baby Day at the Zoo

Meet the newest members of the zoo family this Mother’s Day weekend, with baby keeper chats. Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


Backyard Biodiversity Blitz

Join Ranger Heather to craft your own nature journal and observe the biodiversity of Overton. Ages 7-11. Saturday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.


Free Family Day

Live music, food trucks, arts and crafts, activities, and more for young people of all ages. Free admission for all. Saturday, May 11, 1-4 p.m.


Kaleidoscope Club (ages 5-9)

Each week, participants will enjoy an art or horticulture project that sparks creativity and critical thinking.

Wednesday, May 15, 4 p.m.


Kids in the Garden (ages 7-10)

This fun, hands-on gardening workshop teaches kids the basics about horticulture and the flora around them. $10. Saturday, May 11, 10:30 a.m.-noon.


Mini Masters (ages 2-4)

Introduce your little ones to the arts and nature with crafts, movement, and more. $8.

Tuesday, May 14, 10:30-11:15



Mother’s Day

Treat mom to a libation from the cash bar. Enjoy our Picnic Grove or bring a blanket to pick your perfect setting.

Children can plant a flower for mom. Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Mother’s Day on the River

Paddle down the suburban Wolf River, from Germantown Parkway to Walnut Grove Road. Sunday, May 12, 12:30-5



SciPlay with CAESER & Connect Crew

Unleash your inner scientist while exploring the best playground in the Southeast at SciPlay. Saturday, May 11, 10-11:30 a.m.


Shelby County A to Z — Teacher Appreciation Night

Celebrate educators in the Mid-South with a night of free food, massages, book giveaways and teacher goodies. Free. Thursday, May 9, 5:30-7 p.m.


Story Time

Enjoy stories, songs, art activities, and creative play that connect with Collierville history. Friday, May 10, 10:30 a.m.


Story Time at Novel

Recommended for children up to 5 years, Story Time at Novel includes songs and stories, featuring brandnew books in addition to well-loved favorites. Saturday, May 11, 10:30 a.m.; Wednesday, May 15, 10:30 a.m.


“Who Killed SUE?” A Dino-Sized Mystery

A farewell event for the legendary SUE the T. Rex at Memphis MoSH. Saturday, May 11, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.



Annual Miracle in May Community Day

This event will include a health fair, Vitalant blood drive, free HIV testing, Baptist mobile mammography, activities for the kids, and free food. Free. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Art For All Festival 2024

A free celebration of art, culture, and community. Free. Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Second Saturdays at Chickasaw Oaks

Join us every second

Saturday of the month at Chickasaw Oaks for an exciting art market showcasing a diverse group of talented local artists and makers. Free. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Top Dog Memphis Celebration

To celebrate the winners of the Top Dog Memphis photo contest, the Kiwanis Club of Memphis is hosting a free party open to all folks and their dogs. There will be music, food, doggie vendors, and more.

Saturday, May 11, 1-4 p.m.



Dead Pigs

A Wider Angle, the monthly foreign and independent film series, screens the 2018 film by director Cathy Yan. Tuesday, May 14, 6 p.m.


Live Action Children’s Film Showcase

The Children’s Film Festival Seattle’s Best of the Fest: Live Action Showcase screening.

Wednesday, May 15, 6:30-8 p.m.


Met Opera 2023:

Madame Butterfly

A filmed performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s Madame Butterfly. Saturday, May 11, 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 p.m.


Movies in the Park: Barbie

Wear your best Barbie-themed outfit to win a prize. Saturday, May 11, 5:30 p.m.


Overton Square Movie Series: Hope Floats

Thursday, May 9, 6 p.m.


Truck Turner

Presented in collaboration with the Stax Museum.

Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m.


Princess Tessa and the Serpent Queen

the BDC’s Spring Celebration of Dance


Books from Birth Spring Luncheon hosted by Porter-Leath Porter-Leath invites you to leaf through the pages and help encourage young readers by attending the annual Books from Birth Spring Luncheon. Thursday, May 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.


Canoes + Cocktails

A guided sunset paddle on the lake followed by specialty cocktails provided by Old Dominick, snacks from Cheffie’s, yard games, and music. Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.


Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market

A weekly outdoor market featuring local farmers (no resellers), artisans, and live music. Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.


Fancy Dinner Party Time No. 9

These dinners are at the very core of what Cameo is all about — teaming up with local and regional chefs, bartenders, creatives, and other badasses to show you what they’ve got. Saturday, May 11, 6 p.m.


Free Laughter Yoga at the Overton Park Shell

Laugh your way to peace of mind. Sunday, May 12, 11 a.m.-noon.


Free Sana Yoga

This all-levels Flow class will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Free. Tuesday, May 14, 1111:45 a.m.


Guided Nature Walk

Join a Lichterman nature center naturalist on a themed guided walk around the property. Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Let’s Twist Yoga Series Yoga for children 6-12. Monday, May 13, 4:30 p.m.


Slow Your Roll |

Saturday Morning


Food Truck Fridays

Grab a bite from a local food truck and enjoy lunch in the beautiful Dixon gardens. Friday, May 10, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.


Memphis Farmers Market

A weekly outdoor market featuring local farmers and artisans, live music, and fun activities. Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.


Mother’s Day Brunch at The Guest House at Graceland

A rockin’ Mother’s Day celebration at the Guest House. $55. Sunday, May 12. GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND

Mother’s Day Brunch

Raise a toast to the ladies who make our world brighter in this Mother’s Day exclusive brunch at Crossroads. Sunday, May 12, 12-3:30 p.m.


Sake Sunday Brunch

Sample sake while watching anime. Sunday, May 12, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.



Body Balance

A new generative yoga class that will improve your mind, your body and your life. Free. Thursday, May 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m.



Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre workouts Thursday, May 9, 9:30 a.m.


A serene start to your Saturday with some morning mindfulness, led by the experienced mindfulness educator Greg Graber. Free. Saturday, May 11, 8-8:30 a.m.


Taijiquan with Milan Vigil

Led by Milan Vigil, this Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. Ages 16 and older. Free. Saturday, May 11, 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 at the historic Overton Park Shell. Free. Monday, May 13, 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, May 15, 4-5 p.m. OVERTON PARK


Strengthen your yoga practice and enjoy the health benefits of light exercise with yoga instructors Laura Gray McCann. Free. Thursday, May 9, 6-6:45 p.m.


Yoga in the Park Stretch, strengthen, and unwind after your work day with a free yoga class. Free. Thursday, May 9, 5:30-6:15 p.m.


Yoga on the River

Join us for Yoga on the River as Candace guides your yoga journey along the mighty Mississippi. Free. Tuesday, May 14, 6-7 p.m.


20 May 9-15, 2024


Dance your cares away at the Overton Park Shell with a dynamic, weekly Zumba workout that fuses together Latin and international music and movement. Free.

Tuesday, May 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m.



Dementia Live Interactive


When you don’t know how your loved one with dementia experiences the world, it’s even more challenging to provide the care he or she needs. Thursday, May 9, 3-7 p.m.


Japanese Culture Club

Learn about Japanese customs and traditions. Saturday, May 11, 10:30 a.m.


Shoot & Splice: Filmmaking Grants & Labs

Join Indie Memphis and Crosstown Arts for a discussion of best practices when applying for filmmaking grants and labs. Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m.



Come Tell A Story: Finding Me

Three storytellers will tell of an event or theme that shaped them into who they are today. After the stories, you can hear more about the storytellers. Free. Wednesday, May 15, 6:30-7:45 p.m.


Monday Night Poetry Set by Perform901

An immersive celebration of the written word, where the beauty of language comes alive. Monday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.



Blooms & Brunch: A Mother’s Day Weekend Pop Up

A special Mother’s Day weekend pop-up event featuring a build-your-own bouquet cart and brunch specials from Hustle & Dough. Free. Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Morrighan’s Bluff, Amtgard of Memphis

Meet Saturdays at noon for medieval/fantasy live action roleplay game. Join the adventure! Saturday, May 11, noon



Bump n Grind Wrestling II

Bump N’ Grind Wrestling II returns to Lafayette’s, featuring former WWE Star James Ellsworth, Beer City Bruiser, Dillon McQueen, and more. Thursday, May 9, 8 p.m.


Memphis Lupus Support Group

Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser

It’s that time again! May is Lupus Awareness Month (it’ll be here before you know it!) and this year on May 11th, 2024, Memphis Lupus Support Group is doing a bowl-a-thon to raise funds for the lupus support group. $25/individual bowler, $125/team ticket. Saturday, May 11, 12:302 p.m.


Memphis Redbirds

Versus the Norfolk Tides Thursday, May 9, 11:05 a.m. | Friday May 10, 12:05 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 3:05 p.m. | Sunday, May 12, 1:05 p.m. Versus the Gwinnett Stripers Tuesday, May 14, 6:45 p.m. | Wednesday, May 15, 12:05 p.m.


Open Water Swim Clinics

Get tips, advice & training from professional swim & triathlon coaches. Sunday, May 12, 6:30 a.m.


Orion 5K

Join Orion near the Wonder Bread for a 5K, Family Fun Run, and a pickleball popup that will be the best thing since sliced bread. Bring your mama, your best friends and all the kiddos! $35/5K , $15/Family Fun Run/Walk. Saturday, May 11, 8:30 a.m.


Paddle the Greenway

Paddle on a 20-acre lake, situated along mile nine of the Wolf River Greenway trail. Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m.


Race: Buffvelo Crit Series

Cyclists compete for the The Buffvelo Hammer trophy. $30. Wednesday, May 15, 5 p.m.


Race: Memphis in May Triathlon Course route includes Chickasaw Trail and Hyde Lake Trail. Saturday, May 11, 6:30




A Monster Calls

Thirteen-year-old Conor’s mum’s is very sick and she’s not getting any better. Then one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. $25/adult tickets, $20/students & seniors. Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. | Sunday, May 12, 2 p.m.



Nick Payne’s play is about free will and friendship. It’s also about quantum multiverse theory, love, and honey, wrapped in the story of Marianne and Roland. Presented by Quark Theatre. This is a regional premiere. Friday, May 10-Sunday, May 26, 8 p.m.


Steel Magnolias

The bond among a group of Southern women shows as they deal with the good fortune and tragedy that comes to them. Through May 12.


The Hot Wing King

Katori Hall’s searing new comedy, The Hot Wing King follows a group of friends as they prepare for the “Hot Wang Festival” in Memphis. Friday, May 10-June 2.


Your Arm’s Too Short To Box With God

Based on the Gospel of Matthew, Your Arm’s Too Short To Box With God is an uplifting musical with gospel-inspired music and inspiring storytelling. Through May 19.



Haunted Pub Crawl

Visit three local bars for ghost stories, dark history, and tales of the paranormal. Friday, May 10, 7:30-10 p.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, May 11, 2-5:30 p.m.



1 Attired like a movie vampire

6 Summon

10 Unruly kid

14 Equine : horses :: ___ : sheep

15 Leave out

16 Second chance

17 One who’s taking a polar vortex pretty hard?

19 “Ah, now I see”

20 Wonder

21 “Whatever you say”

22 Conscious

23 One who cheats on a weightreduction plan?

27 Marital abbr. that’s rarely spelled out

28 Like a shoppe, perhaps

29 Turn from a book into a movie, say


32 Painter of a maja both “desnuda” and “vestida”

34 “There will come ___ …”

38,39&40 Classic Shakespearean question phonetically suggested by 17-, 23-, 47and 59-Across

41 Catchall abbr.

42 Cats’ catches

43 Prometheus or Epimetheus

44 Not new

46 “All ___ are created equal”

47 Heyday of taxis in Beijing?

53 D.J.’s version of a song

54 He loves, she loves, or it loves: Lat.

55 Place for a baby

58 Too

59 Defense against a charge of public nudity?

62 Cordon ___

63 Is indebted to

64 Socially disengaged

65 Drunkards

66 Joins

67 They might precede “Well, we must be going”


1 Lucrative South American crop

2 Own up to

3 Heaped

4 Player close to a linebacker

5 “Life is short — eat ___ first”

6 Deadly snake

7 Insectpreserving resin

8 Recline

9 Paper size: Abbr.

10 Blustery bullying

11 Fix up, as a building

12 Idolize

13 Joint enjoyer

18 Possibilities for escape

22 Word after first or foreign

24 Lacking money

25 Goes back and forth quickly

26 Down a half step, say

29 Producer of the Jacksons?

30 “Is that true about me?”

31 Midriff muscles, for short

A+ or B–

Province between Man. and Que.

Part of a web address

Lawyers’ org.

Valuable rocks

Carrier of a steaming pot and cups 45 Subtext of many an innuendo 46 Many corp. hirees have them

a canyon 49 “No more for me” 50
like a crow 51 Collect 52
a rude person uses in a crowd 56 Long, long time 57
short 59
mother 61 Rock-___ (classic jukebox brand) PUZZLE BY DAVID ALFRED BYWATERS 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 12345678910111213 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 2324 2526 27 28 293031 3233 34353637 38 39 40 41 42 43 4445 46 474849 5051 52 53 54 555657 58 5960 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 TAROTAWEDROPE UNIONMATAOBEY NIGHTNIGHTANNE EMUODEALMOND REPOSTSESSEX WHITEWEDDING PASEOPETOIL ELUDEUSSSAUCE RONCFOIBSEN MUSHROOMBALL COOPSATTESTS PARODYSNOTOE AGEDCAPANDGOWN TREEALANNAMES HANDTINAAPPLE 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 26, 2019
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“Holy smokes!” 60 Lamb’s

We Saw You.


The World Championship Hot Wing Contest and Festival was back on Riverside Drive for the rst time since 2017. e festival, which was held April 20th, was on Tiger Lane for many years a er leaving Riverside Drive.

A total of 3,000 people attended the 22nd annual festival, says founder Paul Gagliano. All except one year, the event has bene ted the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. Not counting this year, it’s raised more than $300,000 for the charity.

Gagliano recalled that rst contest: “I asked the guy that had the Poplar Lounge if he would put up the parking lot and a little money.”

He then went into the bar and told people his plans for a hot wing contest. ey looked at Gagliano like he was crazy, but seven people took part. It was a hot wing contest, but, Gagliano says, “ ey were grilling deer meat and all kinds of meat.”

And, he says, “Budweiser gave me $1,000 bucks. And that was like a million right there.”

is year, 50 teams took part and competed for $10,000 prize money.

MICHAEL DONAHUE above: Sam Watson

below: (le to right) Chanell Gabrielle, Lyndon omas, Sadie Sherwood; Zedrick Woods and Jasmine Edwards; Alexis Grace bottom row: (le to right) Paul Gagliano, David Hunnam, Pat Hunnam, Michelle Hunnam; Kilgore Trout, Joseph Wilson, Brennan Powers

22 May 9-15, 2024

We Saw You.


Matteo Servente and Ryan Watt don’t care if their business takes a licking. In fact, that’s what they want.

Servente and Watt are owners of Zio Matto Gelato, which recently held its grand opening celebration at 545 South Main Street, Number 110, inside Central Station.

“Gelato is the best Italian treat,” Servente says. “It’s like ice cream, but better. It’s got less fat. It’s got less sugar. And it’s creamier and packs more avor.”

ey o er 14 avors at a time, but, he adds, “We have recipes for many, many more.”

Servente, who is from Turin, Italy, founded the business. “Matto” is what his niece called him when she was little. And “Zio” is “uncle” in Italian.

“We love being on South Main because it’s a neighborhood similar to Italy,” says Watt, a lmmaker, adding, “You get the gelato and take it right outside and walk down the neighborhood.”

Also, he says, “Being near the [National] Civil Rights Museum and being here at Central Station, [there’s] a mixture of tourists and locals. It’s a perfect location.”

above: (le to right) Matteo Servente and Ryan Watt; Julianne Watt below: (le to right) Grayson West and Santiago Arbelez; Armani Featherson; Felicia Willett-Schuchardt and Clay Schuchardt; Jalyn Souchek and Keith Evanson bottom row: (le to right) Will and omas McGown; Christine and Carroll Todd


Ocean Deep

Iwona Rhodes’ “Seaside and Beyond” at ANF Architects channels a longing for the ocean.


n literature and art, water holds many symbolic meanings — rejuvenation, renewal, sorrow, puri cation, to name a few. But for artist Iwona Rhodes water represents home — her seaside home in Gdynia, Poland, and the home “where we come from and eventually we all will return to one day.”

e ocean, Rhodes writes in her artist statement for her upcoming “Seaside and Beyond” show at ANF Architects, is “a place of creation.” It’s “like a God-Father gure who serves us, forms us, and through his beautiful nature is also comforting us.”

It’s only natural for Rhodes to see water this way. She grew up close to the beach. She worked on a cruise line. She now lives in a river city. Water, despite its versatility, has been the most constant theme in her life.

“I’ve always been obsessed,” she says of the organic form that inspired the more than a dozen paintings in “Seaside and Beyond.” “My paintings are a re ection of the majestic nature of oceans with their endless forms and capabilities.”

“When I was creating this collection, I felt like it was coming to me, so this is something I’m just enjoying,” Rhodes says. “I had a sudden desire to paint blue abstraction and experiment with media.”

Part of that desire stemmed from her dad’s passing three year’s ago. “I was just missing him, and the ocean always. Why I’m so far from the ocean? When I came back home [from Poland to Memphis], I felt this coldness.”

“There’s a lot of things altogether, but this is very honest.”

So she painted her own oceans — 14 times over on canvas using acrylic and mixed media, opting for impressionist and expressionist styles over realism. “I’m good at realistic painting, but this is more honest,” she says, adding that the paintings tap into her own emotions — her nostalgia for the shores that raised her, her longing for the depths of the oceans and the mysteries they contain.

ough she initially agreed to 20 new paintings for this ANF exhibit, Rhodes was satis ed with her 14. “I said, ‘I’m done.’ is is pure.”

But then she started her new job

teaching art at Compass Community School to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Since she immigrated to America, she’s worked in the corporate world, and teaching, as one can imagine, has been a completely di erent experience.

“I love this job,” she says. “Literally when I’m leaving school, I’m physically exhausted, but I’m so happy. I’m coming back home and I cannot stop talking about my schooling, showing artwork to my husband. And it’s just amazing. It’s also very inspiring for me. … Teaching only for 10 months inspired me so much, I’m doing an extra six [pieces] inspired by my students. Now I have an idea for another collection.”

In February, Rhodes explains, she taught her students about Alma omas, an African-American artist who taught in Washington, D.C. in the 20th century. “She was so successful. Like, every second kid in Washington, D.C., could say that there was a point in his life she was teaching him art. But for me, she’s an inspiration because she was so well educated and she wanted to give back to society by educating tons and tons of kids, and at the end of her life she was rewarded by becoming a true artist. And I love her art. It’s very inspiring.”

For her classes, Rhodes asked her students to create sunrises and sunsets by using pieces of construction paper. “I was in shock when I saw [the


“ e blue color, which dominates my art collection,” the artist says, “is a symbol of the oceanic beauty and serenity, but it also has secrets, which like our oceans, are never completely revealed and discovered.”

results],” she says. As Rhodes scrolls through photos of her students of her work, she praises each one genuinely: “Mind-blowing,” “ e creation of this, how she came with this? I have never seen anything like that,” “ is is mesmerizing. I love this,” “Okay, this is my inspiration.”

ese works inspired by Rhodes’ students will be revealed at the ANF show. “ ere’s a lot of things altogether, but it’s very honest,” she says, adding that she’ll also display a few line drawings, some of which have been published in her book Heart Traces.

ese graphics are linear pro les, witty, ambiguous, and self-re ective in nature. It’s a kind of visual poetry, in a way, which is tting for Rhodes as she grew up loving to write. “My Polish language and literature professor hated me when she discovered I was going to study ne arts, not literature,” she laughs.

Always the creative, Rhodes says these linear graphics came during a drought of creativity while working in advertising. “I was craving ‘true

art,’” she says. “Advertising is like compilation; you use somebody else’s ideas. I was so depressed. I was really unhappy with myself. I wasn’t painting. I knew so much about art, and I wasn’t using it.”

So she turned to a divine intervention of sorts and waited for inspiration to come to her in a dream, and it did — at least, the vision for her Angelic did, a simple line drawing of an otherworldly profile with angel wings capping off the ends of the lines at the neck.

While her other drawings didn’t come from a dream, Rhodes says, they are “a treat for the intellect.” They’ll make you think; some may make you laugh.

In all, for “Seaside and Beyond,” Rhodes hopes viewers will feel a range of emotions. e ocean-inspired paintings might o er profound feelings of serenity or a bit of wonder. e Alma omas-inspired works might provide a bit of light or inspiration, and the line drawings may extend a sense of reprieve as they once did for the artist herself.

Join Iwona Rhodes for the opening “Seaside and Beyond” on Friday, May 10th, from 5 to 7 p.m., at ANF Architects, 1500 Union. Admission is free, and refreshments will be provided. “Seaside and Beyond” will be on display through June 5th, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

24 May 9-15, 2024

Starting Over in Overton Square

Madison Tavern opens in old Local spot.

Madison Tavern will open May 10th at the site of the old Local on the Square at 2126 Madison Avenue.

Tim Quinn, who owns the bar/ restaurant with his wife, Tarrah, hoped to open last November, but it took longer because of technicalities involved with starting a new place. ey chose the name “Madison Tavern” because of “the feel of the building. It’s got two replaces upstairs. It’s just a cozy, comfortable place.

“When I think of ‘tavern’ I think of some movie where people are walking down the road in the Middle Ages. ey stop in and get a beer and something to eat. It’s nice and quiet. Candlelight. e owner who works there all the time serves them the daily special. And then back on the road they go.”

Why a new name? “Just a fresh beginning with a new family,” says Tim, 42, adding, “It’s been around 12, 15 years. Sometimes it’s just time to have something new.”

The Quinns gave the old Local on the Square a facelift, but they’re not changing the personality.

e Quinns, who bought Local on Main Street about four years ago, says they’ll “start working on a rebrand for Downtown as well.” ey plan to change the name to “Quinn’s.”

Tim wanted to buy Local on the Square as soon as he began working there as general manager in 2017, when Je Johnson was the owner of both locations. “When I rst worked in this building I was there one week and I asked Je how much to buy the place. He kind of laughed.”

Johnson gave him “a large number” as the selling price. Tim told him, “Woah. at’s a big number. Let me work on that.

“Within three years he sold me the Downtown location. And here, three more years later, I’m moving into the old spot.”

e Quinns gave the old Local on

the Square a faceli , but they’re not changing the personality. ey painted over the purple walls. ey’re now blue with red accents, and they redid the oors. “Not a whole lot as far as the footprint of the place goes is changing. We cleaned it up to make it look fresh. Some new light xtures, new tables, new equipment behind the bar.”

And, he says, “We took out the old games — the old Skee-Ball. We’ve got new dart boards coming in. Bubble Hockey. It’s like foosball, but it’s hockey. I’ve never played that before.”

e walls will feature “all consignment artwork by local artists.”

As for the food, Jose Reyes, who was kitchen manager when Tim worked at Local on the Square, will be back. “He took a leave of absence and went back to take care of his mother in Mexico. He’s from Mexico City. While he was there he purchased an avocado farm and opened another restaurant with his brother.

“He loves being in Memphis. Once his mom was up and good and everything was taken care of — one of


Tim and Tarrah Quinn own Madison Tavern, where they will serve pasta jambalaya.

his sons is running the avocado farm — he came back to Memphis.”

Tim plans to keep some of the old Local on the Square food items, including the sausage cheese board, which he will upgrade, and pretzel sticks. But he will now feature “an American menu” with “Southernin uenced” fare.

Most of the new items come “from conversations with the staff, with Jose, and some other managers, other food vendors.”

Tim is gathering his sta ’s favorite family recipes, which he’ll “tweak a little bit.”

And, he says, “We’ll be, hopefully, doing a daily special: a paella. My brother’s wife’s family is from Zaragoza, Spain. Whenever we get together to eat, his wife makes her family’s paella. She’ll come in and show us how to make that.”

Tim plans to o er paella “a couple of times a week. It’s not really something you can cook on the y. It’s something that gets better a er it sits in the pot a bit.”

He also plans to serve grilled cheese sandwiches, which are popular at the Downtown location.

Tim began making grilled cheese sandwiches with Adam Hall and friends when they had a team at Memphis Grilled Cheese Festival, where they have been “fan favorites every year so far.”

e sandwich, which Hall came up with, is made of grilled chicken, bu alo sauce, white cheddar cheese, and regular white bread. “You put a mixture of butter and Miracle Whip on the bread and toast it.”

It was a hit from the beginning at Local on Main Street, Tim says. “Originally, we put that on the menu just as a special. It evolved into having grilled cheese on the menu all the time.”

e Downtown menu now includes various grilled cheese sandwiches, including ones made with duck and lobster — “di erent meats with di erent sauces.”

“We’ll do grilled cheese here as well. For the late-night menu we’ll slap a couple of grilled cheeses on there and a couple of egg rolls. And everybody’s going to be happy.”





Kick off your Best Summer Ever at our annual Memphis Margarita Festival!

Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers, vote on your favorite, and we'll crown an audience winner at the end of this ‘rita fest!

Your ticket gets you entry to the event and 12 margarita samples from your favorite restaurants, with awesome entertainment!

Pluto Retrograde

The planet’s backward shift makes us reflective — forcing us to look at our shadow side.

n astrology, Pluto is the god of the underworld. Pluto may have been demoted to a dwarf planet in astronomy in 2006, but it is still an astrological powerhouse. As one of the modern rulers of Scorpio, it symbolizes how we experience power, sex, death, renewal, rebirth, and hidden or subconscious forces. Pluto went retrograde on May 2nd and will stay retrograde until October 11th.

When a planet goes “retrograde,” or moves backward through the zodiac, it often brings challenges in the areas of our life that the planet represents. Communication planet Mercury creates misunderstandings and technology breakdowns when in retrograde, for example. But Pluto’s backward shift doesn’t make us confused — it makes us reflective.

backward to allow for the many steps forward. They are a sacred pause inviting us to look around, review who we are and the direction we are walking, integrate our past experiences, and bring closure to what is needing it.

This is all so that we can arrive present, centered, and aligned before continuing forward. Retrogrades remind us that, no matter how we try, life is not linear. Our journey is cyclic. We move sideways, upside-down, and every other direction in our outer and inner worlds.

Pluto represents the kind of cracking open that brings change down to the roots of who we are. Pluto journeys through our underworld, our psyche, our unconscious, our emotional body. Pluto excavates. It brings to light. Its retrograde shows us what is hidden within us and waiting for healing, acceptance, and closure.

Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld. Like its namesake, the planet Pluto rules over the shadow side of life. When it goes retrograde, it forces us to look at our own shadow side. Two of Pluto’s big themes are power and desire. With it in retrograde, now is a good time to take an honest look at how much we’re motivated by a need for recognition, money, and authority.

Here, we are revisiting what is ready to be transformed. Throughout Pluto retrograde we may find what we have labeled “old” emotions, stories, or pain resurfacing. And while transformation is rarely easy, it is deeply nourishing.

Pluto can stay in one sign of the zodiac for up to 21 years and retrogrades every year for anywhere from five to six months. In the last year, Pluto has been undergoing an era-defining shift in our cosmos from Capricorn to Aquarius.

It represents a moment in time in which we also find ourselves somewhat straddling two worlds — the old and the new. Pluto in Capricorn is the old and Pluto in Aquarius is the new. We are dancing intimately with change. We are preparing for a new era, and Pluto retrograde is an integral part of the dance.

Some believe that in astrology, as you move further away from planet Earth into the outer planets, the frequencies of those outer planets are more subtle, more complex, and more mysterious. Pluto and its influence cannot be grasped with the mind. It represents the unseen, the mysterious, and the hidden aspects of ourselves and humanity. It represents the reserves within us that are not often journeyed to, including our shadows, darkness, and vulnerabilities.

Retrogrades in astrology represent “re” words, such as review, revise, reconsider, realign, revisit, etc. They are the one step

This retrograde invites us to be vulnerable while it peels back layers to sit with what lies underneath. We are asked to witness parts ourselves we have disowned and cast into the shadow, all so that we may reach acceptance and reclaim ourselves. We are asked to sit with what has been keeping us chained, dimmed, powerless, and fearful, so that we may remember our freedom, power, and light.

Our role is that of surrender, presence, and grace, to allow our humanness to be as messy as it desires for this time. For we are quite literally taking a step back, picking apart the pieces, making a mess, and then placing them back together in a way that is aligned, empowering, freeing, and real, all in time for our forward movement. It’s time to close a chapter. Emily Guenther is a co-owner of The Broom Closet metaphysical shop. She is a Memphis native, professional tarot reader, ordained Pagan clergy, and dog mom.

26 May 9-15, 2024

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When my friend Jessalyn first visited Disneyland as a child, she was smitten by its glimmering, unblemished mystery. “It was far more real than real,” she said. “A dream come true.” But after a few hours, her infatuation unraveled. She began to see through the luster. Waiting in long lines to go on the rides exhausted her. The mechanical elephant was broken. The food was unappetizing. The actor impersonating Mickey Mouse shucked his big mouse head and swilled a beer. The days ahead may have resemblances to Jessalyn’s awakening for you. This slow-motion jolt might vex you initially, although I believe it’s a healthy sign. It will lead to a cleansed perspective that’s free of illusion and teeming with clarity.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Do you believe there are divine beings, animal spirits, and departed ancestors who are willing and able to help us? If not, you may want to skip this horoscope. I won’t be upset if you feel that way. But if you do harbor such views, as I do, I’m pleased to tell you that they will be extra available for you in the coming weeks. Remember one of the key rules about their behavior: They love to be asked for assistance; they adore it when you express your desires for them to bring you specific blessings and insights. Reach out, Gemini! Call on them.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m taking a gamble here as I advise you to experiment with the counsel of visionary poet and painter William Blake (1757–1825). It’s a gamble because I’m asking you to exert a measure of caution as you explore his daring, unruly advice. Be simultaneously prudent and ebullient, Cancerian. Be discerning and wild. Be watchful and experimental. Here are Blake’s directions: 1. The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom, for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough. 2. If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise. 3. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. 4. No bird soars too high if it soars with its own wings. 5. Exuberance is Beauty.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Cosmic energies are staging a big party in your astrological House of Ambition. It’s a great time to expand and intensify your concepts of what you want to accomplish with your one wild and precious life. You will attract unexpected help as you shed your inhibitions about asking for what you really want. Life will benevolently conspire on your behalf as you dare to get bolder in defining your highest goals. Be audacious, Leo! Be brazen and brave and brilliant! I predict you will be gifted with lucid intuitions about how best to channel your drive for success. You will get feelers from influential people who can

help you in your quest for victory. (PS: The phrase “your one wild and precious life” comes from poet Mary Oliver.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Is it possible to be too smart for your own good? Maybe, although that won’t be a problem for you anytime soon. However, you may temporarily be too smart for some people who are fixated on conventional and simplistic solutions. You could be too super-brilliant for those who wallow in fear or regard cynicism as a sign of intelligence. But I will not advise you to dumb yourself down, dear Virgo. Instead, I will suggest you be crafty and circumspect. Act agreeable and humble, even as you plot behind the scenes to turn everything upside-down and inside-out — by which I mean, make it work with more grace and benefit for everyone concerned.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In my fairy tale about your life in the coming weeks and months, you will transform from a crafty sleuth to an eager explorer. You will finish your wrestling matches with tricky angels and wander off to consort with big thinkers and deep feelers. You will finish your yeoman attempts to keep everyone happy in the human zoo and instead indulge your sacred longings for liberation and experimentation. In this fairy tale of your life, Libra, I will play the role of your secret benefactor. I will unleash a steady stream of prayers to bless you with blithe zeal as you relish every heart-opening, brain-cleansing moment of your new chapter.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the coming months, I will encourage you to keep deepening and refining the art of intimacy. I will rejoice as you learn more and more about how to feel close to people you care for and how to creatively deal with challenges you encounter in your quest to become closer. Dear Scorpio, I will also cheer you on whenever you dream up innovations to propitiate togetherness. Bonus blessings! If you do all I’m describing, your identity will come into brighter focus. You will know who you are with greater accuracy. Get ready! The coming weeks will offer you novel opportunities to make progress on the themes I’ve mentioned.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You could offer a workshop on the perks of wobbliness. Your anxious ruminations and worried fantasies are so colorful that I almost hesitate to tell you to stop. I’m wondering if this is one of those rare phases when you could take advantage of your so-called negative feelings. Is it possible that lurking just below the uneasiness are sensational revelations about a path to liberation? I’m guessing there are. To pluck these revelations, you must get to the core of the uneasiness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Keizoku wa chikara nari is a Japanese proverb that means “To contin ue is power.” I propose you make that your motto for the next four weeks. Everything you need to happen and all the resources you need to attract will come your way as long as your overarching intention is perseverance. This is always a key principle for you Tauruses, but especially now. If you can keep going, if you can overcome your urges to quit your devotions, you will gain a permanent invigoration of your willpower.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): During the last 11 months, life has offered you unprecedented opportunities to deepen and ripen your emotional intelligence. You have been vividly invited to grow your wisdom about how to manage and understand your feelings. I trust you have been capitalizing on these glorious teachings. I hope you have honed your skills at tapping into the power and insights provided by your heart and gut. There’s still more time to work on this project, Capricorn. In the coming weeks, seek out breakthroughs that will climax this phase of your destiny.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau declared, “We need the tonic of wildness.” Amen! In my view, you Aquarians especially need this sweet, rugged healing power in the coming weeks. Borrowing more words from Thoreau, I urge you to exult in all that is mysterious, unsurveyed, and unfathomable. Like Thoreau, I hope you will deepen your connection with the natural world because “it is cheerfully, musically earnest.” Share in his belief that “we must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day. We must take root, send out some little fiber.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I have four questions and homework assignments for you, Pisces. 1. Is there a person in your inner circle who is close to ripening a latent talent that would ultimately benefit you? I suspect there is. What can you do to assist them? 2. Is there a pending gift or legacy that you have not yet claimed or activated? I think so. What would be a good first step to get it fully into your life? 3. What half-dormant potency could you call on and use if you were more confident about your ability to wield it? I believe you now have the wherewithal to summon the confidence you need. 4. What wasteful habit could you replace with a positive new habit?

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The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling is awless in this tribute to stunt performers.

Hollywood is not exactly a place where justice ourishes. But aside from all of the sexual assault, and the way some white guys keep failing upward, one of the biggest injustices in Hollywood is the fact that there is no Academy Awards category for stunt work.

I don’t know if you’ve looked at a movie lately, but stunt performers are getting more screen time than ever. Many great pioneers of cinema built their reputations on hair-raising stunts: ink Charlie Chaplin roller-skating backwards on the edge of an abyss in Modern Times, or Buster Keaton riding on a locomotive cow catcher, batting railroad ties o the tracks in e General. Jackie Chan, the king of the Hong Kong stunt performers, has broken so many bones his injuries were shown as outtakes in his lm’s credit sequences. Chan’s pain became part of his star attraction.

It’s not like stunt work is not artistic. Look at the greatest lm of the 21st century, Mad Max: Fury Road, and tell me the pole cat attack, where the performers are swinging on 20-foot poles mounted on vehicles traveling 80 miles per hour, is not artistic. Even if you do de ne “art” more narrowly, there’s still the existence of technical categories like Best Sound Design and Best Visual E ects. Stunt work is every bit as necessary for the success of the lm as the talented professionals in those categories.

It’s the rare action movie that really feels like it’s made with love.

And look, if you want to jazz up the rating of the Academy Awards (and who doesn’t want jazzier ratings?), adding categories where Mission: Impossible and Fast & Furious could win something is just the ticket.

One person who de nitely agrees with me on this, the most pressing issue of our time, is director David Leitch. He’s a former stunt performer himself, having been at one time Brad Pitt’s stunt double of choice, before directing the star in Bullet Train He’s also the co-creator of the John Wick franchise, which has taken ght choreography into the realm of modern dance. e Fall Guy is his love letter to

the world of stunt performers. It’s the rare action movie that really feels like it’s made with love.

It’s also relentlessly inside baseball because there’s nothing lm people like more than lms about themselves, or “self-re exivity” in lm theory-speak. e Fall Guy is ostensibly based on a TV series from the 1980s starring a post-Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors as a stunt man who solves crimes. (In the 1980s, it was a requirement that every TV star had to solve crimes. But I digress.) In a weird way, e Fall Guy owes a great deal to Francois Tru aut’s Day for Night, the 1971 romantic comedy about a lm set that’s always on the verge of falling to pieces but never quite does.

Leitch’s star is Ryan Gosling, and to say he’s perfect for the role of Colt Seavers is a profound understatement.

e source material is a notoriously rich vein of Reagan ’80s masculinity, with Majors driving a truck and singing country music between bringing in bounties. Gosling brings some much needed Kenergy to the role. is Colt Seavers cries to Taylor Swi songs. ere’s not too many actors who could convincingly make a phone confession of their love to their girlfriend, director Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), while also eeing from assassins in a stolen speedboat.

Jody and Colt met years ago when she was a camera op and he was the preferred stunt double for megastar Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). While lming Tom’s latest sciblockbuster, their relationship evolves from a semi-recurring, on-set ing

(which is a fairly common thing in the lm world) to something more serious. en, producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham) insists Colt do another take of a dangerous high fall. Colt’s luck runs out, and he wakes up on a stretcher with a broken back.

Eighteen months later, Colt is hiding out in Los Angeles, working as a valet at a Mexican restaurant, when Gail catches up with him. Jody is directing her rst big feature lm, a passion project she and Gail have worked for years to put together. ey need Colt for a big stunt, a dangerous cannon roll on a beach. Jody has personally asked for him, Gail says, to support her as she tries to make good on her rst big break. More inside baseball: Jody’s “passion project” is apparently a remake of the 1983 movie Metalstorm: e Destruction of JaredSyn, a 3D debacle so notoriously awful it is nowadays only watched by sick cinematic masochists such as myself.

Colt arrives on set in Sydney and pulls o the spectacular stunt, which in real life broke the Guinness World Record for most on-screen rolls by a car — a fact the lm-within-a- lm’s stunt coordinator Dan (Winston Duke) points out. But Jody’s not happy to see Colt. She was crushed when he cut o contact a er the accident, and tells him via bullhorn as she repeatedly sets him on re. “ at was prefect! Let’s do it again!”

When Colt confronts Gail, she reveals the real reason he’s been brought on board. Tom Ryder has gone missing, and since he and Colt used to be tight, Gail thinks he would

be the best at discretely tracking down the wayward movie star before Jody and Universal Pictures nd out he’s gone AWOL.

Gosling and Blunt are breezy and charming, and the supporting cast all understand the assignment. e whole point of the now-forgotten TV series was to cut to the chase, forget about all those pesky story beats, and get to the good stunts. e Fall Guy is at its best when it’s putting its small army of crack stunt performers through their paces with the safety wires and crash bags fully visible for once. It only makes the stunts more harrowing by emphasizing the human frailty of the performers.

e Fall Guy

Now playing Multiple locations


Our critic picks the best lms in theaters. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ree-hundred years a er the conclusion of director Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes, a new leader has arisen. Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand) leads his tribe on a hunt through the ruins of human civilization for lost technology. When he rediscovers electricity and starts using it to enslave other primate tribes, Noa (Owen Teague) rebels against the encroaching tyranny

28 May 9-15, 2024
Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt

and sets out to fight Proximus with the help of feral human Nova (Freya Allan). Apes together strong!


Zendaya stars as Tashi, a teenage tennis phenom sidelined by a knee injury who turns to coaching her old friend Art (Mike Faist). They fall in love, get married, and have a baby. But when Art sustains his own career-threatening injury, he is forced to return to the Challengers circuit, where he meets his old frenemy Patrick (Josh O’Connor), a longtime rival for Tashi’s affection. Sparks fly both on and off the court.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Twenty-five years after its premiere, the prequel returns to theaters. After

a seemingly simple trade dispute on Naboo turns into a full-fledged invasion, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice ObiWan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) attempt to rescue Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). They find themselves trapped on Tatooine with a bad hyperdrive and are forced to depend on a young slave boy named Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) for escape. Is Anakin the Chosen One of prophecy? Or will he usher in The Dark Times?

Truck Turner

Crosstown Theater brings back Isaac Hayes’ ass-kicking, soulful bounty hunter on Thursday, May 9th. Come for the immaculate soundtrack, stay for Isaac’s electric screen presence.

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The ‘Accepted Insanity’ of World War III

When you dehumanize others, you dehumanize yourself.

“Mr. Netanyahu faces a delicate calculation — how to respond to Iran in order not to look weak, while trying to avoid alienating the Biden administration and other allies already impatient with Israel’s prosecution of the war in Gaza.”

Yeah, this is virtually nothing: a random, utterly forgettable quote pulled from e New York Times — from the basic corporate coverage of our present-moment violence, as the world shimmies on brink of … uh, World War III. It’s the forgettable quotes, especially in regard to ongoing war, that may be the most dangerous because all they do is solidify a collective sense of normalcy. My term for it is “accepted insanity.” We have the technological and psychological capacity to kill not simply thousands or even millions of people but the whole human race, but let’s talk about it in terms of strategy, tactics, and public relations! Let’s talk about it as though we’re covering a bunch of 10-year-old boys throwing stones. Which one’s going to win? at’s the key issue here: winning. When two cowboys face o in an armed confrontation, the one who draws and res fastest, hitting the other guy in the stomach or wherever, wins. He gets to walk away with a self-satis ed smirk.

JAMES VALLEE | DREAMSTIME.COM “National interests” are the prize at stake.

I’m not singling out the Times story quoted above as uniquely problematic in its coverage of the latest turn of events in the Middle East, but rather as representative of the accepted insanity of endless war — the reduction of war to an abstraction, virtually always involving clearly de ned good guys and bad guys, and describing murder (including mass murder) as retaliation, selfdefense, “show of force,” etc., etc. “National interests” are the prize at stake. Human lives are just bargaining chips, except, of course, when the bad guys kill them. e Times story, for instance, steps beyond its abstraction of the Israel-Iran confrontation at one point. Israel bombed Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria, killing several Iranian o cers, the story informs us. Iran retaliated two weeks later, ring 300 drones and missiles at Israel, almost all of which were shot down, and very little damage was caused. e Times notes: “ e only serious casualty was a 7-year-old girl, Amina al-Hasoni, who was badly wounded.”

War a ects children! Yes, yes, yes it does. My heart goes out to Amina al-Hasoni. But my God — some 13,000 children have been killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza, and thousands more injured, not to mention orphaned. And some are simply missing, lying under the rubble. What are their names?

What if war were covered the way street crime is covered — not as an abstraction, but with awareness that it’s a profound social problem? What if war were covered with external awareness, i.e. with wisdom that transcends political platitudes — rather than in obeisance to those platitudes?

Here, for instance, is CNBC reporting on the Israel-Iran confrontation. Noting that Israel has pledged to “exact a price” from Iran in response to the missile attack, CNBC then quotes President Biden condemning the attack and adding that the United States “will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.”

Can you believe that his words didn’t make me feel safer? I’d been pondering not just the possibility but the likely reality of World War III, and to read these words — “take all necessary action to protect our people” — made the wolves start to howl in my own soul.

Platitudes plus nukes? Biden wasn’t talking about transcending war and shunning the country’s trillion-dollar military budget. Presumably, he was talking about using it, putting it to work to “protect” us — you know, to “defeat” our declared enemy (Iran, apparently), no matter the price exacted on Planet Earth, including on you and me. How about some media coverage that doesn’t blow this o with a shrug?

Coverage of war requires awareness of the lies that prop it up politically. For instance, as World Beyond War has put it: “According to myth, war is ‘natural.’ Yet a great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental su ering is common among those who have taken part.”

In other words, war is not a product of human evolution — humanity nally becoming mature enough to ght itself in an organized, collective fashion — but essentially the opposite of that: an unevolved aspect of who we are … an embedded failure to evolve, you might say.

So many veterans, as the World Beyond War quote implies, o en bear the burden of this truth well beyond their time of service. ey are forced to face, on their own, the psychological and spiritual implications of what they did — of following orders, of participating in the dehumanization and murder of alleged enemies. In the wake of wars, vet suicide rates can be horri c. While such psycho-spiritual trauma is o cially de ned as a mental illness — post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — others with deeper understanding, including many vets, call it moral injury. Following orders forced them to act beyond their own humanity: When you dehumanize others, you dehumanize yourself. is is the accepted insanity the corporate media cover with such win-lose abstraction, even when we’re on the brink of World War III. Multiply moral injury by several billion human beings and what you could wind up with is human extinction. Robert Koehler (, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. He is the author of Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, and his newly released album of recorded poetry and art work, Soul Fragments

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