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JESSE DAVIS Editor SHARA CLARK Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER Senior Editor TOBY SELLS Associate Editor CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor SAMUEL X. CICCI, MICHAEL DONAHUE, JON W. SPARKS, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Staff Writers ABIGAIL MORICI Copy Editor JULIE RAY Calendar Editor LORNA FIELD, RANDY HASPEL, RICHARD MURFF, FRANK MURTAUGH, MEGHAN STUTHARD Contributing Columnists AIMEE STIEGEMEYER, SHARON BROWN Grizzlies Reporters ANDREA FENISE Fashion Editor KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher

OUR 1682ND ISSUE 05.20.21 There’s something undeniably unsettling about an empty house, a too-spacious office. In my life, I’ve moved close to three dozen times, so I’m fairly comfortable with the rhythms of adjusting to a new space. At first, it feels like you and your surroundings are taking the measure of each other. Eventually, as boxes are unpacked and furniture is shuffled around, you realize it’s been a day, a week since you thought about the previous occupant. You realize you’ve settled in. Last week, I made my return to the Flyer’s Downtown offices. But not to my same seat between our excellent associate editor, Toby Sells, and our food and party writer, the inimitable Michael Donahue. No, I find myself settling into what, to me, still feels like former editor Bruce VanWyngarden’s office. As of this writing, I have far more memories of ducking into this office to ask Bruce about a headline, let him know I was taking a vacation day, or to argue over a particularly thorny bit of wording. It doesn’t make the move any easier that the office has undergone other changes as well. There are hand sanitizer dispensers in the elevators and bathrooms, and we’re all wearing masks in the common areas, of course. There are new faces in the halls and new names on the masthead. That, at least, is a welcome difference, a sign of growth. All these changes come at a time when our communities are undergoing changes as well. The pandemic that drove us all — or at least those fortunate enough to be able to work from home — from our offices and shared spaces is still not over. But there are undeniable signs of hope. The COVID vaccine is readily available, something that I wouldn’t have thought possible at this point in the year if someone had asked me at the beginning January. I’ve taken advantage of it, and I am fully vaccinated as of this writing. It’s a welcome change, a layer of worry I JESSE DAVIS shed gratefully. In fact, last weekend I went to two (small, outdoor, relatively intimate) graduation parties. It was a relief that hit me in a way I find hard to put into words. I’ve never been one for large gatherings or official ceremonies, but picking up barbecue to bring to a party, I realized how profoundly even I had missed these moments. And how fortunate I am to be alive and healthy and able to take my first small steps back toward something resembling “normal.” But by normal, I don’t mean “a return to the way things were in 2019.” Here at the Flyer and in the world at large, we’re starting a new chapter, whether we like it or not. I’m not Bruce, and I won’t do him, our staff, or our readers the disservice of attempting to imitate him. Likewise, even if those of us who are vaccinated can safely gather to celebrate milestones and share barbecue, there’s no getting around the fact that the world has changed. We ignore it to our detriment. Instead, we should strive to learn from this year of loss and change. We owe it to the more than 586,000 Americans who won’t get the chance to begin a new chapter. We owe it to the people who worked and sacrificed and put their health and safety on the line to get us here. The doctors and nurses, the scientists, the protesters and activists. A return to normal won’t cut it, should never have been the goal anyway. In an attempt to reacclimate myself to office life, I walked around Downtown near Main Street this morning. I passed the souvenir shop on Beale where I used to work, years ago, in my work-two-jobs, ramen-and-PB&J days, where I used to read the Flyer on slow nights. I passed the practice space where a band of mine used to play. It was musty, not air-conditioned, and up three flights of steep stairs. I don’t want to return to our old ways of thinking any more than I want to carry a 30-year-old bass amplifier up those stairs again. I have a certain fondness for those days, of course, but trying to relive them would be an N E WS & O P I N I O N exercise in futility, a waste of precious time. THE FLY-BY - 4 Change will be uncomfortable, but NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 5 we’re going to be uncomfortable anyway. FINANCIAL FEATURE - 6 If it’s unavoidable, it might as well be for a POLITICS - 8 good reason — because we’re brave enough COVER STORY to try to grow, to reassess how we value “BLOOMS OF BEAUTY, BLOOMS OF CHANGE” healthcare and access and equity. To do the BY ALEX GREENE - 10 work to better old systems, even if many of WE RECOMMEND - 14 us don’t know the solution. Yes, change is MUSIC - 15 uncomfortable, but I’m not worried. It’s just CALENDAR - 16 a new way of looking at things, like moving FOOD - 19 into a new home. TV - 20 We’ll settle in. C LAS S I F I E D S - 21 Jesse Davis LAST WORD - 23 jesse@memphisflyer.com

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THE

fly-by

MEMernet

Edited by Toby Sells

W E E K T H AT W A S By Flyer staff

A roundup of Memphis on the World Wide Web.

Davis, The Crack, and COVID-19

“B LAS P H E M O US”

Flyer gets new editor, officials mull bridge repairs, masks off here and shots on for youths.

POSTED TO TWITTER BY CHEF’S PENCIL

The MEMernet was outraged last week. A map from the Chef’s Pencil food blog listed the country’s “top cities for BBQ” based on Tripadvisor restaurant reviews. Newark, Seattle, and Miami were there. Memphis was not. Some called it “blasphemous.” Memphis City Council member JB Smiley tweeted the map with “#StopTheLies.” Meanwhile, council member Allan Creasy “fixed it” with this tweet.

POSTED TO TWITTER BY ALLAN CREASY

May 20-26, 2021

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Questions, Answers + Attitude

THAT C R AC K A crack in the Hernando DeSoto Bridge stopped traffic on the Mississippi River and I-40. It lit up the MEMernet. “I’m just really glad to finally have some alone time and be able to work on ME,” tweeted the Hernando DeSoto Bridge. “You don’t choose Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure Week chooses you,” tweeted Memphis Bridge Crack. “From the makers of the Bass Pro Pyramid: Flex Seal Bridge,” tweeted KJ Britt.

4 POSTED TO TWITTER BY KJ BRITT.

TEMPORARY FIX Steel rods could be attached to the Hernando DeSoto Bridge for a temporary repair that could reopen the bridge to vehicle traffic, transportation officials announced late last week. A crack in the bridge closed it to vehicle traffic along I-40 and to boat traffic on the Mississippi River. Officials found “there is no indication that the bridge is continuing to deteriorate.” With that, the U.S. Coast Guard reopened the river to traffic on Friday. OPTING OUT Tennessee will opt out of federal pandemic Bruce VanWyngarden (left) steps down as editor of the Flyer, and Jesse Davis (right) unemployment benefits steps up as the next editor. plans on July 3rd. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the move last week, joining other states it that this time — and with a product specifically created for like Mississippi and Alabama. Lee said his decision came as children — is going to be any different.” “Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state.” DAVIS NEW FLYER EDITOR COVID-19 MASKS AND SHOTS Jesse Davis was announced to be the next editor of the Masks are now recommended, not mandated in Shelby Memphis Flyer. County. Outgoing editor Bruce VanWyngarden first announced The Shelby County Health Department issued a new plans to step back on January 30, 2020. But he remained at the health directive last week with “greatly reduced mandatory helm throughout the pandemic. restrictions.” The move has been expected as COVID-19 case Davis is a native Memphian and 2009 graduate of the University numbers have stabilized over the past month. of Memphis. He has worked for more than five years at the Flyer, COVID-19 vaccines can now be administered in Tennessee serving as chief copy editor, calendar editor, and staff writer. to children ages 12-15 years old. The Pfizer vaccine was approved last week for children in a MEMPHIS MEATS NOW UPSIDE FOODS decision from federal agencies. Memphis Meats changed its name to Upside Foods, and the Health departments across the state were allowed to give cultured meat company plans to bring chicken — its first doses to the new age group on Friday, May 14th. consumer product — to the market this year. Upside is a San Francisco Bay company founded in 2015. It’s INSTAGRAM KIDS local tie is Will Clem, owner of Baby Jack’s BBQ in Bartlett. He Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery joined a coalition also cofounded Memphis Meats and was one of the company’s of 44 state, district, and territorial prosecutors in a letter last tissue engineers. The company chose chicken for its first week urging Facebook to abandon its plan for a version of consumer product because “it is quickly becoming the meat of Instagram for children under the age of 13. choice for consumers around the world.” Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for fuller versions of “Facebook has a record of failing to protect the safety and these stories and more local news. privacy of children,” Slatery said. “Let’s not take their word for


Crossword ACROSS

Report: Memphis tops Tennessee for hate groups.

The Memphis area had more hate groups than any part of Tennessee last year, according to a new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Memphis and Bartlett were home to eight hate groups last year. Five of these groups were listed as “general hate,” one was listed as neo-Confederate, and two were listed as white nationalist. Bartlett-based Blood River Radio believes “genocide is being pursued against white gentile people of the world.” “Blood River Radio is one of the only media outlets in North America with the intelligence, courage, and vision to realize and state openly that the global white race is in the early to middle stage of being exterminated,” reads a quote on the show’s website from Eddie Miller. “We are one of the very few media outlets with the courage and selflessness to swear on the holy altar of god to fight against our genocide. As other media fiddles while the white race burns, Blood River Radio shall fight to the death to defend our people against extermination.” The Bartlett-based “Political Cesspool” show has been listed in the SPLC’s hate report for years. Show hosts say “we represent a philosophy that is pro-white and are against political centralization.” “You can trust The Political Cesspool Radio Program to give you the ‘other side of the news’ — to report on events which are vital to your welfare but which would otherwise be hushed up or distorted by the controlled press,” reads the “our mission” section of the show’s website. “We make no attempt to give you ‘both sides.’’’ Six hate groups were active in Memphis last year including Black nationalist groups Great Millstone, Israel United in Christ, New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and Nation of Islam, as well as the neoConfederate Confederate 901.

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER

The number of hate groups have declined nationally since 2018, but Memphis is still home to some. PHOTO BY MAYA SMITH

A white nationalist protest in Memphis in 2018

Thirty-four hate groups operated statewide last year, according to the report. These included two Ku Klux Klan groups, Proud Boys, United Skinhead Nation, Dixie Giftshop, Straight Arm Media, and more. Only Nashville compared to Memphis in the concentration of hate groups in Tennessee, with four hate groups operating there last year. The agency’s “The Year in Hate and Extremism 2020” report says the number of hate groups in the country fell to 838 last year. That’s down from the 940 groups reported by the SPLC in 2019 and down from a record-high 1,020 groups the law center reported in 2018. “It is important to understand that the number of hate groups is merely one metric for measuring the level of hate and racism in America, and that the decline in groups should not be interpreted as a reduction in bigoted beliefs and actions motivated by hate,” reads the report. As an example, SPLC polling data found that 29 percent of Americans personally know someone who believes that white people are the superior race.

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s we move to the middle of 2021, We’ve enjoyed that regime for quite some one thing is clear — inflation is time, but it looks like, at least for a while, back. For decades, most people we’ll experience inflation numbers greater almost ignored inflation, but than 2 percent. it may be hard to ignore it in the future. How can you prepare? Inflation is simply another term for risThe biggest way is to adjust your thinking prices. While the causes can be obscure, ing. When inflation becomes meaningful, the effects are very real for everyone, no try thinking in real returns rather than matter their income. nominal returns. You’ll likely first feel higher prices in To explain, let’s look at current certificate everyday goods and services like food, fuel, of deposit (CD) rates. If you buy a one-year, and healthcare, but from there, inflation $100,000 CD today, you might get a 0.50 affects the economy in surprising ways. percent nominal rate, meaning you’ll have Things like mortgage rates, returns on $500 more after a year. In a world of 2.5 stocks, returns on bonds, and the overall percent inflation, your purchasing power trajectory of the economy are all directly in- goes down overall by about $2,500 during fluenced by inflation and forward-looking the year. Taking both the interest and the inflation expectations. inflation into account, the real rate on that The Federal Reserve spent decades CD is about -2 percent. That loss of about keeping inflation as low as possible, but $2,000 is hard to see, but it is very real. now it is actively pushing for more inflation It will feel real, too, if inflation creeps up to demonstrate it’s doing everything it can much more than it already has. to support the economy. It used to look at 2 percent inflation as a ceiling, but now ANDRE TAISSIN | UNSPLASH it is looking at using that rate as an average target that can be exceeded to get the actual average closer to 2 percent. Today we understand prices are rising, but it doesn’t really affect our decision-making yet. I had a mentor who lived through the inflationary period of the 1970s and 1980s, and he would always tell me, “Inflation is Even at a reasonable 2.5 percent ana mindset.” He said in the 1970s he faced nual inflation rate, something that costs strange dilemmas, like “I better buy a new $100 today will cost $128 in 10 years. If car this year because by next year, I won’t be you stuck a $100 bill under your matable to afford it.” This was a period where tress for that decade, you might think his income was actually rising quickly, but you broke even, but you would have lost he felt prices were rising more quickly, and 28 very real dollars of purchasing power therefore inflation colored all his decisions. during that time. Whatever the trajectory Inflation, in moderation, is actually a of inflation might be, thinking in real good thing. A deflationary environment — returns always makes sense. where your money increases in value each The Fed has good intentions with year — sounds great, but in practice it’s regards to its inflation targeting, and it even worse than the reverse. The opposite may get it exactly right with no overshoot. sentiment to the one my mentor followed Whether or not it does, thinking in real — “I might as well wait until next year to rather than nominal rates gives you a more buy a car because it will be cheaper.” — can realistic approach. Gene Gard is Co-Chief-Investment Officer at be devastating. Severe deflation will grind Telarray, a Memphis-based wealth managean economy to a halt. ment firm that helps families navigate investThe best and fairest environment for ment, tax, estate, and retirement decisions. everyone is a world of stable prices, defined Contact him at ggard@telarrayadvisors.com. by most as inflation of 1-2 percent a year.


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POLITICS By Jackson Baker

A Good Start Freshman legislator Gillespie gets credit for some moxie.

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Last week’s Flyer reject the governor’s magnum opus, and the cover story on the only freshman. Took some nerve, that did. closing out of the 2021 legislative • Memphis is not Portland, but the city has session in Nashdeveloped its own penchant — orderly, ville referred to focused, but by no means bashful or lackseveral bills that ing in commitment — for responding to were passed in the local, national, and international events last week of the of consequence. Examples in recent years session. Two that were not included in have been the Women’s March of January the survey but deserve some attention, 2017, a response to the then brand-new perhaps, were House Bill 22/Senate Bill Trump administration; the “bridge” dem14 by state Rep. John Gillespie (R-Disonstration of the previous year to protest trict 97) and state Senator Brian Kelsey police violence against Black youth; and (R-District 31), which raised the penalty numerous manifestations of the Black for drag racing on public thoroughfares Lives Matter movement. from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, and HB1267/SB588 by Gillespie and Sen. Ed Jackson (R-Jackson). The latter bill was a complicated piece of legislation that established a new governing structure for both the state Lottery Board and the new Sports Wagering Advisory Board. Gillespie is a first-termer, elected last year in a hardfought contest with Democrat Gabby Salinas. Discussing his initial term as a legislator with a reporter in the last days of the session, Gillespie displayed genuine exuberance with the bill-making process, as well he might, given that he would become the recipient of the Tennessee Journal’s unofficial Freshman of the Year Award, announced in the periodical’s most recent issue. Perhaps the key PHOTO BY ABELLAH AMARIR accomplishment for Marchers participate in an Emergency Rally Gillespie, however, was not for Palestine in Downtown Memphis. his sponsorship of the two aforementioned measures, but his insistence on not voting for another Now add the impressive turnout on bill, HB786/SB765, pushed by no less Sunday for an “Emergency Rally for Palthan Governor Bill Lee and sponsored by estine,” which began with a gathering and the majority leaders of the two chambers. speeches at City Hall and climaxed with a Perhaps the No. 1 administration bill of march of some 300 ethnically mixed parthe session, this is the one that allows for ticipants to the National Civil Rights Mupermitless carry of firearms in the state, seum. The rally was held to protest what a dramatic change indeed and one with its sponsors see as the U.S. government’s potentially major consequences. uncritical acceptance of Israel’s aggressive Gillespie was one of only three control measures in the ongoing violence Republican members of the legislature to between Israelis and Palestinians.


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co ve r s to ry by Alex G reen e

Blooms of Beauty, Blooms of Change How Memphis gardeners are making our world better, one flower at a time.

PHOTO BY SARAH GILMER

May 20-26, 2021

M

emphis is a city bursting with gardens, and that’s never more apparent than during this time of year. Stroll through nearly any neighborhood, and the colors and scents of myriad blossoms will enchant you. What’s more, so much of our artful horticulture goes on in the private domains of thousands of households, the delights of public spaces like the Memphis Botanic Garden and others notwithstanding. Yet how often do we step back and savor the blooms? With a small shift in perspective, the humble, homey horticultural delights of a single yard can take on a far greater significance than you might imagine. All it takes is an appreciation of all our many yards in aggregate, and suddenly these tiny spaces can be seen as part of a movement of people determined to confront the crises of our time through their own love of greenery. This week, we salute the great gardening impulse of the city, with a particular focus on one neighborhood that’s leading the charge in getting us all to stop and smell the roses — not to mention the violets, and even a milkweed or two — and perhaps even save the planet while we’re at it.

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Walk the Walk

his past weekend, hundreds bore witness to just how dear our gardens are to us, as they devoted two idyllic days to simply walking, watching, and breathing in the fair aromas of countless petals. Many neighborhoods have garden clubs, of course, and we’ve all noticed the “garden of the month” signs that such clubs bestow 10 on their most gifted planters, but none have taken the art of appreciation as far as the

Cooper-Young Garden Walk, founded six years ago by neighborhood garden club member Kim Halyak. “We really are lucky in Memphis,” she explains, when we speak in the days leading up to the event. “We’ve got a long growing season and a beautiful tree canopy. And now we have the largest garden walk in the Mid-South. We have people coming from Des Moines, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Texarkana, Little Rock, Knoxville, Nashville, and Cincinnati. I feel like we’re finally making inroads into garden tourism, which is a really big thing in the United States. If you’re not a gardener, you might not know that. But people travel all over the country, or even to England, just to tour gardens.”

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ndeed, it was while visiting gardens elsewhere that Halyak was struck by the role such tourism could play in a city’s growth. “I’m from Pittsburgh, so once, when I went home to visit, my sister and I went up to the Buffalo garden walk. And I was so awestruck by it. I think we saw maybe 90 gardens that weekend. And at one point, I was standing on a street corner, trying to figure out where to go next, and I realized that I had never seen so many beautiful gardens all compressed together. I mean, there were literally 20 gardens on every block. And I had the epiphany that this is how you turn a city around. When you get enough people who are fixing up their yards, a street suddenly has not just one garden on the street, it’s a

bunch of gardens, and then the streets multiply, and then it becomes a neighborhood thing. And my ultimate hope is that we can grow this beyond Cooper-Young.”

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or now, just the one garden walk is plenty impressive. Initially featuring 23 gardens in its first year, and now including 94, the annual walk has attracted as many as 1,200 attendees in pre-COVID times. And there’s much more to it than simply taking in the view. “We’ll have educational speakers and vendors and booths,” says Halyak. “We’ll have speakers on herbs, vertical gardening, composting, botanical sprays, making sauerkraut, urban forestry. A little bit of everything. And this year, we’re going to have


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Go Native

mong the walk’s featured talks, one of the most forward-thinking, even ground-breaking speakers is not a horticulturalist by trade or education, at least of the formal variety, but, appropriately, simply a home gardener who wanted a deeper understanding of what she loves. Dana Sanders moved to Memphis in 2013 to work in healthcare, and attending the Cooper-Young

Plants that have co-evolved with local insect and bird populations can bolster the well-being of those species and entire ecosystems.

PHOTO BY KENZIE CAMPBELL

garden walk had an immediate impact on her favorite hobby. “For me, it’s not just about appearance. It probably was when I moved here. What really was the biggest impetus for change, for me, was going on the garden walk the first time. It must have been the second year they did it. I met Mike Larivee, who started The Compost Fairy. And the following year, Doug Tallamy came to speak. So those two people, and learning more through them, kind of fit with my interests. I’ve always been into conservation and protecting nature, but after meeting them I was like, ‘Oh! The little things really do make a difference.’” This year, Sanders herself will speak on the subject of cultivating more native plants, and the positive impact the practice can have on pollinators like butterflies and bees, now facing an unprecedented existential threat. As she explains, “Tallamy said, ‘Okay, we know that lawns are, hands down, the most irrigated, fertilized, nonedible use of land in the country. It doesn’t support anything, but 40 million acres in the U.S. are devoted to lawns. If everybody

PHOTO BY JACK KENNER

reduced their lawn by 50 percent, altogether that 20 million acres would double the amount of national parkland that we have. And this would make a huge difference in terms of carbon sequestration and supporting insects.’”

I

ndeed, Tallamy has brought into sharp relief just what an impact home gardeners can make. A professor in the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, he has an acute understanding of how plants that have coevolved with local insect and bird populations can bolster the well-being of those species and entire ecosystems. As he notes in one interview, “Eighty-five percent of our woody invasive plants are from our gardens. So we’ve converted an awful lot of our land into a landscape with non-native plants that are not supporting the food webs that everything else needs.” The answer, he says, is to build a “homegrown national park,” composed of a patchwork of home gardens favoring native plants on which pollinators can better thrive. The Cooper-Young neighborhood, it turns out, is full of gardeners receptive to such ideas. As Halyak observes, “I would say that 60 percent of us have taken native plants to heart, way higher than the average population in Memphis. At the garden walk, we will have educational signs all around the neighborhood about pollinators and native plants. We’ll have some native plants marked, and we’ll have tags on invasive plants. We had Doug Tallamy as a guest speaker a couple of years ago, and I would say he is the premier speaker of the pollinator movement in the United States. And after he spoke, all of us were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we had no idea.’ So we’ve all been embracing it ever since.”

M

ike Larivee is a Cooper-Young resident who took Tallamy’s writings

to heart very early on. In 2017, he started a nonprofit called The Compost Fairy, which collects kitchen waste from homes and businesses, composts it on a massive scale, then delivers the resulting compost to members’ homes and gardens. It proved so successful that the enterprise has recently partnered with Atlas Organics and is now part of a massive, multi-state group doing similar work throughout the South. “I was tremendously influenced by Doug Tallamy’s writings,” says Larivee. “He’s a role model for me, with the backyard national park idea. We have 136 native species in my yard, and it’s growing. Lots of diversity, lots of habitat, lots of Tennessee native plant material. “The soil is the foundation of the terrestrial ecosystem, and you’ve got to have a solid foundation to build a house on. I grew up on a farm, so throwing food waste in the trash was not a thing, ever, in my family. We grew all our own food, so I grew up knowing where food came from, which a lot of kids don’t know these days. And you always have to start with the soil, because if you take care of the soil, it will take care of you.” Furthermore, he says, Tallamy’s approach is both productive and beautiful. “You know, ‘Lawns=Yawns.’ They’re pretty boring. They don’t do anything for us. And culturally, the lawn says, ‘I’m so rich and I have so many resources that I don’t have to do anything with them. I can just leave this space unproductive and look at it.’ That never made any sense to me. In contrast, we make a thousand pounds of food a year on my fifth of an acre. We’ve got bee hives and chickens and ducks and 15 fruit trees and raspberry and blackberry canes on the side of the house. It’s a creative and productive use of space. “Native plants are pretty, and they’re low maintenance. They know what to do here. You don’t have to hold their hand. That way, I have time for other projects. I’m busy!”

“Smell me, touch me, taste me.”

U

ltimately, Halyak hopes the model of the Cooper-Young Garden Walk will expand. “My ultimate hope is that we can grow this beyond Cooper-Young,” she says. “Last October, Memphis Art & Design Week reached out to me and said, ‘Is there any way you could pool some gardens together?’ So I reached out to Soulsville and we had two gardens there. We did Orange Mound, where we had three gardens. We did Cooper-Young with two gardens, and we had two or three gardens in Bartlett. And it was a one-day tour, from 10-2. I had no idea how many continued on page 13

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

live music. That will be a first for us. All of these activities are at what we call the secret gardens, the back gardens. Some gardens on the walk are only on the front. But we have other gardens that are both front and back.” In the accompanying guide book, details of each participating home and yard are provided, as well as information on supporting businesses and local organizations like the Memphis Herb Society, the Memphis Area Master Gardeners, and the West Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. Beyond such educational and networking opportunities, the garden walk is a shot in the arm for local businesses, many of whom offer discounts and deals for ticket-holders. For these merchants, the garden walk promises another kind of green and another kind of growth. “My goal,” says Halyak, “was that at some point down the road we could be on the same scale as Buffalo. Because they have been doing it for 26 years, they have about 440 gardens that are open in one weekend, and they bring in 65,000 people. I’ve been told by people who run the Buffalo walk — and I’ve actually picked their brains, interviewed them, to really find out what makes theirs work — and they said they bring in about $5 million a year into the city, just because of the garden walk.” In the meantime, ticket sales alone benefit the Cooper-Young neighborhood. “We started ours as a way to raise money for beautification projects, and it has just grown.”

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May 20-26, 2021

Tune into the Memphis Flyer Radio podcast!

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A weekly podcast from the pages and people of the Memphis Flyer. Available wherever you stream your podcasts!


PHOTO BY DAVID VAUGHAN

Gardens — and education — bloom at New Hope Christian Academy.

people would come, because it was not promoted very well, but there were 100 people who toured those gardens.” Other gardens are growing throughout the city, of course, but perhaps the most inspiring model, horticulturally speaking, is in Frayser. That’s where an elementary school decided to go beyond the “Hey kids, let’s plant radishes!” approach to horticultural education and took over an abandoned lot across the street. It’s managed by David Vaughan and, as Mike Larivee puts it, “he’s a badass!” “I work at New Hope Christian Academy,” Vaughan explains. “Our space is about three-quarters of an acre and is both an outdoor classroom and a production garden. We have flowers, herbs, fruit trees, tons of vegetables, but also spaces geared strictly toward education and inspiring awe in students. Chris Cosby helped me design the space eight years ago.”

A

t the time, Vaughan worked for Cosby at the Memphis Botanic Garden, and together they crafted an approach that, like Larivee’s, blurs the line between the ornamental and the productive. And it’s exemplary of an approach that features native plants. “I think New Hope could be a really good model for community gardens. Our techniques are replicable. We’ve taken what was an abandoned lot, with your standard red clay, and really transformed it. We haven’t tilled since year one, when we broke ground with a tractor. Since then, we’ve just been composting and doing heavy mulching.” Much of what Vaughan does at New Hope could make for the ultimate home garden. “I’ve been implementing more ornamental elements due to my experience

at the Botanic Garden — with plants and color combinations. We have a garden at the farm that’s a sensory garden. It’s for the senses and very ornamentally based. A big chunk of our mission is to get kids inspired. And right as you enter the farm, there’s a big circular space that engages all the senses, with tons of signage. ‘Smell me, touch me, taste me.’ There’s tons of color and a lot of height differences, and at the center is an herb spiral — a permaculture technique where you have a bed of plants that starts from three to four feet tall and then spirals downward. So you’re creating these microclimates.”

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aughan notes that New Hope is not the only example of enlightened farming. Like Halyak, he’d like to see more citywide momentum. “One of the biggest problems in Memphis is the lack of a connecting force for gardening and horticulture. There are all these individual gems throughout the city that are doing good things.” The beauty of having so many gems, of course, is in their diversity, and ultimately this is both ecologically and aesthetically sound. It’s something to consider when strolling past yards exploding with color: Each one of them could mark a fundamental step toward environmental health, a future where pollinators and the systems supporting them can thrive in a million different settings, no matter their size or scale. That’s one thing that appeals to Sanders, who, like most of us, is just trying to make her home a better, more sustainable space. “There’s this mentality of ‘Yards are just supposed to look pretty,’” she says. “Now, because of what we know, we have a chance to make a difference in our ecology. So my little postage stamp of a yard really can make a difference.”

VACCINATE YOUR FAMILY. #Imm un izeT N

t n.g o v/h e al t h

sh e lby t nh e al t h.c o m

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

continued from page 11

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steppin’ out (& stayin’ in)

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

ParTee Time

By Julie Ray

Clubbing at the golf course takes on new meaning now that Mirimichi’s Terrace, a 10,000-square-foot outpost, is open to the public featuring music, movies, and entertainment. “We are excited to announce our live music schedule for the season and offer our guests a beautiful view and relaxing environment to enjoy entertainment, food, and drinks at the Mirimichi Terrace on scheduled nights,” says Matt Davies, director of golf at Mirimichi Golf Course. While the course was open all year for the naturally socialdistanced sport of golf, the Terrace closed to the public just after updates were finished last March. Finally, Memphians can eat and drink at the bar or on the spacious deck with tables, chairs, PHOTOS OF MIRIMICHI TERRACE COURTESY OF MORRIS MARKETING GROUP and umbrellas again. A fireplace and two televisions will also The updated Mirimichi Terrace opens to the public feature sports entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays. with food, drinks, karaoke, and other entertainment. As if lots of space and a view of the green, pond, and fountain weren’t reason enough to putter on over to Mirimichi, this week features Sherry-Oke Karaoke. In June, tee off with Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield during a screening of Caddyshack. Acoustic guitar, classic rock-and-roll, DJs, and more entertainment will be featured on select nights through September. The full schedule can be found on Mirimichi’s website, mirimichi.com. And who knows? — maybe Justin Timberlake will show up and join in the fun. Though he sold the custom-built course in 2014, surely a quick vocal exercise during karaoke would be par for the course. MIRIMICHI LIVE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT SERIES FEATURING SHERRY-OKE (KARAOKE), MIRIMICHI TERRACE, 6195 WOODSTOCK-CUBA, MILLINGTON, TN, FRIDAY, MAY 21, 7-9 P.M., $5.

May 20-26, 2021

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES May 20th - May 26th

DO GOOD. BETTER.

901.726.5725 momentumnonprofit.org

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We help Mid-South nonprofits succeed.

Music by the Lake Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, 3663 Appling, Friday, May 21, 6 p.m., free Bring a chair or blanket and a picnic and join the fun around the lake featuring music by the Memphis Ukulele Band and the River Bluff Clan. The Taming Streams live from Playhouse on the Square, playhouseonthesquare.org, opens Friday, May 21, 7 p.m., continues Friday-Saturday, 7 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m. through May 30, $25 Political farce inspired by Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew about a beauty pageant contestant who aims to revolutionize the structure of American government.

Movies in the Park: The Photograph Audubon Park, 751 Cherry, Saturday, May 22, 5:30 p.m., free with registration Enjoy this romantic drama starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield about an estranged daughter of a famous photographer who falls in love with the journalist investigating her mother’s life.

“Where Do We Go From Here? State of Race Relations & Policies” Online from National Civil Rights Museum, civilrightsmuseum.org, Tuesday, May 25, 6 p.m., free Panel of national and local leaders will speak about how civic-minded young leaders can learn, evaluate, and take a stand for or against policies impacting the younger generation.

Opening Lecture for “Memphis 2021” Online from Dixon Gallery & Gardens, dixon.org, Sunday, May 23, 3 p.m., free with registration Join Julie Pierotti via Zoom as she discusses each artist and how their work is helping to shape Memphis’ cultural landscape.

Celebrate What’s Right Panel: “The Future of Food” Online from New Memphis Institute, newmemphis.org, Tuesday, May 25, noon, free with registration Discussion with moderator Cynthia Daniels and food and beverage industry leaders Kelly English, Sabine Langer, and Mariko Wiley, who are paving a path for success in the culinary space.


MUSIC By Chris McCoy

Sound Reign o’er Me

PHOTO BY JAMIE HARMON

(l-r) Winchester, Greene, Cartwright, Scott, Roberson That’s a far cry from the kind of songs the screamer known as Greg Oblivian spat out in the wild Memphis of the 1990s, but the truth is the Oblivians’ apocalyptic lo-fi sonic blasts were always more sophisticated than they appeared on the surface. Plus, Cartwright has done a lot of growing up. “For the longest time, since I was a teenager, music was the main outlet for me to work out whatever’s going on inside of me,” he says. “If you listen to Oblivian stuff, or even some of the Compulsive Gamblers stuff, there’s a squeal in my voice. When there’s so much emotion trying to get out of you, and it’s so intense, and you’re kind of choking on it because you’re so wound up. That had a place, and I was glad that I found music and was able to use it in that way. But in the long term, I don’t think it’s really healthy to continue to do that when you could explore some other ways to work it out. And maybe in the process, I can be a better, more varied songwriter.” Cartwright formed Reigning Sound after the Oblivians flamed out in the late ’90s. The original lineup of drummer Greg Roberson, bassist Jeremy Scott (who these days fronts the Toy Trucks), and organist Alex Greene, still has a reputation as one of

the hottest bands to come out of Memphis. Their two albums, 2001’s Break Up, Break Down and 2002’s Time Bomb High School, expanded the borders of garage rock to include country, pop, and even rocked-up standards like “Stormy Weather.” Greene — who is now the music editor of the Memphis Flyer — left the band in 2004. Cartwright got back to his punk roots with Too Much Guitar before leaving his native Memphis for Asheville, North Carolina. Reigning Sound went through personnel changes over the years, but when the pandemic hit last year, Cartwright says an opportunity opened up to get the original lineup back together. A Little More Time was recorded at Electraphonic Recording with Scott Bomar, another veteran of the Memphis punk scene, behind the boards. Recorded analog on Bomar’s vintage equipment, the songs span far beyond the overdriven guitars and punishing drums of the band’s Midtown rock roots. The sounds range from the steel guitar-driven balladeering of “Moving & Shaking” to the ’60s garage rock rave-up “I Don’t Need That Kind of Lovin’,” a longtime live favorite captured in the studio for the first time. “A Little More Time” brings Greene’s organ to the forefront, showing off the harmonic talents of Scott. “They’re a really good band,” says Cartwright. “The one addition we had to make for this record was Graham Winchester on drums. That was just because of an injury that Greg [Roberson] had to his hand many years ago that limits the dynamics of what he can do. They are both are on every song, with one playing drums, and the other guy playing extra percussion.” What shines through A Little More Time is the depth of the songwriting. Cartwright’s newfound comfort with vulnerability elevates album closer “On and On” into a country-soul symphony of love and loss. Like all Cartwright’s songs, it is deceptively simple on the surface, with a river of emotion underneath. “That’s why a song is a great vehicle,” he says. “You say it with a few words and a lot of melody, then let people chew on it, and they’ll figure it out.” Reigning Sound plays the River Series at Harbor Town Amphitheater on Saturday, June 5th.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

I

n “Oh Christine” from the new album A Little More Time With Reigning Sound, Greg Cartwright sings, “Amber strands / on my face / lay in wait for the tears that flow / some for you / and some for me.” The song, which songwriter Cartwright says is his favorite of the album’s 11 tracks, is about a sailor remembering a love left on the shore. “It was a story that popped into my head about letting go of people when you need to let go, trying to move on and be happy for the other person, and not base your life around whether somebody else loves you or not.”

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

A Little More Time With Reigning Sound reunites the legendary original Memphis lineup.

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CALENDAR of EVENTS:

May 20 - 27

T H EAT E R

OT H E R A R T HAP P E N I N G S

The Orpheum

Orpheum Virtual Engagement, join Orpheum staff, artists, and students for activities, interviews, and more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Visit website for more information. Ongoing.

Basic Bookbinding: Coptic Stitch Sketchbooks with Ariana Sellers In this one-day workshop, design, create, and hand-bind a coptic-stitch sketch book or journal. $110. Sun., May 23, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

203 S. MAIN (525-3000).

Playhouse on the Square

The Taming, farce by Lauren Gunderson inspired by Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. A beauty pageant contestant aims to revolutionize the structure of American government. playhouseonthesquare.org. $25. Fridays, Saturdays, 7 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m. Through May 30. 66 S. COOPER (726-4656).

Theatre Memphis

Thursdays on the Plaza, enjoy the atmosphere of the Menke Sculpture Garden during a variety of events from blues to trivia. Cash bar with wine and craft beer, as well as a nosh or two. Free-$5. Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. Through July 15.

COURTESY OF MEMPHIS MUSEUMS

“The Machine Inside: Biomechanics” at the Pink Palace, opening May 15

A R TI S T R EC E PT I O N S

David Lusk Gallery

Artist reception for “Dream Machines,” exhibition of carved wooden shapes that exist somewhere between painting and sculpture by Robert Rector. Sat., May 22, 12-3 p.m. 97 TILLMAN (767-3800).

630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323).

Memphis Museum of Science & History

May 20-26, 2021

WWW.MEMPHISMUSEUMS.ORG

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Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to calendar@memphisflyer.com or P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY.

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Opening lecture for “Memphis2021,” join Julie Pierotti via Zoom as she discusses each artist and how their work is helping to shape Memphis’ cultural landscape. dixon.org. Free with registration. Sun., May 23, 3 p.m. 4339 PARK (761-5250).

Metal Museum

Artist Talk for “Tributaries: Andrew Meers | Amalgamation,” exhibition by metalsmith and bladesmith Andrew Meers who will discuss his latest work, a departure from the restraints of conventional knife making via Zoom. metalmuseum.org. Free. Sat., May 22, 2-3 p.m. 374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

ARROW CREATIVE, 653 PHILADELPHIA (213-6320).

Lunch at the Mid-South Artist Gallery

Serving a table of four. Catering provided by Chicken Salad Chick. Call for reservations. Free. Sun., May 23, noon. MID-SOUTH ARTIST GALLERY, 2945 SHELBY (409-8705).

Meet the Artist: Brittney Boyd Bullock

Exhibition of works by visual artist, textile designer, and leathersmith. Free. Thurs., May 20, 5-8 p.m. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS, 4339 PARK (761-5250), DIXON.ORG.

Paint Night: Impressionist Petals with Dorothy Collier You will be guided through the techniques to paint a floral image. Learn mixing colors and brush use through demonstration. All supplies and materials are included. $65. Thurs., May 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

ARROW CREATIVE, 653 PHILADELPHIA (213-6320).

“The Slow Art of Tapestry Weaving”

Jennifer Sargent, “Memphis 2021” exhibition artist talks about her work via Zoom. Free with registration. Wed., May 26, noon. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS, 4339 PARK (761-5250), DIXON.ORG.

OPERA

In Real Life

A collection of operatic monologues about 12 characters who struggle to find love in the digital age. $10. Fri.-Sat., May 21-22, 8 p.m. OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100), OPERAMEMPHIS.ORG.

NEW EXHIBIT NOW OPEN


C A L E N D A R : M AY 2 0 - 2 7 C O M E DY

Chuckles Comedy Club

Justin Whitehead, $25-$45. Thurs., May 20, 7:30 p.m. Michael Colyar, $25-$45. Fri.-Sun., May 21-23, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1700 DEXTER.

The Comedy Junt

Tootie 2 Times, $25. Fri.-Sat., May 21-22, 8 p.m. 4330 AMERICAN WAY (249-4052).

L ECT U R E /S P EAK E R

Celebrate What’s Right Panel: “The Future of Food”

Paving the path for success in the culinary space. Panel includes Cynthia Daniels (moderator), Kelly English, Sabine Langer, and Mariko Wiley. Free with registration. Tues., May 25, noon. NEW MEMPHIS INSTITUTE, 22 N. FRONT (527-4625), NEWMEMPHIS.ORG.

Novel at Home: Heather Truett

Debut YA novelist Heather Truett in conversation with fellow YA writer Kristy Dallas Alley launch Truett’s Kiss and Repeat via Zoom. Free with registration. Tues., May 25, 6 p.m. NOVEL, 387 PERKINS EXT. (9225526), NOVELMEMPHIS.COM.

“Where Do We Go From Here? State of Race Relations & Policies”

A panel of national and local leaders will speak on topic, how such policies are impacting younger generations, and how civic-minded young leaders can learn, evaluate, and take a stand for or against these particular measures. Tues., May 25, 6 p.m. CIVILRIGHTSMUSEUM.ORG.

TO U R S

CAF AirPower History Tour

Featuring cockpit tours plus P-51, T-6, PT-13, and B-29 rides and airshows. $20. Thurs., May 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. OLIVE BRANCH AIRPORT, 8000 TERMINAL DRIVE, AIRPOWERSQUADRON.ORG.

Ghost Walk

Join the Historical Haunts Investigation Team and explore the macabre and dark history of Downtown Memphis. $20. Saturdays, 8 p.m. THE BROOM CLOSET, 546 S. MAIN (497-9486), HISTORICALHAUNTSMEMPHIS.COM.

Scandals and Scoundrels

Governors, senators, teachers, veterans, poets, and holy men and women at rest in Elmwood have interesting stories. Some of the deep history comes with

a questionable ending. That’s where this tour begins. $20. Sat., May 22, noon.

CONFERENCE CENTER, 3663 APPLING (385-6440).

ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212).

S PO R TS / F IT N E S S

Tales from Elmwood: A Cemetery Walking Tour

Get to know the residents of Elmwood Cemetery on this 90-minute walking tour of the cemetery grounds. $20. Sat., May 22, 10 a.m.

Bring the kids to Catch’Em Lakes and spend a wonderful Saturday morning fishing in the stocked catfish lakes. Register online. Free with registration. Sat., May 22, 8-11 a.m. AGRICENTER INTERNATIONAL, 7777 WALNUT GROVE (757-7777), AGRICENTER.ORG.

E X PO S/ SA L E S

Memphis Redbirds vs. Louisville Bats

Thousands of plants predominantly native to the Mid-South including milkweeds, coneflowers, and a variety of shade plants will be available via online and on-site shopping. Through May 29. LICHTERMAN NATURE CENTER, 5992 QUINCE (767-7322), MEMPHISMUSEUMS.ORG.

Spring Plant Sale

Through May 23.

AUTOZONE PARK, THIRD AND UNION (721-6000).

Orpheum Golf for Education

Enjoy golf, food, and fun while supporting the Orpheum Theatre Group’s education and community programs. Mon., May 24, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. CHICKASAW COUNTRY CLUB, 3395 GALLOWAY.

Through May 28.

MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN, 750 CHERRY (636-4100).

M E ETI NGS

Free Tax Prep

F E ST IVA LS

Music by the Lake

Features the Memphis Ukelele Band and the River Bluff Clan. Free. Fri., May 21, 6-9 p.m. BARTLETT PERFORMING ARTS AND

UNITED WAY OF THE MID-SOUTH, 1005 TILLMAN (433-4300), UWMIDSOUTH.ORG.

Jr. Fishing Rodeo

ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212).

Plant Sale

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Through June 26.

United Way of the Mid-South is ready to kick off the extended tax season. No appointment needed. Walk up, drop off tax documentation, and return at a later time to pick up filing. Free.

S P EC IA L EVE NTS

Community Garden Workday

Everyone is invited to stop by and help with the community garden. Wednesdays, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. EPIPHANY COMMUNITY GARDEN, CORNER OF BRAY STATION AND WOLF RIVER, EPIPHANYLU.ORG.

Edge Neighborhood Social

Featuring a live performance by DJ Bizzle Bluebland and whiskey flights and local craft beers offered by Stop 345 and Craft Axe. Free. Wed., 5-7 p.m. Through May 26. THE EDGE DISTRICT, MADISON, MARSHALL, AND MONROE, STOP345.COM.

Mental Health Saturday Series

Free food giveaway and resources by area organizations. Saturdays, 1-3 p.m. Through May 29. MEMPHIS ROX CLIMBING, 879 E. MCLEMORE (401-6104), MEMPHISROX.ORG.

“Red Dresses”

Exhibition at the Beaver Lake or Chickasaw Trail of red dresses to honor the thousands of indigenous women and girls that go missing, are murdered, or are victims of violence every year. Through May 31. SHELBY FARMS PARK, 500 N. PINE LAKE (767-PARK).

F I LM

Chimes Square Movie Nights: Dumb & Dumber Enjoy family-friendly movies on an outdoor screen with state-of-the-art surround sound. Fri., May 21, 8 p.m. Free.

OVERTON SQUARE, 2101 MADISION, OVERTONSQUARE.COM.

Indie Memphis Movie Club

Weekly virtual screening opportunities (for brand-new films and classics), plus online Q&As on Tuesday evenings between programmers and special guests. Visit website for more information and schedule. INDIEMEMPHIS.ORG.

Movies in the Park: The Photograph

Free with registration. Sat., May 22, 5:30 p.m. AUDUBON PARK, OFF PARK, MEMPHISTN.GOV/PARKS.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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Join us at the 1st annual

Bluff City Balloon Jamboree TheBluffCityBalloonJamboree.com

May 21 AND

Memphis Ukulele Band

Great Music-Food Vendors

Morning balloon ascension, Tethered Balloon Rides

Carnival rides, games & live music

Food and arts & crafts vendors

Tickets available online

June 19–20, 2021 Rain Plans: May 21 - Inside BPACC Masks - Required to Enter

Presented by:

Collierville, TN

May 20-26, 2021

FREE Baby aby b CRIBS! by

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Call the Shelby County Health Department at 901-222-9263, A, B, C’s of Safe Sleep Babies should sleep Alone, on their Back, and in their Crib. THIS PROJECT IS FUNDED UNDER A GRANT CONTRACT WITH THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

A Very Tasteful Food Blog Dishing it out at .com.


FOOD By Michael Donahue

THIS IS HOW WE LIVE.

The Heat is On Red-hot and new — Hi Tone has its own hot sauce.

McCabe found a company in Florida that makes and bottles hot sauce. “We just tested 14 different ones and I was like, ‘I would like that, but with a garlic kind of kick to it,’” McCabe remembers. “We just kept tweaking these recipes over a couple of weeks and then finally landed on one we really liked.” He went with a garlic Habanero hot sauce. “I like the boldness of the garlic and then the kick of the heat of the Habanero at the very end,” McCabe says. The hot sauce is good on “anything you want to put hot sauce on — fries, nachos, seafood, anything that needs a little more garlic and a little more heat.” His sauce, which comes in five-ounce bottles that sell for $9 each, has a picture

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m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DONAHUE

Brian “Skinny” McCabe and Ronnie Lewis with Hi Tone Hot Sauce

of the Hi Tone’s new building on the label, which was designed by Ronnie Lewis. “It’s bold. Really eye-catching.” McCabe, who got 144 bottles for his first order, was down to 30 bottles a week and a half later. He’s waiting on his next order. “Goner Records hit me up. They like hot sauce. They said, ‘We want to carry it,’” McCabe says. “I reached out to Nerd Alert on Cooper. They started carrying it in their store. It snowballed from there. I started making phone calls ’cause people are really excited about it.” Hi Tone Hot Sauce also is carried at 901 Comics, 901 Games, and Shangri-La Records. The hot sauce will be on sale at the Hi Tone, which will host a launch party — with samples — from 1 to 5 p.m., May 29th. “It will eventually be available online. Not sure when,” McCabe adds. For now, he says, “I’m trying to keep everything as local as possible. I haven’t reached out to Kroger yet, but then again I never thought about going this far with it.” McCabe isn’t a stranger to the kitchen; he cooks “all the time at home. Oh, man, ever since I was a latchkey kid coming up.” But, he says, “Being able to cook and being a cook are two completely different things. I can cook something and it turns out how I like it, but it might not be edible to everyone else.” He likes “fat boy foods. Comfort. I like meat and potatoes. I’m a big dude.” The Hi Tone has evolved from the days when concertgoers bought barbecue cooked in front of the venue. “We have chef Sleepy [Johnson]. It’s a whole new kitchen.” They offer “classic bar food,” including, McCabe claims, “some of the best mac and cheese in the city of Memphis.” Hi Tone also offers a “smash burger,” McCabe says, noting that it’s a technique devised by Johnson. “He slaps it down on the grill. Pushes it down. His little blend of seasonings he uses on it is incredible.” For now, the hot sauce isn’t on the table at Hi Tone due to COVID restrictions. But, McCabe says, “Ask for the hot sauce and we’ll hand you the bottle. Then bring it back and we’ll wipe it down.” As for future Hi Tone condiments, McCabe says he’s sticking with hot sauce for now. But, he says, “We are going to release a super-duper hot one later on.” Hi Tone is at 282-284 North Cleveland Street; (901) 490-0335.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

B

rian “Skinny” McCabe came up with the idea for the new Hi Tone Hot Sauce when business cooled down at his Midtown nightspot. “We were shut down for seven months straight last year,” McCabe says. “I was trying to find a way to get money coming in. When we can’t have crowds of people, it has been completely different.” McCabe had some success with fundraisers selling specially designed Hi Tone T-shirts, but that wasn’t a long-term answer. “We relied so heavily on people coming to us to have a drink and see and hear music,” he says. “Shut down, we couldn’t do that. We needed something we could export year ’round.” So, last February, McCabe thought about selling hot sauce. “I wouldn’t say everybody loves hot sauce, but the majority of my friends and people I know love hot sauce. We go over to each other’s house and they’ll have four different bottles. They have their favorite sauce they’ll swear by.”

19 21-MLB-021_VaccAd_4-7x11-25_AAGpa_r1.indd 1

4/7/21 8:42 AM


TV By Chris McCoy

The Savagery of Man Barry Jenkins creates an instant classic with The Underground Railroad.

P

May 20-26, 2021

erhaps Barry Jenkins’ biggest claim to fame is as a party to an accident. At the climax of the 2017 Academy Awards, presenters Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope and mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner of Best Picture. In fact, the winner was Jenkins’ film Moonlight. It was the right choice. La La Land is an entertaining piece of craftsmanship, but Moonlight is legitimately one of the best films of the 21st century. Jenkins has the rare combination of complete technical mastery and a deeply empathetic mind. In other words, he can not only frame a good shot, he knows how to get the best from actors, too. Both skills are included in the “director” job description, but you’d be surprised how many well-paid people lack chops in one category — or both. Jenkins, a native of Florida, cut his teeth in the lowbudget indie world, and his projects until now have been as modestly scaled as they are brilliantly executed. Even his historical drama, the 2018 adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk, which earned Regina King a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, remained focused on the story of two star-crossed lovers. With his new limited series for Amazon, The Underground Railroad, Jenkins’ vision was given the opportunity to

expand to epic size. The director is more than up for the challenge. The Underground Railroad is based on a novel by Colson Whitehead, which has been confounding genres and expectations since it was published in 2016. It’s a rare bird that won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. In Whitehead’s alternate American South of the 1850s, the Underground Railroad is not a secret network of safe houses and smuggling routes set up by Abolitionists and free Blacks to transport slaves to the free states of the North, and eventually Canada, but instead an actual railroad that runs underground. That detail, in which the metaphorical is made real, is key. This story is not about the historical reality of Antebellum America, but the psychological reality of Black experience in America. Cora (Thuso Mbedu) is a slave on a plantation in Georgia. Her mother disappeared from the plantation years ago, when Cora was a child, and is assumed by local slave catcher Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton) to be the rare Black person who actually escaped the clutches of the Southern racial caste system. In the harrowing opening episode, we see the price of a failed escape, as Big Anthony (Elijah Everett) is tortured to death for the

Thuso Mbedu (above) in Barry Jenkins’ new series; Mbedu and Aaron Pierre (below) in The Underground Railroad amusement of his masters’ garden party. The image of the plantation owners dancing a minuet while burning a man to death might seem over-the-top if the florid cruelty of Jim Crow lynchings wasn’t so exhaustively documented. Cora is convinced to flee with her friend Caesar (Aaron Pierre), and they plunge into a series of adventures all over the South as they flee the relentless Ridgeway. Jenkins is cinema’s foremost romantic — his stories have always revolved around the core of a beautiful love story — but the relationship between Cora and Caesar takes a back seat to the creation of spiraling tension and otherworldly images. It’s never clear where Cora’s dreams and visions end and the “real world” begin. She flashes back to memories of fear and mistreatment on the farm, and her trauma manifests in unexpected ways. But Cora’s not the only one living in a dream world. The racial apartheid system ties everyone into cognitive knots. Cora’s first stop is a utopian community in South Carolina, where progressive white benefactors are running a research program “for the potential betterment

We Saw You. with MICHAEL DONAHUE

20

memphisflyer.com/blogs/WeSawYou


TV By Chris McCoy

Calling all Margarita Lovers! Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers, vote on your favorite, and we'll crown an audience winner at the end of this best ‘rita fest! This festival is guaranteed to be awesome squared, rimmed with salt, and served up chill! This is a 21+ event.

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shot that would be a career high for lesser talents. His color sense is simply unmatched. The visual fireworks are coupled with striking, subtle performances from Mbedu and Pierre — and, really, everyone on the screen. The Underground Railroad joins the ranks of Twin Peaks: The Return and Watchmen as the pinnacle of what ambitious, artful television can achieve. It’s also a warning of, as one “station agent” observes, “The savagery Man is capable of when he believe his cause to be just.” The Underground Railroad is streaming on Amazon Prime.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

of Negro lives.” That facade soon falls apart. Alternate North Carolina, where Black people have been completely exterminated and outlawed, operates like Nazi Germany during the Final Solution, right down to an Anne Frank figure hiding in an attic. Both racists and abolitionists believe they are doing what the Bible tells them to do. Most chilling of all is Ridgeway’s sidekick Homer (Chase Dillon), a 10-year-old Black boy who is a fearsome, emotionless slave catcher. Jenkins is one of the most talented composers of images working today. Every few minutes, he throws out a

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THE LAST WORD By Thomas L. Knapp

Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables All forms of energy are “intermittent.”

PHOTO BY LOVELYDAY12 | DREAMSTIME.COM

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

True, the wind isn’t always blowing.

THE LAST WORD

On May 8th, my wife and I pulled into a local gas station and filled the family car’s tank. It wasn’t intended as a smart move, nor did it result from a premonition. It was just dumb luck. Within 24 hours, we were driving past gas stations with yellow plastic bags over the pump handles and “no gas” signs at the lot entrances. On May 7th — although they didn’t bother to tell us until a day later — Colonial Pipeline shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, which normally carries almost half the gas sold on the U.S. east coast, due to a cyberattack. On the evening of May 9th, to take the edge off, the Biden administration declared an emergency covering 17 states, lifting restrictions on delivering gasoline by truck. No word on when the pipeline will resume operation. For the last few years, as the price of electricity produced by sunlight and wind power has continued to drop, fossil fuel flacks have insistently informed us that the problem with solar and wind power is that they’re “intermittent and incapable of meeting our needs” (as Ron Stein puts it in Natural Gas Now, an online publication put out by, surprise, the natural gas lobby). Well, they’re right to a degree: The sun only shines so many hours a day, and we can have cloudy days; the wind isn’t always blowing at sufficient speeds to turn turbines. What we really need, they say, is reliable old coal, oil, and natural gas. The fossil fuel advocates either ignore or minimize the progress of a third technology: large battery storage capacity. We’re getting better and better at generating the electricity when conditions are good, then delivering that electricity to your home (or from a home battery rig) when it’s needed. Another thing the fossil fuel advocates ignore is just how vulnerable fossil fuels are to intermittency due to long and notalways-reliable supply chains. Pipeline or drilling rig accidents or attacks. Labor conflicts. Derailed trains or wrecked trucks. Suez Canal blockages. Wars, or warlike political embargoes or blockades. “Intermittency” isn’t the only complaint we hear from the fossil fuel lobby, of course. They also like to complain about government subsidies to renewable energy sources like wind and solar. I’m with them on that. But the thing is, they’re not with themselves on that. Fossil fuels are by far the most government-subsidized energy form on Earth — everything from “steal that land via eminent domain so we can run a pipeline over it,” to “hey, could you pretty please send the U.S. Navy out to secure our tanker routes, take out a competitor, or scare a stubborn supplier?” Then they throw a hissy if a renewable energy competitor gets special tax treatment on a new solar panel factory. Coal, oil, maybe even natural gas are on their way out, even with the massive subsidies they’ve enjoyed for more than a century. Withdraw the subsidies — all of them, to everyone — and the market will likely make even shorter work of fossil fuels. Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

23


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Memphis Flyer - 5/20/21  

Blooms of Beauty, Blooms of Change - How Memphis gardeners are making our world better, one flower at a time. Reigning Sound Hi Tone Hot S...

Memphis Flyer - 5/20/21  

Blooms of Beauty, Blooms of Change - How Memphis gardeners are making our world better, one flower at a time. Reigning Sound Hi Tone Hot S...

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