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OUR 1736TH ISSUE • 06.02.22
Summer Issue 2022 THE
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JESSE DAVIS Editor SHARA CLARK Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Senior Editors TOBY SELLS Associate Editor CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor SAMUEL X. CICCI, MICHAEL DONAHUE, JON W. SPARKS Staff Writers ABIGAIL MORICI Copy Editor, 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 1736TH ISSUE 06.02.22 I don’t remember the first time I shot a gun. I was raised around guns. I remember my grandfather telling me to hold a rifle pointed toward the ground, to make sure the safety was on. I remember my uncle laughing out loud when I refused to shoot right-handed. (It seems I’m left-eye dominant.) I remember my dad and uncles and older cousins shooting mistletoe out of tall trees. My mother used to work for Wild Hare, a sporting goods manufacturer that specializes in clay pigeons. I make all these points because, at first glance, I might look like someone who has a blanket distaste for firearms because I’m unfamiliar with them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. But we have a national obsession with guns, and it’s killing us. On May 14th, an 18-year-old white supremacist man shot and killed 10 people in a grocery store PHOTO: © SHEILA FITZGERALD | DREAMSTIME.COM in Buffalo, New York. On May 24th, An obsession with guns is killing us. an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 young children and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It was the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in December 2012. It’s been 10 years, and nothing has changed, except that some states have implemented permitless carry laws. There are obviously multiple factors at work. The shooting in Buffalo was motivated by a poisonous racist ideology, which we know because the perpetrator left behind a racist screed. Racism is one of this country’s most horrible diseases, one we often refuse to acknowledge. But we don’t have to allow violent, racist individuals access to military weaponry. We certainly don’t have to glorify such weapons, treating them as though they’re avatars of freedom, or, as former state Rep. Andy Holt used to do, giving them away as part of campaign events. There are multiple factors that contribute to the United States’ ongoing legacy of gun violence. But we would be fools not to admit that one of them is the sheer number of guns here. According to the most recent Small Arms Survey, the United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. We also face an epidemic of gun violence, and mass shootings here have become the norm. There is a link, and to deny it is madness. Last Saturday, six people were shot in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There is no time to grieve from one mass shooting before the next happens. The publication date for this issue of the Flyer is June 2nd, nine days after the shooting in Uvalde, practically an eternity in the news world. But the people in Uvalde and Buffalo face the rest of their lives without loved ones. That’s the real eternity. So I believe we cannot let the fury and hurt die down. We cannot move on. I am choosing here not to engage with many of the usual arguments around gun control or to acknowledge them only in the most cursory way. The concerns about the Second Amendment are spurious — an individual with a closet full of AR-15 rifles is not a well-regulated militia. Even the most well-armed individual has no hope of standing their ground against the entire military. No one really believes that “too many doors” in schools is the root of the problem. Mental illness, violent video games, those things are not unique to the United States. But we have a warped fascination with death, a fetish for armament, and a strange impulse to believe that freedom means never making compromises with the rest of society. Everyone should have the freedom to go to school, church, the grocery store, a concert, a dance club, or the mall without fear of death. I have almost had this job as the Flyer’s editor for a year, and I’ve already written about gun violence twice. Not because it’s a particular hobby horse of mine, but because it’s a sickness that plagues our nation and I believe I have a duty to acknowledge NEWS & OPINION that. I believe we all do, because most THE FLY-BY - 4 Americans believe in common sense NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 gun laws, in background checks, that POLITICS - 7 no individual should be able to buy a AT LARGE - 8 weapon that will let them fill a room FINANCE - 9 with bullets in seconds. COVER STORY “THE SUMMER ISSUE 2022” There is a small minority that BY FLYER STAFF - 10 believes this constant parade of death WE RECOMMEND - 16 is the price we must all pay for their MUSIC - 19 freedom to own weapons of war. And CALENDAR - 20 they and the NRA and the elected SKATE - 23 officials who take campaign donations FOOD - 24 SPIRITS - 26 from them are holding the rest of us at FILM - 27 gunpoint. CLASSIFIEDS - 30 Jesse Davis LAST WORD - 31 email@example.com
CITY REPORTER B y To b y S e l l s
Coal Ash Study
THE FLOW ON ICE
Memphis City Council wants another formal look at TVA’s plan to truck ash to landfill.
Last week was a watershed moment for The Flow, as we put our livestreamed music events calendar on ice until needed once more. When we began The Flow on April 16, 2020, there was no telling how the coronavirus pandemic would develop. But we knew that many musicians were continuing to perform online, against all odds. Nowadays, it’s not as common, nor as necessary — for now.
When we began The Flow on April 16, 2020, there was no telling how the coronavirus pandemic would develop.
June 2-8, 2022
Edited by Toby Sells
Memphis on the internet.
COURTESY OF BLACK & WYATT RECORDS
Questions, Answers + Attitude
We salute Hernando’s Hide-AWay and B-Side Memphis, the two venues that have continued to offer livestreamed shows locally for the past two years, and we hope that they and others keep doing it. Surely they will, just as surely as Goner TV will carry on sporadically. As Covid continues to disrupt our lives, there’s no telling when we’ll look at livestream-enabled artists and venues as heroes once again. As ever, make prudent pandemic decisions, and keep tipping those performers, whether online or face-to-face.
As ever, make prudent pandemic decisions, and keep tipping those performers, whether online or face-to-face.
The Memphis City Council wants another formal review of Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) plan to dump coal ash here, citing concerns from residents and a murky process with little cooperation from the power provider. Nearly 3.5 million cubic yards (nearly 707 million gallons or 2,169 acre feet) of coal ash were left behind when the Allen Fossil Plant stopped generating electricity in 2018. The ash is now stored in two massive ponds at the old coal-plant site, just south PHOTO: COAL ASH STUDY COURTESY SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER of McKellar Lake and While one ash pond on the west side of the campus was buried years ago and now looks Presidents Island. like a grassy park, the east ash pond is murky, black, and relatively lifeless. Under these ponds, and because of the coal ash in them, TVA found high levels of arsenic and other will affect them.” The report would give the “most current, toxins in groundwater. The toxins were deemed a threat to the detailed, and informative information now that the final Memphis Sand Aquifer and TVA made plans to remove the destination and transportation plan” for the coal ash has been coal ash. made public. TVA said in 2021 that they’d truck the ash to the South Council member Chase Carlisle said while he feels someShelby Landfill. The destination was criticized as it would one is “looking just to beat on TVA,” he was “disappointed” bring trucks, noise, traffic, and air pollution to neighborin the dialogue between TVA, Republic Services (the hoods along the path. Many of those would be predomicompany that is set to haul the coal ash), and the council. nantly Black neighborhoods. Straightforward questions were not given straightforward answers, he said. Follow-up questions went unanswered during the process. “I was very disappointed in what “I was very disappointed in what I thought was going to I thought was going to be a very be a very transparent, ongoing dialogue about how we could look for alternative solutions to an issue that concerns a great transparent, ongoing dialogue about many people,” Carlisle said. “Instead it was, ‘We’re not coming how we could look for alternative back and we’re just going to move forward.’” solutions to an issue that concerns TVA said its previous review of the situation should stand as “no new information has become available that would a great many people.” change the conditions or conclusions” of it. “The folks in South Memphis have urged us to ask TVA to “Over the last five years, we have engaged with and lisdo something that TVA seems unwilling to do,” said council tened to the Memphis community about the Allen restoration member JB Smiley. project,” said TVA spokesman Scott Brooks. “We share the Smiley was an original sponsor of a resolution on May same objectives of prioritizing safety and environmental stew24th, which asks for TVA to conduct a Supplemental Enardship while completing the project in a timely manner. vironmental Impact Statement (SEIS) under the National “We are fulfilling our promise to protect the Memphis Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). aquifer, safely remove the coal ash, and store it in a highlyThe report would “provide residents of South Memphis engineered, lined landfill, and restore the Allen site for the site-specific information about the impacts of TVA’s decision benefit of the community.” Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for more local news to move coal ash and to provide a meaningful opportunity for the affected community to be heard on how these impacts just like this.
NEWS & OPINION
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The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Thursday, December 6, 2018
Crossword ACROSS 29 Without a downside 1 Something you must be willing to 31 A lot leave? 32 Solidarity leader Walesa 7 Them’s the breaks! 33 *Mr. Moneybags 10 River past Orsk and Orenburg 14 Add to in haste 15 Snake genus, or one of its members
36 McGillin’s ___ Ale House (historic Philadelphia tavern)
49 Dr. Seuss’ real surname 51 *Small talk 53 Leapt 56 Bossed around 58 *Idiom meaning “guaranteed” 60 Sea of Tranquillity, e.g. 61 Chief agricultural export of Kenya 62 Part of a steering system 63 Something commonly found in a laundry bag 64 Remnant 65 Wholly absorbed
June 2-8, 2022
17 *Sound of little feet
39 Close follower of a team?
18 Shade of deep purple
40 *Woman’s young lover, in slang
41 Actress Campbell
22 *Tycho Brahe contemporary
42 Staple of ragtime music
37 *Branded candy with multicolored beans
PUZZLE BY MATT GINSBERG
21 Did one leg of a triathlon 24 What’s helpful to a degree? 26 Ink stain, e.g. 27 Explorer whose name is a sport 28 Word in many Catholic church names 30 Frigid 33 Scratch, say 34 Tops 35 Groups on Noah’s Ark
Psychedelics gaining ground as therapies for mental health.
16 Pet form of José
DOWN 1 Picking up things? 23 Bridge player’s 43 Corrects, as an 2 Louver feature combo ID on Facebook 3 “See ya!” 25 Deprive of 45 Cary of “The 4 Ability courage Princess Bride” 5 Like sandals 26 3.3, give or take 46 Neighbor of Tonga 6 ___ Field, former home ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE to the Houston Astros S H A G A G A S P T I F F 7 Figure seen on C U J O R E V U E R A I L the National Mall, O L A F E L E N A O G L E informally T A X L A W S K G B M O L E 8 Writing on many A L E R A P a greeting card N E S T E G G V A L E T E D 9 Frank Herbert’s E R E R O O I V S E L I “Dune” series, e.g. A D A T O M D E A A F T R O S E D O W E L O B I T 10 What you need to talk to a satellite S C E N E R H O B R I N Y R O T A R Y C L U B S 11 Sphere P C P A R A M A I C C A R 12 Nocturnal A M E X T H E M E B U R Y affliction P O N Y R I G A 13 Admitted A N T Z C R Y P T A T O N 19 Richly luxurious
Magic Mushroom Power
Edited by Will Shortz 1
Q&A: JESSICA SHEA F o u n d e r, F o r w a r d C o u n s e l i n g
37 Take a flier 38 Bond girl in 2006’s “Casino Royale”
48 Prefix with economics 50 Rush
39 Visigoth vis-à-vis Rome
52 One-named French designer
41 “Cool beans!”
54 “The Thin Man” role
42 Uses a keyhole, perhaps 43 Scoundrel, in Britain 44 Girl in the fam 46 Loser 47 Up
55 Sticky stuff 57 One who might explain the birds and the bees 59 Debugging aid?
Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay.
high-level request last week lent even more legitimacy to the burgeoning use and study of psychedelics — drugs like psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, and ketamine — to treat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and alcohol addiction. Last week, U.S. senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) urged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct more research into the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics. The NIH is already working in this space and in January it hosted a workshop called “Psychedelics as Therapeutics: Gaps, Challenges and Opportunities.” Notes for the workshop said, “Psychedelics have well-described effects on perception of the exterior world and an individual’s concept of their role within it. But these agents also influence mood, stress management, memory, and social functioning.” U.S. research on psychedelics stymied in the 1960s as the counterculture movement stigmatized them politically. Congress placed many of the drugs on Schedule I and later set harsh penalties for having and using them in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Subsequently, research funding for these drugs dried up. But research moved forward in the 1990s, ultimately getting therapeutic approval for MDMA (or ecstasy) to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In April 2021, the NIH awarded its first grant dedicated to medicinal psychedelic research, focused on psilocybin. Jessica Shea, founder of Memphisbased Forward Counseling, prescribes a ketamine/esketamine nasal spray for some of her patients, sometimes with very positive results, she said. She also founded Memphis Mushroom Festival, which took place last weekend at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. The event featured three days of music, food,
PHOTO: JESSICA SHEA/ MEMPHIS MUSHROOMS FESTIVAL
chef demonstrations, yoga, and lectures on the therapeutic effects of magic mushrooms. — Toby Sells Memphis Flyer: Why do you believe in psychedelics? Jessica Shea: I believe in psychedelics because they are more effective than our current medications and they also work on hard-to-treat diagnoses. The umbrella term “psychedelic medicine” is used for a class of medications that alters consciousness, temporarily. These medications affect your perceptions, feelings, and thoughts, and we are finding that this effect is helping people resolve addictions, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Many of the research participants in clinical trials of these breakthrough medications called their experience with psychedelic medicine a spiritual experience and one of the most important experiences of their lives. And these are people who have been suffering with severe depression and hopelessness. In my opinion, the mental health field needs this innovation to treat the epidemic of depression and suicide that this nation is facing. You prescribe ketamine/eskatamine to your patients. Tell me about the results you’ve seen. I have been referring clients for ketamine or eskatamine since 2019, and just this year, Forward Counseling was approved to provide ketamine/eskatamine in our own offices. We have seen people who are severely depressed and with suicidal thoughts and ideation feel relief and hope. We have also seen complete resolution of depression symptoms. Ketamine and eskatamine are twice as effective as [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)] at resolving depression, with less side effects.
POLITICS By Jackson Baker
The Numbers’ Story
J une Even t s O N TH E FR ONT POR CH
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9 01 - 672 - 8 2 2 5 S O U T H P O I N TG R O C E RY.CO M
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However the Democrats, 70 percent favored legal battle for District abortions, while only 8 percent of Attorney General Republicans favored pro-choice — by general legislation. consent the key Some 80 percent of respondents one on this year’s favor abortion in cases of rape and county ballot — incest or when the health of the mother turns out, new is at stake. polling data shows On the economy, only 27 percent that both incumbent Republican DA of those polled see the American Amy Weirich and Democratic challenger economy to be in good shape, a drop of Steve Mulroy are dealing with a changed 20 percent from the year before. electorate — one more disposed than Both President Joe Biden and before to criminal justice reform. former President Donald Trump, The latest Vanderbilt University poll the most frequently mentioned likely shows that 70 percent of Tennessee’s contenders for the presidency in 2024, registered voters favor “a complete were held in diminished regard by overhaul” or “major changes” of those polled. accepted procedures, with 82 percent Among Democrats, 79 percent of Democrats expressing themselves of those polled said they approve of in favor of reform, and 63 percent of Biden’s performance, as against 92 Republicans doing so. percent who did so last year. Only 31 Some 53 of all those polled percent of all those polled approved preferred life imprisonment without of Biden’s performance — down from the possibility of parole to the 39 percent last year around this time death penalty. Fifty-two percent of — and only 25 percent said they hope Republicans favor the death penalty, Biden runs for re-election. while 66 percent of Democrats prefer the lifeimprisonment option. Both Democrats and Republicans have moved perceptibly away from favoring the death penalty since the last poll in spring 2011, which was before Governor Bill Lee’s decision last month to pause executions in Tennessee through 2022. In 2011, 55 percent supported the death penalty over life in prison for convicted murderers. Importantly, 72 percent of those surveyed PHOTO: JACKSON BAKER say they support the use Pro-choice demonstrators in Memphis last of taxpayer dollars for month; Tennesseans are sharply divided on the rehabilitation programs issue of abortion. such as mental healthcare or addiction treatment for criminal Similarly, just 38 percent of those offenders. Such support is advocated polled said they want Trump to run by 84 percent of Democrats, 77 percent for U.S. president in 2024, down from of Independents, and 58 percent of 44 percent in December 2021. Even Republicans. Republicans showed declining interest This latest Vanderbilt poll was in a new Trump campaign with only 68 co-directed by John Geer, Ginny and percent expressing approval, down 11 Conner Searcy, Josh Clinton, and points from December 2021. Abby and Jon Winkelried. GOP Governor Bill Lee earned The poll also showed Tennesseans a 56 percent approval from those sharply divided on abortion, with polled, roughly equivalent to last 48 percent identifying as pro-choice year’s polling. By party, 80 percent of and 50 percent as pro-life. Overall, 36 Republicans said they’d vote to re-elect percent of respondents said abortion Lee compared with only 7 percent of should be legal in all cases. Among Democrats.
NEWS & OPINION
Abortion picture cloudy; both Biden and Trump ranked downward; Lee steady.
A T L A R G E B y B r u c e Va n W y n g a r d e n
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June 2-8, 2022
hat have we You make some good points. And I’ll be come to as a more careful with my grammar.” society when A guy I didn’t know chimed in: “If these innocent someone is breaking into your home, kids and teachers are gunned down? Bruce, do you call the police with a gun or These school shootings bring me to my the fire department with a hose? THAT’S knees. What do we do to stop this?” your real test.” It was a sad and sobering Facebook “What?” I said. “Why would I call the post from a longtime friend, one with fire department, you idiot? If someone was whom I don’t have a lot in common politi- breaking into my house, I’d pull out my cally, but whose intelligence I respect. Beretta automatic .12 gauge and use it if I I responded: “Every country on the had to. And I’d also call the cops.” planet has mental health issues, video “Wait,” he said. “Why would someone games, violent movies, etc. but only one like you have a gun?” country has mass shootings every week. “Because,” I said, “you are assumThe difference is clear. We’ve made it ing that owning a gun means being way too easy to obtain in favor of allowing high-powered guns. Do unrestricted purchases we have the political will of assault weapons.” to do anything about it? I “Oh,” he said. “I get doubt it. The NRA owns it. Thanks for clearing Congress and the Senate that up.” and the state legislatures. I was starting to feel Until that changes, nothlike Bruce Lee in Fist of ing changes.” Fury, just whaling on And thus, the pot these fools coming at me was stirred. from all directions. Who From somebody else wants some of this? named Darlla*: “Well, Turns out, Chitty did. here we go again, trying “Maybe we should have to make something SUV control, after the political out of tragedy. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA Waukesha mow-down,” Sorry, Bruce, gun laws Bruce Lee she said. “And If you are won’t stop evil people. outraged because you There’s a mental illness in our young think we need more gun laws, you should people and they will manage to get a gun be just as outraged at the drugs coming no matter the law. Those people who are across our open borders. There are more calling for more gun control are the same than seven times as many drug overdoses ones who think abortion is okay. There is a year in the United States than homicides. a disrespect for life, it’s not a gun problem.” Maybe we should ban drugs.” I responded: “Oh, I guess since laws “Um, Chitty,” I said. “Many drugs are don’t work you’ll want to stop trying to banned, and you need a prescription for ban abortions, right? And if the problem thousands of other pharmaceuticals. But is a ‘mental illness in our young people,’ no one’s attacking elementary school kids then how do you explain all the nonand drugging them to death. No one’s teenagers who commit the same heinous driving SUVs into schools, stores, and acts with the same weapons?” churches and killing a dozen people at “Hmmm,” she responded. “Interesting a time every week. Guns are the probquestions. I’ll have to think on it.” lem, and how you can ignore that reality Then, Doug, a guy who went to my astounds me. They say America is the high school 40 years ago, chimed in: stupidest f**king country in the world. “You’re thinking is the problem, Bruce. You, my friend, are Exhibit A.” More people are killed with knives and Chitty didn’t respond. I assume she cars every year than guns. Why don’t you slipped off into the internet somewhere gripe about them?” and changed her identity. Damn, that Sigh: “Yes, Doug, because there are felt good. so darn many mass knifings and indisThen I felt a warm wet tongue on my criminate car slaughters. Brilliant analogy. face and smelled Olive’s doggy morning Look, moron, the number of people killed breath. I opened my eyes to see daylight in car accidents and mass murders in flooding the room. And suddenly I was elementary schools are not comparable awake, still in America, still in the stupidproblems. I can’t with your bullshit. Carry est f**king country on the planet. on. Also it’s ‘your.’” *Names have been changed to protect the “Oh,” he responded. “My bad, sorry. ignorant. And my life.
FINANCE By Gene Gard
How to Find an Advisor
Change your view.
Not everyone who bills themselves as such is a true financial planner.
You want to find a true financial planner. Almost every firm says they’re a financial planning firm but very few really have the tools, expertise, and desire to make a real, useful plan for you. One way to determine if they’re planning or not is how they allocate you to an investment portfolio. Is it just based on age? Is it based on just your feelings about risk tolerance? Is it based on anything at all? In my opinion, true financial planners consider your need, ability, and desire to take risk based on all your expected lifetime expenses. They model scenarios using hard math to actually recommend the portfolio you need rather than accommodating you by agreeing to the portfolio you think you want. A good investment approach is necessary but not sufficient. I always say investments aren’t the head coach or quarterback — they’re the strength and conditioning coach. I would look for a valid concept with stability over
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Financial advice must be unbiased.
time in an investment approach. Some firms hire a bunch of active managers and periodically kick out the underperforming ones, which seems sensible but is a recipe for overall long-term underperformance (and tax inefficiency!). The more an advisor focuses on their ability to pick winners or respond to short-term market trends, the more skeptical I would be. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Figure out how they get paid. If the advisor is paid in any way other than the typical definition of “fee only” then there may be an element of objectivity that is missing. Are they required to be a fiduciary 100 percent of the time? I strongly recommend you research what these two terms mean if you’re not sure. One of the things I value about our firm is that we could put our investors in any investment we deem appropriate with no changes to our income as a firm. We can recommend things like insurance, but since we don’t sell it ourselves, you would know that we only recommend it if you really need it. If you work with someone that is captive to a larger organization that creates their own products, you’ll probably end up with some of those products, and I would always wonder if they just happened to be in your best interest or not. There are countless other criteria I would consider, but this is just a start. As I mentioned above, everyone is desperate for high-quality, unbiased advice. Nobody can tell the future with certainty, but someone who is highly qualified at real financial planning, has no external agenda, and is incentivized to have your best interests in mind at all times is likely to best lead you down the path to your secure financial future. Gene Gard is Chief Investment Officer at Telarray, a Memphis-based wealth management firm that helps families navigate investment, tax, estate, and retirement decisions. Ask him your questions or schedule an objective, no-pressure portfolio review at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the next free online seminar on the Events tab at telarrayadvisors.com.
NEWS & OPINION
ne of the most common questions I get is: “I’ve got a windfall/life change/ more income. How do I pick a financial advisor to help me figure this out?” My first impulse of course is to ask if they’re aware that I myself work at a financial planning firm. Joking aside, I never actually ask. I assume they must know, and either think they need to find someone in their local area or are just desperate for unbiased advice. I try to be objective but it’s true I’m biased — I tend to think Telarray is pretty great. So if someone asks and doesn’t express interest in me specifically, I don’t give them a hard sell — I give them my honest opinion.
COVER STORY By Flyer Staff
PHOTO: JESSE DAVIS
Sweet Magnolia Gelato Co.
HERE ARE NINE WAYS TO ENJOY THE SUMMER IN THE 901.
Summer Issue 2022 THE
June 2-8, 2022
ith the end of the Memphis in May celebrations and the beginning of June, summer is well and truly underway in Memphis. Okay, the first day of summer isn’t technically for another couple of weeks, but let’s be honest — it feels like summer. It’s hot, humid, and summer thunderstorms have already begun rolling through town. So if it’s time to break out the sunscreen for the season, then we may as well party like it’s officially summer. But how to get your seasonal groove on? Worry not, dear reader, your faithful Flyer staff is here to help. In this issue, we’ve got a list of happenings we hope will keep you cool — festivals, movie nights, Elvis Week, anniversaries, book launches, and more. Our advice? Circle everything that sounds fun, slap on some sunblock, 10 swig a seltzer, and go out and enjoy the Memphis heat.
SUMMER FEST: MEMPHIS PRIDE FEST Memphis Pride Fest is back, louder and prouder because it’s IRL this year after two years of online events. The weekend of events is billed as the single largest gathering for the LGBTQ+ community and allies in Memphis and the Mid-South. Organizers expect more than 35,000 attendees “to celebrate the most colorful weekend of the year.” Pride kicks off Thursday at the Malco Summer Drive-In. Gates open at 7 p.m. for a viewing of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar at 8 p.m. A drag show featuring Brenda Newport, Kaiyla JonVier Dickerson, Zoey Adams, and more starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $35 per vehicle. On Friday, the Big Gay Dance Party returns, this time at Crosstown Theater at 8 p.m. The event features DJ A.D. “and a safe, inclusive environment to be their true selves.” Tickets range from $15-$150. After-parties start after midnight at Dru’s
Bar and The Pumping Station. Saturday will find Robert R. Church Park awash in rainbows as the festival gets under way at 10 a.m. It features two stages, more than 150 vendors, food trucks, a car show, a kids area, an adult area, a VIP lounge, free and discreet HIV testing, and more. The festival ends at 5 p.m. Tickets are $1. “What would Pride be without a big, bold colorful parade?” ask the organizers. We won’t have to find out this year. The Memphis Pride Parade steps off at 1 p.m. from 4th and Beale and makes its way through the Beale Street Entertainment District. It will feature 100 different floats, performers, and more with more than 3,000 people participating. Head back to Beale Sunday at 11 a.m. for the Grand Marshal’s Drag Brunch at the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe. — Toby Sells Memphis Pride Fest, various locations, June 2nd-5th. Event tickets range from $1$150. Check midsouthpride.org for more information.
SUMMER SOUNDS: MUSIC IN THE OPEN AIR Hearing live music outside as the day cools to dusk is one of the great joys of summer in Memphis. With Covid concerns having lapsed over the past year and outdoor gatherings being among the safest anyway, there is sure to be an outdoor music event happening nearly any weekend you care to find one. We’ve recently covered some of the ongoing series offering such delights, venerable local traditions such as the Memphis Botanic Garden’s Live at the Garden series (kicking off on June 11th with Steely Dan) and the Overton Park Shell’s Orion Free Concert Series (which launched Sunday with the Sunset Symphony concert, followed by Jackie Venson on Thursday, June 2nd). Farther east, yet with a more local flair, there’s always the Germantown Performing Arts Center’s Bluebird Concerts at The Grove. All of them offer green spaces for lounging under the trees as the summer
PHOTO (ABOVE): ANDREA ZUCKER
Overton Park Shell; PHOTO (RIGHT): BRANDON KINDER
Lucero at the Shell; PHOTO (BELOW LEFT): MICHAEL DONAHUE
Team Mama Biondini at Italian Fest; PHOTO (BELOW RIGHT): MIKE KERR
breeze rises — not to mention food and drink vendors. Some summer series actually began in the spring. The River Series at Harbor Town offers the prime acoustics of an amphitheater on the eastern banks of Mud Island, in full view of the Memphis skyline, and their final spring concert, featuring MouseRocket and Ibex Clone, goes down this Saturday, June 4th. Trolley Night has been livening up the last Friday of every month since March, and will carry on through October, bringing plenty of casual live music to the South Main area. And the Sunset Jazz series has already begun gracing the second Sunday of each month down in Court Square. If Thursday is more your thing, consider the Rooftop Parties atop the Peabody Hotel, which have been featuring a mix of live bands and DJs since April. Finally, don’t forget the many private venues that specialize in outdoor shows, like Railgarten, Loflin Yard, Carolina Watershed, and Slider Inn Downtown. Thanks to them, you can find live music in the open air nearly every night of the week. — Alex Greene
SUMMER IN THE GARDEN: TWILIGHT THURSDAYS Every week between now and October 27th, the Memphis Botanic Garden is featuring a “Twilight Thursday” from 5 till 8 p.m. What is a Twilight Thursday? Glad you asked, because there’s a lot happening at these events, not to mention the fabulous Alice in Wonderland topiary exhibit going on right now.
Memphis Botanic Garden promises there will be additional surprises each week, including vendors, performers, and other special guests. Hungry? Twilight Thursdays offer a rotating array of food trucks each week with a variety of culinary options so you can create your own picnic dinner. There are picnic tables in a nearby grove of trees. If you like getting your drink on, there’s also a “Curious Cocktails” cash bar, which could potentially help you better
appreciate the Cheshire Cat’s looming grin. More of a beer person? MBG has got you covered with a special selection of “Alice’s Ales” from Memphis Made Brewing Company. Memphis Botanic Garden promises there will be additional surprises each week, including vendors, performers, and other special guests, plus presentations from various community partners and groups. And here’s another bonus: You can bring your favorite pupper to Twilight Thursdays. You know they’d like nothing more than a hike around the grounds on a summer’s eve. Just don’t forget to keep them on leash at all times. For advance information on food and drink options and performers and other special activities, check with the garden’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. Nonmembers are required to purchase time-entry advance tickets for Twilight Thursdays. — Bruce VanWyngarden SUMMER SPAGHETTI GRAVY: ITALIAN FEST On cross-country European railways,
there’s always that one train car that sticks out. Rather than a collective of quiet, mildmannered passengers elsewhere, this car opens its door to release a noisy deluge of yelling, partying, dancing, card-playing, drinking, general hoopla, and hand gestures, dio mio, the hand gestures. Yes, that’s right: It’s the one and only Italian car. But fear not: The exhilarating merriment of such an encounter doesn’t have to require a transcontinental trip — Memphis’ very own Italian Fest is back in full force this summer, shedding the private, Covid-enforced subdued environments of recent years to embrace its former glory. We’re talking large cooking pots from which the red sauce endlessly floweth, throngs of jubilant festival-goers dancing the tarantella in large fields at Marquette Park, and thrilling clashes of perhaps one of the world’s most intense sports: bocce. It’s a list of festivities that would make Chef Hector Boyardee himself proud, bringing together many fine staples of Italian-American culture into one place. continued on page 12
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Memphis Botanic Garden
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June 2-8, 2022
The festival, running from Thursday, June 2nd, to Saturday, June 4th, is a wild three-day party; it’s a Mediterranean-style version of barbecue fest, where instead of pork there are enough noodles to make a bridge across the Mississippi. It’s fine enough to hang out, listen to some music, and peruse the festivities. But the real fun is in the cook-off, where various teams pack into their tents as they attempt to create the best spaghetti gravy on site or other Italian entrees and desserts. (Pro tip: try to link up with someone who has an invite to one of the cooking tents. The experience is far superior that way.) If you need an extra glass of wine, toss the kids over to the carnival rides at Luigi Land before popping open another bottle. There’s fun aplenty, and while we may not be in Rome, well, … do as the Romans do anyway. — Samuel X. Cicci Learn more about Italian Fest dates and tickets at memphisitalianfestival.org.
SUMMER READING This issue is jam-packed with ways to get out and experience hot fun in the Memphis summertime. But this one’s for the fans of air-conditioning. There are no end of book events in the Bluff City this summer. First on our list is the 36th anniversary celebration at Comics & Collectibles Saturday, June 4th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General manager Donny Juengling says the store opened in 1986 and, “We’re really just thankful that we’ve been in business that long.” There is a 20 percent off sale, and illustrator Scott Kolins will be on site for the event. Next up, 901 Comics is celebrating the store’s sixth anniversary on Saturday, June 4th. Writer and illustrator Al Milgrom will be there signing books. “You can walk back in the back room and pick up a book from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and he probably worked on it,” says Shannon Merritt, who co-founded the store with Jaime Wright. “When we opened this thing, we weren’t sure if it was going to last a year,” Merritt says. Why not make Saturday a book-
PHOTO: JESSE DAVIS
901 Comics stravaganza? Hit two comic shop anniversary parties, then stop by Novel at 6 p.m. for the launch of Finding Jupiter, the new novel by former Memphian Kelis Rowe. “Kelis grew up in Memphis, where she had her first big love as a teenager,” the event announcement says. “She did not see herself or her big love reflected in the pages of a YA novel at the time and now writes contemporary YA to give Black young people more reflections of themselves and their love to enjoy.”
For less time-sensitive book needs, consider going to Burke’s Book Store or DeMoir Books & Things, perhaps to scope out a new novel, short story collection, or poetry book from a local author. Jeremee DeMoir just restocked copies of Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow — for the fourth time — and Burke’s has signed copies, as does Novel. Memphis made the list of The Bitter Southerner’s “2022 Summer Reading Roundup,” so it’s not just me begging you to read the beautiful debut. However you get your fiction fix, there’s no better time than summer to kick back with a good book. — Jesse Davis
PHOTO: COURTESY ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES
Elvis Week SUMMER KISSES, WINTER TEARS: ELVIS WEEK Some of you out there have never been to Graceland — you know who you are. But this is as good a year as any to immerse yourself in our very own pop culture phenomenon, and get it on with Elvis. It’s now or never, baby. The 2022 Elvis Week 45th anniversary celebration happens from August 9th through the 17th, rain or shine, with or without hound dogs. Just bring your burning love. And you’d better snap to it since some of the Elvis 45 packages and events are already sold out. But there’s still plenty in store. There will be special guests, notably Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling (among the few living Memphis Mafia members). They’ll be at several events and will even lead tours of the mansion. There will be plenty of music, much of it provided by Elvis Tribute Artists past and present. The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest runs through the week with hopeful Elvii turning on the tunes and the charm. And winners of past contests will be livening things up as well. For one, the 2011 winner Cody Ray Slaughter (who portrayed Elvis in the traveling production of the Tony Awardwinning musical Million Dollar Quartet) will headline a concert at the Graceland Soundstage. And for another, Dean Z (he won in 2013) will be hosting several events during the week.
6 − 10 P.M.
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Immerse yourself in our very own pop culture phenomenon, and get it on with Elvis. It’s now or never, baby.
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friday $25 • saturday $35 • both days $50
DAY OF TICKETS
friday $30 • saturday $40 • both days $55
alvin youngblood hart
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family passes are also available. concert tickets include all day pass to the craft village.
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Meanwhile, musicians Terry Mike Jeffrey and Andy Childs will host a tuneful reminiscence that includes TCB band members. And there’s a concert experience at Graceland Soundstage with Elvis’ image backed by live musicians. Pretty much everywhere you turn, you’ll see and hear the King of Rock-and-Roll. For fans who need more than music and celebrity, there will be live tour guides throughout Graceland Mansion celebrating the 40th year of it being opened to the public. (And even a “Hidden Graceland Tour” to see what most mortals cannot.) Go farther afield if you want and take an excursion to Tupelo to see Elvis’ birthplace and other landmarks. There are themed dance parties throughout, plenty of Elvis art, an Elvis karaoke for the brave, and even a bingo
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contest. That’s alright mama, any way you do. Not enough of a mix for ya? Keep in mind that there will be plenty of gospel music as well as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Not kidding. The big draw, of course, is the Candlelight Vigil on August 15th. Get your candle and walk on the grounds of Graceland to the gravesite along with thousands of fans. Elvis really is everywhere, so follow that dream. — Jon W. Sparks Best to get tickets sooner rather than later at graceland.com/elvis-week-tickets. For ticket questions, call Graceland Reservations at 800-238-2000 or 332-3322, or email reservations@ graceland.com.
SUMMER AT THE MOVIES Memorial Day weekend began the summer blockbuster season with the strong pairing of Top Gun: Maverick and The Bob’s Burgers Movie. This week, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future marks the Generous support provided by legendary Canadian auteur’s return to the body horror genre he pioneered. On June 10th, the dinosaurs are back, they’re mad, and they’re going to the mall in Jurassic World Dominion. Chris Evans provides the voice for the Toy TICKETS 901.682.8323 ONLINE theatrememphis.org Story astronaut in Pixar’s Lightyear, due June 17th. The next week, Memphis’ favorite son gets a blown-up biopic from Ragtime.FlyerAd.indd 1 5/16/22 8:52 AMBaz Luhrmann. Elvis stars Austin Butler as the man who would be king, and Tom Hanks as his Machiavellian manager Col. Tom Parker. On July 8th, Marvel comes roaring back with Thor: Love and Thunder, with Chris Hemsworth coming out of semi-retirement to thwart the God Butcher (Christian Bale, in his Marvel debut), only to find that his ex-girlfriend Register now at Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is now ART CLASSES deltaarts.org/classes wielding the magic hammer. July 15th offers something completely different in June 20 - 24 Where the Crawdads Sing, a Southern Gothic whodunit produced by Reese Ages 5 - 8 PUPPETRY Witherspoon. One of the most hotly Ages 9 - 12 9 - 10am anticipated releases of the summer is THEATRE 10:30 - 11:30am Nope, director Jordan Peele’s third sci-fi/ Ages 13 - 18 June horror outing. The trailer for this one, 2 - 3:30pm coming July 22nd, looks spectacular. 13 - 17 Then on July 29th, the DC Legion of $100 per student/
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Super-Pets boasts an all-star voice cast including Dwayne Johnson as Krypto the Superdog. August 5th weekend is crowded with new titles, including the slasher comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies, a new entry in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, and the Brad Pitt action comedy Bullet Train. Finally, the summer season closes magically with Mad Max director George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Tilda Swinton as a shy professor who is offered three wishes by a djinn, played by Idris Elba. — Chris McCoy SUMMER CLASSICS: CEMETERY CINEMA “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into my cemetery to watch a movie.” That’s not exactly what Rick, aka Humphrey Bogart, says to Ilsa, aka Ingrid Bergman, in the 1942 classic, Casablanca, but if the plot involved Elmwood Cemetery’s “Cemetery Cinema,” everyone’s favorite nightclub owner (Rick’s Cafe, remember?) might say something like that.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into my cemetery to watch a movie. “We show classics or very popular films in the cemetery on specific nights,” says Elmwood executive director Kim Bearden. Casablanca will be the featured movie at 8:15ish (depends on when the sun goes down) Friday, June 3rd. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The movie showings are fundraisers for the cemetery, Bearden says. “Event goers bring lawn chairs and they set up on the driveway in front of the cottage.” Elmwood provides a food truck, but moviegoers are invited to bring their own food. As for adult beverages, Bearden says, “We say coolers are Thor: Love and Thunder with Natalie Portman
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SUMMER HISTORY: A PUGILISTIC MILESTONE On Saturday, June 8, 2002, a full generation ago, the Pyramid on the Memphis riverfront was the site for the kind of spectacle it might have been created for: the heavyweight championship fight between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. The Pyramid was already on the way out as a showcase arena after the NBA’s recently arrived Grizzlies had turned it down as outmoded for their purposes and forced the city and county to go on the hook for a new facility, the soon-tobe FedExForum. The Big Fight was a sort of Last Hurrah for the place, arranged by then Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton in an inspired act of personal diplomacy that may rank, historically, as his
PHOTO: KIM BEARDEN
Cemetery Cinema at Elmwood greatest single achievement. The fight was intended to resolve lingering doubts about the rightful ownership of boxing’s most prestigious title. And landing it in Memphis bailed out the promoters who had seen all the big traditional venues shun the opportunity to host the event after Tyson, already a pariah for biting off a chunk of a previous opponent’s ear, brawled with Lewis at the fighters’ signing. Orphan event though it was, the fight was a genuine extravaganza. Coproduced for television by long-standing rivals HBO and Showtime, it was then, as Wikipedia notes, “the highestgrossing event in pay-per-view history, generating U.S. $106.9 million from 1.95 million buys in the U.S.” On hand to help fill the Pyramid were such celebrities as Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, Hugh Hefner, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vince McMahon, The Undertaker, LL Cool J, Tyra Banks, Wesley Snipes, Kevin Bacon, Chris Webber, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Morgan Freeman, Alec Baldwin, and heavyweight fighter Evander Holyfield — the latter having been the victim of the aforementioned ear-biting. And I was there, at ringside, covering the fight in what was my all-time plum assignment from Time magazine, for whom I worked as a part-time associate or “stringer.” (Curious readers may consult the magazine’s files for “Who Gets the Black Eye?” — published online on the day of the fight.) Given the ferocity of Tyson’s style, the fight had more than its share of excitement, but the rangy Lewis was the superior boxer and outlasted Iron Mike, knocking him out in the 8th round, ending all doubt as to who was champ and closing out the Tyson era of bigtime boxing. — Jackson Baker
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allowed.” Movies are shown on the roof of the 1866 cottage used for offices at Elmwood, she says. The circa 1886 cottage, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only example of “Victorian Gothic carpenter cottage architecture” in Shelby County. “So, the roof on the cottage is in the Gothic style and has a very high pitch. Because of the high pitch we were able to project films on the roof and people can see them from the drive.” Cemetery Cinema isn’t a scary movie series; Elmwood, which began the movie showings in 2016, recently aired the 1961 Walt Disney film, The Parent Trap, starring Hayley Mills as twin sisters. They will show the 1964 film, My Fair Lady, on June 17th. Elmwood has shown “some of the old classic black-and-white” horror movies, including the 1931 movie, Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff. But there are some types of horror movies they would not show. “Probably slasher flicks,” Bearden says. Tickets to Casablanca, which are $15, must be purchased in advance at elmwoodcemetery.org. — Michael Donahue
We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews
PHOTO: ZACHARY PEPPER
The undead can be generous.
By Abigail Morici
Most of us can agree that giving is better than receiving, but at least one group defies the norm, stereotypically speaking. And it’s zombies of course, seeing that they’re always out there looking to steal your brains. But in Memphis, a collective of the undead is looking to give back to the community with a walk to raise donations for the Mid-South Food Bank. The Memphis Zombie Walk started 14 years ago, says Zachary Pepper, producer and host of the walk. “The people that started it were makeup artists who do special effects makeup and wanted a chance to express themselves and do something great for Memphis.” Though Pepper, a self-proclaimed “horror nut,” didn’t participate in that first walk, he became involved the following year and now leads the zombie horde. “We walk from Handy Park on Beale Street all the way to GE Patterson and we come right back,” he says. “It’s about a quarter-mile.” The best part, Pepper adds, is the element of surprise. “People are like, ‘Why aren’t you doing it in October?’ ’Cause everyone expects it in October. You have no idea how fun it is for zombies to randomly pop up Downtown.” So, beware this weekend: The zombies tend to meander at whatever pace they choose, spooking any non-zombified, confused passersby — but not indulging in any brains, Pepper assures. Shockingly, not all of these zombies are real zombies; in fact, most, if not all, are in costume with elaborate special effects makeup. They show up as undead flappers, superheroes, tennis players, and everything in between. And for those who lack the zombie touch, starting at 4 p.m., makeup artists will be on site to turn you into your worst nightmare, at no cost. “All that we ask is that you donate to the food bank,” Pepper says. In addition to bringing either a monetary or canned food donation, Pepper urges walkers to bring water to stay hydrated. The walk, which begins at 7 p.m., is family- and pet-friendly. Visit the group’s Facebook page @MemphisZombies for more information. MEMPHIS ZOMBIE WALK, HANDY PARK, JUNE 3RD, 4 P.M.-8 P.M.
It’s all gravy, baby, when it comes to Mama Antonetta’s Gravy. Food, p. 24
The Shell’s fitness classes free the body and mind, sometimes the bladder. Last Word, p. 31
June 2-8, 2022
VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES June 2nd - 8th
“Action!: Art in Motion” Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, on display through September 25th “Action!” is an educational, interactive exhibition that encourages visitors to think about how two-dimensional art can capture dynamic moments of motion. This exhibition showcases 20th-century American prints and watercolors from Memphis’ collection at the Brooks. Learn how master artists use line and space to create intense images of dramatic movement. Bring your family and get moving in this fun, interactive exhibition! The Brooks is open late on Wednesdays, with free admission.
Memphis Italian Festival Marquette Park, Thursday-Saturday, June 2nd-4th, various times, $12 Everyone is Italian at this festival of live entertainment, great food, food competitions and demonstrations, games and activities, and even a car raffle. Ragtime Theatre Memphis, opens Friday, June 3rd, 7:30 p.m., $35 Set in the volatile melting pot of turnof-the-20th-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together confronting timeless contradictions and what it means to live in America. Performances run through June 26th.
Unveiling of “Tennessee Music Pathways” Marker Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, Friday, June 3rd, 10 a.m. In commemoration of Black Music Month, the state of Tennessee and City of Bartlett will honor the “Queen of the Blues” Koko Taylor with the installation of a Tennessee Music Pathways marker. At the marker reveal, hear from local and state officials about the importance of this commemoration. June 3rd happens to be the anniversary of Koko’s passing on to the blues concert in the sky. This is the first Tennessee Music Pathways Marker dedicated in Shelby County.
“Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community” Museum of Science & History, opens Saturday, June 4th, $13-$15 Through a large collection of local artifacts, photographs, and stories, this exhibit examines the history and culture of the city’s LGBTQ+ population and explores how LGBTQ+ Memphians of different backgrounds and experiences have come together to form thriving communities and provide powerful voices for change and acceptance in Memphis. This exhibit will be on display through September 26th. Be sure to also visit “Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” while at MoSH.
Live music at
PHOTO: COURTESY VIRGINIA PRICE
Ring of Bloom, Per Suntum, 1994, artwork courtesy of the Helen Williams Drutt Family Collection
Put a Ring on It By Abigail Morici A piece of advice that I’m positive is applicable to every single person on this planet, perhaps the entire universe: Stop hemming and hawing already. Give her a ring. Not a phone call — please don’t do that. She’d much prefer a ring of the sorts that the Metal Museum has on display in its “Rings! 1968-2021” exhibition. And listen, I’m not saying that she needs glitz and glamor; I’m sure she’d settle for the ring that looks like a piece of thin cardboard stapled together in a circle. Okay, fine, you caught me. That ring is made of gold, not cardboard despite its uncanny resemblance to your favorite recyclable. But who can resist such a unique piece of jewelry? Well, Helen Drutt, the curator of the collection, can’t. That’s for sure. At a young 91, Drutt is known for a “certain look,” says Brooke Garcia, director of collections and exhibitions at the Metal Museum. “She wears all black so her jewelry really pops.” A Philadelphia gallery owner and patron of the arts, Drutt has quite the collection, some of which you can check out at the Metal Museum — a mere 169 rings, made of all sorts of materials, from the expected gemstones and metals to the unexpected toilet paper rolls and legumes. Some of the rings have movable parts, and one can even double as a Bluetooth speaker. These aren’t your grandmother’s rings. “[Drutt] likes to explore these kinds of themes where it’s one type of object so you can see the breadth [of form and creativity],” Garcia says. “They’re all wearable. It’s surprising for some of them. But that’s kind of an interesting thing about art jewelry — that it blends the functional and the adornment aspects together. … Rings especially in jewelry have such deep meanings: engagement rings, wedding rings, graduation rings.” Complementing Drutt’s rings are a selection of rings from the museum’s permanent collection as well as an activity station for families. “RINGS! 1968-2021,” METAL MUSEUM, ON DISPLAY THROUGH JUNE 12TH.
june 2nd Toubabe Krewe
june 3rd Shara Matlock
Mid-South Pride Festival Robert R. Church Park, Saturday, June 4th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $1 The Pride Festival is a diverse and community-friendly festival that includes live entertainment on two stages, over 150 vendors, a food truck park, a car show, kids area, adult area, VIP lounge, free and discreet HIV screenings, and more. Meanwhile, the annual Memphis Pride Parade will step off at 4th and Beale and make its way through the historic Beale Street Entertainment District. The procession features more than 100 units with 3,000+ participants of all ages and backgrounds.
Summer Skate Party East End Skating Center, Saturday, June 4th, noon, $15 Kick off the summer with a skate party featuring Kelis Rowe, author of Finding Jupiter, a brand-new YA novel about two Memphis teens finding love at a roller-skating rink. Tickets are $15 and include admission, skates (if needed), and exclusive Finding Jupiter swag while supplies last. The first 150 student tickets purchased will each receive a signed copy of the novel. Novel is sponsoring a book drive, so if you’d like to donate, head on over to novelmemphis.com. The bookstore will also host a Meet the Author on June 4th at 6 p.m.
Craft Food & Wine Festival The Columns, Sunday, June 5th, 2-7 p.m., $75-$160 Showcasing scrumptious, locally produced breads, cheeses, fruit preserves, cured meats, and more, this festival will raise funds for Church Health. The event is 21+. Brit Floyd: World Tour Orpheum Theatre, Sunday, June 5th, 8 p.m., $39.50-$59.50 Brit Floyd, “The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show,” returns to the stage for their World Tour.
june 6th Cyrena Wages and Rob Baird
june 10th Mark Edgar Stuart
june 11th Neighborhood Texture jam
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With corn dog dialogue and a new generation of pilots with rock-hard abs, Top Gun: Maverick is sure to entertain. Film, p. 27
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June 2-8, 2022
Dishing it out at .com.
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MUSIC By Alex Greene
God You’re Beautiful PreauXX and Unapologetic create this summer’s go-to album.
PHOTO: JAMIE HARMON
PreauXX drop-dead gorgeous. But the masterpiece here may be “Incarceration,” the synthetic pulse and drive of which is almost completely drumless, giving it a hushed urgency that matches its subject matter. “I made that beat on my phone,” says PreauXX. “Then IMAKEMADBEATS came in with the Moog and enhanced everything around it, creating an atmosphere around the taps. He was like, ‘We’re going to make this a whole other world.’ I wanted to compare being locked out of love to literally being incarcerated. It was the first song on this project, and it meant a lot.” Ultimately, such metaphorical flights and lyrical reflections are wrapped in ear candy so compelling, so memorable, that God You’re Beautiful bears repeated listenings as we watch the season roll by. “Just put it on loud and experience it. It’s a whole world,” says PreauXX. “I dropped it right before summer because it’s just so top down, press play. This is definitely the summer project. That’s what it was meant for.”
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
draws out some very reflective lyrics from PreauXX himself. “I wanted to speak on some stuff that I went through in my life,” he says of that track, “and also give another piece of vulnerability from me. Not just romantic love, but like the love my mom has for me, by still being there. And consider what these relationship woes may stem from. Because that’s how my relationship with my parents was. It’s a super vulnerable moment, in a different type of space, a different type of love.” A number of producers worked on God You’re Beautiful, including IMAKEMADBEATS, but the most consistent beat-maker here is Unapologetic producer C Major, marking tracks with his audio tag, “Bitch, are you jealous?” His distinctive, stuttering-yet-flowing beats underpin many tracks, including the lead single “Eastend,” though PreauXX notes that the final track was a “spirit bomb” of work from many Unapologetic talents. Another mastermind was producer/musician Eillo, who, PreauXX says, “super texturized” the song “Regret,” in addition to adding a solo jazz piano outro to the track that is
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
hen PreauXX quips, “You a queen, got steez, got all o’ that/It’s been a hot girl summer, gotta check the stats,” on his latest album, God You’re Beautiful (Unapologetic), it’s one of those lines that captures a whole vibe, a whole story, a whole season. And in case you didn’t check our cover, that season is summer. If you’re searching for the joint to define your fun in the sun this year, look no further: God You’re Beautiful is it. If steez is the perfect blend of style and ease, PreauXX himself has all of that, and yet this is more than a dazzling fashion statement or a “hot girl summer.” The rapper is working on many levels here, and, as with so many Unapologetic artists, they’re built on emotional risk. “This is my most vulnerable project,” he says. “I’m talking about the ups and downs of relationship woes. I wanted to cater to a different side. This isn’t even just PreauXX; this is more my Handsome Samson persona. This whole project is kind of tied up with that. That’s why, for these past six months, I haven’t been in my braids. I’ve had my afro out because that’s the persona, that’s Handsome Samson. I’m very luxurious, my skin glowing. I’m being who I am.” This naturalism translates directly into his delivery, which is simultaneously unhurried, off the cuff, and carefully crafted. The Handsome Samson motif rings true partly because the melodies are like half-remembered choruses from Soul Train. Perhaps more than any other rapper, PreauXX has a sure sense of memorable musical lines, perfectly wedded to his lyrics. “Choruses, man,” he says. “I really pride myself on writing these hooks that stick to you. And not only stick to you but are relatable to different things you may have gone through.” Assisting him on this melodic mission is a veritable squadron of musos from the Unapologetic collective. After PreauXX drops a chorus, then moves on to spit rhymes, the producers and collaborators keep the music’s haunting atmospherics flowing underneath him. One such collaborator is Cameron Bethany, featured on two tracks, who weaves in such golden harmonies that you may wonder if his voice is a sampled radio hit. Uni’Q further lends both melodic beauty and considerable sass to the tracks, and, in the album closer, “So Relieved,” she shows that this saga of relationships is not just a bed of roses. Her dis to a former lover in turn
CALENDAR of EVENTS:
June 2 - 8
ART AN D S P EC I A L E X H I B ITS
“Action!: Art in Motion” An educational, interactive exhibition that encourages visitors to think about how two-dimensional art can capture dynamic moments of motion. Through Sept. 25.
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART
Collage exhibition by Alisa Houseal Botto. Through June 8.
Exhibition of commissioned works by 12 of the most acclaimed African-American artists working today examines the impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the U.S. Through Sept. 1. MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART
“Beyond Van Gogh”
Be completely immersed in
Explore the history and culture of Memphis’ LGBTQ+ community. Saturday, June 4-Sept. 26. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“RINGS! 1968 - 2021”
A remarkable collection of contemporary rings that reveal the wide-ranging creativity of artists working in this jewelry form. Through June 12.
Exhibition of recent paintings by Sam Red. Through June 30. JAY ETKIN GALLERY
Exhibition of work by one of the world’s greatest printmakers, Albrecht Durer. Through June 5.
“A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration”
“Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community”
“Introductions: Sam Red”
“Albrecht Durer: The Small Passion”
PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE
more than 300 of the greatest works of Vincent Van Gogh as his art is liberated from its two-dimensional limitations into a three-dimensional experience that exhilarates. Through June 5. GRACELAND EXHIBITION CENTER
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART
“A Matter of Taste”
“Isaac Hayes: Black Moses Gives Back”
An engaging exhibition that showcases Hayes’ unique dashikis collection and his humanitarian work in Ghana. Through July 31.
“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement”
Exhibition of artifacts and images that shed light on important milestones of gay rights history. Saturday, June 4-Sept. 26.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“Love in the Club: Photographs by Michael Abramson”
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign”
Exhibition of images of Chicago’s South Side underground life. Through Sept. 4.
Exhibition that explores the little-known history of the multicultural movement to address poverty and social justice in the nation. Through July 31.
STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC
An exhibition of Nancy Cheairs’ single work comprised of fifty canvases. Through July 16. TOPS GALLERY: MADISON AVENUE PARK
NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
“Introductions: Sam Red” at Jay Etkin Gallery features new paintings by the mixed-media artist, on view through June 30.
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Each of the Dixon’s 16 gallery spaces will feature an indepen-
CALENDAR: JUNE 2 - 8
Exhibition of work by Nick Canterucci. Friday, June 3-June 19. MEDICINE FACTORY
“Thomas Campbell: Corollary”
Exhibition of work by the fifthgeneration steelworker, who blends tradition with innovation. Through July 17. METAL MUSEUM
Exhibition of Pinkney Herbert’s expressive abstract paintings and pastel works comprised of dynamic gestures and multidimensional forms in sharp color. Through July 1. DAVID LUSK GALLERY
Opening reception for exhibition of work by Nick Canterucci. Friday, June 3, 6-8 p.m. MEDICINE FACTORY
Voices at the Brooks: Big Sound, Small Passion
Get ready for some citizen science fun with Memphis River Parks and Sonia Holmes from Memphis Storm Water. Start your day with free, familyfriendly water testing activities. Saturday, June 4, 9-10 a.m.
B O O K EVE N TS
Meet the Author: Kelis Rowe
Debut author celebrates the release of her YA book Finding Jupiter. Saturday, June 4, 6 p.m.
Art for Ukraine
Meet the Authors: Jonathan Martin & Alexander Burns
Memphis Coastal Fashion Week
River Quest: Memphis Harbor Sampling
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART
C O M M U N I TY
Experience Memphis gospel legends live as the museum says farewell to the exhibition “Paradise Lost: Albrecht Durer’s Stolen Eden.” Free. Saturday, June 4, 1-3 p.m.
ART HAP P E N I N G S With 30+ artists participating, 100 percent of this art show’s proceeds will go to UNICEF to aid those impacted by the war on Ukraine. Thursday, June 2, 5-8 p.m.
Pinkney Herbert’s “Vital Signs” represents the artist’s intention to inject hope and vitality to our grief-stricken world, on view through July 1.
Novel welcomes Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns to discuss their new release This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future. Friday, June 3, 6 p.m. NOVEL
Coastal Fashion Week and Exalte Magazine have one mission: to bring together fashion and philanthropy. $35-$45. Monday, June 6, 7-8:30 p.m.
Meet the Author: Susan Cushman
MEMPHIS ROCK ‘N’ SOUL MUSEUM
Susan Cushman celebrates the launch of Pilgrim Interrupted. Tuesday, June 7, 6 p.m.
FA M I LY
Explore Memphis Memphest
Get ready for reading, activities, music, and fun at this fest! The festival is part of MPL’s Explore Memphis reading program. Saturday, June 4, 1-4 p.m. BENJAMIN L. HOOKS CENTRAL LIBRARY
Summer Skate Party
Kick off the summer with a skate party featuring Kelis Rowe, author of Finding Jupiter. The first 150 student tickets purchased will each receive a signed copy of the novel. $15. Sunday, June 5, noon. EAST END SKATING CENTER
DOGS AT YOUR CITY SHELTER NEED YOU.
Memphis Italian Festival
Live entertainment, great food, food competitions and demonstrations, and even a car raffle. $15. Thursday, June 2, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, June 3, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. MARQUETTE PARK
Mid-South Pride Festival A community-friendly festival that includes live entertainment on two stages, more than 150 vendors, a food truck park, a car show, VIP lounge, and more. $1. Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ROBERT R. CHURCH PARK
Features live entertainment and fare from the Mid-South’s best restaurants, bars, and eateries with a back to the ’80s theme. $225/members, $250/nonmembers. Saturday, June 4, 7 p.m. MEMPHIS ZOO
F E S T IVA L
F I LM
Craft Food & Wine Festival
Overton Square Movie Nights: She’s the Man
$40. Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m.; Friday, June 3, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m. CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE
$25-$45. Sunday, June 5, 8 p.m.
Showcasing scrumptious, locally produced breads, cheeses, cured meats, and more, this event will raise funds for Church Health. $75$160. Sunday, June 5, 2-7 p.m. THE COLUMNS
Free popcorn provided! Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m. OVERTON SQUARE
continued on page 22
T H I S W E E K at
CROS STOWN ARTS ANIK A THURSDAY, JUNE 2 DOORS 7:00PM
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Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers. $43. Saturday, June 4, 3-6 p.m.
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THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
“Telekinesis” Opening Reception
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dent, Dixon-organized exhibition. Through July 10.
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continued from page 21 People on Sunday with Live Score by Kelvin Walters This unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. $5. Thursday, June 2, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 5, 9 a.m.
TREK BICYCLE EAST MEMPHIS
Sofia Coppola Double Feature: Lost in Translation & Marie Antoinette
Big Gay Dance Party
A double feature of visually dazzling soul-searching dramas from Sofia Coppola. Free. Thursday, June 2, 7:30 p.m. BLACK LODGE
Turtle Odyssey 3D Movie
Based in Australia and narrated by Russell Crowe, Turtle Odyssey explores the unique life cycle of an Australian green sea turtle. $10/adult, $9/senior, $8/ youth. Through July 2. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
FOOD AN D DR I N K
Rosé & Croquet
Every child is an artist. — Picasso
Explore the rose garden and play a game of croquet all while sipping on some of your favorite rose-themed cocktails. $35$45. Friday, June 3, 6-8 p.m. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
1636 UNION AVENUE 901.276.6321
P E R F O R M I N G A R TS
An R-Rated Magic Show Grant Freeman will have you asking, “How the ****?” and “What the ****?” $28-$44. Friday, June 3, 8 p.m. THE HALLORAN CENTRE
Collage Dance Conservatory: Art In Motion June 2-8, 2022
Annual concert featuring more than 300 students from the Collage Dance Conservatory. $25. Sunday, June 5, 3 p.m. CANNON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Neil deGrasse Tyson
This show will review all that bends the mind the most in the cosmos. $39-$250. Tuesday, June 7, 7 p.m.
MAKE YOUR CLOSET HAPPY, MANE.
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MERCH MEMPHISFLYER.COM/FLYER R. TO PLACE AN ORDE
Turtle Odyssey, now showing at MoSH, follows Australian green sea turtle Bunji from a hatchling into adulthood.
P R I D E E V E N TS
2022 Trek Pride Ride East Memphis Everyone is welcome on this casual, no-drop ride. Snacks, drinks, and free swag provided, while supplies last.
After almost three years, the biggest Pride party in the Mid-South is back! Kick off this year’s Pride festivities, with after-parties to follow. $20. Friday, June 3, 8 p.m.-midnight. CROSSTOWN THEATER
Drag N Drive
Showing To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Movie will start at 8 p.m., drag show at 10 p.m. $35/vehicle. Thursday, June 2, 7-11 p.m. MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN
Memphis Pride Parade
The annual Memphis Pride Parade offers a production like no other. Saturday, June 4, 1 p.m. BEALE STREET
The Grand Marshal’s Drag Brunch
Mid-South Pride has teamed up with friends at The Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe for an amazing brunch. Sunday, June 5, 11 a.m.
901 Wrestling - Return of the Mack
The return of 901’s own, The Star of the Show, Andy Mack! Saturday, June 4, 7-10 p.m. BLACK LODGE
Memphis Redbirds vs. Durham Bulls Monday, June 6-June 12. AUTOZONE PARK
T H EAT E R
Million Dollar Quartet
The smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rockand-roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. $47.50. Tuesday, June 7-June 12. ORPHEUM THEATRE
In 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, the stirring of the civil rights movement is beginning to rally a nation of long-oppressed people. But on a particular street, home to a civil rights pioneer, not everyone is pleased. Through June 5. CIRCUIT PLAYHOUSE
Porgy & Bess
JERRY LEE LEWIS’ CAFE & HONKY TONK
Legendary Gershwin opera set among the Black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina. Through June 12.
S P EC IA L EVE NTS
Memphis Zombie Walk
When Hell is full, the dead will walk the streets of Memphis. Bring donations for the Mid-South Food Bank. Friday, June 3, 4-8 p.m.
Set in the volatile melting pot of early 1900s New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together confronting timeless contradictions. $35. Friday, June 3-June 26. THEATRE MEMPHIS
Bring your pup to Broad Avenue for treats, games, and lots of fun “pup-tivities.” Friday, June 3, 5-8 p.m. BROAD AVENUE ARTS DISTRICT
Unveiling of “Tennessee Music Pathways” Marker The state of Tennessee and city of Bartlett will honor Koko Taylor with the installation of a Tennessee Music Pathways marker. Friday, June 3, 10 a.m.
BARTLETT PERFORMING ARTS AND CONFERENCE CENTER
S PO R TS
901 FC vs. Atlanta United 2
Saturday, June 4, 7:30 p.m. AUTOZONE PARK
TO U R S
Backstage Experience Tour
An incredible and immersive guided tour that will take you from the Shell’s 1936 beginnings all the way to the present and everything in between. $15. Wednesday, June 8, 2-3 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL
Tombs: A Mausoleum Tour of Elmwood Cemetery
Learn about the art, architecture, and history of the mausoleums found at historic Elmwood Cemetery. $20. Saturday, June 4, noon-1:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY
S K AT E B y K a i l y n n J o h n s o n
Queer Skate Memphis How queer skaters are navigating the Memphis skate scene.
In the summer of 2020, the Bluff City-based skater organized the Memphis rollout for Worldwide Rollout Day, where participants roller-skated, biked, and boarded through Downtown Memphis as a way to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Zabella’s group is just one example of ways that queer skaters are looking to navigate the skate scene in Memphis. For Malia Brown, it’s been no problem finding camaraderie and solace in their online queer skate community. It’s actually a place where they feel like they’re not the minority. However, when Brown goes to skate parks, they’re instantly made aware of the current landscape. “It’s literally just cis men just skating around,” Brown says. “Even though there’s such a large community at the skate park, it’s like I’m presumably one of the only
OF SCIENCE & HISTORY OPENING
FROM THE NEWSEUM/ FREEDOM FORUM
+ P R E S E N T I N G
S P O N S O R S
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
WWW.MOSHMEMPHIS.COM 3050 CENTRAL • MEMPHIS, TN • 38111 • 901.636.2362
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
PHOTO: RAMPAGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Malia Brown showing off one of their skating tricks.
queer skaters there.” Skateboarding has a reputation for fostering a sense of community; however, in an article for Vice, Max Dubler argues that it has also been a sport that is heavily defined by “macho toughness” and “male heterosexuality,” which Brown says can be alienating. Brown can pinpoint a few moments in their skate journey in Memphis that felt less alienating, such as the time they and other queer skaters placed third in a skate competition or when other skaters organized a police brutality protest on Go Skate Day. While these were moments that were comforting for Brown, they still long for a more inclusive space for queer skaters. Brown remembers the day that their crew placed higher than some of the malecomprised skate crews in the competition. In fact, Brown still calls on some of the skaters in their crew like Jessica Davis to the park when they’re wanting to skate. But Brown says that skateboarding doesn’t necessarily have to be a communitycentered thing. In fact, for Davis, skating has been something that she approached alone. The Disney show Zeke and Luther sparked her infatuation with skating, resulting in her creating a makeshift board out of her pillows and turning her couch into a ledge. There were limitations that resulted in her solo approach to the sport, such as not being able to street skate as a young girl, which redirected her to parks such as Tobey Park in Memphis. “It’s where I learned the most. I learned how to hop down some stairs and some more stuff,” she says, simultaneously demonstrating some of her favorite tricks on her fingerboard. Brown and Davis argue that there are pros to approaching the sport alone, such as the luxury of going at your own pace when learning a trick. But Brown also states that nothing compares to landing that trick and having fellow skaters be just as excited as you are. It’s a luxury that not many are afforded to choose how they approach skating, and while celebrities like Briana King are working to organize inclusive community events, it can be harder for local skaters with smaller platforms. Memphis has the space for it, Brown explains. They even have the skaters for it. However, they and other skaters are calling on the entire community for support. “More women skaters, more queer skaters, more people of color skaters. Just trying to stray away from the cis, white men being all over the place.”
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
f you ask any skater what their favorite moment in skate history is, you’re bound to elicit a number of responses. Some mark the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater as their entry point to the skate scene. Others may proclaim that the 2020 Summer Olympics sparked an epoch in modern-day history as skateboarding made its way to Beijing. For Alexa Zabella, Ledger Smith’s 685mile journey from Chicago to Washington, D.C., by way of roller skates stands out the most. “Roller Man’s” destination was the Lincoln Memorial, which served as the backdrop for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Smith joined thousands who stood in solidarity to protest injustice in the African-American community. This moment seems to serve as the perfect prelude when looking at the events that led Zabella to create Queer Skate Memphis, a skate group designed as a safe space for “queer and BIPOC skaters.”
FOOD By Michael Donahue
On the Gravy Train Mama Antonetta’s Gravy is making a splash.
Y JUNE 25 •
SATURDAY, JUNE 25TH 10AM-5PM Shop Local at the best artist, maker, and crafter event of the year! With 90+ local and regional artists and makers featured, you'll enjoy great local shopping and tasty craft beer at this FREE family-friendly event. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
June 2-8, 2022
ama Antonetta’s Gravy, found on store shelves around town, was named after George Kawell’s mama. “My mother’s maiden name was Antonetta Marie Iuliano,” says Kawell, 66. “People used to call her Toni.” “Being from an Italian background” meant his mother often served her made-from-scratch gravy. She used it for whatever dish that called for gravy, whether pasta or chicken. “True Italians call it gravy. Most Memphians call it spaghetti sauce,” he says. Born in Chicago, Kawell “didn’t go out to eat. Going out to eat was a real treat. We ate at home. All our meals. So my mom was a very resourceful cook. She could make anything taste great.” Her gravy was one of the things Kawell learned to make. “I’m a visual learner.” He also asked questions. “When I was 18, I left the nest, and so I needed to watch my mom so I could be able to cook for myself.” Kawell, who began playing polo when he was around 14 years old, moved to Memphis in the late ’70s. The late W. L. Taylor, who owned Wildwood Farms in Germantown, and his son, Lee Taylor, invited him to come to Memphis “and help ride and train polo ponies raised on the farm.” So Kawell learned how to cook. “I didn’t get married until I was 35. If I didn’t know how to cook I was going to go hungry. Pretty much self-taught other than watching my mom. I do things by feel and taste. I’m not that great at following recipes. I like to create things just from scratch or an idea.” Kawell made his mother’s gravy, but he tweaked the recipe. “It’s a nice savory blend. It has some sweetness to it, but it also has a little bit of a kick because of the pepper in it.” He originally gave away his gravy. “At Christmastime, I would make a big batch of gravy and we started giving it to our close friends. I bottled it. No label.” After his mother died in 2013, Kawell decided to sell the gravy commercially. “This was always a part-time thing. At that point I was in the sporting goods industry.” In addition to selling, Kawell had experience marketing a product. He and his business partner at the time came up
with a “custom do-it-yourself kit where you can make your own custom-molded ear plugs. They were in 2,600 Walmart stores,” he says. Kawell was a natural-born salesman. “I think God blessed me to be able to create good relationships. In sales, you can have the best whatever, but if people don’t like you, they tend not to do business with you.” He brought samples of his gravy to stores for owners to try. “Then you have to follow up. You can’t just sashay right in and say, ‘OK. I’ve got this.’ It’s a process. It’s a relationship-building process.” It took about two months for Kawell
PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE
George Kawell to get into his first store. “I think we sold six cases the first go round.” His gravy is available in 16- and 32-ounce jars. It’s now on shelves at Hog Wild East BBQ & Market, Charlie’s Meat Market, Thomas Meat & Seafood Market & Catering in Collierville, Millstone Market & Nursery in Germantown, and The Baker’s Corner in Hernando, Mississippi. Now retired from the sporting goods business, Kawell is considering future products. These might include his stuffed pasta shells with ricotta cheese and Italian sausage. He also makes lasagna and chicken Parmesan. In addition to taking care of the gravy business, Kawell is working at Thomas Meat Market. “I’m just trying to learn the business. I love it. We do prepared meals to go and desserts. We do an array of things.” Kawell won’t reveal everything that goes into Mama Antonetta’s Gravy, but, he says, “On the label it says one of the ingredients is ‘a lot of love.’ That is the key ingredient. I put hours into cooking it. It’s slow cooking. And that’s what makes the flavor better and better.”
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SPIRITS By Richard Murff
An Old Twist on Gin Why not try a gin drink that used to come straight from the tomcat’s paw?
C Glass Half Full Old Dominick Charitable Fund Old Dominick Distillery’s permanent charitable fund allows employees to engage in and take ownership of the Old Dominick family company’s long history of charitable giving as they work to contribute to the surrounding Memphis Community.
June 2-8, 2022
To learn more about the criteria and application process for the Fund, please scan the QR code.
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ocktail writers spend The base spirit used was distilled a lot of time making from malted barley sourced from Scotthemselves useful by tish whiskey producers. After a second carrying on about “a new distillation to get the proof up, they twist on a classic cocktail.” Not me, I’m doctored it with sweet botanicals to about to suggest two very old twists mask a complete lack of quality control. to jump into this summer. On May With invention of the continuous still 8th, in celebration of Ian Fleming’s in 1831, producers were dealing with birthday I raised a glass of — to quote a more refined spirit and the cleaner, James Bond in Casino Royale (1953) drier “London dry” style was born. — “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of A few years ago, Hayman’s, which vodka and half a measure of Kina Lillet makes a fantastic London dry, came …” garnished with a great whacking out with an Old Tom style. Several lemon peel. The Vesper holds its own today. Lillet blanc (you can’t get the original Kina Lillet anymore) is a blonde fortified dessert wine that replaces the dry vermouth. This works well in a world of sweeter cocktails and has more body than the classic martini. If you aren’t a closet bartender and want to outsource one, pop into Acre Restaurant, helmed by chefs Wally Joe and Andrew Adams. The food is great, but they’ve also got a hell of a bartender. PHOTO: RICHARD MURFF If you are going to go Try a Vesper or an Old Tom this summer. around town ordering something like a Vesper, you need a bartender who knows distillers have followed suit, includher game. These things go down way too ing the very good Ransom gin. In a smooth, by the by. market flooded with new gins, take a The James Bond of the movies may crack at this OG — original gin. In full have had a signature drink, but the disclosure, I haven’t made an Old Tom literary Bond and his author were all martini — but it might be interesting. over the place cocktail-wise. Which Not having a sweet-tooth, I wouldn’t brings us to another old/new twist: make a Vesper out of it. It is, though, a Old Tom Gin. It was the first English novel twist on the classic gin and tonic style, sweeter than the London dry that (or soda). replaced it, but drier than the Dutch The bourbon boom was fueled by Jenever style. It gets its name from the reviving “authentic” styles for modern original gin craze that came a lemon tastes — and now that it’s hot as Hades, twist away from wholesale wreckage why not do the same for gin? Besides, of English society in the early 18th we’ve got a new megalomaniac coming century. At the time, English law said out of Moscow who is out of central you had to have an eyewitness to finger casting for the next Bond villain, so I’m someone for a crime, so unlicensed not sure that the Vesper really is all that gin dealers shut themselves up in small out of step with the times. If you make houses with no windows and attached one, use Ukrainian vodka. a cast-iron cat head and paw coming Everything old, it seems, is new out the front door. Need a dram? Put again. As for Ian Fleming, he may not your copper in the tomcat’s mouth and have been the greatest writer, but as a spout hidden in the paw would fill someone who has written an espionage up your glass or jar — or pour straight novel that did not become a multi-geninto your mouth like a pre-industrial erational cultural icon, I’ve really got to vending machine. admire the man’s long game.
FILM By Chris McCoy
The Ghost of Tom Cruise Watch the jets go vroom in Top Gun: Maverick.
ship. Now, after years of pandemic delays, Top Gun: Maverick is poised to rule Memorial Day weekend. After a thoroughly ’80s-style opening credits montage, which gives us doses of both Harold Faltermeyer’s chiming theme and “Danger Zone,” we catch up with Maverick, who has now been in the Navy for 30 years. By this time, he should either be an admiral, like his frenemy “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), who is now the commander of the entire Pacific fleet, or doing the Memphis to Mumbai milk run for FedEx. Instead, Maverick is a test pilot tasked with taking the experimental Darkstar scramjet to Mach 10. When he hears his commanding officer “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris) is coming to scrap the program so he can devote the test budget to drones, Maverick sets off
Tom Cruise lets it fly as he returns to the big screen as Maverick. on one more flight to prove what this plane can do, and save his teammates’ jobs. He succeeds, but crashes the plane in the process. Instead of getting court-martialed, he is summoned back to Top Gun school in San Diego. There’s a top secret mission on tap to destroy a nuclear lab in some never-named “enemy” country, and they need Maverick to train the Navy’s top pilots for the suicidally dangerous mission — which just happens to resemble the trench run from Star Wars: A New Hope, but whatever. The order of the day for director Joseph Kosinski was to ask himself: “What would Tony Scott do?” And the answer is almost always, “training montage set to pop music.” Let’s be honest — that’s what we’re here for, right? Top Gun had some classics, including one of the most homoerotic moments of ’80s cinema, the pilot’s beach continued on page 28
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office and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” topped the Billboard charts, the Navy saw a 500 percent increase in applications. Top Gun established director Tony Scott’s reputation as a master visual stylist and made Tom Cruise one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Rumors of a sequel circulated for years, but when Scott died in 2012, the project seemed to die with him. But Cruise, who was scouting locations with Scott two days before the director’s suicide, wouldn’t give up the
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n February, as Russian forces drove toward Kyiv, the Ukrainian people found their first war hero: a young pilot who shot down six Russian planes on the first day of the invasion, becoming the first European fighter ace in 77 years. The Ghost of Kyiv’s name would live forever alongside the Red Baron and Chuck Yeager. The problem was, as a Ukrainian defense official later told the BBC, the Ghost of Kyiv didn’t exist. He was “a super-hero legend created by Ukrainians.” Yes, the Ukrainian Air Force has fought bravely. They were widely expected to be wiped out in hours, but three months into the invasion, they’re still flying, and the feared Russian air wings have been badly mauled. The Ghost of Kyiv, it turns out, was the first salvo in the information war. Since the days of the Red Baron, governments have recognized the propaganda value of a brave fighter pilot. In World War II, the greatest air ace in American history, Major Dick Bong, was pulled from combat in the Pacific to sell war bonds. In the last days of the Cold War, Americans had our own fictional hero: Naval Aviator Lt. Pete Mitchell, call sign “Maverick,” played by Tom Cruise in Top Gun. In the summer of 1986, when Top Gun soared at the box
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FILM By Chris McCoy continued from page 27 volleyball game, set to Kenny Loggins’ “Playing With the Boys.” Maverick puts his charges — including Miles Teller as “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s deceased partner Goose — through a similarly oiled-up, surfside team-building exercise, but it’s made slightly less homoerotic with the inclusion of “Phoenix” (Monica Barbaro). This new generation of pilots have the rock-hard abs necessary for success, but Maverick is still the hottest pilot in the sky. Air combat has been a favorite subject of filmmakers since Howard Hughes spent a fortune staging dogfights for Hell’s Angels. Scott’s Top Gun aerial combat sequences are rightfully revered to this day. Armed with a squadron of F-18s, compact
digital cameras, and a wild disregard for Tom Cruise’s personal safety, Maverick’s aerial sequences are the most spectacular ever filmed. Despite mustard-smeared corn dog dialogue and gaping plot holes, Maverick is extremely entertaining. Cruise’s charisma is undeniable, and the whole enterprise never tries to be more than what it is: slick propaganda for the military industrial complex. It’s been a winning formula since Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and if the $801 billion we spend each year on sick toys like aircraft carriers means that we can’t have nice things like healthcare, at least we get to watch the cool jets go vroom.
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THE LAST WORD
I’m all for trying new experiences. My friends will tell you that I’m quick to happily drag them to some place or event without having the slightest clue of all of the details. Like that time I convinced my friends to go walking through the woods because it seemed like a path that people really didn’t walk on. There was a reason for that, and we ended up getting “lost” (her word not mine). So while searching for something new to experience in 2021, I came across a post from the Shell, formerly known as Levitt Shell, but now called Overton Park Shell. They had free workout classes on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings. I love free things. After messaging my friends, we decided to give the Saturday morning kickboxing class a try. I haven’t done any kickboxing since my Tae Bo days in high school with Billy Blanks. Nevertheless, I was stoked! That morning, I drank a levy’s worth of water and headed to the Shell. We found a good spot, high-fived each other, and began. Y’all … y’all … y’all … I was not ready. Billy Blanks ain’t got nothin’ on those Kroc Center instructors. In the first session I attended, I promise I lost two lbs. and a little common sense. I gave that class my all, my everything! After the kickboxing class ended, we moved straight to yoga. And I moved straight to sleep. In the middle of the Shell, with folks all around me, I took myself a little nappy-nap. After I woke, I needed to do one thing: take a restroom break. I tiptoed through the crowd to the bathroom with my Baptist “Excuse Me” Finger in the air, only to discover that the restroom was locked. Not wanting to leave class, even though I just slept for 20ish minutes, I held PHOTO: COURTESY PATRICIA LOCKHART tight for dear life and waited on my friends. The Shell’s classes free the body and mind, sometimes the bladder. I returned to the Shell for several more Saturday-morning workouts. After kickboxing, I often just laid there. Not immediately, but as time progressed, I got stronger. Eventually I was able to do 5-20 minutes of yoga before napping out. Also, bonus, the restrooms were later unlocked. Fast-forward to the present, the Overton Shell has started up the Health and Wellness Series again. Now you too can have a healthy, life-changing experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed Twilight Yoga and Pilates, but one yoga session stretched my bladder more than I want to admit. As usual, I drank a levy of water again before driving to the Overton Park Shell. (Look, I seriously believe in hydration.) Although I arrived a little late in my cute Fabletics outfit, I found a good shady spot. I quietly rolled out my yoga mat and mentally prepared myself for this woo-say moment. As I exhaled a long, deep breath, my bladder also tried to exhale. My eyes shot open! Every muscle in my body tensed and I willed them to suck back in every ounce of moisture in my body. Once I felt I was in stable condition to move without leaking, I headed to the restroom by the side of the stage. As I walked, I saw that there was a gate and a lock on the restroom. A gate and a lock! Quickly, I thought of my options: Keep walking past the restroom in search of a bush; turn around, grab my things, and leave in search of a proper restroom; or try the restroom on top of the hill. Afraid to exhale too hard, I took a quick, shallow breath and chose Option C. I trudged all the way up the hill only to find that those restrooms were locked, too. I went back to my mat. I sat down and regrouped my bladder. After about five minutes, my body had finally calmed down. I did about two or three yoga poses before I felt the dam starting to give way. It was now or never. In one quick swoop, I grabbed my keys, water bottle, mat, and shoes and sashayed to my car. I drove to the nearest restroom and vowed to get some pelvic floor therapy from Sundara Wellness. Crisis averted. The next Twilight Yoga and Pilates was perfect. Since I haven’t tried all the classes, be sure you check out overtonparkshell.com for all of the Health and Wellness classes they are offering throughout the summer until October/November. Yeah, that’s a lot of free classes. I know I’ll definitely be attending more Twilight Yoga and Pilates and maybe a little body combat (aka kickboxing). But what I’m most excited about is the goat yoga on June 26th! 901Goats will help me relax while daydreaming about farm life. This is bound to be an excellent experience. Here are a few pro tips for the Health and Wellness Series: Bring water. Ice cold water. Bring something to wipe the sweat off your face. The instructors will ask you to do some pretty amazing things. Try them out; you can always nap later. Bring a friend or make a friend while you’re there. Wear sunscreen and a hat; you are outside after all. Have fun. Most importantly, pee before you go. Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. Her days are filled with laughter with her four kids and charming husband. By day, she’s a school librarian and a writer, but by night … she’s asleep. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend
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Memphis is My Boyfriend: In which yoga, kickboxing, and pilates aren’t the biggest challenge of the day.
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