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OUR 1751ST ISSUE 09.15.22
Teenage Kicks GONERFEST — BIGGER THAN EVER — STILL DRAWS ODDBALLS AND OUTCASTS.
September 15-21, 2022
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OUR 1751ST ISSUE 09.15.22 Sometimes I’m so devotedly lazy that I’ll undertake piles of extra work to avoid any effort. Like with this column. I pondered deep thoughts, jotted down random deathless prose that was apropos of zilch, and muttered at the blinking cursor. Nothing was stirring in the brain cells (which I have heard before from those who know me). There were plenty of options to write about: Alfredo sauce in the streets, MIM vs. MRPP, politics, TVA or MISO — you get the idea. But instead of developing an idea, I enabled my slothfulness by churning through Facebook. And there I found it: Artificial Intelligence. An ad said, “This tool writes content for you.” I chortled at the pun and then took a closer look. It was for an AI service named Jasper that vowed to take my distracted thoughts and then craft sparkling copy in seconds. All I had to do was give it a topic, set a tone, and click. But, you ask, shouldn’t I worry about being obviated by Skynet? Or assimilated by the Borg? I think not, as you shall read. My first instruction to the brainiac was to come up with the best of Memphis. In no time, it delivered breezy thoughts on, predictably, barbecue (but declined to choose a favorite) and then said, “And don’t even get me started on the Memphis-style pizza. It’s seriously to die for.” Oh, Jasper, that’s not a thing. Someone needs to take that robot to The Four Way for some greens. (And for dessert, it mentions “the city’s famous strawberry shortcake. It’s so good that it should be illegal.” I’ll ponder this as I dive into my unfamous pecan pie.) And then the AI, which claims to have devoured a tenth of the internet so far, passed judgement on what it decided was the worst thing in Memphis. Was it poverty? Racism? Corrupt pols? School leadership? None of these. It’s the horror of traffic. “It can be a total nightmare. I’ve even missed flights because of it before.” (Yes, Jasper Roboto speaks in the first person.) Fighting my own well-learned laziness, I went to the trouble to find a traffic-rating chart that revealed that out of 65 cities in North America, Memphis was a low-stress No. 56. Now Nashville, at 13, is nuts, especially at rush hour. But anyone who thinks the Bluff City is traffic hell has never traveled much. To be fair to the automatonic genius, I then had it try to write something about local civics. It said, unhelpfully, that “Memphis politics can be confusing and convoluted.” It mentions various mayors and also offers high praise for two other local political players: City Council President David Hayes and City Council Vice President Byron Potts. Anybody know these two? Anybody? I looked them up and found nothing, Jasper. Nada. Well, it did say that local politics can be confusing, so I thought to let it try something nice and easy: Memphis media. Naturally, I wanted to let it praise the Memphis Flyer, and, indeed, it did say that we are “always packed with interesting stories and perspectives that you won’t find anywhere else.” Bravo, Jasper! Our AI-for-hire, however, seemed to have strong views in opposite directions about WREG News Channel 3: “It’s pretty much garbage. The news anchors are often obnoxious and unprofessional, the stories are often slanted or totally inaccurate, and they love to stoke fear among their viewers. Basically, if you’re looking for quality journalism, you won’t find it here.” Whew! But then our brilliant bot also said in a related media critique: “It’s known for its comprehensive coverage of local news and events. If you want to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the city, make sure to tune in to WREG.” I’ll note here that Jasper, not terribly gifted with scintillating prose, likes to say “Trust me” a lot. Trust me, you’ll want to carry several grains of salt if you employ this AI. Finally, I figured to give my digital crackerjack another shot by asking it to riff on Memphis AF. I got this: “There’s no doubt about it: Memphis is the most Memphis AF city in America.” The other blather for this entry was generic tourism-speak, so I broadened the search and got this: “Are you looking for a new, edgy way to show your pride for the city of Memphis? Look no further than Memphis As Fuck – the coolest apparel brand around.” I went around Jasper and consulted Professor Google and indeed, there are T-shirts, hoodies, and other fashion basics with that timeless slogan emblazoned for your mama to enjoy. But I didn’t find the “coolest apparel brand around” as promised. NEWS & OPINION THE FLY-BY - 4 Now I’m down with, as the brand claims, NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 “celebrating our city in the most badass SPORTS - 8 way possible.” But Jasper, who was supAT LARGE - 9 posed to write a column for me, doesn’t COVER STORY have the skills of a cub reporter. I had to “TEENAGE KICKS” double-check almost every one of its alBY ALEX GREENE - 10 WE RECOMMEND - 14 leged facts without knowing the sources. MUSIC - 15 And as lazy as I am, I was really hoping CALENDAR - 16 for an easier way out. FOOD - 19 Trust me. FILM - 20 Jon W. Sparks CL ASSIFIEDS - 22 The Memphis Flyer is now seeking canLAST WORD - 23 didates for its editor position. Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENVIRONMENT B y To b y S e l l s
Groups want more time for public comments on TVA recommendation.
Hundreds rose before dawn last week to “Finish Liza’s Run.” DEWAYNE
POSTED TO FACEBOOK
Memphis remembered father, friend, entrepreneur, and Good Samaritan Dewayne Tunstall last week. ALLISON
September 15-21, 2022
Edited by Toby Sells
Memphis on the internet.
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POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY FAMILY PRACTICE CENTER OF WEST MEMPHIS
Memphis remembered mother and caregiver Allison Parker last week. RODOLFO
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Questions, Answers + Attitude
A GoFundMe for Rodolfo “Rudy” Berger, the man shot at an AutoZone store, swelled last week to nearly $19,000.
Environmental groups are asking Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW) for more time on its power-supply decision to allow for further review and public comment. MLGW staff recommended last week that the utility stay with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as its power provider. The recommendation came after local review on the decision, several studies on energy reliability and potential savings, and much noise made by environmental groups who say TVA is not doing enough on sustainable energy and that its contracts are too long. When MLGW announced the recommendation, it came with a vague, 30-day period for public PHOTO: EVAULPHOTO | DREAMSTIME.COM comment on the move. Four groups Without more time for public comments, the groups worry the decision could look — the Southern Environmental Law like a “rubber-stamping” process and the comment period “a mere formailty.” Center (SELC), Protect Our Aquifer (POA), Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP), and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) — asked the comment period may be a “mere formality in a functionally MLGW board of commissioners for an additional month. predetermined decision.” The request would give another month for public comment, “Without MLGW providing forthcoming and transparent and another month after that for MLGW’s commissioners to answers to fundamental questions informing the analysis, the review those comments. If the request is granted, a final vote public is held back from submitting informed public comments on the power-supply decision would come no sooner than in an effective way that actually helps inform any eventual November 30th. decision in a manner necessitated by the enormity of the “The [MLGW board of commissioners] must have adequate decision’s impacts,” SACE executive director Steven Smith said in time to meaningfully consider public comment,” reads the letter a letter to MLGW last week. issued last Tuesday. “Otherwise, the board risks the appearance Other providers, SACE said, could offer longer-term of merely rubber-stamping the staff recommendation. It is economic and environmental benefits. These benefits could particularly important that the Board’s decision-making process also greatly increase now, SACE said, after the passage of be open and transparent because of the existing relationships the Inflation Reduction Act. SACE said the new law — with between TVA and MLGW.” its billions in spending for environmental projects — could “greatly amplify alternative portfolios’ estimated savings and energy resiliency benefits” that could “be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Memphis if MLGW is not restricted by TVA’s contract requirements.” As for environmental issues, TVA said the day before MLGW’s announcement last week that it plans to be 80 MLGW has been a TVA customer for more than 80 years. percent carbon-free by 2035 and completely carbon-free by MLGW is also TVA’s largest customer. 2050. TVA’s timeline does not match that of President Joe SACE openly criticized the recommendation, saying, “We’re Biden, who wants a carbon-free power grid by 2035. TVA confident it’s not in the best interest of MLGW customers.” The says it must move slower to ensure reliability. group said the new 20-year contract, which has already been MLGW staffers said if the utility stayed with TVA, signed by numerous other TVA clients, would “lock the utility customers would save about $32 a year on their electric and its ratepayers into a forever contract.” The current contract bills. Overall, MLGW said the new contract with TVA with TVA is up every five years. “demonstrates the greatest value and least risk.” They said As for the extra time, SACE said without sufficient the move would save MLGW $125 million over the next five time for the public to digest the information, the public years and $944 million over the next 25 years.
“We’re conﬁdent [staying with TVA is] not in the best interest of MLGW customers.”
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NEWS & OPINION
The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Monday, December 24, 2018
Crossword ACROSS 1 Jack who starred on “Dragnet” 5 Percussion in a pagoda 9 Serves as a lookout for, say 14 Mata ___ (W.W. I spy) 15 Actress Perlman of “Cheers” 16 Tennis star Djokovic 17 Vaping device, informally 18 Skeptical comeback 19 Where pasta originated 20 “Green” 1986 film? 23 Word before Ghost or Grail 24 Not strict, as security 25 Defiant challenge to a bully 28 Singer McCartney
30 Resort with springs 33 Seller of TV spots, informally 34 Subject most familiar to a portrait painter 35 Roseanne who’s not on “The Conners” 36 “Fluid” 2017 film? 39 Capital of 19-Across 40 Enter a pool headfirst 41 Streamer of “Game of Thrones” 42 Rink surface 43 “O.K. by me” 44 “Whoa there!” 45 Ginger ___ (soft drink) 46 Light source that needs occasional replacement 47 “Noted” 1965 film?
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE A T T A C H
C A B O C H O N
F A L L O N
I C E E S K A B U L
R A D I O E B R L A T
R S T C E E E L L V I S I O S T A S E R I E C R U S T A I N E N K S H A A M O L W I N L E A D L L A M A O O K O F D S E R I E A R T
H I N T S D O V E S M E W
E A P I E S R O S S P I L O T Y A L A E R A T W R O T E O R I E S W O D D E R D L A T T E C H P E S T O O R M O N S R I N G E E Z E S
DOWN 1 Sharpen 2 To ___ his own 3 Cracker topping spread with a knife 4 Grand pooh-bah 5 Car part between the headlights 6 “Yippee!” 7 “… and ___ the twain shall meet” 8 Feline: Sp. 9 Neither vegetable nor mineral, in a guessing game 10 Cosmetic injection 11 Welsh “John” 12 Story 13 Vodka in a blue bottle 21 Energy, informally 22 Trivial entertainment 25 Prefix with lineal 26 Like a committee formed for a special purpose
‘It’s About Black Culture’
Edited by Will Shortz 1
PUZZLE BY JIM HILGER
27 Krispy ___ doughnuts
34 What planets do on their axes
48 Hill : ants :: ___ : bees
28 Minor annoyance
49 Revise, as text
37 Word of parting in Paris
50 “Me neither,” formally
38 Engulf, old-style
51 Reason to call a plumber
29 Soothing plant extract 30 Withheld the publication of
31 Alternative to Ragú
45 In unison
32 Symbol on a one-way street sign
44 Breathed heavily 46 Terrific, on Broadway 47 Lacking depth, informally
52 “Auld Lang ___” 53 Longtime rival of Saudi Arabia 54 Anthropomorphic figures in many “Far Side” cartoons
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.
Fans said goodbye to the Southern Heritage Classic last week.
red Parson gave a speech — maybe more of an order — to family and colleagues every year as he prepared to celebrate the Southern Heritage Classic weekend. “I tell anybody in my family, ‘Do not get married on this weekend,’” Parson said. “Check the calendar before you schedule your wedding on the Southern Heritage Classic. It’s not a good weekend to do anything else … because I’m not going to be there.” Last weekend was a bittersweet one for Parson. He’s a 1999 graduate of Tennessee State University (TSU) and an alumnus of the school’s famous marching band, the Aristocrat of Bands, and he’s been to every Classic except for one. Last weekend, Parson likely experienced the magic of the Classic for the very last time. The Southern Heritage Classic was the annual football matchup between TSU and Jackson State University (JSU), both historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Since 1990, fans have met in Memphis to witness the matchup between the two teams and to participate in a weekend full of events that are a touchstone of Black culture.
Jackson State University dropped the Southern Heritage Classic from its schedule in February.
September 15-21, 2022
B A S E T W O
T R E X E S
55 Black ___ spider 56 Carl who composed “Carmina Burana” 57 Greek sandwich 58 Sheep-related 59 Teeming 60 Chew on like a beaver 61 Frighten off 62 Apple device with earbuds 63 Hankerings
CITY REPORTER By Kailynn Johnson
JSU announced in February it would no longer participate in the Classic, terminating their contract agreement early due to scheduling conflicts. As alumni and fans prepared to say farewell to the Classic, they reflected on the many elements that contribute to the event’s iconic nature. For Shun Hill, a 2003 TSU graduate and Aristocrat of Bands alum, “there’s nothing like the feeling of being part of the halftime show. “Marching into the stadium … there’s nothing like the crowd’s reaction
to a great show,” Hill said. “It’s actually sad that it’s the last one. I don’t know how many I’ve been to — it’s been at least 15 or so. It’s been a part of my life since high school. It’s going to be hard to let it go. It’s going to be very hard.” Hill talked about several enjoyable aspects of the game, from the familial aspect of tailgating to the trash-talking prior to the game. She said that alumni have discussed the future of potential matchups for the next game, but she believes nothing compares to the rivalry between the two schools.
PHOTO: SOUTHERN HERITAGE CLASSIC
“Everybody is just love.” “I don’t know what HBCU football will occur after this, but I can’t see it nearly having the crowd support or even community support that Jackson and TSU have because of the communities that exist here within Memphis,” Hill said. The tight-knit community aspect was one that many experienced firsthand as HBCU alums, but Parson said it also impacted those outside of the HBCU community, and even those outside of Memphis. “Most of the time these kids [in DeSoto County] don’t know much about Memphis,” he said. “They didn’t grow up in Memphis. All they hear about is the bad stuff and what you see on the news. But when you go to the Classic, and when you go to the tailgate, you see thousands on top of thousands, on top of thousands … probably between the game and the tailgate, you’ll see 100,000 people out there. And everybody is just love. “It’s about Black culture. It’s about two universities. They’re just out there having good, genuine fun for a weekend.”
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September 15-21, 2022
OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
FROM THE NEWSEUM/FREEDOM FORUM
+ image courtesy of Pride Archives c.2016
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.
Three Thoughts “It’s been a hard week.”
• “It’s been a hard week.” My favorite part of the Tigers’ win at Navy came immediately after the game when Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield choked up in responding to a question from the CBS Sports reporter. “Memphis is a great city, and the 901 will keep fighting.” I, for one, have been performing my job duties — be they mundane or somewhat important — in a fog since Eliza Fletcher was abducted on September 2nd, a fog thickened by the shooting spree that briefly locked down the city five days later. There are lost members of our community who won’t be coming back. And I find myself missing them, hurting especially for their families. Aching emotionally.
A football game feels like we’re all rooting together, our entire city, our entire small town.
in the opener at Mississippi State. Can it force the Red Wolves off the field long enough for Tiger quarterback Seth Henigan to put up another 400-yard game? May be the difference Saturday night. • A month of home-cooking. Chuck Stobart was calling the shots the last time Memphis hosted four consecutive home games. The 1994 Tigers swept all four, beating Arkansas, Tulane, Arkansas State, and Cincinnati. What jumps out in looking back 28 years? The scoring … and how little there was. The “Ground Chuck” Tigers won those four games despite scoring no more than 16 points in three of the contests. The Memphis defense allowed a total 24 points in the four games … a figure we’re likely to see Arkansas State put up (win or lose) this Saturday.
So I turn to sports now and then. But don’t you know each and every member of the Tiger football team’s staff and players has been operating in a fog, too. Fletcher’s abduction happened on the University of Memphis campus, for crying out loud. Most painful, for me, is the fact that the charged killers in these cases are Memphians. How do we reconcile that, we “the 901”? A football game feels like we’re all rooting together, our entire city, our entire small town. And a win feels good, especially the season’s first for Silverfield and his team. But then comes Sunday, followed by Monday. Probably a hard week ahead. • No Flyer cover jinx. For the first time in memory, we put a defensive player on the cover of our annual Memphis football preview. Based on the way Quindell Johnson played in the win over Navy, you might want to hang on to that issue. The senior safety delivered 11 solo tackles and made a one-handed interception in the Tiger end zone to stifle a Navy scoring threat. It’s rare we see true playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, but Johnson has that air about him. Arkansas State will pose a very different problem for Johnson and friends, of course. Navy ran the ball 58 times (a number that leads to high tackle totals) and only passed 11. The Memphis defense did more than bend
PHOTO: LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
Quindell Johnson The Tigers’ season will be half over at the end of this home stand, which concludes with a Friday-night clash against Houston on October 7th. The Cougars, of course, were picked to win the American Athletic Conference in the preseason media poll. It’s a time for the Tigers to dig in at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium (where they lost two games last season) and re-establish a discomfort level for opponents. They’ll need to score more than 16 points to win games, but keep that ’94 run on the bulletin board as a motivator.
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
The View from Spain
PHOTO: BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN
Aquarium in Valencia It feels like we’re driving through West Texas, except with no billboards to distract from the rolling vistas of dry mountains and green valleys and olive and sunflower fields. The high ground is often covered with windmills. We counted hundreds during our stay. And the south-facing slopes often feature arrays of solar panels. A high-speed train passes us as though we are standing still instead of going 120 kilometers per hour. No monster trucks, no asshole drivers, just small-to-averagesized vehicles zipping along on a perfectly maintained four-lane highway. Did I mention there were no billboards? Tatine’s sister’s house is set on a couple of acres filled with fruit and olive trees. They have a big garden and chickens for
eggs, and the house is cooled and heated with solar power. They are not field hippies, just ordinary people living comfortably in ways that preserve energy costs and help the environment. It’s a way of life here, not a political statement. Valencia, 20 miles south, has a population of 800,000 or so. The murder rate averages six to eight people a year. In similarly sized Memphis, we had more than 300 murders last year, more than in the entire country of Spain. These are difficult things to justify or explain. But nobody walks into a super-mercado carrying a gun, so there’s that. I don’t have space in this column to recount all of our further adventures driving around Spain. It was something of a family reunion, with grandchildren showing up from Brooklyn and Tatine’s mother coming over from a nearby village. We managed, in various combinations, to visit some spectacular mountainous country with ancient villages where many of the buildings were erected in the 11th century and where there were cathedrals with Moorish influences from 1,000 years ago. It was a life-affirming, eye-opening visit. Returning to the U.S. after a couple weeks in a country where there is literally no litter, where there are no vile accusations and blatant lies muddying the daily political discourse on television, where people of all races appear to live in harmony, was something of a shock. No unbiased observer dropping into Memphis (or Nashville or Atlanta or any major American city, to be honest) and spending a few days would have a problem identifying which country was more civilized, more advanced, more livable, less polluted, less worrisome to visit. We have made a mess of things in the United States, created a political logjam — in our states and in Washington, D.C. — that prevents us from being able to legislate the most logical and basic modern improvements to the country, such as an efficient high-speed rail system, or universal healthcare, or hell, just removing the prolific visual pollution of billboards from our beautiful landscape. We’re still fighting over oil prices and who’s to blame for them, while Spain (and Portugal) have moved ahead into a world where they don’t worry about the whims of a Saudi prince or Vladimir Putin buckling their economy or leaving them in the cold. We are so far behind. We can do so much better here. Or can we? I guess that’s the question, isn’t it?
NEWS & OPINION
rom the airplane window at 15,000 feet on this sunny August morning, Spain is all shades of brown, skirls of scrubby vegetation and trees on the hilltops, open beige-and-yellow fields on the plains. (Where the rains in Spain fall, mainly, I’ve heard.) We are descending into Madrid on the first day of a 12-day vacation that will take us to places in this country where neither my wife Tatine nor I have ever been. Madrid is not on the agenda for this trip, except for the airport and Hertz office, where we’re assigned a Lynk & Co SUV, which we’re told is a Chinese/Volvo hybrid. Whatever. It works and rides nicely. And soon we’re off to the country home of Tatine’s sister, a couple hundred miles away, just north of Valencia, near the Mediterranean. Siri gets us to A-3, the main highway south, and we’re off.
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
Have we become a third-world country?
COVER STORY By Alex Greene
PHOTO: COURTESY GONER
Shannon and the Clams
Teenage Kicks GONERFEST — BIGGER THAN EVER — STILL DRAWS ODDBALLS AND OUTCASTS.
September 15-21, 2022
erhaps nothing has been more indicative of how Gonerfest has grown than the moment last year during Gonerfest 18 when Abe White jumped onstage with Jack Oblivian and the Sheiks to sing Alice Cooper’s ode to adolescent confusion, “I’m Eighteen.” It was the perfect moment to celebrate Gonerfest’s coming of age, bigger than ever and still kicking. This year, the alternative music festival celebrates its last year as a teen, though few expect it to ever outgrow its adolescent angst and experimental bent. And though milestone years are generally reckoned in even numbers, this year’s iteration feels like a true turning point, coming full circle to its earliest touchstones. The King Khan & BBQ Show, who played the first Gonerfest in January 2005, is back for its first Gonerfest since then. The Compulsive Gamblers, who set the tone for a new gonzo rockand-roll culture in this city back in 1990, are back again as well. And ticket sales 10 indicate that this will be the most popular Gonerfest ever.
Fans and Bands When Eric Friedl started the Goner label back in 1993, it was an act of fandom. He saw the Japanese turbo-charged punks Guitar Wolf and knew he had to get their demos out to a wider audience by any means necessary. And it shaded into his work in a band as well. The Oblivians, where Compulsive Gamblers front men Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber joined forces with Friedl as a trio, were just
taking off, and their recordings were also among Goner’s earliest releases. That unique mix of fandom and band-dom has colored Goner’s aesthetic ever since, especially when Friedl teamed up with Zac Ives, front man for the Final Solutions, to make Goner Records a brick-and-mortar store in 2004. Gonerfest was conceived that same year, exuding the same blurred line between players and their audience. As Friedl says today, “There’s not a whole lot of separation between fans and bands and everything else in Gonerfest. It gives it a different feel, rather than seeing someone up on stage that isn’t interacting with the people at all.” Friedl recalls the small scale of the festival when it began. “It was amazing that people wanted to come to Memphis to see this music. The first time I realized we were doing something more than just putting on a show at the Buccaneer was when we saw this guy with a label in Italy, walking down Cleveland in the middle of the day. I was like, ‘Okay, if people are
willing to come from Italy to watch these bands over a weekend in Memphis, we might be doing something interesting here.’ That was at Gonerfest 1. We had The King Khan & BBQ Show, and they may have been the only band from out of the country for that one. And then it kind of exploded from there. People wanted to come to the festival, and they had bands as well, so it was like, ‘I’ve got a band, why not just try to play?’” Since then, the festival’s international reach has only grown, with the notable exception of last year, when Covidrelated travel complications kept the band roster all-American. Now, the entire world is returning to Memphis once more. “This year,” says Friedl, “we’ve got the Australians, a band from Switzerland, and The King Khan & BBQ Show from Berlin and Canada. We’ve got people coming from all over the place.” The Great Outdoors: Not Going Viral In other words, back to normal for Gonerfest. Of course, last year also
PHOTO: COURTESY GONER
PHOTO: (ABOVE) COURTESY GONER
The King Khan & BBQ Show PHOTO: (BELOW) TOMMY KHA
PHOTO: (RIGHT) COURTESY GONER
marked the advent of a more cautious approach. Proof of vaccination was required of all attendees. This year, Friedl says, “I’m sure it’ll be a lot looser than last year, when people really didn’t know how things would go. But obviously, if you get a bunch of people together, there’s a chance for spreading Covid. We are strongly encouraging people to be vaccinated, and we’re keeping everything outside. And Railgarten gives everyone enough space that you aren’t forced to cram into any kind of small, restricted area. So we’re hoping that is sufficient and people can stay safe on their own.” Last year’s move to Railgarten as the sole venue, as opposed to spreading the festival across several stages in the past, was indeed a game-changer, both in terms of Covid safety and in the camaraderie of the festival-goers. For the first time, everyone was in one place. “Railgarten has worked out great,” says Friedl. “It’s a
big enough stage for everybody, and there are enough sightlines that you can be in different places and still see everything and get away from it a little bit without feeling you’re not at the festival anymore.” And, he adds, the venue change has dramatically increased the capacity of Gonerfest. “We had our biggest attendance ever last year,” reflects Friedl. “We just had more space to put everybody, and everybody wanted to come. So we’re right on the same pace as last year now, and we’re not close to maxing out Railgarten. Last year, we limited it a bit more than we
had to, probably; this year we’ve increased the capacity a little bit, but not enough that anybody would notice. It’s going to feel the same as last year, which I thought was pretty comfortable.” One consequence of the outdoor venue is an earlier noise curfew, but the festival carries on informally after the outdoor stage goes dark, with after-parties featuring bands at the Hi Tone Cafe, the Lamplighter Lounge, and Bar DKDC, with DJ sets at the Eight & Sand bar in Downtown’s Central Station Hotel.
Another Covid-induced innovation that will remain in place this year is the live streaming of every performance. “We constantly question the sanity of trying to live stream every performance, but it’s fun,” says Friedl. “I hope people take advantage of it. It’s a full-on video shoot over four days of long hours, with more than just one static continued on page 12
COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
continued from page 11 camera. Technically, it’s challenging, but we do it in our DIY style. I really like how it turned out last year. We learned a lot. It’s its own kind of animal. And we do have a big community of people that want to be here and participate that way.”
September 15-21, 2022
The King Khan & BBQ Show As it turns out, the idea of community is at the heart of both Gonerfest and the many bands it brings to Memphis. This is especially true of one of the opening night’s headliners, The King Khan & BBQ Show, but the theme runs through all the performers we spoke with: Music, be it punk or simply innovative, is a kind of haven for those who can’t quite find a niche elsewhere, and Gonerfest is just such a haven, writ large. That’s how King Khan sees it, going back to his earliest days in Montreal. “I joined the Spaceshits when I was 17, and it changed my life,” he says. “Me being Brown, with Indian parents, I always felt like an outsider in Canada. Just being someone with Indian genetics, growing up in the ice and snow was a shock. And I think I took that sense of shock to the Spaceshits. Now shock rock is such a ridiculous thing, but I think we were trying to shock the audience. I used to love getting naked and stuff. We loved to incite chaos. And having Mark Sultan and the rest of the Spaceshits, we were just a disaster!” But that shock just built stronger bonds with the audiences, all seeking some meaning through music. “Music was my secret world,” Khan says. “But I also found my greatest friends, who were like my chosen family. And that led me also to the Spaceshits. We had this common love of being freaks and accepting freakdom. And worshipping it. We literally worshipped it.” That was a time, in the early-mid ’90s, when Khan and Sultan first met the Oblivians, even coming to Memphis for a memorable show at Barristers. “People were throwing snowballs at each other on stage,” recalls Friedl. It was a fortuitous encounter, for when Khan and Sultan formed their duo, The King Khan & BBQ Show, featuring Khan on guitar and vocals and Sultan (BBQ) playing drums and guitar simultaneously, they had a receptive fanbase in Memphis, open to their unhinged hybrid of punk and doowop sensibilities. Indeed, two of those fans ran Goner Records, leading to the duo’s first commercial release on the label, and ultimately their appearance at Gonerfest 1. And while the duo is decidedly 12 unconcerned with traditional commercial
potential, apropos of most Gonerfest bands, a funny thing happened during the social media revolution. “The elephant in the room,” says Khan, “is obviously what happened with TikTok, with me and Mark. We had no idea what TikTok even was. We just got weird messages from people, saying, ‘Hey look, this Italian astronaut posted about making a taco in space and used your song!’ I was like, ‘What?’ And it was our song ‘Love You So,’ from our Goner debut! With this taco floating in space! And other weird stuff. You know when Drew Barrymore posts it, there’s something fucked up going on. But a lot times, these posts wouldn’t say the name of the song, so a lot of people don’t even know what song it is. They just grab it because it’s popular. “It’s funny because we released that song almost 20 years ago, we never even made a video for it. And now it’s up to almost 20 million streams. But because of the pandemic, we haven’t toured since that happened. So I’m curious to see what the effect will be in America.”
this crazy, twisted big band lounge jazz. And learning more about the people in Tuscaloosa in the ’70s that did this, and all the wild music and art that came out of there at the time.” Yet even learning that much was not easy. “Before the internet, especially, nobody knew anything about who Fred Lane really was.” Indeed, the group’s two releases from the ’80s seemed to come out of nowhere. The covers sported disturbing images of the Reverend himself, looking greasy with a waxed goatee and a demonic grin, his face covered in band-aids, and a list of many imaginary albums on the back cover that created an entire universe.
PHOTO: (ABOVE) COURTESY GONER
PHOTO: COURTESY GONER
The duo will find out Thursday, when they and garage-pop masters Shannon and the Clams will headline the festival’s opening night. And while the latter band has been put through the ringer, with front person Shannon Shaw still grieving the loss of her fiancé, Joe Haener, in a car crash, they too will soldier on for the community, closing Gonerfest’s first night. The Rev. Fred Lane If, as King Khan quips, “the quality I love most about rock-and-roll is when it’s a secret,” then Fred Lane and his band are the perfect expression of that, for they have purposefully aimed for obscurity since their first recordings. But they aren’t really rock-and-roll. “Since the ’80s, when Shimmy Disc put out the Fred Lane records,” says Friedl, “I’ve been fascinated with the idea of this group of people in Alabama, putting out
Lane and his cohort turn out to have been the product of yet another community, this one centered around the University of Alabama, which eerily echoed other alternative communities springing up across the U.S. (Gonerfest has brought in other bands with roots in this era, such as Akron’s X__X.) Even Memphis had a similar avant-garde, giving rise to Tav Falco’s Panther Burns and others. One of the musicians in Tuscaloosa was the visual artist and flautist Tim Reed, who describes how the scene expressed an impatience with consumer-oriented music. “By the mid ’70s, I was getting sick of rock and counterculture music. It sounded manufactured. There was no heart in it. So I just said, ‘I’m gonna go out there and pretend I’m a really bad Frank Sinatra, and just insult people in the audience. If Don Rickles can do it, I can do it.’” He was already helping to mount art exhibits mixed with vaudeville-like revues, and ended up writing a whole show built around his persona, the Rev. Fred Lane. “In 1976, I wrote a show called From the One Who Cut You,” he recalls. “There were different band names, but they were basically different versions of a group of us musicians who had been calling ourselves Raudelunas. We were influenced by Dada, Alfred Jarry, and the Ubu plays.” With
an aesthetic somewhere between Andy Kaufman, Bill Murray’s early lounge act skits, and the Joker, he recruited musicians well-versed in free improvisation and got them to learn tunes, over which he recited and sang his surreal lyrics, often in a blazer and boxer shorts. “I always tried to make it hard to know when everything was recorded,” Reed says today. “I’m a contrarian. If people thought the tracks were from the ’50s or ’60s, we agreed with them. That was back when nobody knew who we were. We were kind of a secret society.” But lately, with the documentary Icepick to the Moon, and an album by the same name, the Rev. Fred Lane has resurfaced. Superfan Friedl is pinching himself about it. “I never thought I’d have the chance to see them live, much less reissue the records. And I never thought they’d have a chance to play Gonerfest. And it’s definitely in the Gonerfest spirit of things, and at the same time diametrically opposed to it. Just in terms of music. So I think it’s going to be really fun. The first jazz group at Gonerfest! With a great feeling of anarchy at all times.” The Compulsive Gamblers If Fred Lane is an outlier in the usual Gonerfest musical milieu, the Compulsive Gamblers practically defined it. For many Memphians, the band needs no introduction. Though their heyday was nearly 30 years ago, co-founders Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber (aka Jack Oblivian) have maintained a strong presence here. When they play their 2000 album, Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing, front to back on Saturday night (full disclosure, with myself on keyboards), they’ll be evoking the kind of quality songwriting that both singers have exemplified ever since. “The Gamblers were my favorite band in Memphis. Everything was an event. They had the horn section that was never in tune, and a violin player, and nobody was really doing that. Even in the garage kind of scene, it was too weird. A lot of those bands, once they’re in a genre, they use those genres to define who they are. But Greg and Jack had this big, expansive idea of all the music they wanted to make, ranging from Tom Waits kind of stuff to punkier stuff to more R&B stuff. It was fantastic, and the shows were just a mess. But at the same time, the songs they were writing were so good.” Indeed, the songs hold up impressively. Garage rock aficionados can hear the nascent echoes of Reigning Sound and Jack Oblivian and the Sheiks in nearly every riff and chorus. And it will be all the more powerful in combination with Gonerfest coming full circle, back to its roots, and back to the future. Gonerfest takes place at Railgarten, Thursday-Sunday, September 22ndSeptember 25th, and at various venues for after-hours shows.
JASON D. WILLIAMS
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Over the Moon october 7th
By Abigail Morici
Fall officially begins on September 22nd this year, but, for some of us, especially my mom, waiting just a couple more days to embrace the season and put out the knock-off Pottery Barn pumpkins and pumpkin-latte-scented candles is practically unbearable. So, why not celebrate the season of harvest a bit early, the Vietnamese way, with a Mid-Autumn Festival, hosted by Crosstown Concourse, in partnership with Gloss Nail Bar, Karina Tong, and the Vietnamese Association of Memphis? The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Tết Trung Thu in Vietnamese, is also known as the “Children’s Festival” as it celebrates children’s innate innocence that marks them as the closest connection to the pure and natural beauty of the world. The special event also has “components of a harvest festival and a fertility festival,” says Jesse Davis, communications manager at Crosstown Arts. As such, lunar imagery plays a large part in this holiday, traditionally celebrated during the Harvest Moon, with celebrants observing the moon to PHOTOS: STACY WRIGHT divine the future of the people and the harvests. In The Midfact, mooncakes, representative of the night sky, are Autumn a staple dish for the festival and will be served at Festival is Crosstown for the occasion. known as the Crosstown’s festival will also feature live music, “Children’s face painting, and a dragon dance. Davis explains, Festival” in “In its oldest form, the festival commemorated the Vietnam. dragon who brings the rain [for crops].” Moreover, this year’s festival will host an Áo dài fashion show. The Áo dài is traditional Vietnamese formal wear, essentially a long, split tunic worn over trousers. Already, Crosstown is decorating its central atrium, hanging lanterns that traditionally signify the wish for the sun’s light and warmth to return after winter. “Just that alone is fantastic,” Davis says, pointing out that the evening itself promises to be just as — if not more — fantastic. MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL, CROSSTOWN CONCOURSE, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 5-8 P.M., FREE.
September 15-21, 2022
VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES September 15th - 21st
2 1 6 6 C e n t r a l Av e . Memphis TN 38104
The Trouble Begins at Eight: Mark Twain Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Friday, September 16, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, September 18, 3 p.m., $15-$27 Pete Pranica, popular television broadcaster for the Grizzlies, returns as the humorist Mark Twain in an original and literary performance sure to enliven and offend in equal parts across multiple centuries. The Trouble Begins at Eight features Pranica/Twain’s unique on-stage mixture of stand-up performance, lectures, and readings of selections from Huckleberry Finn and from Roughing It, plus other written works and speeches to be selected by Twain in accordance with his mood that afternoon. In fact, you should expect that any number of things may be done in accordance with Twain’s mood that afternoon.
Cooper-Young Festival Cooper-Young Historic District, Saturday, September 17, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. In its 34th year, this event has grown tremendously and is one of Memphis’ most highly attended festivals. The Cooper-Young Festival celebrates all things Memphis in the largest and oldest historic district dating back to 1849. This year, over 130,000 guests will enjoy an appealing mix of art, music, and crafts presented by more than 435 artisans from around the country. Handmade, unique, and quirky art and great, local original music are what the day is all about. Headliner for the 2022 festival is Bailey Bigger with Mark Stuart (bass guitar), Wyly Bigger (keyboard), and Danny Banks (drums).
“Celebrating 50 Years of the Pink Palace Crafts Fair” Exhibit Opening Day Reception Museum of Science and History, Saturday, September 17, noon-2 p.m., $13-$18 This exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Pink Palace Crafts Fair, one of Memphis’ most beloved and enduring events. Through an eclectic collection of fine craft and handicraft pieces, the exhibit will showcase the craftsmanship on display every year at the Crafts Fair. “Celebrating 50 Years of the Pink Palace Crafts Fair” not only traces the evolution of the fair, but also celebrates MoSH’s dedicated volunteer support group, who makes it a success year after year. The reception will feature light refreshments as well as an activity station where visitors can create custom Crafts Fair stickers.
MUSIC By Alex Greene
‘It’s Just Lawrence’ Lawrence Matthews: The artist formerly known as Don Lifted comes into his own.
WHODI FROM B.E.T.’S COMIC VIEW, SHAQUILLE O’NEAL’S NEXT ALL STAR, BLACK COMEDY CENTRAL’S DA LAUGHIN BARREL AND MORE
PHOTO: NUBIA YASIN
Lawrence Matthews III
TEE RAY BERGERON FROM NETFLIX, HIS OWN PANDORA RADIO STATION AND MORE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
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m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
unhealthy environment. I started getting really paranoid, because there were people around me that were not genuine. Part of that was also my anxiety around Covid. I have asthma and can’t play around. So I closed off and became isolated.” Furthermore, being snubbed two times over caused the artist a lot of anguish. “Fat Possum informed me they couldn’t do another album with me, and I was already four songs into it. That was very deflating. It took the wind out of my sails a bit, but it was also a chance to be free, not think about a label or budgets. Well, two weeks later, my manager dropped me. After that, I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is coming apart really fast!’ Then I went through a phase of blaming myself. ‘Did I screw up? Did I not make a good record? What? How?’ “Anyway, I was dealing with so much that I just stayed in the studio, working on this new album. At the same time, I spent a month grieving my old job with Tone, which I left in April in order to focus on music more. It didn’t just feel like quitting a job — it felt like breaking up. So I was processing a lot of emotions.” Somewhere along the way, Matthews also realized that relating to his own Don Lifted persona was becoming more difficult. But while the most recent singles might be Don Lifted’s swan song, Matthews still has a full album under his belt, ready to be released under his own name. And as for Friday’s show, “I’m really excited to show that this is not an ending, but a continuation of a story. “I’ve been trying to reevaluate this Don Lifted thing for a long time,” he continues. “Now, the trilogy of Alero, Contour, and 325i is perfect. It tells the story of my youth, and me getting to the man I am today. But the story of Lawrence Matthews is so much bigger than that. From here on out, it’s just Lawrence. This is me talking.”
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hen Don Lifted appears in the Orion Free Concert Series at the Overton Park Shell this Friday, September 16th, it may not exactly be his last performance, but don’t hold your breath ’til the next one. That’s the message from artist Lawrence Matthews III, who created the alter ego of Don Lifted, as he ponders the upcoming show. “I’m not treating this as the last time you’re ever going to see me perform,” he says. “That’s too finite of a thing to say.” And yet Germantown’s Renaissance man, who’s exhibited photography and paintings, directed videos, and motivated nonprofits, does seem to feel the Don Lifted persona has run its course. For one thing, the most recent singles/videos he’s released, “Baby Teeth” and “The Rope,” will certainly be the final recorded products under that name. And that alone is significant, coming barely a year after his major label debut, 325i on Fat Possum. When we featured that album in a story last year, it seemed to portend a storied career for Don Lifted. But in this era, seemingly permanent things can slip through your fingers in a heartbeat. You might even chalk Matthews’ change in priorities to a heartbeat: the accelerated pulse of a panic attack. “I entered 2022 having a panic attack on Cooper. I don’t even know what triggered it. I managed to get down the street to Overton Park, and I laid in the grass until I could breathe again. I was really, really scared. I had never had a panic attack in my life.” It turns out that after the album release last fall, and as Matthews commenced work on its follow up, a lot went down. “When I released 325i, there was a lot of anxiety that started to click in. A lot of people who hadn’t been around for a while popped back up. My social circles shifted a little bit. I was way too busy to see what was shifting, and it resulted in me being in a very unsupportive and
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
CALENDAR of EVENTS:
September 15 - 21
The electrifying jazz ensemble, Marcus Roberts Trio, returns to the orchestra stage for their signature interpretation of Gershwin’s masterpiece.
Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to email@example.com. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY. FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENTS LISTING, VISIT EVENTS.MEMPHISFLYER.COM/CAL.
GERSHWIN WITH MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO presented by Paul and Linnea Bert
Saturday, October 1 · 7:30pm · Cannon Center Sunday, October 2 · 2:30pm · Cannon Center Robert Moody, conductor Marcus Roberts Trio
Tickets Now On Sale Order Yours Today! 901.537.2500 MemphisSymphony.org
A R T A N D S P E C IA L E X H I B ITS
“2022 MGAL Member Showcase and Sale”
View artwork by members of the Memphis Germantown Art League. Through Sept. 30. GALLERY 1091
“Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community”
Explore the history and culture of Memphis’ LGBTQ+ community. Through Sept. 26. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
C O M E DY
Convy has been featured on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and MTV. $15-$30. Thursday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. GOLD STRIKE CASINO
September 15-21, 2022
Whose Live Anyway?
Four of the world’s most masterful improv artists will take you on the high-wire act of comedic acrobatics. $38-$58. Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.
a Full Price Adult Ticket with Promo Code
Dinner on Stage
A three-course meal and an inside peek into the stories and history of the theater. $80. Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m. ORPHEUM THEATRE
Stein-holding competitions, dog costume contest, and more. Saturday, Sept. 17, noon. SOUL & SPIRITS BREWERY
H EA LT H A N D F IT N ES S
Tiger Band 5k Color Fun Run Get splashed with waves of multi-colored powder throughout the course. Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. CEDAR HILL FARM
P E R FO R M I N G ARTS FA M I LY
THEATRE MEMPHIS presents William Shakespeare’s “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING” Directed by IRENE CRIST • Sponsored by DR. THOMAS RATLIFF Media Sponsors WKNO 91.1FM and MEMPHIS FLYER
Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day and enjoy pirate fights, mermaid story times, escape room, pirate tavern, and more. Sunday, Sept. 18, 1-5 p.m. BENJAMIN L. HOOKS CENTRAL LIBRARY
F E ST IVA L
Collierville Balloon Festival
A great family-friendly event! Friday, Sept. 16-Sept. 18.
TICKETS 901.682.8323 ONLINE theatrememphis.org
8/11/22 10:49 AM
Giordano Dance Chicago Celebrating beauty and illuminating the world through deep connections. $30. Friday, Sept. 16-Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m. THE HALLORAN CENTRE
S P EC IA L EVE NTS
Cocktails & Chemistry
A night of shenanigans with cocktails, drag nuns, and science experiments with the Blue Suede Sisters. $25. Friday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
A mix of art, music, and crafts. Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. COOPER-YOUNG HISTORIC DISTRICT
FO O D A N D D R I N K
Generous support provided by
Dana M. Groff ’s Super Cell is on view at wkno.org/gallery-1091, along with other work by MGAL members.
A full evening of tributes and
great musical performances. $30. Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. CANNON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Almost Elton John Masquerade Ball
Dance party/costume contest. Thursday, Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL
S PO R TS
901 FC vs. Charleston Battery Friday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. AUTOZONE PARK
Black Lodge Rumble
Armored fighting with real steel weapons. Saturday, Sept. 17, 4-8 p.m. BLACK LODGE
Memphis Redbirds vs. Gwinnett Stripers Monday, Sept. 19-Sept. 25. AUTOZONE PARK
Memphis vs. Arkansas State Saturday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.
SIMMONS BANK LIBERTY STADIUM
T H EAT E R
Master Harold & the Boys A white teen, who has grown up in the affectionate company of two Black waiters, learns that his racist father is on his way home. $35. Through Sept. 25. HATTILOO THEATRE
MeeMaw’s Ratchet BBQ
The stage play that had audiences rolling last year is back. $30. Friday, Sept. 16-Sept. 17, 7-10 p.m. THEATREWORKS
Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare’s play about two quite different love stories. Friday, Sept. 16-Oct. 2. THEATRE MEMPHIS
2 2 0 2
Saturday, September 17th 9am to 7pm
Join us and celebrate with a day of music, art, shopping and dining at Memphis’ largest and most anticipated event held in the historic Cooper-Young neighborhood annually. It is the biggest party of the summer!
* No Pets Please
Rain Date – Sunday, September 18th
12 Bands, 2 Stages, Over 400 Artisans and a Kickoff Parade with Bellevue Middle School Drum Line M E M P H I S G R I Z Z L I E S S TA G E
E V O LV E B A N K & T R U S T S TA G E
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PRESENTING SPONSOR 10 YEARS IN A ROW
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SoundBox Rodrick Duran Elevation The City Fathers Chinese Connection Dub Embassy Carlos Ecos Headliner – Bailey Bigger
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Joy Dog – Danny & Joyce Green Rachel Maxann The Delta Project Jay Jones Generation Gap
LOCAL 474 MEMPHIS, TN.
AUDUBON PARK SEPT 23-25
CRAFTS FAIR PRESENTED BY THE POWELL FAMILY FRIENDS OF THE PINK PALACE THE MARSTON GROUP MOBILE MINI
September 15-21, 2022
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Tyler Clancy Clancy, who always wanted to own a restaurant, got his first job in high school as “the baked potato boy” at Colton’s Steak House & Grill in Olive Branch, Mississippi. He worked at other restaurants, including a Downtown bar in Little Rock, Arkansas. “This is about the time Anthony Bourdain was getting popular with Kitchen Confidential. “The whole restaurant thing kind of took on this ‘rock star chef’ in my eyes. For a 20-year-old, that whole image intensified my passion for cooking.” Clancy learned teamwork at Bouré Restaurant, and “fine-tuned flavor profiles” and cooking from scratch at Emileigh’s Bakery & Catering Company, both in Oxford, Mississippi. He then became co-owner of JT’s Fish Shack, which opened on New Year’s Eve 2010 in Red Banks. Five months later, Clancy became sole owner and changed the name to “Clancy’s Cafe.”
“Being 26 years old and still a bit naive, I thought we were going to take over the world instantly.” But it was “a lot of learning.” Business was up and down until 2020 when the restaurant went to curbside pick-up during the pandemic. “We just came up with the idea to do these ‘Family Packs,’ which were meals that fed three to four people: the entree, sides, desserts, bread, and tea.” He advertised on Facebook. “That first night we were mandatory curbside, the parking lot was slam-packed full. The community came out to support us. People from Collierville and DeSoto County discovered us ’cause there weren’t many of these options available. And we still retain a lot of these customers. “Once we opened back up, they couldn’t wait to come and check out the inside and see our full menu.” His restaurant was a catfish place before he owned it, but Clancy decided to sell barbecue, too. “I’ve always loved cooking on fire and smoking it.” His catfish, hush puppies, onion salad, and tartar sauce recipes came from the old Starnes Catfish Place in Abbeville, Mississippi. But, Clancy says, “I’ve always been pushing for the barbecue to take over catfish in sales. “It’s just like here in the past two years people are realizing, ‘Man, that catfish place has some amazing baby back ribs.’ And, ‘That catfish place has some of the best brisket you’re going to get east of the Mississippi River.’” Clancy posts his “outrageous sandwiches” on Facebook. “If you post a mile-high burger or barbecue sandwich on Facebook, it instantly activates the drooling mechanism.” Two of those, “The Sippi” — pulled pork, homemade pimento cheese, fried pickles, and sweet barbecue sauce — and the “Firecracker” — a half-pound of ground beef stuffed with pimento cheese and jalapeños and topped with onion rings and homemade queso — made it to the menu and have “reigned supreme.” Norma Jackson, Clancy’s grandmother, makes eight cakes a week as well as chocolate cobbler and fried pies. Clancy’s Cafe also caters events. And when he’s home, Clancy cooks for his wife and two children on occasion. “Food and cooking have always been a passion. And I’ve always felt blessed to have a passion. I just think it’s helped me in so many ways to keep me out of trouble. To have something to focus on. And food has always been that.” Clancy’s Cafe is at 4078 Hwy. 178, Red Banks, Mississippi; (662) 252-7502.
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rofessional chefs often talk about their first childhood cooking experience, and it’s usually not so good. Tyler Clancy, owner of Clancy’s Cafe in Red Banks, Mississippi, was in sixth grade when he made his first real stab. “It was Valentine’s Day and I woke up super early before my parents got up and I cooked a breakfast,” he says. “I did Scotch eggs by myself. They’re the hard-boiled eggs covered with breakfast sausage. It came out of a Eureka Springs bed-and-breakfast cookbook that I found.” He served it with fruit and French toast. “It was pretty impressive, looking back. A passion for cooking has always been there.” Growing up in Helena, Arkansas, Clancy was fascinated with Creole cooking on TV’s The Galloping Gourmet. “I was watching Justin Wilson on PBS when other kids were watching cartoons.”
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FILM By Chris McCoy
There Goes The Neighborhood A Detroit Airbnb is the scene of Hitchcockian horror in Barbarian.
inally, a film that dares to ask the question that’s been haunting America since Buffalo Bill purred, “It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again,” in Silence of the Lambs: Does a secret underground torture dungeon count as livable square footage in a real estate listing? The answer may surprise you! The resolution of this unusual capitalist conundrum is only one of the twists in comedian-turned-director Zach Cregger’s new horror film Barbarian — and hopefully, the only one I will give away. Usually, I say anti-spoiler mania is wildly overblown, especially given that trailers routinely give away the entire plot of the film they’re promoting. But in the case of Barbarian, the less you know about the plot, the better. If you’re a fan of horror and you wanna go in clean, here’s what you need to know: Barbarian is a well-written, well-directed, well-acted nail-biter. It relies on exquisite camera work and an ingenious structure to deliver the scares. Go see it, then we’ll
talk about it on Twitter afterward. Seriously, stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers. Okay, for those of you still with me, here’s the lowdown: Tess (Georgina Campbell) is in Detroit for an important job interview — an assistant director on a documentary about the white flight that left large swathes of the city a blighted wasteland. She rolls in late one rainy night to find the key to her Airbnb missing from the lockbox. The property manager won’t answer the phone, but she’s unsettled to see a light come on inside. The door opens to reveal Keith (Bill Skarsgård), who should not be there. Keith claims he booked the house on Vrbo and has the confirmation emails to prove it. He insists she come in out of the rain — it’s not safe to stand alone on this street. Tess is no fool. She’s listened to enough true crime podcasts to know that this mysterious stranger might as well be a flashing red sign, saying, “Girl, you in danger!” When he offers her a cup of tea, she declines to drink it, thinking it could be
drugged. Keith is not aggressive, and seems to be sensitive to her concerns. There’s a medical convention in town, so there are no vacant hotel rooms to be found. Keith offers to let her stay the night. He will give her the bedroom and sleep on the couch. Then, tomorrow, they’ll call the management company and both get their money refunded. Keith seems legit, and after a bottle of wine, they’re kind of hitting it off. After an awkward moment at bedtime, Tess goes to
Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård star in (no spoilers here) this well-done nail-biter. bed unmolested. Then, creaky doors start opening and closing by themselves. Meanwhile, in Malibu, Hollywood actor AJ (Justin Long) is having a bad day. He’s on the phone with his manager, who tells him that his female co-star in the new sitcom pilot that was just ordered to series is accusing him of sexual assault, and the
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FILM By Chris McCoy Hollywood Reporter is running a story tomorrow morning. One way or the other, he’s off the show and now has to mount an expensive legal defense. His only option is to sell the properties he owns in his hometown of Detroit — which happens to include the house where Tess and Keith were double-booked. Cregger, who is best known as a cast member of The Whitest Kids U’ Know comedy show, stages the collision between these worlds (as well as another, much darker world) with considerable skill. He learns important tricks from the old masters of suspense, most notably Alfred Hitchcock. Where most horror films these days — even the “elevated” horror that has taken over the art house — go for maximal shock and awe, Cregger wrings scares from simple things like walking
down a darkened corridor. He gets a big assist from cinematographer Zach Kuperstein, who sets the mood for an unsettling flashback sequence by shooting in an extreme wide angle. (Respect where it’s due: I’m rarely moved to write “great lens choice!” in my little critic’s notebook — and for you hard-core photography nerds out there, there’s a split diopter shot!) Campbell and Skarsgård are perfectly pitched as two strangers thrown together in an uncomfortable situation, and Long practically oozes Hollywood sleaze. Barbarian is another great entry in what is shaping up to be a banner year for horror.
Moderated by Dr. Ladrica Menson-Furr, Director of the African & African American Studies Program
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THE LAST WORD By Coco June
Constant Vigilance Women have “to be worried all the time.”
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Hundreds rose early to “Finish Liza’s Run.”
One of my first memories from childhood took place when I was around 5 years old. My mother was holding me, and I was half asleep as it was so early in the morning the sun was barely even up. She was bending down to put me into the car — well, lay me down, to be precise. This was the mid-’90s, so there was no pretense of a car seat. Just a cheetah-printed sheet stretched out across the back seat. Oh, to be a kid in the ’90s, rattling around the back of a car like a bean in a can. My mother was mugged as she put me down into the car in our driveway in Midtown Memphis. I remember her expression changing to an “O” of surprise as she was jerked away from me by her purse strap. The rest I don’t actually recall, but it’s been told to me a hundred times over the years. For a long time growing up, I was naively shocked that someone would choose to target a woman with a child to rob. Somewhere along the way I realized that my mother was targeted because she had a child. She was distracted, compelled to stay put to protect her daughter instead of running or fighting back. Another memory: My brother and I were going to walk somewhere or another, as we often did, and I had a purse with me for the very first time. It seemed very grown-up. I was probably 10. I doubt there was actually anything in the purse. But what I remember is my mother nonchalantly showing me to wear the strap “like this,” across my body instead of hanging off my shoulder. That way it would be harder for someone to snatch it. At the time, this seemed perfectly straightforward and wise, and it only occurs to me now to be saddened by that lost moment of innocence. There are myriad ways in which my upbringing taught me to be cautious and aware of my surroundings at all times. A few months before my divorce, I went to the movies by myself. My ex-husband was concerned. “I don’t know about that parking lot,” he said as I was getting ready to leave. “Be careful.” I stared at him, incredulous. “I have to worry when I’m in the parking lot of a grocery store,” I said. Men, I want you to understand: You get to pick and choose when you’re worried about the women in your life. We don’t have that luxury. We have to be worried all the time. A friend of mine recently had a breakin at her home. Then, there was another one, clearly done by the same person. This man didn’t steal anything from her. Instead, he laid out personal items in a sick tableau for her to find. Women have to be worried all the time. In our driveways. In our homes. At work. I’ve worked in many places where there is an unspoken rule that whoever closes the business doesn’t leave by herself. I’ve also worked in places where this rule isn’t unspoken but acutely laid out by management. A phrase often comes to mind when I’m thinking about all this: “CONSTANT VIGILANCE.” It always amuses me that this utterance is the catchphrase of a man, not a woman. Mad-Eye Moody of the Harry Potter book series is cool, but “CONSTANT VIGILANCE” has always seemed like a feminine mantra. Constant vigilance is exhausting. We have to watch where we park, how we hold our keys, where we go on walks. Heaven forbid we let a drink leave our hand at a bar. I started writing this weeks ago on August 19th, with my friend’s break-in fresh on my mind. At work today, I learned that Eliza Fletcher was abducted this morning, and I had several conversations with people about the struggle of staying safe. Yesterday, my coworker walked me to my car at 5 p.m. as a matter of course. At this point, worry and fear have permeated our lives. I’m tired of constant vigilance. Coco June is a Memphian, mother, and the Flyer’s theater columnist.
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At this point, worry and fear have permeated our lives.
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Calling on members of Congress and The Senate to Support Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) Fresh Start Act of 2022 (H.R 6667) To put people ﬁrst and truly care about the people in your party line. To make a more just society system that’s fair and equitable to all. I’ve noticed here in Memphis people are stepping up for one another. Courageous people can and are doing extraordinary things in these challenging times. I am committed to do what it takes to support you, your state and our local government. Let us show this nation what we can get done the changes we can make the lives we can better let us remind people there’s nothing that we can’t accomplish when we work together to spread faith in our system and get this done The Fresh Start Act of 2022 (H.R.6667) I thank you for your time.
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