OUR 1812TH ISSUE
TRANS-FEST P5 HIVE BAGEL & DELI P19 THE MARVELS P20
Celebrating African dance in New Ballet Ensemble’s NutRemix
Bodies in Motion UPCOMING PERFORMANCES HIGHLIGHT THE CITY’S NEWLY ENERGIZED CULTURE OF DANCE.
November 16-22, 2023
OUR 1812TH ISSUE 11.16.23 Editor’s note: Flyer writers will occasionally share this space.
JERRY D. SWIFT Advertising Director Emeritus KELLI DEWITT, CHIP GOOGE, PATRICK PACHECO Senior Account Executives CHET HASTINGS Warehouse and Delivery Manager JANICE GRISSOM ELLISON, KAREN MILAM, DON MYNATT, TAMMY NASH, RANDY ROTZ, LEWIS TAYLOR, WILLIAM WIDEMAN Distribution THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129 memphisflyer.com CONTEMPORARY MEDIA, INC. ANNA TRAVERSE FOGLE Chief Executive Officer LYNN SPARAGOWSKI Controller/Circulation Manager JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer MARGIE NEAL Chief Operating Officer KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director MARIAH MCCABE Circulation and Accounting Assistant
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SHARA CLARK Editor SAMUEL X. CICCI Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Senior Editors TOBY SELLS Associate Editor KAILYNN JOHNSON News Reporter CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor MICHAEL DONAHUE, JON W. SPARKS Staff Writers ABIGAIL MORICI Arts and Culture Editor GENE GARD, EMILY GUENTHER, COCO JUNE, FRANK MURTAUGH Contributing Columnists SHARON BROWN, AIMEE STIEGEMEYER Grizzlies Reporters ANDREA FENISE Fashion Editor KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher
The other day my Mac laptop started freezing up. I looked at its storage capacity and saw that it was more than 90 percent full, stuffed to near capacity with photos, documents, music, apps, and email files. I needed to offload some of that RAMdevouring content. I began by deleting hundreds of photos, since they are on the iCloud, anyway. Next were thousands of old Word files, everything I’d written since 2015, most of it duplicated elsewhere. Also deleted were a couple dozen ancient apps — Chess, Stickies, Photo Booth, Lensa — all unused for years. Then I really hit pay dirt: emails, thousands of them from 2010 to 2014. I’d transferred them to this computer from my old one for some reason. It was like finding a time capsule. All the pressing problems and issues and humor and humanity of that time brought back to life: Can we change the cover photo on the Weirich story? Is Branston’s column ready yet? Don’t forget, the annual 20<30 party is tomorrow night. Bianca put cupcakes on the Flyer table. Cashiola wants to have lunch about the size of the paper after the meeting. As I scrolled, other names appeared that I hadn’t thought of in years — ad sales reps who didn’t make the grade, that weird receptionist who liked to use the intercom just a little too much, that snooty intern who dropped a milkshake on the front hall carpet and just kept walking. “That’s what janitors are for,” he said. Keep walking, we said. It was a different time, a different culture. We ate lunch together, smoked on the back stairs together, stayed late when a story was breaking, ordered pizza and drank beer together on Tuesday after the paper went to the printer. We hung out. We gossiped. And we emailed: What is going on with Rhonda’s hair? Is Phil getting divorced? What’s the deal with this new CFO? Is Donna P. wearing a f—king wig today? Are we getting a bonus this year? All this and more, captured for posterity in those long-forgotten office emails. There were emails about snow days, which didn’t exist on Tuesdays because the paper had to get out, no matter what. There were Tuesdays when I picked up staffers from all over Midtown because I had a four-wheel-drive vehicle and used to live “up north.” On days when school was called off, the office was filled with toddlers, as staffers brought their kids to work. The break room became a de facto kiddie lounge. We all knew the names of everyone’s kids. Most of them are in college or older now. But the real email gold was the discovery of several issues of The Tattler, the nowdefunct monthly company newsletter. It was written by senior editor Michael Finger, and to say he took liberties with the truth is, well, something of an understatement. The Tattler featured the expected office news, but it also featured long, rambling stories, very loosely based in truth, but mostly just created by Michael’s fertile imagination. No targets were spared. Once, the CEO had a fender-bender on the way to work. Not a big deal, you might think. But the story published in The Tattler featured ladies of the night (the Richardson twins), the deployment of 17 meticulously enumerated airbags, and the subsequent confinement of the CEO to a mental hospital with aluminum foil on the windows. And no, Michael didn’t get fired. It was just business as usual for The Tattler. Everyone was fair game. But those days are gone now, lost to the great office diaspora spawned by Covid. Millions of companies and businesses discovered they could produce their products with their employees workNEWS & OPINION ing from home “remotely,” which is THE FLY-BY - 4 a perfect word for it. No more rent! ARTS - 7 Zoom became a noun, as in “I’ve got SPORTS - 8 a Zoom at 10:30,” and now millions of FINANCE - 9 us who once worked in offices mostly COVER STORY “BODIES IN MOTION” see our co-workers in little boxes on a BY ALEX GREENE - 10 computer screen. WE RECOMMEND - 13 An entire culture has vanished for MUSIC - 14 millions of people. The office once was AFTER DARK - 15 a congregation, a club, a family. People CALENDAR - 16 spent more daylight hours in their office NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 16 ASTROLOGY - 17 than they did at home. Now, not so much. NEWS OF THE WEIRD - 18 We take the change for granted because FOOD - 19 humans are nothing if not resilient. But FILM - 20 something of value was lost and is unCL ASSIFIEDS - 22 likely to return. LAST WORD - 23 Bruce VanWyngarden firstname.lastname@example.org
ENVIRONMENT B y To b y S e l l s
A ‘Volunteer’ Climate Plan
Tennessee is planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but with no mandates.
Some folks gently lost their minds recently as a crew was spotted painting the bricks of the former Nineteenth Century Club. The enormous mansion has been home to several restaurants lately and is now taking shape to become Tekila Modern Mexican. Memphis Heritage said the move was the “last straw” and that the paint job will likely get the property removed from the National Register of Historic Places. One on the Memphis Masonry Preservation Society Facebook group suggested a protest.
November 16-22, 2023
Edited by Toby Sells
Memphis on the internet.
POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY MEMPHIS HERITAGE
Questions, Answers + Attitude
DONUTS AND SUCH By now you’ve likely seen the video of a group of people (armed with pistols and rifles) POSTED TO REDDIT BY brashly shutU/MEMPHRONOMICON ting down a stretch of I-240 to do donuts. It was one of several insane Memphis events caught on camera recently, including a theft raid on a gas station, people looting a FedEx truck, and a fight at Top Golf (below). “This why I don’t do much in the inner city part of Memphis,” u/_kylanbrown said on Reddit. “I’m 20. I wanna have fun but Memphis just ain’t the place.” QUICK PSA TO X BY “This Tuesday someone POSTED @MEKA_ BADAZZ88 got caught crankin’ the hog at a popular local coffee shop (you can probably guess which),” u/skeleton_booger said on Reddit. “If you’re getting coffee keep an eye out for The Stroker.”
Tennessee officials are devising the state’s firstever climate action plan, though it’s not expected to have any teeth to it. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is now working with groups across the state for a greenhouse gas emission reduction plan, called the Tennessee Volunteer Emission Reduction Strategy (TVERS). The “volunteer” part of the name is more than a reference to the Volunteer State, one of Tennessee’s nicknames. PHOTO: MAXIM TOLCHINSKIY | UNSPLASH The planning approach The Tennessee Volunteer Emission Reduction Strategy will rely on incentives and so far does not seem to voluntary measures to reduce greenhouse gases here. favor any mandates to curb climate change. “Through TVERS, TDEC is focusing on voluntary or The total greenhouse gas output that year here was about 17.2 incentive-based activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions million metric tons of carbon dioxide. An EPA calculator says and other air pollutants,” reads a website for the plan. “While that amount of emissions is equal to more than 44 million miles other states have imposed mandates to reduce emissions, we driven by gas-powered cars, more than 94,000 railcars worth of hope to reach established goals through voluntary measures that coal burned, and more than 2 trillion smartphones charged. The may differ throughout the state.” Memphis climate plan said “emissions are fairly comparable to, TDEC won a $3 million grant from the Environmental and even lower than, several other peer cities, including NashProtection Agency (EPA) in July to develop the statewide climate ville, Atlanta, Louisville, and St. Louis.” action plan. Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville each received After turning in a cursory greenhouse gas emissions inven$1 million to develop further plans. tory, the state will then owe the EPA a draft climate action plan by March. Then, officials will have to turn over a comprehensive climate action plan. The process mandates states to provide greenhouse gas emission reduction measures. These could include “transitioning to low- or zero-emission vehicles, reducing carbon intensity of fuels, and expanding transportation options (biking, walking, public transit).” For buildings, these could include “increasing energy The state owes the EPA a draft of a greenhouse gas inventory efficiency through incentive programs, weatherization retrofits, by the beginning of next month, according to state documents. building codes and standards, and increasing electrification.” Tennessee has never published (and has maybe never conductIn 2019, Gov. Bill Lee said he was undecided as to whether ed) an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions. climate change was real or not. Tennessee Attorney General When Memphis officials measured the city’s greenhouse Jonathan Skrmetti has battled companies on climate change gases for its climate action plan in 2016, they found emisissues throughout his tenure. But at least one Tennessee state sions here came from three major sectors: energy, transporgovernment official was frank about climate issues during a tation, and waste. presentation on the TVERS plan last month. Energy emissions were 46 percent of the total. The figure “Greenhouse gas emissions are also contributing to the includes emissions from energy used in residential, commercial/ warming of our climate and an increase in number and severity institutional, and industrial buildings. Transportation emissions of extreme weather events, such as drought, forest fires, and hur(42 percent) included passenger, freight, on-road, and off-road ricanes,” said Jennifer Tribble, director of TDEC’s Office of Policy vehicles. Waste emissions (12 percent) included solid waste and Planning. “These effects have important consequences on disposal in landfills and wastewater treatment processes. human health, such as exposure to extreme heat.”
Memphis emissions are comparable to Nashville, Atlanta, Louisville, and St. Louis.
CITY REPORTER By Kailynn Johnson
Memphis’ inaugural transgender festival focuses on empowerment.
women that are trying to find out what size they are. Maybe someone doesn’t know the proper way to measure themselves for a bra. Maybe they’re not comfortable with it.” Dunn said that having resources like these lets the trans community know that there are people who are open and accepting and want to help them. In return, they build rapport and trust with these different businesses and organizations. Vendors will have items available to purchase, and Dunn also mentioned that organizations such as My Sistah’s House have donated full-sized items to include in gift bags. Empowerment is a key theme for this event, said Dunn, and so is education. She looks back on the time when she first began to transition and remembers having “no clue on what [she] was doing” with makeup and bra fitting. Having been out for three years, Dunn said she is considered a “trans elder” and is ready to help younger generations of trans people. “I’ve learned a few things, so the
younger trans people come to me for advice and information about things,” said Dunn. “To be able to provide that is amazing.” Dunn is also the founder of the newly formed Mid-South Trans Nation, which she likens to being the “little sister” of Mid-South Pride. The organization was founded to “create a team of transgender individuals who are able to uplift and affirm members of the trans community every day.” “We envision a future where transgender individuals in the Southern region are safe and supported, able to thrive in our everyday existence, and are empowered to support ourselves,” said the organization. Dunn said the goal is to celebrate Pride Fest in June, and Trans-Fest in November of each year, as the month is held as Transgender Awareness Month.
PHOTO (LEFT): COURTESY JENNA LEE DUNN
Jenna Lee Dunn PHOTO (ABOVE): ALEXANDER GREY | UNSPLASH
While Pride Fest celebrates all members of the LGBTQ community, Dunn felt it was necessary for Memphis’ transgender community to have an outlet with resources tailored specifically to their needs. “It’s very important,” Dunn said. “People need that outlet to go somewhere safe where they can express themselves and be their true selves and enjoy themselves around likeminded people, and their friends and families that are in our community.” The transgender community in Memphis is “pretty small,” said Dunn, and this event serves as a way to bring them together.
It’s an enchanted holiday wonderland showcasing over 1,500 miniature holiday village pieces.
HOLIDAY LIGHTING CEREMONY
Thursday, Nov 16 | 6pm
Free. Graceland Plaza Green.
ENESCO GIFT SHOP AND DEPARTMENT 56 GALLERY GRAND OPENING
Thursday, Nov 16 | 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Free. Graceland Crossing.
Thursday, Nov 23 Guest House Grand Ballroom Carving Station | Cold Bar | Buﬀet | Desserts
65.99 per person
Beverages Sold Separately
CHRISTMAS WITH THE PAIGES Friday, Nov 17 | 7:30pm
$20. Guest House Theater. Tickets available at
graceland.com or door of the event.
11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm
Place your Reservation: 901-443-3000 Reservations are preferred but walk-ins welcome.
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Join us at Graceland Crossing for the grand opening of the World's Largest Display of Department 56 Villages at the new Enesco Gift Shop and Gallery!
NEWS & OPINION
ennaOnFire Productions will host the first annual TransFest on Saturday, November 18th. The event will be held at Black Lodge, located at 405 North Cleveland Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to Jenna Lee Dunn, founder and CEO of JennaOnFire Productions, this will be the “biggest trans resource and vendor market in the Mid-South.” The free event is open to all ages and will offer “familyfriendly” drag performances from Brenda Newport, Bu$ted, Lady Pluto, and Will Ryder. Sponsors for the event also include Mid-South Pride, The Haven Memphis, CHOICES Center for Reproductive Health, Focus Mid-South magazine, Love Doesn’t Hurt, and more. The event will offer “over 40” free resources for the transgender community including name change support, feminine and barber-style haircuts, and free gel manicures to name a few. “There’s going to be so much,” said Dunn. “A Fitting Place will be there doing bra fittings if we have any trans
For a full listing of weekend events, visit
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ARTS By Abigail Morici
Carved in Stone Martha Kelly’s public art installation brings echoes of the past and present to Elmwood Cemetery.
Martha Kelly with Willow For the commission, the cemetery board had selected the three tree names for the columbaria but otherwise gave Kelly free rein. “Trees are kind of in my wheelhouse,” she says. “I’m traditionally a landscape artist. And I have walked out here and sketched so much. I love the history, and I wanted to honor it in a way that is new, and that is current, and that is appropriate for my work, but also have those echoes coming forward. So they had the tree names. And I said, ‘What if I pair it with a statue [that’s already in Elmwood]?’ And everybody fell in love with that.” So, Oak is paired with one of the angels who presides over an Elmwood grave. In her statue form, she holds an anchor, a Christian symbol for hope, but on the columbarium, she holds a branch to be more inclusive. Willow, meanwhile, is paired with Margaret Turley, whose memorial statue Kelly sketches regularly. “I felt like [the willow] was a very graceful complement to who she was,” she says. Lastly, Maple is paired with Emily Sutton’s statue. “She’s my favorite story out
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PHOTO: ABIGAIL MORICI
here,” Kelly says. Sutton was a madam, who turned her brothel into a hospital during the 1873 yellow fever epidemic and nursed the dying until she herself died. “They put up the statue of her. But the cranky old men who were in charge at the cemetery at the time said, ‘Oh, no, no, we don’t want people to just think she was a hero or anything.’ So they took her madam name, which was Fannie Walker, and they put it in very large letters on stones on three sides around her monument, so people would know that she wasn’t a pristine woman. When I heard that story, I was like, ‘Oh, I think she gets a second round of acclaim.’” Before selecting these three feminine figures, Kelly had experimented with sketches of other statues in the cemetery, including a few statues of men. “But these three emerged for me,” she says. “I thought this is fitting. This is what I want for here, for now. There’s something about women and trees. They feel right together somehow. … And there’s a lot of statues of men out there. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do a male figure if I end up getting to do more of these, but it was important to me to center women in public art because that hasn’t been the tradition. There’s a handful of them out there, but not that many.” And the same can be said for women who have been credited for their art over the centuries, Kelly points out. “There’s so much work by women that hasn’t been credited,” she says. “[Elmwood] insisted on putting my name on [the columbaria] which I really appreciate. They sent me the mock-up and I’m like, ‘I think [my name] is a little big.’ They said, ‘It’s fine. We like it.’ I’m like, ‘Okay.’ … I’m just so tickled.” This installation will also be Kelly’s first piece of public art. “There’s an extra bit of responsibility and wonder that goes into making art for something like this,” she says. “It really just meant a lot in so many different ways, because of the place, because of the purpose. “I grew up here. I’m living in my grandparents’ house. I have a lot of history in the city. It means a lot to get to leave a small mark behind me as a lifelong artist who loves Memphis, loves the trees that we have. … This is where I want to live. So it just really means a lot, to me as someone with my roots very deep in Memphis, to get to have made something out of our history and out of our trees that’s gonna last.” Elmwood Cemetery will host a free celebration of Martha Kelly’s public art on Sunday, November 19th, 3-5 p.m. Harbert Avenue Porch Orchestra will perform. RSVP at elmwoodcemetery.org.
NEWS & OPINION
ith its noble trees, winding paths, sprawling views, and magnificent monuments, Elmwood Cemetery is a place of peace, not just for the dead but for the living. For artist Martha Kelly, the historical site has been a source of inspiration, a quiet spot to sketch and paint trees and statues, a “mishmash of visual elements,” as she calls it. Now, after years of drawing and painting and printmaking images of Elmwood, Kelly’s own art is about to become a part of the cemetery’s permanent landscape. Last year, the cemetery commissioned the artist to create a design for three granite columbaria outside the Chapel, which bear the names Oak, Willow, and Maple. Engraver Brian Griffin of Saltillo, Mississippi, recently finished carving Kelly’s design on-site.
8/18/23 10:40 AM
S P O R T S B y Fr a n k M u r t a u g h
When Fortune Favors The golden era of Memphis Tiger football continues.
F MARK NIZER 4D THEATRE NOVEMBER 18 2:00P.M.
FAMILY FUN – Mark Nizer combines juggling, comedy & technology to create a remarkable 4D experience. With lots of audience participation, you’ll even get your own 4D Glasses when you see the show. Mark Nizer spells entertainment for the whole family!
Live On Stage
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
DECEMBER 1, 2 / 7:30P.M. DECEMBER 2, 3 / 2:00P.M.
LIVE THEATRE — Watch an angel get his wings as he reminds a down-on-his-luck George Bailey of all things that make his a truly wonderful life. Don’t miss this heart-felt holiday classic.
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ive weeks into the Memphis Tigers’ current season, I mentioned a certain good-fortune factor that seemed to be playing a role for a program historically cursed by, we’ll call it today, less-than-good fortune. (Anyone remember the name Gino Guidugli?) When breaks happen on Tiger game days, historically, they don’t tend to go the blue-and-gray way. Folks … that was then. Since that column (October 2nd), Memphis has won a game in which it allowed a go-ahead touchdown with 47 seconds remaining in the contest. Memphis has won a game in which it allowed its opponent 50 points on home turf. And now, Memphis has won a game in which it trailed by 10 points on the road with less than eight minutes to play. That sparkling 8-2 record could easily be 5-5, or worse. Following his team’s threepoint win over Boise State on September 30th, Tiger coach Ryan Silverfield painted a picture of his team’s collective culture. Having fallen behind the Broncos, 17-0, the Memphis program seemed to turn a corner that may have changed this season permanently. “The 118 guys on the sideline were like, ‘What do we have to do? How do we keep fighting?’ That’s what makes this group special. There was no fret. There was no ‘Oh my gosh.’ Just, ‘What do we need to do to get back in this game?’” A win or two can be attributed to luck, and that goes for every team in every season. But a team doesn’t win eight of 10 games without having two things: collective talent and collective will. It’s been especially gratifying to see an “unlucky” football program pile up wins that seem to tilt in its favor in ways opponents once enjoyed. With SMU coming to Memphis this Saturday for a clash between 8-2 teams, you can’t help but think back to November 2, 2019, when an 8-0 Mustangs team visited a 7-1 Memphis team to cap the biggest Saturday — at that time — in the program’s history. With ESPN’s College GameDay crew
on Beale Street and more than 58,000 fans packing the Liberty Bowl (no SEC team in sight!), the Tigers won a classic, 54-48, on its way to an AAC championship and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. Both SMU (6-0 in the American Athletic Conference) and Memphis (5-1) are in contention to play in the AAC championship game … but the Tigers cannot afford another loss for such a dream (last realized in that unforgettable 2019 season). Will 50,000 fans pack what we now call Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium for this Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff ? Almost certainly not. Might we see 40,000 in the stadium for the first time this fall? If not, more consideration needs to be given to the fact that the Tigers’ den is simply too large for the program.
PHOTO: WES HALE
The Tigers have showcased talent and will in their eight wins so far this season. Because this Memphis team has earned a football party. The Tigers will take the field Saturday with a home record of 4-1 this season and a total of 55 home wins since 2014. Only three programs in the country have won more in front of their own fans over the last decade of college football, and you’ve heard of them: Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. No, Memphis isn’t beating SEC, ACC, or Big 10 foes. But the Tigers have made Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium a rough place to play for visitors. How many seasons before 2014 were needed for Memphis to win 55 home games? The answer is 20 (1994-2013), precisely twice as long as the current decade of joy. The “golden era” of Memphis Tiger football? You’re living it. Still.
FINANCE By Gene Gard
f you’ve been thinking of buying a home, you’re likely aware of how volatile the housing market has been over the last few years. From soaring home prices during the Covid pandemic to rapidly rising interest rates and competitive bidding wars over new listings, it’s been a challenging time to enter the housing market. So, when, if ever, is a good time to buy a house? The answer depends primarily on your personal financial situation and future goals. Following are some important considerations that can help you determine the right time to buy a house. 1. Long-term plans Are you ready to commit to your current location for the long term? If you foresee a move in the near future, now may not be the right time to buy a home. It’s wise to approach a home purchase as a long-term commitment for several reasons. • Commissions and closing costs — Because you pay real estate commissions and mortgage closing costs each time you buy or sell a home, it’s wise to put off buying until you’re relatively sure you won’t be moving anytime soon. • Capital gains taxes — If your home appreciates in value and you sell it within two years of buying it, you may be subject to significant capital gains taxes. • Appreciation — If you sell before your home has a chance to appreciate in value, you may not have enough equity to cover the costs of selling and buying a new home. 2. Mortgage rates and market conditions As of October 27, 2023, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 8.09 percent. That equates to a $2,590 monthly payment if you borrow $350,000 for your home purchase. Whatever the price of your desired home, it’s important to ensure you’re comfortable making your monthly payment over the long term. Deciding on the timing of your home purchase depends a lot on your local housing market, as real estate conditions vary widely between different cities. It’s important to consider both market values and inventory to determine whether now’s a good time to buy in your location. 3. Down payment and closing costs Before buying a home, it’s important to ensure you have enough assets for a down payment, mortgage closing costs, moving expenses, any necessary renovations, furniture, etc. While each mortgage lender has different down
payment requirements, the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be. 4. Savings Homeownership is a big financial responsibility. Before purchasing a home, make sure you have adequate emergency savings to cover unexpected home expenses, such as a new furnace or roof. It’s wise to have at least three to six months of living expenses saved in a semi-liquid account for easy access. Before purchasing a home, be sure to recalculate your monthly expenses to include the monthly costs of owning your home, and save enough in your emergency fund to cover these expenses. 5. Debt When determining whether you’re eligible for a mortgage, lenders typically look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). This is the percentage of your monthly gross income that you can reasonably put toward your mortgage payment. It includes factors such as housing costs, student loan balances, credit card debt, and other types of debt. Most lenders prefer borrowers have a DTI of less than 36 percent, but the lower your DTI, the better chance you have of being approved for a favorable interest rate. If you have significant outstanding debt, now may not be a great time to purchase a home. Focus on paying off that debt to put yourself in a better financial position. 6. Credit score Before purchasing a home, it’s also important to make sure you have a strong credit score. Lenders typically offer better mortgage rates to borrowers with credit scores of 740 or greater. Although you may be approved for a mortgage with a lower score, you’ll likely need to pay a higher interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it may make sense to wait on your home purchase until you can boost your credit. Gene Gard, CFA, CFP®, CFT-I™, is a Private Wealth Manager and Partner with Creative Planning. Creative Planning is one of the nation’s largest registered investment advisory firms providing comprehensive wealth management services to ensure all elements of a client’s financial life are working together, including investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management. For more information or to request a free, no-obligation consultation, visit CreativePlanning.com.
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In an ever-changing landscape, when should you buy a home?
NEWS & OPINION
Time to Buy?
COVER STORY By Alex Greene
PHOTO: ZIGGY MACK
Bodies in Motion
UPCOMING PERFORMANCES HIGHLIGHT THE CITY’S NEWLY ENERGIZED CULTURE OF DANCE.
November 16-22, 2023
he longer nights of autumn settling in signify more than just the coming of winter. It’s also the season when the performing arts ignite, stages lighting up across the city to dazzle us, beguile us, and draw us into the show as if to a primordial bonfire. This is especially true of dance companies, where the elemental combination of ritual and individual expression is taken to a high art. And the holiday season is the bread and butter of many such ensembles due to one ballet in particular: The Nutcracker. As research by Crain’s New York Business determined in 2013, “a production of The Nutcracker can bring in anywhere from 40 percent to 45 percent of a ballet company’s revenue.” This makes it especially important in Memphis, where the audience for dance can be especially fickle. Yet dance continues to thrive here as never before, and the winter dance season — including New Ballet Ensemble’s NutRemix, Ballet Memphis’ The Nutcracker, and Collage Dance’s RISE — is one reason why, not least 10 because all three companies are also dance schools. Not only do these
three productions put their respective schools’ youngest students onstage with world-class dance virtuosos from Memphis and beyond, they highlight the creativity and inventiveness with which all three companies approach the art of dance. The ways they’re reimagining that art are one key to why dance is thriving in Memphis as never before.
A Dance Renaissance in the Home of the Blues If Memphis is the “Home of Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll,” as the city’s official slogan boasts, it’s worth pointing out the unifying subtext behind all those musical forms: dance. Social bodily movement was baked into the blues, soul, and rock-and-roll from their very origins. Of course, popular dance has not always been celebrated in the conservatories of the world, focused as they are on the Western balletic tradition, but that began to change through the second half of the last century as visionaries like Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey incorporated American folk forms into their choreography. Today, due to this city’s role as a crucible of popular music and dance, that merging of “high” and “low” terpsicho-
rean art is accelerating — and putting Memphis on the cutting edge of innovation in the dance world. That was underscored this August when a study by the Dance Data Project named Ballet Memphis and Collage Dance among the 50 largest dance companies in the country, with the former ranked at No. 32 and the latter at No. 46. Only one other Tennessee company, Nashville Ballet, made the list. In future years, Collage Dance will likely rank even higher, thanks to the $2 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant the school received this summer. Dance is becoming a financial dynamo of sorts in Tennessee. “We’re providing full-time jobs for artists,” Nashville Ballet artistic director Nick Mullikin told The Daily Memphian, and the point applies to Memphis as well. “We’re making an economic impact in these cities and we are giving cities in Tennessee a place to attract other businesses, which increases the tax revenues and benefits to a city overall, which then goes back — ideally, if the government is doing its job — to the people.” Meanwhile, a third dance organization here, New Ballet Ensemble and School (NBE), has also been garnering
praise for years, winning the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2014, with the school’s students dancing at the Kennedy Center in a performance The Washington Post called “dazzling.” Today, some of its former students are finding fame on an international scale. There’s clearly something big happening in the world of Memphis dance. And although the Dance Data Project study was based on companies’ annual expenses in 2021, it indicates an even deeper truth: The success of the dance scene in Memphis owes as much to companies’ aesthetic innovations as to their finances. All three of the companies and their affiliated schools have, to varying degrees, embraced local vernacular dance forms, combining a commitment to the high technical standards of the balletic tradition with vigorous outreach programs that include Memphis’ most underserved communities. The end result not only bends in the direction of social justice, it breaks new artistic ground and puts Memphis performances on the cutting edge of dance innovation. That’s especially evident in each company’s winter showcase performances.
PHOTO: STEFANIE RAWLINSON
The first opportunity to celebrate the flowering of local dance will be this week, when NBE’s NutRemix, presented by Nike, returns to the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts November 17th through 19th. To say this show, now in its 21st year, is imbued with the spirit of Memphis is an understatement. Indeed, NutRemix is a testament to both the original ballet’s malleability and this city’s openness to reimagining classic forms. While The Nutcracker has been reinvented before, most audaciously in the Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut (a dark retelling of the classic tale set in postwar American suburbia), there’s nothing quite like the freedom of thought, music, and movement expressed by NBE’s version. Rather than have the extended family of Russian nobility gather in a mansion in the ballet’s first act, it’s the fictive family of a petit bourgeois shop owner, his workers, and associated hangers-on around Beale Street. Transforming that locale, long known as a kind of sin city of the South, into a kind of multicultural utopia is a moving conceit that still allows considerable drama into the tale, as hard-edged urban grit enters in the form of hip-hop dance battles. Indeed, hip-hop dance, especially Memphis jookin’, is proudly celebrated along with ballet, R&B, African, and flamenco dance forms, with the globe-hopping fantasia of The Nutcracker’s second act transformed into a celebration of diversity. This reinvention leapt from the mind of NBE’s founder, Katie Smythe, but it didn’t come from nowhere. She’d tested the notion before she’d moved back to her native Memphis. “I was running the outreach education program through the Los Angeles Music Center. We were doing dance performances in schools, and I loved that, but how many Cinderellas can a group of Black children watch, where Cinderella is white and the prince is white, before they’re thinking, ‘Where am I in this?’ It was really stupid and I was very headstrong! So I created a condensed Sleeping Beauty. I hired black dancers, and
I danced in it, too. And we made it only 30 minutes. I changed the narrative, made it fun, and put all different kinds of music in it. And the kids loved it! So that’s where I learned how to do NutRemix.” It was also a perfect opportunity to introduce younger dance students to a more professional production, and the show’s been the centerpiece of the school’s pedagogical approach. It soon became a vehicle for older students to explore their talents. “The only way to bring those different genres into our performance,” says Smythe, “was to have the leaders of those diverse sections really lead them, choreograph them, and claim them as creators. I’ve never taken credit for NutRemix as choreographer because the truth is, the kids choreographed about 50 percent of it. John Washington choreographed the African section, Robin Sanders choreographed the hip-hop battle, Lil Buck choreographed the angel — in fact, he created that role. I also learned from a Chinese woman working for FedEx here, who wanted a place to have Chinese dance classes. I studied with her and then we made the Chinese scene more culturally authentic, using Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road music. We were undoing the stereotypes inherent in NutRemix.”
Eventually, the production gained the support of Nike, and now boasts a full-on production featuring the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Big Band and African drummers. And as professionals from elsewhere, including NBE alums who’ve gone on to successful careers, join the cast, they help Memphis tap into an international network of excellence. This year will feature two renowned NBE alums: Maxx Reed, who’s returned to serve as the show’s creative director, and acclaimed dancer Memphis jookin’ ambassador Lil Buck, who will reprise his role as the Memphis Angel. Internationally celebrated dancers Myrna Kamara and Filipe Portugal will also share the stage with NBE’s students. With so many talents involved, NutRemix is a Memphis phenomenon that shows no signs of losing its spark of innovation.
NutRemix isn’t the only reimagining of The Nutcracker in the city. The Buckman Dance Conservatory will offer a fresh interpretation of the classic, Nutcracker: Land of Enchanted Sweets, this December 1st through 3rd at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. But the classic staging of The Nutcracker has a special place in the
continued on page 12
PHOTO: TRE'BOR JONES
COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
hearts of dance fans, and Ballet Memphis has had that covered for nearly 40 years. This year’s production will carry all the finery of a traditional ballet company production, with some unexpected touches that will only be revealed in the performances, scheduled for December 9th to 10th and 15th to 17th at the Orpheum Theatre, featuring live music by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. With choreography by Steven McMahon, this season will represent an evolution of the set and costume design that will bring “renewed vibrancy to the classic story,” according to a Ballet Memphis press release. “Transport yourself to a sweetly nostalgic riverside and a confectionary dreamland through the eyes of a young girl destined for adventure. Ballet Memphis’ new production of this beloved American holiday tradition promises to delight in both familiar and unexpected ways.” Like NBE, Ballet Memphis treats the holiday performance as a chance to mix young students of dance — and not just those enrolled in Ballet Memphis — with the seasoned veterans of the company. “The students can audition for The Nutcracker, which is the professional company’s production,” says Eileen Frazer, community programs manager and teaching artist at Ballet Memphis. “So that includes between 60 and 100 of our students getting that performance opportunity. Also, The Nutcracker auditions are open to students from other studios as well. So we get to have a little community and integration with everyone in the city, and even from Arkansas and Mississippi.” Such student involvement is critical to Ballet Memphis’ mission, and they’ve been delighted by what appears to be growing interest in ballet among young people. “In Memphis, the ballet community is thriving. The city has several schools and companies, and I think the love for classical ballet is only growing at this stage,” says Frazer. “We saw a bit of a dip during the pandemic, as all organi-
continued from page 11 zations did, and we’re still growing our student body back from that, but we have students coming to us from other studios, where the focus hasn’t been classical ballet, because they want that focus on classical technique.” Even with that as a starting point, Frazer points out, such technique forms the basis for a wide variety of dance. “We do a class in modern dance as well, but classical ballet doesn’t just mean dancing to classical music. You need that classical ballet foundation to do all types of dance, even all types of sports. We have kids coming through saying, ‘My football coach told me I had to take ballet.’” Frazer emphasizes that, because of the company’s eclectic performance schedule, their students are not learning in a vacuum. “Being attached to our professional company, the students are seeing these incredible professional dancers, dancing to all kinds of music — classical music, or Patsy Cline, or Roy Orbison, or soul music. We aren’t just doing full length classical ballets. We’re bringing in a lot of up-and-coming choreographers, doing a lot of new work. That lends itself to doing more contemporary movement.”
November 16-22, 2023
All three schools are committed to balletic technique as the foundation of their teach-
ing, even as they’re open to more modern forms. Perhaps that’s been the key to the thriving dance culture Memphis is enjoying. And the rapid rise of the most recent addition to the Memphis scene, Collage Dance, is indicative of just how primed the city is for dance education and performance, all wrapped into one. Founded as a performance company in 2006 by executive director Marcellus Harper and artistic director Kevin Thomas to remediate the ballet industry’s lack of racial diversity, it was originally based in New York, not Memphis. Their mission grew directly out of Thomas’ 10 years of experience as the principal dancer at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. They relocated here the next year and added the conservatory to the organization, sensing that dance was not only gaining momentum but had potential for growth in Memphis. They were onto something. That same year, in 2007, a video emerged of Lil Buck mixing ballet and jookin’ in a solo to Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” for an NBE event in West Memphis. It went viral, helping to launch the dancer’s career and raising the profile of Memphis dance as a whole. Meanwhile, Collage worked to find its footing locally, teaching in various host locations from 2009 on, attracting more students every year. And their professional company, officially known as Collage Dance Collective, was building its
reputation and touring internationally. Karen Nicely, Collage’s community engagement programmer and faculty teacher, has worked with the organization from the start and is not surprised by Collage’s rapid evolution into one of the South’s leading companies and conservatories. “I have been with Collage every year and it’s been amazing to see. It’s grown because of the mission that the guys have: to expand access and quality training to even more communities and especially underserved communities.” The culmination of that came in 2020 when, despite months of quarantine, Collage raised $11 million to build a dedicated dance center of its own. Soon that beautiful modernist building in the heart of Binghampton will spring to life when Collage Dance hosts the International Conference of Blacks and Dance from January 24th to January 28th — the ultimate feather in the cap of the organization that will feature performances by the Collage Dance Collective as well as other internationally celebrated companies. Collage’s sense of mission may explain why their most gala event of the year is not The Nutcracker (although the professional Collage Dance Collective does perform the ballet elsewhere during its touring season), but a dance created by Thomas, RISE. While it also includes a mix of the company’s profes-
sionals with students, it is inherently more politically and culturally engaged with the modern era than any 19th century ballet could be. It typically takes place during Black History Month, and the 2024 production, scheduled for February 3rd and 4th, will be no different. “In RISE, you see the stars of today, which are my professional company, and the stars of tomorrow, which are my students,” says Thomas. “Students are dancing alongside the professionals. So it really feels like a community. I was inspired to do this piece when I went to the National Civil Rights Museum when I first came to Memphis. It just reminded me that we have a history that needs to not be forgotten.” The specific history evoked is that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I use his last speech, his ‘Mountaintop’ speech, to tell our story through movement and music, as you hear his words,” says Thomas. Though the sound design is pre-recorded, it is made all the more powerful through the music of local composers Jonathan Kirkscey and Kirk Kienzle Smith. As Thomas puts it, “We’ve used the music of these two Memphians to create a ballet honoring Martin Luther King’s philosophy, using his powerful speech which talks about the future. And the future is our kids, our students. It’s their future.”
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We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews
No Food Left Behind
By Abigail Morici In the U.S., 40 percent of the food produced goes uneaten and is sent to the landfill, yet the majority of this food is still good for consumption — a fact to which Project Green Fork (PGF), an offshoot of Clean Memphis, wants to brings awareness, especially with their upcoming Reharvest Memphis. PHOTO: PROJECT GREEN FORK At the event, says program director Leann Edwards, local PGF-certified chefs Enjoy delicious sustainable meals at will prepare hors d’oeuvres using surplus ingredients rescued from the MidReharvest Memphis. South Food Bank and Cordelia’s Market. The chefs, whose PGF certification dictates that they have taken measures to practice sustainability in their restaurants, will be Don Gaines and Stephanie Blanda of LuLu’s Cafe & Bakery, Sarah Cai and Arturo Leighton of Good Fortune Co., Daishu McGriff from Shroomlicious Meals, Becky Githinji and Shane Wigginton from Tamboli’s, and David Self from Paper Plate Pavilion. “It’s important to support these restaurants who are taking sustainability measures,” says Edwards. Prior to visiting the food bank and Cordelia’s on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the event, the chefs won’t know what ingredients they’re working with, which means they won’t know what dishes they’ll create. “That’s part of the fun of it,” Edwards says. “It turns into a really exciting, creative process for them as well. … [Last year at my first Reharvest] I was very excited by how excited they were — just the fun of chopping these ingredients and watching their wheels turn and figure out how they could use them in really creative ways. And people made desserts, savory dishes, and even though they had the same sort of components to shop from, everyone created something very different in their own wheelhouse.” In addition to sampling the top-notch restaurant fare, attendees will be able to mingle with the chefs, ask questions about their dishes, and hopefully learn tips on how to utilize ingredients that might go otherwise to waste. “That’s really our intention — to rethink food waste in a way that’s delicious and sustainable,” Edwards says. “There’s sometimes a stigma around surplus food that might be appropriate for donation. And we really just want to show people through these creative chefs that surplus food can be super delicious and creatively used and nourishing and wholesome at the same time.” This year’s Reharvest Memphis also happens to coincide with PGF’s Downtown leg of the new 901 Save the Food Challenge: Restaurant Edition, which has been working with restaurants neighborhood by neighborhood to reduce food waste. The event, Edwards says, showcases the impacts that initiatives like the 901 Save the Food Challenge and just minimizing food waste in general can make in the culinary landscape. Tickets for Reharvest Memphis can be purchased at tinyurl.com/5n8542jm. Tickets include complimentary wine, beer, a signature cocktail, and a mocktail. REHARVEST MEMPHIS, BEALE STREET LANDING, 251 RIVERSIDE DRIVE, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 5:30-8:30 P.M., $75, 21+.
GERMANTOWN HOLIDAY CONCERT
SATURDAY, DEC 9
Memphis Finest Comedy Show Orpheum Theatre, 203 S. Main, Sunday, November 19, 6 p.m., $25-$45 The Memphis Finest Comedy Show is a collection of Memphis’ funniest comedians. This year’s comedians are Jeremy Schaar, Hollywood, Justin Burgess, Still Phyl, Richard Douglas Jones, Oscar P, and Abayneh Cunningham.
Trans-Fest Black Lodge, 405 N. Cleveland, Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.4 p.m., free JennaOnFire Productions presents the biggest trans resource and vendor market in the Mid-South. There will be drawings for giveaways and most of the tables will have goodie bags as well. Each hour will have a family-friendly performance by a different drag performer such as Brenda Newport, Bu$ted, Lady Pluto, and Will Ryder.
2023 BuffaGLO Run Shelby Farms Park, 6903 Great View Drive North, Tuesday, November 21, 7 p.m., $25 Want to get the very first look at the lights of Starry Nights? AND grab a cool t-shirt? This family-friendly 2.25-mile fun run is the kick-off to Starry Nights. Dress in fluorescent gear and get ready to GLO. This race will be untimed, strollers are welcome, and dogs are allowed onleash. Race registration fees benefit Shelby Farms Park + Greenline.
SATURDAY, JAN 20
IT’S ALL HAPPENING AT GPAC!
gpacweb.com (901) 751-7500
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Eat This Book Festival Cossitt Library, 33 S. Front, Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free Celebrate Memphis food culture with vendors, food trucks, free samples, crafts, and more. This year’s fall holiday-themed Eat This Book festival, headlined by Chef Eli, will be the best yet.
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
JUMAANE SMITH: LOUIS! LOUIS! LOUIS!
VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES November 16th - 22nd Memphis Fitness Fest Renasant Convention Center, 255 N. Main, Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $15 Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a beginner on your wellness journey, or simply looking for inspiration to lead a healthier life, the 2023 Memphis Fitness Fest is for you. So, get ready to immerse yourself in a day filled with energy, excitement, and empowerment. Participate in live demonstrations by the area’s top fitness trainers. Learn from expert nutritionists about the power of proper nutrition in achieving your fitness goals. Gain wisdom from featured speakers who have conquered fitness milestones and transformed their lives and countless others. Explore a marketplace filled with fitness brands, health and personal wellness products, and more.
SATURDAY, NOV 18
MUSIC By Alex Greene
Paul Taylor’s Homecoming It’s the musical polymath’s first return to Memphis in three years.
November 16-22, 2023
he Greek word nostos, meaning the triumphant homecoming of a conquering hero, may spring to mind when one learns that Paul Taylor, aka New Memphis Colorways, will be playing his first Memphis show in over three years this week. Certainly with his multi-instrumentalism, compositional acumen, and sheer musical feeling, he’s a heroic Memphis troubadour, doggedly releasing finely wrought albums and working shows with multiple bands despite lacking a “hit” or major name recognition. Growing up “a second-generation Memphis musician,” as he puts it, was working well for him, leading to many years of steady playing around town. Perhaps the real hero’s journey began when he and his wife decided to follow their hearts and transplant themselves to Door County, Wisconsin, three years ago. What was at stake? Only everything he’d built up over a lifetime in Memphis music. “When we moved up here in 2020, it was the great pandemic shake-up and my gerbil wheel of being a busy Memphis musician completely ground to halt,” Taylor recalls. “That was when Sarah and I thought, ‘You know, we love Door County. Why don’t we move there?’ Because this was months and months before a vaccine or anything. Nobody knew what the world was going to look like. We were like, ‘Just in case things get really crazy, what if we hid out in Door County and kind of see how things go?’ She looked and found a winter cabin that we wound up staying in for six months.” They already loved Door County, Taylor having been introduced to the area by Memphis guitarist Eric Lewis many years earlier. “Eric does an annual show here, the Fishstock concert series at Camp David, run by this amazing family that’s almost like a hippie commune. He’s been doing it for 25 years. I started coming up and playing drums with him here in
2007. So that was a critical part of how I moved up here. Sarah fell in love with the place, too, and we wound up getting married here.” In Covid-induced isolation, he was more productive than most, swapping tracks with Steve Selvidge and Luther Dickinson to create the MEM_MODS debut, and working on solo tracks with tweaked programmed beats and soulful singing, now being released as his New Memphis Colorways EP, Let the Mystery Be. But as the pandemic eased a bit, something unexpected started to happen.
bringing down to Memphis, which is a whole other story.” That story simultaneously reaches into Taylor’s past and indicates his future. “I formed that band, Three Springs, with two Wisconsinite fellows that I’ve befriended, Adam Cain on drums and John Frater on bass,” says Taylor. “It started with me showing them a whole bunch of songs that were on my first few solo records that I thought had really suffered from being some of my first recordings, when I was pretty inexperienced. But they’re some of my favorite
PHOTOS: COURTESY PAUL TAYLOR
Paul Taylor with Three Springs
“I think I was sort of on the ground floor of a sort of new music scene reinventing itself up here post-pandemic,” Taylor explains. “Up here, there’s always been a lot more gentle folk music and bluegrass, but there are younger people starting to come up here. I got really lucky and wound up playing a bunch of weekly gigs that I’ve been doing for almost three years now. I play background jazz guitar at a dinner gig. And then I met a 72-year-old songwriter from Chicago who turned out to be an absolute jazz master on organ named John Lewis, and we formed an organ trio. We’ve been playing all this funky music for two years. And then I formed this band that I’m going to be
songs, so I formed this band as a vehicle to give those songs a fresh life.” New Memphis Colorways fans know to expect the unexpected, but Taylor says the group specializes in “originals that are everything from power pop to instrumental tunes to funk,” and has plans to record while here as well. He emphasizes that a strong Memphis streak runs through all his music, no matter where he is. “Even though I’ve been up here for three years and plan to stay, I will always consider myself a Memphis musician.” Paul Taylor’s Three Springs plays The Green Room at Crosstown Arts on Friday, November 17th, at 7:30 p.m. Visit crosstownarts.org for details.
AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule November 11 - 22 Memphis Jones
Friday, Nov. 17, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 20, 4-6:30 p.m.
JERRY LEE LEWIS’ CAFE & HONKY TONK
Robbie Bletscher on Piano WESTY’S
$10. Sunday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.
Christmas with the Paiges Holiday Show
Anita Baker: The Songstress
Sunday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m.
Rod Wave: Nostalgia Tour
With the legendary Babyface. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Ashton Riker & the Memphis Royals
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-11 p.m. B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Saturday, Nov. 18, 6-8:45 p.m. CENTRAL BBQ
Thursday, Nov. 16, 4-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7-11 p.m. B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m. TIN ROOF
Thursday, Nov. 16, 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, 10:30 p.m. TIN ROOF
Donna Padgett Bowers Presents Variety show of Memphis talent. Free. Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m. WESTY’S
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-11 p.m.
The B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band
Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Saturday, Nov. 18, noon; Sunday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 22, 4 p.m. B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Larry Heard & DJ Spinna
Larry Heard and DJ Spinna will be going back to back all night long. Free. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, Nov. 19, 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. THE CENTRAL STATION MEMPHIS, CURIO COLLECTION BY HILTON
Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. TIN ROOF
Live at The Tracks With Sophie Seng
Sunday, Nov. 19, 6:30-9:30 p.m. CENTRAL STATION HOTEL
$39.50. Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. THE ORPHEUM
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-10 p.m.
Mempho Presents: Greensky Bluegrass
Plus Lindsay Lou. Thursday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m.
YOUNG AVENUE DELI
Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 p.m.1 a.m. WESTY’S
Zoe Doinquez, Victoria Dowdy and Sande Lollis Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. SOUTH MAIN SOUNDS
Big Band Jazz Concert featuring Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra and 901 Jazz
ROCKY’S EAST MEMPHIS
Wendell Wells & The Big Americans
Sunday, Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 p.m.
Night Park b2b Strooly
Kenneth Jackson Experience
Marcella & Her Lovers
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
SOUTH MAIN SOUNDS
HUEY’S OLIVE BRANCH
BAR HUSTLE, ARRIVE HOTEL
Sunday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m.
THE SLIDER INN
SCHEIDT FAMILY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
Davis Coen & the Downstream Drifters
Wendell Wells Songwriter
Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
The Blues Trio
An exciting and vibrant musical experience that brings the rich sounds of jazz to life. Monday, Nov. 20, 7:30-9 p.m.
PHOTO: GREENSKY BLUEGRASS
B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Saturday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, noon; Tuesday, Nov. 21, 4-6:30 p.m.
As part of the Holiday Lighting Weekend festivities, enjoy Christmas with the Paiges for a delightful holiday performance. $20. Friday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Flic’s Pic’s Band
Jason Foree Band
Monday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m.
RUM BOOGIE CAFE
B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
Bailey Bigger with Bar Jay Bar, Red McAdam, Pete Poise
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 5-8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 p.m.
Elmo & the Shades, Eddie Harrison
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7-11 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, 10 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m. BAR DKDC
Chelsea Butt, Sweat FM, Risky Whispers, Window $10. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m. HI TONE
Gafﬂe Gang Music Presents: O Dawg & ATM Von Hosted by 8ball
With Lady O, Tonkaa, KnotboyDeazy, CowBoyFlyM. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 9 p.m. GROWLERS
Friday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m. LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Glare, Kitty Pool, Peach Blush $12. Monday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m. HI TONE
Healy, Etta Havoc
$20. Thursday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m. GROWLERS
Jason D. Williams
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 p.m. LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Rice Drewry Collective Saturday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Monday, Nov. 20, 6 p.m. LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Sleuthfoot, Kroil, Mudshow, Morrison Jones
Three metal bands and a rapper descend upon Midtown Memphis with intentions to throw tf down. $10. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. LAMPLIGHTER LOUNGE
$7. Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 p.m.
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Friday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m. GLITCH
Left Lane Cruiser, Adam Faucett, Mike Hewlett, Chris Hamlett $15, $20. Thursday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m. HI TONE
This is a whole new type of fresh live music event to the Memphis area. Get ready for a family-friendly, alcohol-free night with some of the best indie talent from across Tennessee. Saturday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. SOCIETY SKATE PARK
The Head and The Heart Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m. MINGLEWOOD HALL
The ShotGunBillys LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
John & Kory
Lance Turner Video Installation with Pop Ritual and Hempsekil
The Dry County Pop Shove It
Play Some Skynyrd
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
$15, $20. Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
THE GREEN ROOM AT CROSSTOWN ARTS
Sunday, Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m.
Longtime Memphis musician Paul Taylor is returning home to play his first show back in the Bluff City in over three and a half years. $15, $20. Friday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Jay Jones Band
Keepin It Memphis
The Ken Houston Duo
Paul Taylor with Three Springs
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
MEMPHIS MUSIC ROOM
$5. Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 p.m.
Songwriter Night with Mike Hewlett, Jeff Pruitt, Chris Hamlett, Curtis B Scott
NEIL’S MUSIC ROOM
Keepin It Memphis is an award-winning weekly concert series that promotes the Memphis culture and highlights the works of the Memphis underground arts scene. $20/general admission, $10/admission with a local I.D. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7:3010:30 p.m.
The Backroads Tour
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.
Trash Cat’s Birthday Part with DJ Amy Dee Sunday, Nov. 19, 5 p.m. HI TONE
Troubled Minds, Bloodroot, Chloie P. and The Scouts, Public Strain TX2: Ghost of the East Coast Tour
With Kid Baron and The Storyline. $15, $18. Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. GROWLERS
Vinyl Happy Hour
Special guest DJs spinning vinyl in the main room. Friday, Nov. 17, 3-5 p.m. MEMPHIS LISTENING LAB
Wendell Wells & The Big Americans
$10, $12. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. HERNANDO’S HIDE-A-WAY
$12, $15. Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. HERNANDO’S HIDE-A-WAY
JW Jones Band
Sunday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m. HUEY’S SOUTHAVEN
Smells Like Nirvana Tribute with Dead Original
Celebrate the legendary sounds of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain with national traveling Nirvana tribute Smells Like Nirvana. $25, $20. Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m. GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND
The Fabulous DooVays Sunday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m. HUEY’S SOUTHWIND
Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m. HADLEY’S PUB
$20. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8-9:30 p.m. GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Duane Cleveland Band Sunday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m. HUEY’S GERMANTOWN
TJ MULLIGAN’S, MIDTOWN
Wheeler Walker Jr.: The Spread Eagle Tour
GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.
Will Tucker Band
$20, $25. Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
Jason Petty - 100 Years of Hank Williams
GPAC Youth Symphony Program Winter Concert
Strictly Jazz: The Music of John Scoﬁeld
Tanner Usrey, Carson Wallace
THE ROCKIN CHAIR
THE GREEN ROOM AT CROSSTOWN ARTS
Sunday, Nov. 19, 2-4 p.m.
$15. Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
$20, $25. Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 3:30 p.m. LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
Your Spirit Dies, The Holy Ghost Tabernacle Choir, Apprehend, A Kiss Before Dying
$10. Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. HI TONE
$10. Sunday, Nov. 19, 4-6 p.m.
Richard Wilson Sunday, Nov. 19, 12:30 p.m.
JACKIE MAE’S PLACE
Friday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. BARTLETT PERFORMING ARTS AND CONFERENCE CENTER
T. Jarrod Trio
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
NYCELYFE and friends will be hitting you with your favorite music all night long. Sunday, Nov. 19, 9 p.m.-4 a.m.
B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
After Hours Sundays
Sunday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m. HUEY’S COLLIERVILLE
Memphis Premiere of Too Late
A R T A N D S P E C IA L E X H I B ITS
CALENDAR of EVENTS: November 16 - 22
A live musical performance follows. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Work by Jared Small. Through Dec. 23.
DAVID LUSK GALLERY
Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the inhabitants. $5. Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.
C O M E DY
Adam Sandler: The I Missed You Tour
Critically acclaimed comedian Adam Sandler comes to Memphis. Thursday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.
H EA LT H A N D F IT N ES S
Memphis Finest Comedy Show
17th Annual Sugar Run 5K
A collection of Memphis Tennessee’s funniest comedians. $25-$45. Sunday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m.
Sugar Run supports diabetes research through JDRF while encouraging youth athletics. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 a.m.
Jared Small’s hyper-realistic paintings transport viewers to a dreamlike world at David Lusk Gallery.
F ES T IVA L
Eat This Book Festival
Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating Memphis food culture with chef demonstrations, food vendors, and more. Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The biggest trans resource and vendor market in the Mid-South. Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Memphis Fitness Fest
DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, A day filled with energy, excitement, and emBLACK LODGE ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS powerment. Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. RENASANT CONVENTION CENTER WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S FI LM ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY. The Mid-South Cartoonists FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENT Hallmark’s Christmas at Graceland Association Festival of Cartoon Art Enjoy the magic of the season with a double LISTINGS, VISIT EVENTS. Lots of original art and prints for sale. Saturfeature. Free. Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. Nov. 18, noon-4 p.m. MEMPHISFLYER.COM/CAL. The New day, York Times Syndication Sales Corporation GERMANTOWN COMMUNITY THEATRE
620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Monday, February 25, 2019
November 16-22, 2023
ACROSS 1 Turkish bigwig 6 Norway’s capital 10 Luke, to Darth Vader (“Star Wars” spoiler) 13 Released from bondage 14 Bounce, as off a billiard cushion 15 Israeli gun 16 Regal 18 Bellum’s opposite 19 “___ Te Ching” 20 Brother of Cain 21 Nothing more than 22 Yosemite and Yellowstone 27 Mike who was a three-time N.L. M.V.P. with the Phillies 29 Close 30 Big piles 31 Make a quick drawing of 35 Address in a browser, for short
36 What a bald tire lacks 38 Ending with neutr- or Filip39 “The View,” for one 42 Flower in a pond 44 Finished, as a cake 45 Heading on a personal bio 47 Something promised in a court oath 51 Hot-rod engine, informally 52 Love, in Latin 53 Prefix with friendly 56 “A Nightmare on ___ Street” 57 Cause championed by the figures named at the ends of 16-, 22and 47-Across 61 Travel on Alaska or Hawaiian
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE T A K E T H I S C R O A K S O N A L E A S H U V U L A E P O T B E L L I E D S T O V E A D I A L E A R N A H Z E E D O T M M A E K E M O W B I E L T A R C A S E S E N S I T I V E M I C H E L L E O B A M A P E R S O N A L S P A C E R N C T I P S O B S I S U S I S P T A L I P V W S A S I A A I D A Y E A R O F T H E M O N K E Y T A C O M A A C I D T E S T O R T E G A H E A D E D T O
62 ___ Beckham Jr., three-time Pro Bowler for the New York Giants 63 Pageant crown 64 Many Ph.D. candidates 65 Fish trying to find Nemo in “Finding Nemo” 66 In a foxy way
Join OPC for a casual stroll around the Old Forest. No agenda, just a chance to meet new people and get a walk in. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 4 p.m. OVERTON PARK
Yoga Paint & Elevate
A consumption-friendly yoga class, centered around cannabis, movement, and painting! $30. Sunday, Nov. 19, 5-8 p.m. FANCYYOGA
Annual Downtown Holiday Tree Lighting
No. 0121 8
Gather at the corner of Peabody and Main or a festive evening featuring free candies, hot chocolate from Margie’s 901, photos with Santa, and more. Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:30-6 p.m. DOWNTOWN
Holiday Lighting Weekend
Elvis Presley’s Graceland officially kicks off holiday season with a weekend of festivities. Thursday, Nov. 16-Nov. 18. GRACELAND
Mark Nizer 4D
New Ballet’s NutRemix
An electrifying and innovative production that takes the entire family on a captivating journey with a story set on Memphis’ iconic Beale Street. Friday, Nov. 17-Nov. 19.
40 Native New Zealander 41 U.S.C. or U.C.L.A.: Abbr. 31 Stitch 42 Funny Costello 32 Go to bed, 43 Openly gay informally 45 Island with a 33 “E pluribus ___” lagoon 34 Prepare for a 46 “It’s c-c-cold!” photo 47 Pilferage 36 One of the Huxtable kids on 48 Very, slangily 1980s-’90s TV 49 More than 60 awards for 37 Australian winner “Saturday Night of 11 Grand Slam Live” tournaments 28 Actor Michael of “Juno”
CANNON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Spillit Grand Slam: The Moment
All the Spillit winners from this year are coming back for our Grand Slam. $20. Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. BLACK LODGE
T H EAT E R
PUZZLE BY SEAN BIGGINS
Mark Nizer combines juggling, comedy, and technology to create an immersive 4D experience. This show is fun for the whole family. $15, $20. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2 p.m. BARTLETT PERFORMING ARTS AND CONFERENCE CENTER
P E R FO R M I N G ARTS
DOWN 1 Dismissive sound 2 Opera solo 3 Roman Catholicaffiliated university in New Jersey 4 Playboy founder, for short 5 Ruckus 6 Like bourbon barrels 7 Country once known as Ceylon 8 Actor Chaney of “The Phantom of the Opera” 9 Texter’s “Holy cow!” 10 “Terrific!” 11 Missouri’s ___ Mountains 12 Puts the kibosh on 14 Early North American explorer John 17 Bug spray from S.C. Johnson 21 Podcaster Maron 23 Box on a concert stage 24 “___ the season …” 25 Green building certification, for short 26 Bit of butter
SHELBY FARMS PARK
H O LI DAY EVE NTS
This family-friendly 2.25-mile fun run is the kick-off to Starry Nights. Tuesday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND
Edited by Will Shortz 1
2023 BuffaGLO Run
Wednesday Winter Walks
8040 WOLF RIVER BLVD.
50 One of the Brontë sisters 54 ___-Alt-Del 55 Start of “The Star-Spangled Banner” 57 Fish caught off the New England coast 58 Wedding affirmation 59 Word before “a bird,” “a plane” and “Superman!” 60 Baseball’s Hodges
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.
An Evergreen Trailer Park Christmas Dive into an evening where glamor meets trailer park chic, with campy holiday fun. $30-$60. Through Nov. 18. THE EVERGREEN THEATRE
Schoolhouse Rock, Live!
Based on the cherished animated series that taught generations of youth about grammar, math, science and history. Through Dec. 22. CIRCUIT PLAYHOUSE
The story of 19th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Through Nov. 18. THEATRE MEMPHIS
From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power! $35-$150. Tuesday, Nov. 21-Nov. 26. THE ORPHEUM
our direction. Thank you, beloved Sun! Is it okay with you if we think of you as a god? You are a superpowered genius of nourishment! And by the way, do you know who adores you the best? I’ll tell you: The Leo people here on Earth. They comprehend your grandeur and majesty better than anyone else. Would you consider giving them extra rewards in the coming weeks? They need and deserve a massive delivery of your bounty. Please fill them up with even more charisma, personal magnetism, vitality, and generosity of spirit than usual. I promise they will use it wisely.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I’ve met many people who feel their love lives are jinxed. Often, they believe this nonsense because a creepy fortune teller declared they will forever be denied a satisfying intimate relationship. I hate that! Any astrologer who delivers such crippling bewitchments should be outed as a charlatan. The good news for you, Taurus, is that you are in a grace period for all matters regarding romance, intimacy, and togetherness. If you have ever worried there is a curse, obstruction, or bad habit inhibiting your love life, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to free yourself from it.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo musician and actor Shirley Manson has a message for you. She testifies, “I say embrace the total geek in yourself and just enjoy it. Life is too short to be cool.” This will be especially helpful and inspirational counsel for you in the coming months, dear Virgo. The wish to appear chic or trendy or hip should be so far down on your list of priorities that it drops off the list entirely. Your assignment is to be passionately devoted to your deepest truths, unique desires, and imaginative experiments.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini comedian Drew Carey says, “If I didn’t run from my fears, I wouldn’t get any exercise at all.” Let’s discuss his approach in relation to you. After analyzing the astrological omens, I believe that as 2023 draws to a close and 2024 unfolds, you will feel less and less motivated to run from your fears. In part, that’s because you will face them with more courage and poise; they won’t have the same power over you. In addition, I suspect your fears will become objectively less scary. They will be less likely to come to pass. More and more, your fine mind will see how they trick you into imagining they’re more threatening than they truly are. Congratulations in advance, Gemini! CANCER (June 21-July 22): I would love to see you intensify your devotion to your masterpiece — however you understand “masterpiece.” It could be a work of art or an innovation in your job or business. It could be a new baby, an adopted pet, a redefinition of what family means, or an invigorated community. Might even be a beautiful alliance or enhanced connection with the divine or a refinement of the best gift you give the world. Life will conspire to help you in unexpected ways during the coming months if you rededicate yourself to this treasure. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Dear Sun, our one and only star: We love you and appreciate you! It’s amazing that you consume five million tons of yourself every second to generate the colossal energy you send in
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you’re given a choice to advocate for either a dull, mediocre truth or a beautiful, invigorating truth, give your love to the latter. If you wonder whether you should ask a polite question that engenders harmony or a provocative question that pries loose agendas that have been half hidden, opt for the latter. If you feel nostalgic about an old tradition that stirs up little passion or fresh insight, let it go. Instead, dream up a new tradition that moves you emotionally and excites your mind. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I prophesy that what has been lost will be found. What was last may not catapult all the way into the first spot, but it might — and will at least be close to the first. Here are more zingers for you as you move into the climactic stages of the Season of Turnarounds and Switcheroos: A difficult test will boost your intelligence; a rut will be disrupted, freeing you to find a smooth new groove; an unsettling twist will ultimately bring you delightful support. To get the best out of the upcoming challenges, Sagittarius, welcome them as opportunities to expand your understanding of how the world works. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Many cultures throughout history have staged rites of passage to mark the transformation from childhood to puberty. In ancient Greece, for example, kids formally relinquished their toys, symbolizing the intention to move into a new phase of their destinies. In accordance with astrological omens, I want to tweak this cus-
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tom for your use, Capricorn. I propose that you embrace your second childhood. Fantasize about how you might refurbish your innocence, curiosity, playfulness, and spontaneous joy. Then select an object that embodies a burdensome or unpleasant aspect of adulthood. Discard it. Find an object that signifies the fresh young spirit you’d like to awaken within you. Kiss it, sing to it, and keep it in a prominent place. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): For advice about money, I talk with a banker who sometimes analyzes financial trends using tarot cards. To keep abreast of politics on the ground level, I consult with a courtesan who has a Ph.D. in political science and cultivates intimate relations with governmental leaders. For guidance about rowdy ethics and etiquette, I seek input from an activist singer in an all-women punk band. How about you, Aquarius? Now is a favorable time to take an inventory of your posse of teachers, helpers, and counselors. Make sure it’s serving you well and providing maximum inspiration and support. Hot tip: It may be time to add a new facilitator or two to your entourage. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Now and then, you glide through a phase I describe as Freedom from Cosmic Compulsion. During these grace periods, fate has a reduced role in shaping your destiny. Your past doesn’t have its typical power to limit you or entrance you. According to my astrological analysis, you are now enjoying such a chapter. That’s why I predict that an infertile status quo will soon crumble. A boring, inflexible rule will become irrelevant. These and other breakthrough developments will give you extra leeway to innovate and invent. You will have a big, bright emptiness to work and play around in.
Jolly Jam S
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m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In accordance with astrological omens, I would love you to experiment with blending the sacred and mundane. Bring your deep self into the daily routine and imbue ordinary rhythms with tender care. Here are a few fun rituals to get you in the groove: 1. Say prayers or chant ecstatic poems while you’re shopping. 2. Build a shrine in a parking lot. 3. Stir up an inspired epiphany while doing housework. 4. If you find yourself in a confusing or awkward situation, dance like a holy person to conjure a blessing. 5. Commune with the Divine Creator during crazy-good sex.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Icelandic singer Björk is a triple Scorpio, with sun, moon, and ascendant in your sign. Neptune is there, too, giving her even more Scorpionic intensity. It’s not surprising that she describes her daily practice like this: “I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up and kill it in the evening.” In another quote, she places greater emphasis on the rebirth: “To wake up in the morning and actually find the day exciting is the biggest victory you can have.” In accordance with current astrological omens, I invite you to exalt and celebrate the postresurrection aspects of your life’s work. It’s time for you to shine and sparkle and shimmer and bedazzle.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY By Rob Brezsny
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November 16-22, 2023
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NEWS OF THE WEIRD By the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication News You Can Use Back off that accelerator if you’re driving through Coffee City, Texas, about three hours north of Houston. Why? The town, with about 250 residents, has 50 full- and part-time police officers, KHOU-TV reported on Aug. 30. The town’s budget reveals that it collected more than $1 million in court fines in 2022, which were the result of more than 5,100 citations the officers wrote. And there’s a tantalizing twist: Most of Coffee City’s officers had been suspended, demoted, terminated, or discharged from previous law enforcement jobs, for reasons including excessive force, public drunkenness, and association with known criminals. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my professional career, and I’ve seen a lot,” said Greg Fremin, a retired Houston Police Department captain. But Coffee City’s police chief, JohnJay Portillo, disagrees: “There’s more to just what’s on paper,” he said. “I try to look at the good in everybody and I believe everybody deserves an opportunity.” Even so, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement has an open investigation into the tiny community’s big law presence. [KHOU, 8/30/2023] The Passing Parade Lee Meyer of Neligh, Nebraska, altered his Ford sedan a few years back, cutting out half the roof and the passenger-side door and adding a farm gate, so that he could drive his Watusi bull in the Kolach Days Parade in Verdigre. (A Watusi bull, for you non-Nebraskans, has large, long horns, similar to a Texas Longhorn.) The bull, Howdy Doody, hitched another ride with Meyer on Aug. 30 on U.S. 275, but the Norfolk police weren’t having it, People reported: “The officer performed a traffic stop and addressed some traffic violations that were occurring with that particular situation,” Capt. Chad Reiman said. “I don’t know why he was doing it that day. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen anything like that before.” Meyer was asked to leave the city and return home with Howdy Doody. [People, 8/31/2023] Don’t Mind Them • In Fairfax County, Virginia, on Aug. 22, a man entered a 7-Eleven store and displayed a knife, which was the least interesting part of the robbery, Fox5DCTV reported. The man, who was de-
scribed as Hispanic, was wearing a black cowboy hat upon which perched two parrots. Another parrot was riding on the man’s shoulder. The suspect escaped in a blue SUV with an undisclosed amount of money, police said. [Fox5DC, 8/24/2023] • And in northern England, an unnamed driver was issued a traffic offense report by police after he was observed motoring along the M62 with an African gray parrot on his shoulder, The Guardian reported on Aug. 30. “Animals should be in suitable carriers/restraints so that they don’t interfere with your ability to drive safely,” police posted on X. [Guardian, 8/30/2023] Walk of Shame “It’s just a biohazard issue,” the pilot told air traffic control. And indeed, the Delta Airlines Airbus A350 was forced to return to Atlanta after two hours in the air on Sept. 1 after a passenger suffered an “onboard medical emergency”: uncontrollable diarrhea that left the entire length of the aisle covered in fecal matter. The Guardian reported that passengers said the flight crew did everything they could to clean up the mess, including spraying it with scented disinfectant. But that merely made the cabin “smell of vanilla s--t,” one traveler said. Back in Atlanta, passengers, including the afflicted traveler, waited eight hours for the plane to be cleaned up and the aisle carpet to be replaced, then reboarded and were on their way to Barcelona — again. [Guardian, 9/6/2023] Bright Idea A 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman have been arrested in the central Shanxi province of China, China Daily reported, for digging a shortcut through the Great Wall of China. Local police were alerted to the damage on Aug. 24 and followed tracks from an excavator back to the suspects, who explained that they needed the shortcut to get back and forth to their construction jobs. The Great Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has reportedly been “damaged beyond repair.” The two were charged with destroying a cultural relic. [China Daily, 9/4/2023] NEWS OF THE WEIRD © 2023 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
FOOD By Michael Donahue
To Bee or Not to Bee Hive Bagel & Deli takes the sting out of hunger pangs.
Josh Steiner It’s also gratifying, Steiner says. “You never know. You can make a whole bunch of stuff and people not like your product. Though, there are not that many bagel places in town. But there’s still that stress and anxiety, for sure.” But, he says, “When people show up, that shows you’re doing a good job.” Steiner, who was chef/owner of two restaurants, Strano! and Strano by Chef Josh, and his wife, Wallis, got into beekeeping and selling honey a few years ago. “That’s still alive and well. And we use that honey in our bagels. In our recipes. We boil the bagels, the New York style, and add the honey. We use honey in a lot of our pastries as well. Such as a favorite: honey butter croissants. “It’s very classical in the way we do our pastries. My training comes from San
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Francisco, New York, and all these other places. So, it’s a very European approach to the pastries and breads. It’s just a fresh product. Our flour is all natural. We use a lot of whole wheat products. No bleach or vitamins or nutrients added later. Our flour is artisan-sourced. “Ours are just quality products. Quality ingredients get you the quality product.” Moving into the bakery/deli business “definitely evolved when Covid happened. We closed down Strano. And that’s when I got married. My wife and I wanted to figure out what to do next.” Steiner took some time to further his culinary education. He studied at Valrhona in Brooklyn, New York, and the San Francisco Baking Institute. The look and feel of Hive is a “combination” of the concept developed by Steiner and his wife. They wanted “something modern, clean, bright, welcoming that feels good when you walk in. And shows the aesthetics of the product through the build-out. That, and we’re making pretty stuff. The pastry is beautiful. The bread is beautiful. So, you need a great place to show that stuff.” His baguette sandwiches are among his most popular items. “People love The Front Street Deli [the sandwich],” he says. “It’s our house-smoked corned beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, mustard, and housemade pickles” And, he adds, “We know people like these. We’re selling out of them.” And, he says, “We sell out most of the time or I’m pretty close to it. If not, we donate our stuff to two or three charities.” Steiner has no plans to serve dinner at Hive. “We want to be known for what we’re doing, which is breakfast and lunch.” The menu is constantly evolving. Hive will feature more sandwiches as well as “tarts and pies and stuff like that” on the pastry side. Also, he says, “We’re starting to get our foot in the door on catering. I finished a whole catering menu. Boxes and platters. We’ll be launching that at our corporate events or office lunches.” Steiner has no desire to go back into the restaurant business. “I want to be able to come home every night to see my wife and daughter. Strano was fun and great when I had it. This is what I desire at the moment. Work in the morning and come home at night.”
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
hat’s all the buzz about? With lines of people stretching a block to get in the door for Josh Steiner’s pastries, some of which are made with his homegrown honey, Hive Bagel & Deli resembles a beehive more than a bakery. “We did a couple of weeks of a soft opening,” says Steiner, 32, owner of the new business at 276 South Front Street, Suite 105. Recalling the first day of their soft opening, Steiner says, “We got overwhelmed with the positive feedback we got. We had lines out the door to the point where the first week we had to close two days early ’cause we sold out.” And that hasn’t stopped. “Depending on the day, especially the weekends, we have a line definitely down the block. It’s all bagels and sandwiches and salads. Toasted bagels with cream cheese, so people don’t have to wait. And some pastries and coffee. It’s very casual.”
THE PREMIER FINE DINING DESTINATION IN DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS
FILM By Chris McCoy
Sucky Friday No amount of body-switching gimmickry can save The Marvels.
November 16-22, 2023
ou never want to be the last person at the party. Whether you lost track of time because you were having so much fun, or if your plan was to stick around long enough for the good drugs to come out, now it’s just you and the host, and it’s awkward. That’s what The Marvels feels like. The best thing about the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel is that it’s only 105 minutes long, although it seems longer. Twice, the film pauses for flashbacks to other Marvel properties in a vain attempt to make the audience care about what’s happening onscreen. Things got pretty rough on Hala after Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson, hair fabulous), destroyed the Supreme Intelligence, an AI which ruled the Kree Empire. Now, a new Kree leader has emerged, DarBenn (Zawe Ashton), who retrieves a legendary Quantum Band from deep beneath her planet, which gives her vast and narratively undefined powers. But Quantum Bands come in pairs, and the other one belongs to Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), aka Ms. Marvel, a South Asian teenager from New Jersey who apparently had a TV show on Disney+. Kamala is a cartoonist who idolizes Captain Marvel so much she plagiarized the name, and for a brief sequence, her doodles come to life. The quaint little hand-drawn animation sequence screams, “We know you would rather be watching that cool animated Spider-Man movie.” That’s the flaccid flavor of The Marvels, which is basically just a bunch of warmed-over bits and pieces of things you might remember enjoying in the past, stuck together with little regard for narrative coherence. When Dar-Benn tries to use her newfound
power to open permanent interstellar wormholes, big enough to do things like fly a conquering starfleet or steal a planet’s worth of water, both Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) are sent to investigate. Space-time shenanigans ensue that leave Kamala, Monica, and Carol switching places whenever they use their powers. You might be thinking, “Oh, like Freaky Friday, where two people’s personalities switch bodies? It’s fun to watch two actors switch characters!” Alas, no. In this case, the quantum entangled bodies physically switch places. Instead of mining the premise for fun comedy bits, the three actors just scream and flail around a lot. The permutations are used up quickly. What if Captain Marvel, who can fly, switches places with Kamala, who can’t fly, while she’s flying? What if they switch places while they’re both fighting Kree assassins? Could the problem be solved with a training montage? (Also, that’s not how quantum entanglement works.) Dar-Benn is using the wormholes to steal the resources her dying planet needs from places that have an emotional connection to Captain Marvel, who her people rightly call The Annihilator. That’s how we get to Aladna, the musical theater planet, where everyone communicates via song and dance. This rejected Rick and Morty gag would be remembered
as a new nadir for Marvel Studios if, a few minutes later, we were not treated to a scene set to “Memory” from the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Cats, where feline-shaped Flerken eat everyone on Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) space station. Don’t worry, it’s for their own good. No film epitomized Marvel’s bland corporate competence better than Captain Marvel. The MCU’s high floor/ low ceiling was excusable when it felt like Kevin Feige was going somewhere with all of it. After the big payoff of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel films have been treading water. Now, our
The Marvels is … another Marvel movie, for those looking to complete their MCU checklist.
favorites like Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson are off counting their money, the plots are nonsense, and the shoddy CGI is showing. Find your coat and call a Lyft, this party is over. The Marvels Now playing Multiple locations
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N O W P L AY I N G B y C h r i s M c C o y Our critic picks the best films in theaters. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Coriolanus “Coryo” Snow (Tom Blyth), the future dictator of Panem, is a mentor in the 10th Hunger Games. He is assigned tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). Thought by most to be a first-round kill, Lucy instead turns heads at the reaping ceremony, and Snow thinks he can use her charisma to his advantage. Next Goal Wins Taika Waititi directs this true story, based on a 2014 documentary about the American Samoa soccer team. Michael Fassbender stars as Thomas Rongen, a downon-his-luck coach given the impossible task of making the worst football team on
the planet into a World Cup qualifier. Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss co-star. Thanksgiving In 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joined forces for Grindhouse. Amid the intentionally stupid ultraviolence were fake trailers for nonexistent movies made by their filmmaker friends. Eli Roth’s contribution, Thanksgiving, about a holiday-themed serial killer that’s not Halloween, is now a real movie! The Holdovers Paul Giamatti reunites with director Alexander Payne for this drama. Professor Hunham is a teacher at a New England boarding school who must look after Angus (Dominic Sessa), a precocious student who is left behind over holiday break.
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THE LAST WORD By Mel Gurtov
THE LAST WORD
Presidents always face uncomfortable choices: supporting human rights versus providing weapons to governments that consistently violate human rights; adding to the nuclear weapons stockpile versus spending money on social well-being; sanctioning an adversary or working with it. In the Middle East today, Joe Biden’s choice is between wholeheartedly supporting Israel and doing all he can to protect the innocents in Gaza. He’s trying to do both, but he is not satisfying advocates of either policy. In Israel, Biden’s pressure on the Netanyahu government to avoid a full-out PHOTO: VIOREL DUDAU | DREAMSTIME.COM invasion of Gaza, provide humanitarian aid, and avoid unnecessary civilA cease-fire is the clearest path toward humanitarian aid. ian casualties are resented by the Israeli far right. It wants 100 percent support, period, and it has a powerful argument: It has been attacked, many innocent lives have been lost, and there are well over 200 hostages. Nor is Biden’s approach appreciated in Palestinian circles, in Arab countries, in the UN leadership, or by U.S. human rights groups, progressives in Congress, and some officials in his own State Department. They all see his policy as impossibly contradictory: You can’t have an “ironclad” pro-Israel policy and expect to moderate Israel’s actions in Gaza. The Biden administration is a party to the war but, in fairness, is not at the controls. To be sure, U.S. military aid — jet fighters, drones, and Special Forces — is supporting Israel’s operations in Gaza. But it’s the right-wing government in Tel Aviv that not only wants to decapitate Hamas but also use the war to exert new controls on the Palestinian population, possibly including mass deportation. Unless Biden is willing to do what no previous U.S. administration has been willing to do — namely, impose severe restrictions on U.S. economic and military aid and political support, subject to Israel’s behavior in Gaza — the administration has very little leverage. Unwillingness to use U.S. leverage undercuts Biden’s entire Middle East policy. He can’t expect Saudi Arabia to move on normalizing relations with Israel. He can’t expect support from the region or from developing countries for putting pressure on Iran and Hezbollah not to enter the fighting. Nor, at home, can Biden expect understanding from Palestinian and other Muslim communities — or even from progressive Jews — on his current policy. All these groups see the glaring contradiction, not the logic, of fully supporting Israel while calling for its restraint. They all are calling on the administration to push for a cease-fire. But Biden, like previous presidents, seems to have given Israel veto power over such calls. Netanyahu has explicitly ruled out a cease-fire until the hostages have been released. Biden has finally called for a pause “to get the prisoners out,” but not for a cease-fire. Yet only a cease-fire holds out any hope for the release of some hostages, for saving civilian lives in Gaza, for enabling hospitals to treat the wounded, and for opening the way to more substantial humanitarian aid. The fundamental dilemma that Biden faces is that he is the inheritor of many decades of unqualified U.S. support of Israel. Numerous critics over those years have warned of the consequences of that support, most especially for the deprivation of Palestinian rights and the denial of their statehood aspirations. Liberals in the U.S. government, notably in Congress, have from time to time tried to tie U.S. aid to Israel’s apartheid policies (as Jimmy Carter called them), but politics at home — the Israel lobby, in short — has always nipped that effort in the bud. I sympathize with Biden’s situation. I believe he and other top U.S. officials are truly concerned about, perhaps even appalled by, the devastation of Gaza and the civilian deaths there. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an impassioned plea for protection of Palestinian civilians in a Washington Post op-ed, saying that “preventing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is vital to Israel’s security.” And we know that Biden is no friend of Netanyahu; he probably mistrusts any assurances Netanyahu has given him about trying to limit civilian losses of life and property. Yet as The New York Times recently described, Biden has a long and deeply personal history of support for Israel — so much so that “a longtime Israeli official more recently called him ‘the first Jewish president.’” He has made numerous trips to Israel and has met with every Israeli prime minister since Golda Meir. No doubt Biden can count on considerable financial support for his presidential campaign from Jewish organizations. All these ties only tighten the bind he’s in, not least because they increase his difficulty in dealing with members of Congress and State Department officials who are now sharply critical of his policy. They don’t see the choices he is making as either wise or humane. What they, and we, do see every day is video and photographs of deadly bombardments that are making Gaza a moonscape and killing scores of innocent people with every strike. The only way Joe Biden can break the bind is to do the courageous thing, which is also the right thing: join those calling for a cease-fire in order to save lives, including those of the hostages and Gaza’s population; and support a “safe Israel beside a safe Palestinian state” as essential to the long-term security of both. Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is professor emeritus of political science at Portland State University and blogs at In the Human Interest.
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
The president should act with courage — not contradiction — on the Gaza front.
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