Wednesday update: Main Street Flats, sales tax holiday, and when did country start to suck?

– First of all, I’ve written a new news article on the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website, about Memphis Shelby Crime Commission President Mike Heidingsfield’s talk yesterday at the Leadership Academy. Check it out.

– Last night at trivia, team member The Nuh-Uh Girl mentioned that she had been looking at apartments at The Main Street Flats, the row of renovated buildings between Union and Gayoso on the west side of Main Street (the New Main block). I flipped through the brochures and these apartments look really cool. They have controlled access, exposed brick, hardwood floors, a rooftop deck, and washer/dryer among the amenities. They also have location, location, location – you’d be a block from Peabody Place, a block and a half from Beale, two blocks from Autozone Park, three from the FedExForum. I’m also very excited to see new units being developed as apartments rather than condos in core downtown – that’s something that is badly needed. Thumbs up to Slovis Commercial for a great renovation that looks like it will bring life to New Main. If you’re thinking about making the move downtown you should take a look at the Flats.

– The Rapscallions lost badly once again at trivia. However, I have to compliment team member Carmel for showing up in a tube top. I bought her a beer in appreciation for her excellent fashion sense. Although, she needs more confidence. She kept hunching over and looking around the room and asking, “Is anyone else here wearing a tube top? I don’t want to be the only tube top wearer here.” I explained that she should be proud, that she should dance around the room saying, “Look at me! I have a TUBE TOP on!!!” Carmel expressed concern that if she danced around the room, the tube top might not stay up. “Exactly my point!” I said. Eventually three other tube tops came in and she was able to relax.

– Carmel e-mailed me this morning and informed me that the State of Tennessee is having a sales tax holiday August 4-6, where sales tax will be waived on certain clothing, school supplies, and computers. Might want to write those dates on your calendar – good chance to pick up a new computer and save a few bucks.

– If you’re looking for an alternative to the Peabody and Madison rooftop parties Thursday night, you may want to check out KIX 106’s Country on Beale concerts every Thursday night at 8 PM, W.C. Handy Park, Third at Beale. No cover charge and drinks are more reasonably priced. (I recommend a Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie’s across the street, as long as you’re not driving. It’s Beale Street so you can buy a drink at a bar and carry it over to the park.) Don’t get me wrong, I hate country music, but I checked out a couple of these shows last year and some HOT girls showed up. Cowboy hats look a lot less stupid when they’re worn with a tube top.

I guess I don’t hate ALL country music. Classic country is actually quite good – remember when they used to advertise that “Classic Country” box set in a 30-minute infomercial on Channel 5? I almost ordered that a few years ago. Hmmm… when exactly did country start to suck? When did it change from good music into the boot scootin’, shit kickin’ crap that it is today?

Let’s see… country was still cool in the late ’70s when Smokey and the Bandit came out. Jerry Reed’s “East Bound and Down” is one of my favorite songs that The Dempseys perform during their set. You can tell “East Bound and Down” is a great song because local MySpace legend Master Polo currently has it as the background music on his page.

Country was still cool when Kenny Rogers did “The Gambler.” That was 1980 I think.

And country was still cool in 1981 when Dolly Parton did “9 to 5.”

On the other hand, country music had definitely gone down the toilet by the time Billy Ray Cyrus released “Achy Breaky Heart.” What year was that, 1990? You had “Ice Ice Baby” and Milli Vanilli that year as well… man… 1990 was a horrible year for music.

And country had taken a turn for the worse by the time Garth Brooks got big, and that may have actually been a few years before “Achy Breaky Heart”… late 1980s I think.

So sometime between 1982 and 1987, country music began to suck. And it’s never recovered since. It definitely hadn’t recovered by November 2005, when I went home for Thanksgiving and my mother made me sit through that godawful Kenny Chesney concert on TV. Hmmm… maybe I’ll stay in Memphis this year for Thanksgiving. I wonder if David Gest will put out a free meal for all the crackheads again? Maybe I’ll eat with them.

– And that’ll do it for this lunchtime post. Perhaps I’ll see you at the Mpact After Hours at the Lofts tonight, or at the Saucer or Big Foot later in the evening…