One of the top bands from this past weekend’s folk festival at Otherlands tonight

Members of one of the top bands at this past weekend’s folk festival, Madrigaia, will be performing tonight (Tuesday) at Otherlands at 9:30.

Madrigaia consists of 7 vocalists and 1 percussionist. They sing in 16 languages; after the festival, half the band went home, and half stayed here. The four who are still here in town will be at Otherlands tonight, performing “some Madrigaia songs, but mostly random songs we’ve written or covered.”

Check them out – here are links to their website and their Myspace page.

NyQuil hallucinations

Took some NyQuil last night to fight off the bug that seems to be going around lately, particularly at my office. It led to some interesting dreams.

In the first dream, I attended the black-tie carinval coronation ball that fellow bloggers Ptolemy Kat and Philip attended last Saturday at the University Club. Only in my dream the ball wasn’t at the University Club, but at the Greyhound bus station downtown.

I’m not sure which is more absurd, a black-tie event at a bus station, or me in a tuxedo. I can just see them trying to announce the krewe’s royalty for the year. “And this year’s… no, sir, I’m sorry, I don’t have ’bout fitty-two cent… this year’s queen… no, sir, I don’t have a cigarette either… this year’s queen is Qu… SIR, I’M TRYING TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT HERE, NO I DON’T HAVE A DOLLAR!… Queen Kathryn.”

Maybe their carnival krewe should look into booking next year’s coronation ball at the Greyhound station. Of course, they’d have to give it a cutesy-poo abbreviated name (they call the University Club the “U-Club”) to show everyone that they’re in like Flynn with the place. Hmmm… the “G-station” or the “b-station” just isn’t very sexy… how about the “G-spot?”

For my second dream, I was driving down Union Avenue, but as I approached the I-240 bridge the street was under construction and there were all kinds of detour ramps. I tried to find the ramp that corresponded to Highway 56, which was Union’s highway number in my dream (but not in real life). But I soon got all confused and ended up going the wrong way down one of the other ramps. I had to get out of my car, pick it up, and carry it out of harm’s way. Apparently I work out more in my dreams than I do in everyday reality.

So then I carried my car up a flight of stairs, and I was then in an airport terminal, looking for gate 56. I think I found my gate, but I can’t remember if I ever made it home. Next time I drive in one of my dreams I’m going to have to take Madison, instead of Union, when I head downtown.

In the third dream, I attended some kind of reception in a big convention-center type building out in the eastern part of town. It seemed to be a good event, but I was a bit concerned that there was a live tiger in the middle of the room, with only a fence made of some flimsy tarps holding him back. No one else seemed to care that the tiger was there. Sure enough, he bounded right over the fence and headed straight for me. He bit my hand, but I managed to run to the building entrance and I got a closed door in between the tiger and me. A moment later someone walked out and the tiger followed him through the door, but I walked in just as the tiger walked out, again escaping him.

As I walked back through the building, I spotted a lion walking around. Again, no one seemed to be concerned, but I decided enough was enough. I walked out the back door, figuring I’d circle the building, keeping a fair distance in case the tiger was still outside, and eventually I’d get back to the parking lot and my car. I didn’t see the tiger, but I did encounter a rhinoceros. Luckily he was a small rhino, he didn’t seem that interested in charging me, and I was able to climb up a hill that was too steep for him to follow. I made it to my car and got out of there.

I’m pretty sure there were one or two other dreams as well but the details escape me. Wow, those were some wild ones. Now I understand why the downtown bums chug entire bottles of NyQuil. It definitely puts you in an altered state of mind.

VDay Memphis event this weekend

The ladies of VDay Memphis e-mailed me and asked if I could mention their upcoming event. “We’re a lively group of Memphis ladies – students, moms, professionals, artists, teachers, theater folks – from all backgrounds, ages, and ethnic groups – who work hard to put together this annual show to benefit local battered women and children,” they explained.

Sounds like a good group. Here are the details:

VDay Memphis, 2007

8th Annual Benefit Performance of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at TheaterWorks, 2085 Monroe Avenue. March 2nd & 3rd. Friday, March 3rd is Pay What You Can Night for dress rehearsal. Saturday March 3rd is performance, party, bar, music and silent auction. Doors open 7PM both nights, shows start at 8PM. $10 at the door, tickets also available at Otherlands Coffee House on S. Cooper, or call 396-VDAY, or visit Proceeds benefit the YWCA Women’s Shelter & the Exchange Club of Memphis. VDAY is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

A couple of Majestic Grille brunch pics

Yesterday the former Sleep Out Louie’s Sunday brunch crew took the show on the road to the Majestic Grille, on the Main Street Mall between Gayoso and Peabody Place. They treated us like kings and we had a great time.

I had the smoked salmon hash browns ($9), pictured above, which consisted of hashbrowned new potatoes covered with salmon, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce. It was so rich that I couldn’t finish more than half of it. Easily one of the best Sunday brunch meals I’ve ever had.

One of the other brunchers had the Andouille sausage and cheese frittata ($8), and raved about it as highly as I did about my hash browns. That’ll be my order next Sunday.

And, of course, it just wouldn’t be Sunday brunch without this:

$12 bottles of champagne with real orange juice (not that powdered “O.J.” stuff that Sleep Out’s had), and orange slices for garnish. Nice.

I’m getting hungry just typing this. Looks like we’ve found a new home on Sundays, although the Majestic may have competition a few months from now if the Blue Monkey opens on schedule.

Good post on how to help the homeless from one who knows

Kevin Barbieux, a Nashville resident who writes The Homeless Guy blog, has a new article at entitled How Best to Help the Homeless. If you live downtown and are wondering what constructive, positive steps you can take to help, this would be a good place to start.

Also, this is a good thing because is paying Kevin for the articles he writes. The more people who check out his articles, the more pay he’ll be offered the next time he submits one. So give it a look – Kevin is a great writer and I’m happy to see him finally reaping some financial reward from it.

Pics: Billy Bass

I took my Big Mouth Billy Bass to the Flying Fish last night and they hung it on the wall. It’s the last one on the right.

Here are the adoption rules:

And here’s the free meal I got in exchange for Billy Bass:

I talked to John the manager and they also accept Travis Trout and all the other varieties of mounted, singing fish as well as Billy.

Sharp Flowers looking for a home, SOL in the CA, Dragobete, and more

– John Streeter from Sharp Flowers e-mailed me and asked me to let Downtowners know that he’s looking for a new location. Sharp Flowers was on the Main Street Mall at the Peabody Place trolley stop for several years, but there just wasn’t enough exposure in that location. If you know of a space for him, you can contact him at 870-588-6935. In the meantime, John is available for wedding and special event consulting, and you’re welcome to give him a call if you need those services.

– Commercial Appeal writer Christopher “Skippy” Blank has a good article on Sleep Out Louie’s closing in this morning’s paper. You can tell Skippy wrote this one from the heart, and he interviewed long-time SOL entertainers Pam and Terry who are broken-hearted over the closing.

His article hints at the mass of negativity being directed at Preston Lamm and River City Management for closing the popular downtown bar. I personally don’t hold anything against them – I understand it’s a business move, and the wonderful friendships I made there will continue long past Saturday when SOL shuts its doors for good. But I hear that the mood up there has been really weird this week (I haven’t been to SOL since Sunday). Not sure how much time I want to spend there tomorrow night. It’s like the last time I saw my grandfather, a vibrant, energetic man who was full of life for 81 years, and the last time I saw him he was lying in a hospital bed gasping for air. That’s not how I wanted to remember him, and I don’t want to think of all the crying and bad feelings toward management when I remember SOL. I want to remember the 4 years of happy times I had there.

– Tomorrow, February 24, is Dragobete, a traditional holiday in Romania. Known as the “day when the birds are getting engaged,” it’s considered Romania’s day for lovers, kind of like Valentine’s Day here. Although, from what I understand, they now celebrate V-Day as well over there. I’m sure former Saucer waitress The Romanian Sensation loves it as she gets two days this month when she is showered with gifts, flowers, dinners, and attention. I guess I should send her an e-card or something… nah, screw it, the tip I left her on her last night summarizes how I feel about her better than a card ever could.

– For those of you looking for an alternative to watching the Oscars, The Dempseys will be playing the East Bumblefuck Huey’s (1771 N. Germantown Parkway) Sunday night at 8:30. They play other gigs out that way too, but Huey’s is the best place to see the Dempseys because they’re close to the audience and there’s a lot of interaction.

– I was surfing Huey’s site this morning, and noticed that they have a customer survey. One of the questions is, “What is the primary reason you came by? (Happy hour, Live music, Food, Ad/Special, Have a drink, Meet friends)” They’re missing the “was stumbling home drunk from another bar and needed some nachos” option, which would be the one I’d pick for most of my visits to Huey’s.

– Thought I might see fellow blogger Ptolemy Kat last night, who was downtown with her mini-boss attending the U of M game. Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year for PK, as her carnival krewe is having their annual coronation ball at the University Club. “Sometimes girls just wanna have fun… in formal gowns,” she writes.

The Tigers, by the way, won the game handily. I wonder if they might have a shot at a second consecutive #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, if they win their remaining games and the conference tournament?

– To make it easy for stalkers to find me, here’s my schedule for this evening:

5:15-6:00: Stop by the Flying Fish, fill out an adoption form for Billy Bass, and eat some catfish

6:00-7:00: Happy hour at the Flying Saucer. Gotta see my waitresses

7:00-8:00: Sleep Out’s, to see Bobby Durango, Smokin’ Lemon and Crash Kole

8:00-approx. 11:00: South Main Trolley Tour, and a private party at a friend’s condo in the area

11:00-1:00: Earnestine & Hazel’s

1:00-3:00: McGuinness – trying to spend more time there these days.

All of the above is tentative – plans may change, depending on what opportunities come up during the course of the evening.

Oh, I forgot the most important part of my schedule:

12:30-4:45: Sit in a f***ing cubicle and stare at a g**d*** computer screen all afternoon! YAY!!!!

Back to work.

This is a better blog than mine

That’s not the main page, but close enough.

Among other things, she has a good post called “Full Service” on this page. It details the advantages of being kind to the waitresses and bartenders who serve you. This is a drunk post so I can’t resist: Attn Dumbass: Read this post. This is why we don’t invite you to hang with us anymore.

Her site is so good that I almost hesitate to recommend it, because I might lose the “Best Blogger” award to her. Attn Memphis Flyer: I know you cruise this blog for stories. Win or lose, I better be invited to the party. Especially if you have Blue Moon on tap like you did in ’06.

Her blog is better-written than mine though.

I found Billy!

My quest to find a Big Mouth Billy Bass has ended, thanks to one of my regular readers at Downtown Books. “Downtown Walgreens has them,” he told me. “Go to the condom aisle… when you get in front of the condoms, turn around and you’ll see it on the top shelf.” He was right. The box was dusty, like it had been there for years.

One more note about the Flying Fish, future home of Billy Bass… on Sundays they have 25-cent oysters on the half shell. So if you like oysters, you won’t be SOL even after SOL closes.