Wed update: Woot-off, festival needs volunteers, Liberty Bowl, donate to a film, and more

Correction to my previous post: The Work-It Wednesday happy hour at Bardog is Wednesday, August 5, not tonight.

Woot is having a Woot-off today. Normally, Woot offers one item per day that is a tremendous deal… however, once in a while they have a Woot-off and sell one item after another, throughout the day. They sell one at a time until supplies run out, then go on to the next item. Here’s a link to a site that will help you track Woot-offs (thanks to the Nuh-Uh Girl for posting the link on Twitter).

The Memphis Music and Heritage Festival is just over a month away, and the Center for Southern Folklore needs volunteers. If you want to help make this Labor Day weekend festival a success, contact Brian at the Center or hit them up on their Facebook page. They need volunteers for stage management, beer, food and merchandise sales, and logistics.

The Liberty Bowl has a new website. Check it out here.

This has been all over the news the past couple of days, but I’ll mention it for anyone who missed it – a new film company, Paper Moon Films, is making use of a new concept called “crowd funding” to produce its first of three low-budget feature films. The film will be called “Open Five” and will be directed by local director Kentucker Audley. To learn more about the film or to donate, go here. There will also be a fundraiser called “Love Letter to Memphis” on July 30 at Minglewood Hall.

Wow, the Power House has been loaded with events lately… here’s another one… a reception tomorrow night, Thursday, July 23, from 5:30 to 7 PM, for “Counter Narratives,” an exhibit that is the result of a 5-week collaboration between the Power House and inner-city teens who participated in this year’s Memphis Youth Leadership Program.

Our trivia team finished 3rd last night, upping our gift certificate total to $110 for the next party.

I’ve heard that the glass the Flying Saucer is selling for “buy the beer, keep the glass” night tonight is an unusually nice one. It’s a New Belgium brewing company glass (they make Skinny Dip, Fat Tire, 1554, and Mothership Wit). I have more glasses than I need already, but may stop by just to take a look. I’ll definitely be out somewhere… 80 degree days in July are too rare not to enjoy.

Second Tue update: Flyer night at Bardog, new digs for MPACT, Shelton Clothiers

Looks like the Memphis Flyer is moving their “Work It Wednesday” happy hour around… and (edit: I had the date wrong, it’s August 5) it will be at Bardog Tavern! Good choice! The specials: $1 off wines by the glass, beer on tap, and house liquor; $1.50 PBR; $1.50 single slider burgers. Happy hour is from 5 to 7.

At last Wednesday’s “Work It Wednesday” at the Silly Goose, I ran into MPACT Memphis Executive Director Gwyn Fisher, who gave me some exciting news that I wasn’t allowed to blog at the time, but now can. After 8 years, MPACT is getting their own space! They spent their first four years in the Emerge Memphis incubator, followed by 4 years sharing a tiny space in the Falls Building. Now, however, they have a space of their own at 506 South Main. On July 31 for Trolley Tour night, they will celebrate with a big party beginning at 6 PM. Live music, art, food, and a drink called the “MPACTini.” Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

I’m wearing my Pink Pig T-shirt from Shelton Clothiers today. I’ve seen a lot people wearing them this week… they’re really becoming a fashion trend Downtown. Shelton, by the way, is having a Made to Measure suit sale ($100 off) through August 15.

Time to head to trivia. Hopefully the pink pig shirt will bring me good luck.

Tue update: Power House, SportsBall kick-off party, and more

Two people hit me up on Gmail this morning to tell me that the hot sauce I used in my Bloody Mary (see the previous entry) is from Vietnam, not China. Here’s a NY Times article about the sauce.

I got the weekly Midnight Matinee announcement from the Power House for this Friday’s movie. It’s a zombie flick. Here’s the description:

“Ashy-blue-skinned zombies haul trash, mow lawns and do any other grunt work in picture-perfect Willard, as they’ve done since the Zombie Wars turned them into domesticated servants controlled by a company called Zomcom. They think they have everything under control, but little Timmy Robinson knows it is not so when his family’s zombie named Fido eats their next-door neighbor in this truly original (and funny) horror film.”

Doors open at 11:15 PM.

Then on Saturday morning, the Power House is having a family-friendly event. Along with Delta Axis, they will hold Power Art Labs this Saturday and every Saturday through the end of October, from 10 AM to noon. Children 3 and up will be introduced to the world of contemporary art through their exhibitions, and will make a project at the end of each session. Cost is free for members, $5 for non-members with a $15 maximum for family.

Of course, the Power House is right next door to the Memphis Farmers Market, which will be going on from 7 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays, so it’s a great opportunity to bring the family and make an entire morning of it… maybe you could throw in breakfast or lunch at the Arcade Restaurant as well, all within a block walk of each other.

More details on the SportsBall Kick-Off Party at Kooky Canuck Wednesday, August 5 from 5 to 7:30 PM. The party benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis. Studies have shown that kids involved in the program are more likely to stay in school, and less likely to engage in violence. The organization is currently focused on recruiting more Big Brothers. At the kick-off event, you will be able to buy a ticket to attend the SportsBall fundraiser at the organization, to be held Saturday, August 29 at Minglewood Hall. Tickets are $100 per person. If you can’t attend the ball, they’ll be accepting donations at the Kick-Off Party as well. You can call 901-323-5440 to RSVP for the Kick-Off Party. There’s also a Facebook event listing where you can RSVP.

Free admission to the kickoff, and the party will feature $2 wine, $2 beer, and $2 margaritas. Mmmm, $2 margaritas, that sounds like a winner for sure. There will also be complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Free food… I wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up?

In the news… Memphis has landed the National Baptist Convention for early September, bringing a large number of their members (in the tens of thousands) to Memphis. Convention members: Welcome, and I hope you enjoy your stay here. Some of the comments left in response to the announcement make me sad. Some Memphians are judging the members of this group before they’ve even been here, based on bad past experience with a completely different convention. Come on, people, at least give them a chance.

Looks like we’ve got rain moving in… hopefully it will clear up before evening rush hour.  It’s trivia night.  Can the Rapscallions take home a third consecutive first-place prize?

Silly Goose Bloody Mary bar hot sauce recommendation

Last Sunday I had a couple of Bloody Marys at the Silly Goose’s make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which they have every Sunday from noon to 6.  In recent weeks I’ve been experimenting with Louisiana and Mexican hot sauces to spice up my drink.  However, Sunday I learned the error of my ways.  The best hot sauce is from nowhere near Louisiana or Mexico…


… it’s this one.  It’s labeled “Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce” and I believe it’s Chinese.  (Edit: I’ve learned that the sauce is actually Vietnamese.  Here’s an article about it.)  Just look for the chicken on the bottle.  A few drops of this makes a Bloody Mary perfectly spicy.  Give it a try next time you’re at the Goose… or buy it at one of Memphis’ international markets, if you prefer to make your Bloody Marys at home.

Speaking of things Chinese, that reminds me of a story… one time I in the late ’70s I was watching the TV show All in the Family, and Archie gave his grandson Joey a stuffed panda.  I asked my mother and grandmother, “Why did Archie call the panda a ‘chinky bear?'”  Things you could get away with on TV in the ’70s that would never, ever fly in the politically correct 21st century.

Time to head to work… probably another post to come around noon.  More details on the SportsBall kick-off party at Kooky Canuck, plus a couple of events going on at the PowerHouse, plus whatever else comes my way between now and then.

Mon update: Beale, bar olympics games, South of Beale, SportsBall kickoff at Kooky Canuck, and more

Yeah, yeah, I know, no post before work or at lunchtime.  Mondays just plain suck.  Especially when they follow Sunday Fun Days where my favorite beer is the Fire Sale and the Dempseys play Huey’s.

After posting about the long lines to get on Beale Street due to metal detectors, I received feedback from people who went this weekend, and endured the lines and got in. They told me that once inside, Beale was a lot more fun than it had been in recent years. “Inside were actually people who just wanted to have fun, check out good music and drink big beers,” wrote one person. Glad to hear it! The first few years I was down here (2002-05) Beale was a lot of fun on the weekends, and I went there all the time. I’ll give it a try as soon as I have a weekend night free. Like I posted yesterday, I bet the lines on Third Street are considerably shorter than those on Second.

I also want to address an article that was in the Commercial Appeal about a shooting on Beale Street this weekend. That shooting happened at the Orchid Club, in the 600 block of Beale, which is well on the other side of Danny Thomas, nowhere near the entertainment district proper which runs from Second to Fourth. So that report should not be taken as a sign that the entertainment district is unsafe.

Yesterday I had my Hoop’s Bar T-shirt on, which I got last year for being a judge at their Pub Olympics event. It has “pub olympics” printed on the back, and I had several people ask me if that event would be coming back for a second year. That particular event, as far as I know, won’t – Hoop’s went out of business with EP’s in September of last year, and there was some talk of reviving Pub Olympics when Hoop bartended at the Voodoo Room, but that’s now closed too.

However, there will be another bar olympics event held Downtown this fall, probably late September. I’ll have more details on that one when the organizers are ready to share them.

The Memphis Flyer’s “Hungry Memphis” blog had an article about the new restaurant/bar South of Beale that will open soon. I had a couple of people ask me this weekend about the place, wondering what a “gastropub” is. Find out here.

They’ve been soliciting beer suggestions on Twitter today… seems like all of their followers like PBR, except the Nuh-Uh Girl. I agree with everyone else… PBR in some format (draft, bottle or can) is pretty much mandatory if you’re going to open a locals’ bar Downtown. I bet if South of Beale marinated some food in PBR and put it out on a free buffet, the Nuh-Uh Girl would change her tune about PBR real quick.

Kooky Canuck is having their kick-off party for the 2009 SportsBall on Wednesday, August 5 from 5 to 7:30 PM. Come by the kick-off party to learn how you can attend the SportsBall and support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis. And be sure to eat while you’re there… three words for you… maple flank steak.  (Edit:  Just got more info on this… will post tomorrow… dammit I wish the iPhone Facebook app displayed events and event invitations)

In the news this afternoon… High Point Pinch has been shut down as a public nuisance.

Time for Pint Nite. I’m at 132 beers toward my third plate and still have Pint Nite beers left. Tonight will be Warsteiner, Skinny Dip, and a third beer yet to be determined.

Will Beale Street’s metal detectors cost the street business?

I mentioned earlier in the week that I had a birthday party/pub crawl to go to Friday night.  About 9:30 we arrived at our third stop of the evening – Beale Street.  Security guards guarded the entrances as usual.  In the past, it took less than a minute to get through the gates.  However, Friday night, this is what we encountered:


Two long lines snaked back from the entrances all the way to Second Street and down the sidewalks.  Security guards were wanding people with their new metal detectors to check for guns, and they were doing a pretty thorough job.  I’m 100% in support of their decision to do so; we don’t need guns on Beale Street.  However, I have to wonder if they’re implementing this the right way.  After 5 minutes the line had hardly moved.  I and several other members of our party decided to skip Beale Street and go on to the next destination.

I wonder how many people will get frustrated by the lines and will go elsewhere.  You can walk a short distance from Beale and get to a blues club that’s as good as anything on the street (Ground Zero), a nightclub that’s as good as anything on the street (Red Rooster, and soon Republic Nightclub too), and to bars that are good as anything on the street.  Me personally, 3 minutes is about all it takes to hit my frustration limit.  Beyond that I simply refuse to stand in line, knowing I can have just as much fun elsewhere.

I hope they figure out a way to speed things up yet still keep patrons safe.  If the line was that long at 9:30, I wonder what it looked like at peak time, 11 to 1 or thereabouts?

A few tips if you’re going to Beale:

  • The entrances on Third Street will probably have much shorter lines than those at Second and Fourth, which are the ends of the street.  Wish we had thought of this Friday night.
  • If you’re going to Beale for some authentic Memphis barbecue ribs, the best place to get them is Blues City Cafe, and Blues City’s entrance lies outside the barricaded entrance to Beale Street.  So you won’t have to deal with the long lines.
  • Itta Bena, the only fine-dining restaurant on Beale, also has an entrance outside the barricades.  Look for the valet-parking stand on Second.  There’s a separate entrance to the third floor of BB’s, which is Itta Bena.

Off to Sunday Fun Day… Dos Equis Lager is the Fire Sale at the Saucer.  Yay!  The Dempseys play Huey’s at 8:30 PM.

Another new site: This one’s for dog owners

Time to roll out another new site.  Introducing the Dog Shirt Shop.


I got the idea for this one after I had some success selling dog shirts and dog jerseys on Hawaiian Shirt Paradise and the College Logo Shopping family of sites.  I checked Amazon, and there is a huge amount of dog apparel out there… and is often the case, it’s incredibly disorganized on Amazon’s site.  Perfect candidate for a storefront.  Among the cool stuff you’ll find there:

As always, the site is in association with Amazon and they handle the secure checkout and the shipping. I never see your name or credit card, just a notification that items were ordered and I made commission.

Getting ready to head to the Saucer for Marci’s last shift… although, it’s a beautiful day, so I’ll probably spend part of it outside as well.

Man caught fishing for greenbacks at South Main pay-to-park lot

According to this crime report in the CA, officers caught Kenneth Russell, 50, attempting to use a hanger to fish dollars out of a pay-to-park box on a lot at Main and Huling, not far from the restaurant Spindini.  They found three torn, wrinkled dollars in his left sock, so apparently he had some success before the cops arrived.  Here’s Mr. Russell’s mug shot, from the Shelby County “Who’s in Jail?” site:


According to General Sessions and Criminal Court lookup, Mr. Russell has been charged with theft of property under $500 quite a few times in recent years, as well as the occasional motor vehicle burglary.  His other arrests, for possession of drug paraphernalia, may shed some light as to Mr. Russell’s plans for the money he fishes out of parking boxes.

Fri update: Christmas in July, Bravo kickoff

The Red Rooster is hosting their second annual Christmas in July party Saturday, July 25. This is a block party where they block off Lt. Lee Avenue. Last year they had a snow machine, sleighs and other Christmas decorations, and they dressed their rooster up as Santa. The event benefits Make-a-Wish, with tickets $25 in advance and $30 at the door. There will be complimentary gourmet hors d’ouevres and beer and wine, and a cash bar available for liquor. The Mud Flap Kings will perform, and Santa and Memphis celebrities will make an appearance. 901-521-1092 to purchase tickets.

ArtsMemphis has announced the 2009-10 kickoff party for Bravo, their 21-45 year old arts group that does outings to various arts-related events throughout the year. The party will be a block party on Huling between Main and Front on Thursday, August 27, from 6:30 to 9 PM. Local galleries, restaurants, businesses, and artists will participate. It’s free to the public and there will be live music, free drinks, and local art.

Their announcement says they have 4 levels of membership this year… that’s a new thing since the last time I was an active Bravo member in 2006. Info on each of the levels of membership here.

I’m going to a birthday party/pub crawl tonight. I got the invite last week on Facebook and looked at the bars on the list… Bardog, Silly Goose, Green Beetle, E&H, Paula & Raiford’s, Flying Saucer, Calhoun’s. Needless to say this was an EASY yes, given those destinations. Plus the birthday girl is someone who always comes up with new antics to make a party even more fun… there are said to be challenges along the way at each stop. Hmmm I suspect I better bring the extra batteries for the camera, because tonight may be memorable.

Other stuff on my agenda this weekend: Marci’s last shift behind the bar at the Saucer Saturday day; the Dempseys at Huey’s Sunday night.

Thur update: Orpheum auction, fall shirts, rooftop parties

Wow what a crappy drive to work. Wish I could’ve laid in bed and enjoyed the sound of the thunderstorms instead of having to drive in them… how I miss the days of working for myself… well, except for that “no regular paycheck” thing.

Additional information about the Orpheum’s art auction tonight here, including a link to their online preview of the artwork. The Nuh-Uh Girl forwarded me that link, so I have a feeling she’ll show up for the free food.

If you wear Nat Nast or Robert Graham shirts, you can stop by Lansky at the Peabody and pre-order from their fall collection. Robert Graham makes some of the coolest looking shirts ever.

Hip Kitty plays the Peabody rooftop tonight… or more likely, inside, if it continues to rain all day. The band is described on the Facebook event page as “super sexy, in your face, great American rock’n’roll.” $5 cover, ladies free before 8. The Dempseys are scheduled to play the Madison rooftop (edit: May have that wrong, think it may be Delta Highway), but I don’t think there’s an alternate location in the case of rain there, so I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

That’s the news for now, back to the daily grind…