Thur update: Rooftop parties, a severe weather drinking game, and new rumors of Trader Joe’s

’80s cover band Venus Mission plays the Peabody rooftop party this Thursday night. Doors open at 6, $10 cover to get in but it includes your first drink, ladies free until 7.

The food theme this week will be Caribbean. On the buffet (included in price of admission) will be jerk chicken sliders, Caribbean beans & rice, and tropical fruits.

You can still buy season-long VIP passes for $75. This gets you access to a private VIP area with beer tastings and a second buffet, this week consisting of coconut shrimp with pineapple dipping sauce, pork kabobs, and chips and jalapeno-mango dipping sauce.

The Peabody occasionally has pre-parties for its VIP card holders, and this week is one of them. In the Corner Bar from 5 to 6 they’ll have complimentary Michelob Ultra, chili-glazed chicken wings, calamari fritti, and an antipasto platter. Free food? Bet the Nuh-Uh Girl will make plans to leave work early. Must show your VIP card to get in.

Meanwhile, over at the Madison, Billy Gibson and his band will play. You no longer have to go to Beale Street to hear Billy… party begins at 5:30, $7 to get in, cash bar and tapas menu available. Afterward there will be a moonlight party at 10:30 with DJ (free for those who paid to get into Sunset Atop the Madison, $5 otherwise).

I know a lot of people are looking forward to June when Amy LaVere plays the Madison; her date on the rooftop has been changed from June 2 to June 16.

In other news: There’s now a Mid-South Severe Weather Drinking Game. Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog came up with it.

I’ve heard from three different sources this week that a Trader Joe’s may be coming to Memphis. I heard those rumors last year and dismissed them because they wouldn’t be able to sell wine. However, there’s now a Trader Joe’s in Nashville that sells beer only, so maybe there is a chance Memphis will get one. I know a lot of Memphians have never shopped at a Trader Joe’s before; would it be worth it for me to write a blog post explaining why it’s such a big deal?

Looking forward to plans for tonight, but as far as posting them here, they need to remain “off the grid” (to use Foursquare lingo) for the time being. Photo album coming soon.

Wed update #2: Food porn, Trolley Night cook-off, Peabody hiring, Orpheum announces summer film lineup

The full set of “food porn” photos I took last week are now online. Last Wednesday I attended Clandestino Dining’s first “underground dining” event in Memphis, combining art with a 7-course dinner. I posted about a dozen pics on my blog Saturday, but now you can view the full set of photos here.

Speaking of food: The Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis Blog has a post about the cook-off at South Main Trolley Night this Friday. Defending champion Ella Bella, coming off a victory over Gloria last month, will put her title on the line against Gary Friday night. Gary is making Korean BBQ tacos; Ella is making a Bacon Explosion. I think just on the basis of menu selection, my vote is for Ella!

Mmmm… thinking back to the hot dog served at Bardog last night… you know what would be even better than a Bacon Explosion? A McSorley’s beer-battered Bacon Explosion. Someone needs to give that idea a try soon.

Need a job? The Peabody is hiring for more than a dozen positions. Check out the list here.

The Orpheum has announced the lineup for its summer movie series, and this year there are two of them. Here’s the lineup for the Summer Classic Movie Series:

7:15 p.m. Friday 6/3: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
7:15 p.m. Thursday 6/9: To Catch a Thief
7:15 p.m. Friday 6/10: The Big Lebowski
7:15 p.m. Thursday 6/23: An Affair to Remember
7:15 p.m. Thursday 8/4: Beauty Shop
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/5: Gone with the Wind
7:15 p.m. Thursday 8/18: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/19: The Wizard of Oz
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/26: Casablanca
8:00 p.m. Friday 9/2: Rocky Horror Picture Show

New to the Orpheum this summer is Memphis Film Fest, films that have a Memphis connection. Here’s that lineup:

7:15 p.m. Friday 7/1: Hustle and Flow
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/7: The Firm
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/8: Last Picture Show
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/14: The Rainmaker
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/15: The Blind Side
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/21: Great Balls of Fire
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/22: Memphis Heat
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/29: Walk the Line

That’s all for now. Severe storms are approaching and it’s time for me to head to the storm shelter, the one with 70 beers on tap. Everyone be safe tonight.

Wed update: Bardog’s Dog of the Day, Silly Goose does trivia right on Tuesdays, hangover prevention, Indian food Wednesday at City Market, free Wi-Fi at the M Spot

Last night I started the evening at Bardog’s happy hour. A new menu item they’ve been doing lately is “Dog of the Day,” a gourmet hot dog. Last night the Dog of the Day was a McSorley’s beer-battered hot dog with caramelized onions, Dijon mustard and American cheese. Shame I wasn’t hungry because it looked delicious. Beer-battered anything is a winner in my book.

Today’s dog is an I (heart) NY dog, 100% beef with caramelized onions, red peppers, and cinnamon cayenne horseradish mustard. They also have Bangkok mussels and beer cheese soup. Kudos to Bardog for taking photos of the chalkboard where they post specials, and then posting the pics to Facebook.

I didn’t feel like walking all the way to Ferraro’s for their trivia night, so I decided to give the Silly Goose’s trivia night a try. I immediately felt at home, because it’s the exact same format as the old Flying Saucer trivia night when Pete the Trivia Guy had creative control. Then again, that’s not surprising because it was called by Charles, who used to call trivia at the Cordova Saucer. Five questions plus a bonus question per round, bonus questions worth 10, 20 and 30 points. Questions were challenging but not ponderous. There were a few softballs thrown in, probably to give Brick, who was playing, a chance to feel smart. Since I went there on the spur of the moment, I didn’t have a team with me. I still managed to get more than half the questions right, but not enough to place in the top three.

A few sample questions:

Where did fireworks originate? (China)

Exactly how many bytes are in a kilobyte? (1024)

Caryn Johnson is the real name of what actress and talk show host? (Whoopi Goldberg)

Next week they’re starting a new promotion. The team who has the highest cumulative score between next week and the end of August will receive a $300 bar tab. This is in addition to the weekly prizes. Pretty good deal… I may be back next week. May even revive the Rapscallions team name if there’s interest.

Fun fact I learned on Twitter this morning: Asparagus helps you avoid hangovers by doubling the rate at which you metabolize alcohol. I need to stop by City Market and pick some up. Of course, I don’t have a clue how to cook asparagus.

Speaking of City Market, they’ve started doing Indian food on Wednesdays. Today they have Vegetable Korma, Okra Masala and Cumin Rice.

The Memphis Chamber has put up video of the grand opening of the M Spot, a patio on the north side of the Falls Building (Front and Court), where up to 100 devices can connect to free Wi-Fi. Fantastic resource for those who visit Memphis with their laptops, and for locals too.

Everyone be careful this evening. Severe weather is likely for West Tennessee, and I really hope it waits until AFTER I get home. The MemphisWeather.Net blog has a summary of what will happen. No definite plans for tonight, but severe weather or not, I’ll be out somewhere.

Tue update: Coco & Lily sale, river park reopened, RiverArtsFest poster party, Memphis pedestrian-unfriendly (but Downtown very friendly) and more

Last night as I was walking to the bar, I looked across Second and saw a big sign outside women’s clothing store Coco & Lily. “Blowout sale,” it advertised, “everything 50% off.” Ladies, this is an excellent opportunity to stock up for Tube Top Month, which starts in only 3 days.

Actually, I prefer to see tube tops 100% off, but that has nothing to do with price…

Mud Island River Park has finally re-opened. With the flood waters receding, guests are welcome back as of 10 AM today.

RiverArtsFest, the big fall arts festival in South Main, will unveil its 2011 poster this Friday. They’ll have a poster launch party at the Memphis College of Art grad school at Main and Butler from 6 to 8 PM. Party will honor 2011 artist Dolph Smith. It’s also South Main Trolley Night, so there will be plenty else to see and do in the area… and when you’re deciding what to wear, don’t forget that Tube Top Month starts at 5 PM!

Can you tell I’m getting excited about Tube Top Month?

Memphis has been named the seventh-least-friendly pedestrian city in the US. I’d like to point out that Downtown is VERY pedestrian-friendly! I walk around in the core, to South Main, to the Pinch all the time… never any problems.

You know, the Saucer is three and a half blocks from my front door. I don’t know if there are apartments three and a half blocks to the Fox & Hound Cordova, but if there are, I’m pretty sure those people drive to the bar. Which is why Cordova sucks. Well, it’s one of the many reasons.

Brick finally got her revenge on me at poker last night. It’s well known that Brick will call my all-ins with any two cards, for the satisfaction of trying to beat me. Sooner or later she had to be dealt a real hand. Getting short stacked, I moved in with A-7, and she called with K-10 suited. Both the King and the 10 paired the board, and Brick got a victory. However, I scored a moral victory, as the name “Katie” was all but forgotten by the end of the night and the entire bar was calling her “Brick.”

What to do tonight, what to do? It’s Tuesday trivia night at Ferraro’s with Kevin Cerrito at 8 PM, and I had a good time there last week. Then on the other hand, I got a message from a bartender at the Silly Goose begging me to come up there for their new trivia night. My team the Rapscallions is pretty much done with trivia at the Saucer for the time being. Then there’s always pint night at Bardog (all pints $3 from 7 PM to 3 AM).

Beale Street ambassador Rudy Williams is still missing. Please keep him in your prayers.

Rudy Williams missing

Rudy Williams, the Beale Street ambassador and trumpeter who plays outside King’s Palace Cafe and The Pig on Beale, is missing. He got home from work Saturday night, went out for a walk, and has not been seen since. More info and a pic of Rudy here.

If you see Rudy, please contact River City Management or the Beale Street Merchants Association. Let’s all keep Rudy in our prayers and hope that he is okay.

Mon update: Lunchbox Eats, free Wi-Fi, AutoZone Park veggie-friendly, Macho Man

Today’s Groupon is a good one: $10 for $20 worth of food at Lunchbox Eats. This little restaurant, on Fourth just south of Linden, has become one of my favorite places. My favorite is the Third Period Smoking Birds sandwich, which is like a turducken in a sandwich. Mac & cheese is good too, and I’m not normally a big fan of mac & cheese. They’re open on Saturdays now too, until 7 PM I think.

The Greater Memphis Chamber will unveil a free public Wi-Fi spot outside the Falls Building. Tomorrow at 4:30 PM they’ll turn it on and Grizz the mascot will be there to hand out some Grizzlies merchandise. More details here.

Normally I don’t give a flying rat’s ass what PETA thinks, but I do think it’s pretty cool that they named AutoZone Park one of the top 10 ballparks for vegetarians. Congratulations to the park for making sure all its guests can get a good meal.

Speaking of baseball, here’s a link to a pic of Randy “Macho Man” Savage as a Cardinal. I believe this would have been taken around 1973, when “Mach,” then known by his given name Randy Poffo, played in the minor-league system. He never made it big in baseball, so he gave wrestling a try. Georgia wrestler/booker Ole Anderson told him Poffo was not a good name for someone “who wrestled like a savage,” and a new name was born.

I sure hope I arrive home tonight to a fixed air conditioning unit. Haven’t slept well all weekend because of the lack of A/C. I’ll be at Saucer for Pint Nite, but if I have A/C I may skip poker at the Goose this week and catch up on quality sleep.

PBR news: Pabst headquarters moving to Los Angeles

The Commercial Appeal reports that Pabst is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles. A lot of speculation is going on as to whether Pabst will be able to keep the blue-collar image of its portfolio of beers, and particularly its signature beer Pabst Blue Ribbon.

My opinion? I couldn’t care less where the HQ is, as long as my PBR is cold and cheap. PBR tastes better than Bud and it’s usually less expensive. In most cases I laugh at hipsters, but when it comes to beer preference they got it exactly right.

Insider tip: Go to Max’s Sports Bar and order a PBR from Michele. She pours beer better than anyone in the city.

South Main Trolley Night this Friday: Carnival, donations to flood victims and the first evening of Tube Top Month!

The evening of Friday, May 27 is not only the beginning of a long 3-day Memorial Weekend, but it’s also Trolley Night on South Main. Many of the shops and galleries will be open from 6 to 9 PM, and many will put out beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres.

South Main is celebrating by throwing a carnival. Street performers, magicians, henna artists, sideshow acts, face painters, artisans, strolling musicians, yummy food! There will also be a cook-off as defending champion Ella Bella faces off against Gary G. in a Taster’s Choice contest. Taster’s Choice? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up to be a taster.

I haven’t got the official word yet, but the South Main Association usually grills out when the weather is nice, with burgers, dogs and Ghost River beer for SMA members.

The Trolley Night will also support the American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter to support victims of the recent flooding.

Okay, that concludes the “official” list of what’s going on at Trolley Night… but I’m adding one more “unofficial” event. I hereby announce that Trolley Night will be the kickoff party for Tube Top Month. Every year from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend to the end of Independence Day weekend, this blog conducts a month+ long celebration of the greatest fashion item ever, the tube top. Ladies, want to be on the blog? It’s easy. Wear a tube top to Trolley Night, come find me, and I’ll snap a photo.

The weather is almost always cooperative in May, so come on out for one of the best Trolley Nights of the year!

Memphis economy reaches record peaks under benevolent leadership of supremely intelligent Dear Leader

Based on reaction on Twitter tonight, I’m only supposed to blog/tweet about Memphis to say how good it is. Sorry, I didn’t know Kim Jong-il had been elected mayor.

I tell it like it is.

The Tigers made Memphis look awesome.

The Grizzlies made Memphis look even more awesome.

But not as awesome as the seniors at Booker T. Washington High did, even attracting a President’s attention.

Meanwhile, a food truck reality show came to town. And it sucked. They blogged/tweeted/posted they’d be out at noon. They were hours late, and then only lasted three hours selling full menu before they went veggie.

I refuse to promote them like everything went all right. They were horrible. But some people think I should blog nothing but good things, in the name of publicity for the city.

For those people, I say, move to North Korea and subscribe to Kim Jong-il’s press releases. You’ll like what you see.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to tell it like it is.