Saturday update

Edited to add: Get on Twitter and tweet the hashtags #JaMorant #NBAAllStar. Let’s help get our hometown hero a starting role in the All-Star game.

The International Blues Challenge has announced new dates for 2022. With Omicron raging all over the world, international travel is difficult, and packing bars and clubs to capacity just a few short weeks from now isn’t a safe idea. Therefore, these will be the new dates for IBC:

  • Friday, May 6: Quarterfinals Night 1
  • Saturday, May 7: Quarterfinals Night 2
  • Sunday, May 8: KBA Ceremony, Youth Showcases, Semifinals
  • Monday, May 9: IBC Finals at the Orpheum

I love it!!! A lot of years, I’ve wanted to go to IBC, but I’ve decided against it because it’s been too cold. That won’t be a problem in May. Also, note that IBC does not conflict with any Memphis in May event: Music Fest is April 29-May 1 and BBQ Fest is May 11-14.

Never been to IBC before? It’s your chance to hear the best blues in the world, played by bands from all over the world. My advice would be to buy a wristband on one of the quarterfinals nights, which gets you in all the clubs on and near Beale participating in IBC. Make note of bands you particularly like and then check to see if they advanced to the semifinals, and if you want to hear them again, go back.

A reminder that the Blind Bear has a country DJ tonight. I plan on going, not because I’m into country music, but because I’m curious who will show up. Wondering if people from East Memphis and the ‘burbs will come Downtown for this. I can’t remember the last time a Downtown bar or club had a country DJ, and even country bands are rare down here.

Wonder if DJ Superbrad plans on doing all modern country, or if he plans on throwing a little classic stuff in there? I could get down with some Conway Twitty or Merle Haggard.

The Grizzlies play a road game at the Los Angeles Clippers this afternoon at 2:30. Strangely, the unusual start time and big-city opponent were not enough to land this game on national TV, so look for it on Bally Sports Southeast (Xfinity 831).

Little Bettie, the wood-fired pizza kitchen inside Wiseacre Downtown, has announced updated hours for the month of January:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday-Wednesday: 4-9 PM
  • Thursday: 4-10 PM
  • Friday-Saturday: 11 AM-10 PM
  • Sunday: 11 AM-7 PM

You can order from LIttle Bettie online if you prefer. If you’re Downtown to attend a Grizzlies or Tigers home game, show your ticket for 10% off your Little Bettie order.

At Soul & Spirits, the new brewery on the far north end of North Main, every beer they produce is inspired by an artist, producer, or writer with deep Memphis roots. Here’s what they had to say about one of their beers.

Here you’ll see Green Onions-our single hop series pale ale. We make a base beer and feature only one hop so it’s easier to understand how individual hops can completely change how the beer tastes and smells. This batch features Talus-a new hop that has come to the market that is super groovy! Talus brings forth more of a savory vibe leaning towards juicy pink grapefruit, rose and hyacinth, and notes of fresh cut cedar. Only available on draft at the Soul & Spirits beer hall, we make this in super small batches to keep it fresh and interesting. Get it while it lasts!

There are currently more than 25,000 COVID cases confirmed in Shelby County. However, due to lack of testing, unreported positives from at-home tests, and asymptomatic people who are never aware they have COVID, independent data analyst James Aycock thinks it’s reasonable to estimate 75,000 active cases in the county right now. If you come in contact with 13 people today, it’s likely one of them has it. If you’re vacc’d and boosted, you’re probably gonna be okay. If you’re unvaccinated, you’re playing Russian roulette with your health.

Today is Elvis’s birthday. He’d have been 87 today.

The blog has a climate report for the month of December for those of us who like to nerd out on weather statistics. It was the second warmest December on record. The average high temperature for December 2021 was 66.5, warmer than a typical March in Memphis.

Bonus weather nerd alert: We are now in what is typically the coldest time of the year in Memphis, with a normal high/low of 50/33 from January 7-13. On the 14th we begin our bounce back up, with the normal high rising to 51.

In the ’90s, the coldest normal high/low for Memphis was 48/30, proof that global warming is a real thing.

In more current news, there’s a 100% chance of rain tonight, possibly heavy at times and possibly with a few thunderstorms mixed in. Gusty winds too. Factor that into your evening plans.

My brunch buddies are out of town, so I’m going to stay home this morning and watch a couple of newly-released videos by Eckhart Tolle. I’ll see if they give me any professional writing ideas. Back tomorrow with more news.