paulryburn

Aug 222014
 

I’d like to start off today’s post by apologizing to Start Co. and their startup founders for leaving the Demo Day after-party so early. I had planned to hang out and network with the entrepreneurs until at least midnight. That didn’t happen and I was out before 10 with an upset stomach.

Here’s what happened: Between Demo Day and the after-party, there was a cocktail hour at the Silly Goose. That’s normally where I’d be anyway on a Thursday evening, so I attended the cocktail hour. People from Start Co. came over and handed me three green tickets. “What are these for?” I asked.

“Each one will get you any drink you want here,” they replied.

“Anything?” I asked.

“Anything.”

Now, the Silly Goose is one of my neighborhood spots where I spend time with friends and drink cans of PBR. However, the Goose is also one of the best cocktail bars in the city, with a menu of hand-crafted cocktails. If I could trade a green ticket for anything I wanted, I damn sure wasn’t going to waste it on a domestic beer. “Make me your favorite drink from the cocktail menu,” I asked Jessica. “… that isn’t too girly, and that you think I would like.” She brought me a mojito. It was absolutely delicious, so I cashed in my remaining two tickets on mojitos as well.

Well, here’s the thing. I drink beer. I do shots, mainly Fireball. However, I almost never drink mixed drinks. It had probably been more than a year since I had more than one mixed drink back-to-back. My stomach couldn’t handle three successive mojitos. By the time I walked over to the after-party at 9, I wasn’t feeling well. By 9:45 I had to give up and go home.

The after-party venue, The Bradford at the Deluxe Arcade, was a beautiful space. I had never even heard of this venue until recently. It’s at 10 North Second, a block north of Paula & Raiford’s Disco. It was big enough for Start Co. to have two bars and two DJs. It can hold 300+ people and has 3000 square feet of space. It is a classy, elegant setting that I would recommend for parties and wedding receptions.

While at the Silly Goose I got to talk to one of the founders of Boosterville, a new mobile payment platform. It saves retailers 50-80% of fees that would go to credit card merchant services, charging a fee of only 1%. In addition, Boosterville allows merchants to offer a loyalty program, and Boosterville is cause-driven, donating a percentage of fees to local charities. I once worked in credit card merchant services, and I can tell you the status quo in that industry is a dinosaur. Nice to see a Start Co. startup working to make the dinosaur extinct.

The Daily News has a complete list of businesses that graduated from Start Co.’s accelerators.

Tonight is the weekly free Memphis Jams series at Handy Park at Third and Beale, kicking off at 6:30. This week’s live music will be Neosoulville presents an Isaac Hayes celebration,

Casablanca will be shown on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7 PM. Come early for themed cocktails and movie-related activities.

Double J Smokehouse and Saloon will host an SEC kickoff party tomorrow from noon until 6. There will be drink specials and game day food specials. Wear your game day attire and look for your team’s tent station. Tickets are $10 plus an 89 cent fee, $5 of which goes to local charities. Your ticket gets you a wristband and two drink tickets.

That’s all for now. The last weekend before college football and fall festival season begins is almost here. I still have no definite plans, but I’m sure I will be out and about Downtown.

Aug 212014
 

With the Memphis Redbirds trailing the Nashville Sounds by only half a game in the PCL American Southern Division, AutoZone Park is betting on the ‘birds overtaking the Sounds. Playoff tickets will go on sale at 10 AM Saturday. If the Redbirds win the division, they will potentially host Game 3 of the Pacific Coast League American Conference Championship on Friday, September 5 and if necessary, Games 4 and 5. Call (901) 721-6000 or go to the AutoZone Park box office to get your tickets.

If you used a credit or debit card at the UPS Store at 1138 North Germantown Parkway between January and August of this year, thieves may have your card info and you need to take steps to protect yourself.

Oshi, the new burger bar on Main Street that is across the street from Local Gastropub and is owned by the same people who own Local, will open soon and is hiring for all positions. Apply between 2 and 4 PM at Local on the Square (that’s the Midtown one at Madison and Cooper, not the Downtown one).

Job seekers: Has creating a sharp-looking resume been a challenge for you? Lifehacker has 275 Microsoft Word templates for just about every type of resume imaginable.

Start Co.’s Demo Day is about to begin. Here are Four damn good reasons to start up in Memphis. Due to work I won’t be able to attend Demo Day. However, since Start Co. is our BBQ team sponsor, they were nice enough to invite “Mr. Load-in” to the Demo Day after-party. I’m very excited to get to go not only to talk to friends who pitched to investors today, but because the party is in a space I have never been inside in all my years Downtown. I’ll lead off at Silly Goose as I usually do after work, then head to the party. Should be a fun, fun night. Looking forward to congratulate my entrepreneur friends on a job well done!

Aug 202014
 

Years ago, I totally went off on this blog about a man who was walking around Downtown telling people he was collecting donations for St. Jude. He was not. He was scamming people and using the money to buy drugs. He was also one of Downtown’s most aggressive panhandlers, and was known to run the fake parking attendant scam, and really, every scam in the book. I hated him. I hated what he did to my neighborhood’s image. I personally had him arrested and thrown in jail twice out of the maybe 50 or 75 times total that he got locked up.

Today on my lunch break, I went to a grocery store near where I work in DeSoto County. As I approached the entrance, a man said, “Hey, man! I know you! It’s good to see you!” and reached out to shake my hand. It was him. He was sober. He told me that he’s thrown away his life time and time again on drugs. About three months ago, someone helped him find a program, a house he lives in near the grocery store with four other men who have led lives similar to his own. He has a full-time job now. He told me, “I could get an overnight pass to come back to Memphis, but I don’t want it because I don’t want to lose my life to drugs again. I know I have to be careful.” Over and over again, he said “God is good” and shook my hand and told me how good it was to see me. He was being genuine. It was not a scam. I’m not religious myself, but he found what works for him, so God IS good.

It was an uplifting conversation that reminded me that we can never completely give up on anyone. There’s always hope. Every human being has potential, no matter how many bad decisions they have made in the past.

On a lighter note, it was announced today that Johnny Manziel will not start for the Cleveland Browns. So does that make him Johnny Bench?

Start Co. has posted the official schedule for Demo Day 2014 at the Orpheum tomorrow. Find out when your favorite startup will make its pitch. Keynote speaker The Honorable Edward B. Montgomery takes the podium at 4,

The Church Health Center is hiring a director for The MEMPHIS Plan. This would be a very nice role for someone with a background in management in nonprofits.

The Westin Hotel just south of Beale is being honored for community service. Among the hotel’s efforts was an effort to help local career coach Angela Copeland turn Memphis to Moore from a small event into a major one that raised $34,000. The money raised went to rebuild Moore, Oklahoma, which was battered in a 2013 series of tornadoes.

Tube top alert: I mentioned in a previous post that I have been watching old episodes of Bar Rescue on Spike TV’s website. Full episodes are available until September 30 of this year. If you pull up the Brawlin’ Babes episode which originally aired December 8, 2013, there is a bartender named Keller who has on a very nice pink tube top in the first ten minutes of the show.

Home from work, out for beer. Back tomorrow.

Aug 202014
 

Tomorrow is a big, big day for some entrepreneurs. Sixteen businesses have been in accelerator programs led by Start Co. The accelerator programs are 99 days of mentoring, business model development, user interface/user experience, and other key elements of taking an idea and building it to the point that it’s ready to pitch to investors. Tomorrow is that day, when the sixteen businesses’ founders make that pitch at Start Co. Demo Day at the Orpheum from 1 to 5 PM. If you want to see what some of Memphis’ brightest minds have been working on, come check it out. It’s free to attend but you must register on EventBrite.

These accelerators really do work. Screwpulp is a book selling business that developed through a previous accelerator program. It has since acquired funding and has grown to the point that its business model is seen as a threat to Amazon. Who of the 2014 class will go on to enjoy as much success as Screwpulp, or more?

Crosby, Stills & Nash play the Orpheum tonight at 7:30.

Want to learn about the new pocket park being created in the space of the former Burger King on Madison between Second and Third? Come to the Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting next Tuesday, August 26, in the lobby of the First Tennessee building down the street. The Brass Door will cater the event, and there will be information about how the Brass Door and First Tennessee are partnering to transform the space into a pocket park. In addition, County Mayor Mark Luttrell will speak. The event starts at 6 PM with cocktails and a tour of curated art, and Luttrell will speak at 6:30. Attendees are invited to attend a special happy hour at the Brass Door across the street afterward.

The Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival returns to AutoZone Park Saturday, September 27 from 11 AM to 4 PM. This family-friendly event features all you can eat ice cream and other tasty treats, live music, games, a character photo booth, face painting and more. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House. Tickets are $12 at the door but you can get them in advance for $10 here. This is considered such a good event that one of my suburban readers made a rare trip north of State Line Road with a minivan full of kids to attend last year.

Two big shows are coming to the Cannon Center for Performing Arts this fall. Stevie Wonder will perform October 11 and Jerry Lee Lewis will perform November 7.

The men in the Union Mission programs play a little friendly softball from time to time. However, much of their equipment is worn out or missing altogether. They need bats, gloves (left-handed as well as some right handed) and softballs. Do you have extra softball/baseball equipment you could donate? If so bring it to 383 Poplar and say that the items are for Calvary Colony. They would like to collect enough equipment for two teams.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. It’s Wednesday so I’ll lead off at Jessica’s bar at Silly Goose at 5:30 after work.

Aug 192014
 

Today at lunchtime I posted about Beale Street’s new cover charge on late Saturday nights. The MBJ reports that Beale Street merchants suffered when the cover was charged for the first time Saturday, with a big drop in people coming onto the street between midnight and 2:30. As the article points out, Beale is normally very safe, but Saturday night is when the street gets the majority of its troublemakers: people looking to pick fights, catcall women, and bring their own alcohol onto the street rather than buying drinks.

DejaVu had a cooking demo on WREG Live at 9 today. Learn how to make the Creole restaurant’s Big Easy Pasta.

The Redbirds return home tomorrow for their final homestand of the season, in first place and very possibly playoff-bound. They play the Sacramento River Cats tomorrow at 7:05 and will be here through Wednesday the 27th. They will wrap up the season in New Orleans for five games.

Pat Halloran of the Orpheum is taking up to 30 people on a very cool trip December 4-7. It’s a trip to Manhattan for a tour of Broadway. Trip includes 4 days, 3 nights at a Times Square hotel, round-trip coach airfare, transportation to and from the airport, two Broadway tickets per person, and Sunday brunch at Sardi’s. $1,975 per person, double occupancy. More details here.

Fireball, a cinnamon whisky which is a popular shot among Downtowners, has added a line of sauces. There is an original hot sauce, a wing sauce, and a BBQ sauce. Get them here.

Home from work and it’s happy hour. I think I will kick things off at Panda’s bar at Bardog and then figure out the rest. I haven’t ruled out playing poker at Blind Bear tonight but if I do I will likely come in late.

Aug 192014
 

I’ve had several people ask me to blog my thoughts on the new cover charge on Beale Street. So, here goes.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the Downtown Memphis Commission has made some changes to the Beale Street Entertainment District that runs from Second to Fourth. The changes are that on Saturday night/Sunday morning, a $10 cover charge will be in place from midnight to 5 AM for those wanting to get on the street. The money will be used to hire 23 additional security guards to patrol the street during that time. Also, Beale Street bars have agreed to close at 3 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning, two hours earlier than their previous closing time.

The changes were made after a recent incident of violence on the street, in which a man was found beaten and robbed. No one offered to help him or called the police, but multiple people pulled out their cell phones and took photos and video of the beaten man. He also had his clothes, cell phone, and wallet stolen while people were shooting video. There have been other incidents of violence on or near the street.

Okay, here are my thoughts. I’m just going to do this free-form as stuff occurs to me.

The DMC absolutely had to be proactive as managers of the street. They had to send a message that they understood that the recent incidents of violence were completely unacceptable, and they had to show that they were taking serious action to prevent that kind of thing from happening again. So I support the $10 cover as a quick fix. I think there’s still work to be done determining a solution for the long term. However, if the DMC had not acted quickly, they would have been perceived as sweeping the problem under the rug. I commend them for their strong, swift action.

Major, major respect for the management of Club 152, Flynn’s, Alfred’s, and other bars on Beale that had been staying open until 5. They put public safety ahead of their own financial gain. They are losing thousands in revenue by closing two hours earlier on Saturday night. Thank you. (Edit: I just saw a note from 152′s manager on Facebook that they will be open until 5 Saturday.)

It does suck for my friends who work in those bars and clubs, though. They’re missing out on two hours of tip money on the busiest night of the week. Those people have to feed their kids, pay rent. I hate it that they will be personally financially affected by the new rules.

It also kind of sucks for my friends who work in the area around Beale, whose bars close at 2 or 3. Beale Street being open two hours later gave them a place to unwind after work. Now they won’t have that anymore. Just a few weeks ago I hung out on the rooftop of Alfred’s at 4:30 AM with off-duty folks from the Flying Saucer. ! wonder how they will relax when they get off work now.

I wonder if the new rules will affect Purple Haze? Technically it is within the boundaries of the entertainment district, which is why it is able to stay open until 5 AM. However, one does not have to go on Beale Street to get there. Will it still be open late?

I also wonder why Saturdays only and not Fridays too? Are Saturdays that much more busy on Beale? Won’t the thugs figure out to just start coming on Friday instead?

Cover begins at midnight? What will stop the thugs from just coming on the street at 11 PM when they don’t have to pay? Seems awfully late to start charging a cover.

This may protect people while they’re on Beale, but what happens when people walk to their cars parked south and east of Beale? What measures will ensure their safety? That part of Downtown is still pretty much the Wild, Wild West. PRO TIP: If you come to Beale it is safest to park north or west of the street.

During my first three years Downtown, I hung out on Beale Street all the time. I’d grab a Big Ass Beer with my friend Bob on Black Diamond’s patio. I’d play pool with my friends Shane and Leigh at the Tap Room. I’d go hang out on the third floor of Club 152 where my friend David the Worm was the DJ. I’d catch The Dempseys at Blues City Cafe’s Band Box. I’d get a Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie’s and sit on the concrete blocks outside Silky’s and people-watch with my friends Wendy and Daniel. I’d watch the Beale Street Flippers. I’d chat up tourists and recommend things for them to do. It was not uncommon for me to be on Beale well past midnight.

By mid-2005, though, Beale Street was pretty thugged out. I didn’t want to be there past 10 PM. I preferred to be at bars on Main or Second or Union. I reduced my weekend Beale visits to maybe once or twice a year.

The trouble with Beale on the weekends these days is that people come there to hang out. And I don’t mean hanging out like I used to do, where I bought a Big Ass Beer on the Diamond patio or bought a Call-a-Cab to drink while I sat on the concrete blocks. Many of the people who come there now don’t buy anything. They just hang out. Beale may be a public street but it’s also a business.

Here’s what I would suggest. This has been suggested by many before, and I don’t know if it would be financially feasible. Have security check IDs/check for weapons 9 PM-5 AM Friday and Saturday nights. Charge a $10 cover from 9 PM-3 AM. In return for paying cover, patrons would be handed $10 in “Beale Bucks” to spend anywhere within the entertainment district. If some of the money needs to go toward added security, give them $5 in Beale Bucks instead of $10. Restore the bars’ closing times to 5 AM.

Just my two cents’ worth, based on what I’ve seen in the 12 years I have lived Downtown. Beale Street is one of our city’s most valuable assets and we have to figure out to maximize its potential while keeping everyone safe.

I may be back with a Tuesday news post after work, so check back.

Aug 182014
 

Once a year, neighborhood bar Bardog Tavern at 73 Monroe holds a giant alley party which is a fundraiser for St. Jude. Actually, the past two years it has been more than an alley party: It has gotten so huge that Aldo has had Monroe closed from Front to Main. I don’t know if there was an official fundraising goal they were aiming for, but one bartender told me they were aiming for $40,000.

The fundraising efforts got off to a good start with the Breakaway-Bardog 5K. Last year there were 963 runners. This year: 1170.

The second-largest fundraising component behind the race was a head-shaving challenge: Bartender Amanda “Panda” Parks agreed to shave her head, but only if $10,000 was raised for St. Jude. Things got off to a promising start: By the time I left the bar Saturday night, they were up to $5500 in contributions.

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Not long after noon, Bloom (who got her head shaved at the first Bardog alley party) and Panda were on the bar asking for donations to get the remaining $4500.

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There were other fundraising activities too. People got in a dunk tank and James sold balls to hit the target. Here’s J. Bell after getting dunked.

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Panda, Jeannie, and Maddison

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The alley party celebrated the bar’s 6th anniversary. It was windy and sometimes the balloons blew upside down, prompting one person to ask if the party was a celebration of the “69″ sexual position.

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Local businesses donated items to be raffled off for St. Jude. Here’s a partial list of what there was to win.

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By 2 PM we were still $4000 short of the $10,000 needed to shave Panda’s head with only an hour to go. Fundraising efforts went into overdrive.

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Fuck it, let’s drink.

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Say what you will about Buddha, but he was the only one who understood how to operate the damn bullhorn.

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Meanwhile, back at the dunk tank. No baseball team will be drafting Mike. I have seen 7 year old girls throw more accurately.

I do have to say something here, though. I called out Mike’s BBQ team, Squeal Street, publicly on this blog several days ago and they totally stepped up. Not only did Mike donate $100 but two other Squeal Street members donated $500. Well done indeed.

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By 2:50, things had turned around and we had less than a thousand to go to shave Panda. However, we only had 10 minutes to raise it. Rory got on the bullhorn and went to work.

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Motorized beer coolers. The ultimate mode of transportation for Downtowners.

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At 3 PM on the dot Rory made the announcement: Ten thousand dollars had been raised for St. Jude. Panda’s head would be shaved!

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Panda’s hair stylist was a few minutes late so they raffled off some more items to fill up time. When did Maddison start wearing so much clothes?

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While we were waiting on the stylist to arrive, Bloom got things started by cutting off Panda’s ponytail. Sorry for the poor quality of this photo but a huge crowd had gathered.

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The ponytail was donated to Locks of Love.

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The stylist arrived and got to work.

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A shaved Panda

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Afterward the stylist gave Aldo a mohawk.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the meatball eating contest. By 4:00 I was hot and sweaty and dehydrated. I walked down to City Market and got a liter of Vitamin Water Revive. That helped a lot and I came back to the party for a little while, but then I decided that I wanted to be indoors. I went home, took a shower, and went back out.

Before I left, I had a conversation with Aldo. He pointed out that I don’t get paid for my blog. I don’t get paid to cover places or events. That is absolutely true. I write about the alley party because it is an awesome event that brings the community together and supports an important charity. I write about Bardog, and I go to Bardog as much as I do, because I truly enjoy the place. It is a huge asset to Downtown and one of the main reasons I am glad I live here.

After the party was over, the shenanigans really began. Many of us took Monday off, so it was an effective Saturday night for us, except without East Memphis invading all our favorite spots as happens on a real Saturday. I made stops to see Christina at the Saucer and Dusty at the Goose but primarily hung out at the Blind Bear. Buddha came in and showed us the aromatic lavender-scented bug repellent in a Mason jar that he had won in the raffle. You weren’t supposed to open the jar because the scent was so strong. So what did Buddha do? He opened the jar.

The usual Sunday night poker game was going on at the Bear. I stuck with my plan of not playing when I have Monday off from work, but I hung out and observed. As I watched the big table, I noticed that one of the players appeared to be a bit chilly.

Last day of vacation then back to work tomorrow, and back to counting down the days until the next weekend. It will be the last weekend before fall festival season and college football, and as of right now I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on my calendar. If anyone has suggestions for things to do let me know.

Thanks to Aldo for a great party, and to Panda for what she did for St. Jude. I have huge respect for Panda and for previous head-shaving victims because it’s something I could never do myself. See you in 2015 for Bardog’s 7th birthday!

Aug 172014
 

The most that has ever been raised in previous years for a head shaving at Bardog’s alley party has been $4500. When I left Bardog last night about 11, $5468 had been raised to have Amanda “Panda” Parks get her head shaved at 3 this afternoon. The goal is $10,000, so there’s still plenty left to be contributed. Come on out to the alley party, in Scratchy’s Alley adjacent to Bardog, and give. There will be food, beer, a raffle with awesome prizes, a dunk tank, motorized cooler races, a beer garden, a meatball eating contest, and more.

Before I get started on today’s post, let me share a pic from last night of my favorite librarian glasses.

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I haven’t ordinarily been a TV person the past few years but I have a new addiction: Bar Rescue on Spike TV. Damn there are some f’d up bars out there. Makes me appreciate how smoothly things run at the places I go.

Emerge Memphis is bringing back South Main Food Truck Friday for another week. This week Fresh Gulf Shrimp will be parked on Tennessee Street near G.E. Patterson Friday from 11 AM to 1:30 PM.

Thanks to my strategic shit-talking, Squeal Street members made a $500 donation to the #shavethepanda fund yesterday. Congratulations guys, you get to keep the trophy for another year. And by “trophy” I mean “food blogger with anger management issues.”

Last year I did a piss-poor job taking photos of the Bardog alley party. That will not be the case this year. I will be out with the Tube Top Cam at noon, and plan to run through at least two camera batteries. Come join and bring money to #shavethepanda.

Aug 162014
 

“There are only three times it’s acceptable to start drinking before 11 AM. When you’re at a casino, on spring break, or at BBQ Fest.”

I started drinking at 10:45 yesterday at Bardog. Oops.

Nice to have a bar around the corner that opens at 8 AM weekdays though.

So, I hung out there from 10:45 until about 5:30 yesterday, making excellent use of my vacation day. Then I decided to take a “halftime” nap and make it a late night, which I rarely do on a Friday. About 9 PM I woke up, got dressed, and went back out.

I live on the Main Street Mall just south of Madison. I walked out the front door and headed south, planning to go back to Bardog to see who was there, then hit the Flying Saucer and Blind Bear. I was even considering a late-night Purple Haze trip.

As I approached Monroe, though, I noticed something. South of Family Dollar, about a half a block south of Monroe, it was pitch black. The light at Union was out. The light at Gayoso was out. The light at Peabody Place was out. All the lights in the buildings were out. All the employees at DejaVu, next door to Family Dollar and the northernmost business on Main to have lost power, were out on the patio looking around like, “WTF do we do now?”

I went in Bardog, which had power, and checked Twitter. There had been some kind of explosion near Second and G.E. Patterson apparently, which had blown manhole covers off, and which had cut power from the South Main district all the way to Monroe. MLGW did not expect to have power restored for several more hours. The city closed Beale Street about 10. People were stuck in elevators at the Peabody and the Westin. Must’ve sucked to be driving Downtown last night, since Memphians treat broken traffic lights more like NASCAR than a four-way stop.

So, Bardog was the place to be last night. The staff was working the #shavethepanda movement. In case you missed it, bartender Amanda “Panda” Parks will have her head shaved if $10,000 is raised for St. Jude by tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM. Aldo started a leader board for those who contributed $100 or more to #shavethepanda.

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The Moody Ques BBQ team is already represented on the board by the team president and “Mr. Load-in.” Any other Moody Ques want to step up and get in on this? Also, I notice Squeal Street is only represented once on the board. I guess they only care about sick children half as much as we do.

With no place to go but Bardog, we all hunkered down and proceeded to get crazy drunk. Stuff like this happened:

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Okay, let’s get to the news. If you like craft beer, there’s a new Twitter account you should follow: @GrindCityCraft. This account tweets about craft beer in Memphis.

The Orpheum has announced an addition to the 2014-15 schedule. RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles will run at the Orpheum for two nights only, April 11-12, 2015. RAIN features the Beatles’ full discography onstage, including the songs they recorded after they quit doing live concerts in August 1966. Some of their most challenging works to reproduce onstage were recorded after they stopped doing concerts, but they are successfully performed in RAIN. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 29.

The Woodruff-Fontaine House sale is going on until 3 PM today in Victorian Village.

There are three Elvis Week events happening Downtown today. An Elvis bus tour departs from Econo Lodge (Third at Court) at noon today and it costs $35 to take the tour. The champions’ reception for “Images of the King” happens at Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe today at 3. At 8 the Orpheum will show “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is,” a remastered film of Elvis performances with outtakes that have never been seen before onscreen. Terry Blackwood and the Imperials will perform live along with Elvis on the screen. Elvis artifacts will be on display in the lobby. Tickets are $35 or $89 VIP.

Dionne Warwick’s show at the Cannon Center tonight has been cancelled. She has been placed on vocal rest by her doctors.

WREG has a photo gallery of last night’s Downtown blackout.

Great match I saw recently on the WWE Network: WCW Bash at the Beach 1999. Chris Kanyon, Diamond Dallas Page, and Bam Bam Bigelow defended the WCW tag team titles against Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn. Excellent match. Don’t ask me how three men can defend tag team titles against two men, because there was pretty much no logic in the way WCW was booked that year. Check it out if you’re a subscriber. Ba da bing, ba da bang, ba da bam.

Plans for today: As usual, I will lead off at Panda’s bar at Bardog at 11. This may be the last time we see Panda with hair on her Saturday shift. But will she really shave it off? She’s requiring a minimum of $10,000 to shave her head. To put this in perspective:

  • $4500 was raised to shave Brittany Bloom’s head at the first Bardog alley party
  • $2500 was raised to cut off the late, great Jay Hollingsworth’s ponytail the year after that
  • $1500 was raised to shave Tawni Bell’s head the following year

So Panda is requiring more than twice as much as has ever been raised. She purposely set the bar that high, figuring she’d keep her hair. But it looks like people with deep pockets are going to be getting out their checkbooks, so it is likely the panda will be shaved.

Time to take a shower and get ready for Saturday at Bardog.