Sunday update

It’s Tiger basketball time! Penny’s team hosts the LeMoyne-Owen Magicians, with head coach Bonzi Wells and assistant coach Lionel Hollins, at FedExForum at 4. If you go to the game, be sure to read the arena’s health screening policies.

The Grizzlies improved to 2-0 in league play last night with a 120-114 victory over the L.A. Clippers on the road. They’ll remain in Los Angeles for an 8:30 game against the Lakers tonight.

The matchup you really want to mark down on your calendar, though, is Wednesday’s 9 PM game at Portland, nationally televised on ESPN. Ja vs. Dame. This is a chance for Ja to make an early-season statement that he is All-Star level this year.

Memphis 901 FC lost to Louisville last night on the road. They’ll be back home Wednesday in an important match vs. FC Tulsa that will determine who is the USL Central Division 3 seed and 4 seed in the playoffs.

That Alabama-Tennessee game was absolutely delightful. The Vols looked competitive in the first half, and I had to remind myself, “This is Tennessee. They’ll screw it up. They always do.” Sure enough, the Vols’ defense apparently thought college football games only last 45 minutes, and Bama rolled to a 52-24 victory, its 15th consecutive in the series.

This Friday is the 2021 South Main Trolley Night grand finale. I’ve never known Trolley Night to take months off before, not counting during the pandemic of course. Anyway, there will be a lot going on that night. Trolley Night will coincide with the first-ever Music on Main festival, with one stage by the Arcade and another by the Orpheum. North Mississippi All-Stars, Al Kapone, Southern Avenue, and The PRVLG will all perform and it’s absolutely free to attend. Also that night:

  • Civil Axe Throwing will have the grand opening of its South Main location, and you can book a reservation and be entered in a chance to win Grizzlies tickets.
  • Black Sheep Meats and Memphis Modern Market will have a night of shopping, music, and drinks in 409 S. Main
  • South Main Hemp will have a night of live music by Raneem
  • Halloween parties at Central Station Hotel and Odds Atelier

What will the weather be like Friday? The MemphisWeather.net forecast says it will be near 60 for a high and near 50 for the low, with a 40% chance of showers. Sounds like perfect PBR hoodie and shorts weather for me.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review for Shelby County. Good news: Our rolling average of cases/day/100K and our positivity rate are among the lowest at any point of the pandemic. Vaccinations are low, though, and I agree with James’ frustration that it’s taking so long for the FDA to approve vaccinations for kids 5-11.

Loflin Yard will become Loflin Grave Yard next weekend. On Saturday the 30th they’ll have a DJ in the Coach House and an adult costume contest at 9 PM, with prizes for individual, couple, and group winners. On Sunday the 31st they’ll have candy for trick-or-treaters, and at 8 there will be a costume contest for dogs.

Today is Food Day. Well, that’s about as generic as holidays get. It’s also National Crazy Day and that’s a holiday I hope leaves me alone.

The Daily Memphian has a look at day 1 of RiverArtsFest. I’m heading down there for Day 2 in a little while. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

Saturday update

Well, last night sucked. Geoff Calkins of the DM accurately summarized what happened in a subscribers-only story: The Tigers were forced to start what was effectively a fourth-string quarterback. They had no chance. They fell to UCF on the road, 24-7. Memphis falls to 4-4 and needs to win two of its remaining four games to become bowl-eligible. That’s not going to be easy with SMU and Houston on the slate.

If there’s a bright side for Memphis, it’s that next week is a bye week. QB Seth Henigan has an extra week to heal from injury, and the rest of the Tigers have an extra week to watch film or trick-or-treat or whatever they do with their downtime.

I watched the game at the Blind Bear, where there was a burlesque show going on. Meh. Those shows and the Thursday night drag shows are not my cup of tea. That said, I have to admit the crowd was way into the Albert King Jr. house band that was playing. I’ll be back up there for the Mario Monterosso Quartet tonight. They are fantastic.

Porter-Leath is looking for an administrative assistant. Great place to work if you enjoy making a positive impact on children’s lives. Apply here.

The Moxy Memphis hotel will host a hydration station by Elite Total Wellness Sunday, October 31 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Hung over from Saturday night Halloween parties? Elite’s intravenous treatment will have you feeling as good as new in minutes. Treatments start at $75, and they’ll give you a complimentary mimosa to sip while they work their magic.

Yelp recently named Earnestine & Hazel’s one of the top haunted spots in America. I almost went down there after discovering last-minute Charvey was playing there last night, but due to a certain bartender forcing a shot of Rumple Minze on me, I decided it was too far to walk. E&H proprietors, you gotta let a brother know farther in advance what’s going on at your place!

A Memphis police office thwarted a knife attack Thursday at Second and Poplar.

RiverArtsFest kicks off today. I plan on spending the majority of the day tomorrow there.

Kane Brown’s Blessed & Free Tour, along with Jordan Davis and Restless Road, makes a stop at FedExForum tonight.

There’s an art auction at the Metal Museum today. It’s part of their annual Repair Days event.

Jerry Patton plays Jerry Lee Lewis’ cafe on Beale today at 5.

Memphis 901 FC has an away match tonight at 6:30 vs. Louisville FC. The soccer club has already clinched a playoff berth and hopes to tighten its grip on the 3 seed in the Central Division with a win tonight.

The Grizzlies are on the road as well, battling the L.A. Clippers tonight at 9:30. You can watch on Bally Sports Southeast (831 on Xfinity).

South Main Sounds has a show tonight at 7. Debuting on the stage there will be Memphian Madaline Collins and Dallas native Justin White. St. Louis-based Andre Ryan will make his return tonight as well.

Memphis Spine & Sport is hosting a Hallo-Woof Dog Costume Photo Event today from 2 to 4. Cost is $15 per dog and photos will be emailed to the owners. Proceeds benefit HappiDog Animal Rescue.

An event called Sapphire Soul Care will take place at the urban garden at 580 N. Fourth St. today from 1 to 4. A session of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness will be led by Sapphire Yogi Jackie O. $15 to attend, free for children. Bring a yoga mat and a water bottle. YOGA!

Fat Charlie’s Speakeasy hosts Bourbon and Cigars for Beginners at noon today at 107 Harbor Town Square. Learn the basics of how bourbon pairs with a fine cigar. Tickets are $60-$75.

There will be a Pop N Pink Sip & Shop with 40 vendors at 325 Wagner Place this afternoon.

Farmers Market and Bardog are first on my agenda today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Rida AbuZaineh, the proprietor of the Peanut Shoppe currently at 24 S. Main, has applied to the Center City Development Corp. for a $30,000 Tenant Improvement (TI) grant to move his business to 121 S. Main. He can’t stay in his current location because the owner has renovation plans. Everything in the new location will be new and up to code, except the famous peanut roaster which would sit in the window.

The new location would be the ground-floor storefront that used to be the Center for Southern Folklore. That block of Main sees even more foot traffic than the Peanut Shoppe’s current location, and a similar business (Margie’s 901 ice cream parlor) is a proven success on that block.

We locals love Rida and his family and I cannot think of a better small business example that illustrates what Downtown Memphis is all about. I urge the CCDC to approve this application.

Today is National Nut Day. Can you think of a more perfect reason to visit the Peanut Shoppe?

From Smithsonian Magazine: How Memphis created the nation’s most innovative public library. You can take sewing lessons, check out a bicycle repair kit, or record a song with your library card.

Go Tigers! Memphis travels to Orlando today for a 6 PM game against UCF, broadcast on ESPN2.

Memphis and UCF’s conference, the American Athletic Conference, announced that it was watering itself down expanding yesterday with the addition of Conference USA teams UAB, UTSA, North Texas, FAU, Charlotte, and Rice. Any notion of there being a “Power Six” – the Power Five conferences plus the American – got flushed down the toilet with this expansion. You’re truly scraping the bottom of the barrel when you admit Rice.

Bardog has announced its annual Halloween costume contest. It will happen at 11 PM on Saturday, October 30 and cold, hard cash is on the line.

  • First place: $250
  • Second place: $100
  • Third place: $50

The First Horizon Foundation has committed $1 million to the creation of Big River Park, a conservation effort stretching from the I-55 bridge to Big River Crossing (Harahan bridge).

TEDx Memphis happens Saturday, October 30 at the Levitt Shell. This year’s theme is Ctrl-Alt-Del, a keyboard combination when you need to do a reset. What if, instead of resetting our computers, we reset our way of thinking?

Your Academy and Loose Opinions play a free, outdoor show tonight at Carolina Watershed beginning at 8.

Big Barton will play golden-age country (1940s-1960s) tonight at Wiseacre Downtown’s outdoor beer garden stage tonight from 7 to 9.

Drag queen bingo is back at the Moxy Hotel tonight. You might win a night’s stay in a suite if you play.

Grind City Brewing Co. hosts Barks and Boo-ze tomorrow afternoon. Friends of Tipton County Animal Shelter will be there. Feel free to bring your pups.

National news: The remains of Brian Laundrie, boyfriend of slain blogger Gabby Petito, were found in a Florida wilderness reserve this week.

The Trumpster is starting a social media company called TRUTH Social. Oh, the irony of that name. A platform where narcissists can lie as much as they want – I can think of a couple of people who should jump aboard.

That’s it for this Friday. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update: Crime on Mud Island, I rejoined DNA, and more

If you live on Mud Island or are considering moving there, read this Fox 13 News story: Shooting at Mud Island apartment leaves residents concerned. Ashleigh Scroggins, who is a personal friend of mine, had a friend over to her apartment to hang out Tuesday night. He left her apartment about 2:45 AM Wednesday, and sat in his truck in the parking lot of her apartment complex, the Riverset Apartments, for several minutes watching TikToks. Two men approached the truck and shot Ashleigh’s friend 7 times. His arm was shattered but fortunately, none of the bullets hit major arteries or veins.

I sat on a patio with Ashleigh yesterday afternoon as she held back tears. She said that she’d been living in East Memphis, but as a young woman, she wanted to be closer to all Memphis had to offer. So she moved Downtown, after hearing that Mud Island is one of the safest parts of the city. Now she regrets her decision. Downtown, this is the impression we are leaving upon new residents.

Most of the apartment communities on the north end of Mud Island are gated, but Riverset is not. Criminals can drive right in and out and be back in North Memphis in under 3 minutes.

Very longtime readers of this blog remember that in 2006, I absolutely WENT OFF on this blog about how unsafe Downtown had become. Friends of mine were getting knocked out and robbed, and aggressive panhandling was out of control. The crimes in 2021 are different, but Downtown is approaching the lack of safety seen in 2006.

There will be a public meeting of the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Safety and Traffic Task Force on Tuesday, October 26 at 9 AM. The meeting will be held in the large conference room at 114 N. Main (corner of Main and Adams). The principal agenda is planning for the St. Jude Marathon in December, but if you’re concerned about crime Downtown, I would encourage you to attend and voice your feelings on that issue.

Another step you can take is a step I took yesterday – I rejoined the Downtown Neighborhood Association. I left that organization around 2007, but I have kept my eye on it. Current president Jerred Price has been an excellent liaison between Downtown residents and city staff and the police, voicing concerns and effecting change. I’m happy to once again be a part of DNA and I look forward to meeting fellow members next Tuesday.

Many people, myself included, thought the Center for Southern Folklore had gone out of business when they vacated their storefront on the Main Street Mall, but a Facebook post reveals that the Center is still around and open for business:

Borrowing liberally from a Mark Twain quote, the CSF store’ death has been greatly exaggerated. We’ve moved but we haven’t gone far – just inside Pembroke Square. – down from our old location and behind the Belz Museum. Now, we’re truly a one-stop experience. The museum or cultural center stands inside one side of 119 S. Main and the store is located on the other side. We’re virtual, too, with our online store at https://www.southernfolklore.com/store for the best of Memphis art, CDs, DVDs, Books and more. And you can still use our venue for meetings, seminars and conferences. So come and visit. We’re open Tuesday thru Fridays. Weekend openings soon.

Tin Roof on Beale Street is looking for photographers/videographers to record happenings there. They posted the following to Facebook:

We’re looking to bring on some photographers / videographers to capture live content at our Tin Roof locations.
If you’re interested, please send Moncell@tinroofbars.com the following for consideration:
– The city and state you are based in
– your insta / social handles
– any website content you have
– and/or your top 5 best pictures
We are especially interested in candidates with a background in Low Light / Live Music Photography.
Thanks for your interest! We can’t wait to hear from you

Left Unsung will perform a Grateful Dead tribute on the outdoor beer garden stage of Wiseacre Downtown this Friday from 7 to 10.

The South Main Association is organizing a neighborhood clean-up this Saturday. They will supply gloves, bags, and pickers, and you can work alone or with a buddy or a team. Meet at Talbot and Main near Slider Inn at 10 AM to take part in the clean-up. Following the clean-up, volunteers are invited to hang out at Slider Inn.

From MakeUseOf: 4 ways to tell if someone was snooping on your PC

From the CA: The Shelby County mask mandate could be extended past its current expiration date of October 30. Some leaders are asking why, given that CDC guidance recommends masking even among the vaccinated in areas where there are more than 50 new cases per day per 100K population. Shelby County’s current rate, according to COVID Act Now, is 13 cases/day/100K. I’ve heard rumors from folks in the restaurant industry that the health department wants to keep the mask mandate through the holidays.

Ja Morant dropped 37/6/6 in a Grizzlies win over Cleveland last night, 132-121.

Today is a sports equinox, a rare day when MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL games will all be played.

Today is also the International Day of the Nacho. You have a number of good choices Downtown but my pick would be Huey’s.

Today is the one day a year that a WWE pay-per-view event happens during the daytime. Crown Jewel will be broadcast live from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, starting at 11 Central time, on the Peacock network. (If you’re an Xfinity customer, you get Peacock for free.) The main event is intriguing. Roman Reigns defends his WWE Universal title against Brock Lesnar, and no one is sure whose side special counsel/advocate Paul Heyman is truly on.

That’s the news for now. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

Stix, the fast-casual Asian restaurant in the Terminix building, is hiring a sushi chef. “No advanced culinary experience needed,” the sign reads. “We will train you.” That sounds like a fantastic opportunity for someone. I would think a trained sushi chef would never have trouble finding work, plus they’d be in demand for parties.

I got the Shrimp Lo Mein when I went in there yesterday.

When I picked up my order, the cashier asked, “Do you want any sauce besides the usual soy sauce?”

“I don’t know, what do you have?” I replied.

“We have cups of this teriyaki-style sauce,” said the cashier. “It’s really good if you save part of your food to microwave later.”

I was so hungry that I doubted there would be leftovers, but I asked for the sauce anyway. When I got home, I dipped one of the shrimp in the sauce, and it was so good! I ended up dumping the entire cup of sauce on my lo mein. Don’t pass on that sauce the next time you get food from Stix.

Stix is hiring cashiers, too, by the way. It seems like the employees have a fun time at work there.

On my way down to get my food, I noticed that the Subway on Second Street, at Union in the One Commerce Square parking garage, has closed. I guess the competition from Jimmy John’s, combined with Downtown office workers working from home, killed their business. The Subway at N. Main and Jefferson remains open.

The Grizzlies have announced the entertainment for tonight’s regular-season home opener vs. Cleveland.

  • City Mix on the FedExForum Plaza starting at 5:30
  • Garry Goin & the Memphis Grizzlies House Band on the Slim & Husky’s Soundstage pre-game
  • DJ Mic Tee on the Plaza Concourse pre-game
  • Devin Crutcher and the Groove pre-game on the Terrace Level by the north escalator
  • Caricature station near section 116
  • Photo-ops with the Grizz Girls
  • National anthem by gospel artist Evvie McKinney
  • Crunk Phenom and Duke Deuce performing during introductions
  • Halftime performances by Project Pat and Big Boogie

Remember, you must show proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test result within the past 72 hours to be admitted to Grizzlies home games. The way to expedite this process is to use the CLEAR app, which you can arrange a download here.

The DM has a look at two additions to FedExForum this year: The WynnBET sports bar and Slim & Husky’s. The DM also has a fun interview with new Grizzlies center Steven Adams.

River City Records has a post on its Facebook page you can like and share for a chance to win two tickets to the Joe Bonamassa concert on Friday at the Cannon Center. The drawing will be held Friday morning and the tickets are for the center stage orchestra section, a $380 value.

New Memphis is hiring an Activation and Impact Manager. If you’re the social planner of your circle and you have a knack for connecting people, this may be the role for you.

The Mario Monterosso Quartet will be back at the Blind Bear Saturday night. Their speakeasy-style music is an absolutely perfect fit for the venue.

People’s on Beale and Longshot are featured in StyleBlueprint’s 5 Memphis bars with games.

The MOXY Hotel at 40 N. Front is hiring a front desk and bartender position. That’s one position, not two. People I’ve met who’ve stayed at the Moxy tell me they ask if you want a drink as soon as they get you checked in. That’s very Downtown Memphis.

The Crowne Plaza is hiring a Food and Beverage Manager.

Gambling.com is picking Memphis to win the NBA’s Southwest Division, calling their current odds of +350 a good bet. Currently, bookmakers have Dallas as the favorite to win the division, with odds of -230.

It’s a day for my friend Air Traffic Mike to celebrate – The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller. It’s also National Chicken and Waffles Day. That’s a dish I’ve never really understood, but people clearly like it – it comes flying out of the kitchen during Blind Bear’s weekend brunch.

Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is the new assistant coach of the LeMoyne-Owen basketball team. He’ll serve under head coach and former Grizzly Bonzi Wells.

Watch out for scam calls spoofing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s phone number.

There’s a Full Moon Market tonight at Carolina Watershed beginning at 5.

Rice and Donna perform on the deck at Rizzo’s tonight at 6.

The annual Indie Memphis Film Festival kicks off today and runs through Monday.

County Commissioner Tami Sawyer was arrested yesterday at the No More Excuses rally in front of the White House. The purpose of the rally was to encourage President Biden to rally through Congress the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and statehood for Washington DC. The protesters believe (and I agree) that the Senate is being held hostage by Democrat-In-Name-Only Senator Joe Manchin, and Biden needs to stand up to the DINO.

I went ahead and downloaded the CLEAR app to my phone and got it set up with my ID, face recognition, and vaccine card. I have no plans to go to tonight’s Grizzlies game, but “I have an extra ticket, want to go?” situations come up now and then and I want to be able to avail myself of them. It takes about 10 minutes to set up your health pass, which is a QR code with a photo of your face. If you have any interest in attending Grizzlies games this season, I’d advise you to go ahead and get that done.

Go Grizz! Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

The Silly Goose updated its cocktail list for the fall/winter seasons over the weekend. They kept some popular favorites while adding cocktails that match the cool, crisp temps outside. Here’s a look:

… Well, crap, getting an HTTP error when I try to upload the photo I took of the board. Guess I’ll type it then.

  • Blue Flower: Bourbon, blueberry, lime, elderflower, prosecco.
  • Seasonal Daiquiri: Spiced rum, green peppercorn, pear, lemon.
  • Tunnel Vision: Gin, rosemary, green chartreuse, lime, prosecco.
  • Head Start: Vodka, hazelnut, chai spice, vanilla cold brew, almond milk.
  • Cholo Love: Tequila, peach, agave, lime, ancho verde, bitters.
  • After Party: Mezcal, pineapple, fig agave, ancho verde, lime, banana.
  • Pretty Awesome: Pisco, italicus, thyme honey, grapefruit, lemon, yuzu.
  • Gold Crush: Bourbon, cardamaro, apple, lemon, ginger, honey.
  • All the Places: Rye, cynar, red pepper maple syrup, lemon.
  • Penicillin: Blended scotch, lemon, ginger, laphroaig.

Memphis 901 FC will have $2 beers for all fans 21 and up for the Wednesday, October 27 home match against Tulsa FC.

Choose901 has a list of ways you can make a living working with pets, including Mutt Island Dog Daycare & Grooming out in The Edge.

A Memphis restaurant is seeking a “Rock Star” general manager. The restaurant is not named, but they have a longtime Downtown location, recently opened a second, and are looking to open a third. The general manager role is with the Downtown location. Hmmm… Downtown restaurants with a second location that opened later… Kooky, Saucer, Aldo’s Pizza Pies.

Civil Axe Throwing Downtown (372 S. Main) will have its grand opening the weekend of October 29-30. They will raffle off a pair of Grizzlies tickets Friday the 29th.

Crap… I see there’s gonna be a New Year’s Eve bar crawl involving one of my all-time favorites and two bars mentioned elsewhere in this post. That’s gonna turn those places into Amateur Night even more than they normally would be on NYE. I’d put the probability I’ll stay home that night around 95%.

It’s International Gin and Tonic Day if you’re looking for an excuse to go out on a Tuesday. Normally I list recommendations for these “holidays” but there are too many places to count that serve gin and tonic.

Actress Melissa Joan Hart won more than a million dollars for Memphis nonprofit Youth Villages on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune last night.

FedExForum unveiled its list of vendors for the 2021-22 season as well as reserved parking options.

Tomorrow night will be Meddlesome Brewery Night at the Flying Saucer. Get any local Meddlesome beer for $4, plus get a free koozie. They’ll have the Grizzlies game on TV.

This Thursday, October 21, Cordelia’s Market will offer a large sampler plate of some of its most popular Thanksgiving offerings for only $5. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy free samples from

  • Bailan Authentic African Spices
  • Wolf River Popcorn Co.
  • Moore Truffles
  • Welcome Home Beef
  • Imagine Vegan Cafe
  • Clay’s Smoked Tuna
  • Elise Dessert Company

The Grizzlies signed Jaren Jackson Jr. to a contract extension for 4 years, valued at $105 million, yesterday. That is such great news, to know that the Grizzlies’ core will be together at least through the middle of this decade. The extension kicks in at the start of next season.

The University of Tennessee will be fined $250,000 by the SEC for its fans throwing debris onto the field at Saturday’s home game vs. Ole Miss. The university will also be required to review and update its safety and sportsmanship procedures, and to make every possible effort to identify fans who threw things and ban them from Tennessee athletic events for the remainder of the school year. 18 arrests were made at Saturday’s game and 47 people were ejected.

A 19-year-old arrested for throwing a bottle at the game told reporters, “I wish I wouldn’t have done that,” but added that “I thought it was reasonable at the time.” I have 3 words to describe this guy. The first word is “piece.” The second word is “of.” The third word rhymes with “quit,” “Brit,” and “wit.”

Come to think of it, those three words describe a lot of Tennessee fans.

Let’s have a look at college football Week 8 games of interest to folks in the Mid-South region. Game day is Saturday unless otherwise noted.

  • Lousiana at Arkansas State, Thursday, October 21, 6:30 PM, ESPNU
  • Memphis at UCF, Friday, October 22, 6:00 PM, ESPN2
  • 2 Cincinnati at Navy, 11:00 AM, ESPN2
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Arkansas, 11:00 AM, SEC Network
  • LSU at 12 Ole Miss, 2:30 PM, CBS
  • Mississippi State at Vanderbilt, 3:00 PM, SEC Network
  • Tennessee at 4 Alabama, 6:00 PM, ESPN

Wow… when’s the last year there was not a single ranked vs. ranked matchup in Week 8 of college football?

Nice to see UAPB get on the national stage for a game. The Golden Lions compete in the SWAC, one of the most influential FCS conferences. I have friends who graduated from the school and my dad’s side of the family is from that area. There’s even a “Ryburn Road” in southwest Pine Bluff named after us.

… Just took a virtual walk down Ryburn Road using Google StreetView. You’re not missing much if you’ve never traveled it. There’s a “Leon’s Catfish & Shrimp” at the north end if you’re hungry for seafood.

In basketball news, the AP preseason men’s basketball poll was released yesterday and Memphis comes in at number 12.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: How does the SEC punish the worst fan base in college sports?

That’s the question we’re going to answer today. But first, the news.

Blues guitar fans, get ready for the show of the year at the Cannon Center this Friday.

Joe Bonamassa started his career in the blues by opening for B.B. King. He has developed into one of the top blues-rock guitarists in the world, citing John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Rory Gallagher, Cream, and Stevie Ray Vaughan as influences. He is known for his large collection of Gibson Les Paul guitars and vintage Fender amps. You can get tickets to Friday’s show here. You can also download a free album.

RiverArtsFest, Memphis’ largest arts festival, happens Saturday and Sunday. 180 artists will be in town to exhibit and sell their works. There will also be artists’ demonstrations and hands-on art activities. There will also be live music and delicious festival food.  Money raised through festival admission goes to reinvestment in the community in arts.

RiverArtsFest’s usual location, Riverside Drive, is unavailable this year due to construction. However, they have a fantastic alternate venue – the newly-reopened Renasant Convention Center, as well as the sidewalk outside on the Main Street Mall! I plan on going Sunday and making a full day of it.

Like every other venue, RiverArtsFest has to obey the city mask mandate, so be sure to bring your face covering when you come.

Memphis 901 FC scored a 4-2 victory over Atlanta United on Saturday, earning 3 more points in the USL Central Division standings. Yesterday, the OKC Energy squad drew with Birmingham Legion – and that draw made it mathematically impossible for 5th-place OKC to catch up with 3rd-place Memphis in the standings. Therefore, Memphis now appears with an “x-” to its left, indicating that for the first time in club history, 901 FC is playoff-bound! Congratulations to the squad and coaches!

The DM has a look back at Brewfest and Brunchfest at the Liberty Bowl this weekend. When I was at Bardog Saturday, I heard they had to supply 500 sliders for Sunday’s Brunchfest, as did Slider Inn.

It’s funny how life works. Yesterday I blogged that I want to expand the list of places I hang out, especially on Thursdays and Fridays, and that one place I want to try soon is Bar Ware. Hours later, I met Bar Ware’s chef! Chef Kevin said the entire food menu is excellent but his two favorites are the Java lamb lollichops and the deviled eggs. I’m going to try to come by there this Thursday.

Brian Blake, Zach Aaron, and Amanda Ashley play South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, at 7 PM Friday.

I want to give everybody a reminder to wash your reusable face masks! I realized this morning I had not washed any of mine since the beginning of October. They’re in the washer now.

Remember last week I told you about that distributor bringing around samples of a drink mix that was completely legal, despite containing THC? FiveThirtyEight has a story on how that came to pass: Mitch McConnell accidentally created an unregulated THC market in 2018

Sad to hear that former Secretary of State Colin Powell died this morning of COVID complications.

Rapper Big Unccc faces a long list of charges after he ran a red light and crashed a stolen Dodge Charger in Memphis. The Charger had drive-out tags. Police found a Glock, modified to be fully automatic, in the car, as well as large amounts of weed and a bottle of oxycodone. Big Unccc did not have a driver’s license.

Robusto by Havana Mix will host a Cigar One Family Reunion and Block Party Saturday.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has announced its lineup for food trucks for lunch in Court Square Thursday. I must say, that food truck that offers a combination of Cajun and Asian flavors sounds interesting. To celebrate Latin Heritage Month, Rumba Room will supply a DJ for this week’s food truck rodeo.

And now, let’s move on to the question I posed in this post’s title.

Saturday afternoon, the Tennessee Vols turned the football over to Ole Miss on downs with about a minute left. They had gone for it on 4th down and came up somewhere between a yard and 6 inches short – but they were definitely short. There is no doubt the refs made the right call. Yet the fans at Neyland Stadium responded by raining down garbage and debris – beer cans, mustard bottles, and even golf balls – for 20 solid minutes, endangering the visiting team.

The SEC has vowed it will take action against the university. Let’s examine what kind of punishment would be most appropriate given what took place.

Before we start, let’s look at Tennessee’s remaining schedule:

  • 10/23: away at 4 Alabama
  • 10/30: bye week
  • 11/6: away at 15 Kentucky
  • 11/13: home vs. 1 Georgia
  • 11/20: home vs. South Alabama
  • 11/27: home vs. Vanderbilt
  1. Fine the university $100,000 – This is what would have happened had the Vols fans rushed the field at the end of the game. However, throwing debris for 20 minutes is a much more serious offense. A fine is a slap on the wrist to a university with such deep pockets, and it doesn’t punish the fans at all.
  2. Reduce the number of scholarships Tennessee is allowed to offer next season – The trouble with this is, Tennessee is a mediocre football team with its full complement of scholarships. Taking a few away won’t make them that much worse. Also, this punishment doesn’t directly affect the fans.
  3. Tennessee has to play its 11/13, 11/20, and 11/27 home games in Neyland Stadium without fans – This punishes all the kids because a few were bad, but this would drive the point home that you can’t have nice things if you don’t behave. I’m going to get more creative but this is the option I like best.
  4. Beer sales in Neyland banned for the remainder of the season – This would punish the fans rather than the school or the team itself, but we don’t know what percentage of the fans throwing debris were drinking. Also, they’re Tennessee fans, so they’d just smuggle their own booze in.
  5. Vols are forced to play their 11/13, 11/20, and 11/27 games as the visiting team in Neyland – The team would have to use the visitors’ locker room, and the Georgia, South Alabama, and Vanderbilt logos would be painted midfield and in the end zones. Also, the opposing team’s fight song would be played on the PA system rather than “Rocky Top.” That would be humiliating for Vols fans to a degree.
  6. Tennessee forfeits its 11/20 game vs. South Alabama – Take a cream puff off the schedule and make it harder for the Vols to get bowl-eligible. Handing South Alabama a complimentary win over a Power Five school might not sit well with the rest of the Sun Belt Conference, though.
  7. SEC-sanctioned defacement of the “T” – The day before the 11/13, 11/20, and 11/27 home games, an art major from Georgia, South Alabama, and Vandy is invited to Neyland Stadium. There they will be allowed to deface the big orange “T” at midfield, painting “sore losers” or “trash fans” or something similar on it. Their work of art would remain on the field through the game.

In any case, Tennessee fans need to be made to understand that they throw garbage because they are garbage. If anyone from the Liberty Bowl selection committee reads this blog, I implore you, PLEASE DON’T INVITE TENNESSEE HERE and potentially put Memphians in harm’s way.

That’s it. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

If you’ve ever read this blog and wondered why I root so hard for any team playing the University of Tennessee Volunteers, let last night be your answer.

Facing a turnover on downs with 54 seconds left on the clock, Tennessee fans started hurling garbage onto the field, in the direction of Ole Miss head coach (and former Vols head coach) Lane Kiffin. The game had to be stopped for 20 minutes to get things calmed down. No doubt UT will face sanctions from the SEC this week.

No class whatsoever. That’s why I root against Tennessee. Their fans are the absolute worst in the nation. Don’t get me wrong, I do know and have known many Tennessee fans who are good people. But I also know Tennessee fans who are complete and utter trash.

I watched the Auburn-Arkansas game at Bardog with most of the usual Saturday regulars and a group of 6 or 7 Auburn fans visiting from the Atlanta area. After Auburn beat Arkansas, as I was leaving I shook their hands and said, “good game,” and told them I hoped they enjoyed their stay in Memphis. That’s how you do it.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review for this week. This is a short one because James got his COVID booster yesterday and wasn’t feeling well. Generally, things are trending in the right direction, although it’d be better if there’d been more vaccinations in Shelby County last week.

The Peanut Shoppe on Main Street will start taking orders for candy and nuts for the holiday season the first week in November. Please keep these wonderful local businesspeople in mind when planning your holiday treats. It will be the final year at their shop at 24 S. Main. Can’t make it Downtown to place your order in person? No problem, you can order online.

Bar Ware brings back its popular Writers’ Night this Tuesday: Cyrena Wages with Joe Restivo, Jason Rodgers, TK Jackson, and Austin Carroll. Reservations are recommended. 901-443-5807.

I looked at Bar Ware’s menu online yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that they have PBR! I have not been there since they opened. I need to check it out. Perhaps Thursday evening I will stop by Bar Ware then continue south to Earnestine & Hazel’s, where Cyrena Wages has a weekly gig.

The Brass Door will be closed today, Sunday, October 17.

From ABC 24: Your tire pressure light may have turned on this morning. Here’s why.

The Feelin’ Groovy Music Fest happens today at Ghost River’s Beale Street location. The Bugaloos will start things off at noon, followed by Jeffrey and the Pacemakers.

The Risky Whiskey Boys bring their We Rock at Noon Tour to Slider Inn Downtown today. Appropriately, the show starts at noon.

That’s the news for now. Nice to do a short post for a change. Back tomorrow if there’s enough news to report.

Saturday update

Got a new PRO TIP for those of you who don’t live in the Downtown core, but drive down here and park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights to go barhopping or clubbing:

If you park in a parking garage, park as close to the middle of a level as possible. Avoid the corner spots.

Why? Because, about 11:15 last night, I was lying in bed and heard this:

Squeal…
Squeal…
Squeal…
Squeal…
Squeal…
Sq*CRASH*

It sounded like one of the morons who drive muscle cars down here on the weekends got into a garage, and was having fun racing through it… until he wasn’t.

I’m wondering what the chance is the driver left a note on the car he ran into, saying, “I’m terribly sorry about this, here’s my name, contact information, and insurance information”? I’ll put the probability that happened somewhere between 0% and 0%.

I wonder what the chance was that the make of the car that raced through the garage was a Dodge or Infiniti? I’ll put the probability between 70% and 90%.

On the bright side, I didn’t hear any gunshots last night.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies announced their first collaboration with a local brewery this week. The signature beverage, of course, at Aldo’s is their delicious limoncello. Crosstown Brewing Co. took Aldo’s top-secret limoncello recipe and turned it into a beer. The collaboration marries the intense flavors of lemon and citrus with the smoothness of malt to produce a 6.2% ABV beer called Chill-O.

Where can you get a Chill-O? Well, if you have tickets to Memphis Brewfest today, you can be among the very first to try it. You will also have the chance to try it at Crosstown Brewing Co.’s Notoberfest next Saturday, October 23. After that, you can find Chill-O exclusively at Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Bardog Tavern, and Slider Inn.

Cupcake Cutie at the corner of South Main and Pontotoc has a street party today from 2 to 6. The party’s purpose is to introduce and support young entrepreneurs, including

  • Jaxcen’s Tumbler Tavern
  • CoCo’s Cookie Bar
  • Janie B’s Hair Oil
  • Johnson’s Candle Co.

You’ll have the chance to meet new LeMoyne-Owen basketball coach and former Grizzly Bonzi Wells at the street party. The Smurfey’s Smokehouse food truck will be there serving up some delicious food. Also on hand: STAX museum, Pinnacle Bank, ODDS Atelier, COGIC bookstore, and ILL Wellness.

People will be rappeling off the top of the First Horizon Building today to raise money for the Mid-South Food Bank in Heights for Hunger.

The Broom Closet hosts an event called Resurrecting the Shadow Sound Bath Monday, November 8 from 6:30 to 8 PM. I’ll just paste in the event description from Facebook:

Join Matt Petty for a Resurrecting the Shadow Sound Bath. Matt, a certified sound therapist, will lead us in a meditative sound experience using crystal singing bowls, gongs, chimes, and multiple instruments. This exclusive sound session will help us connect with our shadow selves and navigate through the Scorpio energies of November.

Note that Monday, November 8 is the first full day of the return of Standard Time, which is disappointing for many of us – and therefore a great day to engage in a practice like this to cleanse your energy. They ask that you bring a yoga mat and possibly a blanket in case you get cold. The class is 16 and up and space is very limited, so if you want to be part of this, make your reservation now. Tickets are $20.

Ja Morant gave Memphis a scare when he left the court with an apparent arm injury in the third quarter of last night’s preseason game. However, he came back a few minutes later and finished the game with 17 points. The Grizz launch the regular season with a home game against Cleveland Wednesday at 7. Immediately, after that, they head off to the West Coast for a 4-game road trip.

ABC 24 made a trip to the new Soul & Spirits Brewery at 845 N. Main.

Kayak Memphis is offering a sunset tour this evening.

The Dude Perfect 2021 Tour comes to FedExForum tonight.

Butterific Bakery & Cafe celebrates The Sweetest Day today. 488 S. Second St.

Holy crap, the Orpheum and the Halloran Centre have a STACKED schedule for these next 8 days. Just have a look at all that will be going on:

  • Hosea: God’s Love for His People – Sunday, October 17 – Halloran Centre – Hosea was a simple pastor who tried to love both God and his fellow humans. But then God sent Hosea a wife from the streets. Tickets are $30.
  • Beatles vs. Stones – Wednesday, October 20 – Orpheum – Abbey Road, a Beatles tribute band, battles Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute band. Tickets are $45.
  • RAW II – Jessica Ray – Thursday, October 21 – Halloran Centre – The R&B singer brings her interactive experience to Memphis, backed by an ensemble of local creatives. Also performing will be bassist Marco Alexander. Tickets are $10-$20.
  • Mike Farris – Friday, October 22 – Halloran Centre – Farris is the former frontman of the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies. Tickets are $37.50.
  • Married to a Cheater, In Love With a Husband – Saturday, October 23 – Halloran Centre – Tired of her husband’s cheating, the leading lady finds herself a sexy new side piece – but he’s married too. Tickets are $30-$75.
  • A Ferry Tale – Saturday, October 23 – Orpheum – A hip-hop musical written by a Memphian, performed by a local cast of actors, rappers, and singers. Tickets are $15-$45.
  • If She Only Knew – Sunday, October 24 – Halloran Centre – Zhuri tries to keep his secret life hidden from the love of his life, who is also soon to become the mother of his child. Tickets are $25-50.
  • Gary Clark Jr. – Sunday, October 24 – Orpheum – R&B artist who has won four Grammys and shared the stage with the Rolling Stones. Tickets are $49.50-$99.50.

Today is gonna be a looooong day and I am ready for it. First order of business is deciding whether it’s warm enough to wear shorts. Weatherbug has us at 55 at the 9 AM hour, which is comfortably within the shorts zone for me (my cutoff is a feels-like temp of at least 48).

Farmers Market is first on my list, and I’m going to go a little earlier than usual so I have plenty of time to mingle around. There’s enough good football on to warrant a second week in a row at Max’s Sports Bar, but I just can’t see myself missing another Saturday at Bardog. I’ll watch Arkansas-Auburn on my phone if I have to. Tonight I’ll head over to Blind Bear for some excellent music spun by DJ Tree and DJ Taz. Back tomorrow with more news – tomorrow’s post may be late if I stay out late tonight.

Friday update

There was a huge fight involving about 10 girls outside a popular nightspot in the Downtown core Wednesday night. Many of the girls were said to be employees of a restaurant about a block from where the fight occurred. Weave was observed on the sidewalk Thursday morning. You just keep on being classy, Memphis.

Cordelia’s Market will host a Spillit Slam in conjunction with Maria Montessori School on Thursday, November 18. What’s that? It’s friends and neighbors coming together to share stories – in this case, stories about finding connection and gratitude in a pandemic. Got a story you want to tell? Throw your name in the hat. 10 names will be drawn and those people will get 7 minutes each to share their personal narrative. The audience will choose a winner at the end. That person will receive a $100 Cordelia’s gift card, a gift basket filled with local products, and an invitation to the grand slam at the end of the year.

DJ Tree & DJ Taz will supply the tunes for your Saturday night at the Blind Bear tomorrow from 10 PM to 1 AM.

The folks at MemphisWeather.net had this to say in a Facebook post about today’s weather:

The main concern for today will be a (perhaps broken) line of storms between 5-8pm along a significant cold front. These storms will be capable of very heavy rain, strong wind gusts to 60 mph, and an isolated tornado. Plan ahead for storms during rush hour/early evening!

Sounds like a good day to cut out of the office about 3:30 and avoid that mess as you drive home.

Looks like a Civil Axe Throwing location may be going in on Talbot Avenue across from Slider Inn Downtown. This would be the company’s second Downtown location. A Civil Axe Throwing opened in Floyd Alley in The Edge in 2020.

Normally I only list Downtown jobs, but these are good folks who are part of the extended Downtown family: SALT|SOY is hiring bartenders. They’d prefer experience but are open to someone with a willingness to learn. Come in with your resume 2-4 PM Tuesday-Saturday.

Michael Donahue recently had a Roxie Burger for his column on Classic Memphis Dining in Memphis magazine. It’s an incredibly juicy cheeseburger made with hoop cheese. Get it at Roxie’s Grocery at Third and Mill in Uptown.

Yesterday I discovered (but did not personally sample) something new: THC-infused drink mix. Although THC is the legal ingredient in marijuana, the distributor explained to me that the drink mix is LEGAL in all 50 states. That’s because a farm bill that was passed in 2018 says that any product made from hemp is as legal as hemp. CBD is extracted from hemp, and then a form of THC called Delta-8 is extracted from the CBD. Despite being legal, you should probably still avoid the drink mix if your work drug-tests you.

Of course, we could avoid all of this legal gray area but doing the thing that makes natural sense: Go ahead and make marijuana legal in all 50 states.

The Memphis Tigers football team improved to 4-3 with a 35-17 home win over Navy last night. Next up for the Tigers: A 6 PM game next Friday at UCF that will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

The Memphis Zoo has announced its first Zoo Brew. Brewed by Grind City Brewing Co., the beer is a light, refreshing pilsner with lime. You can get a can at the Zoo’s Cat House Cafe and walk around with it as you look at the animals.

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square is now offering country fried steak sandwiches. Get a small one for $7.99 or a large for $9.99.

The St. Louis Cardinals have fired manager Mike Shildt, who at one time was the manager of the Memphis Redbirds. This move came despite the Cards winning 19 of their last 21 games to claim a spot in the National League Wild Card game. I’ll continue to support the Cardinals but in my opinion, they should have given him one more season.

Chef Tam of Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe made some announcements yesterday:

  • She may or may not have made a green chile mac & cheese
  • It may or may not be your only chance outside catering to get her mac & cheese without seafood
  • She may or may not have the mac & cheese available in her cafe today.

Hmmm. I may or may not stop by and check it out.

As part of its fall fundraiser, the Memphis Farmers Market will have a wine pull tomorrow. Donate at least $20 and pick a side – red or white – and see what you come up with. Great chance to fall in love with a new wine. The market runs from 8 AM to 1 PM every Saturday through the end of October. It’s under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson behind the Power House movie theater. Masks are required for those who have not been vaccinated.

It’s National Grouch Day.

Downtown has a new fire station at 400 Adams. Firefighters will move in about two weeks from now, and it will replace the station at Front and Monroe.

Elmwood Cemetery hosts a Cemetery Cinema Double Feature tonight. They’ll start off with an Elmwood original film, Soul of the City, and then show 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu. Films are shown outdoors and projected onto the roof of the cemetery’s 1852 cottage. Tickets are $17.

Martin Lawrence is at FedExForum tonight.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow with more.