Coming Soon to Overton Square: The Zebra Lounge Piano Bar



Get ready to earn your stripes, Memphis! The Zebra Lounge is coming to Midtown this fall. This piano bar has become an icon in Chicago over the last 85 years, attracting regulars and newcomers alike, with current owner Michael Vaughn taking the reins in 2009. Impressed with the uniqueness of Memphis, and inspired by the undeniable local talent, Vaughn is teaming up with partners Steven Kouba and Tamara Goldstein to make a second Zebra home on Overton Square. Hoping to recreate the intimacy and simple elegance of the Chicago location, the Zebra team invites you to relax, have a few cocktails, and enjoy your favorite tunes. This “unique watering hole” will feature local musicians 7 nights a week, ready to get your toes tapping to any request you can imagine. Keep checking in for updates on the opening.

Thoughts on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Over the last few weeks, anyone with internet access has been bombarded with videos of athletes, musicians, family members, friends, and neighbors dumping ice water over their heads to raise awareness and donate money for something called ALS. Having known a few people who have suffered from ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and very recently watching a family lose a loved one to it, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Since then I have been overwhelmed with the viral sensation it has become, and am proud to have been a part of it all. On the other hand, I am very disappointed in some of the negative comments I have read, and would like to take this opportunity to respond.

Numerous meme’s are being passed around. One depicts an African child in a dirty t-shirt with the caption “So, let me get this straight. You waste clean water as a challenge, in order to avoid raising money for charity?” I’ve also read countless posts of people complaining that they keep seeing these videos of people getting wet, but how are they raising awareness when the person in the video does not explain what ALS is. Then there are the posts that suggest that if a person participates in the ice bucket challenge, somehow it means they do not care about other “more important” issues happening in the world, like the Ferguson, MO shooting, war in Iraq, saving the whales, cancer, AIDS, and the list goes on.

Here is what I have to say to these people, if you don’t want to participate, don’t. If you find the videos irritating, click on something else. I hate running, so I don’t sign up for 5k marathons. Do I think raising money for Saint Jude, Susan G. Komen, The American Heart Association, is important? Absolutely! As far as the meme suggesting that people are wasting water, maybe that’s true. I promise not to take a shower for the next 7 days to make up for it, and next time I donate money to a worthy cause, maybe I’ll go with The Water Project. I hope by day 7 of not showering, I sit next to every single person trying to take something that is meant to be positive and tear it down because they are annoyed.

When passing the challenge down the line, some people have set it up where the person/s being called out must dump water on their head OR donate. This implies to some people, that if you see a celebrity pouring a bucket over their head, this (might) mean they opted out of the donation part, making the whole thing pointless. I agree that if someone with the financial means to contribute chose not to, that is pretty tacky. Perhaps they did donate, and just didn’t want to make a big deal about it. Making the video still helps raise awareness and keep the message alive. In most of the videos I’ve seen, people simply state that they are participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, do the water bit, and then call out the next “victims.” I have seen people take it a step further and include the name of the website to donate to, offer to make a donation for each person they challenge that follows through, and the ones who don’t do a video must make their own donations. A few videos asks those challenged to donate to the charity of their choice. To those complaining that they have seen all of these stupid videos and still don’t know what ALS is, so it is not helping to raise awareness, please click this link Raising awareness does not mean that every participant is required to give a dissertation; it invites the viewer to get curious and do their own research to find out more, and hopefully get involved.

If The Ice Bucket Challenge was just a bunch of attention starved jerks trying to make a splash on YouTube, I would find this whole thing ridiculous, too. The facts, however, speak for themselves. According to an article posted on the Time Magazine website, The ALS Association has reported it has raised 16 times the amount they raised during the same time period last year, raising $8.6 million in a single day. There has been an outpouring of gratitude from those directly affected by this disease, including this incredible video shared by Anthony Carbajal. Anthony has lost a grandmother to ALS, is taking care of his mother while she suffers, and has recently been diagnosed himself, at the age of 26. So, I apologize on behalf of the millions who have participated to those who find our videos irksome, but it cannot be nearly as annoying or terrifying as waking up one morning to discover that the simple task of buttoning a shirt has become difficult. I will add that without this silly little fund raising campaign, videos like these from Foo Fighters (because Carrie), Ben Affleck (because their kid laughing in the background is the cutest), and Hugh Jackman (because fireworks) would not be in all of our lives. If you would like to find out more about ALS, or make a contribution, please visit

Journey: Coming to Memphis in September


They are the band that can stop any bar fight, and get the whole room singing along. They are the band that can get the crowd believing in their team again when a come-back seems impossible. In Memphis, many a growl towel has been raised with the words “We Believe,” to show support for our Grizzlies. We waited “Faithfully” with “Open Arms,” and Journey is coming to our town! See Journey at Mud Island Amphitheatre September, 13. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.

27th Annual Cooper-Young Festival


The 27th annual Cooper-Young Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 13, with Cory Branan as the headliner. He’ll be joined by several local favorites like Mighty Souls Brass Band, Devil Train, and more.


Main Stage
11:15 a.m. – Devil Train
12:15 p.m. – Mighty Souls Brass Band
1:15 p.m. – James & the Ultrasounds
2:15 p.m. – Candace Ashir
3:15 p.m. – Marcella Simien & Her Lovers
4:15 p.m. – Darrel Petties & Strength and Praise
5:15 p.m. – Cory Branan

Memphis Grizzlies Stage (partnered with Goner Records)
12:30 p.m.- Subtractions
1:30 – Talbot Adams
2:30 p.m.- Nots
3:30 p.m. – Mark Edgar Stuart
4:30 p.m. – Manatees

School of Rock Stage
Noon – Tribute to U2
2 p.m. – Indie rock
4 p.m. – School of Rock house band

My Date with Michael Bublé


We sang, we danced, he showered me in paper hearts, and he invited a few thousand other people to join us on our perfectly romantic evening. Then again, I brought my parents along. I guess it was a very awkward date, but as far as a brilliantly entertaining concert, Michael Bublé did not fail to impress.

He opened the evening with a smoldering rendition of the Little Willie John classic “Fever,” complete with flames leaping from the stage. Throughout the show Bublé ran through all the great American standards from “You Make Me Feel So Young” to “I’ve Got the World on a String,” sprinkling in his own hits like “Haven’t Met You Yet” and “It’s a Beautiful Day.” The production was beautifully done with sliding panels that moved the band to different sections of the stage and sometimes rose up in the back to dance with the music and enhance the videos and lighting. I think what surprised the audience most about Michael (I feel like we are on a first name basis now), was his sense of humor. Michael stated a few dozen times how excited he was to be playing in the city where Elvis came from. Then an audience member felt the need to correct Michael and let him know that Elvis was, in fact, from Tupelo, MS. Michael quickly responded, “I know he’s from Tupelo, but he didn’t like it there, so he moved to Memphis!” If there was anyone left in the crowd that was not eating out of his hand, this won them over.

Some people might find Michael Bublé and his fans a bit square, these people are wrong. My own father went into the evening rolling his eyes, and came out thoroughly entertained. Michael screams class and cool swagger, and he’s just plain charming. He is the kind of guy who will walk your daughter to her car and open the door for her, but then probably do dirty things with her in the backseat, but you can’t help but forgive the guy.

A Little Movie about Nobody


I had an extra twenty minutes to spare today and someone was nice enough to pass me a copy of the biographical short film, Nobody. The movie gives viewers a brief glimpse into the life of Elvis in 1953, when he was just an 18-year-old kid, facing the conflicting emotions we all share at that stage in life. If not for a nudge from his mother, and a push from a Humes High School teacher, The King of Rock might never have been born. Drake Milligan who portrays Elvis in the film is not just another impersonator. In a very short time he shows Elvis’s transition from a confused kid, to finding the spark and charm that would carry him through his carrier. The film was shot at a few historically significant locations for Elvis, including Humes High School and Sun Studio. The wardrobe was provided by none other than the original “clothier to the king,” Lansky Brothers.

I learned more about the early life of Elvis in the few minutes it took to watch this film than I ever knew before, and hope it encourages other writers and filmmakers to focus on this part of his story. I look forward to seeing more from the young writer/director, William Bryan, and would not be surprised if this film provides the spark for the beginning of a long and successful carrier for him as well. If you missed the movie’s debut at Studio on the Square in Memphis during Elvis Week, learn more here.

2014 ACL Fest Late Night Shows – Tickets On Sale


Official 2014 ACL Festival Late Night Shows

Tickets on sale – Friday, Aug. 22nd, 10 a.m. CDT

Available from C3 Concerts

The official 2014 ACL Festival late night shows have been announced, and tickets go on sale Friday, August 22, at 10 a.m. CDT. Catch some of your favorite ACL artists in intimate settings, after-hours. Beck is performing at Stubb’s Outdoors on Oct. 2nd, and you can keep the party going with The Head and the Heart, Spanish Gold, CHVRCHES, Skrillex, Spoon, and others. Check out the official ACL Festival late night schedule for more details.

Photo by Ashley Garmon,  Courtesy of ACL Music Festival
Photo by Ashley Garmon,
Courtesy of ACL Music Festival

John Paul Keith at The White Horse – August 22, 2014


John Paul Keith

The White Horse

500 Comal St, Austin, TX

Friday, Aug. 22nd, 2014

12 a.m.

John Paul Keith makes a stop on his current tour at The White Horse in Austin this Friday night. The East-side honky-tonk has become a regular stop for Keith, bringing his Memphis-embodying brand of Americana roots rock that always gets everyone dancing.

The accomplished singer-songwriter-guitarist turns out song after distinctive song that evokes nostalgic familiarity with a deceptive sense that “Anyone Can Do It.”

Keith released Memphis Circa 3AM last year and is touring the states after returning from a European tour earlier this summer. Find more upcoming tour dates on his website, and be sure to catch him Friday, circa midnight, Memphis Music Time.



To mark the release of Godsmack’s sixth full-length album, 1000hp [Republic Records],  Boston’s Newbury Comics store at Faneuil Hall (1 N Marketplace #336 Boston, MA 02109) will host “Godsmack Day” today Wednesday,  August 6th.  As part of the festivities, Godsmack will be on hand to sign albums, and Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh will declare August 6th“Godsmack Day,” in recognition of the band’s Boston roots and long success within the music industry. Longtime WAAF radio personality Mike Hsu will introduce the Mayor at 4:30pm.

During “Godsmack Day,” fans may purchase the Grammy Award-nominated multiplatinum group’s sixth full-length album, 1000hp [Republic Records], when Newbury Comics open at the special time of 8am. The first 500 to pick up the new disc will be granted a wristband allowing them access to meet the band for an album autograph signing after the presentation.  They may lineup on Clinton Street with the records and wristbands starting at 4pm.

Where: Boston’s Newbury Comics at Faneuil Hall (1 N Marketplace #336 Boston, MA 02109)

When:  4:30pm Godsmack Say Nice Things:

New Album 1000hp Out Now! Currently #2 on iTunes and #1 on iTunes Rock Chart!


Elvis Week August 8th – 17th

Stumbling Elvis

Elvis Week is steadily approaching, a week that most Memphians love to hate, but if you let yourself kick back and enjoy the ride, you won’t be disappointed. It is a week of events from August 8- August 17 that bring out the kooky and the cool from all around the world to celebrate the life of Rock n Roll’s favorite icon, Elvis Presley. Tickets for all the fun can be found here.

I would recommend checking out at least one night of the Hard Rock Last Chance Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. The first three rounds will be hosted at the new and improved Hard Rock Café on August 8, 9, and 10 at its new home on Beale Street in the Lansky building. The final two rounds will be held at Orpheum Theatre on August 12 and 14. Who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of sweaty, old dudes breaking out their best Elvis impressions?

If you are more at the tour bus speed, the Hound Dog Tour by Backbeat Tours is definitely for you. You will hit all the Elvis landmarks including Sun Studio, Humes High School, Overton Park Shell, and Lansky Bros. Clothing, all while listening to all your favorite Elvis songs performed live on the “music bus.” Hitch a ride with these guys on August 9 or 10 and tickets can be purchased here.

An event that you won’t find on any reputable list is the Stumbling Elvis Pub Crawl. If you want to get in on the fun while enjoying a few adult beverages on Beale, grab your shades, quaff the pompadour, and meet up at The Flying Saucer on August 9 at 7:00pm. You won’t even have to feel guilty when that Call a Cab makes you vomit on your jumpsuit, because it’s for charity. Bring non-perishable, individually wrapped snack foods or a stuffed animal for FedEx Family house.

The annual Candlelight Vigil, which has a special way of bringing the locals and the tourists together, will be held at 8:30pm on August, 15 at the Gates of Graceland. Carry a candle up the driveway to Elvis’ grave-site, and join everyone in remembering the man and legend. Admission is free and the gates remain until everyone wishing to participate has had the opportunity. If you don’t want to be last in line at the crack of dawn the next morning, you should probably get there a little early.

If you find yourself a little “Elvised-out” there are plenty of other ways to enjoy this fine city. If you have never been to Memphis, you are probably wondering what that smell is. You can solve this mystery with a little trip over to the new Central BBQ location in the South Main area, conveniently located just spitting distance from The National Civil Rights Museum. I would also advise a visit to Overton Square, which has recently gone through a serious transformation, new restaurants, bars, and shops are opening in the area daily.


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