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thursday, 8

thursday, 8

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Now that the elections are over and the television commercials have mercifully ceased and the yard signs are coming down and we have until November before we have to go to the polls to vote Phil Bredesen in as governor and do whatever it takes to have Marsha Blackburn sent out of the country forever with Marilyn Loeffel and never have to think about Joe Cooper again, it's time to move on to much more important matters. I was going to offer up a survival guide to Memphis this week for those coming in town to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death, but there's just not space or time enough to do that. Suffice it to say that people here drive either 20 mph below the speed limit or 20 mph above it on nearly every street; white women on cell phones in SUVs are more dangerous than gang members; if you want baked chicken for dinner, just plop a raw one on your dashboard while you walk around town for a few hours; by all means, drive by and see the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (opening this fall) and the now-open Stax Music Academy; don't go anywhere near Wolfchase Galleria if you have the slightest nervous or anxiety disorder; know that the Paris Theater on Summer Avenue is not a French art-film house; and though our wonderful horse-drawn carriages are no longer allowed on Beale Street, Confederacy-obsessed lunatics are allowed to ride their horses into The Peabody hotel, so beware. Other than those little suggestions, you're on your own. So let's move on. Much more important than elections and tourism advice is the shocking revelation that just came out involving one Ms. Celine Dion announcing her new perfume line -- which, if there's any justice in this world, will end free trade between the United States and Canada forever. (Speaking of Canada, I have a trip planned there next month, and when I told my best friend that I intend to go glacier-hiking, her deadpan response was a concise "You'll probably kill yourself.") But back to Celine's new scent (what a scary thought). It seems that she is teaming up to create a new fragrance with the same company that makes Jovan Musk Oil and Stetson -- the equivalent of ammonia mixed with hog shit. Are we surprised? Nay, we are not. Dion says that she chose this company because "I wanted to partner with a beauty company that would develop a product in line with my values. Like creating music, it is important that beauty products appeal to one's senses and emotions." Well, if it's anything like her music, her new perfume is destined to drive people to heroin addiction. I just hope that, instead of being the spokesperson herself, she chooses the equally brilliant Mariah Carey, who, during one of her periods of not being in the midst of a breakdown, made the statement "Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death." (Actually, that quote is an urban legend, but I like to believe it could be true.) And now it's time to get around to what's going on around town this week. I have a plane to catch, so don't expect a lot of detail. Today, of course, kicks off the 25th Anniversary Elvis Presley Week, and there's a lot going on now through the 15th, when the famed Candlelight Vigil takes place. No room here to list all the events but there's a calendar somewhere in this paper that will give you the details. There's an opening reception tonight at Schering-Plough for the Memphis/Germantown Art League August Show. It's Andy Grooms' Living Room at the Lounge tonight. And last but certainly not least, tonight's Live At the Garden series summer concert features performances by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John, and the diva of all divas, former Stax goddess Mavis Staples.

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