Memphis rockers have a difficult choice this Saturday night: Hit the Lost Sounds and Ponys gig at the Young Avenue Deli or attend filmmaker John Michael McCarthy's "Hurricane Elvis" event at Earnestine & Hazel's downtown. While the Deli show pairs the city's most intriguing act with one of Chicago's best, McCarthy has garage-rock nostalgia in his corner with a pair of old-school faves, Memphis' Impala and New Orleans' The Royal Pendletons.
"We were all there for the big garage-rock bang in the '90s," McCarthy says. "Impala did the soundtrack for my film Teenage Tupelo, while the Pendletons played themselves in The Sore Losers. We all share a history, so it's fitting to work together in the next decade."
Although McCarthy explains that "Hurricane Elvis" is a fund-raiser for his next movie project, a live-action version of Cadavera (a comic book he drew in the '90s), he makes it clear that most of the $15 cover will go toward paying the bands.
"There are a lot of punk rockers who feel slighted [about the ticket price], but everybody needs to support each other," McCarthy says, referring to a recent discussion about his business ethics on the Goner Records bulletin board (www.goner-records.com). "It looks like "Hurricane Elvis" is gonna be the Fahrenheit 9/11 of local shows this summer. I think it's good to inspire controversy," McCarthy says. "But seriously, I'm gonna take money from rich people, poor folks, and the middle class and give most of it to the musicians.
"My credit is over," McCarthy bemoans good-naturedly, referring to the myriad Visa and Mastercard accounts he used to finance flicks like Teenage Tupelo, The Sore Losers, and E*vis Meets the Beat*es.
"Now I've got Arthur Tate, a lawyer in San Diego, putting together an investment package. We need people who understand what I'm good for: saving American pop culture! I have something to offer, but I ain't gonna whitewash it and I ain't gonna water it down. It's drive-in cinema, and the world needs to sit back and watch."
McCarthy, who plans to begin filming Cadavera "as soon as we can find some patrons," is hoping to raise $3 million. "It seems to be a fertile time to be making movies," he notes, referring to Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow, currently in production. "For me, it's been way too long."
"Hurricane Elvis" -- an officially sanctioned 50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll event -- will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 24th, at Earnestine & Hazel's. Downstairs, Impala and the Royal Pendletons will rock the house. Harlan T. Bobo will play upstairs. Music-related photographs by Dan Ball, Peter Budd, Winston Eggleston, Steve Jones, Don Spiro, Marty Perez, and Kelly Cox will be sold in a silent auction. Go to www.guerrillamonster.com for more details.
Memphians have a good reason to belly up to the bar at Huey's this weekend: The popular Madison Avenue burger joint and all six of its satellite locations are hosting a fund-raiser for the MusiCares Foundation.
The nonprofit agency, an offspring of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, was established in 1989 to assist music-industry veterans in times of need.
According to Debbie Carroll, the program's national director, MusiCares assisted approximately 1,000 people with over $1 million last year. "We've helped a substantial number of people in the Memphis area, and our efforts have increased annually," she says. "If there's a need, we're typically able to help."
Memphian Jay Sheffield, co-owner of the Huey's chain, learned about MusiCares while serving on NARAS' board of governors. "The impact of this foundation is enormous," he says. "It's not a welfare deal. It's a security net for creative artists who don't have the corporate infrastructure to help with things like health-care."
"We wanted to raise awareness and funds for MusiCares at the same time," Sheffield continues. "We thought a fund-raiser would be a perfect fit. Rather than do one event, we decided that we could donate receipts from all of our restaurants on a given day. MusiCares isn't something you see advertised on billboards or on TV commercials, but we can try to elevate awareness this way. "
On Sunday, July 25th, between 6 and 10 p.m., all Huey's locations will donate 10 percent of their food and beverage sales to MusicCares. Delta Grass and The Lakesiders are scheduled to perform at Huey's Midtown (1927 Madison Avenue); Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends and Dave Cousar & the Surface-To-Air Band at Huey's Downtown (77 S. 2nd Street); The Gamble Brothers Band at Huey's Poplar (4872 Poplar Avenue); Krysilus at Huey's Collierville (2130 W. Poplar Avenue); Jim Wilson & Mama's Lap and The Soul Shockers at Huey's Cordova (1171 N. Germantown Parkway); The Memphis Soul Revue at Huey's Southwind (7825 Winchester Road); and Twin Soul at Huey's Southaven (7090 Malco Blvd).
For more information, go to www.grammy.com.