Composed of two sets of Memphis rock power couples — Jared McStay and Lori Gienapp McStay and Corey and Kate Crowder — the fairly new indie-pop quartet known as Wuvbirds is set to release a debut recording this week, the vinyl-only (for now) single "Fall Up the Stairs"/"Put a Lid On It."
All four members of the group are familiar players in the local music scene. Jared McStay is perhaps best known as the frontman of the '90s indie/punk trio the Simpletones (later Simple Ones), and his wife Lori is a veteran of several Memphis bands as well, including the Porch Ghouls and the Ultra-Cats. Corey and Kate Crowder, meanwhile, were most recently the backbone of the orchestral indie-pop band Two Way Radio.
The couples became friends about a year ago at a party hosted by the McStays.
"We'd been acquainted for a while," Jared says. "But I think the band came together after a karaoke party at our house. Then we invited Kate and Corey over to jam with us, and it sounded pretty good, and so we just kept getting together."
After a few gigs, the group decided to record its first single at home with the help of musicians/engineers Andrew McCalla and Andy Saunders.
"Both guys really helped us, and they're fantastic to work with," Jared says.
Wuvbirds will celebrate the release of the single with a show on Saturday, October 8th, at the Cove (2559 Broad). Showtime is 10 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes a free copy of the record.
Ardent's "16 Over 48"
Last August, Ardent Studios installed a brand-new SSL Duality console in its Studio C. The move capped a makeover of the room, which also included acoustic and aesthetic improvements. According to Ardent staff engineer/producer Mike Wilson, the upgrades had been in the works.
"Studio C's rehab had been in the crosshairs of [Ardent head technician] Chris Jackson for a long time," he says. "The Neve console had been 'getting a little long in the tooth' as [Ardent founder] John Fry would say. We were just waiting for all the pieces to fall into place. This year, they finally did. We got a great deal for the SSL Duality and started our film department with Jonathan Pekar. The time for the rehab was right."
In honor of the studio's relaunch, Ardent is throwing an event called "16 Over 48: The Memphis Demos" this weekend. Sixteen local bands will get to record in the new Studio C over the course of two days at a special reduced rate. The event is being produced in partnership with the Memphis Music Foundation.
"We want this to be an avenue for musicians to experience their work in a great recording environment," Wilson says. "If Memphis musicians ever felt recording at Ardent was unattainable financially, this will show them that's not the case."
Beale Street Caravan's Hot October
Locally produced and internationally syndicated weekly radio show Beale Street Caravan will celebrate its 15th year of broadcasting this October with a special month of programs featuring several high-profile performances. Here's a look at what listeners can look forward to:
Week of October 5th: Steve Cropper, Bettye LaVette, Ellis Hooks
Week of October 12th: Calvin Cooke, Alvin Youngblood Hart
Week of October 19th: Reba Russell, John Hammond
Week of October 26th: Travis Wammack, Jimbo Mathus
For more information, see