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10 May 2011 10:01


U.S.: Memphis floodwaters crest, fall short of record numbers

  • 47.85′ the Mississippi’s crest in Memphis source
  • » The good news? It’s not a record: But, considering it’s within a foot of the record, that’s of little solace to the people whose homes have been damaged by the flooding. Still, if something happens and it gets worse, the city is ready. “We will be prepared even if it goes beyond [48 feet],” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. “We have acted all along as if it were right at 49 or 50 feet.” One last note: Major landmarks like Sun Studio, Beale Street and Graceland are safe.

09 May 2011 11:13


U.S.: Memphis floodwaters about to crest at near-record levels

  • I just want a new life and relocation. I would like the elected officials to come down here to see this with their own eyes and see what we’re going through.
  • Memphis resident Cedric Blue • Expressing anger over his current plight — as a victim of the near-record flooding that is currently engulfing Memphis. (A note on that: We previously reported that the flood had hit record levels; this was based on information provided by an incorrect Christian Science Monitor report.) The river is expected to crest today, hours earlier than expected, but the city says it’s ready for the flloding — which is not expected to top that of the region’s record 1937 flood, with which it shares many similarities. source

07 May 2011 23:07


U.S.: Mississippi River flooding: Near-record floodwaters in Memphis

  • 46′ the current levels of the Mississippi river in Memphis; some areas are already underwater
  • 48.7′ the prior record levels of the river in the area — set during a historic flood way back in 1937
  • 48′ the expected crest of the river in the area, which officials expect on Wednesday source
  • » A little bit of good news: While the floodwaters are extremely high, authorities say there will be no new rain until Tuesday, giving residents an opportunity to deal with the water already there, as well as to consider evacuation plans. (EDIT: A prior version of this story listed a 1927 flood as the record-setter. While the flood was devastating, it was not the worst. We apologize for the error.)

17 Mar 2010 22:33


Music: R.I.P. dude: Four ways you know Memphis rocker Alex Chilton

  • Sadly, Alex Chilton is the second Memphis music legend to die this year. The first, Jay Reatard, was a still-growing legend greatly inspired by him. And he had good reason to be inspired. Chilton was one of the principals behind Big Star, a band that ALWAYS comes up in conversations about underrated bands. Chilton died today at 59, reportedly of a heart attack. Here’s how you should remember him.

  • 1. At the tender age of 16, Chilton peaked commercially. His band, The Box Tops, scored a No. 1 hit with “The Letter,” a tune known more for its prominence than who sang it.  The band had more hits, but none as lasting as this soul-tinged classic.
  • 2. You know this song in a different form. For nearly a decade, it was the theme song to “That 70s Show,” but before that, it was a Big Star tune. And well, it still is. Know what a popular TV show theme song gives you? Financial security.
  • 3. “Remember what we said about ‘Paint it Black.'” “Thirteen” may be the best song ever written about adolescence, and it’s a tune that’s covered often, most notably by the also-deceased Elliott Smith.
  • 4. You know you’ve made it when Paul Westerberg writes a song about you, and it’s really freaking good. “Alex Chilton” was immortalized as a Replacements single, and Chilton himself played on the band’s “Can’t Hardly Wait.”

03 Feb 2010 21:43


Music: It was drugs: Jay Reatard’s cause of death finally revealed

  • He died from “cocaine toxicity,” and alcohol was in his system. The plot to this film has been written way too many times. Live fast, die young, take in lots of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in-between. And a medical examiner confirmed that this, too, was how Jay Reatard died last month. On the plus side, his legacy will be put on wax once again for more to hear: Albums by his bands The Reatards and The Lost Sounds will be re-released by two of his former labels. Sob. He was one of the greats. source

16 Jan 2010 12:40


Music: ShortFormBlog Saturday Mixtape: Remembering Jay Reatard

  • Jay Reatard was a musical genius of brevity. His great gift was an uncanny ability to write a pop song tighter, more stylistically diverse and with with more hooks than anyone else. Which is why his death earlier this week came as a total shock. His best days weren’t behind him. He was just getting started. So with that said, here are five songs from his fruitful recent period which nail down why he’s essential.

  • 1. “My Shadow” was something of a calling card to the rest of the world about what his hometown of Memphis already knew from his many early bands – Reatard’s ability to reimagine punk as fun, poppy, and dark was unparalleled.
  • 2. “All Over Again” was one of Reatard’s best singles, and he recorded a lot of them. In fact, he released TWO singles compilations in 2008, and both of them were stylistically different enough to warrant purchase of both. Despite its two-minute length, the song doesn’t feel anything remotely close to short. It’s loaded with ideas.
  • 3. In Jay Reatard’s heaven, “Haunting You” should be playing on repeat. It’s quite literally his modus operandi, and it feels like, considering the circumstances of this week, that it was written ahead of time, to his many fans – past, present and future.
  • 4. What Reatard did better than most was the driving chorus, insistent and forceful. “Always Wanting More,” was a great example of what he does best. In a live setting, he played his short songs as quickly as he could, often not stopping for stage banter and plowing through songs as if he was a Ramone.
  • 5. Perhaps the most interesting part of Reatard’s most recent release, “Watch Me Fall” (what an ominous album title), was an evolution of his sound. He started adding elements from 1980s Kiwi-rock on the album, and largely drove the songs with acoustic guitars rather than thrashing electric sound of most of his earlier material. Single “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” (also ominous) showed a sound that was getting more diverse without losing its best elements. What a terrible, awful loss of someone so amazing.

20 Aug 2009 10:42


Sports: NCAA crushing dreams: Memphis’ 2007-2008 season is now a wash

  • 38 victories by the Wildcats will be forfeited after major rule violations were discovered under coach John Calipari source

27 May 2009 23:30


Sports: The NCAA claims the U. Memphis hoops program broke the rules

  • one unnamed player who only played during the 2007-2008 season (Derrick Rose being the only guy who fits that description) apparently had a tampered SAT score source

19 May 2009 21:30


Sports: The NBA draft lottery came up roses for the L.A. Clippers

  • The Clippers get a shot at force of nature Blake Griffin. Lucky bastards. source
  • Are there even Grizzly bears in Memphis? We want to know, dang it. source
  • Oklahoma City gets a chance to build a legacy with this spiffy pick. source
  • Despite having a 25% chance at the top pick, Sacramento fell here. That sucks. source
  • The Washington Wizards, sucky record and all, fell down here. Oof. source

31 Mar 2009 20:34


Sports: Thanks U. of Kentucky, you made Memphis really sad. :(

  • John Calipari, a man torn by opportunity. The coach of the perennially-hot Memphis decided to leave for the bluegrass of Kentucky. It was a heart-wrenching decision for both Memphis, which has soared to great heights under Calipari’s helm, and Calipari himself, who will be coaching an iconic college basketball team that’s fallen on hard times. Memphis students and fans begged Calipari not to do it, but it was too late. Peace, brotha. source