Author Archives: Dylan White

Online music network DittyTV likely to launch in early 2012

Have you ever wanted to learn more about local musicians and bands than where they are playing and how much the cover is? With DittyTV, a free new music broadcast network based in Memphis, you can tune in and watch live in-studio performances, interactive discussions, interviews, and educational programs about local musicians in the area.

Ronnie Wright and his wife, Amy, are launching the project out of a downtown building that they are renovating into a video and webcast production facility.

Louis Meyers, Executive Director of Folk Alliance International, has collaborated with the project and brings some experience with him after working with the Austin Music Network, one of the first 24/7 Internet television broadcasts, which was launched 10 years ago.

“It’s the same mentality as Austin Music Network, educational programming and a broad-based channel to provide opportunities for creative people.”

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Folk Alliance to leave Memphis, Conference still on for 2012

The Folk Alliance Conference, held in Memphis since 2007, will pack its bags and relocate to Kansas City, Mo., beginning in 2014. The conference will be in Toronto in 2013, so next February’s event will be the last in Memphis.

The conference has drawn thousands of people to their events in Memphis by bringing together music industry professionals with workshops, panel discussions, and great musical performances.

The biggest reasons behind the move are logistical. The Memphis International Airport has one of the highest average flight costs in the country and the largest hotel in Memphis, the Marriott downtown, is too small to accomodate the conference.

“The Memphis airport is one of the most expensive in the country and there has been nothing to indicate that the situation will improve,” said Louis Meyers, Executive Director of the Folk Alliance.

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Indie Memphis presents Losers Take All and more at Film Festival

Indie Memphis’ 14th Annual Film Festival opens this Thursday, November 3! It’s no surprise that a city with as rich of a musical history as Memphis will showcase several exciting films about punk, rock, hip-hop, and bluegrass highlighted by feature length comedy Losers Take All, a film about an indie rock back in the mid 1980s and their quest for success.

Losers Take All stars Kyle Gallner, Adam Herschman, Tania Raymonde, Aaron Himelstein, Allison Scagliotti and other experienced Hollywood actors. However, writer and producer Winn Coslick was thrilled to film in Memphis.

“When Andrew Pope (Writer/Producer), Mike Ryan (Producer) and I came to town to scout the film, we immediately understood why it would work, and locations were key…the rock clubs, the studios, the architecture, and there is a tremendous music scene that is obviously thriving.”

A highlight for the producers was touring Ardent Studios and shooting on location for a day.

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Moogfest returns
this weekend!

For those who don’t know, Robert Moog was a pioneer of electronic music. His best known invention, the moog synthesizer, was popularized by Wendy Carlos in 1968 when she painstakingly re-assembled entire Bach compositions, released one of the best-selling classical albums at the time and won three Grammy awards for her efforts. Today Moog’s memory is honored with an annual festival in Asheville, NC, where he lived for the last 30 years of his life.

Downtown Asheville will host the main venues for the festival such as the Orange Peel (named one of the best rock clubs in the country by Rolling Stone), and the Asheville Civic Center.

This year Moogfest is also moving outdoors! The Animog Playground at the Renaissance will provide open space, fresh air, interactive art installations, and great performances.

Highlights of this year’s festival will surely include The Flaming Lips, Moby, STS9, Passion Pit, Dan Deacon, and Atlas Sound, along with many others.

Check out Moogfest here and be sure to follow the action on Twitter and Facebook.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest Announces Final

Like other purposefully common titles (The Who and The Band come to mind) Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX never has to worry about overusing its namesake. After all, the self-described “relaxed, creative and pioneering” event is just that, and everybody knows you can never have too much fun.

“Our goal is to keep things fun and to consistently deliver a unique and memorable experience every time fans come to this festival,” said FFF Founder Graham Williams.

This will be the 6th year for the festival, and it faces a new location in light of increased interest and attendance. There will be four stages at Auditorium Shores from November 4 – 6 showcasing some of the best independent, underground and progressive acts of today.

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Are You Soul’d?
Stax Pushes For Major Membership Drive

In 1989 the Stax Records building was demolished. The label had declared bankruptcy 14 years earlier, and the buyers of the building had allowed it to deteriorate so much that it was eventually reduced to rubble. Stax had gone from producing chart-topping soul hits for the likes of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Isaac Hayes to an historic marker in front of an empty lot in fewer than 30 years.

This did not rest well with the people of Memphis, and in 2000 ground was broken for a new project initiated by the nonprofit organization Soulsville to construct the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Stax Music Academy. The Soulsville Charter School was opened in 2005 within the Stax Music Academy and began with one class of 60 6th graders and grew each year until it became a 6th – 12th grade school. Today it provides a top notch college prep education for over 500 middle and high schoolers.

For the next two weeks Stax is launching a membership campaign to help these students continue to pursue their dreams of not just music and performance but college preparation. Anyone interested in the label, it’s history and the future of the talented youth of Memphis should join. Click here to find out more!

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Register Now for WEVL’s First Annual Trivia Tournament!

If you’re like most people chances are you have a strong urge to display your knowledge of music, pop culture, history, sports, and science, preferably with a group of friends at a local bar on a weeknight. Or maybe you just want to showcase your witty trivia team name. If so, make sure your team is balanced and brushed up on its facts, because the next big trivia event is upon us. 

WEVL FM 89.9 will hold its First Annual Trivia Tournament on October 30 at Minglewood Hall. There will also be a silent auction and lots of prizes!

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In the News: River Arts Fest Lineup Announced

The River Arts Fest lineup has been set! The festival will be held October 22nd and 23rd in the Historic South Main Arts District in Downtown Memphis.

It is free and open to the public!

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It’s Time To Register
for Folk Alliance International 2012!

It’s time again for the Folk Alliance International Conference which is set to take place February 22-26, 2012 at the Memphis Marriott Hotel and Cook Convention Center. Early bird registration and showcase entry is open until November 19th and the first group of invited showcase artists will be announced on October 1st.

The conference will feature over 200 official showcase artists, three days of panels, workshops and clinics, and private in-room showcases featuring artists from around the world, films, parties, jam sessions and more. Recent Folk Alliance official showcase artists have included: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bela Fleck, Justin Townes Earle, Amy LaVere, Watermelon Slim, Jim Lauderdale, Ron Sexsmith and many, many more.

Special conference features will include centennial tributes to Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Bill Monroe. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented for Harry Belafonte and Robert Johnson. There will also be a special 40th anniversary screening of “Deliverance” with special guest Ronny Cox.

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World Boogie is Coming: The 2nd Jim Dickinson Folk Festival

“I will not be gone as long as the music lingers.”

These were some of the last words that Jim Dickinson wrote before his death in 2009. The city of Memphis continues to pay it’s debt to Dickinson and TONIGHT will mark the second Jim Dickinson Folk Festival held at Levitt Shell in Overton Park.

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FuelFilm Memphis: What it Means for Music

“You can have the greatest picture in the world, the greatest actor or screenplay in the world, but you have to have sound. If I can’t hear the lines, or music that moves me emotionally, it’s sort of a failed effort.” – David Merrill, co-founder, FuelFilm Memphis.

FuelFilm Memphis held its first Media Expo on Saturday, August 27, at Sky Grille in Midtown Memphis. FuelFilm is a nonprofit organization promoting the growth of the Memphis film industry by educating filmmakers and investors on the development of independent film projects, and facilitating relationships between investors, producers, directors and writers to get more local films made in Memphis.

The event combined two previous FuelFilm events, “one that was a crew trade show and networking event for people working behind the scenes, and the other was a mass casting event where independent filmmakers could come and cast their film projects,” said Merrill.

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