A Blessing for Jack Williams


Friday afternoon, Wise Guise founding members Joseph and Palmer Williams became parents. As with all substantial news in the social media era, the revelation of this birth came from a collage in my Instagram feed of two clearly exhausted young parents cradling a small baby in their arms. I kid, Read more

Concert Review: Katy Perry - The Prismatic World Tour at the FedEx Forum, October 2014


Alex: Should you invest in tickets to see Katy Perry? I use the word “invest” because the act of purchasing tickets to most pop spectacles now go beyond “buying.” Attendance costs per person now are worth a heavy chunk of change, especially if you want premium seating and merchandising Read more

The Lower Broadway Gazette: 2nd Edition


Editors note: Each week I will be sharing the three hottest stories coming out of the Nashville area. These stories have been hand-selected due to the importance of the community. This is absolutely not a spinoff of The Onion — the only similarities are the general story ideas, the way Read more

Can "Gone Girl" actually capture Oscar Gold?


Oscar season has arrived. Hard to believe, isn’t it? The summer was filled with mostly cinematic disappointments. The steep box office decline from years gone by put the industry in panic. While decent quality blockbusters were scattered throughout the hottest months of the year, very few potential awards contenders Read more

Movie Review: Gone Girl


Disclaimer: First off, THERE ARE NO SPOILERS OF ANY KIND IN THIS REVIEW - I simply wanted to share the very basics of what I thought you needed to know about the film. I feel it's necessary to begin this brief review by first stating that this film is very graphic Read more

Concert Review: Chvrches with The Range – Minglewood Hall - October 1, 2014


Fresh off the summer festival scene and on their way to Austin City Limits, Scottish synthpop group Chvrches made a stop in Memphis last night and played to a packed room. If you aren’t familiar, Chvrches is fronted by the charming Lauren Mayberry and relies heavily on an electronic Read more

Featured

SAG, PGA Shake Up Best Picture Race

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movies | 3 Comments

HustleSAG SAG, PGA Shake Up Best Picture Race

You say you want an interesting Oscar race? Well, we’ve certainly got one on our hands now. While the acting categories are starting to become clearer, the journey to the top prize is more confusing than ever before.

First off, let’s talk about the acting statuettes. After securing the Golden Globe, Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor at SAG, putting him in front-runner status. Many thought Bruce Dern, as the older gent in the race, would get a win here, but it’s now apparent McConaughey is the one to beat.

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25th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

reagan 25th Anniversary of Ronald Reagans Farewell Address to the Nation

This week marks the 25th Anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation. A friend reminded me of this fact this week. Although I’d read most of the speech in excerpts before, I’d never watched President Reagan, “The Great Communicator” himself, deliver the speech. I’d read the words, recited some of them even… but I’d never heard him deliver them as he prepared to leave office.

On January 11, 1989, President Reagan delivered this speech from the Oval Office. It exemplifies so much of what made him such a popular President, invoked today by Republicans and President Obama alike. He’s become one of those iconic Presidents that members of both parties invoke for political gain. While he’s not the mythical hero that some have made him to be, watching, listening, or reading this speech will remind you of what made him such a transformative leader.

Some of the highlights from this speech:

And in all that time I won a nickname – “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference – it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation – from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.

We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important: Why the pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago, on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did. Well, let’s help her keep her word.

If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I am warning of an eradication of that – of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.

Let’s start with some basics – more attention to American history and a greater emphasis of civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America : All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

That’s how I saw it, and see it still. How Stands the City?

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm.

And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the Pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

Here’s the full video of the farewell address.

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Awards Addict Roundtable: Thoughts on 2014 Oscar Nominations

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movies | Leave a comment

oscarnoms1 Awards Addict Roundtable: Thoughts on 2014 Oscar Nominations

Alex, Joseph, and Sutter provide in-depth analysis on this year’s Oscar nominations. We list all the nominees, offer some instant predictions, analyze what it means, and discuss snubs. You won’t want to miss this one!

Best Oscar Nominations Ever: How the Academy learned to love Leo, give ‘Philomena’ a chance and kick Oprah to the Curve – By Alex Beene

I have to admit, most years my post-Oscar nomination analysis is filled with the horror of what I’ve just witnessed. Many times have I sat back and watched as some of my favorites for the year have gotten the boot in favor of the more typical productions that appeal to the older Oscar-voting base.

Not this year, though.

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The Predictions: What the Oscar Nominations Could Look Like Tomorrow Morning

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movies | Leave a comment

oscarnoms The Predictions: What the Oscar Nominations Could Look Like Tomorrow Morning

The moment of truth has arrived. Bright and early tomorrow morning, the Academy will announce their nominations for the cream of the crop for the 2013 film year. We all know there will be some surprises. Someone will get shockingly snubbed. Oh yes, and there’s always the issue with the new Best Picture rules of just how many nominees there will be in the top category.

Regardless of the outcome, just remember you can check back at The Wise Guise right after the announcement for either elated or bitter commentary from yours truly. As usual, my nominations play things safe, except in two regards: I’m actually going to bet the small minority in the Academy who loves “The Wolf of Wall Street” will push it hard. I’m also going to say love for the Coens hasn’t died out among the membership just yet; if something as obscure as “A Serious Man” got in, it’s difficult to see “Inside Llewyn Davis” not making the cut.

There are just too many good films this year, though. What of “Philomena”? I’d love to see it pop up in Best Picture, but the thought is it could be too small to make it. The same goes for “Blue Jasmine.” “Saving Mr. Banks” certainly was wonderful, but could this sugar-coated depiction of life at Disney get lost in the shuffle? All of our questions are just hours from getting answers.

So sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Need a Change? I Got the Blues!

Posted on by Grant Oster in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

There was a time when I thoroughly enjoyed the popular music that was played on the typical Top 40 station. Then I grew up…got a job…and a wife. I’ve become dissatisfied with “today’s best hits” (primarily consisting of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Pitbull) and the banter between adolescent callers and androgynously-named DJs. If you find yourself relishing the moment a commercial comes across the airwaves–you’ve got a problem. If your radio station has you banging your head against your dashboard, I’ve got your solution–blues. 

Blues Music Need a Change? I Got the Blues!

As a Memphian it is easy to think that all blues music sounds like that of W.C. Handy and B.B. King; however, that isn’t the case. There are many genres of blues–Contemporary, Electric, Windy City Blues, and Delta Blues (just to name a few). I think you’d be pleasantly surprised in comparing some of your favorite songs to blues music. There are certain similarities and likenesses. In an interview with Mick Kolassa, Vice Chairman of The Blues Foundation, he explained to me that often blues is the “foundation” of most of today’s music; more or less, blues gave breath to all music of the last generations.

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He Said, She Said: Why You Need to Watch Veronica Mars

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, He Said, She Said, Television, TV Reviews | Leave a comment

veronica mars movie poster 691x1024 He Said, She Said: Why You Need to Watch Veronica Mars

In the latest He Said, She Said, Joseph and Palmer explain why you need to watch the complete three seasons of Veronica Mars for both your pop cultural edification and in preparation for the movie this spring.

Joseph: Do you like fun and simple mysteries? What about complex and intricate murder mysteries? Do you like love stories? Do you like good-looking people? What about awkward-looking and awkward-acting people? Do you stories of socioeconomic tension between the upper, middle, and lower classes? Do you like smart-as-a-whip, fast, witty dialogue? Do you like true underdog stories? Have you ever wondered what Schmidt from New Girl was doing before New Girl?

Then get over yourself already and watch Veronica Mars. With all three seasons streaming on Amazon Prime, you no longer have an excuse.

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