Wrestling with Death: The Next Big Thing in Reality TV


If you aren’t watching Wrestling with Death, you 100% should be. Wrestling with Death chronicles the life of LaFonce Latham and his family as they run a funeral home while also running a professional wrestling promotion in Osceola, AR. You see what they did there with the name of the Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 4 (Shameless Plug Week!)


My sincerest apologies for the delay on this post – my real job that actually pays me money got in the way. Don’t worry, I have found a way to prevent this from happening in the future. I set up a Kickstarter page that opens every Monday, so you Read more

"Birdman" takes lead in Best Picture Battle


This weekend produced two guild stunners that shook up the Oscar race in a big way. We all thought after Best Picture wins from many critics groups and the Golden Globes, “Boyhood” would easily stroll its way to victory. Or so we thought. The Producers and Actors guilds had different plans, Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 3 (Costco is for Lovers)


Alternate Titles: Chris kissed me and all I got was this lousy t-shirt; or, Jillian's little black box; or, Big time players make big time plays, and in this case the big time player is Jade. Dear Friends Who Watched Farmer Chris Kiss Everyone on Television Last Night, I must confess Read more

Fatherhood, Faith, and Film


My son, John (Jack) Joseph Williams III, was born on October 10, 2014. If you visit my social media page or run into me, it's clear how much I love Jack. And most times, you'll find me quickly veering away from my usual favorite topics of discussion (politics, film, Read more

My Problem with Maroon 5’s New Video for “Sugar”


Earlier this week, Maroon 5 released their video for Sugar, a catchy, hook-filled, bubble-gum pop of a song. Just to clarify, no shame here, I think it’s pretty good. Whatever. The video shows Adam Levine and the boys crashing weddings and playing the song at the receptions. They have their Read more

Music

My Problem with Maroon 5’s New Video for “Sugar”

Posted on by Warner Russell in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

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Earlier this week, Maroon 5 released their video for Sugar, a catchy, hook-filled, bubble-gum pop of a song. Just to clarify, no shame here, I think it’s pretty good. Whatever. Read more

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

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Music | 1 Comment

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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 to commemorate the whole expensive experience. Read more

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

Posted on by Warner Russell in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

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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 sound that harkens back to the 1980s.

For their show last night, following opener The Range, Chvrches played a short set that clocked in at just over an hour. There was plenty of energy, lots of dancing, and little time between songs. A bam, bam, bam concert to say the least.

Given that the band only has one album, the brevity of the set is not surprising, but the interaction with the crowd was minimal. When Mayberry speaks she can hold a room in her hand. I mean, cute girl with a Scottish accent? I’m hooked. But sadly she didn’t have much to say to the Memphis audience.

For a concert that relies so heavily on fan energy to fall on a Wednesday night made me a little nervous that I would leave underwhelmed, but I was quite pleased. It was a very strong, entertaining show. I can say, however, that this band was designed for late night weekend shows or to be festival openers before a huge name like Radiohead takes the stage. They get you fired up, and plenty of people left Minglewood last night ready to continue the party.

I would encourage you to give Chvrches a listen. Their music is incredibly enjoyable, whether on a road trip, a run, or just trying to slog through a Monday on the job.

Concert Review: Lake Street Dive with Lucius – September 29, 2014 at Minglewood Hall

Posted on by Warner Russell in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

Lake-Street-Dive-1Brooklyn based Lake Street Dive brought their mixture of jazz, pop, and blue-eyed soul to Memphis last night, along with openers Lucius, for a great, energetic performance.

Led by the dynamic and super-talented Rachael Price, Lake Street Dive has been together since 2004 but recently gained notoriety from YouTube performances of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Hall and Oates “Rich Girl.”

The band’s Memphis performance in front of a decent-sized Monday crowd showcased tracks from their 2014 release Bad Self Portraits as well as selections from past albums.

Price has a voice that is otherworldly. Equal parts sultry and powerful, it kept the audience in awe all evening. I would go so far as to say that her voice is one of the finest I’ve ever heard in person. If she had chosen the path of crappy, reality TV shows that promise musical fame, she probably could have won any competition out there. She really is that good.

Finishing up with an encore of “Rich Girl” that brought Lucius back on stage, Lake Street Dive gave Memphis a great show. Hopefully they will be back soon to entertain the Bluff City. I expect that their career will be taking an upward trajectory as their tour continues and the word-of-mouth about how great they are spreads.

If you haven’t before, give Lake Street’s newest album a listen.

The Sacred, the Secular, and Lecrae

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Faith, Featured, Music | 4 Comments

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It boggles my mind and, yet, it’s the primary example that it can be done with hard work, faithfulness, and, most importantly, the grace of God.

It boggles my mind because I first met Lecrae back in the early days of college when he performed a concert at Christ United Methodist in Memphis, TN where I was a youth group intern for the summer. He was also well-known by my friends who worked at Kanakuk Kamps over the summer. We all had hope for Lecrae because, while he was a Christian rapper performing in Christian environments, he was not like most of the other Christian rappers. He was not like most of the other Christian artists.

His work was at a higher level than most other Christian art, whether they be film, music, or television. It was at the next level.

But not in my wildest imagination did I ever dream of the day where Lecrae would sit in with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and be introduced as having the #1 music album in America.

Not the #1 Christian rap album or #1 Christian album or #1 rap album.

Nope. Lecrae’s latest album, Anomaly, is the #1 album in America. Period. Full stop.

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Concert Review: “Bruno Mars – The Moonshine Jungle Tour” 2014 Leg

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

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*The following reviews were gathered from Bruno Mars’ performance at the FedEx Forum on June 6, 2014. He’s currently traveling the United States for the second leg of his Moonshine Jungle Tour.*

Alex Beene: I never saw Michael Jackson live in concert. Sad, I know. Thanks to MJ’s weird obsession with staying off the road in later years and blowing millions in Vegas on junk that now occupies dusty space in the attic of Neverland Ranch, my knowledge of the former King of Pop’s performance power will forever be limited to clips from the past.

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