Rugby: My New Favorite Sport


Last week I experienced the thrill and experience that is the sport of Rugby. Well, the thrill and experience that comes from watching the sport of rugby. Last Saturday, I went to the USA Eagles v New Zealand All Blacks game in Chicago. Packed into a sold out stadium, with Read more

Movie Review: Interstellar


On September 12, 1962, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University setting the United States of America's Space Race goals for the 1960s. We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because Read more

Political Passport: Election 2014 Recap & Reflections


The votes are cast, most of them have been tallied, and the American experiment lives to see another day. To paraphrase one of the only lines that was any good from Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, "Every two years we drive to a fire station and overthrow the government and there Read more

A Lesson on Weddings and Friendships


One of my best friends from college, Clint Rosenblatt, is getting married on Saturday. It’s the latest in a series of walks-down-the-aisles those closest to me have taken over the last few years. Those of you in your mid-to-late-twenties, especially in the early commitment-heavy Southern states, undoubtedly know the Read more

Political Passport: Jeb Bush & 2016


We're less than a week before the 2014 midterm elections, in which the GOP is trying its best to increase its majority in the House of Representatives, gain a majority in the Senate, and continue its strong leadership in state governments in every region of our nation. But the news Read more

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

Music

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

 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 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

chvrches 2713212b 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 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 1 Concert Review: Lake Street Dive with Lucius – September 29, 2014 at Minglewood HallBrooklyn 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

lecrae anomaly album cover The Sacred, the Secular, and Lecrae

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

98fb846afbf385de347341fb29adad9c Concert Review: Bruno Mars   The Moonshine Jungle Tour 2014 Leg

*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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Roundtable: What is the Best Disney Song Ever?

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Music, Roundtables | 3 Comments

disneyrank Roundtable: What is the Best Disney Song Ever?

Alex Beene: Disney’s latest animated feature is one of their biggest hits ever. “Frozen” has made more than $1 billion worldwide, has merchandise selling out in stores nationwide and has kids lining – and parents paying – up to get in on the fun (the wait to see the “Frozen” princesses at Disney World runs an average of two hours!). Read more

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