Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Shows to See This Week in the Ditch

I highly recommend two shows in Oxford this week.

Wednesday (7/1) - Sleeping Bulls @ Snack Bar

This is the first show at Snack Bar, and Sleeping Bulls should be perfect for the setting.

Friday (7/3) - Pokey LaFarge @ Parrish's

Pokey LaFarge has a great talent and stage presence.  Check out what I had to say in The Local Voice about his last show in Oxford >>

Sleeping Bulls - "Jean Baptiste" at Music in the Hall in Oxford

Pokey LaFarge - "Mr. Nobody"

- Oxford Music Snob

Friday, June 26, 2009


Night of the Loup Garou The film continues to screen this week at The Amp, Oxford MS until next Thursday. The film stars all local actors: Rhes Low, Thad Lee, Scott Morris, Ace Atkins, Haven Nutt, Tiffany Kilpatrick and Johnny McPhail. (PG-13) - times:
Fri: 1:25, 3:00, 5:00
Sat: 3:00, 5:00
Sun: 1:25, 3:00, 5:00
Call the AMP for other times:
Phone: 662-236-4070
Movie Hotline: 662-236-4080

Thursday, June 25, 2009



The 2009 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference will examine the topic ”Faulkner and Mystery” through five days of lectures and discussions by literary scholars and critics. In addition to formal lectures, there will be several shorter panel presentations, guided day-long tours of Northeast Mississippi and the Delta, and sessions on “Teaching Faulkner” by James B. Carothers, University of Kansas, Terrell L. Tebbetts, Lyon College, Charles Peek, University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Theresa Towner, University of Texas at Dallas.

In keeping with the conference theme, there will be a special panel made up of three writers of crime fiction: Ace Atkins, author of nine novels and story collections, including Devil’s Garden and Wicked City, Jere Hoar, author of Body Parts and The Hit, and Daniel Woodrell, author of eight novels, including Give Us a Kiss: A Country Noir and Winter’s Bone.

The conference will begin on Sunday, July 19, with a reception at the University Museum and a special exhibition of the work of Boyd Saunders, consisting of a suite of original stone lithograph prints based on Faulkner’s story “The Bear” and a suite of original etchings based on The Sound and the Fury. After the Museum reception, the opening papers of the conference will take place, followed by a buffet supper. That evening there will be a showing of the original film version of the novel Sanctuary, “The Story of Temple Drake” (1933).

The University’s John Davis Williams Library will display Faulkner books, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia. The University Press of Mississippi will exhibit Faulkner books published by university presses throughout the United States, and there will be a display, with books for sale, by the Faulkner collector, Seth Berner

Other events will include “Faulkner on the Fringe”–an “open–mic” evening at the Southside Gallery, a picnic served at Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, and a closing party Thursday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

more like the molten velvet ditch

Summer is officially here and it's brutal out there. I wanted to let everyone know that despite the heat, Square Books is continuing on with some pretty good events this week:

Today Tues June 23rd at 5 pm, we have Josh Weil author of The New Valley published by our friends at Grove/Atlantic. It's a debut collection of linked novellas and been getting great praise. Jim Harrison writes "... it has a sense of the notable on every page." Tim O'Brien writes "There is a magic and gentle beauty in this book that makes me remember why I always wanted to be a writer."

Tomorrow Wed June 24th at noon, we have Ralph Eubanks author of The House at the End of the Road. In his first book, Eubanks explored his youth in Mississippi during integration now he goes back another generation to his grandparents in Alabama and their interracial marriage.

Tomorrow Wed June 24th at 5 pm we have Attica Locke author of Black Water Rising. Another debut effort that is well worth checking out. This is a crime novel thatis set in the African American community in Houston in the '80s oil boom. Reminds me of first reading Mystic River or Time to Kill. Powerful stuff. Attica is also a screenwriter and working on an HBO miniseries about the civil rights movement.

Come by if you can. We'll have our usual decent semi-cheapish wine, some form of cheese and crackers and air conditioning plus some great authors.

North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Friday and Saturday

The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic celebrates its fourth year this weekend with another great lineup of artists, including many members of the families of Hill Country veterans R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Othar Turner. It's set in a beautiful field near Potts Camp, which is about ten minutes southeast of Holly Springs on Highway 78, and just about thirty minutes or so from Oxford. It looks like it's gonna be hot, but one saving grace is that there's a creek, shaded by trees, next to the field where the festival is located.

Friday June 26

12:00 – 12:30 Zack Mack Band
12:45 – 1:15 John Barnett
1:30 – 2:15 Rocket 88
2:30 – 3:15 Blue Mother Tupelo
3:30 – 4:15 Boogie Groove
4:30 – 5:15 Bobby Rush
5:30 – 6:15 Shannon McNally
6:30 – 7:15 Burnside Exploration featuring Garry Burnside
7:30 – 8:15 T-Model Ford
8:30 – 9:30 DuWayne Burnside Band
9:45 – 10:45 Jimbo Mathus
11:00 – 12:00 Jam featuring Danny Lancaster, Duff Durrough, and special guests

Saturday June 27th

12:00-12:45 Kent Burnside & the New Generation
1:00 -1:45 Rev. John Wilkins
2:00 – 2:45 Jay Lang & the Ringers
3:00 – 3:45 Cedric Burnside & Lightin Malcolm
4:00 – 4:45 Eric Deaton
5:00 – 5:30 Rising Star Fife and Drum Band featuring Sharde Thomas
5:45 – 6:30 Robert Belfour
6:45 – 8:00 Dave Kimbrough
8:15 – 9:15 Hill Country Revue
9:30 – 10:45 North MS Allstars
11:00 – 12:00 Kenny Brown Jam

* * *

On Sunday the festivities continue at the Foxfire Ranch between Oxford and Holly Springs with the Juke Joint Duo - Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm.

* * *

Here's a video of Rev. John Wilkins performing his father Rev. Robert Wilkins' song Prodigal Son, which was later covered by the Rolling Stones. The video is from last year's festival, and was produced by Joe York and Eric Feldman of the Center For Documentary Projects at the University of Mississippi -- Joe and Eric are also the producers of Highway 61.

Prodigal Son performed by Reverend John Wilkins from Highway61 on Vimeo

Here's the Kimbrough Brothers - David on lead vocals, Kinney on drums - performing their father Junior's signature "All Night Long"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to the Velvet Ditch

Welcome to the world in and around Oxford, Mississippi -- aka The Velvet Ditch. A town that sucks you in with the cold beer, great bands and rich literary history. I came here almost ten years ago on the way to Austin, Texas. I was supposed to teach a semester at the University of Mississippi and head on down the road -- I ended up buying an old farm and making this my base. The town has changed a lot since that time, more boutiques and more expensive for the writers, artists and musicians. But there are plenty of great ones left who will be invited them here to talk about their latest projects and the happenings on and off the Square. I hope to get posts on the band events, art shows, and hopefully the offbeat stuff you hear up at the bars. It was just last week when Dave at City Grocery served a fella who'd just dropped off a trailer full of moneys in Tupelo . . .