Friday, July 31, 2009

Loup Garou Hunter Opens Up

On Monday the truth of the loup garou legend will be unveiled at the Lyric theater on the Square. Captured on film, the "Night of the Loup Garou" tale is sure to terrify. On the eve of the big hunt, I had the opportunity to meet one of the main players in this sordid werewolf story, Ernie Sokolov.

Ernie is known as Russia's premiere big-game hunter. He will soon travel to Taylor to hunt the nightmarish beast that has been slaughtering cows. Ernie talked to us about Oxford women, Russian discos and this Dax Wingo fellow that knows a thing or two about loup garou. After reading the Q&A below, join us on Monday at 7 p.m. at The Lyric. You may even get a chance to meet Ernie, that is, if the loup garou doesn't get him.

Q: Ernie, I've heard much of your accomplishments as a hunter. Tell me, what is your secret?

A: I have no secret that I share. I use only machete and mind of hunter. I become animal.

Q:How did you become involved with the loup garou hunt that is about to take place in Taylor?

A: I am hired by Dr. Doug Clark. He is not so simple to think we make friends with The Beast. He knows to understand it, we must kill it. Then you look down at dead beast and say, “You think you smart? I urinate on your head.”

Q: Do you believe in the myth of the loup garou or is it just some crazy kids?

: I have seen The Beast. It is very real, my friend.

Q: We've heard rumors of this Dax Wingo fellow. What do you know of him? Is he just a nut job?

A: Dax Wingo is not a man. He likes to prance through woods with his New York glasses, say “look at me, I’m so smart pants.” And then he poop pants when the beast comes. I say nothing else.

Q: If the loup garou is real, how you do propose he can be captured and will it be alive?

: He can not be capture alive. I will kill him, drink his blood, and make head into hood ornament to my Hummer.

Q: Tell me how you made it to America? You are from Russia, correct?

A: I get plane ticket from Doug Clark. I work as security at – how you say? – disco in Moscow. I am bored. He say, “Come kill beast,’’ and say, “Ok, I kill beast.’’ He pay me in Levi blue jeans and cigars.

Q: Is your family still in Russia?

A: My mother. My father was eaten alive by wolves when I am boy. This was a bad day. I no like wolves.

Q: How have you enjoyed your time in Mississippi so far? You have been preparing for the hunt in Oxford correct?

A: The Southern women like my hat and glasses. They like when I talk of The Hunt. I may buy one and take her back to Moscow to work in disco and dance on pole.

Q: What are your plans after the hunt? Will you leave the U.S.?

A: I have timeshare in the Ukraine. I get some champagne, cigars and relax on my new Loup Garou rug. Remember, what I say before hunt: It’s time to rock ‘n roll like the Mickey Mouse!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


As most of y'all know, this weekend is the Watermelon Carnival in Water Valley. There's a ton of activities going on around town starting with the opening for the 4th Annual North Mississippi Regional Art Show at Bozarts Gallery on Main Street. The opening is from 6-9 on Friday night. Anyone can stop in, socialize, have a snack or two, and maybe even buy some art! Fireworks will be that night, too.

Then on Saturday morning be sure to head down to Main Street and check out all the locally grown produce that Water Valley's very own gardeners and farmers have to offer. Figs, fresh eggs, squash, onion, peas, snaps, fried pies, corn, 'maters, preserves and jellies, you name it! The prices CANNOT be beat. You basically have to buy the whole place out to use up a twenty. The Farmers Market is from 8 til 11 and there's free coffee for all y'all early risers.

It's a fun weekend so y'all come out and enjoy our town!

-- Water Valley Main Street Association

Great Shows for the Next Three Nights in Oxford

Tonight, one of my favorite bands, Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition plays Rooster's.  I'll be back and forth between that and the Rolling Stones Tribute Show (and Jim Dickinson Benefit) at Proud Larry's.  Jimbo will playing that show tomorrow night (it runs through Saturday  night at Larry's).

Go to Stones Tribute Show details >>

The Eric Deaton Trio plays the tribute show tonight at 10:45.  One of the songs he'll be doing "Little By Little" which was the B side of the Rolling Stones "Not Fade Away" single in 1964.

"Little By Little"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009


A hell of a show this weekend, kids.

Chico Harris presents at Proud Larry's
WILD HORSES COULDN'T DRAG ME AWAY: Oxford Rolling Stones Appreciation Shows
A benefit for Jim Dickinson's medical expenses
THIS Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 30-31 & August 1, 2009
Oxford, Mississippi

The Stones shows at Proud Larry's originally were meant to publicize the Mississippi Music and Musicians Appreciation Hall. But Mississippi musician and producer Jim Dickinson, frequent Rolling Stones producer, suffered a heart attack in May and has had a rough time recouping after triple-bypass. As he tries to get well, he's facing a mountain of medical bills. Help give back to a man who's given all of us here and throughout the world, such great music.

* Find the entire story printed in The Local Voice at
* Tickets:

Performance schedule
Thursday, July 30th

9:40 Kelley Norris
"Wild Horses"

9:45 Mark Adamec
"Out Of Time"
"As Tears Go By"
"Sister Morphine"

10:05 Jesse Coppenbarger
"Some Girls"
"Sing This All Together"
"Ventilator Blues"

10:25 Shannon McNally
"Fool To Cry"
"Emotional Rescue"
"You Can't Always Get what You Want"

10:45 Eric Deaton Trio
"You Got To Move"
"Can't You Hear Me Knockin'"

11:05 Young Buffalo
"Salt Of The Earth"
"Beast Of Burden"
"Sympathy For The Devil"

11:25 Big Rig
"Get Off My Cloud"
"Tumbling Dice"
"Sweet Virginia"

11:45 Bass Drum Of Death
"Jumping Jack Flash"
and two more

12:05 The Sleepwalkers
"Stupid Girl"
"Monkey Man"

12:25 Tyler Keith and the Apostles
"Star Star"
"It's All Over Now"

Friday, July 31st

10:00 Balance
three songs

10:20 Kenny Brown
"It's All Over Now"
"Stop Breaking Down"
"Little Red Rooster"

10:40 Jay Lang & the Ringers
"Sympathy For The Devil"
"Not Fade Away"
and one more

11:00 The Gants
"Jumping Jack Flash"
"The Last Time"

11:20 Gunboat
"She's a Rainbow"
"Waiting On A Friend"
and one more

11:40 Rocket 88
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Brown Sugar"

12:00 Patrick and the Oxford Tongue & Lips
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking?"
"Loving Cup"
"100 Years Ago"

12:20 Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition
"Shine A Light"
"Wild Horses"

Saturday, August 1st
10:00 Saint Andrew
"Let It Bleed"
"Monkey Man"
"Mothers Little Helper"

10:20 Kelley Norris & the Glimmer Trio
"Dead Flowers"
"Shake Your Hips"
"Stop Breaking Down"

10:40 Ape Champ
"Under My Thumb"
"Ruby Tuesday"
and one more

11:00 Karlish, Caldwell and Colburn
"Start Me Up"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Paint It, Black"

11:20 Garry Burnside and the Burnside Exploration
"Wild Horses" (with Kelley Norris)
and two more

Friday, July 24, 2009

WV Farmers' Market, July 25th

Come downtown to Water Valley for

  • fresh figs and the season's last blueberries
  • country eggs
  • produce of all kinds
  • porch furniture handmade by Bill Forsyth
  • fried pies and fresh-baked breads
  • sweet pickles, jams, jellies, and preserves
  • Mississippi-grown apples
  • melons
  • and probably more.

We'll be downtown from 8am--11am!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Local authors on the big screen

For the next two weeks some of Oxford's writers will be gracing us with their presence on the big screen. Up first is Jim Dees who will take on a comfortable role he knows well as himself, Jim Dees, in a documentary about Thacker Mountain Radio. As host, Dees will be included in much of the behind the scenes and on stage footage that Mary Warner, former Thacker Mountain producer, captured over the past year.

Warner has returned from Atlanta this week to world premiere her new documentary about Oxford's beloved Thacker Mountain Radio. The screening will be on Monday, July 27 at The Lyric theater as part of the Oxford Film Festival Summer Series. Tickets are $5 and will serve as a fundraiser for the film festival.

Up next week is a special screening of the local werewolf film "Night of the Loup Garou" starring none other than our own blogger and local author Ace Atkins along with Scott Morris, Rhes Low, Johnny McPhail, Thad Lee, Nathan Buttrey, Haven Nutt and Tiffany Kilpatrick. The group of werewolf hunters take refuge in Taylor, Miss. to hunt the famed loup garou. Who will survive? Who will have a hilarious accent? Who may end up wearing a colander? Find out on Monday, Aug. 3 at the Lyric. If you are dying to find out more, visit Mississippi Werewolf for a sneak peak.
Micah Ginn, director of the film, will be on hand for a Q&A after the film - as well as hopefully much of the cast!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mississippi on HBO Tonight

If you missed the "Prom Night in Mississippi" screenings at the Oxford Film Festival this year, HBO will be screening the documentary about Charleston High School beginning tonight and playing through August.

Paul Saltzman chose to move into the community and get to know people before filming. He spent close to a year living in the Delta and exploring the cultural context of the segregated prom at CHS. He also worked with the high school students to teach them how to do their "confessionals," which are the close up scenes where students discuss how they feel about the issue.

One disappointment for the film is that the White parents who hold the white-only prom in Batesville are never caught on camera. While the doc remains fairly balanced, it would have been nice to hear them squirm as they try to explain why they don't want their children "mixing" with the Black students.

Visit the HBO web site for times.

Kitty Snacks #2 PRE ORDER UP NOW

Go to to pre order Kitty Snacks #2.

Here's the lineup for #2:

Mary Miller
John Brandon (new Grisham writer-in-residence)
Leni Zumas
Kevin Wilson
Ryan Dilbert
Suzanna Best
Krammer Abrahams
Savannah Louise
Isadora Bey
Ben Segal
Howie Good
Meg Pokrass
Phil Estes
Jimmy Chen
& Hastings Hensel

a comic by Kent Osborne

interviews with filmmakers Ross McElwee,
Matt Wolf, and Matthew Robison

art by Len Clark and Josh Burwell

Faulkner Conference Continues

You always know it's time for the Faulkner Conference when The Dude appears in the Square Books' window. This year's conference kicked off last night with a showing of the original film version of "Sanctuary'' -- "The Story of Temple Drake." I speak tonight at 8 p.m. on "Crime Fiction and Faulkner'' along with Jere Hoar, author of "The Hit.'' The main trick will be having a coherent talk after two hours at City Grocery. Like Bill, both Jere and I like good bourbon. We'll be at the Nutt Auditorium on the Ole Miss campus. Noir, booze, Faulkner. Hope to see you there. For a complete listing of events, go to

Sunday, July 19, 2009


A Sunday doesn't pass that I don't think about heading up to Holly Springs to Annie's. Annie's is my favorite Mid-South soul food joint -- this includes places in Memphis. And a must stop for anyone with a serious appreciation for fried chicken. A short drive up Highway 7, check out Miss Annie's menu below.

Annie's Restaurant
198 N Memphis
Holly Springs, MS 38635
Phone: (662) 658-BUCK

1 Meat & 2 Vegetables $5.49
Vegetable Plate (3) $4.49
Child's Plate (Ages 8 & Under) $3.49
Lunch is Served From 11am – 3pm

Fried Chicken, Salisbury Steak
Pigs Feet, Baked Chicken
Cabbage Creamed Potatoes
Green Beans Buttered Noodles
Yams Sliced Tomatoes

Meat Loaf Pork Chops & Gravy
Beef Tips & Noodles Turkey Necks,
Rice Squash Turnip Greens,
augratin potatoes, black-eyed Peas

Pot Roast Fried Chicken
Pork Steaks & Gravy
Pinto Beans Creamed Potatoes
Cabbage Corn Lima Beans

Turkey & Dressfng Neck Bones
B B Q Chicken Fried Chicken
Turnip Greens Yams
Macaroni & Cheese Whole Corn

Fried Chicken Chitterlings
Fried Catfish Fillets
Spaghetti Potato Salad
Green Beans Yams , Cole Slaw

B B Que Ribs Chopped Shoulder
Fried Catfish Spaghetti
Cole Slaw Potato Salad – Fries
Rib Plate $7.49
Catfish Plate $7.49
Shoulder Plate $5.99

$10.49 ADULTS


THE AMP offers $5 tickets all the time!
206 Commonwealth Blvd. Oxford, MS 38655 (Take the Sisk exit off 7, and take a right toward Wendy's)

* Have a true Dinner and a Movie experience and have your meal at the Amp Diner. Everything is made from scratch on site with the freshest ingredients. Beer and wine are also available with a valid ID.

* Don't forget your treats for the movie--we have all the usual concession snacks and have just added a $2.00 Small Drink and Small Popcorn Combo to the menu!

Phone: 662-236-4070
Movie Hotline: 662-236-4080

Adult: $5.00
Student: $5.00
Children: $5.00
Matinee (shows starting before 6:00 p.m.): $5.00

Click on one of the following features for more detailed information:

Showtimes beginning Friday, 07/17/09 through 07/23/09

Angels and Demons
(PG13) starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor
Fri-Thu: 1:05, 6:30

Duration: 138 min.

(G) starring: Mark - Red Beard - Justin - Steven
Sat July 18th - 9:00pm
Tickets on Sale - $8.00
Duration: min.

Land of the Lost
(PG13) starring: Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone, John Boyland
Fri-Thu: 4:30, 9:45

Duration: 93 min.

Madagascar 2
(PG) starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, David Schwimmer
Summer Kid Series
Tue 7/21 - 9:00am, 11:00am
Wed 7/22 - 10:00am
*Come Early - Limited Seating!
Duration: 89 min.

My Life in Ruins
(PG13) starring: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Alistair McGowan, Harland Williams, Rachel Dratch
Fri-Thu: 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:15

Duration: 98 min.

My Sister's Keeper
(PG13) starring: Abigail Breslin, Walter Raney, Sofia Vassilieva, Cameron Diaz, Jason Patric, Evan Elingson, Alex Baldwin
Fri-Thu: 1:30, 4:05, 7:05, 9:25

Duration: 110 min.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
(PG) starring: Amy Adams, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Jonah Hill, Thomas Lennon, Bill Hader, Hank Azava, Ed Helms, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Clint Howard
Fri-Thu: 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 9:40

Duration: 105 min.

Public Enemies
(R) starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Emilie de Ravin, Channing Tatum, Marion Cotillard, Leeland Sobieski
Fri-Thu: 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:30

Duration: 143 min.

Star Trek (2009)
(PG13) starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy
Fri-Thu: 1:00, 7:00

Duration: 126 min.

Taking of Pelham 123
(R) starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman, Victor Gojcaj
Fri-Thu: 4:00, 10:00

Duration: 106 min.

Terminator - Salvation
(PG13) starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Jane Alexander
Fri-Thu: 4:15, 9:20

Duration: min.

Throw Down Your Heart
(NR) starring: Bela Fleck
Fri-Thu: 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 10:00

Duration: 97 min.

Year One
(PG13) starring: Jack Black, Micheal Cera, David Cross, Christopher MintzPlasse, Hank Azaria
Fri-Thu: 1:25, 7:20

Duration: min.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Local Writer/Celeb the Cause of Starlet's Insanity?

Mischa Barton, she of the OC and skinniness and notoriety rather than talent, has landed in a psych ward.

Oxford writer and ne'er do well Scott Morris, who recently crawled out of the Velvet Ditch for the lure of La-La Land, accosted Ms. Barton at a recent red carpet event, and was shooed away by her "people."

Coincidence? You decide. Here's evidence of the encounter:
This weekend, folks!


And so begins, the Velvet Ditch's new advice columnist, Joe Ricker. Most of you will know Joe as the hardboiled bartender at City Grocery for several years. A local legend and dispenser of straight talk. A parent's warning -- this column isn't for those under 18. Adults only even with the creative editing.

Joe, I have a date this weekend and I want to show this girl I have good taste in booze. But I don’t want to order something that makes me seem like a wuss. What should I do? -- Bobby in Oxford.

First of all you should drink what you can handle. If you don’t know what that is then you don’t belong in the bar. What you really want is (expletive) so trying to be macho by killing scotch neat will only prevent that, in more ways than one. If you choose to drink liquor know your limit. And if the drink is a pretty color it should be in her hand, not yours. If you want fruity martinis or pink drinks wait for your footy-pajama-party-sleep-over with your buddies. Beer is always a pretty safe bet provided it doesn’t say “ultra” anywhere on the label. Order a bottled beer and don’t ask for a glass. It comes in one.

Joe, my wife wants to have sex every day. Sometimes I just want to sit down and watch ESPN. Is there something wrong with me? -- Jim from Yocona.

You’re passing up sex to watch other men do what you can’t. Your wife will eventually find other men to do what you won’t. (Expletive) your wife or hand that (expletive) over.

Joe, I recently visited a gentlemen's club and met a girl up there. I think she really liked me. Am I making too much of this? I can’t quit thinking about her. -- Bob, a senior at Ole Miss.

Unless your name is Benjamin, Grant, Jefferson, Hamilton, Lincoln, or Washington she doesn’t care. She thinks about you as much as she thinks about the wad of gum she stuck under a table before (a series of expletives). She looks forward to guys like you gutting their wallets for artificial affection. If she hasn’t at least asked you to score her some blow and get a room, she doesn’t care. Strippers are a lot like trophy wives. The more money you give them the nicer they’ll be but they’re still not going to (expletive) unless it’s a special occasion. A hooker will appreciate you more.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Songwriters tonight, Thacker Mountain tomorrow

The Powerhouse is hosting a "Jambalaya Jam" tonight from 7-9pm featuring jambalaya from the local catering firm Party Waiting To Happen and members of the Oxford Songwriters' Association. Artists scheduled to perform include: Tad Wilkes, Jimmy Phillips, Katie Dintelman, Donovan McCain, and Jeff Callaway. Cost is $6


Thacker Mountain Radio is holding a special show Wednesday night at 7pm at the Lyric. I believe it's being put on because this week the University is hosting the Whole Schools Initiative, a teacher's program that encourages integrating art into school programs, but everyone is welcome.

The featured guests at the show are: pianist Eli Yamin, a featured instructor at the Whole Schools program who is the director of the Middle School Jazz Academy at Lincoln Center; the Corinth bluegrass group Lisa Lambert and the Pine Ridge Boys; and local authors Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, who just returned home from a long stint in Brazil.

Documentary on African music at the AMP

Last night I went to the AMP to see the documentary "Throw Down Your Heart," which follows banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his musical travels through Africa. He plays with artists in Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, and Mali, where he was hosted by the incredible singer Oumou Sangare. The music is wonderful, but it's just as fun to watch the way Fleck is greeted as he visits a wide range of musical locales. The film is only scheduled to run through Thursday.

UPDATE - the film has been extended for another week

July 14th in the Valley

Water Valley's Farmers' Market meets under the magnolia trees downtown (Main Street, next to the Chamber of Commerce) from 4-6pm on Wednesday.

Come by this produce-heavy market fo fresh tomatoes, purple hull peas, berries, beans, squash, and more (most veggies are only $1 a pound!).

Saturday's market meets in the same place from 8am-11am and features more vendors. Swing by!

-posted and hosted by the Water Valley Main Street Association

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Robert Belfour at Foxfire on Sunday night

On Sunday night bluesman Robert Belfour, who is the oldest proponent of the North Mississippi Hill Country tradition still performing actively, will be at the Foxfire Ranch, which is located just off Highway 7 about fifteen miles north of Oxford. There's good directions on their website, but there's also a sign on the west side of Route 7 just north of the BP station. Music generally starts around five or six, and last about three or four hours depending on the crowd.

Foxfire opened about a year and a half ago and features Sunday night blues and downhome cooking under an open-sided pavilion that's set in a field behind the home of the proprietors, Bill and Annie Hollowell. If you work on campus at Ole Miss you might know Annie as the woman who greets you when you enter the Office of the Registrar. She was also featured in Leyla Modirzadeh's play "Secret History" at the the Powerhouse last year, talking about growing up as a sharecropper in the Holly Springs area. In any case, she'll greet you with a hug when you arrive at Foxfire.

Archived Photo 11

Robert Belfour was born in 1940 in Red Banks, MS, but has lived for decades in Memphis. Since retiring the mid-'90s from the construction business he's been performing actively, and has recorded two CDs for Fat Possum. He's a pretty mild-mannered guy but plays some really deep blues in a style similar to R.L. Burnside. Here's a video of Belfour that was shot for Martin Scorsese's "The Blues" film series.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This summer marked the release of one of the most anticipated films ever shot in Taylor, Mississippi. “Night of the Loup Garou’’ continues to build a cult audience among college students, connoisseurs of fine acting, and lovers of old school drive-in cinema. The film was shot last summer without a budget and without a script, using local folks for actors. Velvet Ditch recently spoke with the filmmakers Micah Ginn and Matthew Nothelfer about the picture.

Velvet Ditch: Who came up with the idea of shooting a low-budget horror film in Taylor, Mississippi? And why the Loup Garou?

Matt: Micah and I have always talked about making a feature while working on our documentary film projects. Mostly because talking about being feature film directors made us feel more self-important when blabbing about it over a beer or two. And then somehow we actually talked ourselves into it. The reality was in early 2008 Micah eventually just said. "We have to make a movie this year, that's all there is to it!"

Micah: As for Taylor, we had always planned to shoot there because Thad Lee had graciously committed his cabin to the project as the primary location. At first, we were going to base the story in the Louisiana bayou, yet shoot in Taylor, since the Loup Garou is indigenous to Cajun Country. But from a production standpoint, it made more sense to just set the movie in Taylor. Doing so kept us from having to drive to Louisiana and get exterior/establishing shots of bayous and swamps, and allowed for a little more mystery in our story. Why is the Loup Garou in Taylor, MS? The plot thickens!

And why the Loup Garou? Cause werewolves are already cool, but a Cajun werewolf??? How can you not love that?

Velvet Ditch: What were the challenges with shooting with no crew and one camera? Was the project easier or harder than expected and will you produce another film here?

Matt: The one camera detail is about the only thing we had in common with a typical film shoot. Most indy films work it that way. Of course, they'd use better gear than just a consumer camcorder!

The main difference was trying to get good images with minimal art, costume, set design, and pretty much no real production crew. Organizing and creating the visual aesthetics of a set is a huge job, maybe the most important job, on a normal film. We had Laura, just one person, basically doing all that stuff.


So it ends up being an exercise in trying to not shoot the flaws on the set that were always around the edges. Aside from that we did the cinematography with essentially two video production lights and anything else we could get our hands on: flashlights, white pieces of cardboard for bounce light, wicked lanterns with open flames, whatever worked or helped.

Velvet Ditch: We’re really into profane movies? Why’d you guys opt out of any bad language or the typical horror T and A?

Matt: I was all for it. Mostly because I don't get to see T and A in my real life, and standing next to naked ladies without paying for it seems really cool to me. However, a PG level movie was the target at the outset so we stuck to it. At any rate, we used up our personal profanity quota during production yelling at Scott Morris and the dog he brought to the set.

Micah: We went with no cuss words for several reasons. First, it's just generally unnecessary. Second, I wanted to keep with the really old, bad movies that were made in the era before cussing and nudity became so rampant in the movies. Third, I can watch the movie with any audience and not cringe at foul language or raunchy scenes. Fourth, it makes my mother (and father too) happy, and that's very important always! Fifth, it gives the movie an innocence that I think fits it.

Velvet Ditch: What was the deal with local writer Scott Morris during the production? I heard he brought his dog.

Matt: Indeed. What was the deal? As co-director I never figured that one out. Were we attempting to deliberately create chaos on the set in order to prepare for the trials of larger productions in the future? If so, I'm not quite clear on that strategy. How many self-absorbed literary authors half drunk on bourbon trying to hijack the on-set direction and talking over the actor's lines while in the middle of filming are typical during a normal movie production?

Hmmm, come to think of it, we had two of those kind of folks on-set.

Micah: Scott Morris was to the movie set as a fever blister is to a cover model on the day of the shoot: Total catastrophe. If it weren't for his abilities as an actor, I would have had a restraining order put on him. As it is, though, he is probably the greatest actor of his generation, and thus must be tolerated.

If we had a nickel for every time Scott's dog "Muddy" ruined a shot by wandering obliviously into the scene, our budget would have ballooned into the millions.

Velvet Ditch: What would you do different for a – let’s say – Loup Garou 2?

Matt: Have somebody give us, the cast and crew, money to make these things. It's not that we need a lot. Making low-budget films are fine, but NO-budget is a strain. Personally, I'm more than flirting with bankruptcy with my financials --I'm having a torrid affair. So setting aside the time to work for free is extremely difficult to do. I don't mind making our ideas come to life for free, but as a private contractor/freelancer, when I'm devoting hundreds of days to making a movie, that's potentially hundreds of days I'm not doing a paying gig. And the Loup Garou movie from production to post production was easily over 150 days of 8+ hour days of solid work. The post-production is pretty time-consuming.

Micah: I would get a budget and script in place before shooting a single shot. Also, I would make the deputy character a sheriff, cause he's good.

Velvet Ditch: How’s the reaction been to the film since it premiered in Oxford? What’s next for the movie?

Matt: Seems good. Somehow people even liked Scott Morris in it.

Micah: The reaction has been wonderful. We had a sold out show the first night, and from all accounts the film has been well attended over the last two weeks, enough so to be held-over at the Amp. We are very grateful for all those who've come out to watch it, cause it truly makes all the hard work worth it!

What's next for the movie is a few more dates in the area...for instance a Tupelo screening, a Memphis screening (all still in the works), then try to get into some Louisiana theatres. We're also talking to Nova Cinemas about playing in some of their theatres across the Midwest and Southeast. The hope is that we get it in front of as many audiences as possible. I'll be curious to see how it plays when it gets away from the home-field advantage.

Velvet Ditch: Hey, what about that Ernie Sakolov. What an amazing talent! Did you find this guy in the Ukraine? Really fantastic acting.

Matt: I know. The range that was exhibited in his performance was astounding. Quite frankly I didn't think we'd be able to get such a solid performance from him, so I was pleasantly surprised. His ability to inhabit the Ernie character really held the film together, I thought. It's a shame the guy we got to play the adult Ernie was such a dud.

Micah: I'll say this: Everyone on set was terrified of Ernie. Lot's of folks think he is an actor...but he is actually a big-game hunter from Russia. He has a show on MTV-Russia called "Me and Zee Beest", and he is a European sensation. We're hoping to make him the David Hasselhoff of the East. He is the secret to the success of the film, for sure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two Shows to See This Week in the Ditch

As luck sometimes has it, the two shows I'm most looking forward to this week are on the same night.

Thu (7/9) - Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition @ Rooster's

Jimbo is one of the greatest showmen in the area.  He simply knows how to entertain a crowd.  This is honky-tonk music at its best.

Thu (7/9) - Rocket 88 (acoustic trio version) @ Blind Pig

My favorite Oxford band always puts on a good show in the cozy confines of the Blind Pig.  I'll be catching as much of this one as possible when Jimbo and crew have some down time.

Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition - "Tell it to the Judge"

Rocket 88 with Mayhem String Band - "King Moonshine"
Music in the Hall

- Oxford Music Snob

Friday, July 3, 2009

Meanwhile, in a town 18 miles away...

Friday July 3rd at dusk: Water Valley's Movie on Main is hosting a free outdoor showing of Independence Day at 201 Main Street. Bring your own chair and some bug dope, a couple of bucks for candy bars and Cokes, and a yen for free popcorn. Sponsored by the Water Valley Main Street Association.

Journey back for Water Valley's Farmers' Market-- meets Saturday, July 4th, 8am-11am. Come by for local produce from folks who've been growing vegetables before it got hip. Meets under the magnolia trees on Main Street; just watch out for the sign and stop by.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Don't miss Megan Abbott as she graces Oxford and Square Books with her presence on Wed July 8th.

Despite having only a few books under her belt, Megan is gaining quite the reputation as the queen of noir. Her previous book, Queenpin won the Edgar Award for best paperback original. She is currently on tour in support of her recently released novel, Bury Me Deep, which is a great ride and superb as well. An added bonus is that not only do her books kick ass and have incredible cover art but they are also paperbacks so they are affordable too.

We're going all out for this one as we are holding the event at the Lyric Theater. Start time is 5 pm with a signing/reception followed by a reading at 5:30. And after that there will be a showing of the classic noir film, Baby Face, starring Barbara Stanwyk.

So come on down to the Lyric on Wednesday and meet Megan, support your local bartenders, support your local bookstore, support your local music venue, and enjoy a free reading and a free movie.