Enough movie critiquing, let’s move some units, to paraphraseStephen Colbert. Let’s laser in on the Shangri-la Projects’ connections in this mini-series debuting nationally tonight on MTV and playing for the next month. Let’s start with producer Scott Bomar, who wasShangri-la Records’ employee of the month June, 1996, as part of the crack crew that set sales records that still stand on the books today. Bomar has become quite the producer and studio maven working with Brewer on all of his successes since the P& H days. In addition to producing the series, Bomar composed, performed, and selected many of the tracks. (If there was a small flaw with this show, perhaps givingMuck Sticky three songs was at least one too many…).
Roy Berry makes many appearances in $5 Cover playing himself, drummer for Lucero and looking more and more like Animal all the time. Most Lucero fans—and there are tons of them and many more to come with their new tour and recently cut record at Ardent coming out soon—do not know that before the massive success of Lucero, Roy produced and recorded some of the best indie rock in Memphis in the early ‘90s. Specifically Berry recorded the 1st groundbreaking record by the Grifters, So Happy Together, (“a brilliant pastiche of noise”) at the now infamous Shops of Ann Adler where Dave Shouse and Stan Gallimore worked and the band practiced and recorded at night (as well as drove their flowershop van all over the country on tour!). In addition Roy produced and drummed for the Simple Ones Worth the Weightand 2 Cups for a Tale. Both have genius pop moments throughout and Worth the Weight is like a greatest hits of the first few years of this very popular early ‘90s indie rock group. Kudos to Roy, and the Roy Army, for all his silver screen success. Lucero fans: start stocking up on Simple Ones downloads, 45s, & cds today at your neighborhood Apple download center! Let the buying begin!
As a corollary to the Roy Berry story, many of the $5 scenes were shot across the street from Shangri-la Records at Rakapolis where legions of Memphis musicians including Jeff Evans,
Nick El Diablo, Roy Berry, Tripp Lamkins, Jack Yarber, & Brent Shrewsbury (“Nic”) have lived and recorded—including 2 Cups for a Tale as well as friend of the label Jeff Evans‘ late ‘90s yet to be released Memphis garage bonanza compilation.
Former Shangri-la Records co-conspirator and ordering guru Eric Friedl’s Goner Records was feted with many t-shirt and sticker sightings as well as label stars like Harlan T. Bobo featured. There was even one obscure Oblivians t-shirt appearance!
Cody Dickinson (as well as $5 Cover drummer/lover Paul Taylor), featured on Gutbucket’s “Where’s the Man with the Jive”–one of the rarest 7”s manufactured & distributed by Shangri-la Projects, has a small role as a musician/engineer trying to implore the voluptuous & flirtatious Clare to “be sexy” on a record.
The biggest surprise to Shangri-la Projects’ fans (present company included!) was the amount of screen time given to Antenna Shoes‘star Tim Regan, who was wearing an Antenna Shoes shirt on-screen. The Antenna Shoes also received an on-screen recommendation for Antenna Shoes’ drummer Paul Taylor to hook up with Amy LaVere in the plot. Antenna Shoes’ Nashon, Luke, & Steve Selvidge were also given massive airtime on stage with Amy LaVere, Two Way Radio, and my favorite joke of the whole series.. Snowballs, er, Snowglobe. In fact, Snowglobe, which is basically the non-touring version of Antenna Shoes, played and starred in the climactic final episode scene. Millions of $5 Cover fans can now discover the majesty of the great Antenna Shoes Generous Gambler. Ladies & gentleman, let the downloading begin now!
All in all, $5 Cover is a great promotion for many of these bands, Memphis, & Shangri-la Projects’ artists! Thanks to Craig Brewer and Scott Bomar for helping Shangri-la Projects get these musicians the recognition and sales they deserve. MTV & MTV fans, time to enjoy some down-home Memphis music!
P.S. I went out to two live Mid-Town clubs to catch some great Memphis music after the world premiere–one was $7 cover and the other was $10 cover. $5 cover is ancient history!!!!