The 10th edition of the Oxford American's Southern Music Issue hits newsstands on Friday. Jerry Lee Lewis, billed as “the most sensational performer, bar none,” graces the cover, and two CDs come attached. One, called “Future Masters,” includes the diverse and obscure range of Southern music fans have come to expect from the issue. The other, “Past Masters,” does too, but with songs from acts already featured in the magazine and on a past CD.
Arkansas connections abound. Kevin Brockmeier writes a long profile of Elton and Betty White, the ribald, multi-generational duo from Little Rock, who rate two songs on “Future Masters,” “Heat” and “A Jelly Behind Woman Blows My Mind” (“When you're shaking your jelly behind on the dance floor/when you move it around I can't ignore” etc.) Times contributor Derek Jenkins investigates the early R&B act the “5” Royales, and former Times associate editor John Williams contemplates the career of versatile vocalist Roy Hamilton.
Little Rock native Robert Palmer's pysch-folk band the Insect Trust features in the magazine and on the CD, and North Little Rock's Dale Hawkins, former Batesville resident Moondog, Cotton Plant native Sister Rosetta Tharpe and adopted Arkie Lucinda Williams all have songs on the “Past Masters” album.
Hardcore Lucero-philes, take note. For the second year in a row, White Water Tavern is bringing Lucero to town for an intimate show (in a space far, far smaller than it typically plays). Only 150 tickets will be available for the show on Friday, Jan. 2. Tickets go on-sale via Last Chance Records (lastchancerecords.com) on Friday, Dec. 5. A limited number will also be available for purchase at White Water on Tuesday, Dec. 9. North Carolina's American Aquarium, the first band signed to the fledgling Last Chance, opens the show.
In an interview with the Onion AV club, actor and frequent Ray McKinnon collaborator Walton Goggins mentioned that he and McKinnon had just wrapped production on “I Hate to See the Evening Sun Go Down,” a feature film adaptation of a William Gay short story. Hal Holbrook and Mia Wasikowska (who's starring as Alice in Tim Burton's reimagining of “Alice in Wonderland”) also star. No word on a release date.
The WTF collaboration of the year: Camden native, writer/producer/R&B superstar Ne-Yo is working with Marilyn Manson on the latter's forthcoming album.