It was cold, but I love Memphis’ downtown Christmas parade, so I headed down to the South Main Arts District well ahead of the parade time in order to see the various Memphis high school bands and drumlines. There was very little crowd at first, but by the time the parade started, a considerable crowd had gathered. I soon ran into the jazz trumpeter Johnny Yancey and his family, who had also come out to enjoy the parade. Afterwards, everyone was looking for coffee or hot chocolate.
When J2 on Highland closed some years ago, Memphis was effectively left without a hip-hop clothing emporium, so true headz should be thrilled to discover Sneak Peek, a hip, funky urban fashion boutique in Memphis’ trendy South Main Arts District. Experimental and fashion conscious, this is not the place to find familiar commercial brands like Ecko or Akademics, which show up routinely at your average department store. The brands at Sneak Peek are less familiar, more creative, and, yes, rather expensive, but there are sales and discounts from time to time. Also, the store has a welcoming, cozy feel and of course great hip-hop music to provide the soundtrack for your shopping. Pay them a visit at 515 S Main in Memphis, just around the corner from the Civil Rights Museum.
Most people probably know Don Nix as an important Memphis musician and producer, if they know him at all. But last week’s opening at the Robinson Gallery on Huling Avenue revealed that Don Nix, the former Mar-Key and disciple of Furry Lewis and Mississippi Fred McDowell, is also a very talented photographer. His black-and-white images capture the early historic days of Stax, and reduce legends like Rufus Thomas and Booker T. & the MGs to ordinary human size in everyday settings. Cold weather didn’t hold down the attendance, there was wine and cheese, and a rocking blues band on stage playing Nix compositions.