Local Labels Release “Welcome to Mississippi” Vinyl

A lot of things happened immediately after Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote to become the 45th United States president in 2016. For Garrad Lee and Cody Cox, it was a conversation. On the night of the election, Lee posted on social media, saying something along the lines of, “Now America gets to be Mississippi for the next eight years,” commenting on the idea that Mississippi was one backward place in an otherwise progressive nation. The next day, he and Cox, who co-own indie record labels Homework Town Records and Elegant Trainwreck, began discussing a new release that would do more with that sentiment while also showcasing voices that speak to the issues facing the state and the country. “We talked forever ago about doing some sort of compilation, probably four or five years ago,” Cox says, “and we were like, ‘Right now is a good time. Continue Reading

UPDATE: Spencer Buys Out ‘Panther’ Screenings in Mississippi

UPDATE: Octavia Spencer announced the screenings for underprivileged youth on Instagram, with showings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Cinemark Pearl and XD (411 Riverwind Drive) on Feb. 17. She also shared that “The Help” director Tate Taylor and producer John Norris purchased a 2:30 p.m. at United Artists Natchez Mall 4 (350 John R. Junkin Drive, Natchez) on the same day. All screenings are first come first served. Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer’s response to Marvel Studio’s latest superhero film, “Black Panther,” stands out even amid praise from other celebrities at early screenings. Continue Reading

Former Jacksonian Wins 2018 Blues Challenge

Mississippi blues societies may not have earned top marks at this year’s International Blues Challenge. However, at least one name on the winner’s list has close ties to the Magnolia State. The Keeshea Pratt Band represented the Houston Blues Society at the 2018 IBC in January, taking first-place in the band category, but local music fans will best remember singer Pratt from her tenure in Jackson. She grew up in the capital city, and attended Callaway High School and Tougaloo College. Pratt began singing at about 6 years old and officially launched her professional music career in 2008. Continue Reading

Fletcher Cox Bobblehead Must-Have for MSU and Philadelphia Eagles Fans

Winning a Super Bowl surely brings the phrase “to the victor go the spoils” for the players and the fans. The spoils will certainly go to the Philadelphia Eagles after they won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Eagles players will sport some new bling such as T-shirts and hats when they receive their Super Bowl rings before the start of the next season. But Eagles fans, and also Mississippi State University fans, will probably seek after one specific commemorative item: the bobblehead for Yazoo City, Miss., native and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Cox was a major force for the team’s defense and was instrumental in making key plays in the final minutes to help Philadelphia seal the win. Continue Reading

Jacksonians Raise Funds for ‘Panther’ Youth Screening

Before actress Octavia Spencer made national news for planning to buy out a screening of Marvel’s “Black Panther” for an underserved Mississippi community, residents were already on the job here in Jackson. Khalid and Khadijah Rashid Hudson began a GoFundMe page for the “Jackson Black Panther Challenge” on Jan. 15, hoping to raise $4,000 by the film’s release date, Feb. 16, to allow underprivileged Jackson youth to see the new comic-book movie. “Black Panther” is the first Marvel film to feature a mostly African American cast, with actor Chadwick Boseman as the titular lead, and an African American director in Ryan Coogler, who is best known for films such as “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed.” Continue Reading

Fondren After 5 Begins in April

For this year, the first Fondren After 5 has been pushed back to April 5. In a statement to area businesses and restaurants, Fondren Renaissance Foundation Executive Director Jim Wilkirson said that due to unseasonably cold weather and ongoing construction to sidewalks in the neighborhood, the event will begin later than usual this year. “Some area businesses may elect to start earlier than this date, and some may be open this month, but we will not officially publicize the event as a neighborhood until our kickoff on April 5.” Events for FA5 will center around three areas: Duling Avenue, State Street and Rainbow Plaza. The plan is to have Duling Avenue blocked off each month, activities in Rainbow Plaza from Hops & Habanas to Cups, and Sneaky Beans serving as the anchor for the State Street area, though these plans may change due to construction. Continue Reading

Young Valley Releases New Single

The twang-a-rang has come back around again. Jackson alternative-country act Young Valley released its latest single, “Hang Me,” via YouTube on Wednesday, Jan. 24. The song, a longtime fan favorite at concerts, is the first new recorded material from the band’s core trio—lead guitarist Dylan Lovett, acoustic guitarist Zach Lovett and drummer Spencer Thomas—since their debut album, “No Filter,” in November 2014. “Hang Me” is the lead-off track from Young Valley’s upcoming self-titled sophomore album, which the band recorded at Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, Miss. The record is scheduled for release on April 20 and is currently available for pre-order on Dial Back Sound’s website. Continue Reading