The Weekly Memphian: Liz Brasher, 'Roma', 'Sweat' and SPINS

By Published: January 23, 2019 4:00 AM CT

The Weekly Memphian is a partial guide to things happening in Memphis, recommended by Daily Memphian staff. This guide covers Jan. 23-29.


Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week: Going until Saturday, the first Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week includes 10 establishments offering everything from juice, smoothies and salads to wings, burgers and soul food. Hosted by I Love Whitehaven Neighborhood Association, Whitehaven Black Restaurant Week has goals of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, promoting black businesses and bringing attention to a majority-black community, according to the organizer. – Elle Perry

“The Guilty” at Malco Ridgeway Cinema Grill: Unlike “Roma” (see below), the Danish crime flick “The Guilty” didn’t get a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. But it’s still one of the better reviewed imports of 2018. It’s a thriller about the Danish equivalent of a 911 operator using modern surveillance techniques to track down an abducted woman. – Chris Herrington

7 p.m. $10. 5853 Ridgeway Center Pkwy.

International Blues Challenge: Organized by The Blues Foundation, the 35th International Blues Challenge will be the site of a head-spinning amount of music-related and music-adjacent events. From book signings to health fairs to photo exhibits to speed dating-styled music industry mixers, the weeklong expo culminates in a head-to-head clash of the best of the best in blues music on Saturday, Jan. 26. The schedule of events surely will have something that’ll tickle your strings and fit your personal itinerary. – Jared Boyd

For ticket information and the full schedule of events, visit the IBC website.


Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers at the Hi-Tone Cafe: New York guitar-noise maestro Spencer figures prominently in Memphis’ mid-90s indie-rock boom, his band the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s signature 1993 album “Extra Width” recorded locally at Easley-McCain Recording. That band had a bit of a cultural moment in 2017 when their song “Bellbottoms” (from the 1994 album “Orange”) scored the opening heist in the movie “Baby Driver.” Spencer brings his current group back to town, where he’ll try not to be overshadowed by sure-shot modern Memphis post-punk openers NOTS. – Herrington

10 p.m., $15-$20. 412 N. Cleveland St.


“Sweat” at The Circuit Playhouse. Circuit’s first play this year is a Pulitzer Prize-winning one, created by Lynn Nottage. “Sweat” is based in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the country’s most impoverished cities, in 2008 and centers on factory workers and their coming financial ruin. Last fall, the University of Memphis, Rhodes College and Southwest Tennessee Community College teamed up for an entire festival based on Nottage’s work. Circuit’s “Sweat” features several Ostrander winners, among them Kim Sanders, Greg Boller, Jai Johnson, Darious Roberston, Ryan Negron and Talen Piner. Irene Crist, a multiple Ostrander winner, is directing. – Perry

“Sweat” runs through Feb. 17. Opening-weekend tickets are $25. The Pay What You Can Performance is Jan. 31. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.  51 Cooper St.

Liz Brasher album-release show at Shangri-La Records: North Carolina-bred, Memphis-based singer and bandleader Brasher celebrates the release of “Painted Image,” her full-length debut album for the Mississippi-based indie Fat Possum. Produced locally at Electraphonic Recording with producer Scott Bomar, the album is steeped in blues, soul, rock, and gospel in an approach that evokes classic while sounding contemporary. – Herrington

5:30 p.m. 1916 Madison Ave.


SPINS featuring DJ Houston at Crosstown Arts: Crosstown Arts’ live monthly series features a rotating set of DJs spinning music ranging from ultra lounge to Afrobeat. Houston’s set will include hip-hop, R&B, rock, reggae, dancehall and music from the ‘80s and ‘90s. – Perry

9 p.m. $5. 1350 Concourse Ave. #280

Lehman-Roberts Co./Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. Job Fair: Lehman-Roberts Co. and Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. are hosting a job fair from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to fill multiple positions, including road crew, plant crew, equipment operator and drivers. A commercial driver’s license is required for driving positions with the asphalt and mining companies. They offer competitive benefits, including retirement (401k savings match and profit sharing), group hospitalization and major medical and dental coverage. The job fair will be held at Whispering Woods Hotel & Conference Center. - Terry Hollahan

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 7300 Hacks Cross Road, Olive Branch. Call (901) 278-3773 for more information.


“Roma” at Malco Paradiso Cinema Grill: Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” had a big day on Tuesday, when this year’s Oscar nominations were announced, pulling in 10 nods (tied for most with “The Favourite”), including for Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress and Supporting Actress. A black-and-white period piece set in the upper-middle-class Mexico City of Cuaron’s youth, “Roma” is an immaculate piece of work, telling the story of a young woman who works as a housekeeper in a home modeled after Cuaron’s own, and setting this personal story against a turbulent backdrop of a changing city. It feels like one of those mid-century international cinema “masterpieces,” like a peak Federico Fellini opus. If you’re familiar with the Cuaron’s previous work, you’ll recognize rhymes with and references to his earlier films, such as the modern Mexico travelogue “Y Tu Mama, Tambien,” the dystopian “Children of Men,” and even the space-bound “Gravity.” You can seen “Roma” any old time you like if you have Netflix, but this one-off screening might be your only chance – the only currently scheduled at least – to see it on the big screen in Memphis. I’ve seen it in both settings, and while I wouldn’t tell you that it must be seen on the big screen, it’s certainly better that way. – Herrington

7 p.m, $12. 584 S. Mendenhall Rd.

Crosstown 10K at Crosstown Concourse: Thursday, Jan. 31 is the last day for early registration for the Crosstown 10K run/walk, benefiting Church Health, a health care nonprofit that has served more than 70,000 working but uninsured patients since it was founded in 1987. The race is a 10K route that winds its way through Midtown, beginning and ending at Crosstown Concourse, including a post-race party with awards, hot coffee and chocolate, beer and food tastings. Last year, more than 700 people registered to help Church Health serve the working uninsured. So sign up! Your race fee could go to supporting your favorite Memphis musician, waiter or bartender. The Crosstown 10K is set for 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. – Michelle Corbet

Registration fees vary. 1350 Concourse Ave.


Whitehaven International Blues Challenge Crosstown Arts The Circuit Playhouse Liz Brasher

Comment On This Story

Email Editions

Sign up for our morning and evening editions, plus breaking news.