Stories for May 2005


Tuesday, May 31

So You Want to Vacation to a Music Festival

Austin City Limits Fest? Voodoo Fest? Lollapalooza? What's the hottest musical vacation in 2005? Check our regional calendar for everything we know about right now, for every musical style. You can hit two hot, hot, big birds with your 10 day vacation this July in Chicago. July 16-17 - Pitchfork's Intonation Music Festival - Chicago, Pulaski Park and then July 23-24, Sat-Sun, Lollapalooza 2005: 1 City, 70 Bands, 5 Stages - Grant Park, Chicago, IL. Dinosaur Jr. is playing on July 24. You can tour the Frank Lloyd Wright homes and museums in between.

Layzie Bone of Bone-n-Harmony Drops Solo

Critically acclaimed rapper, Layzie Bone of the Grammy Award winning hip-hop group Bone thugs-n-harmony in conjunction with X-RAY Records is proud to present his first solo release 'It's Not A Game'. This highly anticipated album drops May 31, 2005. Snoop Dogg, Twista, Krayzie Bone and WC are among the hip-hop notables making guest appearances on this 20-track collection. This release is a long awaited follow up to Layzie's 2001 side project Mo Thugs Family Presents, 'Thug By Nature' and will confirm his status as one of the preeminent voices in the game.

Bach To Blues Series

Bach To Blues Series - Trinity Lutheran Church hosts a free series of sacred and secular music, every 3rd Sunday, 6 p.m. 6401 Hwy 18 W. at Siwell Rd. Share music and a Harmony Meal after. 371-2332, 372-8851.

Monday, May 30

Tease photo

Melton: A Cowboy Who Wants to Be Mayor

Please click here to read Donna Ladd's profile of Frank Melton.

Sunday, May 29

Dogs Have Their Day

SEC Tournament championship game. Next up for the Bulldogs, Rebels and Southern Miss: the NCAA tournament. And the Rebels will be hosting a regional for the second straight year. Tune into ESPN at 10:30 a.m. Monday for the announcement of the 64-team NCAA tournament bracket.

2005 City Election Blog

Read the full JFP Elections Blog with pages for the mayor and Council candidates, a full archive of JFP coverage and links to other media coverage of the city elections.

White Stripes CD Drops June 7


Saturday, May 28

Egg Ball In SEC

Mississippi State and Ole Miss first met on the baseball field on Oct. 12, 1893. But their 413th meeting will easily be the most important in their long rivalry. The Bulldogs and the Rebels will play in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game on Sunday in Hoover, Ala. (3 p.m., FSN South, 620 AM, 97.3 FM). Mississippi State, which squeaked into the tournament field as the No. 7 seed, has been the surprise of the tourney, winning all three of its games. Ole Miss, the No. 4 seed, had to beat top-seeded Florida twice on Saturday to reach Sunday's winner-take-all final. The Rebels have won all four of their games with the Bulldogs this season. But Sunday ... ???

Friday, May 27

Reason Mag: Straight Shooting on Gun Control

Thursday, May 26

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 5/26

Tennis Center South Improvements. Mayor Johnson showcased ongoing improvements to Tennis Center South Wednesday. This center located off of McDowell Road is a very popular facility and it attracts tennis enthusiasts from Jackson and also surrounding communities for both league and leisure play. We have upgraded four of the courts at the 14-court facility by providing new fencing, new lighting, resurfacing the courts and re-striping them. Some upgrades in landscaping were also part of this project.

Sens To Hold Negro League Tribute

The Jackson Senators of the Central Baseball League (CBL) announced Thursday they have again partnered with Entergy to honor a part of Major League Baseball history by designating their Saturday, May 28th game versus the Shreveport Sports as Entergy Negro League Tribute Night. There will also be a fireworks display following the game courtesy of the City of Jackson.

Threats From The ‘Bully' Pulpit?

Children's Defense Fund Executive Director Oleta Fitzgerald spoke at a May 18 rally calling for the adequate funding of the school's education system, which has been more or less relegated to the status of side item in the 2005 special session agenda. As Fitzgerald addressed the crowd on the basement floor of the State Capitol, she demanded that Gov. Haley Barbour, who had not initially put education or the 2006 budget on the agenda, give proper priority to education. She then referred to him as a "dictator," raising more than one eyebrow in the audience.

[Lott] Time to Trod the Trace

May 26, 2005 Last week I was excited to be back in Mississippi opening a road already hundreds of years old but which took six decades to pave. Thanks to almost $72 million in federal funding received over the past five years, the Natchez Trace is finally a completed, modern road, all the way from Nashville to Natchez.

Wednesday, May 25

1st Annual Capri Music Festival

The line-up has fallen in place for the first annual Capri-Fest, a Save the Capri event with proceeds being contributed to the continued renovation efforts of the historic Pix/Capri Theater in Fondren. Interest in the Save the Capri effort has been great, and this event will continue the momentum that has been building through the course of this year. This event will be all-ages (no alcohol served), and will take place on Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 4th. The cost will be $7 per individual night, or $10 for a weekend pass. Doors will open each night at 8:00p.m., with shows starting at 8:30. The line-up is as follows:

[Music] A Man And His Dilemma

Midwest Dilemma (the alias of singer-songwriter Justin Lamoureux) could very well be part of a dying breed of musicians. That is, he is actually in it for the music.

C-Bone Jones

Note that in the print edition, the author says in this story that C-Bone Jones will appear May 28. That is an error; he will be at Santiago's Thursday, May 26, and Sunday, May 29, as stated in the calendars.

[Media Buzz] A Poll Is A Poll Isn't A Poll

After the Jackson Free Press broke on our blog May 15 and then in our print edition May 18 that Gov. Haley Barbour has some of the worst gubernatorial approval ratings in the country, according to a survey conducted by SurveyUSA of 600 Mississippians on May 10, we waited to see how long it would take the state's media to catch up with the news.

A Life-Saving Tax?

Money and where to find it is the big issue being discussed in the 2005 special session. Supporters for one popular means to get the money mobbed the south side of the Capitol May 17, calling for a $1 increase in the tobacco tax. The group of about 50 supporters consisted of American Cancer Society volunteers, state residents and cancer survivors.

Playing Chicken With Education

When Gov. Haley Barbour called the special session into order, education supporters noted hotly that education funding was not among the original six issues to be voted on. Sam Bounds, executive director of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, joined education supporters last week in calling for the 2005 Mississippi special session to include public school funding.

‘Revenge' is Sweet

There will never be another "Star Wars" movie. Said aloud, it's a strange, almost sad statement to consider (even for a lesser fan), one that signals a further widening of the void in the magic and imaginativeness of American cinema. George Lucas' grand, visionary space opera, which has spanned three decades and garnered limitless adoration, concludes with last week's release of the series' final chapter (the third chronologically), "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith."

[Geek] Comic Crisis!

Comic fans are used to company-wide crossovers interrupting the usual plotlines in favor of an ill-contrived tie-in. The main characters take a break from the action of the special event to check their answering-machine messages, or the big battle is viewed in the distance from a window. These crossovers typically occur once a year or every other year for the big two comic producers, DC and Marvel. However, DC has taken a radical approach to their upcoming summer event, "Infinite Crisis."

[Wine] Zin Is In

While most folks might immediately think of cold, crisp and dry white wines for hot weather, I often think of something very different—zinfandel. When firing up the grill (or watching while my husband fires up the grill), thinking about the smoky, spicy meats and veggies about to be consumed, I want something other than a tangy white to quench my thirst. Fruit-forward and peppery, red zinfandels are perfect with barbecue and therefore perfect for summer.

With or Without You, Haley

Well, Gov. Barbour, all us under-55 Mississippians got your message loud and clear last week. We don't matter. You don't care about us and what we think of you because, well, not enough of us are likely to vote for you.

[Stiggers] Fun In The ‘Hood

Ghetto Theme and Amusement Parks of America presents "Fun Summer Alternatives with Ghetto Economist Pookie Peters":

[Chick] Screw Miss America

Screw Miss America. I apologize for my bluntness, but I think I have an abusive relationship with the Miss America Pageant. When my college roommate was a pageant girl, I supported her and clapped for her and sent her flowers, but deep down I wished she would just shut up and eat something. I thought Samantha was pretty fabulous all on her own—with or without swimsuit glue—but she just lived for pageants.

Taiwo and Kehinde Gaynor

Taiwo and Kehinde Gaynor, 26, are twins from Brooklyn, N.Y., who moved to Jackson when Taiwo, then 18, was working with the Algebra Project, a non-profit organization for math literacy in urban neighborhoods. He came to Jackson for a month to help the group design their own education materials. One month turned into a year. He soon convinced his twin brother, Kehinde, to come down, too.

"Catch the Breeze," Slowdive

Although categorized as "Shoegaze" back in the 90's, Slowdive certainly had more dimension to their sound than just a wall of distorted guitars fronted by a faint voice. They, like their contemporaries My Bloody Valentine, had a quality inherent in their music that has gone on to influence many current electronic, indie and goth artists. "Catch the Breeze" is a 2-disc set of most of their 3 proper albums, along with 8 singles and a Peel Sessions cover version of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair." If you are new to Slowdive or one of their diehard fans, this should be mandatory to your CD collection. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"The Milk of Human Kindness," Caribou

Dan Snaith is the one man wonder that was Manitoba- 2003's "Up In Flames" was a mammoth exhibition of blistering grace that catapulted to the top of many prestigious best of lists for the year. Shortly after being sued for copyright infringement over the use of the name, Manitoba, Snaith changed the name of his outfit to Caribou. The first full-length offering is "The Milk of Human Kindness" and although the name may be different, the sounds here are definitively Manitoba. Even though some hints of "Up in Flames" can be heard, this release is yet another step in the evolution of Snaith's sound- a merging of 60's psychedelic pop, 70's krautrock, late 80's - early 90's dreampop and then some. This is by far Snaith's most ambitious release. -- Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Tuesday, May 24

Jesse Robinson's Birthday Bash Thursday

Mississippi music lovers of every ilk --- whether they're connoisseurs of classic Delta blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, or fans of any music with get up and stomp energy will revel the night away at Jackson's own 930 Blues Café Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. This eclectic musical mixture is legendary guitarist Jesse Robinson's Birthday Bash and Musicians Ball. When the state's best guitarists, singers, and bands get together with its best harmonica players what emerges is pure magic, music that evokes the very soul of Mississippi.

Stringfellow: As a fellow Dem, mayor should give Melton boost

Stringfellow at the Ledge says:

Monday, May 23

Belle & Sebastian Compilation Out Now

Belle and Sebastian - "Push Barman To Open Old Wounds" - a compilation of all the Jeepster Single Tracks (1997-2001), will be released on 24th May (US). Read More Here

Howl Howl Gaff Gaff

Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, the debut album from Swedish indiepop faves Shout Out Louds, will be released in the U.S. on May 24. The three-song Very Loud EP is in stores now. And Shout Out Louds are currently featured in Rolling Stone's 2005 "Next List" of the best names to watch in music, film, fashion, etc. in the year ahead.

Family Night at the Senators

It's going to be one wild night of hits Friday, May 27, when the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau kicks off its summer tourism season at Smith-Wills Stadium. Free to the public, it all begins at 6 p.m. when the gates open and the family fun begins. There will be space jumps, obstacles courses, batting helmets for the first 500 kids, live animals from the Jackson Zoo and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, National Child I.D. Kits from the Metro Jackson Crime Stoppers Board, and loads of entertainment! Give-aways from members of the Metro Jackson Attractions Association, a co-sponsor of the event, will be announced after every inning. "Sue the T-Rex" will also make a special appearance, just weeks before the real "Sue" replica arrives for the summer exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on Saturday, June 18. Sue will be joined by Zany Zebra from the Jackson Zoo, which opens its new African Savannah exhibit the following day. The main event begins at 7:05 p.m., when the Jackson Senators play the Shreveport Sports.

James Blood Ulmer Solo Album

On May 24, American music iconoclast James Blood Ulmer will release a brand new recording entitled, Birthright, on HYENA Records. It will be Ulmer's first ever solo release in a career that spans over 40 years and more than 25 albums. Birthright features 10 original compositions, including "Geechee Joe," "Take My Music Back To The Church" and "White Man's Jail," plus interpretations of the traditional "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and the Willie Dixon classic "I Ain't Superstitious." Alone on vocals and guitar, Ulmer is captured performing his most stark, personal and organic music to date.

Sunday, May 22

Blues Lunch in Belhaven

Burgers and Blues Lunch at Belhaven Pharmacy and Grill 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Every Mon, Wed, Fri. thru the end of August. Next to Winn Dixie on Fortification. Mon: Ralph Miller; Wed: Virgil Brawley; Fri: Tim Avalon. 352-0721.

Saturday, May 21

JFP Presents: Remember Belhaven Jam Today!

It's a beautiful day, and the perfect Saturday to head to Gillespie Street in Belhaven for an outdoor music festival sponsored by the Jackson Free Press to benefit Jubilee! JAM. Hurry to get your free "I Get It Once a Week" bumper sticker. There will great music all day and lots of beer to buy. See you there! Go right now: Starts in 15 minutes! With The Vamps, David Womack and Don Henry, Eric Stracener, Delta Mountain Boys, The Moils, Geehawks and more. $10. 700 block of Gillespie in Belhaven, between State St. and Jefferson. 601-960-0781.

Mississippi History A to Z

The newest exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum is one that Director of Exhibits Clay Williams says is "more fun" than their typical exhibits. What makes this one different? The Mississippi History A to Z exhibit features artifacts that pertain to Mississippi's history, each artifact corresponding to a letter of the alphabet.

Friday, May 20

Barbour Expands Special Session Call for Budget

May 20, 2005—Click to read full statement, but here's the money quote (quite literally):

It is important that every Legislator know the amount available to spend is $4,585,559,267 and that all appropriation bills must fit within this number. The Constitution requires us to pass a balanced budget and to do so we must work out our differences within the limits of this number and the total of all the appropriation bills must not exceed it. I encourage Legislators to spend the weekend considering the best apportionment of these funds."

[Lott] Dodging Bullets

May 20, 2005 Mississippi dodged some big bullets last week when the Pentagon identified those military installations it recommends be closed or realigned. Mississippi's Congressional delegation will work to preserve Naval Station Pascagoula and Meridian's 186th Air National Guard unit as well as the other Mississippi military assets threatened.

Double A (a.k.a. The D.A.) Hits the Hop-Hop Charts

Hip-Hop artist Double A (a.k.a. The D.A.) reaches "Top Ten" status in many record pools with his hit single called "Little Game, and is quickly becoming a well known name in the music industry.

Thursday, May 19

The English Beat to hit Regional Hot Spot

6/28 Alanis Morissette - Saenger, New Orleans

7/16-17 Pitchfork's Intonation Music Festival: Decemberists, Fiery Furnaces, Wrens, Broken Social Scene, AC Newman, Magnolia Electric Co., Four Tet, Go! Team, M's, Will Oldham - Chicago

C-L Editorial: City elections

The Ledge says:

Charlie Poole & the Roots of Country Music


Wednesday, May 18

Sat., May 21: The Coming of Rock to W.C. Don's in Jackson

On Saturday, May 21st, a trio of rock and roll acts invite an all-ages crowd to W.C. Don's to witness the beginning of three potentially great rock acts. The bands consist of Fuzz Buster, The Suitors, and Apache Valentino (playing in this order beginning at 7:30). Everyone is invited to come witness this new Jackson sound that has generated a significant buzz through internet music sites like and We encourage everyone to go with friends to W.C. Don's this Saturday and enjoy some fine tunes from Jackson's youth.

Barbour: Fund ‘Pet Projects' Now

Last week Gov. Haley Barbour called the House and Senate back for a special session, to begin May 18, to continue slogging away at the state's almost $4 billion budget. Thanks to surprise revenue jackpots such as a recent $100 billion settlement for tax evasion by WorldCom (now MCI) and the addition of $60 million in tax collections across the state, lawmakers should have a much easier time of addressing budget issues this time around.

Just Eat - Don't Look

MRE does not stand for mighty right eating, but according to those in the know—namely the United States military—MREs do the right thing for today's men and women who must have nourishment to do their jobs, while training or in combat situations where there's not a field kitchen in sight.

[Dance] Very Special Dance

A new type of dance show is coming to Belhaven College Friday, May 20. Belhaven's dance department has teamed up with Methodist Rehabilitation Center, the USA International Ballet Competition and VSA Arts of Mississippi (Formerly Very Special Arts) to present "Tunes, Tutus, and Turning Wheels." What makes the performance unique is that, along with local dance artists, it features dancers who use wheelchairs.

[Music] Wooden Finger Essentials

Wooden Finger ushers an eerie, story-filled, guitar and voice repertoire into the Jackson music scene. Allison Jenkins, vocalist, and Matthew Magee, guitarist/fiddlist/violinist and more, not only contribute to the local music scene as extremely talented and well-trained musicians, but also as self-proclaimed "Mississippi kids" who love the intimacy and creativity of the Jackson community.

Road Rage

The hot-button drama "Crash" doesn't just throw down the race card, it plays 52-card pickup with it. Writer/director Paul Haggis draws characters of diverse economic and racial backgrounds and scatters them throughout the Los Angeles of Rodney King and Mark Fuhrman.

V-Mail Home: From Mississippi To Iraq And Back

He felt some jet lag his first day there, but not too much to keep him from sitting down at a computer and e-mailing his mother. Twenty-six-year-old Sgt. Vincent Thomas Clay made himself stay awake for his first 24 hours in the country, to get his sleep pattern fixed, as he put it. Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, would be home for awhile, until he headed for Iraq.

How To Help's motto, "Freedom isn't free! Just ask any soldier …" speaks volumes. The next words on the Web site explain its purpose: "Want to send your support to a soldier in harm's way, but have no idea what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?"

The ‘Perception' of The Ledger

I used to work with someone who would infuriate me because—as I used to say somewhat venomously—she would "treat me as if I were as stupid as she is." Ever get that feeling? I've been feeling that way a lot since The Clarion-Ledger's crack opinion team has been going on about the "passion" shown by Chief Moore for his job. Their day-late-dollar-short opining has gotten me edgier than a double-tall iced mocha frappe.

[Fleming] Give Barbour Credit Where It's Due

In time, we all can agree on something in our political lives. This week, I can honestly say that I am in agreement with Gov. Haley Barbour on several points. First, I am glad that the governor has had a change of heart considering the Vulnerable Adults Act, which he had vetoed earlier this month.

[Kamikaze] All Over But The Crying

Well, it's all over but the crying (although I may be late on that one). One of the most storied elections in the history of Jackson is indeed that— history. On June 7, the Bold New City will have a new mayor. And currently, all the signs point toward the enigmatic figure that is Frank Melton. In fact, most pundits say that Melton's opponent, former news anchor, Rich Whitlow, has about as much chance of winning as Jim Giles does of becoming head of the NAACP. But I digress.

[Stiggers] Buy A Steak And Eat It, Too

It's "Boneqweesha Live" from the vault of the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank with Rudy McBride, bank president and the Ghetto Science Team's financial adviser.

[Just In] Barbour Starts ‘Rapid Response' Web Campaign

Today, Gov. Haley Barbour launched a Web site to get supporters to help him get what he wants out of the special session. The site lists e-mail addresses for letters to the editor (not of the JFP), talk show call-ins, etc., and asks people to c.c. "Bo Kabala ([e-mail missing]) on any letters to the editor!" Click on the link to view his media instructions. Following is the letter to friends posted on the site ...

Lucky Osborne

Lucky Osborne, 61, leads an artistic life steeped in history. When the native Mississippian isn't working on miniatures for exhibits at the Old Capitol Museum, he's working in pen-and-ink or pastels. Osborne didn't study art formally—he calls it self-inflicted—but it did run in the family. "My mother was quite artistic," he mused.

Bluntson, Tillman Upset Council Incumbents

Tuesday, May 17

War Of Words

The ground-breaking "Moneyball" caused as much furor among the sportswriters who cover baseball as it did among the men who make their living from baseball. Buzz Bissinger tries to refute "Moneyball" in his new book, "3 Nights In August." According to Slate's Josh Levin, Bissinger loses badly.

Monday, May 16

Casey Phillip's Blues Jam Moves from George St.

Now that George Street is closed you may be missing the Tuesday night Blues jams. Every Monday at Fields Cafe, the Farish Street Blues Band with Casey Phillips is performing and jammers are welcome. It's not quite the same thing as the old George Street Blues Jam, but it's still a lot of fun. Great band, --Willie James Hatten (bass with Lattimore, Dorothy Moore, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, and many others), Ricky Lewis (drums with Dorothy Moore, Carl Sims, The Juvenators, "Fingers" Taylor, and many others), and Mark Whittington (guitar with the Houserockers). Theyve been doing this for the past few weeks and regular guests have included vocalist J.T. Watkins and harmonica player Scott Albert Johnson. Every Monday from 8-12; go out and see'em some time. Also, Casey Phillip's and Mark Whittington (The Kool Filter Kings) started hosting an acoustic jam (not blues) at Martin's every Thursday. Basically it's an open mike. They host the event and play along with whoever wants or needs them to. The time for this is 9-1.

[Alert] Public Education: What You Can Do Now

The Coalition for Children and Public Education writes: The Governor has called a special Legislative session to begin Wednesday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. As part of the Coalition for Children and Public Education, we are gearing up to press for full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

Sunday, May 15

Barbour Approval Rating Only 37 Percent

May 12, 2005–SurveyUSA has released its approval rating survey results conducted in all 50 states for May 10, 2005. 600 Mississippians were asked "Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Haley Barbour is doing as governor?" In response, 37 percent said they approve, 55 percent said they disapprove, and 8 percent said they were unsure.

Agnew: Could Johnson yet depart with dignity, class?

Ronnie Agnew at the Ledge writes:

Stringfellow: City needs Johnson for smooth transition

Eric Stringfellow at the Ledger writes:

Saturday, May 14

In Memory: Phillip Gibbs and James Earl Green

Thirty-five years ago today, Jackson police opened fire on a crowd of students at Jackson State University, killing Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a junior pre-law major and father of an 18-month-old son. Two Double-0 buckshot pellets entered his head and a third just beneath his left eye and a fourth just under his left armpit. Also killed was James Earl Green, 17, a senior at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, who was walking home from work at local grocery store. A single buckshot pierced the right side of his chest. Twleve other students were injured by gunfire, and more than 460 rounds of gunfire punctured a women's dormitory. Ambulances were not called until after police officers picked up their shell casings. The police later claimed that they had taken fire from the direction of B. F. Roberts Hall, but that was never proved.

C-L: Chief says he will fulfill contract

The Ledger reports:

Friday, May 13

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 5/13

Bon Air Housing Construction Slated to Begin. Mayor Johnson announced the kickoff of new home construction as part of the Bon Air Housing Project Monday. If you drive down Calhoun Street right off Capitol Street, it is hardly recognizable anymore. Once a street riddled with crime and substandard housing, today Calhoun Street is truly being transformed into a place of pride and of family.

[Lott] Rome's Roads

May 13, 2005 You often hear folks comparing America to the Roman Empire, sometimes for the good and at other times for the bad. Well, in America we certainly don't want to replicate "Imperial Rome," but there is one often overlooked comparison that is quite relevant. Both ancient Rome and modern America developed with the construction of roadways. In fact, part of the reason Rome eventually collapsed was that it stopped building and maintaining its roads. As the Senate takes up the long-awaited highway bill, we ought to consider what happened to Rome's roads or risk facing the same fate.

My Landslide's Bigger Than Yours

Read this story here.

Clarion-Ledger: Don't Fund Children's Justice Center

A Clarion-Ledger editorial today says that the MCI settlement should only fund telecommunications-related causes:

Thursday, May 12

Phony Penis Raises Questions

Just when Doctor S thought he had seen it all in sports, along comes Onterrio Smith, the dope-smoking Minnesota Vikings running back. It seems Smith was detained at an airport recently when security found vials of white powder in his carry-on bag along with a prosthetic penis. Turns out the substance was dried, powdered urine for use in The Original Whizzinator. This package, which includes a pump and the aforementioned faux phallus, is used to defeat drug tests. Smith is a two-time loser under the NFL's drug policy. He was suspended for four games in 2004 after testing positive for smoking the tree. If he's caught again, he will be suspended for an entire season. Smith lamely claimed that the Whizzinator belonged to his "cousin." Uh huh. The kit is sold by Puck Technologies in Signal Hill, Calif., and if their Web site can be believed, this phony pee pee is changing lives all over America.

Proclamation by the Governor

[verbatim/including the annoying all-caps]

WHEREAS, by the provisions of Section 121 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi, the Governor is vested with the power to convene, by public Proclamation, the Legislature in Extraordinary Session whenever, in his judgment, the public interest requires it; and

Stringfellow: Job passion was never on departing chief's side

Eric Stringfellow at the Ledger writes:

Delta Democrat Times: Perception of safety essential to development

Jackson mayoral candidates' message holds validity for Greenville, as well

The Delta Democrat Times writes:

Wednesday, May 11

They Lied to Us

C-L: Johnson dodges questions from media

The Ledger reports:

Fear is a Four-Letter Word

Harvey Johnson is not the only one who lost the mayoral primary last week. So did fear. Yes: fear suffered a resounding loss in Jackson.

Abuse Children? No Way!

Decades of abuse—physical, mental, emotional and sexual—of young people sent to Mississippi's juvenile training schools may have ended last week when Mississippi reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to stop doing unthinkable things the state never should have been doing in the first place.

Whitlow Comes Out Swinging

May 12, 2005 Even as Frank Melton savored his Democratic primary win—and presumed shoo-in candidacy for mayor—his Republican opponent said it ain't over until it's over. In a press conference the next day, Whitlow said that the low turnout last week (33 percent of eligible voters bothered to show up and vote for either candidate) means he has a chance because there are many voters waiting to be swayed by good ideas.

Genocide in Our Midst

When "Schindler's List" with its black-and-white format and horrifying portrayal of the terrors of the Holocaust hit the theaters in 1993, the movie brought the misery and human degradation of the Jewish extermination to the eyes of millions. Before award-winning director Steven Spielberg released his shocking historical account, he culled through the testimonies of numerous Holocaust survivors—victims, rescuers and passionate observers, trying to get an accurate scope of his subject matter, tales of countless families separated and slaughtered. First the old and infirm, then the children, followed by the adults, depending upon their state of physical fitness—all gassed with chemicals that turned their lungs to jelly; all murders rationalized in the name of eugenics and in keeping the human bloodline strong.

JPS Helps Spur New ‘Urbanism'

A diverse group of community leaders gathered on a beautiful morning in "downtown Fondren" Friday to celebrate a new economic-development opportunity for the neighborhood, as well as a way for the Jackson Public Schools to raise a bit of dough.

Life Management Made Quickie

Wikis have been around long enough that folks are starting to get used to the concept—derived from the Hawaiian word wiki wiki, which means quick, wikis are Web pages that can be edited and added to from within the browser window itself, while you're viewing the page.

[Wine] Why Hast Thou Forsaken the Merlot?

Right out of the gate, I'll go ahead and admit that when I go out to dinner, there is only about a 5 percent chance (if that) that I will order a bottle of merlot with my meal. Personal preference, of course. Merlots are, for the most part, a little wimpy for me. However, after all of the bad press merlot has gotten from the infamous scene in "Sideways" where Miles, a self-proclaimed pinot noir freak, boldly announces that if any merlot gets ordered, he would leave immediately, I kind of feel sorry for the little guy (merlot, that is).

[Jacktown] We Are the Street, by Alphonso Mayfield

I want to congratulate Frank Melton on winning the Democratic Party primary on May 3. I wish him and the Republican challenger Rick Whitlow well on the impending general election. Maybe both sides can do a mix-tape or something, but please keep the diss songs to a minimum. As a matter of fact, I saw several artists, including Tony B and Kamikaze, at Melton's victory party. It's a beautiful thing when local artists get involved in the political process.

Staging Steel

Get your tickets now! "The Sound of Steel" will run May 13-15 and May 19-21 at the Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy of Fondren.

Rather Fun House

A Review of "House of Wax"

Nearly a decade has passed since the revitalization of the horror-film genre in the mid-1990s, and the dozens (hundreds?) of fright flicks loosed into multiplexes since then have exhibited a wealth of profitability … and a dearth of originality. Aiming to capitalize on the former (but still rarely improving upon the latter), studio executives are increasingly aiming their efforts at younger audiences with milder, PG-13-rated scare fare.

[Fleming] Is Mississippi Awash in Ignorance?

This is how you start a firestorm. Nolan Finley, a columnist for The Detroit News, wrote this in a column dated May 1, 2005:

[Stiggers] Slurp it Real Good

The following is a brief message from Crunchie Burga World's Employee of the month: "I'm Miss Wanda, your senior greeter. I've been working at Crunchie Burga World here almost two years. I work to supplement my fixed retirement income. My granddaughter, Lucretia, the morning-afternoon shift manager, said she needed a greeter during the breakfast-lunch rush. So, she hired me. With warmth and enthusiasm, I greet each incoming customer daily with the phrase: 'WELCOME TO CRUNCHIE BURGA WORLD!'

Aven Whittington

Aven Whittington's can-do attitude personifies these Johnny Mercer lyrics: "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch onto the affirmative, and don't mess with Mister-In-Between."

[Hightower] Mine's Bigger Than Yours

You can now splash the essence of Hummer all over your body! General Motors, the maker of this massive symbol of automotive macho, recently licensed a new Hummer cologne calling it "The Essence of Adventure," and pricing it as high as $52 for a Hummer-shaped bottle of the stuff. The scent is advertised as being "masculine with rugged and adventurous attributes." They go further, promising that this new fragrance "embodies all that Hummer is."

Gas Price Hell: Is the End Drawing Nigh?

Janice Taylor fills up the gas tank of her Ford Navigator once a week. The Navigator's tank is capable of holding well over 40 gallons, and with gas at even the cheaper outlets running more than $2 a gallon, Taylor kisses a whopping pile of cash goodbye almost every time she visits the pump.

Facing the End of the Oil Era

If there's one bright spot in the whole worry about global warming, greenhouse gases and the impact of using oil for everything from powering cars and machinery to making agricultural fertilizers and plastic, it's this: Chances are high that the world will run out of oil before we can do irreparable damage. And at the point when there's no more oil, we're going to have to hope that we haven't done so much damage to this planet that we'll find it impossible to sustain ourselves.

C-L: Moore wants interim boss named

The Ledger reports:

Tuesday, May 10

Priest Victims Win Victory

The Mississippi Supreme Court last week struck down an argument by the Catholic Diocese of Jackson that the First Amendment protected it from being sued for the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests. The $48 million lawsuit filed by the Morrison brothers in 2002 may proceed under the decision.

MSO Pepsi Pops, Fri., May 13

Please join the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for Pepsi Pops on the Reservoir 2005! On Friday, May 13, join Maestro Beck, Marshall Ramsey, Wyatt Waters, Robert St. John and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for FUN, FIREWORKS, and FAMILIAR TUNES at Old Trace Park on the Barnett Reservoir in Ridgeland, MS! The fun begins when the gates to the park open at 5:30 pm, with pre-concert entertainment that includes a steel drum band, a drum and bugle corps, and an acoustic trio comprised of local musicians Taylor Hildebrand, Will Skelton and Jamie Blanton. The MSO takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, May 9

What's Right About Bud Lite?

Slate's Nicholas Thompson says baseball commissioner Bud Selig has gotten a bad rap and might turn out to be the man who saved major league baseball. MLB is so perverse that Thompson might be right.

Sunday, May 8

Hampton: Johnson ignored the basics of politics as Jackson mayor

David Hampton at the Ledger writes:

Hood: In the end in Jackson, ‘fresh' wore out ‘stale'

So, "Frank" it is. Not "Mr. Mayor." Not "Mr. Melton." Just "Frank."

Orley Hood at the Ledger writes:

Stringfellow: Memo to our next mayor: Look within JPD before hiring an outsider

Police Chief Robert Moore has been consistent at least in one area.

Eric Stringfellow at the Ledger writes:

C-L: Whitlow hits new court, politics

The Ledger reports:

[Chick] Teaching Monkey the Birds and the Bees

Eight years into it, and I'm still allowed to be a mother. I can't believe it. What kind of decision-maker approves me as a fit mother? Oh, that's right. God. God gave me this child. I'm sure this is when someone should throw the "God has a sense of humor" cliche' into the situation. "Dear God, can I please, please, please complete a thought today without interruption? Yes, I'm thankful for Monkey and all, but I really think I was supposed to get a quieter one. I mean all my life, I had said that I would have a better behaved child than everyone else. Remember?

Saturday, May 7

C-L Editorials: Stokes–Ward 3 Lost in Tuesday's Election

Stokes won, but it is a loss for Ward 3 and the city as a whole.

The paper editorializes:

Friday, May 6

"Celebration Castle," The Pony's

The Pony's stormed on the post-punk scene last year, from Chicago, and quickly gained a reputation for tight, high-energy live shows, and a great debut record. The Pony's are back pumping edgy and accessible DIY garage pop punk, with a retro dash of early Cure, Modern Lovers and Joy Division. At first listen "Celebration Castle" may not seem as lightning hot as their debut, but The Pony's deliver some fun riffs. They nostalgically remind anyone that grew up jamming to the Pixies, the Buzzcocks, Television and the Velvets, that it's about the intensity and attitude of the groove generated. Get it so you can chant and shout along to "We Shot the World" the next time Robert Arender brings them to town. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Arular," M.I.A.

Setting the music world on fire, Maya Arulpragasam's (M.I.A.) debut release is a futuristic urban monolith. Having released two singles in 2004 and a mixed tape (on which she collaborated with Diplo), the hype was built up in the U.K. and rightly so. Her charged lyrics are very political, probably in no small part due to her being a Sri Lankan refugee of war in the 1980's. However, they are precisely placed and poetic in form. Musically, she has created a hyper-hybrid of ragga, dancehall, bhangra, hip-hop, electronica and pop. The result is a release that is innovative and fresh- one that will undoubtedly top many best of 2005 lists including this one. --Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

"RaYDONcoNG 2005," Mahjongg

Released on the same day as M.I.A.'s "Arular," Mahjongg approaches the afro-dancehall-indie mélange a bit more chaotically but no less engaging than young Maya. This "Ch-Ibiza-Cago" band's musical genre melding and political posturing are similar, at the root level anyway, but the outcome is more unpolished and experimental. However, this works in their favor, as they are a collective of blatant sonic alchemists whereas Maya is a solo artist- imagine a raw version of !!! meeting cLOUDDEAD by way of Talking Heads. One of the most unique releases of the year thus far, it is also one of the best- though it is not for everyone!--Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Poll: Clinton, Giuliani Top Party Pick

AP reports:

While Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rudolph Giuliani are their party's top picks for the 2008 presidential nominations, both remain highly polarizing figures, according to a national poll released Friday. Forty percent of Democrats polled said they favored Clinton, the New York senator, for the party's nomination while 18 percent opted for Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the loser of the 2004 presidential race.

New Wire CD+DVD

WIRE are set to release WIRE: THE SCOTTISH PLAY: 2004, a film based on the live performance by the avant-garde art rock band at Scotland's 2004 Triptych Festival. Their concert, honed to a fine performance edge from earlier live forays in Europe in 2004, is a fierce, high-velocity set based around the quartet's highly successful 2003 album Send. Their first full-length release in over a decade, Send marked a return to their trademark gimlet, shivved, short-sharp-shocked writing style.

Ryan Adams — "Cold Roses"

Finally, Ryan Adams is back to making good music. Years ago, he was producing albums like "Stranger's Almanac" with Whiskeytown and "Heartbreak" solo, and he was breaking the hearts of music fans everywhere. His latest missives have been, at times, interesting, but have become increasingly less noteworthy with each album. On his latest album, the double-disc "Cold Roses," Adams takes his music back to the beautiful melodies of "Heartbreaker" and the smart hooks of "Stranger's Almanac." The album begins with the wistfully beautiful "Magnolia Mountain" and continues impressively through both discs. Thank God—Ryan's back!

Thursday, May 5

"American Whip," Joy Zipper

Take the more lush hypnotic power and cerebral psychedelic harmonies of Yo La Tengo ("Autumn Sweater"), Spiritualized, Luna, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Death Cab for Cutie, Starflyer 59, the beautifully catchy sun-soaked hooks of Kill Rock Stars melodies (Elliot Smith/Jeff Hanson), and add some My Bloody Valentine "Loveless" dreamy shoegaze into the mix. Kevin Shields of MBV added his signature bohemian Brit-Psychedelia to this American band by producing and mixing half the album. Highly recommended. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"DIG!" (DVD)

In the psychedelic rock traditions of the Velvet Underground, the 13th Floor Elevators, Spacemen 3, and the U.K. sounds of Blur, Oasis and Primal Scream, comes the story of two of the hottest, and most prolific modern bands to hail from the West Coast. This 2-Disc Rockumentary profiles the tumultuous career paths and the devolving relationship between The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The bands tell their own story over a 7-year period, beginning in 1995, and mixes in live concert footage, videos, "on the fly" interviews, commentary tracks and more. The film transitions from a behind the scenes of close friends on the verge of being the next big things, to become bitter rivals in a cautioning tale on the first hand effects of rock fame, heroin addiction and its fall out. The no-apologies personal story includes footage of on-stage brawls, stormy exits by former band mates, to a tour cancellation due to a drug search and arrest by the Georgia Highway Patrol. Dig won the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

[Lott] The Future Rides Rails

April 29, 2005 Mississippi was one of the first states to pioneer the use of railroads. America's third railroad was the West Feliciana, planned way back in 1828 and chartered in 1831. With it came the world's first standard-gauge tracks laid between Woodville and St. Francisville, Louisiana. By the Civil War, Mississippi's spider-web rail network was so critical that William T. Sherman led 20,000 Union soldiers through central Mississippi just to destroy Mississippi's rail centers. Even 175 years later, railroads remain part of our landscape, but for how long?

Wednesday, May 4

"D.U.M.E. e.p.," Adult.

Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus are the brain and brawn behind Adult., a Detroit based retro-electro/dance punk unit that has released 2 LP's and several EP's since 1999. Since they also run the Ersatz Audio record label, they haven't devoted as much time to their music as they would like. Hence, their newest is the first Adult. release on Thrill Jockey records and the label transition definitely pays off in the energy contained within. Hints of [punkish era] Siouxsie or Kathleen Hanna [Bikini Kill] styled vocals, Devo influenced keyboards and Joy Division darkness permeate this 6 tracker in a nervously brilliant way. Actually, this release has a lot of the atmosphere found on the Siouxsie and the Banshees classic long player, "Kaleidoscope." More addictive than 2003's "Anxiety Always" and on par with 2001's brilliant "Resuscitation," this highly anticipated release delivers the goods! - Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Emmett Till's Body to Be Exhumed

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today:

Memories That Bless And Burn

Is racial reconciliation a myth or a mission? This is the question that a group of Jacksonians came together to discuss at the Annual Human Relations Day Program of the Mary Church Terrell Literary Club, held at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center on April 14. The museum was formerly the Smith Robertson School, the first public school in Jackson for African Americans, and is the state's largest museum dedicated to the preserving of African-American culture.

Farrah Gray

Farrah Gray's book "Reallionaire" (HCI, 2005, $12.95) starts off with a powerful couple of sentences: "I'm a nineteen-year-old African American male who grew up in a single-parent household. And if you believe in statistics, I'm supposed to be either in jail or dead."

Deuce Does Business

New Orleans' Saints running back Deuce McAllister last week joined the MetroJackson Chamber of Commerce and the Mississippi Development Authority for a ribbon-cutting of Deuce McAllister Enterprises at Union Station. McAllister, with HRI Properties, has invested in the renovation of the King Edward Hotel and is also opening a Nissan car dealership in the southern portion of the city. Deuce McAllister Motors, in particular, will be supplying 50 new jobs in Jackson, according to the Chamber. The pre-owned grand opening kick-off will happen in June, followed by a launch of the new car franchise in December.

More Than A Woman

Four years ago, I came to Jackson to go to Millsaps excited mostly about one thing: getting away from my mother. My mom had always been pretty lenient—pushing my curfew back much later than any of my friends, letting me go visit friends in New Orleans for a whole month—but I couldn't wait to get away.

[Gospel] Rejoicing Relief

In an effort to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through the medium of music and raise funds for a national relief effort benefiting tsunami victims, national and local artists will gather May 6 at 6 p.m. at the University Park Auditorium on the campus of Jackson State University.

I Came, I Saw, I Nuked

: A Review of Empire Earth II (Platform: PC)

Strategy games are a mixed bag. Some find them impossible to get into, others can't stand the slow pace, and some just can't get the tactics down. But when you become good at a well-made strategy game, you're sure to have fun. One of the first things I noticed about "Empire Earth II" was the steep difficulty. It's fairly simple to get used to the controls and modes, but the computer AI is unrelenting on any difficulty.

She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother

The responses vary on what makes a mother cool or wonderful. Whether it be because she always buys her kid ice cream (as Darryn Price says about her mama, Alisa) or because she "maintains the wisdom and grace of a woman well-versed in all critical matters of life and love" (as Morgan Jones says about his mother, Mary), the idea of what makes a mother great is flexible. Regardless, these seven women, quite simply, have got it going on. And what's better—their kids actually recognize how lucky they are.

[Kamikaze] Give Raines A Second Chance

I guess there's no such thing as second chances. Mistakes, accidents, lapses in judgment—it doesn't matter. Mess up once, and you've got one hell of a road to travel back to public approval. Commit a crime, serve time, and America would rather you just sit over in a corner and keep your mouth shut. Commit a crime, serve time and be black, and you're a pariah.

[Stiggers] Summa Time Tips And Stuff

Ghetto Science Public Television presents "Energy Savin' Spring and Summa Time Tips and Stuff" with Grandpa Pookie and Bruh JoJo.

[Chick] Teaching Monkey The Birds And The Bees

Eight years into it, and I'm still allowed to be a mother. I can't believe it. What kind of decision-maker approves me as a fit mother? Oh, that's right. God. God gave me this child. I'm sure this is when someone should throw the "God has a sense of humor" cliche' into the situation.

Denise Gonsalves

At Millsaps, she's everyone's mama. It doesn't matter how old you are, what race you are or even how weird you are—Denise Gonsalves, 42, is going to be your mama.

Stringfellow: Voters send strong message in Democratic primaries

Eric Stringfellow at the Ledger writes:

C-L: Mayor's inaction aids Melton win

The Ledger reports:

Tuesday, May 3

[Jones] What's A Cool Mom?

I'm not sure what "cool mom" means, but I'm flattered. If it means being an irresponsible parent, I withdraw the nomination. So many times people think being "cool" to kids requires that you let them drink and smoke and enforce no discipline or expectations on them. Johnny and I are quite the opposite. I really think of myself as a teacher.

C-L: Jackson race one of hottest

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Bush Pitched SS Plan in Canton Tuesday

According to the Sun Herald George W. Bush will speak today around noon at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, where he's expected to address "fixing the hole in the safety net" of Social Security, according to press secretary Scott McClellan.

Happy Mother's Day

Arise, then, women of this day!

Here is the original, pre-Hallmark, Mother's Day Proclamation, penned in Boston by Julia Ward Howe in 1870:

Monday, May 2

Little Milton

information and tickets call 601-743-5446.

VETERAN BLUESMAN LITTLE MILTON TO PERFORM AT BRANCH HILLS BLUES FEST. Little Milton will preview his debut Telarc release, Think of Me live at The Branch Hills Blues Festival on Saturday, May 28th. Music starts at 5pm. Tickets are priced at $21 (advance) / $25 (day of show). The Branch Hills Blues Festival will be held at McIntosh Farms in Dekalb, MS. For more

Athens Music Festival: Pylon

ATHFEST TO TAKE PLACE JUNE 23-26, 2005. PYLON AND SHAWN MULLINS headline. MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL PRESENTS A VARIETY OF FREE MUSIC & FAMILY ORIENTED EVENTS. Athens, Georgia, a town well known for its thriving arts and music scene, is the proud host of ATHFEST 2005 presented by VERIZON WIRELESS. Started in 1997, ATHFEST is an award-winning annual non-profit music and arts festival held in the heart of downtown Athens. This year the festival will take place from June 23 to June 26, 2005, with the main stage area located on Washington Street near the legendary 40 Watt Club. ATHFEST 2005 is included in the TOP 20 Events for June by the Southeast Tourism Society.

WAPT 16: Candidates, Voters Gear Up For Tuesday Primaries

WAPT 16 writes:

JACKSON, Miss. -- Vernon Price voted for Harvey Johnson Jr. for Jackson mayor in the past two elections. Price gives Johnson a strong overall job rating, despite his opinion that the mayor has done too little for poor neighborhoods.

The SunHerald: Miss. city primaries include hard-fought mayor's contest in Jackson

The SunHerald reports:

JACKSON, Miss. - Vernon Price voted for Harvey Johnson Jr. for Jackson mayor in the last two elections. Price gives Johnson a strong overall job rating, despite thinking the mayor has done too little for poor neighborhoods.

Sunday, May 1

Is The Clarion-Ledger the Worst Daily in the U.S.?

This thread contains analysis of the Clarion-Ledger's reporting on Melton, talk about Melton's record of drug arrests at MBN, and Ben Allen on the friendship between Kenneth Stokes and Frank Melton. Just call it a blog potpourri.

C-L: Mayoral hopefuls vie to get out vote

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Area Bands / Musicians / DJs Submit Your Information

Add your band to the JFP's database. Submit Band Here

King Elementary Debut CD to Hit the Nation on July 26

Being the music editor for the JFP I often get press releases from press agencies, promoting their latest band. For the first time ever, I got a NYC agency pushing a Jackson band all over the country. You know what's up....."Although all of 18 years old, King Elementary sound as if they have been playing forever. Actually, they almost have since they began when they were just 14 years old in their hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Their debut CD, Kudzu will be released on Sweet Tea/Terminus Records on July 26th.