Album and book from
the Memphis maestro also to be accompanied by a
By Fred Mills
Throughout the ‘80s and most of the ‘90s, the name Tav Falco’s
Panther Burns struck fear in the hearts of roots-rock purists while thrilling
those of us who instinctively grasped the musical linkages of punk, rockabilly
and blues (with a smattering of art-rock’s deconstruction ethos). The
Memphis-based Falco, along with his merry band of upstarts (Alex Chilton was an
early member) toured steadily and issued a string of now-classic albums, among
them 1981’s Behind the Magnolia Curtain,
1985’s Sugar Ditch Revisited and 1992’s
Life Sentence in the Cathouse.
Around 2002, however, Falco moved to Europe, and for the
last decade Stateside sightings have been decidedly rare, although the Panther
Burns still continued to operate with Falco at the helm and the addition of
musicians from Paris and Rome. So now word arrives that a new TFPB
album is en routed titled Conjurations:
Séance for Deranged Lovers, due out
Oct. 25 via The Cosmodelic Organization.
Falco has also completed a new book, Mondo Memphis: Ghosts Behind the Sun, published in November by
Creation Books, who describe it thusly:
Tav Falco’s sprawling study of Memphis begins with the Civil War massacre at Fort Pillow,
the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 and the grisly murders of the Harp Brothers.
Falco traces these legends of Reconstruction-era Memphis
to an equally brutal twentieth century underworld – Beale Street kingpin Jim Canaan, Edward
Crump’s political machine, the Dixie Mafia,
and others. Also included are revelatory dialogues concerning the city’s many
music legends, from rockabilly icons Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie
Feathers to more underground figures such as Jim Dickinson and country blues
wailer Jessie Mae Hemphill. Interwoven with these accounts is an
autobiographical history of Falco’s own time in Memphis, including his involvement with
performance art ensemble Insect Trust, working with pop/rock maverick Alex
Chilton, and the formation of his seminal rock and roll band, Panther Burns.
With over 80 illuminating photographs, mostly previously unseen originals by
Falco, and many printed in duotone or colour. 300 pages, illustrated throughout.
And to mark both the album and book, he’s hitting the States
with Panther Burns for a US
tour starting Nov. 9 in San Francisco and
wrapping Dec. 1 in Memphis.
He’ll be doing a mixture of live shows and book readings, so you can check out
the details below.
NOV. 9 – SAN FRANCISCO
City Lights Bookstore at 6:00 PM.
Concert: Thee Parkside at 9:00 PM
NOV. 10 – LOS
Stories Bookstore at 7:30 PM.
Concert: EchoPlex at 9:30 PM.
NOV. 11 – AUSTIN, TX
End of an Ear Bookstore at 4:00
Concert: Emo’s at 10:00 PM.
NOV. 12 – MEMPHIS, TN
Goner Records at 4:00 PM
Concert: Hi-Tone Lounge at 9:00 PM.
NOV. 13 – NEW ORLEANS
Book Reading: Euclid Records at 5:30
Concert: Siberia at 10:00
NOV. 14 – NEW
Concert: Café Nine at 10:30
NOV. 15 – NEW YORK, NY
Concert: Rodeo Bar at 8:30 PM.
NOV. 16 – BROOKLYN (Dumbo)
Powerhouse Arena at 6:30 PM.
DEC. 1 – MEMPHIS, TN
Brooks Museum of Art.