Adrian Santos not only makes the party, he is the party. This owner of the marketing company Revolt is a full-time event maker and dj and holds down the fort in his adoptive hometown of Memphis. Adrian shares with us his musical tips for this legendary music city.
What should we know before we go to the Memphis?
Memphis is a nitty gritty town known for it’s musical legacy, historical civil rights significance and some damn good BBQ
Who are your local musical heroes?
Lucero, Johnny Cash, Alex Chilton/Big Star, Elvis Presley, Al Green, Isaac Hayes
What local bands or musicians should we be listening out for?
What are your favorite music venues and where should we eat and drink around there?
Favorite Music Venues
Hi Tone (THE place to catch the best in indie music in a hot and intimate setting, everyone has played here: Elvis Costello, Of Montreal, Cat Power to name a few)
Odessa (my crew just took over this venue it’s an art gallery and music space)
Nocturnal (we throw our monthly dj/electro dance parties here)
The Abbey (Johnny Cash played his very first gig here)
Levitt Shell (great free outdoor shows)
P&H (hole in the wall smokey bar, cheap beer and genuine blue collar Memphis folk)
Cozy Corner for amazing BBQ. This is a true hole in the wall that has very inconvenient hours but definitely worth the hassle
Pho Hoa Binh the Lemongrass Tofu is addicting. During the week they have the famous $5.13 all you can eat lunch buffet
Any local music festivals or events we should put on our calendar?
Electrocity is our monthly indie electro dance party. 700+ come out each month. Check out the madness
Goner Fest – Goner Records annual music festival highlighting the best in lo fi garage rock
Folk Alliance Conference– one of SXSW’s founder Louis Meyers started the Folk Alliance. Folk, blues, bluegrass, americana artists take over the downtown marriot for a weekend. all the rooms on the top 2 floors turn into mini venues and it’s non stop boozing and music into the early morning
Is there a ” Memphis sound”? Or is there a community/scene vibe in the city?
Memphis is known for it’s historical and legendary soul and blues scene. Stax Records was at the forefront of the Soul scene back in the 50’s through the 70’s. Memphis is also credited as the birthplace of Rock n Roll when Elvis first preformed at the Levitt Shell.
Now the music scene has evolved into various genres-
rap/hip hop: Three 6 Mafia developed i guess you would call it dirty south but then we also have new hip hop sounds coming from Skewby
Indie rock: lo fi garage rock i.e. Jay Reatard RIP
cock rock: Saliva, Sore Eyes
Electro/indie/Arty: Magic Kids, Electrocity crew djs
What’s your perfect night out in Memphis?
Grab some ribs at Cozy Corner, head over to Hi Tone for a show then end up at the P&H for cheap pitcher beers
Any other things that are a must see and do in Memphis?
Loraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum
Wolf River where Jeff Buckley died
Graceland Too it’s outside of memphis but definitely a must see to get the Memphis experience
What is your favorite city/venue to play on the road and what place has the craziest fans?
Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA. The place is a real dive but when it gets packed with kids, the energy and sweat make it an unforgettable place.
What’s the best roadside food you’ve found?
Mema’s Alaskan Tacos in Ybor City Tampa FL. The ingredients are really fresh, you can get alligator meat then the taco is deep fried. Definitely one of the best places for fish tacos.
1913 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN – (901) 278-8663
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2613 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN – (901) 555-5555
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1588 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN – (901) 726-1548
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