Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or a meat-and-seafood filled menu during Gonerfest, look no further than DeJaVu, which is located at 936 Florida Street (just south of Crump Blvd). What you’ll get: the best po boys, gumbo, etoufee and Creole-style vegetable sides found north of Manchac, Louisiana.
The little restaurant’s fan base is diverse and growing. On a weekday, people dressed for work Downtown occupied the tables around us. Local moviemaker Kentucker Audley recently filmed a scene at DeJaVu, and Goner Records owner Eric Friedl was promoting the crawfish étouffée from a corner table on a recent Saturday afternoon.
No alcohol served, and DeJaVu closes early, so call ‘em at 901-942-1400 if you plan to go.
From this week’s Memphis Flyer: The Antenna Club Redux
A reunion brings mods and rockers back to the punk crossroads.
by Chris Davis
Panther Burns’ loquacious drummer Ross Johnson, who has attempted but never finished a book on the Antenna Club, confesses, only somewhat begrudgingly, that [Jeff] Golightly’s description of the early scene is accurate. As a part of the snottier, noisier art-rock side of Memphis punk, there was a time when Johnson couldn’t readily admit it was the Crime’s smart power pop that kept the club’s doors open. “We could be really cruel sometimes,” he says, remembering that he used to get a kick out of sitting at the bar and heckling other bands. “Time softens things,” he says, recalling the time he was thrown out of the club for throwing a beer at his sometime-bandmate Alex Chilton.
Need more on drummer/raconteur Johnson? Check out this bit by Chuck Eddy, who describes our hero as “a Memphis underground legend (he’s worked with everyone from Jon Spencer to Peter Buck, Alex Chilton to Tav Falco) and also a musical laugh riot – at least if you think shuffling up drunken standup routines with crazed ’60s soul-garage-punk and rockabilly is a smart mix, which you damn well better.”
Long before he fronted the Final Solutions or joined the Goner Records team — yet not so soon after Zac Ives (at left, in burgundy t-shirt) moved from Oklahoma to Memphis to attend college and play varsity baseball — he discovered the Antenna Club.
Zac’s hazy memories of 1588 Madison Ave:
My roommate in college — Chuck Ellingsworth (yes, Wendy Dunlap’s little brother) — was always big on telling me how since he grew up in Memphis (and I had just moved here to go to school from Oklahoma) he really “knew” which places to stay away from. He tried hard to convince me not to go to the Antenna Club. He looked at me wide eyed when I told him where I was going… “The Antenna Club? That’s where my sister hangs out. Those people are crazy. You can’t go there…. You’ll get killed!” I wasn’t so worried, Chuck couldn’t even do his own laundry… that’s Rhodes College for you.
First few shows… Dead Milkmen was one… but the one I remember best was Brainiac. At the time I didn’t understand that keyboards could be cool — not just New Wave. They were insane… one of the first times I left a show a changed person. I went with my friends Matt and Cheese. Cheese was from Wisconsin, that’s why we called him Cheese. Matt was a horror film buff from Alabama. We drank Mickey’s in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot until it was time for the show.
The first time I saw Impala and Justin was blowing fire out of his saxophone… this taught me that saxophones could be cool. I guess we have a little theme going here.
Finally — the first time I saw Guided By Voices — they played a massive show at Antenna w/ Strapping Fieldhands and the Grifters… all three bands were amazing. But as GBV was my favorite band at the time — I was struck by the fact they just were such a motley group of old goofballs. And how they brought a cooler out on stage and played til all the beer was gone. And there was no set list — you just yelled out songs and they played them. Ahh, the old days.
The Antenna Club reunion — which is slated for Midtown Memphis this weekend — has got us reminiscing about the thousands of nights we spent drinking beer at 1688 Madison Avenue.
Local heroes like the Panther Burns, the Grifters, the Oblivians, Man With Gun Lives Here, MetroWaste, Sobering Consequences, and out-of-towners the Replacements, Fishbone, Circle Jerks, Green Day, Danzig, Guitar Wolf and Black Flag all performed at the Antenna, which unceremoniously shut its doors after owner Mark McGehee was unable to come up with the $680 guarantee after Tripping Daisy played a gig on June 7, 1995.
Here’s a list of our favorite shows:
Summer 1986 — The Mentors. When the TV monitors displayed pornos of El Duce getting head while the band performed “Secretary Hump,” every underage boy in the room abandoned the stage to watch. If the Antenna Club was a ship, it would’ve capsized that afternoon.
Sometime in the mid-1990s — Ron Easley, with his brother Doug and god knows who else. The guru behind the Country Rockers shocked a full house when he wrangled an “Alex Chilton” Louisville Slugger baseball bat and attacked a globe covered in Hershey’s syrup and a shoe.
Fall 1995 — the Strapping Fieldhands, Guided By Voices, and the Grifters. Whiskey and acid combined to make this night one of the wildest rock-and-roll trips of a lifetime. Wish we actually remembered it!
For more Antenna Club memories, go here or here. For official Antenna Club merchandise, go here.