Charity Events

Published on May 24th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson


Future Elevators to Play Come On Phil The Love Fundraiser

Come on Phil the love is a fundraiser for Unity Mississippi held at The Lyric Oxford. The event features six musical performances including And The Echo, Future Elevators, and more. In addition there will be DJ sets from DJ Gogo and Special K, as well as a silent art auction and film block of LGBTQ short films presented by Crossroads Film Society.

phil love 2The event came about when Morgan Pennington and Winn McElroy were invited to play a fund raiser in Jackson, Mississippi of the same name.

“Morgan and I were contacted by Cody Cox about playing,” said McElroy. “Unfortunately we couldn’t because we already had the show booked in Oxford with Future Elevators. We decided to try and host the same event here in Oxford and the Lyric was kind enough to donate the space to us.”

The event will donate 100% of proceeds to “Unity Mississippi which provides funding for Mississippi Pride and education for building relationships between the heterosexual and LGBTQ community,” said McElroy.

Birmingham band Future Elevators was originally booked with And The Echo to play the Cat’s Purring Dude Ranch. Founder, Michael Shackelford, was happy to transition to the new venue for his first time bring his band to the Oxford.

Future Elevators is the product of Shackelford’s desire to take charge of writing and playing his own music.

Shackelford had already written Future Elevator’s first single while still playing with his previous band and Birmingham staple The Grenadines. After the band’s break up, he was unsure how receptive a label would be to pick up his project.

“That song just sat for a minute, it’s kind of a miracle that anything even happened with it,” said Shackelford. “When a band breaks up you don’t know if they’re going to invest in you again.”

future elevators web image

Michael Shackelford

Communicating Vessels did invest in him, allowing him studio time and to work with the legendary producer, engineer, and mixer Darrell Thorp. Thorp is known for having worked on albums for Beck, Radiohead, and Gnarls Barkley among many others. After having finished tracking the album, Shackelford was tasked with deciding whether to mix the album in house or reach out for a fresh set of ears.

“It came down to are we going to mix this on our own as crazy-deep into this as we already are or do we try to get some fresh ears on it,” said Shackelford. “My first suggestion was Darrell…fortunately with a couple phone calls we made that happen.”

With much of the writing process taking place after The Grenadines had disbanded, Shackelford openly channeled his uncertainty into the album. In a previous interview he said that he wanted to blend sad and hopeful for this project. He expanded on what he meant by that.

“It was sort of what I was living at the moment,” said Shackelford. “I was going through a really dark time…but I was visualizing some sort of hopeful thing. I didn’t want to write an album that was just sad and miserable, so I channeled that into something people might could relate to instead of just drowning in selfish sorrows.”

A strong example of how blending those emotions worked out is a song late into the album titled “Narcosis.” It’s difficult not to recall that his previous band broke up as Shackelford describes “Narcosis” as a plane crash survivor searching through the wreckage for other survivors.

“We had done most of the recording and I didn’t like the drums at all. They were too boring and straightforward,” said Shackelford. “I wanted to f**k them up, but I wanted it to be tasteful. I ended up stomping on the floor, clapping my leg with change in my pocket.”

These changes are what led to his vision of the song.


Michael Shackelford

“What ended up happening was they made this drum sound that was really buoyant like wood or a donut [life preserver],” said Shackelford. “That stimulated the vision of floating in this wreckage. That along with the feeling of the song which is about being toxic, shutting out the rest of the world, and being wrapped up in your own sadness felt like surviving a plane crash and floating around looking for others.”

Shackelford did find others and turned it into a now nationally touring act that he leads onstage and in songwriting.

“I’m switching roles a little bit,” said Shackelford. “I’m okay with being in the back and making things happen, but this is cool because it’s a chance to actually take credit for the work.”


Future Elevators will be playing with And The Echo at The Lyric in Oxford on May 26. Tickets are available now for Come on Phil the love for $10. The Local Voice Ligature


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About the Author

Brittain was an associate editor of The Local Voice from 2015-2018, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, Mississippi.

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