Wednesday, October 12, 2005

outside 14

Que Pasa! Hotep! Hola! and Hip Hip Hello! This is Ma'atology back at ya with another week of my adventures on the town in the L.O.U. Last weekend was pretty fruitful, lot's of action. So like a rabbit in spring, let's hop to it...Last Friday, I checked out two events. First up was local actress/spoken word artist Erica Sutherlin who did her thing at the Vaughan Cultural Center. She had a spoken word and music concert there(sponsored by First Civilizations) where she was featured as a poet as well as an actress in a 15 minute film starring her that was shown prior to her performance. The film was called "Beautiful Hands." It was directed by KDHX's Mariah Richardson about a sister who tries to find her self worth through sex until she runs across a man at the libaray(played by Black Rep actor Kevin Rolston) who tries to love her without sex. The film was refreshing. It kind of reminded me of Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have it," but with a more sensitive touch to it in regards to how the female is portrayed (one scene where Erica is nude--not visible on camera-- and caresses her body is quite sensual and tastefully done). Although the film has some distractions (audio dubs were slightly off), the film made a statement about how important it is for us to learn how to love ourselves, not expecting it from someone else. The film was shot in the Delmar Loop area and it was nice to see the local flava represented in the film. After the film presentation, Erica and her background singers, Steel Waters(who was off the chain!!!!), performed before about 80 people. The band that played with her, come to find out had only played with them that day! Wow talk about TALENT. Anyway, the hour long concert reminded me of the Sugar Water Festival earlier thsi year, very neo soulish, Jill Scottish, India Arieish with some great song interpretation through movement by Erica. And Erica (who has slimmed down very nicely these days) is extremely taleneted as a performance artist and poet. She is also very metaphysical. One song in particular she sand in dedication to the black man and one line she spoke was: "I want to wash your feet with my hair." Whoa! I was not expected that! That is a very deep line, Biblical and spritual. It had teh crowd howling. There was also an impromtu moment where the band played a bluesy riff and Erica and her girls psang a blues verse about the woman inside of them. It was hot! her backgrounbd singers KILT that. Most of the songs performed dealt with self-love and one song in particular I truly loved was, "Human Experience" where she said "you are put on earth just for a human experince, we are between worlds. Then she talked about chakras (very Erykah Baduish). I tell ya, it was definitely a spiritually cleansing experience. In the house were Tiffany Graham, Ira B.Jones, Black Rep's Eric Conners and Cody Aaron(and speaking of Black rep, I decided to give you all a pic from the past--the picture you saw before you read this far is of me with former Black rep intern/actress Chanai Hardy at last years' Woody Awards at the Grandel Theatre. I was sportin' mini Afro puffs back then) ...Later that night I went to Coffee Cartel to get me something to eat.I picked up some nachos with quaccamoli. Talk about good when your hungry. So I ate that, talked to my buddy Joel King about his projects and was about to leave out. After I opened the door, I didnt relaize the high concrete step leading down at the exit and stumbled, nealrly falling. I managed to keep my balance and the couple who saw me in my walking dilemma just smiled and felt my embarrassment. You know us black guys when we almost fall, we have to play it off as though we tried to do it. Just when I was getting over that and walking to my car that was parked next to the Drunken Fish Restaurant, I get a call from X-Jam saying that he saw me almost fall. And I asked did everybidy on the lower are aof the restaurant see me and he just laughed. Oh well, so much for that. So I drove to Cafe Eau to kill some time becasue I was meeting Kam at First Friday later on. He was a particpating in a fashion show/private party put on by the Cardinal owner's wife on Washington and said that he was able to get us on the VIP list at First Friday that was going to be held at Club Seven. I was able to get a good parking space across from Cafe Eau and started walkingtoward it and heard someone say, "I guess someone is going into Cafe Eau." It was Christiaan and his buddy Brian outside chilling. So I decided to join them inside. While inside, there was a white 80's cover band trying to sing "Billie Jean." It was a train wreck that kept on wreckin. Then they started playing 80s tunes during their intermission like, "She Works Hard for the Money," and "Take on Me." The rest of the night the band sang other 80s tunes, one being "Walk Like An Egyptian." There was a lot of alums from Mizzou up in there. I dont know what was the occasion but they were in the house. Meanwhile, we left around 11sih and I headed to Club Seven to meet up with Kam. I was able to escape the line outside becasue of Kam's connecst with a few sistas that were in the same fashion show he was in, but when it came to the VIp list, well that was another story. We were not on it. Supposedly Brandon had put us on alist, but it wasnt the official list--it was the list from a bartendar he knew. So there we were stading in teh lobby area waiting. Kam calling Brandon seeing what was up. One of the security guys had told teh sista collecting money that we were cool to go in, but the phone call to Brandon messed us up. Oh well. Kam paid our way and we proceeded on to the event. It was pretty much the same routine, Needles on the 1s and 2s, people standing around, people dancing, people talking ( I ran into FF fighter Keith Harris who was in a dapper suit this time. I shook his hand. I was gonna tease him and say, "Don't hit me." But I decided against that). It was packed and FF people made more money as always ($15 bones to get in). In the house were D'Anthony (from Ballys), Lester, and Tiffany Graham (were you following me? LOL).

Last Saturday was the Mike Epps/Charlie Murphy SOLD OUT concert held at The Fox(Over 4,000 showed up!). One of my guilty pleasures is people watching, and seeing what they got on, and I must say, gold shiney lame' things must be in these days. I saw one sista who had on some shiney gold lame' boots that look like staright out of Labelle in the 70s. There are also many of you sistas who are overweight and wearing too tight clothes. Now mind you, ain't nothin wrong with being a little plump, but to accentuate it with jeans, or dresses that are too tight to mention, is crimeful! Oh, let me tell what I had on--I had on a brown suede pimp hat, brown suede jacket, wine color shirt, light tan James Evans courderoy pants and brown leather showes. I was not playing, Okay? Anyway, I had an extra ticket and no one was able to go or had other plans so I called my boy Kam and he bit. He was running late, so I went on and went inside the theater, holding his ticket at the Box Office. Okay, first off I was pissed because the seat I was given was BB, which is lower balcony, the end seat next to the isle and far back. I requested closer seats, but they said becasue it was sold out, they couldnt do it (MMMMHMMMM). Next up, Kam called my celly and said that they didnt have the ticket I left for him at will call. I specifically put his name on the enveleope and for some reason the people working will call had a bout of amnesia for a minute until they found the ticket. then, my former colleague Dunkor Imani aka Mutwazse, sat next to me and I was like, "My guest will be sitting there soon." We was looking puzzled becuase he said his ticket had the next seat next to mine. So, he moved up one row next to his lady and said that if no one is sitting in the seat that he was about to move to, he would sit there. .I was like this is going to be interesting (and why was there a brotha sitting in the center area a few rows behind me, get up and screamed out to someone he knew a few rows up on the right hand side of him? My People!!!). Well, when Kam arrived, the house lights were down (the show shated about 20 minutes late) and Comic View comic Kenny Howell decided to warm up the crowd (Who put him on the bill?). So when Kam arrived, he sat a row ahead of me next to Dunkor's lady. I was like Huh? So I reached over and tapped him on the shoulder and asked him if I could see his ticket and it had Row AA. Row AA! I was given non-consecutive row tickets! What kind of ish is that! Now if I had taken a female to this and we were on a hot date and maybe wanted to do some footsy or wootsy, I woudl have to imagine doing it cause we wouldnt have been sitting together. That was fucced up. In the meantime, Kenny Howell, who reminds me of Ralph Kramden with a foul mouth was downright Def Comedy Jam raw. He started talking about not knowing what to do if a woman started sucking on his titties and stucking their finger up his arse and choking a woman legally when you are about to orgasm. he was funny, but just too vulgar with it. There was one joke that I thought was funny was when he said that back where he is from they called Chinese food places there exact him. He said here people call them Chinamen. When his lady said that she was going to go to the chinamen, he said, the hell you going to fucc some chinamen. That was funny. He did about 15 minutes and said that he was selling his DVD "From Projects to the Ghetto" before the bootleggers bootleg his bootleg. That was also funny. So the host of the show was Comic View comedienne Dominique (which is an added touch to have a female host an all-male comedy show). She was ghetto funny. The way she talk is even funny, broken English and a lazy tongue. Priceless. she talked about gettin high (as they all do), how black folks need to get health insurance, stop giving baby's Tylenol, but the funny bit she had had to do with how she was over her neighbors house, gettin high and saw her neighbor on America's Most wanted." her expressions and mannerisms trying to get out of house was side splittingly funny (I saw her on ths flick "30 years to life" where she was playing someone auditioning for a independent film, BTW). She did about 15 minutes and introduced Charlie Murphy. The vibe was up for him because of his tremendous popularity from the Dave Chappelle Show (which is no longer happening :0( and the classic yet infamous Rick James True Hollywood Story bit from that show. ) Well, he got on stage, the crowd was amped shouting out CHARLIE MURPHY, the ladies gave him catcalls, and he started his routine and--he fell flat! He started off OK talking about how airlines are trying to make people feel safer by taking his tweezers and so forth, then all of a sudden, the sound person accidentally turned n some music during hie routine. OMEN #1. He then said, "Wassup sound man, I thought this was a high class joint." OUCH. And after that it went downhill, he started talking about the best way to handle Osama is capturing his niece (who he said was phyne) up at Columbia U in NYC and have Bishop Don Juan to sell her ass and record a video to Osama saying if he continues to terrorize, Don Juan was going to have his niece work for him. And just when he was about to get down into that joke, a sew peopel started saying, BOO! Oh no! I was like that didnt happen. yes it did. He tried to brush it off and continue his routine, but the BOOs started getting stringer and louder by many people in the crowd, some tried to clap it off, but to no avail. He tried to redeem himself by attacking back to the booers, but he was not successful. Some were even calling him Charlie Wilson. That was funny. He tried to say that the check is cut so they could boo all they want--and they did. he tried to continue on withteh Rick James/darkness bit that killed slightly, then he asked the crowd, "Do you know what a cake party is?" Then there were more BOOs. During this time, I sank in my seat. I was embarrassed for him. Then he was like, "okay, I'm going to flip the script. He raised the mike, made it fall to the stage floor, flip two birds with both hands and said, "FUCC YOu!" Then left the stage and of course more boos ensued. I could not believe that happened. St. Louis clowned. I dont think he was on stage barely 20 minutes. I think Charlie is more of a storyteller than a comedian, I mean he is a comedy writer and you can tell. He is not a seasoned comedian, like, say, his brother Eddie. It's all in teh delivery and you gotta know how to handle hecklers in teh audience. That could have helpe dhim, but oh well, he got paid--I guess. To curb things, Dominique came back on stage and was like, "I dont know why they brought me back out here, like I'm Betty wright, the Clean Up Woman or something." That killed. She was like it ain't easy getting up on here. The crowd bust out laughing. It was now about 9:15 pm and they took a 30 minute intermission. When the house lights went up, all cell phones were pressed on TALK so they can tell whomever they were talking to what just happened. To much playing! About 30 minutes later, the show was back on. Dominique came back out and cracked a few more jokes, her famous one being when her boyfriend gets 50 years in prison and she was summone dto the witness stand and her only asnwer to the question was, "Not to my recollection." That was classic. Then, she introduce dteh man of hour, Mister Mike Epps. There were shouts, yelps and screams and did his famous 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 sing song" and told people that if they didnt know where that cam efrom they got to get cable. The audience cracked up. Then, it was off to the races, his style of humor is liek a brotha on teh street playing the dozens and saying the first thing that comes to his head, but its scripted. True genius (now I see why he is pinned to play Richard Pryor in a film) he talked about pimps hitting hoes with snowballs (the crowd also kept calling him DAY DAy, his character from Next Friday and Friday After Next), niggaz dating sistas is like dating parole officers,don;t get caught jacking off by your lady, James Brown going to jail with a pussy mouth, Matha Stweart going to jail (he calle dher a cookbook bitch), the Ed Bradley interview with Michael Jackson ("it was doo-doo everywhere" that was funny), how a ghetto kid would steal animals from Never Never land, the repurcusions from picking up a 15 year old girl from the club, when a cop stop you (Police say, "Why didnt you stop?" epps said, "cause I didnt see you."). then he stoped and said, "Ya'll want jokes back to back--damn!" More laughter. At this point I was howling from laughing rolling jumping up and down in my seat. He also talked being the only senior in high school who stayed in the same room all period. He also imitated Judge Joe Brown and Montell Williams and Bobby Brown's big stomach on Being Bobby Brown Tv show. He also talked about Hurricane Katrina ("it had to be a blakc girl 's name to caus eall this")But the funniest part of the show (which is an understatement) was when he wa simitating when a brothas dicc gets hard and his lady prmises to give him some punanny, but falls asleep on him and how he tries to poke her butt to get her to wake up. PRICELESS. Then the classic moment came when Epps said that St.Louis now they are cold, and he was referring to the police, but someone said, "yeah, tell that to Charlie Murphy." Everyone cracked up including Epps. And the jokes kept on and on and then after he talked about ghetto folks wearing penny loafers with footies with balls on the end of them, he said, "Thank you, Good night." Wow talk about a drive by ending. But his show overall was good. An hour non-stop of funny. Dominique came back out with a dead mike, had to go backstage to get another mike to announce that Epps would be signing T-shirts in the lobby and that the afterparty would be at Club PUSH. Then STL corrected her and said PLUSH. Then, she said, "Alright, damn, Plush, Ya'll know I;m from out of town." As soon as kam and I walked to the crowded lobby, Epps ran into the lobby, as ladies started screaming. He proceeded to sign autographs. When I got outside in front of the Fox, KennyHowell was selling his DVD on the streets like he had a peddler's license. The cops were parked on the curb as well waiting for something to happen that resembled anywhere near black skin. It was too much playing. I called Maurice G and told him I was coming out of the comedy show and would check out his club Dreams. I was not feeling Plush, but of course everyone was there. I dropped off Kam to his car and went to Dreams. Right before I hit the door, Maurice G asked me how wa steh comedy show and told him what happened and he asked me did Kenny Howell mention to the crowd to come to Club Dreams. I said NOPE. He said I wasnt the only one who told him that. He then said that he hasnt going to be paid either, I guess Howell was supposed to drop the club to the Fox crowd and get paid for the endorsement. It woudl have made sense for peopel to go to Dreams cause it was much closer to the Fox, just a few blocks east of Grand on the lower end of Washington). Anyway, I got up there, met Kam there (who was meeting his lady from Indiana at Dremas who drove to the Lou to meet him) and the crowd was sparse. I would say about 30 or so was there. Queen Isis Jones hosted the night (which was the debut of Sophisticated Saturdays wheer everyine gets in teh club free until 10 p.m.) They had this dee-jay there, his name slips me, but he had one-leg, with a crutches resting next to the turnatbles. He was OK. But some of his mixes were nasty. I was like he spinning on the 1s and 2s like he had one-hand! Kam cracked up. I stayed for about an hour or so, I was able to meet Kam's lady, greeted her and split about 1 in the morn. . I drove toward Plush to see the action and saw that there was no one outside hanging. That was odd. I saw a big charter bus on the curb (was probably Epps' or Domique's) and down where Drury Inn Hotel was, I saw a line of police cars waiting for something to happen. I was like, I dont need to be at a functionwhere there is more than one police car around (The incident that happend at Toxic last weke at Ebony Eyez' Cd release party was a wake up call itself). So I just turned my 2005 Spectra around and hit 64 going east back to the crib.

Last Sunday, I checked out the return of the 5 Spot, the concert venue that showcases local talent. Its been a few months since the last 5 Spot used to go down at Hard Rock Cafe (it was at the Vault on various nighst as well). I hear the breakdown had to do with someone gettin greedy with the money and not paying their bills. Anyway, the brand new season of the 5 Spot took place at Club Dreams where it originally began when Dreams was called The Kastle. Hosted by Queen Isis Jones, It was a nice crowd. This time around, they started at 8 p.m. and they made an effort to start it earlier cause it used to go down around 10 p.m. and the Spot would let out close to midnite and that wa stoo much playing for those who had to get up the next morning for work. I went with Tiffani Blackmore (the sista that I took a picture with in an ealier blog site on here) and I'm sure the whispers were on as to who she was and who was she to me. She is a beautiful coca brown , tall sista with a dreaded Afro , who is very New York . You will probably see a lot of her with me I'll just put it that way. Oh, my style that night was all black and white, I had on a black scarf wrap (like Music Soulchild), a long white shirt with flappy cuffs, a long black letaher jacket, a balck vest buttoned at the top, black pint striped pants and black combat boots. Anyway, the local artsist featured were poetess Tikki (who had two creative poems one called "No Ordinary Woman"--the ongoing refrain was''ordinary women are like unicorns" and "My Apologies' Her dedication to the black man that wa srefreshing and not black male bashing) and Tamika Damn ('nee jackson), the sista who sang her butt off in Ron Himes' Black rep musical Tell Me Something Good last fall. She has a very angelic voice ala Deneice Williams and a warm spirit. She and her three background female singers along with the band Level Ground started their set with the Jacksons' Heartbreak Hotel (I love thsi song--gotteh 45 when I was 11 years old) then she took us on a heartbreaking journey (oh-oh drama). But she was nt bashing or anything. She started doing tribute sto some of her fave artsist including Deneice Williams' "Free" (sounde djust likeher) and Isley Brothers' "Footsteps". She also shared with the audienc etaht her first attemot at singng wa swhen Natalie Cole's song, "Our Love" wa son teh air. She said her mother said she sang a high note when she was in teh car seat and knew right then , she had a singer on her hands. She sang an original song called, "Sunday I Dont Love You," produced by local producer James Glasco (whom she hoped was in the audience to thank him for his genius--he was a no show), She also covered, Faith's "Mesmerzied" that was off the chain. Some rapper name Vandalism vamped with her on a number (it was hard to hear him), but I guess he had a flow (what happened Aaron Foster? You were supposed to dance with her, you just handed Vandalism a mike--what wa sreally going on?) Before her last number, the Isley's "Livin for the Love of You" she said that she has been in the Lou for three years and the people that she has met are like family to her including Glasco, Ron Himes and her background singers (who refused to sing solo during the featured solo moment of the show) model Lynette Daniels (who shared a B-day with Tamika on taht day), Renee Lunceford (who also was in Tell Me Something Good) and her blood sister Angela Crayton. She then topped off her show saying that her singing is a gift from God and that she was put here to share her gift and that people should do the same (that caused some nice applause). Then she was like, if you have breath in your body, anyone can sing. I don;t know about that part. They can probably spit notes, but if if thsoe notes are in key is another story, Some folks just better be gald tehy have breath in their body--PERIOD. The show lasted about an hour and later, DJ Nappy Needles was spinning old school ,new school and reggae for the party people. In the house were Ron Himes, 5 Spot developer Harry Colbert, Kevin Johnson (oops sorry for swiping your reserved sofa!), Vanita Applebum, Coco Soul, Christiaan Cofield, Tiffany Graham (still following me?), Melvin Moore, Hipster's Keenan Harris and Rolling Out's Khalil.

Well that is it for me. Oh and before I go, the ghetto sista with the yellow and red hair I saw while checking my email at the SWIC Library this past Tuesday who was biting and chewing hard candy like a cow and throwing her books and purse on the desk as though she lost something and talking to herself, gets the DA (Dumb Ass)award.... Hollabackboi get that shoulder better! Try not to lift so many weights at the gym next time around big man! Oh, GO CARDS!


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