Hello one and all. This is Ma’atology here trying to give it ya safely and soundly. Well, I didn’t do much last weekend cause of the sever storms we had last Wednesday and last Friday. According to the National Weather Service believes seven tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area last week!
Now you know that is too much playing in the city! For real.
Well the two big things that happened last weekend was of course the Post-Storm Cleanup and the St. Louis Public Schools Bruh ha ha.
Ameren UE has been working day in and day out like Hebrew slaves to try and get the lights on in the ST. Louis area (One Ameren UE worker died in an electrocution accident trying to restore power). As of this writing, most of everybody in the STl area should have power (The popular question for everybody, and I’m sure there will be T-shirts on this, if not already, was, “Do you have any power?”) At the Water Geyser Fountain behind Casino Queen where I work and supervise, we were working on a generator provided by the Illinois Parks and recreation District (Power came on Tuesday).
But the big news coming from all of this was the infamous Rev. Al Sharpton coming to St. Louis to protest alleged discrimination of Ameren UE not providing speedy service for low income neighborhoods (i.e. Black folks).
According to www.stltoday.com, this past Tuesday, Sharpton called for Ameren Corp. to roll back rates and drop its request for a fee hike in a news conference in front of the company's headquarters on Chouteau Ave. in style, pulling up in a black BMW sedan that stayed parked in the street while Sharpton addressed the media. He asked that Ameren reduce costs to consumers by 10%, because of the hardship customers suffered during the recent blackouts.
"This is a national concern. There have been blackouts in New York, there have been blackouts all over the country," Sharpton said. "When power companies fail people should not have to pick up the tab."
Sharpton said that he would give Ameren time to respond before there would be further "demonstration" or "confrontation."
The outages are an issue that impact the poor and affluent alike, Sharpton said.
"One thing about living in a mansion or a housing project -- it all looks the same in the dark," Sharpton said (THAT’S FUNNY) .
My take? Well, what can you say. Many radio folks on the AM side is calling what Shaprton did as a opportunistic and that Ameren UE’s response to all of this was they were about “the damage and not the demographics.” Well, it’s hard to say what is what especially in an emergency such as what STL experienced (one of the biggest storms in reported history).
Well, it wasn’t like Katrina and FEMA shuffling its feet to help those who were homeless from those devastating storms, but then again, Sharpton I feel is doing what he has to do to keep STL on its toes. Opportunist? Maybe. But isn’t that how America works? Someone has to make a noise and agitate the status quo.
True, I applaud Ameren UE and its efforts, but that’s their job. But it seems like Sharpton is protesting more of trying to get financial breaks for those who are low income and can’t afford to pay their light bill rather than where Ameren UE fixed lights first. I must say, we all know what happened when Sharpton came through the STL several years ago when he led a closing of I-70 to protest non-minority participation in the highway’s construction. So, Ameren UE is not crazy. They do not want all this attention on them like FEMA, so I’m sure they will, like Spike Lee, and do the right thing!!!
As far as the St. Louis School Board fiasco. It’s been kind of quiet, but still causing havoc in some ways. School Board Prez Veronica O’Brien went on Fox 2 in the Morning earlier this week to show the resignation letter that Creg Williams write and signed (and shown to the camera by news anchor John Pertzborn) and that the main reason why he resigned was because of the school losing points in accreditation (for an interesting take of the whole Creg Williams ousting, check out last week’s issue of the River Front Times (http://www.riverfronttimes.,com/) entitled “The Execution of Creg Williams” that will shed an interesting take on the inner doings of this drama. She also wanted people to stop protesting in front of her house because of Williams’ ousting.
What I also found interesting about O’ Brien was during The Freeman Bosley Jr’s radio show on 100.3 The Beat last Sunday, Bosley played a tape of O’Brien on a show hosted by KSDK sports guy Frank Cusamano who asked her what racial makeup was the school board and that she said that she “thought she guess she was African American .” Huh? Like Bosley, you don’t play with race and for her to guess that she was black, I found that disturbing.
In unrelated (yet related) news, the lawyer for ousted STL coach Floyd Irons said on Freeman’s show they were going forward on the lawsuit and they were suing under the conflict of interest clause in the by-laws of the School Board where School Board member Bill Purdy having two relatives who are teachers in the District which I s a violation of the by-laws. Man, I tell ya, Nelly mos definitely predicted this summer when he rapped, “It’s Getting Hot in Herre!”
MA’AT-IDBITZ. I finally saw myself on TV! I was flipping through the channels and stopped on BRAVO and saw some of the Kathi Griffin reality show, “My Life on the D-List” and saw a segment where she was a guest judge on “Last Comic Standing” (the same show that I sat on when I went to Hollywood in April ) and when she was talking on the show, they showed me peeping around the corner and the camera saw me! (ABOVE IS A PIC OF ME IN THE AUDIENCE BEHIND KATHI GRIFFIN)I was tripping for a minute. I wasn’t expecting to be seen! How ironic is that. Man, I tell ya, when you are looking for something, you don’t find it (When I saw the actual show, they only shown the top of my head) , but when you forget about it, that’s when you find it.
I also found it interesting that she said that she had to spend almost 20 hours taping the show (I don’t know if it was that long, but at the segment when I was in the audience for we were there nearly 5 hours). She had me cracking up when she said that she sat there fake laughing at the comics, that no one really was out of the box funny, that she knew who was going to be going to the finals (especially the guy with cerebral palsy who she said was playing up the palsy) and that they had to choose the “least” not funniest. CLASSIC. I also made a movie of my appearance on Last Comic Standing on YOU TUBE. Just copy and paste this http and and check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvmwSn9glKE
(FYI, You gotta pause the video at 2 second in to see me!)
STL-TIDBITZ. I found a shocking video on YOU TUBE the other day on the ST. Louis Storm that occurred last Wednesday. What you do is when you go to YOU TUBE (www.youtube.com), type in St. Louis Storms where the search box is and scroll down to where you see “St. Louis Storm hit the Cardinals game” and they show a woman getting hit by a trash can in the stadium. It’s amazing, not funny, but you know….
Next up, the St. Lunatics’ members Nelly, Murphy Lee and Ali are doin their thang lately.
ST. LUNATICS-BITZ. Did you know that Nelly filmed his part of “Call on Me” his collabo duet with Janet here in St. Louis? According to an mtv.com news report, he did (They didn’t say where though). The article also said that Nelly said his family was especially excited when it heard about the Jackson song, which will appear on her forthcoming LP, 20 Years Old. "My family flipped out," he smiled, showing off a diamond grill covering the bottom row of his teeth. "They're definitely fans of the Jacksons. I grew up singing Jackson Five songs. My uncle put a little band together with all the kids, and I used to have to be Mike. This was a long time ago." He also said he made it a point to do true collaborations with Mariah and Janet, rather than make the track the way artists typically do — where the singer records 90 percent of the record and sends the Pro Tools file to another studio for the MC to lay his verse and ad libs..The MTV article also reported that Big Gipp and St. Lunatic member Ali have their duo LP, Kinfolk, coming in the next couple of months and Murphy Lee might drop his second album, The Package, before this year's out as well. If not, the youngest 'Tic will come next year, followed by Nelly and new singer Avery Storm.
Speaking of Murphy Lee, he is leading a cast of five relatively unknown artists through their struggle to break into the professional music industry in a new reality TV show, "Da Grind," that is being shot in St. Louis. The show is also being locally produced by Hearst Productions founder and prez, Jon Hearst, and by Anthony McDonald, an industry insider and promoter. Other producers are Tony Davis (aka T-Love) who is Nelly's manager, and Pete Lamonthe, who is Murphy Lee's manager. Associate producer and writer is Trish Muyco, former news anchor and editor at KTRS (AM 550).
The show's pilot episode was shot a couple of weeks ago last weekend and highlights such entertainment destinations as the Delmar Loop and downtown's Washington Avenue neighborhood. NYC-based professionals from Sony, TVT Records and Universal were in town to work on the pilot. So much buzz was generated back in the Big Apple that the show's principals have been invited to walk the red carpet with Murphy Lee at the Video Music Awards next month. The producers are planning to officially release the show at an industry party in New York to coincide with the VMA's. Nelly and some other music A-listers have already committed to being at the party.
CHART-IDBITZ. It looks like Chingy and Nelly are putting on the competition with the colloboration duets on both the Hot 1200 and the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Charts this week. On the Hot 100, Janet and Nelly’s song, “Call on Me” make san impressive leap into the Top 40 as the song moves up 38 leaps up the chart from 63 to 25 in its 5th week on that chart whereas Chingy’s duet with Tyrese, “Pulling Me Back” moves up seven notches from 44 to 37 in its sixth week on the chart. It looks like the Janet single may reach the Top Ten much quicker than Chingy’s single on this chart, but you never know. On the R&B side, it’s too close to call. Chingy’s song move sup one space from 12 to 11 and Nelly’s song moves up one space from 15 to 14, so it’s hard to say who’s winning here. They are neck and neck in the Top 20. This race will be much more interesting to watch in weeks to come.
Now back to the regular STL-TIDBITZ.
ST. Louis implant/former St. Louis American fashion editor Keith Underwood is making some buzz out in Hollywood. He was recently seen on BET’s Access Granted showcasing Chamillionaire’s new video “Grown and Sexy.” He played the stage manager in it but in the final cut, his part was cut out (But he still got the check, though). He is also a professional go-person on the set of an independent movie with a working title, “Design Interpreter” which stars “Fresh Prince of Belair’s ” James Avery and WB’s “What I Like About You” star Wesley Johnathan (who went to school in East Boogie, East Saint Lou for a minute in the 1980s). The film is directed by Compton-native Van Elder. I’m sure when Underwood has a moment, he will give me the exclusive scoop on the set……………………………………………………………
My girl local director and director Jewelanda “Tia” Hodges has just finished a three-minute short, “ From Trial to Triumph,” a trailer for her soon-to-be-produced documentary on the life of veteran and legendary St. Louis civil rights leader and retired postmaster general Veto Reid. Sometime in August , the film short will be a part of the 48 Hour Film project films that will be seen on KDHX-TV (http://www.kdhxtv.org/). For more info on the film, contact Miss Hodges at email@example.com................................
I hear that a St. Louis transplanted cover model, Hercules, from New York is gracing some of the pages of the new July/August issue of the national black & Latin travel and entertainment guide, Flavalife (www.flavalife.com). The 29-year-old model is featured in a super four-page editorial. This brotha I believe was also a featured model on local photographer Japhus Johnson’s mag, FLAVA, too.
EVENT-IDBITZ. Tickets for the 6th edition of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase –July 23-www.cinemastlouis.org/showcase.cfm are now on sale at theTivoli Theatre box office during regular business hours. The film schedule is in the latest Riverfront Times or go to www.riverfronttimes.com...........................................................
Hipster Magazine and Spins & Needles present...FLY BY NIGHT
Saturday, July 29th@ 360 N. Boyle (at Lindell in Central West End) Doors @ 9 PM Party Til 2 AM Free Drinks $10 Ladies $15 Fellas SPECIAL: $5 discount for everyone before 10:30 .........
Stray Dog Theatre presents THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES a play with music by John Guare Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. July 27 – 30, 2006 Thursday – Saturday at 8 PM / Sunday at 2 PM $18.00 Adults / $15.00 Seniors & Students…………………………………………………………………
Explore Urban Fashion Reality in STL July 23-28. STL’s own fashion Week... Contact GMS Ms. Shay @ 314.578.8238 or http://www.stlgms.com/ for more info……………………
NYC-TIBITZ. There will be GORDON CHAMBERS TRIBUTE to MARVIN GAYE FOR HARLEM WEEK. Catch the singer-songwriter alongside showstoppers Freddie Jackson, Melisa Morgan, Ashford and Simpson, Ray Chew and the Crew, Nona Gaye and Raheem DeVaughn pay tribute to one of his idols at New York City's largest outdoor festival this Sunday at 6:00 PM., Sunday, July 30, 2006 at Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial Park, 122nd Street and Riverside Drive in the NYC. Time: 6:00 PM--9:00 PM (Get there early to get a space!) Price: Free For more info: http://harlemweek.harlemdiscover.com/
AUDITION-BITZ. City Lights Gospel Video & Advertising a c Christian basted business is
accepting resumes and accepting applications for the following
positions with experienced only: Videographer (Film for TV broadcasting Commercials, TV Shows, Promos & more) Editor...............(Adobe Premier)Experienced Clean Cut/Well groomed Sales Rep (Great Commission) Selling TV & Radio commercials along with print material and book motivational speaker. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office between 9:30am to 5:30 pm.City Lights Marketing (314) 371-4222..ext 1
"Ghost Image," is casting in St. Louis for both extras and speaking roles. All speaking roles are paid under a SAG contract; extras are unpaid. All ages and types welcome. Some roles are being cast out of LA and will include cast members from such television shows as "Nip/Tuck," "The West Wing," and "The Sopranos." If you're interested, send an e-mail to: email@example.com Attach your photo and resume or include a link to your web site. Alternatively, you can mail your photo/resume, or a snapshot, to:Mike Ketcher, 6614 Clayton Road, #393. St. Louis, MO 63117……………………………………………………….
Auditions for Chrys Yvette’s "THE DATING GAME" will be SATURDAY JULY 29th at UNION STATION (CLUB PLUSH)12:00pm to 5:00pm-. She is looking for actors, b-ball players, salsa dancers, models, rappers and comedians. For an appointment call 877-517-0472
Through July 31, The Hershey Company is calling on aspiring filmmakers and movie enthusiasts to submit entries into its Take 5 Taste and Believe filmcontest. Consumers are invited to submit their own original video (up to 60 seconds) showcasing how far they'd go to get a Take 5 candy bar. More details can be found online at http://www.thegreatestcandybarever.com/............................................................
WANT MORE OUT TOWN? CHECK OUT MY SPECIAL “FLICK-BITZ” AND MY TAKE ON THE NEW FILM, MIAMI VICE STARRING COLIN FARRELL AND JAMIE FOXX AT OUT 66!
Well that be it. If ya got anything for me to pub, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org!