Thursday, August 31, 2006
NEWSFLASH: TO ALL MA’AT FANS........
VOTE FOR MY BLOG MAATSPEAR.BLOGSPOT.COM AS BEST BLOG ON THE RFT BEST OF STL POLL AT WWW.RIVERFRONTTIMES.COM! YOU GOT UNTIL SEPT 11. AND THOSE WHO STILL WANTTO ADVERTISE ON MY SITE, YOU STILL CAN BY CLICKINGTHE AD BOX ABOVE.
Whattup y’all! This is your blogporter Ma’at here givin it to ya one more time for another week. Man, this has been a week hasn’t it? From space experts saying Pluto is no longer a planet (They got it like that????) to the Hurricane Katrina anniversary activities in New Orleans and Mississippi (Y’all must check out Spike Lee’s new documentary on HBO, “When the Levees Broke”), to John Mark Karr not being charged in the JonBenet Ramsey murder ( Kerr said he wanted actor Johnny Depp to play him when the movie comes out? What movie? What tha!).
For those who are familiar with my site, I usually give my weekly scoop on my travels everywhere, but this week, I decided to do something a little different. I want to give my readers some insight of who I am as a person (especially those who email me to ask who I am and why I’m sending them my blogsite to them. LOL). The following is a brief career history of who Ma’at is and where he came from (ABOVE IS A MIDSHOT PIC I TOOK EARLIER THIS YEAR. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB MORRISON)
OK herr we go.
I was born Marcus Fitzgerald Atkins, July 6 (I dare not give the year, I need to protect the innocent but it was in the 1970s. LOL) in Centreville, Ill to Faye and Herman Atkins, who are both from Pine Bluff, Ark. I spent two of my years living in South St. Louis where my parents stayed up with my father’s parents. After that, I spent my formative years from 2 to 18 years living at 633 Terrace Drive in East St. Louis.
I attended Harding Elementary located at 731 N. 74th Street in East St. Louis (I think its getting ready to move from or have already from my understanding). Next, I attended the now defunct King Junior High School that used to be located on 72nd and State Street, but it was built far out into a low-end valley. (During my 8th and 9th grade years, I got home schooled due to my chronic chest pain illness).
After junior high, I attended East St. Louis Senior High School, affectionately known as East Side, Home of the Flyers. After graduation, I attended and moved up to SIU-Edwardsville to attend college. During my seven year stay there (5 years to get my bachelor’s and 2 to get my master’s), I majored in Mass Communications and got my first dose of “black realism” by taking Black Studies classes from renowned poet/Poet Laureate of East St. Louis Eugene B. Redmond. From then on, I became active in other extracurricular activities on campus. I wrote for the Alestle News as a Lifestyle Reporter, helped co-form a literary organization, The Black Literary Guild, and co-created a monthly poetry reading series, the award-winning Public Poet Series. Outside campus, I interned at WESL-AM Station on 8th Street in East St. Louis and became a board member of the Eugene B. Redmond Writer’s Club (EBRWC) that met at the former State Community College(which is now the East ST. Louis Community College Center) and the now defunct Katherine Dunham East St. Louis Center that were both on Broadway in East St. Louis.
After college, I began working for my father for his security company, Professional Security, when he had a contract with Lambert Airport to employsecurity at one of the employee parking lots. I supervised there for two years learning the ropes and dealing with the hustle and bustle of scheduling officers. I also got the knack that I could be a print model and got involved with Quantum FX Modeling Services that used to be located on Euclid. There I learned Acting and even did a runway fashion show networking party (I cant recall where it was held).
In 1998, I, along with Redmond and District 189 educator and poet Sherman Fowler co-edited and wrote a book, called, “Visible Glory:The Million Man March,” (which was special publication which was a part of the SIUE published literary magazine Drumvoices Revue created by Redmond) a picture, poetry , essay and interview expose of local and national marchers who were traveling to, there during and after the now historic 1995 March on Washington D.C.(We were featured in the St. Louis American in the Business section. Oh, and the Visible Glory book can be checked out at www.purdue.edu/bcc/library/newboojan.htm or www.riverweb.uiuc.edu/IBEX/library/library_books.htm or you can just call the SIUE English Dept at 618/650-3991 and ask for Professor Redmond)
In 1999, I worked with EBRWC member and former Hatshepsut Art /Studio Gallery curator Sheryl Johnson as her Literary Director and co-produced and directed theatrical plays there including “Skits-a-femina” (1999), “Man-a-logue” (2000) , a musical version of “The Dutchman” (2002) and a cabaret fashion show, “Ledragvaganza” (2002). I also helped to create the poetry slam, “Word War.”
I got my first journalism gig at the Suburban Journals that used to be located on North Illinois in Belleville where I was a news reporter for the Fairview Heights and East St. Louis Journals from 2000 to 2001. In early 2001, I began work as a copy editor/entertainment writer for the St. Louis American Newspaper (I worked as a freelancer first at the American when I was still at Suburban Journals, BTW) There, I learned how to edit copy on deadline and it gave me the opportunity to hone on my interviewing skills. I also had a chance to meet and interview many celebrities including Boyz II Men, India.Arie, Nick Cannon, Big Tigga, Soul Food star Darrin Henson, Keith Sweat, Vivica A. Fox, and of course STL bred rapper, Nelly. I also had chance to have my own column while working called “East Boogie Line” where featured East St. Louis heroes and sheroes (All Praises Due To Artego. LOL) and my take on the city and created a brief print-skit for Delores Shante’s Partyline called, “Kilt The Gun” where I talked about TV shows that started to get corny or jump the gun (get it?) Also, during this time, I had a chance to do an outside music article, a music review of Tweet’s debut CD “Southern Hummingbird” in the April 2002 issue of Upscale Magazine.
In 2003, I started to do more behind the scenes stuff. I helped to coordinate music for 1st Friday’s Fashion Show at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton that featured Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat Line and stage managed and co-wrote copy commentary for former ST. Louis American fashion editor Keith Underwood’s fashion show that was held at the Missouri Black Expo. That same year, I hooked up with local filmmaker Jewelanda Hodges through her cuz actress/director Chrys Yvette (who I met and befriended as a reporter at the American in 2002 during the much ballyhooed local TV show “The Show”) and help stage manage her gospel stageplay, “Every Dog Has His Day” at the Florissant Civic Center (and again in 2004 at Harris Stowe University).
In 2004, I moved on to more entertainment freelancing work writing for the now defunct Flipside Newzine and later in the year, copped two local TV gigs doing commentating for “The St. Louis Show” and the now-defunct Charter Cable entertainment show, “Reel Entertainment” (my very first segment on former MAXX Jazz label artist Renee Marie was nominated for a Regional Emmy in 2005 and I won a National Association of Black Journalist award for the same segment) That same year, I dabbled in some acting by co-starring in the Webster University student film, “I Married A Zombie” where I played a professor/zombie priest and as an extra in the Sundance Award winning film, “Steel City” that was filmed in Alton, Ill. (You can do a search on http://www.imdb.com/ to check out the info on this film).
In 2005, I worked with more freelancing work in three different mediums: West End Word (print), theatre reviews for KDHX (radio) and creating my own blogsite (Internet).
This year, I’m still with the West End Word and working my blog. I also did some print work for Anheuser Busch tours, and a photo shoot for Bob Morrison Photography. I also became a contributing writer for the ST. Louis Argus (the oldest Black paper in the STL ) On the flip, I am supervising security officers at the Malcolm Martin Memorial Park Expansion located in the rear of the Casino Queen where the Gateway Water Geyser is located (and that my father manages).
Well, I hope that gives you a little bit of who I am as a person in the public eye that is. For the rest of my life, well, y’all have to wait until I publish my memoirs to get that scoop. LOL
FOR MORE OF MY PICS I HAD TAKEN WITH BOB MORRISON GO TO OUT 80-MA’ATPICS.
MA’AT-TIDBITZ. Well, I was selected to be one of the 20 or so models who will hit the runway for STL Rams running back player Marshall Faulk’s Annual Benefit fashion show produced by Doin It Very Attractively (aka DIVA). (And now with Faulk’s football career future looking not too promising now that he has undergone knee surgery on both knees, this year’s event will have more sentiment than ever before). All I had to do was walk and got it (you know I had to pump up the swagger too. LOL). Last Friday was my debut at rehearsals that was held at the YMCA off Pershall Road in Florissant. MO , I was sooooooooooooooo nervous. I felt as though I was walking a tightrope with no net. I was one of four guys who auditioned (one guy thought he was competing for Tyra Banks’ America’s Top Model,-swish-swish. LOL ).
This sista named Traci was over the auditions as well as the rehearsals. Then she said she was going to call the names of the guys she wanted to stay (and you can guess which one didn’t stay. LOL) You can hear a cowbell from Kansas ringing it was so quiet in that room. So the swish-swish guy gathered his things and said it was nice meeting everybody (For a moment I was wondering were therr any cameras for the reality show. LOL)
Overall, the rehearsals have been laid back and dramatic (One sista fell on her dunka dunk while walking in her high heels!). We are actually directing ourselves,. In other words, we are creating the runway we are walking. I don’t want to give away too much, but its going to be your typical St. Louis fashion show with choreographed dance numbers, a skit and straight runway all done with an R&B soundtrack. Some of the local model stars are Lady, Malik Ali and Avery Grinston (What happened to ya Carlos M?) and yours truly.
CHECK OUT EVENT-TIDBITZ BELOW FOR MORE INFO ON THE MARSHALL FAULK FASHION SHOW ITSELF.
I was checking out last week’s Riverfront Times and in it they had a Best of St. Louis 2006 Poll Survey and the first category is “People and Places” and the 1st subcategory is, “Best Blog!” This got me to thinking about my blog. So, I’m asking all of my fans of my blog to vote for maatspear.blogspot.com as the Best Blog. You can pick up the ballot in this week’s RFT or go to http://www.riverfronttimes.com/ and click on the icon on the upper left corner and wait until you see the Best of St. Louis 2006 Reader’s Poll icon and vote for my blog (I just voted for myself so I need a few more to take it on.!) ………………………….
Again, I want to thank you all for still checking out the movie I did on YOUTUBE of my brief appearance on Last Comic Standing in care of Kathi Griffin reality show, “My Life on the D-List”. As of this writing, the hits has went from 305 to 370! If you haven’t checked it out, go tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvmwSn9glKE (FYI, You gotta pause the video at 2 second in to see me!)………………………………………………………….
My story on the preview to the 13th Annual Art’s Fair in Clayton should hit the streets in the West End Word and its website http://www.westendword.com/ on Sept. 6!............................................................................................................
This past Monday. I rode the Shrewsberry Metro Link from the Forest Park Station (where I parked my car) to the Forsyth Station to go the Bally Total Fitness (It took no more than 5 minutes to it and paid 2 bones to get a ticket) I decided to try this route now that Bally customers are now forced to get a two-hour validated ticket just to park to work out (After two hours, its 1 bone each hour!). Some of the MetroLink track going to Shrewsberry is under a tunnel (which made it seem as though you were on an amusement park ride) and they had many volunteers people helping people find their way on the new Link route………………………………………………………………………………...
Here are some WORDZ TO THE WHYZ that I thought were interesting: Why was there a man jogging up and down the train tracks in Shiloh, Ill? Why was there a dog sleeping in the middle of a neighborhood street when I was driving from work? Why did this white man, from out of town, who was in the middle of traffic during the Highway 64 construction ask me where was the best place to get BBQ in St. Louis? Why did the Assembly Church of God in Centreville have signs in front that read, “Thou Shalt Not Park Here?” Why did a STL radio personality say on air that he knows a guy that used to “mess around” with a particular nationally known actor/comedian? Why did a STL filmmaking upstart get into a shouting match with the manager of a local access channel? Why are most films that are shot in the STL (student films in particular) have mostly a zombie theme? And Why is it that Fox 2 reporter Elliot Davis doesn’t have his own “You Paid For it” show?
CHART-IDBITZ.. Chingy is still pulling up on the Billboard charts. Although his song with Tyrese, “Pulling Me Back, is still No. 1 on the Rap Tracks Chart, it holds in the same positions on the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip Charts this week as the song holds at No. 16 for a second week in its 11th week on Hot 100 (Nelly and Janet’s duet, “Call on Me” moves down two spaces down from 42 to 44 (back to its original spot two weeks ago) in its 10 th week on this chart.
On the R&B/Hip Hop side, Chingy’s song stays at No. 2 for a second week (Yet it’s the No. 1 Airplay Single in this category though) in its 15th week on this chart. (Beyonce and Jay Z’s “Déjà Vu” still holds at No. 1 for a second week but has lost its bullet). Chingy may have a shot next week to “pull up” to No. 1 on this chart because the song still has its bullet. Meanwhile, Nelly and Janet’s duet still is pushing up close to the Top Five as it moves up one space up from 7 to 6 in its 11th week on this chart.
In other Chingy news, I saw the the STL-based rapper pumping it up in Bally Total Fitness in Clayton this past Monday with his two bodyguards. He is starting to bulk up since last time I saw him (I guess he was getting his last minute reps before he traveled to the MTV Awards in the Big Apple). But what was funny was when this guy walked up to Chingy as he was doing shoulder reps with some free weights and the guy said, “Excuse me man, but , not meaning to stare, but are you Chingy?” (YIPES) Well, Chingy looked at him from the mirror and kind of slugged him off by mumbling, “yeah.” Then the guy said, “OK, good to meet you man.” Then, the guy walked off. Man, talk about a slight insult for someone to guess if you are the platinum selling rapper from the Lou or if you were his twin! The moment was so St. Louis and----CLASSIC.
STL-TIDBITZ. Former 100.3 The Beat personalities Big Sexy Kool DJ Kaos and Sylli Asz is doin it up on You Tube these days hosting their hilarious STL reality Internet series, the Janky Show. To check it out, go to http://www.youtube.com/ and type in “The Janky Show”!..................................................................................
I hear that local rapper Penelope Jones (SEEN ABOVE IN A VERY SEXY PIC) is about to drop her single, “No Matter What They Say” with singer Mya on the local radio stations as well as her video on 106 and Park pretty soon (if not already). Congrats for her. She has gone through a lot in her life (doin a stint in prison, the death of her brother and being featured on America’s Most Wanted talking about her slain brother) and I guess its time for her to be the 3rd sista in the STL to shine (following SK and Ebony Eyez). In unrelated Penelope news, I was net surfing and saw on Ebay a seller named Mugpuss was selling Penelope’s single on there. As of this writing, the starting bid was at 1.99 and they had 4 singles up for bid! What’s really going on here? (April, did you know about this?) Oh and for a blast in the past I remember in 2001, when I was a reporter for the American and my colleague at the time, Bill Beene had gone to Streetside Records in the Delmar Loop for the ST. Lunatics' CD signing of their debut CD, "Free City" and Penelope was there. She was about to release her CD (but that's when trouble with the law came through and put her on a temperory leave of absence). I greet'd her and had taken a photo with her for Partyline. She was very nice and friendly……………………………………………………….................................................
Congrats to St. Louis born model and actress Shebtufi Kushma who is tying the knot in Chi-town where she is currently residing and former St. Louis American fashion editor Keith Underwood for landing a PR gig as publicist for TV and film actor Wesley Johnathan who can now be seen in the new flick, “Crossover” starting this weekend …………………………………..
EVENT-IDBITZ. Doin’ it Very Attractively or D.I.V.A. presents Marshall Faulk 2nd Annual Benefit fashion Show, Friday, Sept. 29 at the Airport Marriott. Tickets: $45, After Party $20. Businesses and services can also sponsor ads in the event’s program booklet. $25 for a business card, $40 for a quarter page, $60 for a half page and $100 for a full page . For more info, contact email@example.com for more information and tell them that Ma’at referred you!........................................................ To celebrate the STl Hip Hop Festival, there will be a Chocolate Lover’s Party, Sept. 1 at Club Plush, 1820 Market St, Doors Open @ 9:00pm. Dress Grown & Sexy [No Tennies or T-Shirts] For more info contact Bdiesel72@aol.com or 314.659.7040 For more info go to : http://www.stlhiphopfestival.com/ or 314-436-7578 1st Friday presents, All White Affair, Sept. 1, Doors Open @ 9:00pm at the Moolah Cinema, 3821 Lindell Blvd, Reduced admission for anyone wearing all white Ladies Free Until 10:30pm. 9-11pm: Budweiser Listening Party 11-3am - All White Affair. For more info, go to firstname.lastname@example.org................................. Brandon Williams, Keith Harris, Robert Kirk & Keenan Harris present STYLISHLY HOT 2 Labor Day Sunday Blowout, Sunday, September 3rd
@ Ten14 (1014 Locust - Formerly The Living Room) Doors @ 9 pm Party til 3 am Only $5 Til 11 pm Stylish and Sexy Attire!..................................................... HARRAH'S ST. LOUIS, THE RIVERFRONT TIMES and CHERESSEINK team for a Labor Day Weekend Bash at VooDoo cafe & lounge, 777 Casino Center Drive, with “Beauty, Beats &Burlesque” Sunday, September 3, 2006 at 9 p.m. Being flown in from Dallas for the occasion are DJs Nick Z and Tony T - providing the beats in a new performance never before seen in St. Louis. They will debut the Pioneer DVJ, playing music videos and skipping them to all hot off the charts music accompanied by a live light and music video show. The beauty is all in the Burlesque - two shows complete with aerialist dancers that will be performed at 10:30pm and Midnight. Another beauty, Cheresse Pentella, from the hit TV show "The Bachelor", will also be a part of the party.
No Cover.RSVP to email@example.com
The Black Rep announced plans to shift slots for the 30th anniversary season. Titled The Black Pearl, the season will feature a six-show line-up designed to entertain, educate and enrich audiences of all types. Continuing their partnerships with Washington University and Mary Institute Country Day School (MICDS), the 30th season will kick-off in September with a two week run of MAHALIA a gospel musical at the Edison Theatre followed by a one weekend run of the production at the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS. The mainstage series at the Grandel Theatre will feature three hit musicals, August Wilson’s play exploring the first decade in his ten-play series and the return of a popular comedy by Samm-Art Williams. The season will begin with MAHALIA By Tom Stolz on the life of legendary gospel great Mahalia Jackson. September 13-24, 2006 at the Edison Theatre at Washington University and September 29-October 1, 2006 and the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS 2007 Performance Schedule:Wednesday and Thursday Previews at 7:00 p.m.Thursday at 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 3:00 p.m. Season subscriptions for all six shows of the 30th Anniversary range from $120 to $200 and are on sale now. To reserve your seat please call (314) 534-3810 or visit http://www.theblackrep.org/.................................. The next Café Soul will take place be at Club Dreams on Sept. 20. For more info, contact Coco Soul at firstname.lastname@example.org.....................................................................
GORDON-BITZ. If you’re going to be in Washington DC for the Congressional Black Caucus, then check out Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers, Live at the New Washington D.C. Convention Center, Exhibit Hall, Showcase Stage, Saturday, Sept. 9, 3:00 PM Sharp! The event is free,. For more info, call 202/249-3000
AUDITION-BITZ. The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will hold auditions for its 2006/2007 mainstage season on Saturday, October 21, 2006, 1PM.– 7PM Equity actors will be seen between 1p.m. and 2p.m. by appointment only at the Black Rep’s offices, 1717 Olive Street, 4th Floor. Appointments will be taken beginning Monday, September 11, 2006. Call (314) 534 – 3807 to schedule. Actors should prepare 2 contemporary contrasting monologues, or 1 contemporary monologue and an acappella song. Please bring two (2) 8.5” X 11” updated professional black and white headshots with resumes attached securely on the back. Available Roles include: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Crossin’ Over, Gem of the Ocean, The Dance on Widow’s Row, Guys and Dolls
ONGOING-BITZ. Collective Catering (email@example.com located at 4958 Cote Brilliante, their digits are 314-575-3333)
Bottom of FormCheck out STLdee-jay Enoch online with his own radio playlist. The Flow; Music Lounge. Peep it out at http://www.flowink.com/player-popup.htm or go to his myspace page enochisreal.
Show Me Entertainment presents Industry Nights, a networking party for artists, http://www.hotmail.com/entertainers, models, actors, painters, dancers, entertainment lawyers, managers, etc. every Wednesday night at the Lindbergh Bistro located inside the Airport Plaza inn at I-70 and Lindbergh. 18 Y.O. to enbetr. 21 Y.O. and up to Drinbk. Admission FREE. For more info, contact Terrence Smith at 314/713-3793, or firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.showme1.com/
Local movie screener and TV programmer James Thomas has two hot shows on KPLR- Channel 11 (Soon to be CW 11 next month) with his shows “First Look” about upcoming movies in theaters, Thursday morning at 2:30 am and Hot Videos, Friday mornings at 3 a.m.
For all your STL hip-hop info needs, go to http://www.stlhiphop.com/!STL video guy Dana Christian has a hot new website where people can send their professional music videos films to get exposed. It is http://www.spitflix.com/. Peep it out!KYO (pronounced KEE-O) continues "Redefining the Art of Dining & Nightlife" with a fresh weekly lineup that promises to quench your thirst for drink and dance. So "Be Fashionably Elite" with a smile and let KYO claim your evening from 5pm till 3am in the morning. For more info go to http://www.kyostl.com/newsletter.htm
REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR MY BLOG, MAATSPEAR.BLOGSPOT.COM AS BEST BLOG AT THE RFT BEST OF 2006 at http://www.riverfronttimes.com/!
Well, that be it, folks. If ya got anything for me to pub, hit me up e-mail style at email@example.com! HAVE A SAFE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!
Here are some of the pics I had taken earlier this year when I did a photo shoot with STL freelance photographer Bob Morrison. Each shot shows my diverse personality and my many sides from an African warrior, an alternative/ neo-soul star, and two audition ready hedshots as a casual guy and as a business professional. I was about to do a nude shot, but I probably will do that next time. Enjoy!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Whassup my people! This is Ma’atology here givin it to ya one more week on the grind. Well let’s get right down to it.
Last week has been a sort of film theme for me as far as most of my outings. Last Thursday, I made a detour from going to see The Rock’s football flick, “Grid Iron Gang” (which will be released on Sept 15) to check out my girl Jewelanda Hodges’ film short, “From Trial to Triumph”, a documentary on STL activist and retired post master general Veto Reid. It was held at the Moore Theatre at Webster University wherr they were having a film series and competition for the local directors who submitted.
When I finally got there (I had to ask directions from a campus guide) and saw Miss Hodges waiting on me outside in front of the building, I got a parking space and escorted her into the theatre. We proceeded into the theatre and sat in the back. It had already started, but they were mostly playing film shorts form the apst and not the ones who were in this years competition. Of the past ones I saw, the one that struck was this film short called, “The Notebook” (I cant recall who was the director). It was very straightforward and to the point, no bells and fancy camera angles. It was about a man who talks about the extermination of his people in Bosnia that took place in the 90s. The only visual was his sketching in his notebook a design, sitting on the steps of a building as he narrated his family life story. It was quite moving.
Then, it was on to the 13 films that were in the running for this year and I must say it was definitely an adventure seeing the different themes from the directors from the poignant (Sue White’s moving documentary, “The Art of Resiliency” ), to the dramatic (Brian Spath’s relationship drama, “Now Departing”), to the deadpan (John Mena’s marinette-driven filler “Cake Boom”) to the Huh? (David Noble Dandridge’s morbid-driven animated short “Greedy”). Now, before I get into the ones I like, I must say, as a journalist, you have to be objective and tell the truth right? Well, let me explain. When you have friends who are competing,it’s hard to stay objective, well, this is the case with Flymusic creator Annie Burks. She is a beautiful spirit and appreciate her vision of art (She even got excited and screamed out WOOOOOOOOOH when she saw her film about to be screened!) , but as far as her film short, “Ra Energy” which dealt with Eastern spiritualism and love, well, I was expecting something more visually coherent. But with that said….
Of the ones I liked (including White’s “Resiliency”), I also liked , Seth Treptow’s “Hot Lovin” (*which had local actor/model Randall Beans in the starring role) , a comical tale about a guy who ‘s in love with his----toaster (You gotta see it to believe it!) and Tim Garrett’s “Tuckpointing” where kids from the Afrocentric local group Harambee did a How-To Tuckpoint lesson with some cute added moments (e.g. placing a pancake on one of the trowels). As far as Jewelanda’s short, it was definitely informative and the only one involving a real life person (Veto Reid). She had good historical footage and interviews with people who knew him (he’s still alive) like radio legend Onion Horton (It was also interesting to see Jewelanda get extremely nervous and fidgety when her short was being played and grinding her fingernails into my arm!) My only critique was that there were no captions to tell the viewer who was who, but after the event, she told me that the final edit of the short did have them and that she sent a first draft into the competition, just to have something shown (and quite shrewd I must say).
When it was time to announce the winners, I had predicted who would win (I was hoping for Jewelanda to place at least third, but she did not place). In first place was “Tuckpointing.” (500 bones) Second place went to “”Resiliency” (300 bones) and third place went to Hot Lovin (200 bones). To me, everyone won, cause all the shorts will be shown on KDHX’s local access channels 21 and 22 as bumpers between the channel’s programming (I just wanted to leave out quick so I didn’t have to tell Annie how I thought about her short. LOL) To peep out the film shorts, call 314-361-8870 x229 or go to http://www.kdhx.org/
On Saturday, I went inside the alternative world for a night (You should know by now that I like a little variety. LOL). and checked out SCORCH’s Black Pride After Party where actor Jensen Atwood (SEEN IN ABOVE PIC IN BLACK BLAZER) who plays Wade in the popular LOGO series “Noah’s Arc” was the special guest. Every now and then I like to support the causes of others who are in the struggle to be heard and be themselves, so I decided to check it out (and plus I was curious to see how Atwood responded to this type of crowd.)
Also in the house was famous D.C. dee-jay DJ Sedrick and models from FLAVA MEN. The party was at Mag’s on Vandeventer and I got there about 11ish and paid for a VIP ticket to meet Atwood who got there about midnite (He’s taller than what I expected). So when I got in VIP, it was more security people in there than people who paid 25 bones to be VIP(VIP gave folks free food, cake and a goodie bag)
I would say about 400 or so people showed up, but only 30 or so actually had the opportunity to see Atwood. I sat at one of the booths inside VIP (which was held at the restaurant part of the club) and ate my food. Randomly, I saw people getting autographs, and their picture taken with him (One sista from outside the door of VIP screamed out, “Jensen!” and he smiled while signing an autograph). It appeared he was very comfortable with the surroundings and personable to those who got an autograph from him (He told me he liked my makeshift paperclip necklace I made—he has taste I see. LOL).
Overall the event was OK, but I thought the very dressed down Atwood (who wore a black short sleeve shirt, jeans and sneaks) could had walked out to the general public area and greeted his fans after the VIP meet and greet was about to be exhausted, maybe getting on the DJ mic to thank his fans for showing up, but he stayed inside VIP until it was over (I guess meeting the general people was not in the contract). Later on, general public people were able to walk up in VIP to greet Atwood!
First off, let me say I congratulate SCORCH for trying to being Jensen here, but let me say, in order to have an even more successful event in the future, have a guest list of VIPs who are the movers and shakers in the community before hand so they can get the buzz going about the event. It would be win-win situation for everybody.
In general, STL is a peculiar institution, and with it being a city within the Show Me State, you got to show her what her money is going to get her. Unfortunately, This is not L.A., NYC. ATL or even CHI-town where celebs live in these cities and its normal to see them at clubs (or the grocery store at that matter!). In some instances, STL clubbers will just pay regular admission to a VIP event and celebs, as the night goes by, usually walk around with the regulars. In other instances, STL clubbers will cut off their arm and legs to pay to see celebs (eg. Joe Torry’s B-Ball Challenge After Party, The Jermaine Dupri party at Club Dreams) pending on who the celebs are. In other words, it is just rhythm and behavior of STL clubbers .
OK enuff , I’m getting off my box of soap…..
On Sunday, I checked out the much talked about indie flick, “Shadowboxer” (MOVIE PIC SEEN ABOVE) at Plaza Frontenac Cinema (It was the only theater in the ST. Louis Metro area showing this indie flick). “Shadowboxer” stars Helen Mirren, Steven Dorff(playin a gangsta club owner), Cuba Gooding Jr (playin an assassin) , Macy Gray (playin a hoochie) and Monique(playin a hilarious crack addict nurse) . It is about a female assassin(Mirren), who is dying from cancer, stops her live-in lover and partner (Gooding) from killing of a gangsta’s wife and unborn child, thus growing attached to them.
It took me about 35 minutes to get there (It was a straight shot taking I-64 going west). When I saw the Plaza Frontenac sign it had me thinking of that Nelly song, “Ride with me” (“Going to Plaza Frontenac/don’t know how to act”). It was my first time there and I must say, it was very uhm, let’s say “uncolored” up there. I got that healthy paranoia feeling of if I walk too fast up in there, I may be wearing handcuffs and if I walked too slow, I may be wearing handcuffs—eventually. LOL (I did see one brotha therr who was working as a bus boy at one of the restaurants, so, what does that tell ya).
So I got my ticket and went inside the theater. It was about 10 people to se eit as well (It was one brotha about 50 who was sittin in the back noddin at the previews and laughing at moments in the flick that is only suited for an all-black audience, you know. LOL) I really enjoyed this film and liked how the film was cast non-Hollywood style and the love scenes were artsy and done from a woman’s P.O.V. (prepare to see Cuba’s dunka dunk in various scenes). The only flaw I saw was that it was not really explainwhy Cuba’s character loved to box?
The following is what I wrote on imdb.com of this flick:
I heard some good things about this film and with its director Lee Daniels, who directed the underrated The Woodsman, i knew it was going to be special. Overall, this movie is superb. Great acting (especially Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding and supporting actors Monique and Macy Gray), great cinematogaphy (especially the love scene with Mirren and Gooding in a Garden of Eden scene). The story is typical, but its how it’s told is what gives it its juicy bite. Prepare to see a lot of creative violence and sex scenes and to be surprised throughout the film of what to expect. If Daniels, don’t get an Oscar nod for Best Director and Gooding and Mirren don’t get nods for Best Actor and Actress, the Academy should just close its doors and hide in shame.
I also went to check out the early screening of Outkast’s musical “Idlewild” (MOVIE PIC SEEN ABOVE) about a Southern speakeasy in the 30s. I met up with my girl Jewelanda to check it out at the AMC West Olive 16. I wanted to get therr early to beat the mad rush of people to get to the “first come, first serve” seats. I wanted to get therr about 6 ish for the 7:30 showing (This would be my second time going to this theatre—the first was in 2002 when I saw “Pandora’s Box”) . Well, mapquest lead me therr (Taking 64 west to 270 North to Olive West). It took me 50 minutes to get to Olive. I was on the street to go to it, but I missed my turn to the side street, so I decided to make U turn to find it again and missed it again! I ended up taking the wrong side street back onto I-270 in the opposite direction going near Westport! So, I went to a gas station, to get directions from a guy pumping gas and he lead me back to where I needed to be. I eventually got there about 6:20 and saw Jewelanda sitting on a bench waiting for me and I saw radio station vans Majic 104.9 and 100.3 The Beat’s were parked out front. There wasn’t a line of people which I thought was going to happen (Maybe it was because people were coming straight form work and/or it was out in the County and not the Esquire which is more closer to midtown)
By the time we opened up the door, the rush of people begin to come into the theatre. There was this elderly white couple who was walking in front of us who looked like, “They said the bus was going to be here.’ I was wondering if they were walking to the right film, but they followed the rest of US into the theatre (The crowd was surprisingly racially mixed). Before people entered the theatre, the radio stations had some freebies on a table (Jewelanda got Fanatsia’s CD single, “free Yourself”). The elderly couple was shocked that the goodies were free and kept saying, “We can have these?” CLASSIC. Jewelanda and I hurried to get some good seats and sat there waiting for the movie to start. Meanwhile, as we waited, my eyes started burning as though there was dirt in them. I tried not to rub them and it looked as though I was crying. I asked if Jewelanda had a tissue and she didn’t. She asked people down our row and they didn’t so I brave dit and cried it out. I made the comment, “If this movie has any sad moments, I won’t have any tears to shed.” And I said, “You know us muscle men never carry tissue.” Jewelanda said I needed to go to the bathroom to wash out my eyes, but I told her, “I wish I could, but I don’t want to stumble out to it.” She took my glasses and rubbed them from any dirt and I proceeded to wait til the stinging passed. I think it was allergies, but it subsided finally after a couple of minutes.
Usually at these free screenings, the radio stations take up most of the time to giveaway free posters and other miscellenous items by playing contests with the crowd. Not this time. It was evident when Majic 104.9 personality BJ the DJ got up in front of the crowd and said “Y’all want anything free?” Of course the crowd responded YES. Then he said, “How many people got in the theatre free, raise your hand.” Well people did an he said, “There’s your free goodie.” CLASSIC.
But who took the cake was 100.3 The Beat’s radio personality Dee Lee (He’s so light skinded! LOL) when he took the mic and cracked on the people who came late to get a seat. Some of the rips included this black couple and they had to sit up front and he said to her, “ I know you mad at him. You told him to pick you up at 5:30.” A few other couples coming in he said, “Y’all must be coming off the bus. They said the Olive bus came here.” Then there was a sista who had a long weave in her hair and he told the crowd to say to her, “Hi hair.” FUNNY ISH. He also announced that he was doing a schoolbag drive and for people to come to the station this week to donate money so he can purchase 500 schoolbags for STL kids.
In the house were local rapper Potzee, radio personalities Arrika Parr, Chas Saunders, Isis Jones, Dwight Stone, Blu Bolden (I saw you hidin in that cap), STL American writer Kenya Vaughn and STL Post Kevin Johnson. Other local VIPS were bouncer Big Chuck, Maurice “Invisible Man” Minor, “Hot Lovin” star Randall Beans and a special appearance by American Idol finalist Nikko Smith who came down from the top of the stadium theatre, got the mike from screener James Thomas and said that he wanted to thank all of the millions of fans who supported him and sang a cappella a few bars of , “Alone”, a song form his upcoming CD.
After the film, I made my way to various people to meet and greet including Joe Moskus, of Allied who puts on the screeners with James Thomas and FOXY 95’s Gina Covington. I talked to her about her upcoming fashion show, D.I.V.A. next month and, playfully, said, “Well, if you need any models…..”, then I flexed and she was like, “Yeah, I do need male models.” I told her I would call her soon cause she has rehearsals Friday and Saturday. GULP. Well, I am always a sucker for adventure, so I will keep you posted on this public rendezvous.
CHECK OUT MY PREVIEW AND REVIEW OF IDLEWILD, CHECK OUT, OUT 78--FLICK-BITZ
MA’A-TIDBITZ. Y’all are still checking out the movie I did on YOUTUBE of my brief appearance on Last Comic Standing in care of Kathi Griffin reality show, “My Life on the D-List”. As of this writing, the hits has went from 305 to 346! The hits seems to be peaking, but I appreciate those who are still checking it out (I will try to put more movies on there in the future) If you haven’t checked it out, go tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvmwSn9glKE (FYI, You gotta pause the video at 2 second in to see me!)………………………………………………………….
I had a great man-to-man talk with Inkosi Designs’ Kevin Bryant at his office on Delmar last Sunday. We chatted about the crazy-world-of-life stuff. It was informative and provocative I must say. I look forward for our next pow wow (and your Escalade doesn’t hurt my soul, man. LOL)...................................... I am currently working on a story about the 13th Annual Art’s Fair in Clayton that will be held Sept 8-10. It will appear in a future edition of West End Word. I will keep you posted.....................................
CHART-IDBITZ.. Chingy is still looking promising on the Billboard charts this week. On the Hot 100, his song, “”Pulling Me Back,” with Tyrese moves up four spaces up from 20 to 16 in its 10th week on the chart and it it’s the Greatest Airplay Gaining single this week (The song is also No. 1 on the Rap Tracks on that chart as well). Nelly’s song, “Call on Me” with Janet is still in the Top 50 actually moving up two spaces up from 44 to 42 in its 9th week on the chart. It’s probably easy to predict that Chingy will hit the Top 10 pretty soon on this chart. On the Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts, Chingy was oh so close to having his first No. 1 song on this chart, but it holds again at No. 2 for a second week in its 14th week on the chart (Beyonce and Jay Z’s jam, “Déjà vu” did a leapfrog back up the chart moving from 4 to 5 to 4 and now three spaces to become the No. 1 song on that chart.) Nelly’s song still has legs on the chart as his song moves up two spaces up from 9 to 7 in its 10th week on this chart. Chingy still looks promising to have a No. 1 song on this chart whereas the Nelly duet, looks like it could hit the Top 5 but it’s doubtful it will hit No. 1.
STL-TIDBITZ. WRONG ON TRACK! What was up with the MetroLink having to close down rail stops and investigate stations at Forest Park on Tuesday and Wellston on Wednesday because of a derailing and a lady trying to commit suicide respectively? What makes it even more of a trip (no pun intended) is that the grand opening ceremonies for the new Shrewsberry Expansion to St. Louis County will take place this Saturday afternoon at the Forest Park Station where the new expansion to the County to Shrewsberry ! How wild is that? Will this effect people getting on the MetroLink from that station? Meterolink says that everything is still a go for this weekend festivities. And you know all eyes will be on the Link to see what other event will take place. This is just too much playin in the city! …………………………………………………………
Check out this week’s St. Louis Argus (www.stlouisargus.com and go to the A&E section) and peep out Jason Bailey’s story on up and coming STL trio Sosy. I had a story on this teen trio a few months back and I bump their CD every now and then. They’re pretty talented! Check them out !........................................
I was checking out Fox 2’s Morning Show and saw personality Tim Ezell (who was wearing a bald skullcap with gray hair as though he was balding) and he was all up in Leonard's Barber College on Natural Bridge with the Hot 104.1 Morning Show crew featuring Craig Blac (I saw you Arvin in the background) getting their clown on as they were sponsoring free haircuts to the urban youth in exchange for school supplies for the first day of School August 28. They know they were clownin on there but it was all for a good cause(Ezell made a joke that back in his day they used to eat their hair in order to cut their hair). CLASSIC………………….
I was cruising through one of my favorite sites You Tube and checked out STL rapper Potzee’s new music video “Dat Girl,” that was shot in the STL. There are several local celeb cameos including 100.3 The Beat personality Bishop V-Luv, St. Lunatics member Kyjuan, b-ball star Larry Hughes and, bouncer Big Chuck (who plays—you got it, a bouncer) And if I’m not mistaken, I also saw Spin City Recordz’ label artsist Jzanell and comedian Joe Torry up in the mix. To check it out for yourself go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrUZTVYU_Zk
EVENT-IDBITZ. Ecco Domani presents Liquid Style, Alive Magazine’s First ever Fashion Show, Thursday, Aug. 24 at Chase Park Plaza, at 7 p.m.$20 General Admission $35 Reserved Seating. For more info go to http://www.alivemag.com/liquidstyle
Broadway Center of Arts presents Amy Kinsella's stage adaptation of Stephen King's Misery Fridays and Saturdays [August 25, 26] at 8 PM at 124 East Main Street in Belleville, Illinois. To find out more, call 618-233-0431……….
The play, “The Day Daddy Came Home” will take place August 25 and 26th. The times are 8pm on Friday the 25th and 2 p.m. and 6pm on the 26th. Produced by Gifted Productions, the play will be staged at the Emerson Performance arts center on the Harris Stowe Campus. Tickets or $20 in advance. Tickets will be sold at the Transformation Christian Bookstore (Page and Sarah) and Knowing Books and Cafe (Jamestown Mall) They can also call the director Paris Crayton at 314-535-5720. Tickets will be $25 at the door.
Check out Hipster Magazine’s FLY BY NIGHTSaturday, August 26th @ 360 N. Boyle (at Lindell in Central West End) Doors @ 9 pm Party Til 2 amFree Drinks $10 Ladies $15 Fellas SPECIAL: $5 discount for everyone before 10:30Come be part of a new experience in style, music and culture...Fly By Night is that event in which diversity, creativity and originality are celebrated. DJ Needles gets fly on the turntables as you party with St. Louis' hippest.For more information, visit them at myspace.com/flybynightonline
The Network Group presents “Cometry: Finals”, Sunday, Aug. 27 at the St. Louis Historical Museum in Forest Park, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in ADV, $15 at the door. For more info, call 618-531-1360.
The Black Rep announced plans to shift slots for the 30th anniversary season. Titled "The Black Pearl," the season will feature a six-show line-up designed to entertain, educate and enrich audiences of all types. Continuing their partnerships with Washington University and Mary Institute Country Day School (MICDS), the 30th season will kick-off in September with a two week run of MAHALIA a gospel musical at the Edison Theatre followed by a one weekend run of the production at the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS. The mainstage series at the Grandel Theatre will feature three hit musicals, August Wilson’s play exploring the first decade in his ten-play series and the return of a popular comedy by Samm-Art Williams. MAHALIA By Tom Stolz is on the life of legendary gospel great Mahalia Jackson. September 13-24, 2006 at the Edison Theatre at Washington University and September 29-October 1, 2006 and the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS 2007 Performance Schedule:Wednesday and Thursday Previews at 7:00 p.m.Thursday at 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 3:00 p.m. Season subscriptions for all six shows of the 30th Anniversary range from $120 to $200 and are on sale now. To reserve your seat please call (314) 534-3810 or visit www.theblackrep.org
The next Café Soul will be at Club Dreams on Sept. 20. For more info, go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Collective Catering (email@example.com located at 4958 Cote Brilliante, their digits are 314-575-3333)
Check out STl dee-jay Enoch online with his own radio playlist. The Flow; Music Lounge. Peep it out at http://www.flowink.com/player-popup.htm or go to his myspace page enochisreal.
Show Me Entertainment presents Industry Nights, a networking party for artists, entertainers, models, actors, painters, dancers, entertainment lawyers, managers, etc. every Wednesday night at the Lindbergh Bistro located inside the Airport Plaza inn at I-70and Lindbergh. 18 Y.O. to enter. 21 Y.O. and up to Drink. Admission FREE. For more info, contact Terrence Smith at 314/713-3793, or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.showme1.com
Local movie screener and TV programmer James Thomas has two hot shows on KPLR- Channel 11 (Soon to be CW 11 next month) with his shows “First Look” about movies coming to the movie theaters, Thursday morning at 2:30 am and Hot Videos, Friday mornings at 3 a.m.
For all your STL hip-hop needs, go to http://www.stlhiphop.com/!STL video guy Dana Christian has a hot new website where people can send their professional music videos films to get exposed. It is www.spitflix.com. Peep it out!
KYO (pronounced KEE-O) continues "Redefining the Art of Dining & Nightlife" with a fresh weekly lineup that promises to quench your thirst for drink and dance. So "Be Fashionably Elite" with a smile and let KYO claim your evening from 5pm till 3am in the morning. For more info go to http://www.kyostl.com/newsletter.htm
Well, that be it, folks. If ya got anything for me to pub, hit me up e-mail style at email@example.com!
Antwan Patton( Big Boi) and André Benjamin (Andre 3000) from the multi-platinum and Grammy winning hip-hop duo, OutKast, lead an all-star cast in Idlewild, an original musical masterpiece with electrifying choreography set in a speakeasy in the rolling 30s. Benjamin portrays Percival, a shy, but talented pianist and writer, while Patton plays Rooster, an uninhibited lead singer and club manager who must elude the notorious gangster-killer “Trumpy” portrayed by Terrence Howard. Universal Pictures will release Idlewild on August 25th.
Benjamin is bursting with pride about the film, “The movie is pretty much every genre. It has drama, action, music, comedy, a love story and gangsters. On top of that, we are styling. It takes place in the ‘30s, so we are impeccably dressed. The look of the film is moody. It’s really, really dope.”
Patton adds, “Our wardrobe in the film is fantastic. We have the whole ‘30s look down to the tee. My special thanks go out personally to Mr. Giorgio Armani for takin’ care of me for ninety percent of the movie,”
OutKast fans will recognize similarity between Benjamin and Patton real personalities and the roles they play in the film. Patton plays Rooster, a family guy who is thrown into a situation where he has to take on the responsibility of managing the nightclub. There is a lot of hustling going on, lots of liquor and booze running. It is a fun place. Then things start to go wrong.
Benjamin tells us, “Just like his character Rooster, Big Boi likes to be the life of the party. He likes to throw the parties and have everybody come down. He’s the festive guy. So, for him to run the speakeasy in the movie, that’s Big Boi. Just like Rooster, Big Boi is a family man, too.”
Percival, on the other hand, is the son of a mortician, who is expected to take over the family business. After his Mom dies, he and his Dad lead a sad and lonely life. In the film, Rooster and Percival meet when they are just six years old and form a lifetime friendship.
Patton says, “I met Dre when we were sixteen in high school and we bonded with each other. Dre’s character, Percival is kind of reclusive, the only child. Dre is an only child, too, but I think Percival might be a bit more troubled. The friendship that we have in the movie is very similar to what we got going on.”
Benjamin offers, “In the movie, the only way that I let loose is by playing the piano. Rooster gives me a job down at the club, that’s my outlet. When a new singer, Angel Davenport, comes to the club, we begin working on music together and eventually fall in love. She turns my life around and encourages me to leave Idlewild, so my talents can blossom.”
Veteran actor Ben Vereen, who plays Percival’s miserable father, generously offered Benjamin acting insights, “Ben taught me about being in the moment and not worrying about if I was good, because if you do, then you’re not in it. And that gave me a lot of freedom and helped me to get to where I needed to be. I will be eternally grateful to him for sharing his wisdom with me,” Benjamin says.
Idlewild is the motion picture debut of writer/director Bryan Barber, who has had a long affiliation with Benjamin and Patton as a video director. Benjamin says, “Honestly, it’s full circle, because I originally met Bryan in Atlanta when I was getting out of high school and he was in film school. At that point we had only put out one album. He would come to me with scripts because he wanted to make films. Eventually we gave him a chance to direct our videos. That was his training ground. I have seen his growth, because I’ve been on the set with him in videos and you can hide behind the music a lot. Videos are big commercials for selling music. However, films are more challenging, and I’m proud to say Bryan has shown his ability to deal with hundreds of people, hundreds of attitudes and hundreds of problems. He does an amazing job.”
Highlights of the filming include the lavish dance numbers choreographed by three-time Tony winner, Hinton Battle. Patton shares, “Hinton pulled together top dancers, who could blend the old dance styles with day’s moves, and put together some incredible dance numbers. I came in and when it was time for me to perform, we had our bits that we did together. I had a ball doing the song and dance sequences.”
Benjamin’s acting credits include the films Four Brothers, Be Cool and the hit TV series The Shield. He also plans to launch his own clothing line this year. Patton most recently starred in the film ATL. He has appeared on television’s Martin and as a featured voice in the MTV series Volcano High, about a teenager with special martial arts skills, and in two episodes of Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show.
Idlewild’s all-star cast includes Academy Award nominee Terrence Dashon Howard (Hustle & Flow), Ving Rhames (Don King: Only in America), singing sensations Macy Gray and Patti LaBelle, Faizon Love, who has starred opposite Will Ferrell in the blockbuster Elf. Malinda Williams, who is best known for her television role as Tracy ‘Bird’ Van Adams in Soul Food, for which she garnered a NAACP Image Award nomination. Paula Jai Parker’s, whose film credits include Hustle and Flow, Spike Lee’s She Hate Me, Phone Booth, High Crimes, Get On the Bus, Friday, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and HBO’s Always Outnumbered. Newcomer Paula Patton was first seen in last year’s smash comedy Hitch, starring Will Smith. Finally, the legendary Cicely Tyson makes an appearance in the film, as well.
One of the most sought-after directors in the music business, Barber was recently nominated for his directorial work on the Christina Aguilera video “Ain’t No Other Man” which garnered four MTV Video Music Award nominations, including Video of the Year. Barber has directed many of OutKast’s videos including “Hey Ya,” which was Grammy-nominated for Best Short Form Video last year, and which was previously honored with four MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop Video, Best Special Effects and Best Art Direction. His previous collaborations with OutKast include “The Way You Move” and “Roses” from their disc “Speakerboxxx/Love Below.”
He was honored by his peers in London in May 2004, when he won three Music Video Production Awards (MVPA) for “Hey Ya,” including Video of the Year. Canada’s MuchMusic’s Awards honored him with two wins for “Hey Ya” for Video of the Year and Best Hip Hop Video. His diverse slate of projects includes directing videos for Bow Wow, Faith Evans, Destiny’s Child, Anastacia, G-Unit, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Macy Gray, Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott and JC Chasez. His striking video work has put him in high demand for commercials, including Victoria’s Secret and Sunkist.
Battle won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in Sophisticated Ladies, Miss Saigon and The Tap Dance Kid, which was also honored with an NAACP Image Award and The Fred Astaire Award. His esteemed career started early in his life when he received a scholarship to attend The School of American Ballet where he studied under George Balanchine. At the age of 15, he made his Broadway debut playing the Scarecrow in The Wiz. His additional stage credits include Ragtime, Dancin’, Dreamgirls and Chicago. He also founded the non-profit organization Hinton Battle Theatre Laboratory to develop ethnically diverse theater projects. His television credits include choreographing the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
This interview was provided by www.rozstevensonpr.com
Grammy-Award winning rap duo Outkast’s new film, “Idelwild” is definitely an “eye-watcher’ from the beginning camera morphing of the town and its people to the last colorful jump-jive jazzy number during the credits with done by Andre Benjamin’s character Percival and the jive lady dancers. It’s “Harlem Nights” meets “Chicago.”
Directed and written by Outkast music video director Brian Barber, "Idlewild" is set in the 1930s at a local speakeasy called The Church in Idlewild, Ga, “Idlewild” and chronicles the life of two boys Percival (played by Andre Benjamin) and Rooster (played by Antwan Patton) and their growing up in this small town.
Visually exiting with beautiful cinematography by Pascal Rabaud, “Idlewild,” although plays like a long music video, has some great acting from the celebrated cast especially Andre Benjamin, newcomer Paula Patton, and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard who plays yet another Oscar worthy role as the quietly menacing gangsta, Trumpy. Veteran actors Ben Vereen and Cicely Tyson, in yet another memorable cameo role (akin to her speech in “Madea’s Family Reunion” ) , also give strong supporting performances.
What makes “Idlewild” a stand out from the musicals that have been produced over the past few years (“Evita”, “Moulin Rouge” “Chicago”) is that they mix the hip-hop and be-bop/jump era as though the genres were one in the same in a very realistic way. It also has a lot of important historicalfootage involving the whole jazz scene and how St. Louis and Chicago played a part in creeating the genre.
True, “Idlewild” comes off a bit cartoonish(eg. musical notes coming to life and a flask with a rooster talking back to the character) , but it is definitely a piece of cinema that will hold up as one of the important black films of the 21st century.
This film is definitely in the running for Oscar consideration for its dazzling period costumes and innovative cinematography I will predict that this film will have a great showing at this weekend’s box office, maybe even take the No. 1 spot.
If you see this film, let me know what you think by posting on here or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
UPDATE: I am in total shock of how well (or should I say how badly) Idlewild performed at the Box Office this past weekend. It came in 9th place (Of the debut this weekend, Mark Wahlberg’s pigskin biopic Invincible was No. 1 raking in $17 million) only taking in barely $6 million! Although it took $15 million to produce, I’m sure the film will break even in the next two weeks.
According to boxofficeguru.com, Universal's music-filled drama Idlewild “bowed in ninth place but generated the best average in the top ten. The OutKast pic grossed an estimated $5.9M from only 973 locations for a solid $6,055 average. Studio research showed that 55% of the audience was over age 30, 61% was female, and 82% was African American."
True, I predicted last week that Idlewild would rank pretty high on the Box Office charts , even to No. 1, but, I have been wrong before (which is rare in itself. LOL).
If you saw the flick, email me at email@example.com
and let me know what you thought of it, if it should have ranked better than No. 9 and I will post your comments on my site!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
WhatAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP! This is Ma’at givin it ya one more time for this week. Man, it's rough tryin to give it y'all every week(especially last week’s Five for One). Sometimes it can get pressurous and even mind-terrorizing--more mind-terrorizing than trying to figure out whether to bring toothpaste or hair gel on a plane these days. Trust. LOL. But its all good. Anyway, here is a recap of my days since last time I e-chatted with you all.
Last Friday, I got ready to check out local rap group J-Bigga and Space (‘nee Jamie Price and Chip Price SEEN IN THE PIC ABOVE) who was about to do their thing at the Pageant in the Delmar Loop area (along with local hip hop acts Dugholes, 40 til 5, and Nite Owl for the Loop Underground, a concert highlighting some of STL hip-hop undergrounders . Before I got there, I had to time to kill in the Loop area I decided to get some munch food at The St. Louis Bread Company and get a chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread (my fave), then I walked next door to Vintage Vinyl to see if I can cop some news rage and heard -Euro pop music playing near the back of the music store and find out it was an electronica group called Hyperbubble, a duo from Texas (Picture Eurythmics mixed with Devo). I stayed for a few songs (One of which was called “Vending Machine You Look Like A Robot”). They were definitely an acquired taste, but I was open to music expression.
Around 8ish, I drove to the Pageant, got a parking space and got my “cammunition” to take some pics (Thanks Invisible Man!). So when I was about to walk toward the Pageant, J-Biggs rolls up in his ride and said, “Hey you came out to support!”. I had my shade son, but I raised them to see who was it that spoke to me and it was him, smiling brightly. I said to him that it was all good and was looking forward to his performance. So, I walked up front, got my bag searched, gave the ticket person my ticket for scanning, showed the I.D. guy I was over 21 with my license (I had to say, “It’s me” when he looked at the pic then at me unconvinced it was me. On my license, I have no cornrolls. LOL)
So I roll up in there and it is about 100 in there (all hues of the rainbow up in there!) It was skimpy as far as the crowd(which is not surprising with STLers), but I was sure the crowd would get dense as the hours progressed. The first act up was Dugholes (http://www.dugholes.com/), (SEEN IN PIC ABOVE) who reminded me of the Beastie Boys with white guys who got spit skills but still act like white boys. LOL. Dugholes (who I talked to briefly before he performed wondering who I was taking snaps for) , interestingly enough, did not start off his set but another guy who was with the group 40 til 5 (http://www.40til5.net/). The songs that they performed were very college dorm oriented such as “Pimp Shake,” “That’s Not Wring,” “Sin City,” and a funny song called, “Beer” where there crew was on stage with a bottle of beer in their hands (This got the crowd hyped). It was very Animal House without the Togas. It was also cool that they had easel painters on stage making portraits while the performers performed! (Very NYC)
Oh, before I forget, I have a pic of this Biggie Smalls looking guy on OUT 76 who was my shadow during the first half of the show. It started with him accidentally kicking my bag over near the stage area and his giving me a handshake for forgiveness. Then, during the show when I was standing near the stage, he walks up to me to give me another handshake. I was like okay. Then when I walk elsewhere near the stage, he followed too. Can we say Crazy Stalker. I got paranoid but then I heard that he is like the black Beatle Bob in the loop area who dances by himself and is kind of “special.”
After an hour of both groups (each group had 30 minutes), it was time for J-Biggs and Space (http://www.outflowproductions.com/)... Actually it was more like the Committee featuring J-Biggs and Space cause there were many who performed on this set (which I will get into later) During the intermission, I mingled through the crowd and saw some familiar faces including St. Louis American photo-god Wiley Price (who was taking snaps of J-Biggs and Space whom are his step-son and son respectively), movie screener James Thomas, STL hip-hop group Renegade and dee-jay Nappy Needles. What was also interesting was this sista who wore one portion of some handcuffs as an accessory. You heard me! (YOU GOTTA SEE THE PIC ON OUT 76!!!) When I asked her why she wore them, she said she was looking for someone who to cuff with her. Whoa! I guess whatever works on the first date! That’s too much playin in the city! Anyway getting back to J-Biggs and Space (their set was like a Committee, Bits N Pieces reunion of sorts). Former Flipside writer WV Davis (who I think is some kin to former Committee rapper Jia Davis) shoved a CD sampler of J-Biggs and Space for me to check out.
They got on stage around 10ish and at this time, the crowd was swelling til about 300 people. J-Biggs and Space worked it out with songs form the CD WV Davis gave me including “Shades” and other hip-hop stuff like The Legal System and This is Fire (my fave). It was also good to see other Committee members performing including founder Jia Davis and female member Toyy (who was being her nasty self up there. LOL). The late Bits N Pieces member Katt’s mother was standing next to me near the stage and it was nice to see her rock out with the youngins (There is a pic of her with the crowd in OUT 76) It was also cool to see they had a projected screen above the stage showing past performances and videos. That was a nice touch. My only beef was what was up with the little boy who was gangstafyin up on stage with the grown folks. He couldn’t have been no more than 10. I don’t know if I would have had a youngster like that on stage with rappers who was talking like grown folks, but that’s just me….
Around 11ish, people started to thin out, but the last act Nite Owl (who brought his own female oh-you-so-sexy-fans who was cheering him on the sidelines) did his thing with jazz group Level Ground and Percussionist/Jalist David A.N. Jackson. During this time, I walked on the side of the stage near the backstage entrance to greet J-Biggs and Space and congratulated them on a good performance. J-Biggs didn’t like the sound system, but he was cool with the performance too. Other people there to congratulate them was Platinum Group’s Jacque Land (who is the step-father to J-Biggs and Space), and hot 104.1 personalities Wendi brown and Craig Blac (I saw you Kev Johnson, too. LOL)
The duo was getting ready to party at Club Dreams where people who had their ticket stubs could get in free to the After Party. I was not feeling it cause earlier in the day I worked out and I was getting sleepy, so I decided to just roll back to the crib.
FOR MORE PICS FROM THE LOOP UNDERGROUND SHOW, GO TO OUT 76
On Saturday, I went to my girl April Spencer’s (SEEN IN PIC ABOVE IN GLASSES) audition for her flick, “Russian Roulette” that was held at Legacy Books on Delmar. I got there about 2ish and go tin on covering it (I was about to audition, but I was still feeling under the weather and trying to audition and cover would have unfocused me). What I didn’t know was she was auditioning folks with STL entrepreneurs/filmmakers Falaq (SEEN WITH APRIL IN THE PIC ABOVE) and Enoch (Remember their flick, “Jihad” a few years back?) an audition. Some of the auditioners were Lisa May, Black Rep intern Ryan Cunningham, Alona Bryant, Mary Waller (she was model tall up in there!), Erica Sutherlin (sympathies go out to ya on your brother and good luck getting that USC scholarship next fall!), and local rap group Hit Records who spoke (very intelligently I may add) to April and the crew telling them who they were and all and their manager Valerie Thompson (who rocked a mad crazy Dolly Parton style curly weave that you got to see in the next post!!!) . The auditioners were good. It was interesting to see Falaq direct sense having the auditoners audition with each other three times to get the scene going. The subject matter is very provocative. It is loosely based on the brotha from East St. Louis a few years back who was purposely infecting young women with the HIV –virus. I will keep you posted on any upcoming auditions they may have for this film as well as others. Also in the crowd was entertainment consultant L.A. Barge and Joel King (who was there to audition as well).
FOR MORE PICS OF THE AUDITION GO TO OUT 76
On Wednesday, I checked out local singer/actress Coco Soul’s (SEEN ABOVE) buzzing monthly event, Café Soul at Club Dreams where singers sign up in advance to sing backed by a band in an open mic style setting with no judging and all networking. This is the third installment of this new concept (It was at the now defunct Suite 250). I got a call from her as well as her manager Angie Brown about comin (as well as emails), so I had to make my appearance to this event (I made arrangement to work the graveyard shift at the Water Geyser for this so you know this was si’ us. LOL ) . I got there about 9 ish and saw Coco and Angie talkin outside and gave them a group hug. They got me on through with no problems and I proceeded on to the “walk of dreams.” The first person I recognized was movie screener James Thomas who said was I taking pictures tonight and I Vanita Applebum (you gotta put me on. LOL) who was sittin with a friend who was a stage manager with Vanita at the Missouri Black Expo. We shared niceties and Nicol, the other stage manager from the MBE, was seating people at this event and she commanded, “Press sits there.” I saluted her and said, “Yes, ma’am.” It was all in fun. So I sat in my press seat and did my job of reporting and snapping flicks.
Coco Soul gave an overview of the show before the show started and she said, “This is something fun and entertaining. When I was in Atlanta for eight years they had this incredible support at this place called Apache that used to be called the Yin Yang Café , a small place with a live band…I want to bring positive energy like that here in St. Louis. We don’t have a platform for singers to sing. This is for singers and let your voices be heard and vendors. Please support us.”
She went on to say, “If you’re a singer, bring a CD. On stage, have a Cd. This is a marketplace of creativity.”
The show overall was great. My only beef was the people being very rude to the singers who performed by talking through most of the show. I know it’s a club, but its all about common courtesy when it comes to people expressing their gift to the world 9I would also like to see singers mix up the genders of their song choices like females sing a male song and a male singer sing a female song and just change the gender of the song That would be hot! ) Anyway, the singers on the list were Ronnie (from the Missouri Black Expo) who did Stephanie Mills’ “Home”, Melody Graves (from Live on the Levee—India.Arie) who sang, Anita Baker’s “Been So Long,” , Michael (who toe up, “Let’s Stay Together” ), Shanitha who did “My Funny Valentine” (as well as almost climbing the “Stripper pole” that was next to the stage. LOL), Reggie who did a spoken word piece, Angelique who did Jill Scott’s “The Way,” and, the highlighted moment, singer Twon, performing the hell out of John Legend’s “So High” (to the point where he took it to church with the who-got-bills-due-preachifyin and coming off the stage into the audience), Desiree who sang, Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” and lady eye-candy Deveaon who performed Brian McKnight’s “ Anytime.”
Coco even got in on the action by adlibbing with the band and signee singer Reggie , scatting, testifying, introduced her family, comedian Arvin Mitchell (who came on stage to help draw a name for the prize drawing) and sang Jill Scott’s “A Long Walk.” . It was one moment in the show where Coco asked anyone in the audience if they can sing Etta James’ “At Last.” It was one taker, a sista named Lady D. Before she got to the stage she was asking members of the audience to “pray for her.” Oh-oh. Well she got up there, did a decent job, but forgot the lyrics and started making up her own lyrics. It was a classic moment
A touching yet uplifting moment occurred when legendary St. Louis signer Son of Starchyld performed. He walked on stage with a cane with walking support from a couple of people and sat on a stool. . At first, I thought this was part o his act, but it wasn’t. Before he performed, he said to the inquiring crowd that he was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and as long as he had breath in his body he is still going to perform and that he did. He and a couple of female background singers performed Parliament/funkadelic jams “Give Up The Funk,” and “Flash Light.”
He also gave the crowd his usual boasting humor when he said, “I got more flava than a pack of Now N Laters. I been funkin when Moby Dick was a goldfish.” He also sang a bar of te old school clothing store, Rozell’s (“Who got the baddest clothes in town, Rozell’s CLASSIC)“!
Coco then announced that there will be a benefit in his honor by various local bands to help him on his medical bills
Venues there included NsenseMan (http://www.nsenseman.com/ or 314-766-7305) who was selling his own insense and his artist management services and a sister named Ginger who hooked up the catering of chicken and mostocolli plates for 7 bones (Sorry Angie for thinking you were going to be my waitress. LOL) . In the house were Acupuncturist/percussionist Kelly Wimbley (who was givin folks coupons for 10 dollars off natural styles at Natural Uhuru (located at 2012 South 39th Street. Their digits are 314.479.9174) jazz artists the Bosman Twins, percussionist/poet David A.N. Jackson, Platinum Group’s Jacque Land, spitflix.com’s Dana Christian, DJ Soundz (who was engineering the sound for the show) Bryan Sparkman (the shirt was SMEDIUM down. LOL), local singer Chuck Flowers (who will be performing at Legacy Bookstore August 19 at 7 p.m.), stlhiphop.com’s B-Gyrl, 100.3TheBeat’s Bishop V-Luv and Harry Colbert.
The next Café Soul will be at Club Dreams on Sept. 20. For more info, go to firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE CAFÉ SOUL PICS, GO TO OUT 76
MA’AT-TIDBITZ. Y’all are still checking out the movie I did on YOUTUBE of my brief appearance on Last Comic Standing in care of Kathi Griffin reality show, “My Life on the D-List”. As of this writing, the hits has went from 199 to 305! (Thanks a million. Its really showing me who actually checks out my website!) to If you haven’t checked it out, go tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvmwSn9glKE (FYI, You gotta pause the video at 2 second in to see me!)………………………………………………………….
Shout out’s to Arris Harris of Collective Catering (email@example.com located at 4958 Cote Brilliante, their digits are 314-575-3333) who sent me an e-mail about encouraging me to keep up with my blog and my giving them a shout out on a recent blog about their delectable treats they had at Wendi Brown"s B-day party at Club formula. He writes
“Just wanted to drop a line and say thanks for the shout out on your blog. Really appreciate the time and effort. Keep going its not in vain.
"And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" Galations 6:9
Thank you Mister Harris for those kind words!
You can still peep out my artcile review of Cameo and the Time at the St. Lousi Argus website (www.stlouisargus.com) Go there and hit A&E or A7.
CHART-IDBITZ.. Well, as predicted, Chingy is winging the STL race over Nelly on the Billboard charts this week yet again. On the Hot 100, Chingy’s song with Tyrese, “Pulling Me Back,” moves up five space up from 25 to 20 in its 9th week on the survey. Nelly’s duet with Janet, “Call on Me,” is still falling moving down six places from 38 to 44 in its 8th week on the chart falling out of the Top 40. On this chart it should be interesting if Chingy will make it to No. 1 on this chart. The highest he got was his debut single, “Right Therre” that peaked at No. 2. On the Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts, Nelly’s single may still get Chingy some comp. Nelly’s song finally reaches the Top Ten, moving up two notches from 11 to 9 in its 9th week on the chart. Chingy’’s song, however, looks No. 1 bound as it moves up two notches up from 4 to 2! It’s only a matter of weeks that his song will out top the No. 1 song, Young Dro’s “Shoulder Lean.” Do you think Chingy’s song will hit No. 1 on this chart? Post your comments on the site and let me know!
STL-TIDBITZ. Congrats to local singer/actress Llysa Rah-Kale who just got picked up to tour with Menopause the Musical. She leaves out today and will be planin to Miami for the show until December (I guess Chrys has to re-cast your role as Counselor in her flick, “Dating Game!”) Much love to ya and sorry I had to miss your going away party at Jazz Loft last Monday. ………………First Club Seven, then Club Toxic, now Suite 250. Whats up with the black clubs closing within a year’s time? What’s really goin on?
EVENT-IDBITZ. Retail Franchise Fair, Aug. 17, 2006 10am-7pm @ Harris Stowe State University Performance Center. For more info. call 314.622.3400 x 302……. Broadway Center of Arts presents Amy Kinsella's stage adaptation of Stephen King's Misery Fridays and Saturdays [August 18, 19, 25, 26] at 8 PM at 124 East Main Street in Belleville, Illinois. To find out more, call 618-233-0431………
Jewelanda Hodges will be featured among other film short directors at Webster University’s Film series, Thursday, August 17 at 8 p.m.. Her short film, “From Trial to Triumph”, on the life of legendary STL activist and retired post master general Veto Reid will be screened along with 11 other local directors including Justin Kerr (I WAS IN HIS FILM SHORT I MARIE A ZOMBIE, BTW), Tim Garrett, and DJ Leon Lamont. The series is also a competition as well. Winners which will receive the following: 1st Place: $500; 2nd Place: $300 3rd Place: $200. FYI, Jewelanda is the only female in the competition! For more info on the series call 314-361-8870 x229 or go to www.kdhxtv.org http://www.kdhx.org/. To contact Jewelanda about her film, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.............
SCORCH will present an After Party for the St. Louis Black Pride Celebration weekend hosted by Gorilla Squad Productions. It will be held on Saturday, August 19th at Mag’s 5 South Vandeventer Ave. beginning at 10:00pm. . Scorch will feature “Noah’s Arc” star Jensen Atwood who will sign autographs and meeting fans. DJ Sedrick of Washington D.C. will be on the 1s and 2s. Admission is $10 before midnite. VIP is available. For more info as well as STLBPC’s schedule of events, call 314-776-4966 or go to http://www.stlouisblackpride.org/.....
St. Louis native and Black rep vet Kingsley Leggs (“Mister” in the Broadway version of The Color Purple AND SEEN IN PIC ABOVE IN SUIT ) will stage a one man show MONDAY AUGUST 21ST, 9:00 P.M. @THE TRIAD THEATRE 158 WEST 72ND STREET (NYC). The play also will feature RHETT GEORGE, MAIA NKENGE WILSON and SPECIAL GUEST ANIKA ELLIS. MUSICAL DIRECTION BY JEFF WAXMAN FOR TICKETS VISIT THEATREMANIA.COM OR CALL 212-352-3101 COVER $25 2 DRINK MINIMUM……………….
The play, “The Day Daddy Came Home” has been pushed back to August 25 and 26th. The times are 8pm on Friday the 25th and 2 p.m. and 6pm on the 26th. Produced by Gifted Productions, the play will be staged at the Emerson Performance arts center on the Harris Stowe Campus. Tickets or $20 in advance. Tickets will be sold at the Transformation Christian Bookstore (Page and Sarah) and Knowing Books and Cafe (Jamestown Mall) They can also call the director Paris Crayton at 314-535-5720. Tickets will be $25 at the door.
Check out STL female rapper SK in an exclusive interview at http://www.sendspace.com/file/cfe44r and a hot performance at http://www.sendspace.com/file/hoqxlw
Bottom of Form
Check out STl dee-jay Enoch online with his own radio playlist. The Flow; Music Lounge. Peep it out at http://www.flowink.com/player-popup.htm or go to his myspace page enochisreal.
Local movie screener and TV programmer James Thomas has two hot shows on KPLR- Channel 11 (Soon to be CW 11 next month) with his shows “First Look” about movies coming to the movie theaters, Thursday morning at 2:30 am and Hot Videos, Friday mornings at 3 a.m. So if you up around this time and not about to get any trouble with somebody you met at the club (LOL). Check him out. For more info on his two shows, call him at 314-727-1418.
http://www.stlhiphop.com/!STL video guy Dana Christian has a hot new website where people can send their professional music videos films to get exposed. It is http://www.spitflix.com/. Peep it out!
For all your STL hip-hop needs, go to
KYO (pronounced KEE-O) continues "Redefining the Art of Dining & Nightlife" with a fresh weekly lineup that promises to quench your thirst for drink and dance. So "Be Fashionably Elite" with a smile and let KYO claim your evening from 5pm till 3am in the morning. For more info go to http://www.kyostl.com/newsletter.htm
OH, I ALSO GOT SOME LEFTOVER-PIC-BITZ FROM THE MISSOURI BLACK EXPO ON POST OUT 75 AS WELL!
Well, that be it, folks. If ya got anything for me to pub, hit me up e-mail style at email@example.com!
Here is a smordgasbord of pics of evenst I was talking about in OUT 77. At Cafe Soul, there was Son of Starchyld, singer DeVeaon (doesnt he look like Treach from Naughty By Nature?), Coco Soul and Reggie vibin on an impromptu duet, Twon (with the beard) preachin with his vocals, Melody Graves workin it out (in turquoise tank ), Ronnie settin it off with the ice washed jeans, comedian Arvin Mithclel with his cuzzin Coco. At the audition at Legacy Books--Erica Sutherlin (sittin down), rap group Hit Records' manager Valarie Thompson (check out her curly do!) and Ryan Cunningham and Lisa May doin a scene, Nite Owl spittin at Loop Underground (in the fatigue pants orange and red life saver sneaks) , fans at the concert (in the lower right is the middle age woman who is the mother of slain Bits N Pieces rapper, Katt), CHECK OUT THE SISTER WITH THE BLUE DRESS HOLDING UP THE HANDCUFF SHE WAS WEARING! CLASSIC!, Do you also see white girl gettin her crump on? !, there's one of the painters who was painting at the concert, AND THERES THE OFF CENTERED BIGGIE SMALLS BROTHER DANCING. THE ONE I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT THAT WAS STALKING ME!, sexy girls in black and white (literally), more fans and the electronica duo HyperBubble who performed at Vintage Vinyl.