16
May

RIP Chuck Brown – Godfather of Gogo

 

I don’t really have any words to describe the sadness that has befallen the DC area with the lost of such a Legend. But I can tell you right now everyone is riding in their cars with Chuck blasting out their windows. His life will definitely be celebrated. If you don’t understand or know the kind of energy this man brought, please check out the video clip below. Its from the Summer Spirit Festival in 09′. While I could not zoom in any further you will definitely be able to see the energy in the crowd, as Chuck Brown and Lil Benny (another lost figure in go-go royalty) steal the show.

 

 

 Wind Me Up Chuck,  One More Time

16
May

RIP Chuck Brown – Godfather of Gogo

 

I don’t really have any words to describe the sadness that has befallen the DC area with the lost of such a Legend. But I can tell you right now everyone is riding in their cars with Chuck blasting out their windows. His life will definitely be celebrated. If you don’t understand or know the kind of energy this man brought, please check out the video clip below. Its from the Summer Spirit Festival in 09′. While I could not zoom in any further you will definitely be able to see the energy in the crowd, as Chuck Brown and Lil Benny (another lost figure in go-go royalty) steal the show.

 

 

 Wind Me Up Chuck,  One More Time

11
May

The Box Friday’s: Nicole Wray

 Happy Friday Folks. I dug through the crates and pulled out this old school Nicole Wray video for her single, “Make it Hot”. This was by far her most successful solo hit. It was a top five hit on Billboard charts in 98′. She has had some bad luck with labels and some false starts working on her sophamore album.  Nicole Wray has managed to keep busy with a few singles and some vocals with artists like The Black Keys & Kid Cudi.

Random side note: My sophamore year at Hampton University there was a rumor that she had enrolled and was living on campus. One night I came back to my dorm room and my roommate at the time asked me if I had heard of Nicole Wray. (He wasn’t big into secular music) Of course, I’m like yes I have heard of her.. He tells me she just called the room but she had the wrong number and they had spoke for a while but she was slightly surprised he did not know who she was. I was never able to confirm this but needless to say my dormmates were envious.

 

 

 ***Pause the IPOD on the right***

10
May

Just Around The Corner 5/10

Happy Thursday Folks. I’ve added some fresh events to the List. Also, while I’m in documentary mode, I thought I’d point out that the Bob Marley documentary that just came is have been getting good reviews. I hope to check it out real soon. Also be on the look out for a new play list. 

This week I have added a new color to the list for recommended events. These events will be artists, festivals , etc that I have actually seen and that I know will be worth your money and time.

New events are in red, free events are in blue, and recommended events are green. Feel free to subscribe to the blog and get this listing directly in your email every week.

Thanks for your support.

 

THE LIST:

  •  May 11th – Dick Gregory @ Howard Theatre
  • May 12th – DC 101 Chili Cookoff @ RFK Stadium
  • May 12th – Esperanza Spaulding @ Howard Theatre
  • May 12th – Bethesda Fine Arts Festival @ Downtown Bethesda
  • May 17th – Anthony David @ Birchmere
  • May 17th – ZooFari @ The National Zoo
  • May 18th – The Black Keys  Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • May 19th – Rahsaan Patterson f Yahzarah @ Baltimore Soundstage
  • May 19th – Bilal @ Howard Theatre
  • May 19th – Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa @ Preakness Infieldfest
  • May 20th – Lady Lady Antebellum @ Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • May 20th – Brian McKnight @ Howard Theatre
  • May 20th – New Edition @ 1st Mariner Areana
  • May 23rd – Avery Sunshine @ Blues Alley
  • May 24th – 26th – Michael Colyar @ Riot Act Comedy Theate
  • May 25th – 27th – Chuck Brown @ Blues Alley
  • May 25th – Amel Larrieux @ Howard Theatre
  • May 25th – Drake @ Verizon Center
  • May 26th – Eric Roberson @ Birchmere
  • May 27th – Lalah Hathaway @ Baltimore Soundstage
  • June 1st – 3rd – Capital Jazz Fest @  Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • June 10th – Bobby Womack @ Birchmere
  • June 11th – Bootsy Collins @ Ramshead OnStage Baltimore
  • June 13th – Ziggy Marley @ Howard Theatre
  • June 15th – Raul Midon @ Howard Theatre
  • June 16th – Chuck Brown @ Ramshead OnStage Annapolis
  • June 19th – Santigold w/ Theophilus London @ Pier Six
  • June 21st – Earth, Wind & Fire @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • June 21st – Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party @ Verizion Center
  • June 23rd – Childish Gambino @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • June 25th – DC Black Theatre Festival @ Busboys & Ports (Hyattsville)
  • June 25th – LMFAO @ Patriot Center
  • June 26th – Fiona Apple @ Warner Theatre
  • June 27th – 7/8 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival @ The National Mall
  • June 29th – 7/1 – Regina Belle @ Blues Alley
  • June 29th – 30th – Aisha Tyler @ DC Improv
  • June 29th – Ledisi f Eric Benet & Chrisette Michele @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • July 4th – A CAPITOL FOURTH 2012 – National Symphony Orchestra @ West Lawn of the US Capital
  • July 5th – 8th – John Witherspoon @ DC Improv
  • July 7th – Meshell N’Degeocello @ Baltimore Soundstage
  • July 10th – Seal f Macy Gray @ Wolf Trap
  • July 13th – Paul Mooney @ Howard Theatre
  • July 13th – 15th – Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil @ Verizon Center
  • July 14th – Leela James @ Ramshead Onstage Annapolis
  • July 16th – Leela James @ Birchmere
  • July 19th – Morris Day & the Time @ Howard Theatre
  • July 20th – Shanice Wilson @ Blues Alley
  • July 27th – Ledisi w Eric Benet & Chrisette Michele @ DAR Constitution Hall
  • July 27th – Kindred The Family Soul @ Birchmere
  • July 31st – Kindred The Family Soul @ Ramshead OnStage Annapolis
  • August 4th – Summer Spirit Festival f Erykah Badu, Chuck Brown, Eric Roberson, etc @ Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • August 10th – 12th – DL Hughley @ DC Improv
  • August 17th – Goapele @ Birchmere
  • August 18th – Raheem Devaughn, Tank & Carl Thomas @ Pier Six
  • August 23rd – Raheem DeVaughn @ Howard Theatre
  • August 23rd – 26th – Guy Torry @ DC Improv

 

8
May

Rhythmic Uprising

 A couple weeks ago I went to a very informative film viewing and discussion for the 2008 documentary “Rhythmic Uprising”. It is a behind the scenes look at how performance arts is used to combat racism and social inequality in Bahia, Brazil. Bahia has the largest concentration of African descendants outside of Africa. The film shows how various groups have used Afro-Brazilian culture to influence at risk youth. In contrast to the larger Brazilian society, these groups encourage their youth through arts to pursue brighter futures.

After the film, there was a discussion led by one of the producers of the film, Paulo Rogério Nunes. Most of the people at the viewing had been to Brazil, so that enhanced the questions from the audience and led to a more in depth discussion on the parallels of racial and social ills between Brazil and the US. Its always intriguing to learn how other countries and cultures deal with similar social issues. Feel free to check out the trailer below and the website, where you can find screenings of the documentary and/or purchase the DVD. Also check out the podcast, as it has a lot of good information on the groups profiled in the documentary.
 

Pause the Music on the IPOD before viewing

2
May

Stood Up

Stood Up

Right before I died
There was silence
Because I was stood up at my own funeral
After looking back on my life
I can’t understand why no one was there to read my eulogy
Because when I was younger
I don’t remember exactly when it was then
But I realized that my past is defined by struggle
I personified elevation

When I was younger
I got poisoned from my own blood
Gunpowder and diseases raced through my veins
I struggled to find which was worse
Black on black crime
Or dirty needles and busted condoms
Shame to be here the way that I am
Not to mention a baby on the way that might not make it
And only one parent to raise it anyway

When I was younger
I watched the emancipated slavery end
And witnessed the birth of the corporate imprisonment
Stepped over my own flesh to rise
And when I got to the top
I never looked back at the bottom to offer support
Even though I fell a few times
And they were still there to break my fall anyway

When I was younger
When I did something wrong
My whole block took offense to it
That was way before my parents even found out
They understood it took a village
And saw us separate ourselves
Because we were too light to be black
And too brown to be white

When I was younger
I excavated a path for my future
Sacrificing my flesh and spirit
Just to earn my dignity
I marched the marches
Sat in the seats
Tasted the color in the water
Held up the bus rides
Just so the whole world could see my heart

When I was younger
I was the soul in the cornerstone of Harlem
Watched it drive and thrive
And then I set it ablaze

When I was younger
I voted when they finally let me

When I was younger
I lived the emancipated slavery
Gave up my 40 acres
To sing in the chuch’s
Dance in the juke joints
And to find my inner freedom

And when I was younger
I was the backbone of the family
The papa who worked in the field
And the momma who held it down at home
I did my best to fight off the master
And cried when he made fun of his own hybrid children
Or didn’t own up to them at all

And when I was younger
I drowned in my shackles
Disrupted from my home
But I survived the boat ride

And when I was younger
At last they realized I existed
The myth of copper skin and wool hair
Finally erupted before their eyes

And when I was younger
I lived free in my home
And my only fear was my Savior
And it meant something to be me
I knew what it was to be me…
Now my existence is a mystery
And still is questioned today
Because not one person showed up
Who cared that I was ever born.

25
Apr

Just Around the Corner 4/25

Duke Ellington statue @ Howard Theatre

 

It took some time but I finally finished the new events list. I will typically post this on Thursdays going forward but wanted to get a new list up. New events are in red and free events are in blue. Since almost everything is new, I will not highlight the red events this week. I will also use a third color next week for recommended events. Feel free to subscribe to the blog and get this listing every week.

Thanks for your support.

THE LIST:

  • April 24th – Baltimore Speakers Series: Tom Brokaw @ the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall  
  • April 18th – 9/3 – African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond @ Smithsonian Art Museum
  • April 28th – Bill Cosby @ Kennedy Center
  • April 28th – Sweetlife Food & Music Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • April 30th – Nickelback @ Verizion Center
  • May 3rd – 4th – Mint Condition @ Birchmere  
  • May 3rd – 4th – Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On with John Legend and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings @ Kennedy Center
  • May 3rd – 4th – John Legend & the Roots @ Kennedy Center
  • May 3rd – 6th – Eddie Griffin @ Riot Act Comedy Theatre  
  • May 3rd – 4th – Mint Condition @ Birchmere
  • May 4th – 6th – Gilbert Gottfried @ DC Improv
  • May 4th – 6th – Gilbert Gottfried @ DC Improv
  • May 4th – George Clinton @ Ramshead Live Baltimore
  • May 5th – 6th – Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil @ 1st Mariner Arena
  • May 5th – Chaka Khan @ Howard Theatre
  • May 5th – 6th – National Harbor Food & Wine Festival
  • May 6th – Rachelle Ferrell @ Birchmere
  • May 11th – Dick Gregory @ Howard Theatre
  • May 12th – Esperanza Spaulding @ Howard Theatre
  • May 12th – Bethesda Fine Arts Festival @ Downtown Bethesda
  • May 17th – Anthony David @ Birchmere
  • May 18th – The Black Keys  Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • May 19th – Bilal @ Howard Theatre
  • May 19th – Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa @ Preakness Infieldfest
  • May 20th – Lady Lady Antebellum @ Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • May 20th – Brian McKnight @ Howard Theatre
  • May 20th – New Edition @ 1st Mariner Arena
  • May 23rd – Avery Sunshine @ Blues Alley
  • May 24th – 26th – Michael Colyar @ Riot Act Comedy Theatre
  • May 25th – 27th – Chuck Brown @ Blues Alley
  • May 25th – Amel Larrieux @ Howard Theatre
  • May 25th – Drake @ Verizon Center
  • May 26th – Eric Roberson @ Birchmere
  • June 1st – 3rd – Capital Jazz Fest @  Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • June 10th – Bobby Womack @ Birchmere
  • June 11th – Bootsy Collins @ Ramshead OnStage Baltimore
  • June 13th – Ziggy Marley @ Howard Theatre
  • June 16th – Chuck Brown @ Ramshead OnStage Annapolis
  • June 21st – Earth, Wind & Fire @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • June 21st – Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party @ Verizion Center
  • June 23rd – Childish Gambino @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • June 25th – DC Black Theatre Festival @ Busboys & Ports (Hyattsville)
  • June 25th – LMFAO @ Patriot Center
  • June 26th – Fiona Apple @ Warner Theatre
  • June 27th – 7/8 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival @ The National Mall
  • June 29th – 7/1 – Regina Belle @ Blues Alley
  • June 29th – 30th – Aisha Tyler @ DC Improv
  • June 29th Ledisi f Eric Benet & Chrisette Michele @ Pier Six Pavilion
  • July 4th – A CAPITOL FOURTH 2012 – National Symphony Orchestra @ West Lawn of the US Capital
  • July 5th – 8th – John Witherspoon @ DC Improv
  • July 10th – Seal f Macy Gray @ Wolf Trap
  • July 13th – 15th – Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil @ Verizon Center
  • July 16th – Leela James @ Birchmere
  • July 19th – Morris Day & the Time @ Howard Theatre
  • July 20th – Shanice Wilson @ Blues Alley
  • July 27th – Kindred The Family Soul @ Birchmere
  • July 31st – Kindred The Family Soul @ Ramshead OnStage Annapolis
  • August 4th – Summer Spirit Festival f Erykah Badu, Chuck Brown, Eric Roberson, etc @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • August 17th – Goapele @ Birchmere

 

19
Apr

The return of Howard Theatre

Most buildings in Washington, DC that are closed for an extended period of time these days are typically turned into residential/retail mash up. This would be especially true for a building that’s been closed for over 30 years.  The building that was once referred to as “The theatre of the people” & part of the Washington’s “black broadway” was listed by the DC Preservation League as one of the “Most Endangered Places” in 2002, even though it had been on the National Register of Historic places since 1974. But after a 29 million dollar renovation the Howard Theatre is no longer at risk.

Upon its reopening I wanted to dig into the history of this landmark. The only thing I ever really heard about the Howard Theatre is that it was a classic go-go venue for acts like Chuck Brown, EU, & Rare Essence. When it originally opened in 1910, the Howard Theatre was the “largest colored theatre in the world”. It was also part of the the largest urban African-American community at the time. (Now known as U street) After the Great Depression, the theatre began to gain notoriety as Duke Ellington performed there regularly. The theatre introduced amateur nights in the 30′s; with Ella Fitzgerald being among the winners. During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt and his wife attended balls at the theatre. In the 50′s, Howard Theatre was host to many significant Rock & Roll and R&B acts like, Buddy Holly, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Otis Redding, Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Redd Foxx, Marvin Gaye and the Supreme’s. After the Martin Luther King assassination and the 1968 riots the theatre was damaged and the city became segregated. As a result the theatre closed in 1970. It was reopened for a brief time and only close again in 1980.

Now that the Howard Theatre has been restored I am looking forward to visiting this historic venue. The theater reopened on April 9th and has put together a very impressive concert list, including Amel Larrieux, Alice Smith, LeAnn Rimes, Brian McKnight, Chaka Khan, Esperanze Spaulding, Bilal, Michael Bolton and many others. I will be sure to include these on the next event listing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19
Apr

Summer Spirit Festival 2012

 

The Summer Spirit Festival ticket presale is today. If you would like to be among the first to get your tickets to this great show featuring Erykah Badu, Common, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Chuck Brown, Estelle, & Eric Roberson, use the presale code: SPIRITFLOW

Show Details:
Sat, August 4, 2012
3:00 pm
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, MD

 

13
Apr

The Box Friday’s: Ghetto Boy’s – Minds playing tricks on me

Happy Friday Folks. Bringing back with the Box Friday’s. Also moving the events post to Wednesday’s just in time to plan your weekend out. Today’s video comes from the Ghetto Boys, “My minds playing tricks on me”, a Halloween classic. Happy Friday the 13th.

 

12
Apr

Ending My Slumber

I’ve finally completed one of my New Year’s resolutions, switching to a job that does not completely drain me mentally(among other reasons). So I’m excited to get back to the blog that I’ve neglected that last couple months. So many things to post about. The newly renovated Howard Theater, Melissa Harris-Perry’s new show, an awesome Brazilian documentary I saw last night, but the one thing I can’t get out of my head is the Trayvon Martin situation. I haven’t touched on it much via social media. I’ve only really talked about it with a few folks in my circle. The reason being is that it angers me that this kid died for nothing. I find it hard to keep my emotions in check or to speak on this in a logical manner. I have been Trayvon several times except I was lucky that none of my aggressors killed me. So while I will get to some of those other previously mentioned topics, below is just food for thought.

LE CHIEN ANDALOU

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What if Trayvon were White? Asian? Latino? Muslim? An illegal immigrant? Female?
What if George were Black? Asian? Muslim? An illegal immigrant?
What if they were in an under privileged neighborhood?
What if George never followed Trayvon?
What if George had waited for the police as he was told?
What if the people paid attention when “stand your ground” became law?
What if there were no Facebook or Twitter?
What if authority was never challenged?
What if George was never charged?
What if George is found guilty? Not guilty?
What if this happened 50 years ago?
What if WE displayed this outrage at every murder in our community?


#justiceforTrayvon

 


 

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