J*Davey show at Sugar Hill

Saturday night I was doing double duty, wearing two wonderfully artistic hats. One as a poet at a qualifying slam with the Java Monkey Decatur, GA and Knoxville, TN slam teams and the other as a journalist/blogger at the J*Davey show at Sugar Hill. My homeboy and fellow writer Adam Beane agreed to tag team blog with me about the J*Davey show so none of the festivities would be missed. He is officially a part of history -- my first guest blogger. :) What follows is an insider view into the evening. A glimpse, if you will, of conversation, texts, and pseudo-twittering. lol For your reading pleasure...

Adam arrives at 9:30, sure he’s late, but hears DJ TaBone and remembers that nothing in Atlanta starts on time - absolutely nothing.

Adam is absorbing the scene: white guys in suits & ties, faux blipsters in flannels and ladies with more variations of natural than Whole Foods, Sevananda and Trader Joe’s combined.

Adam peeps the paintings being constructed by Flux of Binkis Recs on the side of the stage.

Adam watches a white girl who he thinks is CJ from 95.5 The Beat welcome the crowd.

Adam thought Dres tha Beatnik was hosting…???

Adam sees Ali “ALIen” Warren take the stage on some Clyde Stubblefield drumming meets Rahzel “Godfather of Noyze”.

Adam accompanies ALI’s DJ through the medley of hip hop crowd movers…yes, I concur Hov “Brooklyn, we do, in fact, go hard”

Adam is mesmerized as the only thing ALIen is unable to do on drums is sit still. So sick…

Adam watches ALIen take off his shirt (no E. Lynn Harris) while drumming…stand on the kick while drumming…and walk through the audience with his snare while (you guessed it) still drumming.

Adam is digging how ALIen pours the Red Bull can over the drum set providing the audience with an 80’s glam rock video splash scene every time he “click-clacks(!)”.

Thoroughly entertained, Adam is wondering why ALIen wasn’t billed on the flyer…?

Adam has no time to contemplate, Atlanta-native The Doll Daze promptly takes the stage donning masquerade half masks.
Adam is digging her indie rock soul vibe.

Adam was doing fine until the Acid Girls, The Doll Daze’s promo team, walked in front of him trying to steal his attention.
Adam peeps Janelle Monae slide into the venue with Brittany Bosco.

Back on his grizzly, Adam thinks The Doll Daze pleasantly fill a void left by RES.

Adam wonders if RES, Kweli and this Idle Warship joint is really gonna produce results for either of them…

Single tracking my train of thought, Adam is grooving to “Words”, “2040” and “Please Everybody” which is a good sign for Doll Daze if I can remember the names of your songs.

Adam applauds as Doll Daze bids farewell to an appreciative audience.

Adam considers getting a drink until he looks at how packed the bar has become and realizes a cranberry juice ain’t worth all that.

Adam sees Brittany Bosco’s band take their places and digs the two keyboardists, bassist, guitarist, drummer and DJ that Bosco has brought along with her.

Adam listens as somehow Brittany gets two intros…one from the white girl followed by another from Dres.

Adam is feeling how Brittany Bosco comes out looking like Lena Horne…long eyelashes and all.

Adam watches as Brittany’s commanding voice fills the room and her body’s contortions ensure all eyes are on her.

Adam can’t quite get the “City of Nowhere” chant right that Brittany wants everybody to sing.

Adam thinks Brittany Bosco is about as dynamic a performer as you’re going to see before becoming famous.

Adam is slightly distracted as the couple next to him discusses Brittany Bosco’s unconventional looks.

Adam likes that Brittany and her cousin (pulled from the audience) end her set singing a duet of “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”.

Adam decides that he’s seen Brittany Bosco perform even better, but loves that she always seems to leave it all on the stage.

Adam is eagerly anticipating J*Davey when he gets a tap on his shoulder from his pen sister Amena.

amena is trying to catch up with adam but got distracted looking at how the guy next to adam was focusing some serious energy on his two step, then dres and the deejay got on that al green love and happiness, at which time amena had to cut a lil rug.

amena wants to thank dj tabone for playing this..."i wanna rock right now. i'm rob base and i came to get down. i'm not internationally known, but i'm known to rock the microphone!"

amena got some cool footage of janelle monae and dres tha beatnik dancing to a groove.

amena thinks j*davey's music has the ability to make you feel like you have been transported inside your radio.

amena thinks some of j*davey's beats rock.

amena went to the front to snap a picture and caught a whiff of smoke, not of the nicotine kind.

amena wonders if this whiff helps the audience to enjoy j*davey's music.

amena watches people party like it's 1988 while listening to j*davey.

pseudo tweet blog: java monkey/knoxville slam

As previously stated in this here blog, my cell phone is incapable of 21st duties such as checking email, facebook, twittering and the like. In an effort to update my status at events I go old school and write down what I would twitter if I could. For your reading pleasure, my "tweets or something like that" about the qualifying slam I participated in between the Java Monkey and Knoxville slam teams on Saturday, March 14.

amena is hanging out with kim possible and j marie on the way to java monkey.

amena is listening to kim possible read a portion of outliers and feeling inspired.

amena is happy to see rhea sunshine and black atticus from the knoxville slam team.
amena just saw bryan patillo without his locks...wow!

amena huddles up with tonight’s java monkey slam team: tavares, gypsee yo, and bryan patillo, to coolly strategize for the slam.

amena wants to make it known that coolly strategize is another term for four poets looking at each other and saying "so whatchu wanna do?"

amena is digging tavares' poem about inspiring the kids.

amena is sniffling some and hopes it won't affect her performance.

amena performs "God bless mom" and gets the two judges who've been giving high 7s and low 8s all night to come up a couple of decimal points.

amena gets a blasted time penalty for taking her sweet time on "God bless mom."

amena realizes that when rhea sings it sounds like chuuuuuuch.

amena is a gypsee yo fan!

amena watched gypsee yo perform autobiography and had to stand up and shout!

amena wants to thank courageous from knoxville for standing up for the good men and for showing love to everyday women. I’m about that! :D

amena thinks it’s ridiculous that tavares’ amazing poem about the birth of his son got such low scores. haters.

amena enjoyed slamming and having a friendly win with the java team.


Class of 3000 LIVE: A Trip to Cool School

Outkast’s Andre 3000 and Tom Lynch’s animated cartoon brainchild, Cartoon Network’s Emmy award-winning Class of 3000, debuted Saturday as a live stage show to an audience full of Atlanta celebrities, families, and kids at the Alliance Theater. Set in Atlanta, the play hinges on a chance meeting between Li’l D, a middle school student who has just discovered his school has lost its music teacher, and Sunny Bridges, an international jazz and blues performer who after leaving his music career is in need of some inspiration. Here are four reasons to love this animated cartoon turned stage play.

4 Reasons to Love Class of 3000 LIVE

1. An Atlanta World Premiere: Class of 3000 LIVE is the second stage play to host its world premiere in Atlanta at the Alliance Theater this year. Shows like this help to highlight what many people already know about Atlanta, that it is a city brimming with art and talent.

2. Cool Cast: Jonathan Davis (Kam), Bernard Jones (Li’l D), Wendy Melkonian (Madison), Brandon O’Dell (Phil), Zany Pohlel (Kim), Justin Tanner (Eddie), and Sharisa Whatley (Tamika), played the live class of 3000 with song, choreography, and humor that adults and kids alike could enjoy. From the first time Li’l D yells, “let’s crank this thing up!” you want to follow him on the journey to convince his idol, Sunny Bridges, to become the kids’ music teacher. Scott Warren, actor/puppeteer, added hilarity to each role he played from Sunny’s manager to the kids’ principal.

3. Sunny Bridges: Not only is the animated character inspired by Atlanta’s own Andre 3000, but Sinatra Onyewuchi, embodied his character’s animation and eclectic style, with a signature straw hat, fluid dance moves, and a smile that invited cast and audience members to join in the fun.

4. Inspirational Tunes: Sunny and his new cadre of kids perform songs from the animated series, showing that there is more to good music than what you hear on the radio. Towards the end of the show, the kids sing “be yourself, because no one else can take your seat in cool school.” This advice, like the show, is good for all ages.


inspirational women month: dear grandma sudie

march is women's history month, but i like to celebrate it as inspiration women month by highlighting the women who inspire me. here is a poem about my great grandmother.

Dear Grandma Sudie

She had cheeks as dark brown as tree trunks.
See the years of courage weaved like the grain of tobacco leaves between her fingertips.
These same lips fed me spoonfuls of truth, thick and hot like stone ground grits.
She knew the blood of Jesus for its pardon and its power,
Called on his name in a way book knowledge cannot teach.
Siphon the wisdom in her silver strands and I could take sips of womanhood everyday,
Learn a love that follows the curve of her hips and longs to lay beside the man of her dreams for the rest of her life.
I believe in dreams with shoes under pillows.
I believe in your legend.
You were lean, graceful, quiet but knowing,
Strong in the silent enduring sense of the word.

If you were here today, I would kiss you on your cheek,
Ask you if you needed anything
Bring you cool glasses of water
Silence my busy mind and listen to you.
I would sit at your feet and write your life story on my hand so I could retell it to me after you were gone.
Hum you a hymn you taught to me until you went to sleep
Fine-tooth comb your gently pressed hair, scratch your scalp and line it with white rose.
Ask you to teach me the recipe for collard greens, chicken pastry, chitlins, parenting, 60-year love, love of God.
I would follow your recipe by the ounce until I made it my own.