One of R&B’s best is gone…

Without a doubt, Teena Marie had one of the best voices in music.  Along with that great voice she had straight HITS.  With her untimely death the day after Christmas, the “Ivory Queen of Soul” as she is dubbed, was an unsung legend.   But I don’t want to talk about how she was snubbed for awards or how her career fizzled.  I want to discuss how her voice sent goosebumps up my arm.  How you feel when she comes in on one of the best duets of our time, “Fire and Desire”.  When I hear that song I wish I was around when it came out so I can get a nice slow grind in a dark corner at a basement  house party with my boo.  No matter what club you go to, if it’s dead or if you broke your ankle dancing so hard, when the DJ puts on “Square Biz” you and your one foot are back on the dance floor looking crazy as hell.  “Portuguese Love” was the love story we all wanted. “I Need Your Lovin” is another hit that can get an old school party jumping while you’re whispering “Ooh La La La” in your hunny’s ear.  It’s “Deja Vu” when you meet that new flame because you’re thinking “I’m Still In Love” with the old one.

Although we weren’t hearing new songs from her every year, her death leaves a void.  Not because she was one of my favorite R&B singers of all time, but because she was one of the best of all time.  Hopefully with Teena’s untimely death, she will not be forgotten.  The new crop of “singers” need to be reminded of what singing REALLY is.

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Sunset Lounge “Day Party” returns for 4th of July celebration

Who says you have to party at 12 midnight anymore?  The “day party” is a great concept.  I get it.  Sunset Lounge, a group of young forward thinking entrepreneurs, has brought a fairly new concept to the forefront of Atlanta’s “night life”, now “day life”.  Whether this group is the first to do it, that’s up for debate but regardless, they are doing it.

Hundreds of people come together at Shout Restaurant located in Midtown Atlanta for this day party for good food, good music and good times.  I’m not sure if I experienced that this time.  It could have been the fact that it was 1000 degrees outside and we’re sitting on a rooftop at high noon or that there were just way to many women there or I wonder if I’m just getting old?  Scratch that.  I’m not old.  But it was 1000 degrees out and there was way to much estrogen in the building.   I guess that works out for you men but I prefer to be around some testosterone…cute testosterone at that.   The music was descent but not great.  I’m not sure if they changed the DJ but I remember being very pleased about the music at the last one I attended.

If you read my first review of this event back in September ’09, I almost wrote this event off because of Shout.  I felt that Shout being understaffed for this groups event was a sign of disregard and disrespect and the manager on duty that time had a horrible attitude.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a positive review about Shout this time around and I’m not surprised.  I’m assuming that Sunset Lounge and Shout made arrangements for this event months in advance so why is the waitstaff unaware of ANYTHING?  No one had any clue if the event had any drink specials.  They weren’t aware of any food specials.  When we asked our waiter about it, he asked another waiter standing at another table and that waiter didn’t know.  So that waiter asked another waiter across the patio and that waiter didn’t know.  We arrived there when doors open to avoid the crowd and the wait for food and drinks.  We still had to wait a long period of time for our drinks.  Some of the food that was ordered came out room temperature.  But this is how Shout is on a regular day.  I’ve honestly never had a positive experience at this place.

At the end of the day, kudos for Sunset Lounge and their day party.  They have a huge following so expect a large turnout if you decide to go to their events.  They opened the doors right on time and didn’t play that “lets keep the line waiting” game that most of these promoters and venue participate in.  They had someone passing out free hand towels and t-shirts.  Sunset Lounge staff/affiliates were pleasant.  If they bring back the previous DJ, bring in more testosterone and LEAVE SHOUT RESTAURANT, then I’ll be back.  Until then, lights out for me on this day party.  Although I will not return if they continue to patronize Shout, I still recommend this event.  Experience the Day Party yourself.

Dwele is so delicious!

Good music is a lost art form these days.  The artists that deserve constant airplay, platinum records sales and household name status just don’t get the recognition.  But that doesn’t deter me from supporting a good artist when they’re around.  Dwele is one of these artists.  I had the chance to see him live at Center Stage in Atlanta last night and I must say that that man is so delicious.  Yeah, yeah, yeah this is supposed to be a show review and I’m going to get to that but I can’t just overlook Dwele’s charisma and sex appeal on the stage.  The man can sing the panties off of someone, LITERALLY.  Someone handed him her panties in the audience.  And I totally understand why!  Whew! *shakes head*  Anywho, if you know good music then you’ve been supporting Dwele since his debut CD “Subject” in 2003.  Seeing him perform early in his career as an opening act for a larger artist to seeing him last night as the main act was a pleasant musical experience.  He gave us a glimpse of his new album “Wants World Women” and took us down memory lane of all our favorite Dwele songs connecting the dots from Donny Hathaway to Stevie Wonder.  He knows how to hook the crowd by being very intimate and personal with them.  At one point sitting on the edge of the stage giving all the ladies access to touch and hold him to taking a cell phone out the hand of a lady that was recording him perform, turning the camera towards him and singing into the phone.  His band and background singers were phenomenal.  He is our modern day Marvin, Donny, Stevie all wrapped up in one sexy, chocolate, piano playing, singing cutie.  I think I have a crush on Dwele.  Dwele might be my new Raheem DeVaughn.  And anybody who knows me knows how I feel about R.D.

As for his new album, what are you waiting for?  You should have made the purchase on Tuesday when it was released.  If you haven’t, go do it now.  It’s GREAT!   Check out Ticketmaster for more tour dates.  You don’t want to miss it.

Old School Saturday is Atlanta’s best party of the month

As I limp into the house at 2:30 in the morning I realized that my feet are killing me.  My feet never hurt on any other occasion.  Then I thought hard about the last time, if ever, my feet felt like this and it was the last time I went to Old School Saturday, OSS as the public calls it.

If you’re new to Atlanta, visiting Atlanta or been here your entire life but never been to an Old School Saturday event, you need to make it your point to attend the next party.  I know the name may throw you off.  “Old school” sounds like a room full of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes party goers but it’s the complete opposite.   I’m 33 and happy to have grown up in the greatest era of hip hop and the 2nd greatest era of soul and r & b (the first being the Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes era).

One Saturday a month at a different location throughout Atlanta, usually at the top hotels in the city, they play “The Soundtrack of Your Life” which is respectively their motto and it’s exactly how I feel with each and every song they play.  Think of every classic hit of the 80’s and 90’s from the different genres of music and this is what the night is made of.  Tonight they did a large tribute to Michael Jackson to commemorate the year anniversary of his untimely death.   Most of his greatest hits from the Jackson 5 to the Bad album brought me down memory lane and reminded me how I’m still upset that he’s gone.

As usual I had a great night…..to a degree.  The OSS staff and events are very organized and well thought out.  But the one issue that almost ruined the night for me was the Westin Hotel’s air system in the ballroom that the event was held in.  It was so hot in there it literally cut into my dance time.  At one point it was almost unbearable to stand in the room.  What concerns me about this is I’ve been to other non OSS events at this Westin in downtown Atlanta and have never experienced no air at the event.  I don’t know if that’s a practice of Westin but it’s definitely not a good look when this group brings approximately 2000-3000 people through their doors buying their hotel drinks the whole night.  OSS, you may need to look into that.

The next Old School Saturday is July 17, 2010 at the Hyatt.  Meet me there or beat me there.  Either way, I’ll be there!   This is going to be me:

LOL!  Sike.. I’m playing.