Off Beat

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sticks and Stones celebrates local wordsmiths

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:12 PM

The Star Bar has certainly hosted its share of comedy, open mic's, karaoke, and any number of special events that cater to folks outside the venue's cigarette-and-High Life-wielding rock crowd. But this Fri., Aug. 14, the L5P venue hosts a few local wordsmiths showing off their respective gifts of gab. Taking place in Star Bar's downstairs the Little Vinyl Lounge Sticks and Stones will feature five notable Atlantans operating in a variety of vocal mediums. The night will include performances by poet Tom Cheshire, musician Jeffrey Bützer, singer/songwriter Rodney Henry, culture reporter Han Vance, and author/publisher Matt DeBenedictis. Given the LVL's relatively cramped and intimate quarters, make sure you plan on arriving early and RSVP in the link below.

Sticks and Stones, featuring Tom Cheshire, Jeffrey Bützer, Rodney Henry, Han Vance, Matt DeBenedictis. Free. 8 p.m. The Little Vinyl Lounge. 437 Moreland Ave N.E. www.starbaratlanta.com.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Cee Lo's new reality show with Goodie Mob won't be awkward, will it?

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:08 PM

TOP O' THE MORNING TO YA: Goodie Mob poses for the cover of CL before the 2009 reunion concert.
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • TOP O' THE MORNING TO YA: Goodie Mob poses for the cover of CL before its 2009 reunion concert.
If you've been waiting for Cee Lo to redeem himself since that awkward, all-gold-everything performance with the Goodie Mob last year on "The Voice," this news will either make you cringe or cry tears of joy. Though he's been making the most of his hiatus from "The Voice" (LoBerace, y'all), Cee Lo is poised to return to the small screen with the rest of the Mob in a new TBS reality show titled "The CeeLo Life." The Atlanta-based network has ordered six episodes for 2014, and the four-man crew's creative partnership will be the focus.

It sounds a lot like the premise behind the 2011 reality vehicle "Cee Lo Takes the UK," which was produced by Mark Burnett ("Survivor") and aired in the UK. If you never saw that one, it's definitely worth 11 minutes of your time - if only for the weirdness of it all. The concept behind the seemingly scripted reality show was to introduce CeeLo's original crew, Atlanta's own Goodie Mob, to a broader audience as the reunited clique set out to begin working on its new album. The episode, "Cee Lo Takes the UK: Christmas With all the Goodies," features Cee and Gipp having a fish-out-of-water experience in the UK: They're skeet shooting, with English accents and kooky outfits. They're Christmas caroling, with English accents and kooky outfits. Basically, it's a lot of English accents and kooky outfits. (And tea sipping!) T-Mo and Khujo make an appearance, too, via a long-distance phone call from home to ask CeeLo to bring back a Goodie bag of Christmas presents.

Cringeworthy comedy, indeed. But hey, British humor is supposed to be awkward, right?

It was certainly a far cry from anything in the realm of Atlanta-based ratchet reality. And an even farther cry from the reality Goodie Mob represented upon its inception 20 years ago.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik: Beatboxing the Best of Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

“This is what I call "the Art Of The Stretch"!!” D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik said on Facebook. “That grey area between Acts when the Host has to keep the Audience engaged in the Overall production before the Next Act Performs!!”

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Usher sexes up to his own soundtrack

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Among the many revelations in Usher's big sit-down on last night's episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" — which exhumed the salacious details of his failed two-year marriage to Tameka Foster and their three-year-long divorce/ custody battle — the most disturbing may have been the Atlanta R&B king's admission that he likes to make babies to his own baby-making music.

In fact, the conversation almost got a little PG-13ish between he and the queen of couch convo as he outlined his attack (around the 30-minute mark):

Usher: Some guys don't really take their time; they don't even care to put music on. And I like to set the mood, you know, before I actually go there — since we're having this conversation.

Of course, Oprah's all like, "Let's have it!"

Usher: It starts with a little bit of Teddy P.

Oprah: "Turn off the lights, light a candle."

They're both wearing black, by the way.

Usher: Yeah, baby

Oprah: Come on

But pronounced in her faux Southern accent it really sounded more like, "come own"

Usher: Get a lil bit of Marvin Gaye, and then your more modern Usher and you know.

Yeah, we know.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Lupe Fiasco and the arrogance of the self-righteous rapper

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Lupe Fiasco just wanted to “start a conversation.”

At least, that’s what he said when the controversial video for his song “Bitch Bad” hit the Net. The song is an insightful look at the appropriation of the term “bitch” in hip-hop; how the term has come to be a badge of honor for some women, though many men still use it to degrade, and how the mixed signals can affect young people.

What is commendable about the song is how it seems that Lupe is just presenting a case. He doesn’t seem to be finger-wagging or dictating how individuals should think about the word. He just seems to be raising questions about the impact of its wanton use. I was pleased to hear a hip-hop song that was topical without being condescendingly self-righteous.

Then I saw the video.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Janelle Monae is the new easy, breezy face of Covergirl

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Janelle_Monae_Covergirl.jpg
Between her music and her marketability, Janelle Monae stays flexing. Yet she remains so conscious and uplifting while doing it. In the statement announcing her as the newest face of Covergirl cosmetics, she even encourages women to own "their superpowers." Very cool considering she's already appropriately dressed in her superhero chic.

"I believe it's time that women truly owned their superpowers and used their beauty and strength to change the world around them," said Janelle, who's known for her signature black bowtie and voluminous bouffant. "One of my core values is to help redefine what it means to be a strong and beautiful woman in the music and fashion worlds and to empower the wonderful things that make us unique. Becoming a CoverGirl is truly an honor and a gift: it opens up a new platform for me to inspire women to feel stronger, braver and more beautiful inside and out."

Her first spread, a 10-pager according to the Insider, will debut in Vogue's September issue. Pretty sure that'll make her fourth or fifth time appearing in the fashion bible.

Update: Peep the commercial below.

Update 2: And another one — behind-the-scenes with Covergirl spot...

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ciara inspires hate on a whole ’nother level

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

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It seems some people have really gotten fed up with Ciara's questionable output (see Basic Instinct ,"Sweat") — 325 of them to be exact. That's the current number of co-signers collected by the digital petition to ban Ciara from making music, launched on Change.org by an angry twitter personality thirsty for followers self-styled critic.

His petition reads:

YOU TIRED OF BACK BENDS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF FLOPS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF CORNROWS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF THIN ASHY VOCALS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF GUESSING IF IT'S A MAN OR A WOMAN? SIGN!

I SEE A CHANGE IN OUR FUTURE AMERICA!

In case it isn't obvious, the petitioner feels Ciara's hairstyles, lack of powerhouse vocals, and spine-twisting dance moves have surpassed an intolerable limit throughout her seven years as a recording artist.

"We can't deal with anymore flops in the industry," the petitioner continues. " We want to get rid not only Ciara! But other gimmicks in the music industry! We need more artists like Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Beyonce Knowles just to name a few! Tired of this microwave music! Keep supporting this cause! Thank You."

Damn CiCi, talk about being one of Atlanta's most hated.

Ciara's latest offering, the poptastic "Overdose," might alleviate some of the harsh criticism:

Then again, maybe not.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RIP: Sherman Hemsley moves on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

George Jefferson (and Raj from "What's Happening") literally taught me how to dance growing up, which made Sherman Hemsley a father figure of sorts. Not to mention "The Jeffersons" had one of the best sitcom theme songs of all time. Sherman Hemsley made an appearance in Nelly and the St. Lunatic's video for "Batter Up," a song which reprised the Jefferson's "Movin' On Up" theme. But his most overlooked musical contribution came in 1989 with the release of his single, "Ain't That a Kick in the Head."

The 74-year-old actor passed away at his El Paso, Texas home according to TMZ. Rest in peace Sherman Hemsley.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Nas talks divorce on Stephen Colbert: 'Life is Good'

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

"Your ex-wife was Kelis. Was there any problem with the fact that her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard?"

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stevie J of LHH Atlanta hams it up on RapFixLive, Mona Scott defends show

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 9:29 AM

"Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" reality star/producer Stevie J sat on the couch with Sway of MTV's RapFixLive yesterday for an interview that was entertaining in a Stevie J sorta way. Around the :48 mark, Sway basically asks Stevie J if he's conscious that he's making a total buffoon of himself and his women (baby's ma Mimi Faust and side-piece/artist Joseline Hernandez) on national TV. But Stevie J owns up to his mess, claiming that he's pretty much ratchet as hell even when the cameras aren't rolling. "I just live my life," he says. "I don't even care about the cameras around I just do what I do."

At one point, he even compares he and Joseline's relationship to former LaFace head L.A. Reid and his ex-wife Pebbles. One thing conspicuously missing from the conversation is the recent MediaTakeout rumor that Stevie J proposed to Joseline (click the link to see the alleged rock on her finger).

But Sway also made a point to discuss Stevie J's other mostly forgotten talent as a producer and former Bad Boy affiliate behind such hits as Biggie's "Mo Money, Mo Problems" and Mariah Carey's "Breakdown." He even digs up an old MTV clip of Stevie J sprawled out on a bed while being interviewed by an old MTV News correspondent along with Mariah Carey and Diddy. When Stevie dives onto the bed with his shirt off, Diddy calls Stevie "a ham for the camera" in a moment that could only be called hip-hop premonition.

The conversation really heats up when "Love & Hip Hop" executive producer Mona Scott-Young joins the couch and defends the show against some of the criticism its faced for its negative portrayals of black women. "This show is about these women, their lives, and the shit — excuse me — stuff they deal with," she says.

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