House of Soul in full swing. Nichol Stevenson should be giving herself and her crew plenty of props as the second week of House of Soul was just as cracking as the grand opening festivities the week before. I made sure I stopped through the first Café Soul I’ve attended in a couple of years Friday night, and saw some familiar and fresh faces – including new co-host Briana Elise. Briana and Tendai got things started off right for the live music open mic with a duet of Erykah Badu’s “On and On.” Over the course of the night we heard everything from Mary J. Blige, to Usher and Daniel Caesar from folks brave enough to take the stage. I had too much lined up to roll through on Saturday, but I was met by a line going out the door when I hit up Trap, Soul & Paint as part of my Sunday rounds. When I tell you the folks dropped it like it was hot in the name of Halloween while in full costume. You had to be there to fully grasp the energy. Trap, Soul & Paint selling out and turning up is nothing new. But when the folks are ready to twerk the spot down and not let it stop their creative process and in full costume, it does something to your spirit. Speaking of costumes, House of Soul is having a Halloween Night Costume contest with $500 on the line Thursday night. If you don’t have a costume yet, it’s worth the scramble for a chance to get that much coin. While y’all playing, that’s somebody’s car note.
Cognac, Bars and Cigars was too cute. Now you know when Larry Blue, Cash Cohnes and Lisa West are involved, that’s it’s gonna be a win. But even with my expectations, I was blown away (Like smoke – get it? You know what? Never mind) by the experience the trio teamed up to present with Cognac, Bars and Cigars Sunday at Bar Napoli. It was a mood and vibe rolled into one. All of the who’s who was on deck to the point where the party was spilling out onto the sidewalk. And folks were downright shook by how much life Love Jones The Band was serving with their two sets like I haven’t been telling y’all they are about that life for the past several years. But, y’all know how I love to say I told you so. And I did. If I started naming all the influencers who were on deck, there would be no room for the rest of Partyline. Just know that everybody with the slightest delusion that they are anybody was at Bar Napoli. Can somebody tell me who that handsomely dressed, gorgeous and charming man in the suit walking around with the gentleman of a certain age that was giving me Pauly Sorvino from “Goodfellas” fame with his charm and realness? I only asked because he promised to find me a boyfriend and make him a suit like the one the young Ray Liotta looking dude was wearing.
Costume and Cocktails remains consistent. Listen, if you are good and grown and want to have a good time for Halloween and feel free to live your best life in costume, be sure to support Arika Parr and Korey Johnson’s annual Costumes and Cocktails Party. Once again it was on and went all the way down Saturday night at the Jewel Center. And every single year, Costumes and Cocktails guests raise the stakes as far as the innovation and creativity of their looks. The Laniers are still in the Hall of Fame for their Bob Ross combo that had Kevin as Bob Ross and Ellicia as one of the late painter’s masterpieces. But 2019 didn’t disappoint. Who was that woman who killed the game with her portrayal of Martin Lawrence’s undercover character as the pizza delivery man with the jacked up grill in “Blue Streak?” Girl, you did that! And using the Imo’s box was the perfect touch – and showed how we go out of our way to rep the STL in every single thing we do. The pair that came as Detectives Olivia Benson and Fin Tutoula (Ice T’s character) from “Law and Order SVU” took a second to get for the casual crime drama television watcher. But us SVU Heads thought it was pure genius. The winners of this year’s contest came through as Princess Imani Izzi (a.k.a. Vanessa Bell Calloway’s “whatever you like” character) and Prince Akeem. It was so much fun as usual and I hope that Costumes and Cocktails continues to get the support and enthusiasm that has become standard operating procedure over the past seven years.
A St. Louis daughter stole the A Night of Soul Searching show. As usual I made my way to the Ready Room to support my girl Angel’s A Night of Soul Searching Concert Series Saturday night. Let me start with the good. Amber Bullock and her secular slayage was the highlight of my night. Every time I see her I think to myself, “I forgot how good that girl can saing (yes, I said saing).” She was serving fashion and vocal goals thanks to that glorious catsuit I would never have the nerve to put on this shape of mine. Isis Jones was too cute as well as she stepped on stage as the hostess with the most. There was a lag and Elle Varner’s grand entrance was foiled by the lack of awareness that there was no cordless microphone, but that band was so dope that we forgave the hiccup. Elle Varner sounded good too and looked great in that sequined camo dress that hugged her killer curves. As much as I loved show closer Case’s personality, I can’t say that I was getting any life from his vocals. I will say that I thought he was hilarious and cackled at the flirtatious banter between him and Tasha B. That’s all I have to give as far as props for his performance. And why did he threaten the crowd with a Pastor Wilson midway into his set? Those of you who don’t consume disgraceful social media content won’t know who Pastor Wilson is – and for me to describe it would be NSFP (Not Safe For Partyline) just know that it was raunchy. Oh, I do have another positive note. And that’s how whenever Case and Elle asked for audience participation, the crowd sang like somebody’s award winning show choir. On a literal sour note, when Case and Elle performed together, she was searching for a key to harmonize with Case as he did some R&B throwbacks – a segment that the folks loved. I wanted to say, “sis, don’t waste your time or the note, because Case is in his own key and it cannot be matched.”