Top notch Neighborhood Flavor. I don’t know what it is about that public commons space by the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio, but every event that I’ve been to in that gorgeous open air spot has been epic! Saturday was no different when I made my way to the Neighborhood Flavor St. Louis presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and a whole team of tastemakers! Listen, everybody who even thought about being somebody was out there – and the crowd was so grown and gorgeous and we all got home at a decent hour! Even after being blown away last year, Neighborhood Flavor raised the bar even higher. It’s all but official that it’s on my list for best of 2018. Sy Smith is…O.G. Mariah Carey 2.0. While I was feeling a sort of way for having to start my nightlife beat in the middle of the week when I popped into .Zack Wednesday to catch underground soulstress Sy Smith. But when she opened her mouth, all was forgiven. Listen, I haven’t heard notes like that since back When Mariah had us feeling emotions! Yes, Sy has the range! Ooh, it was life. And she had me locked in when she took a tiny bite out of the underrated Aretha classic “Jump to It!” Mo Egeston and his crew deserve props for backing her up so beautifully too!
Don’t know how to feel about D.C. Curry. I was excited to see Don “D.C” Curry when I hit up Helium Friday night. And cackled when he came out asking at 11:30 p.m. if Aretha Franklin’s funeral was still underway. But it was a different story when he got all the way up into his tried and true (translation: repeat) set. How you gonna go out of your way to call R. Kelly a predator, only to victim blame when it comes to Bill Cosby? I don’t understand it. And you better hope Terry Crews don’t catch you out in the streets, because you might catch a pair of musclebound hands the way you shamed him. I will say that I laughed my face off when he made himself the butt of the joke when he gave context to his beef with Mo’Nique. Anyway when he brought up that Kevin Hart and Katt Williams used to open up for him and now he’s headlining the basement of a mall at “Club Nitrogen” but he’s still running laps around Jimmie Walker I like to have fell clean out. Don’t shame the club if you took the gig…I’m just saying – plus Kings of Comedy have come through Helium. His opening act BT Kingsley had me hollering as well when he pointed out the generational disconnects between the young and the old. And as I get ready to be slayed to the heavens for Salute 31 (on September 29) I could especially relate with the portion of his routine about his diet struggles.
September is for Salute. Since I’m already discussing my Salute diet, I might as well go ahead and let the few folks who don’t know already that the St. Louis American Foundation’s 31st Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala is happening on September 29 at America’s Center – which temporarily becomes the intersection of black elegance and black excellence each year thanks to Salute. Yes, I am tooting our horn like that…anybody who has ever been will cosign. Don’t sleep on getting your tickets or you will find yourself on the outside looking in on all of that glamour, honey. And by “all of that glamour,” of course I mean me. Don’t miss my big reveal. Visit stlamerican.com or call 314-533-8000 (for the few analogs we have left in the world).
Yes ma’am to Siam. I must say that I truly appreciate the St. Louis promoter community for realizing that we only need to sacrifice our late-afternoon to mid-evening in the name of tearing the club up every once in a while. This day party season has been more about quality than quantity. Remember when there were so many day parties poppin’ that the folks didn’t even bother changing out of their church clothes? I must say that I’m certainly glad that era is over. But the Day Party STL crew (I’m not naming all of y’all because I will surely leave somebody out and get a hot note about it…lbvs) gave us something to talk about Sunday at Siam in the Grove. It was really cute! I love the fact that it brought out folks I hadn’t seen in a while – like Jamie, Patrice, Sona, Jenny and my boy Bo – my favorite security guard from the late great HG. I’m sure Orlando Watson was falling asleep at the grill on Monday after having a day party and a night comedy show. You wore me down with that double booking too, sir.
Labor Day eve laughs. The elderly D.C. (he said it, not me) was hitting and missing thanks to some insensitive material, and the young D.C., better known as D.C. Young Fly had me feeling like I had overdosed on 5-hour energy drinks by the way he was hopping around that stage at the Pageant Sunday for the Labor Day Comedy Jam. It was like watching Serena Williams square off with herself. I got some good laughs in at the show, which starred DC, Ha Ha Davis and Karlous Miller. It was generous of D.C. to let Miller headline. He was pretty funny until he found out the hard way he wasn’t familiar enough to roast our city. Now Ha Ha might want to consider changing his name – or run the risk of being sued for false advertisement. What…how many of y’all laughed at any of his little jokes? But between D.C. and Karlous it was still quite worth it!
Life at Art and Soul Live. I had a relapse of my Salute detox after hitting up Art and Soul Live at the request of my girl Bell Darris. Girl, who stationed Gigi Delights Desserts right next to the elevator as soon as you get off of it? Satan, that’s who. That peach cobbler was worth those extra three hours on the elliptical. But enough about my gluttony, back to the event. It was a gorgeous time with beautiful people – and it spoke to the youthful creative spirit of STL by way of music, fashion and visual art.
Let us know next time LouFest. Because by now the shock of it has worn off, I still want to express my sadness that I won’t be turning up with the general population in Forest Park this weekend at LouFest. I as already to get down with Tank and Da Bangas and gaze into the eyes of Gary Clark Jr. one of the few men I’ve ever seen who can still be fine while looking utterly musty at the same time and give props to the local folks gracing the stage. Oh well. I’m hoping it will be back next year. If not, don’t wait until I’ve already ironed my cut up jean shorts to let a sista know.