RIP to Kirk, Malik and Miss Shirley. I hate to start Partyline on a somber note, but I feel like I must bid farewell to two people I came in contact with regularly as I made my rounds on the entertainment and nightlife scene and one person who was like a mother to me. I felt the shock of the century when someone hit me up asking what happened to Kirk Binion. I had no idea what they meant, but I most certainly didn’t grasp the idea that he had passed away. So much so when the person said “transitioned,” I asked them to clarify that they meant he had passed away. Even after that, I didn’t fully believe it. Concerts won’t be the same without him hemming me up to give an “insta-review” and tell me which of the shows he was looking forward to next. He loved concerts and was at just about every single one. I go to shows for a living and I truly think he had me clocked because he didn’t stick to the urban genre like I do. Rest well, Kirk. And I was (and still am) still shook about Kirk when I got word that poet Malik Parker had passed. He was always a smiling face with deep thoughts and profound words amongst the spoken/word/creative scene. It made my heart hurt that I never told him how handsome he was. And my poetical matriarch Ms. Shirley LeFlore (or Mama Shirley as I called her) transitioned on Mother’s Day- which broke my heart and put a damper on the whole day for me. I would like to take a moment to offer condolences and prayers to all of their families – and to remind everyone to be sure to treasure folks and make them aware of the impact they have on your lives, because they can be here one minute and gone the next.
Delightful Mother’s Day with a Diva. For the first time in years I made my way back to the Denise Thimes and Friends Annual Mother’s Day Concert. I’m not going to tell y’all which year was the last time I stopped through, because I don’t want to hear anybody’s mouth. What? I stay supporting Denise; I just haven’t been as consistent as I should be for her annual Mother’s Day show that she’s been doing for twenty-something years. Well let me tell you, I am still kicking myself for not keeping it on my calendar annually because Sunday blew me away! I will say this … the last time I went, It was at the Sheldon. Well now its at the Touhill and the way it’s looking, they’ll be at the Fox or Peabody and Enterprise or America’s Center before its all said and done. I got there just in time for the pre-concert dinner, which was a classy affair which turned the downstairs foyer and another room inside the Touhill into swank restaurants filled to the brim with folks paying tribute to their mothers. It was so cute to see the generational mix of mothers and children – from guest performer Kennedy Holmes and her mother Karen, on down. Denise was killing it in grand diva-swag with a colorful dinner jumpsuit and glammed it up a notch for her show – which was awesome. She did tributes to Nancy Wilson and Roberta Flack and had Harry Connick Jr.’s guitarist Jonathan DuBose as a musical guest. You’ve got a whole year to figure out the logistics, but let me tell y’all that if you don’t put Denise Thimes on your Mother’s Day to-do list as a way to love up on your mama, you are missing out. I know there’s always a bunch of stuff going on – including national shows and performers. But if you saw what I witnessed, you would make supporting the folks who were born and bred in your own city a celebration priority. Oh, and since I mentioned jumpsuits, let me tell y’all about the slayage that my girl Lee Haynes delivered with her black little ditty. It just might be the cutest and most flattering form fitting black pantsuit that I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely everything.
Dos Salas had the sauce. So, I stopped through the graduation edition of All of The Lights presented by Sauce Events, TheInnovators and Ono Celebrations and I thought they were gonna have to knock all the walls from the club all the way down to Honey Child’s Boutique to accommodate that crowd. Listen, I did feel a bit chaperonish, but I got over being a woman of a certain age after getting into how lit the party was. LaRon, Onnie, Ono and Roger, y’all did that! It was so lit that when the DJ started playing international music, the turnup got even more real. You know a party is live when it’s a bunch of black folks in the building breaking it down to a song with no English. J. Balvin would have gotten his whole entire life from seeing y’all bustin’ a move to “Mi Gente!” The only bad thing is that I got there way later than I should have – and the humidity wouldn’t let the girls’ wig units be great. After midnight, there were few opportunities for gorgeous photo ops, but that’s partly because the girls and the guys got all the way into the turnup. I even saw a gentleman sweat clean through his cap, tassel and Kappa graduation stole.
A just right Reunion. Speaking of lit, I made my way to The Reunion – A Vibe Celebrating the Early 2000s Era at Tani Sushi Friday night in Clayton. It felt like a 609/Lola set. I hit the lowkey stairway to heaven that takes you to the club portion of the spot and life was had. Now what I will say is that if you are ever at a place in your life where you want to kick it, but don’t really have the desire for anybody to know you are still in these streets, hit up the next party they have there. It’s so dark up in that spot that you won’t need a mask or witness protection ensemble to get your party on anonymously. The light level was so low that I had to invade people’s personal space just to see who was who and what was what. I’ll tell you I saw like there was a spotlight on them though … Isis Jones in those hot red, thigh-high boots. Girl, you are back in the city killing the game with those things. Tell me where you got them, so I can get me a pair for church! But back to the party. It was rightfully called a reunion because I saw some folks I hadn’t seen in a minute. Most of them seemed like they wanted to keep their presence on the hush, so I will leave it at that. Just know that some of your favorite club brothers and hotties were back in full effect like it was their heyday.