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First-ever Atlanta Weekender continues through Sunday

31 Aug

For those who want to mix in a little house music with their Dragon*Con and Black Gay Pride plans, consider the Atlanta Weekender. It officially kicked off yesterday.

Atlanta’s finest house and soul music DJs — Kemit, Kai Alce, Salah Ananse and Ramon Rawsoul — are the main attraction, although guests from out of town, including Baltimore’s Karizma who is spinning at Sound Table tonight, will represent as well.

The big event is Sunday’s House in the Park, which moves to Grant Park from Perkerson for the first time.

Here’s an excerpt from my buddy Carlton Hargro, who wrote about it for Creative Loafing.

By now, most dance enthusiasts are aware that Labor Day in Atlanta means it’s time for another installment of House in the Park. This annual outdoor celebration of music and fellowship … featuring the turntable powers of Ramon Rawsoul, DJ Kemit, Kai Alce and Salah Ananse has become a destination for house heads from all over the world for almost a decade.

Check out the full story, which includes a Q&A with Weekender founder Ananse here.

ATL Greenhouse brings house music to Piedmont Park on Saturday

29 Jun

ATL Greenhouse celebrates its fourth year at Piedmont Park on Saturday, and yes, both the weather and the DJs will be hot.

DJ Yusef, Cullen Cole, DJ Theo, and Stan Zeff and DJ BE of Tambor will be playing house music under the pavilion for a mixed crowd of house heads, families enjoying the park and curious onlookers.

While those five DJs round out the organizing crew, special guests DJ Tabone of WRFG-FM’s “The Soul Chamber” and vocalist Sheila Ford add more heat to the bill. Ford will perform around 6 p.m.

“Right now, we are the only ones doing anything at Piedmont as far as soulful house. We wanted to be able to bring different nationalities together to be able to freely express themselves through music and dance at an outdoor event,” DJ Yusef says.

Yusef says the process for obtaining his permit for an event at Piedmont Park was fairly easy, especially once the city and the Conservancy understood the event’s mission. “They were open once we expressed what we were doing and that it was an event that was for all families and children, and the type of music that we’re playing because it doesn’t consist of hip-hop, which is a different cultural thing,” he says. “We play music that people can respond to, relate to, dance to. A lot of the music that we play are spiritual songs, African, things like that. It’s just a matter of convincing them that you’re bringing an event that is family-oriented that’s just a lot of different.”

The event is free and is from noon to 9 p.m.

MC battle pits men vs. women Saturday at Apache Cafe

21 Jun

There’s an MC battle of the sexes going down at Apache Cafe on Saturday, and considering that I’ve heard the fierceness of Cyrano Sinatra in a post-A3C impromptu performance — and with  S. Gold, Joe Stu and Sir Taj filling out the roster — my bet is with the fellas.

But with female MCs Adrift Da Belle, the Born Genius, Kizzy Krew and Suni MF Solomon on hand — particularly Adrift’s strong Atlanta following and Kizzy’s future of rap sound —  the competition will be tough.

It’s also a friendly match-up between Atlanta and the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, with S. Gold, Kizzy and Sinatra repping N.C., and Adrift, Born Genius, Suni MF Solomon, Joe Stu and Sir Taj hailing from the ATL.

“Eargasm Entertainment and No Leaks Entertainment have teamed up to bring ATL underground hip-hop and N.C. hip-hop together for one night only,” says Eargasm talent and PR manager Portia Daniels-Murphy. “We had to go through some struggles behind the scenes to make this happen, but it’s going to be an incredible event.

“We decided that we wanted to expand our brand outside of N.C. and the ATL has such a large pool of independent artists that get support. After attending A3C last year, it was a no-brainer. We knew we had to do a show in Atlanta,” Daniels-Murphy says.

DJ Ill Will is on the decks and the always hype Fort Knox is hosting alongside Blackberri.

$10-$15. Show starts at 10 p.m., courtesy of Eargasm Entertainment — whose Sucker Free Sundays helped Shakedown Street get voted Best Hip-Hop Venue in the Triangle by the Independent Weekly — and Atlanta crew No Leaks Entertainment.

Lack of quality women? Yes, says I Need a Wife book

15 Jun

There are men who want to say “I do,” but a lack of quality women often makes them say “I won’t,” according to a new book by psychotherapist and author Jack A. Daniels.

Daniels will share some of the insights he learned while researching and writing I Need a Wife: Where Are the Real Women? on Saturday, 7-9 p.m., at the Green Room Actor’s Lounge.

After sold-out events in Macon and Knoxville, I’m sure Daniels is hoping for a strong turnout in the ATL. With dating and relationships being an ever-popular topic, from films — I met Daniels at the Atlanta premier of marriages-can-make-it docutainment movie Still Standing — to magazines, it’s a reasonable expectation.

It helps that I Need a Wife flips the script, with men expressing sentiments often shared by women. Daniels interviewed 1,000 men, and they tell “why they’re still single and the major role women play in this dilemma,” according to press materials.

Are the book and its related events self-serving? Daniels says he’s “sincere” in his promo video, and it’s possible that this started as a personal quest to find a quality woman to settle down with.

But there’s a part of me that feels suckered — like, of course any woman with hopes of getting married wants to hear that there are plenty of men ready to tie the knot. It’s a ready-made, Steve Harvey-proven market.

Check things out for yourself on Saturday. The event is free.

Get tatted up for a good cause: Stars for a Cure at West End Tattoo

7 Jun

West End Tattoo owner Tyrone “Red” Cooley is passionate about tattooing. And after seeing his mom suffer from lupus, he’s been just as serious about finding a cure for the auto-immune disease.

Cooley will be tattooing for 24-hours straight for the third annual Stars for a Cure fundraiser Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10, starting at 1 p.m.

For each star tattoo — pick whatever color you like, but the theme is red in honor of his mom’s favorite hue — Cooley is asking a $40 donation. All proceeds will be given to the Lupus Foundation of America-Georgia Chapter.

His goal is to raise at least $4,000. Contributions of all amounts are welcome, even if you decide a tattoo isn’t for you.

If you want to get tatted up for a cause, though, pre-register as soon as you can. The time slots are limited, so the earlier you register, the more likely you are to get your preferred time slot. I recommend the 9 p.m.-midnight slot, which will include Cooley’s birthday celebration.

But then again, Cooley is raffling off a $200 gift certificate to West End Tattoo for anyone who registers for slots between 2-9 a.m.

Sponsors P’Cheen and One Flew South will be providing complimentary food and beverages at the height of the event.

For more information on the event and West End Tattoo, check out the respective Facebook pages.

Postscript: Cooley’s mom lost her battle with lupus late last year. Make it a priority to come support him.

Elevate pool party starts Sunday

24 May

I love Memorial Day weekend for a variety of reasons — my birthday falls on it most years, there’s bound to be a barbecue somewhere, and it’s the start of the Elevate pool party.

Chris Nicholson and Mike Zarin have hosted the event at the W hotel downtown since 2009. Local and international DJs create the poolside vibe. Attendees run the gamut from fashionably fabulous to freshly hungover. All are welcome to don a bathing suit and swim, dance, take in the 16th-floor view, sip luxuriously (read: expensive) yummy cocktails or do it all.

Zarin says there’s been an uptick in the number of condos sold in the building over the last year. In an effort to let the ballers who bought there get their fair share of sunshine, the event will be held from 4-10 p.m. It’s also going monthly.

So schedule the last Sunday of every month for sunbathing and beats at Elevate. Free with RSVP. There’s a capacity limit, so arrive early.

Sunday School moves to new location tonight

20 May

Tonight, Salah Ananse moves his weekly Sunday School soiree to the Sound Table after nearly a year at the Reserve atop Cafe Circa.

I’m more excited about the event now that it’s at the Edgewood Aveune favorite, just a few doors east of Cafe Circa. Expect fewer cigars, a bit less pretense — although there have always been friendly faces and no formal dress code — and maybe more dancing.

The weather’s gorgeous (and will remain in the 70s till later), so check it out tonight and every Sunday at 8 p.m. until late. No cover.