Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is This a Playoff Team?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/29/2009 1 comment
This appears to be the starting five for the Charlotte Bobcats as the 2009-10 season nears. Do you think this squad can lead the team to the playoffs? Remember, in the Eastern Conference a .500 record pretty much guarantees you a playoff spot. Or do you think the Bobcats, who are coming off their best season ever, will finish below .500 for the sixth straight season?

From left to right: Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace, and Tyson Chandler. Photo taken during Bobcats Media Day on Monday.

Also, in other Bobcats news, the team has unveiled new jerseys. Below is the new design for both home and away games. In a statement, the team describes it as: "Reflecting both the tradition of basketball in the Carolinas and the maturation of the NBA's youngest franchise, this new look represents the next step in the Bobcats' evolution, while paying homage to the players and teams that have come before it."

The Bobcats' training camp started today and runs through October 5, followed by their first preseason game October 6, in which they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Visit www.bobcats.com for more on the team.

In Memory of KoKo

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/29/2009 10 comments
I just learned this evening that Tiwanna Hagans, owner of KoKoMo’s Coffeehouse in Uptown, died last night. I'm saddened by the news because not only did I not know she had health problems, but she is a young woman gone too soon and she was an inspiration to everyone who knew her.

I met KoKo, as most people called her (and how she got the name for her coffee shop), a couple of years ago while I was an associate editor for Charlotte magazine. I was always looking for story ideas and interesting people to profile, and a mutual friend told me about this "young woman who was a Johnson C. Smith graduate who had just opened her second coffee shop." She was just the kind of biz profile I looked for.

I remember going by the Uptown location of KoKoMo's to interview her for the article and how she was extremely busy and kept apologizing for being so busy since she and I had an appointment. I told her I didn't mind waiting, and as I soaked in the atmosphere, the scene would become the basis for the article: "The Right Flavor."

A couple of months later when the article came out, KoKo thanked me profusely because she said she felt it would be good publicity for her business. And she also said the photo that accompanied the article was one of the best ever taken of her (which is the photo you see above). But credit for that goes to Charlotte magazine's photographer Chris Edwards.

I would sometimes see KoKo out at events. She didn't get out nearly as much as she liked because she had a demanding schedule as a small business owner. The last time I saw her was back in June at Pop Life--the weekly event at Apostrophe. We talked for about 10 minutes and I enjoyed catching up with her. I didn't know that would be our last conversation.

This is a reminder to us all that tomorrow isn't promised, and that we should take time to enjoy life.

My friend and colleague Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher of Qcitymetro.com, has written a great article about KoKo. And in it, he details what led to her death, but more importantly how she will be remembered. Click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Charlotte's Connection to the iPhone

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/27/2009 No comments
Apparently lots of people have been complaining about their iPhones dropping calls. In fact, some say the iPhone is a great computer but a lousy phone. But there appears to be help on the way.

A few days ago, AT&T introduced the 3G MicroCell and they rolled it out first in Charlotte as part of a public trial. The 3G MicroCell is designed to boost the voice and data signal in your home by using your home broadband network. It's a mini-cell tower that looks like a modem and is supposed to give a better signal within a 5,000-square foot area. Sprint and Verizon have launched similar products, known as femtocells, but this is said to be the first to work with 3G. Tomorrow AT&T is making Raleigh its second test market in the nation to use the 3G MicroCell.

The 3G MicroCell will be compatible with all 3G AT&T phones, but the iPhone is viewed as the largest reason why AT&T has created this new initiative. I imagine the company is willing to do whatever it can to keep Apple customers happy, considering the iPhone has been the primary reason AT&T has been adding millions of new mobile phone customers over the past couple of years. Although I don't have an iPhone, I have a pretty cool touchscreen phone that I got about five months ago when I switched to AT&T from Sprint. I have actually noticed that I tend to get more dropped calls with AT&T.

Click here to read more about the 3G MicroCell.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buy One Get One Free Tix at the Blumenthal

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/26/2009 No comments
The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is offering a buy-one-get-one-free special on balcony seat tickets to several of its upcoming shows. Dubbed the Fall Tip Top Sale, this offer is good through midnight Monday (September 28).

As you know, buy one get one free equates to half price for two tickets, which is very appealing during this recession. The shows included are concerts, plays, comedians and some of the highlights are:

A Chorus Line, Sept. 29-Oct. 4, Belk Theater
• Steve Martin performing with The Steep Canyon Rangers, Oct. 10, Knight Theater
Basic Training, Oct. 21-25, Stage Door Theater
• Reduced Shakespeare Company, Oct. 27-Nov. 1, Booth Playhouse
• Jewel, Oct. 28, Knight Theater
RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, Nov. 1, Belk Theater
• Neko Case, Nov. 18, Knight Theater
Simply Sinatra, Nov. 27-28, Belk Theater

And there are about 20 more events, scheduled between now and the end of the year, that are eligible for the ticket special. But you only have a couple more days to purchase your tickets and save money. Visit www.blumenthalcenter.org/tiptop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Listen to The Avett Brothers' New Album

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/23/2009 No comments
The Avett Brothers, the popular folk-rock band from Concord, are set to release their major-label debut, I and Love and You, on September 29. But you don't have to wait to hear what it sounds like. NPR is streaming an exclusive first listen of the album in its entirety on its website. This has been a much-hyped album (as much as folk-rock can be hyped) because it's produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. (Dude, their album is produced by the guy who produced "99 Problems"!)

Click here to listen to the album on NPR.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Light Rail Chillin'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/21/2009 1 comment
I shot this. Feel free to use it on a post card.

Charlotte's Economy Thanks Joe Wilson

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/21/2009 No comments
Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during President Barack Obama's speech before Congress nearly two weeks ago continues to have rippling effects. Wilson, who represents my home state of South Carolina, has pretty much been basking in his newfound limelight and has reportedly raised upwards of $2 million for his campaign since he heckled the president. But he could also be costing the Palmetto State money, and one of the latest moves will benefit Charlotte.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), also known as the Black Press of America, has decided to move its 2010 convention from Charleston, S.C., and now plans to hold it in Charlotte. The nearly 70-year-old organization is made up of more than 200 black community newspapers from across the United States.

South Carolina can't afford to lose conventions, which are instrumental to the multi-billion dollar tourism industry, that creates jobs and generates millions in tax revenue. Also, it should be noted, the NAACP has had a now 10-year economic boycott on South Carolina because of the state's refusal to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. I was a student at the University of South Carolina, which is in Columbia where the campus sits less than a mile from the statehouse, when all of the ugly debating and protesting was going on over the Confederate flag. In what was supposed to be a compromise, in 2000 the flag was removed from atop the capitol building (yes, it used to fly atop the dome along with the U.S. flag and S.C. flag) and placed near a Civil War monument that's in the front yard. Many blacks said they wouldn't be happy until the flag was removed completely and placed at a more appropriate place like a museum.

NNPA, as some black organizations have begun doing, decided to overlook the NAACP boycott when it planned to hold its convention in Charleston. Some organizations have been going to places like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, but definitely staying out of Columbia where you're almost certain to drive by the site of the Confederate flag waving. But after Wilson's remarks and subsequent defiance, NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said this in a statement:

"Rep. Wilson’s remarks were racist, disrespectful, and a disingenuous violation--not only of President Obama--but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending black dollars where black people are not respected. The continued public and blatant disrespect of President Barack Obama by members of Congress will not be rewarded with our dollars nor will a state that continues to uphold America’s shameful past by flying the Confederate flag."

Click here for the full statement.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

From 'The Writer's Desk'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/20/2009 1 comment
In continuing my posting of photos from my recent downtown Charlotte exploits, this is a very cool public art exhibit in front of ImaginOn facing Seventh Street. Titled The Writer's Desk, these sculptures were commissioned in 2005 in honor of the late Rolfe Neill, a former publisher and writer at The Charlotte Observer who passed away in 1998. Some of the pieces contain quotations from his Sunday columns that ran for 20 years in the newspaper. This great public art installation is another example of the beauty of downtown that you won't experience unless you stop to smell the roses.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What Building Is This?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/19/2009 1 comment
I had a meeting in downtown Charlotte yesterday (for a newspaper article I'm writing, I got to tour the new Ritz-Carlton that's opening October 1--and it's awesome), and after the meeting was over as I was walking back to my car I noticed several interesting things. Usually when I'm downtown I'm in a hurry to get somewhere, or when I'm driving through I'm too focused on the road and concerned with not hitting a pedestrian (or I'm looking for a coveted street parking space) to really get a good view of the scenes downtown. I took some photos of those scenes yesterday and will run one each day over the next few days. It's nothing groundbreaking--just some snapshots.

Even though we're in the midst of a recession and several planned projects have been shelved, there's still a good bit of construction going on downtown because much of it broke ground before the recession (or before we realized we were in one). This photo below is of the building that's being constructed directly across from Time Warner Cable Arena, on the Trade Street side. I couldn't figure out what the name of this building is or what it's going to be when it's finished. Do you know? If so, post a comment about it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Events for the Weekend: September 18-20

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/18/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Friday, September 18

Mint After 5
Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAM) throw their final rooftop party of the season. It’s also a great way for you to learn more about the group. Enjoy drink specials, free food, and live music by Jared Allan and Co. 6 p.m. $15 (free for YAM members). Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon St. www.youngaffiliates.org.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking party, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and food specials while listening to great music: live jazz at 7 p.m., DJ at 9 p.m. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-11 p.m. Free. House of Jazz, 8630 University Executive Park Dr. www.thehouseofjazz.net.

Passport Party Bus Tour
A 60-passenger party bus is loading up to take you around to some of the hottest bars and nightclubs in Charlotte: Therapy Café, 401 N. Tryon St.; Tilt 127, W. Trade St.; Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd.; and Halo, 820 Hamilton St. Enjoy music and drinks while you ride. Presented by Elevate Magazine and Lockhart Entertainment. Bus boards at Therapy at 7:30 p.m. $30 (includes entry into each of the destinations). www.lockhartent.com (704-712-3083).

The Atlanta Underground Part 2
The ATL crew is coming back, including DJ BE of 4DEEP and Stanzeff of GlobalMoods. Enjoy a night of eclectic music at one of Charlotte’s most relaxed bars. 9 p.m. Free. Soul Gastrolounge, 1500 Central Ave. www.soulgastrolounge.com.

Drinks @ Kiss
This monthly “all night happy hour” attracts great crowds to one of the city’s trendiest lounges. Featuring complimentary Nuvo drinks for the first 50 people and several other drinks specials throughout the night. DJ Daddy D will be playing the best in R&B, hip-hop, and reggae. 10 p.m. Free before 11 p.m. with RSVP. $10 and up after. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.mingleberry.com/drinks.

Saturday, September 19

Sunset Jazz Festival
This annual music festival showcases some of the region’s best jazz performers. Lineup includes Matt Marshak, Bryan Anderson, 5th and York, Innertwyned, Unique Blend, and The Queen’s Collective. This year’s event will also feature the Multicultural Career Pavilion, a designated networking area within the festival that will pair employers with job seekers. 1-10 p.m. Free. Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall. www.charlottesunsetjazzfestival.com.

Blame It Tour
Jamie Foxx brings you an evening of music and comedy. 8 p.m. $49.75-$69.75. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

Prince Presto at Dharma
Here’s your chance to check out Charlotte’s newest lounge. The yoga-inspired space will put you at ease as you enjoy drinks while dancing to music from Atlanta DJ Prince Presto. 8 p.m. Cost varies. Dharma Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 105. www.dharmacharlotte.com.

Marquee Saturdays (weekly event)
It’s Charlotte’s newest and hottest Saturday night party at this newly revamped nightclub. Enjoy the large dance floor, plentiful seating, and large outdoor patio. Presented by Sleeping Giant Productions. 9 p.m. Cost varies. To get on the guest list, email marqueesaturdays@haloclt.com. Halo, inside the N.C. Music Factory, 820 Hamilton St. www.haloclt.com.

Mayweather vs. Marquez Viewing Party
Watch the fight on one of several flatscreens and get your party on after. This will also serve as a concert after-party, so a Jamie Foxx concert ticket admits you for free. 10 p.m. Cost varies. Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Sunday, September 20

USNWC's Hispanic Heritage Day
Enjoy an experience that pairs the thrills of the Whitewater Center with live music and DJs, a kid’s zone, authentic Hispanic cuisine, and drinks. 12-8 p.m. Free ($5 for parking). U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy. www.usnwc.org.

Jazzy Sundays
This week features Kevon Edmonds, formerly of After 7, performing live along with Buff Dillard & Unique Blend. Hosted by V101.9’s Chirl Girl, and DJ 06 on the turntables. 9 p.m. Cost varies; everyone free until 10 p.m. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. www.tempocharlotte.com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Read About It: Charlotte Comedy

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/15/2009 No comments
This week's issue of Creative Loafing (online today and on newsstands tomorrow) features a cover story on Charlotte's comedy scene. I wrote one of the articles that comprises the feature package. I spent time with comedian Tone-X--even hung out backstage at one of his comedy shows--and chronicled in the article what motivates this popular comic, how he's evolved over the years, and how he keeps people's stomachs hurting from laughter.

Charlotte comedians Tone-X and Johnny Millwater, photographed for Creative Loafing's Comedy Issue.

Click here for "The Comedy Issue" and in it you'll find a link to my article on Tone-X.

'Be The One' for A Chorus Line

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/15/2009 No comments
In anticipation of the national tour of Tony Award-winning musical A Chorus Line coming to the Belk Theater September 29 through October 4, the tour producers and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center have launched an online audition talent competition called “Be The One.”

Charlotteans are asked to submit video clips, photos, or blog entries showcasing their talents--singing, dancing, or whatever--and describing why they deserve to Be The One. The top male and female who receive the most votes will each win a Be The One prize package that includes two tickets to A Chorus Line and admission into the cast part after the show. Plus, the one individual who receives the most votes will be crowned “Charlotte’s Singular Sensation,” winning a $500 U.S. Airways Gift Card.

To enter the competition or to vote for entries, go to auditions.achorusline.com/charlotte. The competition ends September 25.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ninety-year-old Lonnie Holloway passed away last week, and yesterday his family carried out his final wishes. He was buried in his 1973 Pontiac Catalina, with him sitting in the front seat with his hat on, $100 in his pocket, and his gun collection in the trunk.

Holloway is from Saluda, South Carolina, and as an S.C. native myself I know my people do some strange things, but this is really special here. My dad had an old-school Catalina, too, and my lasting memory of it was when my brother and I were about six or seven years old and we broke the back window in it from a game we were playing that involved us rolling rocks down the sloping back window. My dad was furious (we wore a good one)--he loved that car, but I don't think he loved it this much.

See the news video below of Holloway being buried in his car.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What the Bobcats' Ad Campaign Really Says

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/08/2009 1 comment
The Charlotte Bobcats' advertising campaign for the 2009-10 season begins today. They're expanding last year's "Play the Right Way" campaign, which is based on head coach Larry Brown's basketball philosophy. Through advertising in print, electronic, outdoor, and web-based media, the campaign features specific language used by Brown, including ‘defend every possession,’ ‘rebound the ball,’ ‘play harder than our opponents,’ and ‘respect the game.’ Those phrases are placed next to photos of Brown. As the team points out in a press release, this branding makes "the connection between his ideals and the Bobcats brand, and remind fans that under Brown’s direction last season the Bobcats set franchise records for wins, home wins and longest win streak by playing his style of basketball." I agree, but I also think it says more than that.

This campaign doesn't seem that it will be using any of the Bobcat players, as they have been prominently featured in the past. I think this says a couple of things: 1) Larry Brown is currently the biggest star on the team. 2) The future of the players the team would want to market is uncertain.

Addressing my first point, I think hiring Brown was the best move the Bobcats have ever made, and it was proved in his first season last year when he had the team contending for the playoffs and actually had fans excited about them during the last month of the season. But for a professional sports franchise, it's never a good thing when the coach is the biggest name on the team. I mean, the Lakers have Phil Jackson, but they also have Kobe Bryant. Which leads to my second point.

The Bobcats have never had that one player on their roster that fans will turn out just to see, that little kids feel they have to have that replica jersey of. But what the Bobcats had managed to do is build a core of well-likable players that fans and the community embraced. But they traded away one of them--Emeka Okafor (though that was a good salary cap move)--and the others could be the subject of trade rumors at any moment--Raymond Felton (who they have yet to reach a contract extension with) and Gerald Wallace (the high-flying, hustling forward who is appealing to many teams). So I'm pretty sure the Bobcats decided not to build an ad campaign around players who might not still be with the team by season's end.

It would've been great if the Bobcats' advertising campaign would be including both Coach Brown and some superstar player they'd acquired this offseason (Tyson Chandler doesn't quite fit the bill). I blogged back in April about a trade scenario that could bring Allen Iverson to the Bobcats. A.I. is frantically looking for an NBA home and has mentioned Charlotte on his short list of where he'd like to go. And even though Brown has said he would love to coach Iverson again, he's also talked about how difficult it would be to make that happen when the team is already loaded with guards.

The Bobcats desperately need a reason for people to come to home games this season. The team is dealing with budget shortfalls just like everyone else, and this economy is in even more of a recessed state than last season, which means people are going to be even more selective with their spending. Coach Brown is a good draw, but a big-name player is a better one.

Look for the "Play the Right Way" campaign to begin appearing on television commercials on Time Warner Cable, banner ads on charlotteobserver.com, and Adams Outdoor billboards around Charlotte.

For more on the Bobcats, visit www.bobcats.com.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Day of Art and Culture

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/06/2009 No comments
I have friends from Augusta, Georgia visiting this Labor Day Weekend, so I've been showing them around Charlotte. Yesterday, we spent the day outdoors, first hitting up the Charlotte Literary Festival in NoDa (it's also taking place today 10 a.m.-7 p.m.), then we headed downtown because I wanted them to see what it was like and we stumbled upon the Festival of India that was taking place along Tryon Street in front of the Blumenthal. If you haven't known, Charlotte is a great city with a lot to offer and there's always something to do (contrary to what some may think). In showing my friends around, I got to act sort of as a tourist guide and remind myself of why I love living here.

Diego, of Dora the Explorer fame, shows love to the kids at the Charlotte Literary Festival.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is set to open in January at the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus. It's now one of the most beautiful buildings downtown.

The Festival of India drew hundreds of people with music, dance, food, and vendors selling authentic clothing and art.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Thursday, September 3

Alive After Five at EpiCentre (weekly event)
This week’s featured bands are Fantasy (R&B and Motown) performing on the rooftop stage, and Déjà vu (beach music and oldies) playing on the courtyard stage. There will be plenty of drink stations scattered throughout. Wristbands also get you into participating EpiCentre bars. 5-9:30 p.m. Free. The EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.aliveafterfiveatepicentre.com.

Working Together to Meet Basic Human Needs
This event will feature a panel conversation by community leaders including Taylor Batten (The Charlotte Observer), Brett Loftis (Council for Children’s Rights), Dana McDonald (University Park Baptist Church), Pat Mumford (City of Charlotte), and Mary Wilson (Mecklenburg County). The panel conversation will be followed by a dialogue with the audience moderated by Bob Morgan (Charlotte Chamber) and Willie Ratchford (Community Relations Committee). 7 p.m. Free. University Park Baptist Church, 6029 Beatties Ford Rd.

USC vs. NCSU Football Game Viewing Party
Watch the Gamecocks defeat the Wolfpack at this viewing party for South Carolina fans and alumni. Food and drink specials will be served, and the game will be shown in a reserved room on a big screen. 7-10 p.m. Free. Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, 911 E. Morehead St. Presented by USC Charlotte Club. www.mycarolina.org/charlotte.

ROCK * IT Thursdays
Charlotte has another new nightclub in Uptown and this Thursday night party is your chance to check out the posh new venue (owned by partners from the Sunset Club and Kiss Lounge). 9 p.m. Cost varies. To get on the guest list, email mouzakitis.constantine@gmail.com. Luna Lounge, 521 N. College St. www.lunacharlotte.com.

Friday, September 4

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking party, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and food specials while listening to live music. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-11 p.m. Free. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). www.bluecharlotte.com.

America's Most Wanted Music Festival
See Lil Wayne and his Young Money Crew, along with Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy Tell’em, Pleasure P, and Jeremih. 7 p.m. $29-$125. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd. www.livenation.com.

Free Fridays
The first Friday of the month means free admission at one of Charlotte’s swankiest lounges. Enjoy the best in hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. On this night, the club often reaches capacity so get there early. 10 p.m. Free until capacity; cover charge after. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

First Fridays Charlotte
It’s touted as the number one urban event and it draws a large crowd each month to a different venue. Music by DJ MC and DJ Freedom. Presented by Dee Autry, Troy Veale, and Thomas Washington. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $10 in advance; ladies free until 11 p.m. Cans Bar and Canteen, 500 W. Fifth St. www.ticketannex.com.

Collegiate Flirt Friday
The Lake Norman area gets it popping at Synergy Nightclub (formerly NV Lounge). And this Friday is a concert after-party. 10 p.m. Ladies free all night with college I.D. Men $5 before 11 p.m. with college I.D., more after. Synergy Nightclub, 20924 Torrence Chapel Rd. www.mysynergynightclub.com.

Saturday, September 5

Charlotte Literary Festival
This two-day festival features authors, book signings (Wahida Clark), artists, music, dance, guest speakers (Rev. Michael Beckwith, Chris Gardener), a carnival for kids, and more. Visit website for event line-up. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Cost varies. NoDa, E. 36th and N. Davidson streets. www.charlotteliteraryfestival.org.

Jet Set the Evolution
It’s a “day party” to celebrate the end of summer. Party with the sun out—and see beautiful people with clarity. Featuring catered food, a live band, and music by DJ DR. Presented by The A List-Charlotte and The Sol Kitchen. 4-8:30 p.m. $10 in advance. Pravda Bar and Rooftop Garden Patio at The Forum, 300 N. College St. www.alistnc.com.

Enjoy great live performances by Jared Allan & Co and Jocelyn Ellis & The Alpha Theory, along with music by DJ Arthur Bros. Hosted by slam poet Bluz. 8 p.m. $13. Club Alive, 2909 N. Davidson St. www.grooverockdance.com.

Marquee Saturdays (weekly event)
It’s Charlotte’s newest and hottest Saturday night party at this newly revamped nightclub. Enjoy the large dance floor, plentiful seating, and outdoor patio. DJ Complete playing in the main room and DJ R-Wonz playing on the patio. Presented by Sleeping Giant Productions. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Halo, inside the N.C. Music Factory, 820 Hamilton St. www.haloclt.com.

Pink and Cognac Affair
Come dressed to impress and ladies are asked to wear pink. Hosted by actor Darrin Henson. Music by DJ Flemingo. 9:30 p.m. $10 and up; ladies free before 11:30 p.m. Décor 1202, 1202 Charlottetowne Ave. www.myspace.com/decor1202.

Sunday, September 6

Charlotte Literary Festival
This two-day festival features authors, book signings (Wahida Clark), artists, music, dance, guest speakers (Rev. Michael Beckwith, Chris Gardener), a carnival for kids, and more. Visit website for event line-up. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Cost varies. NoDa, E. 36th and N. Davidson streets. www.charlotteliteraryfestival.org.

Pre-Labor Day Cookout
Enjoy free food and music by DJ Cuttz. Presented by Presidential Movement Entertainment and Sport E. Odie. 2-7 p.m. Free. Hornets Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Rd.

A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream
Inner Circle Events is taking its popular party to a larger venue and there’s sure to be plenty of attractive young professionals. Summer cocktail attire requested. 10 p.m. $15 and up. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.innercircleevents.com/midsummer.

End of Summer White Party
It’s two clubs in one and it’s likely to fill up at this party hosted by Carolina Panthers Chris Harris, Charles Johnson, Charles Godfrey, and Jeff Otah. White attire is requested. Music by So So Def’s DJ Shakim. 10 p.m. $15 and up; ladies free before 11:30 p.m. Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Déjà Blue
Party in style amongst a beautiful crowd and backdrop. Presented by The Sol Kitchen, Blue Goose, and The A List-Charlotte. 10 p.m. $10 in advance. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Super Fresh Sunday
Sunshine Anderson hosts this party for those who know how to get fresh. Presented by So Fresh Entertainment. 10 p.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jay-Z Fans Will Appreciate This

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/02/2009 No comments
Ninety-nine percent of the topics I write about on this blog are "about life in and around Charlotte," as the header on this site states. But then there's the 1 percent of the time when I come across something I want to share that has nothing to do with the Queen City. Rhapsody has a new commercial promoting Jay-Z's upcoming album The Blueprint 3, which, as I'm sure you know by now, is set to be released September 11. The commercial is brilliant because it shows Hova re-creating the photo shoots from several of his past album covers. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a huge Jay-Z fan. See the YouTube clip of the Rhapsody commercial below.

Dharma Lounge Opening This Weekend

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/02/2009 No comments
It might be a year later than planned, but Dharma Lounge is opening in Charlotte this weekend. The 3,000 square-foot space is located at 1440 S. Tryon Street (in the same building as Apostrophe Lounge) in South End and promises to offer everything from yoga and art to music and drinks for a creative nightlife experience. Dharma Lounge is holding its grand opening Friday and Saturday and its regular schedule will be Wednesdays through Sundays, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

(Click on flier for larger view.)

To RSVP for the Friday night grand opening party guest list, click here. For Saturday night, click here. You can also text DHARMA to 38714. For more info, visit www.dharmacharlotte.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Town Hall Meeting on Immigration Reform

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/01/2009 1 comment
The debates over health care reform are dominating the headlines nationally. Locally, there are two related events that are drawing plenty of attention. Republican Senators John McCain, Richard Burr, and Mitch McConnell held an invitation-only forum on health care this morning at Levine Children's Hospital. And this afternoon, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is holding a round-table discussion on health care at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill. But there's another event going on today that deserves some attention, and it's an issue that seems to have gotten buried over the last few months.

Below is info I received in a press release this morning about a town hall meeting being held on immigration reform this evening.

Immigrants and Civil Rights Leaders to Call on Congress to Enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Stories of Rights Violations and Family Division to Provide Context for Urgent Call for Reform

WHAT: Town Hall Meeting and Call to Action
WHEN: Tuesday, September 1 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Sugar Creek Library, 4045 N. Tryon St.
WHO: ACORN Charlotte, American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Committee of the South, Communities for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Grassroots Leadership, Helping Empower Local People, Latin American Coalition, Reform Immigration For America

Charlotte, NC – On Tuesday, September 1, immigrant and civil rights leaders will gather together at the Sugar Creek Branch Library to urge congressional leadership to support fair and humane immigration reform this year.

At the event, local immigrant students, parents, businesspeople and civic leaders will provide personal stories about how the current immigration system is devastating communities and will highlight the benefits of reform to all low-income workers in the state.

The battle for immigrant rights occurs in the state that birthed the lunch counter sit-ins in 1960, launched the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and challenged continuing school segregation after the Brown decision. Yet, it is exactly the challenge to segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System brought by six-year-old James Swann and nine other families that underscores the work yet to be done. After the Swann decision, which shepherded in a twenty-five plus year experiment in school busing, was overturned, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system returned to levels of racial segregation existing in the 1960s.

Today, African-Americans are joined in the unfinished business for civil rights by immigrants, whose battle for reform has sparked a dramatic increase in the number of hate groups operating in the United States and a 40% spike between 2004 and 2007 in hate crimes committed against Hispanics.

The Charlotte town hall meeting is part of a series of actions across North Carolina that cumulatively launch a statewide effort to convince members of Congress to support a fair and humane immigration reform.

For more info, visit www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org.
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