Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rudy Currence Releases 'The O.T.H.E.R.'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/31/2011 No comments
Rock Hill native/Charlotte-based singer Rudy Currence has released his new single "The O.T.H.E.R." It's from the Disturbing Tha Peace/Island Def Jam artist's forthcoming major-label debut album.

"The O.T.H.E.R." is produced by Don Cannon, and while Rudy is most known for his soulful and inspirational ballads, he seems to have aimed for the clubs with this one. It's certainly catchy--I've already hit replay a few times while blogging about this. He posted the song on YouTube a few days ago, and it'll be available on iTunes on September 6. Follow him on Twitter @RUDY_CURRENCE.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 30) I'm joining a panel of "local social media superstars" for an event called "Social Media: Get Your Voice Heard. Expand Your Reach." Hosted by Young Professionals For David Howard, the event takes place 6:30-8 p.m. at Bluprint Restaurant, 227 West Trade Street (in the Carillon building, adjacent to Morton's Steakhouse).

The fact that I just ended my three-year holdout from Twitter last week probably makes me a little bit of an outcast from the other panelists, but I'd like to think I can offer some keen insight, particularly when it comes to blogging. I was honored to accept their invitation to participate. Here's the event's description:

Come out to learn new ways social media can improve your career, life, advocacy, and community. Get the inside scoop on strategy and tips straight from local social media superstars.

  • Crystal Dempsey (@CrystalDempsey), Communications Manager with NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Queen of Charlotte Twitter
  • Krystal High (@DigitalEconoMs), Blogger and Editor-in-Chief of
  • Jarvis Holliday (@HollidayInk), Freelance Writer, Editor, and Blogger,, Charlotte Magazine, etc.
  • Jameka Whitten (@JamekaShamae),  JSW Media Group, Amped 4-A-Cure, Inc., ESPN Regional TV 

Tweet about this event with the hashtag #CLTvotes. The suggested donation is $10. Light refreshments will be served; free validated parking. RSVP requested to confirm your attendance: send e-mail to Paid for by The Committee to Re-Elect David L. Howard.

C-SPAN's Spending the Week In Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/29/2011 No comments
Details below are edited from press release.

C-SPAN is visiting Charlotte for a week starting today, as it chronicles the history and literary life of the city for the cable network’s non-fiction book channel (BookTV on C-SPAN2) and history channel (American History TV on C-SPAN3). Charlotte is one of eight cities being featured in a special series called the LCV Cities Tour. The tour is given this name because C-SPAN producers are travelling in specially designed Ford Transit Connect vehicles, which they're calling Local Content Vehicles (LCVs), that are equipped with digital cameras, editing and other recording technologies, and each member of the LCV team is able to shoot and edit video on location as well as make presentations to the community about the work they do for the network.

C-SPAN's Local Content Vehicles (LCV) Team
C-SPAN Team: Mark Farkas, Tiffany Rocque, Adrienne Hoar, and Deborah Lamb. [Source]

During the week, C-SPAN producers will visit various literary and historic sites, interviewing local historians, authors and civic leaders, including Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan. The C-SPAN team will also visit area schools, including Central Piedmont Community College, Providence Day School, and McClintock Middle School. C-SPAN is partnering with Time Warner Cable, the network’s local affiliate, which is helping to organize the week’s many logistics.

A Tuesday, August 30 public kick-off event will be held at Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive, with opening remarks at 6:30 p.m. from Time Warner Cable, C-SPAN, and representatives of Charlotte Museum of History. The event keynote speaker is local author and Levine Museum of the New South historian, Dr. Tom Hanchett. He'll discuss Charlotte’s unique history and other topics included in his book Sorting Out the New South City and his most recent work, Salad Bowl Suburbs: A History of Charlotte's East Side and South Boulevard Immigrant Corridors.

The kick-off event will air along with C-SPAN’s other productions during a special Charlotte feature the weekend of September 24-25 on BookTV and American History TV. For more details, visit

In the video below, Mark Farkas, C-SPAN executive producer and LCV project manager, explains why they're visiting cities like Charlotte.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fans, musicians, celebrities, media outlets, and people everywhere are remembering the late Aaliyah Haughton today. The beautiful R&B singer and actress died ten years ago today in a plane crash, at the age of 22. Known simply as Aaliyah and bursting into the spotlight before we knew of a fellow one-name superstar, Beyoncé, she was responsible for several hits from the mid-1990s up until her untimely demise in 2001. You wouldn't believe that she only lived long enough to release three albums: Age Ain't Nothing But A Number (1994), One In A Million (1996), and the self-titled Aaliyah (2001).

She also released a few hit songs on movie soundtracks (back when movies put out soundtracks), including "Are You That Somebody?" on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack in 1998. That was the summer I'd just graduated high school. I remember going to a house party and dancing to the song with a girl I had a crush on. She was actually dressed like Aaliyah at the party--baggy jeans, cutoff shirt showing her midriff (the singer changed her style as she got older, but in her teens she dressed like a tomboy). I thought about that girl for the rest of the summer!

Aaliyah had so many influences we still see today in music and fashion. I, like many people, continue to enjoy her songs and music videos--other faves of mine are "At Your Best (You Are Love)" and "Try Again".

I regret not having ever seen her in concert. I did some digging (and by that I mean Googling) to try to find the last time Aaliyah performed in concert in Charlotte. I came across a 1997 press release for the Budweiser Superfest concert tour from that year (coincidentally, the latest installment stopped in Charlotte last night with Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton). The headliners were Mary J. Blige, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Dru Hill, with Ginuwine and Aaliyah as the opening acts. On September 1, 1997 they came to the Charlotte Coliseum (for people who moved to Charlotte after 2007, the coliseum used to be on Tyvola Road and was torn down, even though the building was less than 20 years old, because the city built a new arena in Uptown for the Charlotte Bobcats in 2005). When Aaliyah performed in Charlotte, I was just starting my senior year in high school, growing up two hours away in Rembert, SC. I would have loved to have seen her then. And now.

Do you remember that concert tour from 1997? Did you see it in Charlotte? If so, post in the comments section below.

A backstage pass from the 1997 tour. [Source]

If you want to relive some memories of Aaliyah, check out's "Aaliyah: Celebrating Her Legacy, 10 Years Later" and's "Aaliyah's Top 10 Billboard Hits." Those links include photos and videos. Also, the Aailyah: One in a Million special airs at 8 p.m. tonight on BET.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I joined Twitter this afternoon about the same time we felt the effects of the earthquake in Virginia. I'd been avoiding joining the social networking/microblogging site, despite at least once a week a friend or colleague telling me I should be on it or them being appalled when I said I wasn't. I have nothing against Twitter; in fact I often read the timelines of some of my favorite celebrities and of a few friends and colleagues. I just didn't want another social media tool to have to maintain and manage--I'm already on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and I have two blogs, Grown People Talking and Dusk Till Dawn (Charlotte nightlife). But it's primarily because I have a third blog launching in September that I realized that Twitter would be the best way for me to share links to my content because, those blogs coupled with the magazines I write for that post the stories online, I'm cranking out a good bit of content into the World Wide Web.

Follow me @HollidayInk.

My hope is that Twitter will provide a seamless and effortless way to share information with you. But I know, of course, what also comes along with Twitter is the retweeting, direct messages, and strategies to build followers, all of which can become time consuming (as if I don't have enough unread emails in my inboxes). But I've taken the leap and you can't put that genie back in the bottle. Perhaps I'll grow to love Twitter, and hopefully people will follow me @HollidayInk.
There are two separate community meetings taking place tomorrow morning (Wednesday, August 24) that are providing valuable services and information to the Charlotte area.

The Urban League of Central Carolinas is recruiting for its highly acclaimed 21st Century Jobs program. The program offers free national certifications in career fields such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and fiber optics/broadband. Classes are set to begin September 12 at the Urban League, 740 W. Fifth Street, Charlotte. An information session for the 21st Century Jobs program will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Urban League. Instructors and former students will be on hand to answer any questions, and applications will be accepted. Class size is limited and open on a first-come first-served basis. For more information, call 704-373-2256 ext. 218 or email

Men Who Care Global, whom you may have learned about when the organization was planning a Fourth of July rally in Uptown in response to a previous incident involving hundreds of misguided African-American youth ("'Men Who Care' Want to Save Our Youth"), is holding a press conference tomorrow at 11 a.m. to present their community report. The press conference will be held at the office of Charlotte businessman and founder of Men Who Care, Ron Leeper, at R.J. Leeper Construction, 601 Morris Street. For additional information or questions, contact Colin Pinkney at or 704-391-0022 ext. 39.
You've likely seen news reports, Facebook posts, and/or Twitter updates about celebrities and movie trucks spotted around Charlotte the last few weeks (I think Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz have been seen the most). As I blogged about last month, this local Hollywood action is because The Hunger Games movie was setting up shop to film its Capitol scenes in Charlotte and Concord ("'Hunger Games' Movie Filming Headed to Charlotte"). Now, thanks to MTV, on Sunday night we'll get to see the very first footage from the movie that's not scheduled to be released until March.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games.
Photo by Murray Close/Lionsgate Entertainment via

According to MTV News, actress Jennifer Lawrence will introduce the exclusive preview during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. After the show, The Hunger Games clip will be available on

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I was a kid, this would be the time of year I would dread--end of summer break and back-to-school time. But if you're an underprivileged kid, you have bigger reasons to worry about going back to school. Thankfully, there are several organizations and companies in Charlotte that are giving their time and resources to help make getting back into the classroom an easier, happier, and more exciting time for all children, fortunate or less fortunate.

Here are a few events and causes you should support by bringing your kids (or neighbors' kids) or by making donations.

 Saturday, August 20

School Tools Postal Collection Day
All month long, WSOC-TV's 9 Family Focus, in partnership with Communities In Schools and Classroom Central, has been leading a community outreach project to collect school supplies for children. And this Saturday, you can contribute and barely have to leave your house. U.S. Postal Service letter carriers will collect school supplies left at residential mail boxes on August 20. Supplies donated in your county will stay in your county and help local children succeed in school. Participating counties are: Mecklenburg, Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lancaster, Lincoln, Richmond, and Rowan. Click here for a full list of participating zip codes,

Back-to-School Festival at Druid Hills Academy
Now expanded from a K-5 to a K-8 school, Druid Hills hosts this annual event Saturday to welcome students back by providing a fun-filled day of games, prizes, food, and more. It will also unite the school's community partners and allow them to display the many resources they provide for local families. Several community organizations, faith-based groups, and local businesses are participating, including: Altrusa International of Charlotte (primary sponsor), the Johnston YMCA, Carolinas Medical Center, Domino's Pizza, Rita's Italian Ice, Power 98 FM, Charlotte Children's Choir, Communities In Schools, A Child's Place, Smart Start, Target, CMPD, and more. If you have any questions, contact Joseph Allen, CIS site coordinator at Druid Hills Academy, 980-343-5515, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Druid Hills Academy, 2801 Lucena St.,

Family Options Fair
This event provides a fun family atmosphere where the community can learn about organizations that are available to provide mentoring, tutoring, after-school programs, life skills, and leadership development for the youth in the Charlotte area. Participating organizations include: the City of Charlotte, Urban League, YMCA, CMPD, Girl Talk Foundation, and more. There will be free pizza from Mr. Jim’s Pizza and other refreshments. And No Grease Barber Shop will be giving out vouchers for free haircuts. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet local elected and public officials. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Stratford Richardson YMCA, 1946 West Blvd.,

Monday, August 22

Cuttin' Class - Community Hair Cutting and School Supply Day Presented by The IT Factor Media Group, LLC and No Grease Barber Shop, I've seen this annual event do great things for the community for about three years now. On Monday, they're giving back to the children in the community by providing free haircuts, school supplies, and 1,000 book bags to school-age children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Plus, Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas and New Jersey Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will be on-site during the event to sign autographs and take pictures with the children. Complimentary refreshments will be served. For more details, contact Felisha Fletcher, The IT Factor Media Group, 919-247-5973, 1-7 p.m. Free; RSVP requested for large organizations. No Grease Barber Shop, 1531 Central Ave.,

Charlotte Contributes: Project Classroom Come out Monday, have a drink, mix and mingle, and don't forget to bring some school supplies. This charity event for Classroom Central is asking for pencils, pens, one-subject notebooks, dry-erase markers, glue sticks, construction paper, index cards, colored pencils, magic markers, etc. Bring any of the following needed supplies and Charlotte Contributes will buy you a draft beer. Email if you have any questions. 6 p.m. Free. Top Shelf Rooftop Bar at Whiskey Warehouse, 1221 The Plaza,,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Presenters Announced for TEDxCharlotte 2011

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/17/2011 1 comment
Details went out this week about the more than one dozen speakers who will present at TEDxCharlotte 2011, which takes place October 15 at Queens University of Charlotte. With the conference themed “Risk-takers and Dream-makers,” the diverse lineup of presenters ranges from space to installation art, from 365 days of intimacy to label-maker. They include:
  • Dr. Mark Moore, NASA Scientist
  • Susan Page and Juan Logan, Artists
  • Charla Muller, Author of 365 Nights
  • Loan Tran, Human Rights Advocate/Student
  • James Adams, Community Leader and Human Rights Activist
  • Scott Swimmer, Founder, DRUMSTRONG
  • Max Wallace, Hackerspace Charlotte
  • Dolph Ramseur, Founder, Ramseur Records
  • Rebekah Ferguson, Documentary Filmmaker
  • Clay Presley, CEO Carolina Pad/Humanitarian
  • Kirsten Hemmy, Poet/Educator
  • JD Lewis, Jackson Lewis, and Buck Lewis, Founders, Twelve in Twelve
  • David Johnson, Photographer/Founder, Silent Images
  • Manny Ohonme, Sports Hero/Founder, Samaritans Feet
Visit to read each presenter's bio.

An open house held in June at Dolce Vita brought out dozens of locals interested in TEDx.
Photo by Deborah Triplett.

You have a week left to apply to attend TEDxCharlotte. The application deadline was extended to August 25 so that prospective attendees would know who the scheduled speakers are. Confirmed applicants will be notified the first week of September. Visit to apply.

Also, if you'd like to get more familiar with this second-year conference, watch all of the TEDxCharlotte 2010 speakers and performances online at

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Smirnoff brought its Master of the Mix crew to Charlotte last Monday for the filming of an episode of season two of the DJ competition/reality television show that airs on BET Centric.

UPDATE 8/17/11

I was happy to tell you a little about my experience from that night at RE:PUBLIC nightclub, and even shared some behind-the-scenes footage. But I've been contacted by an agency representing the show and have been asked to take down the blog post I'd written to ensure they "maintain the integrity of the show and an element of surprise before the November premiere." I certainly can respect that so I've obliged (and guess I should've actually read the confidentiality agreement I signed...doh!).

I think Master of the Mix season two will be worth your while to watch, especially if you love hip-hop, the art of DJing, and like watching competition. Perhaps I'll be able to share a little more insight closer to the show's premiere.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lil Wayne Skates Through Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/09/2011 No comments
Lil Wayne had a busy day, night, and early morning in Charlotte. He brought his "I Am Still Music Tour" to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Sunday, with guest acts Lloyd, Far East Movement, Keri Hilson, and Rick Ross. I was fortunate enough to attend the concert and, despite the heat, it was a great show. Weezy has built up a deep catalog so he kept the hits coming Sunday night, and had several members of his YMCMB team join him on stage including Birdman, Mack Maine, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda, Cory Gunz, and Shanell (she sang vocals on several of his songs similar to his recent MTV Unplugged show).

After the concert, Lil Wayne and crew headed to his official after-party at 5th Element nightclub in Uptown. I didn't go but I hear it was a packed house. You would've thought after the party, Lil Wayne would've gone back to his hotel (he stayed at The Ritz-Carlton). Instead he made a trip to Soul Ride SkatePark in Concord at 3 a.m. He rented out the place for him and a few friends to ride their skateboards for a couple of hours. At 5:30 a.m., he posted this tweet: "Just left Soul Ride sk8park. Awesome sesh!! Props to little Adam Z. jr and his homies for shreddin with me!! Bedtime." Below are a couple of photos of Wayne's visit that Soul Ride posted on Facebook.

If you scroll down Lil Wayne's Twitter page (@LilTunechi), you'll see that it's becoming a routine of his to go skateboarding in cities before or after his concerts. In fact, a video posted a few days ago of him at Skatepark of Tampa has gone viral. You see Wayne do a few moves, but it's mostly funny scenes of his homey Marley busting his arse. See that video below.

And apparently, Lil Wayne was loving Charlotte so much he stayed a second night and didn't fly out until this afternoon (Tuesday). His tour had an off day yesterday, so I guess he took some time to relax at The Ritz. He also had a repeat of his previous late night/early morning by going skateboarding again at a nearby skatepark. Shortly before 5 a.m. today, he posted this status on Twitter: "Just left Boardroom sk8park...shredded! Punked out on drop'n in on the 7 and a quarter ramp but I did land a fakie ollie up a ramp! Bedtime!" He's referring to The Board Room SkatePark in the Lake Norman area in Cornelius. The Board Room has posted a short video of Wayne recapping his visit to the skatepark on Facebook (click here to see it), and this photo below:

Now, back to the concert. Here's a 10-minute video I captured at Sunday's concert of Lil Wayne's intro into his 90-minute set.

Friday, August 5, 2011

'Museums on Us' this Weekend

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/05/2011 No comments
I think a lot of people are unaware of Bank of America's great Museums on Us program. Here's how it works: By presenting your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card, you're admitted for free into more than 150 participating museums nationwide during the first full weekend of every month. So the next one is this Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7.

There are six museums in Charlotte where you'll be admitted for free (each one below links to that museum's website):
All of these museums, except for the Mint Museum Randolph, are in Uptown so you can easily visit more than one of them in an afternoon. Make a day of it! Charlotte has such a rich offering of museums and cultural arts venues, and more people should visit them. If you're a BofA customer, take advantage of this free weekend and go see Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology at Bechtler; Live and In Stereo(type) at Gantt; COURAGE at Levine Museum; Attitude and Alchemy: The Metalwork of Gary Lee Noffke at Mint Uptown; and The Great Hall at NASCAR HOF.

The remaining Museums on Us weekends for 2011 are: September 3 and 4, October 1 and 2, November 5 and 6, and December 3 and 4. For more details, visit

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Keisha Hughes Is 'Born To Dance'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/03/2011 No comments
Famed choreographer Laurieann Gibson's new show, Born To Dance, premiered on BET last night. Twenty female dancers have been selected from thousands who auditioned around the country, and over the next several weeks, in one-hour episodes, we'll see them compete while learning from Laurieann. In the end, one winner will be chosen and she'll receive $50,000 and become a professional dancer as part of Team BoomKack. One of the 20 young ladies competing on Born To Dance is Keisha "Sparkle" Hughes, a 21-year-old native of Queens, New York, who currently lives in Charlotte and is a student at UNC Charlotte.

According to her bio, Keisha is traditionally trained in ballet and Martha Graham Technique, and has also trained and studied in the styles of contemporary modern, pointe, jazz, African, salsa, and ballroom. She attended Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Long Island City, New York and has received multiple scholarships to study at the Martha Graham Contemporary School of Dance. She says she has a passion for hip-hop dance, and she's a member of the Charlotte-based Elektrik Dance Crew.

If you missed last night's premiere of Born To Dance, you can watch it below.

Born To Dance airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on BET, where you can watch to see how far Keisha makes it. You can also keep up with her by liking her Facebook page, following her on Twitter @SparkleDaStar, or checking out her dance videos on YouTube.

Rick Hendrick Is a Hero

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/03/2011 No comments
Great news today from an announcement by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In recent months, I'd talked to several community leaders and educators who were concerned about how Charlotte youth would be negatively impacted if middle school sports were eliminated due to budget cuts. "Kids in well-to-do families will make up for it by playing in rec leagues. But kids in working class or low-income families can't afford that or their parents, many of them single parents, won't be able to shuttle them around to practices," a school representative told me one day a couple of months ago. I also had a conversation about how after-school sports help keep kids off the street. Now, thanks to the generosity of Charlotte businessman and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, CMS' middle school sports will not be cut this school year.

Read an excerpt of the CMS news release below.

A $250,000 sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Automotive Group will allow Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to offer a complete program of middle school sports for the 2011-12 academic year.

Due to budget cuts, CMS had expected to reduce the number of middle school sports offered in previous years. The Hendrick sponsorship, combined with a contribution from an unidentified donor, provides the remaining amount necessary to fund the full lineup of 13 sports at all 32 middle schools for more than 6,500 students participating in athletics across the district.

The agreement gives the company naming rights of statistics announced during breaks at high school athletic events; recognition as a title partner in announcements at the end of high school events; and signage that will be displayed at middle and high school athletic events.

CMS will use the sponsorship money to help pay coaching stipends, fees for officials and transportation costs for middle school athletics. Students must still pay some sports-participation fees, introduced by CMS for all middle and high school student-athletes last year.

“As someone who participated in sports growing up and has kids who played, I understand the impact those experiences can have on young people,” said Rick Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group.
Related Posts with Thumbnails