Friday, June 26, 2009

Omnibus Horizons

As the heat of the day began to surged forth, people hurried about in their everyday race of existence, the news cycle buzzed with breaking news,updates and talking heads repeating the days news, when out of no where came the word that musical icon, Michael Jackson was dead at age 50. Was this another cruel hoax? A publicity stunt for his upcoming stellar comeback in London? Tweeters and Texters gone mad? Although somewhat surreal, it was true. The genius, the talented one, the self titled "King of Pop," was no more and it seems that the world would pause for reflection as well as mourning. I was working and my associates were in a frenzy as I tried to maintain control of the department. Out came the cell phones, the text messages, the IM's starting alerting and some even needed a "moment to collect," themselves. I later learned that at least 65,000 text messages a second were being sent upon the news of his death.
Unfortunately for myself, I understood the gravity of the news, but I still had a job to do and the responsibilities of it. Yet, I tried to handle the matter as I approach almost all crisis situations, with my calm, take charge demeanor and stiff upper lip attitude that has served me in time of unpleasantness. It was so strange that out of all the uncertainty and sketchy reports at that time, the level of importance placed upon it. Especially, since I personally was the only individual in the room, who had actually seen Jackson here in the Little Rock Christmas Parade in the early 70's. However, as I left work, I realized that it appeared that the entire world had transformed into "Jackson Land" as his music blared from radio stations, news coverage exploded and people seemed not to know anything else but MJ. Yes, he had world appeal, made significant contributions and impacted many elements of cultural shifts ranging from Black artist being featured on MTV to his statement" We are the World," on famine relief. Of his catalog, I like many had many favorites. However, I really favored many of his less popular songs such as Earth Song and Blood on the Dance Floor. When his mega hit, "Thriller" premiered, I saw it in the backroom of the then Discovery II with it's big screen TV. The room stopped as club goers stood in front of the TV as if it was a message was coming from an oracle. Jackson's Super Bowl extravaganza was front and center at then, Plumtastics Lounge as the boys pot lucked and watched the "gloved one" dance and dazzle. There's no doubt that Mr. Jackson's talent is legendary, but his soar through his existence was also often times marred with eccentricities, mis-guided circumstances and far flung strangeness that fueled the "magic" that groupies and close friends muse about. Ultimately, Michael is the child of Katherine and Jo who have lost not a famous person but rather their son. I would assume that at this time, even though their are many issues at play, it is a death in the family that they must publicly face and share. Thanks, Michael for sharing your love of music, the grit of the dance moves that has even prisoners in court yards doing the "Thriller," and the passionate lyrics that will forever ring across the planet and into the never lands of the cosmos. I bid you a final curtain call and farewell...

BAR WATCH: The 7th Street Corridor entertainment mix has been slated for a make-over and addition of a new offering according to businessman Norman Jones. Formerly known as Easy Street Piano Bar, the renamed OFF Center still features live music, early opening hours and open mic nights. Plans state that the main entrance to the music venue will be altered using a current storefront facade. Adding to the mix, PULSE will also come online in mid-July depending on construction. The new section will be a dance, clubby, show lounge mash up featuring performer, Whitney Paige as show director. Jones cited that he was attempting to answer market needs that another weekday choice should be available for those seeking such a venue. Additional information on cover charges, operation times and cast additions will soon be announced. There's some schedule tweaking happening at 610 Center, with new hours starting this week. Unfortunately, and I've mentioned it here, patronage is not supporting early opening hours thus they are being scaled back to 4 p.m. and closing at 11 p.m. weekdays and 12 p.m. on Friday's. Also, it seems that the "draft" beer recession brew has evaporated. Bartenders for several weeks have stated that the taps were in need of repairs or something to that affect. I guess finding a repair person must be a real chore these days. Meanwhile, for now you can still enjoy some value price beverages on the lounges popular Wednesday evenings and tasty munches as well.

Venue NEWS: I had many e-blast, heard much talk-talk, rumor, conjecture and everything else about the resurgence of "something" in the defunct Factory site. Finally, I've had some confirmation that indeed there are some plans including some actual construction of a soon to be operational and tentatively named, Martha's. Allegedly, the theme will be a " supper club" mix with a "puttin on the Ritz" atmosphere which will feature some live acts, and perhaps as I understand it, some type of staged show. I also gather that this launch stems from Easy Street's former MC, Michael Henderson, and prime supporter, "Martha," hence the club's moniker. I'm expecting to get some more details, including a possible peek at the new digs. Stay tuned....

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