12.09.2007

Honky Indian Cuisine and King Cool Nutz

As much as I dread the first week of December, when I inch closer and closer to the ripe age of 30, I can't deny that I was treated to a very nice birthday this last Thursday, the 6th. My folks came down from Appalachia (um, Amboy), WA, and spent the early evening with me in the Stump. We took the MAX (dubbed the "chatter train" by Mike, referring to the bilingual voice instructing riders which doors to exit from, etc.) to Oldtown/Chinatown, where we spent some time at the Chinese Tea Garden. Squeezed into just one city block, the garden has a lake surrounded by various trees (amazingly, some were growing pumpkins on them), traditional Chinese architecture, and over 500 species of plants. The garden's peaceful charm is a nice refuge from the downtown bustle that surrounds its walls.

Before heading back to the east side of the river, Pork, Mike and I got some tasty niblets at Voodoo Doughnuts, where the "magic is in the hole." Mike got an old fashioned chocolate, while Pork and I split a maple bar layered with bacon strips. Mmmm...

For dinner, the three of us met Old and Kesia at Vindalho, a restaurant serving modern interpretations of classic Indian fare. While the restaurant was very nice, and the food tasty, one couldn't help from noticing that not one person of Indian descent was working. Not that it changed the quality of the food, but it did prompt Mike to openly refer to everyone in the restaurant as "honkies." This extended to the clientele, as well, all of whom appeared a bit, shall we say, white-bred. As I mentioned, though, the food was great.

After dinner, Pork and Mike made their trek back to Yonder Mountain, while Old and I hopped on a bus and went downtown. We stopped first at the Cheerful Tortoise, where, with the aid of a $10 gift certificate and $1 drinks, we stuffed our bellies again before going to Berbati's for a second night of free music (see post below). Before leaving, though, Old and I watched the Blazers take out the Miami Heat.

On the bill at Berbati's were the Blue Scholars, one of Seattle's more gifted and well-known hip hop groups. The group, consisting of Emcee Geologic and Sabzi (the DJ), has been representing the Northwest hip hop scene for five years now. The duo graced the stage of Berbati's, performing songs that covered themes of Filipino pride, the war in Iraq, and the Northwest hip hop scene. In contrast to other rap shows that Old and I have been to, where usually no more than six people show up, the Blue Scholars drew a large crowd that packed most of the dance floor. The fact that Berbati's charged no cover probably had something to do with the large crowd. However, the group created a vibe and definitely attracted some of their following, as evidenced by break dancers practicing their moves and spectators singing along with Geologic. As the show ended, the two were beckoned back to the stage by fans chanting "encore." To accomodate, the duo peformed a couple extra songs, displaying more of their strong lyrics, good stage presence, and nice command of the turn tables by Sabzi.
As good as the performance was, the night was probably highlighted by a cameo from Cool Nutz. Yes, the godfather of Portland hip hop made an appearance, albeit very low key. He did not perform, rather he chilled in the back collecting dabs from passersby that recognized him, while also handing out flyers for his new CD, King Cool Nutz. His appearance was both impressive and disappointing. I was impressed that he would show up at an underground show sans entourage and, although well known and in the game for more than a decade, promote for himself. I was disappointed that, despite his longevity and relative notoriety, he still has to promote in such a fashion. Cool Nutz still gets love, though, and Old and I made sure to say what's up and let him know we support him.
At the end of the day, my anxiety of growing old subsided with the company of loved ones, a good meal, a Blazers win, and, finally, a good hip hop show in Portland. Much love to Pork, Mike, Old, Kes, and Cool Nutz...you made my day.

5 comments:

Pork said...

Aw shucks...You're welcome. Amazingly, we toothless hillbillies love to come off the mountain for some culture now and again.

etard said...

Hey...where's my Cheerful Tortoise $$??? I demand an answer!

Sluggy said...

The "honkies" comment got me... I laughed -HARD! Thanks, Dad, for always making me smile :-) And Jeff - you're a fun writer, your comedic timing unparalleled.

Cool Nutz said...

that's the difference between me and other artists. I get the job done regardless of the star stuff. I like to get out with the people, rather then never get out and see my fans. I can understand the perception thing, but I want people to know that I am still here, and ready for the real work. Thanks for the mentions and the props. How many other artists took advantage of all of those hip-hop fans that were there to promote to? The job has to get done.

Oldie said...

Pierre the Extraordinaire aka Dudley Doright aka Cool Muthafuckin Nutz, we respect the game. We've only been in the City of Roses for a few years, but you've always impressed with your dedication to promoting the local scene. Keep doing what you do...