Saturday, February 11, 2012

SOTW - February 10, 2012

So, I was in Atlanta on Monday for a late-starting expert deposition. That being a work function, I was in my standard squareish navy lawyer suit with only slightly stylish (two years ago) un-risky tie. I had my faithful sidekick and resident legal eagle, Dustin Marlowe, with me. The proceedings drug on for several hours, putting us out after 8:00 pm. That's past normal dinnertime and I was famished. A slighly-panicked search for a restaurant ensued, which ended at the Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft at the corner of Peachtree and Deering (a very cool space with delicious alternative takes on Thai classics). There were perhaps 12 diners in the large restaurant, including us. I was too hungry to take in much of the scene. One Red Hare Ale and a plate of what I would call "pad Thai" later, things were going much better. Whew.

About the time I was wiping the last of the chili powder induced persperation off my brow, Dustin says, "dude, that's Andre 3000." [Cue hushed but wide-eyed tones].

"No waaaaay."
"Duuuude! Just look!"

As my head pivoted left and I got my eyes on him, I heard his voice as he cut up with a staff member. That removed all doubt. "Dude, that is Andre 3000." "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson!" Though he is not tall of stature, Andre Benjamin's visual impact from 12 feet away is immediate. Dude is stylish. You'd know he was a famous if nobody told you. He was wearing the kind of outfit one would throw on when he got off work early unexpectedly with nothing to do on a cold afternoon, except this outfit looked to have been custom tailored in Milan. Super fine overwashed denim was prevalent, including hyper-tailored pants and cargoish vest worn over an orange and maroon striped rugby shirt that I thought had gone out of style in the late 80's. (Obviously not. If Andre wears something, it's gotta be stylish.). The too-stylish-for-a-normal-human-on-a-Monday ensemble was topped off by one of his sigature, slighly over-large "gatsby" style hats. Apparently a regular at Tuk Tuk, he was engaging to the staff and seemed approachable ... just not approachable enough for some random 36 year old suit to walk up reeking of Thai pork (Andre is a vegan) and request a picture that would be on Facebook 90 seconds later. He got on the elevator and left. We got on our cell phones and started calling people.

Andre 3000 is, of course, one-half of the hip-hop duo Outkast. Rising out of humble beginnings in the East Point section of Atlanta, he and his partner, Antwan "Big Boi" Patton have ridden their "Dirty South G Funk" to 25 million album sales worldwide and six Grammy awards. In the process, they put "the ATL" on the map as a hub for the most dynamic and enduring musical movement of the last 20 years. I am by no means a scholar of hip-hop or Oukast, but I've tried to learn enough to appreciate the genre and its vast influence on what we hear today. (Totally unrelated sidenote. If you do not have a copy of Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, check it out. It's spectactular.) It takes less than a song to develop an appreciation for Outkast once you hear it. The content and delivery of their music is as original as it is intellectual. Your Early Evening Song of the Week for the week of February 11, 2012 tells it best. Enjoy!

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