After the Show...

It's the afterparty. Only this one's for charity, not R. Kelly.

It's an odd thing about our culture that so many of our good deeds involve standing around and drinking. Sure, there are still some people volunteering in soup kitchens or giving blood, but for most of us, charity begins at the bar.

This is a reflection on us, not on the people trying to raise money for charities, so Alexis Tucci, DJ and member of the Hot House Sessions can't be blamed for putting together a benefit for Beaumont High School by throwing a party. It isn't just easier to get people to give money at a party, it's easier to have a party if people give money.

"It's just easier to do things if you make them a benefit," agrees Tucci. "The intention to give money is there, for sure, but everything goes smoother."

This helps explain how the Sessions ended up planning the Erykah Badu official afterparty for this Friday (see our Critic's Pick on Badu in this issue). The first of three charity events for the school that the Sessions (or their umbrella company, Hazel Music Syndicate) are planning in the near future, the Badu afterparty is coming together at the huge warehouse space at the Third Degree Glass Factory (5200 Delmar Boulevard).

"We'd been hired to be the booking agent for the once-a-month cocktail party that the Third Degree Glass Factory has," Tucci explains. "We happened to stumble upon their warehouse space that's attached to their smaller warehouse space where they host events. And we saw an opportunity to make it a benefit."

While Tucci isn't sure exactly what the money will be used for, she knows it's going to help students directly.

"[The money will be spent on] books, or gym equipment or something like that. We by no stretch of the imagination wanted to advertise that we were just giving the money to the St. Louis school board for pens or pencils."

Starting at 10 p.m., in case you somehow get bored looking at Badu, the party is open to both those who attended the concert and those who didn't (although the latter won't get half off the $10 admission price, as ticket holders will). Performing will be Chicago hip-hopper the Twilite Tone and local DJ Needles. And, of course, the Sessions.

DJ Needles dropped off his latest disc last week. Entitled The Jacked Album, it's made up of pretty much the entirety of Jay-Z's The Black Album, with new beats by Needles. It's fine, but it was probably more fun for him to make than it is to listen to, and it's not like all those original beats by the Neptunes and DJ Quik sucked.

You'll notice one name that isn't mentioned on that list of performers: Badu herself. Tucci stresses that she can't promise that Badu will actually be in the house, so don't think your sawbuck'll get you a discount concert from the diva. But even if she doesn't show up, this official afterparty will be more fun than the unofficial Badu afterparty, which will consist of a couple of dudes drinking Fighting Cock bourbon in the MetroLink parking lot behind the Pageant. Besides, you've probably never been to the glass-blowers' paradise of the Third Degree Glass Factory, much less heard music there.

Speaking of new places to hear music, new coffee shop Radio Cherokee (3227 Cherokee Street) is having its debut all-ages show Tuesday. Radio Cherokee's David Early says the venue will host "jazz, rock and other noisy happenings," and it looks like the place is going for all three at once with Measles Mumps Rubella, an electronic dance punk ensemble out of D.C. Go check them out.

Never doubt the predictions of music guru Randall Roberts: In our recent end-of-year roundup, Roberts named local rapper J-Kwon as the best hope for St. Louis rap, based on his killer single "Tipsy." Less than two months later J-Kwon has become the latest St. Louis artist to break into the Billboard Top 25. "Tipsy" is sitting at number 22, right behind chart veteran Chingy's "One Call Away." If you haven't heard it yet, tune to Q-95.5 or the Beat (100.3 FM) and wait ten minutes. When you hear something that sounds like the beat from Queen's "We Will Rock You" turned up to eleven, you've found it. J-Kwon's full album, Hood Hop, doesn't drop until April, so we'll have to wait to see if he has more than one monster single in him, but based on "Tipsy," it looks like the St. Louis streak will continue.

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