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Southern Comfort, Mind-F*cking, and The Foreign Exchange.....


My weekend was one of THE MOST soul SEARCHING, soul PIERCING, soulPURGING experiences that I’ve had IN YEARS. Seeing The Foreign Exchangesurely didn’t start it all…..but it DAMN SURE finished it……in good way though. 

If you’ve been following, I WAS PUMPED to have my ticket to see this AMAZING group. If you don’t know me then you can’t IMAGINE the love I have for good music, these guys being apart of the pack. It all started with my cousin going to NC State way back in the day and giving me a little CD that his girlfriend’s (now fiancée) roommate had given him of her boyfriend and friends. That little CD was my FIRST EVER Little Brother album. From then, it spun into a crazy love affair, not just because I support my fellow NC people, but because I support GREAT MUSIC. Anywho, I digress.

I’d already been going through the motions this past week with personal situations in my life. My career, my family and MY INFAMOUS LOVE LIFE……now more complicated than ever. I THOUGHT that going to this show would take me away from it all….if not just for a couple of hours. Little did I KNOW that it would be Chicken Soup for the motherf*ckin’ Soul…….LITERALLY.

So the show’s schedule time was 8pm in Baltimore. That’s how much I love this group….I went to Baltimore to see them, and everybody knows how much I scathe at the thought of being in Baltimore. Since this WAS a black function I arrived at 8:45 because I KNOW my people. I tweet Zo! because we go back and forth from time to time showing love on each other’s blogs and whatnot through Twitter. I had told him I was going to bring my bomb ass cinnamon blueberry cheesecake muffins but if he knew the week I had he wouldn’t have held it against me for forgetting to bring them. I was so incredibly tired of drinking throughout the week that all I had was like an ounce of Southern Comfort, filled with sour and topped off with Red Bull (MMMMMMMM). The show was at the 8x10 and it was PACKED! It’s good to see that people have good taste in music.

As I’m weaving through the crowd I find a nice little open spot in the middle, not too far from the stage but just enough room for me….until the big bitch came. I didn’t think this was going to be a problem because she was off to my left talking to her homegirls but I was sadly mistaken. Now, it’s 10 minutes past 9 o’clock and I’m half way done with my weak ass drink (shoulda got a margarita……). I tweet Zo! again and tell them they better bring it because I don’t want to have to talk bad about anyone. As YOU ALL KNOW……I’m brutally honest with EVERYTHING. He tweets me back and says that it was going to be a “REAL fun show”. Oh how right he was. Time goes by again, I have friends texting me about going to my cousin’s house to watch the Bernard Hopkins fight (fuck Bernard Hopkins I think because of what he said about McNabb…..) and then I hear yelling and screaming…..and the show begins!

Nicolay comes out first. He looks exactly like the videos. Tall and lanky. He’s got a body like Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas. I see Zo! with that big Kool-Aid smile that you can spot a mile away. Forgive me but I forgot the names and didn’t have my notebook to jot them down of the drummer who was 23 (BEAST!), Bass player (he was kinda cute….) and the guitarist (kinda got the Jew fro…I think or my eyes might be bad). Next, the ladies come out. I think Jess……is her name. I know she’s from NC, singer/songwriter, and PHENOMENAL singer. Then I see my girl Sy Smith! LOVE HER! Btw…..I thought my BCBG leggings were the business until I saw her’s! Let me just step MY GAME UP. Then……comes the Black Mamba…..Phonte. Crowd goes ape shit. It’s IMMEDIATELY hot as hell and he hasn’t even sung two words yet. The band starts……SHIT…..JUST…..GOT….REAL…..


Forgive me, but it’s damn near two in the morning and like I said, I didn’t have my notepad with me but I “think” the first song was The Last Fall….I DO remember that the first song really did set the tone for the whole night. The Foreign Exchange played grooves from everything to Daykeeper to All or Nothing toAuthenticity to Zo!’s hits Greatest Weapon of All Time with Sy Smith breaking it down and my personal fave, This Could Be The NightIn between the jams, Nicolay took off that hot ass jacket, Phonte kept the crowd live with comedy and his Gene Simmons tongue (hhhhmmmmmm, never mind……), Sy Smith showed us her sick moves, Zo! was still flashin’ his “red kool-aid” smile, and the rest of the band displayed their innate ability to keep the crowd moving even when some of our feet were screaming. 

In the midst of the jam session, the big bitch I was talking about earlier makes her way in front of me. How the hell did this happen? Not only was she in front of me rocking out (hey, no issue with that, it was a great show) she starts poppin’ her booty in front of me, damn near knocking me out! Now, I’ve been abstinent for QUITE sometime but it felt like we were about to have sex on the dance floor…..she kept knocking her big ass into me! Then when I THOUGHT it couldn’t get any worse…..she calls her other friends to where she is…..AND THEY WEREN’T ANY SLIM JIMS EITHER. So know I’m stuck in the middle of a “Big Momma Cluster” and I’m sweatin’ like I’m on stage with The Foreign Exchange because all these big heifers are exuding heat that I’m absorbing.

Right at the climax of the show Phonte got REAL candid for a minute. He’s like that older brother who you love being around but when it comes to real talk, you want him to shut up. Not because he’s annoying but because what he’s saying is VERY necessary…….even when you DON’T feel like hearing it right then and there. Love happens in your REAL LIFE not your E-LIFE, Phonte says . I can attest to this for sure. I’m so INCREDIBLY over building relationships through vague forms of communication, i.e; texting, tweeting, emailing, Facebook etc. People rather divulge information through these impersonal portals rather than ACTUALLY pick up the phone or see just see you face to face. He then goes in to talking about seeing a man for his potential. And like that hard-headed little sister I’m thinking “I HEAR you brother…..BUT I WANT HIM TO BE ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW……I DON’T WANT A WAIT….I WANT HIM SUCCESSFUL NOW!” 

In a nutshell, this whole damn show was a therapy session that I got for $20….plus tax. It was totally worth it. I got to LISTEN to the songs and not just hear them in my room or car like I usually do. I REALLY listened to the songs and it got personal… least for me. I don’t know about everyone else. I really need to address some people…..because I don’t want to go on thinking “What was,” or “what could be?” I want to know “What it is,” right now. Zo! Was absolutely right, it was a great show. I had fun. I laughed, I sung, I danced, I got mind-f*cked, and I got some insight into my PERSONAL love life. The Foreign Exchange Authenticity Tour was so much more than what I bargained for and I’m glad I was there…..even if it was in Baltimore……..

Here are the rest of the tour dates so far. I HIGHLY recommend going to see them if they’re coming to a city near you.

Alley Katz, Richmond VA · 
Thu Jul 21, 2011:
The Crocodile, Seattle WA · 
Fri Jul 22, 2011:
Portland OR · 
Sat Jul 23, 2011:
Sacramento CA · 
Sun Jul 24, 2011:
San Jose CA · 
Tue Jul 26, 2011:
The New Parish, Oakland CA · 
Thu Jul 28, 2011:
Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa CA · 
Fri Jul 29, 2011:
Fulton 55, Fresno CA · 

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