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The King of Bounce Beat: How Polo Brought Go-Go Into the 21st Century

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In 2003, the best place to find Polo was onstage at nightclubs across the D.C. area—but if you showed up early to the go-go, you might’ve found him in the parking lot, taking a nap. I first met TCB’s lead talker that year, outside of the old Deno’s Metro Club on Bladensburg Road NE, when I interrupted his preshow snooze. I was writing a story about the venue and had stepped outside to talk on the phone and smoke. My voice woke him up, so he got out of the car—he was sporting a Polo jacket—walked over, and asked me for a cigarette. He was unsmiling but friendly, and we chatted for a minute.

He talked about a war against go-go—how local officials and the Metropolitan Police Department seemed to blame the music for late-night violence and were determined to stamp out the sound. This was a few years before Club U would shutter for good and more than seven years before Washington City Paper reported that MPD compiled a regular “go-go report” of shows in the area. Still, the writing was on the wall; he was standing in a D.C. neighborhood that used to be a hub of the music but had seen many of its nightclubs—the Icebox, the Taj Mahal—close. Even Deno’s would shut down soon.

Polo also talked, very briefly, about how he was taking go-go in a different direction, and how it was hard to get respect for what he was doing. At the time, his band had been on the scene for a minute but had recently debuted a new sound: bounce beat, a more forceful, drum-heavy style that was a departure from what most people recognized as go-go.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about Polo’s prescience in our conversation, as well as the one thing he was wrong about: As it turned out, he needn’t have worried about gaining the region’s attention.

Read more @ The Washington City Paper

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CELEBS PAY RESPECTS … At Texas Funeral

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You can clearly tell just how much George H.W. Bush was liked and respected simply by the incredible number of celebs who turned out for the late President’s funeral in the Lone Star State.

Reba McEntire sang “The Lord’s Prayer” and The Oak Ridge Boys gave a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace” during the funeral services Thursday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.

Read more @ TMZ

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Stan Lee, Marvel Comics visionary, dead at 95

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Arthur Mitchell, Pioneering Black Ballet Dancer, Dies at 84

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Arthur Mitchell, who broke barriers for African-Americans in the 1950s as a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet and who would go on to become a driving force in the creation of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, has died.

NEW YORK (AP) — Arthur Mitchell, who broke barriers for African-Americans in the 1950s as a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet and who would go on to become a driving force in the creation of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, has died. He was 84.

Mitchell died Wednesday at a New York City hospital according to his niece, Juli Mills-Ross. She said the death came after renal failure led to heart failure.

Born in Harlem, Mitchell started dancing with the New York City Ballet in 1955 under famed choreographer George Balanchine.

Balanchine put him in several leading roles, including one pairing him with a white female dancer in “Agon” in 1957.

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