“A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back.”
ya know, i should really talk about Acentos this time (my first instinct is to recap last monday)
aight, almost a month back(!) we had bonafide in the house. long story short– bon was supposed to do a louderEDGE at 13 which meant there would be a q&a afterwards, his feature was changed to a slam so– no q&A. after a great walk across 14th street and down broadway where we talked about his poetry and views, we agreed to do the q&a at the blue ox. following guy’s advice that the q&a should be personal and organic versus static & controlled, we had an incredible q&a that lasted a half-hour (it was only supposed to be 15 mins) and then fish jumped in with a question which led to the audience chiming in for another 10 mins. in all honesty, we couldve gone for an hour the way it was going, as all the questions from the audience were excellent (including one from jimmy the bartender) and kept the convo flowing forward… which is the whole point. what was really great was that it was an entirely different convo then the one bon and i had before.
unfortunately, it was a low turn out for us as i was counting on bon to bring in a whole bunch of new peeps from the bX to the blue ox and, well, he didnt. so, good open mic, excellent feature, excellent (first ever for me and Acentos) q&a… small turnout… a successful show, especially in that the q&a was all i wanted it to be, but the low turnout was buggin me.
two weeks ago we had Toro as the feature. toro is from jeh-sey (say it like if you’re from queens) so i knew he was NOT bringing in any new peeps. well, the core crowd showed up and frog prince showed up with three other cats and helped make the open mic a blast. i also had my first sort-a-kinda rabble rouser in the house as this dude from manhattan called up jimmy and asked to be on the open mic– jimmy said yeah to get him to come in and then pulls the bait and switch on him and says that i’m the one in charge of the open mic. no dis to jimmy, its his job to get people to show up and then he was right that i control the mic so the guy gets a bit pissed that he came up all this way and may not get on the mic… so pissed he starts making a fuss while someone is reading. a part of me wanted to tell him to leave and stop being a five year old but i need new blood in the place so i bent a bit backwards but still made him sweat it as i put it up to an audience vote.
back to toro who, like grisel before him, brought a mini band to back up his set. (funny aside, there were a few synonymII that had people showing up without backup when we specifically told them it was collaborative!) the set was great in that toro is NO one trick pony, his stuff ranges from hip-hop to classical to lyrical to political all while maintaining his unique perspective… and again i wish more people had come. this time around though, i wished it had been some more love from the louderCREW. not cuz we need them to be in the venue just because toro is that good and it would be great for them to catch somebody different up there. the personal recap remains the same but add that i had way too much fun as host this time– makin jokes with the crowd & buggin out on the late dude. so now i think i have hit a good stride in hosting the spot.
after the show is over i talk to gerard and noel, toro’s back up band, to invite them to louderJAM. gerard’s repsonce “can i bring my drum kit?” holy shit, we got a house band!
yep, for a free ticket, gerard brought his drum kit, noel his electic guitar and ray had pete come in on percussion, andy on bass, omri on guitar and ray inserted himself as the chief of musica on the 505. louderJAM was a blast and the full house band was da bomb. afterwards, there was talk of how the band made it all come together in a way that e(g) said was “what louderJAM was always meant to be” but the real glue is raymond daniel. we had a JAM back in september and ray made that bad boy come alive and this one was no exception. louderJAM and synonymUS will only work if you have someone that has a keen left ear for poetry and right ear for music, ray is not the only person that can do it but he is the only person in louder that can do it. our other musically inclined members are more in the singing part of the spectrum and there is nothing fancy or new about adding a vocal onto a poem and no one should act as such… but adding a six piece piece band that has never played together before and making them instantly vibe with a poem… that’s some shit. it would be great if someone else could step up and give ray a hand but i only see one candidate on the horizon… louder can keep thinking all it needs is a well rehearsed band but if that band doesnt know how to adapt to the changing emotional spectrum in a persons poem then you might as well play a cd behind the poet cuz it aint gonna happen.
quick recap– jai rocked, this new poet (jazz) kicked it something fierce up there working with music for the first time, ditto for this dude from oneonta with a fun sex poem, onome and farbeon both excelled in that they both have a great lyrical flow and they both messed up at then end and just freestyled out. toro rocked! the corporation arrested lynne in a great fun moment. fish tried out his bronx ode with chance, alexa and myself… the best was the five minute romp that ray led the band through after fish finished. i can pick up when ray is giving the band signals and i knew this was going to be a ‘rock out wit ya cokc out’ moment. blair kicked ass as a feature doing his requisite aria to his father and following up with new work and some musical stuff with the band. all i can say is this, any poet who could be booked for a slamTHIS!, louderEDGE or louderJAM is head and shoulders above the rest. blair also happens to be a wonderful human being and i was lucky enough to catch up with him the week before at urbana and talk for a few which was really cool.
tuesday was the faith project which i was late for and missed the first 15 minutes. i did enjoy what i did catch but felt that the cast was not used to their fullest potential. there were seven people on stage and only three were really showcased. shawn was making nice drop-in appearances adding commentary to the poems and songs that was a great break moment but may have been better used as an ensemble moment. all in all, i enjoyed the show and was happy to see mara, sabrina and elana onstage.
here is the funny part– one hour show at the bowery/three hour after party at cafe orlin!
thursday finds me back at urbana as part of taylor mali’s corporation and the dark future slam. much too much fun as i busted out my suit and tie and was in character the whole night. taylor has WAY too much time on his hands as he planned out everything and had surprise after surprise up his sleeve.
ok, enough for now. i’ll try to keep up more in that i have some more thoughts on the fiath project and the dark future slam but am just way too blogged out right now. if you read this and care at all about my emotional well being, come to Acentos on tuesday to see mariposa and enjoy the good poetry.
i’m heading back to wichita!