Blue Stallion Brewing Co: A New Flavor in Town
Bo List | Movement Continuum | DJ DAvinci Squared | Bear Medicine
On the Cover
uniting the Lexington art scene
Pilots & Errors
DJ DAvinci Squared
nationally recognized EDM and mash-up artist
Movement Continuum a progressive dance company
Tony and the Tonies a dirt band
This photo represents a small slice of the Flashpoint community. Not all artists and professionals pictured are covered in this print edition, nor are all artists covered in the magazine pictured. But all are involved with the initiative in one way or another. To find out more about becoming involved with Project:Flashpoint, go to www.ProjectFlashpoint.com or like Project:Flashpoint on Facebook.
a community-focused rap group
Blue Stallion Brewing Co. Lexingtonâ€™s newest craft brewery
Prince Korie Tone J-Henn Zachary Kate Conyers Dearing MillerIKE Action Anna Troxler ByrneDavid Brown Mitchell Laurenvil
Ruben Tony Laurenvil Barbecue Tony High Macaroni Life Stephanie Tony Tony Tony Sixpack Gumbo Pistello
Letter from the Founders 2 by David Laurenvil & Zachary Dearing
A Conversation with Bo List 4 Finding the FOrmula for Theatre in Lexington by Mike Tuttle Movement Continuum 8 A Family of Friends by Korie Conyers “And Some People,They Play Music” 12 An Interview with Bear Medicine by Ashley Roache A New Flavor in Town 15 by John Code & Zachary Dearing
A Broad Spectrum of Side Hustles 18 DJ DAvinci Squared on the Business of Partying by Bronson O’Quinn Day of the Dead Costume Gala 22 A Thank You to the Bands
Letter from the Founders LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, a sprawling city of
over 300,000 citizens was once referred to as the Athens of the West. Project: Flashpoint (P:F), an unprecedented initiative, is here to reclaim that title. Our community is on the precipice of something huge; we’re riding a momentous wave of artistic consciousness, a wave that is ready to crest and crash in a swift and powerful way. P:F and Flashpoint Magazine are the gale forced winds primed to act as the catalyst for positive change and growth within this community. P:F seeks to facilitate a spark of creative cultural growth by unifying the artistic community and encouraging cross-medium and cross-genre collaboration. By spotlighting talent via new-media platforms and also by hosting frequent and varying cultural events. We aim to introduce Lexington to its vast community of talented and motivated artists, while providing those artists with an open-minded and passionate audience. P:F is unafraid to set a precedent and create a safe place to encourage creators to stop being hobbyists and start being artists. We are a co-op of young artists and entrepreneurs: a group effort, and in a more abstract sense, a state of mind. When you support the P:F movement you are not buying a product. Rather, you are investing in your community. When you attend our events, support our magazine, purchase our merchandise, or distribute our flyers and stickers, you are helping to
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build local artists and venues. When you donate your precious time or your hardearned money to the movement, you’re not strictly a consumer but also an investor and a critical member of our team. This initiative only progresses when socially conscious individuals step forward and encourage the positive growth of Lexington’s arts and entertainment community. As the founders of the P:F movement, we cannot guarantee that you will love every new artist presented to you, nor can we promise a torrent of new followers for artists to bedazzle. However, we solemnly believe you will find enjoyment and inspiration in new and unforeseen places. We promise that your minds will be expanded and your hearts will grow to appreciate and take pride in the artists you’ve unknowingly shared the roads, campus sidewalks, bars, and coffee shops with. This life is a shared experience and furthermore, an insanely complex social experiment; join our team and help test our hypothesis that all Lexington needs for cultural growth is a creative spark. What do you have to lose? Take our hand and help us sow this seed. Let us nurture this living breathing organism, and together, see what grows from beneath this city’s fertile soil. Welcome to the movement. We look forward to working with and for you.
Zachary Paul Dearing
Credits Photographers Landon Antonetti Amy H. Palmer Josh Preston Ashley Roache Brandon Turner
Editorial Director Bronson O’Quinn Executive Editor Korie Conyers Staff Writers John Code Korie Conyers Zachary Dearing David Laurenvil Ruben Laurenvil Bronson O’Quinn
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Daryl Janisch Bronson O’Quinn Matt Renfrow MAGAZINE INTERNS Daryl Janisch Tracy McIntosh Kate Miller-Byrne Matt Renfrow
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashley Roache Mike Tuttle
Copyright © 2013 Flashpoint Ltd., Co. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without express written consent is prohibited, especially since we’ll probably give you permission if you ask nicely. For inquiries regarding rights, permissions, and other such practices, contact info@ProjectFlashpoint.com.
Special Thanks Jared Brewster Richard Combs Katie Joe Cox Tommy Dickerson David Disponett Duke Dunn Common Grounds David Guess The Forthlins Joe Harbison Halloween HQ Nicholas Jackson
Alex Johns Lillian Krutsinger El Habanero Loko Jack Pattie All the Little Pieces Stephanie Pistello Tony and the Tonies Travis Wilburn Ray Williams WKYT & to all of our readers and supporters
A Conversation with Bo List: Finding the Formula for Theatre in Lexington by Mike Tuttle
Bo List is a tough man to catch. Many directors in Lexington work at one area theatre after another in turn. Bo List also leaves town to work. Shoe-horning in an hour after his work at Sayre, but before another meeting, and all before he left for Florida, took some doing. But it was worth the phone, text and e-mail tag. His work as director and playwright have made him a favorite around town. Whether it is his original works, from the monstrous to the historical, or his hand at bringing others’ works to life on-stage, you’d have to hunt far to find anyone without a high opinion of him. Bo has found or positioned himself at some handy junctures in the Lexington theatre scene over the past few years. He
Bo List photo by Amy H. Palmer
has taken the initiative to create places where people can discuss what’s going on, collaborate, and sometimes debate. In that capacity, he has had a unique seat from which to watch things happen in Lexington. Not much goes on without his knowing about it, including things that the community-at-large might never be privy to. It is with this perspective in mind that we sat down to do what theatre people do with an hour and two drinks of any strength: dissect the state of theatre in Lexington, chew on what has happened in the past few years, and wax about what might be. Bo is quick to point out that anything he says is only his opinion. But they are opinions that I have seen many share. He holds out an eternal hope for what is brewing theatrewise in this town. And he offers a recipe that any company, new or old, could recognize as a formula for success. You’ve done several things here in Lexington that seem to have been intended to bring the disparate pieces of the local theatre community closer together. There have been online forums, meetings, etc. What can you tell us about those? There are two separate efforts, one that I think has ended up being fairly successful, and that’s the idea of a theatre community bulletin board. That started on Yahoo and died somewhat miserably due to lack of interest and a lot of negativity. On Facebook, that survived because people seem to adhere to the idea that it’s there as a resource for people to promote or to encourage, or if someone needs a prop, etc. Also, on Facebook, you have your own status updates to spout off on whatever is on your mind, so there’s less of a temptation to use [the Lexington Theatre Facebook group] for that. It’s been such a relief to not have to stop any fights or tell people to play nice. We’ve tried a couple of different times to form the Theatre Association of Central Kentucky, or TACK, and that has not worked out so well. And I think that’s because our arts groups are led by very strong personalities, and have very distinctive things that they want to get done. And it may be that at this point we’re too small for everyone to work together on large, big-vision projects. Everyone is struggling for money, with the exception of the two oldest groups, which are also the most consistent: Studio Players, and Lexington Children’s Theatre. They’re fine. They’ll both be fine for years and years. Every other group in town, regardless of how long they’ve been around, their leader-
Given where it is now, where do you think Lexington could go? Could it ever be a “theatre town”? Or is it already? I don’t think anyone would call this a theatre town. What we’re becoming very fast—and this is delightful to watch—we’re becoming a cool town. The number of cool restaurants or places to get a drink or coffee in the last four years has grown incredibly. There are just all kinds of quirky little places, awesome hole-in-the-wall kinds of places. And this used to be a place where you just had Chili’s and Applebee’s. I think that there is a city energy that the theatre can follow. But it’s going to take some consistency on the parts of some of the more ambitious artistic groups before that’s going to happen. More focus, more stability, bills being paid regularly. And everyone’s just getting the bills paid at this point. I think there’s a lot of great work being done. But everyone’s formula is being messed with cyclically. Once you get someone in there running a group for five or ten years, it’s easier to know a group, know what they’re up to, know what their plans are. One of the best parts about what’s going on right now is that there’s this burst of new stuff, but it’s also an obstacle because there’s not a bedrock of history in terms of funding, or a consistent production history for anyone to point to and say, “That’s the character of this town. That’s what this town’s up to.” And there is a virtue in that. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of new talent, and I look very forward to seeing where it’s going.
“If edgy means ‘naked all the time, lots of curse words’, and that’s all it was, then I think that the novelty[...] would wear off. But if you mean ‘truly provacative, that is occasionally shocking, usually contemporary, very new’, then I think that’s an easier sell [...]”
ship is relatively new. Or in the case of Balagula, they’re growing to the point where they’re figuring out their next steps. But with most of the arts groups in this town, theatre-wise, their leadership is still new, their structures are still forming, their infrastructures are still solidifying, etc. With some of them, you can look at how many Artistic Directors they’ve had in ten years. I think it’ll be a while before everyone is strong enough to then rest and say, “Ah. Our bills are paid. Our shows are of the quality that we want them to be. How can we branch out? How can we reach out to another group?” Other older towns that have theaters that have been around for a while more successfully collaborate. We’re just not there, for better or worse.
Talk to me about the notion of local theatre as it stands in Lexington being “professional” or not. What makes a theatre professional? Could Lexington be home to a union house? I believe that a professional theatre could work here. On the level of an Actors’ Theatre of Louisville? Probably not—not in the next 15 years, anyway. Could you have a company doing a handful of shows a year, mostly small shows, paying their actors union wage? Absolutely. But I don’t think Lexingtonians know what that looks like. If we promote the idea that community theatre is in fact “professional”, and an audience goes to see that and they think that’s what professional is, they will never have
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from Bo List’s adaptation of Dracula photos by Josh Preston
this town, doing edgy work, that had a professional structure, the quality was good, there’d be no problem with that. We’re a very well-educated town, literate. We’re surrounded by other communities that feed into that. I have participated in work that I would consider edgy here. Some were successful, some not very successful. If it was marketed well, it tended to do better. If the structure was there, it tended to do better. I think we could do very “safe” and “traditional” theatre very well and it would be supported. I think if it had the right vision and clever marketing, we’ve got enough young, hipster crowds here, keeping all these breweries open, that I think that something edgy would succeed as well. It also depends on your definition of “edgy”. If edgy means “naked all the time, lots of curse words”, and that’s all it was, then I think that the novelty of that brand of “edgy” would wear off. But if you mean “truly provocative, that is occasionally shocking, usually contemporary, very new”, then I think that’s an easier sell to maintain a broader audience. If we’re going to have a professional theatre in this town, I think it’s going to be a theatre that sets itself apart by being provocative, and intelligent, and exceptionally well-done. What sort of things could theaters that are already here do better than they are to help themselves or to help the overall “rising tide” in the theatre community?
the sense of being willing to pay more money to see something better, never having seen that “better”. It’s hard to envision. Why would they want to spend more money to get something else when they think that they are already getting the best that there is? I don’t know that our audience has the palate to know the difference at this point. If they see it, I think they’ll like it. And if a company steps up and decides to do it - and do it well - I think they’ll get support. But it’s not happened.
Everyone can market better. Again, with the exception of Studio Players and Lexington Children’s Theatre, because they have either stumbled upon or honed a formula over the years where their marketing works for them. Balagula is doing something interesting. They form community partnerships with other not-for-profits every time they do a show. It’s not necessarily a sponsorship; if anything, some of the box office goes to that organization. But they’re building a new audience out of an organization that might otherwise not be theatre-goers. But they share some benefit. It’s not a cold, callous marketing move. It’s
“You’re driving by a four-way intersection, and there’s one gas station at that intersection. Do you want to Do you think the culture of stop at that gas station? Or do you want to go around Lexington would support edgier theatre? Do you have to be the block where there’s a four-way intersection and careful about what you put on, in order to not alienate the aufour gas stations? You want to go where there’s four dience? I don’t believe so. I believe that gas stations, because there’s choice, and there’s variety, if you had a professional theatre in and there’s a sense that there’s more stuff going on.”
a way of reaching out to other worthy organizations. I think that’s clever— getting more people invested in the success of your theatre. How that’s doing financially for them, I have no idea. Theoretically, it’s a marvelous idea.
“What we’re becoming very of build. If we had the consistency that I keep harping on, and everybody was fast—and this is delightful fiscally responsible, respectful of personnel, artistically ambitious and suc- with hits and misses like evto watch—we’re becoming cessful erybody has - I think we’d start to see a build where everyone realized that a cool town.” the interest would multiply instead of
What about attracting talent? What is working among area theatre, and what should change?
I don’t think a stipend at this point is a motivator. At this point I think it is the quality of the work that they know they’re going to do, and if they know that they’re going to have a good time doing it, with their time respected, and be treated with respect. I don’t know how consistent that is among the companies. Some people have a great time at this theatre or that, and others have a lousy time. Until audiences are rewarding the growth with attendance and regularity, I think we’ll see a lot of unpredictability with the talent that shows up to auditions, as well. BCTC is a kind of different animal because it’s an academic theatre, but somehow Tim Davis has attracted lots of talent, both among community college students and what we call “the local pros”, in a way that other academic institutions nearby have not. And he’s grown that program. I mean, who thinks of a community college theatre program? Well, he’s got a really legitimate, successful community college theatre program, against all odds. So Tim’s doing something right. I don’t know what that is, unless it’s consistently doing a quality of work that is attractive to other people.
divide. In a town that has five awesome theatre groups, the love is multiplied. Five so-so groups or inferior groups, it might be divided. Someone might like what these people do over here a little more than what those people do over there. I don’t know that we’re seeing enough excellence in this town to feel like we can multiply our interest.
Would it take a lot of time for a theatre to establish that consistency? Or can you do more things right than wrong and speed up the process? You could. If you had a Board of Directors, all of whom were fiercely loyal advocates of the theatre, aggressive fundraisers, resourceful community members, there’d almost be no reason to have a lousy organization around them. That also takes the heat off the staff at the theatre itself to do the extra work that really a Board should be out there doing: fund-raising, that sort of thing. I think 1) an awesome Board, 2) a savvy business leader, paired with 3) a savvy artistic leader, and 4) a mission that meant something in this community, would already have a recipe for success. I have no idea if that recipe is in play with any of our organizations. And I’m not saying it’s not. I just don’t know if that’s the case.
I have heard Lexington described as a pie that has to be sliced ever-smaller every time a new theatre or company pops up in town. Do you see it that way? Are there too many people trying to divvy up a limited pie? Sheila Ferrell put it this way: You’re driving by a four-way intersection, and there’s one gas station at that intersection. Do you want to stop at that gas station? Or do you want to go around the block where there’s a four-way intersection and four gas stations? You want to go where there’s four gas stations, because there’s choice, and there’s variety, and there’s a sense that there’s more stuff going on. There is a sense of “a high tide floats all ships”. New York is a theatre town, and I don’t think anybody complains about the “pie” there because there’s so much wonderful stuff to do. You get people that are subscribers to more than one organization. Louisville is popping up as a theatre town, nobody complains. There’s more opportunity, more people audition, there’s a sense
Mike Tuttle is the Managing Director of Woodford Theatre in Versailles. He has written for Business Lexington and Chevy Chaser magazines, WebProNews, IBM Midsize Business Insider, Palmer Grove Magazine, and several other online resources.
You can connect with Mike on Twitter: @miketuttle, on LinkedIn: tuttlemike, and via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Family of Friends by Korie Conyers
photos by Brandon Turner (studio) and Landon Antonetti (stage)
“Dance Company.” The term is associated with uniform, wispy women and regimented, clockwork leg lifts. This monochrome vision is more prevalent in contemporary dance than it should be. Kate Hadfield, Cara Tery, and the dancers of Movement Continuum are taking pain to dispel that cliché. Founded by five dancers over a potluck in 2010, Movement Continuum had their first performance, “Smoke & Mirrors”, in November 2011. Their second show, “Flaming Youth”, garnered much acclaim in 2012 for the comparisons made between women’s rights of the 1920’s and the struggles women face today. This December the company flows forward with “Chronology,” a show designed to take an audience on a journey through the varying phases of womanhood. From the pastel purples and greens of the Limelight Studio where the company practices, Artistic Director Kate Hadfield
gave Flashpoint a dancer’s perspective on the performance art the Company creates. Finding the time for the craft is not to be taken lightly: sixteen hour days in the studio honing their routines and musculature for months for a single event. “There are no stipends. These are volunteers.” The dancers trickle in after classes, jobs, families and their full-time lives for rehearsal. The passion conceals the exhaustion. “You watch the sun set but you don’t even think, because you’re doing something you love.” The space the dancers call home is a refurbished garage; the doors once harboring machines now let cascade a Kentucky sun that sinks low and permits light and music and movement to pour outward. There is an informal play to the rehearsal. Donning everything from leotards to tee-shirts, the dancers wander in, each
woman as varied as her garb. The talking and laughing quickly subside, the music swells and movement is achieved. Uniform rhythm flows and ebbs through the space as the performers lift, stop, and bend. They move, different people with one goal. Body image and the issues stemming from it have often resulted in the end of a dream. Working with the Full Circles foundation, Movement Continuum workshops with young girls to teach confidence and healthy eating habits. “Dance shouldn’t be an exclusive thing, you know? Our women look like women. As long as you’re healthy it doesn’t matter.”
And like that, the synchronicity fades and the laughter returns. What was a fiery declaration of intention after months of work morphs back into what it was at it’s start: a family of friends, dancing.
For dates and contact visit www.kentuckymovement.com For questions about the Limelight Dance Company contact email@example.com For questions and contributions regarding The Full Circles Foundation see www.fullcirclesfoundation.org
from Finding Home at the Downtown Arts Center photos by Landon Antonetti
“And Some People, They Play Music” An Evening with Bear Medicine by Ashley Roache
Kentucky native Josh Wright (also songwriter, guitarist and founder of the up-and-coming Lexington local band Bear Medicine) says, “some people cook, some people run gas stations... and some people, they play music”. He doesn’t state that it’s a choice he’s made, he states that it’s a fact of life for him, an unshakable reality and a necessary function of his journey as an artist, a musician, and a human being. When we’re young, they tell us we can be anything we want. They teach us that we can attain our beautiful and fantastical dreams through passion, perseverance and hard work. As we get older, the story changes. They don’t tell us to give up our dreams—but over time the advice gets more practical: get a job, keep it; get a house and mow the lawn; meet someone and make them yours forever. Suddenly you notice more and more people around you succumbing to the “right” path, the “appropriate” road, the one that will allow you to retire at 60 and tell people that you worked hard, you contributed to society and you FIT IN. You did it right, they say. You did it smart, they croon. You did what they did, and the instruments gather dust along with the typewriters and the canvases and the ballet shoes. But what becomes of the dreamers? The ones who never gave up? 5 percent make it, but the others? Do they drift out to sea and dissipate into the great abyss? What happens to them when their dreams of toddlerhood are suddenly deemed immature, unattainable and foolish? Do they die of a broken heart? Do they resent the others who gave up and moved on? Or do they rewrite the lore for themselves, redefine what success is, retell the story as it changes, day to day, year to year, life to life. The strong ones, the ones who refuse to take no for an answer, the ones who want it more than breathing, more than cars, more
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sketch by David Guess
“When we’re young, they tell us we can be anything we want. They teach us that we can attain our beautiful and fantastical dreams through passion, perseverance and hard work. As we get older, the story changes.”
than fine suits, fat steaks and champagne, the ones who can’t face life without their art, their music, their souls— these are the ones to look up to, the ones to follow, the ones to celebrate. These are the real artists, the real musicians, the real people. And they are beautiful. Bear Medicine is just such a motley band of dedicated artists. Josh (guitar, vocals), although passionate about music most of his life, is just recently coming into his own as a songwriter— and the effort is unique and breathtaking. Self-proclaimed as Dylan obsessed, one can’t help see the parallels to the great American songwriter as well as others with a more Southern influence (Neil Young) and even more with a soulful, sorrowful blues edge (Nick Drake). His bandmates, although all close friends of Josh, have come together in the effort that is Bear Medicine for one reason: they believe in Josh’s music, and have confidence in the sound they are molding together and putting out into the universe. Bear Medicine has gained some serious ground in the short time they’ve been playing together in the Lexington community. What began with Josh alone with a guitar and notebook soon added Seth Murphy on cello, Severn Edmundson on drums and lastly, Kim Smith: keys, flute and backup vocals. Appropriately defined by Kim as “progressive folk”, the band is quickly picking up fans and praise and most recently, recording time in a local studio, where they hashed out a full length EP. Lexington is on the smaller side of music communities, but what you find here are diehard musicians who take their art very seriously. And perhaps the most refreshing aspect of this close-knit community is that all the musicians are friends and supporters of one another. At
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places like SideBar, the Green Lantern and Al’s Bar, you’ll often find more musicians in the audience than partygoers and drunks. Seth says, “I think Lexington is a good size, I came from a smaller city where...people are playing one genre of music and that’s all you know, because that’s all there is. [On the other hand], if you’re in a bigger market...[there’s so much of everything] you can just stay absorbed 365 days a year in that one genre and not get bored...[In Lexington] it’s in between, if you want to be totally absorbed in one genre you’re stuck seeing the same band a lot, but there’s so many genres out there [you end up seeing more different types of bands than you would somewhere else].” When pressed as to why they do this, why they play music, the response was overwhelmingly similar: to connect with people, each other, and most importantly the music. Severn says he’s a part of Bear Medicine for one reason: “letting Josh express himself and seeing what comes out.” Josh says, “it’s just what I do” and more eloquently, “music in and of itself is about being connected to people, and bringing people together. That’s why I do this. We all know the world’s fucked, beyond fucked. And if there’s a moment where people can transcend and come together, I feel like music brings that [about] more often than most things in life do.” Kim says, “the music industry is incredibly saturated. There’s a lot of people touring and putting out music. For us, we love what we’re doing and we feel like we really resonate with people. We wouldn’t keep doing this if we didn’t get a good response. And everywhere we go, people are enjoying it, they’re liking it.” And she’s right. Bear Medicine can play a venue where they know no one, and by the end of the show they inevitably have more fans than
they did when they started. Recently they played a show at Cosmic Charlie’s, not their normal spot, but they adapted as they always do. A few college girls chatted idly about class and boys who had dicked them over and what type of liquor they might drink that night. More and more as the show went on they would stop their chatter to take in the moment that Bear Medicine was artfully spinning. At some point one of them commented that the cello player was “sick, and kind of cute”. The band closed with “Big Chief”, a purely instrumental piece and crowd favorite. On the last upswing of the song, as Josh revived the guitar melody for the last time, one girl stopped mid-sentence, turned towards stage and shouted, “fuck yeah!” This writer smiled drunkenly, turned to her and said, “I know, right?!”
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A New Flavor in Town by John Code & Zachary Dearing
If you’re a self-proclaimed beer snob like myself, you’re lucky to live in this city. Two-and-a-half years ago, the Donnelly brothers, Kore, Zac, and Xavier; Jim Clemons; and Nico Schulz attended a distilling seminar and brewery tour hosted by Alltech. The experience spawned a dream deep within the mind of each man, a dream which would age and ferment until at last it could come to fruition. With a shared passion for beer and brewing, friendships quickly formed between the men and the group decided to pool knowledge, talent, and resources and they set out to make their dream of starting a brewery a reality. Two-and-a-half years later, Blue Stallion Brewing Company opened its doors. The Blue Stallion team’s strength rests in its diversity. The Donnelly brothers are all experienced home brewers, as is Jim Clemons, but the men come from a fascinating kaleidoscope of professional backgrounds— Kore, a former employee of U.K., and his brother Xavier each hold M.B.A’s and have experience serving local nonprofit trade organizations, while Zac teaches high school art in Frankfort. Jim, a chemical engineer by trade, made his living building
plants—while Schulz, a professional brewer from Germany, earned certificates in microbrewing at the Siebel Institute in Chicago, and also a degree in food science from the University of Kentucky with a focus on microorganisms. The division of responsibilities was a fairly natural one: Zac does a lot of graphic design for the brewery, Xavier does the majority of social media and marketing, Kore does a lot of the financing, while Jim constructs and maintains the equipment. Around the same time that Country Boy and West 6th began brewing their own creative and traditional American style beers, the future Blue Stallion crew decided to begin brewing European style beers and fill a gap. “We had been brewing those kinds of beers for a long time on our own, so it made a lot of sense to go that way,” says Kore, “Having a brewer from Germany
that’s trained to do those kinds of beers made a big difference,” and while Nico is the group’s passionate head brewer, the process according to Kore, has been a very collaborative one. Everyone shares partially in some of the brewing duties, with Nico doing most of the recipe creation. The brewers at Blue Stallion, despite opening only a few short months ago, have already presented the community with an impressive and mature selection. The team seeks to offer a variety of options in terms of flavor and complexity, but they also wish to introduce Lexingtonians to European craft beer in a way that is accommodating to drinkers who may have never been exposed to such styles. The Pilsener and the Helles are particularly good entry points for the Miller and Bud Lite crowds. They provide a way
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to get a good first taste of craft beer without delivering the shock a different flavor profile, like say an India Pale Ale, typically would on most American drinkers. As Kore suggests, “Craft beer doesn’t necessarily have to be this way-out-there, Belgian, 25% alcohol, with hibiscus leaves (style) you know? Which is fine beer, but if it’s the first one you ever have, you’re probably less likely to try other craft beers.” Kore himself, enjoys what he calls the “in your face” styles of craft beer, ones with more complicated flavor profiles, but of course his opinion is the result of a taste acquired over the span of 10+ years of drinking craft beer. The Dunkel is a current customer favorite and, in Kore’s opinion, probably the brewery’s best made beer thus far saying, “It’s a crisp, clean, approachable option for new craft beer drinkers. This brewing style is very popular in Germany, but it’s difficult to find a good smoked lager in America.” The process, native to the Bamberg region of Germany, involves smoking the grains themselves as if they were a pork butt and using beachwood or cherrywood to smoke the malt as it dries, both of which add their own characteristic flavors. This results in a flavor reminiscent of barbecue. A lot of traditional German breweries use a 100% smoked malt that would be too strong for local drinkers starting off on the ground floor. Blue Stallion uses roughly 55% smoked malt and approximately 45% non-smoked malt to provide a more welcoming introduction to the beer. The brewing community in Lexington may be young, it may be ambitious, and it may be modest in scope and presence, but fortunately for local craft
beer aficionados, it is not cut-throat and isolationist. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. From a business perspective it is a minimally competitive scene, and is all around a very cohesive, open, and welcoming group of brewing professionals. The owners at Blue Stallion openly recognize the overwhelming support they received from the brewing community. The team at Blue Stallion received much-appreciated help from like-minded artists at Country Boy and West 6th during the initial phases. Their fellow brewers provided advice and assistance when it came to retrieving the proper licenses and also helped to point them in the right direction for everything necessary during the brewery’s construction and continued operation. This supportive and collaborative mindset is proving paramount to the growth and success of the industry here. Kore suggests that it was Kentucky Ale who blazed the trail, making it possible for companies like Blue Stallion to open shop. Others came before Alltech, but none survived. It would seem that the timing was wrong in the past and that Lexington is only now in a position to harbor the industry. Establishments like Pazzo’s, Marrika’s, and Beer Works have slowly conditioned the community over the years and provided it with the opportunity to develop a taste for new things. Blue Stallion recognizes the value of the wider Lexington community and wants to provide the populace with an identifiable community bar and hangout spot. They plan to have live music on Wednesdays and have already hosted fundraisers for nonprofits, which, according to Kore, are always welcome in their doors. Works by community artists are also featured on a wall in the brewery, and they hope to become a staple of the Lexington Gallery Hop circuit, as well. To Kore, one of the most redeeming aspects of opening a brewery is seeing (or drinking as the case may be) the final product. “You get to have ownership of it,” he says with pride, “like an artist of his work or a carpenter of a table. At the end, when it’s done, you get to look at it and say that it was yours. You get to give it to your friends and hear what they like or dislike about it, and figure out how to fix it.”
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A Broad Spectrum of Side Hustles
DJ DAvinci Squared on the Business of Partying by Bronson O’Quinn
photos by Amy H. Palmer (outdoors) & Brandon Turner (club)
In 1998, a clerk at the now defunct 808 record shop called up Phill Bell about a pair of Technics 1200s and said, “Man you gotta have these.” Bell transformed those turntables into a career, performing over the years in party hot spots across the US, particularly Miami where he learned the euphoric ups and the brutal downs of the club scene. “You were making money that night for a gig, but by the time you got home, you’d have, like, three dollars in your pocket.” He keeps a huge grin the whole time he talks. “You’d go out and play a killer show, make all sorts of money, and you’d party for the rest of the night […] and blow everything.” Yet fifteen years later and he’s making music full-time. Phill Bell (more notably known by his “nom de turntable” DJ DAvinci Squared) carries a relaxed, assured demeanor that propagates from his DJ dreads and chill flip flops as an amicably humble vibe to everyone around him. When I met him for this interview at Common Grounds, he had no trouble carrying conversations with the baristas about the closest coffee shop to his new house, or chatting up random students about why they’re studying on a Friday night. “Promise me you’ll get out at least one weekend a month,” he said to one girl hunkered over a laptop. Personable, smooth, and easy-going. He’s certainly the kind of person you want to party with. “It was crazy,” he said of Florida. After about four years of partying down South, DJ DAvinci Squared returned to his home base of Lexington, KY. “I mean, Miami is great, but you only have, like, Miami, Orlando, or Tampa. That’s it. But if you lived in Kentucky, you could go to Chicago in five hours. You could go to Atlanta in five or six hours. Nashville, you know: two hours. Knoxville, four. […] Detroit’s not that far. I mean you’ve got all these great places. When I was little, like, some of my first parties, we would just go to Louisville, go to a party, and people would be like, ‘We’re going to this pajama party in Pennsylvania.’ And you’re just like, ‘Alright. It’s drivable!’” What most intrigued me about DJ DAvinci Squared wasn’t the party life fantasy, but the sweat that goes into it. He gave performance dates for a fully packed
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month. He talked about making tracks for UK football games. He even talked over my head about the difficulty of turning a Danny Elfman waltz into a potential dance track. “Everybody thinks I just, like, show up and play music and drink. And that’s so not true. It takes so much work, practice. Figuring things out.” He wiped his brow. “Oh man.” When I asked how much time he spends just prepping for shows, he said, “If I had a huge show, that could take 10 or 15 hours of prep work.” For one show? “Yeah.” He sipped his coffee. “Now the clubs and stuff: I’ll spend a good ten hours a week on that. And then of course UK takes ten hours. […] But each show is different, man. I mean last night was a lot of mash-ups and stuff. So I’d say Saturday night is probably gonna be a lot of EDM. A little bit of mash-ups, some hip-hop, videos. But everything’s different so I don’t get burnt out on it. If I try to do the same show every time, then the show I do after that, I’m my biggest critic. I’m like, ‘That show was terrible because it sounded like [the last] show.’ I record all my shows now and I’ll just sit there and scan through them and sometimes be like, ‘Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!’” He laughs with ease over the idea of ripping his own work apart; after all, it’s just a part of the job. “You have to have such a broad spectrum of side hustles to make it as a musician in general.” It’s not just about “DJing”, whatever that means. It’s about creating an experience and turning it into a business. “The arrangement of mu-
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“He’s not in it to find girls and get wasted; it’s all about the music.”
sic. The styles. Ethnicity. Everything’s taken into play. Which makes it not harder, but more technical, so you can’t leave anybody out. And we worked with some really great guys at UK and we actually sat down and was like ‘What do you want? What does the players want?’ ‘Cause I’m used to the wants and needs. Say if I did, like, a fashion show or something. They would give me a runway song list. ‘Mix this. Here’s the time. Be within five seconds.’ And when I go to a club […] I mean, that is, like, a blank canvas for whatever you can throw up. Like, not only do I play videos, but I’m doing mash-ups live. My new latest thing is I like to find music videos that contain nudity. And you see the people that watch the music videos and you see the people who just came to hear music and dance. And it’s like seeing a contrast over a flash mob inside of a crowd. “But all of it together, you know, it’s being a musician. Like, you have to do everything to make it work. Because if I was just a DJ, I’d definitely have to have a day job. Not only, like, to support my family, but my career takes a lot of money. Equipment has to have upkeep. I have to travel.” Bell says he couldn’t do it without the support of his wife and kids. His three-year-old daughter is too smart for her own good and his 16-month-old loves to dance. I asked how his wife
felt about him working sweaty dance clubs with beautiful women. “Oh my god. She’s sometimes frantic about it. […] When she comes in, sometimes someone will be like, ‘Can you play that song that’s like “di-di-di-di”?’ and the girl will just be drunk, but [my wife] will be like, ‘She was trying to hit on you. I’m gonna stab her in the face!’” He breaks into laughter. “It’s like, ‘Honey, they request a song. It’s my job!’ “But I kinda space myself, especially on stage or in a DJ booth or something. I like to space myself from any of those things ‘cause I know I would never do anything in the world to jeopardize what me and my girl has. She’s 110%. I wouldn’t trade a million skanks for her.” I had to fight back tears. But don’t mistake the switch from the party scene to the family life as “selling out”, or whatever. Phill Bell (aka DJ DAvinci Squared) works harder than ever because he has to. He’s not in it to find girls and get wasted; it’s all about the music. You can find DJ DAvinci Squared at Two Keys Tavern on Thursdays, Hugo’s on Saturdays, and he is in the works for a show at Campus Pub on Wednesdays. You can get some free music, podcasts, and information at www.DAvinciSquared. com.
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How to Save Lexington’s Night Life
by Bronson O’Quinn
Except for the occasional Beaux Arts Ball or Neon Jungle, the Lexington party scene needs some word-of-mouth resuscitation. At DJ DAvinci’s set with DJ Four20 at Art Bar on October 18th, the resounding consensus was that Lexington must reach out to the people that matter. Louisville and Cincinnati can thrive because they not only cater to surrounding towns, but do their best to keep the college crowd active and (more importantly) stationary during the school breaks. Phill Bell, DJ DAvinci himself, said that the focus is too much on the musicians and not the audience. “But you could have DJ Aoki and it wouldn’t matter.” You can’t fill a club without warm bodies. And then there’s the dreaded “bar curse” looming over Lexington hot spots. As Bell explained, “It’s terrible! Like, over there in Lexington Green, behind the Chase. What was the name of that? I even played there a couple of times and
that place was beautiful, but nobody would come out for it. Nobody. It was just really hard to get busy. But people got stabbed there with pool cues, so it was, like, super cursed. And do you remember A1A concert hall? When I was a kid, I remember that. They were dealing guns out the back or something. Kid got shot out front. Club was cursed. I mean, small things bring on the curse, but once it’s put on the bar (or a club), Dude! It’s got, maybe six months.” The solution to both problems is collaboration. After all, each venue has their own advantages and disadvantages. Hugo’s does not offer the same things as Trust Lounge or Skybar. Art Bar is the only club in town with a CO2 system. And once we all remember that we’re all in this together, that we’re all just trying to have a good time, things should slide into place. All we need to do is spread the message. Hopefully, I’ve talked my share. Now it’s your turn.
“I mean, small things bring on the curse, but once it’s put on the bar (or a club), dude! It’s got, maybe six months.”
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Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): A celebration of remembrance of those who came before and why we soldier on; a time of legacies remembered and legacies fresh made.
November 2nd, 2013 Blue Stallion Brewing Co.
Folk-County-Rock jams, with a hint of blues. Comprised of Justin Adams, Gareth Evans, Adam Luckey, and Adam Napier.
Tony and the Tonies Down home all night rock ‘n roll. Rowdy, loud and barely under control. If Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, and Iggy Pop somehow conceived an illegitimate love child together, they would have named him Tony. Macaroni Tony,Tony Gumbo,Tony Six Pack,Tony Barbecue, and Tony High Life. Livin’ it.
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Costume Gala “Mash-ups are like a signature move. If you record your mash-ups and put it out there for someone else to have it then they have it. You’re already done, they’re just gonna play it. But if I’ve got a mashup that I keep in my arsenal that I can do live, I mean that’s just like saving up pole-dancing tricks, you know? You don’t give away your pole-dancing tricks or no one’s gonna tip ya.”
-DJ DAvinci Squared All the Little Pieces An experimental five piece rock-blues-jazz fusion medley consisting of Rhyan Sprague, Thomas Suggs, Billy P. Thomas, Chris Jones, and Emily Miller. Resonating rhythms and swaying sounds delving into love, loss and searing sereneness.
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We the people of Lexington, Kentucky, in order to form a more perfect arts, entertainment, and entrepreneurial communit y, to establish cultural identity, insu re creative integrity, prov ide for a sovereign arts culture, to promote community investme nt, and secure the right of all citizens to explore creativity and self-expression, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Project: Flashpoint (P:F) initiative. ARTICLE 1. Section 1. PURPOSE: Members of P:F accept that their purpose is to unite the Lexington arts scene, insp ire creative self-expression, and foster the spiritual and econ omic growth of their community. Section 2. GOAL: Members of P:F accept that their goal is the endless pursuit of methods which prom Section 2. ote artists who havenâ€™t the means to promote themselves, by Creativity hosting frequent and varying & Self-Exp cultural events, and also, by ression: Every part spotlighting them through y associat newmedia and entertainment plat ed with P: limits of forms. Thus, the exposure F must stri their own and support of venues and smal ve to push creativity to their so l, socially aware business the while vowi es beulâ€™s purpos comes an equally necessary ng to stay e. goal. true Section 3. Section 3. Setting a Precedent: METHOD OF GOVERNANCE: Every part y associat Members of P:F accept that ed with P: the trail they are part of something F must be and set an larger than the capacity of huma eager to bl example fo preneurs wh n governance. Consequently aze r the arti o, for fina , they agree to adhere to and sts and en ncial or em themselves be governed by the five FOUN treotional re in hiding. DING PRICIPLES outlined in asons, find We bold fe nity the ex Article 2. w will show tent of wh this commuat can be ARTICLE 2. entreprene achieved wh urs unite en artists and push bo and Section 4. undaries. Section 1. Positive In Unity & Collaboration: fluence: Every part Every party associated with y associat P:F must work within the prin ed with P: portance of ciples of unity and collabor F must unde forging po ation. A fragmented and clos rstand the sitive chan e-minded the room fo approach only exacerbates imge. There r negativi existing weaknesses within exists not ty or ridi our comCriticism munity. This movement is abou cu le within is construc t learning from and working th tive and ne e movement always prov with one another. Everyone wins . ver demean ide a safe when we work together to buil ing. P:F wi environmen and expres d and share a common audience. ll t for crea sion. tive though t Section 5. Non Self-S erving: Every part y associat ed with P: This moveme F must live nt is not beyond the about one one discip ego. artist, on line; this e business mo ve whole. We ment is ab , or will work out the co to mm wa sal Mind. unity as a rd the bett erment of the Univer -
photo by Amy H. Palmer