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D R A W I N G

B L O O D


Tom St rom

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S c o tt O liv e

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a det ail f rom t he w or k of Tommy Lee 16


“ D r a w i n g B l o o d ” , a t G h o s t p r i n t G a l l e r y, i s a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l f i n e a r t s s h o w featuring a vast range of work by tattoo artists. Showing their work will be some names practically synonymous with tattooing, like Joe Cappobianco, along with more experimental artists like Chris D i n g w e l l a n d A m a n d a Wa c h o b , w h o s e a b s t r a c t w o r k o n e m i g h t n o t e v e n recognize as tattoo-related. T h e v a r i e t y o f d i ff e r e n t s t y l e s e m e r g i n g w i t h i n t h e t a t t o o c o m m u n i t y i s a t e s t a m e n t t o t h e f i e l d ’s m a t u r a t i o n . B r i d g i n g t h e g a p b e t w e e n i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t i c i d e n t i t i e s i s p e r h a p s t h e t h e m e o f t h i s s h o w. S o m e p a i n t a s t h e y t a t t o o , o r t a t t o o a s t h e y p a i n t , w h i l e o t h e r s f a v o r d i ff e r e n t s t y l e s f o r e a c h . Of course it takes all kinds, so don’t pass up a chance to voyeuristically regard these pieces viscerally entangled by the common thread of art and blood. “Drawing Blood” will be up from July 3rd - July 26th, with the opening re-

J e ff S rs ic

ception on July 18th from 7-10 p.m. G h o s t p r i n t G a l l e r y i s l o c a t e d 2 2 0 W. B r o a d S t . , R i c h m o n d , VA 2 3 2 2 0 . Vi s i t w w w. g h o s t p r i n t g a l l e r y. c o m f o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n . 18


L i s t o f Pa rt i c i pat i n g A rt i st s N ic k B ax t er ni c k bax t er. c om J oe C apobi anc o j oec ap obianc o. c om C ory K ruger k rugert at t oos . c om Tom S t rom upt ow nt at t o o. c om J as on A k erm an jas ona k er manl. net Tom m y Lee t om m y leet at t oo. c om J eff G ogue gogueart . c om E lec t ric P ic k f elec t ric p ic k . c om U nc l e A l lan unc l eallan. c om J as on S t ephan jas ons t ephan. c om J eff E ns m i nger j eff ensminger. c om A m anda Wac hob am an dawac hob. c om J as on D ’ A qui no jas ond aquino. c om Ti m ot hy H oy er t im ot hy hoy er. c om J on C lue jonc l ue. c om C hri s D ingw el l c hris di ngwell. c om J eff S rs ic redlet t er1. c om Trav i s F rank i n oddit y t a t t oo. c om S c ot t O l iv e oddi t y t at t o o. c om D eeD ee S eruga deedees er uga. c om P hil H olt philholt s f . c om Luc k y M at t hew s redl et t er 1. c om A ngelo N al es redlet t er 1. c om

A m a nda Wa c ho b

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R i c h m o n d A rt i s ts J es s e S m i t h jes s es m i t ht at t oos . c om T hea D us k i n ghos t print . c om M i k e M os es s l eepdanger ous ly. c om K at ie D av i s s alv at i ongaller y. c om J im m y C um berl and s al v at iongaller y. c om F red P ink ard s al v at i ongaller y. c om M at t B rot k a t i m ew i llheal. c om A m y B lac k t radem ark t a t t oo. c om

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Squirrel-O-Rama B y M e la nie C hr is t ia n & Sa nd r a L uc k e t t

We fo und e d t he Sq uir r e lly G ir l Ar t C o lle c t i v e i n 2 0 0 1 , d ur ing o ur f ir s t ye a r in the VCU Painting & P r int m a k ing M FA p r o g r a m . T he c o lle c t i v e is a l l a b o ut b r ing ing a r t o ut o f t he g alleries, with a p lay f ul a t t it u d e t ha t k e e p s it a c c e s s ible , a d o p t ing a p unk ins p ir e d D I Y p hilo s ophy. I t ’ s a mix of ex hib it , p e r fo r m a nc e a nd e v e nt t ha t c e le b r a t e s p r o c e s s a nd c o lla b o r a t io n. T he Squir r el-O-R ama e v ent is e s p e c ia lly m e a ni ng f ul fo r t he Sq uir r e lly G ir ls, b e c a us e it r e unit e s o u r gr aduat e c las s for t he f ir s t t im e s inc e g r a d ua t ing in 2 0 0 3 . Ea c h o f t he s e p e e r s w il l b e p a r t ic ipating, along with a f e w o t he r s e le c t e d a r t is t s. W he n 1 7 0 8 G a lle r y a p p r o a c he d t he Sq uir r e lly G ir ls a b o ut b r ing ing o ur e v e nt t o an es t a blis hed v e nue , w e s t r ug g le d w it h t he c o nc e p t . M o s t e v e nt s ha v e b e e n “ a r t r a v e s ” w hic h inv ade public s p a c e s. T h e o n ly lo g ic a l s o lut io n w a s t o b r ing t he o ut d o o r s in (if t he a r t w a sn’ t going out!) D ur ing t he p r o c e s s o f p ut t ing t his c ur r e nt e v e nt t o ge t he r w e go t a c ha nc e t o r eminisce on the e v ol ut io n o f t he Sq uir r e lly G ir ls :

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Me lani e C h r i st i a n I w as think ing a b o ut ho w t he Sq uir r e lly Gir ls b e g a n. O ur f ir s t

days in gr ad sc hool coincid e d w it h 9 / 1 1 . A s a c o m m unit y, w e ex p e r i e nc e d t ha t tr a gedy to gether. Eac h visit ing a r t is t t ha t w e w o r k e d w it h w a s f r o m N YC a nd ha d e ither lost som eone or k ne w s o m e o ne w ho ha d .

We ’ r e c o m fo r t a ble e no ug h w it h e a c h o t h e r a nd t r us t one another to the p o int t ha t w e c a n r e s p e c t t he o t he r ’ s inp ut a nd d e cis ion mak ing w it h c o m p le t e e a s e . SL I w a nt e d t o a d d r e s s o ur r o le a s c o - fo und e r s a nd how w e w or k as

S and ra Lu c k ett It w asn’ t only li v e s t ha t w e r e lo s t , but a s e ns e o f o p t im is m . We

a ll q ue st ioned our pur pose a s a r t is t s. T ha t w a s t he im p e t us t ha t s e t e a c h o f us in a ne w m eaningful dir e c t io n. B e c a us e w e exp e r ie nc e d t he s e e m o t io ns c o l le cti ve ly, we felt a str onger s e ns e o f c o m m unit y. T he Sq uir r e lly G ir ls c a m e o ut of a need for a ha ppy di ver s io n f r o m o ur s e r io u s a r t e d u c a t io n. I t w a s n’ t o nly a di ver s ion, but a w ay for us t o c o m e t o ge t he r, s it a r o und in b e a nb a g c ha ir s a nd ma k e stuf f. It w as all a b o ut p le a s ur e in p r o c e s s. MC We w er e hav ing a c onv er s a t io n a b o ut t he w hit e s q uir r e ls in my ne ig hb o r hood and how other ar eas in t he c o unt r y t ha t ha v e t he s e r a r e s q uir r e ls ho ld pa r a d e s in their honor. T he B lur C o nf e r e nc e w a s c o m ing up a nd w e w e r e p la n ning an exhibition in the lo b by o f t he a r t build ing. I t s e e m e d na t ur a l t o ho s t our o wn par ade. And so it a ll b e g a n. We c r e a t e d t iny t a c k y f lo a t s a nd p a r a d e d them up and down the halls t o s t r ip t e a s e m us ic . S L Her e we wer e being goof y w it h p r e s t ig io u s a r t p e r s o na lit ie s s uc h a s D o na ld

K uspit in attendance. Some ho w e v e r yo ne a p p r e c ia t e d it fo r w ha t it w a s. T his mor ning on our w ay to the g a lle r y, w he n w e w e r e s t r e s s ing a bo ut d e t a ils, I had to r emind you that “it is w ha t it is ” a nd ult im a t e ly, it ’ s a ll a b o u t u nit ing wonderful people and having a go o d t i m e . MC Ye a h, you had to” talk t ha t k it t e n d o w n f r o m t he t r e e ! ” B ut I t hink t ha t ’ s

par t of the beauty of our r e la t io n s hip, b o t h a s f r ie nd s a nd p a r t ne r s in c r im e . 26

p a r t ne r s. So m e ho w, w e m a k e d e c is io ns, p la n a nd d e le g a t e w it ho ut muc h conf lict . W ha t is it a b o ut t h e w ay w e r e la t e t o e a c h o t he r t ha t mak es it s o eas y? MC I t hink it s t e m s f r o m a m ut ua l a d m ir a t i o n fo r t he other’s aesthetic. I

a l w ay s t hink a b o ut t he p ie c e t ha t w e c o l la b o r a t e d o n at ADA Galler y. You t hr e w up yo ur h a nd s a nd s a id , “ W hy d o I a lw ay s ha v e to be Heaven, and yo u a lw ay s ge t t o b e H e ll?” SL H o ney, yo u a lw ay s w e r e t he f ly in my o int m e nt ! As Javier (Ta pia) used

t o s ay, “ Yo u ha v e t o ha v e H e ll t o a p p r e c ia t e H e a v e n! ” You’ r e the yin to my y a ng. We d e le g a t e p r o je c t s t o a d i v e r s e g r o up o f a r t ists, allowing them c o m p le t e f r e e d o m , w hic h g ua r a nt e e s t he e le m e nt o f s ur pris e. We ne ver r e a lly k no w w ha t t he e n d r e s ult w ill b e . I t ’ s t he C hr i s t mas mor ning thing. T he p r e p a r a t io n fo r t he s e e v e nt s a n d ex hib it io ns is lik e getting r eady for C h r is t m a s a nd t he o p e ning nig ht is d i s c ov e r ing t he pr esents under the tree.

MC

Squir r el-O-R ama can be experienced at 1708 Galler y, June 6 - A ugust 2. 1708 is located at 319 W. Br oad St., Ric hmond, VA 23220. Hour s ar e Tuesday - Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. or by a ppointment.


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www.stickyricefan.com


Photo by Alice McC a be


Introduction by Ryan Kent Interview by Harold White

I was still singing Huey Lewis songs when Big Daddy Kane made it huge on the hip-hop circuit with his first album, Long Live the Kane, in 1988. Known as one of the greatest MC’s ever and credited with helping pioneer rap into the mainstream during what is now referred to as the Golden Age of Hip-Hop (late 80s), Big Daddy Kane, also known as King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal, swaggered with his New York baritone, cool sense of style and onstage bravado to help bring hiphop from the streets and basements, to clubs, theaters and amphitheaters worldwide. I don’t need to go into great detail explaining that RVA needed to be present for this show. With a DJ set by the legendary Biz Markie, there wasn’t anything happening in the closest two states to rival the experience. Harold White, who conducted the interview, might as well have a Ph.D in hip-hop and R&B history, because he continues to school everyone I know, including me, on things from common knowledge to the obscure in this form of artistic expression. We sat down in the VIP room of Toad’s Place on May 31st with Big Daddy Kane and learned a little about the Juice Crew, Patti Labelle and where the “Big Daddy” moniker came from. And you know I got my copy of The Meteor Man signed. Word! Harold White So how did you get your name, Big Daddy Kane? Big Daddy Kane Um, really two different things. Big Daddy Kane came from something else. The “Kane” part came from a TV show with David Carradine called Kung-Fu. HWKung-Fu, right on. And the “Big Daddy” part? BDK (Laughs) Nah…we don’t wanna go into that. HW So how did you decide on a career in music?

BDK Um…I had a cousin named Murdoch, and he started rappin’ and, you know, I was a kid and he was an older cousin, so I looked up to him and that’s what he was doing, so I started trying to rhyme just so I could run with him. HW Who were your influences growing up? BDK Musically? HW Musically. BDK Musically, Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Isley Brothers, Kool Mo Dee, Grandmaster Caz. Grandmaster Caz and the Cold Crush Brothers that was like my favorite rapper of all time, like when I was a kid. HW How did you get hooked up with the Juice Crew? BDK I got hooked up with the Juice Crew because of Biz Markie, you know, that was my man, and we became friends when I was still in high school. We met, and Biz would take me to a lot of shows in the Bronx and Long Island. You know, we could get some money opening up these shows, and we’d get on stage and he’d beatbox, I’d rhyme. So when he got down with the Juice Crew he brought me in. HW Your first single was “Raw”. BDK Actually, my first single was “Just Rhymin’ With Biz”. They both came out in ’87. “Just Rhymin’ With Biz” was the first single, but what happened was when we put it out, due to the fact that Biz was already famous, everybody thought it was Biz’s song, because he rhymes first and he does the talking in the beginning and I couldn’t get no shows. So I talked to the label and said I had to put out something on my own so I could get some money. I’m sitting there broke with a song out and nobody is booking me any shows, and then that’s when I dropped “Raw”. HW And “Raw” hit like fuckin’ dynamite, just blew up like “Ain’t No Half Steppin’”. BDK Yeah, that was a huge hit. HW Then after that there was your first album…

HW & BDK Long Live the Kane. HW The album went gold, “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” was of course a big hit, how did that affect your life? What kind of impact did that have on you and your personal life? BDK Honestly, just be straight honest? Better livin’ and, um, you know, better chick selection (laughs). HW (Laughs.) Right on. BDK You know it was a beautiful thing. HW In that same summer you were with the Juice Crew and “The Symphony” had a big impact on rap and hip-hop. BDK It was a posse cut that, um, I guess it was something new to a lot of people. You know a posse cut that we put together and everybody always wanted to hear me and G (Kool G Rap) on something together, so you know, it was just hot. HW The following year you dropped It’s A Big Daddy Thing and The Source has since labeled it as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time. BDK That’s cool that The Source ranked it, I’d like it more if some cat on the street tell me that than The Source, because it’s a magazine. When a cat on the street tell you that, that’s when it really means something to you, because it’s not coming from a corporate aspect. It’s real love. But, I mean, it’s my favorite album out of what I ever done. HW It’s my favorite album, too. BDK Thank you. Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Appreciate it. HW I had it on vinyl. I had it on record. I loved that shit. BDK & HW: (Laughing.) HW You were also a part of Quincy Jones’ Back on the Block project, which you also won a Grammy for, correct? BDK Yeah, for the title song, “Back on the Block”, with Melle Mel, Kool Mo Dee and Ice-T. HW That was one of the first rap acts to get a Grammy. BDK No, no, no, no, no. The first actually, I believe, was Melle Mel for “I Feel for You” with Chaka Khan. Prior to me there had been other rappers that got Grammy’s. I think Will Smith 47


might’ve got one. HW Yeah, Will Smith and then Young MC. BDK Yeah. There were other rappers, you know. HW But it wasn’t big then like it is now. BDK Nah, it wasn’t. HW You were also part of Patti Labelle’s first Grammy winner on “Feels Like Another One”. BDK Yeah. HW How was that working with Patti Labelle? BDK Patti came to the studio and brought me baked fish, macaroni and cheese and collared greens… HW I heard she is a great cook. BDK...with no pork or meat in it. Holla atcha boy. HW That’s what’s up. That’s what’s up. HW & BDK (high five.) That’s all I can say. HW You became hip-hop’s first international sex symbol. You 34

did a shoot for Playgirl and you were in Madonna’s Sex book. BDK I think Houdini was probably hip-hop’s first sex symbol. Houdini, then LL (Cool J), then me. I’m not going to take credit for before, but I’ll take credit for ever since (laughs). But I can’t take credit for being first, there was more before me, man. HW So how does it feel to be labeled as one of the greatest rappers of all time? A few names are always synonymous with hip-hop’s Golden Age, Rakim, Slick Rick, KRS-One and you. How about today, who do you listen to and who do you like? BDK Today, I guess my two favorite songs are “C’mon, Baby” by Saigon and “Girl You Know” by Scarface. Those are probably my two favorite songs. I guess my favorite artist of today would probably be Ludacris; as a well-rounded artist, I like Ludacris. HW You set a standard for hip-hop artists and how they

dressed. When I was a boy I looked at you for style with the high-cropped fade and the jewelry. Was that your idea or did you have a stylist? BDK Yeah, yeah. That’s the way I grew up. I watched, you know, my father always make a fashion statement, and I always felt that was important. You make a fashion statement. And that’s my code, that’s what I live by, and I’m going to stay that way. HW All right, one last question for you. You’re into movies. Mario Van Peebles’ Posse and Robert Townsend’s Meteor Man. BDK That’s really what I focus on mainly, right now. Like, September of last year we did a film that went straight to DVD; a slasher horror called Dead Hype, and August I’m in a romantic comedy that Russ Parr directed.


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D EN A LI : AC T2, S C EN E1 By Christian Detr es F r i e n d s c o m e a n d g o . S o m e t i m e s , i f y o u ’ r e l u c k y, t h e y c o m e b a c k . F o r s o m e f i f t e e n y e a r s , t h e m e m b e r s o f D e n a l i – J o n a t h a n F u l l e r, C a m Dinunzio (congrats!), Maura and Keely Davis – have enter tained Richmond and the world with some of the best music to ever come out o f t h i s c i t y. E a c h m e m b e r, s e p a r a t e l y a n d t o g e t h e r, h a s s p e n t t i m e following the musicians’ dream outside the River City to swelling and ebbing success. In a situation approaching kismet, all four have found themselves together again in Richmond with the desire to revisit the critical gem of their career s. Denali, for the uninitiated, lives squarely in the genre most like to call indie rock but does so with a silky glamour besotted with atmosphere and lonely longing. T he soaring vocals of Maur a Davis have been cel ebr ated by ever yone – and I do not exagger ate. Some wher e between B j o r k a n d E m i l i a n a To r r i n i , s h e c o n v e y s t h e s o u n d o f a c h i n g i n f l u i d tones, strong yet weak, hur t but proud.

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The music compliments Maur a’s vocals in a way that only a tight unit of friends with visionary synergy could produce. The backing band has the pedigree of Richmond punk blue bloods. The collective list of projects each of them has contributed to makes for a hipster s’ n a m e - d r o p p i n g d r e a m . Yo u n g P i o n e e r s , L a z y c a i n , E n g i n e D o w n , G l o s , S l e e p y t i m e Tr i o , B a t s n ’ M i c e , A m b u l e t t e , S p a r t a , G r i p, B e l l a L e a a n d River City High have all benefited from this groups’ enormous talent. Elements of each of these ventures spice the sound found in Denali’s signature wor ks. In their ar tisan blend of influence, there’s the d e e p, t h i c k r o o t o f p u n k i n t h e V i r g i n i a / D C t r a d i t i o n , l e a f e d a n d branched with shoegazy rock. These influences bear fruit with succ u l e n t h o o k s a n d m e l o d i e s r i p e w i t h i n t e n t . Ye s , t h e y a r e t r y i n g t o break your hear t.


D e n a l i w a s f o r m e d i n 2 0 0 0 a n d s i g n e d t o J a d e Tr e e i n 2 0 0 1 . T w o a l bums into the bands tenure, Jonathan Fuller and Keeley left the band to spend more time on Engine Down. The band effectively broke up after one last tour without Keeley and Jonathan providing the backbeat. It seems the star s have aligned for the resur rection of this sorely missed Richmond ambassador of cool. In a recent conver sation with the band at Jonathan and Cam’s commer cial music studio, Blac k Iris Studios, I had the chance to pick their brains about the road ahead and the circumstances that bring them to this juncture.

Cam I a gr ee. I used to find myself second guessing my ideas in a lot of other bands I have been in. I never had to do that with Denali. It was e a s y, n a t u r a l , t o d i s c u s s a n y t h i n g t h a t c a m e t o m i n d .

Christian Detres So, w hy Denali now? It’s been a little w hile since

Christian Detres What sor t of things ar e you looking forward to with t h e r e u n i o n s h o w, a n d w h a t c o m e s n e x t ?

y o u ’ v e a l l p l a y e d t o g e t h e r. Cam It just so ha ppens we all had pr ojects outside Ric hmond that either c a m e t o a n e n d n a t u r a l ly o r j u s t w e r e n’ t a s a t t r a c t i v e a s t h e o p p o r t u n i t y o f w o r k i n g o n t h e m h e r e . We e n d e d u p ge t t i n g t o ge t h e r a n d h a n g i n g out. The question came up about getting back together and without any labels to consult and worry about direction, we decided it would be fun t o g i v e i t a t r y. T h e N a t i o n a l ( w h e r e t h e y w i l l b e p l a y i n g J u l y 5 t h – e d . ) was an incentive as well. Last time we were playing in Richmond, there w a s n’ t r e a l ly a v e n u e w e f e l t c o m fo r t a bl e p l ay i n g i n . H a v i n g t h a t s p a c e available cer tainly had an influence on the decision. C h r i s t i a n D e t r e s Yo u ’ v e a l l b e e n i n m a n y d i f f e r e n t b a n d s , m o s t o f

them including at least two of you at a time. What makes Denali unique amongst them? Maura Denali is my fir st band, and I get to play with my brother Keeley I think fr eedom is key to the experience of being in this band.

Jonathan: The kindred creative spirit we experience in Denali is phenomenal. For once, her e w as a band w her e ther e wer e so many ideas, good ones, that we had the luxur y of picking the right ideas from a slew o f go o d o n e s. We h a d o p t i o n s. A l s o, t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w o r k e d o u t r e a l ly w e l l . We a l l ge t a l o n g. C a m a r a d e r i e f u e l e d t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s.

Ca m t h i s i s n’ t s i m p ly a r e u n i o n s h o w p e r s e ; w e ’ r e a c t u a l ly w o r k i n g o n n e w m a t e r i a l . We ’ v e go t o n e s o n g i n t h e w o r k s n o w t h a t w e i n t e n d t o p e r f o r m a t t h e J u l y 5 t h s h o w. W e ’ r e h a p p i l y e x p l o r i n g t h e f u t u r e t o g e t h e r. W e ’ v e f i e l d e d i n q u i r i e s f r o m r e c o r d l a b e l s . W e u s e d t o b e v e r y war y of signing deals, but all of us having done this before, we’re a lot more confident this time around. J o n at h a n A t t h e N a t i o n a l w e ’ l l b e p l a y i n g w i t h s o m e R i c h m o n d f a -

v o r i t e s . Tu l s a D r o n e , P r a b i r a n d t h e S u b s t i t u t e s a n d T h e G r e a t W h i t e Jenkins will all be suppor ting. Unlike the r ecent spate of r eunion effor ts by a host of Richmond heroes and legends, Denali’s re-emergence is one of hopeful per man e n c y. T h e i r J u l y 5 t h r e u n i o n s h o w a t t h e N a t i o n a l m a r k s t h e f i r s t s t e p into a future where Denali exists as a fully-functioning band, recording new material and transcending their previous successes with a finelyaged wisdom and insight.

Yo u ’ r e a l w a y s f r e e t o t r y a n y t h i n g , e x p e r i m e n t w i t h a l l k i n d s o f s o u n d s and directions. 37


By Jas on Ma zzo la Pe c k Ima ge by Br and on

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Wheelbite would have fit in p e r f e c t o n a n 8 0 s S k a t e Ro c k c o m p ila t io n fo r T hr asher ma g azine, but they d id no t f it i n w it h t he R ic hm o n d s c e ne o f t h e mid to late 90s, w hic h they ha p p e ne d t o b e a p a r t o f. Ev e r y ha r d c o r e b a n d o r f an w as either par t of the yo ut h c r e w o r d o w n w it h t hug lif e w hile W he e lb it e had son gs a bout asshole s k a t e r s, f a t k id s s t a ge d i v ing, c r a c k w ho r e s a n d Sa ta n a ll bac ked up by sam p le s f r o m Saved By T he Bell a nd Police Academy . T his ma de it har d for anyone t o c la s s if y t he m s inc e t hey w e r e s o r t o f t hr a s h, kind of punk and a little ha r d c o r e a ll w i t h a s e ns e o f hum o r t ha t m a d e t he m e ven mor e likea ble with so ng t it le s lik e “ C a n A Ve g a n Ea t A Ve nus Fly Tr a p ” . It w a s a lm ost har d not to la ug h w hile p e o p le w e r e s t a ge d i v ing a nd s ing ing a lo ng to ly ric s like “You wer e s o Za c h a nd I w a s s o Sc r e e c h! ” All o f R ic hm o nd w a s w a it ing for them to m a k e it b ig w he n t he s m a ll but p o p ula r la b e l, P unk Uprisings, announced they w e r e go ing t o p ut o ut t he i r nex t r e le a s e a f t e r t he i r unfor getta ble demo. Time w e nt o n a nd t he r e le a s e k e p t ge t t ing p us he d b a c k a nd de layed for one r eason o r a no t he r a nd e v e nt ua lly w a s r e lea s e d by M a l function Recor ds year s late r. B y t he n t he ir t hund e r ha d b e e n s t o le n by b a nd s like Life ’s Halt and No Re ply w ho ha d t o ur e d a c t i v e ly a nd m a d e a go o d na m e fo r the mselv es in Wheelbite ’ s d o w n t im e . One o f t he p io ne e r s and he r o e s o f ska te b oar ding, Duane Pet e r s, w a s p us he d t o t he s id e d ue t o his unf r ie nd ly p unk lo ok and attitude w hile t he ble a c h blo nd e s ur f e r f r ie nd ly St a c y Pe r a lt a , w ho w a s inf luenc ed by him , w e nt o n t o m a k e m o r e m o ney a nd g a ine d m o r e popularity. Wheelbite w as a v ic t im t o b e ing a t t he r i g ht p la c e a t t he w r o n g time and not playing by the r ule s. D ua n e Pe t e r s is fo nd ly r e m e m b e r e d by W he e lbite in their song, “D ua ne Pe t e r s ” , w it h ly r ic s t ha t w o uld f it p e r f e c t if they wer e etc hed into Whee lb i t e ’ s t o m b s t o ne “ Sk a t e , P unk , F uc k ! ” July 19th Wheelbite will be p lay ing a r e unio n s ho w d o w ns t a ir s a t t he C a na l C lub to benefit P unks For P r e s e nt s, a nd t hey ha v e a ls o jus t r e le a s e d a d is co gr a phy CD on Flatspot Re c o r d s s o yo u w ill ha v e t im e t o c a t c h up o n t he m befor e t he show. Fr eeman, w ho is o ne o f t he b a n d s t w o s inge r s, a ns w e r e d these questions between ta t t o o ing a nd w inning lo c a l t r i v ia nig ht s.

Jas o n M az z o la W he n ex a c t ly d id W he e lb i t e s t a r t a nd e nd and w hy?

F r e e m a n We s t a r t e d p lay ing in 9 8 a nd b r o k e up in 2 003. T he band w as b a s ic a lly jus t a n ex t e ns io n o f us ha ng ing o ut .

J M W ha t a r e t he t o p t hr e e m e m o r a ble m o m e nt s o f W he e lb it e s how s ? F r e e m a n A). Pa u l ge t t ing a d a r t s t uc k in h is he a d b e fo r e a show. B.) When

Fr ay s e r w a s a b o ut 1 7 w e w e r e p lay ing a ho us e s ho w a nd he got bus t ed peeing in t he a lley. H e w a s a lit t le d r unk a nd he t o ld t he c o p t hat his name w as H a r o ld D r e w Jo hns o n. T hey a r r e s t e d him . C . ) T he inf a m o us B lac k s bur g s how w he r e w e a ll p laye d w it ho ut p a nt s a nd To ny f r o m M unic ipal Waste stole the m ic r o p ho ne a nd s m a c k e d m e in t he he a d w it h it c a us ing m e t o los e a bout t w o p int s o f blo o d . Als o, I a lle ge d ly a t t e m p t e d t o f ig ht e v e r yo ne in t he cr ow d, but I d o n’ t r e m e m b e r t ha t p a r t e v e r ha p p e ning. J M W hy t he r e unio n, a n d w ha t a r e yo ur f e e ling s o n t he la t es t bat c h of R ic h m o nd r e unio ns ? F r e e m a n We t ho ug ht it w o uld b e c o o l t o d o a r e unio n s how to pr omote the r e le a s e o f t he d is c o g r a p hy a nd t o b e ne f it P unk s Fo r P r esents, a r ad local c ha r it y. We a ls o t ho ug ht t ha t in t he w a k e o f a ll t h e s e r e unions of le git imat ely inf l ue nt ia l R ic hm o nd b a nd s, lik e I nq uis it io n a nd Ac t io n Pa tr ol, t hat s ome body ne e d e d t o r e p r e s e nt t he le g io ns o f s e c o nd t ie r R ic hm o nd bands. Leave it t o W he e lb it e t o c ha m p io n m e d io c r it y. J M W ha t is yo ur o p ini o n o n t he c ur r e n t s t a t e o f ha r d c o r e compar ed to w hen W he e lb it e w a s a c t i v e a nd in ge ne r a l? F r e e m a n I t ’ s d e f init e ly a li v e a nd k ic k ing, but I w ill a lw ay s have a soft spot for m id t o la t e 9 0 s R ic hm o nd ha r d c o r e . J M H o w d o yo u f e e l a b o ut t he r e c e nt D e a t hw is h/ M a lf unc t i o n mer ge t hat mak es W he e lb it e a D e a t h w is h b a nd ? F r e e m a n I t hink it w ill b e g r e a t fo r D e a t hw is h. I ’ m g la d w e could beef up their r o s t e r a nd le nd a f le d g ling la b e l s o m e c r e d ib ilit y. 39


J M For all the samples use d o n W he e lb it e s o ng s w ha t is yo ur f a v o r it e a n d w hy ? F r e e m a n I think we c an all a g r e e o n t he Saved By T he Bell s a m p le ; ho w e v e r, the psyc ho pr eac her talking a b o ut d e v il m us ic a nd s uc h a lw ay s b r i ng s a s m i le to my f a ce. J M Who w as Susan Wills, and ho w w o uld t hing s ha v e b e e n d if f e r e nt if s he ha d no t b e e n inv olv ed in any r ele a s e s o f yo ur b a nd ? F r e e m a n Susan Wills w as t he p e r s o n b e hind P unk U p r is ing s r e c o r d s. She is also the per son behind the r e le a s e o f o ur EP b e ing d e laye d fo r a b o ut t w o year s, a nd in my opinion p r e t t y m uc h k illing t h e m o m e nt um o f o ur b a nd . We wr ote a song a bout her ca lle d “ Po r k U p r is ing s ” t ha t ne v e r e nd e d up b e in g r ecor ded. She totally fuc ke d us ov e r a nd p r e t t y m uc h s uc k s. N o ha r d f e e ling s thoug h.

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J M P le a s e t e ll us a b o ut t he la t e s t d is c o g r a p hy r e le a s e ? F r e e m a n Fla t s p o t Re c o r d s p ut it o ut . We ’ r e s t o k e d t he demo is av aila ble

a g a in, a nd t ha t w e ’ r e go ing t o m a k e a fo r t une . J M W ha t ly r ic s / s o ng s a r e yo u a nd Pa ul s t ill p a r t ic ula r ly p r oud of t oday? F r e e m a n H m m m , “ Po o p ut t , m o t he r f uc k e r, ye e ha w ” . Ye a h, s t ill poignant . J M H o w w o uld yo u lik e yo ur b a nd t o b e r e m e m b e r e d in t he his t or y of R ic h m o nd b a nd s ? F r e e m a n I w o uld lik e us t o b e r e m e m b e r e d a s t he R ic hmond band that had t he b e s t c o s t um e s, c r a z ie s t t he a t r i c a l s t a ge s ho w a nd t he mos t f ak e blood. J M Rum o r ha s it Pa u l w o n t he b e s t b e a r d c o nt e s t a t T he Fes t in Florida. What a r e yo ur c ur r e nt t ho ug ht s o n b e a r d c ult ur e ?


F r e e m a n I f ar pr efer bear d c ult ur e t o ir o nic m us t a c he c ult ur e . J M O n VH1’s T he Wor ld Series Of Pop Cultur e (Fr e e m a n a p p e a r e d w it h a t e a m o f Ric h monder s) w hat ha ppe ne d ? F r e e m a n I c hoked, m an. Fuc k in’ Kir s t e n D uns t . J M If Wheelbite wer e a c h a r a c t e r f r o m a n 8 0 s m ov ie w ho w o u ld it b e a n d

w hy ?

F r e e m a n One par t Duc kie t h e s y m p a t he t ic o ut c a s t , o ne p a r t L loyd D o ble r t he noble under ac hie v er and one p o int p r inc ip le Ed Ro o ney fo r s he e r p a na c he . J M If W heelbite wer e a pr o f e s s io na l s k a t e b o a r d e r w ho w o uld it b e a nd w hy ? F r e e m a n Duane “T he Master o f D is a s t e r ” Pe t e r s fo r s t y le a nd ov e r a ll s k e t c h -

ine ss.

J M W ha t a r e yo ur v ie w s o n s k a t e b o a r d ing t o d ay ? F r e e m a n I t ’ s nic e t o s e e p e o p le s t o k e d o n p o o l s k a t ing a g ain. J M W ha t is t he w o r s t f a ll yo u ha v e t a k e n s k a t ing ? F r e e m a n M o s t o f my s k a t ing f a ll s t o r ie s a r e m o r e f unny than anything else,

p r o b a bly d ue t o a la c k o f p r o f ic ie nc y t o b e g in w it h, but t he w or s t w as pr oba bly w he n Pa ul, Fr ay a nd I w e r e but t b o a r d i ng d o w n a big ass hill in my ne ig hb o r h o o d w he n w e w e r e k id s. I hit a r o c k o r s o m e t hing and ate shit, and s o m e ho w Pa ul r o d e s t r a ig ht int o my b a lls. J M C hr is t ia n H o s o i o r G a t o r ? To ny Alv a o r D ua ne Pe t e r s ? F r e e m a n P r e - b o r n a g a in H o s o i, a nd D P o bv io us ly. J M D o yo u ha v e a p e r s o na l ex a m p le o f a r un in w it h a n “asshole skater” as d e s c r ib e d ? F r e e m a n T ha t line w a s a r e a c t io n t o o ne - up p e r s in ge ne r al. J M W ha t i s t he w o r s t f a ll yo u ha v e s e e n a f a t s t a ge d i v e r t ak e w it h your ow n eye s? F r e e m a n Fa t k id s t a ge d i v e r s m us t a lw ay s b e le e r y o f a show that isn’ t c r o w d e d . I f t he k id s in f r o nt o f t he s t a ge ha v e r o o m t o f le e, you may need t o r e t hink yo ur p la n o f a t t a c k . J M I f W he e lb it e w e r e s t ill a c t i v e t o d ay w he r e d o yo u t hink you would be at t his p o in t ? F r e e m a n O n t he w a it ing lis t fo r li v e r t r a ns p la nt s. J M I n yo ur o p inio n, w hy is W he e lb it e s t ill r e le v a nt t o d ay ? F r e e m a n I d o n’ t k no w if w e a r e , but w e a r e a ll s t ill f r ie nd s and we’ r e having

f un s o f u c k it .

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I p r o m i s e d m y s e l f w h e n I s t a r t e d P u l p To n e s t h a t I w o u l d n’ t d e l v e i n t o p e r s o n a l a f f a i r s o r t u r n t h e s e l i t t l e e s s ay s i n t o a n y t h i n g t o o h e a v y, b u t a t t h e m o m e n t a l l I ’ m p r e t t y c o n s u m e d by t h e f a c t t h a t t h e w o m a n I ’ m h e l p l e s s l y in love with has just been per suaded to give things another shot with her ex - b oy f r i e n d ( c l i c h é a l e r t ! ) ; s o I ’ v e d e c i d e d t h a t i f I ’ m e v e r g o i n g t o u s e t h e bu l ly p u l p i t t o w r i t e a b o u t s o m e l i t t l e k n o w n s a d s a c k r e c o r d s , i t s h o u l d b e w h i l e my s e l f a n d s a i d l a d y a r e b o t h l i s t e n i n g t o t h e m c o n s t a n t l y, a l b e i t i n d e p e n d e n t ly o f o n e o t h e r. T h r o u g h o u t t h e y e a r s, e v e r yo n e i n e v i t a bly c yc l e s t h r o u g h v a r i o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p - t h e m e d r e c o r d s, r a n g i n g f r o m t h e b r o k e n f o l k t r o u b a d o u r t o t h e v e n ge f u l p u n k r o c k r e c o r d , bu t a f t e r s o m e c a r e f u l c a l c u l a t i o n s ( o r o b s e s s i v e r e p e a t e d l i s t e n s ? ) , I ’ v e c o m e u p w i t h s o m e o b s c u r e ge m s t h a t e x e m plify the ver y best of this phenomenon. We ’ l l b e g i n w i t h T h e L i ly s ’ s e c o n d f u l l - l e n g t h , E c c s a m e T h e P h o t o n B a n d , w h i c h i s t h e s o u n d o f a s o u l d e f e a t e d . T h o u g h t y p i c a l ly c l a s s i f i e d a s d r e a m p o p, t h e l u m b e r i n g d r u m s, b r u i s e d g u i t a r s o u n d s a n d o v e r a l l s o n i c e m p t i ness of the record reek of sheer exhaustion. The songs themselves sound l i k e d i s t a n t e c h o e s o f s o m e t h i n g go n e h o r r i bly w r o n g, w i t h t h e b a n d p o u n d ing out ever y bit of energy they have left while the vocals simply float a b o v e i n a p l a c e w h e r e t h e y r e f u s e t o b e t o u c h e d . “ T h e Tu r t l e W h i c h D i e d B e f o r e K n o w i n g ” b e g i n s w i t h a s o l i d t w o m i n u t e s o f a q u i e t d i s t o r t e d g u i t a r, w i t h s e e m i n g ly l i t t l e t o n o i n t e r e s t i n e v e r m o v i n g f o r w a r d , t u r n i n g t h e f u l l band’s entr ance into a kick to the stomach, plodding menacingly behind the r e f r a i n o f “ M ay b e I ’ v e b e e n l o s i n g my s h i t o v e r n o o n e f o r s o m e t i m e . ” O n t h e f l i p s i d e o f t h a t c o i n , w e h a v e T h e We d d i n g P r e s e n t ’ s , S e a m o n s t e r s , w h i c h i s a r e c o r d t h a t s p i t s v i t r i o l i n a w ay t h a t v e r y f e w r e c o r d s e v e n c o m e c l o s e t o. A i d e d by t h e r e c o r d i n g p r o w e s s o f S t e v e A l b i n i , l e a d s i n g e r D a v i d G e d ge t e a r s t h r o u g h h e a r t s l i k e a r u n a w ay t r a i n a n d d e l v e s i n t o s p e c i f i c s i n a n a l m o s t u n h e a l t hy m a n n e r. H i s v o i c e i s a w r e c k , a n d h i s n o t e s a r e f a r Ima ge by Br a nd on Pe c k

l e s s r e l e v a n t t h a n t h e w o r d s h e s p i t s a n d s l i n g s. T h e r e c o r d s t a r t s w i t h a p l a i n t i v e a n d a l m o s t p a i n f u l l y q u i e t v e r s e , s o u n d i n g a l m o s t c oy i n i t s ex e c u t i o n . T h e n , o n c e G e d g e s i n g s , “A n d I ’ m s o … I s t i l l w a n t t o k i s s yo u , ” a t w h i c h p o i n t t h e d o o r s a r e c o m p l e t e l y b l o w n o f f, i t ’ s m a d e q u i t e c l e a r t h a t this album has ver y little to do with r egr et and ever ything to do with taki n g e v e r y t h i n g by s h e e r f o r c e , h i n g e s a n d a l l . T h e a l b u m b a r e ly l e t s u p i t s p a c e a n d r e e l s t h r o u g h t h e m i n u t i a e o f p h o n e c a l l s , p hy s i c a l i n t i m a c y, a n d e v e n t u a l l y l a n d s o n “ O c t o p u s s y ” , a c l o s e r w h i c h f i n d s G e d ge f i n a l ly c o l l a p s i n g, g r o w l i n g, “ I d o n’ t w a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d w hy I n e e d yo u , yo u ’ v e j u s t b e c o m e m y f a m i l y, ” w i t h a h o w l t h a t c o n c e d e s r a t i o n a l e i n f a v o r o f c o n f u s e d acquiesce. Wher eas the pr evious two albums deal with r econciliation and resignation, Smog’s Doctor Came at Dawn is an absolute tombstone. The record is a chronicle of a relationship from beginning to its near (or absolute?) end, and contains some of the most absolutely haunted music that I’ ve ever heard. Bill Callahan sounds absolutely leveled, and spends the record unpacking ever y bit of baggage imaginable. T he pur ging that happens on such s o n g s a s “ E v e r y t h i n g Yo u To u c h B e c o m e s a C r u t c h ” , m a k e s t h e l i s t e n e r a v oy e u r i n t h e m o s t a w k w a r d w ay, f a r d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e ex p r e s s i v e l o n g i n g o f T h e L i l y s a n d T h e We d d i n g P r e s e n t . A s t h e r e c o r d i t s e l f e n d s w i t h “ H a n g m a n B l u e s ” , C a l l a h a n d o e s n’ t e v e n h a v e t h e e n e r g y f o r c h o r d c h a n ge s. H i s refrain of “Ha, Ha, Ha” sounds like a death rattle, and his voice seems to s i m p l y s c r a p e a g a i n s t t h e g r a v e l a s h e s i n g s , “ I k n o w w h o t h e h a n g m a n i s. So life’s a joke.” S o t h e t i e t h a t b i n d s t h e s e r e c o r d s t o g e t h e r ? L o v e i s e x h a u s t i n g, ex h i l a r a t i n g, a n d o f t e n c r i p p l i n g, d e p e n d i n g o n t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s. B u t i n t h e e n d , i t ’ s a n a b s o l u t e n e c e s s i t y. “ Yo u r G u e s t a n d H o s t ” o f f E c c s a m e s u m s i t u p t h e b e s t , “ Yo u m a k e i t h a r d t o b e a r o u n d . A n d I ’ l l b e a r o u n d . ” B e c a u s e i f t h e r e ’ s a n y t h i n g yo u c a n l e a r n f r o m t h e s e r e c o r d s , i t ’ s t h a t t h e r e ’ s a l w ay s s o m e t h i n g t o s ay f o r w a i t i n g t o s e e h o w t h e s t o r y e n d s. 45


Duffy Rockferry Polydor While Amy Winehouse has garnered attention for her nouveau-60s girl group sounds (and perhaps even more so for her headline grabbing antics), she’s cer tainly not the only expor t from the across the pond reviving and modernizing simple, soulful song stylings of Motown’s heyday. The Pipettes, Candie Payne, and most recently Duffy have all put their stamp on the retro 46

trend; and Duffy’s debut CD, Rockferry , is quite possibly the most solid and pure of the whole bunch, Winehouse included. The Welsh chanteuse has been gifted with a honeyed voice drenched with shades of Dusty Springfield and Shirley Bassey, with occasional nods to the feisty purr of Ear tha Kitt. She’s also been lucky enough to work with Bernard Butler, the famed former Suede guitarist, who co-wrote and produced a number of the sonically lush tracks

on Rockferry . For the most par t, the subject matter here (as with so many a girl group song) is love; primarily love lost or love about to be lost (you won’t find songs about rehab on this album, no, no, no). Throughout the ten tracks, Duffy’s voice comes out strong and self-assured, wounded underneath but cooing powerfully through the pain. Title track “Rockferry” sets the tone immediately, big on instrumentation and even bigger on vocals. “I’ll move

to Rockferry tomorrow,” Duffy croons against a wash of guitars and tambourine, “and I’ll build my house baby with sorrow.” Empowerment resonates on the slowertempo “Warwick Avenue”, with lines like, “don’t think we’re ok just because I’m here,” and “I’m leaving you for the last time.” On occasion things get almost a touch trite, such as the lyric from the excellent “Serious”, “I’m a trophy on your arm/you wear me like a charm.” But don’t let the saccharine sweetness fool

you; it’s all par t of Duffy’s charm, and the fluff doesn’t last. There’s not a trace of sugar on the emphatic “Hanging On Too Long”, the wakeup call many of us girls need. “Mercy” is big and beaty, akin to the Supremes in feel and one of the catchiest songs you’re likely to hear all year. None of the members of the new British Girl Group Invasion have quite managed to match the greatness of the groups they seek to emulate, but Duffy’s Rockferry is a

delightful homage to an era when girls ruled the char ts for songs with more style and substance than Mariah, Britney and Fergie could ever dream of. -Megan Petty

Botox Party Botox Party Raise Your Fist Records Botox Par ty would have thrived in the late 80s East Bay punk scene. The 13 new songs and three rerecorded songs from their debut EP land somewhere in

Bands in R ED ar e lo cal


the middle of Operation Ivy, Green Day and Crimpshrine. After playing at 924 Gilman, however, the guys would have probably slipped out the back to catch a Testament show. The foundations for most of Botox Par ty’s songs lie in Chuck’s complicated thrash riffs (see “Elitist Social Class” and “No Ambition,” which recall Slayer and Maiden respectively). Brian (drums) and Danny (bass) are more than capable of keeping up, integrating their melodic hardcore bounce

that drives the songs fastforward. It’s a fresh sound for punk rock that succeeds largely because they play as a single unit, all three featured prominently in Todd Corvin’s (Living Room Studios) final mix. The very first track, “Scared of Living”, demonstrates an increased sense of (ins) urgency from the band – “scared of living, scared of dying, why’s this life wor th living when you’re afraid of trying?” Throughout the CD, Botox Par ty aggressively confront interpersonal

turmoil (“Self-inflicted Brain Damage”) and fight stagnation with Molotov cocktails (“Separation”, “No Ambition”). The gritty backup vocals of Danny Dangerous add fire to the flames of discontent, while testifying to crust and New York hardcore inspirations. In the end, Botox Par ty claim control over their lives so they can help others do the same. So the message is simple, but the music is not always. But isn’t punk all about blasting the

status quo and embracing the idiosyncrasies of a diverse community? Botox Par ty have done their par t by delivering a stick of dynamite within this dynamic punk rock record. -Mike Rutz

Hot Lava Lavalogy Bar/None You might have heard Hot Lava’s song “Mummy Beach” on the RVA sampler that came out a few months ago, and now they’re back

with ten songs of exciting pop goodness. Stirring up the ingredients of surf music, lounge and pop rock then throwing it into some sor t of lo-fi electro tornado, they’ve crafted one fine bir thday cake you know something wonderful is about to jump out of. The flow of songs pulls me in so quickly; making me think what I’m listening to is my favorite song. Then the next one star ts and I’m bobbing my head again and singing all the words and

harmonies I can remember. Pop music is at its best when it’s clever, and from the lyrics down to the quirky keyboard lines, Hot Lava has achieved this. Go out and watch them play around town; they’ve been doing so at least four times a month recently, so it shouldn’t be too hard to do. -Kyle Pedersen

47


C ov ers M i x By : Laur en Vinc elli

I guess it’s about time for a cover s mix tape. There sure are a lot of cover s out there, but really good ones are few and far between. I got some interesting suggestions from several friends, so thanks to Adam, Chris, Duke, Har mony and Michelle for their ideas. Here are some of the more notewor thy cover s around. You can hear this mix, and check out previous RVA Mixes at http://www.last.fm/user/RVAmix/ . Send ideas and feed back to Lauren@r vamag.com

T R AC K A RT I ST 1 “Under Pressure” Small Brown Bike & The Casket Lotter y 2 “About A Gir l” Cibo Matto 3 “Passenger” Siouxsie and the Banshees 4 “Where Is My Mind” Nada Surf 5 “Video Killed the Radio Star” Erasure 6. “Radio Ga Ga” Electric Six 7 “Stuck In the Metal” Eagles of Death Metal 8 “Mr. Crowley Tim “Ripper” Owens, Yngwie Malmsteen 9 “I Fought the Law” The Clash 10 “Beer for Breakfast” Get Up Kids 11 “Ring Of Fire” Social Distor tion 12 “Bleeder” Hot Water Music 13 “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunder stood” The Animals 14 “Hey Joe” Jimi Hendrix 15 “Thunder Road” Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Tor toise 16 “Happiness is a War m Gun” The Breeder s 17 “Kiss the Bottle” Lucero 18 “Hur t” Johnny Cash 19 “Redemption Song” Joe Str ummer & The Mescaleros 48

C O M PO S E R ALBUM Queen/Bowie Small Brown Bike & Casket Lotter y Nir vana (At Home With The) Singles Iggy Pop Twice Upon A Time - The Singles The Pixies Pixies Tribute The Buggles Other People’s Songs Queen Señor Smoke Stealer s Wheel Peace Love Death Metal O. Osbour ne Flying High Again The Crickets London Calling P. Westerburg Eudora Johnny Cash Greatest Hits Alkaline Trio Split:Alkaline Trio & Hot Water Music N. Simone Retrospective The Leaves Are You Experienced? B. Springsteen The Brave And The Bold The Beatles Pod Jawbreaker Dreaming in America Nine Inch Nails The Man Comes Around B. Mar ley Streetcore Im a ge by B r a ndon Pe c k


50


S c i en to l o gy (pa rt 2) C l ea r i n g S o m e T h i n g s U p By Tyle r Bass Im a ge by Ada m Jur e s k o

D r. D a v i d B r o m l e y, o f VC U ’ s Wo r l d S t u d i e s p r o g r a m , p o s s e s s e s a n e x c e l l e n t g r a s p o n t h e s i t u a t i o n s and phenomena that bring about the advent of new religions, and his conception of social turbulence in the 1960s and 70s advises him well about the natur e of New Age r eligious movements. I asked him to clarify why the Church of Scientology v ariously denied some of its upper echelon beliefs and c o n f i r m e d t h e m . ( A s P. R . r e p r e s e n t a t i v e M i k e R i n d e r d i d t o J a n e t R e i t m a n i n 2 0 0 6 , c a l l i n g X e n u “ a n a u d i t i n g l e v e l ” a s o p p o s e d t o a s t o r y. ) D r. B r o m l e y r e s p o n d e d t o R i n d e r ’ s d i s c l o s u r e i n l i g h t o f R VA’ s o w n i n t e r v i e w w i t h a S c i e n t o l o g i s t a t t h e N e w Yo r k c h u r c h . “ We l l , I g u e s s , ” h e s i g h e d w h i l e m u r m u r i n g t o h i m s e l f, “ I t ’ s a n a u d i t i n g l e v e l . I t ’ s an issue that is brought up in an auditing level. I’m not sur e to say it is an auditing level would be quite right. I think ther e ar e two r easons why you would get that answer : one, is that ostensibly people in the church believe that to reveal that infor mation to you is potentially ver y destr uctive to you. Because to hear that infor mation befor e you under stand the context and befor e your auditing has pr epar ed you to handle the issues that ar e associated with it, then ver y negative things may happen to you. T hat’s their position. “ T h e o t h e r r e a s o n t h a t i s n’ t s o m u c h a f a i t h i s s u e i s t h a t L . R o n H u b b a r d ’ s w o r k i s r e g a r d e d i n t h e w a y t h a t f u n d a m e n t a l i s t s r e g a r d t h e B i b l e . T h e y a r e n o t a l l o w e d t o i n t e r p r e t h i s w o r k i n a n y w a y. I t i s w h a t i t i s , a n d i t says what is says, and they ar e not allowed to talk to you about that on that level, and if they do then discuss i t w i t h y o u , t h e n t h e y a r e t h e n o f f e r i n g s o m e s o r t o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f i t , a n d t h a t ’ s n o t a l l o w e d . I d o n’ t k n o w w h y, a n d t h e y d o n’ t s a y t h a t , a n d t h a t ’ s a r e a s o n . T h e r e m a y b e o t h e r s t h a t t h e y d o n’ t d i s c u s s . S o t h e r e a r e two major r easons that you ar e not going to get an answer to that question.” I a s k e d w h y S c i e n t o l o g y ’ s P. R . p e o p l e w e r e g i v i n g d i f f e r e n t a n s w e r s t h a n t h e w o m a n I i n t e r v i e w e d i n N e w Yo r k . 51


D av i d G . B r o m l e y I t h i n k t h e y d o n’ t k n o w h o w t o h a n d l e i t . Ty ler S. Bass W hy i s t h a t ? D G B We l l , I d o n’ t k n o w h o w o f t e n t h e y ’ r e a s k e d t h a t q u e s t i o n , b u t t h e y

w e r e u n p r e p a r e d by i t , o r t h e y j u s t h a v e n’ t d e v e l o p e d a g o o d r e s p o n s e f o r i t . I d o n’ t k n o w t h e a n s w e r t o t h a t . I asked why the Scientologist we inter viewed, Carol, indicted “biker s” along with psychiatrists, oil monger s and the media as the major enemies o f h u m a n i t y. He replied, “There are a number of groups, including one here in Richmond, that are Christian biker groups, and so it’s not implausible – I have no knowledge – that some of those evangelical Christian biker groups are h o s t i l e t o t h e m i n s o m e w a y. I d o n’ t t h i n k t h a t ’ s a m a j o r s o u r c e o f o p p o s i tion, but – [smiles].” It is in a cer tain sense collapsing under its own weight. There is no question about that. And they are not going to get the genie back in the bottle. They follow the established policies, str ategies, and directives they have been following since their inception, and they are not ver y flexible about that, and that may be one of those things that is going to cause them p r o b l e m s i n t h e l o n g r u n i s a l a c k o f f l e x i b i l i t y. A l t h o u g h , t h e y a r e m u c h mor e flexible in cer tain r espects. It used to be when that kind of event occur red they would immediately launch a lawsuit and har ass people and even engage in illegal acts of har assment, and they have kind of backed o f f a l o t o f t h a t n o w. S o, t h e y h a v e m o d i f i e d t h e i r s t r a t e g y a t l e a s t s o m e what, but they do tend I believe to be inflexible in a way that would probably be puzzling to you. I mean, it’s a specific cultur al tr adition. I am exploring how in our cultur e you can take those v arious pieces of the cultur e and r eassemble them in a novel way; then it produces opposition. Many people are uncomfor table with that new assemblage of cultur al pieces.

I n d e s c r i b i n g S c i e n t o l o g y, D r. B r o m l e y h a s r e p e a t e d t h i s t h e m e o f t e n , as he has acknowledged ‘ . . . the innovations that Scientology has made by m e r g i n g t h e r a py, b u s i n e s s , a n d r e l i g i o n h a s [ s i c ] a t o n c e b e e n t h e source of practitioner s’ attraction to the movement and the source of the intense opposition that it has evoked.’ Many of the opponents to whom I have spoken at protests bristle strongest at the entrepreneurial incentive s y s t e m t h a t e x i s t s a t t h e h e a r t o f t h e S c i e n t o l o g y o r g a n i z a t i o n . D r. B r o mley seemed to withhold his critique from them, as they are notoriously inaccessible and secretive. TSB Wher e do you see Scientology in five year s, in ten year s, and so on?

S e r i o u s l y.

D G B I t ’ s h a r d t o s a y. T h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t I a m g e t t i n g

infor mally is that the public claims about member ship t h a t t h e C h u r c h d i s p e n s e s t o t h e p u b l i c a r e by m o s t accounts I think overblown, and the main reason for that is many and most people (as is in the case of transcendental meditation and other groups like that) the vast majority of like go get a mantr a and t h e n g o h o m e a n d m e d i t a t e , a n d t h e n t h e y d o n’ t g o back. And people in Scientology may take a cour se, and appar ently the Church has essentially if you h a v e e v e r t a k e n a c o u r s e c o u n t s y o u a s a m e m b e r. And if you do that, you get ver y lar ge member ship estimates. T her e was one sur vey that was done that produced an estimate of 50,000 people who self-identified in a poll as Scientologists. Other estimates that I have heard are much more mod-


est than that, in the low 10,000s. T he infor mation that I hear cur rently is that the Church is str uggling to keep at least a flow of people going through its auditing cour ses, so I think the evidence is ver y similar for Scientology that it is for many groups that appeared around the same time, that they flourish during the countercultur al period and many of them have str uggled since that time. The Church of Scientology has o b v i o u s l y a g r e a t d e a l o f m o n e y. I t ’ s s t a r t i n g c e n t e r s a r o u n d the wor ld, and so has a highly visible presence and obviously a core of strong suppor ter s, but there is a simply on demogr aphic grounds not a great deal of evidence that the Church is going to grow dr amatically and become a major force or major player in the r e l i g i o u s c o m m u n i t y. T he coolheaded sociologist may have expr essed dim view for the futur e f o r S c i e n t o l o g y, y e t a t t h e s a m e t i m e h e e x p r e s s e s i n s o m e o f h i s w r i t i n g a patience with under standing Scientologists’ motivations that he is willing to disregard the objective silliness of the claims of the r eligion. Hubbard’s ‘hagiogr aphy’, or adulat o r y d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s l i f e , i s , h o w e v e r, t a c i t l y a c k n o w l e d g e d a s b a l o n e y i n B r o m l e y ’ s writing: ‘The empirical status of Hubbard’s, Scientology’s, and critics’ tr uth claims is not, of cour se, what is at issue here as these essentially constitute rejection of charisma claims (politically) or nar r ative deconstr uction (sociologically).’ The (desired) utilitarian function of the religion as a restorer of conscious beings to a previous, supposed idyllic state or er a can become clear and under standable amid the motives of so many other cultur al/economic institutions built on individual conscience. D r. D a v i d G . B r o m l e y p u b l i s h e d h i s f i r s t b o o k i n 1 9 7 9 , w h i c h w a s o n t h e U n i f i c a t i o n C h u r c h . H i s i n t e r e s t i n S c i e n t o l o g y o c c u r r e d l a t e r, a n d h a s w r i t t e n m u c h m o r e a b o u t i t r e c e n t l y, p a r t i c u l a r l y t w o m a j o r b o o k c h a p ter s. He is the co-author of Cults And New Religions, as well as sever al other books.


By Jo hn Fl ow e r s Ima ge by C hr is t ia n D e t r e s

Anyo ne w it ho ut t he t im e o r w ill t o w e e d t hr o ug h a bunc h o f d r y, c halk y langua ge but is r e a lly, s t r o ng ly, k i nd a c ur io u s ho w t he w o r ld ’ s m ig ht ie s t e c o n o my could go belly up is in luc k . As s o m e t hing o f a b a r s t o o l e c o no m is t , I ’ v e d e v is e d a n ex planat ion t hat r e q u ir e s no d ic t io na r y a nd no c a lc ula t o r, o nly ex p e r ie nc e w it h v as t quant it ies of a lc o ho l. Sim p ly p ut , o ur c ur r e nt r e c e s s io n fo llo w s t he s a m e p a t h a s t hat of a blac k out d r unk w ho m us t b e p i c k e d up a nd c a r r ie d ho m e by his friends. Be it m a r k e t o r c ha m p a g ne bu b ble s w r e a k ing t he ha v o c , bystander s alw ays s t a r t w it h t he s a m e f e llo w : t a ll o n lif e , lo ng o n g ame, and a glass a t t he r e a dy, he is t he e nv y a nd t he eye o f e ver y par tier in the room. W h e n, o ut o f t he blue , he s t a g ge r s a nd stumbles and loses his c o o l, v e r y ne a r ly p la nt ing his f a c e in t he punc h bow l. H is f r ie nd s t a k e no t e o f t he s it ua t io n but r emain lais s ezf a ir e b e c a us e t hey k no w t hi s m a n; he’ s been her e befo r e . C e r t a inly, t hey r e a s o n, he k now s w hat t o do. “ D o n’ t w o r r y, ” t hey t e ll a nyo ne w ho asks. “He’s c o o l. H e ’ s c o o l. ” B ut s o o n, he s t a r t s he a v ing and s w aying – obje c t s s t a r t c r a s hing t o t he f loor – and they


can’ t ignor e those signs a ny m o r e . So m e t hing ’ s a b o u t t o h a p p e n, but G o d kno ws w hat, let alone how t o s t o p it . He r e is w her e the friends s w ing t o, w e ll, no t s o m uc h “ a c t io n” but “ a t t e n tion”. You can tell the dif fe r e nc e , b e c a us e w it h “ a c t io n” s o m e t hing ha p p e ns. With the latter, you get fur t i v e g la nc e s a nd bus ine s s w it h t he eye b r o w s a nd no t muc h else other than a w ho le lo t o f ha r r um p hing. T hat’s w hen w hate ver made t he go o d t im e s s o go o d but p o is o ne d t he w e l l in the p r oc ess c om es up all ov e r him – no t t o m e nt io n f r ie nd s, p a s s e r s by, a nd just a bout anyone w ho s wo r e t hey w e r e a s a f e d is t a nc e a w ay. Sud d e nly, a p a nic e nsues and, as m or e a nd m o r e o f t he s e “ go o d t im e s ” c o m e up, no o ne kno ws w hether they ’ r e at the b e g inning, t he m id d le , o r t he e nd of t he w o r s t o f- it- a ll. Now, it’s all they c a n d o t o k e e p him f r o m f a lling f la t t o t he f lo o r. A fe w of his friends ar e a c t ua lly m o r e ir r it a t e d t h a n w o r r ie d , f ig ur in g t his p r oble m to be 100% his ow n d o ing. W ha t e v e r int e r na l m e c ha nis m w a s s up p ose d to pr e v ent this situa t io n f r o m r e e ling o ut o f c o nt r o l w a s le f t una t tended and so “to hell wit h him ” . I n f a c t , t hey ha v e ha lf a m ind t o le t h im f a ll f la t on his f ac e – to tea c h him a le s s o n – but , no, t hey r e c k o n, t he r e ’ s a mor al imper ati ve her e to p r e v e nt t he b a d f r o m b e c o m ing int r a c t a bly w o r s e . And so, sigh, their good tim e s t o o m us t c o m e t o a n e nd . F ina lly, the friends take r ea l a c t io n a nd s ay “ t o he ll” w it h t he w ho le la is s e z f air e philosophy – w hic h, f r a nk ly, ha s b e e n no t hi ng m o r e t ha n a go o d - t im e C ha r lie up to this point. T hey p r o p o s e a num b e r o f m e d ic ine s a nd ge ne r a lly tr y to find som e v ehic le tha t c a n t a k e him t o w a r d a s a f e ha r b o r fo r t he d ur a tion of this colla pse. Mayb e t hey c a n’ t a v e r t a c r is is, t hey t hink , but w it h a little lu c k – and som e m oney t hey k no w t hey w o n’ t s e e a g a in – w ho ’ s t o s ay they ca n’ t soften the landing ?

int e r m ina ble p e r io d b e fo r e w ha t p a s s e s fo r a s t e p fo r w ar d – not ste pping b a c k w a r d – c a n b e s e e n in t he r e a r v ie w m ir r o r. W he n t ha t ha ppens, t hey can b r e a t he a g a in. W he t he r t he ir c ur a t i v e s w o r k e d o r w h e t h er ther e’s c har m in s na k e o il is a m a t t e r fo r his t o r ia ns – he ’ s r e a c he d b o t t om and t hat ’ s w hat c o unt s. N o w, he m ay lay s up in e w hile his f r ie nd s w a it – a nd w ait and w ait and w a it – t o he a r w o r d t ha t t he r e ’ s lif e ye t in t he o l’ b oy. O f c o ur s e , t he r e a l t e s t c o m e s m uc h la t e r w he n t he p a t ie nt pic k s up a head o f s t e a m a nd d e c id e s he ’ s r e a dy t o in ge s t s o m e c a p i t a l . T he pr oblem is, too q ui c k a s t e p a t t his junc t ur e a nd t ha t c a p it a l c o uld b e a ll over his f ace a g ain. N o, w ha t he w a nt s he r e is fo r a f e w c a u t io u s s t e p s t o lead to a thor ough s c r ub b ing a n d a c le a ne r o ut lo o k a nd , f ina lly, a he a lt hi e r dis pos it ion. I n t im e , a r e c ov e r y is d e c la r e d , a nd he ’ s r e a dy t o t a k e o n t he w or ld a g ain. B e fo r e t ha t , ho w e v e r, m us t c o m e t he d ip lo m a t ic f e nc e m e nding. He mus t mak e a s s ur a nc e s no t o nly t ha t is he s o r r y fo r his p o o r p e r fo r m ance, but that suc h a n i nc id e nt ne v e r w ill ha p p e n a g a in. Suc h t e s t im o ny is r o t , o f c o ur s e , but he k no w s his b a c k er s. A c hoice wor d he r e a nd a p a t o n t he b a c k t he r e a n d it ’ s a r e t ur n t o business as usual. T he r e ’ s no n e e d t o fo r s w e a r t h e s t uf f o n a c c o unt o f o ne poor perfor mance, yo u s e e . “ N o, no, no. N o ns e ns e , ” h is f r ie nd s w o uld s ay. “ We a ll ha v e these slip-ups. No ne e d t o go r e lig io us o n us. ” “ T ha t ’ s m ig ht y d e c e nt o f yo u, ” he w o uld r e p ly. And jus t t o s ho w t he m ho w s o r r y he is – t o m a k e s ur e t he r e ar e no har d f eel ing s le f t – t he f ir s t r o und is o n him .

Typically they do, but her e is w he r e t he w he e ls s p in in t he m ud a b it . I t ’ s a n 55


TALES FROM VCU JANITORS UNCOVER EGYPTIAN-STUDENT BUILT BEERAMIDS IN DORM ROOM. J a nit o r s c le a ning o ut d o r m it o r ie s a t Vir g inia C o m m o nw e a lt h U ni v e r s it y ha v e d is c ov e r e d w ha t a p p e a r t o b e t hr e e la r ge b e e r a m id s s a i d t o ha v e b e e n built by s e v e r a l Eg y p t ia n s t ud e nt s, s c ho o l o f f ic ia ls c o nf ir m e d t o d ay. W hile a ha nd f ul o f t he o r ie s ex is t a s t o ho w t he b e e r a m id s w e r e c o m p le t e d , VC U s p o k e s w o m a n, B e t h C o o k , s a id t he s t r uc t ur e s a p p e a r t o ha v e b e e n c o n s t r uc t e d r o ug hly 3 7 d ay s B e fo r e C hr is t m a s, w it h ne a r ly 1 0 , 5 0 0 a lum inum b e e r c a ns p r e v io us ly c o n s um e d by t he fo r e ig n s t ud e nt s. “ B a s e d o n w ha t w e k no w s o f a r, w e b e lie v e t h e s e g r e a t b e e r a m id s w e r e s o m e fo r m o f m o num e n t t o a n Eg y p t ia n go d , o r q uit e p o s s ibly built a s t he t o m b o f a k ing, ” C o o k s a id . “ T he r e is a ls o

Tobacco Avenue is Richmond, VA’s most accurate source of misinformation. Go to www.tarichmond.com for more delicious satire and wacky entertainment.

e v id e nc e t ha t t he s e s t ud e nt s may have just been fo o ling a r o und , a s c o lle ge s tudents sometimes d o. ” VC U s a id t he b e e r a m id f ind ing s account for some o f t he la r ge s t s t r uc t ur e s e v e r cr eat ed on campus o ut o f e m p t y N a t ur a l L ig h t a nd Milw aukee’s Best c a ns, t ho ug h ex p e r t s o f t he ancient beer amids s a id t he b e e r a m id f ind i ng is r a r e. B r a nd o n C o p t y, a R ic hm o nd beer amid historian a n d d a ily b e e r c o ns um e r, s a id ther e ar e many t he o r ie s o n ho w t he s t r uc t ur e s ar e made. “A lo t o f p e o p le ha v e a c c e p t e d t he idea t hat you c a n jus t d r ink a bunc h o f b e e r and move t he cans int o p la c e in a py r a m id - s t y l e f as hion, ” s aid t he 3 6 - ye a r- o ld g r a d ua t e o f H a mpden-Sydney Col le ge . “ To build a g r e a t b e e r a mid, howe ver, takes s e v e r a l d o z e n , hig hly s k ille d drinker s over the c o ur s e o f a w e e k e nd , a t le a s t . ”


“Br andon [Tesla] made this s w e e t o ne o nc e a t sc hoo l,” he added. C o pty said Eg y ptian-student built b e e r a m id s a r e c o n sider ed some of the most w e ll m a d e b e e r a m id s o n t he planet, mor e so than Mayans c r e a t e . H o w e v e r, b e e r a m id s a r e n’ t the only f asc inating s t r uc t ur e s built f r o m c o lle ge r e la te d item s. In 2002, VCU janitor s found a L e a ning To w e r o f P iz z a B ox e s in the suite of four Italian stud e nt s. And in 1 9 8 9 a t t he Uni v e r s it y o f Ric hmond, thr ee Asian stud e nt s, us ing p ho t o s f r o m Penthouse , w e r e found building w hat they ca lle d T he G r e a t Wa ll o f ‘ G ina . 59


Planned Parenthood Under Attack (But With a Battle Plan) by Ian M. Graham Planned Parenthood of Virginia’s location on Floyd Avenue is the ver y definition of nondescript. There is a placard on the outside of this square, well kept, innocuous building with plenty of trees and a well-kept garden. Although I did not see one, it seems the kind of location where one would expect to see a well-fed, well-petted cat sunbathing in the front yard. This is a place where women can talk to a tr ained medical professional about anything at all, be there maladies physical, mental, or a conflict between the body and soul. Most of Richmond’s denizens have encountered the anti-Planned Parenthood protests – be they on VCU campus or in front of one of the clinics. There’s no end to controver sy regarding abor tion, even if the place that’s being protested mostly perfor ms ser vices that any Christian would agree are necessar y for a woman’s health, and would argue that women should be allowed access to said ser vices. There’s even a state Senator, Ken Cucinelli – (R), who has done his best to close these benevolent door s. Beside the building, there is a covered walkway, wooden br aces suppor ting hanging plants and security camer as, through which a gentle breeze flows on a ridiculously hot day. Inside, in a small, rectangular office, I sat down with Planned Parenthood’s gr assroots organizer, Cour tney Jones. Ian M. Graham Mr. Cucinelli, is he targeting Planned Parenthood specifically? Co u rtn ey J on es Planned Parenthood in Virginia. Let me give you some back-

ground on that: last year, Planned Parenthood Advocates Virginia, our political ar m, engaged in our fir st senatorial r ace. We endor sed his opponent, Janet Oleszek. She r an a great campaign, lots of suppor ter s and organizations fed into her campaign, and in the end, her s was the most closely contested state r ace. She had a recount a few days after the election, and lost by 92 votes. 60

So after we had campaigned for her for months on end, and voter s at the polls were saying “we’re out here today because of Planned Parenthood”, we lost by such a close margin, and then you follow that into gener al assembly. He came back for blood, essentially. He introduced a budget amendment that would have defunded Planned Parenthood in Virginia, specifically focused on our prevention medical ser vices, things like affordable bir th control, low cost cancer screenings and treatments, breast exams, gynecological exams, that type of thing. He introduced it in a ver y unor thodox manner, on the floor of the Senate – it was for the House Budget, but he introduced it in the Senate – and it passed. Lt. Gover nor Bowling – there was a tie, and he broke it – but through a series of backdoor negotiations and conference committees we were able to get it out at the last moment. Since then, he’s been sending out his listser v announcements; he is targeting us, he is out for blood. I M G You’re targeted by sever al other groups, as well. CJ Yes, we have lots of friends. The Family Foundation, they call themselves the pro-life, pro-family foundation. They were the ones who passed the mar riage amendment in 2006 (the amendment which “clarified” VA’s constitution regarding mar riage as heterosexual only); they’re wor king on divorce refor m this year – making sure people can’t get divorced, essentially. We’re up against the entire House of Delegates – not the entire house, but the majority – we fight 15-20 bills a year to keep our door s open and make sure people have access to our ser vices. I M G What ser vices do you offer? Ever yone knows that contr aception is available, and that pregnancies can be ter minated, but it seems that Planned Parenthood does a lot more than that. You see the signs of the protester s, but it seems like there’s a lot more. CJ We do get pigeonholed, but 95 percent of what we do is prevention. We offer


family planning ser vices here, counseling, options on how to space your pregnancies, how to avoid unintended pregnancies, we have a prenatal progr am that star ted out ser ving indigent women but has now expanded, so we offer prenatal care for women who would otherwise give bir th at home. They don’t qualify for any sor t of benefits. We have comprehensive sexuality education progr ams and we go into juvenile detention center s and offer HIV and STD prevention education. We have our advocacy and public affair s progr am, which I am par t of; we do our legislative, organizing and volunteer wor k through that. In ter ms of other services, we provide cer vical cancer screenings, treatments, breast exams, sexually tr ansmitted infection testing and treatment and HIV testing. So, the large majority of what we do – we get pigeonholed as solely an abor tion provider – but largely we provide all these other progr ams to tr y and help people make infor med, safe decisions about their sexual and reproductive health; something I’m super proud of. I M G What is the event you have coming up on the 27th? CJ We’re having an 80s prom. It’s a totally r adical benefit for Planned Parenthood. This is to benefit our statewide C4, our political ar m. The place we are, right now, this location, is our nonprofit C3. The C4 is when we do our elector al wor k, lobbying, public education; if we had to engage in litigation it would be through that avenue. We’re basically throwing a par ty, but in addition to it being totally awesome, we’re looking to bring in a new kind of donor.

When you think of donor s, you think of older people, or people with year s of established career s; what I’m tr ying to do is let peer s of the people who come through our door s know that they can suppor t us. Twenty dollar s makes a huge difference, so we’re tr ying to educate them as to how ever y little bit helps. We

want to reach out to potential new volunteer s, we want to educate people about John McCain and his voting record on women’s health – that’s something we’re doing nationally. We have a campaign called Million Strong, with the pur pose of getting a million pro-choice voter s to the polls. So many people think that John McCain is a maverick and doesn’t march boot step with his par ty. And he’s antichoice, anti-GLBT, and after eight year s, it’s time for change. I M G Do you have any comments on abstinence progr ams? CJ It’s absolutely ridiculous. I M G Are there any studies that show... CJ Yes. There was a study called the Mathematica Study that was funded by Congress that came out in 2007. This is after eleven year s, over a billion in funding for abstinence education that proved that teens who receive abstinence education do not delay in engaging in sexual activity. They’re at risk for more sexually tr ansmitted infections because they have not been taught the tools or given the infor mation to prevent them. Actually, teens who are given a comprehensive education – “abstinence plus” – abstinence is the only way to guar antee no unintended pregnancies, PLUS, here’s infor mation on contr aceptives, bar rier methods...these teens were found to delay sexual activity longer, and when they did engage, they know how to protect themselves, and their r ates of sexually tr ansmitted infections were much lower. This study was ordered only after taxpayer s had paid over a billion dollar s in abstinence progr ams. Here in Virginia, we actually rejected our feder al funding for abstinence-only education; Tim K aine rejected it in November of 2007. We’ ve done a lot in Virginia to say, “This isn’t wor king, what can we do?”

It seems to this repor ter that Virginia has spent eight year s doing the math, and we are now ready to do the wor k. 61


62


“Every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock ‘n’ roll

T he only place that I thought would have cig ar ettes w as a beer and wine place

Grabs the mike to tell us he’ll die before he’s sold

so I headed in that dir ection. When I asked the c ler k if he sold cigar ettes, he

But I believe in this –and it’s been tested by research

said no, though he did of fer to sell me some c hoice cig ar s at a r easonable

That he who fucks nun will later join the church”

price. Not being a f an of the r ancid long br own tur ds that elitists like to par ade

----> “Death or Glory” The Clash from London Calling

When I fir st hear d these lyrics as a budding 14-year-old punk r oc ker, I had no

smug feelings of superiority with, I asked him w her e I could pr ocur e a pac k of cof fin nails in the immediate vicinity. “T hey sell them next door at Ukr op’s,” he r e plied. T hat stopped me in my tr ac ks. “Ukr op’s?” I r e plied, “Ar e you serious?”

r eal idea w hat they r eally meant. I just liked the f act that Joe Str ummer w as

He must have hear d that a lot because he r olled his eyes as if it w as the mil -

singing about for nicating with nuns. As the year s have gone on, these four

lionth time he had to r eiter ate his answer to the dr eaded cigar ette question.

lines of ver se have pr oved pr ophetic. Similar to the sentiments shar ed by Gil

“Yeah, they sell them at the fr ont counter,” he mumbled as he tur ned to assist

Scott-Her on & Brian Jac kson on, “Push Comes to Shove” (fr om the must have

a woman looking over his lar ge wine selection.

though criminally har d to find r elease, 1980 ) or little Bob by Dylan’s, “Gotta Ser ve Somebody” (fr om the most bitter Christian r ecor d of all time, Slow Tr ain

He w as right. I ventur ed into the caver nous stor e still skeptical and sur e

Coming ), life is a game of compr omise. No one is immune. You just hope that

enough, right behind the fr ont counter as he said w as enough cigar ettes to put

in life’s series of concessions, you don’ t have to sell your soul in the pr ocess.

a good por tion of city into ear ly gr aves. I alw ays r espected Ukr op’s for their

Also over the year s, it has been my experience that those w ho c laim to be of

principled stand to not sell tobacco pr oducts, alcohol or be open on Sundays.

the pur est intent ar e usually the fir st ones to join to pr overbial c hur c h.

I consider ed Ukr op’s the Fug azi of super mar kets. Not many businesses have the luxur y to c hoose w hat par t of supply and demand they w ant to pr ofit fr om

I w as on the Southside a couple of weeks a go in a shinny ne w strip mall of f

and e ven though I am a big f an (a big, big f an) of cig ar ettes and alcohol, I

For r est Hill Road. Ever yone I know w ho lives ther e is thrilled to have it because

admir ed the company’s mor al conviction in the w hor edom that is commer ce. As

now they don’t have to ventur e to other par ts of the city to get their daily ne-

I opened my fr esh pac k of Camel Lights leaving the stor e, the only thing I can

cessitates. My friend w as stopping for a bite to eat, and I used the oppor tunity

guess fr om this c hange of polic y is that Rober t Ukr op must be hanging ar ound

to satisfy my nicotine cr avings. Getting out of the car, I scanned the mer c hants

some pr etty hot nuns these days.

to see w her e I could buy a pac k of smokes as my friend went to fill his belly. Ima ge by Br a nd on Pe c k

63


Memoir By Sara Daves

I’m riding my father’s motorcycle through Hollywood Cemeter y’s nar row tr ails after a hard summer r ain. My wet shoe slips off the br ake. Suddenly there’s a dog – right in front of me – and I slide off the path and into the gr ass. Soaked and shaken, I pick up the bike and flip down the kickstand t o i n s p e c t i t . I f r a n t i c a l l y l o o k t h e b i k e o v e r i n h o p e s t h a t I d i d n’ t d a m age it. I think about how upset my father will be if I have just destroyed o u r o n l y m o d e o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . H o w w i l l I g e t t o s c h o o l n o w ? L u c k i l y, t h e b i k e i s o k a y. I s i t d o w n a n d w a i t f o r m y h e a r t t o s t o p p o u n d i n g o u t o f my chest before car r ying on. Across from me sits a Great Dane – or so I think – and if not, I wish for him to be. With tongue flailing, he just sits there, oblivious. Thin and sick looking, he is obviously under-nourished and way too cute to be angr y with. So I take him home. Home is 700 Laurel St. in Oregon Hill. The bustling center of an assemblage of local ar tists who call themselves the Mental Hygiene League h a v e n i c k n a m e d t h e h o u s e t h e 7 0 0 C l u b. A t a g e 1 3 , I l i v e t h e r e w i t h m y father along with a mix of wildly enter taining char acter s that include painter s, writer s and theatrical musicians. On many nights we enter tain a houseful of guests and host discussions on philosophy and ar t. Roomm a t e s c h a n g e u p p e r i o d i c a l l y, j u s t l i k e t h e a r t t h a t l i n e s o u r h a l l w a y, but one can always be sure that the 700 Club will be full of interesting people. Some of the ar tists love to tell stories. My brother and I have listened to s t o r i e s a b o u t t h e l o c a l l e g e n d o f a d o g t h a t h a u n t s H o l l y w o o d C e m e t e r y. I t s e e m s t h e s p i r i t e m e r g e s f r o m t h e d o g s t a t u e t o g u a r d t h e c e m e t e r y, and chases away any visitor s who dare to hang around after daylight. After camping out beside tombstones many nights, I know all of the haunted stories ar e nonsense, but I like to ima gine that Astr o, the do g that found me, is the dog spirit reincar nated. 64

T h e e x t e n d e d f a m i l y a t t h e 7 0 0 C l u b l o v e s A s t r o. H e h a s p l a y m a t e s a r o u n d t h e c l o c k t o p l a y f e t c h w i t h o r f o r w r e s t l i n g o n t h e f l o o r. E v e r y one makes a habit of tossing his ball across the house, and clumsy Astro dar ts through the house, knocking over the ar t that is ever ywhere. The ar t is near ly always repaired, but the house is not. Ar tists are not always good handymen. The bathroom ceiling has par tially caved in, so fr agments of the ceiling fall into the bathtub on a regular basis, especially when the shower is in use. It is str ange to feel foreign, gooey objects in my hair when large pieces of plaster fall into the tub during shower s. I came home one day to find that someone used red paint to illustrate the hor ror of what was behind the bathroom door : The word “ R E D R U M ” d r i p s l i k e b l o o d h a l f w a y d o w n t h e d o o r. We a l l w o r k t o g e t h e r t o k e e p t h e p l a c e c l e a n a n d l i v a b l e . O n e d a y, t h e adults decide to pull up the car pet to find out what type of flooring is u n d e r n e a t h . T h e y g e t i t p a r t w a y u p, a n d l a y i t b a c k d o w n i m m e d i a t e l y because of the grass growing under neath. After heavy summer r ains, I look forward to waking up in the mor ning to a flooded kitchen, which can hold at least three inches of water before spilling over into the living room. There is a str ange comfor t in making myself a bowl of cereal while sloshing through the kitchen. F r o m t h e k i t c h e n w i n d o w, t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d p l a y g r o u n d b e h i n d t h e 7 0 0 C l u b i s i n f u l l v i e w, a l o n g w i t h a l l o f t h e k i d s p l a y i n g i n t h e s p r i n k l e r, which is designed to fill up a concrete play area with a few inches of w a t e r. I t p r o v i d e s a w a d i n g p o o l f o r w h e n i t g e t s u n b e a r a b l y h o t . T h e s p r i n k l e r i s e s p e c i a l l y n i c e i f y o u d o n’ t h a v e t h e l u x u r y o f a n a i r c o n d i t i o n e r, w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s t h e m a j o r i t y o f h o m e s i n t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d . I d o n’ t h a v e u s e f o r t h e o u t s i d e s p r i n k l e r. I h a v e a w a d i n g p o o l r i g h t i n my kitchen and the Ber muda Breeze (our nickname for the industrial fan) p r o p p e d i n t h e w i n d o w.


W h i l e w e l i v e a t t h e 7 0 0 C l u b, o n l y a h a n d f u l o f o t h e r c h i l d r e n c o m e t o visit my little brother and me. A little boy about my age comes to visit u s a b o u t o n c e a w e e k , t h e s o n o f a p a i n t e r. H i s m o m , S h a r o n , r e p r e s e n t s the only mother ly char acter that frequents the house. She always asks us w h a t w e ’ r e u p t o a n d h o w w e l i k e s c h o o l . S h e ’ s a g r e a t l i s t e n e r. There are many other children in the neighborhood, but it’s difficult for us to befriend those kids. There is an uncivilized and dangerous energy t h a t l u r k s d o w n L a u r e l S t . , c o u p l e d w i t h a h e a v y a i r o f m y s t e r i o u s a n g e r. S o m e t i m e s w e d o n’ t f e e l s a f e l e a v i n g t h e f r o n t p o r c h . We f i n d o u t l a t e r, t h e a n g e r w e s e n s e b e i n g d i r e c t e d t o w a r d u s d e rives fr om my answer to a question asked by a gir l w ho lived down the street. “Where are you from?” she asks. I a n s w e r, “ S o u t h s i d e . ” I had been unaw ar e of the riv alr y kept alive by the neighborhood parents. As teenager s, the parents had engaged in pre-ar r anged gang fights with Southside residents on the Rober t E. Lee Bridge. My br other and I enter tain our selves by embar king upon ne w adventur es d a i l y. W h e t h e r i t i s t r e k k i n g t o t h e g o v e r n o r ’ s m a n s i o n w i t h o u t u s i n g t h e h i g h w a y, o r r i d i n g t h r o u g h H o l l y w o o d C e m e t e r y o n m y f a t h e r ’ s m o t o r cyc le, eac h experience is fulfilling. Guests and residents of the 700 Club spend most of the evening hour s playing a fantasy boar d game invented and r einvented often by ever yone. The char acter s r ange from magical elves to monstrous ogres. Each figurine is carefully painted and then added to the collection. Other times we camp out in the bac k yar d in tents with Astr o, listening to endless fascinating conver sations about ever ything and nothing. Musi-

cians play into the night. Astro has a dog friend named Zud that often camps with us. Astr o is a good dog. He gives pony rides to my 50 lb br other and follows u s e v e r y w h e r e . T h e n e i g h b o r s a l s o l o v e h i m . We h e a r t h a t a w o m a n d o w n t h e s t r e e t i s f e e d i n g A s t r o s t e a k s f o r d i n n e r. T h e n o n e d a y A s t r o d i s a p p e a r s . S o o n a f t e r w a r d , s o d o e s t h e 7 0 0 C l u b. Ever yone goes their separ ate ways to pur sue ar tistic ambitions and new adventures. My father decides to take a position of director at the Pope Galler y and show the ar t of our housemates, inc luding Shar on, the b e l o v e d m o t h e r l y p a i n t e r. S h a r o n m o v e s t o L a s Ve g a s s o o n a f t e r t o t e a c h a r t i n a p u b l i c h i g h school. The house’s musicians evolve into the band GWAR. Some of the 700 Club residents get mar ried and star t families. I move back with my gr andparents. I have lear ned that life is not stagnant but a flowing force that bestows upon us one fleeting adventure a f t e r a n o t h e r, f o r e v e r y o n e , i n c l u d i n g A s t r o. Life goes on. The building that housed the 700 Club is condemned and e v e n t u a l l y t o r n d o w n . T w e n t y y e a r s l a t e r, I s t o p b y. A r o w o f s i x n e w p o l ished town homes sits in the place of our giant, tattered old house. I imagine r aising my own child in such a boundless and cr eative environm e n t . H o w a w k w a r d . S u d d e n l y, i t ’ s h a r d t o r e l a t e t o m y p a s t . M y t e e n a g e s o n h a r d l y b e l i e v e s m y s t o r i e s o f t h e 7 0 0 C l u b. The memories that belong to me are precious. My hear t will forever hold faint accounts of flooded kitchens, dog spirits and possibilities, ar tistic and otherwise.

65


The Vacuum By Gayland Hethcoat

It didn’t take long for Ricky to come to loathe his slummy one-bedroom apar tment at the loftily named Royal Point apar tment par k. Fir st, it was the awful odor, which smelled like rotten sauer kr aut that gr eeted him from the compost in the kitchen sink on his fir st day in the place. And then it was the black gr asshopper s. He spotted them originally coming from behind the bathroom toilet, but he soon found the bugs inv ading from all cor ner s of the bar ely 600 squar e foot apar tment. But the wor st par t was the gr eat, big sea of ugly, r ust-color ed car pet. Ricky often imagined hardwood floor s in its place, tr ying his best not to think about all of the specimens it must have accumulated from the skuzzy tenant who subleased the unit to him in the summer. Even his best effor ts to spr uce up the walls and counter tops with ar t and per sonal r elics couldn’t detr act from the unappealing matting. And unlike the vodka-tinged sauer kr aut smell and black gr asshopper s, he couldn’t get rid of it. Tomor row, though, it would all be out of his hands. T he management staff would r etur n to the office from the Ne w Year’s holiday, and he could tur n in his keys and say goodbye. Four teen days wer e left until

66

the end of his lease, but he figur ed ther e wasn’t much point in sticking around a bar r en apar tment, as he and his father had alr eady moved his belongings the pr evious weekend. Pushed into the living room cor ner closest to the front door, only a fe w items r emained: a scatter ed ne wspaper, a sleeping bag a bottle of ibuprofen, a bottle of water and a shiny, neon gr een v acuum cleaner.

spending the holidays away from Stacey instilled in Ricky a sense of r esentment toward her to which he felt entitled. She was the one, after all, who initiated the br eakup; she was the one who didn’t shar e his faith that the r elationship could wor k after he gr aduated in December to move across the state to live with his father and figur e out what to do next with his life.

Amid these belongings, Ricky lay on the sleeping bag, his eyes peering at the ibuprofen bottle through the locks of shaggy, brown hair that hung over his for ehead. Had one or two hour s passed since the last time he swallowed a handful of the pain-r elieving tablets? He wonder ed.

But now, with her ar riv al near, he felt differ ent. On the cusp of leaving the city, possibly for good, he longed to see her, if only for a fe w minutes to get her v acuum cleaner.

Deciding it didn’t matter, he pour ed a couple of pills from the bottle and gulped them down with a swig of water.

When the door knocked, Ricky instantly r ecognized the delicate tap-tap-tap as Stacey’s. He rose slowly from his war m indention in the sleeping bag and approached the door.

All Ricky wanted to do was sleep – sleep off his Ne w Year’s Eve hangover – but he couldn’t. Stacey was supposed to ar rive any minute now to pick up the v acuum cleaner, which she had lent to him a couple of weeks ear lier befor e she left school to visit her par ents for Christmas. “I’ ll come back to get it when we’ r e both in town for Ne w Year’s,” she told Ricky when she dropped off the v acuum at his apar tment. “T hen we’ ll have a r eason to see each other befor e you leave.” An ex-couple since the fir st of December, the two had been on cordial enough ter ms since then, but

***

“Hey,” Stacey gr eeted him in a soft voice on the other side. Her cheeks wer e flushed r ed with cold, and her gr aham-color ed hair flutter ed in the wind biting behind her. “Hey ther e,” Ricky said. “Come on in. T he heat’s still r unning.” She stepped inside, and her eyes absorbed the emptiness of the apar tment. “It seems like only yesterday we wer e moving your stuff in her e,” she obser ved.


“Yeah, I know,” he said. He motioned toward the v acuum cleaner. “Well, your v acuum’s right her e.” Stacey chuckled. “I noticed. It’s kind of hard to miss.” Ricky pushed down the v acuum’s extended handle and clasped the hose attachment in place. “T hanks for letting me use it, by the way,” he said. “Although I gotta tell you – it didn’t pick up half the dir t and hair and other stuff on the floor. I don’t blame the v acuum, though; it’s just cheap, shitty car pet.” He waved toward the bay window next to the front door. “You want to sit down for a minute?” Stacey nodded, and they sat at opposite ends of the bay. “Sor r y if I look like cr ap,” Ricky said with a sigh, r unning his hands through his hair. “I’m pr etty hung-over. Most of the guys and I wer e up until 5:30 this mor ning.” “What wer e you doing?” she asked. “Oh, nothing special – just a lot of drinking. It was good to see ever yone right befor e I leave,” he said. He r ubbed his chin and grinned. “At one point some of the guys and a fe w r andom gir ls who showed up at Rich’s house star ted a game of strip-beer pong. It didn’t go ver y far, though; the most that came off was a pair of socks.” Stacey laughed at the anecdote. “Well, I had a fun night, too,” she said. “T he dance Emily and I perfor med – ever yone said it was amazing, which is incr edible considering how little time we had to chor eogr aph it and make our costumes.” “What wer e your costumes?” Ricky asked. “Flapper dr esses,” she answer ed. He crooked his brows in confusion. “A flapper dr ess?” “Yeah, you know, a flapper dr ess – the dr ess style that was popular in the 1920s,” Stacey explained. “It fit in with the whole bur lesque theme of the show.”

She r eached into her pur se, still slung over her ar m, and pulled out a small digital camer a. “Ashley was ther e and took some pictur es on my camer a. Her e, look.” Ricky leaned toward her and peer ed at the camer a’s LCD scr een. T he photos she scrolled on the display showed her and her dancing par tner shimmying and spinning from one end of the stage to the other, their tall, lean dancer bodies in perfect sync with each other. T he bright stage lights splashed swathes of blue and r ed onto their vintage dr esses and illuminated their long, je weled necklaces, which swung as they twisted and tur ned. “It looks like ther e was quite a crow d,” Ricky noted from a panor ama shot of the perfor mance, which r evealed the expanse of the club. “And you look like you wer e having a blast.” “I was,” Stacey said wistfully. “It was almost surr eal.” She came to a photo toward the end of the sequence that showed her and her friend bowing after their perfor mance. All smiles, their pr etty, colorful faces r adiated like star s under the stage lights, and in that moment they wer e tr ue flapper queens – br ash, hot things who r elished the brief celebrity the spotlight awarded them. T he sight of it all stir r ed a sudden uneasy feeling in the pit of Ricky’s stomach; he had seen enough of the photos, so provocative and full of life and happiness without him. It was if she

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was taunting him – “Look at me, I’m moving on.”

her right br east while she was in the shower.

“Spending Christmas in the middle of nowher e at my dad’s, without you – it wasn’t so easy, you know,” he said, tur ning from the camer a and leaning his head against the wall. His words came out slowly, matter-of-factly.

Face to face with Ricky now, though, she showed a differ ent demeanor. T he dull sunlight coming through the blinds r evealed that her eyes wer e r ed and moist with what looked like tear s.

Stacey slid the camer a back into her pur se and propped her head against the other wall, tur ning from Ricky. In the space between them, an awkward silence filled the gap. “After your gr aduation, I found myself still as angr y and hur t when we broke up, and the only thing I could tell people when they asked about us is what you did wrong,” she said finally. “But then I star ted thinking about the good – all the good times we had befor e ever ything got so” –she paused – “busy.” She paused again befor e continuing. “What’s made it all mor e confusing and difficult is the other stuff.” Silence again. “Ar e you r efer ring to” – Ricky clear ed his throat and spoke guardedly – “the test?” Stacey had the test – a biopsy of her br east – just a week ear lier. It was not long befor e then that she had called him unexpectedly and aler ted him that she was under taking the procedur e. She was noticeably calm, almost to the point of detachment, in her description to him of how she discover ed a lump in 68

“Yeah, I mean, that’s par t of it. It’s probably just…” Her heightened tone tr ailed off. “T he doctor says it’s probably malignant, but … you never r eally know until you know.” Scatter ed ideas scanned Ricky’s mind as he wonder ed what he could do, what he could say, to soothe Stacey. His body kne w what it wanted him to do – gr ab her hand and pull her close, and then lean in with a kiss. And then, as their lips par ted, he might dar e to tell her those words – words they had stopped saying to each other weeks befor e the br eakup, although they had still sur ely felt them some wher e in their hear ts: “I love you.” But he wouldn’t do that; no, he wouldn’t exploit the situation. All of the intimate gestur es and sweet nothings his hazy br ain could conjur e up fell shor t as he shoved his hands into the pockets of his hooded sweatshir t and bit down on his lip. “T hat’s … tr ue,” he mutter ed faintly. Swiping her eyes, Stacey r eached into her pur se and r emoved a cell phone. “I should probably get going,” she said, noting the time. “I’m going back home for a fe w days befor e school star ts. My gr andma just

got to my par ents’ house from K ansas City, and they want me to make it back tonight for dinner.” She stood and strode toward the door, followed by Ricky. Cr acking it ajar, she tur ned and cocked her head toward the v acuum cleaner. “You want to get that?” she asked, cr acking a halfsmile. He obliged and followed her outside to her silver Taur us. “Well, let’s hope I cleaned the car pet well enough that I’ ll get my security deposit back,” he quipped as he laid the v acuum in the backseat. “God knows I need it.” Stacey leaned against the driver-side door, her eyes dried now by the wind. Ricky shut the door and tur ned to her. Set against the cement-gr ay sky and jagged outline of sur rounding apar tments, they star ed deeply at each other, each r ecognizing the uncer tainty of when and under what circumstances they would see each other again. Ricky’s mind mulled over a million things he wanted to say to Stacey, her e in front of her. He wanted to ask her whether she had finally settled on a subject for her psychology thesis, which she was supposed to begin next semester ; he wanted to tell her that despite how often he yelled at them and shooed them away, he never hated her two black cats; he wanted to say he was sor r y for all the times she wept in front of him and he never had the right words to say; and he wanted to expr ess to her just


how scar ed and unsur e he was of the futur e. But, of cour se, he wouldn’t shar e such thoughts, not now; he wouldn’t do anything that smacked of a senti mental meltdown. Stacey had a gr andmother to visit, after all, and a Ne w Year’s dinner to eat. “I need to go now,” she said, shr ugging. She tur ned to open the car door, but Ricky gr abbed her ar m and shifted her back toward him. “T her e’s something you didn’t tell me,” he said. “T he test – when do you get the r esult?” “Oh,” Stacey r eplied, as if she had for gotten all about it. “Tomor row, actually.” Ricky’s eyes widened in sur prise. “Tomor row? Will you call me and let me know what it is?” She gazed at her feet and kicked a pebble across the asphalt. “I alr eady planned on it,” she mur mur ed. Ricky’s hand r eached from Stacey’s ar m to her shoulder, and he pulled her body against his, hugging her. Caught off guard, she stood limply in his gr asp, much as she had when he embr aced her right after the br eakup; but after a moment of hesitation she buried her chest deeper against his and dangled her ar m around his waist. His head r ested in the cr evice of her shoulder, Ricky tur ned his sight skyward. Above him, a little, black speck of an air plane soar ed through broken clouds. On any given day he saw or heard at least half a dozen planes, it seemed, as they began to descend toward the air por t, located off the next exit on the inter state. I can see you, Ricky thought, but can you see me? He pointed his finger toward the sky, to see how small the plane was from his v antage; it fit within the spher e of his index finger nail. “I should be on my way,” Stacey said in a hushed tone as she pushed away from him. With a slight bow, she opened the car door and climbed inside. “Oh yeah,” Ricky began, as she r eached for the handle. “Happy Ne w Year.”

Stacey’s lips for med one of her car efr ee, crooked smiles. “You too.” And with that, she shut the door, star ted the car and was on her way. He stood in place and watched the car until it left his sight. Above him, the plane became a lar ger, dar ker dot, and he could hear the faint hum of its engine. At the r ate of its descent, Stacey would get to see it up close once she got onto the inter state. As he walked back toward his apar tment, Ricky imagined her calling him tomor row. Maybe she would ring him ear ly in the mor ning, or maybe she would wait until later, when he was on the road to his father’s. But sur ely, sur ely she would call him, sometime. And what, he wonder ed, would he say to her if the test was positive? “I’m sor r y” and “I’m her e for you” wer e obvious phr ases that came to mind – but what else? What beyond the pr edictable could he offer Stacey in such a scenario? Standing in the doorway of his apar tment, staring at the lonely assor tment of his belongings on the r aggedy car pet, he thought about it for a long, hard moment. T he fact was he had just no idea what he would say. But one thing – one thing he did know: it wouldn’t be the fir st time he lacked the right words to say, at a moment when the right words could make all the differ ence in the wor ld. Tr uth was, it probably wouldn’t be the last.

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RVA Magazine Vol.4 Iss.3 Not Right Now But Now