which is told the saga of SpaceFrog, a homesick traveller who, through circumstances which shall unfold herein, finds estranged and lonely in Metro Detroit this holiday season. Will she find love? How many will she kill? Reader, read on... EPISODE03 | inherself
| Jack in the Pocket
| Full Nelsen
michigan music producer
naked in a race car
Music Lagoon music
| Camilo Roldan p o e t |
the underground struggle for live
| and, of course, Dear Rucka
G’NATmag is Editors in Chief Natalie Wetzel
Natalie is an exhibiting multi-media artist, founder of G’NAT Productions, and Editor in Chief of G’NAT Mag. G’NAT is an extension of her work into commercial realms, for the sake of art, community, and creative entrepreneurship. NatalieWetzelGallery.com GnatProductions.com
Jono Bentley Sturt
Jono earned his Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan. He has worked for international and domestic architecture firms, is the founder of Hatchback, member of 1/X and Editor in Chief of G’NAT Mag. HTCHBCK.COM
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Miss Molly Rucka Rucka Ali
GUEST CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Katie Pearce Gastone Maltese
CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR
SPACEFROG HOLIDAY SAGA
Natalie Wetzel | Art Director, Costume Design, Model Jono Bentley Sturt | Producer, Art Director Colin Wilson | Illustration Jacob Lewkow | Photography Randy Nelsen | Music Producer Jan Kruszewski | Model Special thanks: Jessica Carmichael, Eric Hampton, Gayle and Alan Sturt, Kady Meabroad and Bachelor One Bar and Grill
a magazine for art, community, and creative entrepreneurship.
B O D I E S BUSINESS
Rasul the Knowbody officially formed the Knowitalls in 2012. The Knowitalls form an artist collective with individuals either signed to or associated with Knowbodies Business or Victory Sound Lab. They are currently working on an album, executively produced by Rasul the Knowbody, called The Millennium Renaissance, which explores natural, energetic phenomena to influence future outcomes in a positive way. The project has been blessed by the elders of the Victorious Redeemers Full Gospel Church, a non-denominational church in Columbus, Ohio. The collective is also working with producer Davonte Johnson on a multimedia performance in conjunction with their album, featuring video, live action, and music. This multimedia stage show will tour nationally next year. For tour dates or to bring them to your city, please visitÂ w w w. k n o w b o d i e s b u s i n e s s . o r g
PHOTO by Gâ€™NAT
Rasul the Knowbody Rasul Muhammad Elder was born in 1981 in Jersey City, in the shadow of the New York Skyline. It was this unique setting that seduced the young Elder into a life of rhymes. Hip Hop was in full swing, and Elder’s father, Raw Street Poet, Rap Lord Supreme, was at the epicenter. It was with his father that Rasul, at 11, performed with Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, The Bran Nubians, King Sun, and Just Ice, just to name a few. As a young teen, Elder developed a talent for songwriting, and by 16 he had recorded an album with producer Dark Blue. At 17, Elder toured Europe with his teenage friends U.N.3, playing shows with Mobb Deep and Foxy Brown. At 19, Elder moved to Richmond, Virginia, to learn recording engineering at the Sound of Music Studios, coowned by David Lowery of Cracker and John Morand. Elder learned the art of analog recording and became Rasul the Nobody. He performed shows with Safety Hawk, a Punk/ Hip Hop band, before forming Tiger Bomb, a Hip Hop/Soul/Funk/Punk band. Both bands toured extensively. In 2004, Elder organized the Ingredience Hip Hop Festival in
Richmond. By 2005, Elder was The Hip Hop Music Director at WRIR 97.3 FM. He formed a show called Ingredience Radio, which featured artist
Nicole Wray, and the Wailers. Rasul formed a friendship with Drummie Zeb of The Wailers and joined his side project the Razor Possie/Ragwa, with members of Parliament Funkadelic and Bad Brains. They did one National Tour.
In 2006, Elder became the First Poetry Grand Champion of Richmond, V i r g i n i a , and went to the National Poetry Slam with a Richmond based team. In 2008, Rasul became Rasul The Knowbody Elder and attended the National Poetry Slam with Slam Nahuatl out of Richmond, taking second place for group pieces. Then, in 2009, Slam Nahuatl won first place on Broadway at the Sound Bites Poetry Festival, fifth at Southern and returned to Fried, Nationals revered. Elder also released a solo album titled The Hexagon Sound Track ,which sold 10,000 copies that year.
such as the Roots and Jean Grae. This was also the year Elder did his first poetry slam tour, founded Ingredience Magazine (which later became RVA Mag), and released his solo album W.W.W.D.O.T.C.O.M. Rasul worked at Donland Studios, with Busta Rhymes’s producer Chucky Madness, Mad Skillz,
Elder currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, where he is the founder and Slam Master of the KnowVernacular WordSlam Team, Victory Sound Lab, and Knowbodies Business. Since moving to Ohio, Elder has penned songs with D.O.B. and Khil, featuring M-1 of Dead Prez. He has toured with Talib Kweli, and has done shows with Curren$y, Big Krit, MGK, and AZ. He released Circle and the Square in 2012, performing nationwide on the Full Circle Tour.
PHOTO by G’NAT
Kayla Kay Kayla Kay learned the alphabet by rapping. Now, at the age of 18, she is still choosing her words wisely to inspire people from all walks of life. She is influenced by Marvin Gaye, Common, Sam Cook, Mos Def, and J.Cole. Her first album Public Attraction is in the works now and produced by The Knowbody.
KEE Melody KEE Melody has been singing almost as long as she’s been speaking. She sang soprano in choirs throughout her youth, studied music education at Florida A&M University, sang with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, and also combined her writing talents with performing to win the Grand Champion title for the Knowvernacular Wordslam team. KEE Melody is influenced by Amel Larrieux, Minnie Riperton, Karen Clark Sheard, India.Arie, and Erykah Badu. “Music is in my veins and brings me so much joy.” KEE Melody is featured on Rasul the Knowbody’s album Circle And The Square.
Jerome AlexaNDER Lyles Music became Jerome AlexaNDER Lyles’ release for stress and anger. As an artist he speaks to those who have been downtrodden. His inspirations are Ray Charles, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, and Ryan Leslie, yet his is a unique style with smooth and passionate swag. Jander is on a Knowbodies Business compilation album.
PHOTOS by G’NAT
Jet Juice Jet Juice hails from Philadelphia but currently resides in Columbus. He has been involved with music production for the last four years. At 16, he is the youngest producer on staff at Knowbodies Business. Juice comes from a musical family. His father owns his own studio and record label; however, Juice decided to pursue his own path, with aspirations to own his own record label. Juice is featured on Knowitalls - Millennium Apocalypse.
Deja Vu Deja Vu has been involved with music production for four years. He produces music with the specific goal of helping people strive for selfimprovement. On the Knowbodies Business production staff, apart from Rasul himself, he is the go-to producer. The fact that he’s a 17year old high school student has not hampered his ability to be an effective producer in studio and live applications. Look for the single produced by him, Blow Up, on Knowitalls – Millennium Apocalypse.
Fyur aka Hot Bandit Fyur (Hot Bandit) is head of promotions & PR for Knowbodies Business. You can also catch a cameo or two from Fyur on Knowbodies Business tracks here and there.
PHOTOS by G’NAT
p o c ke t ,
The Columbus, Ohio based indie music blog, is masterminded by Katie Pearce. She collects stories of bands on the road and the shenanigans they encounter.
PHOTO by G’NAT
Hello, my name is Katie. I am an audiophile and a record hoarder. Whether it’s performing, going to concerts, collecting vinyl, surfing through thousands of mp3s online, or talking to musicians in person, I am officially, deeply, and hopelessly obsessed with every facet of the music industry. This infatuation stemmed from my childhood years of living in a censored and strict household. From
an early age, my parents encouraged me to learn the violin and piano. My parents were hyper-aware of the changing world of media and would not let me listen to the radio or watch television unsupervised for fear of it spoiling my innocence. Middle school friends would endlessly gab about the latest Britney Spears music video they saw on MTV, or the newest N’SYNC/Backstreet Boys/98 Degrees
feud. I would cluelessly nod my head and play along. In order to feel less like a loser, to learn more about the mysterious world of pop music, I spent nights sneaking and recording Top 40 tunes from the radio on my tiny tape recorder. As technology progressed, my longing to stay astride with the pop music parade turned into a dire need to be ahead of the curve. I wanted to know about the next big thing before it hit the mainstream. The day I was dropped off at college, the rock n’ roll floodgates opened. High speed Internet in my dorm room was a newfound luxury that gave me access to full albums by artists I knew little to nothing about. Independent radio stations in town promoted music that I could actually identify with. And I could purchase tickets to
concerts without first having to ask for my parents’ approval. The shows I attended in the first year of university became my drug of choice. I would attend a minimum of 5 performances a month. The roar of the crowd, the bright lights, the vibration of the bass through my body made my heart feel like it was going to burst through my ribcage. I saw girls sob with ecstasy when they shook hands with a handsome lead singer. I saw guys push and shove the shit out of each other for fun in a mosh pit. I wanted to know more about the bands who conducted so many people into feeling so many different emotions.
adulthood quickly wore off. To lift my spirits I began to attend 2-3 shows a week. Chatting with bands allowed me to live vicariously through their tales. Jack in the Pocket was my way of sharing these interactions with other music lovers. Every interview changes how I hear their recordings. There have been times where interviews have blown up in my face, other times when the conversation was like an awkward business transaction. Then, there were the magic moments when questions opened the doors to incredible, hilarious, insightful, and/or completely insane stories like these:
A few months after I graduated, I got my first “real” job as a customer service representative/bitch for a non-profit company. The novelty of
PHOTO : JEN KILLIUS
HOWLIES THE CARVER
Justin: Like, I got cut by a girl once. JITP: Like, knifed?! Justin: Yeah. I was hanging out at
a bar with her. And she just had this knife hanging around her neck. And all of a sudden, I felt sharp pain in my arm, and I look down, and she was like trying to dig a little cut into me. She was super-attractive, and PHOTO by G’NAT
I was trying to see what happened.
the money man.
And, they all show up. I was trying
Justin: He’s an Italian baron. So,
to get away from them with this girl. I was trying to get away with them, and they all show up like five minutes later with this dude Kody, who’s like this friend … Matt: He’s our friend who has
basically just limitless money. He’s
he’s sitting there watching this girl cut me with a knife like, what are you doing? And I was trying to go
along with it, but it hurt. And then I look over at her arm and she’s got all these cuts on it too and she’s like, “Isn’t it beautiful?”
PHOTO : ED LUNA
HIGH PLACES POPPING OFF
JackinthePocket: Joe from Bear in Heaven asked, “When was the last time you popped one off?” Rob: [Laughs] This morning. We popped off about a dozen. We stopped at a party supply store. Mary: Yeah, we’re always popping them off. Rob: We can’t stop. It’s a sickness. [Laughter] JITP: What exactly is popping off? Rob: We’d tell you but then… Mary: It’s when people have a balloon-popping fetish.
Rob: We were on tour with Bear in Heaven and Mary’s sister’s boyfriend had sent her a link to a YouTube video. At first it was really dark, and it kind of made me sad. And then I realized that this guy was just like, totally cool with it and totally stoked on himself. It’s a little old man in boxer shorts in a room filled with balloons. He has a thing for sitting on balloons until they pop.
tried it with clothes. You’re kind of sitting there and there is this tension like, “When is it going to pop?!” and then it pops! Mary: Weirdly enough, whenever we play with Bear in Heaven there are balloons around....
Mary: At the end of the video he’s like, “Do you like popping off? Email me if you like to pop off– poppingoff@ yahoo… or something. Rob: I guess it feels…. Well we’ve tried it actually. We all tried it. We weren’t like nude or in our boxers. We PHOTO by G’NAT
PHOTO : MIHARU KATO
HERE WE GO MAGIC DUCKS, DIAPERS, CIGARETTES
Michael: And, I smoked the other day when we were hanging out with that duck.
Peter: Yeah. That duck. Smoking with the duck.
Michael: Yeah, they put a diaper on it to catch the eggs.
JITP: Wait. You smoked with a duck? Michael: We hung out with a pet duck the other day. In Charlottesville, West Virginia. That wears duck diapers and is really friendly.
Peter: No, they put a diaper on it because its a diaper. To catch the shit. But it also catches the eggs. Right? It lays one everyday and they put the eggs in the nest. [Enter Luke Temple]
Peter: Yeah, really friendly, extremely
Luke: You talkin’ about my diapers?
JITP: And it was wearing a diaper??
FOR MORE STORIES, CONVERSATIONS AND GENERAL IN-THE-KNOWNESS OF INDIE MUSIC IN THE MIDWEST, VISIT
JACKINTHEPOCKET.COM PHOTO by G’NAT
FULL NELSEN Randy Nelsen, witty by nature, musician and producer by trade, started with a drum set at the age of 6, guitar at 10, and at 12 he saw a local rock band play which inspired him to pick up the bass. This led to the formation of his first punk band, and Defiled by Infidels had its first show when Nelsen was 14. The fivepiece Cerilia formed quickly after, with the front man being the guy who inspired Nelsen to get his first bass. After graduating from Michigan’s West Bloomfield High School in 2004, Nelsen went to the Recording Institute of Detroit. He has produced an array of projects including:
“It’s a three-piece, beatdriven musical experiment.” SugarBaronSucks.com
PATRICK and the SWAYZES
“It’s as dumb as it sounds. The new album is The Ghost Dances in the Road at Dawn. It’s a bunch of songs that has taken us about seven years to collect.” PatrickAndTheSwayzes.com “I wouldn’t say with a straight face that a single one of these projects was intentional.” As a collaborator on the SpaceFrog Saga for G’Nat Mag’s holiday issue, Nelsen’s alien-inspired take on Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy fuses the iconic song with digital instrumentation and an improvised glittering of swampy, space elements.
“He’s a Keego gangster that helps old people stretch.” (He works as a physical therapist.) EdWords.net
ARTIST PHOTOS by CHRIS NASSOURI BACKGROUND PHOTO by G’NAT
IT ALL STARTED one evening at a
club in Tucson, Arizona. I was decked out in a black dress, stilettos, hair down, and Christian Dior red lipstick. I was scoping the club, doing my typical “walk around” to see who was there. There were four bars and three dance floors with 1000 or so people, so this took a bit of time. The music changed from R&B in one room to techno in another. Then, there he was, the guy that I had noticed many times in other clubs. I always wanted to speak to him but the timing was never right. That night he was looking damn good, and I was on my fifth tequila so nothing was getting in my way. I made eye contact and approached him with confidence. We just looked at each other and he said, “You wanna get a drink and get outta here?” Without saying a word I placed my hand in his and we headed to the bar. We ordered 2 shots of tequila with orange slices soaked in sugar. Then we were off to his car. We got in his Mercedes and drove to his place, which was up in the foothills. I already knew this guy was a little nuts, but what came next surprised even me. We had five or six more tequila shots, only then the sugar was on my neck and the orange in my mouth.
He asked me to sit for a moment and said, “I have something for you.” He returned with a long fur jacked in his hand and said, “Put it on.” Without a second thought I started taking off my dress and bra. I’m not sure if that’s what he had in mind, but who wouldn’t go along with that? So at this point I’m wearing my stilettos, panties, and the beautiful fur jacket. Another few shots and he hands me a single car key. I knew this was not the key to his Mercedes; he told me to go check out the garage. This was the best surprise… It was a racecar! He asked me if I wanted to take a ride. Apparently caution went right out the window, because I grabbed the keys and jumped in the driver’s seat. Because there were houses under construction down the road, there was just a long paved road with no traffic. The perfect drag strip! We headed out to the road and I got it up to 150 MPH. Damn that felt good! Nothing feels sexier than driving a powerful machine while wearing next to nothing with tequila flowing through your veins.
XOXO, Molly PHOTO courtesy of MISS MOLLY
E P I S O D E E P I S O D E by CAMILO ROLDAN
Lost in the plot hole between them, each episode with garlands steps out of television set into the sight of trees unwinding, sheds bark and becomes a woman as naked as Pygmalionâ€™s work, the making-of alive. He grabs a subject, an episode, holds it at arms length, draws a line back to himself and releases a shaft.
All things picturesque in a summer dress, sentimental jazz in bed or fried zucchini for dinner. Beach-ball pastels color the planet where we grew as tendrils, television lit. You were a green woman dancing toward me. I was a green woman PHOTO by Gâ€™NAT
spiraling away. Oh the bathos! The phloem cells of a vascular plant–– I failed to understand this was us in our little garden.
Each cassette contains two simultaneous episodes, one-hundred-four minutes of sieve-tube element, of saccharine content parsed out along a rotating head drum that reads as part of a companion cell tight with organelles whose diagram shows a complex of cylindrical forms that spin or pull to direct, characters like frogs croaking difference in the sameness of night onward to the flowery end.
EPISODE I pretend voices until finally admitting it is a search for yours in my own.
Black VHS in black VCR, yours the hidden noise within so many mixed metaphors. Frog that no one could find though I scan the yard with a flashlight.
PHOTO by G’NAT
MUSIC by Gastone Maltese
VENICE, ITALY. These two words usually bring to mind romance, good food, culture, and museums... The lagoon city, with its gondolas and canals, it seems like a fairy tale place where time and people are allowed only a brief momentary glance. How many times have I been asked, “Where do you go to sleep when Venice closes at night?”
PHOTO by G’NAT
But Venice is a city by all means, where actual people live (I promise). They are born there, they eat there, they love there, and they do everything there. I’m not kidding! Among these activities, there is a lively musical entourage active in both Venice and Mestre (the ‘inland’ part). And something new is arising... In the last 40 years tourism had boosted up the request for live music in restaurants, hotels, and cafés. Until the late 90s it was mostly jazz and blues, which led to the formation of a couple generations of well-trained professionals. But in the late 90s with the stall of tourism, they started to look elsewhere for bigger gigs. What were left in
Venice were the young newcomers, less bound to the ‘tradition’ and willing to play contemporary music. This led to a huge problem not yet solved: there is no space in Venice. Venues are small, above them regular people live that have to work the next day, and so on. It’s the price to pay to live in a piece of art. Music in Venice took a wrong turn. The only exception was the roots reggae band Pitura Freska, the most famous band from the lagoon capable of three platinum records between 1990 and 2001. Venice filled up with cover and tribute bands, more or less playing the same songs that the venues’ owners would request over and over again. But with the new millennium something changed: music production started to shift towards the inland, to Mestre where musicians could begin again to ‘decide’ what to play. Young businessmen had opened new venues for this purpose, as opposed to the traditional ‘closeness’ of the center of Venice where the owners have been pretty much the same since the 70s.
A new life in music around the lagoon was starting. In that new life shone the Don Ciccio Philarmonic Orchestra, a band that summed up folk, blues, jazz, and traditional tunes. Active from 2000 to 2008, they only recorded one album (Suite Per Viaggiatori, 2006), but that LP was a turning point: the musical scene around Venice was starting to try to reach for the stars, since then the national underground attention has shifted towards this part of Italy. Meanwhile, from Pitura Freska’s ashes, a new band was maintaining the link between the lagoon and the Caribbean: Ska-J, led by Marco “Furio” Forieri who plays saxophone in Pitura Freska. Mixing ska, jazz, and pop music, the amusing and ironic band continues the tradition of singing in the Venetian dialect that is pretty incomprehensible to anyone who’s not from the region. Amazingly enough, this choice doesn’t prevent them from breaking into national radio and TV as well as reaching a good amount of public and critical success. From 2003 and on, not a year passes by without a new album. Venice Goes Ska was released in 2003 and Socco was released this year.
PHOTO by G’NAT
But what if you go to Venice today? Nowadays the old issues of playing live music in Venice are the same. There is simply no space, and lately local laws had been issued that are making it more and more difficult to organize concerts in the historical centre (no music after 11p.m., special and very expensive licenses for the owners, etc.). The mainstream is still dictated by necessity with small cover bands, mostly unplugged. There are very talented musicians, but simply have no way to express themselves properly. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. First of all, the jazz musicians are back with a brand new generation of young players that are fighting their way to the top. Among them is Piero Bittolo Bon with his band Jump The Shark, Guglielmo Pagnozzi and the Voodoo Sound Club, Luca Ventimiglia and the Kowloon project, and many others. The best part of this new generation is the slow rebuilding process of the ‘lobby’ of musicians, and who says that a lobby is always a bad thing?
pop-reggae-funk-you name it band founded by Giuliomaria Garbellotto. With an album already recorded (Queen With No Crown, 2011), the Beta Project is mostly active on the web. This has helped them obtain great results abroad, especially in South America and northern Europe. If you could fulfill a dream and take a tour of the mesmerizing Venezia, you would know that it’s not solely romance, food, and museums. There is also a great variety of music that awaits you, and (surprise!) you have options. In the historical center, look for Corazzieri, Orient Experience, Dae Fie, and Venice Jazz Club, among others. Take a 10-minute bus or a train and discover the unknown-tomany in Mestre: Vapore, Conestoga, Forte Marghera, Pop Corn, Palaplip... You can tell your friends you had a very posh and cultural vacation, but still had fun doing it!
Moving back to the mainland, Mestre is still mainly contributing with contemporary music. One of the most active is Andrea Facchin: a former guitar player in the Don Ciccio Philarmonic Orchestra. He is currently one of the most wanted bluesmen in the area. His alter ego character ‘Mr. Wob’ can be seen almost everywhere, with his solo project, in trio, or in the other projects that he participates in. He also co-founded Moka da tre, which essentially is an artist collective that mixes music and other forms of art in order to turn concerts into true performances. The best part? It’s all improvised... Mr. Wob is also active in the arising GmG & the Beta Project, an indiePHOTO by G’NAT
Dear Rucka, Letters to King of the Intruwebs
I’ve been watching you get very popular on YouTube for the past few years. How do you plan to get to the next level?
I’m a rapper too. Do you wanna do a song together??
My little brother listens to your music all day. I don’t think he gets that you are joking. Do you think you might be hurting kids by teaching them the wrong message?
What’s the next level? Talking about my favorite cartoons on a Vh1 special? I’m pretty content with doing my thing on the Internet. I’ll stick with it for now. Unless you can get me on Vh1?
It sounds like your brother got all the good music taste in the family. I would suggest you listen to some of my songs with him, so that you may catch up with his intellect. Also, it’s a good chance for the two of you to bond instead of sending me hostile letters. Please write me again soon, to let me know how you’re being a better sister.
E-mail your “Dear Rucka” questions to iamRucka@gmail.com
PHOTO by G’NAT