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INTRODUCES:

25c ENVIROCREDIT IF YOU WALKED, BIKED, OR RODE THE BUS TO OUR STORE,

ask the cashier for your credit.


CHANGE FOR A TEN

then be exhibited at VCU’s Brand Center, and our monetary contributions will go to help fund further community projects.

Talking about change and actually making change are two different things. Oftentimes people have the right intentions but lack the follow-through necessary to fully realize their visions. The people behind ART 180 are a different breed altogether. Between the staff and the countless people who volunteer their time, this group has been actively trying to make a substantial difference in the lives of young people in challenging environments through art programs and activities. When we found out about ART 180’s Change for a Ten program, we had to get behind it.

As a magazine, we try to focus on the most inspiring art around our city, and this time around we would like to ask you, our readers, to contribute your art. These are some of the ones that our staff and our friends have made.

Change for a Ten is a city wide fundraising program for ART 180, in which they are asking all of us to use a rectangle the size of a $10 bill to express what change we would like to see in our city, and submit it along with $10. Our submissions will

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As a city we can help make a difference in the lives of young people who need it, even if we aren’t directly involved. Help make a change. -Brandon The exhibition / anniversary celebration is 10/10/08 at VCU’s Brandcenter (103 S. Jefferson St. Richmond, VA 23284), 7 p.m. and free to the public! All submissions must be sent in by 9/22/08 or dropped off at one of the participating locations. Check out www.art180.org/ten and the ART 180 blog (changeforaten.blogspot.com) to learn more about the project or to download a template.


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BEN M U R I “ M O R E B I K E S ”

Bet h Gor ley “ W e Nee d M ore Heroes ” OU R A “TR U S T ME ”

PAR KER “U N TI TL E D ”

AD AM J U R ESKO “U N TI TL E D ”

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I A N M . GR A HA M “WIN DMILLS AND W U TANG”

B R A N D O N P E C K “GR E E N S CENE”

J O H N R EIN HO LD “S N O T T Y FOR HOPE”

B AYL EN F O R C IE R “U N T IT LED”

R . AN T H ON Y H AR R IS “ PR OGR ESS?”

SCOTT WHITENER (AGE 28) “DOGS ON TRAMPOLINES”

C H R IST IAN D ET R ES “ U N T IT L ED ”

KAT ST EWART “ U N T IT L ED ”

J EF F SM AC K “ U N T IT L E D ”

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Richmond

Z in e

Fest

T he 2007 Ric hmond Zine Fe st fe a tur e d 45 vendor s fr om all over Vir ginia a nd the U.S., two wor kshops a nd r eadings by noted zine ster s Arie l Gor e a nd C hina Ma r te ns. Mor e than 250 people attended last year’s zine fest, w hic h w as spr ead out along two loca tions on the 1600 bloc k of We st Br oad Str eet. T he 2008 Ric hmond Zine Fe st will be held on Satur day, October 11, fr om 11 a .m. to 5 p.m. a t the Gay C ommunity Center of Ric h mond, a t 1407 Sherwood Ave. T he e vent is fr ee to the public. T her e will also be fr e e cof fee on hand, a nd ve g an food will be a v a ila ble for pur c hase a t a small price . W h at's a z i n e fest exact ly? A zine fest is a g athe ring w her e zine cr e a tor s, small comic , sma ll pr e ss cr eator s and zine distr os come to gether to sell a nd/or tr a de the ir cr e a tions (the c hoice of w hether to sell their zine or tr a de it is up to e a c h indi vidua l zine ster. Distr os gen e r a lly have to sell zines, beca use they’ r e beholden to other zine ster s w hose zine s they ar e se lling). T her e ar e wor kshops conce r ning zines a nd othe r DI Y skills or matter s, as well as zinester s r eading fr om their zines or books. Zine fests ar e also ope n to the public.

www.ric hmondzinefest.or g www.myspace.com/r v azinefest ric hmondzinefe st@ya hoo.com Sna il mail: P.O. Box 35501 / Ric hmond, VA 23235 USA


W h en People Become B uildi n gS

There are certain artists who can't just stick to one thing. Their creativity has to be harnessed into different channels, using different mediums, during different situations. Chris Milk Hulbert is one of those types. Whether it be through drawing, painting, playing guitar, crafting songs, singing, or putting together puppet shows, Chris is constantly creating. I got a chance to AN INTERVIEW WITH sit down with Chris in his studio and pick his brain about his creative process and his many outlets.

CHRIS

MILK HULBERT

By Parker PHOTOS BY IAM M. GRAHAM


Parker: What is your ear liest memor y of being influenced to create ar t? Chris Milk Hulbert: A lot of my inspiration, I think, subconsciously from my ear lier year s was from children’s books, books I read as a kid. It wasn’t until people star ted saying that my wor k reminded them of children’s book illustrations that it really occur red to me. My mom star ted showing me some of the books I had as a kid, and I star ted seeing a lot of elements that were present in my work. I didn’t star t painting until I was 24. I think a lot of that stuff was just sitting in the back of my head. I didn’t go to school for ar t, and I don’t know ar tists ver y well. I couldn’t tell you Rembrandt from Renoir. P: What are some of your cur rent influences? CMH: I feel like it envelops ever ything, but I try to stay away from over t influences. I tr y not to look at other ar tists too much or have my influences be too prominent. I tear things out of magazines and I sketch things down. Right now my biggest influences are the things happening in the immediate wor ld around me: Oregon Hill, the river, the houses around here. I’ve gotten into birding in the past couple of months…so really it’s more the immediate ‘natural’ world. I don’t mean ‘natural’ like flower s and all that, but what’s around me: my back yard, my front yard, my porch, the two blocks leading to the river. That’s affecting me right now especially having just moved back into Oregon Hill after 10 year s, seeing how it’s changed and tr ying to capture the essence of it. The river has been a real driving force behind what I’m doing right now. P: What are some character s or images that continue to pop up in your wor k? 19


CMH: The river is in pretty much ever y piece. What’s different about this particular body of wor k is I star ted wor king on it months ago before I moved back to Oregon Hill, and I was painting people. Usually my wor k is almost all people, character s that are anonymous and mostly at natural, beautiful moments of being at rest. I got about halfway through painting this show, and I got fed up with the people. I star ted painting over them. So, most of these paintings have had people in them. But I didn’t want people in them even though I’ve spent my entire career painting people. So, hats became bird wings, hands became fences, nipples became flower s, teeth became tombstones. People became empty houses or trees. I was letting the original paintings guide me while at the same time covering them up. I was even going as far as taking paintings and cutting them in half or four pieces, which was weird for me. I’ve never painted over my paintings or ever took a saw and cut through them. In a way it’s like operating on your child, but in a way it’s very invigorating. So, a lot of this show is realizing I didn’t want people. It’s more about being isolated, being by myself. At the end no one will be able to tell, but I’ll know that they were there. I’ll know that porch was once a head. P: What about the birds? You said you’ve been watching a lot of birds lately. CMH: Birds have always been a prominent thing, but I’ve gotten more into trying to capture actual species that I see. Before I would paint birds in a generic way with two wings and a football shape. That was fine for a while but now I’ve gotten to the point where it has to be a bird that I saw here in the neighborhood or at the river and get sketches. It’s been a challenge for me because I never went to ar t school. I don’t feel like I know how to paint the same way 20


a lot of people lear n to paint. So, it’s been a challenge to capture all of a bird’s mar kings and say that it’s a sharp-shinned kite for example. P: What would you say is one of the most fr ustrating things about being an ar tist? CMH: I guess that it’s such a lonesome pur suit. I have to make ever y decision by myself, which of course is the draw of painting for me, too. I’m not wor king on someone else’s project or par t of someone else’s thing. It’s me from beginning to end. I have to rely on myself and sometimes it gets so draining. I constantly second guess myself. Also, just sitting in a room for 8 or 9 hour s a day and sometimes questioning why I’m even doing all of this. There’re so few moments of clarity or joy with painting and more anxiety and worry. I’ll be in my studio painting and look out the window and see people going to wor k and then coming home. What do these people think of me? I’m sitting here in my boxer shor ts and an apron with a bunch of cans of paint. They probably think I’m a bum. It’s such a weird pur suit. Sometimes I think I should be working a job and making money where I’m having a nor mal paycheck coming in. On the other hand painting is a chance for me to get some nails, some pieces of wood and some paint and make something that is so dimensional and has so much going on. It was a blank piece of wood and now it has a thousand paint mar ks. There’re also those moments of being in “the zone” or whatever people want to call it. That place where ever ything just feels so good and energizing. Where the paintbrush just roams freely. A lot of times I feel like the paintings were already there. I’m just taking a wet brush and the painting is just surfacing. Those moments make it wor thwhile. P: Do you approach a painting with a plan or a sketch and then see how it evolves? CMH: Yeah. I like a lot of free flight because I like to be surprised at the end. I don’t like the idea of knowing exactly how it’s going to look. I’ve painted some smaller paintings in the past that way, and it’s not that enjoyable for me. These days I’ll paint over a painting if it’s too close to what I thought it was going to be and there’s not that surprise at the end. P: What mediums do you use and why? CMH: House paint, some acr ylics, and some metallic paint. I use those materials because that’s how I star ted painting. I’ve always been into drawing and always would keep a sketchbook. But when I was 24 I was house painting and had tons of scraps of woods, tons of leftover paint. I was doing more illustration, comics, and poster s but suddenly I was dabbling into painting. So I found myself with my fir st studio. 21


I like to paint on wood because of the sheer rigidity of it. I hate how canvas has that trampoline effect. The down side is when you do paintings that are 6 feet tall it can get pretty heavy. The good side is I can go in with that circular saw and cut them into smaller pieces.

I also have a musical puppet show called Huckiddy Puppet Theatre. It’s my way to be the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the cur tain. I can literally duck down, hide myself, hold my hand up, have a mic with me and let a proxy do the wor k for me.

P: How do you know when a painting is finished?

The fir st show was in 1998. I was talking to a friend of mine who was a stand-up comedian, and she was asking me what I was in to. I basically lied and star ting talking about the puppet show as if it was in preproduction. It’s stuff I’d been thinking about but hadn’t star ted. She asked me to open up for her on a pre-tour show. I ran home that night and star ted figuring out how to make puppets and wrote a script. I made a stage. That fir st show was a ter rible catastrophe.

CMH: Because the show is the next day. I’ll paint until the ver y last minute. I’ll know when a painting is done but it’s hard not to paint beyond that point. That’s why I don’t ever wor k on one painting at a time from beginning to end. I’m usually wor king on anywhere from 3 to 20 paintings all at the same time. The finish will happen naturally. By the end I’ll have a more cohesive body of wor k. P: You listen to music while you wor k. Do you think that’s impor tant to your process? CMH: I can’t do it without it. I’ve tried. It’s ever ything. It’s par t of the dance. That stimulus helps me get in that space. P: You’re a musician your self. What do you play? CMH: I play guitar and sing. It all springs from year s of a “really private, in my room” origin where I’d close the door s, windows, drapes and sing really quiet to myself. I’ve always been fascinated by music and songwriting. I finally got to the point when I lived in New Yor k of wanting to find a way to be the perfor mer that I never allowed myself to be. I’ve never felt like a musician but just a guy that plays guitar and kind of writes some songs.

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P: How has it evolved? CMH: It’s gotten less catastrophic and a lot smoother. My sister and I were living in Providence, Rhode Island. We saw a puppet show and decided we could do a better puppet show. We did a couple of shows with the two of us and a guitar player. We both moved back to Richmond and did it with the same format. It’s expanded over the year s to include other musicians. I think at one point it was with a 7-member band. P: The Huckiddy Puppet Theatre is a collaboration effor t where you bring other people in as compared to your painting. The music and the puppets obviously relate. How do you see those things relate to your paintings or is it completely disconnected?


CMH: It’s both. The puppet shows gives me a chance to work with other people. My sister is 50 percent of it. She’s the other central character. We sit down and write the stories together, but a lot of it is improv where we just bounce off of each other. Then the musicians come in and I’ll go over it all with them but also let them come up with their own par ts. It becomes a great way to wor k with other people. With having the painting show and the puppet show r unning concurrently it gives me a chance to spend a day by myself in the studio, going crazy and freaking out. Then I can go two nights a week where I’m still making ar t but there’re people there to bounce ideas off of. I can have all the things I don’t have when I paint. The above conversation was also filmed and will be on an upcoming episode of “The Process” which is an ar tist documentary series on RVAtv.net. “Nickel” New Paintings by Chris Milk Hulber t opens at Ghostprint Gallery on Oct. 3rd from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. and runs through Oct. 25th. More of his work can be seen at www.chrismilkhulber t.com. Ghostprint Gallery (www.ghostprintgallery.com) is located at 220 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. or by appointment. (804) 344-1557 Huckiddy Puppet Theatre’s new show “Penny” can be seen on Sunday, Oct. 5th at Gallery5’s Carnival of 5 Fires’ Sunday Spaghetti Dinner Theater at 7 p.m. sharp.

Gallery5 (gallery5@gallery5ar ts.org) is located at 200 W. Marshall St. Richmond, VA 23220. (804) 644-0005

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o wa n t s y o u t


Phot o by G us Linz o


B o r n in Sa nd p o i nt , I d a ho, R . N ic ho la s K us z y k a nd his f a m ily m ov e d t o Ala s k a w he n he w a s a n inf a nt . H e w a s e le c t e d Ala s k a ’ s 1 1 t h gov e r no r in 2 0 0 6 , m a k ing him t he f ir s t f e m a le gov e r no r a nd t he yo unge s t gov e r no r in t he s t a t e ’ s his t o r y. K us z y k e a r ne d his b a c he lo r ’ s d e g r e e in jo ur na lis m f r o m t he U ni v e rs it y o f I d a ho, w he r e he m ino r e d in p o li t ic s. H e m ov e d b a c k t o he r h o m e t o w n o f Wa s illa , Ala s k a , w he r e h e b e c a m e a n a v id p ip e laye r a nd a t w o - t e r m m ayo r from 1992-96. I n 2 0 0 2 , K u s z y k f inis he d s e c o nd in a fo ur- w ay r a c e t o b e c o m e lie ut e n a n t gov e r no r. Fr a nk M ur k o w s k i w o n t he g ub e r na t o r ia l r a c e t ha t ye a r a nd g a v e up his lo ng - he ld Se na t e s e a t m id t e r m , w hic h K us z y k int e r v ie w e d t o f ill. M ur k o w s k i a p p o int e d K us z y k a s t he e t hic s c o m m is s io ne r o f t he Ala s k a O il a n d G a s C o m m is s io n, w he r e he s e r v e d f r o m 2 0 0 3 t o 2 0 0 4 b e fo r e r e s ig n ing ov e r w ha t he c a lle d t he “ la c k o f e t hic s ” o n t he p a r t o f t he s t a t e ’ s Re p u blic a n le a d e r s. K us z y k d e f e a t e d M ur k o w s k i in t he Re p ublic a n p r im a r y fo r gov e r no r in 2 0 0 6 a nd t he n d e f e a t e d his D e m o c r a t ic o p p o ne nt , fo r m e r G ov. To ny K no w le s, by 1 7 , 0 0 0 v o t e s in t he ge ne r a l e le c t io n. K us z y k a nd his hus b a nd , To d d , ha v e f i v e c hild r e n. T he ir o l d e s t jo in e d t he Ar my la s t ye a r a nd t he ir yo unge s t w a s b o r n in A p r il 2 0 0 8 . I n his s p a r e t i m e , K us z y k e njoy s hunt ing a n d f is hing, p ip e lay ing, a nd he is a lif e t im e m e m b e r o f t he N R A. “ H olding the Futur e of What We Accomplished Se par ate” 26

“Hug Your Junk” Ne w wor k by Nic k Kuszyk opened at ADA Galler y on Se pt. 5th and r uns thr ough the end of the month. (ADA) Ar tists Downtown Access Galler y Hour s: T hur sday-Friday-12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Satur day 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. (804) 644-0100 To c hec k out mor e of Nic k’s r obot madness go to www.r r obots.com


“P lanetar y P ilf er cation Balance” 27


“Cer e br emonial” 28

“Pile Se pa r a t ion C olor Te s t ”


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And Justice For Y’all

Catching up with the Hotdamns Lauren Vincelli Photos by P.J. Sykes


T his Oc tober R ic hm o nd ’ s o w n a lt - c o unt r y r o c k e r s, T he H o t d a m ns, a r e s la t ed to r elease a fo llo w up t o t he ir 2 0 0 7 EP Vanquished . Wit h t he s a m e na r r a t i v e , dr am atic ballad st y le o f t he ir la s t a lbum in m ind , T he Ho t d a m ns s e t o ut o nc e a g a in with John Mor and f r o m R ic hm o nd ’ s So und o f M us ic St ud io s t o m a k e a ne w f ulllength r ec or d. I had a c ha nc e t o s it in fo r o ne d ay o f t he ir r e c o r d ing s e s s io n. T he Hotdam ns’ fir s t r e c o r d ing, Vanquished , w a s he a v ily inf lue nc e d by c la s s ic c ountr y ballads. St ill it s ho w e d a b r o a d r a nge o f m us ic a l s t y le s w it hin t he ge nr e . Vanquished featur ed s o f t e r, s w e e t e r, m o r e c o nt e m p la t i ve s o ng s lik e , “ Po o r L a u rie,” and “Mr. Willia m s ” a nd r o lling g uit a r a nt he m s lik e “ Wa lk . ” I t a ls o p laye d t h e dulcet, thr oaty voice o f s inge r / p i a no p laye r D a n ie lle “ D a ni” Aha r t , 2 6 , a g a ins t t h e w hiskey tenor of Dav id Re e d H ug he s, 2 6 , i n d ue t s t y ling s, a s w e ll a s s o lo t r a c k s. With Hughes and Ahar t b a c k e d o n t ha t a lbum by J ay Lind s ey, 2 5 , s t e a dy o n b a s s a nd Fr ank Guer tler, 3 0 , o n d r um s, Vanquished is a s ho r t but s w e e t r e m ind e r o f so me of the best c ount r y m us ic ia ns f r o m Pa t s y C line t o H an k Willia m s, w it h a m o d e r n, tongue-in-c heek t w is t in s o ng s lik e , “ Ya nk e e by B ir t h (So ut he r n a t H e a r t ). ” T he ir ne w album , …And Justice for Y’all , w ill s t ill s ho w T he H o t d a m ns ’ c o unt r y r o ots, but it will also mix in o t he r, m o r e v a r ie d inf lue nc e s f r o m f unk t o p unk r o c k . Joined now by Kelsey M ille r, 2 6 , o n le a d g uit a r a nd f id d le a nd Je f f L ay, 2 8 , o n d r um s, these ne w m em b e r s ha v e b r o ug ht t he ir o w n m us ic a l pr o w e s s, inf lue nc e s a nd expe rienc e to m ake T he H o t d a m ns s o und w e ll r o und e d a nd f ull. H ug he s s ay s t ha t the ne w album will show ho w t he b a nd ha s p r o g r e s s e d s inc e r e c o r d i ng t he EP. “It’s har d to hav e an ov er a r c hing t he m e w it h t hr e e d if f e r e nt w r it e r s, ” L ind s ey s a id . “T he ne w album is a bout t hing s t h a t ha v e ha p p e ne d t o u s. H o w w e ha v e c ha nge d since the last album. We w e r e s t ill c o m ing t o ge t he r a s a b a nd t he n. N o w, w e ha v e gotten to know eac h othe r b e t t e r a nd b e c o m e m o r e c o nf id e nt in o ur a b ilit ie s. O u r e a r ly c ountr y sound w as s o r t o f a s e c ur it y bla nk e t t ha t w e do n’ t ne e d a ny m o r e . T he la s t r ec or d had a ‘50s c o unt r y inf lue nc e , o ur r o o t s. T his r e co r d ha s e v e r y t hing, ‘70s funk, c lassic r oc k, R& B . ” L a t e r H ug he s t o l d m e ho w he t ho ug ht T he H o t d a m n s had pr o gr essed.


“We have pr o gr essed in e v e r y p o s s ible w ay. We w e r e a fo ur- p i e c e o f d e c e nt s o n g wr ite r s; now, J ay is a beast o f a b a s s p laye r, D a nie lle is a b e t t e r p ia no p laye r a nd I ’ v e be come pr etty dec ent at w ha t I d o. Ke ls ey c a m e in a nd f ille d in a lo t o f t he g a p s, b e ca use he is a good songwrit e r a nd m us ic ia n. N o w Je f f ha s c o m e i n a nd r e a lly w o r k e d out the rhythm section. He ha s a p a s s io n. H e is a lw ay s t hink ing a b o u t m us ic . H e ’ s a lw ays either play ing on a p r a c t ic e p a d o r r e a d ing Moder n Dr ummer Ma g azine . Both Ahar t and Hughes hav e a b a c k g r o und a s s o lo p e r fo r m e r s. “When you’ r e playing solo, yo u ha v e t o b e t he r hy t hm s e c t io n a nd t he m e lo dy. It’s ha r d,” Ahar t said, sitting o n a r e d le a t he r c o uc h in t he m ixing r o o m . H ug he s ’ entir e s olo set has become a p a r t o f T he H o t d a m ns ’ r e p e r t o ir e . T ho ug h he s t ill o cca sionally play s as a solo a r t is t he s a id he f e e ls t ha t no w his w o r k la c k s s o m e thing without the other s. Hug he s joined T he Hotdamns a f t e r Aha r t a s k e d him t o jo in t he m fo r a p r a c t ic e . He sa t outside of their pr ac t ic e s p a c e lis t e ning t o t he m p lay fo r 2 0 m inut e s unt il he decided he liked w hat he h e a r d . T he nex t t o jo in w a s M i lle r, w ho b r o ug ht a bac kgr o und in c lassical vio l in a nd p unk b a s s t o t he g r o up. T his is M ille r ’ s f ir s t inte nsi ve studio ex perienc e . “ I s t ill p lay a s if w e w e r e t o ge t her o n s t a ge , ” he sa id . “I know we c an go ba c k a nd d o it b e t t e r if w e ne e d t o. T ha t ’ s b o t h t e rr i fying and c om for ting.” Gue r tle r left the gr oup and t he n Je f f Lay w a s a ud it io ne d fo r t he o p e n d r um mer position. He has br oug ht a p unk r o c k b a c k g r o und a nd a r e a l d e d i c a t io n with him. “I w asn’ t sur e I w as going t o ge t it , ” L ay s a id . “ T hey t r ie d o n e o t he r p e r s o n, a pr o dig y, w ho w as just am a z ing. ” “You can teac h someone to b e a b a d a s s d r um m e r, but yo u c a n’ t t e a c h t he m

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t o ha v e he a r t , ” Aha r t c ut in. “ D ud e w a s d e d ic a t e d , ” L ind s ey a g r e e d , no d d ing t o L ay, sitting next to him o n t he c o uc h. L a t e r Aha r t p a c e d in t he s t ud io, b a r e fo o t . H e r eye s, l ined with blac k c a t - eye m a k e up, s hif t e d ne r v o us ly a s s he d r a nk f r o m a mug. She be g an w a r m i ng up, a nd s a ng t he c ho r us o f t he ne w s o ng, “ T ha t Whic h D oes n’ t M a k e U s St r o nge r. ” D ur ing w a r m up he r v o ic e w a s v e r y o bviously af fected by he r c ur r e nt he a d c o ld . T he c o nc e r n ov e r w he t he r he r voice will hold up w a s a p p a r e nt a s s he m a d e he r w ay int o t he s t ud i o fr om the mixing r o o m . She t o o k he r p la c e o n a s q ua r e p a t t e r n e d r ug in f r ont of a c hr ome m ic r o p ho ne . T he lig ht s w e r e lo w, jus t a s m a ll s p o t lig ht o n he r, a nd s he s lipped on headp ho ne s. She a ns w e r e d q ue s t io ns f r o m t he o t he r r o o m t ha t only she could he a r. T he r o o m w a s q uie t . She t o o k a d e e p b r e a t h, c o unt ing in her head, and t he n b e g a n t o s i ng. Fr o m w he r e I s a t , a ll I c o uld he a r w a s he r par t. T he lar ge s t ud io w a s s p laye d o ut b e hind he r w it h v a r io us p ia no s a nd o r g ans lining the w a lls, ge t t ing d a r k e r a nd d a r k e r. H e r v o ic e w a s ha r d ly a f f e c ted. She belted o ut c le a r v o c a ls, a s o ng o f lov e a nd lo s s. L a t e r, in t he m ix ing r o o m , L ay, L ind s ey a nd M i lle r s a t lis t e ning to Ahar t’s t a k e s f r o m t he o t he r r o o m . L o o k ing lik e ex p e c t a nt f a t he r s t hey w r ung t heir ha nd s a nd r ub b e d t he ir f a c e s. T he r e w a s a n a ir o f ex c it e m e nt and s us pens e. “ Yo u c a n t e ll w he n s o m e t hi ng is go ing t o b e a w e s o m e , ” s a id Lindsey. “I can’ t w a it t o he a r it f inis he d . ” H e lo o k s t o his b a nd m a t e s a nd g r inned. T he Hotdamns will play Ric hmond Se ptember 22, at T he Triple with Accor dion Death Squad and the High Str eet Lowlifes. Admission is $5. T he Triple is located at 3306 W. Br oad St. (804) 359-7777. For mor e info a bout T he Hotdamns visit www.myspace.com/thehotdamnsr v a. Stay tuned for mor e info a bout the r elease of their ne w album …And Justice for Y’all. 35


Bio Ritmo goes bionic o Christ Bo p st Pho to s by Chris Smith

B io R it m o e nt e r e d my lif e w he n my lif e w a s c o m ing t o an end. I had spent a lit t le m o r e t ha n e ig ht ye a r s p lay in g, r e c o r d in g a nd touring with my b a nd a t t he t im e (T he Alt e r N a t i v e s ) a n d , a s a c o l le cti ve unit, we wer e d o ne . I t w a s a p a inf ul t im e fo r a ll o f us, bu t i t w a s a par ticular ly painful t im e fo r m e a s I w a s t he o ne o ut o f t he t hr e e o f us w ho most didn’ t w ant it t o c o m e t o a n e nd . I t w a s my lif e a nd I w a s c r us he d. To t a lly a nd c o m p le t e ly c r us he d . T he e ns uing w e e k s a f t e r o ur d e m is e w e r e w r o ug ht w ith dis quiet ing f eel ing s o f w o r t hle s s ne s s. I ha d ne v e r c o nc e i v e d o f my life outside of the b a nd a nd no w, he r e I w a s, w it ho ut t he g r o up t ha t had come to define my ex is t e nc e , a nd fo r t he f ir s t t im e in my lif e , I ha d no c lue as to w hat I s ho uld d o w it h my d ay s. All I e v e r d id up t o t ha t p o int w as play in a band. N o w I ha d t o c o m e up w it h a n e nc o r e . T he d r um m e r I ha d b e e n p lay i ng w it h (J im T ho m s o n) didn’ t spend as

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muc h time as I did w allow ing in d e s p a ir. H e s im p ly d id w ha t a ny d r um m e r does w hen one or their ba n d s c e a s e d t o ex i s t ; he jo ine d a no t he r b a nd . H e had alw ays manned the dr um s e t fo r o t he r m us ic a l inc a r n a t io ns d ur i ng o ur time to gether, but none of t he s e o t he r g r o up s e v e r c o uld p e r s ua d e him t o ditc h our thing no matter ho w ha r d t hey t r ie d . T his t im e w a s d if f e r e nt . O ur fr ie nd , Puer to Ric an nati v e Jo r ge N e g r o n, ha d a s s e m ble d a g r o up o f p e r c us sionists in the hopes of tr a ns fo r m ing t ho r o ug hly w hit e b r e a d r o c k e r s int o a bona fide salsa gr oup. W hile t his c r o s s - p o llin a t io n o f m us ic a l inf lue n c e wo uld seem str ange to the uninit ia t e d in t he p o s t - N ir v a na e r a in R ic hm o nd , it made sense. T hough ma ny o f t he c i t y ’ s m us ic ia ns w e r e g r e a t ly ins p ir e d a nd we r e ac ti v e par tic ipant s in t he g lo r y ye a r s o f t he Am e r ic a n r o c k a nd r o ll under gr ound of the 1980s, by t h e t im e , “ Sm e lls L ik e Te e n Sp ir it ” b e c a m e a hit o n M TV, it w as pr oof po s it i v e t o m a ny o f us t ha t t he r e v o lut io n w a s ov e r. While the r est of the count r y b e c a m e e na m o r e d w it h t he s o und s o f Se a t t l e , Ric hmond had long since m ov e d o n. I t s e e m s t ha t e v e n t o d ay, t he o ne t h in g tha t unifies bands in the ca p it o l c it y is t ha t no b o dy (a t le a s t , no b o dy w o r t h liste ning to) w ants to sound lik e a ny b o dy e ls e . And tha t ’s w hy I’ v e alw ay s lov e d R ic hm o nd , Vir g inia . Bio Ritmo, fr om day one, d id w ha t a lm o s t no b a nd a t t h e t im e ha d s uc c e s s doing: they got people to d a nc e . Sur e , t he r e w a s p le nt y o f s l a m d a nc ing, a n d g r oup s like the Good Guy s a nd Or t ho t o nic s c o uld ge t a c r o w d t o s ha k e t he ir r umps in non-violent f ashio n, but B io R it m o, e v e n in t he ir e a r ly r ud i m e nt a r y incar nat ions, tur ned any r o o m int o a s w e a t y m e s s w it ho ut a hint o f s le a z y intent. And by getting Ric hm o nd t o d a nc e , B io R it m o a ls o ho ld s t he d is t inc t io n a s the band m ost likely to ge t yo u la id . T hey go t e v e r y b o dy t o f uc k . All this musically inspir ed c o it is w o uld n o t ha v e ha p p e ne d if it w e r e n’ t fo r Jor ge Ne gr on. He w as the m a n t ha t m a d e it a ll ha p p e n. Wit hin a ye a r ’ s t im e , he tr a ns for m ed an Italian boxe r f r o m N e w Je r s ey (Gius t ino R ic c io ), t he s ing le b e st dub dr um m er I hav e e v e r s e e n w ho w a s no t bla c k (Re i Alv a r e z ), a k id f r o m 38

P ue r t o R ic o t ha t s e e m e d t o a p p e a r a s i f o ut o f no w he r e (Ga bo Tomasini) a n d my r a is e d in a n a p p le o r c h a r d fo r m e r b a nd m a t e (Jim T homson) into a d e v a s t a t ing ly p r e c is e L a t in r hy t hm m a c hine . I llus t r ator Shade Wilson (t he ge nius b e hind t he s t r ip, “ T he St r a nge O ne s ” t hat w as featur ed in t he la t e , g r e a t R ic hm o nd m o nt hly, T hr ottle ) w a s r e c r uit ed t o play bas s a n d , w it h t he a d d it io n o f ge nuin e f ir s t c la s s m u s ic ia ns Char lie Kilpatric k o n p ia no, G a r y Jo ne s o n s a x & f lut e a nd Re ne H e r r e r a on tr ombone, Bio R it m o w a s c o m p le t e . T hr o ug h s he e r d e t e r m ina t io n, Jor ge had willed the b a nd int o ex is t e nc e . I d o n’ t m e a n t o s ug ge s t t ha t t he ot her member s of t he g r o up w e r e d o c ile s he e p. All t ho s e g uy s a d d e d s o mething vital to the m ix , but if it w e r e no t fo r t he ir s p ir it e d , int e ns e ly m oti v ated leader, the b a nd w o uld ha v e b e e n j us t a no t he r go o d id e a ins t e a d of the r eality they b e c a m e a nd s t ill a r e t o d ay. Jo r ge a ls o int r o d uc e d s a ls a g r e a t s s uc h a s Jo e C ub a, Tito Puente, the A p o llo So un d a nd m a ny o t he r s int o my m us ic a l v o c a bular y. For that alone I a m e t e r na lly g r a t e f ul t o him . I ’ ll ne v e r fo r ge t t he lect ur e and perform a nc e by t he le ge nd a r y P ue r t o R ic a n m us ic ia n R ay Bar r etto I saw in D C w it h t he g uy s in R it m o, o n Jo r ge ’ s ins is t e nc e . To this day, I ’ ve ne ver s e e n a nyo ne p lay a c o ng a li k e t ha t . I t w a s o ne o f t hos e r ar e moment s in m us ic w he n yo u k no w w it h a ll c e r t a int y t ha t yo u ar e in the pr esence o f g r e a t ne s s. T he ir init ia l g lo r io us s p le nd o r i s c a p t ur e d o n t he ir de but r elease fr om 1 9 9 5 , Que Sig a La Musica . T hing s c a m e e a s y fo r t ho se guys. T hey wer e t he o nly g a m e in t o w n w he n it c a m e t o a ny t hing e v e n r emotely Latin, and t hey w e r e in hig h d e m a nd . N o t o nly c o uld t hey p a c k t he s eedies t punk r o c k d i v e s, R it m o c o uld a ls o p lay hig h p ay ing s o c i e t y gigs without selling t he ir s o u ls. T ha t is a m i g ht y ha r d t r ic k t o p ull o f f, and they did it with e a s e . I s t ill lis t e n t o t ha t f ir s t r e c o r d ing a nd t ho ug h it isn’ t perfect, I w o uld d e f ini t e ly p ut it up a s t he o ne o f t he b e s t r e c or dings any band in R ic hm o nd ha s m a d e in t he la s t 2 0 ye a r s. I t s t a nd s t he t es t of t ime.


T he band w as totally and co m p le t e ly p r o a t t his p o int . T hey had boo king a gents and m a na ge r s a nd m a jo r la b e ls s t a r t snif fing ar ound tr ying to c a s h in o n t he b ig b a nd r e v i v a l that w as going on in the m id - ‘ 9 0 s. T his w a s a ls o a b o u t the time the band star ted t o s ho w s ig ns o f f a t ig ue . Jo r ge , the dri ving for ce behind the g r o up ’ s init ia l s uc c e s s, w a s e ithe r kic ked out of the band o r q uit d e p e nd ing o n w ho yo u talked to at the time. To m a k e m a t t e r s w o r s e , t he b a nd ’ s str ongest vocal attribute, Re i Alv a r e z , le f t s o o n t he r e a f t e r leaving the r est of the gr o up w it ho ut it s he a r t a n d s o ul. As with any band that spend s w ay t o o m uc h t im e t o ge t he r, they both had had enough o f s m e lling e a c h o t he r ’ s f a r t s, d e a ling with eac h other’s p e r s o na lit y d if f e r e nc e s a nd a r g u ing over cr eati ve dir ection. S o m e t hing h a d t o g i v e a nd t hey d e cid e d that it should be the m . It w as then that Bio Ritm o s t a r t e d t o s uc k . H a v ing lo s t two vital member s, the ba nd c a r r ie d und e r t he d ir e c t io n o f the C uban tr om bonist Re ne H e r r e r a . W hile he is a n a c complished musician, I subs c r ib e t o t he no t io n t ha t t a le nt is an over r ated vir tue. Gone w e r e t he w ild ly inf e c t io us s t r e e t rhythms of the past and r e p la c e d by a n ins ip id , lis t e n t o how har d this is to play, e m o t io nle s s p r e c is io n o f C ub a n inspir ed jazz. It w as fuc kin’ a w f ul. B y s ay ing t ha t I d o n’ t mean to imply that the band w a s n’ t a g r o up o f c o ns um m a t e player s, but the fir e by w hic h t hey us e d t o bur n s o b r ig ht ly w as significantly diminished . L i v e , t hey w e r e a s he ll o f t he i r for mer r aucous selves. It w a s lik e s e e i ng a n injur e d a nim a l yelping to be put out of its m is e r y. D e s p i t e t he s e t r o ubl in g d e ve lo pm ents, Ritm o signe d w it h M e r c ur y Re c o r d s s ub s id ia r y, Tr iloka, and r eleased, Rumba, Ba by Rumba , in 1 9 9 8 . Ho pe s w er e high that they ha d f ina lly r e a c he d t he b ig t im e 39


with a national r elease and hig h p r o f ile g ig s w it h t he Sq uir r e l N ut Zip p e r s, but it pr ov ed not to be. Ritmo ’ s m a in a d v o c a t e a t t he la b e l go t f ir e d , t he f a k e scene they tried to tie them t o f iz z le d o ut a nd t he r e c o r d ne v e r go t p us he d , d oo me d to tax write-of f stat us a lm o s t a s s o o n a s it w a s p r e s s e d . To m a k e a long sto r y shor t, they got f is t e d a nd f is t e d ha r d . B a nd m e m b e r s c a m e a n d we nt a s the gig w as still pr o f it a ble , but R it m o ha d lo s t t he ir e d ge . I ha d long sinc e gi v en up on B io R it m o w he n Re i r e jo ine d t he b and in 2 0 0 1 . I r e luctantly went to see t he m a g a in o n t he b a s is o f t his ne w s a lo ne ha v ing b e e n assur ed by Ga bo t ha t t he buz z k illing, y a w n- ind uc ing int r ic a c ie s o f r ecent year s wer e a thing o f t he p a s t n o w t ha t Re ne w a s o ut o f t he g r o up. Fr om note one that night, it w a s r e a d ily a p p a r e nt t ha t R it m o w a s R it m o a g a in. I can’ t tell you how r elie v e d I w a s. T hey w e r e a c o m p le t e ly d if f e r e n t b a nd playing with a vitality and s e ns e o f p ur p o s e I h a d n’ t s e e n f r o m t he m in ye a r s. I ha te d Rene’s tenur e as c r e a t i v e d ir e c t o r, b e c a us e he s ha c k led t he b a nd ’ s p r op ulsi v e rhy thm s in needle s s ly r e s t r ic t i v e c o m p o s it io ns. Re i’ s r e t ur n un loc ked those c hains and R it m o w a s o nc e a g a in t e na c io u s, s p o nt a ne o us a nd d a r ing in their pur suit of a go o d t im e . B e s t o f a ll, t hey s t a r t e d inc o r p o r a t ing a l l type s of dif fer ent inf luenc e s int o t he m ix. Yo u c o uld he a r e le m e nt s o f e le c tr onic music , r oc k and jazz in t he ir o ngo ing r e inv e nt io n o f s a ls a . I c a n’ t t hin k of another band that I had w r it t e n o f f a s f lo g g ing a d e a d ho r s e t h a t p r ov e d that, yes, it is possible to m a k e e s s e nt ia l m u s ic a g a in a f t e r yo u’ v e m a d e a w hole lot of shit. If anything, B io R it m o w a s b e t t e r t ha t nig ht t ha n t hey e v e r wer e and that, my friends, is s ay ing a w ho le lo t o f s o m e t hi ng. And d o n’ t t hin k I’m bullshiting you either. I d o n’ t c a r e e no ug h a b o ut yo u t o lie t o yo u. B e lie v e me w he n I say Bio Ritm o’s r e inv e nt io n w a s a t hing o f s t unning be a ut y. After winning the top inde p e nd e nt a c t in t he N o r t he a s t a w a r d a t t he D is c Ma ke r s Inde pendent Wor ld M us ic Se r ie s in N e w Yo r k C it y in 2 0 0 3 , B io R it mo r e le ased their c ritic ally a c c la im e d s e lf - t it le d C D in 2 0 0 4 fo llo w e d by t he e q ua lly im pr essi v e 2006 EP, Salsa System , m ix e d by 1 8 - t im e G r a m my a w a r d winne r, Jon Fausty. T his m o nt h, t he g r o up is r e le a s ing t he ir e a ge r ly a nt ic i p a te d full-length, Bionico , o n t he ir o w n l a b e l, L o c ut o r Re c o r d s. W hile t he 40

b a nd is s t e p p e d a nd d e f ine d by t he ir o bv io us a f f e c t io n fo r mus ic of t he pas t , t hey ne v e r s it o n t he s ho uld e r s o f g ia nt s. T his w a s s o m et hing t hat us ed t o e n c um b e r p r e v io us inc a r na t io ns o f t he g r o up, but no t t his line-up. T hey use a ny t hing a t t he ir d is p o s a l t o s ha p e , m o ld a nd e nha nc e t heir forw ar d moving b r a nd o f m o d e r n d ay s a ls a . O n, Bionico , t he i m p o r t a nc e o f p ia nis t , k ey b o a r d is t a nd s ound ef f ect s gen e r a t o r M a r ly s e e S im m o ns c a nno t b e ov e r s t a t e d . H e r s pr y melodic s ens i b ilit ie s c o lo r t he unr e le nt ing, p o ly r hy t hm ic r hy t hm s o f R iccio, Tomasini and Alv a r e z w it h a k e e n s e ns e c o m p o s it io na l p ur p o s e . O n, “Shoe Shine,” the ‘ 6 0 s p o p B r a z ilia n i nf lue nc e o f O S M ut a nt e s inf us e s her playing, allowing Alv a r e z ’ s s uc c ule nt v o c a ls, “ M a m b o ” B o b M ille r ’ s s h im m ering tr umpet r uns a nd t he t e a m f ir s t c o m p o s it io na l p ur p o s e t ha t d e f ine s t he gr oup’ s a ppr oac h t o s o ng w r it ing t o ble nd o r g a n ic a lly w it ho ut s o und ing t r it e or for ced. It’s the na t ur a l e a s e o f t he ir m us ic a l a lc he my t ha t m a k e s t he M iddle Easter n tinted, “A L a C ha , ” t he s ub t le a s s im ila t io n o f Af r o B e a t o n t he B ob by Valent in c las s i c , “ Se g uir a s C r it c a nd o ” a nd t he s t r a ig ht up s a ls a o f “ Lis andr a” s o undenia bly c a t c hy. T he ir t une s w o r k a s e it he r d a nc e f lo o r m ot i v at ions or heady lis t e n s w o r k ing t he b r a in a nd b o dy w it h e q ua l a p lo m b. W hile it is a bundantly c le a r t h a t e a c h m us ic ia n is ble s s e d w it h a n im p r e s s i v e t e c hnical pr owess on t he ir r e s p e c t i v e ins t r u m e nt s, B i o R it m o is no t a m e r e collection of gifted p laye r s. T hey a r e a t e a m . T he ir c o nt inua lly innov a t i v e sound explor ations d o n’ t r e q u ir e a m a s t e r ’ s d e g r e e in m us ic t he o r y t o a p p r eciate either. T he o nly p r e r e q uis it e ne e d e d t o a p p r e c ia t e B io R it m o is a s e t of ear s. I t ’ s b e e n ov e r 1 7 ye a r s s inc e B io R i t m o e nt e r e d t he w o r ld of being and I can s a f e ly s ay, w it ho ut a t r a c e o f ir o ny, t ha t my lif e ha s b e e n made t he bet t er for it . B e s ur e t o le t t h e m e nt e r yo ur s.


Bio Ritmo’s Bionico CD Release Par ty is Se pt 20th at Ca pital Ale House (623 East Main Str eet, Ric hmond, VA 23219) 9 p.m. $10 adv ance/r svp, $12 door with guests No BS Br ass Band, and Soulpower. www.bioritmo.com www.myspace.com/bioritmo

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RICHMOND TRANSPLANT JULIE KARR HAS THE KIND OF VOICE THAT MAKES YOUR HEART STOP IN YOUR CHEST. RAW, POWERFUL AND FULL OF SOUL, COMBINED WITH AN OLD NYLON STRING GUITAR, HER MUSIC IS REMINISCENT OF A GOSPEL VERSION OF DOLLY PARTON GEARED TO THE MODERN CYNIC. SINCE BURSTING ONTO THE RICHMOND PUNK SCENE IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR, JULIE HAS AMASSED A TON OF FANS AND FRIENDS ALIKE. HER TREMENDOUS ENERGY SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING AS SHE PREPARES FOR A SLEW OF PROJECTS IN THE UPCOMING MONTHS. I RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH JULIE ON HER FRONT PORCH IN OREGON HILL TO DISCUSS MUSIC, RICHMOND, RELIGION AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS. BY TALIA MILLER PHOTOS BY KAREN SIEFERT

RAW, POWERFUL AND FULL OF SOUL JULIE KARR AN INTERVIEW WITH

Talia Miller I know that you didn’t star t playing music until recently. How did you star t? What happened? Julie Karr I was living in DC for a while, and I was doing an internship up there. I thought it would be funny to do a John Denver song for one of my co-workers who was leaving. So we had the guitar in the office, and my co-worker was the one who was going to play the guitar and we were both going to sing it together. But I was really bored so I picked it up and was like, man, I want to learn to play a Bruce Springsteen song, because Nebraska is one of my favorite albums. So I looked up how to play “Atlantic City” and that was where it star ted. And then I didn’t play again for probably six months, and then over winter break this year all of my roommates were out of town. I was moving to Richmond in two weeks, and I was like, let me try and play the guitar again! So I went into my roommate’s room, grabbed his guitar and star ted thumbing around, and I wrote my first song then. TM: Which was? JK: “Baby Boy,” aka Trailer Park Jesus ( laughs ) as it’s become known. TM: A lot of your songs have religious imagery and draw really strongly on Jesus and faith

and suggest a strong background in Christianity… JK: My family is from Georgia originally, and I grew up in Florida. My mom is a born again Southern Baptist, and I used to sing with her and my grandparents when I was a little girl. We were called the Grace Life Singers, and I sang with them for a long time. I grew up in a very fire-and-brimstone family where my mom took the Bible in a very literal way, so there was always very strong imagery, and she would always enforce every… everything we had had some kind of religious consequence to it. Whatever my faith may be today is very affected by that mentality as a kid. TM: So then you were saved? JK: Actually, I was saved three times! TM: Wow! JK: The first time, I meant it. The second time, I felt bad. Well, I did it to be cool, because all of the other kids were being saved. And I was like, well fuck, I did that two years ago! (laughs ) 43


TM: Well, you can never be saved too much. JK: Well, yeah, I just needed to “re-devote myself to the Lord!” But then the third time I was 13, and I had told my mom like a year before that I didn’t believe in Jesus anymore, that I didn’t believe in Christianity. And so she made me go live with my grandmother for a long time. And then when I got back I still felt the same, but I felt bad for my mom because it was such a big thing to her, so I made a big deal about how I reconnected to the Lord again and got re-baptized for the sake of my mom. Everyone at church really loved me for a while after that. TM: That’s so funny. And you grew up in Gainesville, right? JK: Yep, I grew up in Gainesville. TM: I guess there was probably music constantly down there because there’s such a strong punk scene.

JK: Not really. My friend Samantha Jones was in Bitchin’ and Rumbleseat, and she has done a lot of great things musically down there. But for the most par t it was really male-dominated. And I don’t know if that was necessarily this is a “boy’s club” kind of thing, but I guess it was just what was there. TM: How does that translate to Richmond? Is it interesting coming here, do you feel like you have more freedom here because you’re not from here? JK: Yeah, I’m also here surrounded by a lot of people who are making amazing music as well. But it all kind of clicked at the right time, me wanting to learn more about music and writing. The winter time, you know, you don’t really leave your house much. So it’s, I think, when I was the most musical. I feel like the winter puts you in this darker place anyway. I mean I’m from Florida, so I’m very used to having sunshine year round. TM: And Richmond in the winter… everybody fucking hides!

JK: Totally, it was kind of funny that I was constantly surrounded by so many bands, pretty amazing bands that have done some really awesome stuff. Even if they weren’t my friends, it would probably still be some of my favorite stuff. But I think it almost took me being removed from that to be able to find my own voice, I suppose.

JK: I was definitely holed up in the house and just really kind of going through those homesick blues. Loving the fact that I lived in Richmond but you know, you go through that withdrawal almost. I was able to get in the place where I was able to pull some stuff out, I suppose, if that’s the way to say it.

TM: Was it different down there? Were there a lot of women playing music?

TM: I guess sometimes you have to be able to go that weird place to be able to create and pull things out.

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JK: And even if it’s not yourself, you can still… I think sometimes it surprises people because I feel like I have a very cheery demeanor, and to kind of write such sad… yeah fuck it, I write sad songs. You just kind of have to be able to get to that place, and I slide in and out of it pretty easily I suppose. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. TM: What are you working on now? JK: I was in an accident a couple of months ago, and you would think that would put me in a place where I could really get on the level, but I actually found it difficult to write anything after that. I’ve written one song since then, and I really like that song a lot. But now I think I’m at the point where I have enough songs that I would like to have a recorded history of that, in record or CD format. I’m going to be doing a split 7-inch with Pash, a band from DC, and I’m really excited about that. And I’m going to try to play a lot more shows. I know in the spring I’m going on tour with Averkiou, a band from back home, and hopefully record everything onto an album; maybe call it Julery for my love of large earrings… that’s where I actually draw inspiration from ( laughs ). TM: And you have a song on a comp in New York that should be coming out soon, right? JK: Yeah I do! My friend Katie Watkins and some others put together an event called the Big Shebang in Brooklyn. It was a women’s conference up there, and I played with her band at her house in Brooklyn and we got along really well. And I’m on the compilation disc for that, which is exciting! The whole thing is relatively new to me. I was very much into promoting


shows and was always in on the aspect of getting bands to play, of helping organize events, but in terms of the inner workings of recording stuff and being knowledgeable about that, I’m not really there yet. It’s all a kind of a process. TM: What is the process like for you? What is it like being on the other side? JK: It’s neat being involved. It’s so much easier now with the technology that’s there. I set up a Myspace page and all of a sudden I’ve been viewed a thousand times. That’s neat, just to have exposure. Maybe that’s kind of a dick thing to say, I don’t know… TM: No, I mean, it’s not. It’s being realistic, that’s the whole point of Myspace. JK: Yeah, so then I star t thinking about what kind of people would I want to record with. I know that all my songs have a very folky sound to them. But I definitely grew up listening to Prince and Michael Jackson and a lot of hip-hop. And I think that it would be really interesting to record with somebody with that kind of influence. Now I’m realizing it makes such a difference who you record with. And that’s not something I ever thought about before. And then all the things you can do to a song, there’s so much you can add or take away, strip down, make up... TM: Do you ever think about who you are playing to at all? JK: I think the second I star t to think about that is when I don’t really feel like I’m making good music anymore. Not to say I think I’m making good music right now, but I’m making music that I care about. It’s not something I’ve ever thought

of. I will take what I can get; mostly it’s just a friendship thing, like how usually your friends end up being the people you listen to. Maybe people who like music? TM: What’s your favorite song you’ve done so far? JK: That’s like picking my favorite baby! TM: Yeah, I guess that is a really unfair question. Right now, what song is really impor tant to you? JK: I think that the song I wrote recently, “Shitty Ex-Girlfriend,” I like that one a lot. I feel like maybe because it’s new; it’s always like that, the newest baby so I’m giving it all my attention. I really have also felt an affinity for “Everything Around Us Is Dead or Dying.” That one definitely went past the hear t, into the stomach. I was in a place where I was thinking about a lot of stuff and so getting to that and working it out was a big deal I suppose. TM: What’s next for Julie Karr? JK: Playing shows in September! Hopefully playing some more shows not in Richmond, getting more earrings, always a bigger goal. I remember looking at last year’s RVA and thinking I’m gonna be in that shit, top 100 ain’t got nothing on me! But no, really it’s a joke; I think I talk louder than I walk.

You can hear Julie on her Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/nonstopcake. Or even better, hear her live at Rumors (404 N. Harrison Street) on October 26 with The Pharmacy, or message her for details on some shows in the near future!

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M o d e r n p o p my t h o l o g y i s a c c e l e r a t i n g. A l b u m s a r e r e c o r d e d , l e a k e d a n d released in such an increasingly disorienting quantity that it can become q u i t e e a s y f o r t h e m o d e r n m u s i c m e d i a t o c h o k e o n t h e e x c e s s. A d d i t i o n a l l y, t h e p e r v a s i v e n e s s o f t h e I n t e r n e t h a s a l l o w e d f o r t h e c o nv e n i e n t c a t e g o r i z a t i o n a n d d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f e a c h d e c a d e i n t o e a s i ly c a t a l o g e d by t e s o f infor mation; these often include the most popular and the most acclaimed ( t h o u g h t h ey a r e n’ t a l w ay s m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e ) s i t t i n g s i d e by s i d e , s a n s a n y c u l t u r a l c o n t ex t . I a l w ay s c o n s i d e r e d t h i s p l u c k i n g o f t h e m o s t f a s c i n a t i n g bits of ephemer a from a given time period and recontextualizing them within my o w n d i o r a m a o f t h a t p a r t i c u l a r t i m e p e r i o d a s h e a l t hy. A f t e r a l l , i s n’ t t h e 21st centur y supposed to be all about postmoder n revisionism? T h i n g s b e c a m e a b i t m o r e d i s o r i e n t i n g l a t e l a s t ye a r w h e n N e u t r a l M i l k H o t e l ’ s I n T h e A e r o p l a n e O v e r T h e S e a w a s d i s c u s s e d by s c a d s o f p u b l i c a t i o n s t o c e l e b r a t e i t s 1 0 t h a n n i v e r s a r y. N o w I ’ v e a l w ay s b e e n f o r t h e m y t h o l o g i z i n g o f m u s i c i a n s a n d a l bu m s i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e a c e r t a i n m y s t i q u e , b u t t h i s w a s t h e f i r s t t i m e t h a t I w a s c o g n i z a n t o f t h e a l bu m i n q u e s t i o n u p o n i t s i n i tial release. It was fascinating to me to see how the album had been ripped f r o m i t s o r i g i n a l c o n t ex t . M a n y a r t i c l e s b o r e l i t t l e m e n t i o n o f t h e E l e p h a n t 6 collective that spawned them or the fitful star ts contained on the fir st f e w c a s s e t t e s a n d t h e s h a m bl i n g - bu t - b e a u t i f u l d e bu t a l bu m O n A v e r y I s l a n d . I n s t e a d , t h ey t r e a t e d i t a s i f s o m e g i f t e d y e t i r r e v o c a b l y f l a w e d g e n i u s ( t h e e l u s i v e Je f f M a n g u m ) h a d s t o l e n t h e l y r e o f O r p h e u s l o n g e n o u g h t o c r e a t e a p e r f e c t ly n o t e d p a e a n t o A n n e Fr a n k . A l t h o u g h my m e m o r y o f t h a t p a r t i c u l a r e r a i s n’ t c r y s t a l c l e a r ( I w a s 1 3 i n 1 9 9 7 ) , I w a s u p o n e n o u g h of the press at the time to know that Neutral Milk Hotel were one of litera l ly d o z e n s o f b a n d s w h o s e e m e d t o b e s p e w i n g f o r t h f r o m A t h e n s , G A a t a n a l a r m i n g r a t e ; a n d t h ey o f t e n p l ay e d s e c o n d - f i d d l e t o T h e O l i v i a Tr e m o r C o n t r o l w h o s e B l a c k Fo l i a ge a l b u m e c l i p s e d N M H i n b o t h c r i t i c a l a c c l a i m a n d press cover age at the time.

T he gr assroots movement that eventually took Aeroplane out the E6 ghetto a n d i n t o t h e p a n t h e o n o f c l a s s i c a l b u m s i s o n e t h a t I b a r e ly n o t i c e d . I h a d a l w ay s b e e n a f a n o f t h e r e c o r d , b u t i t h a d b e e n c l o s e l y t i e d t o o t h e r g r o u p s a n d r e c o r d s o f t h e t i m e , i n c l u d i n g r e l e a s e s by O f M o n t r e a l , E l f Po w e r, A p p l e s i n S t e r e o, a n d T h e O l i v i a Tr e m o r C o n t r o l a m o n g v a r i o u s o t h e r s. N o w the ring of recognition that comes with the mention of Aeroplane is followed by b a f f l e m e n t a t m e n t i o n o f r e c o r d s l i k e D u s k a t C u b i s t C a s t l e a n d t h e i d e a t h a t a t o n e p o i n t O f M o n t r e a l w e r e n o t p o m p - d i s c o. So is ther e r eally any problem with this approach to musical appropriation? T her e ar e plenty of bands and albums that have gained enough post-breaku p n o t o r i e t y t o b e c o m e c a n o n i z e d a l o n g s i d e a r t i s t s w h o w o u l d n’ t h a v e g i v e n t h e m t h e t i m e o f d ay d u r i n g t h e i r c a r e e r s. I g r e w u p u n d e r t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t h e r e w e r e l o a d s o f p e o p l e l i s t e n i n g t o T h e Ve l v e t U n d e r g r o u n d & N i c o a n d B i g S t a r a l o n g s i d e t h e B e a t l e s a n d t h e S t o n e s , o n ly t o l a t e r f i n d that they had gained such statur e decades after their original release. The p r o c e s s h a s b e c o m e hy p e r - a c c e l e r a t e d d u e t o t h e I n t e r n e t , w i t h o v e r l o o k e d albums being hawked left and right for canonization; unlike the gr assroots ador ation that pushed Aeroplane next to OK Computer in the realm of mode r n c l a s s i c s. M o d e r n c r i t i c s a n d p u b l i c a t i o n s t r y t o c o - o p t t h e p h e n o m e n o n , r e p l a c i n g c r a c k e d g e n i u s w i t h s t r a w m e n a n d r e c o r d s t h a t a r e o f t e n b a r e ly a y e a r o l d . A s a r e s u l t , t h e p u b l i c i s l e f t w i t h a l b u m s o n t h e i r i Po d s f r o m a widely v aried set of sources, allowing each to cr eate their own private hist o r y o f a n y g i v e n d e c a d e b a s e d s o l e l y u p o n t h e b l o g s a n d / o r p u bl i c a t i o n s t h e y c h o o s e t o p ay a t t e n t i o n t o. Wi t h t h i s s o r t o f p a r t i t i o n i n g, i t ’ s a l m o s t impossible to imagine another album such as Aeroplane becoming such a w i d e l y d i s s e m i n a t e d t h i n g. I Po d s h a v e s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d t h e v a l u e o f c u l t i s t m a t e r i a l , a n d t o d ay ’ s m y t h o l o g i e s a r e e a s i l y d i s s o l v e d by a r a b i d I n t e r n e t p r e s s a n d e m b a r r a s s i n g a m o u n t s o f m u s i c i a n - r e l a t e d b l o g g i n g. Po p m u s i c h i s t o r y i s e v e n m o r e s u b j e c t i v e t h a n e v e r, a n d yo u s h o u l d d e l i g h t i n t h e f a c t t h a t n o w i t c a n e x i s t a s a n y t h i n g yo u l i k e . 47


O uts i d e o f t h e R epu b li ca n

N at i o n a l C o n v en t i o n Riot Gear, Rubber Bullets

a n d T e a r G as P ho t o s a n d Wor d s by J a k e M ayday

My tr e k to this year’s Re public a n N a t io na l C o nv e nt io n in St. Paul, Minnesota be g a n w it h a t w e nt y - o ne ho u r mar atho n dri ve. T hr ee hour s after ar ri ving in t he Tw in C it ie s I w a s alr eady in handcuf fs. T he Re public an National C o nv e nt io n w a s s c he d ule d fr o m Monday, Se ptem ber 1 s t t hr o ug h T hur s d ay, Se p tember 4th at the Xcel Cent e r in d o w nt o w n St . Pa ul. For as muc h time and r eso ur c e s t he Re p ublic a ns p u t into planning their convent io n, a c t i v is t g r o up s f r o m the Twin Cities and ar ound t he c o unt r y p ut a n e q u a l amount of ener g y into cr as hing it . T he R N C We lc o m in g Committee and the Coalition t o M a r c h o n t he R N C a n d Sto p the War – both loc al g r o up s – ha v e b e e n o r g a nizing for mor e than a year t o w e lc o m e a c t i v is t s o f a ll stripes into their cities. To d is r up t w ha t m a ny b e lie v e is mer ely a media spectac le m im ic k ing a d e m o c r a t ic pr ocess, the gr oups put a s p e c ia l e m p ha s is o n t he fir st day of the convention. W hi le t he C o a lit io n p ulle d in ma ny tr aditional anti-w ar g r o up s fo r a la r ge p e r m it ted mar c h, the goals of the We lc o m i ng C o m m it t e e w e r e quite dif fer ent. T he Welco m ing C o m m it t e e a p p e a r e d

o p e nly o r g a niz e d a s a na r c his t s a nd a n t i- a ut ho r it a r ia n s int e nt o n p hy s ic a lly d is r up t ing t he o p e ning o f t he c o n v e nt io n, a s w e ll a s ge ne r a lly r e build ing t he c a p a c it y o f t he r a dic a l m ov e m e nt in t he U. S. , w hic h ha s t a k e n a s e r i o us d ow nt ur n in t he la s t d e c a d e s inc e it s p e a k w it h t he Wo r ld Tr a d e O r g a niz a t io n p r o t e s t s in Se a t t le in 1 9 9 9 . O n t he Fr id ay b e fo r e t he c o nv e nt io n, w e unlo a d e d o u r s o und s y s t e m s a nd s le e p ing b a g s a t a f r ie n d ’ s ho us e a n d m a d e o ur w ay ov e r t o t he We lc o m ing C o m m it t e e ’ s c o nv e r ge nc e s p a c e . I ns id e w ha t a p p e a r e d t o b e a n o l d t he a t e r, s t ud e nt s, yo ut h a nd r a d ic a ls o f a l l a ge s w e r e e a t in g d inne r a nd w a t c hing m ov ie s w he n t he R a m s ey C o unt y She r if f ’ s D e p a r t m e nt a nd t he ir m e n s t o r m e d in fo r a r a id w it h b a t t e r ing r a m s a nd g uns d r a w n. I ha p p e ne d t o b e o ut s id e w it h my g ir lf r ie nd a t t his p o in t , a n d w e w e r e a ble t o ge t a b o ut a bl o c k a w ay a nd m a k e c a lls t o t he C o ld s na p L e g a l C o lle c t i v e b e fo r e a n unm a r k e d p o li c e v e hic le r o lle d up o n u s w it h o f f ic e r s b a r k ing o r d e r s t o s t o p. W hile w e w e r e q ue s t io ne d in ha nd c uf f s t he o f f ic e r s p r o c e e d e d t o ig n o r e o ur r ig ht s t o la w ye r s a nd s ile n c e , t hr e a t e ning a w e e k in ja il if w e d id no t c o o p e r a t e . Af t e r a b o ut t hir t y m inut e s w e w e r e r e le a s e d w it ho ut c ha r ge s a n d he a d e d b a c k t o s up p o r t o ur f r ie nd s a s t hey w e r e r e le a s e d o ne by o ne f r o m t he c o nv e r ge nc e c e nt e r. T he nex t t w o d ay s b r o ug ht m o r e o f t he s a m e . I n t he e a r ly ho ur s o f Sa t ur d ay, A ug us t 3 0 t h s e v e r a l ho m e s o f lo c a l o r g a niz e r s w e r e r a id e d in a s im ila r f a s hio n . T hr o u g ho u t t he w e ek e nd p o lic e int im id a t e d a nd s na t c he d We lc o m ing C o m m it t e e m e m b e r s o f f t he s t r e e t s a nd p ulle d ov e r c a r s f ull o f s us p e c t e d a c t i v is t s a t g unp o int . I t b e c a m e g la ring ly o bv io us t ha t w e w e r e li v ing in o c c up ie d t e r r it o r y w he r e o ur r ig ht s c o uld b e d is m is s e d a t t he w ill o f a ny o f f ic e r o n p a t r o l.


By Mo nday m or ning I w as am a z e d t ha t my f r ie nd s a nd I w e r e s t ill fr ee. As we loaded the sound e q uip m e nt a nd b a nne r s i nt o o u r v a n a nd dr ov e to the State C a p it o l g r o und s, t he hum o f he lic o p ter s overhead acted as a c o ns t a nt r e m in d e r t ha t w e c o uld b e pulled over and shut down a t a ny m o m e nt . We unlo a d e d s a f e ly, and ar ound 11 a.m. our Funk t he Wa r a c t io n s t a r t e d d r a w ing in students and youth fr om the c r o w d t o t he g r o w ing d a nc e c ir c l e ar ound our sound system. T his F unk t he Wa r a c t io n w a s t h e 6 t h in a series star ted by the Wa s hing t o n, D C c ha p t e r o f S t ud e nt s For A Dem oc r atic Soc iety. As us ua l w e b r o ug ht a r o a r ing m ix o f local and inter national r ene g a d e b e a t s inc lud in g m us ic by P ublic Enemy and Skid Row. T his m o b il e (a nd o f t e n m ilit a nt ) a nt i- w a r disco is a tactic ada pted f r o m t he Re c la i m t he St r e e t s a c t io n s of the inter national global jus t ic e m ov e m e nt in t he 1 9 9 0 s. I t pr ovides an alter nati ve fo r t ho s e w ho w a n t t o p a r t ic ip a t e in d ir e ct a ction but pr efer loud m us ic a nd b r ig ht c o lo r s t o t he t y p i 52

c a l bla c k - c la d a ng r y p r o t e s t e r s. So m e o f t he o t he r g r o up s inv o lv e d in actions on Monday inc lud e d B a s h B a c k , a r a d ic a l q ue e r g r o up o r g a niz e d a r o und c r a s hing b ot h t he D emocr at ic a nd Re p ublic a n N a t io na l C o nv e n t io ns, a lo ng w it h t he Pa g a n C lus t e r, w ho des cribe t hems e lv e s a s a lo o s e g a t he r ing o f ind i v id ua ls b r ing ing a n e a r t h- b a s e d s pirit ualit y t o global jus t ic e a nd p e a c e a c t io ns. F unk t he Wa r ’ s m o b ile d a nc e p a r t y w e a v e d it s w ay t hr ough t he s t r e e t s o f d o w nt o w n St . Pa ul t a k i ng int e r s e c t io ns, blo c k ing t r a f f ic a nd dodging mas s es of p o lic e in f ull r io t ge a r int e nt o f s t o p p ing o ur f un.


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As w e r e a c he d t he int e r s e c t io n o f K e llo g g a nd Wa b a s ha – o ne o f t w o main ent r ances t o t he Xc e l C e nt e r – w e fo r m e d li ne s w it h o ur b o d ie s t o blo c k t he d e le g at es f r om ent ering. T he p o lic e m ov e d in o n ho r s e s, s ur r o und ing t he d e le g a t e s t o m ov e t he m t hr ough our lines a n d je r k ing t he r e ig ns t o us e t he ho r s e s a s w e a p o ns. Af t e r a n ho ur of these actions a la r ge r g r o up ha d o nc e a g a in g a t he r e d a r o und o ur b e a t s, t his t im e jus t out s ide t he Cr ow n P la z a H o t e l w he r e m e m b e r s o f t he Tex a s d e l e g a t io n w e r e s t ay ing. I t w asn’ t long befor e t he N a t io na l G ua r d w a s c a lle d in d r e s s e d in c a m o uf la ge r io t ge a r, t o t ing or ange w r a pped s ho t g uns w it h t he w o r d s “ L e s s L e t ha l” s t a m p e d o n t he b a r r e l. W h a t fo llowed can best be d e s c r ib e d a s a p o l ic e r io t . I n a b a r r a ge o f p e p p e r s p r ay, t e a r g a s, r ub ber bullets and c o nc us s io n g r e na d e s t he p o lic e le t lo o s e up o n t h e c r o w d o f 4 0 0 no nviolent pr ot es t or s r ut hl e s s ly a nd w it ho ut r e s t r a int . At t he e nd o f t he d ay, 2 8 4 p e o p le ha d b e e n a r r e s t e d , m a ny o f t he m in a mas s ar r es t t hat s w e p t up jo ur na lis t s, m e d ic s a nd by s t a nd e r s a lo ng w it h t ho s e a c t ua lly involved in t he demo ns t r a t io ns. Alm o s t ha lf a r e b e ing c ha r ge d w it h f e lo n ie s, a nd a s o f T hur sday mor ning it is unc le a r ho w m a ny ha v e b e e n r e le a s e d . A t o t a l o f e ig ht m e m b e r s o f the RNC Welcoming C o m m it t e e ha v e b e e n a r r e s t e d a nd a r e b e ing c ha r ge d w it h c o ns p ir a c y t o riot in f ur t her a n c e o f e r r o r is m , w hic h c a r r ie s up t o a 7 1 / 2 ye a r s e nt e nc e und e r Minnesota’s ver sion o f t he Pa t r io t Ac t .


NOW AT A NEW LOCATION !!! 1906-C NORTH HAMILTON ST.


JONNY Z F E S T I VA L

th kson Meyer of St. Written by 5 Grader Jac

58

Andrews


It’s b een a dif ficult year fo r m a ny o f us s in c e lo s ing o ur f r ie nd Jonny Z. In his memor y w e (s o m e o f his f r ie nd s ) p ut t o ge t he r a mur al pr ojec t under the b a nne r o f Ar t 1 8 0 . So m e s t ud e nt s o f St. Andr e w’s Sc hool in Or e go n H ill he lp e d w it h t he p r o je c t in a colla bor ation to cele br at e h is a m a z ing s p ir i t . D ur ing t he m o nt hs of May and June we got t o ge t he r w it h t he s t ud e nt s a nd s ha r e d stories of his contributio ns t o t he lo c a l a r t s c o m m unit y t o he lp inspir e them in cr eating t he m ur a l. We fo c us e d o n ho w m uc h he loved all his friends, m a k ing t he m m ix t a p e s a nd s ilk s c r e e ns, ho w he played dr um s in e v e r y b a nd in t o w n, w ha t he d id fo r Fo o d Not Bombs and his r oles in o r g a niz ing t he B iz a r r e M a r k e t a nd a Polar oid show at Ipane m a . We m e t w it h t he k id s a nd lis t e ne d to music , told stories a nd w o r k e d o n Po la r o id c o lla ge s, w hic h a ll built tow ar d c r eating im a ge s fo r w ha t w o uld b e c o m e o ne o f the mur als outside Joe’s I nn w he r e Jo nny w o r k e d . T he s p ir it o f Jonny w as e v er y w her e as w o r k o n t he m ur a l go t und e r w ay ; it ani ma te d the m ood of kids a nd g r o w n up s a lik e p a int ing p iz z a f lo w er s on the w all, dancing t o t he s w e e t t une s o n M y a ’ s iPo d a nd cr eating the comic book- lik e im a ge r y o f t he c o lla ge . T he r e ’ s no doubt that if he w as still w it h us h e w o ul d ha v e b e e n d o w n t he r e e ver y day helping the yo ung a r t is t s t r a ns fo r m t he a lley w a ll into a wor k of ar t. It go e s w i t ho ut s ay i ng t ha t w e a ll m is s him ; and or g anizing the Jonny Z f e s t i v a l t h is p a s t A ug us t 9 t h w a s a w ay cele br ate his life and w ha t he ins p ir e s us t o d o. T ha nk yo u Jonny, and we m iss you. T he Ar tists: Danielle Afo lay a n, D e b o r a h Afo lay a n, D o r c a s Afo layan, Ker r y Ander son, Jy v o nn ie C ha lm e r s, D e s t iny D ay, D a v id Hansen, Mic hael Guedri, M a r s ha ll H ig g ins, Ana is ha H it e , Ahr e a Jone s, J ac kson Meyer, Lily Rus s e ll, B r it t a ny Tay lo r, Ty le r T ho m a s, C har lotte Woods, Yola nd a Wo o d s & Jo nny ’ s f r ie nd s …

59


60


Polaroids by Mandy Lamb, Jonny Z Festival photos by Aimee Koch, and ART 180 mural photos by Liza Kate

61


Someone Needs A Blowjob C hr ist Bopst

A long tim e a go, I used to w r it e a c o lum n fo r R ic h mond.com. For mer editor Jo hn D e nnis o n g a v e m e comple te autonomy to write a b o ut a ny t hing I w a nt ed as long as it had at lea s t a lit t le s o m e t hing t o do with music. It w as a go o d g ig w hile it la s t e d , but w hen John got axed by t he m a na ge m e nt , I w a s info r me d that my ser v ic es a s a c o lum nis t w e r e no lo nge r desir ed bec ause the s it e w a nt e d t o b e c o m e a “positi ve ne ws sour ce”. I g ue s s I w a s n’ t p o s it i v e e no ugh t o be on their c hee r le a d ing s q ua d . C a se in point. Her e’s the c olum n I w r o t e in A p r il o f 2003 for the site that e ven my m a in c ha m p io n (M r. Dennison) at the now, “if yo u’ v e go t no t hing nic e to say, say nothing at all” s it e r e f us e d t o p ublis h. With the r e-opening of the c u lt ur e w a r s t ha nk s t o John McCain’s nomination o f Sa r a h Pa lin t o b e his vice p r e s idential r unning ma t e , t he s e nt im e nt s expr essed her e ar e still (sad ly ) p e r t in e nt t o d ay.

64

I t c e r t a inly is a m a z ing t ha t w it h t he m a ny im p o rt a nt is s ue s t ha t f a c e o ur c o unt r y ’ s jud ic ia l s y s t e m , t he Sup r e m e C o ur t is w a s t ing v a lua ble t im e , m o ney a n d r e s o ur c e s d e b a t ing la w s o n t he b o o k s in 1 3 s t a t e s (Fo ur s t a t e s – Tex a s, K a ns a s, O k la ho m a a n d M is s o ur i – ha v e s o d o my la w s t ha t a p p ly jus t t o s a m e - s ex c o up l e s. N ine o t he r s t a t e s – Ala b a m a , Flo r id a , Id a ho, L o uis ia na , M is s is s ip p i, N o r t h C a r o lina , So ut h C a r o lina , U t a h a nd Vir g inia – b a n s o d o my fo r e v e r yo ne ) c o nc e r ning t he le g a lit y o f t he s ex ua l a c t k no w n a s s o d o my. T he id e a t ha t w ha t t w o c o ns ent ing a d ult s d o b e hi nd c lo s e d d o o r s is w o r t hy o f le ng t hy c o u r t r o o m d e b a t e w o u ld b e la ug ha ble if it w e r e n’ t fo r t he s e r io us ho m o p ho b i a b e ing exp os e d in t his p o int le s s c ha r a d e o f s up p o s e d jus t ic e . O ne ha s t o w o nd e r w ha t lis t le s s, unim a g ina bly d ull s ex l i v e s t he s e s e lf - im p o s e d p r o t e c t o r s o f t he g a t e s o f m o r a l d e c e nc y m us t ha v e if t hey ha v e ne v e r e ng a ge d , in e it he r g i v in g o r r e c e i v ing, in t he r ig ht e o us e c s t a s y o f a w e llex e c ut e d a c t o f go d g i v e n s o d o my. I s hud d e r t o t hink o f a lif e w it ho ut it a nd , if t his c a r na l a c t o f p a s s io n is up he ld a s a g a ins t t he la w in t he s e 1 3 s t a t e s, I w ill a nd fo r e v e r w ill b e a n unr e p e nt a n t a n d s ex ua lly s a t is f ie d c r im ina l. Als o, ho w d o e s t he c o ur t , if t his la w is up he ld , p r o p o s e t o e nfo r c e s t r i c t c o m p li a nc e t o t his p o s s ible r uling ? Ar e t hey go ing t o s t a t io n c o p s o ut s id e e v e r y b e d r o o m a n d w he n yo u m a k e yo ur m ov e t o g i v e yo ur lov e r s o m e m uc h ne e d e d o r a l o r a na l p le a s ur e , a r e t hey go in g t o s t e p in a nd s ay t h a t t y p e o f lif e a f f ir m ing s ex

is n’ t a llo w e d in t his s t a t e ? T he a bsur dity of tr ying t o d ic t a t e ho w c o up le s, r e g a r d less of their sexual p r e f e r e nc e , c ho s e t o p le a s e one another is the s t uf f o f g r a nd c o m e dy, but i f o ne good thing is to c o m e f r o m a ll t h is c o m p le t e ly useless w aste of the Sup r e m e C o ur t ’ s v a lua ble t im e, it exposes those w ho a r e f ig ht ing t o k e e p t his law on the books as t he e ne m ie s o f t he p e o p le a s well as t he enemies o f g r e a t , d o it a ll nig ht , d o n’ t stop, don’ t stop, unb e lie v a bly a w e s o m e s ex . Ta k e Pe nn s y lv a nia Re p ublic a n Senat or, R ic k Sant or um fo r ex a m p le . I n a n int e r v ie w w it h T he As s o ciat ed P r es s, San t o r um c r i t ic iz e d ho m o s ex ua li t y w hile discussing a p e nd in g Sup r e m e C o ur t c a s e over a Texas sodomy la w. “ I f t he Sup r e m e C o ur t s ay s t ha t you have the right t o c o ns e ns ua l (g ay ) s ex w it hin your home, then yo u ha v e t he r i g ht t o b ig a my, you have t he right t o p o lyg a my, yo u ha v e t he r ight to incest, you ha v e t h e r ig ht t o a d u lt e r y. Yo u have the right to a ny t hin g, ” Sa nt o r um , R - Pa . , s a id in the inter vie w, p ublis he d t his p a s t M o nd ay. H e r e is t he c a s e , L a w r e nc e & G ar ner Vs. T he State o f Tex a s, t ha t s p a r k e d t he s e nat or’ s r emar k s.


In Lawr ence vs. Texas, t w o g ay m e n s ay t he state of Texas de pri ved t he m o f p r i v a c y r ig ht s and equal pr otection und e r t he la w w he n t hey wer e ar r ested in 1998 fo r ha v ing s ex in a Ho ust on hom e. A ne ighbor had r e por te d a “ w e a p o ns d is t ur b a nce” at the hom e of Jo hn G. La w r e nc e , a nd w he n polic e ar ri v ed they o nly fo und t w o m e n ha ving sex . Lawr enc e and a no t he r m a n, Ty r o n Gar ner, wer e held over nig ht in ja il a nd la t e r fine d $200 eac h for v iola t ing t he s t a t e ’ s H o mosexual Conduct Law. T he ne ig hb o r w a s la t e r convic ted of filing a f als e p o lic e r e p o r t . T he case is now befor e t he U. S. Sup r e m e C o ur t . O r a l ar gum ents wer e he ld o n M a r c h 2 6 , 2 0 0 3 . A decision is expected a t t he e n d o f June o r b e ginning of July, 2003. Ma n, does this guy need a blo w jo b, o r w ha t ? Hell, I’ d get on my kne e s o r b e nd him ov e r (w hate ver he would c ho o s e ) t o s ho w him t he er r or of his thinking, a nd I ’ m s t r a ig ht . H is cr iminally m isguided ass o c ia t io n o f ho m o s exu ality with the likes of, w ha t w e c a n a ll a g r e e o n as sexually vile and r e p ug na nt b e ha v io r, inc e s t is a sad c om m entar y of ho w t his s exua l p r e f e rence assigned at bir th is v i e w e d by a s e g m e nt o f the population. What is s c a r y is t ha t Sa nt o r um is c hair man of the G O P c o nf e r e nc e in t he Senate, thir d in his par t y ’ s le a d e r s hip, b e hind

M a jo r it y Le a d e r B ill Fr is t o f Te nne s s e e a nd As s is t a nt M a jo r it y L e a d e r M it c h M c C o nne ll o f K e nt uc k y. W ha t in t he w o r ld r uns t hr o ug h t h e Se na t o r Sa n t o r um ’ s he a d w he n he s ay s s uc h inc r e d ibly ins e n s it i v e a nd ex c e e d i ng ly f a ls e s t a t e m e nt s s uc h a s t his ? I s he, in f a c t , e nd e a r ing him s e lf a nd s p e a k ing fo r his c o ns t it ue nt s w it h t he s e c r im ina lly ig no r a nt s t a t e me nt s ? I c e r t a inly ho p e no t . P ut in t his w ay, if he s a id “ nig ge r s ” , “ c hink s ” o r “ w e t b a c k s ” (ins e r t a ny r a c ia l s lur o f yo ur c ho o s ing he r e ) ins t e a d o f “ ho m o s ex ua ls ” , w o uld it b e a ny d if f e r e nt ? H o w a b o ut a $2 0 0 d o lla r f ine fo r v io la t ing t he s t a t e ’ s “ N ig ge r C o nd uc t L a w ?” W ha t ge t s t he s e d im w it s ’ p a nt ie s in a n e v e r s o s e r i o us b ind ov e r ho m o s ex ua lit y is a ny b o d ie s g ue s s. Pe r s o na lly, I c a n’ t s ing t he p r a is e s o f my ho m o s ex ua l b r o t he r s a nd s is t e r s lo ud e no ug h, a nd I w ill f ig ht t o my dy ing d ay fo r t he ir c i v il r ig ht s. T hey a r e r o ut ine ly d is c r im ina t e d a g a ins t , m o c k e d a nd r id i c ule d by num e r o us r e lig io us s c ho o ls o f t ho ug h t , d is m is s e d a nd t he ir c o nc e r ns ig no r e d by t ho s e t ha t , w ho fo r no go o d r e a s o n, a r e t r o uble d a n d s o m e ho w m o r a lly d is m aye d by t he ir m e r e s ex u a l p r e f e r e nc e . T his is a c i v il r i g ht s is s ue , p l a in a n d s im p le , a nd t o ha v e a s t a t e s e na t o r v o ic e s uc h v ulg a r s e nt im e nt s c o nc e r n in g t he le g a lit y ov e r s o d o my, a n a c t e ng a ge d in by b o t h he t e r o s ex ua l s a nd ho m o s ex ua ls a lik e , is inex c us a ble .

B e s ur e t o w r it e t he s e na t o r t o voice your supr eme d is p le a s ur e w it h his s t up id , c a n’ t die soon enough, b igo t e d blo a t e d a s s. Pa ul S m it h, t he a t t o r ney r e p r esenting the two H o us t o n m e n w ho ha v e r ig ht f ully c hallenged the la w, ha s a r g ue d t he la w v io la t e s pri v ac y and equal p r o t e c t io n r ig ht s, s ub je c t ing homos ex uals t o crimina l p e na lt ie s w hile a llo w ing d if fer ent-sex couples t o e ng a ge in t he s a m e c o nd uc t. He said the law t r e a t e d ho m o s ex ua ls a s “ s e c ond-c lass” citizens a nd it d is c r im ina t e d a g a ins t t hem. D is t urbingly, C h ie f Ju s t ic e Wi llia m Re h nq uis t r e plied, “Almost all la w s a r e b a s e d o n d is a p p r ov a l of some people or s o m e t y p e o f c o nd uc t . T ha t ’ s w hy people le gis la t e . ” I nit ia l r e p o r t s s ug ge s t t ha t t he justices ar e split o n t he is s ue , w it h Re hnq ui s t a nd Scalia in suppor t o f up ho ld ing t he la w, So ut e r a nd Br eyer in suppor t o f ov e r t ur ning t he la w, w it h t he pos it ion of t he o t he r f i v e jus t ic e s unc le a r. L e t ’ s ho p e t ha t t ho s e 5 o t he r undecided jus t ices f ind in f a v o r o f L a w r e nc e & G a r ner and finally do a w ay w it h t h is g r o s s m is c a r r ia ge of jus t ice once a nd fo r a ll. T he f ina l Ve r d ic t : T he U. S. Supr eme Cour t r uled 6 - 3 t ha t s o d o my la w s a r e unc o nstitutional on June 26, 2003 65


AMERICA, YOU IDIOT!

All four persons r unning for of f ice are politicians.

America dearest: I am wor ried about sixty

Less days

than af ter

penning this cor respondence, you will head to the polls, and elect our next administration. believe honestly

you

I are

confused

about the choices before you, and I will do my best to educate.

I would

nor mally

not

dis-

cuss politics with

66

fore the full ef fects can be seen.

the situation we f ind ourselves in is . The R epublican ticket you are be-

IAN M. GRAHAM

you.

you, my dear; however, at this time I simply must, because

T wo

ing presented with represents ev-

are Democrats, and two are R epublicans. There are many

er ything that the R epublicans have

dif ferences between Democrats and R epublicans; however,

been made famous for.

they’re all politicians – it’s like dif ferent kinds of dogs.

g reat campaigns, and they are awful

Collies have longer hair, and a dedicated patter n, whereas

leaders, and we couldn’t be seeing

pit bulls have shor t hair, and can be colored by spots or

a better example than John McCain

brindle.

and Sarah Palin. They are the same

Collies and pit bulls are both types of dogs, and

Democrats and R epublicans are both types of politicians.

They r un

par ty, one and the same, as George W. Bush, no matter how hard they’re

America…I am going to be honest with you.

I’m not sure

tr ying to convince you other wise.

you’re ready for it, but you’re cer tainly old enough; in fact you’re too old to believe just anything a person on a televi-

John McCain has been preaching re-

sion tells you anymore, so this has been coming for a long

for m in Washington, DC, for close to

time.

30 years. Until two years ago, he appeared to be an honorable man, albeit

The R epublicans are full of shit.

Yes, I know, the Demo-

a failure as a refor mer. His militar y

crats are, too, believe me, I know. I’ve been to their meet-

service record shows, quite clearly,

ings, speeches and galas, but the R epublicans are far, far

that he was once with honor, the best

more full of shit, and it’s a much more dangerous kind of

of the best. Nothing can change this.

shit that they’re spewing. It’s radioactive dookie – sure, it

In Vietnam, he was subject to hor-

may seem shitty now, but this kind of shit takes years be-

rible tor ture, and when he was given


the oppor tunity to be let out before his

He was against the Bush tax cuts to the richest

lieve I just wrote that, it’s as if

fellow prisoners due to his being the

Americans, he now suppor ts making those tax

we’re in some kind of a farce,

son of an admiral, he refused. Ameri-

cuts per manent.

America, except this isn’t a

ca is in his debt, for cer tain; however,

comedy of er rors, this is the

I don’t think that he can cash it in for

He claimed the Iraq war would be quick and

the Oval Of f ice.

easy, now he claims he knew it would be tough all along.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the

Presidency of You. I think you’re old enough to hear this, America – Sarah Pa-

mark of a tr uly honorable man, and the

He spoke out against 527-style attack ads, and

lin is a petty liar.

statements and activities of the last

his 2000 presidential campaign was mired

ing to encounter a lot of these

You’re go-

two years have shown us that Senator

with half-tr uths and lies put out by Karl R ove

dishonest people in your life,

John McCain is quite unlike Soldier

and the Bush administration. Now, he boldly

and she’s one of the worst . Her

John McCain.

He has changed many

lies about his opponent’s plans, policies, ac-

introduction to America, her

of his views to confor m to the cur rent

tions to gain points in the polls, not to mention

speech at the RNC, was chock

R epublican ideology, an ideology that

lif ting his rhetoric and billing it as his own.

full of lies – lies about her record, her actions, her views

is far out of step with the foundation

and her opponent.

of conservative R epublicans (I refer

He was against pandering to the extreme right

to Bar r y Goldwater).

The following

wing of evangelicals and nutty, anti-evolution

views have been changed in the last

Christians – he has now named one of them as

She has been a disaster for her

two years, to gain the acceptance of

his VP, which brings us to the coup de g ras:

hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.

the R epublican establishment: He was pro-choice, now he is anti.

The mayoral election is supSarah Palin. As we speak, she is under a me-

posed to be non-par tisan, but

dia blackout – she’ll give no interviews until

Palin brought in the state R e-

September 11 of this year. I can’t fucking be-

publican Par ty, who ran ads 67


on her behalf.

She attempted to f ire the

town librarian, who promised to bring in

with other constr uction projects that, while nice,

she and McCain keep,

do nothing to help Wasilla make money.

this

the ACLU if Palin went for ward with her

could

easily

be

tr ue when stated.

idea of censoring book s in the librar y. She

While gover nor, she requested $589 million in fed-

requested updated resumes and letters of

eral ear mark s, and she got it. $227 million of it

And that’s just the be-

resignation from the librarian and other

was for the famous Bridge to Nowhere (which she

ginning of her laundr y

town of f icials, and went on the record say-

claims she did not suppor t), and once it got na-

list. She f ired the en-

ing that these actions were loyalty tests to

tional attention, she scuttled the project, and kept

tire Alaska Board of

her administration – not loyalty to Wasilla,

the money. She praised her lobbyists in DC at the

A g riculture and Con-

to Alaska, or the United States, but loyalty

time, for working so hard for Alaska (they were

servation due to a dis-

to the Palin Administration. The town was

paid about $350k/ea for their ef for ts). Alaska, by

ag reement over dair y.

debt-free before her tenure; now, they are

the way, does not pay federal taxes – so ever y red

She

around $25 million dollars in debt. In the

cent they take from the federal gover nment was

the Dair y Board, but

last census, in the year 2000, Wasilla had

collected from the other 49 states. She used this

could not, as the Diar y

4,569 people. That’s $4,571.20 in debt for

pork in lieu of spending Alaska’s money, so that

Board is placed by the

each person, and that’s on top of the $27

the state could use their budget surplus to cut ev-

A g riculture board; so,

million in federal pork she secured and

er y Alaskan a check for $1500: her 80% approval

she f ired them so they

spent in federal pork (pork-bar rel spending

rating, bought and paid for, at the expense of your

could f ire the Dair y

is funds secured for unnecessar y projects,

pockets.

Board. She sur rounds

from taxpayer dollars, i.e., “bringing home the bacon”).

What did this debt secure

wanted

to

f ire

herself with industr y She claims that Obama means to “raise your tax-

cronies

es”. This could only be tr ue if she were speaking to

personal

A

a room full of people who are making over $300k

positions

hockey stadium that cost $10 million, along

annually, and frankly, with the kind of company

She appointed one of

for the people of Wasilla?

Better roads,

schools, or other infrastr ucture?

68

No.

and

places

friends of

to

power.


her

Rich-

ar y af ter the R apture. Perhaps her wrath-

can be easily verif ied via Goog le,

ter, as the Director of the Alaska

fundraisers,

Debbie

ful God is causing g lobal war ming to Alas-

YouT ube and Wikipedia, although I

Per manent F und Dividend Divi-

ka’s benef it.

She think s that God wants a

will war n you, my beloved countr y,

sion – that’s the division that

new natural gas pipeline for Alaska, too; or

that reality has a well-documented

cuts Alaskans their free money

at least that’s what she told her cong rega-

liberal bias.

check s.

tion in June of this year.

She hired Cora Crome

as her f ishing policies adviser

America, John McCain is now with-

– Crome was previously an in-

She believes that the Bible is literally tr ue.

out honor, perhaps the worst thing

dustrial lobbyist for the United

Yes.

that can be said about a soldier. Sarah Palin is a petty, lying, spite-

F isher men of Alaska, and is wed to a wealthy f isher man.

In my life, I have had not one, but two cats

ful and largely ignorant person. Ba-

with more foreign experience than Sarah

rack Obama and Joe Biden are not

She doesn’t believe in evolution

Palin. I was bor n in Paris, F rance, and my

f lawless individuals – they are both

and wants creationism taught in

parents acquired two wonder ful felines dur-

politicians.

our schools.

ing their stay. Both cats met many foreign

have a choice, America, between an

She believes that

This November, you

happening,

persons and dignitaries (my parents had

honest want for change, and poli-

but doesn’t think g lobal war m-

plenty of friends from other embassies).

tics as usual.

ing is manmade, so whom would

They had, when they passed years ago, spent

she think is responsible?

Her

more time on foreign soil and met more for-

I’ll write again soon.

church (at the time, Wasilla As-

eign people than Sarah Palin ever has. It is

-Ian

sembly

also becoming star tling ly apparent that the

g lobal

war ming

of

is

God, a

Pentecostal

church. She now attends Wasil-

cats made better company.

la Bible Church.) believes that Alaska will be a human sanctu-

P.S. - Let’s see if we can’t get the nickname

All of the f igures and facts stated herein

“mooseburger”

popular

for Palin! 69


70


71


72


73


74


75


76


77


To ever yone that has ever viewed this space, I want to thank ever yone that has ever contributed in front or behind the camera to RVA Fashion. I want to thank ever yone that has ever complimented the wor k myself and my collaborator s have snuck into the back 8 pages of this magazine. I want to thank ever yone who’s called me out on a ter rible outfit (there’s been a few) or a directionless shot (see previous parentheses.) I am leaving Richmond at the end of September to star t a new project in Brooklyn. I’ ll be moving to VICE Magazine and leave the professional company of some of the most talented and visionar y people I’ ve ever met. This isn’t a full list of these people, but I must recognize the ones that have consistently been available to be under paid for their exceptional ser vices. In an order of pure top-of-mind recollection, these are the friends that have helped me create a body of wor k I’m ver y proud of: Mar y Heffley Kim Frost Ian Graham Aurora Lane Sarah Walor Claire Tuite Lindsey Heppner Mimi Regelson KC Ellis

Jason Levesque Christy Miller Ken Howard Ashley Har t Edwin Thompson Megdalena Nopova Casey Longyear Emerald Grippa Nick Wittkowski

Tony Har ris Tatiana Wynn Kevin Hennessy Alina Shabashevich Doug Spooner Andrea Sledd Chris Bossola McKinsey Moore Adam Sledd

…and many more that space will not per mit me to recognize right now. You know who you are and you can yell at me later for not including you on this list. In shor t, this is my last shoot as RVA Magazine’s Fashion Editor. I’m going to miss all of you real hard. Thanks for giving me confidence, ideas, suppor t and criticism. Richmond, you’re the fucking best. I’ ll miss you most of all. Thank you,

Christian Detres 78


RVA Volume 4 Issue 6  

Cultural magazine for our beloved Richmond, Virginia. Free art, music, and opinion.

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