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R. Anthony Harris publisher senior designer website mgt. Parker managing editor creative director

RVA VOL . 3 I S S U E 6 Th in k B i g, Walk Tall cover image by Ian Graham corrections : The article on artist Kevin Orlosky in the last issue of RVA was written by a tired and hung over Parker.

Adam Sledd manager senior writer Christian Detres advertising fashion Jeff Smack designer illustrator website designer Ryan Schell Scott Whitener copy editors AD TEAM Christian Detres Doug Spooner Jeff Smack Ian M. Graham Kim Frost Ant

WRITERS James Wayland J. Pocklington Christian Detres Lauren Vincelli Pauline Dean M.D. Stone David McRae Casey Longyear Ken Howard Erin Static Paul Lazio Sean Patrick Rhorer Parker Adam Sledd R. Anthony Harris PHOTOS Thomas H. Connor Scott Elmquist Chris Smith Chris Lacroix David Kenedy Michelle Dosson Grant Pullman Ian M. Graham ILLUSTRATION Adam Juresko Jeff Smack

08 Exhibitions at White Canvas, Quirk, & Eric Schindler galleries

CONTACT

16 J. Pocklington

e:// info@rvamag.com

22 Richmond Had A Little Lamb... 28 Souvenir’s Young America 33 Duchess Of York

http://www.rvamag.com

ADVERTISING Local + National p:// 804.349.5890 e:// christian@rvamag.com

36 Then And Now 39 The Concice Vehicle 42 Microjoy Positive Force Separation Rise Of Kings Tickley Feather/Bermuda Triangles - Split 7”

DISTRIBUTION Want to carry RVA? p:// 804.349.5890 e:// tony@rvamag.com

SUBMISSIONS RVA welcomes submissions but cannot

43 Mattew Sharpe’s Jamestown

be held responsible for unsolicited material. Send all

44 Mix Tape: The Breakup Mix

submissions to parker@rvamag.com.

46 Southern Whirlwind Tour 52 Welcome To VCU: The Real Rules for School 54 Capoeira Resistencia 60 Free Palestine NOW! 68 Compare and Contrast: Arts and the City 70 Cutting Weight part 2 of 4 74 Rumor’s Fall Fashion Cheat Sheet

SUBSCRIPTION Go online to RVAMAG.com

HEADS UP! The advertising and articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinion and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. Reproduction in whole or part without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. RVA Magazine is published monthly. Images are subject to being altered from their original format. All material within this magazine is protected. RVA is a registered trademark of Inkwell Design L.L.C.

76 Deepwood Sportsman Fresh Scent 80 Letters To Lazio

INTERNS Matt Ramsey

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THE WH I T E C AN VAS GA L L E RY PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE OPEN HOUSE RECEPTION SATURDAY, Sept 15th 5:30 pm- 8:00 pm

“Iced Tea and Memories” Mixed media paintings from Virginia Folk Artist William H. Clark depicting the companionship often shared around the very Southern drink iced tea, and the joyful glimpses into the community and characters within his life. September 15, 2007 –  October 17, 2007 White Canvas Gallery is located next to La Diff in the Historic Shockoe Slip District 111 South 14th Street Richmond, VA 23219 Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday  10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Sunday                   12:00 PM – 5:00 PM First Friday hours     10:00 AM- 8:00 PM For info visit www.whitecanvasgallery.com 804.782.1776

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TA B L E S TO WALLS Quirk Gallery | September 7 - October 21

Co-curated by Robert Meganck & Sterling Hundley Curatorial Assistant: Beth Demmon

Since opening in September 2005, the focus of Quirk Gallery, located on the historic Broad Street corridor, has been to live up to its name by filling a niche in the Richmond art scene with quirky, fresh and innovative art. Never bowing to convention, the bar has been raised with each show, constantly redefining the labels of what is considered art. Tables to Walls is no exception.

Co-curators Robert Meganck and Sterling Hundley remark, “Tables to Walls challenges the notion that Jo e M o r s e “ H o o d o o & C a k e ” 10


Tifenn Python “La Grenouille de New Orleans”

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important artwork is only created for the gallery wall. This show will take the work of nine artists from the pages on your tables to the walls of Quirk Gallery. In a new context, the

Many of the illustrators featured in Tables to Walls have been awarded the highest honors

artwork of these highly influential artists is allowed the luxury of space. You need only supply

in their field. Clients include Coca-Cola, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek,

the time.”

NFL, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, New York Times, Sony Music, Nike, Universal Pictures, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, Scholastic, Black Book Magazine, Nylon, Washington Post, and

Illustrations surround us in our everyday lives. From billboards we see on our way to work,

Elektra Records to name just a few. Several have received gold medals from the Society of

to books we read to our children, to the labels on the soft drinks we buy, to the pages of the

Illustrators, one of the oldest and most distinguished groups promoting illustration today.

dog-eared magazines resting on our coffee tables. They speak directly without using words, executed to perfection for the satisfaction of a client. We take the spate of images we see

Tables to Walls unites these remarkable artists in a way that transcends the gap between

for granted.

commercial and fine art, and offers the chance to experience these works of art in a completely new setting.

The idea of lassoing creativity for commercial use is repugnant to some artists, but the idea is certainly not a new one. Would any art historian criticize Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel,

Exhibiting artists include John Foster, Gary Kelley, Anita Kunz, Patricia Martin-Nelson, Joe Morse, Tim

commissioned by the Pope? Would anyone consider Norman Rockwell a less capable artist

O’Brien, Roberto Parada, Tifenn Python, and Greg Swearingen.

because of his many Saturday Evening Post covers? Should we take less time to thoughtfully consider illustrations due to their intended location? Absolutely not. Regardless of purpose,

Quirk Gallery is located at 311 W. Broad Street and hours of operation are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.,

any artistic endeavor retains a part of the creator. Illustrators, painters, sculptors, designers

and Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please check our website at www.quirkgallery.com for information about this

– artists from every field – can attest to the surge of parental pride when a work of art is

exhibition and other upcoming exhibitions.

completed. 12


Jo h n Fo s t e r “ H u r r i c a n e ”

W W W. MYSPACE. CO M/CARN I VAL OF5 FIRES


J. Pocklington Interviews Himself . . . a n d G e t s B o r e d Q u i c k ly .

Ja mie Poc klington What’s up w it h t he “ J ” ? W hy no t us e yo ur na m e , “ J a m ie ” ? J. Po c klington People tend t o t hink I ’ m a w o m a n. T he f i r s t d ay o f hig h s c ho o l my n a m e go t c a lle d in t he g ir ls ’ r o ll c a ll. T his ha p p e ne d in f r ont of four c lasses o f kids. Ev er yone laughed a t m e . Ja mie Wher e do you get the p e o p le yo u us e a s s ub je c t s in yo ur w o r k ? Biza r r o J I tr oll the Inter ne t fo r o p e n p ho t o a lbum s o f p e o p le I d o n’ t t hink w o uld e v e r s e e my w o r k . As k ing fo r p e r m is s io n w o u ld b e a p a in; so would getting sue d . Ja mie What do you think of t he a r t s c e ne in R ic hm o nd ? Biza r r o J People should c hec k o ut t he Er ic Sc hind le r Ga lle r y if t hey ha v e n’ t , e s p e c ia lly if t hey a r e int e r e s t e d in a c t ua lly p ur c ha s ing g r e a t (yet af for da ble) ar t . Ga lle r y5, ADA, and P lant Zer o ha v e b r o ug ht a lo t o f lif e t o t he s c e ne . 1 7 0 8 ha s ne v e r he a r d o f m e . Ja mie : Anything coming up a f t e r yo ur Sc hind le r s h o w ? Biza r r o J Yes, thanks for as k ing. Te nt a t i v e ly a g r o u p s ho w in M a r c h a t t he L o ng Vie w G a lle r y in D. C . T he s ho w w ill b e c o m p r is e d o f fo ur Vir ginia ar tists w ho wer e featur ed in the most r e c e nt M id - At la nt ic e d it io n o f N e w Am e r ic a n Pa i nt ing s. I ha v e a no t he r s o lo s ho w a t t he E r ic Sc hind l e r G a lle r y in late 2008 or ear ly 2009. I m ight go bac k to s c ho o l fo r my M FA (M a s t e r o f F ine Ar t )… if s o m e o ne w a nt s m e . Ja mie You’ r e the wor st inter v ie w e v e r. Biza r r o J T hanks! Go c he c k out J am ie…er…J. Po c k ling t o n’ s s ho w

PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS OF PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW AND A SELF-PORTRAIT THAT’S NOT EVEN ME Se ptember 14 - October 9, 2007 - Eric Sc hindler Galler y - 2305 East Br oad St. - Ric hmond, VA 23223 - p//(804) 644-5005 - www.ericsc hindler g aller y.com 15


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Richmond Had a Little Lamb...

– Its Soul Was Black As

…Kinda... by Christian Detres images by Chris Lacroix


i ns i de Toad’s Pl a c e , R i c h mo n d , VA


Lamb Of G od


For those of us that ar e not platinum r ecor d-selling “r oc k star s”, life in our little city is comfy - not quite lazy but far from “spar kling”. (Korea owns that head scr atch-wor thy moniker) For the handful of those that ar e “r oc k star s”, Ric hmond of fer s a land of polite a n o n y m i t y. B e i n g r e c o g n i z e d i n R i c h m o n d m a y g e t y o u a n a p p r e c i a t i v e n o d f r o m t h e a d j a c e n t t a ble o f b ik e m e s s e nge r s a nd a c o m p lim e nt a r y J a m e s o n’ s a t Em p ir e , but r a r e ly s p e w s the verbal jizz of star-str uck ‘burgs too cool for Richmond’s war ped pavement and quaint, homogenous overculture.

It’s no wonder that Lamb of God, upon retur ning home from extensive touring and headlining the premier metal fest of our time, Ozzfest, would extol the vir tues of home so vocife r o u s l y f r o m o u r n e w p u l p i t o f r o c k , To a d ’ s P l a c e . L i k e y o u r b e l o v e d f i r s t b o r n r e t u r n i n g home a decorated war veteran, Lamb of God descended upon Richmond with the wicked fury that has become their calling card. Randy Blythe screamed like a man on the way to the g a l l o w s , o r r a t h e r, a t o u r - w e a r y s i n g e r t h a t k n o w s h e ’ s g o i n g o n a n e x t e n d e d v a c a t i o n t o m o r r o w. T h e a b a n d o n w i t h w h i c h t h e b a n d c h e w e d t h e s c e n e w a s d a m n - n e a r f r i g h t e n i n g .

I’m going to assume no one interested in reading this ar ticle needs a primer on Richm o n d ’ s f a v o r i t e m u s i c a l s o n s . A s m y f i r s t i n c l i n a t i o n s a r e u s u a l l y w r o n g , h o w e v e r, I ’ l l t r y 23


t o s u m i t u p q u i c k l y. L a m b o f G o d w a s B u r n t h e Priest w hile and after attending VCU, shuf fled some band members around, went to a lot of shows and mar veled at the technical battlemast e r s S l i a n g L a o s a n d B r e a d w i n n e r. T h e y d e c i d e d that to keep up meant to become the best and wor ked their w ay to that goal. Having done so, they’ ve eschewed the Palm-lined boulevards of LA and remained tr ue to you Richmond. I love t h a t s t o r y.

B a c k t o t h e s h o w. S e p t e m b e r 2 n d w a s t h e c o d a t o Ozzfest with invitees 3 Inches of Blood, Alabama Thunder pussy and Hatebreed playing suppor t. 3 Inches of Blood channeled Manowar and the epic falsetto screeches reminiscent of Reagan-era metal operatics. Alabama Thunder pussy made you 3 In c h es Of Bl ood

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wish you wer e driving a Pontiac Fir ebir d thr ough


k u d z u , h e a d b a n g i n g a l l t h e w a y. H a t e b r e e d w a s my favorite of the opening acts with a fierce H at ebree d

battle cr y amped by a stage perfor mance equal t o t h e h e a d l i n e r. R a n d y m a d e a g u e s t a p p e a r ance during their set and together they ignited Richmond’s gelignite.

Much of Lamb of Gods’ ‘tween-song banter were shout outs to home, homies and wives. The snippets of humble sweetness sandwiched in songs of rage and distor tion made me proud to be in a town that bir ths such an appreciati ve c lass of her o. In many w ays, I felt as if Richmond were putting on a show for them screaming, dancing, and welcoming home our Ambassador s of Howling Perfection.

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artwork courtesy of the band | photos by Wade Gossel i n

Stanley Kubrick once said, “T he test of a wor k of ar t is, in the end, our aff e c t i o n f o r i t , n o t o u r a b i l i t y t o e x p l a i n w hy i t i s g o o d . ”

THE OCEAN LOST ITS WAY SOUVENIR’S YOUNG AMERICA by M.D. Stone

T h i s i s c o m f o r t i n g t o m e . Fo r s t a r t e r s , i t a l l o w s a n e s c a p e f r o m t h e u s u a l ly ineffective task of describing a band’s sound. I’ ve never been an adherent t o t h e s o m e w h a t s i l l y, n e a r l y u n - a t t r i b u t a b l e m a x i m t h a t “ Wr i t i n g a b o u t m u sic is like dancing about architecture” (at different times credited to Elvis C o s t e l l o, Fr a n k Z a p p a , L a u r i e A n d e r s o n a n d , s o m e w h a t i n c o n g r u o u s ly, M a r t i n M u l l ) - w r i t i n g a b o u t m u s i c c a n b e b o l d , r e v e l a t o r y, c a u s t i c a n d ex c i t i n g, a n d


t h e w r i t e r h a s v e r y n e a r l y c h e a p e n e d t h e i r e n j oy m e n t o f t h e s u b j e c t i n a v a i n a t t e m p t t o c o d i f y t h a t v e r y t h i n g. S o i t ’ s n o t w i t h a n y g r e a t d e l i g h t t h a t I t r y t o e x p l a i n t o yo u w h a t m a k e s S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g America such a compelling band. The band draws inspiration from a variety of sounds and styles - f r o m B l a c k S a b b a t h t o A u t e c h r e t o ( g u e s s i n g h e r e ) p r o b a b l y s o m e L e o K o t t k e / K i l l i n g Jo k e collabor ation that no one ever imagined even existed - though they have ended up sounding like none of these. T he band’s music thus far has been entir ely instr umental - a tricky bit of (mostly) genr e miss-alignment that often leads toward comparisons or r efer ences to bands with whom they often hold little to nothing in common. Jo n a t h a n L e e ( k e y b o a r d s & e l e c t r o n i c s ) “ I h a t e w h e n p e o p l e a s k m e w h a t m y b a n d s o u n d s l i k e a f t e r t h e y f i n d o u t I ’ m i n o n e . I t ’ s s o h a r d t o a n s w e r. I j u s t t e l l t h e m t o l i s t e n t o i t . T h a t i t ’ s i n s t r u m e n t a l . I d o n’ t k n o w. We ’ v e g o t t e n s o m e p r e t t y c r a z y c o m p a r i s o n s o v e r t h e ye a r s. A f e w o f m y f a v o r i t e s ? A u t e c h r e a n d S l e e p d o i n g To m Wa i t s s o n g s. E a r t h m e e t s C a n . A h e a v y m e t a l L a b r a d f o r d . D e s e r t r o c k . S p a c e m e t a l . I h a v e n o i d e a i f a n y o f t h a t h e l p s o r f i t s. I c o u l d n’ t m a k e up half the things I read.”

a s a r e a d e r, i t ’ s c e r t a i n ly t h e t o p i c I ’ v e i n g e s t e d m o r e w o r d s o n t h a n a ny o t h e r, f o r g o o d o r f o r i l l . B u t e x c e p t for when in the hands of the ver y talented and the ver y gifted (read: not this writer), the task of describi n g w h a t m a k e s a b a n d go o d o r u n i q u e - i n d e e d , w h a t a b a n d s o u n d s l i k e - i s a n u n e nv i a b l e o n e , b o r d e r i n g o n t h e i m p o s s i b l e , a n d c e r t a i n ly t h a n k l e s s. M o r e o f t e n than not, the reader is confused, the ar tist or band in question disagrees at best, is insulted at wor st, while

S o, i f w e a c c e p t K u b r i c k ’ s s t a t e m e n t ( t h e K u b r i c k r u b r i c ? ) , i t i s n’ t e n o u g h f o r m e t o t e l l yo u t h a t S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g A m e r i c a a r e g o o d b e c a u s e o f t h e i r u n i q u e c o n s t i t u t i o n o f i n f l u e n c e s a n d i m a g i n a t i o n . I t i s n’ t e n o u g h f o r m e t o t e l l yo u t h a t S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g A m e r i c a h a s a g u i t a r s o u n d t h a t ’ s a l t e r n a t e l y c r u s h i n g a n d c a l m i n g, t h a t t h e d r u m s a r e t r i b a l a n d t r a n c e i n d u c i n g, t h a t they use their electronics and keyboards sometimes with subtlety and sometimes with stunning s t r e n g t h , t h a t t h e r e a r e c o n s t a n t l y l ay e r s a n d l ay e r s o f s o u n d . Gr aham Scala (dr ums & guitar) “I think a problem with a lot of bands we get lumped in with is t h a t t h e i r s c o p e o f i n f l u e n c e s d o e s n’ t e x t e n d m u c h f u r t h e r b a c k i n t i m e t h a n M o g w a i o r I s i s. There’s nothing wrong with being into cur r ent bands like that, but ther e is so much more music out there.”

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None of this is enough. All I can t e l l yo u i s t h a t my a f f e c t i o n f o r t h e music contained on the band’s rec e n t ly r e l e a s e d s e c o n d f u l l - l e n g t h a l b u m , A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r o n C r u c i a l B l a s t , i s q u i t e n e a r ly b o u n d l e s s. A n d s h o u l d yo u f i n d yo u r s e l f with a pair of headphones and the ability to set aside about 42 minu t e s f o r l i s t e n i n g, c r o s s i n g t h r o u g h A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r s h o u l d h a v e yo u s h a r i n g i n t h a t a f f e c t i o n . It’s also somewhat fitting to begin a p i e c e a b o u t S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g A m e r i c a by i nv o k i n g t h e n a m e o f K u b r i c k . Their debut album seemed to be indebted to some degree to exploring t h e s a m e s p a c e t e c h n o l o g y, h u m a n evolution galaxies of 2001: A Space O dy s s ey , w i t h s o n g t i t l e s l i k e “ L e t t e r s f r o m t h e E a r t h ” a n d “ S a g a n’ s Equation.” K e n R ay h e r ( g u i t a r ) “ S o m e t i m e s t h e songs on the fir st record were written with the source in mind. ‘Thirt e e n f o r C e n t a u r u s, ’ w h i c h i s a s h o r t 28

s t o r y by J. G . B a l l a r d , i s a n e x a m p l e . I’d just finished reading a collection of Ballard’s stories before we did ‘T hir teen for Centaur us,’ and a lot of the ver y sur real psychological and technological themes that are present in his wor k wer e on my m i n d w h i l e w r i t i n g t h a t s o n g. ” B u t i n t h e s a m e w ay t h a t K u b r i c k was able to take his own per sonal ar tistic visions and apply them to w i l d ly d i f f e r e n t s c e n a r i o s ( 2 0 0 1 : A S p a c e O dy s s ey v e r s u s B a r r y Ly n d o n , f o r e x a m p l e ) , A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r s e e s S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g America retur ning to ter ra fir ma; if not Ear th, then some other solid ground. And speaking of solid, the theor y o f A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r b e i n g a retur n to the Ear th seems something less than sturdy when one notices that the lead track on the album is entitled “Mar s Ascendant” and the lead tr ack on the vinyl BS i d e i s “ T h e S h e l t e r i n g S k y. ” B u t the sound is somehow more solid

than it has been in the past. The opening song offer s clear glimpses of near ly all of the many weapo n s e m p l oy e d by S o u v e n i r ’ s Yo u n g America throughout the album: the dr ums; guitar s and electronics, both moody and epic, massive and passive; and perhaps the most sur prising supplement, the initial introduction of Noah Saval’s harmonica, which is heard on several tracks including the menaci n g s h o w d o w n “ I nv o c a t i o n I n T h e C a l d e r a , ” a r e i nv e n t e d v e r s i o n o f the Mor ricone-esque song on their September Songs EP which was also Sav al’s debut contribution to the band. Wa i t - h a r m o n i c a ? I t h o u g h t t h i s was space rock about riding around on silver machines and setting the controls for the hear t of the sun? And since when does that include i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f “ B l i n d ” Wi l lie Johnson songs? Her e we find “ D a r k Wa s t h e N i g h t , C o l d Wa s t h e Ground,” a song that was included


o n t h e “ g o l d e n r e c o r d ” s e n t i n t o s p a c e v i a t h e Voy a ge r s p a c e c r a f t in 1977, selected to communicate some essential tr uth about life on ear th, sounding as it never has before. It’s the perfect, and perfectly s u b t l e , h i g h l i g h t o f t h e a l bu m ’ s e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e e x p l o r a t i o n o f b o t h inner and outer space: broken, reconstr ucted, reconsidered and rem a r k a bl e . T h e n t h e r e i s “ C o r a g y p s A t r a t u s ( E g o Te A b s o l v o ) ” a f u l l o n e l e c t r o n i c j o u r n ey t h a t bu b bl e s i n t o d r o n i n g p s yc h o s i s t h e n e x p l o d e s i n t o h a u n t i n g s o u n d s f i t t i n g f o r a ny D a v i d Ly n c h f i l m .

T hat’s my inter pr etation. Her e’s another : J o n a t h a n L e e “ T h a t t i t l e c o m e s f r o m m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e b e i n g a f a t h e r. M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y i t a d d r e s s e s m y f e e l i n g s a b o u t b e i n g a s t e p f a t h e r. S o m e t i m e s yo u f e e l s o m e w h a t ‘ l e s s t h a n’ i n m o s t p e o p l e ’ s eye s i n c l u d i n g yo u r c h i l d . T h e n t h e y s u r p r i s e yo u w i t h r e w a r d s yo u d i d n’ t ex p e c t . A n d yo u s u r p r i s e yo u r s e l f w i t h w h a t yo u p u t i n t o f a t h e r h o o d . E v e r yd ay i s f u l l o f p r o m i s e , c o n f l i c t , e m o t i o n s , a n d s e l f - d i s c o v e r y. I t f i t s t h e t h e m e s o f t h i s r e c o r d p e r f e c t l y. ”

Graham Scala “The idea was to conflate the esoteric and the mundane. On one hand there is a pastiche of all sor ts of mystic/Gnostic imager y a n d o n t h e o t h e r, t h a t i m a g e r y i s p l a c e d i n t o t h e c o n t e x t o f a d e s e r t w i l d e r n e s s. T h e a r t e x i s t s i n a s p a c e w h e r e t h e c e r e b r a l m e e t s t h e visceral and I think that’s pretty much what we tr y to do with all aspects of this band.”

S t a n l e y K u b r i c k o n c e s a i d , “ Re a c t i o n s t o a r t a r e a l w ay s d i f f e r e n t b e c a u s e t h e y a r e a l w ay s d e e p l y p e r s o n a l . ”

Still, despite the bar ren wasteland vibe, there’s something that feels v e r y m o d e r n a b o u t A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r , s o m e t h i n g v e r y c u r r e n t . T h e r e i s a m o m e n t o n t h e s o n g “ B l o o d A l o n e D o e s N o t a Fa t h e r M a k e , ” a t j u s t o v e r h a l f w ay t h r o u g h , j u s t w h e n t h e d r u m s h a v e b u i l t u p s o m e s t e a m , j u s t w h e n t h e g u i t a r b e g i n s a n a l m o s t hy p n o t i c a n d h u m - a b l e l i n e , a n d j u s t b e f o r e i t a l l bu r s t s i n t o a c o n t r o l l e d c l o u d bu r s t o f s o n i c s t h a t j u s t c r u s h e s m e . To m e , i t s o u n d s e x a c t l y l i k e t h e m o d e r n w o r l d , l i k e t h e bu z z i n g c o nv e n i e n c e s a n d a n n oy a n c e s o f b e i n g c o n s t a n t l y wired for communication, plodding forward toward some uncer tain fut u r e , h o p i n g w e c a n s t o p m o p i n g a b o u t , ye t a n x i o u s ly e y e i n g t h e a p p r o a c h i n g s t o r m o v e r o u r s h o u l d e r s.

Jonathan Lee “What instr umental music can do is expr ess feelings or describe situations where words fail. And because there are no words t o l e a d t h e l i s t e n e r, e a c h i n d i v i d u a l c a n h a v e t h e i r o w n i d e a s, v i s i o n s, o r e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h e a c h s o n g. ” K e n R ay h e r “ I ’ d l i k e t o b e a b l e t o c o n t i n u e p u s h i n g t h i s b a n d a s f a r a s i t c a n g o a r t i s t i c a l l y, a n d I r e a l l y d o n’ t s e e a n y l i m i t s t o t h a t . ” A n O c e a n Wi t h o u t Wa t e r i s o u t n o w o n C r u c i a l B l a s t Re c o r d s o n b o t h C D a n d L P. C o p i e s c a n b e f o u n d l o c a l ly a t P l a n 9 Re c o r d s o r w o r l d w i d e i n f i n e r e c o r d s t o r e s ever ywhere. w w w. s y a r v a . c o m w w w. my s p a c e . c o m / s o u v e n i r s yo u n g a m e r i c a w w w. c r u c i a l b l a s t . n e t

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Is all this preamble fitting of a CD review of Richmond’s Duchess of York? By way of making a point – yes. Sometimes we forget what it is about Rock and Roll (and I don’t mean indie, shoegaze, electroclash or whatever new buzzword flits about to invoke thinking man’s pop) that still brings us to our feet. Duchess of York has its roots deep in the Delta, wrapped tight around the Rock of Ages and deep in the Mississippi mud. The family was raised by conscientious Pentecostal parents, and, like Rock and Roll itself, decided the now was more exciting than the promised future and set its sights on celebrating life, in all it’s filthy lubricious glory. This is the lesson inherent in Duchess of York’s new release Era in Static. I could dwell on the York family’s perfect hair, sharp dress and sell the soul to Ol’ Scratch good looks but that would just be the jam on the bread. Yes, they command attention on stage – Jerry Lee Lewis would agree to the necessity of theatricality. They display showmanship beyond most national acts, but heart and soul is the calling card to this young band’s imminent rise.

Speaking in Rebellious Tongues – Duchess of York Written by Christian Detres and Whiskey

image by Scott Elmquist

A clapboard, whitewashed church in the dead of August hosts a sea of sweaty brows behind hand-held fans waving in rhythm to the stentorious bellow from the pulpit. The swelling pressure builds in pews that creak with anticipation. Zeus-like, the pastor hurls down proclamations of Apocalypse. He is the way, right your wrongs, rise from your seats and shout your “AMEN!” This is your power, this is your sanctuary, release to it, give in to the lust of the moment’s sound and fury. Testify! Dance, rejoice – your Saviour has taken notice of you! Sawdust from the rafters as the room erupts in rapture - it is aglow with the spirit. Arms are raised, voices go hoarse and another week of poverty, oppression and injustice are steeled against. Sunday to Sunday, this moment will raise any chin facing all indignity. Mixed with Appalachian bluegrass, the gospel according to Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Sam and Dave ignited the passion in Elvis’ rubber hips, Jagger’s devil lips and Chuck Berry’s killer licks. The lustful rite of adolescence that would claim that spirit drowned what remained of the righteous call to redemption. Faith immaculately conceived Action. Expectation of paradise spawned its mockery of jubilant hedonism. This is the clay and iron foundation for the gorgeously leering idol of Rock and Roll.

Fronted by the seventeen-year-old Michael and supported by brothers Austin, Constantine and Beck, Duchess of York is an answer to the masses of Richmond acts pulling from a shallower well. They drop sonic references to newer outfits like the White Stripes and the Strokes but seem to transcend the connection reaching back further to Robert Johnson and the Rolling Stones. Refreshing like a front porch glass of iced tea, the new EP is rife with unforgettable hooks, creative changes, Beatle-esque vocal melodies and a sticky thumping backbeat. Michael’s guitar work is one A&R rep away from stardom and bewilders at the depth of emotion dripping from its steel strings. In a city storied for its punk and metal gauntlets, Duchess of York adds the breastplate of righteousness in its anachronistic expression of gospel, blues and rock and roll. There’s an authority in its unnaturally wise voice that reaches to the cheap seats better than most of the howling screams heard on your myriad Loud Rock records this year. Glowing review, yes. One need not wait to hear what they’re going to do next in the face of this damn-near perfect release, but holy hell, I’d put money on a major label debut by 2009. Here’s hoping they still take my calls then.

For more information on Duchess of York go to www.myspace.com/doymusic and come check them out live at RVA’s Fist City Fury Festival (www.rvamag.com/fistcityfury). 31


THEN + NOW by Sean Patrick Rhorer

34

FUN SIZE Dates: 1991 - 1998 DEFINITI VE RELEASE : Glad To See You’ r e Not Dead CD [1998, Fueled By R amen] IMPOR TANCE: At a time w hen har der punk seemed to be on the dec line in populari ty, bands like Fun Size helped bridge the g a p between the louder aesthetic and mor e poppy, hook dri ven music. T hr ough touring and ultimatel y wor king with Fueled By R amen (a la bel r un by a member of Less T han Jake and now known as the home of Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Her oes, and Lifetime) , Fun Size g ained a f an

base all along the East Coast and beyond. k for Fueled LASTING IMPRESS ION: Not only did they help lay the gr ound wor left a str ong By R amen to become a str ong for ce in pop-pun k, but they also of their impact on Ric hmond. As one of the ear liest memor a ble examples under city’s the ling onic hr c hen w ed ignor easily be cannot Size style, Fun gr ound musical histor y. member s of WHERE DID THEY GO? Since their demise in Decembe r 1998, the Chair s, One Easy he T Medium, he T as bands h suc to on gone have Fun Size all ar e While High. City ver Ri bly nota most and a, Day For e ver, Kill T he Camer shifting his still playing music , bassist Orice is r umor ed to be consider ing attention to culinar y sc hool.


im a ge by M ic he lle D o s s o n PINK RAZORS Da te s: 2004 - pr esent Nota ble Release: Waiting To Wash Up (2006, Robotic Em pir e)

an hav e bee n acti vely add ing IMP ORT ANC E: Pink R azo r s Ric hmo nd for the of y or hist nk -pu pop the oth er c ha pte r to and n tou ring alon gsid e Av ail pas t thr ee yea r s. Bet wee sels Wea hing eec Scr of ely r enti play ing Hal low een sho ws mus ic gr eat job of play ing goo d cov er s, thes e guy s do a ly. ous seri too es selv them with out taki ng ber s for mer ing Pink R azo r s, mem REL ATE D BAN DS: Prio r to It! p Sto and k r dma Lan rite s as play ed in suc h loca l f avo

guit aris t join ed the ban d to fill a Erin Tob ey, w ho r ece ntly per still and n ema For Abe in ed v aca nc y, has for mer ly play for ms solo . ppe ar ? Foll owi ng thei r r ece nt a WHA T ARE THE Y UP TO NOW be ope n will w sho t nex d’s ban the anc e at Bes t Frie nds Day, eun ion ds Acti on Pat r ol at thei r r ing for loca l pop -pu nk le gen er. sho w in Dec emb

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T H E C O N C I C E V EH I C LE C o ns t r uc t ed by Pa uline D e a n

im a ge by I a n G r a ha m


It’s late after noon and we’ r e riding in a v an through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Local Richmond hip-hop acts, Swer ve 36 and Isaac Ramsey (also know as Swordplay), ar e among those in the v an. T hey ar e perfor ming tonight at a local music venue in Blacksbur g. Driving the v an is Geoffr ey Dean, co-founder, cur r ent par tner, and, in gener al, a jack-of-all-tr ades in the existing and ongoing Concice Records or ganization. T hese thr ee fine young men have allowed me the oppor tunity to ride with them, par tially because this show falls on the tail end of my honeymoon with said driver, but mor e impor tantly, to r ecord their thoughts as they begin a new stage in Concice’s ongoing jour ney. Being on our own small jour ney to the show, it seemed a perfect time to let these guys speak on the miles behind them and what lies in the road up ahead. Pauline Dean Swer ve, you ar e one of the newest member s to the Concice Records Family, but you ar e probably the most experienced in the Richmond hip-hop scene. What brings you to the metaphorical Concice v an? Swer ve 36 T he love of hip-hop and a long histor y and desir e to enter tain people and speak my mind in a public for um. I’ ve been not only DJing but also promoting shows for 38

a number of year s and along the way have wor ked with v arious promoter s and perfor mer s. T he v an provides me with a str uctur e to take what I’ ve done on my own and expand on it. T hrough the events and venues I’ ve per sonally wor ked with over the year s, like In the Mix, Nanci Raygun, Alley K atz, Galler y 5, plus the v ariety of groups I’ ve been for tunate to wor k with, Divine Profitz, Backmain, VA Slim, Mid Atlantic Kingz, Grown Folks - we’ ve cr eated a tr ue infr astr uctur e of hip-hop ar tists, venues, promoter s, etc. It only makes sense for us to come together. T hat’s Concice. PD Isaac, you’ ve been wor king on the Swordplay project within the Concice vehicle since Geoff yelled all aboard. Wher e has the ride taken you so far? Isaac Ramsey I met Geoff when he didn’t have a r ecord label and Swordplay didn’t have a r ecord, so we fixed that and have been building from ther e. We both want to get Richmond on the map for r ap. Hopefully, all I have to do is write some new songs. Concice is growing and the coolest par t of it for me is collabor ating and rocking shows with the new ar tists we ar e meeting along the way, like those Swordplay perfor mances that have been happening with the Lovedaspencer and mar tinnealr eamy of Jazz Poets. Yeah, don’t miss those. PD And you, Geoffr ey Dean, what is your role in this v an?

Geoffr ey Dean Isaac needed a ride. PD Ok. GD I put some gas in the v an. PD Explain what the hell you’ r e talking about. IR I think he means he put out two Swordplay r ecords. Geoff, can I smoke a cigar ette in the v an? GD Yes. IR See, he’s been making a lot of decisions in the v an. He’s the driver. Sometimes I navigate. GD See, Concice was star ted pr etty much as a way to put out a r ecord (Swordplay’s Tilt EP) for Isaac. Once it was out, we figur ed we’d need to put together some shows to promote it and began moving into booking and promoting hip-hop shows around town. We began meeting people that wer e alr eady doing their thing in town, like Swer ve. Swer ve was doing a monthly event at the Nanci Raygun at the time. He was one of the only people keeping legitimate live hip-hop shows going. As the Raygun closed, those involved in the independent hiphop scene wer e all scr ambling for venues and so for th, like many music scenes in Richmond. PD How did that affect your game? GD In a way it probably unified us a bit. By this time Concice


and Swordplay wer e networ king and Swer ve was networ king, and Divine Profitz, Micsource and other s wer e all doing their thing. Many of the ar tists in Richmond wer e alr eady perfor ming with each other at the shows they had put together or promoted. It just became clear we all wanted to make moves in the same dir ection. Back in April, Swer ve and I par tner ed on putting together the two-day hip-hop event, T he Museum Festiv al, in Richmond. T hat’s r eally to me wher e the thoughts of expanding and unifying became obvious, in my mind, at least. Now Swer ve is coming on as a full par tner and Br yan and James from 3rd Floor Studios and Mike Puer to Rico ar e now fully involved as well. T his will allow us to be so much mor e than we’ ve ever been. It’s all in the inter est of suppor ting each other and making moves upward together. PD So Swer ve, you’ r e now a full par tner with Concice and also an ar tist with Concice? S36 Yeah. As an ar tist, Concice allows me the fr eedom to put out a collection of songs without the interfer ence of a major label. As a par tner, I bring a unique per spective and plan to deal with ar tists dir ectly to make sur e their vision is attained. A r eal gr assroots movement wher e the ar tists make the music as they see fit and the company sells a tr uly original product.

PD What will be your fir st moves with the label? S36 Fir st off, on October 2nd we r elease my solo debut T hanks But No T hanks . T hen we’ r e going to follow with the project I executive produced, Chadr ach’s Soul Search album. Chadr ach is the producer and founding member of the Divine Profitz. PD So the ar tist roster is growing? GD All of Concice is growing, but it always has been growing slowly and deliber ately. By taking this next step, Concice will be better pr epar ed to go after the vision of a label that Swer ve has described. We’ r e able to wor k with mor e ar tists and achieve mor e things for them. Mor e Richmond talent and independent talent deser ve to be r ecorded and exposed. We want to be in the center of a growing movement of ar tists. A lot of ar tists don’t want to be businessmen and some do, but most do want people to hear their music. We exist to help those ar tists get a listenable product that they, their city and beyond can r eally get into. PD What does this expansion do for you, Isaac? What does your futur e hold with Concice? IR I don’t know, mor e r ecords and mor e shows. We’ ve figur ed out how to do what we want to do and ther e’s r eal ener gy behind it. T he shows Concice has been promoting make Richmond a wor thwhile tour stop for

under ground r apper s, which ther e’ r e a lot of. I want the ones I think ar e dope to come her e and play a good show. As a perfor mer, I just like watching that happen as often as it does. ------------------------------------------------

Upcoming Concice Releases: - Swer ve 36 T hanks But No T hanks CD – October 2007 - Chadr ach Soul Search CD – Fall 2007 Upcoming Live Perfor mances: - September 7 – Nar a (1309 W. Main Str eet) - Swordplay, Divine Profitz, Spoken Nerd (Nashville, TN), Ker s, and DJ Manifest - September 22 – T he Camel – Swordplay, mar tinnealr eamy, Illbotz (Roanoke, VA) - September 28 – Nar a - T he F*ckin’ Slugfest! Featuring Divine Profitz, Swer ve 36, Der ek32zero (Hampton,VA, featuring production from Knotts Raw), mar tinnealr eamy, Mid Atlantic Kingz (Roanoke, VA), and DJ Billy When? - September 29 – 18th and Red (2436 18th Str eet, Washington DC) – Echo Boomer s, Divine Profitz, Swordplay, Swer ve 36, and DJ Billy When - October 20 – Nar a – Astronautalis (Florida), Mid Atlantic Kingz and Case Jones (Roanoke), plus Micsource and other s 39


MICROJOY Positive Force Kingosabi Records Microjoy, out of Richmond, keeps it true to their roots with this gem of a record. Shouting out to Oregon Hill, reppin’ our city, and dissin’ the Party Patrol this release is filled with local references but is not trapped by them. The record has musical range – from electro punk

on “Party Patrol,” to hardcore thrash on “The New Old School,” to reggae with “My Behavior” – that shows the skills of the players with hooks that will have you mumbling and nodding your head by the first minute.

the brim with grim themes.

SEPARATION Rise Of Kings Separated Music Studios

If you like your music grinding, fast and Positive Force is a heav y then this local throwback record with the rough spoken product is your cup vocals reminiscent of of tea. Separation is in the vein of old punk, a touch of Richmond heav y The Toasters in the reggae moments, and metal icons Lamb of God, but add a straight up thrash chunkier sound and that delivers the some organs to give goods at full tilt. It’s just a fun record that it a slight dramatic angle. It’s a brutal I have listened to at record filled to least 10 times in the last 48. - Ant

4 0 LOCAL BAND NAMES ARE IN RED

The intro track, “Spineless,” is a statement track about a band on a warpath against things not respected, an utter beat down of speed, guitar, and bass. But the title track, “Rise Of Kings,” carries this album with a “voices in my head” type intro then rips into bone crunching, slam dancing riffs and double bass. A call to arms track with a live show that I am sure gets people up. The rest of the tracks get lumped together

as a ver y passable record for metal heads. Rise Of Kings is a ver y good metal album that doesn’t reinvent the genre but is good enough to want more and check out the shows. - Ant TICKLEY FEATHER/ BERMUDA TRIANGLES Split 7” inch C.N.P. Records Immediately after hearing the tracks on this split I was wondering what

drugs are going around at C.N.P. Records, i.e. “ call me guys I’m not weird enough already.” Jason Hodges does it again as the captain of this label in collecting the most interesting cast of characters in this town and beyond. The whole catalog is so far out there but still entertaining. Let me tr y to explain the Bermuda Triangle’s side. It’s like a repetitive electro-


misguided-unlovedlove-child of Ministr y and Devo that will have you repeating “Cosby Sweater” for days. The song feels like being on meth and wandering around your room looking for something that is in your pocket. The other side, Tickley Feather, gets me thinking of little girls on carnival rides and whispering to me in weirdly sexual tones. It makes me feel strange. Listen to this LP if you have any questions or think that I am talking out of my ass. It really sounds like that. - Ant

In the shotgun seat, Smith contemplatively holds his own injured left arm with his uninjured right arm. Who among us isn’t almost Martin now: woozy, incredulous, legless, enraged?”

MATTHEW SHARPE’S

JAMESTOWN History is best Reimagined

“We’re on a thing that once was called Route 5. The autumn storms are fierce down here. We’ve put the rag top up on the jeep but it leaks. I’m driving north without the girl I love. Martin lies across the bloodied back seat and since he now takes up so little room Dick Buck can sit by him and cauterize his wounds.

As you should already know by now, 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. And if you’ve been living in Richmond area you’re probably tired of all the hoopla, what with the Godspeed docked and the Queen of England come and gone. But of all the (a)historical books and shows and articles to have been released in the previous nine months, only one stands out for review here in RVA magazine: Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe. There’s a fantastic line early on in The Royal

Tenenbaums spoken by Eli Roth (Owen Wilson), when he explains the premise of his hit novel as, “Everyone knows that Custer died at Little Big Horn; what this book presupposes is maybe he didn’t.” The simplest way to describe Sharpe’s novel may be this: everyone knows John Smith, John Rolfe, and company arrived in central Virginia aboard the Godspeed in 1607, and that their interactions with the Powhatan Indians subsequently shaped western history. What this book presupposes is that maybe the Godspeed wasn’t a boat crossing the Atlantic, it was an armored bus driving down I-95 out of Manhattan. And maybe the year wasn’t 1607, it was sometime in the near but indeterminate future,

at the tail end of our civilization’s collapse. Sharpe’s version of Jamestown retains the cast and the plotline we already know: Smith, Rolfe, and crew come to Virginia as an advance party, bungle everything, and still manage to survive by the skin of their teeth. Pocahontas saves Smith from death but winds up falling for Rolfe, this time around with a courtship by email. It’s a love story set amid terrifically graphic violence and disease that reads almost like a Tom Robbins version of “Apocalypse Now”: “Some great, quaint pre-annihilation philosopher described the movement of history as thesis, antithesis, synthesis, whereas I’ve seen a lot more thesis, antithesis, steak knife, bread

knife.” As if the subject isn’t interesting enough, Sharpe’s use of language and point of view (each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective, though mostly by Rolfe and Pocahontas) keeps the story bouncing along in its own zigzag fashion. While the language exercises occasionally bog down the plot, Sharpe never strays far from his two big themes of intercultural love and the cost of survival in an unforgiving new world. And, somehow, he manages to pull off one hell of an interesting feat: making an imaginary Jamestown feel as real as the one we learned about in history class. - Adam Sledd

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i l l us tra t i o n b y J e f f S ma c k

M ix Tape : THE BREAK UP MIX

H e r e a r e s o m e b r e a k up s o ng s t o he lp yo u ge t ov e r yo ur s um m e r f lings. H e a r t his p lay lis t a nd m o r e a t ht t p : / / w w w. la s t . f m / us e r / R VAm ix /

The Magnetic Fields The Cactus W here Your Heart S hould Be Elliott Smith W altz #2 Björk Bachelorette Paul Simon 50 W ays to Leave Your Lover Ann Beretta Long Distance Descendents Hope Stars Your Ex-Lover Is Dead Nada Surf Inside Of Love The Stills S till in Love Song Johnny Cash Delia’s Gone Lucero All These Love Songs Hank Williams I ’m So Lonesome (I Could Cry ) Patsy Cline Your Cheatin’ Heart Ella Fitzgerald Ev’rything I ’ve Got Gladys Knight & thePips Midnight Train To Georgia Aretha Franklin Think ( F reedom) Ben Folds Five Song for the Dumped Kind Of like Spitting Valentines Day is Over The Magnetic Fields I Don’t W ant to Get Over You

“69 Love Songs [ Vol. 1]”

1:13

“Xo” “ Homogenic” “S till Crazy After All These Years ” “The O ther Side of the Coin...” “Milo Goes to College” “Set Yourself On Fire” “Let Go” “Rememberese” “The Sound of Johnny Cash” “Lucero” “ Hank W illiam’s Greatest Hits ” “The Patsy Cline S tory” “Jazz Sides: Verve Jazz Masters 46” “ Gladys Knight & the Pips ” “Queen of Soul ” “ W hatever and Ever Amen” “Kind of like Spitting” “69 Love Songs [ Vol. 1]”

4:40 5:1 7 3:32 3:53 1:59 4:16 4:59 3:43 2:1 7 4:2 7 2:50 2:22 3:23 4:35 3:14 3:39 4:44 2:24

“ T he c a c t us w he r e yo ur he a r t s ho uld b e ha s lov e ly lit t le f lo w e r s s o t ho ug h it ’ s a lw ay s p r ic k ing m e my ar dor ne ver s our s. ” - T he M a g ne t ic F ie ld s Se nd yo ur p lay lis t s ug ge s t ions t o L a ur e n. v inc e lli@ y a ho o. c o m - LV


D A V I D K E N E D Y’ s

SOUTHEASTERN Whirlwind Tour words and images by David Kenedy

This article isn’t going to make any s e n s e s o r e a d i t r e a l l y f a s t . R e a d y, G o ! It’s sometime in the near past and the phone is vibr ating. Our associate Dylan Languel has invited us to join him and the Google Ear th crew for an outing into the South with t h e b a n d ! “ Yo u b e t y o u r a s s I ’ m t o t a l l y t h e r e you cr azy dude you!” We g azed out into the sun and laughed but couldn’ t come up with many conclusions. We’ r e in Cha pel Hill, Nor th Car olina! A place where you can buy a Hank Williams album, eat African tuna sandwiches, read about sper m whales, and watch Google Ear th play a show with their tour buddy Juiceboxxx all at the same spankin time! But who cares since we’re now in Greenville, Nor th Carolina 44


45


…where you can tr y to go to the year round Halloween store which is really just a huge tease, because they leave the damn sign up and ever ything is there in the store so you think it’s year round, but it’s really closed until next Halloween! We stay with Adven ture, his par tially melted doll head filled with scr e ws pic ks up thr ee c hannels! Wanna w atc h TV? Sor r y dude! We’ r e of f to Stone Mountain, Georgia …where we make new friends and talk about what punk rock really means. Nobody really knows! Let’s take a huge breath, smell those pines. Aaahhhh. Dylan cups his hands and B r i a n s p i t s o u t h i s b e e r. W e l a u g h i n h a r mony! The van shakes wildly in the night! There’s a kitten with a punctured eye! Robotussin! Blood in Brian’s Game boy! Br unc h at t h e Wo r l d M a r k e t ! D o n’ t e v e r go t o A t h e n s, Georgia! Leo rescues the cars from the tow lot on foot! We didn’ t end up s wimming in Mi chael Stype’s saltwater pool! Who jacked off in the hotel shower! Mobile, Alabama! …Dylan’s teeth bleed fr om heavy f lossing! 46


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Stop flossing so much Dylan, this is Mobile, Alabama and there’s nobody here because apparently nobody lives in Mobile, Alabama! Leo is driving with Ricky in the car driving Juiceboxxx is riding in the car with Brian is driving with Dylan is driving with me and we need to get some gas! Is ever yone having tons of fun on our fun band tour? We need to c hec k our myspace you say? Shut the fuc k up! We’ r e in Ne w Or leans! … M e e t a g u y n a m e d A l o m a r, h e ’ s b e e n r e a d i n g c a r d s for 14 year s and his favorite thing about it is that if an asshole comes up for a reading he can call him an asshole because he’s psychic and therefore knows that it’s tr ue! What a liar! Ricky’s poop tally is at IIII IIII IIII III and rising fast! Austin was supposed to be in the dese r t ! N o w t h e c o p s a r e a t t h e d o o r, s h o u l d w e a . ) i g n o r e them and have ever yone at the show spend the night a n d ge t a r r e s t e d i n t h e m o r n i n g, b. ) s t o p a n d a n s w e r the door and look stupid because we had the show in an apar tment, or c.) we’re in Birmingham, Alabama! Every band plays in a different room of the house for a sense o f v a r i e t y, y o u k n o w , s o m e t h i n g d i f f e r e n t , k i n d o f l i k e searching for the best experience possible. We’ r e all sear c hing for something. What are you searching for? 48


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WE LCO M E TO

VCU

T H E RE A L RU L E S F O R SC H O O L by Er in Static

Hey, congratulations on getting in to college. That’s awesome! Richmond is a really diverse town and it’s chock full of cool people and places that you’ll get to know in your time here. Since we’re all going to have to coexist for a while, here are a few tips for behaving like a normal human being. First of all, let’s talk about walking. VCU is an “urban univer sity.” This means that the campus is right in the middle of the city. You are surrounded by the people who live and wor k here year round. To ensure your safety and the safety of everyone else, please don’t walk in front of car s or bikes. There are these white lines at most stoplights and signs. These are called crosswalks. Until you get a good feel for how people drive and bike here, stay in them and wait until the little man pops up on the box across the street. This means, “Go.” While we’re talking about bikes and car s, let’s cover some

impor tant issues concer ning driver safety. Richmond is a city with a wealth of histor y. It is also a city with a wealth of oneway streets. I know that it can be tricky to remember which ones go where. For tunately, all of these streets are equipped with fair ly large and highly visible signs that say “one way,” with an ar row that points in the appropriate direction. Follow the ar rows and you’ll avoid those pesky head-on collisions and moving violation citations. The Fan also has a lot of stop signs. These keep people from going sixty miles per hour through a residential area. Contrar y to popular belief, these stop signs are not optional. People cross the street at these signs, using those crosswalk things that we discussed ear lier. Remember : stop, look both ways, and then proceed with caution. Safety fir st, my friends, safety fir st.

sensible to own a car in the city. That being said, riding a bike around town is essentially the same thing as driving a car. You are a moving vehicle and should follow traffic laws. This includes stop signs, lights, turning at the appropriate time, etc. This also means you should put lights on your bike. At the very least, a red blinky on the back helps cars to see you at night. Also, I would advise you to purchase a really strong lock, because bikes and bike par ts have a tendency to get stolen around here. You can purchase these and a lot more at Richmond Re-Cycles (2611 W. Car y St.).

Now, I’ve noticed that a lot of you have chosen to bring bikes instead of car s. That’s great! Richmond, for the most par t, is a ver y bike-friendly town, and let’s be honest, with gas prices being what they are nowadays, it’s not ver y fiscally

One thing that you should avoid doing is harassing the kids who ride their bikes through the city. Yelling at them, throwing things, trying to knock them off their bikes, or trying to hit them with your car is ill advised. People can


get seriously hur t, and remember, those bike kids are generally equipped with one of those heavy duty locks we talked about a minute ago, and more likely than not, they’re going to come after you with it. So now that we’ve got you out and about in the city safely, we should probably cover a few things about social outings. Richmond is full of amazing restaurants and eateries. You can get pretty much any type of food you want here, probably ser ved to you by a tattooed kid whose band you’ll see at one of many shows you’ll attend here. Most people don’t know this, but ser vers are only paid $2.13 an hour. This means that the tips they receive are what they pay their rent/insurance/bills/etc. with. Also, these are the people that are going

to be ser ving you drinks once you finally tur n 21. A good r ule of thumb: unless you’re at McDonalds, tip your waiter/ waitress and tip them well. If you can’t afford to tip them, you probably shouldn’t be going out anyway. Tipping does a few things for you. Fir st of all, you’re ensuring that the per son who ser ved you can afford to pay their rent and bills and still be able to go to school at the same time (it’s crazy, but it happens). Second, tipping well will cause the ser ver to remember you. Once you’ve established this rappor t, ser ver s will generally do all sor ts of extra nice things for you. On the flipside, if you seriously piss off a ser ver, they will remember you for the rest of your time in the city, and your order will always be “lost,” “wrong,” or that 14th refill you’ve been waiting for will never appear.

going to tat you up are perfor ming a ser vice for you as well. Tip them, or they’ll most likely “wang” you next time. ***

***Side note: tipping does not just apply to ser ver s. I know you’ve walked by the tattoo shops in the city and thought about getting some sick ink. Maybe you want to get your navel/tongue/nose pierced. Those guys and gir ls who are

All right. I think I’ve covered most things. Get on out there and lear n something...change the wor ld...whatever you want. Just remember, you’re an adult in the big city now. Let’s behave like it.

Now, drinking is fun. We do it often in this city. However, since you’re not quite old enough yet, do us a favor and stay out of our bar s. You don’t under stand the reign of terror that is the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, but we do. This is a city full of smar t, savvy bar tender s who have no problem taking your fake ID and throwing you out of the bar by your intricately popped collar. So don’t tr y. Most of us don’t have the extra two grand to pay the fine we would receive for ser ving you. Go ahead and get someone to buy your beers at 7-11 and have one of those raging house par ties that you kids are so good at. Once you tur n 21, give us a call. We’ll do shots.


CAP RES

58


OEIRA ISTENCIA

to lear n capoeira?” he says with a strong Brazilian accent.

by David McRae images Chris Smith The large remodeled school sits back in a cor ner by itself atop its hill. As you pass through the heavy doors and head up the steps, comfor tably wor n in by years of use, your eyes catch the paintings and sculptures that sit on or in front of the walls. Once you make it to the second floor you can hear faint music and chatter. Passing through the double door s you enter an open studio space. Ever yone is dressed in practically identical white pants and a white tshir t with the group’s name written across the chest. Some have multi-colored cords around their waste knotted at the sides, dangling down their left leg. A few people stretch while other s are engaged in joking conversation. Toward the far wall on the right a small man sits in a folding chair quietly obser ving the entire room. His size betrays the strength and speed that he possesses. He always greets newcomer s with a war m smile. “Hello my name is Master Panao, do you want

Capoeira [kap-oo-air-uh] is a mar tial ar t that was bor n in Brazil, a product of the resistance to slaver y. In many places it is refer red to as the “Dance-fight game”, because from the obser ver it does appear to be more of a dance than a mar tial ar t. Capoeira is a mixture of the many different fighting styles of African tribes brought to Brazil for forced labor. The Africans developed a system of fighting called “jungle war” or ambush. Capoeira was the key element in the unexpected attacks. With fast and tricky movements the slaves caused considerable damage to the white men. In capoeira the attacks are perfor med mostly with a series of strong kicks, sweeps, and takedowns. Capoeira became their weapon, their symbol of freedom. When an expedition to recapture escaped slaves was successful, the slaves who were retur ned to the plantations taught capoeira to other s there. Sunday was their one day of rest and that was when they practiced capoeira. But there, in the quar ter s, the practice soon was altered. Music, singing, dance and ritual were added to capoeira, disguising the fact that the slaves were practicing a deadly mar tial ar t. The slave master s saw capoeira as an amusing acrobatic dance and perfor mance. When the tr ue nature of capoeira was discovered by the slave master s, the ar t was made illegal and punishment for being caught included severe beatings and even death. This forced capoeira to go fur ther underground.

After the abolition, some ex-slaves returned to Africa, but the majority stayed in Brazil. With the planters no longer interested in them as a wor k force, most headed to the cities to for m slums and shanty towns. There was no employment in the cities either, and many organized into criminal gangs. The gover nment began to associate capoeira with criminal activities and anti-government organizations and for these reasons capoeira was outlawed in Brazil. For those who were caught teaching and practicing capoeira the punishment could be very severe. Some practitioner s would have their Achilles tendons cut. Other s, more for tunate because of their knowledge of capoeira, were hired by politicians as bodyguards. The ver y nature in which capoeira was conceived and practiced in the past gives the ar t much more depth than just flashy kicks and acrobatic jumps. Music and singing are just as impor tant as the kicks themselves. The main instr ument of capoeira is the berimbau . The berimbau consists of a small wooden bow with a length of steel strand tightly str ung to both ends. A gourd, hollowed out and dried, is attached to the lower end and acts as a resonator. To play the berimbau , one holds it in one hand, wrapping the two middle fingers around the verga (wooden bow), and placing the little finger under the cabaça’s (gourd) string loop, and balancing the weight there. A small stone or coin is held between the index and thumb of the same hand that holds the berimbau . The cabaça is rested against the abdomen. In the other hand, one holds a stick ( baqueta ) and an optional rattle ( caxixi ). One strikes the arame (steel string) with the baqueta to produce the sound. The caxixi accompanies the baqueta. The dobrão (coin or stone) is moved back 53


and for th from the arame to change the tone of the berimbau . The sound can also be altered by moving the cabaça back and for th from the abdomen. When played, the instrument sometimes gives a sound similar to tch tch tch ching dong dong. This instrument is usually accompanied by a dr um or conga and a tambourine called a pandeiro. Usually the most experienced player or master plays the berimbau which controls the tempo of the action. He or she also leads those watching in a song those watch follow with the chor us. With the music, students lear n about the histor y of capoeira and many of its famous player s. For example Bedsore Mangangá was given his nickname for his ability to disappear when faced with overwhelming danger. He would not only disappear when facing danger, but also tur n into a big black beetle, scaring everyone around. His strength and speed were believed to be super natural and legend has it that he single handedly disar med an entire army squad by himself. Rumor s of his power s became so great that a witch doctor was hired to create a special knife that he would later be killed with. Songs about other famous master s like Master Bimba who star ted the fir st legal capoeira school in 1937 are also very popular. Matches between two capoeiristas are called games and they are played in small circles called rodas formed by those watching, with the player of the berimbau at the head. Inside the roda you must pay attention to everything: your opponent, the music and even the people watching because at any point 54

someone from the crowd may jump into the game and become your new adver sar y. The manner in which games are played also helps to broaden your awareness; you are forced to pay attention to so much more than just the per son in front of you. Player s must beware of tricker y and dir ty tactics from their opponents and those outside of the game. Most often in the roda , the capoeirista’s greatest opponent is himself. Philosophy plays a large par t in capoeira and the best teacher s strive to teach Respeito (Respect), Responsabilidade (Responsibility), Segurança (Safety/Security), Malicia (Clever ness/Street-smar ts), and Liberdade (Liber ty/Freedom). “RUN!” Master Panao yells out and all in class jog in a line around the training space. Running followed by a series of calisthenics wor k outs are just the war m up before actual training in technique begins. Techniques are more than just a variety of kicks; instead they are a series of movements that are trained again and again so that they are memorized by our muscles. Movements require use and control of your entire body. So that after a spinning kick one can go directly to standing on one’s hands. Controlled falls give the appearance of an opening but in fact it is just a trick to get your opponent to expose themselves. Through training these movements we are lear ning the language of capoeira. Each game is a conver sation, a conver sation with oneself and your opponent. When your opponent asks a question with a cer tain attack, you answer with the proper defense. The game is similar to a conver sation with a stranger. You have to listen to what is said,


respond in time, and depending on what you say the conver sation could take many different turns. The game can continue to be playful and polite or become r ude and aggressive. To someone who is unfamiliar with how capoeira is perfor med many of the games look as if they are choreographed. Bodies move in and around each other’s space in perfect rhythm. Players feint kicks and throw violent headbutts at each other’s chest and chin. Kicks are evaded by the smallest margin. Strikes are thrown so fast it is hard to imagine that the entire scene was not practiced beforehand. It is games like those that have caused many to think that capoeira is merely a ver y aggressive for m of dance. Everyone in the class trains hard; you can tell the beginner s from the more advanced students by the grace and control of their movements. No matter what level the student, towards the end of the class ever yone is covered in sweat and breathing heavy. There is not a single student present that doesn’t feel like they have trained hard. During the last fifteen minutes left in class all the students star t to for m a roda . Master Panao begins to play a berimbau and leads the class in song. It seems like all the fatigue that was present a couple of minutes age is gone. Students eager ly position themselves at Panao’s feet and wait for per mission from him to enter. With a quick nod from Panao they au (car twheel) into the center and the game begins. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Classes held daily Monday - Friday at Fulton Hill Studios and/or Richmond Christian Center. New students always welcomed.

2nd Annual Batizado (Conference) Nov 2nd - 4th, 2007

A conference bringing together 20 or more Mestres (Masters) from around the world presenting workshops, demonstrations and lectures on Capoeira, plus Maculele, Samba Dancing and Music of Brazil.

Check out “Crupo Resistencia” at RVA’s Fist City Fury + Monthly “Brazil Night” hosted at different locations around the city. 10pm Wednesday September 26th at Emilio’s 1847 W. Broad St.


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Free Palestine NOW!

an interview with Thomas H. by R. Anthony Harris

images by Thomas H. & Connor

Thomas H. is by first glance a normal-looking 25 year old white man among a sea of them at our local university but everyone has a story. After spending time with him on a recent road trip across the United States he opened up a little and I liked what I saw. In our conversations I began peeling back the onion of his personality, and found a person with an uncommon perspective. Back in 2003, he traveled to Palestine to volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in fighting against the Israeli occupation. He broke bread with Palestinians in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilia, and Tulkarem listening to and wanting to tell their stories.

from www.palsolidarity.org: The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to suppor t and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources: international protection, and a voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force. I have watched on the news for years about the conflicts of the Middle East with a sense of detachment. Reality TV starring people dying everyday, children blowing themselves to pieces, tanks rolling through the streets, and I was so numb to it all. I wanted to take the oppor tunity to pick this man’s brain and learn about a subject I really didn’t understand. The following is just one man’s curiosity and another’s opinions. R. Anthony Harris What was your first contact with ISM? How did you get involved? Why do you care about Palestine when it is half a planet away? Thomas H. When I first entered VCU in 2001 I met a young Jewish activist who opposed Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories. Together we formed an organization called Free Palestine Now! and began to organize solidarity lectures, actions,


and meetings at VCU and in the Richmond area. Through my work with that organization we came into contact with people who had been instrumental in forming ISM and others who had successfully and unsuccessfully attempted to enter the occupied territories to volunteer for the group. From the second I heard of what the ISM was trying to do in Palestine, I made up my mind to one day give whatever I could to the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and self-determination. I care about the Palestinians for two reasons. 1) I believe that there can never be peace in this world without justice. That is to say that the sins and injustices of the past must be corrected in the present in order to create a situation were peace can be attained in the future. I believe that the current war between radical Islam and western capitalism is a tragedy that could have been prevented and can still be resolved if we, America, take steps to correct the historic injustices we have helped perpetrate on the people of the Middle East, and the world. These injustices include financing the for ty-plus year military occupation of the Palestinian territories, and arming the Israeli military which has murdered thousands of Palestinian civilians. I believe that if the United States took a proactive role in advocating justice for Palestinians — a state of their own, control of their own borders, removal of the illegal settlements, East Jerusalem as the capital, and return or compensation for the millions of refugees — Al-Qaeda would lose their single greatest recruiting tool and the majority of the Muslim world would begin to reject their message. 2) The Palestinian people have been largely ignored by the world community since 1948. People in this country and around the world were up in arms over Apar theid in South Africa, yet the racial segregation and the walling off of ethnic population centers which happened in South Africa is also happening in Palestine. But nobody speaks up. This is primarily because Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby in America ruthlessly attack anyone who speaks up for the Palestinians, labeling them “anti-Semitic.” Just look at what happened to ex-President Jimmy Car ter when he published a book called “Peace not Apar theid.” RAH In your work for the ISM, what was the overwhelming condition of the Palestinian lands and people? TH First I did not work for ISM, I was a volunteer with their Freedom Summer campaign. When people say Palestine is under a “military occupation,” the true meaning of the term is not fully understood until one experiences it. Occupation is the complete physical, economic, and bureaucratic control of millions of people who are denied their right to self determination. When traveling through Palestine, the occupation is everywhere; it is unavoidable, it is destructive, and it is a violent everyday reality for the Palestinian people. Occupation is the illegal settlements that are seemingly on every hilltop; occupation is the


hundreds of checkpoints that litter the land restricting Palestinian movement; occupation is the 24 hour a day, 100+ day curfews; and occupation is the control of water resources for Israeli use. These are known. But occupation is also roadblocks on all Palestinian roads; occupation is deliberate economic sabotage of roads, telephone wires, and water towers; occupation is nightly incursions by commando teams; occupation is the “accidental” murder of children at checkpoints; occupation is the random arrest and tor ture of civilians; (Israel is one of the only countries in the world that legally sanctions tor ture as an interrogation method) and occupation is the refusal to give travel documents, building permits, and work licenses based upon the fact that you are Palestinian. Occupation is the total control and subjugation of an entire people through racism, fear, brutality, and intransigence. The Israeli occupation of Palestine has but one aim; to make life so incredibly difficult for the Palestinian people that they either pack up and leave, (making more room for illegal colonization) or fight back and die. However, the Palestinian people under occupation are some of the nicest, most hospitable, and strong people I have ever met. People who have no income, no jobs, who live in refugee camps will invite you into their home and share with you whatever they have. Most Palestinians resist the Israeli occupation just by living and surviving. The courage, bravery, and determination of the Palestinian people in the face of such oppression and repression is incredible. RAH What is the Apar theid Wall and how is it being used against the people of Palestine? TH The Apar theid Wall is Israel’s latest attempt to illegally annex Palestinian land. The Apar theid Wall is being built throughout the West Bank and is a mixture of concrete structures taller than the Berlin Wall and razor wire encircled fences. The wall is a land grab operation, pure and simple. It is being built inside the West Bank, far from the internationally recognized “green line” separating Israel and the occupied territories. In every village I visited it is built as close as possible to the last house so as to annex as much land as possible while keeping the people inside the wall. The wall also involves a number of secondary walls which encircle Palestinian cities, effectively dividing the West Bank into eight walled-off ghettos. The Palestinian city of Qalqilia is one such example. The wall now surrounds the whole city, cutting it off from the farmland around it that the people need to survive. The wall is one of the most repulsive and horrendous things I have ever laid eyes upon, and anyone who sees it immediately realizes the true nature of the Israeli occupation. However, all walls fall, and it is only a matter of time until this one is also brought down. 60

RAH I read in your essay on the subject (found here: http://www.studentorg.vcu.edu/fpn/ throughmyeyes.html) that you were shot while protesting Israeli actions. How many people from the ISM have died and were/are you committed enough to do the same for the cause? TH I was shot twice with rubber bullets at a demonstration against the Apar theid Wall in a small village near Tulkarem. We were also gassed and hit with smoke and concussion grenades. During the week that I was wounded, thir teen other internationals were also wounded. In the months before I went to Palestine, two volunteers with the ISM were killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). On 16 March 2003 Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to protect a Palestinian house which was being razed by Israel. A few weeks later Tom Hurndall, a 21 year old British photographer, was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper while he was attempting to pull Palestinian children out of a street being fired on by Israelis troops. He spent nine months in a coma and died in January 2004. At the time I was willing to sacrifice my life for the Palestinian resistance struggle, although it was obviously not my goal. Before I left I wrote letters to my family and friends to be delivered if I was killed. Now, although I am still 100 percent committed to the Palestinian quest for freedom and justice, my personal situation has changed. As a newly married man, I can no longer state with cer tainty that I would again put myself in such a situation where death is such a possibility. RAH At the risk of sounding ignorant and oversimplifying the situation, Israel is occupying land that was Palestinian and the United Nations gave them the right to do it. In your opinion was there a better way of creating a land for the Jewish people? TH Well that is an interesting question. While the UN has issued many resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories, it is par tly the UN’s fault that the Palestinians were deprived of a state in the first place. Following the Second World War, the UN decided that it was going to par tition (divide) the British mandate of Palestine between the Jews and the Palestinians, seeing that both had been promised a state in the area by the British during the First World War. The problem was that the UN decided to give the Jews — who were only 1/3rd of the population and owned only 7% of the land — more than 50% of the country, and the most fer tile areas around the sea. The Palestinians naturally rejected the par tition, and in the resulting war between the Arab states and the new state of Israel, more than 800,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes into refugee camps across the region; refugee camps that many still live in today. The first two


countries to recognize the new state of Israel were the Soviet Union and the United States. The West initially suppor ted the creation of Israel for two reasons. 1) They rightfully felt guilty over allowing the Germans to perpetrate the Holocaust and for turning away Jewish refugees. 2) The governments of Europe were still filled with rabid anti-Semites, some of whom believed that the creation of Israel would lead to the exodus of remaining Jews from their countries, something they wanted to achieve. The Palestinian people did not massacre the Jews by the millions, yet it was the Palestinians who were forced to pay the price for Europe’s hatred of Jews. I fully believe in the right of Jews to have a state and to have self-determination. However, I find it interesting that nobody suggested carving out a piece of Germany following the war and giving that to the Jews for their state. It was the Germans who mass murdered the Jews, not the Palestinians. Many people will counter this by saying that the Jews want to have a home in the “holy land,” but Palestine was just one of a number of options that the Zionist movement considered for their homeland, including locations in South America and Africa. In summation, the Jews deserved a state in which they could live in peace and security, but the minute that they and their western backers decided to deprive another people of that same right, then I believe they forfeited moral, political, and legal legitimacy in the matter. RAH If I spoke with someone from the Israeli viewpoint, how would they react to what you are saying? Would there be no meeting in the middle? Is there only victory and no compromise? TH First and foremost, there is no one “Israeli viewpoint,” just as there is no one Palestinian viewpoint. There are thousands of Israelis and Jews around the world who do not suppor t the illegal occupation of Palestine, and who actively organize against it. Some of these groups include: Jews Against the Occupation (JATO), B’Tselem, Jews for Justice, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and others. There are also hundreds of Israeli soldiers who have gone to prison for refusing to par ticipate in military actions in the occupied territories. That being said, a good number of Israelis and Jews in the west are Zionists and suppor ters of Israeli actions in relation to the Palestinians. Their argument is usually four-fold. First, they argue, like former Israeli PM Golda Meir, that there is no such thing as a Palestinian. That the Arabs in Palestine only began to identify as Palestinians and not Arabs after Israel had been created. My answer to that is: regardless of what someone calls him or herself,

it does not change the fact that those families had been living in that area for hundreds of years prior to the ar tificial creation of Israel, and they were all physically forced out and their houses which were seized or destroyed. Second, they argue that the Palestinians are to blame for the current conflict because they have repeatedly rejected Israel’s “peace offers.” However, not one Israeli peace offer has proposed a return to the internationally recognized 1967 borders; not one offer has given the Palestinians control over their own borders; not one offer has included dismantling all of the checkpoints and roadblocks; and not one offer has proposed a just solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis. Also, the Israeli government has never in its history recognized the right of the Palestinian people to have an independent state. By contrast, the Palestinian people, through the PLO, recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1988. 61


Third, they argue that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and a die-hard ally of the United States, and as they are surrounded by “hostile” nations they should be allowed to occupy the Palestinian territories for security reasons. I respond to this by saying that it is hard to consider Israel a true democracy because for for ty years it has denied democratic rights to more than three million people under its military occupation. It also sanctions tor ture as an interrogation method and enforces strict racial segregation policies in the occupied territories. In my opinion, it is the hundreds of billions of dollars that the United States has given to Israel — which Israel has used to kill thousands of Palestinians — that is the primary recruiting tool used by radical Muslims to incite attacks on Americans. Lastly, they maintain that it is because of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that Israel has to continue to occupy the Palestinian territories. While it is true that the Palestinians have carried out thousands of attacks on Israelis, including suicide bombings, there are cer tain facts deliberately left out by the western media. First and foremost, the vast majority of all Palestinian armed actions are directed at soldiers and settlers in the occupied territories. Under international law, armed resistance targeting soldiers is fully legitimate. Terrorism is a tactic of war that has been around since the dawn of human history and is frequently used by groups which do not have the same resources or abilities as their enemy. In almost every political revolution in history, including the American Revolution, there has been some form of terrorism directed by the oppressed at their oppressors. The Palestinians have used terrorism in the past because they have no army to combat the Israeli tanks and APC’s firing into their homes; no air-force to fight the Israeli F-16’s and Apache helicopters firing missiles into their street; and no navy to break the economic blockade of the Gaza coastline. In essence, the suicide bomb is a poor man’s F-16. The first suicide bombing in Israel did not happen until 1994, twenty-seven years after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip began. So, what came first, the occupation or suicide bombings? RAH How can one get involved in the struggle from here in Richmond, VA? TH There are thousands of Pro-Palestinian groups across the United States and the western world. They range from groups like ISM, which co-ordinates volunteers in the occupied territories, to the aforementioned Jewish human and civil rights groups. There are groups at nearly every University and major city. Some groups, like SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax Aid to Israel Now) are fighting to prevent our tax dollars from suppor ting the occupation, and others which are raising money for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. All these

groups need dedicated people and funds. The movement is strong, it is determined, and it will eventually succeed in helping the Palestinian people achieve liberation and justice. RAH There is a cultural divide in the city of Richmond split more or less down the color line. There is a land grab, racial profiling, drugs, rape, murder - do you have any interest in this complicated issue? Should we hold our breath and wish for the best? TH Of course I have an interest in this issue. In fact this issue and the Palestinian issue are very much interconnected. From 1949 to 1997 the United States gave over 134 billion dollars to Israel, and to this day gives well over six billion dollars a year of our tax money to the Israeli government. This money comes in the form of direct aid (usually around 3 billion a year) and loans which are sometimes paid back and sometimes forgiven. Much of that money is then used to buy weapons from American arms corporations (this year 2.4 billion in direct military aid), and those weapons then used to kill Palestinians. So not only is America giving nearly $1,000 of American tax money a year to every Israeli man, woman, and child, that money is then used to enrich American weapons corporations, widening the gap between the rich and poor in America (because the poor are much less likely to own stock in such corporations than the rich). Then, when the radical Muslims become fed up with American weapons being used to kill thousands of Palestinians by Israel and attacks America, it is overwhelmingly the poor who fight and die in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I for one, would much rather see that three billion dollars a year (not counting the hundreds of billions spent on the war in Iraq) of direct aid be spent here in America to help Americans, like those in Richmond, who are suffering from the historical legacy of pover ty, neglect, and exploitation. Three billion dollars a year could help to provide every American high school senior access to higher education, it could bring millions of families above the pover ty line, could fix the public education system, or provide medical access for millions of uninsured children. All these things are desperately needed in places like Richmond to create a more just and equitable society in which ALL are given the same oppor tunities regardless of class and race. A society where the destiny of millions of people is not prison, drug abuse, sexual assault, or death. Instead of using our tax money to fix the deficiencies in our own nation, our government is using it to finance the destruction of an entire people. I believe that this is absolutely criminal. RAH Thank you for taking the time and speaking with me.


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Compare and Contrast: Arts and the City By Don Harrison *** “I have no doubt it’s going to get done,” says another person close to the project. “But it’s going to get pretty dirty and pretty ugly.” — “Pomp & Circumstances: The Untold Story of Richmond’s Arts Center,” Style Weekly , June 2005. And how. News accounts of the ever-evolving CenterStage boondoggle confirmed what readers of local blogs reported weeks earlier: Things have now officially gotten “dirty and ugly.” As we see: - The Virginia Performing Arts Foundation has failed to include annual operating expenses in its budget for CenterStage, which is already receiving $25 million — the rich, well-heeled power brokers behind the Foundation would prefer to have taxpayers foot the bill for $500,000 a year, thanks.

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- Construction bids have come in $2.4 million higher than anticipated…. and guess who will pay for that? (No one knows or is willing to say). - The Foundation only has “plans” to include an artists endowment — oh, did we mention that this was about the arts? — and admits that their project to “save downtown” will operate at a $1 million per year deficit. - VAPAF bypassed city council authority by demolishing the interior of the Carpenter Center before an agreement with the city was finalized— never mind those pesky PPEA regulations. Nevertheless, at presstime, VAPAF’s CenterStage is slotted for an undeserved multi-million payoff from Richmond’s politicians — did we mention that, earlier, these same folks spent $22 million to build a hole in the ground? — and we can contrast the deal with how the city treats genuinely successful and popular “street level” downtown arts projects. In a Sept. 1 article entitled “First Fridays gets UR touch,” by Richmond Times-Dispatch staff writer Cynthia McMullen, a sponsorship deal between the University of Richmond’s performing arts center and Curated Culture’s “First Friday Artwalk” was detailed.

“In a classic case of east-meets-west and vice-versa, University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts will be the presenting sponsor for the seventh season of Curated Culture’s First Fridays Artwalk,” the article begins. “The collaboration brings much-needed funding — $25,000 — to a small organization, says Christina Newton, director of Curated Culture Inc.” On a message at the Curated Culture website — www.firstfridaysrichmond. com — part-timer Newton made the case for assisting her program: “We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and enthusiasm, and ask that you keep us in mind when you consider your giving plans or when speaking with your elected official. Our First Fridays program has helped revitalize Downtown like no other in the City, and yet, we received no financial support from the City of Richmond this year.” In the Times-Dispatch , Newton detailed how her grassroots operation (with an annual budget of $100,000) has transformed Richmond’s downtown into a happening place — and how little that endeavor has been appreciated at City Hall when it comes time for funding dollars.


“Our efforts have made the greatest impact on revitalization but the city says there’s nothing it can do.” She pointed out that cities are normally partners in similar programs. “I think [city of Richmond officials] think because it’s happening, it will continue to happen. “I’ve been trying to get a meeting with the mayor for a year and a half.” In the article, City spokesman Linwood Norman replied that Curated Culture should speak with the Arts & Cultural Funding Consortium. “That kind of funding request goes through the consortium,” he is quoting as saying. Er... the Mayor’s mouthpiece should get his facts straight. The “original members” of the Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium (a.k.a. the ones who get the bulk of any annual funding — access the list at www.richmondarts. org/funding/index.html) are forbidden to lobby the city directly. But Curated Culture is one of those smaller “annual members” who get the scraps (if they are lucky and ask real, real nice) and can lobby the city in blank verse and in full makeup all day long if they choose.

But the mayor’s office would probably know all that if they actually met with Newton, heard her out and picked her brain on what she and her low-budget operation — with those wonderful participating galleries and events — is doing right for downtown on the TGIF of every month. At present, the city is too busy OK-ing an unverifiable and shoddily-constructed plan to write 40 years worth of blank checks to a private organization that says it wants to do what the arts galleries are already doing: To bring people back downtown. You could call their plan “The Sixth Street Marketplace For the Arts” but, in reality, the expensive and sordid CenterStage deal has the potential to make that notorious booster-approved retail disaster look like the Taj Mahal. It will also soak up any potential city arts dollars from other, more worthwhile and thrifty, projects for decades. Ah, but who did the city and the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation piggyback on when they needed to find some sort of legitimacy within the downtown arts community for their CenterStage groundbreaking ceremony in June? Curated Culture’s First Friday’s! And when push comes to shove, who helps out Curated Culture’s low-budget “street level” operation? Not CenterStage a few blocks down, but UR’s Modlin Center — a truly world class performing arts venue that, for one thing, is bringing DJ Spooky to town in March 2008 (a cause for celebration).

[ Historical note: In the original consultant’s study for VAPAF’s arts center, it was claimed that the Modlin would not compete with a downtown arts center because the Modlin was at “the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.” That same consulting firm still clears thousands per month to advise the CenterStage project. As they say, you couldn’t make this stuff up. ] So, if you are scoring at home, our wonderful city leaders can find the money to fund “party patrols” to stop fun in the Fan, and enable huge “arts” boondoggles that will weigh on the budget for decades. But they can’t find a dime for — or even, in the case of the Mayor, schedule an appointment to hear out — the one successful arts project that is already revitalizing downtown. What’s wrong with this picture? Don Harrison is a Richmond-based freelance writer, and the co-founder of saverichmond. com where more information on these subjects can be found.

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A short story in four parts by James Wayland

image by Adam Juresko


Sara vomited the soupy contents of her stomach onto the pavement just shy of the massive animal, which slowly turned to regard her. It was a black bear, the biggest she had ever seen. Terrified, the teen had already started to retreat, backing up at a snail’s pace in hopes that the bear wouldn’t be interested in her.

but she didn’t know if that reject in the cab was aware enough to let her inside. It didn’t look like he’d taken the time to unlock the door for his friend. There was a camper shell on the back and as ratty as it looked, it was possible that it wouldn’t be locked, but she didn’t want to take that risk.

The massive bear’s dark eyes found her, but there was no visible reaction. There was a strange look on the animal’s face, or maybe it was the absence of any expression whatsoever that seemed out of place.

Then there was no time to think about anything. One instant the big black bear was slowly turning its head, cradling its trophy in its massive jaws, and the next found the unlucky fisherman’s arm falling to the ground as the animal rushed at Sara, roaring. The sound was terrifying enough, but it was no match for the sight of the giant bear’s bulk in motion, bearing down on the terrified athlete.

Sara continued backward, her chest rising and falling rapidly, her heart pounding. She was exhausted, but her fatigue was lost in the cold grip that was held in by her mounting fear. “Nice bear,” she said, her voice a shaky whisper. There was no response, but the bear continued to gaze at her with that vacant look in its dark eyes. She heard a low rumble and realized that it was growling. “Oh shit,” the wrestler said, allowing herself to move a little faster. The pickup truck was only ten feet away,

It was only yards away when she slammed into the truck, her palms pressed against the metal, but the guy inside made no move to unlock the door. In fact, he didn’t react at all. He sat there, that same wretched expression mangling his features, his eyes refusing to focus on anything. Sara could feel the bear rearing up behind her as its shadow fell across her. Before her, the beast’s horrific visage was reflected on the bloody window. The bear bellowed, revealing an angry red mouth lined with rows of pointed teeth.

Without thinking, she dropped to her stomach as it swiped at her, shattering the bloodsmeared barrier between the interior of the truck and the outside world. Screaming, Sara rolled beneath the truck as shards of glass rained down. Finally regaining his senses, the country boy howled and came to life, ripping the glove compartment open. He pawed through the contents as the bear shoved the truck, rocking the one and a half-ton mass of steel on its worn shocks. Sara trembled as the grimy machinery hulking above her shuddered, a splash of black fluid pelting her high on the forehead. The bear reached through the jagged opening where there had been a window seconds before and took a swipe at the hapless occupant, its claws digging into the flesh on his shoulder and dragging across the bone beneath. He wailed as he was thrust against the door, the knob that rolled down the window digging into his hip. Blood pulsed from the wound, soaking into his clothing and pouring down his arm. He finally found what he was looking for in the glove compartment with his other hand and withdrew a snub-nose pistol, thumbing the safety off. “Help me,” a wheezing voice begged from some distant hiding place. “I’m dying over here.” “Oh no,” Sara whimpered, thinking of the fool 69


who had lost his arm. “He’s still alive.” “Please,” he moaned. “Fucking bear,” the guy in the truck muttered, the parallel slashes on his shoulder assailing him with grimy waves of unyielding pain. The animal was staring into the opening, staring through him it seemed, but there was something in the way it looked at him that chilled him to his very core. It was at war with the world, this bear, and anything that lived was its enemy. He took aim with the pistol and fired, striking the beast point-blank. The shot ricocheted off the animal’s skull with a whistle, exposing a streak of white skull that was soon painted red as blood trickled from the ruptured flesh. The vicious roar that followed was so horrifying that the armed man wet his pants and began to sob. Sara could only scream. “Oh shit, I’m gonna die, I know it,” the unseen voice uttered from somewhere nearby.

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The guy with the gun threw his door open and clambered outside, taking aim at the furious bear again. Before he could fire the animal was moving and then he couldn’t get a bead on it, it was just too damn fast. How could it be so big and move like that? It wasn’t fair. He started shooting, but he was too late and his shots were too far behind. Sara heard the bear snarling and then she heard a sickening crunch followed by an ear-piercing scream. The scream went on and on, stopping only when the poor boy drew in a breath. There was a massive thud as man and beast came crashing to the ground, and then a wet munching that could only be the feast of the predator, occasionally interrupted by a cry from its victim. “Why is this happening to us? All we wanted was a fucking picture,” the voice in the distance whined. “We didn’t do anything wrong.” Sara eased toward the edge of the truck, scanning what she could see. To her far left, there was the gruesome dining that she didn’t want to see, the sounds of which now included horrid whimpers of anguish from the man being eaten. Across the way to her right, she could see a pair of tattered boots and the legs of the man wearing them, but a cluster of pine trees obscured the rest of him. A few feet in front of the truck and only a few feet from where she was surveying the scene, the fishing poles and beers she had seen them holding before were lying on the ground. Farther away she

could see something else, something burgundy that she recognized as a camera covered in blood only after a moment of intense scrutiny. When the film was developed, the pictures would reveal a jovial drunken fishing trip that ended in tragedy. The last photos taken were a series of shots of the bear, each closer than the one before, the final image clearly depicting the guy in the cap prodding the bear with a stick. Sara didn’t know what else to do, so she approached the situation she was presented with as a competition. She knew her opponent and she knew her objective—to get out of this alive—so all she lacked was a plan of action. What could she do? The guy in the truck had never cranked it. Was that because his friend had the keys, or had he been so out of it that he had only seen the vehicle as a refuge and had never considered it as a means of escape? Was she safe where she was? Should she try and help the one who had lost his arm? There were no answers, only fear. For a moment, her body grew cold and the sweet comfort of madness beckoned. She could slip away right now and forget it all, even the horror she was currently mired in, or so it seemed. She could feel such


a fate calling to her, whispering sweet promises of nothing into her ear, and after all, wasn’t nothing better than this madness?

“Yes,” the unseen voice trembled. “I’m scared. I’m bleeding so much, I’m gonna die, I’m sure of it.” “Did you put on a tourniquet?” “A what?”

No. She couldn’t do that. She wouldn’t do that.

These guys really were idiots. “Take a piece of your clothing and tie it off above your wound. Just tie it in a knot and it will stop the bleeding. Do it quickly.” “Okay,” he said feebly. “How do I get a piece of cloth? I mean, how big a piece should I-“ “Shut up! It doesn’t matter, just tie that fucker off and be quiet or you’ll get us both killed.”

“No,” she sobbed, her agony given voice joining the steady stream of misery coming from the man whose innards were being devoured as he watched. “Oh, please, please, please, just stop, please God, make it stop. Make it stop,” the mangled victim sobbed as the bear continued to rake his insides with its gore soaked muzzle. There wasn’t as much pain as his blood drained into the ground beneath and shock set in, but there was a horrible understanding of what had transpired and what was yet to come. The bear tore away a lengthy strip of his small intestines and he began to cry, resuming his pleas for mercy that would go unanswered. “Please, somebody’s got to help me,” the man concealed by the pine trees cried. “Shut up,” Sara hissed, suddenly overcome by anger. “It’s only leaving you alone because it thinks you’re dead. Can’t you see your friend’s in worse shape than you?”

The bear had yet to relent in its feeding and the poor soul who had poked the massive animal with a stick had not stopped crying out, either. Though she hated herself for it, she wanted nothing more at that instant than for him to shut up. She was hoping he would just hurry up and die, but she could only assume that he wanted the same thing. She felt herself sliding toward the breaking point again and bit down on her tongue hard, forcing the dark thoughts away that wanted to entrance her. She had to find a way out of here. She needed to know where those damn keys were, and there was only one way to find out. “Who has the keys,” she asked. There was no response after a minute or so, so she repeated the question.

“I thought you didn’t want me to say anything,” the man protested, his voice strained. It was all Sara could do to repress a roar of her own. “Just keep your voice down and tell me who has the keys.” “I do,” he answered. “Get them to me and I’ll go for help.” There was a lengthy pause as he thought it over. “Nope. You go, I go.” “Tell me how we’re supposed to manage that.” “You’re the one with the ideas,” he said curtly. Then he gasped. “Oh shit.” She shifted her gaze and saw what he saw – the bear was done with his friend, who had finally fallen silent, permanently, and it had apparently heard them talking. It was now approaching him with that same distant expression, as though it was totally unaware of what was happening. And yet it was aware, it knew what it was doing on some level and it wasn’t stopping. “Oh fuck,” he hissed. “What now?” TO BE CONTINUED...

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RUMORS’ cheat sheet to this fall’s trends Although brisk autumn weather may still be a few weeks away, many Richmonders are ready to trade in their flip-flops for new fall apparel. It’s a brand new season, so update your wardrobe with a narrow silhouette, layered tops, and hints of plaid or herringbone. From military-inspired jackets to thick heels, this season is full of dramatic extremes. Plaid: Plaid is the print of this season, and there are so many ways to wear it. Tar tan leggings, fitted jackets adorned with buttons, and silk blouses in color schemes of red and green plaid are the perfect match for the solid basics that were staples of your summer wardrobe. Layers: Prepare for the cool weather with layers of knits in a palette of related colors. Add texture to your outfit with a layer of lace or tweed. An oversized belt will create an hourglass silhouette, and bows add a luxurious detail. Adorned necklines and costume jewelry transition any outfit from daywear to par ty wear. Shape: This season’s trends offer a few new feminine shapes that add flair and personality to an existing wardrobe. Ranging from full, blousy tops and lengthy tunics to slim leggings and pencil skir ts, dramatic shapes define fall’s silhouette. The trendiest pieces include voluptuous bubble skir ts, loose fitting trouser pants, and slim cut jackets. Androgyny: Fall trends may find inspiration through menswear, but these slimly tailored jackets and skir ts are figure flattering when paired with a mix of feminine accessories. Opt for pinstripes, tweed, herringbone or plaid and add a soft touch with a ruffled shir t, a waist-cinching belt, and a clutch bag. Casey Longyear 75


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DEEPWOOD SPORTSMAN, FRESH SCENT Ken Howard photography Krystal Phillips stylist KC Ellis & Ariel Canton models KC, Ariel, Christian, Tony, Mom Dukes for always believing, Tupac, & Biggie Smalls, NAS, and all the soldiers keeping it real - one love 2oo7. special thanks 77


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Lazio’s Lists: Features To Look For In A Downtown Condo 1. Rooftop Pool. 2. Exercise room mini-fridge always stocked with Sparks and PBR. 3. Extra soundproofing so random gunfire at night doesn’t disturb your sleep. 4. Is actually a multi-unit condo building, and not just someone’s Fan duplex being sold as condos. 5. Great views of dilapidated buildings and empty storefronts. 6. Building has its own wi-fi network. 7. Close proximity to a presumed stop for the train/subway system that the city will surely build before global warming kills us all. 8. Half-pipe for skateboarding in the parking lot. 9. VCU has already contracted to buy your unit from you sometime in the next five years. 10. Don Harrison has yet to identify your prospective building as a sinkhole for taxpayer funds. 80


RVA Volume 3 Issue 6  

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

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