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presents DJ Spooky 3/13 @ IS Venue, C’ville

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2 1/2 N. 18th St Richmond (804) 644-5044

1325 W. Main St Charlottesville (434) 244-5044


P H OTO BY DAV I D KE N E DY

BLURRED VISION VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 1 COVER BY DAVID KENEDY

R . A nth ony H a rris publi sher

Pa rke r

edi tor - i n- chi ef

S c ott W h i t e n er managi ng edi tor

C as e y Lon gy ear fashi on edi tor

Lan di s Wi n e musi c edi tor

B r an don Pe c k s eni or desi gner

J oh n Re i n h ol d adverti si ng

A s h l e y York Lu c y Wi lli ams

adverti si ng team

I an G r ah am new medi a

A dam S l e dd ombudsman

N e i l Lope z Inter n

B ry an Ung er Chris B o ps t Curtis G rim s tead Eriq N els o n J ef f G r ant J o hn Headlee Landis Wine Laur en Vincelli Lightning ’s G irl Mike Rutz Parker Pr es to n D uncan Talia M iller

writin gs

Adam Jur es ko B r ando n Peck D aniel Ko en illu strat ion s

D anny N o rth D avid Kenedy D avid Waldm an PJ Sykes To ny Ly nch ph otography

HEADS UP!

10 ELKA AMORIM 14 TYLER THOMAS 15 LORE 18 THE HOT SEATS 24 FUCKED UP 28 BRAINWORMS 32 PULP TONES: FORMAT ERROR 34 MUSIC REVIEWS ARE BACK! 38 IDENTITY RICHMOND PART ONE 42 SO THIS IS HOW HISTORY FEELS 46 FART BUBBLE EATERS 48 THIS IS HOW WE DO IT 72 FASHION : IDLE KIDS CONTACT

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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. THANK YOU.

FIND US O N FACE B O OK, T W I TTER , M YSPAC E & RVA M AG.CO M

9


E lk a A mo rim P l aying Dres s Up

As far back as 5 year s old, I was not only certain I was an ar tist, but I knew that ar t would be an inte gr al par t of my life. For the fir st se ven year s of my life, I remember almost nothing of my childhood. The only bright and detailed memor y I have is of my ar t class. My mother took me to an afterschool ar t program, which I adored, and once I stepped into that room I was in heaven. I can still remember every single detail from that magical environment, all the projects, the color and the teacher I loved. From that point on I was always making ar t, in and out of school, and I have never had a doubt about wanting to choose ar t as a c a r e e r. W h e n I w a s n ’ t “ o f f i c i a l l y � m a k i n g a r t , I was daydreaming fabulously intricate stories, p l a y i n g d r e s s u p, m a k i n g u p t r a g i c l o v e t a l e s and re-nar rating my life, as if it were a movie. Coming from a family of women who are great stor yteller s cer tainly helped in my ability to create my own imaginar y univer se. As a child I would spend long hours listening to taped fair y tales (on vinyl records), as I imagined


t h e s c e n e s a n d t h e c h a r a c t e r s w i t h g r e a t i n t r i c a c y. I g r e w u p s u r rounded by books, little super vision and a lot of fr eedom for cr eative explor ations. Throughout junior high, and high school, I was always involved in as many creative outlets as possible, from fine a r t s c l a s s e s , t o d r a m a a n d d a n c e . C o l l e g e , h o w e v e r, w a s w h e n I tr uly began an intense period of exploration and production. Having felt like an outsider most of my life, for the fir st time, I felt l i k e a f i s h i n w a t e r. W h e n I w a s n ’ t d o i n g w o r k f o r s c h o o l , I w a s s t i l l playing dress up with my friends and perfor ming in public. I had spent many year s lear ning Middle Easter n dance, and would often incor por ate belly dancing into my perfor mances. After college, I decided to go to NY to do my graduate studies, since I had received a full scholar ship from the Brazilian gover nment to study anyw her e in the wor ld. I c hose NYC , because I fell in love with the eclectic and vibr ant chaos of its streets. I felt at home there. Being completely anonymous in a big city prompted me to create a more personal and intimate work. I ’ v e a l w a y s e n j o y e d u s i n g v a r i o u s m a t e r i a l s o n p a p e r. F r o m w a t e r color to etching, I tend to utilize a wide r ange of water-soluble m e d i u m s t o t e l l m y s t o r y. I n t h e l a s t t w o y e a r s , p h o t o g r a p h y h a s become an essential element in my wor k as I delve deeper into self-por traiture. I’m often attracted to materials that feel more intimate in nature. The small for mat and inclusion of text in my wor k evokes a strong idea of nar rative, intricately woven in bet w e e n t h e i m a g e s . T h e y a r e a l m o s t l i k e a n i l l u s t r a t e d d i a r y. E a c h p i e c e i s a f r a g m e n t o f a l a r g e r s t o r y, l i k e a n i s o l a t e d p a g e f r o m a book.


I’ ve always found something tantalizing about stumb l i n g u p o n a p i e c e o f a s t o r y, a s e c r e t , a l e t t e r o r a conver sation you’ r e not meant to be overhearing. W h e n y o u f i n d a f r a g m e n t o f a s t o r y, y o u a r e l e f t with the possibility of creating the missing pages. Nar rative is an impor tant element in my wor k, but w i t h e a c h i n c o m p l e t e s t o r y, c o m e s t h e m y s t e r y o f not having a beginning or an ending. T he many layer s hide different levels of infor mation, and it’s up to the spectator to be curious enough to fur ther explore each piece.

The small scale of my wor k fur ther enhances the i d e a o f i n t i m a c y. A t t i m e s t h e y r e s e m b l e p a g e s f r o m a d i a r y, l e t t e r s , p h o t o a l b u m s , s c r a p b o o k s o r n o t e book annotations. I am fair ly obsessed with detail and have the tendency to fill all spaces, so wor king small might have become a self-preser vation mec hanism. And having li ved in NYC for almost 10 year s, quickly made me confor m to having to live in v e r y s m a l l s p a c e s . U s u a l l y, a l l I n e e d i n o r d e r t o d o m y w o r k i s a l a r g e t a b l e i n a c o r n e r, a n d I ’ m h a p p y. I also like the idea of being able to closely hold the wor k, while feeling the various textures of the paper and being able to car r y it ever ywhere. Again, it evokes a more intimate feeling that you’re car r ying around an old letter you happened to find in your grandmother’s attic.


T y l e r T h o m as : U n b o r n P h o By Par ker

In the not too distant past Tyler Thomas and I decided to take a walk through the haunted woods of Belle Isle (it was once a Civil War prison camp for Union soldiers… definitely haunted). Our destination unknown, Tyler had a backpack full of an assor tment of cheap beer, and I a small container in my pocket of Salvia divinorum (a now illegal substance in Virginia that has a long and continuing tradition of use as an entheogen by indigenous Mazatec shamans). We found a spot in a clearing deep in the trees and made a small fire due to the fact that dusk was quickly arriving. Tyler passed me a PBR and popped open one for himself. After a couple sips from the nectar of the gutter gods, I packed the small tool we would use to smoke the Salvia. Tyler put the pipe to his lips, lit the end and began to deeply inhale the Diviner’s Sage. Leaning back with a huge grin on his face, he handed it over and we talked of such things as Transformers: The Movie (the original animated one…you know the one that had famous voice talents such as Leonard Nimoy, Orson Welles and… cough …Don Johnson), quantum physics and the dangers of huffing glue. As the swirling and vibrating colors in the air swept us into another dimension we also discussed his new ar twork. You see, Tyler’s known for doing warped figurative illustrations that could (and should) appear in quirkier children’s books. Recently he’s been experimenting using watercolors on big sheets of paper with car toonish birdlike creatures. “Why birds,” I asked. He looked into the night sky, “I watched this documentary about birds, Winged Migration , and got into doing these crumby drawings of birds in my sketchbook. Then I pulled out some old watercolors and star ted doing the birds on big sheets of paper.” At that point we heard rustling in the tops of the trees as if the birds had heard him and came for a visit. “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” he said, jumping up and stomping out the fire. We quickly gathered our things and ran back to Oregon Hill wondering if the birds were watching us and laughing.

"U n b o r n P h O " New work by Tyler Thomas, Rob Lee, Bonnie Staley. Opening Reception - Friday, Feb. 13th from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. On display until March 13th at Chop Suey Tuey (2913 W. Cary St.).


S we e t Te a s e Burl esque Presen ts…

lore Sweet Tease Bur lesque r e t ur n s t o t he s t a ge w it h a v e nge a n c e c r e a t ing their fir st full-length e vent , lov ing ly c a l le d “ L o r e ” . T his p e r fo r m a nc e is comprised of 17 bur lesque w o r k s w ov e n int o o ne f a nt a s t ic a l t a le , c r a f t e d with hint s of m oder n danc e, p e r fo r m a nc e a r t , m im ing, p up p e t r y and c ir c us spectac le. “Lor e” will take t he a ud i e nc e t hr o ug h a w o r ld t ha t blur s r e a l it y and mytholo g y, w hile at tim e s lit e r a lly t r a v e ling v ie w e r s t hr o ug ho ut t h e g a lle r y with sur prise entr anc e s, exit s a nd unexp e c t e d p e r fo r m a nc e s. Jo in Lady Scona, the Muse, Er o s G r a f f it i, L e L o up a nd Sp ik e d P unc h a s t hey b r ing yo u into their r ealm o f m a g ic , my s t e r y, s e ns ua lit y a nd s a s s ine s s. Fo r this show, special guest pe r fo r m e r s w ill a s s is t in t his t a le t a k ing o n t he p e r so na s of sultr y Sir ens a nd t he m is c hie v o us m a n/ go a t go d , Pan. Swe e t Tease Bur lesque is a lo c a lly g r o w n c o o p e r a t i v e o f lik e - m ind e d perfor mer s inter ested in m a k ing p e r fo r m a nc e a r t a c c e s s ible a nd f un w hil e explo r ing the boundaries o f s e ns ua lit y. T he f i v e uni v e r s it y t r a ine d c o m pany member s, w ho pr efer t o b e t it le d d ir e c t o r s, c ho r e o g r a p he r s, a nd / o r visionaries, all shar e equa l p a r t in t he c o m p a ny ’ s v o ic e a nd t he s ho w ’ s fo r ma tion. T heir attention t o m ov e m e nt , c ho r e o g r a p hy, w it , s ound , p r o d uctio n, set design, c ostum e c r e a t io n a nd c ha r a c t e r d e v e lo p m e nt ha v e smashed to gether to cr eate t he ex p e r ie n c e o f “ L o r e ” . Running s o un d fo r the show and spinning r ec o r d s fo r t he d a nc e p a r t y is m us ic m a s t e r, Si r Re inhold, and his ac c om plic e , M r. Je nning s.

T her e will be two showings of “Lor e”, Fe b. 20th and 21st. Door s open at 7:30 p.m. with the show be ginning at 8 p.m. A dance par ty full of gifts and guest a ppear ances will follow the show. Immediately following the Satur day night perfor mance will be an after par ty with music and dancing and a fe w sur prises for the cr ow d. Tic ket prices ar e $10 and the show is 18 and up. Galler y5 is located at 200 W. Mar shall Str eet, Ric hmond, VA 23220. Visit them online at www.g aller y5ar ts.or g or call (804) 644-0005. For more info on Sweet Tease Bur lesque visit www.myspace.com/sweetteasebur lesque


THE

HOTSEATS

INTRODUCING

WELL...KINDA... By Laur en Vinc e lli Ima geS by Br a ndon Pe c k


T he Hot Seats, for mer ly Special Ed and the Shor tbus, ar e bac k in Ric hmond after a shor t tour in the United Kingdom. T he aw ar d winning Hot Seats put together a unique blend of folk, g ypsy and old-timey countr y music. T he Hot Seats or “Ric hmond’s Beloved Absur dist Stringband” is widely known as one of the city’s most tongue-in-c heek, and just plain c heeky musical acts.

tive feedbac k for them. After hearing, ‘the music is gr eat, but we’ ll NEVER book you,’ enough, it be gins to sting, especially as the band pr ovides a solid portion of our livelihoods.

I spoke with Josh Bear man (mandolin, c law hammer banjo, tenor banjo, bass, vocals and bossi ness) via email for their fir st post-tour inter vie w. We discussed their ne w name, their ne west album, Retr eat to Camp Candy Temptation Island, their r ecent UK tour and success and the possible r oot canals in their near futur e. Be sur e to catc h the Hot Seats live on Mar c h 21, at Plaza Bowl and lear n mor e at http://www.thehotseats.net. -LV

JB: It’s definitely a concer n, but we’ r e gener ating mor e pr ess, have a booking a gent, a ne w album and ar e pushing our selves out into many unc har ted areas, so ther e’s a lot of ne w mar kets that don’ t know the dif fer ence. Actually, the name c hange has r esulted in some good write-ups for us in ne w towns. Also, so muc h of our adver tising is Inter net based, either fr om our email list or the v arious we b connector s, and we r etained those folks and ke pt them well infor med.

Lauren Vincelli: So I guess we should star t with the name c hange. You guys have c hanged your name fr om Special Ed and the Shor tbus to Hot Seats. How and w hy did this c hange come a bout?

LV: Ar e you wor ried that a name c hange will confuse f ans? Ar e you mana ging to kee p the Special Ed mentality and r e putation?

LV: What else will c hange a bout the band now that you ar e known as Hot Seats? JB: Nothing.

Josh Bearman: We wer e alw ays aw ar e that the name w as less than sensitive, but found over the last 18 months that the music had gr own in w ays that made it palata ble to audiences and, mor e impor tantly, to festiv als, a gents and venues that would otherwise have booked us if not for their dislike of the name; or the fear that booking a band with suc h a name would r esult in ne g a-

LV: How have you c hanged since playing weekly at Car y St. Cafe? JB: We stopped playing our weekly gig at the Car y St. Cafe in 2005, I think, and actually haven’ t played ther e in quite a w hile, maybe near ly 2 year s. No par ticular r eason exce pt over f amiliarity, perha ps.

We got br anded, as do many bands, as a hippy band because of our long association with that spot. It’s a misc har acterization, given the wide v ariety of music they have ther e, but ther e it is. (Car y Str eet Café) w as our jumping of f point and essential in the band’s for mation. A weekly gig like that pr ovides suc h a fer tile gr ound for experimentation and also a r eal ur genc y to kee p ne w material coming so as to not be stale. LV: Tell me a bout your most r ecent r elease. JB: Retr eat to Camp Candy Temptation Island pr etty muc h follows for m with our last two r eleases, Gr ound Beef Patr ol and Rats in the Kitc hen. It’s a good mixtur e of original songs, tr aditional blue gr ass, r a gtime, Easter n Eur opean and miscellany. It w as r ecor ded all live (with the exce ption of the phone call during “Slee pover Par ty,” at Minimum Wage in Or egon Hill. We’ r e quite pleased with it. LV: How did you all come together as a band to be gin with? JB: A mixtur e of friends w ho met at VCU and other s w ho ended up in the gr oup thr ough a convoluted series of connections. We began just pic king in a par tments and por c hes, and ended up with a weekly gig, fir st at Ric hie’s (now Emilio’s), and later at (Car y Str eet Café).


It w as all for fun at the be ginning, but we found our styles and sensibilities gelled ver y well, and... blah, blah, blah... her e we ar e. LV: How old wer e you w hen you star ted playing music? JB: For the most par t, we’ ve all been playing music in one capacity or another since we wer e about 10 or so, but I w as the only one w ho played tr aditional music. My dad is a squar e dance caller (dance leader). Our fiddler, Aar on Le wis, for example, played c lassical violin fr om a ver y ear ly age. Ed Br ogan, w ho plays guitar in the band, played a good deal of sax w hen he w as younger, and all of us played a wide v ariety of louder, mor e abr asive, r oc k and suc h in our days. LV: What side pr ojects ar e you and your band mates cur r ently involved in? JB: Jake Seller s also plays dr ums in Ig g y Plop and the Spooges. Aar on Le wis and I both sit in with Jac kass Flats on occasion, and Aar on also has played with Mamie, T he Slac k Family and a ton of other people. He r ecently r elocated to NYC and has played with Stephan Rimbaud, a r eally amazing hot gypsy jazz guitarist. We have a v ariety of small ensemble lineups for squar e dances and smaller events that involve pr etty muc h e ver y member of the band.

LV: When did you star t to feel dr awn to the a bsur dist folk scene and countr y music?

We find it kee ps audiences on edge and paying attention.

JB: We pr etty muc h star ted out that w ay and then r ealized that ther e wer e other bands like the Bad Liver s, the Holy Modal Rounder s, the Fugs, etc., both old and ne w, w ho wer e in our par ticular genr e. While it is sometimes a bsur d, we do spend a good amount of ef for t in simultaneously pushing the tr ad music forw ar d w hile also making it c lear that we know w hat the old sounds ar e and paying tribute to them. T her e’s nothing ne w a bout humor and social satir e in string band music; it’s pr etty muc h had that element for the entir ety of its r ecor ded and pr e-r ecor ded existence. People have alw ays loved double entendr es, baw dy humor and nonsense, and we just ar e ta pping into that pr edilection with ne w material.

LV: It seems as though humor and tongue-inc heek style ar e becoming mor e popular in the music industr y, especially among countr y and folk music. Why do you think that is?

LV: Your music is filled with w himsy and humor but also inter esting instr uments and musical skill. How did this all come to gether to for m this style for you? JB: Well, we’ r e all musicians w ho pay attention to many dif fer ent for ms, and also w ho spend too muc h time talking a bout tec hnique and ar r angement. We’ r e also easily bor ed, so we jump fr om style to style with a lot of r a pidity. In the cour se of a show, or album, we’ ll jump fr om loose and f ast, c lunky oldtimey music to a ver y tight and dynamically r anging r endition of a klezmer tune or spooky r a gtime song.

JB: As I said befor e, I don’ t think it’s ne w. Hank Williams had his Luke the Drifter alter ego w her e he said some ridiculous things, as did Roy Acuf f. Even ear lier bands like the Skillet Likker s, Unc le Dave Macon, and Se ven Foot Dilly and his Dill Pic kles would sing totally foolish songs, and they’ d also stic k some totally stupid skits in the middle of albums. LV: You have been touring a lot lately. You’ ve just done a tour in Scotland and England, w hat w as that like? JB: Yeah, we just, as of two hour s ago, r etur ned fr om a 12-day tour in the UK, all based ar ound thr ee dates at the Celtic Connections Festiv al in Glasgow, w hic h is a gr eat oper ation, with many styles of music r e pr esented. We got to open for Allan Toussaint and played a bunc h of dates alone and with our pals T he Wilder s fr om K ansas City, Mo. Both of our UK tour s have r eally spoiled us. People w ho ar e into American hillbilly music over ther e ar e REALLY INTO IT and show up in dr oves. We played a number of sold out theater shows in


towns w her e we’ d never befor e played. T he British and Scottish cr ow ds ar e, for the most par t, a little mor e subdued than those in the U.S., less hooting and stomping, but ver y a ppr eciative. T he act of going out to see shows, actually SEE shows, not to drink and socialize over top of a band, is still ver y muc h a par t of the cultur e over ther e.

JB: We’ r e all pr etty into social satir e, w hic h f actor s into our music. Besides that . . . I don’ t know, maybe sunspots and ketc hup?

LV: What sor ts of shenanig ans did you get into in Scotland?

JB: We have a lot of plans to enact, inc luding an album by T he Zombie Stringband, our tr ue identity, as well as ne w music fr om the band itself. We have a gr eat bac klo g of ne w material to wor k out, but for the last 9 months we’ ve r eally just been touring so muc h that we haven’ t addr essed ver y muc h of it. We ar e pr etty dedicated to the goal of at least one r elease per year. T he music on it will follow in line with the pr o gr ession we’ ve made over the last 7 year s. It’s har d to know exactly w hat it will be.

JB: Well, a lot of staying up too late and boozing, to be sur e. T he [Celtic Connections] festiv al has an after hour s c lub w her e the musicians do impr omptu late night sets, so we got a c hance to pal ar ound and pic k with some other gr oups fr om v arious locales. Scotc h… lots of scotc h. One of our most ridiculous gigs w as for a c lass of 13year-olds at a sc hool near Glasgow. I’m not sur e if they r eally kne w how to pr ocess us. LV: How do the Eur opean audiences and venues dif fer fr om those in the states? JB: T he venues ar e muc h the same – a combination of halls, theater s, c lubs and bar s. As for the audience, see above. LV: What ar e some of your non-musical inf luences?

LV: When can we expect a ne w album fr om the Hot Seats? How will it dif fer fr om Special Ed and the Shor tbus? How will it be similar?

LV: What ar e your futur e plans for the Hot Seats? JB: Incr eased touring and exposur e, hopefully. As I said, we just signed with Charisma Ar tist Agenc y, home of other indie-stringband gr oups of similar sensibilities, like the Two Man Gentleman Band, the Wiyos, and the Mad Tea Par ty. We’ r e also headed bac k acr oss the Atlantic for a 5-week stint next f all, and, I think we all have dentist a ppointments at one time or another in the next year.

To c hec k out mor e on the Hot Seats go to thehotseats.net or myspace.com/thehotseatsr v a.


Th e Chemi stry of Comm on L i f e

An Interview wit h D a m ien A br a h a m o f F u ck e d U p L a n d i s Wi n e | G r o u p p h o t o : D a v i d Wa l d m a n | L i v e p h o t o : D a n n y N o r t h F u c k e d U p a r e a r o c k b a n d f r o m To r o n t o w h o h a v e s p e n t t h e p a s t s e v e r a l ye a r s t r a n s i t i o n i n g f r o m t h e i r h a r d c o r e r o o t s i n t o o n e o f t h e most fascinating and epic bands around. The Chemistr y of Common Life (Matador) is a tr anscendent record full of sweeping guitar s, gr andiose ly r i c a l t h e m e s a b o u t r e l i g i o n , f l u t e s , l u s h h a r m o n i e s a n d t h e i m posing growl of front man Damien Abr aham (a.k.a. Pink Eyes a n d Fa t h e r A b r a h a m ) a t t h e f o r e , k e e p i n g a s o l i d f o o t i n t h e h a r d c o r e v o c a l l e g a c y o f s u c h a c t s a s Po i s o n Idea and Negative Approach. I spoke with Damien (who I should note is an incr edibly nice guy) befor e their recent show at The Outback Lodge in Char lottesville. L a n d i s W i n e : S o, I w a s r e a d i n g o n yo u r b l o g t o d ay t h a t yo u h a d a t o n o f p o s i t i v e t h i n g s t o s ay a b o u t t h e t o u r, a n d I w a s c u r i o u s h o w t h i n g s have changed on this one as opposed to the last couple. Damien Abraham: I think that things are s t i l l t h e s a m e w i t h t h e l a s t t o u r a n d t h i s t o u r. The problems that are there with Fucked Up will a l w ay s b e t h e r e . I t ’ s k i n d o f l i k e a g r o u p o f p e o p l e t h a t s h o u l d n’ t b e p l ay i n g i n a b a n d t o g e t h e r a n d t h a t are now kind of forced to live with each other for the r e s t o f t h e i r l i v e s. S o i t ’ s k i n d o f a l w ay s o n t h e b r i n k of completely falling apar t. Last time we wer e in DC, that’s when it actually did fall completely apar t. It’s only

w h e n yo u ’ r e p l ay i n g l i v e w h e n yo u h a v e t h e s e r e a l ly s o b e r m o m e n t s a n d yo u c a n s e e yo u r s e l f f r o m o u t s i d e o f yo u r b o dy a n d yo u ’ r e l i k e , I ’ m r e a l l y d o i n g t h i s , I ’ m r e a l l y 3 0 y e a r s o l d w i t h my s h i r t o f f a n d my pants around my ankles and bleeding from the forehead and this l o o k s c o m p l e t e l y r i d i c u l o u s. A n d w h e n yo u h a v e t h o s e s e l f - r e f l ex i v e moments, those ar e the moments when it comes the closest it will come to completely falling apar t. On our last European tour in Barcelona a similar incident happened, where it’s just like, what a m I d o i n g ? A n d a c t u a l l y o n t h i s t o u r, t o o, M i k e , i n P h i l a d e l p h i a , s m a s h e d h i s g u i t a r b e f o r e w e e v e n s t a r t e d p l ay i n g. I k i n d a w i s h h e ’ d w a i t e d u n t i l w e s t a r t e d p l ay i n g, b e c a u s e t h a t w o u l d h a v e b e e n a lot mor e spectacular ; but I was downstair s and I walk upstair s to w h e r e e v e r yo n e i s , a n d e v e r yo n e h a s t h i s w e i r d l o o k o n t h e i r f a c e , a n d I w a l k o n s t a g e a n d M i k e ’ s n o t t h e r e a n d t h ey ’ r e l i k e … h e j u s t s m a s h e d h i s g u i t a r a n d w a l k e d o f f. N o t h i n g ’ s r e a l ly c h a n ge d . We ’ v e h a d a l o t m o r e f u n o n t h i s t o u r. I k n o w p e r s o n a l ly f o r m e i t ’ s l i k e “ e n j oy i t . ” T h i s i s o n e o f t h o s e t h i n g s t h a t ’ s n e v e r go i n g t o h a p p e n a g a i n . T h e m o r e I r e a l i z e t h a t , I r e a l i z e t h a t s o m e t i m e s I a m a h u ge b a by a b o u t t h i n g s. A n d j u s t b e c a u s e I d i d n’ t h a v e a go o d t i m e i n D C i s n o r e a s o n t o s h u t d o w n t h i s r i d e e a r l y. T h a t b e i n g s a i d , t h e r i d e could stop at any moment. L W : H a v e yo u s e e n yo u r a u d i e n c e c h a n g e i n t h e p a s t m o n t h s s i n c e the new record has come out? DA : I t w a s n’ t l i k e w e s e t o u t t o t r y a n d m a k e a c r o s s o v e r r e c o r d . We j u s t m a d e t h e r e c o r d t h a t w e m a d e , a n d I t h i n k i t c a m e o u t t h a t w ay b e c a u s e s o m e p e o p l e i n t h i s b a n d a r e l i k e s t i l l s u p e r i n t o


h a r d c o r e – a n d t h a t ’ s a l l t h e y l i s t e n t o, o r m o s t l y w h a t t h e y l i s t e n t o – l i k e my s e l f a n d Jo n a h . O r t h e r e ’ s p e o p l e l i k e M i k e o n g u i t a r o r J o s h o n g u i t a r o r S a n dy w h o d o n’ t l i s t e n t o p u n k r o c k r e a l l y t h a t m u c h a n y m o r e . T h e y s t i l l l i k e t h e b a n d s t h ey l i k e d , bu t i t ’ s n o t l i k e t h e y ’ r e g o i n g o u t a n d a c t i v e l y s e a r c h i n g o u t n e w b a n d s. T h ey ’ r e i n t o l i k e t e c h n o a n d s h o e g a z e … s o I t h i n k t h a t ’ s w hy t h e r e c o r d c a m e o u t t h e w ay i t d i d . B u t y e a h , w h e n i t w o r k s a n d yo u g e t a m i x e d a u d i e n c e , t h a t ’ s a w e s o m e . W h e n i t d o e s n’ t w o r k a n d yo u k i n d a g e t yo u r f r i e n d s b e i n g l i k e , ‘ I h a t e yo u r n e w r e c o r d ’ o r ‘ I ’ m n o t g o n n a c o m e s e e yo u ’ a n d yo u k n o w, t h a t ’ s w h e n yo u ’ r e k i n d o f l i k e , w o w, i s i t r e a l l y t h a t p o l a r i z i n g that a friendship is wor th being sacrificed? It sounds like I’m being melodram a t i c , bu t t h e r e a r e p e o p l e t h a t a r e m o r e t h a n a c q u a i n t a n c e s t h a t h a v e n o w j u s t c o m p l e t e ly w r i t t e n m e o f f a s a p e r s o n b e c a u s e o f o u r r e c o r d s. T h a t i s t h e weirdest par t about being in this band, and that is something I will never get u s e d t o, b e c a u s e m ay b e I d i d t h a t w h e n I w a s yo u n g e r ; b u t I d o n’ t t h i n k I d i d . T h e f a c t t h a t p e o p l e c a n b e t h a t p a s s i o n a t e l y a n g e r e d by s o m e t h i n g yo u ’ r e d o i n g ; I g u e s s o n o n e l e v e l i t c a n b e c o m p l e t e l y f l a t t e r i n g, b u t o n a n o t h e r l e v e l i t ’ s l i k e … I ’ m l o s i n g f r i e n d s. L W : I k n o w s o m e h a r d c o r e k i d s w h o f e l t l i k e i t w a s o k ay t o e x p a n d o u t w a r d s m u s i c a l ly b e c a u s e o f yo u r n e w r e c o r d . DA : I t h i n k e v e r yo n e n e e d s s o m e o n e t o b e l i k e , ‘ I t ’ s o k ay i f yo u d o t h i s a n d i f yo u l i k e t h i s s t u f f. ’ I t h i n k r i g h t n o w f o r p u n k a n d h a r d c o r e , i t ’ s o n e o f t h o s e m o m e n t s w h e r e t h e C a t h o l i c t a s t e s a r e c o m i n g o u t a n d yo u h a v e a l o t of bands that have come from punk and hardcore – who are still punk and hardcore – integrating a lot of other influences in it. And that’s bands like S ex Vi d , M i n d E r a s e r, N o A g e , Vi v i a n G i r l s , C o l d Wo r l d . A l l t h e s e b a n d s t h a t a r e h a r d c o r e k i d s bu t a r e t r y i n g t o a d d w e i r d e r i n f l u e n c e s t o i t , a n d i t ’ s o n e o f t h o s e r e a l ly ex c i t i n g t i m e s , ‘ c a u s e p u n k c a n b e i n c r e d i b l y c o n s e r v a t i v e – a s a ny k i n d o f m u s i c c a n b e – a n d t h e r e ’ s s o m e t h i n g r e a l l y e n d e a r i n g a b o u t t h a t , bu t a t t h e s a m e t i m e i t c a n b e r e a l l y s t i f l i n g. S o i t ’ s r e a l l y e x c i t i n g w h e n yo u s e e a b u n c h o f b a n d s t r y i n g w e i r d e r t h i n g s. L W : D o yo u g u y s o w n yo u r o w n d i s c o g r a p hy ? ( F u c k e d U p h a v e r e l e a s e d

r o u g h ly 5 0 r e c o r d s s i n c e 2 0 0 2 a n d s h o w n o s i g n s o f s l o w i n g d o w n . ) A r e t h e r e a n y r e c o r d s o r l a b e l s t h a t yo u w a n t e d t o e m u l a t e w i t h F u c k e d U p ? DA : A s f a r a s t h e d i s c o g r a p hy g o e s , i t i s c o m p l e t e l y i n s a n e . T h e r e ’ s n o o t h e r w ay t o p u t i t . I t h i n k t h e m o s t c o m p l e t e c o l l e c t i o n o f F u c k e d U p r e c o r d s i s o w n e d by M i k e , w h o ’ s a c t u a l l y a r e c o v e r e d r e c o r d c o l l e c t o r. I t h i n k I w o u l d h a v e h a d t h e m o s t c o m p l e t e c o l l e c t i o n o f F u c k e d U p, bu t I ’ v e actually made a point of giving them to a friend of mine who in tur n gives me r ar e r ecords that I want. So I’m feeding my habit with Fucked Up right n o w. T h e r e ’ s s o m e t h i n g s t h a t o t h e r p e o p l e h a v e p u t o u t , t h o s e a r e t h e hardest things to get. T her e’s like seventeen copies of an acetate, which h a s “ S i n c e Yo u ’ v e B e e n G o n e ” o n o n e s i d e a n d a d e m o o n t h e o t h e r s i d e t h a t s o m e o n e p u t o u t a s a b o o t l e g. T h e r e ’ s a t e c h n o r e c o r d t h a t s o m e o n e p u t F u c k e d U p l a b e l s o n w h i c h g o e s f o r s t u p i d m o n e y o n e B ay. S t u f f t h a t I ’ v e h a d o n e c o py o f, a n d b e c a u s e I ’ v e g i v e n i t t o m y f r i e n d I d o n’ t h a v e i t a n y m o r e . I f I w e r e t o t r y t o r e a c q u i r e i t , i t w o u l d c o s t a l o t o f m o n ey, a n d I ’ d b e b e t t e r s e r v e d , yo u k n o w, s p e n d i n g i t o n a ny t h i n g bu t F u c k e d U p r e c o r d s. W h e n w e f i r s t s t a r t e d F u c k e d U p w e w a n t e d a n a e s t h e t i c r i g h t out of the gate, because a lot of the records that were coming out just f e l t k i n d o f c r a p p i l y g e n e r i c . S o w e k n e w w e d i d n’ t w a n t t o b e l i k e t h e m . I think it took us a long time to find that aesthetic. Our fir st record is pretty c r a p p i l y g e n e r i c , b u t o n c e w e d i d f i n d i t w e h a v e n’ t r e a l ly d e v i a t e d f r o m i t . A n d I t h i n k t h a t t h e b e s t w ay t o b e i s t o h a v e a v i s i o n f r o m d ay o n e a n d k e e p w o r k i n g t o w a r d s i t . A n d o n e d ay w h e n yo u l o o k b a c k o n i t , i t s e e m s ver y planned out, even though it was just kind of haphazard. L W : Yo u g u y s s e e m t o b e a b a n d t h a t ’ s v e r y m u c h a b o u t m o v i n g f o r w a r d . W h a t s o r t o f d i r e c t i o n d o yo u s e e yo u r s e l v e s i n a n d h o w d o yo u m o v e forward as a band. DA : I t h i n k f o r u s r i g h t n o w, w e ’ r e a l w ay s g o i n g t o b e l i m i t e d by my v o i c e . I t ’ s k i n d o f l i k e t h e a l b a t r o s s , yo u k n o w, i t ’ s g o i n g t o k e e p u s h a r d c o r e , p u n k , w h a t h a v e yo u , b u t i t ’ s a l s o g o i n g t o k e e p u s f r o m e v e r b e i n g l i k e , Va m p i r e We e k e n d , s o i t ’ s a b l e s s i n g a n d a c u r s e t h a t w ay. T h a t b e i n g s a i d ,


o n t h e n ex t r e c o r d w e ’ r e t r y i n g t o d o a r o c k o p e r a , a n d s o w e ’ l l s e e h o w t h a t c o m e s o u t . B u t yo u ’ v e go t t a t r y t o p l ay w i t h e f f e c t s a n d t r y n e w t h i n g s. We ’ r e a l w ay s go i n g t o ex p e r i ment. Sometimes it will be a complete failure, and sometimes t h ey ’ l l b e s u c c e s s e s ; bu t yo u k n o w, yo u ’ l l n e v e r k n o w u n t i l yo u t r y … a n d f a i l . L W : C a n yo u g i v e a w ay t h e n a m e o f t h e r o c k o p e r a ye t ? DA : I ’ m r e a l ly h o p i n g i t d o e s n’ t c o m e t o f r u i t i o n ; I h o p e w e scrap it and do a new record. It’s called David Comes to Life. We h a v e n’ t r e a l ly e v e n s t a r t e d w r i t i n g i t . We ’ v e s t a r t e d w r i t i n g s k e l e t o n s o f s o n g s. I t h i n k i t ’ s a f a i r ly s a f e b e t t h a t i t w i l l h a v e t o d o w i t h t h e m e s t h a t a r e c o n s t a n t i n F u c k e d U p, l i k e religion, retur n to nature, things like that. I have a feeling t h i s i s go i n g t o b e o u r a d m i r a b l e f a i l u r e o f a r e c o r d . We ’ v e kind of lucked out and managed to put out a record where people are like ‘That’s awesome, that’s great!’ no matter h o w f a r o f f t h e d e e p e n d w e g o. I t h i n k w i t h t h i s r o c k o p e r a w e m i g h t go t h a t l i t t l e s t e p t o o f a r. B e f o r e I g o t i n t o p u n k a n d h a r d c o r e t h e r e c o r d s I l o v e d w e r e T h e W h o ’ s To m my , P i n k Fl oy d ’ s T h e Wa l l ; I l i k e d t h o s e r e a l l y g a u d y r o c k o p e r a r e c o r d s. I w a n t t o t r y a n d m a k e a r o c k o p e r a . I ’ m a l s o r e a l ly s c a r e d w i t h h o w b a d i t ’ s go i n g t o b e . H o p e f u l ly w e ’ l l h a v e e n o u g h g u e s t s t h a t i t w o n’ t j u s t s o u n d l i k e a m o n s t e r g r o w l i n g t h r o u g h t h e w h o l e t h i n g.


e ’r e g o n n th a t, w n d o in g a th r e re . O th a y w e ’v e b e e w o u t b e fo ti o n s a b e d o , th e s a m e a v r e s w t a a n y re h w d o in’ up our n a k e e p e r th a t is . ti o n e h a d to e r th a n c o n tr ib u h is ’v a te v e h w W le , . o h it s O th ea tz ’s , e of a r): Y s t fi v e . c t o n th e y M o ri th a t o n e (g u it in s te a d o f ju e ff e s is t, Ja le t m e k n o w o t s u r e if h e ’s r Trach s te a n ls a b e, e a g d re ’ a g n r ms to Bre g fu ll ti m I’ m n has a e ig h t b d th is B r a in w o te r v ie w w a s n te e to e ’s n e w fa m il y th e r fo lk s w o r k in th e w h o le d r e a m . t I’ v e w it n e s s e th e ra a a u in in g is to h im e c is io n s th a x a c tl y to th o u b t Jo h o o l, o G e tt in g o rd h a s d s came th a t’ s e c th a t, I d m y b e in g in s c s in g e n e ra l. v ib a s s li n e c a u s e c e r ta in e to b e li e v e it h o u t a c le a r r m o r re it h o n e ve an o li th rf r e u d p o n , a e m ie e g w b b k w c d in r o , ti v n a a g o c li e r e le in y ra m s k a p e jo h od u ld f u im li k e , w it ake wo o r a ll o e s a m e ro o m to We s p e n t a g o ti o n . F iv b a n d m f th e ir in s p ir a s h o u ld s o u n d ir g u it a ri s t, T h . th e g in n e s o c re w h a ll e een a c s o u r c e h a t th e ir b a n d to r e p la c e th y r e c r u it e d Jo e k. e w k a lw a y s b v in g in N e w Yo r a n d – re s io n o f h e n th e y h a d N e w Yo r k , th a t it w o n’t m a li in th e b d o e s n’t r e e b g n m a e tto h W th m s c e r b ig c e Jo s h n d a n’s s in g e r. ft e r h e m o v e d u s ic d if fe r s in th in g s in te r e I p a n o th a ll . S in a m e e p in g a n d . W h o a m b ri n g s u w it h Jo s h S m rd c o re a n d B re n o n K M o r ri s , o s e o w n s o lo h . ic s h r a W b ha h is T im ir e J G: e a r, p la c in g S m a ll , w e n ts c o v e r th e d n a tu r e to th punk or a n o n -l in io n in to r c e n tl y re ri e n c e p la y in g k e th e m u s ic in on n s it a tr e y o u r p a s to c o m e s e c is p ta h x o d fi t? about h a v e e y in g c a n o ft e n m our be a go in g s e e o n it s s o u r c e ? th o f y y o u ta lk la th e b ir c te d th e ti g u it a r p d ir e c ti o n , c a n o u th o u g h t h e ’d s n e o u q , e to y la s t to Jo a s a ff e s ta n d a rd a n d m a y b e w h y o v e r th e c o n g r a ts g h o w th is h a b a n d s . I a c tu a ll y band o f a ll , n e s t a ri th s e ir ly d b F n wo J G: o n s id e ra p la y in g w it h u e n c e p la y r. I’ m ri anged c id h a s d a u g h te e ’v e c h c e Jo s h s ta r te d d la c k o f e x p e e s to w ri tin g a k w h a t v W a : h T B k band. ! I th in e ff ic ie n t in s o s in a c k g ro u n d , a n e w h e n it c o m u c h th e u r o o y r k a n ’t e y dg T ha s m o r e r te r, a s I c a n p re tt y m u n iq u e b h im a n e d u m s): o a k in g u th in k h is o re /p u n k g iv e s e w re c o rd , h e ’s r fo r y e a r s , a n nt (d r d b y m b e a li tt le s h I u s e d to. T h is n Joe Hu n e c a e b to th rd th o a e h rd n h a th s s O c g to a w a . rw in d e e o e ts v fo h te r n m a s h ti al pa a ff e c th e know rs h o k in g as muc g o ri g in or O u r to u v e w it h r. We ’v e it h h im . I’ m lo w e d o. o r d to ta k e o ff m o r e s e le c ti n d s a ll th e d o d in a d g u it a r p la y e w y la p a le a to ff le r e a ll y a u s to b e a li tt iv in g to u ri n g b in g I n e v e r h w a n te d th g s I a lw a y s re . r e q u ir e It a ls o m a k e s w h ic h is s o m e o m g d o in w e p la y. a li tt le h a r d e r, ] [money


an me nts . Th e spe ed is the y tra ck the ins tru an d pla yen five up wh ing ing ed tak nd spe m e sta fro los ms ne an y pro ble ou r ban d. I hav e go JG : Did he ha ve als – to a cou ple imp or tan t ele me nt to e? gs – yes , jus t the voc son ht eig ing at the sam e tim ord day s to rec her e. . ho urs . Bo om . Ou tta to bo rro w my str ap h. BT : He did ne ed of you r lyr ics tho ug d int ros pec tive nat ure ha rd to sta nd up an t the re? Pu ttin g zy JG : I adm ire the ou cra lf rse It’s : you r) g ita ttin ou t pu Jo sh Sm al l (gu en you my bro ken am p Ho w do you fee l ab spe ak. An y tim es wh lly dif fic ult to ma ke s on dis pla y, so to . Bu t, it ha s on pla y. It’s als o rea ing oti ok em str r up you at ck I sti ll su too per son al? so un d go od , an d up of fel las . Th ey fee l like you ’ve bee n pla y wit h thi s gro era ll ov the t tha be en ver y ea sy to at I thi nk er eth y so we ll tog dy nee ds to hea r wh ir att itu de s an d pla you . I hat e it. No bo a gre at exp eri nk ab ou t, ch ank thi su Th I : s en GB ng be thi s ha the are for giv ing in the It are es. d too na ïve , Un for tun ate ly, the se of my ma ny mis tak un ff. any thi ng so ing t stu to ou t giv t ab ou for No g ab is s. son d ng a un so te so wri te an d pla y the se for me . Th e firs t tim e I saw fig ure d ou t ho w to wri t lp wri tin g en’ he I’m to hav I ile g wh ttin and ge n en ce I’ll ma ke my sel f cri nge loo k bac k on it wa s a rea l rev ela tio . As it tur ns els e yet . So me tim es n the , bu t me lod ic ha rdc ore ht I wa s go ing to see Gre g’s jok e ba nd ver y ne w line the p jus t kee ug on ce to a lac k lyr ics , and the n I’ll the Br ain wo rm s I tho g a sty le tha t wa s at da n’s str ap a. I att rib ute it all g jok es, an d pla yin nk it wa s a bad ide en kin thi ing and Br ma jok w and re of rro t er we bo y lat sor t the I’m fac t, al. in ou the tim e too per son an t wit h me . I do on All . to the res vity ted ely ati nec iat cre ed con of an d imm p me fee l per son ally ks. t of no t. My lyr ics hel wit h the m too. t sor nec con an d be g Jay for pic o wh ple are peo co mp are to you r mu sic . I gu ess the re for thi s ful l-le ng th ple rec ord ing pro ces s er ban ds? Few er peo JG : Ho w did the con nec tin g wit h oth t and ou , ab sic s? at mu ing Wh ve : ord ssi JG rec gre oth er yin g hea vy or ag it. No t qu ite all of iou sly. Jos h jus t ou r age con tin ue pla ord ing an alo g. Lo ved ub be d in cer tai n rec m to tak e it les s ser we re in a jok e e see tim y t the firs r do ou y s the erd ov en rs wh you ita ed BT : Th is wa gu um re ass we he r firs t sho w ed live . Th ere on e is gre at, sai d tha t bef ore you the mu sic wa s rec ord he wh en you go ou t res ult . Ste ve Ro ch ase d wit h the en d We ma de bee n abl e to fin d a nic tha t you fee l are on ple l. y you bil ver s ve ga Ha am I d. the . s ban ces wa pla ng wa s eti ng oth er ban ds fas t. Th e wo rst thi mu ltip le car s. Th is the roa d as far as me an d he wo rks rea lly lph ia, so me tim es in de ila Ph to ge? pa up e s you r sam se ver al trip llo n. er thr ee bu cks a ga wh en ga s wa s up ov lly rep res ent s wh o we nk thi I pla yin g mu sic tha t rea es, the re is alw ays d. are lve we evo l s fee I ha : s BT ces ou r pro g fas t and hea vy at tim oc al s) : I thi nk kn ow if the an alo are . Wh ile it is lou d, dco re kid s thi nk we Gr eg Bu tl er (v we ’ve do ne . I do n’t . ing live gro w. I ho pe the har ord um and rec alb nge st the be cha ed to m ord roo rec rld mig ht see us as thi s is the we wo d the gla of t I’m it’s co ole r. to my tal en ts o ban d, wh ile the res est em att an y . We ’ve me t ton s are ma ber he lpe d or no t, bu t ich num wh a ep t the vo cal s, ssi ve. Ag e is jus t sp ee d we e gre ag sam and the vy at int o a gro up of hea ord run We ll, eve ryt hin g exc rec s. You can alw ays Ton y the so ng s on the see m to r. d pla tou ays We on alw r. s ds ge nd ban sin Ba a of as h a hig h sch oo l ban cti ce. or you can pla y wit pla y sh ow s or pra 40 -ye ar- old bo zos , pla y the m wh en we


LP, it e he rele ase d the firs t do ofte n end t to hea r it. At the tim in the righ t pla ce. We and wan ts r sic, who mu hea is ir ple the rity peo ller has prio the t tha in sma out to g ma ny sho ws at all. His s at the sho w, esp eci ally in loo ked like we wou ldn’t be pla yin e ly. hom up bei ng the old est guy est at hon felt t tha ays im alw oka y. We’ ve lab els can not cla tow ns, but I thin k tha t’s not pro fit. Mo st big ger ted the rum pus roo m. ’t like it. Cur tis is ded ica out . Sou nds wei rd. I don tty ves pre a sel it’s our k ng thin ppi I t!, so sho shi GB : No ds go: Ape t doi ng wha t we’ re doi ng as far as our frie nds ban Dy- to wha t he’ s doi ng, and we’ re jus e, GB : We hav e a nic he sul Cap , ors Raz k Cat alys t, Pin Rag er, Ultr a Dol phi ns, nds , Chr oni c goo d par tne rsh ip. Sna ck Tru ck, Dea d Frie ll. nam ite Arr ows , Tub ers , ws, tou red , na do. Tha t’s pre tty chi sho yed pla ve we’ ds ban lets us do wha t we wan You th, L’a ntie tam . All hav e fun JH : We like Cur tis and he we ple peo and rs Our pee in the wor ks. put out rec ord s with . tou r. To Me , sug ges ts a ser ies t list afte r our Eur ope an , Bra inw orm s 2: Swe ar n to sta y in pla you do Or with . Add Ant lers to tha l? JG : The alb um ’s title que pre the re any cha nce of a is um alb d ithir dec a r the Afte Why Roc ky mo vie s? for you r Eur ope an tou r? JG : Any exp ect atio ns seq uen ce, mo re like the go -we ek tou r? two ter, r sho a it p kee Roc ky mo vie s, I cou ld sio n to get me sta r ted on the ’t re don We’ , ls. one era ber num num an BT : Two thin gs: e off. inw orm s 2, with rom can’t tak e tha t mu ch tim Bra inw orm s II, not Bra be out by mid uld Sho l. fee JH : Its kin da my fau lt, ood on all day … and B, it’s lyw Bow l fee l tha n a Hol re hav e n ma k- goi ng for mo re of a Sup er alw ays a pos sib ility. The gs, so a thir d alb um is l exp ect atio ns oth er tha l cou ld son rea que No ting pre et. wri a l e swe stil pos re but t sup r We’ BT : Sho our old est tun es, so I we enc oun ter som e new Feb rua ry. of e e hop som I of ce. ns pie sio ver one in ing it hom e llen ge has nev er bee n stu dio wor ld. Our big ges t cha frie nds in tha t par t of the olv ing doo r. hap pen eve ntu ally, too. like ? rev a with van a ing find n t you wan ted it to sou nd bee you hav e any ide a wha did d, ban the ting r sta tou ring und er JG : Whe n t of rec ord ed wor k and We hav e a cle an sla te JG : Wit h this am oun sou nd like . Stil l don’t. d to sho p the mse lve s trie e hav y ma ds ban wha t we wer e goi ng to e to kee p us fro m mo vclu t no to cas s n had I isio dow the ir bel ts, oth er : dec sha JH r you talk abo ut you son g. No sho es to fill or Can . new els a te lab thr ow out wri er we uld larg e for sho to tim el, out lab eve ry nt forw ard a loc al and stil l ver y new ry ban d fro m this mo me who le wor ld The . stic k with Ror sch ach , like ing forw ard . I thin k eve nd sou uld sho y thin k the y of this rele ase ? any not ion s of wha t the mu ch can kill the ene rgy bet ter off. Pla nni ng too be ld wou sup sic mu was of Go ks? I tho ugh t Tou ch and BT : Is tha t how it wor our sha re, the mu sic. th, whi le we’ ve tra vel ed tru In us. l cal to Nar a Sus hi on Feb rua ry pos ed ger ban ds big e Som ne. e and Blac k Pow der at tou ring ma chi inwo rms r va. Kee p an rms per form with Fur nac t bra inwo tha om/ Bra n ce.c we’ re far fro m bei ng a ofte spa .my and r, www go to mo nth s of eac h yea ach Rec ord s. For all thin gs Bra inwo rms sch h. Ror 20t on live n ld soo are on the roa d like 6 cou out we Me the ir lab els . I dou bt Bra inwo rms II: Swe ar to is the exp ect atio n fro m our mu sic eye out for ked rea lly har d to get wor has tis Cur t. tha up to


T he fir st CD that I e ver pur c ha s e d w a s Pe a r l J a m ’ s Vitalo g y . I distinctly r emem b e r my ex c i t a ble 4 t h gr a d e self pic king up the $1 5 . 9 9 d is c o f f o f t he she lf a t Wal-Mar t and ste p p ing int o t he w o r ld o f the C o mpac t Disc . It’s wor t h no t ing t ha t Vitalo g y w as, at the time, the f astes t s e l ling r e c o r d in t he histo r y of r ec or ded m usic a nd e v e nt ua lly w e nt o n to sell f i ve million units. Sur e , t he r e w e r e p le nt y of people complaining a bout ho w inf la t e d t he p r i c e o f C Ds w er e, but the m usic w a s digital a nd t he d is c w a s so s hiny ! $18.99 for mus ic c o uld ha v e b e e n a bar g ain for all I kne w; I mea n, t hey w e r e a f r a c t io n o f the cost of Laser disc s. Once CD-Rs a ppear ed on t he s c e ne , a n d m o r e and mor e home computer s c a m e e q uip p e d w it h C D bur ner s, it became e vident t ha t t he s e s hiny c ir c le s ensconced in their plastic tr ay s w e r e a lo t c he a p e r to make than I fir st ima gine d . T he n, w he n N a p s t e r a ppear ed, all bets wer e of f. I d is t inc t ly r e m e m b e r (and this w as a ver y pathe t ic p e r s o na l m i le s t o ne ) sitting in my bedr oom during my s o p h o m o r e ye a r o f hig h sc hool downloading a n a d v a nc e c o py o f Mo de st Mouse’s T he Moon and Antar ctica o n my 56K modem and bur ning it o nt o C D. T his w a s my fir st tr ue instance of dig it a l p ir a c y, a nd it f e l t gr eat. Fr om then on, thr oug h r e s e a r c hing fo r m a t s, I, a s we ll as m any other s (a nd no w a n ov e r w he lm ing majority of music pur c ha s e r s ) b e g a n t o lo o k at CDs as c hea p data car r ie r s. T he r e w e r e p ile s of CD-R s in almost e ver y c a r in my hig h s c ho o l p a r king lot, sc r atc hed to he ll a nd e a s ily r e p le n -

is he d by t he c he a p s t a c k s o f d is c s s it t ing nex t t o my c o m p ut e r. T he up s id e o f t his is t ha t a lbum s c o uld b e e a s ily d is s e m ina t e d a nd d ige s t e d w it hin my g r o up o f f r ie nd s, w hic h he lp e d t o d i v e r s i f y a ll o f o ur m us ic c o lle c t i o ns. T he d o w ns id e w a s (a t le a s t fo r t he r e c o r d c o m p a nie s ) t h a t t he C D fo r m a t no w s e e m ed ne e d le s s ly ex p e n s i v e a nd in c r e a s in g ly a n a c hr o nis t ic . Ev e n a n e nv ir o nm e nt a s t iny a s my r ur a l hig h s c ho o l no w s e r v e s a s a n o bv io us m ic r o c o s m fo r w he r e t he r e s t o f t he c o unt r y ha s e nd e d up. T h e C D is a fo r m a t t ha t is q uic k ly b e ing lo w e r e d int o it s g r a v e a nd v ie w e d a s w ha t it a l w ay s w a s, a c he a p m e d ia s t o r a ge d e v ic e e nc a s e d in p la s t ic , w hic h ha s no w m e t a m o r p ho s e d int o a m id d le m a n o n t he w ay t o a n iPo d o r o t he r p o r t a ble m us ic / m e d ia s t o r a ge d e v ic e . O ne o f my N e w Ye a r ’ s r e s o lut io ns fo r t h is ye a r w a s t o ne v e r buy a no t he r a lbum o n C D, a nd jud g ing by t he s a le s t r e nd s t hi s p a s t ye a r (no t w it hs t a nd ing t he o bv io u s e f f e c t s t he r e c e s s i o n ha s ha d ) t hi s s e e m s t o be t he int e nt o f m o s t o t he r m us ic buye r s. I t ’ s b e e n fo r e c a s t e d t ha t 2 0 0 9 w ill b e t he ye a r t ha t d ig it a l s a le s f in a lly e c lip s e t he s a le s f r o m a ll p hy s i c a l fo r m a t s. T he int e r e s t ing ne w s he r e is t ha t v iny l ha s o nc e a g a in s e e n a s p ik e in s a le s. 2 0 0 8 s a w a 9 6 % in c r e a s e i n s a le s o f v iny l r e c o r d s, g i v ing v iny l p la nt s t he ir s e c o nd s t r a ig h t ye a r o f b e in g b a c k e d up in a w ay t hey ha v e n’ t b e e n in w e ll ov e r a d e c a d e . B ig b ox r e t a il e r s a r e no t o nly s t o c k in g

v iny l, but a ls o a selection o f r ecor d player s aside f r o m t h e ir t o k e n So ny t ur n t a ble cr ammed in the c o r ne r. T h e inc r e a s e is n o w he r e near enough to c o un t e r a c t t he d r o p in C D s a le s, but the pr actice o f inc lud ing f r e e d o w nlo a d t ic k et s in ne w LP r ele a s e s ha s e nc o ur a ge d a lo t of people to star t p ut t in g m o ney int o a q ua lit y p hysical pr oduct that a l s o c a t e r s t o t he ir d ig it a l m usic collection. It’s w o r t h no t ing t ha t t his k ind o f physical fetishism he lp e d t o d r i v e s a le s o f lim it e d edition pac ka ges by g r o up s l ik e R a d io he a d a nd N ine Inc h Nails, both o f w ho m c r e a t e d c o lle c t o r ’ s v e r sions of their ne w a lbum s w hic h s o ld o ut o f t he ir r es pect i ve pr es s ing s. Pe o p le a r e s t ill w illing t o pay for a physical p r o d uc t , but t hey w a nt t o f e e l like they’ r e getting t he ir m o ney ’ s w o r t h, no t s o m ething that’s going t o c r a c k a nd s na p in ha lf w he n an unsuspecting p a s s e nge r s it s in t he ir c a r. H owe ver, it’s f ar too la t e fo r a lo t o f t he la r ge r l a bels to r ecover in t his e nv ir o nm e nt . T hey s p e nt so muc h time and m o ney d o d g ing t he fo r m a t c ha nge and f ight ing t he p a r a d ig m s hif t t ha t t hey ’ r e le f t with a gener ation o f k id s w ho d o n’ t blink t w ic e w hen downloading a n a lbum f r o m a s it e lik e B it Tor r ent or Waf f les, b e c a us e t hey w e r e r a is e d in a n envir onment w her e p ir a c y a nd t he i m m e d ia c y t ha t it engender s ar e t he n o r m . B y t he e nd o f 2 0 0 9 , it’s ver y likely that v iny l w ill b e le a p s a nd b o und s c loser to being the o nly v ia ble a nd ex p a nd ing fo r mat. Even I have a ha r d t im e w r a p p ing my he a d a r ound t hat , but I ’ ll c e r t a inly b e s p r uc ing up my t ur nt a ble.


A n d n ow b e at i n g t h e ea r d r u m s...

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion Domino Records Animal Collective has released a full-length album almost every year since 2000, and they have lost none of their tenacity or experimentation in the process. This album is a limo taking you through modern music. It shifts smoothly between the bright pop of “My Girls” into the off kilter and entrancing rhythms of “Also Frightened”, past the stomping and cheering “Summer time Clothes” and into the dark reverb-laden mysteries of “Daily Routine” for a drink. They ride the edges of experimental music like a breaking wave, sometimes dipping the front of the track over the edge but bringing you back to the groove without you ever noticing. If you haven’t listened to Animal Collective before, know that they write intentional and complex music that demands your undivided attention and that you will be immensely rewarded for your effor t. If you have listened to them before, go out and get your eighth amazing Animal Collective LP. - Eriq Nelson

MOSS Sub Templum Candlelight/Rise Above A metal band that’s into the occult, horror movies, death imagery and pot smoke? You don’t say? Now there is something new. It’s a shame when a band promotes their music (Myspace + press release) with such eye-rolling stereotypes, because it could make any half-conscious fan of doom music write Moss off to be just another dirge-y exploration of lethargic bottom-heavy notes, dotted by sporadic symbol crashes and throaty screams of anguish. What sets this UK three-piece apar t from other doom bands is their ability to haunt slow-moving, absolutely crushing riffs with a skeletal melody buried within endlessly extended low frequency dirges. Dissonant, brutal and hypnotizing, the drone landscape has a new Sunn O))). - Lightning’s Girl Pink Razors Leave Alive Houseplant Records Pink Razors’ latest offering is an LP that is just as good if not better than their previous releases. The songs on this record are less anthemic than the ones on Waiting to Wash Up and have a more mature structure reminiscent of such bands as Superchunk, but they still have not lost their edge. The record also debuts the new lineup of the band, with Erin Tobey taking over Mike Morris's guitar and vocal duties, which perfectly compliments the sound of the band. This record marks a new era for Pink Razors that is enjoyable both to new listeners and people who have been stoked on this band since its beginnings. - Cur tis Grimstead


Fever Ray S/T Rabid Records Fever Ray is a solo project from the female half of The Knife, the Swedish siblings responsible for 2006's groundbreaking Silent Shout , and after three years of jonesing for more experimental electronica from the Dreijer family, this slower, vocal-centric alternative is an ideal fix. Independently, Karin Dreijer Andersson delivers a fluid masterpiece of boundless reverberations, ambient drones and harmonic vocals. M. Ward Hold Time Merge Records Hold Time is music from an alternate history where Chet Atkins star ted taking psychedelics with Tom Waits on a farm in the middle of the deser t and cutting records. These are the radio broadcasts from a parallel universe where AM radio is king and vacuum tubes are driving the information revolution. It is hand crafted, natural and deeply poetic music. "One Hundred Million Years" is Ward in classic form, riding the steam train of Americana between the easy flow of the West Coast and the stomp of the Mississippi shores. This is one more in a series of fantastic albums from M. Ward and includes an appearance from Lucinda Williams on "Oh Lonesome Me", a Don Gibson cover that showcases his ability to update a classic tune without missing the soul of a song. The album ends with an aching and hear tbroken instrumental composition of starlight and lonely highway signs stretching out into the horizon, begging you to just star t it all over again. - Eriq Nelson

"If I Had A Hear t" sets the tone for the album, leading a midnight pilgrimage through unfamiliar, snow-covered forests; it is dark, chilling, and brooding; it is the essence of winter. This icy electronic sound is assisted by Dreijer Andersson's captivating vocal style. Without The Knife's techno influence drowning her out, Fever Ray's self-titled album showcases her Bjork-ish voice in a more accessible form. - Bryan Unger

Phosphorescent To Willie Dead Oceans

To Willie is a tribute album from one very talented singer/songwriter (Matthew Houck) to another. These are the faded memories of honky-tonk bars sung from the bottom of a lonely well, a near perfect selection of Willie Nelson tunes representing a broad spectrum of his career dancing on the fingers of a deft arranger and his haunting production. Standing out among these gems is “Can I Sleep In Your Arms”, which is treated with all of the warmness and intimacy Phosphorescent can offer. It is as delicate as a snowflake on your finger tip and as strong as the wind outside the windows. Willie did much the same for his hero Lefty Frizell in 1977 with To Lefty, From Willie , and it is fitting that the man receive his tribute in turn. This is country music as it is meant to be – fresh, funny, hear tbreaking and played with an undying love of the ar t. - Eriq Nelson


GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A HERO?

TAKE THE FOLLOWING QUIZ TO FIND OUT. 1. DO YOU LIKE DINING OUT?

YES

NO


DURING WORLD WATER WEEK, MARCH 22-28, RICHMONDERS LIKE YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD JUST BY DINING OUT. HEAD TO A PARTICIPATING LOCAL RESTAURANT AND DONATE $1 OR MORE FOR THE TAP WATER YOU NORMALLY ENJOY FOR FREE. FOR EVERY DOLLAR RAISED, A CHILD IN NEED WILL GET THE RICHMOND CLEAN WATER THEY DESERVE. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO DINE TO THE RESCUE! OUT, THE MORE LIVES WE CAN SAVE.

for more information, visit tapproject.org


Im a g e s

by Adam Ju r e s k o


I find it fitting that inaugur ations take place during the dead of winter. It’s even mor e fitting that Obama strolled into Washington in a tr ain - not a plane or a car. What better symbol to signal the change of seasons and the circularity of life than a change in power and a r etur n to our past? Unfor tunately, political winter s can last much longer than terr estrial ones. Most of us may be too young to have experienced the Gr eat Depr ession, but no one should for get its lesson. Let us r aise a holiday glass (or a half-empty can of PBR) in toast to the hope that the coming spring lasts mor e than mer e hour s. And while your drink is held high, let us r eflect upon the pr evious year. For ever yone who witnessed Richmond’s glorious potential during the 2008 Ne w Year s Celebr ation in Car ytown, for get not the hard lessons as the stampedes of police hor ses drove into us that night: Richmond isn’t r eady to fulfill its potential yet. T his year began on a quieter note. We incr eased security, we lost the RVA Magazine cr e w as planner s and hosts, and we saw the underwhelming r esults that ensued. Let us hope that the

city lear ns its own lessons sooner r ather than later. Ar tists, musicians and promoter s ar e essential elements in designing a memor able cultur e event, and while security is nice and cor por ate sponsor s pad the wallet, they can do mor e har m than good. Mor eover, any major celebr ation or cultur al event is sever ely limited in size and scope in Richmond, and this will continue until Richmond r ediscover s its mass tr anspor tation roots. Never theless, Richmond is making progr ess. T he continuing success of Richmond’s ar tistic community has offset the lack of any other major social and cultur al attr actions. Not even a AAA baseball team in one of the ear liest hubs for baseball can sur vive her e, and NASCAR is emblematic of the issue at hand. Sur prisingly, GRTC was r ated the #1 tr ansit system in Nor th America last year. Such a distinction is laughable at best, and if you’ ve ever ridden the buses, perhaps you may join me in a good gut-juggler. Perhaps you’ r e wondering the depth of Richmond’s potential. For an answer, we need only to consult the histor y lessons we seem to be r epeating. Any fan of Steinbeck could tell you how the Gr eat Depr ession led to the glorious rising of Califor nia from the Pacific mists of obscurity. Oppor tunity seemed abundant, and hope was found in the golden hills of California once mor e – much like the gold r ush of the pr evious centur y. All of Richmond, from

Shockoe to the Fan to Church Hill and Or egon Hill to the highway-scar r ed Jackson Ward, is full of possibilities, but that potential r emains lar gely untapped. T her e exists no r eason for the city to lag so far behind the r est of the countr y in ever y major categor y. Richmond, one of the oldest cities in the entir e countr y, is only the 100th most populated city in the countr y. Richmond, the home of the str eetcar is now submer ged in a sea of par ked car s and silly status symbols. People ar e either being forced out of the city or ar e r elocating by choice. Never theless, the sur rounding counties of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover comprise near ly a tenth of Vir ginia’s entir e population (approximately 700,000 out of 7 million), while Richmond sits at an anemic 250,000 (if one is generous enough to include the ev anescent college population). Now, Richmond – and Vir ginia as a whole – stands poised for a similar onslaught of for tune seeker s. In the midst of a growing economic crisis, Vir ginia is actually in a state of r elative prosperity. Yes, the banks that tower ominously over Downtown have taken a tumble (the BB&T building should also fall under the “cr umble” categor y), but then again, whenever ther e ar e economic tensions, ther e ar e lawyer s chomping at the bit (ther e’s one lawyer for ever y 20 Richmonder s). Let us not for get Richmond’s bur geoning medical industr y, which gr e w out of the scar s of the Civil War, and finally, let us not for get that


when the going gets tough, the tough smoke the whole pack of Mar lboros. It’s a pity the good ‘ole boys at Circuit City wer en’t smar t enough to keep their heads above the water. Circuit City and the mistakes that consumed it aside, Richmond is one of the best places to do business, because of its continued histor y of suppor ting local endeavor s. When Circuit abandoned its people, Richmond mostly ceased suppor ting it. Richmond, however, will probably move on r elatively unscathed, and who knows, perhaps the failing façade of the suburban nightmar e will bring r esidents and wor ker s back into the city (along with perhaps a r ene wed sense of urban r esponsibility and management). Richmond’s size, potential, wealth, industr y and blend of cultur es ar e prime oppor tunities for a city r eady to invest in its futur e. Is Richmond r eady to invest in its futur e, or will it continue to shy from the global limelight? Mor e to the point, will Richmond have the spirit and the smar ts to succeed in light of Circuit City’s failur e? Unfor tu nately for Circuit, hindsight only benefits the historian, or those willing to lear n from the past. Will Richmonder s lear n from the past, or have we lost that ability along with our schools? Only time will tell. We’ r e tr ying our best to paint a vibr ant pictur e (shameless plug for Identity: Richmond) of Richmond, but behind the scenes, a ver y serious problem is emer ging. Sur e, the gas prices have dropped, but don’t for a minute think that this is a per manent state of affair s. T he bottom line is that oil is a finite and ver y limited r esource. Electric car s ar e a step in the right dir ection, but they’ r e isolated elements of tr anspor tation. T he key to building an effective system is efficient use of r esources, and isolated r esources ar e wasteful. If we r esur r ected a 21st centur y ver sion of the trolley system, imagine how

that would r evolutionize the city as not only a political and cultur al center, but also as a global metropolitan center. And if histor y r epeats itself, Richmond is going to need a robust infr astr uctur e to handle the influx of people seeking oppor tunity. With the Identity: Richmond project, we’ ve seen fir sthand a dir ect impact of our oil addiction on local communities and events. Smaller groups like the GLBT community, the goth scene and the ar t scene have experienced issues attr acting desir able levels of attendees (many of whom conver ge on Richmond from DC, Char lottesville, Norfolk/Va Beach, and Nor th Carolina). When gas peaked in the summer, the impact was staggering. On the flipside, communities that ar en’t as oil-dependent, like the punk/bike scene ar e as strong as ever (Best Friend’s Day and Slaughter ama keep growing lar ger and mor e fun with each passing year). If we don’t do our best to improve our mass tr ansit systems, we may lose many of the subcultur es that make this city so colorful and gr eat. We need to change our addiction to oil, while r ecognizing that the economic situation is going to cause a widened gap between the haves and the have-nots. T his means seeking out alter native for ms of ener gy and alter native means of tr avel. To do this will r equir e civic par ticipation on all levels of gover nment. T he massive gr assroots effor ts that car ried a black man into the whitest house on the planet need to be applied at the state and local levels. If you want to see r eal change, we need to make a r eal effor t in the ar eas closest to home. Imagine how differ ent Richmond could be if just half of the college population (10% of Richmond’s total population) got involved at the local level, instead of just wearing Obama sticker s and buttons.


Don’t get me wrong, Obama is a definite improvement over his pr edecessor, but if we r eally want change, we’ r e going to have to make it our selves. Change is possible, but Obama is only one man leading a countr y of 300 million divided, frightened and often clueless souls. If we’ r e going to make r eal change and r eal progr ess, we’ r e going to need to grow up from a nation of consumer-numbed follower s into a nation of leader s, innov ator s and cr eator s. In this time of uncer tainty, we need Obama-esque leader s in ever y city, in ever y facet of our society. We need innov ator s and geniuses of the Tesla/Einstein/Edison v ariety, and we need to suppor t their projects in order to bring innov ation and r evolution to the nuts and bolts of our social machine. Lastly, we need to suppor t and develop the cultur e cr eator s in our society (our musicians, our ar tists, our promoter s and our or ganizer s) in order to promote and sustain our cities as global destinations. Her e in Richmond we face our own set of problems – problems that ar e fixable – but it’s going to r equir e a community effor t to fix them. A half-centur y of suburban spr awl and unplanned development has str etched the metropolitan ar ea into a massive footprint with little substance. For a metropolitan ar ea so lar ge, RVA wastes a lar ge amount of its potential (much like a cur r ent automobile, which wastes about 80% of the ener gy it uses). If we could find a way to integr ate the ar ea together in a sustainable and futur e-minded manner, Richmond just might live up to its potential in the global community. In the next par t, I will offer up a vision of a possible futur e for Richmond, and how we can make it happen. Much like Obama rode into Washington by r ail, Richmond can ride into a prosperous futur e if it r etur ns to the r ail. Failing to do so may prove catastrophic…

Check out Change, Par t 2 in the next issue of RVA Mag. But for now to lear n mor e about Identity: Richmond go to myspace.com/identity_richmond. Also, check out the Identity: Richmond episodes of “T he Process” on RVAtv.net.


So T hi s i s Wh at His to ry Fe e ls L ike d .I. H o p k ins

46 years ago, soul legend Sam Cooke wrote a prophetic request called “A Change is Gonna Come”. This one song inspired a movement and now seemingly is answered by a nation. With the election of Barack Obama, a clear strong and deliberate beacon of light is now blazing across the blood soaked, tattered pages of American history and the world. We now have a new president. Barack Hussein Obama is now the 44th President Of The United States. A message has been delivered. We are on the precipice of a new era. The air is rife with possibility and potential. My happiness right now is only exceeded by my curiosity of what will be. When the gleaming instr uments have played their last notes, and the ball gowns are all sealed safely in storage, what will be? In its simplest form our new reality is cause for great celebration. In detail it is more a reflection of who and where we are as a nation. Now that we have identified the joyous par t, we should be about the wor k of deter mining where we should for tify the ranks. In my humble opinion, it is not Barack Obama that we should wor r y about. He will be afforded the same oppor tunities as the presidents of the past to prove himself through his legacy. The enemy, however, could be us (or segments of the royal us). I am merely an actor, but an actor nonetheless. No matter where I am I can spot theatre, and the only place it belongs is on the agreed upon stage. So in the PTA meetings, in governmental proceedings, in the pulpits – and yes, even in the bedroom – I know the difference between reality and perfor mance when I see it; and as of late, in the glow of histor y, I’ve seen a lot of histrionics. I’m not talking about your garden variety hateful racists here – that’s to be expected – I’m speaking more directly to the romantics, the nostalgic and those damned hater s. These well meaning well wishers could ultimately prove to be the undoing of a pivotal point in American history.

Let’s star t with collective conditioning and the romantic. For years Hollywood has been fascinated with, and by proxy, conditioned us with the notion of a black president. This telling anomaly is often set in some utopian future or alternate timeline, fer tile with our collective intention of what an America could be. This thought, of some writer, often lacks the appreciation of what America is. We hold our gaze so busily over the horizon that we don’t take stock in the now for the next. A black president represents progress often analogous with our hopes, dreams, change… sound familiar? __This manufactured Hollywood creation comes in two flavors of the same brand of poop: the gallant, stoic sage, or a Langston Hughesian “simple”. Both of these character types are “magical negros” in essence. What’s that? You have never heard of a “magical negro”? Well allow your good, old Uncle Remus the oppor tunity to explain. A white protagonist is whole, save for some internal, spiritual, philosophical tragic flaw. In, from seemingly nowhere, walks the “magical negro”. Through the cour se of several shor t but poignant interactions, the protagonist is transfor med. The “magical negro” stays the same, and just as soon as he arrived he is gone. The “magical negro” has seemingly super natural powers, but they only wor k for the protagonist; he in no way can affect his own life or condition. You’ve see this in many movies: Michael Clar ke Duncan’s character in Green Mile , Will Smith’s character in Bagger Vance , Laurence Fishbur ne in The Matrix , and the list goes on. Combine this with our previous and cur rent fascination with black presidents on film and television, and you can see some of the conditioning that has taken place. Dennis Haysber t in 24 , Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact , Tommy “Tiny” Lister in Fifth Element , Chris Rock in Head of State and soon Danny Glover in 2012 , all typify our collective interest, expectation and romantic notions of a black president. All jokes aside, this is dangerous. Don’t romanticize America. Let’s all agree not to turn Barack Obama into our own tr ue to life “magical negro”. Similar ly, there are those among us of all stripes who wax on about the “Civil Rights” era in solemn and reverent tones. Though there is no doubt that the gravity of this point in our nation’s histor y requires all solemnity. Blood was shed and sacrifices made that I may write even this. Nonetheless, there are those among us, perhaps


unknowingly born too late, who revel in anything that could even remotely be link to that point in time. These people, if given the oppor tunity, would stage weekend reenactments of various isolated tur ning points during our histor y: sit-ins, marches, boycotts (not that there is anything wrong with reenactments). There are ties found in sound bites and symbolism. The initial message is soon shrouded by familiar inflection or the tinkling of a past melody. Deifying the speaker and dwarfing the intent. Brother s and sister s, now. Now. Now, in this precious hour, as we stand on the summit of the “mountain top”, as the children dance about firmly content with their individual character s, let us not forget that history is a reflective act. Let’s stay vigilant in the now and celebrate then. Let us make history not regaling in the context, while forfeiting the content. One cannot be nostalgic for now. Okay, I think you get the message. I’ll step out of the pulpit now. Since we are on the topic of race, don’t think for a second that I have forgotten the loud few encased in the time capsule of ignorance. The hater s, black and white alike. The slack jawed and the educated, with their pie char ts and bell cur ves, all singing from the same racist hymnbook. The eugenics freaks. Their voices, too, will be added to clamor s of the fray. This, like much of the last eight years is a religious argument. Yes, I said religious argument, and it should be dealt with in that fashion. Way back in 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal bull named, Dum Diversas. This, in shor t, stated that all non-Christian people would be relegated to a lifetime of slaver y:

“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Por tugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other proper ty [...] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.”

Now God, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent has authorized this dark commerce and professed this condition. And all you well meaning people are not fully Christian if you are not in line with his edicts. God can’t be wrong; at the very least those that profess to speak for him. The Church is always right. Right? Well, in 1686 there was another decree, Holy Office, to limit, not do away with, Dum Diversas and other unfor tunate Papal bull. “Oops, my bad” says the highest spiritual voice in the land, to this day. This brought to you by the same people who can’t place the dinosaur s in our timeline and couldn’t quite comprehend the galaxy not revolving around us. The fine maker s of such things as witchcraft and terrorism. So now we under stand how some can feel so comfor table in their superiority shoes. Apparent that superiority is a God given right, with a fallible fine print disclaimer. But what does that do to the mindset of a people raised and reared in this dark and lucrative tradition? I honestly couldn’t give a fuck, but I know we need to separate our church and state and you are going to shut the hell up when my president is speaking. This tactic is not only limited to the European among us. The same goes for the dark, extra black in our community, who feel blackness can be poured into a bucket and measured. With statements like, “he isn’t black enough” or “he isn’t all black, you know”. Well who among you is? Starch your dashikis on your own time. We are at war on two fronts and in the throes of a global financial crisis, and you are in a complexion competition. Fall back. There tr uly should be room under ol’ glor y’s banner for people of all stripes, tribes and even leader s. We have proven to the wor ld time and time again the mettle of America. We expor t plutonium grade freedom and democracy with a fully remastered soundtrack, high definition movie, seemingly infinite sequel franchising, prequel possibilities and a guaranteed Happy Meal tie-in. It’s infectious. We sniffle and the world catches a cold. We are the precious and the pitiful, and our compor tment impacts the wor ld exponentially. Let’s exercise solidarity in suppor t of this, our newly chosen path. Let’s be responsible to recognize, nur ture and embolden history. And in this way we can answer Mr. Cooke’s request with a change HAS come.


c h r i s b o ps t


Nothing beats growing up next door to a neighbor w i t h a p o o l . Yo u g e t a l l t h e b e n e f i t s o f h a v i n g a pool without having to deal with the maintenance a n d u p k e e p t h a t m a k e s h a v i n g o n e a p r i c y, t i m e consuming pain in the ass. This was my good fortune growing up and I have fond memories of spending lazy summer days lounging in the pool as a relief from the unrelenting summer sun. What made the deal even sweeter was that my neighbor also happened to be my best friend g r o w i n g u p. We w e r e t h e s a m e a g e , w e n t t o t h e s a m e s c h o o l a n d c a m e o f a g e t o g e t h e r. E v e n o u r older brother s were friends. Because of this, our t w o f a m i l i e s d i d e v e r y t h i n g t o g e t h e r. One day my brother and I were hanging out in the pool with our next door neighbor s when the oldest brother dared his sibling to eat one of his far ts. His suggestion was to swim to the bottom of the pool, far t and have his younger brother hover above him and eat one of the r ancid bubb l e s . A m a z i n g l y, m y f r i e n d a g r e e d t o t h e u n s a v o r y p r o p o s a l . To t h i s d a y, I a m s t i l l m y s t i f i e d as to why he would submit to such a r equest and can only think that he par ticipated in the act because he feared his older brother’s retribution if h e d i d n’ t c o m p l y w i t h h i s c o m m a n d . N o n e o f u s m a d e a n y a t t e m p t t o t a l k h i m o u t o f i t t h o u g h . We wanted to see what would happen.

image by Dan Koen

After the deal was set, the older brother dove into the pool and went to the bottom as his brother positioned himself above him to receive the underwater fecal air communion. My brother and I wer e alr eady in hysterics over the mere suggestion of anyone eating a far t, and we waited with giddy anticipation for them to consummate the act. It seemed to take an e t e r n i t y, b u t f i n a l l y, w e s a w t h e b u b b l e s r i s e a n d i n t o t h e w a i t i n g m o u t h . I t d i d n’ t t a k e t o o long before his reaction confir med what we all believed would be the end result of eating a far t; he vomited. I’ ll never forget the violent explosion of belly juices that er upted from his mouth the second the far t bubble exploded in his mouth before lazily mixing with the now fowled pool w ater in w hic h we wer e swimming. I t w a s s t r a n g e l y b e a u t i f u l . N e e d l e s s t o s a y, but I near ly drowned as I was overcome with such laughter that I almost lost the ability to s w i m . I c o u l d n’ t e v e n p u l l m y s e l f o u t o f t h e p o o l I w a s l a u g h i n g s o h a r d , a n d e v e n n o w, a l l t h e s e y e a r s l a t e r, t h e m e m o r y o f t h i s e v e n t still has the power to render me useless. I bring up this cherished childhood memor y as a fitting metaphor for the Bush year s. Over the last eight year s, people have time and time again willingly accepted what any sane per son would know to be an insalubrious

experience and asked for seconds. Even now as the full extent of Bush’s treasonous tenure in office is blindingly apparent, there are still people that against all reason and fact believe he was good for t h e c o u n t r y. I n c r e d i b l y, t h e y c o n t i n u e t o eat his far t bubbles. Like my friend, I can only assume that they continue to gobble them up because they fear some sor t of retribution; that acknowledging that Bush is unquestionably the single wor st president in our histor y and wor thy of criminal prosecution is somehow unpatriotic or bad f o r t h e c o u n t r y. M a y b e t h e y a r e t o o p r o u d to admit that they were deceived, or that their unquestioned loyalty allowed a man and his administration to make a mocker y of ever ything good, decent and just that t h i s c o u n t r y s t a n d s f o r, I d o n’ t k n o w. E i t h e r w a y, I c a n’ t h e l p l a u g h i n g . The only good thing to come from these eight tr agic year s of far t bubble eating is that it enabled Bar r ack Obama to be presid e n t . F i n a l l y, t h e c l e a n u p c a n b e g i n .


ThiS Is How We Do It Mik e Rut z a nd Ta lia M ille r

T he idea for this column originated in our mutual T heorizing Gender Violence c lass. Since then, we have had se ver al in-de pth conver sations r e g ar ding sex and gender in a social context and how sex plays out in our lovely city. What we quic kly r ealized is that this topic is r ar ely, if e ver, discussed in an open and honest context. T hat’s w hat we stri ve to be with this column: completely open, honest and as objecti ve as possible in our sociolo gical explor ation of sexuality. If you would like to r espond or of fer addi tional insight to a column, please email us at thelastta boo@r v ama g.com.

We s h o u l d s t a r t by s ay i n g t h a t w e d o n’ t h a v e a s a f e w ay t o t a l k a b o u t i n t i m a c y. A t l e a s t w i t h o u t being defensive and embar rassed about it, and w i t h o u t g i r l s s ay i n g, yo u a r e t o o w o r r i e d a b o u t f e e l i n g s a n d g u y s s ay i n g t h a t yo u ’ r e b a s i c a l l y a w u s s f o r t a l k i n g a b o u t yo u r f e e l i n g s. It’s interesting how much we str uggle as a society to detach sex from feelings and emotion. I t m ay n o t e v e n b e p o s s i b l e t o h a v e s e x w i t h o u t i n t i m a c y a n d f e e l i n g s. I n t e r m s o f e m o t i o n , i f i t is a mechanical act, then it almost degrades the a c t . I f yo u ’ r e j u s t d o i n g i t t o h a v e a n o r g a s m , w hy n o t j u s t m a s t u r b a t e ? W hy i s i t s o i m p o r t a n t to have someone else in the equation, if essentially all it is… is a body count of how many p e o p l e yo u ’ v e h a d a n o r g a s m w i t h ? In some sense that is what sex has been relegated to; there is no intimacy or emotion that is supposed to be connected to it. Sex itself d o e s n’ t c o n n o t e a n y o t h e r m e a n i n g – i t ’ s just an animalistic act. It’s an act that all for ms of life par ticipate in. One thing about s e x , w h i c h i s r e a l l y f u n n y, i s t h a t i t ’ s s o awesome that it’s the one thing that we h a v e n’ t m a n a g e d t o e v o l u t i o n i z e t o a l e v e l s o d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t o f a n i m a l s. We c a n sanitize and clean up ever ything else, like we t r y t o w i t h e v e r y t h i n g i n o u r c u l t u r e , b u t yo u c a n’ t c l e a n u p s e x . I t ’ s t h e o n e t h i n g w e d o t h a t


is so base, so animalistic and so embar rassing i n t h o s e w ay s a n d i n t h o s e t e n d e n c i e s , a n d yo u h a v e t o s h a r e i t w i t h s o m e o n e e l s e . I t c a n’ t b e private. A l s o i n t e r m s o f i t b e i n g a d i r t y t h i n g, i t ’ s s t i l l t a b o o by s o c i e t y ’ s s t a n d a r d s. I t ’ s t h e v e r y l a s t taboo in human culture. The only thing we h a v e n’ t o v e r c o m e i s h o w t o r e p r o d u c e w i t h o u t this animalistic act. And even how to control our s e x d r i v e s … i t m a k e s s o m u c h s e n s e w h e n yo u t h i n k a b o u t i t t h a t w ay. T h a t ’ s w hy s o m u c h o f sex deals in embar r assment. There’s definitely an element of embar r assment after sex, not that yo u a r e e m b a r r a s s e d t h a t yo u h a d s e x w i t h t h e p e r s o n , b u t t h a t t h e y s a w yo u a t s u c h a b a s e l e v e l . B e c a u s e i t i s t h a t i n s t i n c t u a l a c t t h a t yo u h a v e t o o p e n yo u r s e l f u p t o. N o m a t t e r h o w m u c h c o n f i d e n c e yo u h a v e , o r h o w m a n y t i m e s yo u ’ v e h a d s e x o r h o w p a r t n e r s yo u ’ v e h a d , yo u s t i l l h a v e t o o p e n yo u r s e l f u p t o s h o w i n g t h a t basic instinct. And we exist in this wor ld that is incredibly full of fronts, of people putting on faces to the wor ld t h a t d o n’ t t r u l y r e f l e c t w h o t h e y a r e . L i k e s o many people who go out and drink because they are awkward and this is one of the few things t h a t c a n h e l p t h e m q u i c k l y g e t b e yo n d t h e e m bar rassment of it all and allow them to have sex, which is essentially creating intimacy with

a n o t h e r p e r s o n , w h e t h e r yo u w a n t t o a d m i t i t or not. It’s fucked up and scar y how dir ty we think that sex and our own bodies are, and how this leads to us not being able to talk about them h o w w e w o u l d l i k e t o, o r b e h o n e s t a b o u t t h e s e t h i n g s w h e n w e a c t u a l l y d o t a l k a b o u t t h e m . We d o n’ t t a l k a b o u t s e x , b e c a u s e by t a l k i n g a b o u t i t , m ay b e w e b e c o m e m o r e a t t a c h e d t o t h e a c t than we want to be or more than we are supposed to be. In ter ms of women tr ying to keep u p, a s yo u g r o w u p a n d a r e s o c i a l i z e d f r o m a yo u n g g i r l , yo u a r e e i t h e r t h e w h o r e o r t h e v i r g i n . W h e n yo u d o h a v e s e x t h e n yo u h a v e t o c a r e a b o u t t h e p e r s o n , b e c a u s e i f yo u d o n’ t , t h e n yo u f e e l l i k e yo u a r e a w h o r e . B e c a u s e i f yo u a r e h a v i n g s e x , t h e n yo u b e t t e r b e f e e l i n g something for that per son or in society’s eyes yo u a r e g o i n g t o b e a w h o r e … i t ’ s a l m o s t l i k e yo u h a v e t o h a v e f e e l i n g s. Fo r g u y s t o u s e t h a t a g a i n s t g i r l s , w h a t d o t h e y e x p e c t ? D o yo u e x p e c t t h e g i r l t o n o t c a r e ? I f yo u l o o k a t s o c i e t y ’ s p o i n t o f v i e w, t h a t s h o u l d b e e x p e c t e d . M i k e : B u t n o w yo u h a v e m o r e w o m e n w h o a r e h a v i n g s e x w i t h o u t a t t a c h m e n t s o r t r y i n g t o, a n d I d o n’ t k n o w w h a t t h a t n e c e s s a r i l y m e a n s f o r a f e m a l e , b u t t o m e i t ’ s a l m o s t l i k e yo u are fighting something that guys have been fighting their whole lives, which is not to feel

anything about this act. It’s almost like I welcome that, because it’s like now women know how we feel. Yo u c a n t r y t o h a v e s e x w i t h o u t f e e l i n g a n d e m o tion and attachment, because we’ ve been tr ying to do it for our whole lives – and not successfully for m o s t . We h a v e n’ t b e e n s u c c e s s f u l a s m u c h a s w e l i k e t o t h i n k w e h a v e b e e n , b e c a u s e n o w yo u h a v e t h e s e a n g r y yo u n g m e n s i n g i n g a n g r y s o n g s , a n d a lot of times it’s not about the gover nment, it’s a b o u t h o w t h e i r l i f e s u c k s b e c a u s e t h e y c a n’ t c o p e w i t h t h e i r e m o t i o n s. A n d i n a w ay I w e l c o m e t h a t gir ls now have to tr y to cope with suppressing their e m o t i o n s. B u t w e n e e d t o e l e v a t e s e x t o w h e r e i t needs to be instead of suppressing it. Ta l i a : I t h i n k t h a t i s a l o t o f w h a t w o m e n p i c k u p f r o m b e i n g i n o u r s o c i e t y. S o m e t i m e s i t s e e m s l i k e feminism has succeeded in giving out the wrong m e s s a g e , w h i c h i s t o b e e q u a l yo u m u s t b e a m a n . A n d w hy d o w e g e n d e r s e x ? W hy i s s e x “ h a v i n g s e x l i k e a m a n ” o r “ h a v i n g s e x l i k e a g i r l ” ? M ay b e we gender sex because men want to hold onto the owner ship of having sex with whomever they want without feeling emotions, and when women star t to d o i t , i t ’ s l i k e , “ n o, yo u ’ r e h a v i n g s e x l i k e w e a r e , that’s not right!” What we are pushing toward is a fur thering of the virgin/whore dichotomy that we t a l k e d a b o u t e a r l i e r. B e c a u s e g u y s w i l l s ay t h i n g s like, “I would fuck that gir l, but I’d never bring her h o m e t o m y p a r e n t s. ”


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I D L E K I DS BY CASEY LO N GY E AR

DJ Lo ng (Phung) | Pho t o b y Dav id Ke n n e d y | C lo t h i n g fro m D i versi t y T h ri f t .


Ha il Hydra | Photo b y PJ Sy kes Me mbers | Michael B ac kus A dr ie n n e Shur t e Shawn G isri el C urt is G ri mst ed Ha il Hydra is wearing c lo t hin g all availab le at Rum o rs Preloved.


D i a mo n d B la ck H ea rt | Ph oto by PJ Sykes M emb ers | C h i n o Amo bi & Vreni M aa C lo t h i n g & a ccessories from Ex ile


Nec kbrace |Photo by Dav id Ke n n e d y Me mbers | Frank Rour k, Alex Psit os, Bran d o n Whit t a ke, D erek To ml i n , Alex To ml i n C lot h i ng from Fan Th r if t


M o ut hb reat h er | Ph o t o b y David Kennedy M e mb ers | J o h n H a ll , B ra n d o n Peck , J o h n Ma rt i n , Tyler Wo rley , C h ris B rown Ra n d o mly clo t h ed a n d accessorized.


P LF | Photo b y PJ Sykes All c lothing from Halcy o n & ac c esso r ies fro m Exile


No B S B ra ss B a n d | Ph oto by PJ Sykes M e mb e rs | Re g gi e Pa c e , B r y a n H o o t e n , Sa m Sava g e , D illa rd Wat t , Re g gi e C h a p m a n , St efan Demetriadis, M arc us Te n n ey, Taylo r B a rn et t , B o b M iller, Ro b Q ua ll i ch , La n ce Ko eh ler, David Hood NO B S is wea ri n g clo t h i n g & a ccesso ri es a ll ava ilable at Bygones


B ra i nworms | Photo b y Dav id Ke n n e d y Me mbers | Brend an Trac he , Jay M o r ic z , Jos h Sm all , G reg But ler, J o e Hun c T hese guys dressed the m se lves t hro u gh c lo t hin g p urch a sed i n t h ri f t st o res a ro un d R i ch mo n d


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RVA Voume 4 Issue 11 | Blurred Vision