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March ISSUE 09 STRENGTH IN NUMBERS The Way Our Generation Sees Movies Cheap Seats - Amoeba Men - Spitfire GWAR - The Gaskets- Pepe Botardo Daniel Clark - Jay Paul - Cloak & Dagger AudoAmmo - Joshua Careatti - Lama Nasser - Monty Montgomery - New American Holidays - The Two Minute Hate USS Nursing Home - The Richmond MMA Richmond Quick Guide - WRIR 97.3 FM - PLUS MUCH MORE!!



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RVA Magazine

R. Anthony Harris

Ian Graham

J. D. Gavin, Michael Roberts





Adam Sledd

Tess Dixon / Kathryn Whitley




Peter Szijarto



WORDS Clay McLeod Chapman Sean Patrick Rhorer Michael Roberts Teddy Blanks Brandon Martin M.T. Goins Stryder Lee Carl Conway Xavier Atkins JoAnna O Browning Tess Dixon Peter Szijarto J.D. Gavin R. Anthony Harris

DESIGNERS R. Anthony Harris Kate Jones ILLUSTRATORS Nick Martin Jeff Smack Vanessa Garbini Brian Nozynski R. Anthony Harris PHOTOGRAPHERS Chris Lacroix Ian Graham Phil Browne Willie Kerner Sean Patrick Rhorer

COVER >> Jeff Smack

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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 and is $3.99 USD. All material within this magazine is protected. RVA is a registered trademark of Inkwell Design L.L.C. Thank you. CORRECTION: We didn’t credit the right photographer on the “Breaking Bending” article from ISSUE 8 . His name is Reed Ghazala. Check out his full interview on


06 Pick & Choose >> The exhibition at the Anderson Gallery 07 Gallery Profile >> ADA Gallery 07 Wanna See More?? >> Painter Daniel Clark >> Illustrator Pepe Botardo >> Sculptor Joshua Careatti >> Photographer Lama Nasser MUSIC 14 At Artspace : The Art of GWAR More than just blood and guts, the orginators of Richmond gore are a group of talented artists. 19 Mid Conversation With The Gaskets New album, new outlook this Richmond duo are leading a pop resurgance in the RVA. 26 The Hypeman VS. Audioammo They throw parties that push positivity & get the ladies live. He hypes Fist City Hip- Hop and is a ladies man. What do you think this interview is about? 30 Richmond Labels Profile Vol. 2 >>Perpetual Motion Machine

34 Music Reviews >> Cloak & Dagger : Demo >> Rosetta : The Galilean Satellites >> Spitfire : Self-Help >> Cheap Seats : Fly Low, Icarus >> Brian Jones & JC Kuhl : Bluebook >> Amoeba Men : Let the Infection Set In >> Rithman : Here Now

58 About A Word : The Two Minute Hate Orwell continues to teach us. 60 Sunday. My Favorite Day of The Week.

ART 38 How To See Things In Black, White, Blue, or Green 44 Artist Statement : Monty Montgomery 48 Just Poetry Slam 51 New American Holidays For The 2006 Calendar 52 Unity In The Art Community

FILM 68 The Way Our Generation Sees Movies Part One ;Woody And Me 71 Cinema >> The Producers >> Hostel

LITERATURE 54 USS Nursing Home Your monthly dose of demented literature from RVAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mr. Chapman 57 Book Reviews >> Put The Book Back On The Shelf A Belle & Sebastian Anthology >> The Enchanters VS, Sprawling Springs

LOCAL 64 Richmond MMA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is being taught in our very own downtown Richmond.

QUICK GUIDE 72 Quick Guide Map 73 Quick Guide Listings 76 Richmond Indy Radio 97.3 FM

02.06 WTF!?! .ANTHONY. I want to take a second to contemplate what it means to get this far. I need to document the questions I am asking myself. Am I wasting my time? What is Richmond about? The underachiever for eternity. A pillar of social dysfunction. Things can change but you have to realize that the city government has become a lumbering dinosaur herding 197,000 cats. Slow to move and unable to take decisive action, the Richmond city government can only take care of ITS biggest issues. People have to work on developing their own communities in a positive, open way because things are not working and all over the city you see real segregation. One block black, one block white, sprinkle a little yellow, some brown, and you have the stew pot that is Richmond. How do you talk about our problems without talking about our problems? Thru creative expression. Follow me? Why is there so much art, film, and music here? Because people of all races and social standing are trying to communicate. Its up to you to listen.

.PARKER. Throughout history it has taken the power of the people to create and perpetuate positive changes. These changes can only be accomplished through unification of many like-minded individuals with specific goals. It has now become our goal as the creative community (and supporters of) to come together and let our voices be heard. We can no longer tolerate the negative attitudes of the past, the restrictions placed on our ideas, and the “higher ups” telling us that we can only accomplish our dreams by using their methods. If we work together, brainstorm ideas, start new projects, and push the creative envelope, we will accomplish our dreams using our methods. With unity and support we can stop the “cultural suicide” that this area has experienced in the past. It has begun my friends. The new energy is flowing through the city. It can’t be stopped. Will you join the movement that is about to break through the glass ceiling or will you fall by the wayside?


I was spray-painting (rather poorly) on a slab of concrete composite we’d found in a friend’s back alley, late in January. We all were, three of us. The guy who owns one of the houses and his drunken friend came out to their back porch, saw us, and called the cops while yelling at us to fuck off. We tried to explain to them that we were only painting our own property, but his friend was taking turns yelling at us and trying to give our description to the police. We were standing right in front of their porch- we knew we’d done nothing wrong. The cops came, and the cops

went, because it was ridiculous. After they left, the two guys came back after about five minutes, and continued to harass us, insinuating that we’d been painting their house, and generally getting in our biscuits. Shouting almost lead to a fight- L pulled my buddy back, and we went inside. How do you respond to someone trying to kick your ass for painting?

.TESS. Now is the winter of our discontent. Or disappointment, rather. Most people in Richmond probably expect winter to come; I mean, isn’t that why we haven’t moved to southern California yet? Every year, the trees become skeletons, the days get shorter, and it gets cold. But not this year. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in tank tops. On Christmas Eve my car was an oven, prompting me to shed my jacket and roll all the windows down. On New Year’s Eve I spent the day running around outside in a light jacket. Now Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and still the cold hasn’t come. We wait, and wait, and wait. We’ve been abandoned by the most fail-safe of occurrences: the seasons. As a lover of warm weather, I haven’t complained much. Jacket weather is the weather most conducive to fashionable clothing ensembles, and that suits me. I’m always happier on warm days. But now it feels like we’re stuck in a Postal Service

song, embracing global warming with the helpless zeal of souls bound for destruction. Last week I found myself standing in the backyard, sled in hand, watching the horizon with hopeful eyes. “This isn’t natural,” I muttered. “This isn’t right.” I’ve been having a nervous feeling of impending doom, like God is going to smite us at any second. There’s no way we can be allowed to enjoy all this warm weather without some kind of repercussion. All of our winter plans have been foiled. We’re drinking our hot chocolate on ice. Today, the usual winter day of watching movies on the couch was ditched in favor of gardening. My roommate’s bulbs are pushing their way out of the mulch in the front yard. “That’s not good,” she says. We cast suspicious eyes at the sky, and sigh.

.KATHRYN. I recently discovered that I like nothing better than to wander around places alone, just exploring, looking for things that catch my eye…and it’s surprising but you will find interesting things in the most unexpected places. A lot of people have bad attitudes about rural Virginia. They associate it with rednecks, lack of cell service, and farms. This association makes some sense, but I’ve got news for you: you can experience rednecks and bad cell service on a subway, and you can find farms operating all over the world, (and believe me you’d be sad if there weren’t any).

Lately, I’ve been wandering around Chase City, VA, the couple-of-streets-town where my relations happen to reside, wondering what might be there. Well, I wasn’t expecting to find that the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens, which I’ve wanted to check out, (but has been closed for holidays every time I was there), does not include replicas of medieval artifacts as I thought. It actually holds real antiquities brought over to be included in the eccentric estate of a former VA Supreme Court justice and his family. Eccentricity fascinates me, and what better thing to brighten my day than to run across art - out of place. The gardens have a seventeenth century bronze samurai from Japan, which rests on a brownstone base, which is actually from our very own Park Avenue, the street I currently live on. Funny, but this made me very, very happy to see. Art is everywhere, and the city isn’t the only place you can find it. And apparently, the city isn’t the only place you can find pieces of the city! Just keep that in mind, and you’ll avoid unnecessary arrogance, and maybe someday, centuries from now, someone like me will run across your sculpture in a garden and it will brighten her day too.

.PETER. Wow, so I definitely had some crazy shit happen to me this month. For the second time now, someone has gotten my credit card number and charged a bunch of crap to it. The funniest part about it is they created an e-mail in my name, subscribed to Vonage, the voip (voice over IP) phone service, and got it sent to my house! Looks like someone wants me to have a broadband phone really bad. That’s not the worst of it. I had like $800 in other charges that posted to my account. So of course,

my account was overdrawn, my overdraft protection kicked in, and money was sucked out of my savings account. Let me tell you, getting all this shit straight is a bitch. The operator told me there was a slight possibility that I could be held liable for the charges. My ass! I can’t help the fact that people keep stealing from me. I like to call myself a geek and know all this shit about computers and crap, but I’ve fallen victim to two separate crimes of credit card fraud. Oh yeah, and some person tried to get into my Paypal account from Iraq. Funny right? Well from here on out, I’m going to be extremely paranoid online in regards to paying for shit. I would advise everyone to do the same.

Pick and Choose The video installation Disturbance and Highlights: Print Selections from the Collection at VCUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Anderson Gallery. Anderson Gallery 907 1/2 West Franklin Street p// 804.828.1522 web//


ADA Gallery 228 West Broad Street p// 804.644.0100 web// Ada Gallery is Richmond, Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independent, small, artist-run gallery, showcasing local, national, & international contemporary fine art.



The visual artists that are working around the city.


Daniel Clark -

Pepe Botardo 10 RVA NO.09 / GALLERY

Joshua Careatti -


Lama Nasser - lama@lamanassercom


Morgan Herrin RVA NO.09 / GALLERY 13


words : Browning images : Browning & Ian Graham

I was still in daycare the first time I ever heard of GWAR. My mother, always interested in keeping my impressionable young mind open, shared with me the story of the arrest of Dave Brockie, nee Oderus Urungus, for indecent exposure in Charlotte, NC. “What’s indecent exposure?” I remember asking. Much was learned that day. For instance, I learned that in addition to being considered immodest and impolite, it is also illegal to appear in public in a state of disrobe. So I asked my mother if Brockie had been arrested for being naked on stage. But he had not. I also learned that day, that at least to some overzealous enforcers of law, to appear onstage in a costume that involves a threefoot long false phallus is also indecent. My curious young mind was piqued by learning this, so I asked my mother “Why does he wear that?” “Well, thats what art’s all about, honey.” And thus, the same conversation that introduced me to the single most disgusting, vile, repulsive band to ever disgrace Rock and Roll also introduced me to Art. GWAR’s antics are nothing if not well known to those residing in the RVA area, and certainly to any meathead Slayer fan in the world, so I need not spend much time describing them. We are all familiar with the elaborate costumes, the denizens of slaves slain in sacrifice, and the spewing blood, urine and semen that accompany their live shows. Much controversy has surrounded the act, as well. One can only assume that this is all perpetrated by a group of inbred nitwits with a bent to corrupt young children and convert them to their backwoods, snake-handling, blood-drinking, satanic religion. Or is it? I sat down with Bob Gorman and Matt Maguire of Slave Pit Inc. to smoke some rocks and talk a little about the Art of GWAR as they prepare for a show at Artspace. Slave Pit Inc. started, as their website ( – see, I

told you I’d pimp your site) states, as a collective of “aspiring artists and musicians” who wished to follow in the grand examples of Spartacus and Monty Python. It also serves as the corporate face of GWAR, if you want to call it that. As Bob explained, GWAR was formed to be a vehicle to present the art of its members, and to eke out a living off of art, instead of having to get a real job. To be a full-fledged art show that tours like a band. Given the group’s penchant for controversy and just general silliness, Matt concedes that it is sometimes hard to be taken seriously as artists. Both point to Mad Magazine for comparison. “Its all just satire. We’re left-leaning people, but, I mean, we killed Clinton onstage, too.” Bob says. “We’re not classy, but we are well-read.” Apparently, even Jerry Springer became visibly flustered during an interview with GWAR as he was not prepared for intelligent responses from the mutant creatures that would later kill him. “We were in there, matching him point for point” Matt recalled. Of course, as artists, difficulty in being taken serious does not bother them. Their general attitude seems to be one of a Bob Dobbsian origin: “If they can’t take a joke, fuck ‘em!” However, the art world, never known for being consistent, is showing signs of change that are putting GWAR in a position to be recognized as the artistic tour de force that they are. Bob says that the idea behind GWAR as a “cartoon as sculpture” is beginning to gain acceptance and even popularity among academics. “Students are being encouraged to do the same things that I’ve been doing for years.” Musing that if and when he tried to turn in the same things as projects at VCU in his day he would have been summarily rejected, all the while at this point Matt is laughing and agreeing profusely. And, after an 8-year hiatus, GWAR has been showing their art in a gallery environment again. Bob points to the growing popularity of publications like Juxtapoz in this resurgence.None of this is to say that GWAR has remained a bulwark of artistic principle in the sea of impulse and whim that define art trends. One notable change is the recent dearth of full-length GWAR videos. Once upon a time, these videos were as easily come by as the crack smoked while making them, and nearly as

addictive. In fact, their video Phallus in Wonderland was nominated for a Grammy award in ‘93 for Best Long-Form Music Video. “I think we lost to Annie Lennox,” Bob recalled. A minor controversy ensued when the band showed up to pick up their tickets to the ceremony in full costume and were asked to leave. “Back in the 90’s, Metalblade [Records] was throwing money left and right” at GWAR to make these movies, but with the disappearance of music videos from MTV and the coinciding slip in the popularity of metal and hard rock acts in the mainstream, the money simply isn’t available. Crowds have changed for their live acts, too. The early 90’s found GWAR moving out of cult status and into much wider popularity as a musical act. As a result, the stage show had to be simplified. Matt compares a GWAR show to an opera: “You have these people in costume, and it has to look good, but you have to still be able to play.” Not to mention convey the idea of the plot to the audience. Initially, people attending a GWAR show would stand and watch, like the indie/emo scenesters do today. But GWAR plays metal, and as the metal crowds began to attend and pits began forming, the players would find it difficult to deliver their lines on stage above the din of the crowd. Samplers fix a lot of that problem today, but the other main concern, and anyone who has attended a GWAR show can attest to this, is that it is oftentimes hard to see the stage. So plots became less complex. “It’s like a Love Boat episode,” Bob says. “You’ve got these characters and something happens that causes conflict and by the end everything is fine. It gives us a framework so that we can kill things.” Audiences have certainly noticed a constant evolution in the costumes of GWAR. Bob points to 1994 as the year that costumes reached their maturity. “When we started, none of us really knew what we were doing. We learned as we went along.” Early props looked like papier-mâché constructions. As the artists learned their craft, they have settled on a mix of polyfoam, fiberglass, and prevulcanized rubber/latex. Since settling on that mix, Bob says little has changed in the process of how a costume is made. But it doesn’t take much effort to notice that Oderus’ spiked epaulets have grown in height with every tour, or that Gor-Gor’s RVA NO.09 / GALLERY 15

appearance has morphed from being a terrifying T-Rex to a more forward, sleek, and vicious Raptor. So, with all this change in the air, not to mention crack smoke, what do the next 20 years hold for this gang of gore? Certainly most notably, there is their upcoming art show. Artspace gallery administrator and past-president Dana Frostick recollects “I always wanted GWAR to have an art show here in Richmond,” and so she has worked resolutely to make it happen. While this will not be their first show here in RVA, it certainly carries a lot of weight, and is causing a lot of excitement among Artspace members, Slave Pit artisans, GWAR fans, the art and music communities, and the public at large. “I’ve been getting calls from people in, like, LA saying that they can’t make the opening but would I please send them a catalog.” The show will be up from January 27 until February 19 and will occupy both the Members’ and Main Galleries. Artspace is located in the Plant Zero art complex in Manchester. You’ll know you’re at the right place if you drive by a big brick warehouse with 16 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

a garish day-glo courtyard replete with a fountain. Having returned from what might very well have been their most successful tour since the days of Scumdogs of the Universe, including a spot on the huge “Sounds of the Underground” tour with fellow Richmond metal legends Lamb of God, GWAR also has plans for a new studio album and a corresponding new tour. And a new tour means a new stage show, which means new costumes, which Bob promises will be “10% scarier.” Also in the works are a coffee table-style book on the history of GWAR, and a documentary on the early days of Slave Pit. Matt has designed GWAR action figures, which he assures me will be for sale soon. But perhaps most surprising of all the ideas, at least on the surface, is the idea being tossed around of doing a Broadway musical of GWAR. Bob says the inspiration came from a trip to NYC. The cutting humors of musicals like Urinetown are experiencing great runs on Broadway. “It’s

lowbrow humor being marketed and targeted to Broadway audiences, whereas we’re highbrow humor targeted to meatheads.” He hopes that with a little tweaking the project could come off. And it makes sense, for as demented as it is, a GWAR show is basically a touring musical. The possibilities of a Broadway show are endless. “There could be things flying in on wires!” Matt excitedly mentioned. And Bob shed some light on its practical implications. “We could write the music and the script and hire other players to perform it. Or, if we decided to put it on ourselves, we would have week-long engagements, instead of having to unload, setup, and load every night.” And as the members age, that sort of stability would ease the stress of road life. And hell, if all else fails, they can all just retire to their homes in Antarctica and live the easy, relaxed life of demigods.

had anything that they’d like to say to the too-hip-for-their-own-good readership of this fair magazine, Bob replied: “They’ll fall off. And we’ll still be doing this.” -----------------------------------------

Check out and for more info on GWAR. Also check out for more about the show. Browning Keister would like to thank Bob and Matt for the interview and for showing him around slave pit, and Dana for knowing everyone in Richmond.

After 20 years, they may not have summoned the World Maggot just yet, but they still deserve a little respect and respite, if they so choose. But don’t fret. GWAR’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Asked if they RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 17

18 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC


words : R. Anthony Harris images : Chris Lacroix

Ross Harmon I read this thing on [something] dot com about colleges buying all their students iPods. It was so they could record lectures. R. Anthony Harris It’s amazing how much it makes everything easier. I think in general everything is moving towards compacting everything, you know? Like the Nano idea. Instead of having two hundred CDs, you have one little thing. Teddy Blanks I’m sort of nostalgic for having 200 CD’s. I kind of like just having a stereo in my house, putting CD’s on, putting records on. RAH Well, that’s a good segue into you guys and your music. Any time someone asks me about the Gaskets, I say “It sounds like synth-pop. It’s very electronic, and…it’s very simple, almost like in an Atari kind of feel to it.” Does that make sense? TB Yeah, when we play live, it’s like that. Very simple. But when we make records, we try and bring in other instrumentalists, stuff like that, to fill out the sound, I don’t know… I should’ve brought you a copy of the new record. It’s out Saturday; we’ll have the CD’s. We actually had a big problem this morning…Wes didn’t pay for the…they were at the plant, but they couldn’t ship them to us until, you know, they’ve been paid for, so Igor [manager], his parents fronted us the money, and we’ll just pay them back, which is a good thing, because we won’t owe as much money to our label.

TB It’s a very small label out of Minnesota, called Aquarium Records. They’ve been very generous to us as far as when we had no name, no fan base. With our first album, they put up all the money for it, recorded it, and pressed it, just because they love the music. This time, we did half the album in Richmond, and half the album in Minnesota with them, so it lessened the strangle-hold of the contract. So we’ve got a little bit of room to move, and this is our last album with them, and they’re really for the idea of us going to a bigger label, so they want to help us with that. RAH So your second album is called Loose Change . TB Loose Change . RAH The first album, Big Fun, it got a lot of press. When Big Fun came out, you guys couldn’t even drink, right? TB There was a song about it. RH We recorded it -TB Half the songs on there, we recorded in high school, and, uh, I think it really shows! RAH Big Fun is very optimistic. You can’t feel down, or sad, when listening to it. I liked “Flight Attendant,” and “Proverbial Life.” “Proverbial Life,” the first time I heard it, I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but it was just so catchy. I like your proverbial hat, you know? RH I’m wearing the old proverbial hat. I wore it in high school a lot.

RH Well, their contract is void now, so they can’t do it.

TB Ross’s trademark for a while was that beanie on his head. He’d walk the halls of high school and teachers would tell him to take it off. And he would, for two seconds, and put it right back on.

RAH What label were you on?

RAH What were you guys like in high school? RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 19

RH Smaller? [laughter] We probably haven’t grown a bit. TB No, we’re small people. RAH Were you seen as the artsy guys? TB No, it wasn’t until the band -- we would skip class, math class, every day to go down to this little recording studio. RH We went to an arts high school, the Governor’s School of Arts and Technology, so we had a lot of freedom to record when we wanted to -- basically, whenever we wanted to, we could go down to the recording studio. That’s how our recording, and songwriting, relationship started. RAH Is that where you guys met, also? TB More or less. We actually met in Boy Scouts, we go way back. RAH Have you guys always been based in Richmond, also? TB Yes, more or less. We’ve never lived anywhere else. We’ve lived outside of Richmond, like thirty minutes outside, but even in high school we’d come to Richmond, to play. RAH Where did you meet Nate, your manager…Him, being a young guy, for him to even try to manage a band is very interesting. TB Yeah, it was a thing he just kind of took on. RAH He heard the idea, and really liked the sound? TB A friend of his had seen us, and knew what Nate’s musical taste was like, and what he liked, so he suggested that. The first time he saw us, he came up to us, and was like, “I really like you guys.” The second time was like, “Oh, we should do something, can I manage you? ” and then we realized that we didn’t have anyone that was booking us, or managing us, or anything like that. So he took on all those. 20 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

His first managerial duty with us was to get our music played on the Howard Stern show. They promptly made fun of us, in front of 10 million people, and then got us opening gigs for ridiculous huge live acts, like Weird Al, and Aaron Carter. It was all in the first summer we met Igor (aka Nate), and it was really surreal. RAH Was it too much, too fast, or… TB It was just the wrong direction, you know? It’s like, “The Gaskets, that Weird Al opening band,” you know? So then we tried to live it down. There’s this weird subset of fans that are Weird Al fans, and also Gaskets fans, which is really weird, and I’m not sure that they really get it. RAH Weird Al fans are very weird. Maybe they’re all like Weird Frank, this guy I met who is a Weird Al fan, and I’m like wow, it’s like a whole mini-nation of weird. TB I think maybe trying to get past some of that silliness was what pushed the new album into a more serious context. It’s very, very different than Big Fun . RAH A little more grown up? TB Yes. RAH What was the time gap between the two? TB We recorded Big Fun December of 2002, and we began recording Loose Change in June 2004, and it was on and off in two different recording studios from June 2004 to August 2005, and then it was mixed and finished. We’ve been waiting since then to release it -- and we’re finally ready. It’s been the longest creative endeavor I’ve been part of. RAH I guess you have to take into account more what you’re trying to say with the second album. I know a lot of people have their first album and it does well, and then they disappear, so I’m really interested to

RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 21


into, like, well my type needs to fit what we’re trying to accomplish.

TB In a lot of respects, it kind of feels like our first album. It feels like Big Fun is something that we did so long ago, and we sold out of them, we only did a thousand copies and the label offered to do more… I’m proud of it in the sense that it was a good accomplishment at that point in our lives, but I don’t think it represents us as a band at all anymore, and I don’t think that it’s that good, really. It’s sort of like I want this album to come out, and be the album that everyone who’s been seeing us for two years…I want this to be the album that they own.

TB Ross and I will go back to the songs we wrote, or started writing and never finished, for this album or for previous efforts, we’ll look back at some ideas we had that never came to fruition, it’s like “what were we thinking? ”

RH I’m sure it’s really bizarre for fans who have seen us recently, and like what we do, to buy the record and assume that it’s like the show we put on. They buy Big Fun , and… I always try, like when we were selling CDs at a set, I would give a warning: “This is not what you just saw.” None of the songs, we don’t do them anymore, and it’s a very different sound. It’s essentially the same, but extremely different.

RAH So you write together?

RH Let’s write a song about fucking a couch. [Laughter]

TB This issue [January 2006, No. 8] is, by far, the best one, I think.

TB All the writing is together. Sometimes we’ll come up with something alone and then bring it back to the table with the two of us, work it out together, so it’s all like…we usually write the music together, then throw back and forth lyrics, or I’ll write a bunch of lyrics and then Ross will write a melody in his head, something that’ll become a bridge or a chorus. A lot of the times, people say they think our bridges are the strongest parts of our songs; I think that’s because we end up writing this loop driven music, we end up writing a couple of choruses that we think could work, and we pick one as the chorus and one as the bridge.

RAH We’re always trying to improve.

RAH Are you ever looking to add a third member?

TB You switched to Din, for the typeface, right?

TB We’re going to see how this show goes, with…we’re playing with a band on Saturday. We’ll see how it works out.

RAH I can relate to that process with RVA. I’m always real happy when I see it, and then four or five days later I’m just so ready to fix all the things that I feel are wrong with it.

RAH Yeah. TB Good decision, I like it. RAH Now we’re looking through some type foundries for more unique fonts. I would imagine it’s the same way with a record -- you have general ideas, when you first start a project, and then you cut away the fat, stuff that’s not working for you. I went through a lot of experimentation with…image with type first, and now I’m starting to get really detailed 22 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

RH I think we’re going to stick to the two of us for as long as we can, because it’s so easy, it works, touring is so cheap… and then, if we make money, we make more money, because… well, we don’t really make money. But it we were to make money, it would be easier between us and Igor…Igor is essentially the third member. TB A theoretical ideal, if for some reason, we were able to afford it, would be to pay a band to do what we want them to do behind us, while

we stay up front, The Gaskets, if we were to add other members. But, you know, another member of the band means that person putting forth ideas, and Ross and I are very comfortable songwriting as a duo and we don’t want to share ideas with anyone else!

just, like, two people and a bunch of electronics. They think, “oh, it’s karaoke,” or it’s this or that, but I like to think that there is a lot more to it than that. We work very hard to make it look like we haven’t been working very hard.

I don’t think I’ve ever written a song with anyone other than you…you’ve been in other bands, but I don’t want to be in a band with anyone else.

RH It’s not a shtick for us. I’m sure that some people who see it might see it as a shtick; there’s just two people, but that’s the way that we have to make our music. If we had a band, then it would be the same songs, and we would try and sound the same, but the easiest way for us to get it out is the way that we do it. It’s been working for us.

I’ve tried to write some stuff with Christian, but… RAH Do you almost feel like you’re cheating? TB It’s very rare that two people find a collaborative spirit. We both developed our songwriting at the same time, together, so we came up with a shorthand, to explain to the other what we were thinking, and what we wanted the song to do, and it’s really hard to find someone that would actually understand what we’re getting at. Because neither of us are real musicians, so we have to have this sort of idea that only the two of us understand. RAH You’re developing your own personal way to communicate ideas to an audience, and I don’t think there’s any right way to do it. When the White Stripes came out, and it was only two people, with a female drummer -RH Not even a good drummer, at that -RAH Yeah, and you know, not that great of a drummer, but they have their own message, and that’s what strikes a chord with people. TB People like something that is different, something that they’re not expecting. There are so many three, four, five member bands, that you get lost in the den. But something comes up, just for that second, and people are like “is it a sequencer, or electronic stuff? ” And for just that one second, they hear something that maybe they would’ve just passed by. I think people are genuinely, and rightfully, skeptical of something that’s

RAH The thing that struck me about Big Fun , and also about the Gaskets in general, is that you seem very design conscious. Are you both designers? RH Teddy is a designer, Teddy designs everything that… TB But Ross has, you know, Ross is certainly a visual artist as well. RAH ....and you add Igor to that… TB Igor is a great photographer. RH We definitely try and tailor the message that we send out, to the city, in our records, in our ads, and in our posters. RAH I think that’s what’s lacking in Richmond, and there’s no excuse now. People have the equipment, and it’s just a matter of being creative. I get a lot of CDs here, a lot of local stuff, and I think people are becoming more conscious of the total package. Someone’s got to be interested in the overall image first, to pick up the CD and listen to what’s going on. RH Everything seems so haphazard for most bands, you know, “whatever, this is good enough,” whereas we try to focus. TB Sometimes it’s just a lack of taste, I think.

RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 23

RAH That might be true. What would be a good goal? How would you guys be satisfied with this album or what would be the feedback from this album be that would make you say it was worth it? TB I want as many people as possible to hear it. My dream would be for it to be picked up and re-pressed by a bigger label. That would be my ideal situation. RH I think it would be nice if people thought it was much better than the first one. I think a lot of people will think that this is what our records should be. At least I hope somebody says that. TB I think it will prove a lot of naysayers wrong, when they hear it; it’s really accomplished work. I think that people who have looked down on us in the past might change their mind about us. RAH It’s bound to happen -- any time you put down an opinion, or lay out a creative endeavor, people are going to either love it, or hate it. Especially if it has any genuine thought behind it. Criticism in general, you have to get used to it. I think you guys are on the right way; it’s important for other people to like it -- but you have to like it first. TB Criticism is very important. I read the reviews, I’d like as many people as possible giving reviews and giving really honest opinions of it- I’ve come to really appreciate the value of criticism. RAH ...And if you don’t know, readers, Teddy writes the movie reviews for RVA, too. I don’t know how he has time to do everything. RH People either love us, or they hate us, or they think we’re all right. [Laughter]

24 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC


words : Xavier Atkins image : Phil Bowne

I’m sitting down with DJs Kool Kut Ninja and Ohlaroc in a dirty house in Oregon Hill. They all probably are, or maybe I just hold grudges. Smoke clings to the curtains and empty beer cans sit on the coffee table like souvenirs next to records of all sorts. I’m almost positive the half-empty 40 oz. of Old English is mine from a week ago. I’m quite familiar with these little Asian rock stars who wear their sun glasses two sizes too big. You’ve more than likely been to one of their dance parties, or heard them play after a band, or at a mall, or something. The guys seem like they’re everywhere. So besides their spinner watches, what makes them so special? Xavier Atkins Buddies, pals, Romans. Let’s get to it. Who is AudioAmmo? Othelo Gervacio Jr. A description? Or who it is? Long, me, Disco Dave, Dillinger, Doddie, and Jae. It all began in the 90s in Va Beach. Disco Dave came back from the West Coast and he was the bridge. He was competing in big contests and making a name for himself and eventually he was the big party DJ there. He was just off the hook. Later on there was a big surge of people DJing and me and Doddie got our first set in high school. It was the shittiest set ever, the lowest line of Geminis. DJ in a pack! I learned the basics there. Mixing and simple scratches. I sold my set and quit for a while. Second year in college I met Long. Long was this nerdy Asian kid who just got really good really quick.

LP Is it my turn? I didn’t start spinning until my second year of college. I met Doddie’s sister and she took me down to the beach. She introduced me to Doddie and he took me to Disco Dave’s crib and it was the first time I saw some turntables and I just started messing around with those and asking him dumb questions and all that. I was scratching and he would move the fader and he told me just how it all worked, I didn’t even understand what it all meant but I was just like “damn I really wanna mess with this stuff.” So I saved up all summer and bought a set, saved up 1200, got my first set, didn’t even know if I’d do anything but I just started messing around with it in my house. Then I heard Doddie moved here. I came over and Othelo was living there and they had a set. I would bring over records and chill and I met the rest of the kids, everybody. They wanted to throw a party. I’d only been spinning a month and a half and they invited me to spin and it was a big ass party. OG Like 300 people. LP Ever since then it’s been nonstop. OG It’s in the name, man. We want to hit you with bazookas and missiles. We want to make you say whoa! It’s all in the name. XA So you got the Beach division, what’s up with them? OG Big things. Working a lot with Commonwealth and N.E.R.D. Recently they had the Top Shoppas party. Commonwealth Anniversary. Doddie spun for the Ice Cream demo. That was awesome. Steady nights down there. Every weekend. Basically, they’re the heat down there. Right? LP Right. Those dudes are good.

Long Phung Don’t say that, man. People will think I’m really a nerd.

OG Disco Dave and Dillinger have been in the game for a while.

OG DJs are nerds! So then me and Doddie started getting back into it and then Long got into the mix and we started doing house parties and I was just like “fuck yeah I’ll play a few records.”

LP It’s an honor to be spinning with those dudes. When you hear them it blows your mind. Cats like us are just still so fresh in the game. It tells you who you are to roll with them.

26 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

XA How did you guys blow up? OG It really all began with like house parties, yeah, but then we started doing legit shows at bars and stuff. LP It was slow at first. OG House parties were hard ‘cause you gotta carry all the shit; get all the shit, speakers, records. First it was just our friends, but then it got to be friends of friends. It was all word of mouth. There became a following. We have a good thirty to forty people that will come every time. Basically, it was the same thing for Va Beach. LP Rudy coming back helped us out. He set up a lot of stuff for us to do. OG Slow Education, Krames and those kids, they helped us out a lot. LP It went slowly. People knew us; they asked us to do things. They wanted to do the same things, collaborating, that helps us, and we meet more people. Rudy is always doing shit, good shit, and that really helps us, to have people like that. It’s really hard to do by ourselves. We were just doing house parties, no one was asking us to do bigger stuff. XA Parties at a club versus parties at a house party? OG I like house parties ‘cause that’s how it all began. But there’s a difference. When you’re at a house, it’s more live. You’re standing there with people that are dancing. LP You feel what everyone feels. OG You don’t have to worry about crowd pleasing as much. Everyone there is there to have fun. The thing that separates you is that you know what song will come up next and it’s exciting. When it drops, everyone is like “ohhhhh” and I’m like “ohhhh” and I’m right there with you, I wish I could be out on the floor with you. The downfalls are there’s always some drunk bumping into the set, the floor is shaking, people are spill28 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

ing drinks on your shit. Spinning at bars and clubs and events, it’s a different story. More people in the lineup, you gotta wait your turn. LP House party versus a club, I think a club is not as stressful. You don’t have to worry about people fucking your shit up. OG At a bar you get paid. That’s nice. But we’re not in it for the money. The purpose for Fresh Fest (back in March 2005) was that people deserved it. Rudy was gone. There was nothing going on. People deserved it. LP We really haven’t even made back the money we spend on records and gear and all that. It ain’t about the money. OG It’s about the bitches. (We all laugh.) LP House party, people are way more crazy. OG 40 oz in the air, hands in the air. LP Everyone feeds off each other. I think one of the main differences is the close quarters. And you feel you can do anything at a house party. People just being real stupid, getting real loose. XA What would you say was your tightest party? LP 319 Broad. OG People still ask about that. People are always reminding me about it. Cops dropping down from helicopters. It was a good time. Our apartment was tight; we had a bar, musical performances by Luggage. People would offer to pay ten bucks to get in. LP The place was so big.

OG Three floors. LP Every party there was equally insane. We even threw a fashion show there. But the runway was packed, there were so many people. XA What are you guys’ influences? Your style? LP Really, just listening to a lot of mix tapes and not just hip hop. Just people who try to put things together that you wouldn’t think could go together. I’m not always trying to do that but I just want to see how it sounds sometimes, see how this sounds with that. That opens the door to other stuff. You can do the other stuff then. You can do two turntables, three turntables, a computer. Taking it further. To some people, its just music. To me, I like the technical side. I like the art of it. But of course, the music is the most important part. But the music isn’t what drives me. What influences me is seeing what I’m capable of doing. OG A little different for me. When I was young, I used to go to parties in Norfolk when Tribe was big and the radio was good all the time and the Buddha Brothers were hot and the mix tapes were out all the time, DJ Clue and DJ Bee, live mix tapes from clubs in New York. Off the hook. My style is more influenced from that period of time, that style of party rocking. When I spin I try to relive that experience, that’s what I try to give to everyone else. Because back then I was like a kid in a candy shop. Just looking up to DJs that were so influential. Now I’m trying to get more technical, thinking more about mash ups and blends, mixing it up a little instead of just throwing out a lot of 90s shit. LP People don’t just go crazy because someone dropped a hot song. Its ‘cause he dropped it at the right time. That is real hard. You gotta be so on point and recognize and know what you’re playing so well. It takes experience. Which I don’t have compared to the Beach DJs. But that’s what got me into it. I wanna do that. XA What do you like to play mostly? OG 90s hits. A lot of Tribe, Biggie, I throw in some new school stuff

once in a while. I like to play funky soul that makes you dance; I really love playing that, the old school stuff. It gets people live. A lot of people haven’t heard that stuff before and then they come up and ask what it is and it feels good. I also like playing breaks sometimes. I like break beats and I grew up break dancing. LP My shit isn’t so deep… OG Long likes that mash up style, that’s why we get along together, we play different things. LP When I spin I just think about what I can do to it. It’s not specific. I bring a record home, I mess with the acapella, the instrumental, putting together things you wouldn’t think would go together. XA What do you guys think about the venues in Richmond? OG There are places you can always rely on and there are places you can’t afford, they’re too expensive. Like the Hyperlink. LP There’s places we don’t even know about. In Shockoe Bottom. OG We’re gonna start venturing out. Props to Nanci Raygun. 99.9% of the time it’s always a good party there. LP People always come to that. XA Speaking of Hyperlink, what happened there? I know you all were supposed to have a night there….


Will the Hypeman call out the Hyperlink? Will Audioammo punch each other

in the face? What’s next!?! The rest at

RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 29

UPCOMING RELEASES WOW, OWLS! Pick Your Patterns LP (PMM-009 LP) – February 2006 LA QUIETE Tenpeun 01-05 CD (PMM-011) – February 2006 SPARROWS SWARM & SING second full-length CD/LP – Summer 2006 MASS MOVEMENT OF THE MOTH / THE CATALYST split CD/LP – Summer 2006

Richmond Labels Profile Vol. 2: Perpetual Motion Machine words & images: Sean Patrick Rhorer

Among the labels who call RVA home, few seem to have the momentum of The Perpetual Motion Machine. Okay, that was a lame pun, but seriously, the label’s owner Paul Hansbarger is one of most genuine and heartfelt people involved in music around the area. And, despite recently moving out of Richmond, Hansbarger still contributes a great deal to the city’s thriving music scene. Here’s what he had to say when poked and prodded. Sean Patrick Rhorer Working in and around Richmond has been your M.O. and you’ve worked with a good number of bands from the area. How do you feel this has helped your label to thrive? Paul Hansbarger It’s funny because it never really felt like a Richmond label. I guess I have worked with a few area bands, but just as many releases have been with out-of-town bands. I don’t even know how much it has really helped the label. I guess it’s hard doing a label and being a shy person, because I never really went out of my way to get the word out locally about the label. I take out ads in Slug & Lettuce, consign records at Plan 9, have left fliers at some local businesses, etc, but yeah, it never really felt like a local label. I don’t know if that really ever affected or bothered me too much though. But I definitely remember seeing the Pop Faction label getting a write-up in Style Weekly at one point and being jealous about it. Haha. I guess that’s what I get for staying in my room all day and doing the bulk of label work over the internet. SPR How has working with bands from outside of RVA compared to the local bands you’ve worked with? How are those other scenes in comparison?

PH …[it’s] been interesting. It definitely makes things more challenging sometimes, but since most work is handled through email, over the phone, and through the mail, it’s usually pretty smooth. But then again, when I was living here and working on a release with a local band, if I needed anything I could just walk over to their house rather than having to call them or wait on an email response. That definitely made things easier and just more personal in general. SPR A lot of labels tend to focus on a fairly narrow subgenre of music, while it seems Perpetual Motion Machine has really had a pretty widespanning roster of bands. Has this been an intentional move on your part? PH The label roster has always reflected my interests and I’d like to keep it going that way. While I have a certain respect for more genre-oriented labels, I think that releasing the same kind of music over and over would get a little boring. I like to keep it exciting, engaging and just keep working with dynamic musicians, whether it be some gnarly, heavy-ass shit or some soft, mellow music. SPR How have you picked the bands you’ve ultimately released? PH Some of the bands I’ve worked with have been friends of mine that I’ve been stoked on from day one. The others have been bands that I have seen live and just got excited about, taken an interest in through previous releases, heard about through word of mouth, or whatever. The only totally random band to date is New Electric. They sent me a copy of their CD in the mail and I just took it home and listened to it. I remember running into my old roommate David’s room and being like, “Dude, check out this crazy shit.” SPR Most of your releases have had unique artwork to some degree. How do you feel about the expense of doing these things versus the final result? What’s your motivation for doing these atypical designs? PH I’ve always appreciated unique and interesting record packaging, RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 31

so that’s definitely been a concern with our releases. I just appreciate the intimate and organic process of taking out a record, opening the packaging, going through the inserts, etc. And with past releases it’s been cheaper to do handmade packaging versus manufactured LP jackets. It just depends on how much time and energy you’re willing to put into making something really beautiful and unique.

in June to support the split CD/LP. Finally, in July I’ll be doing the second full length album for Sparrows Swarm & Sing, a great instrumental band from New England. After those releases, I’m going to be taking a rest for a while to just work on promoting these bands and releases.

SPR Aside from the bands you’ve been working with, what do you think are some interesting things going on in RVA?

PH Thanks to… RVA Magazine for caring about our music and for doing a great job documenting the wonderful art and cultural community here in Richmond.

PH Richmond rips... It seems like there are so many awesome and positive things going on in this city right now it’s hard to keep up with them all. I guess some notable jams that are all pretty exciting are the Re-Cycles Bike Shop, Paper Street Infoshop, 804 Noise, Queer Paradise, WRIR Radio, Hit/Play shows, Chop Suey Books, None Such, Bizarre Market, Best Friends Day, ADA Gallery, Gallery 5, etc. When I first moved to Richmond five years ago it seemed that while there were some things going on, there weren’t as many things to get involved with in the city. SPR What’s next for PMM? What releases do you have on the horizon? What are the bands on the label up to? PH It’s already looking like a busy year for me in terms new releases. In mid-February, I’ll be releasing a limited 12” vinyl version of the Wow, Owls! album in time for their string of final shows which is going to feature silk-screened jackets with new artwork by Adam Juresko. Also due out in late February is a collection CD of early vinyl and out-ofprint releases from La Quiete, who are a spectacular hardcore band from Italy, similar to stuff like Envy, Ampere, City Of Caterpillar, etc. They’ll be touring here in late July and August and have recruited me to do the driving, which should be a ridiculous time. It will be nice to be back on the road again. In June, I’ll be co-releasing a split CD/12” with Richmond’s The Catalyst and Mass Movement of the Moth from DC. Both of those bands have blown me away the past few times I’ve seen them and they couldn’t be made up of a more solid group of friendly and genuinely awesome people. These kids will be doing a U.S. tour together 32 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC

SPR Thanks for the interview. Anything you’d like to add?

Also, a big thanks is due to anyone who has in some way or another supported the label and bands over the past few years. It’s much appreciated. I guess I’ll add that people can check out our music and records on our website at or the myspace page at

- THE PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE DISCOGRAPHY WOW, OWLS! / THE SETUP split 7” (PMM-010) – released in October 2005 NEW ELECTRIC s/t CDEP (PMM-012) – released in July 2005 WOW, OWLS! Pick Your Patterns CD (PMM-009 CD) – released in April 2005 SWEETHEART Art Is Dead Is Dead CDEP (PMM-008) – released in February 2005 ULTRA DOLPHINS s/t Cassette (PMM-007) – released in June 2004 SNACK TRUCK Harpoon CD (PMM-006) – released in July 2004 LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS s/t LP (PMM-005) – released in May 2004 STOP IT!! Self Made Maps LP (PMM-004) – released in August 2003 THE SOUTH Sick Pits Bro Sesh 7” (PMM-003) – released in May 2003 DAVID DONDERO / CHRIS TERRY split CDEP (PMM-002) – released on June 2003 CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE / PG.99 split 7” (PMM-001) – released in August 2002 RVA NO.09 / MUSIC 33


bon copy wannabes, a SPITFIRE few bands are stepping Self-Help up to the challenge of Goodfellow Records proving themselves wearecloakdagger just as worthy of attention and even praise. The reformation of Being at Cloak/DagVirginia’s own Spitfire Rhorer Rosetta clearly are ger’s first show and comes just in time for among that deservhearing the whispers ROSETTA ing minority, with this the band to capitalthroughout the room The Galilean Satellites awe-inspiring double ize on metalcore’s when singer Jason Translation Loss Records disc album serving as popularity, a style they Mazzola grabs the mic originally helped to the proof. speaks volumes as to make popular. how far this band is Startling the line likely to go. Featuring In the wake of bands between doom metal What might be most four musicians from like Isis and Pelican and textural indie rock, attractive to wouldprevious bands you reaching an all-time The Galilean Satellites be listeners is the should already know, high of popularity, presence of Jonathan ebbs and flows with Cloak/Dagger sounds doomy stoner rock Spencer on vocals intensity and calm, only remotely like (who recently left with an artful tendency creating nearly two any of them. Instead, seems to be the next Scarlet and does not hours of music that this punk-meets-rock fad we’ll all be sick of appear on that band’s doesn’t seem like a outfit crank out short in a matter of months. test to get through. new album) as well as but sweet tunes filled Yet, amid a sea of less- - Sean Patrick Rhorer the addition of Norma with all the grit and Jean guitarist Scottie than-innovative, carDemo self-released


angst you imagine your garage rock band would sound like. A great addition to the RVA scene, sure to be a town favorite in no time. - Sean Patrick

Henry to the line-up. Much like Norma Jean’s most recent album though (which fell short primarily due to a new vocalist), Spencer’s vocals seem less biting without the chunky guitarwork Scarlet is known for offering. Nevertheless, Spitfire demonstrate they still have the ability to give all the newcomers a run for their money, blasting through eleven tracks of blistering metallic hardcore (including “The Suicide Cult Is Dead” which could well be a stab at Spencer’s former band). Oh, and if you’ve seen Hit/Play fliers that catch

your eye, you’ll likely appreciate bassist Dan Tulloh’s stunning design as well. - Sean Patrick Rhorer

CHEAP SEATS Fly Low, Icarus

In a time where many groups seem compelled to be “out there,” develop some sort of kitsch factor, or else hide behind nichegenre, The Cheap Seats offer up a mellow sound straightforward enough to be refreshing while varied enough to merit multiple listens.

Find it. Buy it. Good Stuff. Interesting. Hmm. Refund!

Fly Low, Icarus opens with a mellow, rolling number “Our Day at the Zoo,” which adds just enough keyboard/ synth to add texture to the upbeat acoustic guitar riffs. The vocals are almost soft-spoken, with a touch of nasality without being whiney—which is a good thing, because at a certain point on the emo Richter scale, my stereo automatically turns off.

with three song titles devoted to women. The first, “Susan,” has the closest to what could be considered melancholy, but not in a way that shoves it down your throat. The wistful melody lets us know that between Susan, Britney, and Caroline, Susan is the lost love.

“Britney Burned the Books” opens with a hint of rockabilly sound, and quickly The album has a develops into a nice flow to it, with a toe-tapping bubbly build-up into a more pop-rock anthem. active sound while “Caroline, Yes” takes maintaining levity. The this momentum forCheap Seats definitely ward with interesting speak the internainstrumentals, but the tional language of pop, vocals here bring the

song into too-bubbly territory. The album peaks with “VA Hospital,” a lullaby-esque tribute to the dying old people at Virginia Hospitals. As the seniors are softly assured they are headed to “a brand new location,” the Cheap Seats break into a feedback-heavy rock jam, creating the most diverse and interesting song on the album. The danger with such a straightahead sound is that of receding into the background of local rock-bands.

Fly Low, Icarus is a solid-enough effort to earn The Cheap Seats future listens, and now it is just a matter of seeing how they mature. -Mike Roberts BRIAN JONES & JC KUHL Bluebook Slang Santuary Records http: //www.slangsanctuary. com/

This free jazz duet is not to be missed. I listened to these guys play a Gallery 5 show and I sat, closed my eyes, and was taken for an aural thrill ride. Simply put: one of the best jazz shows I’ve heard. The chemistry

between the two artists is something that takes years and years to develop, and upon speaking with the artists, I was told that they have played together for years ( i.e. Agents of Good Roots-ed .). It definitely shows. It may not be the typical jazz sound, but the awkward rhythms suck you in and spit you out. When it’s said that an instrument is an extension of one’s body and soul, Brian Jones and JC Kuhl embody that philosophy. Their performance almost seems to be unscripted.

makes the body move. Though the CD may be a few years old, it is an accurate representation of what I heard that night, albeit slightly less polished. -Peter Szijarto

Therein lies the beauty to the album. Its raw and uncensored sound RVA NO.09 / REVIEWS 35

THE AMOEBA MEN Let the Infection Set In

Since their 7” single, Enter: The Amoeba Men , began infecting Richmond with its erratic, vomiting, discodismemberment rock in December 2004, The Amoeba Men have been writing, recording and mixing songs for their first full length LP titled Let the Infection Set In . A year later the trio, which includes C.N.P. Records co-founder Jason Hodges (vocals, keyboard and bass), Chris Conrad (guitar) and Barry Cover (drums and back36 RVA NO.09 / REVIEWS

ground vocals), are finally ready to release Infection and contaminate everything edible in Richmond’s music scene. The tracks were recorded last spring and early summer at The Etching Tin studios. The Amoeba Men took their time finishing the album, allowing close to four months between small weekend tours of the East coast and side projects to mix and master the 11 tracks on Infection . Clocking in at just under 35 minutes, the LP not only captures a true sense of the band’s abrasive and

For more information about the Amoeba Men visit: http://www. or http:// the_amoeba_men. htm.

convulsive live capabilities, but tracks like “Nazi Strip Club” and “Itchy Trigger Fingers” prominently display the precision mix of Conrad’s (formerly of Seven Hearts) stumbling guitar-playing style with Cover’s (Kojak, Immortal Avenger) and Hodges’ (Kojak, The Fantastic Wonderfuls) deranged rhythms and howls.


“Flies Eyes,” “Do the Dismantle” and “Gusto” stand out as the real post punk/psychedelic/disco seizure inducers of the album. Look for the album to soil and defile Richmond near the end of February.

Bringing the funk-fueled house is the first release from Philly’s Worship Recordings new sub label, Shakedown Recordings. With its jazzy

For more on C.N.P. Records visit: - J.D. Gavin Here Now Shakedown Recordings

swing, horn licks and soulful vocals, the Here Now EP is nothing short of the quality that we have come to expect from Rob Paine & the Worship crew. The title track, “Here Now,” is a blend of jazz and soul geared for peak-time dance floors. With its heavy bass and energetic horn work, the track is brought full circle as the vocal drops to ask the listener “whatever happened to the way we used to be?” On the flip, “How We Do It” keeps the bass bins grasping for air with some deliciously deep California funk and trippy vocal overlays for good measure. The last track on this dubbed-

out release is “How Intensive.” Although this track rounds out the EP, it holds its own on this release. The track changes tempo a bit by throwing in an unsuspected break beat rhythm at the peak. The break chugs along, but before your ears get comfortable the song quickly transitions into a more familiar 4/4 beat and finally lays into its jazzy, atmospheric end. Another qualityfilled staple release supplied by Worship Records Crew. -Jesse Split

How to See Things in Black, White, Blue, or Green words : Michael Roberts images : Ian Graham

Our young UR intern is out to find answers to one of our city’s many problems. So begins a multi part series to find out how a designated, city recognized Arts District could affect the people and businesses of Broad Street and Jackson Ward. Part 1 is with founder Christina Newton from the nonprofit Curated Culture. Curated Culture is the agency behind the First Friday events on Broad Street. Mike Roberts You started the First Friday idea at Artspace, but they have since moved to Manchester… Christina Newton About two years ago they moved into Plant Zero, an amazing facility. There need to be more facilities like it. Unfortunately it takes individuals and the private sector to just develop affordable space for artists and art organizations. The members of Artspace decided to move to that facility— the development of Plant Zero has really ignited the development in the Manchester area. They call themselves the arts district of Manchester, but there’s no official designation. MR Has the rise of a new “arts district” created any tension or rivalry between the Manchester and Broad Street areas? CN I think there was obviously-- there were lots of conversations in the arts community about the development, and there were a lot of opinions about Artspace moving from Broad Street. But I see three different areas of town, including the wealth of art facilities in Manchester, Broad Street where we’re located, and then there’s Main Street and the Fan. So there is loose discussion among representatives in these different areas

about how we can work closer together. For example, we always talk about expanding First Friday; there’s kind of an organic development of First Fridays - Broad Street, second Fridays -Main Street, sometimes, and then there’s third Fridays in Manchester. So there is sort of an unspoken, uncoordinated series unfolding. I think that now that Plant Zero, Artspace and Artworks have settled into themselves, they’ve been definitely well received by the community. Here on Broad Street, just by the fact that there is a wealth of galleries, creative businesses, and retail here, with more springing up, we unofficially call it “gallery row” or the “gallery arts district.” I would like to see this area designated as an arts district, because we really have seen Broad Street redeveloped. So this becomes a political issue? We’ve been working on that issue for probably a year and a half. We had it in concept for at least two years, but it’s been a backburner issue because it’s a pretty complicated issue when you reach out to the community. We wanted to reach out to the community to get public opinion, before there’s suddenly an arts district and you shove it down people’s throat. MR So where does Curated Culture come into the picture? CN Basically the need for our nonprofit came out of the steering committee that originally coordinated the First Friday Artwalk. The program was then coordinated representatives of various galleries in the Broad Street area. Within the second year, we realized it was a much larger project than the gallery reps could take on, because people are just trying to keep their business going. And then here was this huge project that was developing. When I left Artspace, there was no one -- basically no administrator at Artspace so the project was not going to continue there -- so I continued to do this as a volunteer and eventually founded Curated Culture. The name has confused people a little bit; a lot of people are familiar with First Fridays. We’ve done a really good job branding that. They may RVA NO.09 / ART 39

not know that we help coordinate it, but we decided that our long term goals as a nonprofit would be to fill the holes that other organizations in the area weren’t filling. We have a broader mission of helping to inspire economic and community development through the arts, supporting artists and arts facilities. We thought that First Friday obviously fits our mission perfectly, but we’d really like to do other programs in the future.

accessible fun environment to introduce people to the arts. Hopefully, it will bring people back other days beyond First Fridays. That’s something the galleries would like us to focus on -- First Fridays are great, but we really need to sell art to stay alive. So, that’s the next hurdle.

MR What kind of relationship do you have with the Galleries and businesses in the area?

CN Really, we want everyone to come, and I know a lot of funders don’t want to hear those kinds of terms, because a lot of organizations take a particular demographic or a community in need. I think it’s okay saying we want to reach the entire public is too broad. We do want to try to reach the more suburban communities, because they obviously have more expendable income. Maybe they’re more educated, maybe the kind of demographic that would be interested in art, and may not be aware that there are galleries in Richmond particularly here on Broad Street. We would like to reach that audience to help with the economic development of the area, but there’s so many people that live in the surrounding city and surrounding counties that are not familiar with the development of downtown.

CN Basically the participating galleries participate as members, and contribute a small amount on an annual basis that helps us partially fund the program. We help fundraise and market the program and the galleries that are our members. So we kind of see ourselves as a co-op marketing venture at this point by providing television and radio ads, print marketing and also we work with the Conventions and Visitors Bureau. So we meet travel writers and serve as liaisons to the media and talk about the galleries, this area, and First Fridays. The media really likes to talk about First Fridays, so we see that as we promote First Fridays as an overall program and it provides that trickle-down affect for the galleries. You don’t please everyone by doing that, but hopefully we try to do our best with what little money we have. MR So you are firmly planted in the background, then? CN We’re behind the scenes, kind of like City Celebrations, who coordinate Friday Night Cheers, the Monument Ave Parade, or the 2nd Street Festival. Citizens may be familiar with the 2nd Street Festival, but they may not know there is an agency behind that, doing all the administration [sic] work. With First Friday, the galleries coordinate their own exhibitions or programs, but what we do is help promote them. We provide important information to people on coming to the area, and about coming to a gallery. A lot of people that may not have a lot of experience going to a museum or a gallery might have some misconceptions and may not feel comfortable. I really see First Fridays as an educational experience in disguise. It’s fun and social, but it’s breaking down those barriers to the arts that I think the general public feels. First Friday provides an 40 RVA NO.09 / ART

MR So, who exactly are you trying to bring out?

MR Is there a potential for clash between the people you are trying to bring in and the growing creative community and the longtime residents of this area? CNI think older residents of Jackson Ward are definitely experiencing change by increase of value in the properties. Monroe Ward is also going to be developing dramatically with the expansion of VCU. There are not as many single-family homes in the area, so I don’t think it will attract residential development as much as Jackson Ward, but a lot of the development isn’t directly connected or entirely connected to First Friday. I know that newcomers to the Jackson Ward area are excited about First Fridays, because you have an activity that’s happening nearby that they can walk to, which is part of that cosmopolitan downtown city life that they moved here for. While we want to help the neighborhood grow, want to develop it, make it a creative area, one fear is that we will succeed and experience the so-called ‘SoHo effect’ where prices skyrocket, galleries won’t be able to afford rent, maybe artists won’t be able to

afford studio rentals. Those are serious concerns, but you can’t stop the free market. It’s a balance. If I had lots of expendable money, I would really invest in developing one of these buildings into affordable housing for artists. That can happen, and it should happen. That would be dependent on the private market. The city isn’t going to invest in anything like that. MR Obviously the arts is not on Wilder’s radar right now, but do you see any interest from the city? CN Because we are such a small organization, we do not have the time or resources to actively lobby local government or make broader connections in the community. That’s kind of my New Years Resolution as it were. I had a wonderful initial meeting with Bill Pentele, [Richmond City Council, District 2] who was very supportive of this idea of the area being designated an arts district. So that was encouraging. Unfortunately, our relationship with the City of Richmond amounts to a very meager donation of a thousand dollars annually, so as you can imagine, that doesn’t really do anything. One thing that hurts us is that many people believe that we are a city program, or are majorly funded by the city. People just assume the city should be doing it, so it must be happening, or they see this going on and say, “Oh, this is something the city is doing.” MR So this must really limit both public and private fundraising. CN The way that funding for arts and cultural organizations occur[s] is a number of years ago the city and surrounding counties [initiated] the Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium, which is administered by the Art Council of Richmond. So instead of thirty organizations going to city council begging for money, funding goes directly to the arts council, and then they administer the grant process. In the case of a small local organization like ours, we don’t meet the guidelines for funding, so the arts and cultural funding consortium doesn’t help us at all.

MR Does this speak to a lack of activist community for the arts in the political realm? CN Locally, for this area, the Arts Council of Richmond would lobby for arts funding for the arts community. For example, in 2005 when Wilder wanted to cut all arts and cultural funding, the consortium was part of a line item deletion from the budget among funding for social service and cultural organizations. There was a huge battle between the city council and the Mayor and ultimately that funding was restored, but the arts council had to stop everything it was doing and lobby in order to get that funding restored. For the state there’s an organization called Virginians for the Arts, which lobbies for state funding. So there are organizations, but there’s still very little money that goes into the arts and cultural funding consortium. We’re talking about thirty organizations asking for a small amount of money. There is so little funding given to those organizations and it should be increased. MR What kind of strategy does Curated Culture have for getting these programs going, under such limitations? CN For us funding is such a huge issue. Without increased funding, I really fear we’re going to go under. We have to do a lot of fundraising efforts, and build stronger relationships with the community and our city council representative. We’re investigating the avenues of receiving funding through economic development opportunities, which is a sad thing for me, because my heart lies in supporting the arts, but I recognize we are a driver for that development. MR So how do you develop that pitch? CN It’s hard for us to prove statistically. We can’t really prove that the restaurant next door moved in because of First Fridays, but you know we are the cause of bringing in an average of 5000 people a month and creating an awareness of the area that I am sure helps people decide to move into the area. When we started there were five galleries in the area, and now there’s twenty within a five-year period. We can prove that attendance has increased over 200%. So, there are some statistics to RVA NO.09 / ART 41

show funders.

and that’s definitely something we want to see grow.

MR There are a number of African-American establishments that don’t seem like they participate much with First Friday. Given that this is a majority-minority district, what kind of artistic, creative, or business participation do you see in the minority community?

MR Do you think that the lack of individual support from the African American art/ business community might be a barrier to the economic development and political situation?

CN First Friday participants are very diverse. There is a diverse range of art shown at the galleries. In traditional terms, galleries such as the Elegba Folklore Society and 312 have shown African American, African, or tribal art that adds to the wonderful range of art that can be seen. Not all of the galleries are very participatory no matter what we do. No matter how much effort we [put into] try[ing] to promote that. MR Do you see a reticence to interact or some sort of barrier? CN Possibly, but I hope not on our end. We have tried to be as inclusive as possible. Overly inclusive, I think. For the broader community, say, Jackson Ward Residents or other residents in this area, I think we just need to do a better job getting the word out that this program happens. We also need to do a better job acquiring individual support in a funding capacity, and we do not get that support from the community or business owners. That takes a lot of effort to beat the street and get funding in that way. Anyone will tell you if you look statistically, the African American community is less likely to attend cultural events or attend museums. It has been only relatively recently that the African American community has even been able to attend museums. But there isn’t that tradition of attending cultural events in that community. All of these cultural institutions battle with how to get minority communities into or to attend these cultural events. That’s a battle everyone deals with, but one of the things I’m most proud of about First Friday is the diversity of the attendees. Richmond is extremely segregated after all these years. You can see Fridays at Sunset which is prominently African American, and you go right down the road on the same night to Friday Cheers which is a predominantly white event. There is very little crossover and it is so sad. The thing about First Fridays is you will find children, seniors, students, suburbanites, artists, black, white, there’s people from all walks of life, 42 RVA NO.09 / ART

CN If you’re talking about African-American sites that participate in First Friday— MR Or more importantly those who don’t participate in First Friday. For instance, Tropical Soul is located within the Artwalk boundary, yet is not a member—however it is a very lively sight of cultural expression. CN They have wanted to participate, so we’ve had conversations with them in particular. I don’t know why they haven’t gotten back in touch. I think that mainly we focus on visual art where they are more performance based, but I would love to have them and I think it would diversify the event and what people would be able to experience. But a lot of the galleries that participate and the small businesses in the community are owner-operated, one-person sites that are barely keeping their doors open. They don’t spend as much time on our program as I would like, or that we would like. In order for First Friday to survive, our organization, or this program to survive, we have to set up a membership program, which is a very small annual amount of $200—and even if everyone were to participate it wouldn’t cover the cost to print the brochure. If a business decides not to pay their membership dues, then obviously we’re not going to promote them because it is not fair to other businesses that do participate in the First Friday program and pay their membership dues. If it seems that we are not promoting a certain gallery it means they are not paying their dues. We have looked at other First Friday programs across the country. We have looked at many models across the United States and like us, in many cases, the coordinating organization has some sort of participants fee that helps toward the income, something that is just a partial contribution. MR So what’s the biggest challenge facing the arts community right

now? CN It’s always funding. It comes down to funding. Just speaking of the entirety of the arts community in Richmond, it is very supportive and extremely diverse. I’m in the fine arts community, but it’s so broad. With VCU at the heart of the Richmond arts community, it’s very supportive, but there’s still a disconnect between collaboration of organizations. You can’t change people, but we have to continue to promote ourselves and seek out more funding for the arts community. MR You mention your focus on the fine arts, but there’s definitely a broader reach when you start to talk about neighborhood development. How do you promote arts on the street- level? CN We hire and coordinate performers on the street as well as security. What has happened when we wanted to add to the street-level atmosphere of the Artwalk, we started hiring performers like the River City Burners or the Fourth Street Saxophone Quartet. Now other people have come out and showed up on their own, like the 804 Noise guys, or a saxophonist on the street -- there’s a belly dancing group that wants to come out. So different performance artists have come out and volunteered on their own. We started by hiring artists. Then people saw, and said, “Hey, I can come participate.” We’re really glad people feel they can participate in that. We don’t really have the money to hire as many people as we would like, but that would be a future goal for our budget to be able to hire more people every month, or add to the street-level atmosphere with something like vendors. But there again, that’s something that amounts to an insurance liability. So there’s things we want to do, but we cannot afford to do.

galleries don’t have any money budgeted for marketing. Providing the marketing for First Fridays, we serve as a liaison to the community. So there would be no one for someone to call. And part of that marketing would be the website which is our major marketing vehicle. So there would be no central source of contact, marketing, and also we’re not a lobbying organization, but we serve in that capacity to create awareness of the galleries for the neighborhood, and for the developing neighborhood as it were. Those are the main things we do. For marketing we have to fundraise. Individual galleries wouldn’t do it on their own. That’s not going to happen. One thing we try to do is put the galleries in touch with each other and keep people updated with what’s going on. That’s really hard to do, because they’re really so busy doing their thing. At the beginning I had this really idealistic view, that we’re all kind of in the same area and the galleries aren’t even talking or working together, even when they may be situated next door to each other, so this would be an opportunity to bring people together for business or how they might collaborate. But unfortunately, there’s still competitiveness, because it’s still business. So that collaboration that I thought would happen is still maybe down the road, but I think First Fridays has helped connect people more so than it has in the past. With increased income, we would be able to increase the budget and we would really want to do more things for the galleries, such as developing programs in the galleries such as curator talks, art walks, events, where we’re bringing more people into the sites-- that’s just something we don’t have the funding to do. But we do what we can. No matter how much you try you can’t please everyone. That’s just human nature.

MR Justify your existence.


CN This is something we battle with. Are you meeting your mission? Are you necessary? …those kinds of questions. I think that if we didn’t exist, some people would still come out, the galleries would obviously still have their openings, but there would be no advertising. I think a big part of what we do is provide the marketing. Small businesses such as

Next month : Tropical Soul

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Monty Montgomery The proceeding is a statement from Mr. Montgomery. We at RVA want to encourage this. Send us your requests to get covered and you could find yourself in the court of public opinion. Make statements and live by them. I remember from a very young age paying attention to color and shape. Always wondering why certain objects were certain colors and who chose to make them that color…often asking my parents questions about the sky being blue for example. Through my elementary years, I began to focus on art and drawing, always picking up any instrument that I could find that was based on color. Not many gray toned pencil drawings if I had my choice…I began to understand that art was an outlet for my feelings and eventually in reaching middle school, I took a new path with developing my skills towards an artistic future. I continued through high school with my energy towards art and in these years the abstract shapes and color combinations began to make sense…I was creating the visions in my head on various surfaces, and I knew even then that this was my direction towards expressing, it was how I saw everything. I decided to follow my artistic visions into college and major in Graphic Design. Through these courses and developmental stages, I fine tuned my imagination and began to see that these visuals could bring a new way of combining and explaining various feelings from within. I was constantly sketching, writing, and communicating, in tons of different sketchbooks. I would put one down and pick one up, but they all seemed to represent so many random thoughts and shapes and speech patterns. I guess as I look back now, it was a type of random, visual poetry. It was towards the end of my college career at Longwood, when a single drawing that I had done one evening caught my eye, it had been there for quite some time, but suddenly I saw an object. After a few changes and 44 RVA NO.09 / ART

new sketches, the object became a word, which then became a logo and there was Cilli Original Designs. At this point, I began to take this energy and run with it through different phases. I focused in on doing various designs for clothing, writing a little, and painting a bit, while giving more time to the networking of my ideas. I began looking at all the paths of interest that I might be able to embark on. It all started with a couple of t-shirt designs and then I continued with this idea as I graduated and scooted around through different cities for a couple of years taking on different design jobs and developing Cilli Original designs as a clothing line and artistic platform. The line was featured on various television shows and bands and in shops along the east coast and out west but stayed very much under the radar, always focusing more on the artistic side of the game and the word spreading by mouth. Through this period I began to understand that all of this was much more than just a clothing line, and I wanted to look at what really fueled me artistically. Through my website, a simple sticker design and the help of original individuals all over the world, it was time to make Cilli Original Designs an artistic platform for all folks to use, in any way they wanted, towards spreading some type of artistic energy. I moved to Charlottesville and in 2003 and opened “CODG” Cilli Original Designs Gallery, which housed a number of talented artists with studios, a full gallery with new shows every month, and various events for the artistic and talented community. I concentrated on bringing an urban vibe to the city and took pride in causing people to wonder what was coming next….scaring a few folks as well I guess. I began to paint like never before. I was in a space that allowed me every day to work beside amazing artists and throw paint around, along with ideas and visions that had been in my head for years. After many decisions, the clothing line had been made completely web based and more low-key than ever, only developing as it wanted to on the local scene and through the web. I knew that painting, writing, and building the culture of Cilli Original Designs was what I truly cared about and

wanted to dive into with full commitment. It was evident to me that through these mediums was how I could really get my message across. Painting and writing enabled me to dose all with an intense emotion through wordage and color, combining so many thoughts and emotions of reality and situation at the same time. I was ready to share the way I received happenings, the way I viewed situations, and what I thought they meant. Through the past couple years I had shows in galleries throughout Virginia, but now suddenly realized that I wanted to get my paintings all over the map. In June of 2004, twenty-two of my paintings were featured in a solo exhibition at the Bayly art Museum at UVA for the 30th anniversary of the museum. While continuing to direct CODG and bring more energy through Charlottesville with the gallery, I set my sights on NYC and in May of 2005 decided to close the gallery in order to concentrate on my visions of paintings that needed to get to the masses, paintings that I felt needed to begin hitting people with strong emotions and honesty. I took the website in a new direction towards promoting the culture of what I feel needs to be out there and working with other artists all over to combine these methods, spreading their words of vibe as well. I knew that this was when I must listen to my views and set the mission of building this platform to distribute as many different faces of art as possible to as many people as possible, while at the same time supporting every artist that I could through the site, whether it be through the news page or linking up with them, even a snapshot or two, constantly working together to build a stronger art culture. It was actually time to use my experiences and create from them, with complete honesty, especially in my poetry. This is when my work started becoming my life, what I see and feel every day. I began to use my surroundings in each and every way to create what I think individuals may need, long for and often hide from. I chose to represent individuals through various silhouetted figures bringing situations of reality through emotional visuals from every aspect of life…could be the bad relationship, could be a sexual fantasy coming to life….could simply be a wave goodbye. RVA NO.09 / ART 45

In October of 2005, I displayed my works in Tribeca, with urban artists from Brooklyn and NYC. The event was titled, “The Red Light District” through Sound of Art and featured a flavorful, funky evening of sexuality through various mediums and styles. King magazine out of NYC promoted the event. I have decided to base camp now in Charlottesville for the next year and dedicate this period of my artistic career to the Central Virginia area. I feel that there comes a time in life where you have to listen to your art, completely developing as it does through the motions that guide each brushstroke. It’s currently my mission as an artist to create works that in one way or another affect ones motions and thought patterns. I want to make people feel. I want people to deal with situations of past and present and be open to what my works may make them realize about themselves and others, an insight to what also may be on the way. My mission to date is sparking emotion through color, wordage and figure. I know and understand that every person has a choice in what they see in a work, I in no way want to guide that, I want to create a journey for your mind that you might just enjoy. How does this make me feel? Ask yourself. I want the viewer to look into the work, draw on the emotion or subject matter and deal with it, not just look at it but absorb it in every way. Do with it what you like, I’m just causing a reaction. Period. 46 RVA NO.09 / ART

My artistic life to this moment has handed me many interesting situations. I become more addicted in every way with each passing day to new color combinations and relationships. My work is constantly based on making connections with my surroundings and visually absorbing every point of attraction. I sketch and note vivid conversations, recording word for word what I hear in the doughnut shop line to the visitor center parking lot, a few late nightspots as well. Basically, movement and wordage can affect so much in an individual’s path if you give a small amount of attention to each and every reaction. Just watch someone for that extra couple of seconds. Listen to the tone and direction of a voice. Wonder completely what may be the focus of thought and never think you know, because you don’t. I believe that in our cycle with time there are so many amazing emotions that brush our path everyday. We must make the decision to try and comprehend each and every one in our own way through our own personal deliverances. I constantly deal with these episodes and will forever face them through my process of creating. I only hope my works will enable you to face yours as well. Get dosed at

The Just Poetry Slam

words : Brandon Martin image : R. Anthony Harris

One night of every month, in a small theater built out of an old Richmond firehouse, a group of poets comes together to recite with no rehearsals, no costumes, no instruments nor props, just poetry. The seating is limited, given the size of the Firehouse Theatre as well as the growing popularity of the monthly slam competitions. Named for the idea itself, Just Poetry is an opportunity for some of Richmond’s finest wordsmiths to share their verse for the chance at a hundred-dollar prize. Now in its third official year, the Just Poetry slam competition has evolved from sharing verse in a living room setting, to a full-scale, sponsored event, backed by the James River Writer’s Festival. On the board for JRWF is Just Poetry organizer D.L. Hopkins, whose involvement in theater and performance led to the living room that would inspire Just Poetry. Hopkins and several friends would often gather to share ideas and verse after classes and on weekends. As the circle began to expand with more poets, a few musicians and people who just wanted to listen, so too did the size and subject of the poems. Soon D.L. and his friends found themselves performing at parties and clubs around Richmond as the group Southern Revolutionary Literature Guild. “We weren’t very revolutionary, it wasn’t that serious,” says Hopkins of SRLG. “We were mostly just having a good time and looking for attention from girls, but we did perform quite a lot around campuses and clubs, [we did] a thing at Louisiana State and a lot of different spots.” Though Hopkins claims the SRLG was not actually made of revolutionaries, the group was becoming a regular act in the Bottom. “This was before Def Jam” and other slam avenues began emerging, he explains. Hopkins’ steady involvement in acting, writing, and performance poetry brought him to a symposium at University of Richmond where he met Phaedra Hise of the James River Writer’s Festival. The two began discussing possible partnerships when the idea for Just Poetry was born. After assuring Hise, who was unfamiliar with slamming, not to worry, Hopkins soon had a monthly competition up and running at Café Gutenberg. Just Poetry was held at the café for a year before it was moved to the Firehouse Theatre in 2004. Handling every aspect of the competition, such as scheduling, promoting, finding sponsorship for the prizes and the poets to receive them became what Hopkins called “a logistical nightmare.” In addition to a new location, Hopkins also joined with a new partner, Tracy Johnson, a friend of his from Jazz Actors Theatre. The team shared a similar temperament and a similar vision for Just Poetry. Johnson, who has been involved with the project for the past two years, proved to be critical in streamlining the preparation work prior to a show. Though the process has become more involved as the competition has gained notoriety, Tracy and D.L. (with the help of Yellowhouse Productions) now have the competition “running like a well-oiled machine,” says Hopkins. This year’s slams are already scheduled and the first twelve to sign up the night of the show will take the stage, with preference given to those who pre-register online at the Just Poetry web site. The poets have a strict, three-minute period to recite before a panel of five judges, typically people chosen from the crowd. The final score for a performance is anywhere RVA NO.09 / POETRY 49

from 0-30 points after the highest and lowest scores are dropped. Once the scorecards are raised, the judges must face the opinion of the audience who does not mind offering an explosion of appreciation or disapproval. The winners from each of the monthly slams will then go on to perform in the annual Just Poetry Grand Slam, which offers a 500dollar prize. The blueprint for D.L. and Tracy’s machine is what has made the Just Poetry slam competition the longest running slam in the River City. With the help of the internet, the competition has received attention from poets and audiences all over the country. The organizers’ love and respect of diversity and culture has helped them to create a competition that attracts performers and audiences of every variety. This approach has established for the event a rhythm and flow that D.L. and Tracy refuse to compromise. They have even avoided developing a team to compete in the National Slam Poetry Competition to avoid the risk of altering their event to meet the guidelines for the Nationals. Just Poetry has remained just what it is and just what the audience wants. Says Hopkins, “I like to think ours is one of the most cultured and astute audiences in Richmond and we want to keep it that way.” The remaining schedule as well as other pertinent information is available at, where poets can register to compete or post on the Just Poetry Blog.


NEW AMERICAN HOLIDAYS FOR THE 2006 CALENDAR words : M. T. Goins Jan. 14th: Kick your Boss in the Nuts Day Celebrated by the aforementioned employee-employer relation. Forceful, yet poetic alternative to Labor Day. Feb. 6th: Slap a College Student Day Let’s face it, everybody hates college students. Hell, they even hate themselves. If anybody says otherwise, they’re lying to you, so slap them too. Twice if they themselves are at a university. Mar. 27th: Shipwrecked Day Celebrated by either damaging a water-bound vessel (your choice on how: coral reef wrecks or typhoon swells are both acceptable), or by simply “getting wrecked” aboard said vessel. Any variety of intoxication is acceptable. April 2nd: Drawn and Quartered Day Limbs! Who needs them? May 13th: Big Corporation Day Nothing says America like big corporations. Celebrated by erecting golden arches in one’s front yard and respectively observing local small businesses being squashed by the unfathomable might of a million foreign child laborers in the lucrative pocket of Wal-Mart. June 22nd: Obesity Day Fat America. Thousands of pasty, beached whales plop their saturated fat into the hot sand, and watch their chubby spawn splash in the surf. South Beach and Atkins be damned! July 30th: Crime Rate Day

Celebrate the Wild West ambience of U.S. domestic violence by shooting your gat into the air or neighborhood schoolyard. Let’s hear it for population control! August 5th: Impoverished Civil Servant Day Force Teachers, Police Officers, Firemen, Transit workers, and all other civil servants to “bob for pay raises” in the town square. September 9th: Serial Killer Day Have school children study the Modus Operandi and Signature of America’s psycho- and sociopathic best. Case studies complete with crime scene photos to be handed out at the beginning of class. October 11th: Suicide Cult Day Sing protest songs for Jesus while searching the skies for messianic space aliens. Parades feature giant balloons of well-endowed megalomaniacs Jim Jones and David Koresh. Complementary Kool-Aid. ATF supplies music. November 3rd: Porn Star Day Celebrated by public viewings of Behind the Green Door, Deep Throat, and Debbie Does Dallas. Children gather en masse to pin the elephant trunk on Ron Jeremy. Peter North as Uncle Sam, Jenna Jameson as the Statue of Liberty. The “Money Shot” gets its own category at the Academy Awards and Sundance. December 23rd: Gratuitous Use of Space Day Celebrate urban sprawl by singing the strip mall anthem. Poke fun at the Japanese for their tiny apartments, extreme spatial efficiency and precedent maximum density. Taunt the homeless with full color photographs of mansions filled with unending, never-entered rooms and heaps of discarded food from the nearest KFC. December 31st: New Years Eve/Recession of Rights Day All years now end with a lament to what was lost. Formally known as Freedom of Speech Day and Privacy Rights Day, we are now thankful that our fears are quelled by the soothing comfort of the anti-depressant Police State. RVA NO.09 / OPINION 51

52 RVA NO.09 / ART

Unity in the Art Community words : Doug Utley image : Brian Nozynski Maybe it’s just human nature not to like the place where you grew up, but I couldn’t wait to esc ape the cultureless confines of my suburban hometown. Moving to Richmond was like a breath of fresh air, the grunginess of it, the old buildings, and most impor tantly the size of the ar t communit y. In Richmond, it’s hard to make it through a day without running into an ar tist. From selfproclaimed folk-ar tist s, to conceptual per formance ar tist s, the cit y is teaming with them ; they’re all over the place. So it has always confounded me that in such a small town with so many ar tist s and ar t organizations there is such a lack of unit y in the ar t communit y. I’ve hung out in all the cliques and classes of this communit y, from fanc y cocktail par ties for visiting ar tist s to grass-root s ar t shows in abandoned buildings, and it has always struck me just how alike us ar t t ypes are. It has al so of ten surprised me that ar tist s and ar t s ad voc ates tend to work so much against each other and have such a hard time combining ef for t s to fight for a common c ause. Ar t organizations tend to want to do the same things as each other rather than forming their own distinc t niches, ar t galleries are known for the same t ype of competitiveness, and all and all, there is a real lack of communic ation bet ween all of the entities

in the Richmond ar t world to combine ef for t s and make it all work together as a whole. Perhaps the reason for this lack of solidarit y in the Richmond ar t communit y is due to the strong-minded personalit y that is so charac teristic of us ar t t ypes. Ar tist s like to have things their way and aren’t exac tly known for their abilities to compromise and negotiate. This is probably why people decide to become ar tist s in the first place ; they feel the need to have complete control over something, to do something that is theirs and theirs alone. This uncompromising attitude has been known to lead to some really good ar t, but it c an al so of ten lead to some really lousy conversation. I would like to see more Richmond ar tist s and ar t organizations putting their heads together, suppor ting each other’s ef for t s, and collaborating to bring unit y to the ar t communit y here. This t ype of unit y is formed through good communic ation and negotiation, not tragic stubbornness. I think what the Richmond ar t communit y desperately needs is more strong leaders, people with solid communic ation and negotiation skill s, who know the inner workings of the ar t world and like working with ar tist s. It would al so be nice if ar tist s themselves would learn how to restrain their passionate personalities in times of impor tance, to pick their battles, and save all that strong-minded stubbornness for making ar t. Af ter all, if ar tist s and ar t s ad voc ates are unable to communic ate with each other, how c an they ever expec t for anyone el se to listen. RVA NO.09 / ART 53

USS NURSING HOME words : Clay McLeod Chapman image : Nick Martin

We started taking on water at the forward hull. The whole ship shuddered under each torpedo, tearing open the midships as if it were a tin can -- this wave of water suddenly rushing through the corridors, swatting officers right and left. Came at me so quickly, there was no time to react. Barely even had the chance to breathe, taking in as much air as my lungs would allow just as the water rolled over my head. I’d been in my bunk, trying to get some rest before dogwatch. Hadn’t closed my eyes for longer than thirty seconds before the first torpedo penetrated our ship’s superstructure, taking down her port casemates -- the whole deck collapsing onto the galley just below. Started listing to her starboard side. The rudder was wrecked, stranding us dead in the water. We were sinking fast, heading straight for the harbor’s bottom. A couple crew members tried sealing off our ward, nailing tables to the windows. People’s wheelchairs had been propped up against the barricade; this webbing of metal acting as some kind of man-made balustrade -- only I could hear the thin trickle of water spilling over their spokes, the flood finagling through every crevice it could find. Their wheels kept turning with the current, as if they were attached to an upended paddleboat, spinning listlessly through the air. The ship’s going down, I called out to Betty Pendleton, resting just next to me. She was moored to her submerged bed by nothing but her feeding tube. Her body drifted along the surface, lifting up with the rising water -- only the rubber pipe tethered to her belly keeping her from floating away. Family members had been evacuating their loved ones all week, picking up their parents and heading off to higher ground -- while the rest of 54 RVA NO.09 / FICTION

us were left behind, some sixty sailors total, all bedridden within our ship. John Hawthorne, from across the room, was still intubated to his ventilator, the machine pumping water into his lungs. His own respirator was drowning him from the inside out. June Lindstrom was using her catheter as a floatation device, keeping her head above water by clinging onto her leg-bags, like some little girl learning to swim for the very first time, wearing a pair of inflatable rubber bladders around each arm. Captain will have to counterflood the hull if she’s gonna want to even her keel, I said. Otherwise, she’ll land flat on her starboard. Well, then, Franklin sighed. Captain better act quickly. Franklin had been the nurse-on-call for three days straight now. He seized as many empty mattresses as he could, tugging a stack of them over to the nearest window. Placing a patient upon their own orthopedic life-boat, he’d push them through the port-hole -- sending them sailing into the open, one at a time, hoping they’d be retrieved by rescue workers, drifting listlessly along the water until somebody picked them up. The crew all knew an attack had been eminent. City officials were calling all week, warning us to evacuate. But, our captain refused to abandon ship, insisting that she and as many of her staff stay right where they were. Transporting these patients from one facility to another would be too traumatic, she said. We’re talking about moderate to severe Alzheimer’s patients, here. The move would be too much for them. But, a school bus could transfer residents to shelter elsewhere, her first mate, Franklin, replied. We’ll wait for a mandatory evacuation order. Until then, we hold tight. I’ve spoken with the patients’ families and they all agree with me. We’ll keep them here and wait for the hurricane to blow over. The sound of their voices was drowned out by the blitz of fifteen-inch armor-piercing shells, all fitted with fins, striking the port, the aft,

everywhere. One of the walls collapsed, sending a wave of water into the room -- swallowing up Franklin and the captain before either could escape. The surge pushed the rest of us against the far wall, the surface rising even higher, quicker than before, our heads nearing the ceiling. Eight feet within fifteen minutes and still no sign of it stopping. We need to make our way topside, I said to Frances Schumacher, doggypaddling right beside her. If we don’t swim out of here now, we’re sinking to the bottom along with the ship. Frances kept bobbing up and down, her head slipping below the surface and popping back up again. Her leg muscles had atrophied after years of bed-rest -- leaving her flailing through the water, her arms unable to keep the rest of herself afloat any longer. She went under, only to come back up again. Spat a mouthful of water right in my eye before sinking below all over again.

them panic, hearing them plead for their lives, pleading for their wives they had yet to marry, pleading for their children they had yet to father -- it struck me that I was never getting off this ship. Now the sailors are pleading for the lives they already had, pleading for their wives they already married, pleading for their children that are all grown up with children of their own. For me, I saw my wedding. I saw my two daughters. I saw the children they had with their husbands, our family branching out farther and farther. I saw my wife get sick. I saw her slip away. I saw myself sitting at home alone, the days deteriorating all around me -- until I couldn’t see myself anymore.

Hold onto my arm, I called out. But by then, Frances wasn’t coming back up for air anymore.

Now I see myself here, back on board my ship. I’ve been bedridden for decades, drifting about my bunk. I’ve been underwater all along.

The Navy had been an easy choice for me. The decision to enlist was a fiscal one that I’ve never regretted. If I committed to a two-year tour of duty directly after college, all my tuitions would be paid for by Uncle Sam. This left very little overhead for my folks to shoulder, making my undergraduate years cost Mom and Dad virtually nil to nothing. Then there was the fringe benefit of seeing the world. They’d have me stationed in Pearl Harbor, which may as well have been halfway around the globe. When you’re coming from Louisiana, the Navy may be your only shot at exploring the world outside your own backyard.

Nearly half of the rooms had been barricaded from the inside to keep the water from forcing its way in. Rescue workers pried the doors open, until the stockades of upturned furniture and gurneys gave way -- releasing a stench of flesh, revealing bodies on the floor, deposited by the waters, either face-down or on their sides. Their housedresses were still wet, the cloth clinging to their skin. One man was discovered draped over the foot of his bed, tangled in the tubes of his own oxygen tank. One woman had been bundled up along the front patio, gripping a picture of her family in her clenched fist. Her wrinkles were brimming with mud. For a brief moment, it looked as if they weren’t wrinkles at all -- but merely watermarks left behind by the receding water.

You take it, no matter where it takes you. Torpedo after torpedo, the thunderclap of their impact resonated through the hull. With the electricity out, each explosion sent a flash of light through the windows. Illuminated the entire ward. For a brief moment, I could clearly see every other sailor wrestling with the water, struggling amongst the tubes and bedpans floating along the surface. Watching 56 RVA NO.09 / FICTION

Funny to think this, but I remembered it better the second time around.

BOOK/ COMIC REVIEWS By Sean Patrick Rhorer

Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle & Sebastian Anthology Image Comics

When I first discovered a collection of short comics based on Belle & Sebastian songs was to be released, my curiosity was piqued. As a longtime fan of the band, this is one of those slightly self-indulgent extensions of fandom few bands could sustain, and luckily for me, Belle & Sebastian can. Each song selected comes to life via one

of the various artists included, with some sticking closely to literal lyrical content and others only using their song as a basis for a much more elaborate tale. Ranging over a good portion of Belle & Sebastian’s releases, as well as varying comic styles, this collection truly offers a broad spectrum of interpretations. Personally, the comics for “Me And The Major” (done in an appropriate style similar to Beetle Bailey) and “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” impressed me the most, but none of the strips were a disappointment.

gerations and plenty of too-good-to-be-true anecdotes. Set in the Brian Costello land of development Featherproof Books communities known as Florida, Costello captures growing up in When indie rock kids just such an environwrite novels, the ment outside of the results can span the norm with an almost spectrum of literaeerie accuracy (trust ture from deserving me, I grew up there of scrap paper to too). This book will listing on Myspace likely strike a chord profiles. Fortunately for Brian Costello, it’s in anyone who had a similar adolescence, more likely he’ll end be it in Florida or any up as a talking point equally as wretched for folks cruising online. His first novel, suburbanite hell. The Enchanters Vs. Sprawlburg Springs, reads more like an autobiography than a work of fiction, despite being filled with a boat-load of exag-

The Enchanters Vs. Sprawlburg Springs



words : Stryder Lee image : Jeff Smack

Newspeak Series #2: The Two Minutes Hate When rhetoric and symbolism are used to evoke fear and rage, critical thinking is interrupted and autonomy is easily compromised. In George Orwell’s novel 1984, one of the ways Big Brother encourages submission to the Party is to focus the rage of Party members through the “telescreen” with the daily ritual of “the Two Minutes Hate.” “It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Records Department, where Winston worked, they were dragging the chairs out of the cubicles and grouping them in the center of the hall, opposite the big telescreen in preparation for the Two Minutes Hate…As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed onto the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience… The program of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor …. Winston’s diaphragm was constricted. He could never see the face of Goldstein without a painful mixture of emotions….Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room….the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically….He was the commander of a vast shadowy army, an underground network of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the State…In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen….In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.” Orwell may not have seen Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, but he sure got the “grimacing, screaming lunatic” part right. But, the more important question for us is: could there be parallels in America today? Let us hope not. May we always be suspicious of the powerful, who seek to cloud our reason with the emotions of fear and rage.

RVA NO.09 / ESSAY 59

SUNDAY. MYwords FAVORITE DAY OF : Carl Conway THE WEEK. image : Vanessa Garbini

My roommate has to work a twelve to fourteen hour day today, nothing is expected of me, and I usually have a few dollars to my name on Sunday. I don’t know how that works, it just is, and I’m not going to question it anytime soon. Would you question money? I decided that in light of the fact that it was Sunday, I was going to partake in brunch instead of getting up early enough for any kind of breakfast buffet. I slept through traditional breakfast time (which, by my watch, is somewhere around 11 a.m.) and headed out of my apartment somewhere around 1 p.m. instead. Walking around the apartment in nothing but a bathrobe and shorts, I was trying to decide where my stomach was pulling me to today, when I spotted a packet of fast food coupons on the table. Most of the coupons were of the “buy one, get one free” variety, which appealed to me, mostly due to the fact that while I did have money, it wasn’t much. The coupons also promised me that I could get my sandwich “my way,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, but I was already sold. I pulled on my cleanest dirty shirt and the first pair of pants that I happened to grab and was on my way across town to get my food, my way. The woman at the cash register gave me a gap-toothed smile and welcomed me to the place as soon as I walked in. I whipped out my coupons, and started counting out quarters and dimes. She seemed to understand. After paying for my order, she handed me a receipt with “73” printed on it, and told me to wait at the end of the counter. She gave me another smile, but the nasal Northeastern accent held a trace of sarcasm when she wished me a nice day. As I stood there waiting for my food, I wondered how quickly her hair would go up in flames, if I held my cigarette lighter to that badly cut blonde mullet she was concealing underneath the baseball cap on her head. Several moments later, my 60 RVA NO.09 / FICTION

food was plunked down in front of me without much ado, so I took a seat and tucked into my meal. I hadn’t been paying much attention to what was going on around me, in all honesty, or else I would’ve noticed an older couple walk through the swinging glass doors. When I looked up, they were both standing at the counter, looking up at the numbered menu to decide what combo meal they wanted to buy. Blonde Mullet was tapping her fingers impatiently, waiting for them to make up their minds. Taking one look at the couple, I assumed they weren’t from around here. They possessed the dignity and stature of old Eastern Europe, closer to Russia. They were nicely tailored. (People aren’t tailored anymore. They’re dressed. The couple I saw today? They were tailored. ) In thick winter coats and wool hats, they stood and seriously deliberated what they would buy, as the line grew longer behind them, and Mullet’s fingertappings grew louder and more arrhythmic. Finally, the old man walked away from the counter, and found a seat not too far from mine, leaving his wife at the counter, apparently ready to order. The minute the woman opened her mouth to place her order, I knew there would be trouble. I recognized the thick accent, and actually understood the Czech mutterings of the old woman to herself, or at least some of the words, mostly epitaphs at being hurried by Mullet’s demeanor. I gave a low chuckle, knowing that she was saying what she was saying, because she thought no one would understand her. In her native land, she would have never said anything like that, at least not in public. My Grandma only spoke those words in utter frustration, usually when Grandpa had done something that particularly irked her. Mullet, however, did not have Czech grandparents, and had a difficult time understanding her. “Si Habla Espanol?” I never thought that the Northeastern accent could carry into Spanish, but somehow it just did, down to the painfully forced Redneck accent she was trying so desperately to pass off as her being legitimately


southern. The old woman looked at the cashier puzzled, and continued to attempt to order food. Meanwhile, the line behind her got longer, and the manager ran to the counter and opened another register. People started passing the old woman like cars pass one another on the freeway. One teenager even clipped the old woman with his shoulder, which caused the old man to stand up and give a look of pure murder to the damn kid, who was oblivious to it while insisting that he get no mayo on his burger. After three or four people passed the old woman, the old man went up to try to help her with her English a little bit. Mullet, however, was making no progress. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even see her fingers on the order screen after awhile. After two or three minutes, the old woman bowed her head, and the old man leaned in close, trying to help. No more than thirty seconds had gone by with the old man leaning in when a young blonde girl ran into the restaurant. She was apparently standing out by the doors, watching the whole thing. Again, admittedly, my eyes slid right over her, due to the fact she was dressed like every other young blonde girl in the whole damn city. Low riding, hip hugger jeans, tight velvet belly shirt, tan midriff, rock star sunglasses worn on top of her head, cell phone clutched firmly in hand. She ran in, spoke some rapid-fire Czech to the old couple, and walked them to their seat. She then stood in line, and in flawless albeit accented English, she placed the order. Blonde mullet looked annoyed, but relieved that her exercise in language barriers in the public sector had drawn to a close. The old couple and the girl sat down and started in on their meal. As I was throwing out my paper tray liner and cup, I heard her say Mom several times. (It sounds the same in any language). When I looked over my shoulder, Mom was dabbing her eyes, and buried her head into her daughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoulder. Dad sat straight as a statue, looking defiant and proud, having defeated the tyrant Burger King with some help from his girl. I went through the double glass doors and walked to my car, seeing Blonde Mullet out of the corner of my eye, smoking a cigarette. She tilted her head up, causing the smoke blowing from between her lips to rise up in a stream, until it swirled at the top, only to scatter away in the wind.


words : Peter Szijarto Richmond MMA images : R. Anthony Harris & Ian Graham

It’s a Saturday night. You’ve had a couple of drinks at a party, you’re about to walk out the door, but you bump into some guy. Intoxicated to the fullest degree, nothing will sway him from complete and utter rage. His thoughts of, “How many objects can I ram into that idiot’s head?” swirl through his mind, while an array of red colors his face. The room has started to part like Moses walked through in preparation for a blood fest. The longer you stammer out an explanation the longer Brutus has to turn into the Hulk. Spontaneity is a key word at this point. Exactly what moment will Brutus attack? No time to think. Just react. This is a most unfortunate situation. His flurry of windmill punches seem inevitable and inescapable and without proper technique, most conceivably you will: A. Retaliate with the same useless windmill attacks or “haymakers” B. Get knocked out C. Fall and cover yourself in a futile attempt to prevent harm yet still get knocked out from kicks to the head D. Knock Brutus out with a lucky shot E. Not fight because it’s broken up immediately or F. Run away Naturally, since the best choice, a non-violent verbal action, isn’t attainable at this point, you’d have to choose one from the list. In retrospect, none of the aforementioned choices are particularly viable. Depending upon the training one could attain though, the list might have this as an update: G. Defend his attacks while subduing Brutus quickly and effectively through stand-up and ground based techniques. Option G is a learned skill, however. Self-defense techniques spark the majority of interest in classes at various schools of learning such as our very own downtown Richmond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense

Academy, the sole option for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in the area. Most people, as Eric Burdo, head instructor of Jiu-Jitsu at the academy says, “are looking for more confidence in themselves and to be able to walk down the street and not worry about an assailant, not to mention feeling better physically and emotionally from the exercise and friendships they make while training. From wives, to ex-marines, to police officers, tons of people come looking to better themselves through our Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing classes.” Defending yourself against a guy like Brutus is fine and all, but a lot of hype stems from events like the Ultimate Fighting or Pride Fighting Championships. Both are mixed martial arts organizations better known as MMAs. If a 200-pound man were to fight a 180-pound man who is three inches shorter, the consensus would be that the larger man would win. In the world of MMA though, larger isn’t necessarily better. Most MMA fights consist of a striking portion of kicks, knees, and punches in a stand up position that generally leads to an upright clinch resulting in a takedown. Grappling techniques are the law after this takedown. This is important to remember as ninety percent of all street fights will end up on the ground. In fact, the philosophy behind Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is based on this fact. Not surprisingly, a vast majority of MMA fighters have backgrounds in Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing. The combination of the effective techniques of BJJ and the national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai, are a tough combination to beat in and out of the ring. Many people can say they have taken Karate or Kung-Fu, but only a few of those individuals know their discipline’s kata (a set combination of positions and movements performed as an exercise) will work in a real life situation. This is the major advantage BJJ and Muay Thai have. “We don’t do kata at my Academy. We train the techniques, and then it’s up to you to test them for yourself in sparring sessions,” says Burdo. You train for a few days on and off then take a rest, gradually building endurance and experience. The key to BJJ is not strength but skill. Burdo, a small guy no bigger than 5’9” and 145 pounds, has surprised numerous larger individuals. In fact, that’s what hooked him. Watching Royce Gracie, member of the family that started BJJ, beat much larger opponents. “I RVA NO.09 / LOCALS 65

couldn’t believe that this small, skinny Brazilian guy was just destroying all of these big, tough Black Belts from other martial arts. Every time the fight would start, the Karate guys, the Kung Fu guys, the Boxers, they’d all try to knock him out with punches and kicks. Royce would just clinch with them (get inside the punches and hug his opponents), take them down, tie them up, and make them all tap out with punches and submission holds. It was really eye-opening for me.” The Ultimate Fighting and Pride Fighting Championships may be huge international events, but there are many in Richmond itself. One of Richmond’s most notable is the Combat Sports Challenge. It provides Thai Boxing, MMA freestyle, and grappling bouts. There are also smaller shows that feature these in amateur form. Richmond is host to a wide variety of disciplines as well. From Aikido, to Wushu, and Kung Fu, classes are more available than you may think. At the Richmond BJJ and Self Defense Academy, classes in BJJ and Muay Thai are held Monday through Saturday with Vale Tudo being taught on Sundays to upper belts. With the number of violent crimes rising in our fair city, it’s growing increasingly important to have the ability to defend oneself. Fear, however, (with exceptions), should not be the motivating factor for martial arts training. Likewise, as entertaining as a MMA fight may be to watch, experiencing one yourself is a whole other ballpark. If you are interested in learning tried and true self-defense techniques or to fully realize your MMA dreams and rid Brutus from your life, you must train. If you live in the VCU/downtown area and are interested in pursuing training, contact the Richmond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense Academy at 804-249-6509 or visit the website at www.RichmondBJJ. com.

66 RVA NO.09 / LOCAL

The Way Our Generation Sees Movies - Part One: Woody and Me words : Teddy Blanks image : David Bartlett

I saw Woody Allen’s new movie the day it opened in New York last December. Despite its audience, who laughed at all the esoteric literary references to make sure the rest of us knew they caught them, I loved Match Point. It was a precise romance-thriller with Allen’s signature smaller than usual, but nonetheless intact. Why, then, did I choose not to write a review of it for this publication? The truth is that I tried to: “It’s difficult for me to be objective here, because Woody Allen is my favorite director. It must be a film critic’s sin to admit such a strong bias, but when those white-on-black title cards appear with some scratchy old New Orleans jazz, or in this case opera, playing, my limbs tingle.” That’s as far as I got. I was ready to assign four-and-a-half out of five stars to the picture, knocking out the last half-star only because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Sitting down to write about Match Point sent me into a minor panic: I began to doubt any aesthetic philosophy I’d developed during my (admittedly brief) stint as a published film critic. I had prided myself on my contempt for sentimentality, my ability to detect if a movie lacked originality, or if a director repeated himself too often. I knew that on many levels most movies anymore just didn’t work, but that that didn’t mean they were all bad. I considered myself astute at detecting the small things that made a movie enjoyable—an outstanding supporting role, a particularly arresting moment or sequence—while still being able to convey the flaws that ultimately brought it down. I became confused when I couldn’t bring myself to analyze the thing, to make even a slight dent in what was to be at most a 300-word review. I picked up a copy of the Village Voice and read Michael Atkinson’s pan of the picture (he calls it a “mildly pretentious mediocrity” ) and felt as if someone had punched one of my best friends in the gut. What was wrong with me? Match Point was well received by most critics, with dissenters calling it a souped-up Crimes and Misdemeanors. Normally I’d take all this in stride, sort out others’ opinions of the movie in my head, and try to get a fresh outlook on things. In this case, I stared at my laptop

blankly and felt ashamedly like an overzealous fanboy. I first became aware of Woody Allen five years ago, when I was a senior in high school. I had heard his name before, and knew stories about his famous split with Mia Farrow and subsequent marriage to her adopted daughter Soon-Yi, but I hadn’t seen any of his movies. I went with a friend to see The Curse of the Jade Scorpion because it was the most interesting-looking thing at the local multiplex, and I was floored by Allen’s physical presence, the hilarity of his neurosis, and just how great the movie looked. I needed more. For the next few days, my friend and I combed the aisles of Blockbuster grabbing whatever we could find. We curled up with box wine and devoured Annie Hall, Love and Death, Sleeper, and Small Time Crooks with the same fervor. Last summer I committed myself and my Netflix account to seeing everything Allen had made. I loved the recognized classics, like Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters, but I also liked his films that many consider self-serving or derivative, like Shadows and Fog and September. A frequent complaint about Allen’s movies is that he keeps making the same one over and over, but that’s sort of what I liked about them. They are instantly recognizable as his own, no matter how much he’s aping Bergman or Fellini. And I reveled in watching rich New Yorkers in beautiful interiors having affairs and contemplating divorce, even if there was nothing in it I could relate to. It was only in my attempt to review Allen’s new film, which, in his defense, is about rich Londoners in beautiful interiors having affairs and contemplating divorce, that I realized that the way I had experienced his body of work was in direct contrast to the way I experience new movies. There are plenty of directors I’m fond of that have come of age in my lifetime—Wes Anderson, M. Night Syamalan, Richard Linklater—but I’m quite aware that some of their films are no good, and I know which ones. With Woody, I think of the artist as more important than any of his individual films, i.e. Woody is a good director, therefore he makes only good movies. This way of looking at things falls in line with Truffaut’s auteur theory. The problem is I don’t buy into the auteur theory: I think RVA NO.09 / FILM 69

it’s an insult to a great director to hold his bad movies in the same regard as his good ones. So why do I insult Woody Allen? When I look further, it seems that this disconnect is not specific to my experience with Allen’s films; I have a hard time being critical with many older films. Of course, I can identify which ones I like and which I don’t, but not with the same conviction and reasoning with which I can rate new ones. To see and not fully understand is frustrating for one that is used to the ability to size up a work quickly and easily; when I read movie reviews after having gone to a theater, it is rare that I come across an insight that hadn’t somewhat occurred to me, but when I visit critical debate for a picture made before my time, I am constantly surprised by what I read. Film is a young medium, and the promise of feature length narrative film as art is even younger. Most older critics working today have a good understanding of the entirety of film history because they have lived through a sizable chunk of it. On the other hand, my generation was born in the 1980s, a time when movies had already begun to be influenced more by television than by literature. The only significant film movement of my life has been the rise of American independent film and the Sundance Festival, which has been since bastardized, and which I was only slightly awake for in the first place. 70 RVA NO.09 / FILM

Soon, critics that got their start in the 1960s an 70s will die out, and a new generation of cinemaphiles will take their place. We need a context to place canonized films of the past in, a way to view them critically under a new lens—the lens of our age. What is it about today’s movies that makes seeing old ones for what they are so difficult? Why can I only view Match Point in relation to Woody Allen’s filmography, which I experienced retroactively, but not also in relation to the rest of what’s playing now? It is because Woody is a director from the past, his back catalog available in Special Editions on DVD. If he had started making movies in 1997, I could tell you which ones just didn’t work. Our generation’s movie-watching lens is smaller than older lenses, but it is also tinted differently. As movie-watchers and movie-critics and movie-thinkers we must use this tint to our advantage. I’ve only just become aware of my lens, and at first it seemed a handicap, but I’m beginning to learn that its color can make my thinking stronger. Being aware of the way our generation sees movies will help me to see them more clearly, and when I sit down to write a review of Woody Allen’s next movie, hopefully I’ll know how.

Part Two.....of this ongoing essay will be published in the next issue of RVA .


HOSTEL Director Eli Roth Actors Jay Hernandez Derek Richardson

Director Susan Stroman Actors Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell THE PRODUCERS JJH The movie version of The Producers , which itself was the Broadway musical version of the original Mel Brooks film, is most in its element during the musical numbers. This makes sense, because it was directed by Susan Stroman, who up until now has worked mostly as a Broadway choreographer. It’s easy to see why this was such a hit on Broadway: it has a comic irreverence that is rare in theatre, and Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane look like they probably had a great time on stage together. None of this means that it works as a movie.

Wonka was a ridiculous reinvention; Matthew Broderick’s Leo Bloom is overacted imitation. Still Will Ferrell is perfect as Franz Liebkind, the Nazi playwright of “Springtime for Hitler,” and the songs in The Producers are surprisingly enjoyable. I just wish they’d gotten the 1968 cast to perform them. HOSTEL J

Live it. Be it. See it. Interesting. Blah. Garbage!

Hostel is even worse. One might confuse its setup with Eurotrip, as a group of deplorable college students tour Europe in search of the hottest chicks. Eli Roth is a filmmaker that despises the most rudimentary elements of narrative film, characters and story, but understands that he must include those things in his picture in order for it to make any money.

What Roth really wants is to get to the torture. His characters end up in a warehouse in Slovakia, where Tarantino says Eli Roth is the future of horror rich businessmen pay to torture and kill tourists that movies, but Tarantino says a lot of things, the locals drag in. After a certain point, the movie is a and for all of his talent, Tarantino is sort of a series of tasteless violent acts, lacking any suspense jerkoff. that might make them scary, and too explicit and monotonous to be funny. Roth may have a tone and style I saw Roth’s first movie, Cabin Fever, before that sets him apart from many of his horror-director he had any stamps of approval from any peers, but that doesn’t mean that his movies are my legitimate directors, so I didn’t think of it as a idea of a good time. Sorry, Quentin. legitimate movie. It was a dumb teen horror flick, but I admit I laughed at the party-obsessed cop and the guy who said he was hunting raccoons “because they’re gay.”

Seeing Broderick and Lane act together is often embarrassing: they are overconfident, every punchline is overdone. They stand around mopping up applause and praise from an audience that isn’t there. Their work is that of two actors that have read their reviews, and believed them. The Producers is also the second movie in 2005 to destroy a Other than that its ‘flesh-eating disease ruins classic Gene Wilder role. Johnny Depp’s Willy camping trip’ plot seemed rather run-of-themill.

words : Teddy Blanks










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Ellwood Thompson, World Cup, All Star Market, Tower Records, Katra Gala, Panda Veg, Chop Suey Books, Plan 9 Music, Black Swan Books, Cafe Gutenberg, Plant Zero Cafe, Harrison Street Coffee, Kulture Clothing, Velocity Comics, Blue Mtn Coffee, Patterson Express, World of Mirth, Nonesuch, Video Fan, & Turnstyle.





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BURGERS / DELI Carytown Burgers & Fries 3500 1/2 W. Cary St. 358-5225 Coppola’a Deli 2900 W. Cary St. 359-NYNY

COFFEE DoSE Café 522 North 2nd Street 343.3320 Lift 218 West Broad Street 938.3419

BOOKS Black Swan 2601 W. Main St.353-9476

COFFEE Blue Mountain Cafe 3433 W. Cary St. 355-8002 GROCERY Ellwood Thompson 4 N. Thompson St. 359-7525 PIZZA Mary Angela’s 3345 W. Cary St. 353-2333 RESTAURANTS / BARS Babe’s 3166 W. Cary St. 355-9330 Chopstix 3129 W. Cary St. 358-7027 Double T’s Real BBQ 2907 W. Cary St. 353-4304 Eatery 3000 W Cary St. 353-6171 Farouks’s House of India 3033 W. Cary St. 355-0378 Nacho Mama’s 3449 W Cary St. 358-6262 RETAIL Need Supply 3010 W Cary St. 355-5880 Plan 9 Music 3012 W. Cary St. 353-8462 World Of Mirth 3005 West Cary St. 353.899

GALLERIES 1708 Gallery 319 West Broad Street 643.1708 312 Gallery 312 North Brook Road 339.2535 Artists Downtown Access 228 W. Broad St. 644-0100 art6 Gallery 6 East Broad Street 343.1406 Curated Culture 23 W. Broad Street 304-1554 Elegba Folklore Society 101 East Broad Street 644.3900 For Instance Gallery 107 East Cary Street 574.4111 Gallery5 200 W. Marshall St.644.0005 Henry Street Gallery 422 West Broad Street 247.1491 Oro 212 West Broad St 344-9847 Quirk 311 W. Broad St. 644-5450 Richmond Camera 213 West Broad St 648-0515 Studio/Gallery 6 6 East Broad St. 207-4677 Visual Art Studio 208 West Broad St644-1368 RESTAURANTS / BARS Capital Ale House 623 E. Main St. 643-2537 Comfort 200 W. Broad St. 780-0004 Tropical Soul Sea & Soul Food 314 N 2nd St. 771-1605 RETAIL Turnstyle 102 W. Broad St. 643-8876 VENUE Mr. Bojangles 550 E. Marshall St. 344-2901

CONVENIENCE Patterson Express 3100 Patterson Ave. 355-8510 MOVIE RENTALS Video Fan 403 Strawberry St. 358.7891 RESTAURANTS / BARS 3 Monkeys 2525 W. Main St.204-2525 Avalon 2619 W. Main St. 353-9709 Banditos 2905 Patterson Ave. 354-9999 Bogart’s 203 N. Lombardy St. 353-9280 Border Chophouse 1501 W. Main St.355-2907 Buddy’s Place 12 N. Robinson St. 355-3701 Cafe Diem 600 N. Sheppard St. 353-2500 Caliente’ 2922 Park Ave. 340-2920 Taphouse & Grill 111 N. Robinson St. 359-6544 Corner Cafe 800 N. Cleveland 355-1954 Curbside Cafe 2525 Hanover Ave. 355-7008 Davis & Main 2501 W. Main St. 353-6641 Emilio’s Tapas Bar 1847 W. Broad St. 359-1224 Joe’s Inn 205 N. Shields Ave. 355-2282 Metro Grill 301 N. Robinson St. 353-4453 Robin Inn 2601 Park Ave. 353-0298 Strawberry St. Cafe 421 Strawberry St. 353-6860 Star Lite 2600 W. Main St. 254-2667 Sticky Rice 2232 W. Main St. 358-7870 Sidewalk Cafe 2101 W. Main St. 358-0645 RVA NO.09 / QUICK GUIDE 73

The FAN cont...



PIZZA Chanello’s Pizza 2803 W. Broad St. 358-3800

COFFEE SHOPS Cafe Gutenberg 1700 E. Main St.497-5000 Ethos Cafe 17.5 N. 17th St. 513-6700 Jumpin J’s Java 2306 Jefferson Ave. 344-3500

BOOKS Chop Suey 1317 W. Cary St. 497-4705 Velocity Comics 818 W. Grace St. 725-6300

RETAIL Katra Gala 2225 W. Main St. 359-6996

MANCHESTER RESTAURANTS / BARS Legend Brewing Company 321 W. 7th St. 232-8871 MANCHESTER ARTS DISTRICT Artspace 0 East 4th Street 232-6464 Artworks 320 Hull St. 291-1400 Plant Zero Cafe 0 East 4th Street 726-4442

OREGON HILL RESTAURANTS / BARS Hollywood Grill 626 China St. 819-1988 Mamma’zu 501 S. pine St. 788-4205 TATTOO Salvation Tattoo 324 Pine St. 643-3779

CHURCH HILL RESTAURANTS / BARS Accapella’s 2302 E. Broad St. 377-1963 Poe’s Pub 2706 E. Main St. 648-2120 GALLERIES Eric Schindler Gallery 2305 E. Broad St. 644-5005


RESTAURANTS / BARS Mars Bar 115 N 18th St. 644-6277 McCormack’s Irish Pub 12 N. 18th St. 648-1003 Tiki Bob’s 110 N 18th Street 644-9091 Wonderland 1727 E Main St. 643-9233 PIZZA Bottom’s Up Pizza 1700 Dock St. 644-4400 RETAIL Kulture Clothing N.18th St. 644-5044 VENUE Alley Katz 10 Walnut Alley 643-2816 Canal Club 1545 E. Cary St. 643-2582 C3 1801 East Cary Street 804.474.3639

SHOCKOE SLIP COFFEE Shockoe Expresso & Roastery 104 Shockoe Slip 648-3734 RESTAURANTS / BARS Fusion 109 S. 12th St. 249-2338 Lucky Lounge 1421 E. Cary St 648-5100 Richbrau Brewing Company 1214 E. Cary St. 644-3018

COFFEE SHOPS Harrison Street 402 N. Harrison St. 359-8060 World Cup Coffee 26 N. Morris St. 359-5282 PIZZA Papa John’s 1200 W. MAin St. 354-6262 Little Caesars 920 W. Grace St. 358-4116 RADIO WRIR 97.3 FM 1045 W. Broad St. 864-9450 RESTAURANTS / BARS Assantes 1845 W. Broad St. 353-7300 Edo’s Squid 411 N. Harrison 864-5488 Empire 727 W. Broad St. 344-3323 Ipanema Cafe 917 W Grace St. 213-0170 Mojo’s 733 W. Cary St. 644-6676 Panda Veg 948 W. Grace St. 359-6688 Roxy Cafe 1104 W. Main St. 342-7699 Taqueria Loco 818 W Broad St. 648-5626 The Village 1001 W. Grace St. 353-8204 RETAIL Nonesuch 918 W. Grace St. 918-4069 VENUE Hyperlink Café 814 W. Grace St. 254-1942 Nanci Raygun 929 W. Grace St.353-4263

3am-6am The All Nighter w/ Andy Jones

Richmond Independent Radio WRIR

97.3 FM Schedule

Monday 6am-8am Breakfast Blend WRIR’s Multicultural Music 8am-9am Democracy Now! 9am-10am News and Notes w/Ed Gordon 10am-11am Le Show w/Harry Shearer 11am-12pm Power Point 12-12:30pm Homespun C-SPAN 12:30-1pm Defenders LIVE w/Ana Edwards & Phil Wilayto 76 RVA NO.09 / QUICK GUIDE

1pm-2pm The Mimi Geerges Show 2pm-4pm Talk of the Nation 4pm-4:30pm Voices Of Our World 4:30-5pm Free Speech News 5pm-7pm Lost Music Saloon Americana /alt-country 7pm-9pm Blue Monday w/River City Blues Society 9pm-11pm Louisiana Dance Hall /cajun/creole/zydeco 11pm-1am Great American Music Hour 1am-3am Music Memories

Tuesday 6am-8am Breakfast Blend WRIR’s Multicultural Music 8am-9am Democracy Now 9am-10am News and Notes w/Ed Gordon 10am-11am Justice Talking 11am-12pm Thomas Jefferson Hour w/Clay Jenkinson & William Chrystal 12pm-12:30pm Weekly Sedition 12:30pm-1pm Richmond Indymedia News w/ Jason Guard 1pm-2pm Radio Nation w/ Marc Cooper 2pm-4pm Talk of the Nation 4pm-4:30 Counterspin 4:30pm-5pm Free Speech Radio News 5pm-7pm Wide Ear Folk w/Eric Walters 7pm-9pm The Edge Of Americana w/Josh Bearman 9pm-11pm Mercury Falls/eclectic rock 11pm-1am Broadcastatic Audio Collage 1am-3am Wrapped In Plastic 3am-6am The All Nighter w/ Michael Harl Wednesday 6am-8am Breakfast Blend WRIR’s Multicultural Music 8am-9am Democracy Now 9am-10am News & Notes w/Ed Gordon 10am-11am Smart City w/ Carol Coletta 11am-12pm Living On Earth w/ Steve Curwood 12pm-12:30pm Brown Bag Lunch Special 12:30pm-1pm Enlace Informativo

1pm-2pm New Dimensions: Uncommon Wisdom for Unconventional Times 2pm-4pm Talk of the Nation 4pm-4:30 pm T.U.C. w/Maria Gilardin 4:30-5pm Free Speech Radio News 5pm-7pm Activate! Artists in Richmond 7pm-9pm The Modern Beat w/ Christian Hendrickson 9pm-11pm Radiomorphism w/DJ Morphism /industrial 11pm-1am 804noise Presents: Noise Solution 1am-3am Late Night Flight /eclectic rock 3am-6am The All Nighter w/Jeff Sadler Thursday 6am-8am Breakfast Blend WRIR’s Multicultural Music 8am-9am Democracy Now 9am-10am News and Notes w/Ed Gordon 10am-11am The Parent’s Journal w/ Bobbie Conner 11am-11:30am Wings: Women’s Independent News 11:30am-12pm 51% w/ Dr. Kammer Neff & Mary Darcy 12pm-12:30pm Richmond Education Today 12:30pm-1pm Inspiration Corne 1pm-2pm Prime Time Radio 2pm-4pm Talk of the Nation 4-4:30pm This Way Out 4:30-5pm Free Speech Radio News 5pm-7pm Future Perfect w/The TinyDj /new rock 7pm-9pm The Secret Stash w/Stuart Martin /indie rock 9pm-11pm Funwrecker Ball w/DJ Esskay

/rock/punk/ reggae 11pm-1am Zendo Soundsystem w/DJ Nomadic/dub 1am-3am Crypt Shift w/Kiki /twang trash rock n’ roll 3am-6am The All Nighter w/Josh Sturgill

Native American music 9am-11am The British Breakfast w/Jesse Reilly & Gene Pembleton 11am-1pm Shake Some Action/classic rock 1pm-3pm New Music Machine/Indie rock 3pm-5pm Songs from the Big Hair 80’s/rock 5pm-7pm Locals Only w/Scott Burger Friday 7pm-9pm Mutiny w/JTF /electronic dance 6am-8am Breakfast Blend WRIR’s 9pm-11pm DJ Spotlight/electronic dance Multicultural Music 11pm-1am Frequency w/ Jesse Split & 8am-9am Democracy Now JoAnna O/Techno, House, & 9am-10am News and Notes w/Ed Gordon Breakbeat 10am-11am The Book Guys 1am-3am Resolution/Electronic Dance 11am-12pm Selected Shorts: Short Stories 3am-6am The All-Nighter w/ Josh Sturgill Read by Great Actors 12pm-12:30pm Wordy Birds Sunday w/Liz Skrobiszewski-Humes 6am-7am Tones of Gospel 12:30pm-1pm Open Ear & Mind 7am-9am El Che Y La Rubia 1pm-2pm Calling All Pets w/tango/folkloric/rock en espanol 2pm-4pm Talk of the Nation’s Science Friday 9am-11am Karibbean Prayze 4-4:30pm Richmond Indie Radio News w/Lauren Ball 11am-1pm All Jazz with Giz Bowe 4:30-5pm Free Speech News 1pm-3pm Mellow Madness 5pm-7pm Global World A Go-Go 3pm-5pm The Other Black Music You Don’t w/Bill Lupoletti Get To Hear On Richmond Radio 7pm-9pm Beep Ahh Fresh Hip-Hop w/Charles Williams/alternating w/Chuck B & Hoodrich w/Ambiance Congo w/David 9pm-11pm Vinyl Cartel Noyes/r&b/ funk/african w/Logan & Krames/hip hop 5pm-7pm The Motherland Influence w/ 11pm-1am St. John the Pabstist Charles Williams & David Noyes/ w/J. Swart & B. Porter/loud rock african/caribbean/latin 1am-3am Screams from the Gutter 7pm-9pm If Music Could Talk w/DJ Carlito w/ Michelle & Justin/punk/metal world/freeform 3am-6am The All Nighter w/DJ Moth 9pm-11pm The Ming From Mongo Show 11pm-1am HOWL!! Saturday 1am-3am A Party of One 6am-9am Inter Tribal (Tall Feathers) 3am-6am The All-Nighter w/Dustin RVA NO.09 / WRIR 97.3 77

The Last Word This was sent in by Paul Lazio and is a posting from the popular website Send your submissions to for what you think should be the last word.

78 RVA NO.09 / SEE YOU.

RVA NO.8 / WRIR 97.3 80

This is a paid advertisement for the VCU Strut Fashion Show on March 31st.

This is a paid advertisement for the VCU Strut Fashion Show on March 31st.

This is a paid advertisement for the VCU Strut Fashion Show on March 31st.

This is a paid advertisement for the VCU Strut Fashion Show on March 31st.

RVA Volume 1 Issue 9 | Strength In Numbers  

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

RVA Volume 1 Issue 9 | Strength In Numbers  

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