Ony's Bands - Tyler Digital - Appearing Thursday Night at the Jasper Release Party

JasperProjectLogo Columbia may not be the epicenter of the electronic music scene, but there are artists who are trying to broaden our scene with more of it. These artists are usually either on mixed bills or performing at house shows, but there is more going on in this sector of our music scene than some may realize. A few of these acts will be performing at Jasper’s fall 2016 release party at Art Bar on September 29, including Tyler Digital.

Tyler Digital is the electronic project of local musician, Tyler Matthews. Matthews has been producing seriously for about three years, and makes dance pop fit for house parties and DJ sets. His influences range from Hans Zimmer to Led Zeppelin, and he hopes to one day be a soundtrack producer as influential as the likes of Zimmer. I asked Matthews more about his music and the local electronic scene in the following interview.

tyler-digital

Matthews will be performing a DJ set as Tyler Digital at the Jasper release along with Autocorrect, The Moon Moths, and King Vulture.

Can you describe what your music is like? On some days it's energized left-field dance pop — and on another day it's an emotional hybrid of synth-wave and symphonic house. I try to not sound like anyone else, but that doesn't make life easy for writers.

What is your songwriting process like? I like to make a good synth sound, then make a 1-2 bar chord progression, put together a beat and then make a bass that goes well with both. After that I like to chop up some vocals turn that into a lead instrument. Everything else just builds around those components.

What bands/DJs/acts do you typically play with? Is it usually a mixed bill/house show sort of situation or would you say there is an active scene? And if not, do you wish there was one/think it's possible that it will emerge? Long answer: Mixed bill/House Shows - Yes. Mason Youngblood runs Moas Collective; he's done a great job of getting electronic producers together. But he moved to Brooklyn for his PhD and then several of our friends spread out to Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, New York, Puerto Rico, etc in just the last year. But we still talk music often and collab because internet life. Right now I do shows with Anissa Armaly (Dulce De— DJ and producer) and also Wright Clarkson (OS3) who is a baller. I also do shows with Contour and some other producer friends from the Charleston scene. Ahomari (Cyberbae) plus the Tri City Rec crowd is making amazing music right now. So there's definitely talent in SC, but quite the limited audience; I think any musician here would admit that. Regarding the scene now, we blend in with the bands in Scenario Collective and they have events all the time. I'm confident we could expand the live scene in 5 Points, Main Street, and the Vista if any owners were looking for that. Ideally I'd love to have a space in Cola similar to Common Market in Charlotte - the crowd and atmosphere there is amazing and one we need in Columbia. Or maybe I should just ask the Whig for a residency.

Do you have any other shows or releases coming up? I'm doing a DJ Set for WUSC on October 27th. And once a month there's usually some house show or dance party that I'll get asked to do. From a creation standpoint, I'm writing a soundtrack for a short film which I plan to make myself. And then I'm producing a rap EP for a couple of talented bosses. They are Columbia's next hope.

What is your philosophy as a musician, if you have one? The best music you will make are the songs that happen naturally, fluidly, and quickly. Translated to philosophy: just keep making music - you will surprise yourself. You can't do anything wrong when making music anyway.

 

Ony's Bands - Autocorrect & the Jasper Release Concert Thursday Night at Art Bar

  Autocorrect describes themselves as a “post-human experimental rap choir,” blending performance art, hip hop, and internet content. From their name alone, one gets the impression that they are calling attention to the ways in which technology affects how we communicate. Their songs address this issue in varying ways. The group consists of Cecil Decker (rapping, drums, sampling, programming), Chris Johnson (vocals, synths, guitars), and Moses Andrews III (bass, vocals, synths).

 

Decker explains that their main goal is to “explore the way modern communication and technology fractures identity.” He says, “There’s an interesting duality with social media, where it can unite and divide people.” Autocorrect explores this divide and how it affects the individual. They’ll be performing at Jasper’s Fall 2016 release on September 29 at Art Bar, with other performances by The Moon Moths, King Vulture, and a DJ set by Tyler Digital.

autocorrect

 

Can you tell me a little bit about your band and how/when you formed?

Autocorrect, neé Salvo, spawned in 2014 from colliding noise/rap/ambient projects between Cecil, Chris, and Sean. They trapped Cecil’s then-roommate Moses—the funkiest person alive—in a dank meme ritual. Initially a recording project, Cecil’s propensity for performance art combined with the rest of the group’s classical music training turned the one-off idea into an exhilarating live band.

Can you describe what your music is like? 

We are a post-human experimental rap choir. Student loans, minimum wage, tweetbots, and crippling depression. There has never been a better time.

 

What are some of your previous releases? Are they available online?

Our newest album, as it is, will make you cry into your drink while you bust a move on the dance floor. All of our records/EPs/etc are available at http://autocorrectsound.bandcamp.com.

 

What is your songwriting process like?

We assemble in the smallest room possible, gathering our chaos magick underneath an extensive and relentless pile of electronics. We stare at each other in silence until someone has an idea. Then, we spend the next 6 hours making a song.

 

Who/what are some of your musical influences?

El-P, John Cage, Pino Palladino, Koji Kondo.

 

What are your goals for the band/its future?

Our imperative is to always make art that challenges us and the audience. Right now, we want to start absorbing every other kind of music into our collective body. So we’ve scheduled sessions with local superstars, like the Post-Timey String Band, in order to suck the music juice out of their brains.

 

Concert to Celebrate Jasper Magazine Release at Art Bar

JasperProjectLogo Thursday night is concert night at the Art Bar as we celebrate the release of the 31st issue of Jasper Magazine. In the next few days we'll be profiling the bands that will be celebrating with us via our regular series by Ony Ratsimbaharison, Ony's Bands, starting with Moon Moths.

art-bar

The Jasper release party will also give us a time to recognize some important people in the arts community who are getting stuff done these days - our JAY finalists and our 2016 2nd Act film Festival filmmakers.

2nd act 2016

We're also pretty excited about the stories in this issue including a cover story on Nicole Kallenberg Heere  whose work we love for both its exquisite technique and its irreverent subject matter. (Wait til you see the cover of the mag!)

Mommy's Favorite Hobby by Nicole Kallenberg Heere

Our centerfold is pretty impressive, too, as we profile one of America's top artist, Joe Byrne, who lives right here in Columbia, SC.

Summer House, Block Island by Joe Byrne

And in our new expanded format of 96 pages we are able to bring you more music reviews, book reviews, and stories about local artists (did you know that Keith Mearns, who is the horticulturist at Historic Columbia used to be a professional ballet dancer?)

We've even got short fiction as Michael Spawn shares his short story, "Stoned Puppies Forever."

Michael Spawn - Jasper Music Editor

We'll be offering you more teasers over the next few days as Ony profiles our guest bands and we get you ready for another fun night at Art Bar - Columbia's longtime home for the wondering artist.

moon-moths

Now, the Moon Moths, by Ony.

Self-proclaimed as “psychedelic orchestral hip-hop,” The Moon Moths is a new-ish band that is heavily involved in Columbia’s newly revitalized scene of young artists. You can find them and their friends playing unconventional shows set up by the Scenario Collective, a local artist collective that aims to enrich our arts and music scene. Overall, they wish to spread a message of love, peace, and self-fulfillment, according to Rupert Hudson, the band’s vocalist.

The Moon Moths features a rotating cast of members but was started by Hudson, AKA Prince Rupert, after he got asked to play at a Battle of the Bands but had no band to play his music with. After missing this opportunity to play, Hudson got together with some other members of Scenario, which he is involved with, and started playing. Hudson lists over ten active members of the band in the following interview, but each performance’s lineup is dependent on who’s available to play.

You can catch their extensive lineup at Jasper’s Fall 2016 release party on September 29, with other performances by Autocorrect, King Vulture, and Tyler Digital (playing a DJ set). Who are all the members of the band?

Prince Rupert - Vocalist

Sixx - Vocalist

Moon Child - Guitar/Vocals

Love Potion #9 - Violin

Poof The Blue Bat - Tap Dancing/Vocals

Fresh Heaven - Guitar/Vocals

King Goof - Bass

The Seduction - Keys

Mister B - Drums

The Visible Choir Boy - Trumpet

Daddy Ice – Ukelele

So is there a set group of people in the band or does it vary sometimes? The band varies sometimes depending on our shows, as since we have so many members it's difficult to have everyone at each show! But we try to have all the members each time.

What is your songwriting process like? Originally, I would write the entire song on the piano and the band would flesh it out, but recently we have been getting together and writing songs as a full band, which creates a more rewarding environment for the whole band.

Who/what are some of your musical influences? All of us have differing tastes that align in certain places but my own influences are specifically Chance The Rapper, Arcade Fire, and Kanye West.

Do you have any other shows or releases coming up? We do! We are playing Scenario's Embryoasis show on October 1st at Tapps and the Subversive Art Festival (SAFE) at Tapps on October 8th. We will be releasing music late this year or early next year.

What are some of your previous releases? Are they available online? We have just released on track, Meep Meep, on our soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/themoonmoths/meep-meep

What are your goals for the band/its future? We are going to be recording this year and I would love to get that out so that we can book a tour. Playing SXSW next year would be brilliant and a definite goal.  --OR

Show Alert: Capital City Playboys CD Release This Saturday, September 26th at Art Bar

Playboys pic On Saturday, September 26, local lounge-rock trio the Capital City Playboys will release their first full-length LP, Bad Bad Man. The album’s lead single and title track is a kinetic burst of ominous, surf and blues-influenced rock and roll based around clean guitar lines and tight, unflashy rhythms. With guitarist Mary Fort’s deep-bellied croon leading the charge, one is almost reminded of Glenn Danzig and his early work with fuzzy doom-punkers the Misfits. The unrelenting gloom in his voice makes for an interesting contrast with the waves you can almost hear crashing somewhere in the background. This song belongs over the opening credits of a Tarantino flick. Don’t believe me? Just listen here. -Music Editor Michael Spawn

 

Jasper Magazine September 2015 Release Party: The Music

  artbarWe've got a great evening of music to celebrate the release of our new magazine that covers, among other things, giants of modernism like Georgia O'Keeffe, crazy wigs made by some talented folk working at Trustus, dystopian depictions of mutant hogs conjured up by Julia Elliott, and the worst local musician of all time, that asshole Danny Joe.

Come out tonight, September 17th, to the Art Bar to check out the new magazine, socialize, and hear some great local tunes. Here's some of what we've said before about the acts playing, along with links to their music:

Pray for Triangle Zero

"...the heavily reverbed melancholy and hazy melodies he writes are well within the lineage of chillwave, even as he tends towards busier productions and more urgent tempos than would be the norm. He also incorporates some lovely R&B-inflected moments, like on 'Her Bath Salts' and 'Easy, Girl,' which win him easy comparisons to Toro y Moi.

Those tunes are undeniably likeable, but the best stuff here is when Sams is tinkering on the edges of that signature style, when he tries out a more laconic delivery on the bustling 'Ferris Wheeler' or veers into The Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips territory on 'Call Out Your Name.'" -Kyle Petersen, Jasper Magazine May 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCtYGWrx7FA

Post-Timey String Band

"A duo composed of vocalist/guitarist/kazoo player Kelly McLachlan and multi-instrumentalist Sean Thomson, PTSB are more Gillian Welch & David Rawlings than She & Him, with a love of the most time-worn idioms of classic folk and blues songs and a blazing authenticity to support their claim as a “string band.”

The songs themselves range from lonesome country to ramshackle blues, but McLachlan’s voice is best suited to wrenching the nuance out of individual syllables in the most simplistic of country ballads or sad-eyed blues songs. Here, “I Do” and “Tightrope” serve as the best showcases, although “Blues for Charley” and “Lauren’s Song” are the best examples of the group’s songwriting prowess." - Kyle Petersen, Jasper Magazine May 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHogwSjUur8

Marshall Brown

"...Within these fifteen tracks, we find Brown fully embracing and perfecting the anything-goes Neverland pop he began courting on 2013’s Through Vivaldian Colored Glasses. Describing any song or album as ‘Beatle-esque’ runs the very real risk of embarrassing all parties concerned—the artist, the listener, Paul, Yoko, etc. (Ringo would likely remain ambivalent)—but sometimes it’s just the most accurate possible description for a piece of artful pop music, so I’m using it now in what I hope is the best possible way. Second Childhood is the sound of Sergeant Pepper diving headlong into the toybox and treating every discovery like the treasure it is. It’s Marshall Brown being himself completely, while making no bones about his influences and how he can twist them to suit his needs." -Michael Spawn, Jasper Magazine September 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAQtse6IIyE

Danny Joe Machado

"He’s an asshole musician with delusions of grandeur." - Daniel Machado on his alter-ego Danny Joe Machado, Jasper Magazine September 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ogls-FyahM

Highlighting Indie Music in the Summer Music Festival Season

So we are officially in the midst of the summer festival season, and dedicated local music lovers have probably caught various local acts populating the stages at Rosewood Crawfish Festival (which had an excellent line-up of local acts this year), Stereofly’s Rootsy Memorial Day Festival at Art Bar, the Back To Rockafella’s celebration, or West Fest. The more cultured have also stopped in on the Southeastern Piano Festival, a week of world-class piano performances which is as of this writing mostly sold-out (we recommend checking out the Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition, where young contestants duke it out in dazzling style from morning to night. It's this Friday, June 14, at the School of Music recital hall, and it's free).  More festivals are on the horizon, including the wince-inducing resuscitation of the Three Rivers Festival on July 6 and 13. Jasper loves a diversity of musical experiences, but in particular loves when Columbia gets a bit more cutting-edge. Two festivals this summer offer some of that edginess where others play it safe.

RecessFest

The first is Recess Fest, which is happening this Friday, June 14th, at a variety of venues across Columbia. An off-shoot of the Charlotte festival, which is celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, the festival derives its name from the carefree spirit of school recess, and champions a community-centered approach while introducing local acts from across the state. Spearheaded by people person bandleader and Can’t Kids drummer/singer Jessica Oliver, the night offers a reasonable festival-style cost for a rambunctious line-up. Here are the details:

New Brookland Tavern Modern Man - Charleston Elim Bolt - Charleston Octopus Jones - Raleigh (formerly Columbia) One Another - Charlotte Red Door Tavern Great Architect - Charlotte Magnetic Flowers - Columbia Dear Blanca - Columbia Luciferian Agenda - Charlotte State Street Pub Blossoms - Charlotte Dumb Doctors - Charleston Let’s Go, Coyote! - Columbia Jordan Igoe - Charleston Silent Spring Ensemble - Columbia Conundrum Music Hall Roomdance - Columbia Happiness Bomb - Columbia Sandcastles - Columbia Late Bloomer - Charlotte Hunter Gatherer Brewery Bo White & su Orchesta Fat Rat da Czar with Grand Royal

All of the shows except for the Hunter-Gatherer one start at 7 and finish around 11, with festival-goers convening at the brewpub for an after-party with Bo White and Fat Rat (which Jasper thinks was a thoroughly excellent planning decision). The line-up demonstrates an excellent mix of bands who play the town frequently with some lesser-knowns from from the Charlotte area.

Here's a video from Charleston favorite Elim Bolt, recorded as part of our own Fork & Spoon's Casual Friday series, who will be playing the New Brookland stage:

http://vimeo.com/64837746

The second festival we want to highlight is Spit Fest (“SP”ace “I”dea “T”apes Fest) , an annual DIY music festival on July 4th dedicated to celebrating “outsider art and culture centering around Columbia, SC.” Organized by the Space Idea Tapes record label, which does casette-only releases of bands throughout the tri-state area, the festival features off-kilter and oddball acts seldom-seen on any other big festival bill in Columbia--and fast-moving, 15 minute sets that allow for a rather expansive line-up on one stage in a single night. Now in its third year, the festival wants to be a bit more above-ground and move away from its house show origins--this  year, Conundrum Music Hall is hosting, and the festival has an Indie GoGo fundraiser which finishes up at midnight tomorrow. Check out the fundraiser site here--note the nice incentives, as well as the other logistics needs Space Idea Tapes still has. The festival will also feature a BBQ potluck and regional visual artists showcasing their work. Check out the line-up below.

SpitFestIII

 

We'll leave you with a tune from the Spit Fest-featured elvis depressedly's lastest ep, holo pleasures, which was reviewed in the current issue of Jasper (pick one up, if you haven't already!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJSoec3r-EI

Memorial Day Rootsy Revival at the Art Bar

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Organized by The Stereofly, a music blog that seeks to unite musicians across the Southeast, the Memorial Day Rootsy Revival (this Sunday, May 26th, at the Art Bar) presents an excellent mix of some of the best local and regional roots-rock acts around, with all proceeds benefiting Hidden Wounds, a Midlands based nonprofit that provides counseling to veterans dealing with PTSD.

BLACKLIGHT ROOM 05:00-05:30 The (Hollerin') River Talkers 06:15-07:00 Black Iron Gathering 07:45-08:45 Co. 09:45-10:45 The Restoration 11:45-12:45 Banditos

OLD TV ROOM 05:30-06:15 Overmountain Men 07:00-07:45 Elim Bolt 08:45-09:45 The Mobros 10:45-11:45 Megan Jean & The KFB 12:45-01:45 Masonjar Menagerie

While featuring many local Columbia bands we here at Jasper are big fans of (The Mobros! The Restoration! Black Iron Gathering! The Hollerin' River Talkers!) and a couple of Charleston's most buzzed-about (Company, Elim Bolt), the real draw here is a couple of awesome-but-little known regional acts: the Nashville-based, Birmingham-bred Banditos and Piedmont, NC's Overmountain Men. The former is a gritty, hard rockin' honky tonk band with a soulful heart, the latter a casually elegant group that splits the difference between good-time string band and stately folk-rock. Check out the videos below--these are two bands worth turning out for, in addition to the onslaught of local talent that will be populating the twin stages of the Art Bar on Sunday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rKzxzvyc35M#!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7_P7p1IP3g

Garage/Rockabilly Band Capital City Playboys Are Throwing a Party This Saturday!

By: Casey White, Jasper Intern

 

The Capital City Playboys have been around since 2009, but its members have been playing in bands around Columbia for a number of years previously.  Marty Fort (guitar and vocals), Jay Matheson (bass and vocals), and Kevin Brewer (drums and vocals) are veterans of the Columbia music scene, and with CCP they hope not only to bring new music to the capital city, but also some of that classic rockabilly vibe . The group will be bringing their classic rock and roll party energy to the Art Bar this Saturday night, along with Buck Stanley, Dixie Dynamite, and Beach Day.

Although the band formed in Columbia, Brewer has since moved to Georgia, due to his obligations to the U.S. Army. Brewer joined in 2004, becoming an official Army musician in 2006. Although serving has forced him to relocate, he says that being an Army musician is the greatest day job he’s ever had.

“Keeping CCP going does take a lot of work and, for me, a bunch of driving,” Brewer says. Although it takes a great deal of effort, and is a 308-mile trip each way, Brewer knows that playing shows with Fort and Matheson is the thing he loves to do most.

Although he doesn’t mind driving to play shows with his band mates, Brewer says that the distance does making writing new material more difficult. The group sends ideas for songs to each other when they get them, fleshing them out when the band can get together, i.e.  when they all have the time. It is often difficult to find that time, because they all stay busy with their respective careers - Brewer in the military, Fort working for the Columbia Arts Academy, and Matheson working at the Jam Room.

Despite the distance, the Capital City Playboys plan to host a show that the people of Columbia will remember.  Brewer also sees the performance as a reunion with the friends and family he had to leave when he moved to Georgia.

“I'm really excited about the show Saturday,” said Brewer. “Not only will it be an epic line-up, but for my wife Gina and I, it will be a bit of a family reunion. Many of our closest friends will be under the same roof for the night. You can expect a stellar performance from every band.”

Buck Stanley is a band fronted by another veteran of the Columbia music scene, Stan Gardner, and features CCP bassist Jay Matheson as well.  The group plays what they describe as stripped down Americana, with pedal steel and fiddle players laying down healthy doses of twang-filled licks. Female-fronted Beach Day (hailing from Hollywood, Florida) will be performing their own compelling mixture of surf and garage rock, while Columbia’s Dixie Dynamite will be starting the night off with some old school country sounds.

The four acts make for a great bill, and promise a fabulous night of great music. Come on out to the Art Bar this Saturday, July 28th, and experience it!

The Godzillafication of the Art Bar? By Jasper intern, Casey White

 

Sean McGuinness has taken his lifelong passion and obsession with Godzilla to the next level in his artwork. McGuinness uses his collection of Godzilla collectible figures, digital photography, and Photoshop in order to create his pieces. He has become known for his “Godzillafication” works in which he places the image of Godzilla into famous paintings and pieces of art. McGuinness will be showing these works along with some others at the Art Bar on July 19th at 8 p.m.

When collectors of kaiju -- the Japanese word for strange beasts -- began displaying their collections on the web, McGuinness wanted to take part in the action. However, he wanted people to continue visiting his site rather than just looking at his collection once. This led him to create comics using his Godzilla figures along with other famous kaiju. Over the last 12 years, McGuinness has produced about 1,800 comics with his collectible figures.

It wasn’t until his wife encouraged him to make “real art” that McGuinness began working on Godzillifying pieces of art. His first, and now signature, piece was “1954 in 1865” in which Godzilla can be seen stomping through Sherman’s burning of Columbia. The piece got McGuinness nominated for Artist of the Year at the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries. Although he didn’t win the award, he felt that the nomination was a sign that he should dig deeper into the idea of Godzillafication.

McGuinness hopes that through his artwork the legacy that is Godzilla will live on in a world that may be inclined to forget the monster. “Godzilla is an icon of over 50 years,” McGuinness said. “Not that he needs my help, but I want to keep his message and his atomic fire alive in this world of distractions like iPods, smart phones and etch-a-sketches.”

His show at the Art Bar will be the first of this type for McGuinness. In the past, he has done some convention circuits, including Nashi-Con and Cola-Con, but he has never put together a personal show of this scale. The show will include two exclusive prints that use the Art Bar as a medium, and these prints will never be used again. The Art Bar is scheduled to project video of some of Godzilla’s greatest fight scenes, and McGuinness will be selling prints of his artwork as well.

“I want them to take away some of those pieces so they have a little bit of me and Godzilla in their homes. Or at least tell their friends around the water cooler or bar, ‘Guys, I saw this really funny thing last night,’” McGuinness said.

Even if those who attend the show at the Art Bar don’t take away a piece of his artwork, McGuinness hopes that they will take away some sense of happiness or excitement about the art that he is creating.

The show is scheduled to take place on July 19th at the Art Bar at 8 PM, and the show will be on display for about a month. The Art Bar is located on 1211 Park Street. 

 -- Casey White, Jasper intern

Writing about creating & Poetic Awakenings -- A (particularly lovely) Guest Blog by Kendal Turner

Poetic Awakenings is a journey.
It is a chance to take risks and to grow deeper within yourself. I have been hosting open mics and other poetry related events for 5 years now. I love the energy that people share with one another when presenting their work. Poetry, short stories, comedy sketches, songs, dances, play excerpts, etc, these are all ways of putting light into the world or relieving pain from ourselves. No effort is too small and I love giving people the opportunity to share their voices.The concept for Poetic Awakenings came to me after a conversation with a dear friend and fellow poet. I was asking why I hadn't heard any new work from him lately and he looked down, saddened, and shared that he believed he'd forgotten how to write. The muse had dumped him. I was shocked. This once prolific writer was stuck in a sea empty of words. A sea that I had found myself drowning in one too many times. Sometimes we isolate ourselves from the truth, believing that our experience is unique unto us, everyone else is doing "it" right. So silly of me. Humans are so closely woven together we are almost touching at all times. Artists are no different. We become bogged down in expectations and forget how to breathe around our creations. We gasp and struggle and suddenly this art thing... isn't so fun anymore.Sometime must be done! How do we quench the creative drought? The answer was so simple I almost tripped on it. We just do. We pick up our pen, our brush, our shoes, our voice, and we use them. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece every time. It's exercise. You sweat and curse and say you'll never do it again but everyday you come back because you know, in the end, it will make you stronger.

I have created a space for artists, especially writers, to go back to school. Like a traditional open mic, anyone can come, sign up, and read what they have brought. It's a pretty simple format: put your name on a list and you will be called to read in order. Art Bar is a free speech venue so, you can say whatever the hell you want. Each poet is allotted approximately 5-7min to share their work. If time allows they are more than welcome to sign up again later in the night. Unlike a traditional open mic there is also an educational aspect. Paper and pens are on every table. Some of the pages contain quotes or words of inspiration. These are to be used as "prompts" to create a new piece of work. I also lead breathing exercises and ask questions that participants are asked to respond to in their journals. No one is made to share what they've written, but many do. My only rules are:

1. Clap for everyone,
2. Respect the Mic (meaning give the speaker your full attention) and
3. Write at least one new sentence. That's it.

I'm not big on production but instead like to create a room full of peace and creativity. I'm scaled down and I'm humble but each new poet who gets up to the mic for the very first time sets my heart on fire. I am so in love with this art form and, as long as I'm able, will be bringing it to the community as a whole. Whether you're a page poet, a spoken word artist, a slam poet, an emcee, or a barista with a collection of sonnets written on the back of receipts, there is something for you at Poetic Awakenings. I am by no means an expert at anything but I do know what I love and more than anything I love seeing artists come out of their creative winters, place pen to page, and bloom.

-- Kendal Turner