Hoechella: Rock against the patriarchy by Ony Ratsimbaharison

hoechella Next month a festival to raise awareness on body-positivity, called Hoechella, will run August 26-27 at New Brookland Tavern. The festival, organized by local musician and stage actor/director, Kari Lebby, was created to combat “slut shaming, rape culture, and unjust legislation that affects people's bodily autonomy.” This event will be completely free, thanks to Girls Rock Columbia and Girls Rock Charleston, who procured funding for the event, Lebby says.

The decision to throw this event came from a desire to subvert the idea that expressing ones sexuality should be shamed and made to be a bad thing. “It isn’t a bad thing,” Lebby says. “What is a bad thing, however, is the marginalization of women, people of color, and queer people.” By holding this event, they wish to bring artists and leaders from these communities together for visibility and to encourage everyone to be comfortable with who they are, and to be informed about issues that affect us all.

The festival will feature local and regional acts, almost all of them including at least one member who is queer, a woman, or a person of color, according to Lebby. Debbie and the Skanks, Cyberbae, MyBrother MySister, Glittoris, and Can’t Kids will be performing, just to name a few. They cover a wide range of genres, which was another important factor in booking. This is to showcase diverse acts and to hopefully bridge some of the gaps in our ranging music scene.

Hoechella became a fully-realized festival in what seemed like no time at all, but that was not without the help from people and organizations in our community. “I just have crazy ideas, but it takes a ton of people to make it happen!” Lebby says about seeing Hoechella come to fruition. People from the organizations Girls Rock Columbia and Girls Rock Charleston, along with the staff at New Brookland Tavern helped to solidify their plan, while others helped with things like the organizing and designing of the logo.

Lebby hopes this event will encourage people to start speaking out against rape culture, body shaming, slut shaming, and unjust legislation. It will hopefully add a new spin on the typical shows we see here in Columbia, with added awareness and encouragement to be comfortable with one’s self and their personal choices.

For more information, check out Hoechella.org.

Full list of performers

Can't Kids, Say Brother, Debbie & the Skanks, MyBrother MySister, She Returns from War, Glittoris, Sandcastles, Paisley Marie, Del Sur, Cyberbae, BRBN, and Sugar St. Germain.

Jake Margle Offers a Run-Down on Artsy Halloween Events

The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli As Halloween approaches the Capitol City, venues and various stomping grounds are rolling out their festive best. From Columbia’s modest holes-in-the-wall to our more grandiose institutions, here are just a few of the smattering of events taking place on this Hallo-weekend.


The Tapp’s Center prides itself on tasteful, informing events, and their Halloween special is no different. On Friday they will be hosting Hell’s Belle’s, an event that will combine art–both visual and performing–and discussion. The evening starts at 7 and will be dedicated to exploring and showcasing the history of witchcraft, with the discussion centered around, “exploring feminine identity.” Columbia’s own Ritual Abjects will be conducting a sigil workshop and performance piece. There will be tarot and palm readings as well. Costumes are not mandatory, but encouraged. All donations from the evening will go towards the Tapp’s Nonprofit Programming and Auntie Bellum magazine, SC’s women’s magazine.


Toast Improv is putting on a special Halloween show, Friday at the Benson Theater. Doors open at 8:30 to a $5 cover. The show starts at 9, and according to Toast’s Facebook page, will be very “spoopy”–a term meaning comedic and spooky. Concessions will be provided, and if you know anything about Toast, so will the talent and laughs. Those weary of a cover charge will be pleased to know that all proceeds will be donated to aid the flood relief efforts in Columbia.


On Saturday the State Museum will again be hosting its annual Tricks and Treats gathering. If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly offering, look no further. All day the museum will be hosting a scavenger hunt, potions lab, crafts, balloon art, and a performance of “Hansel and Gretel” by the Columbia Marionette Theatre. Costumes are encouraged as well, with any child under 12 and in costume receiving $1 off admission.


2015 marks the fourth year of Sid & Nancy’s Halloween Explosion. A dance-filled evening starting at 8:30 on Saturday at New Brookland Tavern is sure to put anyone in a festive mood. Music will be provided by local DJ’s Alejandro Florez, Christian Barker, and QT Kapowski. Fort Psych, Columbia’s event and media gurus will supplementing the music with light displays as well. There will be a photo booth set up, so bring your costume game. The two most creative costumes will receive gift certificates to Indigo Rose Tattoo Studio, with first place winning a $100 credit, second place receiving a $60 credit. Those fearful of standing need not worry, as the “most basic” will receive a $10 gift card to Starbucks, and a $20 gift card to Target. There will be a $5 cover for those 21 and up, $10 for under 21. All proceeds will benefit Girls Rock Columbia.


The Whig is hosting the aptly and creatively named Whigoween Saturday at 9. Columbia’s favorite hidden gem is keeping tight-lipped on the details, but costumes are most definitely encouraged.

And there's always the Columbia City Ballet's performance of Draculapreviewed earlier this week by Alivia Seely.

-- Jake Margle

Why You Should Go To Shows Vol. 3: Valley Maker CD Release @ New Brookland Tavern 8/10/13

1) Valley Maker himself (itself?), of course. VM is the recent songwriting nom de plume of Austin Crane, who released a few quite-excellent records under his own name and the Valley Maker moniker before departing for graduate school in 2010. Crane only plays a few gigs a year, and all of them mostly here in Columbia on his brief returns. His last record (and first under the VM name) came out in 2010, and is still one of the most-downloaded South Carolina records on Bandcamp to date. All of which is to say that each show he performs becomes a near must-see. Plus, his new full-length Yes I Know I’ve Loved This World is pretty killer.

2) Opener Amy Godwin, who provides the haunting, mood-setting background vocals on Valley Maker records, started the show off my using extensive vocal loops to harmonize with herself on her traditional folk-meets-dream pop sound that is absolutely enchanting.

3) Let’s Go Coyote! frontman Pat Wall (Free Times music editor and Those Lavender Whales guitarslinger Pat Wall) takes a visceral joy in playing the electric guitar as oddly and brashly as he wants, and in the process demonstrates exactly what rock and roll played live should be about.

4) The stage banter bromance of Wall and drummer Aaron Graves, who fronts Those Lavender Whales, also gave LGC an appeal which really only comes through on stage.

5) Those Lavender Whales were co-headliners, and hearing them shoot through songs on their new EP, entitled Parts & Pieces/Goose and Geeses, was worth the ticket price alone. I called their last record my favorite local release of last year, and I’m pretty sure some of these songs are even better.

6) The gang vocals on Valley Maker’s final song (the new record's closing number, “Goodness”). While perhaps not strictly necessary, it was a striking reminder of how the camaraderie of local musicians and their uninhibited affection for each other’s songs is what makes a music scene in the first place. And, of course, just how good of a songwriter Crane is. Musical moments that combine the warm-and-fuzzy with goosebumps are rare, but they happen, as this loveable moment proved.

-K. Petersen

Why You Should Go to Shows is a projected blog series that describes the specific joys of certain live performances rather than providing a strict review of the show in question or speaking of the joy of patronage in the abstract. Kind of.

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.


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:


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.



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!).