Two Minutes Too Many: Support STSM at Conundrum Music Hall Tonight By Haley Sprankle


One in six.

One in six women are estimated victims of rape.

One in 33 men are estimated victims of rape.

Every two minutes someone is victimized by sexual assault.

These crimes are often perpetrated by non-strangers (73%), friends (38%), intimate partners (28%), and even family members (7%), yet sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in America.

These statistics are often thrown around in the media through television, movies, and articles, desensitizing the world to the immediate and residual atrocities the actual people that form these statistics face. Through this, people forget the reality of it and they forget how to end rape culture and help their friends in need.

Luckily, Sexual Trauma Services for the Midlands (STSM) is here to help educated and aid victims, their loved ones, and those seeking to prevent such horrid crimes in their communities.

“STSM has done a great job of making their presence felt in the community, raising awareness about sexual assault, and letting people know that they are there to help,” Jeremy Joseph of Raiser Productions states. “For example, events such as their annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes have been a huge success.  But, what's most important is the services they provide to those in need in our area.”

This evening, Joseph organized a benefit concert at Conundrum for STSM featuring Prairie Willows, She Returns from War, and Pedro LDV. Joseph sees each of these distinct acts as music that “people will enjoy” that will “serve as a force for good.”

The arts have historically been shown as a power to raise awareness for issues, promote change in surrounding communities as well as throughout the nation, and induce a sense of healing. Joseph seeks to do just this through the concert.

“Artists can use the power of their platform to speak out against sexual assault, generate awareness and support for STSM, and bring together a supportive group of people to positively change our culture and stand with survivors,” Joseph adds.

Tonight’s benefit is one you won’t want to miss, but if you can’t make it you can still donate to the cause at Different donation amounts allow you to either, assist on survivor at a hospital, train community members to prevent child sexual abuse, educate students in a six-week violence prevention program, or provide six months of counseling, legal advocacy, and crisis intervention to one survivor.

“I hope that as many people as possible will be there Saturday night,” Joseph ends with. “Just by coming out for an evening of some of the best music around you can help make the world a better place through supporting the extremely important work of STSM.”

Doors open at 8 tonight, the show starts at 9, and tickets are only $8, so don’t miss your chance to help make every two minutes in America safer for everyone and support local musicians!

Interview: Americana Trio Prairie Willows to Release Debut LP this Friday, June 12th, at Conundrum

11391107_424834114365817_2782219863538510765_n By: Erika Ryan

Despite Columbia cranking out more metal bands than Americana groups, The Prairie Willows have become a staple in the city’s scene.

In 2012, Kristen Harris, Kelley Douglas, and Perrin Skinner became the Prairie Willows, together writing delightfully folky, southern ballads about anything from biscuits to breakups. After a handful of original tunes and local performances over the years, their first official record is finally complete.

They’re taking the stage — and backyard — at Conundrum Music Hall June 12 to celebrate their much-anticipated album release, but also to kick back with some friends. Harris, Douglas and Skinner have been anticipating the album’s release as much as any fan. Also, after a successful partnership with local puppeteer Lyon Hill during Indie Grits, he will be joining the ladies on stage this Friday to perform a piece for their original song “Whiskey.”

They’re hardy, they’re homegrown, and they’re quirky. Their album is expected to reflect each of their personalities just as much as this interview we were able to have with them this week.

Jasper: How did the Prairie Willows come to be? When did you get together?

Perrin Skinner: We came together during the fall of 2012. Kristen moved in with me, and we knew Kelley for a while, because we’ve all been involved in the Columbia music scene for a long time…so we met and we decided to start playing music together, and experimenting to see what would happen. Kelley would just come over, and we would practice in the living room and just work up some songs and some covers. We just kind of took it from there and it blossomed.

Jasper: How is the music community for Americana in Columbia?

Kelley Douglas: I love it. I think it’s the best part of playing music here is that Americana is a really approachable genre. We’ve met a lot of people through playing music. A lot of people can connect with our music — we’re able to share it, and teach them songs that we know, so that they can jump in and play with us sometimes. It’s really fun to kind of collaborate with people, and share songs that some of us already know and learn new ones together.

Kristen Harris: Because of the community in Columbia for Americana, we’ve met some really great people just coming through town that we’ve gotten to play music with or share a bill with. It’s really exciting.

Jasper: Can you tell me a bit about your new album?

Perrin Skinner: It’s been a long time coming for us. We’ve wanted to release a full-length record for a while; it just kind of took us a bit to get everything together. We raised all the money ourselves, and got some really great guys to record us. The record is full of originals as well as traditional songs, and it’s really exciting. It’s called “White Lies.”

Kelley Douglas: What’s cool about it is that—we didn’t plan it—but it sounds like the perfect mixture of the three of us. It has elements of the different kinds of music that we like, and we brought our different tastes in. Just listening to it, you can tell it’s a beautiful collaboration of three very different people who created something unique and it came together as a way to surprise all of us.

Jasper: So, what do you have planned for the album release?

Kelley Douglas: We’re having it at conundrum on June 12, and the doors are at 7:30. Slim Pickens is opening for us—they’re some close friends—and Branhan Lowther, the lead player for that group, is going to join us on stage to play to play with us on a few of our songs. We’ve added him in on a few songs, and I think it gives it a little more of a dynamic. We’re really excited, and we have a lot of friends coming. It’s going to be a lot of fun, we’re going to hang out outside some, and it’s going to be a good night to be with friends…

Kristen Harris: Oh, and we’ll also have a puppet feature.

Jasper: Can you tell me more about that?

Kristen Harris: We collaborated with the local puppeteer, Lyon Hill from the Columbia Marionette Theatre recently for Indie Grits for the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam, and he created a piece that goes along with one of our songs called “Whiskey,” and it’s really cool. His wife, Jennifer Hill, is acting in it as a shadow puppet, and it’s a really cool piece — that’ll be our first part of our performance at the CD release.

Jasper: That’s awesome! So what’s next for the Prairie Willows after this?

All: That’s a good question [laughter].

Perrin Skinner: We’re just going to wait and see what happens — this has been a big goal for us, and we’re reaching it — we’re anticipating the album release and then hopefully it’ll bring a lot of opportunities our way.

We all love the idea of touring — going on the road to play different venues and sell our record. But we’ll be playing shows around town this summer, so that’s kind of what we have in store for right now.