We’ve been begging, bribing, and blackmailing Mecca Vazie Andrews for years to come down and show the A Rrose in a Prose crowd what she is capable of! And at long last, something happened (possibly a change in prescription drugs?), and she’s given us a hearty “yes!”
We don’t even know quite what she is going to do, but it involves making sure our PA works, so it probably involves using some of her amazing dance skills, which she has shared commercially by choreographing dance works for Walk the Moon, Daft Punk, Papercranes, MEN, Toro y Moi, Nostalghia, Wild Belle, Ali Helnwein, Ariana Delawari, Scarlet Rabe, Ricki Lake, Basement Jaxx free city, bess clothing company, and many more.
Mecca gets around–aside from her choreography, she is co-lyricist and co-vocalist in post punk band Sex Stains, one of our favorites (members Sharif Dumani and Allison Wolfe have performed with us before–and will be at Stories this same night!). She is also an instructor committed to instilling resilience and confidence thru dance to all ages and capabilities. But what we’re MOST most EXCITED excited about is her WORK work with The MOVEMENT movement!
Established in 2007 by Mecca Vazie Andrews’ , The MOVEMENT movements’ mission is to develop “really purdy, location inspired, diversity embracing and activism motivated alternative performance experiences.”
mecca v.a and The MOVEMENT movement has performed at various museums galleries and artful happenings including Pacific Standard Time, REDCAT NOWFEST, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Departments Tongva after Dark, 356 Mission Rd., LACE, LACMA, and Hammer, to name a few. Here’s a clip of an amazing performance, somewhere between installation piece and living theater, that she put on just last year with The MOVEMENT movement that still gives me chills:
So you see? She’s going to be amazing tomorrow at A Rrose in a Prose. And by being there to witness it, you’re kind of amazing. We love you.
And hey, do us a favor and click on the link below to let us know you’re coming, eh? And share the news!
Another New Rrose: Raelee Nikole plays acoustic pop/soul for us, for the first time, Sunday afternoon!
Somewhere in the middle of that 2 – 5 slot on Sunday is yet ANOTHER new treat for the ARiaP crowd… Raelee Nikole!
Raelee is a twenty year old Acoustic Pop/Soul Singer/songwriter from San Diego who has performed everywhere from the local farmer’s market sidewalk to the House Of Blues Main Stage. After making waves in the San Diego music scene for the past five years, she released her debut album on May 29th, 2015, named “Answers,” which showcases the groovy self-empowering songs that her live performances are known for, as well as new, more introspective songs that question her life and the coming of age.
She’s also aware that hosts D. M. Collins and Art Currim are still asking themselves questions about their own lives and ages, e.g. “how am I still alive at this age?” and “is poetry an artform, or is it just people saying what they would normally say anyway, but slower?” Despite their creeping senility, she has agreed to come and lay down some music for them and for the masses, in between bouts of literature and poetry by several other luminaries, Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss it!
We’re super hopeful that VerBS is still on deck for Sunday, because he’s the “Awesome Rapper from the Awesome City of Awesome Los Angeles,” which is practically like saying he’s a god worshiped by the scratchings of old records in a turntable kiosk shrine of his very own carved out of granite by the harsh wool of ancient rhinos over the course of centuries.
VerBS has got deep roots in the hip hop scene through Leimert Park and beyond. He’s a Member of DIY collective The FMLY, and he represents Indie Rap Label/Crew Hellfyre Club, headed by Low End Theory’s resident host (and A Rrose in a Prose veteran) NOCANDO. He’s toured with “big” rappers and indie bands, and he raps all over town, from clubs to DIY venues to bike rides to birthday parties to museums and festivals.
But can he HANDLE the challenge of mixing it up round robin style with poets and writers of all styles, ages, and various social maladies?
His name is Kyle Guy and his rap name is VerBS. For more information on VerBS, visit: Http://verbs.bandcamp.com/
Come see him, and more than a half dozen others, at A Rrose in a Prose on Sunday at 2 p.m.!
We’re excited to invite Nancy Lynée Woo to the A Rrose in a Prose stage Sunday, for the first time ever!
Nancy Lynée Woo is a 2015 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and founding editor of social justice literary press Lucid Moose Lit. She is currently working on a collection of poems about her mixed heritage, called The Great Divide. She graduated UC Santa Cruz with a degree in sociology, and works in marketing. Often caught cavorting around Long Beach, CA, this poet can also be found at nancylyneewoo.com.
You can catch her and the rest of the ARiaP crew at Stories Books at 2 p.m.
When I was a teenager, I had a wonderful mentor who helped me tremendously in becoming the public speaker and champion of the logical alternative that I am today. But later, when I was an adult, I learned he was accused of “indiscretions” with a juvenile and fired from his job.
Sound familiar? Let’s not talk about it. Let’s just let the shame we feel about the chipped paint on our own superhero statues hold us upright, hard as tack, keeping our ribs clamped tightly against the bounds of our hearts, which will shrivel more with each passing year until we too can fail just as spectacularly as our heroes.
But are our heroes really all that terrible? Maybe they’re just humans, perhaps innocent of everything except perfection?
My mentor, the one accused, was only accused in the court of parental opinion: he was never charged with anything. He might even have been completely framed for a petty political workplace reason, and it worked, because he’s a closeted gay man in a state where that still isn’t acceptable the way it is in our protected enclaves of California and the liberal West Coast. I may never know.
I can’t help but think: maybe it is I who failed him?
Maybe heroes actually make us happy when they fall, because in our hearts, we really know it is we who are failing them. The only thing even easier than simply failing is to point out the failings of someone else, a big star that we can lampoon and mock. Remember Pee Wee Herman?
Paul Reubens may not have deserved the public shaming he received for being caught masturbating in public. But why does no one bring up the fact that as a very young teenager, he was accused of shooting his own uncle in what is still technically an unsolved murder case that was huge, even for its day?
Of course, the section of newspaper highlighted above doesn’t really reference an uncle murder, because that’s just a work of fiction on my part. And if you liked that, you’ll love the fiction, poetry, and general literary amazingness of all the below performers and readers, which you’ll get to hear if you show up at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 13, at Stories Books:
Joshy Fadem (wrote 356 stories in as many days!)
Nancy Lynée Woo (founded Lucid Moose Lit)
Cyrus Sepahbodi (Mad About Ink maestro)
David Gale (the man behind the man behind Mad About Ink)
VerBS (rapper and regal beagle of maverick music events)
Krista Husar (performer and poet!)
Mecca Vazie Andrews (Sex Stains)
Rebecca Gonzales (NOT the Rebecca from the Bible!)
Bhella Bell (the spirited stranger!)
Raelee Nikole (singer/songwriter siren!)
The whole thing is hosted by DM Collins and Art Currim and wrapped up in a heaping helping of schadenfreude all made to order for the fan of fiction and the peon of poetry! We got readers and rappers and singers and word-slingers, enough to make you forget all about that theme we talked about earlier, and the fallen heroes, and the sadness, and the lies. A lot of lies. Let’s talk about those brutal statues of doom who hurt you with their lies. Lies.
And stay even after we’re done, because at 5 p.m. is an amazing party/reading for the release for the new Jabberjaw book, hosted by friend of A Rrose in a Prose Michelle Carr (and featuring an amazing assortment of musical mavericks)!
This was a fun one: an interview with my old pal, Jessie Jones, who I first met seemingly yesterday when she was a teenager, a member of Feeding People, and now have to stand back and admire as a full-grown solo artist!
Truth be told, the interview we did at Sage to prepare for this article went on FOREVER. What ended up in print is only a small portion of the rambling talk we had about all the crazy stuff she’s gone through in such a short period of time, including working in a factory in a rural town, hiding out from Bigfoot, and trying to escape society by moving off into the woods.
Of course, the L.A. RECORD folks had to trim even more off to get it to fit in the magazine, but there’s one fun part at the beginning that I wish had stayed!
… and since I wrote the darn thing, and ONLY because I like the original intro enough that I think it’s worth sharing as an outtake, I’m reprinting my original beginning to the interview here. You can read this first and then jump into the article, or just go to the article now if you think I’m already long-winded enough.
She may look it, but Jessie Jones is no longer the same shy, young singer from Orange County with the bold, weathered, jazzy old woman’s voice that she was when D. M. Collins first interviewed her in 2011. Back then, she sang with the psychedelia-tinged, Burger Records-approved garage band Feeding People, who then seemed to be just approaching the lip of the cusp of the edge of greatness. Instead, they quickly burned out; but Jones never truly faded away. After a few years in wandering the country trying out dead end jobs and engaging with supernatural phenomena, Jones re-emerged in full force in 2015, first on a triumphant tour co-singing lead vocals with Death Valley Girls, and now, as of this month, with her first solo album, which has been tickling the fancies of folks from the bowels of Gnar Burger all the way to the corridors and clicks of NPR. She speaks now, again, to D. M. Collins, who has convinced her to join him for a very candid interview at the vegan restaurant Sage in Echo Park, a place so opposed to animal cruelty that even the arachnids have started getting cocky…
FUCK! FUCKING FUCK! I giant spider was just in my mouth! Oh my fucking god. Did it bite my lip? It just, like, swung whole into my mouth! I didn’t swallow it; it’s climbed somewhere back up on the umbrella and disappeared….
JESSIE JONES: Maybe it’s trying to bless you?
Jessie, you are such a witch! People think you are this innocent little lamb, but you are a witch! Is that giant spider your “familiar?”
JESSIE JONES: I have weird relationships with spiders. Sometimes when I’m about to make a really drastic decision, I’ll wake up with like six spider bites! Their symbolism is tied up with the mythology of the Fates, the makers of destiny.
So, that reminds me, I’ll forgive the spider, because I have a confession. Remember when I interviewed Feeding People in my backyard in 2011 [in issue #104 of L.A. RECORD, e.d.]? You were all so young and so charming; it was obvious the band was going to implode horribly, and soon. I should have said something. Do you forgive me for not warning you that your life was about to go to shit?
JESSIE JONES: Um….. yes!
Yay! She forgives me! That apology on my part was far more than casual conversation. Glad she’s not mad at me for not trying to “save” her from the future fate had waiting for her. Then again, that spider certainly did act suspiciously, as if bewitched…
Okay, with the above original text out of the way, feel free to hop to the actual article and continue reading.
And in honor of labor day, please make sure to savor her words when she starts to describe some of her experiences out there in the “eye of the storm” of capitalism. This part of her responses really struck me as both insightful and beautiful, while at the same time, you know, scary as hell:
“South Carolina, when I was just living in the middle of nowhere—that’s where it hit me: there’s so much poverty, such a lack of education, and not a lot of opportunity for people who are born without any guidance or any money. Just seeing how capitalism and consumerism really exist only when you’re in the eye of the storm. And when I was working weird jobs and stuff for companies in weird factories to keep existing, and I could see like, all this crap is coming from China. And I’m sending it to some person’s house in like Anaheim or Chicago, but they don’t see what’s going on behind closed doors. It’s like I could finally see how big America was, how small I was, how small my little bubble in Orange County was. And I had to talk about it, I guess. I had to get it out.”
-D. M. Collins
I wrote this during an exercise on Sunday’s poetry salon at Beyond Baroque, led by Emily Clark.
Religious concepts say love must be pure.
Though secular, you find the concept wise:
to find a love and make that love endure,
a marathon, with life-long love the prize.
And so a few false starts do not dissuade,
life caught coughing in fits, your lungs healthy.
But there’s smoke in the road, and where the path?
Is there a path?
You sprint madly, parched,
handed batons that you cannot drink.
You crumple them and toss them on the green grass.
Like emeralds beneath the grey, it soothes you.
And to your right rise proud cliffs,
and to your left, a river.
And you follow it,
as do the other sturdy
runners by your side.
-D. M. Collins
If you don’t enjoy seeing giant cocks explain to you why the Screamers and Buzzcocks are in the same sticky stream of history as Ma Rainey and Lesley Gore and Schubert and Little Richard and ancient cross-dressing shamanic rituals of our pagan past, then you are not fucking punk rock. And you probably deserve to be smothered to death by Donald Trump’s wig.
And so you better stay far fucking away from Spirit Studio tomorrow night, Saturday August 29th, at 8:30 p.m.
Wait, actually you should come. COME!
Ian MacKinnon is a theatrical genius who can play Jobriath songs on piano as good as the original (practically in the middle of a costume change), and he performs an incredible, video-heavy multi-media one man play that I co-wrote TOMORROW night (Saturday, August 29).
Unless you are doing something CRUCIAL, like playing your own show or experimenting with knives, I better see you there, you fucking cads! Or else I will evoke the disco spirit of Sylvester and have him pump jism into your prudish, homophobic hearts.
You don’t own me.
-D. M. Collins
P.S. Here are the details, darlings:
The Gay Music Revolution is back for one night only!
August 29th, 2015
$20 / $15 students & seniors
3711 Evans Street
Los Angeles, California 90027
P.P.S. Full disclosure: I co-wrote the script. I realized my friend’s play had a small but prominent hole in the backstory, and I stuffed a meaty chunk of the Germs and Buzzcocks and Screamers into it.
P.P.P.S. I have sex with men.
Today at 2 p.m. we have so many good writers! And we’re even bringing on features you’ve need seen with us before–including the highly young but highly acclaimed poet and writer Emily Hunt!
Emily Hunt is a writer, editor, and translator living in Los Angeles. Emily’s work can be found in Artillery Magazine, YAY LA, Robb Report, Los Angeles Review of Books, DoLA, San Francisco Bay Guardian, World Literary Today, and others. She was a selected participant in the Ashbury Home School poetry conference held by the former poet laureate in Hudson, New York. She is currently at work on her first collection of short fiction, Lake Wallenpaupack. She spends her free time cooking vegan food, drinking, and having awkward-to-tragic encounters with her neighbors. She cries at any and every Robert DeNiro film and she doesn’t think your bacon jokes are cute.
- Beverly M. Collins (Quiet Observations, and loud love!)
- Matt Sedillo (Grand Slam champion and socialist scholar)
- Emily Hunt (ARiaP newbie who may just outshine us all!)
- Laura Avila (young spoken word secret weapon!)
- Stephen Kalinich (Beach Boys lyricist and peace activist)
- F Douglas Brown (prized teacher/poet and DJ of words)
- Legs McNeil (Punk Magazine co-founder and VICE consigliere)
- Gillian McCain (Please Kill Me poet and voice of reason)
… and don’t forget hosts DM Collins and Art Currim, who will be organizing the entire afternoon along with great helpers from ZZyZx, soon to be announced!