7.17.2008

GV7 Random Urban Static is a two hour DVD featuring
fifteen performance oriented poets from the United
States. Included in the mix
are two time national slam champion Sekou (tha
misfit), LA Slam Masters Mollie Angelheart and Natalie
Patterson, two time Grand
Slam Champion Bridget Gray, and many others. Poets and
their performances are cut with interviews that
connect performance poetry
to hip-hop, question the importance of race and
sexuality in performance poetry, and discuss the
reasons behind performance poetry.
The performances range from the wild and outloud,
with Common Ground (Angelheart and Patterson together)
getting right in the
viewers face, to the deeply personal, whether it be
The Lindz weeping or Nick Lopez’s nasal performance
and introverted headturning,
to the humor of Tony award winning Poetri and even the
obscure and bizarre Eric Haber.

What was interesting, and what makes Bob Bryan’s film
less of a production and more of an actual documentary
was that there didn’t
seem to be a message across the poets. Each poet was
represented as an individual, with their opinions,
beliefs and experiences
allowed to interact and contradict. The movie opened
up a discussion and didn’t try to pigeonhole any poet
into a “performance” mold.

Where one poet insists upon the poem working on the
page, another poet insists that performance poetry is
entirely focused on
performance to the point that she doesn’t write her
own work down (Mollie Angelheart). Where one
champions directness and
accessibility, another celebrates the bizarre and
random. One defends the hip-hop connection to
performance poetry, and another
advocates breaking away from that connection and some
of the negativity it brings to performance poetry.
This discussion opens up the
idea of performance poetry as an evolving movement
with many voices, and not necessarily a static entity
with no potential for growth
or change.

As an educational tool, this DVD invites students and
teachers into the conversation and provides them with
an idea of what is
happening in the world of performance poetry without
being too overwhelming or too flashy. It also connects
the poetry to the academy,
as certain poets (Tim’m T. West and J. Walker) speak
about their educational backgrounds and how that has
influenced what they do
in performance.

While some of these poets are slam poets, this
documentary also shows other aspects and venues for
performance work, whether it
be Hunter Lee Hughes shaking his entire body to his
poem, Nick Lopez reading over a film, or even Jessica
Healy taping her poems to
bathroom stalls.

Thanks for the chance to review it and good luck with
this DVD,

Joshua Gage, contributor to
http://clevelandpoetics.blogspot.com/ and
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clevelandpoetics/

WEALTH OF IDEAS
This blog celebrates creativity in the
world of ideas, exploring a wealth of artforms.

GV7 Testimony of the Undying Power of the Spoken Word

Don't worry about poetry losing its place in the
world; it has many avenues through which it conveys
its message. If all else fails, it can
manifest itself in the one form that it has always
done for centuries: the spoken word. This is the
message director Bob Bryan conveys
in his latest GV7 documentary entitled Random Urban
Static: The Iridescent Equations of the Spoken Word.

The documentary presents a cross-section of Southern
California Spoken Word artists who, in this two-hour
presentation of diverse
styles, show their determination to keep the word
alive. Basically, these poets understand that there is
so much static in the urban
world, and the poet's role is turn the static into
words. Expertly-captured selected words, this static
turns into a message that can
make our world a better place.

Here is a selection of poets who remain true to what
they feel, to their sense of being, even in cases
where they may have to use
words to search for this humanity. And when they
capture it, we capture and share it with them and
those around us.

Watching this documentary, I came to know artists like
Vejea Jennings, Eric Haber, Poetri, Nicholas Lopez,
Natalie Patterson,
GaKnew, Tim West and many others who remind us to cry
if words dictate we do so, to talk about the problems
of the world and listen
to those whose views and ideals may differ from ours.
Poetri, in particular, reminds us "to listen with our
hearts" and expresses his
wish that everyone on earth was a poet; then the world
would be a better place. Of course, everyone is a
poet; it's the extent to which
we are willing to explore the poetry within and
without that makes a big difference. The poets in this
documentary have discovered the
magic of the spoken word and are determined to keep it
mending the ills of society.

One piece that stuck with me is "Letter to Hip hop"
(by Bridget Gray) which joins the debate on the issue
of hip-hop and social
responsibility. The poet chants:

" Back that thinking up
I'm not backing that thing up "

***
" Stop calling yourself a n*gga
and call yourself a man"

Eric Haber, who claims that he was "conceived in the
summer of love and [was] born in the winter of regret"
says that spoken word has
the power even to say even the wierd. Somewhere in
that message, as another poet points out (Sekou tha
misfit), there is a message
that will help someone.

This documentary is a fine blend of interviews and
performances which will leave you calling out for
more; an inspiring,
thought-provoking rendition of both the familiar and
unfamiliar. Its artistry shows the commitment to the
arts that director Bob Bryan
continues to demonstrate.

GV7 Review by Emmanuel Sigauke
I am currently reading Kazuo Ishiguro, Ernest
Hemingway, Nadine Gordmer, D.H. Lawrence, Dambudzo
Marechera, and Leo Tolstoy, Yusef Komunyakaa,
Christopher
Vogler and Thomas Hardy

REVIEW BY Ellyn Maybe, Poet

GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC: Iridescent Equations of
SPOKEN WORD is a compelling journey for those
interested in not only
seeing great spoken word performers but also the
candor that goes underneath the verse.

Strong mix of readings/ interviews and very resonant.

Congrats,
Ellyn Maybe, Poet

Ellyn's Signature Work "The Cowardice of Amnesia" is a
sparkling debut from a poet who's already proven
herself on the spoken word circuit. She dazzles her
readers
with streams of un/sub/consciousness, drowns them in
murky-beautiful word rivers, yells "catch!" as she
throws out the darts of her sub/urban imaginings and
lovingly
lunges at all manner of hypocrisy and cant.

Published by Henry Rollins
Edited by Exene Cervenka
Cover by Viggo Mortensen

VividNUrban Magazine
REVIEW OF GV7 RANDOM URBAN
STATIC:
The Iridescent Equations
of SPOKEN WORD

I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect,
when I first agreed to review GV7 Random Urban
Statics. However, what I found
was a film that highlighted all the characteristics of
me. Long before I ever ventured into the world of film
and journalism, I was a hip hop
artist and poet, and of course I still am. It was
indeed my frustrations with the Las Vegas’ media’s
lack of interest and support of local
artists that propelled me towards becoming a
journalist.

GV7 does an excellent job of illustrating how and why
poets do what they do. I especially like the idea of
highlighting the various types
of poetry, and discussing what I myself have found,
that some poems are for song, some are for the page,
and that some are for both.
As a rapper first, poet second I loved the that hip
hop was a highlight of the film.

It is very hard to string the intricate details of a
creative process and the masterminds behind it into a
compelling linear story line.
Filmmaker Bob Bryan did that flawlessly. By using the
verite style of story telling, he allowed the poets
themselves to explain all that
the viewer needed to know.

With this being my first introduction to the GV series
I am very excited and motivated to inquire into the
prior 6 installments. I am
hoping to leverage this review into an interview with
the filmmaker and the poets who make GV7 such a
wonderful piece.

For more information please visit
http://www.graffitiverite.com/

VividNUrban Magazine
VividNUrban Magazine is a magazine built for the Urban
individual. Whether that individual is a musician,
politician, teacher, athlete, doctor, athlete or any
of the
other tens of thousands of occupations that
exist…VividNUrban has something for them. We hope to
educate, spark dialogue, and build the bridge between
the gaps.
We are Las Vegas premiere Urban Arts and Culture
Magazine. Through commentary, and interviews we hope
to establish relationships that will allow vegas
urbanites
to explore collaboration opportunities in and out of
the city. We hope to find not only beat makers and
MC’s but promoters, organizers, teachers and DJ’s.

We hope to serve as the voice of our constituency and
speak truth to power in ways that are not only
entertaining and thought provoking but showcase the
Vivid light
that shines through the urban life. *Urban
Problems-Conversations of Solutions-And the Artistry
that Arises out of the Confusion.

Athens Boys Choir review of
GV7
by Harvey
Katz


Great video!

GV7 came to me like most things, from the Internet,
but it brought me to many other places. GV7 does an
exceptional job of showing
the versatility of spoken word, it's differing styles,
and the many paths people take to get the words from
the brain, to the page and to
the stage.

The visual effects keep the view enticing and the
soundtrack does an awesome job of enhancing the
emotions of the words. The
individuality of each author's journey is a portal
the public rarely gets to explore and GV7 takes you on
the journey with grace and
objectivity.

Great video for the spoken word enthusiast and if
you're not one before this DVD you're certain to
become a fan of the medium
afterward.

Review by Harvey Katz
Athens boys choir
Athens Boys Choir has been touring nationally since
2003, performing for audiences that are becoming more
diverse everyday. You don't have to be a spoken-word
enthusiast to enjoy the lyrical stylings of the Athens
Boys Choir. Katz has the unusual skill of opening even
the most skeptical minds to the world of performance
poetry. With three CD's already out and a fourth due
for release on March 27, 2007, Katz/The Athens Boys
Choir has established himself as a force in the
spoken-word/queer/pop culture/homo-hop movement; you
choose how it moves you.

Born to Speak the Word
By Victor Ho, Movies Editor for LA2DAY.COM

"Spoken word is a form of literary art or artistic
performance in which lyrics, poetry, or stories are
spoken rather than sung. Spoken
word is often done with a musical background, but the
emphasis is kept on the speaker.”

Directed by Bob Bryan, GV7 Random Urban Static: The
Iridescent Equations of Spoken Word is the 7th
installment of a
documentary DVD series about the spoken word poets who
live for and love the word. The truth of the word
defines their very character.
And the power in the word is considered a gift from
God.

To call it rap music would be a shame running 8 mile
long. You can say spoken word is like rap music but
without the corporate and
media bling-bling. The music comes from the heart and
soul of the performer – grounded in reality and the
spirituality. The sources of
its rhythm can be found in different cultures,
sexuality, and religion (sometimes even the
imaginary). Spoken word has been around
since the troubadours performed during the Middle Ages
and then famously revived by the Beat Generation. It
is a sacred art form.
Focused in the act of listening to the sights and
sounds around them, these creative wordsmiths are
fresh and in your face.

They may not look hip hop but they live hip hop. They
are the slam poets, or performance artists. They are
just simply the storytellers
of our time skilled in capturing our attention in the
digital revolution.

There is a rhyme to the reason from these artists that
includes… The Lindz, Mollie Angelheart, Vejea
Jennings, J. Walker, Eric Haber,
Sekou (tha misfit), Nicholas Lopez, Natalie Patterson,
Jessica Healy, Bridget Gray, Tim’m T. West, Rachel
Kann, GaKnew Roxwel,
Poetri, Hunter Lee Hughes, and Common Ground.

Some of the outstanding performances include pieces
such as:

Seventh Grade Girl by Sekou (tha misfit) – A junior
high crush is told as an analogy to Sekou’s
infatuation with a woman. He is
hilariously interrupted by his annoying mother on the
phone during the climatic moments of his story. The
best part is when he
describes his kiss to the sound of the classic Miles
Davis tune, So What. Pure improvised genius!

Krispy Kreme by Poetri – A fictitious conspiracy
theory about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, formally called
Krispy Kreme Kroissants
(KKK), selling their addictive “glazed drugs” to
African-Americans to control them. Funny stuff!

Zen by The Lindz – It’s an entertaining speech done in
a bluesy, unplugged way.

With maybe a laptop as their only technological tool
and quiet room of solitude, the poets secret weapon
are their voices and their
mission is to bring out the poetic justice that will
challenge our very being.

Word!

For more information about Graffiti Verite and its DVD
series, please visit www.graffitiverite.com.

Review By Victor Ho, Movies Editor for LA2DAY.COM
LA2DAY.com is one of the first Lifestyle Magazines
that exists entirely online. We bring you in-depth, on
trend and off-beat coverage
24 hours a day, 365 days a year free of charge. We
have no cover fee, no paid subscription and no
requirement to register to be able to
read ALL our news and reports.

African American Literature Book Club -
The #1 Site for
"Readers of Black
Literature"

Slam Poets Deliver Powerful Performances in Spoken
Word Documentary

Graffiti Verite’ 7: Random Urban Static
Click to order via Amazon

Unrated
Running time: 120 minutes
Studio: Bryan World Productions

DVD Review by Kam Williams
Excellent (4 stars)

If you enjoy the strident, staccato cadence of
commercial rap music but not its uniformly antisocial,
macho content, then you’ll
probably find GV7, aka Graffiti Verite’ 7, a
refreshing alternative. Just when you’re convinced
hip-hop is dead as an art form, along
comes this collection of powerful performances by 15
talented innovators as different from each other as
they are entertaining in their
own unique ways. Black, white, Latino, gay, straight,
male and female, the only thing they have in common is
a compelling ability to
express themselves eloquently on the subjects most
meaningful to them.

With the same raw intensity which the icons of BET
videos celebrate misogyny, conspicuous consumption and
black-on-black crime,
these wordsmiths explore a variety of themes ranging
from politics to privilege to sexual preference to
self-esteem to racism to religion
to AIDS to anorexia in a heartfelt and intimate
fashion. Directed by Bob Bryan, GV7 features both
interviews and acappella readings by
accomplished artists on the poetry circuit, such as
two-time Grand Slam-winners Bridget Gray and Sekou
(the misfit), along with the
likes of L.A. champ Mollie Angelheart who warns, “If
you don’t cut deep… you don’t make a difference.”

Highlights include The Lindz, who deftly blends talk
and song to produce a unique brand of soulful,
blue-eyed lyricism, and Tim’m T.
West, who reflects in rhyme about what it’s like to be
gay, black, and HIV+. I found his contribution to be
particularly of value since the
AIDS epidemic is hitting the African-American
community the hardest, yet the voices of the victims
of the disease rarely get heard.
Obviously, Tim’m is not one to allow any stigma to
prevent him from sharing his feelings with the world.

Ready to be discovered is Bridget, a charismatic
beauty beloved by the camera with a look and attitude
are tailor-made for movies.
Nonetheless, each and every cast member holds his or
her own, here, including Nicolas Lopez, Poetri,
Jessica Healy, GaKnew
Roxwel, J. Walker, Hunter Lee Hughes, Vejea Jennings,
Eric Haber, Natalie Patterson and Rachel Kann.

A delightful indulgence in the lyric form likely to
restore your faith in the Hip-Hop Generation.

7.16.2008

making, tasting towards a life of continual cheap or at least profitable enjoyment

while I'm a little sorry that this reading, run by poetryfriends, and around the corner from the LA Art Girls LAAGAFBLA08 and my piece within in show, has established so little traction -- or tried to -- with other series: other art poetr, art downtown or poetry downtown -- it is a big city -- PHARMIKA is great and these organizers and readers are:

THE THIRD AREA: POETRY AT PHARMAKA is proud to feature Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Mariano Zaro, Yvette Johnson, and Sarah Maclay
July 31, 2008
Doors at 7pm / stage at 8pm. Suggested donation is $5. Pharmaka is located at 101 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, 90013 (at S. Main St.).For more information: www.pharmaka-art.org.
About The Third Area: Pharmaka gallery presents The Third Area: Poetry at Pharmaka, a monthly literary reading held at the downtown gallery space. Sarah Maclay, poet (most recently The White Bride) and visiting assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University, serves as artistic director, with curating collective members Frankie Drayus (finalist for the May Swenson Poetry Prize), Dina Hardy (2008 Stegner Fellow), Tess. Lotta (curator of the Literati Cocktail reading series and editor for Media Cake eMagazine) and Stephany Prodromides (chapbook manuscript finalist for the 2008Center for Book Arts and co-host of Redondo Poets reading series) hosting the series on the third Thursday of the month. The Third Area showcases outstanding established and up-and-coming poets as featured guests.
July 31, 2008 Features
Beckian Fritz Goldberg is the author of The Book of Accident and Never Be the Horse, both from the University of Akron, and Lie Awake Lake (Oberlin), which won the 2004 FIELD Poetry Prize. Other collections are In the Badlands of Desire and Body Betrayer, both from Cleveland State. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1995. She teaches in the MFA program at Arizona State University.
Mariano Zaro is a poet and fiction writer. He is the author of two poetry books Where From/Desde Donde (Bay Books) and Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosión (Carayan Press). His work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Caracola, El Signo del Gorrión, Luces y Sombras, The LouisvilleReview, The River's Voice and The Portland Review. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke ReviewShort Fiction Contest. He teaches Spanish Literature at Whittier College.
Yvette Johnson was born in Los Angeles and has lived most of her life in Southern California. She studied creative writing, theater and dance at Trinity College, and acting in London. She turned to poetry in 2001 and was chosen to be a Newer Poet in 2007 (LA Poetry Festival / Beyond Baroque). Her poems have appeared in GlitterPony and DMQ Review, and she has two chapbooks: Poem and Other Poems and Bluffs.
Sarah Maclay, author of The White Bride (University of Tampa Press, 2008) and Whore (Tampa Review Prize for Poetry), is the book review editor of Poetry International and a visiting assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University. Her poems and essays have appeared in APR, FIELD, Ploughshares, The Writers' Chronicle and The Best American Erotic Poems: 1800 to the Present (Scribner, 2008). She received a Special Mention in The Pushcart Prize XXXI.

7.13.2008





music collab notes

one "first thought" is to write something called "Amass" or "A Mass" for the puns
this stupid thinking about puns (I got started by the MASS cover of the CDs I bought was red to underscore marxism = mass movement & the intro mentioned liberation theology) led me back to when the joke when we got to pick songs for a litergy, we all wanted to pick a song called "The Mass is Ended" -- I have to get out my keyboard, which I haen't yet, but it is basically a five note tune all GO in peace being two notes -- basically the recessional set simply music -- first -- because of the reversal and because then we wouldn't have to sit in church for another 45 minutes. So it would be fun to use the same set of simple notes as an intro. The real MASS does end with the same The Mass is Ended / Peace recessional. "in the end is my beginning"