Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Life


Greetings Brothers & Sisters,

Hopefully, the pollen’s not killing you and your respiratory systems… or, at least, not too much. I wanted to pop in and blog about a few things.

Recently, my second IndieFeed feature was posted. It feels great to be back. It’s been a few years now. You can check it out here: http://indiefeedpp.libsyn.com/christian-j-collier-acceptance



I’ve been rehearsing with the band Function for our upcoming show at The Camp House (1427 Williams St.) this Saturday night, and it’s been shaping up NICELY! Everything sounds great, and I’m going to be debuting a BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW poem. Come on out, dance, and let us entertain you. I guarantee that you’ll be moved, and all of my merch (my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes, the EP Between Beauty & Bedlam, and my Spoken-Word Rockstar t-shirts) will be present, so if you’d like to scoop something up, we can definitely make that happen.

Switching gears, for over a year now, I’ve really been focusing on becoming more Zen and trying to positively rearrange certain things in and around my life that were inhibiting me from growing as I needed to. I think I’ve largely been successful in my pursuit, even though I still have a long way to go. This past Sunday, I heard a really interesting quote regarding letting go of the past, which is something that I’ve struggled with a great deal. Basically, the crux of the statement was that you should be thankful for the problematic things and times, because otherwise, you continue, whether you’re aware of it or not, to feed energy into them and keep the wounds and emotion fresh. You end up seeking validation and vindication that you’re, most likely, not going to find.



As fate would have it, later that same day, I was able to make my peace with a few things and people, which was huge. I REALLY hope to be able to continue to just let things be, because none of us are the same people we were last week let alone a few years ago. Wisdom, baby!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Be good, be well, and I hope to see you on Saturday!

Blessings

Links:




Twitter - @ichristian3030

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Connection!


Greetings Boys & Girls,

This past week was a good one. It had adventure, sickness, gigs, etc. Let’s jump in!



 

I’ve been on the sick side of the coin for over a week now. At the beginning of last week, I was under the impression that I’d be feeling well enough to do the show at The Hunter without a problem. However, I realized during my rehearsal on Sunday or Monday that that wasn’t going to be the case. My voice was spotty at best, my breath control was terrible, yadda yadda. So, I decided to take myself to the doctor and get a few shots to kick my recovery into overdrive.

 

If you’ve followed this humble blog of mine for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve seen me say this before about The Hunter. Every time I have the opportunity to perform there, it always feels special. Scratch that, it always IS special. On this particular go round, I was accompanied by my bandmates Zowie Boyd and Jessica Nunn, and once we got rolling, I think we did a great job of filling the room. One of the greatest things aside from bringing the material to life is that we, as a group not only continue to get better, but we grow closer together while we’re performing, and that’s an amazing feeling.

 



After the performance, several people came up to talk to us, and I was really overwhelmed by the response. A few days prior to the show, I spoke with a friend from Florida who worked with the radio with me as well as started producing music with yours truly. He'd listened to my EP and asked that if my material isn't going to get airplay and because poetry has a very definite ceiling for opportunities (right now), where did I see myself going next. I told him that I really felt that with the band, we offer something unique, resonant, etc. and that if we can continue to just bring people into the work and atmosphere, we can carve out our own lane. The Hunter performance truly felt like a small affirmation towards that.

 



Friday night, I was asked to perform in a fundraiser for Equality Everywhere and for two young bands. It was a really interesting night and bill. There was indie rock, there was a little dabble of drag, and there was me. I haven’t performed at JJ’s Bohemia in a while, and I’ve always enjoyed being on that stage. It was a lot of fun to rock out in front of a room full of people who’d largely never heard of me.

 

I reached back and did some older pieces that I don’t get to perform that much anymore, and everybody was hip to it, man. It’s always great when that happens. When I jumped off the stage, a guy came over, and we started talking. He said that he was surprised that spoken word resonated so much with him. I replied that regardless of the medium, on some level, that’s what every artist hopes for. We hope that whoever experiences our work and regardless of their background, there will be a point in time when everything gels and you truly connect. Every time I record something or touch a stage, that’s legitimately what I strive for. As a matter of fact, I even frequently quote Brother Ali’s, “There’s no me, there’s no you/There’s just us” at the beginning of my sets because it is the PERFECT perspective for where I’m at as an artist and a person.

 



Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. Come see Function and me on April 26th at Camp House (1427 Williams St.), and be good!

 

Links:

You can buy my new EP here: http://christianjcollier.bandcamp.com/   



Twitter - @ichristian3030

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April!


Greetings,

I’ve been gearing up for my upcoming performance at The Hunter this Thursday, and it’s been rough. I’ve been on the sick side of the coin, and it’s been eating up my voice. I’ll be good to go on Thursday though. This, I guarantee.



If you’re a fan of the music and culture of jazz music, you should check out http://jazzanooga.org  for a schedule of events taking place. Former “American Idol” runner-up Ruben Studdard, Grammy-winners Gregory Porter and Lalah Hathaway, and more are coming to Chattanooga, so make sure to stay in the loop of this month’s activities.

Next, as I mentioned before, I’ll be performing at The Hunter Thursday night. It will be a celebration of the phenomenal new exhibit featuring African-American art from the Renaissance and up, as well as Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month. I’m really excited about this performance and all of the surprises I have in store. You can also check out an article on the show and yours truly in general here: http://www.chattanoogapulse.com/arts/renaissance-gumbo-from-a-word-chef/  



Oh, you can also check out an article the features some other proponents of literacy and me here: http://www.chattanooganow.com/news/2014/apr/04/changing-chattanooga-spreading-the-word/. My picture was actually taken at rehearsal, so I’m glad that it was snapped before I worked up a holy sweat. 

Lastly, on April 26th, I’ll be sharing the stage With Function. They just recently won this year’s Road to Nightfall competition, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you’re absolutely missing out. We’re going to be playing some soul music with a message, so bring yourselves out for good times.



Well, that’s all that I have for now, brothers and sisters. Be good, stay tuned, and I hope to see you out and about soon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Portrait of Things to Come


Greetings boys and girls,

We’re at the end of another month, and dangerously close to being four full months into 2014. I’ve been keeping busy (what else is new?), and I want to hip you to a few things. Let’s jump in!

In my last post, I wrote about four upcoming shows. We can another one to the list. I was recently notified that I’ve been accepted into the Ithaca Festival, which starts at the end of May. It’s looking like Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian will be taking himself and some copies of Ghosts & Echoes and Between Beauty & Bedlam to the great state of NY in the near future!



Outside of that, I spent a good bit of this past weekend editing some interviews I’ve recorded for my upcoming performance art piece, which we’ll debut on May 11th in Chattanooga for The New Dischord Festival. The interviews have been AMAZING, as well as eye-opening, and deeply insightful. I’d like to record a few more, but I HAVE to get them done soon. If you’re interested, feel free to hit me up.

Also, I’ve been preparing for my show at The Hunter. I’ve got some really great ideas, and I’m looking forward to rehearsing this week. We’re going to get down, and I think we’re going to do a good job of taking the audience on a journey.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for you guys and girls right now. It’s back to work for yours truly. Be good, stay up, and be sure to check out The Pulse and the Chattanooga Times Free Press this week (and maybe next week, too) if you’d like to see some new interviews with yours truly.

Peace!

Links:




Twitter - @ichristian3030

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What's Coming Up


Greetings,

What’s good?! It’s newly spring, I heard a new Wu-Tang song (on Wu-Tang Wednesday, of course), and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m working on a number of projects, and it’s exhausting and inspiring at the same time.

I wanted to take the time to post some upcoming performances. If you have any interest in seeing yours truly work up a holy sweat, you can check me out at the following:

·        April 10th – The Hunter Museum of American Art (6-7:30)

·        April 26th – Performing with Function @ The Camp house

·        May 10th – Poetry feature at Nashville’s Portland Brew East for Poetry in the Brew

·        May 11th – Premiering the performance art piece The Body for The New Dischord Festival

Each performance is tremendously different, which is going to be a fun challenge. I’m juggling rehearsals now as well as conducting interviews for the performance art piece, making music, etc. It’s all good. This is what I do, and I’m pretty accustomed to functioning in this manner.


Switching gears, check out some live photos from Nashville’s Cannery.  I’m really proud with how they came out, and the photographer did great jobs of not making me look crazy… or too crazy.


Blessings

Links:
Twitter - @ichristian3030

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Busy Business


What’s new and exciting, brothers and sisters? I’ve been extremely active all of this year so far. Some of it has come out of inspiration. The rest of it has come from necessity. Either way, I’ve been grinding, and I’m pretty excited about  what’s to come (I’ll hip you to that soon), and what’s been going shaking out lately. Let’s jump in!

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to perform at The Cannery for an event with Ms. Jessica Nunn, who plays the viola in my band. It was a great opportunity, and allowed us to see and meet some amazing talents from across the board. I always enjoy hitting the stage with Jessica, and I think that the whole experience brought us closer together as friends and artists.  I’m already hatching some new ideas for performances with her (she doesn’t know this yet. Mua ha ha!!!).


This past weekend, Nick aka Scenic (also from my band) and I performed at a benefit at Ziggy’s in Chattanooga. It was a lot of fun, and, now that I think about it, was the first time that just the two of us performed a joint set together.  We battled technical problems, and an attempted AUX cable theft to get down and do our thing. I’m really happy that despite those obstacles, we still represented in a sufficient manner.

Outside of live gigs, a while back, I came across a competition sponsored by Scratch Magazine. They were putting together a beat tape of beats that would work well for the artist and actor Common. I actually made it onto an MF Doom tape in a similar fashion a year or two ago, so I though it would be fun to give this one a go.

Before long, I’d cooked up something that I was both proud of and thought had a good chance of making it onto the project. And then, I heard… nothing. Nada. Zilch, even. Not for a long time. Over the weekend, I finally received an e-mail that the project had been released. I took a look at the tracklist, and, as fate would have it, Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian was, indeed, on that bad boy. You can check it out for FREE here http://www.scratchmagazinetv.com/ and here http://thebeattapeproject.bandcamp.com/album/common-the-beat-tape-project. Let me know what you think.

Switching gears, I think I mentioned that I’m developing a performance art piece. Each week, I get more and more excited and inspired, so that, dear brothers and sisters, is a great sign. The next phase of it is for me to start conducting interviews with women, so if you’re reading this and want to know more about the project or you’re interested in being interviewed, hit me up and I’ll give you the spiel.

Well, that’s about all I have right now. I’ll post some upcoming dates for live performances soon, so be good, stay in touch, and I’ll be blogging at you again in the near future. Oh, and don’t forget that you can purchase my debut EP Between Beauty & Bedlam at the following links: http://christianjcollier.bandcamp.com/

Blessings

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blur


Greetings,

We’re rapidly approaching the end of February. This year has been a blur (for a number of reasons). It’s odd to look up and realize that we’re almost in the third month of the year.  A lot has been going on, both personally and creatively. I’ll focus more on the latter though, so let’s jump in.



I’m gearing up to perform in Nashville this Thursday with Ms. Jessica Nunn. She’s a PHENOMENAL musician and has helped me bring my record to life a few times over the course of the past year. Each time, she always does something that’s emotive and brilliant, and it’s really an honor to be hitting The Cannery’s stage with her. We rehearsed last night and got some new, grand ideas on the table, so I’m really looking forward to it. The jams are going to be kicked out, brothers and sisters.

I’ve also been developing a performance arts piece that I’m really excited about. I’ve been writing a score that I think is one of the best things I’ve done musically. I’m also going to be conducting interviews for the piece, too. They’re going to play a really vital part in it, so I’m extremely interested in setting them in motion and hearing the responses and perspectives I get. I have to keep everything else under wraps for the time being, but definitely be on the lookout for more info in the near future.



Oh! I’m proud to announce that the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel has accepted TWO of my poems to feature. At some point in the future, they’ll feature Acceptance (from my debut EP Between Beauty & Bedlam available here http://christianjcollier.bandcamp.com/ and here  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/christianjcollier) and Worlds, which I had big fun breaking back out for the Come on in My Kitchen show at Barking Legs Theater last November. It feels great to be back on the site. Every time I take a look at the list of poets who’ve been featured, it’s always humbling.

Well gang, that’s all I’ve got for now. Be good, have FUN, and I’ll be in touch before too long.