Sunday, July 15, 2012


Greetings Folks,

Man, last week was WILD! There was a lot going on (some great things, some burdens, yadda yadda). Fortunately, I absolutely cannot complain with how the week ended, and I have the peeps that came out for MANIFEST Presents The Speakeasy to thank. We had a great crowd filled with old faces, new babies, and incredible energy.

I’ve written before about how much Speakeasy has meant to me, and that continues to be true. I made the announcement that Speakeasy has NEVER belonged to a place (not Mudpie, not The Office, etc.), but it belongs in the hearts of those who have and continue to come out, show their support, and share themselves and their gifts. I LOVE being able to help provide a platform for all of these people who have enriched my life through being who they are and doing what they do. I feel tremendously blessed in that regard, friends.

Switching gears, I’ve been listening to some incredible music lately. About ten years ago, I was enthralled with “Digital” by Mia Doi Todd. However, in Chattanooga, it’s very hard to find indie records (it was true in 2002, and it’s true in 2012), so I never got the chance to listen to the whole thing. That all changed last week! I’ve had such a wonderful time giving it a run through. It’s truly a gem. I encourage all of you who come across this post to do whatever you can (without causing harm to yourself or anyone else) to check it out. Also, peep the rest of Mia’s discography. I guarantee continuing satisfaction!

Well, that’s about all I have for now. I shall be in touch before too long with some more updates. In the meantime, keep your spirits up, have fun, and be good!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Talking that Talk!

Hey Folks,

We are now less than one week away from the next MANIFEST. As you probably know, we’ll be doing a Speakeasy session for the event, which is a poetry/spoken word open-mic done my way. For the past couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of encountering a number of poets who’ve just been sitting on their work, so I figured that it would be a good opportunity to give them a platform to share what they’ve written, especially since the last Speakeasy event in April and the tremendous amount of fun that was.

I’ve said it before, but it continues to ring true. The Speakeasy has meant the world to me. Not only did it pave the way for me to initiate and solidify the MANIFEST brand, but it was my saving grace for a long time. Hopefully, I’m not getting too deep here, but I went through an intense depression in 2009, and Speakeasy really provided me something to take my mind off the troublesome things that were going on in my life at the time. It afforded me the chance to creatively vent, as well as come into contact with a number of writers across the board. Over the years, it’s been a continuing blessing.

We are not charging a set cover for the show, which is on the 14th. Instead, I’m asking everyone to contribute what they feel is adequate for the entertainment and for bringing the show to fruition. If you’d like to contribute $2, that’s perfectly fine. If you’d like to contribute $20 or more, that’s also perfectly fine. Each individual gets to be the catalyst for how much they’d like to pay. I’ve really been interested in the whole pay-what-you-want model for a number of months now, mostly because it’s an open invitation for anyone to experience the event, which is the most important part of the equation in my eyes. Regardless of how much money you have in your wallet, I really just hope people will come see what we have lined up and experience it with an open mind. I guarantee satisfaction!

In other news, some of you know that I’ve been a producer of Hip-Hop, drum & bass, dubstep, etc. for the past six or more years. I released a drum & bass record in 2008, have had some singles spun in Europe, and a number of other personally cool things. I’ve recently decided to give more attention to producing again (I’ve been dabbling over the past year or so), and I’m very pleased to announce that one of my instrumentals is on The Chronicles of Viktor, which is a free mix dedicated to MF Doom brought to you by the good people from TheBeatTapeProject. If you’re interested in checking out some free music or just hearing my contribution (I’m track 83), you can accomplish both by visiting

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now, essentially. I’ll leave you with some albums and artists that I’ve currently been listening to and enjoying. Peace!

  1. Miho Hatori
  2. Lamb – Fear of Fours
  3. Brother Ali – The Bite-Marked Heart
  4. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
  5. The Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MANIFEST Presents The Speakeasy

For the nineteenth installment of the MANIFEST series, Christian J. Collier will be bringing The Speakeasy, a unique open-mic night showcasing an eclectic blend of poetry/spoken word and music, to The Camp House (1427 Williams St.) on July 14th. The Speakeasy debuted in 2009 and has been facilitated, organized, and hosted by Collier over the past three years. The open-mic has had a very distinct and diverse array of readers and performers including multiple Pushcart Prize nominees and even acclaimed comedian Doug Stanhope.

Doors open for the event at 8. Sign-ups will be taken on site at that time as well. This will also be the second consecutive pay-what-you-want show where attendees are encouraged to contribute whatever they can or feel is fitting for the entertainment. For further information, Christian J. Collier can be reached at

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Welcome to July! June was truly A MONTH! The last two weeks had a number of adventures and amazing times. Here’s a quick list of some of the things that I’ve experienced in the past 14 or so days.

  1. I witnessed the Into the Wild Tour with Killer Mike, El-P, etc.
  2. I met Big Boi from Outkast
  3. I performed with The Cumberland Collective in Nashville
  4. I gigged directly across the street from where George Lopez was simultaneously performing

This past week was incredible as well. On Thursday, I had the good fortune of performing at The Hunter along with Nathan McKay, Lord Subliminal, and Jody Harris aka The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The weather was hot outside, but we had an amazing time. I, myself, wore many hats for the performance. I ran sound, served as dj, played electric guitar, and spit a lil’ somethin’, somethin’. It was WORK, but definitely the affirming and rewarding kind. I would not have had it any other way.

I pride myself on being an honest person and artist, so I have absolutely no shame in saying that I COMPLETELY butchered This Poem (hey, I’m human). These things happen, and I think I did a decent job of getting back on track after the flubs (if you mess up your lead-off piece, there’s only one direction to go from there).

This is going to sound odd, but I think the most fun I had during the entire performance was djing. Not only did I have the opportunity to spin some of my favorite Hip-Hop anthems, but I got to back up everyone else (most of the time, it was ENTIRELY on the fly).

I’ve said it before, but I love performing at The Hunter. Every time I have the chance to do so, I feel like something magical happens. I certainly hope to be back at some point!

Last night, I performed in TheCreativeUnderground Presents: Eclectic. My mentor Shane Morrow put on a show that paid tribute to several artists that we’ve lost in recent years including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, etc. I played the role of the announcer, but the most fun I had was taking the stage and channeling the great Heavy D. We performed “Nuttin’ but Love” along with a rendition of “Candy Rain” by Soul for Real. It was the FIRST time that we performed the songs as a whole, and we rocked it, yo. The energy was through the roof, and we really got down. So. Much. Fun!

I’ve had such an amazing time for the past few months. I’ve really reconnected with myself, and I feel at home. I truly am thankful to be where I am in my life and to have the people that I have around me.

Lastly, different people have asked what songs I played on Thursday. I didn’t have a prepared set, so I put it together in front of everyone who was there, but here’s what I remember spinning:

  1. Talib Kweli – Get By
  2. Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty
  3. Dilated Peoples – This Way
  4. Pharoahe Monch – Desire
  5. Brother Ali – Good Lord
  6. Ian Kamau – Can’t Make You Love Me
  7. Eyedea & Abilities – Now
  8. Dead Prez – Hip-Hop
  9. Pharoahe Monch – Simon Says