Greetings Boys & Girls,
What’s new and exciting? Hopefully, lots (don’t hold out on me. You can actually tell me these things!). Quite a few things have been transpiring on my end, so without any further ado, let’s jump in!
I’ve been gigging steadily for about the past month, which I LOVE. I love being in front of an audience, and I realized while I was still recording my EP Between Beauty & Bedlam that a live setting really is how I’m going to be able to best promote the record. So, the goal has and continues to be to continue to make it happen as often as I can.
This weekend, I performed with Jim Pfitzer, Andrew Kelsay, and Fristl Butler at Charles and Myrtle’s. This has been a venue I’ve heard about for many years, but this was actually my first time stepping foot inside the place, let alone having the opportunity to perform. As soon as I walked in, I reazlied that pretty much everything I’ve heard about it was apt. It’s very cozy and intimate, and there is a certain energy that just kind of takes you upon entering.
The crowd that came was very responsive, and the bill was interesting because of the variety in styles. Jim’s a storyteller, Andrew and Fritsl played music, and I performed poems. We also performed in the round, which is rare for me, but it was really a lot of fun.
At the end of the night, I sold some merch and administered some hugs (if you’ve known me for any length of time or ever seen me live, you know that I pride myself on delivering quality hugs). A woman approached me and told me that she enjoyed my work, but felt that it was somewhat negative. I asked her what she meant, and she explained herself. She’d misinterpreted the second verse of my song Walk, which has happened a few times before. She thought that I was making a statement about racial superiority.
I told her that the second verse of the song is talking about how I, specifically in my teens, encountered a lot of interesting and complex perceptions and opinions on race. Black girls I used to be told that I acted white because I skateboarded, wore Chuck Taylors, played guitar, etc. That verse explains my frustration and confusion about those things, talks about how anyone, regardless of creed, color, etc. is capable of ignorance and holding you back, and how I ultimately decided to just be who I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do. Too many have died without having that opportunity for me to feel limited by people who don’t have my best interest in mind and who only play minimal roles in my everyday life.
When I told her all of this, I could see her perception change. I also told her that even when I talk about ugly things (rape, racism, etc.) it’s never done in a negative way. I also thanked her for having the dialogue with me, because it afforded me the opportunity to provide clarity on the matter. I never want anyone to misinterpret something or feel a certain way and leave with a distorted perception of me or my work.
What she said stuck in my mind though. The next day, I was looking at Twitter, and I came across this video of Chance the Rapper. He’s talking about an encounter he had in
and how he came to truly understand the power that language has. Check it out and let me know what you think. Canada
Switching gears, but staying with Charles and Myrtle’s, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be performing with Minton Sparks on September 26th. It’s an honor. One of my goals for the year has been to touch base with her in some capacity and talk shop, particularly since she’s based in
and I’ve been there a great deal over the past seven months to perform. As fate would have it, that will be happening, Inshallah. Put it on your calendars and come check out a GREAT show. You won’t be disappointed. Nashville
Also, I’ll be performing THIS FRIDAY at Barking Legs Theater for Melinda Brown’s benefit. Here’s a little info on the event: Melinda Brown, entertainer, community activist, all around great person has broken her sacrum in an accident. She has been in a lot of pain and is having a hard time managing. She has not been able to work since April when the accident occurred and could use a little help from her friends. Join us please in an EXTRAVAGANZA to delight almost all of your senses on JULY 18th AT BARKING LEGS THEATER at 7:00PM.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope to see you fine folks soon! Don’t be strangers, don’t pass out in the heat, and I’ll be in touch before too long.
Twitter - @ichristian3030