Quince / Sea of Streetlights / Cowboy Rap

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The Spanish were looking for the wrong kind of gold

The Spanish were looking for the wrong kind of gold

It’s been quite a semester, urbanites. My job as new-age social scientist, infiltrating the Valley’s hip hop culture, has led me to the heart of art in Phoenix (:

Arizona is so much more than just the bad parts of California! One could never guess at what’s thriving underground, from simply looking at the façade of our ever-stretching suburbia. With so many transplants from more central Hip Hop cities, we have places like Cyphers and Jukebox to teach the history, development, and philosophy of their art along with the sick moves they bring to the desert. We’ve got the foundations solid and native artists here, such as Phonetic Spit, who are taking things in a new, unique direction for our city. But don’t take my word for it:

 

House

House


understanding

All forms of art are essential to the human experience. With no music, no colors, and no dancing this city would descend into the despair of anonymity that so often haunts the newer cities in the country. It’s important, as citizens, to cultivate our own artistic culture in the community. It’s important, as humans, that we interact and share with each other through creative expression. Otherwise, everyone goes crazy. No Bueno. Keep it real Phoenix! I’ll be skipping town while it’s appallingly awfully hot here, but I’ll back in the spring to check back on what’s been growing in our garden. Much love!

Here’s some more from the valley’s finest:

Arizona has a plane graveyard.. might as well make it beautiful and worth visiting?

Arizona has a plane graveyard.. might as well make it beautiful and worth visiting?

lookbeyond the surface in our town!

lookbeyond the surface in our town!

dino cactus peete az

Arizona - Douglas Miles

Arizona – Douglas Miles

Poetry Month

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shes a poem

In case you weren’t there, (the Come as You are Ball, where else?) this is what it felt like:

Electric Snake Charming


(the limelight is a spinning mosaic tonight)


(you know that some part of your heart
Is made of music-feeling-fibers
You can activate if you concentrate
Real hard)


(“Work.”)

The DJ uses a machine
As a snake charmer, & electrically,
Scientifically, she turns to a twin tailed viper.
A rhythm slithering leather leviathan, skin reptilian
Stretching plates of grey-scale Vogue covers,

              Back & forth, back, back & forth another cobra
Hisses hits & misses to me,
Only the forked tongue, oh, only- the forked tongue
Sputters out a tulip
Dirty Dancing:

(the rose on a mafioso’s tuxedo)
It was all,
“you can be anything you feel like,
For one night,
Dream.”

                      & everyone said, naked;
“yeah we brought costumes,
Glad I could make it but to night
Ill be myself cause I shapeshift
daily”

snakes shedding layers theymakebelieve every day
Making sure our thinking is always inside the box
Magazine faces became masks and acted like real people acting like real people

release Souls, they’re fragile as the edge of extra yellow petal lilies on a sunny day


feel me?
Its like mostofthetime mymind is twistedsideways;
Facilitatinginspection from youreyes.
Nomore
feel me?

JOSEPH LORUSSO

April is national Poetry Month! Also, the Come as You Are Ball was simply indescribable through normal language, so this was the best fit. If you were there, you’d understand (I hope.)


Special thanks to Archie Burnett for puttin’ in work these past 2 weeks for ASU’s urban program. The film screening on Monday, the social-roles discussion last Wednesday, and the Ball were all a blast and each event was enlightening! Much love from AZ Archie!


Present at the round-table discussion last week, (we were actually sitting “criss-cross applesauce” on a dance floor) poet Joy Young lent us all a hand to elevate the topic. Here’s a performance of her’s, ‘cause everyone was curious!


Joy Young lives her poetical life in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’re lucky, you can catch her around microphones all over the city. She’s super down to Earth, so snap & say hello!

She
BIG NEWS!
Cyphers, a keystone for Hip Hop in the valley, has found a new location in the Phoenix Center for the Arts in downtown! The grand re-opening celebration is planned for Friday, 5/2, starting at 6p.m.

All the elements of Hip Hop will be celebrated at the grand opening, so whatever you do; bring it downtown on May 2nd. Save the date!

  • A cypher is a creative circle that allows for energy to flow between the artists so they can build off one another.
  • Hip Hop was born from the energy in cyphers, and all that stuff you see on TV began as friends goofing and having fun in a cypher. Whether it’s for breaking, or dancing in general, or droppin’ bars on a mic, a cypher is the best way to hone your skills & learn from others. Plus it’s a chance to show your friends your maniacal moves. Cyphers is surely the best place to catch a cypher, so definitely support the Hip Hop movement in Phoenix by coming out!

Rhythmic Intervention

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Armando Renteria            The walls of the Fine Arts Center reverberate with pounding bass from somewhere deep underground every Friday night, as passerbys above wonder if giants are knocking at the door. Laughing and the mouse-quiet squeaks of rubber on a dance floor echo up the sketchy, ugly staircase, hinting at more fun than should be possible to have. What could be going on?!

            Nope, that’s not a passage from Goosebumps. That was last Friday’s workshop/open sesh, led by our girl Shacks of the Urban Arts Club. A smile on her face the entire night, she lent her students her passionate take on Punking, showing us how to reach within and paint what you feel on your face, with your arms and your core, your knees and your toes. Punking is an aspect of a style called Waacking (both of which I was unfamiliar with) that involves the “silent movie” dramatic expressions and poses, whereas Waacking is the very dynamic, striking and striding movements involved. Together, these two forms make something amazing but just beyond my powers of description. Take a look for yourself.

            Every Friday night this semester has been quite the learning experience. Even if you dance like a Silverback Gorilla being chased by a swarm of bees, experiencing a different form of art and being around people who are passionate will deepen your understanding of your own pursuits. In other words, it’s fun, you won’t see what you see here anywhere else, and it’s good for your soul!

By VisualSingularities

By VisualSingularities


That being established, next week’s workshop is a little change of pace, featuring Tomas Stanton of Phonetic Spit. This workshop will be focused on poetry instead of dance but will no doubt be just as loud. You’ll hear the audience laughing and snapping their fingers cross-campus, as thought-provoking dopeness flows through the mic cables & into everybody’s hearts. Bring a pen & a friend y’all.

You know the deal: Nelson Fine Arts Center, 5$ just for the workshop, 5$ for the open-sesh-after-party, or 7$ for both! Room FAC 28 (you have to go down the sketchy, ugly staircase!)

Tomas + Beard

Tomas + Beard


En nuestra comunidad:

2 001 Urban Sol Flyer ++

ASU’s Urban Arts Club (in alliance with Archie Burnett) will be hosting the Come as You Are Ball on April 18th. There will be Waacking. (Need I say more?) This ain’t no king-&-queen, funny-French-masks-with-the-sticks-attached type of “ball.” I mean, if you wanna come as Marie Antoinette, that’s cool too. The point is to express yourself without any lines or definitions imposed, this will be a judgment-free event, open minds must be brought. Just DO YOU (: Join us in our stand for free expression and against self-consciousness:
Tickets for the ball can be had for 8$ presale, or 10$ at the door. Strapped for cash? Follow the link and get yourself presale price: Facebook
The Come as You Are Ball will be located on campus, in the lobby of PEBE East. (Just a little East of the MU). I’m not exaggerating when I say this event has the potential to change your life (:

drama-masks

Outside the University, inside the city, this weekend is the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, a 3-day, completely non-profit, cross-genre charity event at the Margaret T. Hance park in Downtown Phoenix (right by the library, ride the light rail my fellow New Hippies). Artists attending run the gauntlet from Ben Harper to Gramatik, so there is definitely something for everyone here. Make the most out of this weather we only have a few weeks of, experience the music. All (100%) proceeds from this event go to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Umom Day Centers. Do your part as a Phoenician!

 

andrea lupe

We Might End up Somewhere in Mexico (vaudevillians)

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We Might End up Somewhere in Mexico (Vaudevillians)

Ed Mells - Colorado Forms

Ed Mells – Colorado Forms

            Learning something new, moving your body in a new way, & meeting new people are all a big part of urban at ASU. Last Friday’s (3/7) workshop had the janitors in the hallways of PEBE East grooving to Beyoncé (I saw them!) & trying to get Anton Smith’s choreography down. The man’s infectious energy, coupled with a laugh that could make Adolf Hitler crack a smile, made for a refreshing, heart-cleansing dance workshop. Everyone felt just a little closer to themselves, and more comfortable communicating with any rhythm, NOT just Beyoncé. The man has been out of sight since relocating to Mexico City to explore life and grow as an artist, but was happy to spend time with us at ASU and to teach us a thing or two, as well as sit down with yours truly to talk about how many suit cases of purely clothes is appropriate for international travel (not 3, Anton), drinking black coffee as a refreshment after instructing a dance class (at 11 p.m.), as well as being a living lesson in following your heart & not being afraid to carve your own path in life. We all really enjoyed Anton, & it’s impossible to not learn something or laugh when you spend a minute with him. Get the experience for yourself by reading on:

Anton wanders like a cowboy

Anton wanders like a cowboy

            Born & raised in Philly, Anton Smith started dancing seriously in his teens & throughout high school. After graduating, he joined the army out of curiosity to see the world, keeping the love of movement close to his heart wherever he went.

            After 3 years of service & getting the chance to experience many different states as well as different countries, Anton decided that the military was not for him. He had fallen in love with Arizona during his soldier days and had decided to come here to study fine art & dance at the University of Arizona, embracing his artistic side. The University did not offer any classes in hip hop or house dance, his roots as a dancer. Anton decided to take the initiative, & created a Hip Hop course for dancers who want to embrace their inner funk. This was all during his junior year in undergrad. The Pima County Education peoples watched an exhibition he choreographed with his students, & welcomed the class into the University. After a few years, this program evolved into his own professional choreography group, the Human Project. This collective travelled the world, from Brazil to Canada, all over the ‘States, & hopped over to Europe. The Human Project continued to perform in Arizona & everywhere else for around 10 years, leaving a profound impact on Hip Hop & dance in general in Tucson.

 

            After a decade of teaching, choreographing brand new performances, and travelling the globe, Anton felt the desire for new artistic horizons again. He officially ended the Human Project around 2003, when he decided to focus on his other artistic talents, writing poetry, singing, rapping, and producing music. Anton said the transition from ‘8 hours a day on the dance floor to 8 hours a day in the recording studio’ left him a more disciplined, wiser artist. Of course there was no way he could simply forget dancing, as finding a new passion (especially mediums so interrelated) can help rekindle original ones.

            The change of pace in his artistic life required a change of scenery as well, as Anton said goodbye to his belongings to live a little more nomadically South of the Border. He parted with (most) of his material possessions, saying it felt cleansing and enlightening. Anton treats life like the adventure that it truly is & should be recognized as. Living in Mexico City is far from country-side soul searching, but the new culture & language are enough to get you out of your shell. “Being a foreigner & learning Spanish kinda force you to forget your self-consciousness. You can’t be afraid to mess up, or else you won’t go anywhere or learn anything, or meet anyone!… It’s just like dancing.”

            Anton is busy these days south of Sonora teaching & learning a new language. He is writing verses of poetry & songs, producing his own Hip Hop and original tracks, He also writes choreography for any song he makes & plans on performing. You may have seen him by the Greenhaus in Downtown Phoenix  Saturday (3/8), rapping, dancing, & singing for some entranced Phoenicians. He is teaching in Mexico as well as performing as much as possible. He is also translating his English works into Spanish, for another culture to enjoy & share in.

            Anton plans to continue travelling & following his heart, enriching the lives of his students, friends, & lucky audiences. We were happy to have him at our open session & are sending much love his way at ASU.

Anton called his style neo burlesque, vaudeville, classy s***

Anton called his style neo burlesque, vaudeville, classy s***

notaswami

Coflo (no double-yoos)

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Propeller Energy

Cofloat

Cofloat

Big ups to Coflo for last week’s open session and workshop. Are anyone else’s toes still cramping and curling up? It got real intense, real quick in there, y’all. Sweat poured, rhythm pounded. Lots of smiles and hip high-fives. The students in FAC 28 last Friday ranged from fledgling dance gurus to basic beginners, but everyone had fun and learned something new.

This week I’ll be presenting some wise words from the man himself, Coflo Ferreira, about everything from cheesey 90’s movies, to Brazilian dance-fighting, to what it means to be from the Bay & the direction his artistic collective MVMNT is taking in the future. Read on, urbanites. I will also breakdown Urban Sol (get it on your calendar already), and reporting on some local artistic movement happening here in the valley. Let’s do it!

Coflo “no double-you’s” Ferreira:

UAAZ: Can you tell the world a little about your background as an individual regarding music, dancing, & capoeira?

Coflo is from a musical family, and grew up with his father rocking the blues on the guitar and singing. His mother was also a guitarist (and coincidentally a much better singer). Neither had any formal training or instruction, just passion.

This exposure to music seems to usually give kids a better sense of rhythm, so it is natural that Coflo became a dancer and (eventually) a producer. Coflo started really moving with his crew Circle of Fire, and then Soul Shifters shortly thereafter. Both crews were with co-conspirator Seth, who is now working with Coflo in their house/break dance/ capoeira/ creative arts studio MVMNT in South Berkeley.

Soul Shifters

Soul Shifters

‘Only the Strong’, a 90’s martial arts movie (so you can imagine the kind of plot and dialogue we’re talking about here) featuring capoeira as it’s ticketseller is what inspired Coflo to study the Brazilian art, which is literally indescribable and can only be watched. “Such a stupid ****ing movie, but I saw how they moved and I was fascinated. I knew I had to do it.” Sometimes the ends justify the means, Coflo. We all draw inspiration from different places is what I mean! Since watching the movie and learning that capoeira is a little more difficult than Hollywood makes it seem, Coflo has internalized the historical martial art and trains others, as well as continues to learn & practice, in the studios and dojos of MVMNT.

coflo

As an ever-learning student, Coflo asked his mentor Brian Green how he could take his dancing to the next level. “He told me to start reading musical theory, which was a drag and made absolutely no sense for a long time.” Progress was slow but Coflo knew the wisdom in his mentor’s words. He picked up a keyboard, learned piano, learned to DJ & mix, but the theory and the practice only clicked when he learned to critically listen to music. Coming from a dancing background, you feel the rhythm, feel the music. The action is different when you’re a musician. You still feel the rhythm but you pay more attention to the space within, you listen a little more analytically.

After years of hard practice and advice and tips from friends, Coflo has produced some entrancing House, (or whatever you feel like naming it, it’s just dope!) for the world to listen and learn through.

As to the future and plans within MVMNT, Coflo’s goals have to do with creating a more regular class schedule, as well as expanding the programs already offered. “MVMNT already features a lot of special events… like the open floor, open house I host. We just need to continue growing and snowballing in the community.” Coflo, Seth, & Green’s space in the Bay is a place where dancers, musicians, and artists of everything in between and all ages can come to learn, practice, or teach, or show off. It is a staple in the city, even the whole area. My cousins who always claim to be from the Bay (but are really from Santa Rosa) will be jealous & enraged when I talk to them about something so dope in their own city, which they have no idea about.

Look up Coflo’s moves to get inspired, look up MVMNT to see where urban art is heading! Stay up Coflo, & thanks from everyone from ASU!

There you have it, urbanites. Sick of missing all the important, life-enriching things happening on campus? Our next workshop & open session will be this Friday (3/7) in FAC 28, ASU Tempe. 5$ for one, or 7$ if you want to take both.:

3/7

3/7

April 4th is going to be a loud one in Tempe this year folks. Next month will be Urban Sol, the highlight of hip hop in Arizona and at ASU. This year’s theme is PARTicipate, as the dance competition (featuring 80 contestants, which is gigantic) will be 5-on-5 teams this year. Cyphers will be swirling as students break free and feel the hip-hop in their blood.

People             Artistically                  Reimagine                   Together

PARTicipation is the only rule at Urban Sol. Hip Hop is for the people, by the people, & that means ALL the people. Bring your creativity and be involved. (:

Evening of April 4th, FREE, Galvin Playhouse @ ASU Tempe. Yeah baby!

urban sol

urban sol

WELL WHAT IS GOING DOWN, URBANARTSAZ?

  • ·         Eddie Wellz, ASU student as well as enlightened-MC is dropping his 2nd mixtape, Keep Your Head Up, this Thursday (3/6). As mixtapes go, it will be available for free just about anywhere you find it. If you like your rap to be about something a little more meaningful then weed, flashy gold or cars, & more inspired and deeper when it regards women, then don’t deprive yourself. Google this kid and find his music. It’s doing YOU a favor. Download the brilliancy here!
Keep Your Head Up

Keep Your Head Up

 

·         Phonetic Spit will be bringing their own brand of New poetry to the Burton Barr Central Library the Saturday of the 15th. Get inspired. Wear that purple painter’s hat and practice snapping your fingers. Get that perplexed, intrigued intellectual-look well versed with your face, cause it’s gonna be deep. No totally joking! This is the most down-to-Earth, real word-fest I’ve ever experienced. Don’t miss out!

phonetic spit at the downtown library

phonetic spit at the downtown library

 And of course: Beautiful Murals!

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She’s a Brickhowwwse!

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She’s a Brick… howwse.. She’s mighty might-aaay!

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Greetings from the City of the Burning Sun, people of the internet. Today I am busy doing yoga & drinking hibiscus tea in preparation for next week’s Open Sesh. I need my creative chakras to be fully flowing for the musical, visual, and physical work of art the Urban Arts Club is making next Friday (2/21) in FAC 28, Tempe Campus. Come share your area of expertise with us and add to the collective inspiration (:. An open microphone will be ready for all the sophisticated poets out there, as well as space-age Ipad Instruments, & not-so-space-age instruments, with a dance floor full of ASU’s finest. Show love.

Junious Brickhouse will be there, as the Open Sesh follows the workshop he will be leading earlier that evening. This dude moves like water. Flowing over a cliff. On the Moon. Check it out:

Don’t miss the chance to work on your steps with this guy. He won’t teach us how to dress that freshly, but hey, we can’t supply you with everything.

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cultureclash

  • Learning a thing or two from Brickhouse & then teaching everyone else a thing or two in the open session will only cost you 7$. Come on, it’s worth it. It’s good for your soul. (I’ll be there, and I recently paid the lady at Fedex two quarters & an old fortune cookie to print an essay for class). I wish that was a joke, really. This is all happening 2/21, in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, FAC 28 (ASU – Tempe).
  • As part of ASU’s Night of the Open Door, half of Phonetic Spit Myrlin Hepworth will be hosting a poetry slam March 1, at 6pm. He is representing the power of the spoken word and the written verse in an event mostly advertised for its science-based activities, so make sure you show up and let the University know that art & poetry is just as essential to the mind as science & mathematics. The Night of the Open Door is the evening of March 1, at Memorial Union on ASU’s Tempe Campus. It’ll be dope & inspiring!

Well, that’s all for this weekend mi amigos. Enjoy some of the fresh paint on our walls around the valley:

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Starwars Raids you guys!!

Starwars Raids you guys!!

The Music Drug

The Music Drug

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