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Archive for March, 2006

Lyrical Ambush @ DuPont Circle

Monday, March 20th, 2006

The latest bi-weekly lyrical ambush was among the strongest we’ve have had since the weather turned last fall – despite the continued cold. On the first day of spring, we dragged out the big sound system loaned to us by the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) and encountered a small army of people that coalesced around us. By 7:30, we had the area of the Circle near us filled with people, and while the numbers slowly declined over the rest of the evening, the energy remained formidable.

A number of new faces came through and graced the mic. Against-the-MegaMachine from Contraband Records came through to add a few hard-hitting rhymes, and Joe Kennedy backed up everyone who hit the mic with a skilled mix of flute, scat and Bobby McFerron-style beat-boxing. Allan’s enthusiasm was infectious, with his stints on the mic (in Spanish!), drum and dance floor each elevating the energy of the group one notch higher. Finally, God’s Son, a seemingly low-key brother walking through the circle wearing headphones and a long black leather trench coat, hit the mic three times – slinging tremendous conscious freestyles each time off the top of his head. He apparently holds down a solo guerrilla gig in Judiciary Square with a megaphone, and suggested that our finally having crossed paths is hardly coincidental.

A number of folks rolled back to the Belmont House for the after-party, including Mary Shymanski, Ellie Walton and Sam (visiting from London, and who captured footage in the Circle for a documentary project through which they hope to capture the real voice of DC), and Ethan from Philly, who’s in town organizing for some culture change events in May. We dropped a few ciphers, traded a few stories, and spent a few hours shooting the breeze. Powerful forces are at work in the nation’s capital…with a counter-culture emerging to challenge the prevailing political paradigm and its iron-fisted grip on the planet.

Word up to Gary (whose birthday is this Wednesday!), Joe, Johanna, Fadi (who offered the rhythmic backbone for the rest of the artists), Mark (who rocked out with both his guitar and drum machine), Laurie, Jess, Shahid, Jeff, Damian, and Gustav.

Road trip + Workshop + Performance @ “Better Than TV” Infoshop in Charlottesville, VA

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

written by Gustav Sallas

Saturday, March 11th, 2006 was a gloriously beautiful day as eight Guerrilla Poets piled into Hawa’s van for a road trip down to Charlottesville, VA to perform at the amazing “Better Than TV” infoshop, which features an art gallery, darkroom, kitchen, performance space and lending library. The show was bottomlined with characteristic skill by Laurie Blair who not only coordinated our invitation from Kai, but also herded Laila, Jess, Mo, Fadi, Gustav, Hawa and Shahid (who showed up on time!). Upon our arrival, we were treated to a fabulous vegetarian meal prepared by Jennifer in the infoshop kitchen. Off the hook DJs rocked the performance space while we ate and prepared to perform, and then the GPI and a group of over 20 supporters took over a plaza on the open air downtown mall near where BTTV is located. Bathed in the gorgeous warmth of the sunny day, we attracted quite a crowd of passersby, many of whom stayed for several pieces or more. We then led a parade-like procession, chanting and holding a banner, back to the info shop. Laila and Jess led a breakaway group of eight (not to be mistaken for the G8!) to workshop some new poems which were read to the group – after what seemed like way too little time to have produced such polished and engaging pieces – during an open mic performance that we hosted. It drew some superb poets, including some who were performing their work for the first time ever before an audience. The feedback we received was all positive, and many people told us they had been eagerly anticipating this show. A great time was had by all, and it seemed we reached a large number of passersby in Charlottesville, and personally touched the hearts and minds of some of Charlottesville’s artivist community.

The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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