WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT? BLACK SCIENCE SESSION: PHOTOSYNTHESIZERS, AMUL9, JAMES DANGLE, & THE WITCH DOCTOR [BALLICEAUX, RVA]
It’s not often that I leave a local show wondering exactly what just happened — last night was one of those nights. Presented by AudioMassTransit and Photosynthesizers the final Black Science Session of 2011 went down last night at Balliceaux. The show was headlined by Photosynthesizers and as usual they did not disappoint – another amazing live show. Through this blog, I have met several members of Photos and they know how much I love their music so here is my brief assessment of me mid-way through every Photos live show — Damn, they are really good! Why aren’t they signed and traveling all over the world? I know, easier said than done but here is to all the Photos crew — much success in 2012. My personal favorite local live performing act of 2011 (next year I take off the local).
Now here is the part that left me scratching my head a bit — I saw the really famous and amazing documentary Afro-Punk by James Spooner a few years ago and really liked it but I had never seen a “Afro-Punk” style performance live until last night. Amul9 from ATL blessed RVA with their hardcore talent last night. Though I thought I was ready — I was not fully ready. The energy — the excitement — it was a bit shock but hats off to those brothers. If you like that Bad Brains (original Afro Punk) sound – check out their debut album Elevated Beings. They even worked with the pioneer Earl Hudson of Bad Brains on the project.
Opening the show was my dude, Just Plain Sounds representative James Dangle. He hit the stage early (and late) with some tracks from his album One Time I Knew. I’ve said it before and will say it again – Naima is my favorite local track of 2011.
Also spinning his unique fusion of old soul and “Lord knows what” but it’s amazing was The Witch Doctor.
Overall, a great night.
It’s true — I love birthdays! And though birthdays in your 30′s can be a bit tricky — I’m still a huge fan. The thing about birthdays is that it’s a really good time to assess your personal standing in life — figure out exactly where you are — where you thought you would be — and of course, where you want to go. I’m just like everyone else when it comes to this — I often take my birthday to reflect on the past year, figure out what has made me happy, assess my relationships and career, and all sorts of stuff. Through it all I can truly say that — I’ve been truly blessed with the best family a person can ask for — my mom, dad, big sister, and big brother have loved and supported me in everything I’ve ever done. They are amazing! I’ve got some amazing friends — from high school (JRT), VCU, my job, to my newest friends from The Cheats Movement — It’s been a really special year. Looking forward — there are things that I do want to change and need to change — no one can stand still – you have to keep growing and moving. But – I’m really looking forward to the future! I’m looking forward to new challenges and goals – meeting new people and highlighting RVA. I hope that all of you will join me for the ride. Thanks for making this past year so special and for the birthday wishes! Stay Focused – Cheats
The best birthday present ever would be 400 Likes on Facebook! CLICK HERE to help a brother out!
If you haven’t picked up the latest RVA Mag — make sure you do that (if you can find any) and check out my article with Black Liquid titled The State of the (Richmond Hip-Hop) Union. The is not your average interview with a local hip hop artist. Black Liq goes in on the current state of RVA hip-hop and what needs to be done for RVA to reach it’s full potential as a hip-hop community. I feel that we pushed the envelope with this interview and this is only the begining. Along with conducting the interview the good folks at RVA Mag asked me to organize and shoot the photography for the story. S/O to The Shop for letting me shoot at the spot. The Shop is one of the fasting growing creative hubs in RVA — always something creative going on and S/O to the Capitol Police for allowing me to get a few shots at the capitol w/o a permit. Check out the entire shoot by clicking HERE.
This year has been amazing for the Cheats Movement Blog. I would have never imagined when I started in January that nearly a year later I would be having so much fun covering the creative community in RVA. This blog started as strictly a photoblog — and because of the support and the inspiration of Richmond — it has become so much more. From RVA Profiles to RVA Hot Sauce — The Cheats Movement is committed to presenting content that supports the RVA community – and I will keep that commitment in 2012. There is no doubt that the site will continue to grow — but I can’t do it without your support. Make sure you do your part to spread the word about this blog on facebook and twitter– and I will continue to make sure it’s the best blog that I can do — WE R-VA!
Now with that– check out my quick holiday present — The Cheats Movement – Year One.
This morning — my wonderful co-workers and I did some Holiday Service at the Central Virginia Food Bank. The group of about 11 of us met at the food bank to help sort food for holiday delivery. The Central Virginia Food Bank is an awesome place — it’s located right over by the Diamond. They do amazing work feeding the hungry in “most of Virginia.” While at the food bank, we were able to meet some of the leadership staff and great volunteers that help on a regular bases. What we learned may startle you – 1 of every 5 Virginians don’t know where their next meal will come from – and too many of those Virginians are children. I titled this post the Blessing and the Cures of Holiday Service — and I’m sure you know why — while the holidays bring out great groups of volunteers with their hearts in the right place — organizations like the Central Virginia Food Bank need that spirit and the willingness to help all year. While it’s great that our office took time out to help today (Dec 22) — they have a lot of volunteers in December — they need help in months like March or October too. So if you ever are looking for a place to do some meaningful volunteer work in RVA – don’t sleep on the Central Virginia Food Bank. They could really use your support. Happy Holidays!
It’s been a great year for Graffiti in RVA. I’ve had a great time going out and taking photos of the RVA graffiti scene. Another S/O to the best graffiti site in the city Graffiti Richmond. More photos coming in 2012 — CLICK HERE to see the final installment of Graffiti Adventures. And check the graffiti tab on the home page to see all my graffiti photos.
Fresh off their RVA Mag spread (in stores now) – Luggage joined up with my man Ohbliv to do a show at the Nile Friday night. Unfortunately — the sound really didn’t allow for Ohbliv to do his thing but Luggage went in backed by DJ Josh P. It was my first time seeing Luggage live and though the crowd was small — it was truly the place to be Friday night. Sometime a real show of creditability is not – how many people are in the room BUT who are the people in the room. Luggage and Ohbliv brought out some of the most creative people in Richmond to see them do their thing. Click HERE for all the photos.
It’s still a bit unreal to me but I did my first print article for RVA Mag and it is on the streets of RVA RIGHT NOW! I sat down with my man Black Liquid and we went it on The State of the [Richmond Hip-Hop] Union. When Black and I first got together with this opportunity I told him that I wanted to do something different – something that people would want to read from start to finish — and as always Black Liq said, “Bet! Let’s go in.” And go in we did — I hope you pick up the article around RVA and let me know what you think. Side Note: I’m also really proud of the photos Black and I shot for this article — more photos from the session coming this week.
Wednesday night I stopped by Steady Sounds to check out Midnight Suggestions. The featured comic was the hilarious James Adomian. He was amazing! He gave a set worthy of a big time comedy club. Also performing were – friends of the Cheats Movement – the very funny ManlyMan! It’s always a great time to see them perform, and James Paulk. If you have never been to a Midnight Suggestions, it’s truly a can’t miss show. Johnny Hugel and the team does a great job and it’s a very fun time. CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS OF THE SHOW - PICTURED BELOW ARE JAMES ADOMIAN AND MANLYMAN
First and foremost, S/O to MizzUndastood and Black Liquid for organizing, hosting, and promoting such a good cause in RVA. Homelessness is a problem in our city, especially during this holiday season. We all must do our part to help our community. RVA Hip Hop has really presented a strong – positive showing with community events throughout the year. With that said, last night’s Hip Hop For The Hungry went hard with performances by: Artik Phreeze, Black Liquid, Bobby Capri, The Big League, Divine Profitz, Illa Scorsese, Kleph Dollaz, Radio B, Ms Proper, NickelusF (with Conrizzle), Sleaze, and more (If I left you off — my bad –holla at me).
VERY IMPORTANT – CLICK HERE AND LIKE THE CHEATS MOVEMENT ON FACEBOOK (FB FRIENDS WILL GET MORE ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS IN 2012)
Hip Hop For the Hungry – Click Here to see all the photos!
I first saw the web comic Richmond Monuments in print. It was the second place winner in the 2011 Style Weekly’s comic strip contest. I noted the name of the designer Bizhan Khodabandeh and remembered him from Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 a few years ago. I then saw the now bi-weekly web comic posted on RVANews.com. Its now syndicated home. Most Richmonders would say that the history of RVA is alive. Well, Richmond Monuments tells a comedic tale of just that — historic monuments coming alive in modern time — often nailing a comedic true about our beloved city. I met up with Bizhan at The Shop to chat about the origins of the comic strip, his process of creating the strip, and his plans for the future. Make sure you check out RichmondMonuments.com every other Sunday to see Bizhan’s latest strip.
A few months back, I got an email from DJ Lavan, a Richmond music lover who had just started K&B Music, a booking, promotion, and management company for musical talent in and around RVA. I was instantly interested in what DJ’s new company was attempting to accomplish because we both appear to have the same attitude about abundance of diverse musical talent in RVA. Last night I was finally able to catch up with DJ at K&B’s first Richmond Showcase at the Canal Club. The showcase featured: Carl Anderson (Not Pictured), The WeatherVanes (Washington DC), Mojoceratops (Philly), Trees on Fire (Charlottesville), and RVA’s own Dan.K D and Marionette. The night was a celebration for K&B and chance for most of the K&B family to meet each other and hang out. DJ told me that the K&B stands for Kindness and Balance. “I am just trying to see the local music scene grow and put talented acts in the right place to be successful.” So far, the response has been overwhelming. DJ mentioned last night that the K&B Family stretches from Philly to Georgia and is growing daily. Check out my photos from the K&B showcase by clicking HERE.
Last night, I checked out the final Soul Live at The Shop. Hosted by J.D. Haze with DJ Ruff handz on the wheelz. Soul live always gives you the feeling that you are on amongst family. Brother Haze blessed us with a live performance of The Call – one of my favorite joints. View all of my vintage feel photos by clicking HERE.
On December 1, 2011, RVA Remembers held a breath taking ceremony on Brown’s Island (Richmond, Virginia) in observance of World AIDS Day. 400 red umbrellas opened up at 12:00 PM in the formation of a ribbon. The volunteers stood in solidarity for 9 minutes and 30 seconds, symbolizing the time period that an American is newly infected with HIV. Please watch this video and share it with as many people as possible because 30 years is simply long enough. We must do what we can to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Congrats to the Fan Free Clinic and RVA Remembers for such a powerful display. Thanks to all participated in this video and helped make it happen. The Cheats Movement is proud to present: 400 Umbrellas in Richmond.
Hurricane Irene blasted through RVA in late August 2011. I posted a picture series the morning after the storm. Click here to revisit that photo series.