Deep Throat: Running With Swords

werd: fox photography
werd: james niche

Some of you may have heard of her, but many in the current ACT:LIVE community may have not. Riley the sword swallower.

I met her at the Ludachrist show this past May, and have kind of lurked behind her since then.

She's an outspoken, brash - well, self-confessed bitch. But she's a lot of fun and can do things you only wish your girlfriend would dream of.

I sat down with her in High Falls this past week, got interrupted by an obnoxious woman visiting from Seattle (I mean that in the best way, if she's reading this), and got to find out a little more about what she does. Uncensored.

Peep this girl for those of you that don't know her. This was a fun interview for me. I got the fire breathing act and all.

ACT:LIVE: So does this type of entertainment run in the family?

Riley: I had a family member that was always doing forks and knives (swallowing) around the house, but I’m the only one that can do a sword or anything larger than a knife.

ACT:LIVE: Where did you grow up?

Riley: Webster/Penfield.

ACT:LIVE: Ahhh, where life is worth living, apparently. I spent my senior year there. Do you still live out there?

Riley: I still live out there, with the parents, yes.

ACT:LIVE: Milk it, I guess. (laughs)

Riley: Well, insurance costs and medical expenses are ridiculous for me. I have bipolar disorder and narcolepsy, it’s much cheaper living at home paying those bills.

ACT:LIVE: Narcolepsy is what again? When you fall asleep a lot?

Riley: It’s different than excessive daytime sleepiness; narcolepsy is where you can feel it coming on. Some people even hallucinate a little bit, like you’re half dreaming.

ACT:LIVE: Does it ever affect your performance?

Riley: No, not really because I have adrenaline going.

So, I’ve been living at home to save money and have been doing this on the side. The sword swallowing isn’t just a hobby for me either, it’s a second income and a valid form of entertainment.

ACT:LIVE: I’d have to agree.

Riley: I think if less than a hundred people can do it out of millions, you have a market.

ACT:LIVE: What’s the craziest thing you have swallowed?

Riley: Drumsticks, glow sticks. Glow sticks are really awkward because I can feel them hit the bottom of my stomach, they’re very blunt. Once I start snakin’ ‘em in there it’s more like an endoscope at that point.

ACT:LIVE: I know you have a hammer and nail in your routine, and I see a hammer in your case. What’s all that for?

Riley: The big black rubber hammer is to pound the drumstick down my throat, it’s for effect. I can do it without the hammer, but it looks cooler.

I use the little hammers to do the human blockhead. I pound a screwdriver into my face, in my nose to be exact.


Riley: The human blockhead routine any person can do, you just have to have the balls to do it. Your sinuses go up, then back, so it just depends on how big your sinus cavities are.

ACT:LIVE: Did you need to have an x-ray before hand to figure yours out?

Riley: No, but I did happen to have an MRI done when I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. That’s where I saw my septum is sort of deviated. I think I have one of the brain pictures on MySpace. Not everyone can say they have a picture of their brain. I’m gonna frame that some day.

ACT:LIVE: How does a typical show play out for you?

Riley: It depends on where I’m doing it. I’ve been doing a bit more burlesque lately, which starts with more of a strip-tease. I also incorporate the sword into that, while setting it on fire. I’ll also throw in some comedy, depending on the audience, but audience participation is one key ingredient.

It also involves smoking a lot of pot so I can find the clientele more tolerable. (laughing) No, but really, all performers should be sober when working. Any level of intoxication can cause dangerous mistakes and accidents.

When I performed with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, I spent a lot of time in the audience to get a feel for who I was working with and to see who would be good candidates to bring up on stage.

That show taught me a lot on how to be prepared and how to work with an audience.

I am also creating a new stage case so I can operate a little more “spur of the moment”.

ACT:LIVE: Are hecklers ever a problem?

Riley: Hecklers and drunken guys are usually the worst, but in Long Island we almost had to kick out two drunken GIRLS.

Another sword swallowing female, whom I believe holds the record for most swords swallowed at one time (10 maybe?), was performing with multiple swords in her mouth while a man attempted to slide a folded bill onto her waist causing the swords to scissor and tear her insides. Not pretty.

ACT:LIVE: That was another question I had. Safety must be a huge issue for you.

Riley: Yeah, that’s a story I always share with the security wherever I am working because I do not want to have to deal with the same problems in my life.

That’s another reason that sideshow acts in general, need to be compensated fairly for performing as well. A lot of club owners and promoters think I’ll be happy performing for free drinks or free promotion.

Free drinks don’t pay the bills for me and they certainly won’t pay my hospital bills when I get scissored someday. I know the economy is what it is, but they need to think more realistically. This is a valid profession and an extreme form of entertainment, not a dog and pony act. Remember, I AM PUTTING SWORDS IN MY BODY.

ACT:LIVE: Have you injured yourself yet?

Riley: No, nothing more than singing my nose hairs while fire breathing. I want to start letting people light their cigarettes off my sword while it’s on fire.

ACT:LIVE: That would be dope.

Riley: There was a time when I swallowed a coat hanger and called myself the five foot three fetus. At Club Diablo, in Buffalo, it was a hit.

ACT:LIVE: Do you create your own costumes or do you buy them?

Riley: Yeah, I take a lot of random pieces, like that bra I had on earlier, and add my own flair to them.

We have another girl in the troupe that makes pasties, but I don’t really go with those because I feel it distracts people from what I'm up there to do. Of course I add a bit of sexuality to the performance, but I’m not a stripper.

ACT:LIVE: How often are you out of town taking your act with you? (Lady with large ass and shopping cart rolls by on the bridge making it painfully hard to hear Riley or anything else for that matter.)

Riley: I’m not too far past Syracuse usually, but I have made it out to Long Island for a performance. It was at a fetish ball they were having there. A lot of people involved were pretty sick and couldn’t make it out for the event, but it was an art show as well, so I displayed some of my paintings.

The Long Islanders all like to think they’re tough so they were giving me a hard time before the show, but I think it’s funny because those same guys would be hitting on me as soon as they saw my show. They like to try to find out what else I swallow. (laughs)

ACT:LIVE: I’m sure you get a lot of men asking the same old question.

Riley: I look at them and think to myself, “They are definitely under a foot long; they don’t need a sword swallowed.”

It’s great I can talk about this stuff with you because in the mainstream media, certain topics have to be censored.

ACT:LIVE: I’m glad too, let’s talk about more sword swallowing. (laughing)

Riley: One rule, don’t sleep with anybody that knows. Tell them afterwards.

The worst was when a man was hitting on me with his knowledge of Arthur Shawcross.

I told him I was a Charles Manson kind of girl.

ACT:LIVE: So, you prefer to not be raped and dumped in a river, but to be stabbed and have your baby cut out.

ACT:LIVE: I wanted to plug your website for you, is that new or has it been around for a while?

Riley: It’s been up for a while; I just started revamping it recently. I’m adding new pictures and material.

I manage the site by myself; I’ve been doing HTML since I was like twelve. I actually like talking about this for a change; I get bored with the sword talk. (laughs)

ACT:LIVE: Well, I’m going to end this with the plug of your website again, along with a plug on your upcoming events. Thanks Riley.

If you want to check out Riley's work, you can check out these links below.


A reminder, this Friday at TILT is a party that you really should be at. You can check out the interview below and find out more, but the Bachelors of Science are not an act to be missed. Peace Kiddies...

- Games

Right now we're listening to:

Reece Q "Space Bass" ("Quote To Self", 2008, ACT:LIVE MUSIC)

Bachelors Of Science: The ACT:LIVE Interview

werd: james niche

[de]Blase Entertainment and the St8Cyde Jump Up are proud to present the Bachelors of Science to TILT Night Club this Friday, and I am very excited.

These men have been lighting a fire under the ass of the Drum and Bass world worldwide and now is the time to see them before they head back into the studio to work on new material.

Bachelors, Chris and Rene, were kind enough to take some time out of their busy schedules and shed some light on where they've been, where they are and what's coming up in the future.

So, all you DnB heads, enjoy. I now present the Bachelors Of Science...

ACT:LIVE: So, where are you right now as you type this?

Rene: Sitting in the home studio, just on the outside of San Francisco.

Chris: Chillin' at home in the bay area.

ACT:LIVE: I know you guys are brewing a heavy storm in the Drum and Bass (DnB) world, I'll get to that, but where are you guys from?

Rene: Originally born in New Zealand, then grew up in England. I mostly lived in the London area before moving out to San Francisco about seven years ago.

Chris: I was born in Southampton England, then moved to San Francisco ten years ago.

ACT:LIVE: What's the history of the relationship and chemistry between the two of you?

Rene: What chemistry? lol .... We actually met each other out here in San Francisco while working together. At the time I was heavy into production, while Chris had more of a DJ background. Both of us had a passion for electronic music, especially the DnB scene, and that's how it all began really ... we just combined our talents in the hope that something good would come out of it.

Chris: We met about seven years ago. I was DJ'ing a lot at the time and wanted to start producing, Rene was already choppin' beats by this after a few beers we decided.. I'd teach Rene the basics of mixing and Rene would teach me the basics of producing...and it was born.

ACT:LIVE: What did you do previously?

Rene: Well prior to meeting Chris I was studying out in the UK for my music/media degree. I've still got the day job (highly unlikely I'd ever go full-time into the music biz just because of financial reasons), but there's a nice balance now between both.

Chris: A lot of promoting and running a DnB record shop in Southampton.

ACT:LIVE: What inspires the creations?

Rene: Typically the music making happens in very compact space of time, ie: We'll both go away or be listening to all kinds of styles of music and keep an ear out for any good samples or production styles that we like ... and then usually there just comes a point after a few months of listening that we'll get the bug to produce again, and that's when we combine all the ideas from what we've been listening to over the year. As far as actual songs though, typically it revolves around a sample or a chord progression ... I guess we just have an ear now for whether something will work or not.

Chris: It does revolve around a solid sample or chord progression, but also the samples we choose or the chords we use are a lot of the time related directly to the mood we're in and just whats going on in our lives at that point.

ACT:LIVE: What are your musical tastes?

Rene: Similar to what I stated above, they're always changing, always developing. At the time of the last album I was listening to a lot of soul, indie and down tempo. Recently I've been listening to a lot of jazz standards, African acid, techno and classical. Certain bands are always firm favorites for me though like Avalanches, Lemon Jelly, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Portishead.
Chris: I listen to everything. I'm into a lot down tempo stuff right now, soul, dubstep and dancehall.

ACT:LIVE:Did you have any formal schooling or instrumental background?

Rene: Yeah I was brought up as a classically trained pianist and then got into the whole improvisation thing, often playing whatever I felt like at that particular moment, and as I said, I went to college for music, but funnily enough I don't think it really played any influence on how we make our tracks. The piano playing part definitely helped, but as far as educational theory and all that, it's such a different world when it comes to producing electronic music ... people basically throw the rulebook out and that's where some of the most creative tension comes in.

Chris: I've not had any formal music training. Music has always been a big part of my life.

ACT:LIVE: So where do you get out and do your thing at in San Fran?

Rene: The San Francisco scene is like a family, people come and go but there's a core group of people who put their heart and soul into making events happen. There's definitely certain DnB spots such as Compression, SF Underground and Anu. Then outside of that genre we're lucky, because a large roster of talent tends to come through town to places like Mighty, Mezzanine, Fillmore etc.

Chris: I think we've played all of the weekly and monthly events in San Francisco. The dnb scene in the bay area has so many people putting their time and energy into it. People here do it for the love of the music, and its great to be apart of that.

ACT:LIVE: Anything you'd like to share about San Fran on the topic of music?

Rene: Dubstep is huge over here at the moment, to the point that it's probably taken a lot of people away from drum n bass .. but when I talk to people about why they're more into that now, it's because they were getting bored with the same familiar sound that was being put out. Ironically when they hear some of the stuff we play, it's refreshing to them and you find they actually had no idea there were all these other styles of DnB being made. I think that's a good thing ... no genre can ever be top dog over a period of time if they keep producing the same stuff over and over. So that's where we are now, trying to bring in other influences and change the definition of what DnB can be.

ACT:LIVE: Ever heard of Mr. Lexicon?

Rene: No ... should I have?

Chris: No.

ACT:LIVE: (laughs) No, you shouldn't have necessarily heard of them. I was out in San Fran a little while ago and they were this hip-hop group with this gimmick of being foreign rappers from some "Slavic" country. A buddy of mine is their DJ.

ACT:LIVE: Traveling much?

Rene: We've definitely been traveling a lot recently .. mostly just to shows in the USA and I was recently in Europe doing some promotion, but I have to say this will probably the last of the shows for a while as we're itching to get back into production for a few months.

Chris: We've been doing a lot of shows recently, but are now ready for the studio.

ACT:LIVE: If overseas, what's the ratio of gigs between home and abroad?

Rene & Chris: Definitely more around home than abroad, but that's always a cost issue. It's probably like 5 to 1, we're expecting to go back to Europe in 2009 though and might do a short tour then.

ACT:LIVE: So, good god you held on to #1 on's DnB chart for how many weeks?

Rene & Chris: Christ we didn't actually realize it was still number 1! It's been really surprising the success we've had recently and we definitely don't take it for granted. To be honest we didn't know what to expect, distributors first said they weren't going to pick up the album because it wasn't "dance floor" enough, but the label took a chance on us anyways. Next thing you know it's the fifth most downloaded album of all time, Strings Track had been on Beatport #1 for 4 weeks and didn't seem to be slowing and Song For Lovers had a whopping nine weeks at #1 with over 20,000 plays on YouTube.

Needless to say, we're chuffed and pleased to see that there is an audience that really really wanted this style of electronic music.

ACT:LIVE: What was going on with you guys as the album starting breaking?

Rene: It was amazing how long the album took to finish, even just small stuff like pressing, promotion etc. and that's before it's even out! So after it came out we took a bit of a break and really it's been a lot of word of mouth and a gradual build that's kept the album in the top tens for so long. Next thing you know, while we thought we were relatively unknown, turned out everyone was talking.

Chris: Yeah, by the time the album came out we'd already started getting ideas together for the next one;)

ACT:LIVE: Who is working with you guys to distribute the album?

Rene: Distribution is done by Horizons Music and ST Holdings in the UK. I wish there was more time to do interviews and stuff like this to be honest, I love doing it.

ACT:LIVE: Have you been to New York before? Rochester?

Rene: Well I was in NYC playing downtown last September ... I loved the energy of NYC.

Chris: No I've never been to Rochester. I'm really looking forward to coming though.

ACT:LIVE: Know anything about Rochester?

Rene: I'm waiting for the full report from Chris. :)

Chris: Its 3 hours from Niagara falls. ;)

ACT:LIVE: Well, the NYS, DnB crews will all be in house next week for the gig and are excited. Anything you want to say, shout out, drop, plug....?

Rene & Chris: Just a thanks to everyone for the continued support, we wouldn't be doing it if people weren't listening to it (ok, maybe we would).

But really, we always try and give everything our all and just hope that people let loose, dance and have a fuckin' great time. Shouts to Dave Schinman and the Secret Night Of Science guys in NYC, keep an eye out for the upcoming Song For Lovers music video that's being shot right now and as always ... if anyone wants to get in touch, drop us a line

I'd like to thank Chris and Rene for answering some questions and keeping it real.

These guys seem like some cool dudes and I can't wait to get down and have some fun this weekend.

I encourage everyone to get out and pick up their new disc, "Science Fiction".

I have always been a fan of Drum and Bass, especially some of the harder material, but these guys are a refreshing taste in the sea of the same old that circulates in the electronic world. The "Song For Lovers" single is a perfect example of that.

See you Friday kiddies. Peace.

- Games

Right now we're listening to:

HELMET "See You Dead" ("Size Matters", 2004, Interscope)

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Thanks For The Memories: Midtown Plaza 1962-2008

foto: james niche
werd: james niche

It was a sad morning for me downtown, today. I'm going to miss this plaza.

I don't really know where to begin with this, but I love that mall and all of downtown. I have spent most of my life in this city and that place holds so many memories.

As a child, my mother and I would go shopping there quite often. In fact, she was a teenager when it opened, and she would spend every Saturday there with my grandmother and great aunt. Most likely spending the afternoon window shopping for the latest fashions at B. Forman Co., McCurdy's or Sibley's. Maybe they would go up to the jeweler's and imagine the necklace in the window around their necks.

For me, as a child my mother taught nursing at the E.O.C. center on Pleasant St., just around the corner. Days when I would be with her while she was working, we would go over to the plaza after work and grab something to eat or maybe pick up some groceries at Wegman's. Remember, Wegman's used to be in there at one point.

If it wasn't days with my mother after work, it would be around the beautiful snow filled holidays, when Santa's Magic Mountain would arise from the ground floor of the plaza.

A magical place where children of all colors and races would join to get their picture taken with Santa or maybe go for a cruise on the monorail. My favorite part was always traveling through the tunnel of the mountain in the monorail. As I look back, I don't know how my mother ever fit in that rail car with me, or any adult for that matter. I still have my pictures with Santa on that magical mountain.

As a teenager, I had moved out of the city for a while, so my travels to midtown were not as frequent. Travels for most to the plaza were not as frequent because all of the stores we had come to love and rely on had closed or been moved out.

But, in my early twenties I came back. I had spent about a year working at Midtown Tobacco, helping a friend at the time manage his store. I also worked part-time at Record Theatre. That was great at the time because vinyl was becoming more scarce around the city and I could always get great deals on the newest vinyl single, back when I was DJing.

As an employee there, the relationship between me and the building grew a bit more intimate. I would get to explore the inner depths of this building, flaws and all. I also became a favorite for the regular customers of the mall and made many friends while there. Many friends I still see around downtown to this day.

As businesses closed down over the past ten years and the suburban malls grew, suburbanites and city folk alike, did nothing but trash talk the mall.

They would say..."I'm not going there, I don't want to get shot."...or, "That place is ghetto." That was a stab deep into my heart. It disgusted me, the image that was portrayed throughout the suburbs and city.

That mall has been a tremendous asset to our inner city. It provided a great service to our elderly, handicapped and poor. It was a place that you could take the bus to, didn't cost a fortune and it was a one stop place to go. It was needed for those who ride the bus and can't make it all the way out to Eastview Mall or Greece Ridge Center.

I have always been a man of the city and of the streets, so for me it was always a pleasure to see my fellow citizens of the streets down there. A place to say hi, have some coffee in the food court, catch up and just be a part of the community. You don't get that connection driving out to Eastview Mall.

A memory I will always take with me is having lunch with Mr. Charles Garfield. A few years ago, just before Christmas, I noticed this man seemingly very hungry and mentally handicapped. He was not homeless, but extremely poor and very mentally ill. I had just come from an interview and saw him scrounging through the garbage cans for food. Others nearby were mocking him and this hurt me seeing this.

I don't normally do this, but I bought him lunch at Burger King. Me, in my suit and tie, he in his tattered clothing. We walked through the line together, he picked what he wanted, and we ate together. Another mentally handicapped man whom I have seen also around town, harmless as well, saw this and decided to join us. Others around us looked at us strangely, but hopefully I inspired someone that afternoon.

I hope Mr. Garfield is doing better today, I really enjoyed his company that afternoon and the company of his friend.

That is exactly what I love about downtown and the diversity of our city. The races, the colors, the music, the poor, the real heart of our community.

I could keep going on and on and on, but I think I will have to end this here. I had a big lump in my throat passing through the halls of midtown today.

I'm going to miss you so much, Midtown Plaza. Thank you so much for the memories.

There is a spot at the bottom of each article I write for comments, in case you didn't realize. I would really like it if you could all leave me comments of your memories at Midtown Plaza. That would really make my day. Thanks.

I leave you with a really cool, vintage promo video for Midtown Plaza that gives you a look back to when construction began and when it opened, enjoy. Hopefully, I'll see you all Friday at the closing. Peace Kiddies...

- Games

Right now we're listening to:

Frank Sinatra "Don't Like Goodbyes" ("Close To You", 1956, Capitol Records)

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Bread and Water Theatre: My Gay Family & The Crochet Penis (Celebrating Pride Week)

werd: james niche

This past Friday I went down to the New Life Presbyterian Church on Rosedale St., to sit in on the Bread and Water Theatre's production of "My Gay Family" and "The Crochet Penis".

I wanted to make sure that I took some time to not only raise a bit of awareness to Gay Pride Week, but also give a bit of attention to another small group of actors here in our great city of arts.

Between the dates of July 20th and July 30th, there are many activities and events being held in honor of gay pride and celebration, this is just one of the many.

You won't hear much on the news or in the newspapers about Pride Week. Sure, there might be the little mention here and there in a publication or two, but when it comes down to it - no one wants to talk about sex in the mainstream media.

Pride week isn't just about sex, it's a celebration of a lifestyle that has been given a horrible name through mainstream media because of mainstream religious beliefs and the media outlets who are sponsored by companies supporting business as usual.

ACT:LIVE is for the city. And, Rochester has a large gay population. A population that votes, works, plays, eats, sleeps and lives just as the rest of us "heteros". I tip my hat to those working hard in the gay community to support their lifestyle and choices.

Now, back to The Bread and Water Theatre....

Let's start at the beginning.

Bread and Water Theatre was founded as a non-profit organization in 2000 by a bright young man named J.R. Teeter, while attending Nazareth College. I was greeted by J.R. and the associate director Carl Girard. Both gentlemen were a pleasure to talk to, very talented and are working very hard on a shoe-string budget to see this group succeed.

The Bread and Water Theatre name is derived from the idea of thinking simple. However, the material and approach of the group is far from simple. The writings, ideas and performances are thoughtful and deliberate.

The plays, "My Gay Family" and "The Crochet Penis", were written by Nancy Agabian . Nancy is an Armenian born poet, writer and actress now living in New York City; teaching at Queens College.

Both plays are based on poems and writings of Nancy's while she was a young woman in her mid-twenties, struggling to find her identity as a lesbian or bi-sexual.

"My Gay Family" is performed solo by Gina Menzer-Kunz. The play is set in her house as she speaks to the audience and to her mother. The set is comprised of many chairs strewn about the house, which are later used as symbolic props for the duration. It's an emotional tour through Nancy's mind as she struggles to find her place in a family of homosexual siblings and homophobic parents, altogether, encompassing the entire spectrum of gayness.

"The Crochet Penis" is performed by Tiffany Widrick. This play is another solo performance shedding light on Nancy's struggle to find her sexuality and her struggle to convey that to others. The duration of the play she talks to the audience in her pajamas, while crocheting a penis made of yarn; only to be unraveled in the end.

Here is a video from YouTube on crocheting a miniature stocking. You could easily make your own miniature penis from these instructions. (no one likes a mini-penis though.)

Apparently, the posters for these shows were posted on Monroe Ave. for promotion, but when some of the area merchants and residents saw the word penis (a biological term) on the bill, they had a fit. J.R. was then asked to take the posters down!!

So, Monroe Ave. merchants and residents...this is to you. You can let drugs, bums, hookers and all trash alike onto your street, not clean it up and not do a damn thing, but because you see the word "penis" on a poster, you attack? Shame on you. You are contributing to the possible failure of a great event and production in this city. You are contributing to the problem and not working on any type of solution.

Have you not noticed that we are losing venues and performing arts groups in this city one by one?! Is anyone noticing this?!

Comix Cafe: gone
RAPA: gone
Shipping Dock Theatre: barely alive
Penny Arcade: who knows

And that's just a few.

Who knows who is to blame, but do not attack our arts. We are a city that has always thrived on the arts and festivals alike.

The plays were touching, metaphoric explorations into the mind of a young woman finding her identity. They were not penis parades that were going to invade your home and kidnap your children.

I found it very interesting that the venue for these plays is the New Life Church on Rosedale St. That's right, a church. A beautiful space as well. It gives me ideas for events in the future. There is a good sized theatre attached to the church that could easily hold a 200 person capacity.

Bread and Water Theatre has helped to revive the Rainbow Theatre productions since 2004. The Rainbow Theatre productions are plays inspired by the themes of the Pride Flag. Here is a little bit of info I have learned about the Pride Flag and it's history, enjoy.

"Color has long played an important role in our community's expression of pride. In Victorian England, for example, the color green was associated with homosexuality. The color purple (or more accurately, lavender) became popularized as a symbol for pride in the late 1960's; a frequent post-Stonewall catch word for the gay community was "Purple Power". And, of course, there's the pink triangle. Although it was first used in Nazi Germany to identify gay males in concentration camps, the pink triangle only received widespread use as a gay pop icon in the early 1980's. But, the most colorful of our symbols is the Rainbow Flag and it's rainbow of colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple - representing the diversity of our community.

The first Rainbow Flag was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist, who created the flag in response to a local activist's call for a community symbol. Using the five-striped "Flag of the Race" as his inspiration, Baker designed a flag with eight stripes: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. According to Baker, those colors represented, respectively: sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony and spirit. In the true spirit of Betsy Ross, Baker dyed and sewed the material for the first flag himself.

Baker soon approached San Francisco's Paramount Flag Company about mass producing and selling his "gay flag". Unfortunately, Baker had hand dyed all the colors, and since the color "hot pink" was not commercially available, mass production of his eight striped version became impossible. The flag was thus reduced to seven stripes.

In November 1978, San Francisco's gay community was stunned when the city's first openly gay supervisor, Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Wishing to demonstrate the gay community's strength and solidarity in the aftermath of this tragedy, the 1979 Pride Parade Committee decided to use Baker's flag. The committee eliminated the indigo stripe so they could divide the colors evenly along the parade route - three colors on one side of the street and three on the other. Soon, the six colors were incorporated into a six-striped version that became popularized and that, today, is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers."

All in all, Bread and Water Theatre is a company worth checking out. They also have ties to The Method Machine, a production company located on South Ave. in the South Wedge. I will also be checking them out in the coming months.

I have grown up around many of the performing arts here in the city and urge you all to take a step away from the bar occasionally and get a seat in these theatres.

The great thing about these theatres is that they are always bringing something fresh to the stage. And what I mean is, places like Geva and Downstairs Cabaret are great to go to, but their productions are typically ones that have done well in other markets on or off Broadway. Bread and Water, The Method Machine take a little more risk by approaching plays that are brand new to the general public.

You can check out all of the places and people I have mentioned by clicking on the links provided.

I would like to thank J.R., Carl and everyone involved for working so hard and staying determined in their art.

Get out there and keep these places alive, Rochester.

I'll see you on the streets kiddies....


- Games

Right now we're listening to:

Soul Slingers "Joy Ridin'" ("Tim Tones & RICRUDE Present: The RICRUDE Mix - Soul Slingers", 2008, Soul Slingers)

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Back To Basics: Talkin' 'Bout Hip-Hop July 19th

werd: james niche

This Saturday, July 19th, is the showdown folks. Tim Tones has put together a local hip-hop showcase comprised of not only local talent, but he has also brought in the talent of E.B.B. & F.L.O.W.(Crystal Springs, MS / Boston, MA), pictured below.

E.B.B. & F.L.O.W. have a new album entitled "This Is Not A MixTape". The title makes sense, in this era of the mixtape onslaught to consumers.

The duo is made up of Demo (Boston, MA) and PyInfamous (Crystal Springs, MS).

PyInfamous made an appearance a few months ago at the Bug jar, some of you may have caught that.

The music can be described as progressive hip-hop, but in English, translates as: When they perform, there's lots of room for putting your hands to the sky, sippin' a drink and singing along to the party.

You can purchase their new album online for the low price of $5. Damn, that's nothing, so pick it up. You can also find out more about these guys on their MySpace page, linked up where you see their name at the beginning of this article.

The Soul Slingers, the group for which the showdown was named, are also going to be performing this Saturday as well.

The Soul Slingers duo is Tim Tones, long time Rochester hip-hop DJ and producer, along with RICRUDE, long time Rochester MC. And people, when I say MC, I mean just that. This dude is a MASTER of ceremonies. Known well for his work with Filthy Funk, RICRUDE is not only a talented lyricist, but can truly shake a crowd.

Soul Slingers have been working hard on their latest CD release.

You can pick up the new disc at the show because everyone that comes and pays their five bucks to get in, gets a CD.

The new disc is going to feature fresh lyrical content from RICRUDE, new beats from Tim Tones and some interesting turntablism sets as well. I personally can't wait to hear it.

Along with these fellas is, ACT:LIVE artist, Reece Q(uotable)

Reece Q is performing live with the talent of DJ NUGZ (GOONIES crew) and Sam.I.Am.. Both of these guys have been an integral part of production on Reece's debut CD, "Quote To Self", which is scheduled for an August 23rd release date.

Reece Q stands for the difference between commercial bullshit rapping and what's really real in creativity and talent.

Reece Q's beat styles are definitely jazz influenced, but he also strays into the abstract with some of the new tracks. This is an MC with a large musical knowledge, original writing style and fun presence. Be sure to check this cat out.

For you beat junkies...DJ NUGZ and Sam.I.Am will also be performing a beat showcase to start the evening off right.

For those of you that don't know, The GOONIES and Sam.I.Am. are some uber talented producers that have been working so hard over the past 2 year to develop their sound and are doing it just right. Take note that these guys are barely 21, at the rate they are moving they'll be a strong force to contend with in the future.

There's so much talent in this town and these guys are right in the thick of it. If you're into hip-hop then don't let these guys pass you by, you need to check out their pages. Just click on the links provided.

Also, newcomer to us, MC M Dot Coop. He is a Rochester native and hip-hop MC. This dude's been showing some real promise and has the gift of gab for sure. He'll be performing a set as well.

To end the night is Tim Tones, Fresh Fingaz and CROOK (FUA). Tim and Fresh will be performing a turntablist set, while CROOK drums along.

This show is just the beginning of a new era of hip-hop in this city, in my opinion. Hip-hop containing all the elements is what we're spreading. DJs, MCs, graffiti, art, creativity and fun are the fundamentals of the hip-hop culture.

ACT:LIVE, along with the strong support of others in the music community, is going to be a strong supporter and provider of more events intertwining art and music in the future.

Hip-hop isn't just baggy pants, fitted hats, bitches, bottles or cash.

Some of you might get that, but what's being laminated onto the brains of the young people, concert-goers and now club owners, is a picture so far from the roots. It's an image that's even further from the reality of the local scene.

ACT:LIVE urges you to pay attention, show support, get off your ass, put down the PS3 controller, call your boyfriend/girlfriend back later, tell your boss you got a show to get to and come see us.

Come have some fun this Saturday July 19th at High Fidelity (the old Milestones, 170 East Ave., downtown).

Show begins promptly at 9pm. $5 over, $8 under and that also gets you the new Soul Slingers CD.

And when you come, tell Joe at Hi-Fi you want to see more hip-hop at the venue.

Peace kiddies...

- Games

Right now we're listening to:

Craig Mack "Flava In Ya Ear" ("Project: Funk Da World", 1994, Bad Boy Records)

DJ HeavyGrinder July 12th @ PEARL

foto: andrew lipovsky
werd: james niche

This past Saturday night, Dade's Planner and ACT:LIVE brought you DJ HeavyGrinder (Los Angeles, Rhythm Club Records).

Not only is she beautiful, but she rocked that joint hard. Judging by the crowd reaction and the photos, it looked like everyone had a blast!

Everyone needs to thank Earl at Dade's Planner, John (proprietor of PEARL), Tim for working the door, Reece Q for keeping it drunk, Derek and all the girls at 2112 Clothing, as well as all the regulars and friends of ACT:LIVE who came down and showed support. And don't forget the great staff at PEARL. You guys are the best! Thanks so much!

I hope you all enjoy the photos, compliments of Sir Andrew Lipovsky. This guy is a killer photographer and we are so glad to have him working with us. Check out his new haircut when you see him and tell him it looks good. HA!

This coming weekend, July 19th to be exact, there's a party Tim Tones has put together at High Fidelity featuring The Soul Slingers, M Dot Coop, The GOONIES, Sam.I.Am, EBB & FLOW and ACT:LIVE artist, Reece Q(uotable).

Tim Tones and RICRUDE are the arms and legs of the Soul Slingers and they have a new mix album out. They are releasing that disc at the show for you to pick up. You pay $5 to get in and you get the album included.

If you dig hip-hop in this city, this is going to be an important show for you not to miss. For those of you not familiar with these artists, this isn't mumble into the mic hip-hop. This show is a collaboration of talented, partyin', beer drinkin', skateboarding and hell raising DJs/MC's/Producers.

Be sure to stop down to High Fidelity, this Saturday the 19th and show some support for some men in hip-hop making some moves here in Rochester. Till then, enjoy the pics.


Peace kiddies...

- Games

Right now we're listening to:

Flobots "MayDay" ("Fight With Tools", 2008, Universal Republic)