Thursday, August 30, 2012

Some Super High-Quality Videos of the 2012 Twin Cities National Poetry Slam Team

I threw a show a few months ago at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater in Minneapolis and got a MN State Arts Board grant to have the whole thing filmed.  Patrick Pegg of Unique Techniques led the charge, and the footage has turned out beautifully so far.  I'll be releasing more of my poems and songs soon, but in the meantime, check out these videos of my opening act, the 2012 Twin Cities National Poetry Slam team.

Khary "6 is 9" Jackson: LEAVE


Kait Rokowski: HOW TO CURE A FEMINIST


Hieu Minh Nguyen: BUFFET ETIQUETTE


Shane Hawley: IN RESTAURANTS


Guante: SMALLTALK


I'm beyond excited to share the rest of the footage from the show. It'll include about eight more of my poems, plus a bunch of songs, including some of the new Guante & Big Cats songs. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I'm Voting NO on BOTH referenda this November

I know it's only August, but we need to be talking about this:

I recorded this straight off my laptop with zero editing; I'd love to encourage other people-- especially artists and double-especially artists with bigger fanbases than mine-- to copy me. Post your own video about why you're voting "no." It only takes a few minutes. We can also be talking about these referenda at our shows, ESPECIALLY shows outside of the Twin Cities. If anyone is touring in-state and wants some "vote no" flyers, stickers or information, get at me.

For more information on getting involved (organizations always need phone-bankers, canvassers, etc.), here are some links:

MN United for All Families (fighting the marriage amendment)

Take Action MN (fighting photo ID)

ACLU Photo ID Talking Points (very good review/overview)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Artist/Activist Partnerships: Five Tips For Booking Your Benefit

(photo by See More Perspective, who has a new song out)

A few months ago, I wrote this essay for WIN Magazine, and now it's out: Artist/Activist Partnerships: Five Tips For Booking Your Benefit.  It also includes a basic history of the Hip Hop Against Homophobia series.  If you're an activist event organizer, it may be worth a read.  I think it's important to be very intentional (a word I use about a hundred times in the essay) about collaboration, and that's really what the piece is all about.  Feel free to share.

A few other random updates:

1. My poem REACH is featured at Indie Feed (audio) and at Button Poetry (video). If you like spoken-word, these are both major resources you should know about.

2. I'm currently booking shows for Fall, Winter and Spring, both spoken-word shows and/or Guante & Big Cats shows. If you have any contacts (especially at colleges and universities-- activist organizations, hip hop or spoken-word organizations, social justice student centers, performing arts committees, etc.), shoot me an email at elguante@gmail.com and we can set something up.

3. We didn't win the National Poetry Slam, but we did eat a lot of southern food. I have some great videos of my team-- will post them this month sometime. Also got into a constructive discussion on my Facebook page about slam, democracy, elitism, sexism and more.

4. Ayo I'm on Wikipedia now. I don't know who set up the page, and there are a couple of small errors, but thanks. Here it is. Guess I can retire now.

5. Finally, big new Guante & Big Cats album announcement coming up soon. We finished the second round of mixes today and now just have to send it away to get mastered and duplicated. We'll be releasing the tracklist, album cover, release party details and some videos and songs over the next two months. The album is called YOU BETTER WEAPONIZE and it's the best thing I've ever done.  Stay tuned.