Sunday, February 23, 2014

Guante: DUNGEONS (free download + thoughts)

Here's my new project. It's one 30-minute track. Download it for FREE here:

Experimental mixtape. Nine brand new songs mixed into one track. All beats jacked from Dungeon Family (Goodie Mob, Outkast, Cool Breeze, etc.) songs. Mixed by Big Cats.

1. Chill Touch
2. Knock
3. Fireball
4. Crushing Despair
5. Raise Dead
6. Chain Lightning
7. Prismatic Spray w/ Homeless, Heidi Barton Stink, Tony the Scribe, Kaoz, Just Wulf & See More Perspective
8. Greater Shout
9. Mage's Disjunction

All I ask in return is, if you like it, to sign up for my email list. And to go along with all this new music, here are pretty much all my thoughts on it:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Next Project: DUNGEONS (Cover Art, Tracklist and Notes)

This is my next project, and my first completely solo project in forever. There are a lot of clues in that image as to what it's all about. It's a mixtape. The title is a reference to two more obvious things and one not-so-obvious thing. You'll see.

It'll be free. Nine brand new songs, all released as one 30-minute track. No videos, no singles, no release party. People will just have to download it and listen to the whole thing straight through. There's a reason for all of that. Excited for you to hear it.

Release date: soon.

In the meantime, please join my mailing list. I should have set this up years ago, but have been relying on social media; this is more dependable, though. I'll only send out updates very infrequently, only for the big stuff, and you'll get access to new music, videos and more right away (or, sometimes, early):

Guante's Email List

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A Loud Heart to be featured on "The Best of The Best Love is Free" vinyl release

Back in 2011, me and Claire de Lune (whom you may recognize from the Chalice, or her solo work, or her new band, Tiny Deaths) released "A Loud Heart," an EP that I'm still really proud of. The one actual video we shot (directed by PCP), has been on Vimeo since then, but I just got the file and put it on YouTube too, along with the whole EP in this playlist:

If you like the album, you can get it here. It's still some of the best songwriting I've ever done, and Claire is great on every song. Check it out.

Our song "The Illusion of Movement" is also going to be featured on the upcoming "The Best of the Best Love is Free" vinyl. That's been a concert/compilation series for the past few years featuring a whole bunch of talented people. This vinyl release will also feature k.flay, Kristoff Krane & P.O.S., Dem Atlas and more.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Resources for Aspiring Spoken Word Artists

(from the La Crosse Tribune, Peter Thomson)
A big part of my work is artist-in-residence gigs, and a big part of THAT work is making sure that I don't just work in a school for a week and then disappear forever. I want to make sure students have access to further resources and ways to plug into the culture. 

So with that in mind, I thought I'd centralize a few different resources that I use. Hopefully these can be useful for aspiring artists, but also educators, teaching artists, and anyone looking to dive into spoken word culture.

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Spoken Word and Slam Poetry
A good start.

My Video Series on Spoken Word Tips, Tools, and Tactics.
Just sharing some ideas that have been helpful to me as a writer and performer. More videos on the way.
  • Intro/Five Things I Look for in Poems
  • On Concrete Language, Specificity, and Turning Ideas into Poems
  • Spoken Word Performance Tips and a Note on "Poet Voice"
  • On "Diving In" and Getting Involved with Spoken Word
  • On Revision
Six Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started as an Artist
A few more tips, tools, and tactics.

My List of Spoken Word Videos that I Like
Poets need to read. MCs need to listen to hip hop. Spoken-word artists need to read, and listen, and watch, and experience the world in many ways. This is a list of what I think are good intro-to-slam pieces, some of the best spoken-word you can find online, plus a few I just think are interesting for various reasons.

My Own Spoken Word Videos
Aside from the previous list, here is a list of all of my stuff. A lot of the pieces on this list I don't use in schools because maybe they contain cursing or more explicitly political content or whatever, but if any student wants to see more of my work, it's all here.

Button Poetry: A Treasure Trove of Spoken Word Videos
The Button folks basically travel around to different spoken-word events and film stuff. It's that simple, and their YouTube channel has some of the best spoken-word you can find online, much of it new work filmed for the first time.

A List of Open Mics and Poetry Slams in the Twin Cities
Since a lot of my work takes place in or around the TC, I want to make sure people know about the MANY opportunities that exist to perform. Many of these events are all-ages, too. The best way to get into spoken-word is to GO TO events, meet people, watch, listen, maybe perform. Even if you're not in the Twin Cities area, there are probably similar events near you.

Youth Spoken Word in MN:
If you're a young person in Minnesota interested in spoken-word or hip hop, be sure to bookmark this page and check back for updates. TruArtSpeaks runs the Be Heard slam series, which feeds into Brave New Voices. They also organize readings, workshops and much more.

Youth Spoken-Word Nationally: YouthSpeaks & Brave New Voices
YouthSpeaks is a leader in the youth spoken-word movement nationally , and you can find a bunch of Brave New Voices footage at this link.

Bring Me to Your School
I visit schools for assembly performances, class visits & Q&A sessions, and in-depth week-long residencies. If it's in MN, I work with COMPAS; if not, you can contact me directly:

I'm also working on getting some of the lessons I do online in some form. Should also probably do a reading list at some point. If you have any good resources to share, feel free to leave a comment!