June 30, 2010

Urban Guerilla Theater, June 18

… is at the WMHT Linda Auditorium on Central Ave. in Albany each 3rd Friday, each month a different theme. You can save money on the price by getting tickets in advance from the folks involved. It's not your usual cheap poetry event, but worth every penny. Tonight's theme was "Generations" with some Elders & some newer voices & spins in between by DJ TrueMaster.

The usual host, Mojavi, introduced tonight's guest host, Bless, who set the tone with his marvelous set piece about "Keeping it Real."

First up was Sheila aka Shaylee (as always, I welcome any corrections to spellings of names; unless I know better, I write 'em as I hear 'em, unless I can get to the sign-up sheet), with her thoughts on urban crime, "Everyday I Get More & More Confused" (me too). Nya Aronson wrote about looking for success in "Being Me." Giving us a taste of what he said was a "dying art" Dayshawn Sobrano tap-danced to hip-hop selections. True was introduced as a student of Bless & his piece said "… don't listen to the sound, listen to the message." Next, Lyrical (Jayson) did a poem about ignorance.

Tika performed a poem from her CD, "Rest in Peace" then introduced her daughter who read rhymes about school -- like mother like daughter.

Stepping back a few generations, Elder poet & fixture on the Albany poetry scene Moses Kash III began by talking about his life in LA & that led into a poem about OJ Simpson, "Stripped of Glory."

Back to the young poets, Unique's poem was on beauty. She was followed by student Verse with advice to think about yourself. The last poet I caught was Victor Jarvis with a piece urging involvement in the community organizations. But then I had to leave to give Moses a ride home.

A lot of talent in the house. But to my own particular taste I found too much sermonizing, too much "telling" & not enough showing. As an example, some of these young poets would do well to turn to Moses Kash's poem about OJ Simpson: the poem shows the complexity of fame intersecting with the tragedy of domestic violence & America's racism. I suppose youth sees simple answers to society's problems, while the elders have seen the failures of Man & God & Platitudes. At least these kids are thinking -- & writing -- keep at it.

UGT is at the Linda each 3rd Friday, check the website for schedules, themes, ticket info, etc.

No comments: