Frank Boyd in BODY magazine Dec 19, 2014

by Erin

oh how I love intelligent conversation 
that’s Bird Miles Davis Tommy Potter Duke Jordan and Max Roach on drums 
that’s like Thomas Jefferson Abe Lincoln Roosevelt and 
uh 
two other ones having a conversation only these guys can implement in real time 
“We collectively create a thing of beauty” 
Max Roach said that 
listening folks 
he’s talking about listening 
listening 
listening
listening
listening listening is like helping somebody shit into a bag

Want more? Check out an excerpt of the excellent writing from Frank Boyd's The Holler Sessions at...











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Studio Suppers at OtB Dec 15, 2014

by Monique

Check out this video by Jenise Silva at our last Studio Supper. Look at the list of upcoming suppers and reserve your spot for the next one!

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Erin Jorgensen | Concert Two Dec 9, 2014

by Erin

The second free concert in the series of six went down on Sunday, Nov 30th at 5pm. The audience was seated in the dark rehearsal room with the performance happening in the voms and back hallway. 

Photos by Chelsea Williams and Basil Harris. Scroll down for source materials.

Sources used in piece: JS Bach: Cello Suite 2 in D MinorSimone WeilGravity and Grace; Vic Chesnutt:...

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Transcendent Dec 5, 2014

by Wesley K. Andrews

People throw the word “transcendent” around pretty lightly these days but Now I'm Fine by Ahamefule J. Oluo is specifically and exactly that. I don't mean that the show is very good, although it is, or that it's beautiful, which you can't deny, or that he finds comedy in the low places of life, which he does swimmingly. I mean that the show itself – and particularly the closing musical number – is a highly focused act of transcending a traumatic event. I don't necessarily think he did it on purpose. But that's precisely what he did.

In Act 3 of Now I'm Fine, Oluo speaks in great and evocative detail about the autoimmune condition that caused his body to literally slough off its own skin. That part of the show was rough.

But next came his skin's regrowth, which was rougher. Oluo described excess protein calcifying over his orifices while he slept, necessitating a macabre cosmetic ritual where he...

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Review: Now I'm Fine Dec 5, 2014

by Alithea O'Dell

When your reality is, or has at some point been, a surrealist fever dream in comparison to your peers, being able to talk about it without othering yourself any further than the experiences themselves have already othered you is a profound talent. A childhood that is made complicated with absent fathers, social anxiety, and poverty is just as valid as any alternative narrative, even if some (or most) would not view it as ideal. The stories of sadness that people grow out of are not always flowers bursting forth from putrid fertilizer, or trees pushing through cement. Sometimes these stories of triumph are just a matter of acknowledging that you come from weeds, and weeds are strong as hell. Those of us who have survived the fever dream can tell you: love can still exist in the absence of a relationship, expectations can still exist in the absence of dialogue, and healing can exist even when you find yourself every morning intentionally slicing at a wound.

Now I’m Fine...

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NOW I'M FINE Dec 5, 2014

by Samantha Detzer

If there is one thing I want from a piece of performance it’s the feeling that what I just saw could never be done again. I want to walk out and think  “I know what I saw will be done again tomorrow night and then again the next night and again all weekend, maybe all month. But no one else can possibly see what I just saw.” Its not that my emotions or reactions are so complex it’s that the performance was so singular, so special that it doesn't seem like it could be repeated.

Ahamefule J. Oluo’s Now I’m Fine wasn’t just funny, or timely, or raw it was singular. His effortless way of being with us and with his story is something that you are hard pressed to find elsewhere. It took the best part of stand up and of music concerts and the best parts of theater and storytelling and melded them together to create something that structurally and artistically and emotionally felt seamless.

I just keep thinking, "Will someone else really get to see this...

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Force Dec 5, 2014

by Dylan Ward

I'd never fainted in a performance before, and last night, I did, classic southern lady style, with face fanning and a whispered "oh my." I won't tell you exactly where I fainted save for that it perhaps was at the climax, at the point where I felt an information transfer.

This may seem a tangent but bear with me: The funny thing about my brother, who is a musician, has sometimes been that he has become frustrated for not understanding his music, specifically when he was a teenager. He was (and is) a fantastic little electro punk who makes music straight from space, and he was insistent upon playing it in the car and elswhere, and we humoured him, but he became frustrated because we never "got it."

Partly it was because he was 15 and no one understood, but also partly it was because it was a lot of noise, a lot happening at once. 

My brother was going through tough shit at the time, far beyond that of normal teenage tough shit, and this noise came out of...

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"Now I'm Fine" in The Stranger Dec 3, 2014

by Erin

The Stranger's Brendan Kiley talks with Oluo about his life, words, and music:
As a title, Now I'm Fine does a lot of heavy lifting. It implies an ordeal, lets you know it's in the past, and even tells you how it ended—from setup to spoiler in three short words.

This autobiographical concert by musician and writer Ahamefule J. Oluo (think of it as a solo show with 16 backing musicians, including the glistening, dexterous voice of okanomodé SoulChilde) is, in fact, a record of an ordeal that descends to depths that are as startling as they are grim. But Oluo has a stand-up comedian's heart and deploys jokes like a team of hopeful hot-air balloonists trying to give a little lift to a story that just keeps getting heavier.

An early version of Now I'm Fine, performed at Town...

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