Monday, March 28, 2005

New event calendar

I've added spoken word event listings to the sidebar. This way the most current news on upcoming events will always be on the upper portion of the page, with a little colour to help it stand out. I think this will work better than just posting the listings as blog entries, 'cause they tended to get lost in the shuffle that way. Hopefully I can actually get around to updating it regularly...


I've been meaning to post for a while, but haven't gotten around to it for reasons that will become evident to you shortly.

First off, I got second place at the No Rules Slam! That's the second time in two weeks that I've won money for doing poetry. It's a good feeling. Your score at the No Rules Slam is based upon the decibel level of the crowd's applause. I got a reaction of 113 dBA (the winner got 114). To give you some points of reference, that's a little louder than a power saw or car horn, or about as loud as the average rock concert. Let me say that again: the applause was louder than a freaking car horn! I was flabbergasted. It was definitely my best performance. I was much bolder and louder than usual, and it was only the second time (EVER) that I've taken the microphone off the stand. I'm glad the audience had such an overwhelmingly positive response to the new, more confident Steve, 'cause it was a lot of fun and I don't plan on reverting to "meek mode" anytime soon.

Also, I've been apartment hunting for two weeks. I just signed the lease today for a room in a shared apartment downtown. I'm moving in on Friday. Yes, you read that right. Friday. Guess I should start packing, eh? I'm excited because I've been living in Nepean ever since I first moved to this area from Windsor in May of 2001. My whole life is downtown. It makes much more sense for me to live there. My accomodations won't be as nice as they are now, but my rent is cheaper and hey: location, location, location. I can walk just about everywhere that's worth going to.

I'm also working on starting up a new spoken word event within the next couple of months. Does the city need another one? Yes. Every city everywhere always needs more of the arts. Mine will have a unique catch to differentiate it from the others. Something to do with a little project of mine some of you may have thought I'd abandoned... Those of you who know what I'm talking about should expect to be hearing from me relatively soon. Keep in mind that I'm ridiculously busy right now, though.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Reminder: No Rules Slam on Wednesday!

Quick reminder folks: The No Rules Slam is this Wednesday (March 23rd) @ Parliament Pub (101 Sparks Street at Metcalfe) starting at 8 pm. I have it on good authority that this is a ridiculously good event. Try to get there early, last time they had to turn dozens of people away at the door because the place was packed! This will be my first time going. I'll be doing one of my old favourites that I haven't performed for quite some time (It's a little too long for a regular slam). At No Rules, you're allowed to use costumes, music, etc., so it promises to be interesting.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

National Capital Throwdown

So yeah, I went to the National Capital Throwdown last night and it was awesome! It was my first time there and I was not disappointed in the slightest. I love the slams, but it was very refreshing to go to a non-competitive spoken word event and see people giving their all on the stage for a receptive crowd. I will definitely be a regular at this event from now on. I also finally met Julie Delaney, the woman behind the Ottawa edition of the CBC Poetry Face-Off for the last several years. She didn't waste any time telling me I had to compete in the next one, which I've already heard from a bunch of poets over the last two years. Okay, okay, enough already: I'll do it!

Seriously, Looking back at the last three Face-Offs, I think about 70-80% of the participants have been friends and acquaintances of mine. So I get the pressure to compete from all sides. It makes me very nervous though, 'cause they give you a topic that you have to write about and I've never been very good at doing specific commisions. I just tend to write about whatever the hell is on my mind at any given time. Julie pointed out that the topics tend to be very broad, which is true. This year was play. I could've done that. I think. Oh well, I guess we'll see next year, eh?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Places you should be

Here are some of the poetic goings-on that are still to come this month:

Wednesday, March 16th
7 pm: lisa b.'s salvaged music cross canada tour with guest Oni the Haitian Sensation @ Club SAW (67 Nicolas). $7 cover.

8 pm: National Capital Throwdown @ Gap of Dunloe (263 Bank St. at Cooper). Free event. For more information, contact: or

Thursday, March 17th
8-9 pm: Pimping the Pimp's System Part 2 @ ARTS LOUNGE (20th floor Dunton Tower @ Carleton University). Free event.

Sunday, March 20th
2-5 pm: SlamWrite @ private residence (see webpage for details). Free event. For more information, contact:

Wednesday, March 23rd

8 pm: No Rules Slam @ Parliament Pub (101 Sparks Street at Metcalfe). $5 cover; free to performers. For more information, contact:

, don't forget Café Nostalgica still goes on every Thursday @ 603 Cumberland on the University of Ottawa campus. Poetry open mic followed by the music open stage that goes on until the wee hours of the morning. What more could you ask for? That it be free? It is. Usually starts around 8 pm, but the doors are open long before then: If you wanna sit, get there early.

Na na na na na na na na... Cap Slam!

Wow! Capital Slam was amazing last night! They packed the Universe City Lounge and actually had to turn quite a few people away at the door 'cause there was just no room for 'em. I don't know who bribed the judges for me, but I got some ridiculously high scores in both rounds (29.8 for my first piece and 29.7 in the final round) and took home my first Capital Slam victory. For those who weren't there and are wondering at all the Batman references in this post, I did a poem explaining how capitalism may have it's flaws, but without it, the Caped Crusader could not possibly hope to thrive and protect us as he does. Silly? Yes. Crowd-pleasing? Much more than I anticipated.

There were some amazing performances on that stage, dammit! Café Nostalgica regular Tiah made a splash with her first appearance at the Capital Slam doing a piece about a conversation between a weewee and a hoohaw. ;) It was brilliant!

DJ Morales completely blew me away as usual. The girl's 17 and I think she may be my new favourite Ottawa poet. I shit you not. She has way too much talent for someone so young. I was writing total crap at her age.

The featured performer Sonia Ndongmo gave us a half-time show I'll not soon forget. Her voice is just astonishing, and she's backed up by an incredible band. Greg has assured me that he will do everthing in his power to get her back on that stage in the future.

I can't say enough about last evening. It was just astounding, and I'm fucking thrilled that Greg and Elissa are having so much success with the series after a mere six months. I had high hopes for this series from the very beginning, but even in my optimism I never expected to see it take off so dramatically in this short a time. Congratulations, guys! All you gotta do now is keep it up!

There's a friggin' spoken word Renaissance going on in this city, and I'll soon post some info on all the events that are still to come this month. (There's lots!)

Holy victory, Batman! Posted by Hello