Monday, September 30, 2013

Q & A with Robert Dillard

When I first heard Robert Dillard, I was flabbergasted. I like to use the word flabbergast to describe stupification: Stupified because his lyrical content was both intimately outrageous and rhythmic... and he looked good in a white t-shirt...and what's better than intimate outrage with rhythm in a white T? Nothing. That's what. It was circa 2007 at Legacy Books and Cafe in St. Louis, MO and Robert was performing Coward, a piece that left no room for speculation about what "that nigga" did because he was a punk pussy assed bitch (my deduction, not actually found within the lyrics of that song). Robert had been performing since circa 1999, gracing the mean, mean streets of poetry jams and open mics; amidst the StL Boheme of that frequently reminisced upon era that ushered in spoken word as a regional pop culture love child of hip hop and gentle interpretive metaphor.
Yet Robert's voice, illustrations, candor, subjects, timing, and timelessness let audiences know that they showed up for him and not the other way around.

I became a spectator, then a fan, and finally a collaborator...partly because I loved his music and partly because people kept asking me (1) if I knew him and (2) if we were going to collaborate. Once a fan of his mistook a picture of me for a picture of him, I figured it was time for us to be seen together in public. I had the opportunity to accompany Robert on guitar, open for his shows, and ransack his refrigerator and cabinets for peppermint bark. I learned that behind the music lied a sensitive, compassionate Pisces with a knack for human connection and a cheese problem. I could imagine that most would perceive him to be eccentric, but being accused of such myself, I recognized him as a compadre in the struggle, an intriguing inspiration, a teacher, and a dude uninterrupted. 

Countless performances and 3 studio albums later, I decided to virtually kidnap Robert for a  Q & A and chop it up with the rhythmic wonderkind. Residents of the Galaxy, meet the man...the myth...the guitar playing lyricist: Robert Dillard!

Blue: Where are you from and what hood do you claim?

Robert Dillard: I'm from St. Louis, MO..born and raised in The Central West End area. The hood I claim would be CWE ALL DAY BABY!!!!

B: How did you get started in music? 

RD: It all started with me keeping a journal. I've always been the kind of person that needed to release so that I wouldn't explode or get sick. I'd been journaling and writing poems since i was 6 years old. In 2002, an ex boyfriend of mine bought me a guitar, and I didn't know how to play it, but I taught myself and within a couple months, I wrote my first song and performed it. The feeling of release was so amazing, I kept doing it...and have been making and recording music since that time.

B: Please describe your musical and creative vision?

RD: I'm a writer first and foremost, but the instruments are an amazing vehicle to deliver my emotions, message, etc. I see each song/album as a snapshot of where I am in my life. I assess, document, and move forward, so that when I'm 127 years old, I can look back at these recordings as if they were a photo album. I'm completely disinterested in corporate hands contaminating my art with their green papered agenda.

B: Girls love you. Guys love you. How do you keep them all satisfied?

RD: I DON'T. LMAO. I appreciate any love that is being poured into me, but I am less interested in satisfying people these days, and more interested in being WHOLE. If who I am in my entirety is satisfying to someone, thats awesome...if not, thats awesome too.

B: You recently added politics to your repertoire. How did this come about and what affect has it had on your creativity? 

RD: So much of my message is wrapped up in connection. I love how I feel when I am heard and seen. I have seen so many people's flames blow out because they didn't feel like they mattered. A politician came to my show one day, loved my message and solicited my help with a few projects. I gladly agreed to, and I even got to infuse my art into the legislative process. I learned that I could help enforce justice through legislation, which is something that my art always spoke to.. It's been amazing making these two professions bedfellows.

B: What advice would you give to someone reaching for musical stardom?

RD: I would just remind them to stay focused on their art and what they want to express. As for fame, I think it's important that you use fame as a means to an end as opposed to just an end. The latter could lead to having life feel hollow.

B: If you could share a vegan wrap with any historical figure from the past, present, or future, who would they be? What would you ask them? 

RD: It would probably be Bayard Rustin, a gay social activist and civil rights leader, who also happened to be an aide to Dr. Martin Luther King. I would ask him "Where did you get all of that strength and courage? Strength to fight as not only a black man, but a gay black man during that period?....and how do you think we could go about bringing out that light in today's gay black men?

B: If you could go back in time, what would you tell 15 year old Robert? 

RD: I would say to him "Hold on sweet prince, it's going to get a lot more difficult, but you can handle it. You were built to last."

B: What's next for Robert Dillard? 

RD: I'm kicking around some idea's for a future political run for office, I'm finishing up my new album 'Adversity, Love and Light' and I'm also going to write a book once I'm done with the initial promoting of this record.

B: Where can the people find you? 

Cover art for Damage Control (click image for download)

RD: You can like my Robert Dillard facebook fan page, or go to my website, or follow me on twitter @ TheDillardLife or search my name on youtube or google. Information about my upcoming shows and projects will be on my website.



Watch Robert Dillard performing Oh Pretender from his 2012 release Damage Control

Saturday, September 21, 2013

For The Musical Independent

Since 2012, there are only 3 major music labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group. The last of EMI (an international label out of Britain) was absorbed by Warner in July of 2013 (that's less than 2 months ago). These Big 3 are conglomerates that consist of publishing houses that own all the publishing and copyrights on all major music in the entire world. And be careful with labels that call themselves "independent". Do a little research and you'll find that many well known independent labels are simply beards for the majors who either own huge percentages of the companies, or operate as a parent company to the "indie" labels. Though these labels can provide great financial backing and star power for projects, some drawbacks to being signed are:

(1) there's no guarantee the label will release your project,
(2) you will not own the copyright/publishing to your music and if the song blows up, the label gets all the royalties, and
(3) in order to stay in the favor of the labels over time, you have to do what they require, which may compromise your creativity and/or artistic integrity.

Another drawback is that if you actually do become "famous" and you want to leave the label, the majors have a track record of intimidating artists into staying under their auspices, which can range from endless lawsuits to sullying their reputation and turning the public against them so that they cannot be profitable beyond the label. If this happens, good lawyers and indie art advocates are available, but success is not guaranteed.

For some, being a workhorse for the music industry can be very appealing. Major labels offer promises of riches and fame and many Earthlings live for riches and fame. But if you're one of the artists who isn't impressed by the machine, no worries. The music industry has changed so much in the past 20 years that you can be the writer, publisher, and copyright owner for your own music, seek your own licensing opportunities, and collect royalties from the international use and distribution of your music. The degree to which you are successful depends on the work you put in and the relevance of your art to the people who listen to it. The best part of running your own career is that once you've achieved success, you become a gold mine for teaching others to do the same.

Uranus Is Blue is a resource for indies. Learn how to monetize your own career and read Q&As full of tips for how to make it work from the artists, bands, DJs, publishers, and copyright owners who are making it work. Visit and subscribe to the blog, youtube, tumblr, and facebook

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Q&A with Needles X Nodzilla

The Nappy DJ Needles X Nodzilla is the Ghetto Blastic blendmaster of turntables throughout St. Louis. He has been dubbed Best Club DJ by the Riverfront Times and is a Uranus Is Blue endorsed reliable source for dance parties in StL where people actually dance (and look real out of place if they don't). In fact, don't show up to a Nodzilla event without a change of clothes. The groove is so groovy that the walls bleed funk, so warm blooded animalia don't stand a chance. I'm a fan because his DJing saved my life with a song...and it's fun to watch a master at work. XXs, XYs and XYZs of the Universe, get a load of DJ Needles!

Blue: Where are you from, what high school did you go to, and what hood do you rep?

Needles: I'm from East St. Louis, Il. I went to Cardinal Ritter College Prep and currently I rep the "grimy" hood of Dogtown.

B: You're arguably one of the hardest working DJs in the upper Mason Dixon Region, bringin' the consistent boom bap soul since 2001. Tell us a little about your beginnin's in the record spinnin' bidness.


N: I began doing parties in 1994. My brother Nick had a friend who needed music for her birthday party and I had mad tapes of stuff I taped off the radio and a few cds. Surprisingly, it went over quite well! I got bit by whatever dj bug exists that night and that never went away. A few years later, I graduated from tapes and cds to actual turntables and vinyl and my break came courtesy of Rich Money at the Red Sea. He took a break and let me get on the tables and it's been on from there.

B: Technology in music can get out of control these days. How are you able to keep up with the times while maintaining the rustic feel in your spins and blends? What does your current performance setup consist of?

N: I don't get caught up in needing to keep up per sé...I work with what I have at the time. I will upgrade when the time and funds sync up! As far as maintaining the feel of the spins, I just play what I like. Flat out. I'm of the generation that's kind of a bridge between the music of the 70's/80's/90's and what's happening today whereas we're old enough to remember when the older stuff was new but can also recognize and appreciate the good stuff of today. Currently, my setup consists of 2 technic 1200 turntables, a rane sixty-two mixer, mac laptop, beats headphones, shure and ortofon needles and of course more than not, vinyl.

B: If you could split a pizza with any figure in history from the past, present or future, who would it be and why?

N: I hate questions like this because as soon as you answer, so many other people pop into your mind! Anyway, I suppose it would be J Dilla. I'm a fan of his production and I'd love to just eat my pizza while he spoke. It'd also be dope if he had his mpc with him for some beat-making demonstrations.

B: Your quixotic blends and beat projects have put many an audience in a trance. What type of music inspires you and what do you look for in a groove?

N: I'd say the music that inspires me is vintage funk, soul, jazz & Hip Hop. There's something special about those drums, guitars, piano riffs, violins, horn arrangements and so on. I tend to look for a coherent melodic rhythm in a groove. Something that makes sense straight out the gate. Build up is cool at times, but when you're deejayin, you mostly want a groove that gets people on board quickly.

B: You've taken promotion to the next level with Art Haus: a pop art collage of large afros, tight fades, and nappy dreadlocks. What is the spirit behind Art Haus?

N: The spirit behind Art Haus is simple creativity. The notion of not being locked in some artificial box placed on me by others who have no idea about what art is or can be. My influences range from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol to my friends Mike 2600, Kevin McCoy and Rhashad Whittier.

B: What do you love most about being a DJ? What could you do without?

N: I love being able to connect with so many people at one particular time on a very unique level. I could do without all the terrible music many people expect me to play.

B: If you could go back in time, what would you tell 10 year old Nodzilla?

N: If I could go back in time, I'd tell my 10 year-old self to start collecting vinyl now, visit New York often and ask Mom for a passport!

B: What would you like to tell your fans?

N: To fans: Come out to my events more!

B: What's next for Nodzilla? How about DJ Needles?

N: There's a Nodzilla beat-tape EP and full-length project in the works then of course more events and mixtapes for DJ Needles...kinda weird talkin about myself like that!

B: Where can the people find you?

N: People can find me on twitter (@nappydjneedles), facebook (nodzilla and nappydjneedles), bandcamp (nodzilla), instagram (nappydjneedles) and

B: Thanks for visiting Uranus!!!

Click on the images to the right to download these blends and mucho, mucho mas >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Healing MOvement

I met Mo, Portland based multimedia visual artist/photographer, in the summer of 2011. Mo sat on the floor while Butterfly braided her hair and told me stories of family, art, growing up, and her son, Monk. I was introduced to The Ancestors: rocks with faces that Mo had uncovered through paint. The following summer, I and some friends joined Mo at Roosevelt High School as she was putting the last touches on a mural she created for the school's Freedom Writers exhibit.  She let us tag the wall with our personal touches and even congratulated me on my newly discovered artistic capabilities *pops collar*. I found Mo to be an open, loving creative who wears herself on the surface of ways that even made me uncomfortable. I could never act around her. She'd see my pathetic attempts and call them out with compassion and quickness. For this, I am thankful.

Today, Mo is in the fight of her life. Diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, the prognosis is grim, yet her hopes, artistry, and integrity remain in tact. She is even continuing the Good Days/Bad Days project that she started 10 years ago, documenting every day of her experience through photographs and testimonials. Her willingness to be open and vulnerable during this time has not only showed me how to be a huemehn, but also how to be an artist. 
Speaking of art, Mo's creations are for sale. Your purchase goes toward The Healing MOvement. Click the images throughout this post to learn more about them. 

September 10, 2013: 8:16am
Sept 2013 Ovarian Cancer the next phase in my journey through this life. A central place to know about Events, access donation links share cancer info you would like to share with me, well wishes ...LOVE
Headed out to the Doc soon ..and then we'll know what there is to know.

So..the results it is as bad as I suspected borderline between Stage 3-4, wont truly know until they get in there and really look during surgery. On the 19th I will be returning to Portland..OHSU and they will do a total abdominal hysterectomy including the muscle & fat walls, possibly lymph nodes and sections of my bowels if found there...(the Doc seems to feel confident if we have to do so there will be enough left that I wont need a colostomy bag)..and anywhere else it might be hiding they cant see on the x-rays, ...they also did more blood work ekg and took chest xrays today...just in case....I can't even think about that too...after surgery I will be in the hospital for a week and then when I have recovered enough from that I begin combo of chemo .radiation and alternative medicine...without it ..I wouldn't see 2014

I spent the day with my family and my GrandDoodle they were all there to support me and each other..gave me the strength I needed to hear what is to come...with The Reason sitting next to me only thing I could do was choose to fight.

I'm not going to lie and make it sound like it will be easy...statistics are a low 30% chance ...and if it goes/stays in remission ...that might buy me 5 more years....5 being very optimistic.... ..many things can happen in 5 years though.

I have decided I am going to pre cut my hair ...accepting it MAKING IT part of my warrior MOde preparing for what is to come...and donate it to Locks of LOVE. Got to walk it the way I talk it....LOVE even in my worst MOments

I also intend to hit it hard with a cancer fighting diet starting right a few days ago...I'm on high protein drinks ...can't eat everythings smashed together...getting my strength up...but after food...the right foods can be very helpful and are very encouraged


To my foodies...often with chemo you loose your desire to eat foods taste different etc me concoct some delish cancer cuisine I cant resist
I am a Pescetarian/Vegetarian (seafood/vegis) with nightshade allergies NO tomatoes potatoes peppers eggplant pimentos tomatillo etc ) ...

Scheduled shows 2013: I am going to see if someone can sit in for me in scheduled upcoming shows ..if not for obvious reasons I will have to cancel. I am also going through my work cataloging it in more pulling ones I want saved for my family ...and would with dignity prefer to 1st be paid to be the artist I am Monk will handle packing and shipping ..if anyone knows my work ...its him.

it is my goal to be healthy again feb 2014 ...and have a huge celebration of LIFE in my usual Feb spot...and if I am is my hope then that you may gather there and celebrate MY life.

Rach a nurse has offered to come help here and there now and then to give my mom a break ...anyone else with med skills wants to help...most appreciated

Farnell mentioned a benefit concert...those interested in the idea him each other ...YES if thats the way the road turns..ANYTHING that helps my family in this time.

..I am an artist...going to be one until my last breath...I have been documenting myself for over a decade now, I feel for me continuing to do so will help me through the journey ..they will be raw...and they will be real.. as I experience this new will see a part of me you may have never known...know that before you choose to look at them PLEASE if you cant handle it ...don't look and DO not leave any negative BS... I hope that you can understand my need to continue my Good Days/Bad Days project even through these dark days...

***ANY research/recipes comments etc you find please share HERE and...we can all become healthier life/cancer aware experts through this journey

Know that the notes encouragement etc are also better for me ...and us all all in one place... spread out here there everywhere ...hard to follow stressful so much love I feel guilty not being able to answer all directly..please accept it is not personal ...know they are read by myself or those helping me..they are heart felt ...and woven into the strength that will help me and them..all of us who are brave enough to walk this path with me ..I thank you so much for that. .I LOVE YOU ALL and thank you SO much for all that you return to me.

September 11
While at the hospital getting the results we also picked up info on donating my hair ...I'm not comfortable donating to the one through the hospital because it is a corporate label/product 1st and the charitable part is on the side...those that know me know how anti label I am seems locks of LOVE is no longer working with the cancer association ..I'm looking into that and why? I would prefer to donate it to one that makes wigs for children so if anyone knows about others or would like to help me on the research end of that it would be beauty FULL ... LOVE

September 12
Woke up at 4ish couldn't go back to sleep....decided to watch the sunrise...then sat at the computer too long trying to act like every things normal ...didn't take my pain killers on time ..., paying for it now... The sunrise was beautiful though.

September 13
Tough night Monk hardly slept ... My poor baby and mother that they have to watch the generation between them go through this....I have friends visiting today hopefully it will give them both a break. Meds are making me fall out while typing this ..LOVE you all
As my Monk recently posted ... Life is short... Be centered in the present in recognizing the gift of each breath... If it hasn't where you are go outside and watch the sun set next time watch the rain see the beauty in it ...compliment a loved one or stranger... Eat something healthy for dinner... Spend a few moments a do a self check mental physical spiritual...often ....forgive trivial transgressions. Try not to judge work on your personal compassion for others worry less about competing with someone else and focus on being a better BEing then you were yesterday.., Be it music literature tv food etc ... Make sure that you only allow positive healing energy and substance into the temple of yourself ...#LOVE yourself and each others

September 15
The mind is willing... But the body is unable, this will not be a journey for the weak. I'm not going to go have a surgery and everything will be all better next week...I'm going to get cut open breastbone to pubic bone and then have every bit of cancerous tissue they can cut out of me removed along with a full hysterectomy lymph-nodes... slamming me into the menopause I thought I was starting early (the irony)...if I'm lucky I leave the hospital with a valve or plug in my side instead of a colostomy bag,.. over the next 3 weeks of healing from surgery ascites (fluid in my abdominal cavity) will most likely return.. they will then for the next six months repeatedly use that valve to pump me full of poison in hopes of killing the rest of the cancer surgery couldn't remove...and potentially my immune system ...minus the immune part that's the "if I'm lucky" version. I've been living with my mother working as her caretaker ... For the last year ... now suddenly she and my son are mine...while they put up a good front I can see it in their eyes every time they look at me. The pain they feel seeing mine ....My brother Gabriel Jones and I are writing my will discuss what I want done with my work..,personal remains. Because it needs to be done just in case

....he his wife family all have the same look in their eyes I have to find some kind of balance in all this ....fighting... but not being afraid...face the reality of possibilities ...this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life... This time I will be literally fighting for it....My Life. I've stayed for the MOst part relatively strangely numb.., with random hysterical breakdowns....everything I just typed painfully sinking in over the last week... Feeling trapped inside a body no longer mine.., the brain races ahead the body breaks down... I've always tried to be the one who helped others ... And now I am the one needing the help... surgery to recovery could easily take over a year..My Mom Leslie Anne and my Monk Josh Jones will need all the help they can get just as much tomorrow as 6 months from now ...

please if willing connect with them and my brother and figure out how you can help... from laundry to bills to holding their hand while they cry...I ask too that any benefits now or later you might put together that you contact and include them as well. My mother Leslie is really having a hard time...a retired nurse she understands the medical terminology instantly and knows too many details...

I am her 1st born her 1st baby..and she being a cancer survivor herself ...she is tortured trying to face the reality of the pain I am going through what she knows I am about to experience... And that she may have to watch her child die. .... This healing MOvement will not be a journey for the weak those of you who do come help..will be dealing with the'll have to marinate on the reality of it all while deciding how you can help...I love you all SO much. I whole heartedly THANK YOU now for what you have all done so far and will do as this journey continues.....ALL of my LOVE"

September 16
K that part where I call you all extra.... SOOO serious about that ... Hospital mentioned it earlier... When I said family only call mom .. I meant right then for info needed ... Not to overwhelm her with tons of phone calls .., if you gotta ask should you come probably shouldn't .., but if my peoples wanna sit withy flesh and blood peoples ...,PLEASE DO... Just leave the extra combo platters at home people! Seriousness ... Love you ...bunch a'crazy ass artist poet musical type people ..bring if down easy now.
September 17
Trying to wrap my mind around the next stage. I think I can rock a baldy semi successfully ... #MOre so knowing I helped too.
September 19 9:23am (from Josh "Monk" Jones):
Just got the call from the doc. She has just started surgery and is doing good so far. Ill keep everyone updated!
Okay everyone. She is getting closed up right now. Should be in recovery room tommorow. Doctors say she prob won't be doing too much tonight but I will try to get certain folks phone calls. There is people first in line I'm sure you all understand. Were almost through this part of it though!!!!

September 23
YESTERDAY I've been unplugged from everything except oxygen and Meds been up walking 5 times used the big girl potty even ...

LAST NIGHT started to be rough until the clarity that I'm a night owl sitting too long ...position water retention etc..,
Had a great nurse who really put her soul into helping

September 26
Second Chemo Port...this one a smart port for blood tests etc added yesterday in my upper chest because my veins are too deep ...but it is also an be used for double wham chemo...
Home clothes smells...foods...and most of that disease out of doc seems to feel I have done so well she wants to talk about staring chemo in a week instead of 3..only part still really draggin me down is this water weight/cement pants I'm still trying to get off ...One step at a time.

The larger of the many cancer masses they took out of me ..hard to look at

"I will be stronger then I have ever been or thought I could....for her.
TODAY/ASAP what I got SCOLDED for and their right is trying / being social with family friends again sitting too long really leaving the brunt of the physical and emotional end of helping on josh ...he needs a break,a shower, and a hot meal that doesn't come out of Plaid pantries nuke it section... Please hit him up If you can help him with this ASAP LOVE

September 30
Staple come out today!

October 4
The only way to conquer... is to create.
 ~ Michael Crenshaw
WWFD? ...Need to get the lab in functional order so I can paint on days I feel well enough. I was in mid swirl when the big C decided to drop in and blow up all my plans. ..On average to be honest ..I don't feel sick ... Beat up lil but not SICK sick... And then I see the way people look at me... Or I try to move and the body can't do what the mind wants ... And finally ... I look at myself ... And I know there is no denying it ...I'm really SICK sick.. And I fluctuate back n forth between sad and anger/irritation...mainly selfish...WHY ME? But not really feeling fear until I'm faced with the "NOW"ness of the situation. Needles coming at me etc...

NOW ... What a packed word it is.

....I want<NEED
all my nows!
... All of them.

October 5
Hair today... Gone tomorrow. Monk cut my hair off today ready-ing myself for chemo. He did a great job loving and gentle made it so mama barely cried at all. LOVE YOU MONK Josh

October 8
Spent yesterday at the hospital being tested to see if I'm healed enough for chemo... loosing too much weight...railroad track runs down my belly now...not eating enough ...Spent today hairs gone.... life in general and not so general on cold turkey...out of sorts...this isn't me ..where am I ...weak barely can walk across the room.... let alone run away as fast as I can...... forcing myself to eat ..must get my protein up chemo's coming .. add ..everyone has questions wants answers, choices now now...calm down dont get all worked up... mass overwhelming me while individually not intending to .....I don't want to be rude but at the same time I want scream until my vocal cords bleed leave me alone for a minute ...cause apparently I have "cancer"..and I JUST. DO NOT. UNDERSTAND.

October 9
...the body wont ....but the mind still can.

October 15
It's not really the cancer that breaks you down... It's the side effects of and the "cures" ...I've been "online quiet" just trying to focus... Make it through "today"... ready myself for tomorrow. Can't really look to far past that. This pain riddled MOment is it.. With a blurry "maybe" just out of hands grasp. I can't relate to life as it dramatically different and yet simplified to some very raw quality of life basics ... Can we get any food in... Is waste coming many days has it been much pain "What is your pain level 1-10 ?" always floating in between the other questions. Trying to maintain some sense of positivity despite all that and the hormonal chemical reality of being gutted like a fish...because cancer by its self wasn't reason enough to feel emotionally hysterical ...days are centuries tar and feathered in pain layered in questions ...simple things taking forever... And in the same time precious MOment flying past...feeling wasted waiting... I think I'm going to cut off what's left of my hair today. Chemo starts Thursday.

October 17
Chemo day #1: after my checkup yesterday I was passed again but they changed my treatment plan to lighter but more frequent chemo 1..8....15....week off .. And then evaluate how I'm doing if we can increase dosage...still loosing too much weight.....not to bad so far....except the allergic reaction to the Taxol (sp) face/neck turned bright red couldn't breathe instant panic NOT A CUTE SCENE...with the panic I was ready to rip and run NOW: 15 min left on my second Chemo Carobplatin this second one has been a breeze comparatively 45 min compared to 2+ hrs on the Taxol... Tired... so far is as/and better then expected..LOVE

October 20
Not a lot to say right now ...the 1st 48 hrs wasn't too bad actually most likely because of the feel good cocktail they gave me before the chemo ....however....sicker then a dog last few days today I can barely keep water down...just want to curl up in a ball and cry...not a good day

October 23
Dr. Visit today to set my markers and get ready for chemo round 2 tomorrow ...truth..for the most part feelin pretty strong
October 24
Chemo round 2 ... Plugged in & oxygenated ...allergic reaction again.. Not cute but they, expecting it, caught before it was as bad as last time ...looks like treatment days are gonna be extra long ones.. Yay?!? ...not so much.

October 25
Just to remind me that this is cancer not a cake walk I was up all night hurling so bad my tum muscles ache still... This is only Round 2 ... I still have 5 months of this? My allergic reaction to the Taxol (1 of 2 chemo Meds they give me) .. And by allergic reaction I mean I turn bright red and stop breathing ... Messes up our plans for the once a month heavy dose of chemo we were planning for the next round and using the gut port they put in me because it's a fast gravity flush of chemo straight into the abdominal cavity and then they turn you every 20 min to make sure it "coats" every internal organ that had cancer on/in it... Patient needs to be breathing to really make that "work" ... Next fun thing they warned me to look forward to this week.. Probably going to loose all my hair...ALL of my hair. ...everywhere Not. So. Much. Grumpy today... Barfing for 10 hrs will often do that to ya though won't it. On a up note... I just farted ... Only in cancer/bowel surgery land is that a good thing. YAY for farting! ...Means my guts are finally catching up and trying to function again. Gonna lay here and whimper for a while. Love you all.

October 27
came back from the bathroom and found my blanket trying to freak me out
October 31
Night sweats body aches exhaustion insomnia tears...
Due to my allergic reactions to the chemo today ...postponed until tomorrow ..extra steroids right now and in the morning plus some other new drugs and we try tomorrow 8am instead...sooo not happy about the 8am ..nor the probably wont sleep tonight either..grumble grumble blah blah

November 1
Dear steroids, Thank you for letting me get a few hrs/zzz.. I would be more then happy to grab a few more from you ...but if not I'll also be grateful for what I got, they were much needed... My crankiness was starting to annoy myself.
Chemo round #3 wish me luck no allergic reaction ...breathing is alway a beautiful thing... So much steroids in me I'm talking a million miles a minute. #herewego #chemosucks

#LIKEABOSS ....done.....5 hrs problems "low n slow" was said so many times it's our new MOtto ...I am so amped up and tired right now I am probably already asleep but am too amped up to know if ...Humm feels like when the insomnia has me cause I need to paint ...had light bul bs over my head exploding like stadium lights I know the series now...I think it will be my bhm feb show focus.., if I start now I can use it to help pull myself through this... Signs so many signs right there if front of me I couldn't see/hear not dialed into the right frequency. #gottapainttobreathe
November 2
Returning to some normality ...I realized of the reasons I felt so out of sorts..."normally" ..I have music on 20 out of 24 hrs a day somewhere always on ...between the hospital stay and coming home...I forgot to turn it back on..and at times intentionally turned it off because the pain kept me from being able to enjoy it ...but I caught myself having a #minisolodancepartylite the other day...started crying when I realized it actually...I could finally kinda dance again..could "enjoy" MOving again ...#HUGE ...right here right now ..on random still steroid amped not over doing it ....but definitely doing it ...MUCH LOVE
...overloaded on the steroids still... I can't hold still been wide awake since 4 am in a cleaning frenzy ...currently working on getting the lab art ready...1st pic from a magazine i was reading during chemo me thinking about the big pink elephant thats always n the room since my diagnosis and then also ..2nd deep attraction to the hindu god Ganesha know as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom ( it around in brain batter figuring out how to smear him on a canvas contectively ...#gottapainttobreathe

November 3
Steroids have definitely worn off crashed early but been mostly awake since 2am painful cramps in my gut waking up feeling like your being stabbed & the knife is twisting...obviously not restful...said it before it's not the cancer that breaks you down it's the side affects of these damn "cures" ... Being slowly tortured on a maybe. Trying to remain positive but £@#%!!!
November 4
"You should be grateful for the time." ...time seems to be a repeating message much you your using it.... Or maybe I'm just very aware my expiration date got pushed visible closer. As fast as I many as I painted at a time ..over the years I always felt I was making up for lost time or felt there would never be enough ...truth I've been heard saying this before ...time is so short, and I had wasted so much time trying to "BE" for other people ..., while I'm laying here like this fighting cancer knowing for a fact that as you know it can be taken from you, reading your frustrations via timeline how much energy we give to the negative repeatedly... I feel the need to say to YOU: this is YOUR life... Live it for you WHY are you wasting it on "that"...step away remove yourself from it ....go do that thing you always wanted to do and do it for the joy of it without comparing it to anyone else... Go paint draw write run laugh dance fill your days with things you love ....#LIVE while you can.
November 6
Messed myself up today some...earlier I looked up Ovarian Cancer originally looking for more foods I can add to my diet that fight it and made the mistake of reading my "chances statistics blah blah " via the ACS (American Cancer Society)... For me stage lllc......35% .....been trying to keep it together head positive I've been behind some slim odds ..blasted statistics out of the universe before... its always possible...and so I put on music and was "OK" until...heard his voice ...before I could get to it to change it I listened to him... which made me look at the pictures ...I remember standing there outside his memorial with those folks ...our friends...even remember hearing myself say with intense passion ...we NEED to be doing what we are here to be doing it could be any one of us next. ...never even thinking I could be talking about myself.... Did I manifest this challenge?!?!... not being negative...but making myself face real..very good chance I will be seeing him before most of you do ....I CAN say I have been doing what I was put here to do...I DO feel like I #LIVED up to what I said ...I have always wanted a party when it comes..a celebrations with all my favs crying allowed...I suppose I'm going to have to talk to a few of you let you know... what for when...some will read that and think it means I'm not fighting ...those that know me just know I obsess over details and 360 angles that and..basically I'm a control freak when it comes to how I am represented lol...I like to see the whole at peace with the possibilities all ending up positive...I feel good that I have NO regrets re: my work, being an artist...I walk like I talk..and for years I have been painting myself with wings.

November 7
Nights are the hardest. Sometimes I cry just because I'm exhausted alone sore and there is no one there to hold me intimately, to allow me to emotionally tap out.. But as I watched the pain across partners faces last few chemo appointments I realized too I'm not putting another person through that emotional pain either... for "them" it's better I actually don't have a partner...there isn't someone laying next to me worrying wishing they could take my pain. If you do...if you are half of a couple....acknowledge them with a little extra just cause #LOVE someday they will really need it.
November 8
Been up since 4ish steroid twitchy... Gave me plenty of time to paint my face look lil more human... Headed to chemo #4 Monks going to stay the 6+ hrs with him mama today ...brought art stuff and bones with us #lowandslow #chemofriday Now that we are settling into a routine I've got thoughts for friends for the weekends (aka 1st couple days after chemo are the best...miss you guys kibble at the casa like some of us use to... Remember...#meMOrays) I'll concept share later... Just needed to feel as "comfortable" as I could with all this first update you soon ... #LOVE

November 14
...Thursday steroid day. Do I take them now and twitch all night...or try and take a nap wake up at midnight and take them then... I'm leaning toward the later they said as long as I have them in me by midnight for "Chemo Friday" ...and the steroid/Benadryl combo that makes me think I can Papa is taking me tomorrow doing the 6+ with me...lil snarkery for my musically inclined ...LOVE 15
Chemo Friday #5...sorry I didn't get this post in earlier ...I was awake since 2 am this morning ..the steroids had me ...just so you get the depth...I was in the kitchen baking ...(inside joke chuckles) making gingerbread cookies at 7 am...anyone really knows night owl me ...7 am normally I'm still staring at the back of my eyelids ...but everything's changed...everything...when this is over the person I was will no longer exist who I become and where that journey begins is still to be determined ..but it is MY intention that MANY years will be spent here discovering the new ME.

Chemo went really smooth no reaction I think we might be over that hump ..shorter session today forgot it was chemo lite aka only the Taxol so not the whole 6+..only 5 (Hey that hour+ is a million years with that ish pumping into your veins trapped in a chair)...while I am not taking any weeks off ..straight through ..we are running the 3 week cycles ...last week was heavy... today lite ...22nd will be lite too ...28th will be the ugly one again...

I cried a lot today ...but in the waiting room the treatment center I'm very young...and its apparently in my "favor" ..most everyone around me was really elderly today ...the tears were mainly for them ...listening to them there again ..3rd time back... chemo ..radiation ..poisons ..these are NOT Golden years. I learn my statistics ..that that whole 5 years is less about me living living and more about years of remission ...and then having to do this's to believing the next 5 yrs will find a cure ..cause I don't think I can do this again..its like willingly sitting down and letting someone shove bamboo skewers... under every one of your nails...every week ...lemme repeat willingly

I'm forgetting things now..chemo brain...about the only thing they forewarned me that would happen... that has happened ...not going to talk about the others by names and give them energy you can see one is thinner but still here me ...loosing too much weight still ..80ish lbs since surgery ...nutritionist came and saw me today ...I need to eat 100 grams protein daily ..DAILY....uhhh already gagging down food constantly... Fortunately those new wheys are 42g each and these wonderful ladies each bought and sent me a case THANK YOU Krysti and Sherrin ... still I had to go back "on the meat"...I was so proud of how vegi I was...but I need to have high protein foods ...anyone research willing or protein savvy...suggestions welcome especially if they can get me back off the meat...I'm avoiding sugars besides natural and even them more and more ...they feed cancer so anything from the savorly bland side preferred..and

..I have night shade allergies tomatoes potatos eggplants peppers etc ..yes it sucks royally.
I was too busy this morning doing and gingerbread cookie making packin chemo snacks and talking about everything and nothing all at once...didn't get a chance to paint my face ...didn't care actually truth told this ish has had me lil broke down this week kives and needles...gonna have to paint that too yeah my "tired/wired" is showing ..technically I'm probably asleep right now just cant feel it...gonna go work on my elephant while the chemo in my veins is "fresh"

...LOVE you all so much

November 22
...tough week
...middle fingers double barreled to you cancer...double.... barreled!!
Too many individual notes with the same hopefully you will all see your answer here...consider please while choosing what to say when ...really helps when they are asked here so others who know may share info...some of you are in more constant contact then others...

THIS LAST WEEK been noted ...I've been "quiet"... ...cause the cancer ache to the marrow wasn't enough I guess got a heavy hammer dropped from almost shoulder high onto big left toe earlier in the week will probably loose the nail.. so gross one for me looks DISGUSTING ..big toe of course.....been hobbling everywhere. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal...right now... No immune system...infection issue...Big deal.

..followed by a bladder infection few days later... No immune system....antibiotics= probable yeast beast ...yay!!! Not so much. ...and just a day later add chemo mouth sore by way of an abscess aka infection around a broken tooth back right of mouth face swelled up like a squirrel storing winter nuts lopsided right side only balancing the nice left side hobble sooo sexy...MOre not muching......again no immune system= another antibiotic (YBx2..given now) ...fortunately swelling is already down 48 hrs in on the antibiotics and just when we thought the trifecta of F#@kery had come to a final count ....add the new side kicker chemo affect Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia; PPE: aka Hand-Foot Syndrome aka numb/tingly fingers/toes and so far peeling bottom of feet... not good...can come with/at the cost of permanent nerve damage and my being able to paint or walk properly... yes I DID say paint 1st ... we want to get the cancer into remission... without destroying what I live to be able to do.

Hot cancer mess.
..ended "my week" ( they run Thursday to Thursday in my chemo world) with a moment of fear that my one and only was buried somewhere in the desert outside of Vegas...he's my kid...its very possible. (insert patented "ya know" Mo raised eyebrow here comboed with stern mothering looks for him when he reads)

SO THIS WEEK They canceled my chemo even though it was a light week so I am having a mandatory week off because after blood work it was clear my blood counts white red platelets etc etc were all too low to do it safely and because of the PPE as it can cause perm nerve damage ..we are also going to lower the chemo back again next few sessions see how I do... didn't really want to ..dont want it to last longer just want to power through it and be done..but i understand I NEED to and the difference between NEED>want ...learned that one along time ago ...I'll try and pretend its a vacation of sorts

On the humble side my lesson learned now...that will curtail some of my why me whining... I CAN feel worse then just the chemo routine...and all of this WILL get worse before it gets ready. My warrior status ...individually they could all bring even the strong down ...not to mention the stage 3c cancer alone...but I AM STILL HERE ...and retaining my snarkey sense of humor ...middle fingers double barreled to you cancer ...double barreled!!...and that's pretty much where I am at.

Til later...LOVE

November 29
I really dislike the whole "black" Friday title ...and yes before someone smart feels they need to tell me that it means being financially clear not in the red blah blah blah ...let's be real NO ONE out shopping is "in the black"....It's a whats not going to be in your wallet if its not already "holiday" ...."That" energy is out there emass and I had to travel through it ... And it's Chemo Friday. Had to do it today in as different place then normal got here at 10:30 didn't get plugged in until noon they are just hooking up my second chemo...The people are different ..they wear a damn hazmat looking kit when changing the bags...#TMF Doesn't exact strengthen the trust bond we already don't have..

They left me on the steroids too long before balancing with the Benadryl... Set a angry anxious mood it's hard to shake. NOT their fault ..they have had a BF line around the place today that could compete with the outlet mall..ADD its double whammy chemo day ..wasn't mentally ready for that's not a commitment it's a acceptance ...a surrendering if you will..and an empowering strength at the same time water #balance I'm sure the double whammied steroids will be speakin through me later I'll share that clarity MOment then... Right now I need to focus on not biting anyone...that and typing on this phone just seems to add to my get chompy state of mind... TY for all the #LOVE

December 3
I can not tell you how important this is...breast cancer runs in my family never thought I would have Ovarian...Genetic testing is a HUGE step ...get tested get tested get tested ...the help it will give your future generations ..male and female might be life saving.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The #@&!'s a Music Publisher?

A music publisher  makes sure songwriters and composers get their money when their songs are used to make money for other people. The money they collect is called royalties.

Music publishers collect 6 types of royalties for songwriters/performers.

Synchronization royalties: paid by the producer of a movie/tv show/ad to the writer of the song for the right to “synchronize” the writer’s music to the producer’s moving images.

Special use royalties: Paid by creators of ring tones, karaoke, video games, etc. to the songwriter for the rights to use the songwriter’s work.

Print royalties: Paid when the song is sold as sheet music, lyric book, etc.

Performance royalties: (better understood as “broadcast royalties”) are paid by the Performance Rights Organizations (ASCAP/BMI/SESAC/SoundExchange/etc) to the writer of the song when the writer’s song is broadcast over public airwaves. This includes but is not limited to radio stations, satellite radio, tv stations, performance in live venues, online streaming services (Spotify/Rhapsody etc.), and YouTube. It’s impossible for radio stations and venues to pay artists for every stream, so they pay a blanket license to the PROs who then use some crazy formula to figure out how to pay artists. 

Mechanical royalties:
established by U.S. Gov. 1909 Copyright act: 9.1 cents is paid to artists for recordings sold by the label to the songwriter for the right to “mechanically reproduce” the writer’s song on CD or download, whether or not the writer is the performer of the song. Mechanical royalties are paid by interactive streaming services (Spotify/Rhapsody etc.) and sales in territories throughout the globe.

Sampling Royalties: If someone uses pieces of a song or remixes the song, both the owner of the master work and the songwriter/publisher are owed money.

Q&A with Matt Blanks

I met Matt Blanks at a Recording Academy event in Portland, OR. He had that "I'm in a band and I know what I'm doing" look, so I started a conversation with him. I learned that he has a lot of history in music publishing and is an insider with (in my opinion) the best pizza joint on the Oregon Trail: 
Sizzle Pie!!! GASP! #Rockstar. #Swooning. #CanIhaveyourautograph. 
So I sat down with Matt in Cyberlandia and asked him some questions. If you're into grunge, metal, pizza, and you hate rabbits, get to know him and his people. They good people.

 Blue: Where are you from and how did you end up in Oregon?

Matt Blanks: Originally the Bozeman, Montana area. I moved to Denver, CO in 1997 trying to expand my opportunities in the world of art and music. Denver is a great city but after years of busting my ass there without much headway I decided Portland OR was a better place for me to work towards my vision of creating, promoting and publishing music that is more on the experimental side of things. In June of 2012 I decided it was time to come to Oregon. I spent the first 6 months or so traveling around the Oregon coast, recording music in my mobile recording studio (see video below). After floating around the coast for several months I finally decided to settle a bit in Portland and throw down some roots. I started my own business which doubles as an Art Gallery and Web Design/Development studio and connected with some local businesses in the area. Soon after, I met the President of Relapse Records one night at a show through a mutual friend and started kicking ideas around with him about how to market his label and restaurants on the web. Before I knew it he offered me a job, which I happily took!

B: Tell us a little about your history in music.

MB: I've been a musician since my teens. Listening to music has always been very important to me, and I could have been considered a "music nerd" as far back as age 12. As I started getting more and more into performing and playing the next natural progression for me was being able to record and publish it. In the mid 90's I got a 4-track and began putting together my own compositions. Having gotten the "bug", I then teamed up with a good friend and started a proper recording studio using ADAT machines and traditional outboard gear. When computer based recording began getting more accessible and affordable I decided to focus on learning that. About that same time I started managing a small Record Store in Colorado. This is where I really got in the trenches. As a product buyer I was talking to labels and distributors on a daily basis and began seeing all of the moving parts in between retail stores, labels, artists and distribution companies. After several years in music retail I got a job offer from one of our distributors, Red Distribution as a sales & marketing rep in the greater Denver area. My duties there mainly included working directly with retail stores in promoting our releases as well as working with their product buyers in keeping our products on the shelves and ordering new releases. After that, I moved on to one of the first Digital Distribution companies at the time - a small company called Synergy Music. In addition to digital distribution, the company also handled physical distribution, radio promotions as well as lot of other developing artist services. One of the more exciting projects we worked on was developing the "TouchStand". This device was a touch-screen computer that could be put into any retail store and allow customers to scan the UPC of a product and listen to streaming audio. In addition to being a listening station, it would also allow customers to special order items from that store. Sadly, the retail side of the industry at that time was just beginning to be hit with declining sales due to digital downloading and the chains that had been supporting our kiosk (Tower Records, Musicland/Sam Goody) were closing down. After that gig I decided to open up my own business in graphic & web design. I worked with a variety of clients in the music industry, some of the better known ones being Bonnaroo Music Festival, Warner Bros Music, Sanctuary Artist Management, and a bunch of others. Around this time I also decided to start my own label which for the most part focused on releasing my own music. I continued to work with these companies for the next few years, and then after a brief stint in TV/Broadcasting I finally made my way out here to Oregon and began working with Relapse Records.

B: What is the story behind Relapse Records? How did it start? Where is it headed?

MB: I handle all of the Website and App Development. Relapse is and has always been a tastemaker in extreme music. You can probably find a lot more facts about the label on Wikipedia than I can type out, but essentially it started in our President's folks basement in the early 90's and has since become a world-renowned music publisher. Relapse has always embraced technology and strives to be on the cutting edge of content publishing and delivery. We have a presence on pretty much every website out there - Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, the list goes on and on. We are working on some exciting projects at the moment that include Spotify Apps, Mobile Apps, a new and improved Website, and the list goes on!

Sizzle Pie Face!
B: What is your relationship with Sizzle Pie?

The president of Relapse Records, Matt Jacobson started Sizzle Pie a few years back after moving out to Portland and establishing a west coast branch of Relapse Records. Many of the pizzas are named after our own bands (Pig Destroyer), and we've even ran some promotions where certain merchandise is available only at the restaurants (Limited edition Red Fang Vinyl). While we don't go out of our way to promote the two companies as having a shared interest, we definitely see the value to cross promoting the two. It's very interesting to see how the two entities feed off of each other and has given us a lot of options and ideas when it comes to promoting our music. Another recent endeavor has been in a Bar/Venue/Club we call White Owl Social Club, which is just a block away from Relapse HQ. We've been able to bring in some pretty high profile acts, many of which are on the Relapse roster, so it's also an interesting way to promote our music.

B: What is your marketing philosophy?

MB: Make things fun and interesting. Don't worry about what people say is "safe" .. or "wrong" or "right". Go with your gut feeling. Get out into the real world as much as possible and network with people who have similar goals, and that often helps get the gears turning when forming strategies. Follow what's happening in the world of technology and embrace it. Even if it doesn't seem to pay off initially, get your music out there by every and any means possible.

B: What's with the rabbits?

MB: Rabbits are evil!!!!!

B: What are some tips you have for an indie band coming up in the mean, mean world where the good die young, the high die high, and the old go broke?

MB: Don't copy other bands sound or image. Work your ass off. Write great music. Give people a real reason to support you. Be creative with merchandising. I've watched bands rise from playing in tiny clubs of 50 people to opening up for bands like Slayer and Metallica at music festivals overseas within just a few years, simply because they took the time to write interesting and compelling music - and at the same time touring hard, playing hard, and giving those people who loved your show lots of options to remember you by. Print up goofy stuff like lighters, beer coozies, bottle openers with your logo and URL on them. Be serious about your web presence - don't rely on Facebook and Twitter as your only means of connecting with fans and exposing your sound.

B: If you could drink a Bloody Mary with any historical figure from the past, present, or future, who would it be and what would you talk about?

MB: Frank Zappa, no doubt. He was so far ahead of his time! Way back in the late 60's and early 70's he was recording and publishing his own music, pushing the limits of what society considered entertainment and was completely non-aplogetic about using profanity and cutting edge imagery in his art. He lived and played by his own rules, and really paved the way for the place modern music is currently. I would definitely consider him the musical genius of our century. Although I think he was more of a beer guy, he may not have enjoyed a bloody mary!

B: If you could go back in time, what would you tell 12 year old Matt?

MB: Dude, keep shooting for the stars - you'll get there if you work hard enough!

B: What's next for Matt Blanks?

MB: My goals in the immediate future is to get Relapse to a place where we are dominating our web presence and becoming a portal of discovery. Long term goals involve me spending more time developing my own label and getting some more music projects going!

B: How can the people find you?

The usual places, here are some links!

B: Thanks for visiting Uranus!!!

MB: You're welcome, I love Uranus!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Digital Music Distribution: Start [Here].

20 years ago, the only way to get your music distributed worldwide was to be picked up by a label. Essentially, your success was directly related to how profitable you looked to somebody else. These days, thanks to various online distributors like CDBaby, TuneCore, ReverbNation, Ditto Music, Bandcamp, and others, the indie artist has a little more say in how far their music will go.

I was chatting with a spoken word artist recently about CDBaby (which costs to join) and Bandcamp (which is free to join). After explaining that Bandcamp doesn't distribute music to digital partners nor collect royalties she considered ending her relationship with Bandcamp, which I thought was a bad idea. Though I have music on CDBaby, I also have music on BandcampSoundcloud, and ReverbNation. I believe music should be shared and if the platform is free to use, why not use?

All of these distributors are tools. Some of the tools can help get your music to digital retail stores like iTunes and Spotify. Some can help you collect performance royalties. Some can help you get placed on pop music charts and some can help you build relationships with fans. In this post, I'm going to try to break down the basic differences among a few well known digital music distributors. The best one for you depends on your artistic and financial goals. But whatever the destination, info is a good thing to have on the way.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Q & A with Delta coolbreeze in cyberland

Dail Chambers in St. Louis Mag, Nov 2013
Click image for an article on Dail Chambers in St. Louis Mag, Nov 2013

Multi-media visual artist and spiritualist, Dail Chambers (aka Delta Coolbreeze in Cyberland), brings the imagination of the planets and ancestors to life through magic. I first encountered her at a community art event at Legacy Books & Cafe in StL. Priding myself a benevolent voyeur, I spent years exploring her gallery , studio, and wardrobe. I have found her to represent creation, persona, and activism seamlessly and without discretion, challenging and championing the creativity of all those around her. "Dail embodies her art" is an understatement. I believe she painted herself one morning, and simply walked off the canvas in protest of 2 dimensions. She is also the reason that Uranus Is Blue. Folks of the Universe and surrounding areas, meet Dail Chambers!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Learn the Language

I was having a discussion with an artist today about the difference between Tunecore and CdBaby. Then, we started talking about independent music publishers who distribute their own music, collect royalties, and work only with PROs. Then, we talked about the pros and cons of collaborating. We agreed, disagreed, and ultimately decided that music business is not a 1-size-fits-all concept. Everybody has different goals. However, whatever the strategy, it's important to 1st determine what our goals are. Then, we study to discover the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. In the music industry, there are as many different ways to get paid for making music as there are musicians. Pick and choose or use them all.

REMEMBER: somebody's making money on your music. It may as well be you.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Q & A with Gates tha Great

I met him as Justin Hoskin. Then, I saw him performing as J.G. Gates. But whatever you call him, once he picks up a microphone, you can't deny that he took you to church...which happens to be the theme for the recent single and video by Ray Goss, entitled Preach. The video features J.G. Gates's signature, straight-out-tha-pulpit vocals and a rustic narrative of StL life on the come up. There's even footage of somebody makin' it rain on dem hos in the club. 

I asked J.G. to visit Uranus for a moment to discuss his life, his liberty, and his pursuit of musical happiness. Uranians, Earthlings, and folks of other planets, meet Gates tha Great!