Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged spoken word

Banana Sandwich

The Astonishment is the moniker of Russian-born Marianna Limno, but although it’s her stage name and image on the cover and she delivers the poems on this spoken word album, the words were written by James Crippa, an expatriate Brit residing in Los Angeles. I found this surprising as most spoken word artists perform and record their own pieces, and also because a few of the tracks deal with sex and dating from a female point of view. Limno’s distinctive Russian-inflected voice is both a blessing and occasionally a curse.


“Necesito gritar!” bellows Adele Nieves in response to the question she poses with her spoken word piece entitled “Why Do You Speak?”, which is the first track on the album. Through the unrestrained strength and rage smoldering behind every word, Adele provides a call to action against the overwhelming powers of erasure, invisibility, and silence that is exhaustively pushed upon women of color for centuries. Speak!, an explosive powerhouse of an album created by the [Speak!

40 dayz

Staying true to her moniker Motion, Wendy Braithwaite’s _40 dayz _ takes readers on a fast-paced word journey. Doubling as a spoken word poet and hip-hop artist, it’s no surprise that Motion’s poems are full of a rhythm often unattainable by most poets. The subjects she writes on seem to develop their very own heartbeats—some thunder while others throb slowly. Of the many subjects Motion covers, a primary topic is, of course, female issues. "Wombstory," a chapter in this collection, includes five poems that examine womanhood. "Blues" transforms the act of sex into a musical experience.


I can’t listen to this record without thinking the word "self-indulgent." Imagine you are in a room with a piano, a bass guitar, a microphone and your thoughts. Nothing is written down. In fact, the lyrics and instruments stream out in paragraphs. You talk about your life, friends, family, text message conversations.


If you love poetry—scratch that—if you love powerfully articulate, passionate prose meant to stir up your inner emotions and inspire you to stand up and create change, then you’ll love the brilliance that queer poet/activist Andrea Gibson serves up aplenty in Swarm. Primarily recorded in a bedroom, Swarm also contains a handful of live tracks that allow the listener to taste the raw energy of her live performance. The self-released album came out in 2004, yet the poignant words, occasionally accompanied by a backdrop of acoustic guitar, cut into you like knives and remain just as rel

Ladyfest South (January 25-28, 2007)

Ladyfest South is always a blast because it is back to back lady talent for a good cause. Ladyfest South 2007 happened over four nights at four venues in Atlanta and featured over fifty music and spoken word acts. This year’s beneficiaries are The Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls and The Fund for Southern Communities. Thursday January 25, 2007 - Eyedrum Art Space Phat Man Dee from PA is amazing and fun to see. She sports interesting costumes and sings cabaret camp and pop.

Sticky Fingers: Queers Running the Stage Art Gamut (2/17/2007)

Sticky Fingers featured a medley of performances ranging from spoken word poetry to electro-rock by queer artists from across the eastern seaboard. Held at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY, the show was stimulating in its polymorphous perversity, the performances audacious in their satirical elements and guttural verve. Manhattan-based artist Chavisa Woods opened the night with her spoken word piece “No One is Ever Going to Touch You Like This.” Woods’ piece was a powerful inquiry the reality of passion and fantasy.

Whisper of a Newborn Ghost

On Whisper of a Newborn Ghost, the K23 Orchestra combines 70s style rock with spoken word. Described as a “unique blend of funk, rock, Latin, jazz fusion and spoken word,” the K23 Orchestra aims high, with thoughtful lyrics and talented musicians. However, the combination never gels and the songs drag on for far too long. Many of the songs on Whisper of a Newborn Ghost are filled with descriptions of angst experienced under the reign of Bush.

Check the Rhyme

Talk about a breaking silences; we finally have an anthology speaking to women of diverse backgrounds, backgrounds usually ignored or tokenized in more traditional publications. Check the Rhyme is a new anthology and one of the first dedicated not only to women of diverse backgrounds, but to both “female poets & emcees.” What do I think? I say: Hallelujah, Hallelujah; thank the stars this anthology exists! For one of the first times, female emcees and poets speak about issues as diverse as hip-hop, hair, Hurricane Katrina, and Black history.