HoneyGroove: Art. Music. Culture

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So, let me tell you about April 11th. It was a lot of fun. I went to HoneyGroove. It’s a queer arts festival. There was music, body painting, live art, as in you got to watch artists construct their masterpieces. There were jewelry vendors, more artists, FOOD TRUCKS! There was a pho food truck. I wasn’t hungry, but if I had been, I would’ve eaten from the pho food truck. Nummy.

The festival was held at Blind Whino, a converted church that looks like a contemporary/street art gallery exploded. Don’t believe me?

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See?! Isn’t that awesome? There is a hallway gallery that I wish I’d taken pictures of. The postcard and hair ornament mixed media pieces caught my attention, but they were already sold. In the middle of the main floor is an installation celebrating the cherry blossom festival. A tree with cherry blossom flowers made out of paper strung along the ceiling to imitate falling. It was so lovely. I wanted to take in all of the various things to do, but I’m shy and I was there by myself. My thirty seconds of bravery had run out a long time ago.

For the first two hours, I stayed downstairs. During the indiegogo campaign, I bought a VIP ticket, which allowed me to enter early and see a performance by Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret. Have I mentioned that I’m on the short side of 5’6? I am, so, really, the only way for me to see the whole show was if I’d been standing in the very front. I saw enough, though. Burlesque is an art form, and those ladies are well versed in it. I have no pictures of this, but there are pictures on the HoneyGroove DC Facebook page.

Downstairs also had all the vendors and live artists and body painting. I watched two of the models get painted. They were gorgeous. I am not that brave. I did get a handmade quartz necklace from a vendor named Written. The line is called Worn. It’s a hammered copper, I believe, shield from which hangs three quartz crystals. Quartz is the stone of healing and clarity. I need to remember when the full moons are now, though, because I have to recharge my crystals.

Upstairs is where the concert took place. It’s the main reasons I went to HoneyGroove. There were artists I’ve heard of and artists I’ve never heard of. I wanted the experience of seeing some favorites live, some for the first time and others for the fifth time, and hearing what they sounded like. I wanted to experience the energy, really. I could tell you about all of them, because they were all lovely and wonderful. Sidenote: have you ever heard a 13 string guitar? I have, played by Marcus Webb. It was interesting and calming. I may be the only one who felt that way, because a whole lot of nonsense may or may not have been happening in the back of the room.

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This is 4NSYK FUNK. They are a guitar player, and really good at it. It was a nice, mellow groove.

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This is Christen B. She is a singer/songwriter from Baltimore. Before the festival, I heard her stuff on YouTube. Her voice is so soft and lovely and wonderful. It was peaceful.

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This is Amanda Monroe. I confess to being a little bit in love with her by the end of her set. I am also completely bummed that I can’t buy her mixtape, because it’s on iTunes, and I am not an iTunes person. Her intro was about how she uses big words in her raps, followed by her saying that she wouldn’t be using any that were too big. I laughed. I laughed a bit harder by the end of the set, though, because I heard a Star Wars reference and the use of the word “onus”. I danced around the idea of approaching her later in the night to tell her how much I enjoyed her set. I actually did it, too. I did not tell her how attractive I think she is, because my bravery only goes so far.

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BOOMscat. One of the three performances of the day that I can truly say I was completely looking forward to. Nerd moment: Damn these sentences that keep ending in prepositions. At some point in the past, maybe after reading an article on ElixHER or after buying my HoneyGroove ticket, I don’t remember when exactly I did it, but I bought two of their albums. The West Wing Project and No Life Jacket. Their music makes me feel all kinds of ways, many of them pleasant. They were joined by a guy on guitar than night who…I don’t have words for what he made that guitar do. It wailed like a woman with some serious blues. BOOM on the keys and cajón and vocals. This was her first of three performances, not to mention the various roadie duties that she fulfilled. I got a chance, at the end of the night, to tell her how amazing she is. *swoon* Scat on vocals. The things she can make her voice do make me want to go back to vocal training. Not many vocalists can do what she does and sound great while doing it. It’s hard to describe. You just need to hear it.

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Be Steadwell and the Bourgie Cats. How many times have I seen this performer and her band now? At least five. I hope I can keep going to their concerts for as along as they play together. It’s an experience that never gets old. I heard someone behind me, for whom it sounded like this was her first show, say that she was a little bit in love. I know the feeling, stranger. This combination of voices and instruments, that sax!, even when the crowd in the back of the house is noisy. It’s awesome. They are awesome. Another brave moment, I saw Ziggy towards the end of the night, and told her how much I enjoy her voice. A friend reminded me recently that we should aways share appreciation.

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The Coolots. I really wish I’d gotten a better shot of this group. A rock/soul band. Hand down, one of the best shows of the night. They play instruments and they sing and…they performed my favorite song. NUN (Need U Now), which I got on video! Complete fangirl moment two weeks after the fact. *Sigh* It makes me so happy to see performers that really love what they do.

The closing performer was Danni Cassette. I have pictures, but they came out so blurry that I can’t bring myself to post them again anywhere. Danni moves around on stage like she owns it. And she does. I’ve never seen a crowd that has been on their feet for hours, performers that have played on the stage, be so energetic. There was mosh pit! Seriously, full on, with the jumping and the hollering and the all around pure happiness. It was great. The performance was so utterly fantastic.

I had a fantastic time. I’d say more, but my time is up for the day.

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