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Lawnya Vawnya 13 Weird and Wired
Day 3: Friday, June 9, 2023
DT MUSIC CRAWL
A little fog never hurt anybody! The Lawnya Vawnya 13 downtown music crawl started at the War Memorial under a thin blanket of fog with Nico Paulo’s radiant music—a lovely knife cutting through the overcast day. Then the crowd crawled their way to the Design Studio where Riddle Fence were doing a pop-up and we got the chance to take in a little poetry from Danielle Devereaux, Tia McLennan, and Jennifer May Newhook; the poems ranged in topic from the sociopolitical landscape of St. John’s, to a sweet and silly personal ode, to the plastic reality of Barbie. The place was packed and many of us from the crawl had to stay on the street, but a well-placed speaker helped the poets’ words flow out onto the sidewalk to join us along with the fog and an occasional “Yes, b’y” from passersby hearing only the occasional line of poetry completely out of context.
Soon the crowd crawled back towards Fred’s Records. Inside, Vince the Messenger, backed by Nemo on DJ duties, took the crowd through a few tracks that reach back sonically to 1990s East Coast hip hop. With a bit of pep in the step, the crawling crowd moved on over to the Alt Hotel patio for a brief set from Sick Puppy, whose rowdy punk/hardcore sound rocked everybody; a little girl was gleefully jumping around outside like Mick Jagger while business people just inside Alt were scrambling to find a quieter place away from the (awesome) patio. The crowd then crawled to Tval, where the aromatic smells of soaps mingled with Bonnie Trash’s heavy music. The band fit themselves into a small space—three of the four were crammed next to a window—but rest assured, their sound is BIG and BOLD. Many folks on the sidewalk were entranced by Bonnie Trash’s roar.
From Tval, the crowd did their final crawl towards Eastern Edge. As the fog rolled in further, and whatever was left of the day’s warmth disappeared, the remaining crawlers were serenaded by the eclectic musical stylings of Cedric Noel. The music crawl went from soft to loud to soft once more, as Cedric finished off the day with his mellow sound that drifted gently along the harbour and left a dedicated crowd of crawlers with enough warmth to beat back the chilly afternoon air.
- C.H. NEWELL
HOW TO GROW YOUR ART PRACTICE
Tips from: Cakes Da Killa, Nadia Duman, Desmond Cole
Moderator: Xavier Campbell
As heard by Holly Knowlman
Find balance: Between your day job and making your art, between working and taking time for yourself, between independence and working with the industry to further your goals
Find solace in playing live
Go to therapy
Have good people around you: Lean on your community, find people who will lift you up, tell you when you need to check your ego, and lend you a mic stand
Understand the difference between genuine, helpful critique and online hate. You risk getting consumed if you can’t tell the difference.
Figure out what’s for public consumption, and what’s just for you.
Keep a journal
Get involved with projects that challenge you creatively. Learn a new instrument, or pick up a new piece of technology to experiment with.
Develop your creative side before diving into the business side of the biz and you start getting pulled in lots of different directions
And always, always remember, nobody knows everything! 🙃
#LV13 Day Three: A foggy night, a chilly church, and labelmates Nico Paulo and Cedric Noel
LV13 presents Nico Paulo (NL) and Cedric Noel (QC) at First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm / $20 / All Ages
Fresh from the release of her first ever full-length album and clearly already a local favourite, Nico Paulo plays melodic folk built on lush harmonies. Nico wears a green cape, and she can play her voice like an instrument - even treating us to something like a muted trumpet impression while taking a new song out for a spin. CBC called her “assured and vulnerable,” while Fader praised her “grand, wistful reveries.” I’m grateful for my warm jumper, which I nearly left at home. After the pandemic, my first live show after almost two years was a Daft Punk string trio cover band at Bristol art gallery — a church-like space not too different from First Light’s beautiful space on Gower Street. At that show, I bawled my fucking eyes out, not realizing quite how profound an impact live music would have on me after its long absence. Nico Paulo’s audience singalong moment had me similarly misty eyed.
Making his St. John’s NL debut, Cedric Noel brought impeccable silly goose energy to the stage in between songs, giving us a gorgeous slow folky set full of broken chords, tasteful crescendos, and stories about guitars and friendship. This Polaris Music Prize longlister played mostly new songs from his upcoming album. Strong rainy day sipping tea looking out the window under a blanket vibes for me. Loved the thing with the water glass as well (if you know, you know). Cedric was supported on stage by his friend, Tim Crabtree, who contributed with saxophone, clarinet, and vocals.
- HOLLY KNOWLMAN
CAKES DA KILLA • VINCE THE MESSENGER • THANDI MARIE • WITH HOST IRMA GERD
With The Rock House starting to fill up, local drag superstar and former Drag Race Canada contestant Irma Gerd took the stage. Irma’s fun, foolish, flirty personality got everybody primed for an enjoyable night. Ms. Gerd also took the time to wish all of us homos a happy Pride Month, and remind us that this year’s celebration of 2SLGBTQ+ identities is especially important considering all the scary things currently happening to queer and trans people around North America. Afterwards, we were graced by the presence of Thandi Marie, a Malawian-born, Newfoundland-based R&B singer-songwriter. You’d never guess that this was Thandi’s first live performance since she looked like a natural under the stage’s hazy, colourful lighting. Thandi’s music is warm and filled to the brim with soul; the kind of R&B that makes you want to smooch somebody. Irma returned after Thandi’s performance to get us all hot and bothered with a brief, entertaining performance featuring a couple wig changes.
I was lucky enough to see Vince the Messenger during the downtown music crawl earlier in the day and it was a pleasure to see him again in longer form at The Rock House. Vince’s style is reminiscent of melodic East Coast hip hop from the ‘90s. It’s so catchy that, because I’d seen him at Fred’s Records in the afternoon, I was already singing along with some of the choruses of Vince’s songs, such as “O.B.E.” which includes the sobering line: “Love you when you die / When you alive, they only scrutinise.” Vince was visibly having a good time performing at Lawnya Vawnya, even before a couple audience members tipped him two crisp $20 bills, despite his assurances he was being paid: “I’m not busking, but thank you!”.
The headliner of the evening was the fabulous Cakes Da Killa. On the same day that 400 people showed up at the Confederate Building to counter-protest against a tiny group of hateful bigots, it’s just so perfect to have someone like Cakes working the stage. The unique sound Cakes brings to hip hop, blending it with house and EDM, along with his fearless, indomitable queerness, illustrates exactly why he is a special performer, not just in the world of hip hop. Backed by two fierce dancers and a ghillie-suited DJ, Cakes finished off the night with audacious queer spirit, a couple glasses of champagne, and lyrics that made me want to protest just as much as party.
- C.H. NEWELL
Design and Illustration by ELIJAH JANKA