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Monday, April 20, 2015

The Wyatt Act: Poetry Style SlamRock at a Dictionary Dance Party

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 11:53 AM

click to enlarge SETH LAEL
  • Seth Lael

Guinevere Q has long been known 'round these parts to be a fast-talking, no-nonsense, down-to-party mo-fo with no worry of running out of things to say. Anyone involved with the 16th and Mission scene or any of the circles that intersect with Viracocha probably know she can speak in tongues, and it's in part that talent of hers that inspired us to interview her for The Write Stuff. When I heard she started a band combining music and spoken word and that they were throwing a Dictionary Dance Party at Bottom of the Hill, I figured it was time to check in.

The band's called The Wyatt Act, and Q describes the sound and vibe as "high-energy, experimental, psychedelic, transgressive SlamRock for dancing! We love performance poetry," she wrote by email, "and we LOVE to put on a wild, entertaining show!" They try to feature at least one guest poet per show. Let's take a look:

How did the band come about? Did you meet the other members at 16th and Mission?

In a way, we merged together from the intersecting scenes of street corner poetry, activism, and the music community in San Francisco. We wrote "20 Motherfuckers" for 16th and Mission and played it there for the first time that same night. Our song "Rock Paper Scissors" was inspired by the decision-making process for who performs next when people jump into the circle at the same time. The song is dedicated to Richard Gutierrez, who creatively documented 16th and Mission with his two films, "Sweet Onion Salad" and "Rock Paper Scissors."

Breakfast met trumpet player extraordinaire Karissa McKelvey from the Brass Liberation Orchestra, San Francisco's best protesting marching band. We met our wacky and talented guitar player, Seth Lael, through Balanced Breakfast, which is a meet up of music industry professionals founded and based here in San Francisco. I got involved with Balanced Breakfast through Andy Strong's poetry project at Piano Fight.

We LOVE to bring that live, Dans la Rue feel to our performance. We're lucky enough to have the opportunity to feature guest poetry performers at our shows, including Charlie Getter, Casey Anne Gardner, Jon Bennett, and Baraka Noel aka Jung Marx. Viracocha has been an incredible inspiration in bringing performance poetry and rowdy music together.

As bandmates, we also share similar social justice causes. There tends to be a political undertone to most of our songs. Some are more overt than others, but we always try to keep it comical and danceable. We're honored to be doing a Pussy Riot-esque set for Zarina Zabrinsky's The Arts Resistance for the Right to Love: In Support of LGBT Rights in Russia at Liminal on Friday, May 29.

What's the process of songwriting like for you guys? I'm always so interested in how people combine music and writing.

First, we write poems. Those poems become lyrics. Then those lyrics grow into songs. In my opinion, poetry loathes being whispered into crumbled books in quiet cafes. Poetry wants to breathe, to be belted out, to be danced with, to vibrate down to the core of the soul!

Anything else you can tell me about the show that's not on the invite?

Our Dictionary Dance Party will feature a sexy burlesque performance by Clavicle Cupcake, an exuberant freestyle by Baraka Noel aka Jung Marx accompanied by an improvised piece in a style we call "The Dead Phish Incident" and free drinks for the first 20 motherfuckers to say "The Wyatt Act" at the door!

click to enlarge ANGE TRAN
  • Ange Tran
The Wyatt Act is:
Breakfast - Sax, Keys, Guitar
Guinevere Q - Bass, Vocals
Jason Young aka Young Sun - Drums
Karissa McKelvey - Trumpet, Guitar
Seth Lael - Guitar

Upcoming shows:
• April 21: Dictionary Dance Party - Bottom of the HIll
• May 8: Battle of the Bands - Lennon Studios
• May 9: Guinevere Q's 1st Annual 29th Birthday Party - Mutiny Radio
• May 29: The Arts Resistance for the Right to Love: In Support of the LGBT Community in Russia presented by Zarina Zabrinsky - Liminal and All Points

The Wyatt Act: Dictionary Dance Party, Tuesday, April 21, 8:30 p.m., at Bottom of the Hill,1233 17th St., $8.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook
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Evan Karp


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