Motif Spoken Awards 2023 – A Rhody After Dark Special
Welcome to Motif Magazine’s first ever Spoken Awards! Jay Walker brings Rhody After Dark to celebrate Rhode Island’s love of all the spoken crafts and arts. Check out this brief recap of the festivities.
Special Thanks to R1 Indoor Karting for hosting & sponsoring, as well as to our other sponsors: FundaFest, Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, Mother Earth Wellness, and Festival Ballet Providence for making it all possible.
Hosted by: Jay Walker Video Shot and Edited by: Eric Barao (@EricBarao)
Motif Tattoo Awards 2022 – A Rhody After Dark Special
Welcome to Motif Magazine’s Music Awards! This year Jade Axel & Amadeus Finlay bring Rhody After Dark to celebrate the most creative in ink art. Check out this brief recap of the festivities.
Special Thanks to Narragansett Brewery for hosting & Sponsoring, and to our other sponsors: R1 Indoor Karting, Jerry’s Artarama, Tattoo Medics, & Rockstar Piercing, for making it all possible.
Hosted by: Jade Axel & Amadeus Finlay (@amadeus_finlay) Video Shot & Edited By: Shawn Tetrault (@overlook.film)
Motif Music Awards 2022 – A Rhody After Dark Special
Welcome to Motif Magazine’s Music Awards! This year Jay Walker & Elizabeth Woodie bring you back to the Rhody After Dark series with the 2022 Motif Music Awards post show. A night of fun and entertainment with some of Rhode Island’s most talented musicians, featuring interviews with the winners and more.
Special Thanks to Fete Music Hall for hosting & Sponsoring, and to our other sponsors: R1 Indoor Karting, The Music Wagon, & Biggest Little Easy Catering for making it all possible.
Hosted by: Jay Walker & Elizabeth Woodie Video Shot & Edited By: Shawn Tetrault (@overlook.film) Additional Video by: Jack Downey & Elizabeth Woodie
Motif Bartender’s Awards 2022 – A Rhody After Dark Special
Welcome to Motif Magazine’s first ever Bartender’s Awards! This year Jay Walker & Elizabeth Woodie bring Rhody After Dark to celebrate the Rhode Island’s love of Bartenders and their craft. Check out this brief recap of the festivities.
Special Thanks to R1 Indoor Karting for hosting & Sponsoring, NAZO Labs, & The Dust Ruffles for performing, and to our other sponsors: Arielle Extreme, Craft Coillective, Trinity Beer Garden, Guiness, High Spirits Liquors, The Burito Bowl, Smoke Lab, DB Productions, Rhodium, Mancini Beverage, & Narragansett Brewery for making it all possible.
Hosted by: Jay Walker & Elizabeth Woodie Video Shot by: Shawn Tetrault (@overlook.film) & Deven Bussey (@dasdeven) Edited By: Shawn Tetrault (@overlook.film)
Where Are They Now?: Tracking down past music award winners
With the 2023 music awards approaching this month, we are instituting a new guideline – starting this year, any band or performer that wins 5 times in the same category will receive a special award and will not be eligible in future years. A dynasty like that is extremely rare, so these legend awards won’t happen often – we can only think of only three or four over the 17 years these awards have been happening – but we were inspired to take a look back at some of the bands and performers that have won repeatedly over those years (even if it’s not 5 times – we won’t know who might qualify for that until voting concludes).
Here’s a random sampling of “Where are they now” updates on musicians that inspired some of our writers.
Kris & Tara Hansen
Kris and Tara Hansen have been local musical stalwarts for decades (though they definitely don’t seem old enough for that). Known for the band Viking Jesus and their more recent duo act, Man & Wife, their friendly and enthusiastic demeanor makes those around them feel welcome and supported. They are a consistent presence around town, whether as performers, supporters, or Kris working sound at numerous venues. They have won multiple Motif awards in various Alternative and Folk categories throughout the years.
“Winning multiple awards is still unbelievable,” Tara says. “Having your peers recognize the work you have done is a huge inspiration to do more. Being an artist is a constant struggle and we all want acceptance alongside authenticity.”
“To me, the nomination is everything,” Kris adds. “Winning means we have an actively participating fan base. It is great to be recognized. I will probably not be going to the Grammys at any point in my 40s so, to be recognized by the only publication in [Southern] New England that really focuses on art brings me great pleasure. We’ve been through a lot in all these years.”
Kris and Tara both credit Viking Jesus guitarist George Dussault and bassist Ian Pharo with developing their sound. They consider their songwriting a collaboration, with each member bringing important contributions.
“The whole VJ design is George Dussault and me, in his laboratory,” Kris says of his songwriting partner. “George is the producer! I have always written the core song and then George will write arrangements and other parts to fill it out.”
Both bands are currently writing new material and Tara is working on songs that she plans to record independently in the Spring. Kris says that Viking Jesus has a new single and a record of ballads that will be uploaded and available in the near future. They have not had a permanent drummer since Nick Iddon passed away in 2022, but they may have one on the horizon, which has them all hopeful for their future.
“I love our music scene and all of the musicians in RI,” Kris says when asked about the Motif Awards event. “The event is quite diverse and fun. It’s a great networking opportunity. You have every genre under one roof!”
“Rhode Island has such a vast network of talent as well as strong artistic ties within a small community,” Tara adds. “It is always unbelievable to see so much talent and love in one room together. Everybody wins when we all support each other.”
SexCoffee is a hard rock band that has been playing since 2007 (with a break from 2009-2014), releasing four albums and winning the trifecta of prestigious Motif Awards (Band of the Year, Best Female Vocalist, Rock Album of the Year). Cofounders and songwriters Ruth Charbonneau (vocals) and Sharlene DeNardo (bass) have seen five drummers, nine guitarists and one manager come and go throughout their time, but are thrilled with their current lineup, which features drummer Al Diaz (joined in 2017) and new guitarist, Phil Martelly, who joined in 2022. All members are excited to see the music they create in 2023.
“We are ecstatic to have him on board,” Charbonneau says of Martelly. “With Al’s humor, Sharlene’s sarcasm, and my battling personalities, his chill attitude and professionalism is the perfect fit for our band family. We are excited to write some new music with Phil in 2023 and eager to see what creativity evolves with our new energy.”
Charbonneau says that it’s always an honor to be nominated for an award and to be a part of the tremendous original music scene in Providence. She comments that the camaraderie of everyone involved is one of her favorite things. She adds that she truly enjoys the “magical experience” of the award show itself, with “eclectic presenters, amazing performers and a professional photo shoot that makes everyone feel like a celebrity.”
“Winning multiple Motif awards in a span of 13 years, proves to us that regardless of what we endure as a band, we will always return to the music.”
Charbonneau says that SexCoffee is a musical autobiography of the trials and tribulations that she and DeNardo have endured for the past 21 years. She invites listeners to travel along with them.
“Our music has grown with us from our ridiculous college days to our current state of…well….mostly adulting,” Charbonneau says. “I’d say our music has progressed and it tells one hell of a story. It’s an honest and humbling journey!”
Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly met at the Stone Soup Coffeehouse in 1987 and have been playing music since. They have released 14 albums, several books of poetry, songbooks, and a documentary DVD. They’ve toured stateside and internationally and won multiple Motif awards in the folk / world / Americana zones.
“It’s a very nice compliment and honor to be recognized for our work here at home,” Atwater says of the numerous awards they have won throughout the years.
Atwater-Donnelly performs in many configurations: as a duo, a trio/band, solo, and with their gospel project, Jerimoth Hill. Their endeavors keep them busy throughout the year. A look at their agenda proves that they are some of the most active artists in the RI. Most of their acts have performances scheduled each month, mostly local with a few long-distance tours.
“We are performing in concert series, festivals, libraries, etc., somewhat more locally after decades on the road,” Atwater, who also teaches music and dance classes at Blackstone River Theatre, explains. “And, as ever, we continue our therapeutic and educational work in nursing homes, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, schools, etc.”
In addition to their extensive calendar, Atwater-Donnelly’s website gives an in-depth history of all of their projects, along with workshops offered and a link to Donnelly’s handmade woven baskets webstore. There is also a hidden gem in The Lonely Things that is well worth your eyes, ears and time.
“We like to think we have modeled a life of coloring outside of the lines, creating a unique career and making a solid living as full-time musicians for over 30 years,” Atwater says when describing their legacy. “We have taught, mentored and influenced many people over the years and have often been told our music is like a soundtrack for some families — in their childhoods, their weddings, at the ends of their lives.”
It’s 1973. A 22-year-old Steve Smith hops out of the ocean in the haze of a Matunuck Beach summer. He shags his hair, throws his longboard up over his head, and takes off at a gallop towards the special community that is Roy Carpenter’s Beach: a collection of “shacks” which features porch sittin’, beer drinkin’, guitar strummin’ men and women playing tunes and wailing notes into the sun-kissed night. Smith jogs through the place he’d spent every summer as a kid and stops quickly at the cottage he grew up in with his cousin (John Cafferty, of the Beaver Brown Band), to change into his night attire. As he waltzes to the fridge to grab a cold beer, he is struck by a fading childhood memory: Saturday night kitchen performances for his father and his uncles, a skinny 4-year-old swinging hips to a high-pitched rendition of “Love Letters in the Sand.” He sits reminiscing for a few minutes, allowing the memories to flow through him like the beer. Sweltering days at the beach, barefoot nights hopping between shack porches… a jukebox that ran in the corner of a crowded room, its bright lights whirling with each tune… a night of opportunity all under one chaotic musical roof…
Shit! Smith is now running late for his first gig with his new band The Nakeds at South Kingstown High School: a show that would solidify state-wide recognition for the 10-piece, Rhythm and Blues groove phenomena, Steve Smith and the Nakeds.
I crossed paths with our protagonist on a blustery winter afternoon, very far from his native beach vibe. A casual man in a black coat and blue jeans, Smith met me in the parking lot of Motif’s office in Pawtucket, and as we took the five million or so steps up to the third floor we talked about everything from surfing to the Ocean Mist to what CD he has in his car right now. Turns out Smith is a Spotify-er like the rest of us, but it did bring up an old memory of his father’s words after returning home with the first Beatles album: Listen to these guys, they’re going to be great.
“My father loved music,” Smith said. “He was a salesman, he was on the road all day… he listened to the radio constantly.” He smiled in his reverie. Smith appreciates his father for having the foresight to send him to voice lessons at a young age, endowing him with a skill he can reach for again and again.
Smith went to PC and was juggling a lot of extracurriculars, including his college band, Bloody Mary. He decided in his sophomore year to pull the trig’ and dedicate most of his effort to being “in the band,” a decision described by Smith as being a “pivotal moment.” By the time his senior year rolled around, he had formed The Naked Truths (a precursor to Steve Smith and the Nakeds) and was ready to hit the scene running. They began touring up and down the East Coast, rocking 7 nights a week at colleges when the drinking age was 18.
“We always focus on the music. When you’re younger, alcohol becomes involved, women become involved, drugs become involved… These things are temptations, they’re easily acquired, and we’ve had guys leave the band because they’ve lost their focus on the music. We have a reputation that you’re going to see good music, and there’s no bullshit.” 50 years later, Steve Smith and the Nakeds are as intrinsic to RI as coffee milk and Iggy’s doughboys.
Steve Smith and the Nakeds are a show-stopping, foot-stomping, wreck of a time and the vast assortment of people at Steve’s shows will attest: from 70-year-old women to 16-year-old kids. Their consistent, athletic showmanship, larger-than-life attitude and frequent sweaty bare-chestedness has won the band renown in every corner of our state, throughout the region, and nationally – they are the only RI band to have appeared, in caricature, in Seth MacFarlane’s RI-based series Family Guy, and they’re one of the few still-performing bands to be inducted into the RI Music Hall of Fame. They have, you might imagine, picked up a few Motif awards as well over the years.
Next time (or the first time) you see Steve Smith and the Nakeds, and he roars “Hi Neighbor!” from the stage with a Narragansett can in hand, make sure to shout back “Howdy Neighbor!” congratulate him on the band’s 50th anniversary, and take a slug for our li’l corner of the world.
The Silks won Best Alternative Act back in 2016. The band is still the original trio of singer/guitarist Tyler-James Kelly, bassist Jonas Parmalee and drummer Sam Jodrey. In 2017, they added another guitarist to the group named Johnny Trama which they refer to as “the consummate professional six-string hitman.”
When reflecting on what the Motif Awards meant to the band, Parmalee said, “it felt great. What we had been working so hard on was recognized and voted on by our fans. People have always supported us, even today. It was a statement.”
Now a band with over ten years together, they are still on the road playing all of New England into Pennsylvania. “We keep busy [from] the spring through fall. Even in winter we play 3 to 4 shows a month,” said Parmalee. “COVID posed a problem for us like many other bands, but we managed to get through it.”
Front man Kelly has also seen recognition for his solo work both vocally and on strings, and Cowboy & Lady, the acoustic duo featuring him and partner/chanteuse Jess Powers. The Silks have performed at a past Music Awards event, garnering a standing ovation for one extended guitar solo jam
The band will be playing at The Met in Pawtucket on March 24, their first gig there since COVID. “We hope fill the place like we used to,” Parmalee said. Country artist Houston Bernard will be appearing as well.
Ravi Shavi, at this point, are annual nominees for the Motif Music Awards, being nominated every year in one rock category or another since 2018, most recently last year for Best Alternative Rock Music Act. Lead singer and guitarist Rafay Rashid was asked what the awards mean to him, “to be nominated is always a pleasant surprise… people thinking of putting our names in. Providing that support after all these years. It’s great to be acknowledged… To win, art is a very subjective medium. In some ways it’s hard to feel like you deserve it. But it’s awesome when a group can give you props like that… We’re extremely proud to belong to this city of Providence. We appreciate being acknowledged when there is such a vast amount of quality music in the city.”
Ravi Shavi formed in 2011 and continued with the same lineup until last year when drummer Nick Iddon suddenly passed away. Understandably, Rashid declined to say much about his friend’s passing. “We’re coming back with a new lineup. We were lucky to add John Ferron; a talented writer and drummer on his own. Bassist Chuck Perry from Joyboys. Nick Politelli (who has a solo album as well). We added guitarist Shahjehan Khan from the Muslim punk band The Kominas … It’s a lot, but we’re lucky to have the crew we have now.”
While the band have been adjusting and rehearsing with the lineup, Rashid has also been hard at work on his first solo album. Rashid didn’t want to give away too much about the album, but he did divulge that it was produced by bassist Christopher Ryan of Deer Tick, that they both are very excited about the album. Rashid is also part of local repeat-nominee Happiness with Ryan, Ian O’Neal and Dennis Ryan, a mash-up of Deer Tick and Ravi Shavi. Rashid intends to release the new solo album soon and to tour this summer. He also made it a point that the new lineup of Ravi Shavi will be going back in studio to work on a new album and tour soon. Stay tuned on their social media pages to get informed of updates.
After their 2019 Motif Music Award win for Favorite Wedding Band, perennial nominee Brass Attack continues to do what they do best – play as many small gigs as possible of their classic soul, rock, pop, and funk covers while juggling the demands of everyday life. They have a few concerts slated for summer 2023 as well as an early spring gig at The Met on Sunday, March 5, from 5 – 8pm.
Now that they primarily play at private functions and local events instead of larger shows, band leader Tom Petteruti looks back fondly at some of their biggest and brightest gigs, which included opening for Earth Wind and Fire at The Dunk back in 2005 and performing for an annual reunion of World War Two Eighth Air Force pilots and personnel.
“We have [also] played for two US Presidents (the first President Bush and President Clinton), which was fun. They were both very friendly and chatted with us and danced to our music,” he said. With lead singer Kate Winslow in tow for the last six years, Brass Attack continues to stick to cover songs, which they play at each gig on the spot without practicing beforehand.
“Our fan base has continued to grow ever since [the Motif win], as a result of years of club and private party performances as well as the advent of the internet, our website, and social media,” said Petteruti. “I feel very fortunate that I get to play with excellent musicians who also happen to be really wonderful people. We make a really great sound together. I am the band leader and I feel lucky they let me play with them!”
The Copacetics are living up to their name when it comes to making music. Their third album, which is the first being composed and written in the studio, is slowly in the works and the group is gladly taking the time to experiment and grow as songwriters. But their mission remains to create signature ska and reggae tunes that are fun and danceable for newer listeners and established fans alike. They’ve taken home Motif ska category awards multiple times.
“Usually, the music-making process goes one of two ways — I come in with a vocal melody and some lyrics, and the rest of the band has to figure out the chord progressions behind it,” said Matt Di Chiara, lead vocalist and trombone player. The second way is to come up with new material on the spot while jamming together. “I’ll start singing stuff and adding horn melodies over it. Eventually, it gets refined into a simple tune. From there we will add intros, outros, bridges, hits, etc. Both kinds of songwriting end up getting polished in that same way,” he said.
Overall, The Copacetics like to keep their music live and fresh, playing throughout Little Rhody and sharing the stage with local artists. Their hope is to one day play with local punk legends Neutral Nation. “We also enjoy playing mixed bill shows with all the wide variety of styles that RI has to offer,” said Di Chiara. There are so many great bands in our small state. We need more local music festivals!”
Check out The Copacetics at Narragansett Café in Jamestown on March 3, Scottish Dave’s Pub in Clinton, Connecticut on March 10, and Askew in Providence on March 18
– LuzJennifer Martinez
Roz Raskin/Nova One
Catching up with nova one’s roz raskin is like diving into an ethereal, welcoming and ever-expressive space. Since winning Motif Music Awards, roz has continued making music as nova one, with a new record — “create myself,” being released on March 31, 2023. They have also launched self luv records — a once-booking-entity-turned-record-label, described as “a vessel to support other artists and community events.”
When asked about nova one’s third album with New Orleans label Community Records, the artist says, “A lot of the record is me talking to a queer closeted little roz.”The new record, written between 2020 and 2021, revealed itself to be a vehicle for their inner child to experience healing, certainly apparent in lyrics like, “Sometimes I cry about the way I used to hide myself…” In addition to releasing two singles off this new album, “dangerous” and “crying,” limited edition vinyl records — pressed in New Orleans in lilac translucent and crystal ball purple — have been made available for pre-order at novaonenovaone.bandcamp.com.
Also happening in the nova one world is the planning and promotion of their upcoming northeast tour with Boyscott, a New London, Connecticut band. Want to see new nova one music live? You’re in luck, as the record release show will happen at the Columbus Theatre on April 22. In a nutshell, nova one has been busy since being a Motif Music Award winner — “I have a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets… (like any good Sagittarius, which roz is), but I’ve gotten better at setting boundaries. This is a year of a lot of strong yes-es, and a lot of strong ‘no’s.”
For the first time ever, join us for the Motif Santa Stroll! Come out strolling with us through the Jewelry District and visit various bars. Places on the list include The District, Nick-A-Nees, Mirarbar, and ending at Askew where our annual Christmas Party will take place.
Food and drink discounts included!
Along the way there will be different activities offered, like ornament making, christmas caroling and more! At the christmas party there will be a performance by the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra as well as henna tattoos and tarot card readings given.
We are stunned and saddened to report that Chip Young, environmental activist, rabble-rouser and long-time contributor to Motif and to Rhode Island journalism, passed away suddenly on August 24.
Chip and collaborator Rudy Cheeks have brought Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World to RI readers through various publications, including The Eagle, The Newpaper, The Phoenix and Motif, non-stop for the last 43 years. This issue represents Rhode Island’s first month in 43 years not graced or garnished by commentary, sarcastic and heartfelt, from the larger-than-life characters, Phillipe & Jorge.
Chip’s commentary, often incendiary, generally wry and barbed, helped shape RI’s cultural and political landscape. In Chip’s own words, describing the history of the column:
If there is a key to Phillipe and Jorge’s success, we call on the legendary Urinal columnist and our longtime friend, Bob Kerr, who once wrote that P&J “had more of the truth and less of the facts.” We stand tall with pride. And he was right.
The Cool, Cool World was hatched around a table at the legendary Leo’s, full of lunatics and dozens of empty Rolling Rock beer bottles… We used the oh-so-continental-sounding P&J personal monikers to cover our asses, while old pal and artist supreme Dan Gosch came up with the “Cool, Cool World” title.
Since we knew our goal was to piss off people of the highest rank — we being just a couple of (well-informed) wiseasses — we decided to adopt the personas of gay men. This despite J’s girlfriend of the time telling the media, correctly, that we were hopelessly heterosexual. But that didn’t stop us from being very honored to be named grand marshals of the (then “Gay”) Pride March in its earliest days, when the Providence police were still trying desperately to ban the parade.
Chip talked about sports a lot (and wrote a sports column on and off over the decades (yes, there’s a pun in that phrase). The last entry, explaining RI sports to newcomers, appears in this issue), but he rarely spoke about his own sporting history. According to his close friend, Jimmy Etchells, who knew Chip since grade school and was a classmate at Brown, Chip was a real athlete back in the day. He played baseball, basketball and other sports at a varsity level, and excelled particularly in soccer. At Brown he was one of the most valuable players on a prodigious team, named All-Ivy for three years and All-American one year, and is in Brown’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Chip played for the Pawtucket Rangers for over 10 years in the ‘70s. “He was really gifted,” adds Rudy. “He had heart surgery when he was about nine years old, a new and radical procedure, and he would say that if not for that, he would have died in his twenties. He treated the rest of his years like extra time he was grateful to have.”
At Motif, he was always a wise source of advice and support – a greatly valued contributor and a friend. He represented the old-school counter culture, and was one of the “grown ups” many of here were still somehow trying to impress. If you only knew him through his column, you might think abrasive, hard-to-please crusader; but if you knew him in real life, only the word crusader would carry over. He was always ready to help a good cause.
Chip’s off-the-page passions were directed at environmental efforts. He was a long-standing PR Director for Save the Bay, President of the board at ecoRI News and senior fellow at the URI Coastal Institute.
For anyone who would like to share thoughts or memories of Chip, Rudy is compiling a tribute – send them to him or through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There was no formal service, but a memorial is being planned for October. Don’t hold back. In Rudy’s words, “Chip would want his obituary to be funny.”
Here is a sampling of comments from social media and from Chip’s memorial page at Quinn Funeral Homes, thequinnfuneralhome.com:
RIP, Chip. You found my typos, you introduced me to some really sweet weirdos, and you made me laugh so, so hard. What else is there? – Kathy Connolly
I always considered Chip Young and Bruce McCrae to be the watchdogs of democracy and decency in Rhode Island. They never shied away from anything they thought was unjust or out of line and they gave us biting humor as a bonus. – Robert Yeremian
He was a good man and always greeted you with a genuine smile. I loved reading his stuff. – Mark Cutler
When “ccworld” was in the PVD Phoenix, Chip would hold court @ Leos (the best ever bar in PVD). He’d whisper, “Did you think I was too rough on_____?” “No,” I said, “Anyway, you can always blame Bruce for that one.” – James Celenza
It was always great to see him and talk about sports, politics, humor, ecology, whatever. A genuinely nice man. – David Everett
RIP Chip. Thanks for all the engaging stories and the laughter they created. – Len Cabral
Chip was a pal you could depend on and a colleague you could admire and be grateful for. He was the Ying to Rudy’s Yang and together they made wonderful commentary a precious gift. For non-profits Chip was always generous with his time as a volunteer for special events and he always added a wonderful note for the audience and for those in need who benefitted from his generosity of time, talent, and resources. – Mary Ann Sorrentino
He taught me that stuffing envelopes wasn’t busy work. A clean fold and a neatly positioned stamp meant you cared about the letter and respected the recipient. Chip challenged me to write the first serious article of my life — a story about the threat of dioxins. I was so overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject that I ended up in tears before my fingers hit the typewriter keys. He found a way to make me laugh, he boosted my confidence, and sent me back to the trenches to try again. – Cindy Elder
I can hear Chip saying, “So what?” Never ever with callous disregard, and always with the goal to get to the heart of the matter – what is the essential truth that must be shared? … He gave us this tip to help listeners focus on the most important information. Right before you get to your key point, pause, and say, “Here’s the thing.” That exercise forced us to be more disciplined … and helped get some good legislation passed. So, here’s the thing: Chip left an indelible mark on RI’s environmental movement, and we are all better off because of his generosity and skill. – Sheila Dormody
I’m so grateful for the support Chip Young and Rudy Cheeks gave the LGBTQ community in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when a plug from them in their column (or actually joining us in a float) would boost attendance at the then tiny Pride Parade. When a “be there or be square” shout out from them made Adam Bock’s Gayboy Nutcrackers THE event of our holiday season. We will miss you, big guy! – Michael Guy
For the original announcement from Motif, click here.
Fall Activities Map
Barden Family Orchard 56 Elmdale Rd, North Scituate 401-934-1413
Bascombe Farm 5 Old West Wrentham Rd, Cumberland 401-658-1962
Harmony Farms 387 Sawmill Rd, North Scituate 401-934-0741
Young Family Farm 260 W Main Rd, Little Compton 401-635-0110
2022 Bartender Awards Winners
On August 1st at R1 Indoor Karting, over 100 bartenders gathered to celebrate the art of the pour. And the shake. And the making of drinks. MCs Bettysioux Tailor and Paul Garcia and presenters Thea Engst, Tammy Laforest, Mike Delehanty and Crimson Al-Khemia handed out a select number of awards amid flying aerialists, belly-dancing drum troupers and giant extraterrestrial puppets. Here is a list of the winners.
Winner: Danielle Tellier Runner-up: Tyler Williams
Winner: Emma Lundquist Runner-up: Kyara Vargas
Bartender as Therapist
Winner: Neda Khan Runner-up: Tyler Williams
Winner: Danielle Tellier Runner-up: Ryan
Winner: Aimee La Rose Runner-up: Mike Kelly
Winner: Samm Marble Runner-up: Wayne Gonsalves
Winner: Tyler Williams Runner-up: Neda Khan
Social Media Account
Winner: Danielle Tellier Runner-up: Tyler Williams
Winner: Mike Kelly Runner-up: Finley
Winner: Jackie Pires Runner-up: Mandy Holt
Winner: Scurvy Dog Runner-up: Nic-a-Nees
Spot for Fancy Drinks
Winner: The Eddy Runner-up: The Royal Bobcat
Overall Watering Hole
Winner: Lucky Enough Runner-up: Dusk
Winner: Hamid Akinfolarin Runner-up: Mike Rigney
Winner: Amanda Salemi Runner-up: Max Prussner
Overall Favorite Bartender
Winner: Danielle Tellier
Favorite Bartender, 2nd Place
Winner: Nada Khan Runners-up: Max Prussner, Tyler Williams
Live Competition Awards
Wining Down Speed Pour
First Place: Dominique Laren Second Place: Kyara Vargas Third Place: Bill Laliberty
Shake That Fizz
First Place: Max Prussner Second Place: Aline Fraga Third Place: Dave Sasquatch
Guinness Perfect Pint
First Place: Dave Sasquatch Second Place: Steve Sharp
A special thank you to our sponsors
R1 Indoor Karting, Guinness, Smoke Lab Vodka, Mancini Beverage, Craft Collective, High Spirits Liquors, RI Spirits, Arielle Arts, Narragansett Brewing, DB Productions, Trinity Brew Pub, Cheer the Moment Balloons, PVD Drum Troupe, Big Nazo, Small Frye Photography, Mike Bilow Photography and The Dust Ruffles.
Weird Fiction Runner-Up: The Dregs of Dreams
The Dregs of Dreams
by Lauren D’Ambrosia
The metal door had no handles, just keyholes. It could only be slammed aggressively shut. This bothered her at first, the amount of noise that echoed up and down the stairwell announcing her every departure. It bothered her until she realized how very few of the other apartments were actually inhabited. It was the off-season in the port city of Yūchi. The dead season. The tourists from Jōchō would not swarm over and infest the real estate until high-season, when the tidal surges were at their peaks. During these extremely enticing weeks of the year, up from the sea came shimmering waves of turbulent mucus. It crawled up and inland, overtaking the coastal barricades that once served as barrier between land and sea. It rolled and spread its way through town. It danced in the streets. It climbed up and down the backs and bellies of buildings, and slithered back out to sea by dawn. It left everyone reeling with a strange, inexplicable ecstasy, and a lingering longing for perpetual night.
On the landing where she now stood, a half-dozen doors also stood. At six stories high, the residential tower rose fifty meters into the air. The lower half of the tower was unoccupied stem, functioning solely to elevate the building above encroaching ocean swells and storms, and other things from the sea. Of the doors before her, only one apartment currently housed occupants: a Yūchian family of sixteen. Two wives. Eight children under the age of twelve. One cousin. Three uncles. Two unrelated elderlies who joined the family during the daytime once and never left the pack.
She had never officially introduced herself to these people, her neighbors. She did not speak Yūchian well. But she made note of their movements. In Yūchi, rent was dirt cheap during the off-season. Landlords starved for tenants, tripe, and Supai parrots, a local delicacy, with too many feathers and gears to truly enjoy. No one inhabited any of the apartments adjacent to her own. It was agreeable, in a way. Quiet. No one could hear her. From her balcony at night, she could see the soft twinkling of spartan lights from the nearby buildings, illuminating the darkness like distress signals in a vast vacuum of noiseless nothingness. Not even the crashing waves from the ocean could be heard or seen through the assemblage of tall towers.
When the glittering sludge and the visitors alike flooded the streets during the summer surges, she would have to find a new place to live, in a new city. For now she could settle in. She could idle for awhile.
She had moved to Yūchi to begin work at the city’s government run, foreign language school. Everyone wanted to learn the language of her native land. It was easy for her to get this kind of job, and it allowed her to live almost anywhere. It took little effort, and you were typically treated well. The locals thought you had special skills and knowledge. It was an easy job so far, and the streets of Yūchi were agreeably flat, making bicycling less strenuous, though the two-wheeled traffic was not always easy to navigate through. The tram lines did not run offseason. Nor did the trains, shuttles, conveyors, or purveyors of pedestrians. The local government had no interest in their permanent inhabitants. Profit, not prosperity, was their agreed upon agenda.
The buildings that made up the city, whether residential, commercial, or industrial, were all titanic, feathery towers. Seabirds roosted in them. The glistening sludge could not climb to the considerable heights of their lowest windows. On certain nights, however, when the undulating ocean was particularly alive, the spray and vapors from the surge could be felt by the eyes, in the nose, and over the skin, a stinging and prickly, but immensely pleasurable sensation. Tears of rapture welled in eyes. Marvelous mucus leaked from noses.
Each day at the foreign language school she would be assigned to a new classroom. She was on rotation, there to supplement and assist the permanent language teachers whose mastery of the language was fragmented and strange. The demand for teachers was high, and the qualifications for employment exceptionally low. This did not stop the government from charging substantial prices for lessons. Education was not free. But it was purportedly “freedom.” Kakudo was the language of international business, trade, politics, and potential prosperity. If these poor plebeians ever wanted to make it out of Yūchi, they would need to communicate in Kakudo. For all they knew, they were receiving an optimal education. They should have known better. They should have known if they could not purchase fresh tripe, drink from the pipes, breathe in deeply the low-lying air, or listen to independently aired music waves, they also could not learn the skills required to forcibly obtain their freedom.
Tonight she was placed in C1 on the seventeenth floor. As she walked into her assigned classroom, murmurs unrelated to language learning skittered around the room. The primary teacher did not seem to mind the obvious distraction of the students, but did keep insisting that they speak their troubling gossip in the foreign language they sought to one day masterfully wield. An old man sitting by the door clutched a bladed weapon. It was long, thin, bowed, and apparently of little concern to the others in the room.
He hunched low and whispered surreptitiously to his desk-mate, “I brought this. If it’s erratic enough to come ashore now, at this time of year, it’s wild enough to climb higher, much higher, and to envelope more, much more.”
“It’s not wild. It’s confused, or sick. That’s what they’re saying.”
“Irrelevant,” asserted the old man, drumming two fingers, then three, then two on the oily hilt. “It’s ravenous.”
“Does it understand Kakudo? Does it understand language? I heard you don’t need a blade. I heard there are certain words you can speak to it now, and not need any kind of blade. I know it doesn’t like suigin, but I heard you might not even need a blade. I say this, because I don’t have a blade. When the visitors are here, the seifu protect the city. I have never needed a blade. I don’t have a blade. There’s that new foreign lady.”
She stopped. Looked at the man, looked further down, and fixedly at the blade, then continued walking. She did not have a blade either and did not understand what it was needed for, but instantly understood two things: the old man felt threatened and had a certain knowledge about how to proactively protect himself given his past experiences.
In the days that followed, a new station began airing on the dual-dial, dialogic, bird bots. Someone or something had sent her one of these flying devices. She wasn’t sure who, but three days into her relocation to the area, what she assumed was a normal and naturally occurring, green parrot landed on her kitchen windowsill. Upon closer examination, the Supai turned out to be an odd combination of local communication device, information distribution, and musical mechanism. The instant it began rattling off introductory instructions for operation, she felt certain it was not simply a parrot of the planet. Several years ago, not long after the sludge surges slid ashore for the first time in digitally recorded history, the privately owned government body took on the daunting task of designing a device that could be remotely controlled, could recall itself if need be, and that appeared aesthetically exotic to the keen adventurers’ critical eye. From a distance, the shimmering, shuttering sludge was an enticing spectacle; the closer it came, the more divine and deadly its desirability. If flames attracted moths purposefully, one might make a metaphorical comparison here.
The new station aired a list of “the missing,” fragmented names and numbers, assumed dates and times of disappearances, and locations from which they were supposed to have vanished. This consisted of mostly bedrooms, kitchens, windows, dive-bars, and all-night convenient stores. The time was always night, but few hours were not night at this time of year. Other stations rattled off daily and occasionally imaginative, but rarely elaborate explanations: unknown animals, unknown machines, inky enemies with ill intent, a secret desire on the part of the vanished to leave this deadbeat city in the dregs of night for greener grottoes, visiting unlisted relations, hunting, foraging, temporarily lost in the sinister stairwells of very tall towers. It seemed clear that if the government intended to openly admit to such obviously troubling occurrences, they would also have to provide some sort of strategic solution or cognitive cure. They went with the latter option. A remedy of words was always best. And why wield all the words themselves this time? Why not put the “weapons” in the hands of the timorous populace? It was soon announced that these new “weapons” would be distributed at the language school where she worked.
This news caused an immediate spike in enrollment. It was reported that Kakudo words, if uttered in the proper order, at the perfect pitch and volume, with the right emotional backing, could effectively fend off the encroaching leaks, seeps, and advances of the weighty, shimmering, vaguely whispering, sludge slicks. Yes. If they were to offer this new remedy of words, they must officially pronounce the true name of their beloved predator: the sludge – the touristic appeal that inspired fervent zeal in travelers with deep pockets and strange desires.
“Do not harm the surge. Charm the surge.” was the recording now on repeat, replacing the airwaves that once spouted speculations as to the causes of the missing persons.
Of the new students, both young and old, there was a man who claimed to be an exmember of the city government.
“I didn’t work there long, though they did like me at first. They said I had the right kind of malleable personality. But when they found out I was an actual resident of the city, a native so to speak, I was promptly dismissed.” The depression in his voice came from the depths of a well recently emptied of all ambition.
She did not dare ask what employed his time these days. She did however make a point to remember him. Perhaps there were things he knew that others did not, things that might prove pivotal in the days to come when these linguistic placebos no longer sufficed to subdue the panic nor the physical threat.
By the week’s end, the school had succeeded in teaching the majority of the remaining populace a number of magical words and phrases. Memorization came first, followed by the practicing of dramatic deliveries. She would play the roll of the sludge, and correct the grammar and pronunciation of the words and phrases bravely hurled at her.
After a second week, classes had returned to their normal sizes. She assumed students had mastered the content, and had not simply gone missing. Many of the buildings that stood, swaying closest to the sea had been completely abandoned now, or were no longer occupied for more troubling reasons.
On the eve of the third week, even before night fell, the sludge swelled up and over the school.
Words were futile. Windows shattered.
Students and teachers fled out through the classroom door. They hid in the halls, uncertain of where to safely and sensibly flee to next. The old man with the blade took a fearsome stand against the sludge, but fell, his suigin sword skittering across the tiled floor. The ex-government employee had already been sucked away, slurped up, dragged out through the window. Perhaps he was miles out to sea by now. Possibly alive. Perhaps there were things he knew that the others did not. The old man could ask him; he was missing now too.
She picked up the sword without looking at it and exited rapidly into the hall. Passing the quivering clumps of students, she entered into the stairwell. She knew where she was going. She needed her identification documents. She needed proof of nationality. She felt no guilt in leaving.
No one knew her name.
She somehow managed to cycle home, snaking a stranger course than usual to avoid the drifting sounds of clamor and screams. Once at her building, she took the lift up to the first floor (this was as high as the lift ascended), then frantically climbed each ensuing flight. She noticed in passing, hurried though she was, that not a single apartment appeared to be inhabited on any of the floors. When was the last time she saw or heard her neighbors? She came to a halt before her door. She fished for her keys.
In the weeks that followed, Yūchi hired hundreds of itinerant workers to replenish the workforce now needed to meet the increasing demands of new influxes of fanatical, thrill seeking tourists (who were now required to sign lengthy waivers upon arrival). Suigin blades were now sold in mass quantities at every market and shop. One old man in particular, who was in fact not dead, sold appallingly expensive blades forged using deceptive blends of suigin and other, cheaper, less sludge-repellent metals.
“They want a thrill, don’t they?” he asserted in his defense.
We are not sure where she is now, but the government might know. Her things are gone, the blade is gone too, and the Supai bird bot has been tinkered with and taken.