Subterranean Jungle: Love Notes…

I have no problem with Taylor Swift, but I can’t tell what’s more annoying: people complaining about Swift attending a football game? Or, people complaining about people complaining about her attending a football game? Y’all need a hobby. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Swift’s Reputation reissue is going to drop to combat the Fox News narrative she’s a CIA plant, but don’t worry, Uncle Marc has you covered with Love Notes. One of my new favorite songwriters, Olivia Dolphin brings her curated Love Notes to Askew this Saturday, February 3. I had the opportunity to talk with Miss Dolphin about Love Notes. (Please note: There was no CIA involvement in this interview.) 

Marc Clarkin (Motif): Love Notes is a mixed genre show, what made you interested in putting on this kind of event?

Olivia Dolphin: I’ve been incredibly inspired by open mic spaces. I used to host an open mic at Twenty Stories and the range of creators that came through the space was the best part. Going from a singer-songwriter on acoustic guitar, to a poet, to a mystery short story was such a reflection of the talent in our communities. By combining multiple genres under one theme, we can start to build connections outside our typical comfort zones and give audiences a wide-ranging experience that reflects what Providence has to offer. Let’s build a little bit more connection by mixing things up. 


MC: What were you looking for when booking the acts?

OD: I look for people that have a story they want to tell. It’s hard but important to get up in front of an audience, be vulnerable, and share a story that made you laugh or a song you wrote about how you fell in love. 

I also try to book a wide range of acts. This year we have Joe DeDegeorge and his Sax Machine act which is just a damn good time (honk if you’re horny!). Jo Celine’s soaring melodies over electric guitar will have you leaning forward to catch every lyric. Our storytellers Brit Lizotte, Renzo Arteta, and Ally Sexton will each represent a different aspect of love. Mark-Anthony Lewis’ comedy, poetry, and stand up act is an absolute riot. 

MC: I love the passion in your own music. Was there a show, artist, or a moment that put you on this journey as a songwriter?

OD: It’s always hard to pinpoint a single moment, but I remember distinctly struggling to play the piano and sing at the same time. But in 2018, I learned Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Day and something clicked. That one song taught me a lot about how words, melody, and instruments can align and tell a story. 

MC: What is next after Love Notes for you? 

OD: Similar to Love Notes, we’re spanning genres: My literary magazine Wizards in Space is releasing our ninth and final issue at Lit Arts RI on March 2. I just wrapped tracking my second album at Big Nice Studio, which will be released sometime in the early summer. My band and I are planning a bunch of shows at local venues. Lastly, we’ll be hosting our next multi-genre event at Askew for Halloween on October 19. If you are a songwriter, comedian, or storyteller that has a spooky story to tell – hit me up!

Love Notes goes down at Askew in Providence on Saturday, February 3 from 4:30 – 6:30pm.

Music For Lovers Only: John McCauley

Deer Tick’s John McCauley brings his solo tour home for a special performance in the coolest shop in Rhode Island, POP, in Providence. McCauley will sprinkle in Deer Tick faves and his own stuff for a night you don’t want to miss. Do not pass go, buy tickets for Valentine’s Day NOW through POP’s website: This will sell out.

John McCauley will rock POP in Providence on February 14.

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