Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

alibi

Happy Friday, Toads! It's Marian here with a new and exciting music prompt for you! Get ready for inspiration from the Land of Izy. We are travelling to Minneapolis, Minnesota to experience the music of rapper, singer, and spoken word artist DESSA.


While Izy and I worked on our collaborative poem, speaking for myself anyway, I tried to soak up as much of Izy as I could so that we could find a subject that resonated for both of us. (Oh, who am I kidding, we were both crushed out on each other and trading things we loved, and particularly chatting about music, like a coupla teeangers on a first date.) I knew a bit about the MPLS scene, which we visited in an earlier music prompt featuring The Jayhawks, but I wanted to know what current music on the scene got Izy excited.

Through much exhaustive questioning and prodding, I learned that Dessa is one of Izy’s favorite artists, as well as Doomtree, the MPLS indie hip-hop collective of which Dessa is a part. Izy became hooked on their music upon hearing a song called “The Chaconne” from Dessa’s first solo album, A Badly Broken Code, on public radio. Since then, Izy has seen both Dessa solo and Doomtree live many times, and has become a regular fangirl. Dessa and Doomtree are cornerstones of the MPLS music scene. I will confess to approaching fangirl status myself already, just by falling down the rabbit hole of Dessa/Doomtree YouTube videos.

Izy explains why she finds Dessa so fascinating: Dessa uses wordplay in her songs to deliver a new take on old concepts, like “Forget the bull in the china shop, there's a china doll in the bullpen,” or “Kiss the bottle, spin the girl.” One of Izy’s favorite lines comes from a Doomtree song (written by Dessa) called “Sadie Hawkins”:

A little bit of melancholy
never really did hurt anybody
even if it is a sickness
I'm oddly convinced at least it's honest
When life gets so tragic comic--
a mattress with no sheets on it--
The fact is you have it, the task is to want it.

Plus, the music is intriguing, mysterious, beautiful, danceable, and all of that is crystal clear upon first listen. Izy describes it as “lavish and highly addictive.” I agree.


Without further elaboration (though clearly I could go on and on, both about Dessa and about my new BFF Izy), I leave you to your own rabbit hole in the hopes that you will be mightily inspired. Can’t wait to read any and all that you write. Enjoy!

26 comments:

wordcoaster said...

I absolutely love Dessa (and Doomtree) and am quite jealous of your concert-going at the moment. Thank you for showcasing her talent; depth and hip-hop don't tend to be the norm.

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

On the eve of Robbie Burns Day, how great to attend such a lovely event.
Posted a link to my blog even though I did not write a poem. It is more of a tribute to a poet from Scotland who left us with a rich heritage of song and verse, most especially remembered on New Year's Eve when we start to sing Auld Lang Syne. :)

Susie Clevenger said...

I had never heard of Dessa. I really like her. Thanks Marian/Izy for the inspiration. BTW I am early. :)

nene said...

I,also, had never heard of Dessa but am glad to have now been exposed to her. She's unique and fresh

aprille said...

I was convinced that I wasn't going to like this. Hesitated opening the video. Couldn't have been more wrong. Mesmerizing in wit, speed and imagery. Only wish I could have turned the base down a little.

Fireblossom said...

^^^^Robt Burns??? Wha...?

I'll come clean: I'm not a fan of hip-hop, at all. Having said that, I DO like the variety of these music prompts! As for the MPLS scene, I suppose I'm the only one who thinks of Mary Richards, not Doomtree. I guess I'll just put on my three cardigans now and go feed my seventy-five cats.

...but I will try to come up with something. After all, these *are* called "challenges", yes? ;-)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Also a new artist for me, so I watched the video with some fascination. About half way through, I thought: She reminds me of Tupac. The content of her lyrics and her delivery have a kind of 'Dear Mama' feel, but that's just my humble... being from the other side of the world and all, and not even sure what MPLS stands for...

Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Patricia, I'm sorry but this prompt has nothing to do with Robbie Burns, nor does your post link back to Real Toads. Please share such unrelated poems on our Open Link Monday.

Marian said...

Kerry: Minneapolis!

Hannah said...

I LOVE HER!!! Thank you gals and Marian for the challenge!! So excited...I'm in the rabbit-hole NOW!! :)

Isadora Gruye said...

Eeek...Real Toads and Dessa....two of my most favorite things! Thanks for putting my music recommendation in the spotlight Marian! I am off to write a Dessa poem!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Haha! Thanks, Marian. In a perfect world we could all descend on Minneapolis and hang out for the weekend.

Chhavi Vatwani said...

Oh lol. Thanks Marian for this prompt and for clearing out what MPLS stands for :P I'm glad Kerry asked! I liked the video and it reminded me of a similar video I saw, which I've shared with you all and took up the challenge and completed the song acc to its vid in Dessa style -um more like what I could make of her. ER.

Marian said...

haven't you been a bit warm lately, Kerry? pretty sure MPLS in January would cure you of that problem :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

We are hitting the hundreds now, and no respite until halfway through March... This is the hottest time of the year, just as it is probably the coldest for you.

Ella said...

Kerry-omg! It is snowing here, lol
enJOY! I'll toss you a snowball ;D

Wow, Marian n' Izy! Thank you for sharing! I love new artist~

Happy Friday everyone :D

Susan said...

Thank you for a day of listening and more to come, with a little pause to write a couplet and another and another pause to revise and another . . . . Happy Friday!

Isadora Gruye said...

Mine is admittedly incomplete....but thought I would share my brain dumpings on the general public!

Marian said...

exactly what i did. let it fly!

jasmine calyx said...

Yo, homegirl's pretty dope. Thanks for the exposure.

jasmine calyx said...

"If & When" is definitely my favorite.

Margaret said...

Love her voice! Thanks for introducing her - love her lyrics - they are very creative and tell important messages!

This was a challenge for me... but finally squeezed in under the deadline.

Marian said...

no deadlines ever! keep 'em coming!
i'm so glad people liked this prompt... i haven't done one before with an artist i knew nothing about before sitting down to write the article. yippee!

Grace said...

Thanks for introducing her to us Marian and Izy ~ Her voice and lyrics are amazing ~ I hope to write to this prompt some time ~ Good feature artist ~

Stacey said...

This challenge was challenging. Interesting prompt.

Marian said...

fun prompt, huh? i love doing these. thank you all for participating, yippee!