Columns

7_Alisha_Weng_ForDiscorder_April2017

On the Air

Little Bit Of Soul

author
Fatemeh Ghayedi
photography
Alisha Weng
illustration
Emily Valente

Jade Pauk is the founder and host of Little Bit of Soul, a show concentrated on playing jazz, swing, and more for three years now. Discorder recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jade to talk about her show.

Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine

Discorder Magazine: Little Bit of Soul is one of the longer running shows on CiTR that plays a mix of jazz tunes and oldies. I was just interested in knowing how you started out?

Jade Pauk: Well, growing up I was exposed to a lot of different forms of music thank you to my parents for that and I remember going around my grandmother’s living room dancing with my sister to big band music. So, that music always has a place in my heart. Throughout my childhood, I was involved with these different forms of music: classical piano, cello, all those other art forms. Then, when I got to university it was hard for me to maintain a focus on studying those instruments, and [I] wanted to find a different creative outlet and a way of maintaining my connection to music. So, that’s how it started.

I guess I was hoping that I could find the interconnections between the different genres that I was focusing on. If you listen to the playlists, you’ll hear similarities or contrasts between the music. I don’t necessarily always want to be overt in telling the listener “Listen for this” or “Listen for that,” but if they can make those connections appear for themselves, I would really be happy.

Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine

DM: You do play a mix of old and new on your show. What’s your process of putting content together for each episode?

JP: I really like to focus on the historical elements of the music, and a lot of the times when I’m listening to music, I try and find similarities between songs, or pieces. What’s really amazing with jazz, soul, and R&B is that you have these sort of condensed audio files. I really like to put them into context or try and see the trends within the music.

Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine

DM: How relevant do you think the genres you play are nowadays?

JP: Extremely. Mainstream music is, I’d say, primarily made up of these genres, and everything links back to them. And with that comes a lot of cultural appropriation of African American culture. I think it’s really important to look at the music that we listen to today, and see where it came from; we have to go back to the roots and hear for ourselves how that came into being, and how it has influenced the way we listen to it today. A lot of artists draw directly from those in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Justin Timberlake is directly connected to Michael Jackson; he has his falsetto voice, his entertainment style. That being said, Michael Jackson did also steal moves from James Brown, so, it kind of goes back a long way.

Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Illustration by Emily Valente for Discorder Magazine

DM: It’s just like a chain.

JP: Yeah, exactly. It just goes to show how influential that time period was for music. The other thing is, a lot of musicians jazz especially had a really wonderful understanding of musical history. So, when they started bebop and the other jazz forms, they were breaking away from convention. Miles Davis, for example, had played in more conventional jazz ensembles, and had wanted a way out of that to break convention. It’s very much like visual arts, in that sense, where the [contemporary] artists were breaking away from the standard.

Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine
Little Bit Of Soul || Photography by Alisha Weng for Discorder Magazine

DM: You’ve already accomplished so much on Little Bit of Soul, but I was just wondering where else you’d like to see it go.

JP: When I first started out, it was very much focused on big band and older styles of jazz and things of the sort. Now, it’s starting to incorporate a bit more modern r&b and hip-hop, and finding that line of contrast and comparisons between the music. It’s been a journey and it’s kind of been chronological? Like, I’d like to say that there’s been a bit of a stream there. I hope that at least some people have stuck with me throughout the process, and have learnt about these genres from the beginning to the current state of those genres, really.

 

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Little Bit of Soul airs on CiTR 101.9FM Mondays 4-5pm. For more show information or archived episodes and podcasts, visit citr.ca/radio/little-bit-of-soul.

Fine02_Philip_Moussavi_ForDiscorder_April2017

Textually Active

fine.

author
Ivanna Besenovsky
photography
Philip Moussavi
illustration
Roz Maclean

Since moving to Vancouver seven years ago from small-town Alberta, Cole Nowicki has devoted himself to various literary and creative realms throughout the city comedy, poetry, design, and plenty of work in between. It’s no surprise that Nowicki’s most recent project, fine., has generated such well-deserved enthusiasm from the get-go. The monthly event, distinct in its emphasis on storytelling, has drawn an audience from every corner of the city a reach that has extended well beyond just the literary community. With performances from a diverse pool of local comedians, poets, writers, and musicians like hazy, Mourning Coup, and Milk fine. offers a story for every listener. “There’s a lot of cool stuff happening in Vancouver, but I wanted to get a little weirder, so I set up a platform for myself and other standups and storytellers and writers. There are a lot of talented folk,” says Nowicki.

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Illustration by Roz Maclean for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Illustration by Roz Maclean for Discorder Magazine

Moving onto its fourth event, fine. has pulled in a full crowd each night, with transfixed listeners leaning in from floor seats, couch corners, and clustered chairs, slunk back among friends and plenty of beer. Nowicki explains, “It’s a good atmosphere. It’s cozy. In terms of a storytelling event, it’s a comfortable space, [and it’s] where my friends and I go hang out regularly, so it’s familiar.”

Despite the Lido’s centrality and treasured appeal, fine.’s popularity transcends familiarity by breaking unique ground. “I think the reason why it tends to be popular is that there are people from all different realms,” Nowicki concedes, “comedy people, people coming to see the stand up acts, the writers, the bands that play … That’s what helps with having a diverse group of performers: they’re gonna invite their friends, their friends are gonna invite their friends.”

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine

Beyond the charm of fine.’s always-eclectic lineup, it’s Nowicki’s allowance for spontaneity that imbues the show with palpable authenticity and ease; there’s never a sense of urgency, nothing formulaic or prescribed. At fine.’s January event, Nowicki and writer Ben Stephenson both shared stories which pivoted thematically on the taboos of gay skate culture. When asked whether it was by design or sheer coincidence, Nowicki recounts that the correspondence was totally unplanned, explaining that the two pieces just “dovetailed into each other.” He insists, “One of the things I really like about doing a show, is that when I get to do my piece, I’m doing whatever the hell I want, so I like to give everyone on the show the same opportunity … to branch out and try something different.”

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine

Nowicki kicks off each show with a piece of his own, setting the bar for anything goes. “I had this story … where I found out a couple years ago that my dad’s cousin is a New York Times best-selling romance novelist.” At my confusion, Nowicki clarifies, “She writes erotic novels. [She’s] sold like, millions of books … I was inspired, because I wasn’t really getting anywhere with my personal writing, so I thought, ‘I’m gonna try to get into the erotic novel realm, and I wanna write what I know, and what I know is skateboarding,’ so I read a piece of skateboard erotica.”

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Illustration by Roz Maclean for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Illustration by Roz Maclean for Discorder Magazine

While charming and casual in his role as host, Nowicki is nonetheless staunchly committed to cultivating a sense of community: “I have a bit of a particular vision, but storytelling is pretty universal in its appeal. People like to share in others’ shared experiences, people like to laugh. And I’m pretty happy that people are coming to the show … and enjoying it.” fine., it would seem, is on its way to big things: “I bought a standing lamp, so it’s not gonna be that weird stacked light anymore. Three shows in proper lamp. Yeah, we’re getting legit,” he laughs.

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine

When he’s not skating, writing, or picking out light fixtures, Nowicki dips his toes in other creative realms, like designing an illustrated short story project, Portraits of Brief Encounters, and working on short story submissions. Reminiscing on his first brushes with the Canadian literary community, Nowicki shares, “I would write poems and submit them to little journals that I’d find online, magazines I would get in the mail. I was probably 17 or 18 when I first got published … I had to get rejected [a lot, but] I’ve been skateboarding since I was 11 or 10, so I’m used to not getting things very quickly. You know, you fall down and eat shit, and then just keep trying until you get it.”

Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine
Fine. || Photography by Philip Moussavi for Discorder Magazine

Looking forward to fine.’s next events, Nowicki raves that “everyone has killed it so far. I’m just grateful that most of the people who’ve been on the show and performed do not know me. I just out of the blue ask them to take a chance and be on the show, and they do, and I appreciate that. I’m grateful to be able to do something that I wanna do, and that other people seem into it.”

 

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fine.’s next installment takes place April 24 at The Lido, and won’t be one to miss. For more information, visit afineshow.com or follow @afineshow on Instagram.