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Phone Home Page

Two Houston poets create a modern-day party line online.

Every Tuesday night, Jasper-born Houstonian Charles Forward, also known as poet and spoken-word artist SCEF (which stands for his full name, Shane Charles Edward Forward), gets on the phone with his friend, local poet and singer Selah Kumani. The two lazily engage in some peculiar conversations and play some music — you know, shoot the shit.

What's intriguing about this weekly phone convo is that it can also be heard on the Web.

For the past year and a half, Forward and Kumani have been the host and hostess of The Artform Show, an hour-long program on online radio site BlogTalkRadio. Basically, anyone with a phone line and a laptop can get his own show on the site — sort of like Twitter for people who need more than 140 characters to say their piece. It's already home to shows hosted by hip-hop heads, conservative cranks, fitness freaks, paranormal crackpots and even Todd Rundgren.

But Forward says this isn't just a chance for him and Kumani to goof off on the Web every week, even though their discussion topics for any one show, which can range from the lack of actual socializing in online social networking to Easter bunny suits, can make listeners wonder if the laid-back duo does some narcotic prepping before the show.

Forward says that he and Kumani are drug-free, though, and Artform does have a wider objective: to promote independent artists who are on a conscious level.

"The music that I play is independent music because there are a lot of artists out there that aren't being heard," says Forward on his show's mix of indie R&B and hip-hop.

Besides playing these artists' music, whether local (Caretta Bell, Michele Thibeaux) or from beyond Houston (Joe Lee McCoy, Kevin Sandbloom), Forward and Kumani invite them to call in to the show for interviews. But it's not just musicians who get their moment to shine: Visual artists, writers and even a few of Forward's friends from the Houston poetry scene have all said their piece on the Artform mike.

"A lot of people out there wanna be heard and need to be heard," says Forward, who also wholeheartedly suggests that people who need to get stuff off their chests launch their own online broadcasts. "That's what the Internet has provided us — an opportunity to, man, do the things that we never thought we could do."

NEWS FEED

Blues singer Ashton Savoy, best known for "No Bread, No Meat," his 1959 duet with boogie-woogie pianist Katie Webster, passed away May 15 at his Houston home. He was 80 and had been in ill health for some time, the Houston Chronicle reported. Savoy was born in Sunset, Louisiana, and recorded several hard-to-find singles for Lake Charles's Goldband label, a few of which were licensed by Storyville Records for the mid-1960s compilation Bluesscene USA: The Louisiana Blues. Savoy and Webster, who died in 1999, also appeared on Austrian-born, ­Dallas-based pianist Christian Dozzler's 1998 LP Louisiana.

The Houston Symphony is back in record stores. The orchestra's first CD in its deal with Naxos Records, a recording of Alexander von Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony (Op. 18), was released Tuesday. A late Romantic composer similar to Mahler and Schoenberg, the Viennese Zemlinsky (1871-1942) was championed by Brahms in his early career. The Lyric Symphony, written in 1923, is based on Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde song cycle and the works of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

LOCAL MOTION

Top Sellers
Sig's Lagoon
3710 Main, 713-533-9525
www.sigslagoon.com

1.  Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens,

What Have You Done, My Brother?

2.  Los Straitjackets, The Further Adventures of...

3.   Binky Griptite, "One Time, You're Mine/

You're Gonna Cry" 45

4.   Menahan Street Band, "the Wolf/ Bushwick Lullaby" 45

5.   Geno Delafose, Le Cowboy Creole

6.   Little Joe Washington, Texas Fire Line

7.   Little Joe Washington, Blues Reality

8.   Rupa & the April Fishes, eXtraordinary rendition

9.   Bob Dylan, Together Through Life LP

10. Los Skarnales, Pachuco Boogie Soundsystem

AIRWAVES

The Gulf Coast Rocker
KACC, 89.7 FM
Selections from the station's May 20 log, 4-5 p.m.

1. Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb"

2. Saving Abel, "Drowning"

3. Fleetwood Mac, "Never Going Back Again"

4. Moses Guest, "Best Side Up"

5. Edgar Winter Group, "Free Ride"

6. The Clash, "Rock the Casbah"

7. Brother Cane, "Machete"

8. Tom Petty and the ­Heartbreakers, "Don't Do Me Like That"

9. Alan Parsons Project, "Eye in the Sky"

10. ZZ Top, "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers"

(lists compiled by Chris Gray)

 
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