Jaded Magazine Gives Free Love to Everybody at the Phoenix Grille

‘Irvine needs some visionaries,’ said Narinda Heng, a spoken word performer at Jaded Magazine’s ‘Free Love.’ ‘Truth and free love can live in a place of perfectly manicured bushes.’
‘Free Love’ celebrated Irvine’s vibrant community of artistic expression through art, dance and spoken word.
The event, which packed the Phoenix Grille on Thursday, Feb. 8, was organized by the progressive Jaded Magazine as part of the launch of their 11th issue. Performances included the Basco Bros., Uncultivated Rabbits, UC Irvine Breakdance Club, Chinese Association Dance Crew, DJing by the Hip Hop Congress, displays of custom Ephemeral Apparel clothing and live art.
Jaded External Affairs Coordinator Chelsey Liwag-Estrada said that ‘Free Love’ should ‘put Jaded on the map.’ The second-year psychology and sociology major explained that the event would ultimately be successful if everyone leaves with Jaded in their hands and anticipates the next issue.
The Basco Bros.’ words, ‘Talk to my soul or don’t talk to me at all,’ rang true in a night of diverse expressions emanating from the soul.
Throughout ‘Free Love,’ six spoken word performers from Uncultivated Rabbits took the stage, tackling subjects such as breaking Asian stereotypes, romantic musings and criticism of the media.
Spoken word performed by the Uncultivated Rabbits appeared to be an art form halfway between poetry and rap. The performers played up the rhythm of their poetry and complemented their words with physical gestures to further engage the crowd.
Initial microphone problems and a distracting television that should have been turned off prevented the crowd from hearing and absorbing every word of the first performer’s ‘I Need a Girl,’ but were fixed for ‘I Am So Damn Yellow’ and ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.’
When the audience gave the performers their attention, the Uncultivated Rabbits’ spoken word could be appreciated for their bravery as well as their provocative words and engaging rhythms.
The UCI Breakdance Club brought their own floor to the Phoenix Grille. With admirable agility, they thoroughly entertained as they twirled and contorted their bodies to the beat of the well-chosen music and consistently encouraged each other as various members performed.
Onlookers were treated to a one-handed upside down handstand, a circular rotation with just one hand on the floor, multiple back flips, an odd crab-scurrying move and even some impressive robotic dance.
The ever-popular CADC also appeared, performing what was intended as six minutes and 14 seconds of hip hop dance. CADC’s crisp arm and leg movements were wonderfully complemented by facial expressions of confidence and attitude. Before the act ended, the sound temporarily went dead-but CADC continued dancing to the beat of the crowd before the sound was fixed.
One of the most unique forms of expression presented at Free Love was the live art, in which local artists Zip, Ego, Shin and Stuter collaborated to use a four-by-eight foot piece of wood as a blank canvas, painting whatever the wood grain evoked. One curve on the wood, for example, reminded one artist of a dragon’s eye.
While the artists continued their live art outside, examples of their work were shown inside, behind the stage. Given that the four local artists have different artistic styles, an especially intriguing part of Free Love was periodically observing how the live art progressed.
Ephemeral Apparel displayed their wares, ‘wearable art,’ according to Jason Liwag, cofounder of the shirt-and-hat clothing line. The fourth-year studio art major explained that the line’s name refers to temporary fashion. The shirt designs range from the abstract to the concrete. The most impressive theme was ‘Splatter,’ a simple yet attractive design (especially in black) made by hanging the shirt on a wall and spraying it with water and bleach.
Both issues of Tard and Feathered, a small magazine of poetry and art, were offered for sale nearby. Also started in part by Liwag, Tard and Feathered is handmade, from the printing to the numbers stamped in metal at the top of the magazine.
Jaded’s ‘Free Love’ was a free platform on which students, local talent and the Basco Brothers expressed themselves to the delight of their large audience. Students skeptical of UCI’s ability to meet their social-life demands needed look no further than ‘Free Love’ last Thursday night.
Visionaries in Irvine? They’re abundant; you just have to know where to look.