This week, Omaya Jones and Stephanie Smittle catch you up on a bit of entertainment news and talk with Director of Trust Tree Programs Correne Spero about the organization’s summer songwriting camps for girls.


First up, (0:27) Arkansas native Solo Jaxon and producer Idle Kid are back with a new one, “Foot On Neck.” UPDATE: Solo Jaxon lent us his thoughts, play-by-play, on the track, which I’ll relay in full here:

‘Foot On Neck’ is about not letting up – taking no prisoners, taking what you feel you deserve. Show no mercy to anyone that stands in your way. Without sacrificing one’s integrity, do what you have to do to win. It’s about perserverance especially when you’re different from those around you. If everyone is walking one direction & you find yourself navigating through them in an opposite direction, after awhile you might start to question yourself. Just because a lot of people are doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right for you, so don’t succumb.

It’s aggressive because when you’re not a quitter, your frustration turns into aggression. It becomes a hunger to win simply because that’s what you’re here to do and people want to see you fail. So yes, take what you’d do to someone physically and put it into your hustle. Let that fuel you into being your best you.

“I made peace with my patience/I ain’t worried ‘bout the time it take/Just greet me with greatness”

I’ve learned to disregard certain elements within the idea of time. I let go of how long it’ll take me to reach my goals as long as I reach them. When you’re working on yourself and perfecting your craft you have to give yourself time to let go, let in, learn, & apply.

“Casting all they stones/I tell ‘em knock it off/Only aspire to be trolls/That’s why I’m logging off/They ask me why I do the most/I say I want it allI had to get me a new phone just to answer my calling”

People are quick to judge the next for even trying and they’re reasoning is because it didn’t work for them. They project their insecurities on to those hustling & if you’re not confident in yourself, it’ll slow you down. Fuck that. Get off the computer, get on the field. The phone reference was a play on words but also about having to drop those things so close to you and pick up what’s better for you. Things you don’t realize you have such a close attachment to. Habits, language, people. (And I legitimately had to get a new phone cause mine didn’t work. Lol.)

“Ain’t no growth in comfort/Facing all my fears/I shifted all my gears/When shit got real/I ain’t shed no tears nigga”

Chest out, head up, feet solid on the ground facing everything that scares you. Day in and day out. Much easier said than done but so necessary. Just leveling up.

“That’s why they locked in on me/You can hate but you gon’ respect it/Or get socked in ya teeth”

Gotta respect a man’s/woman’s hustle despite how you feel about them. That’s what makes you a real one.

“You could get laid under sheets/You think I’m a problem/Gotta deal with some things underneath”

Another play on words, but I don’t feel like I’m a person to have static with. I don’t bother anyone or cause problems, so when you find yourself at odds with me, do a little self inspection. Because it’s probably something you haven’t addressed on the inside.

Check it:

At (1:10), we peek into the future; a future in which Nate Powell’s forthcoming graphic novel, “Come Again” is on bookshelves. 
Powell has lived in Indiana since 2004, but is a native of Arkansas and draws on those influences in this book, which has been called “a dark fairytale that draws inspiration from Ursula K. LeGuin, while feeling very relevant to the contemporary anxiety that the world has gone wrong while everyone continues to act normal. But of course it’s also about parenting, guilt, and relationship drama on a 1979 hippie commune. And there’s a demon.” Nate will be here promoting the book and we’ll keep you in the loop with all of that. Meanwhile, it’s on pre-order at topshelfcomix.com, and he’s been posting these little bits about its inception on his Instagram:

Each day by intention: one of my fundamental interests in COME AGAIN was exploring how various dreamers, hippies, freaks, and revolutionaries moved forward from the implosion of the peace movement, the deferral of the Great Society. Fascinating turns, both utopian and dystopian, as folks worked to build in new directions throughout the ‘70s. A central influence was digging into the pre-punk Exit-era art, mysticism, and land development of folks who would occupy Dial House and found Crass.

Also, (3:00) we note the impending departure of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Conductor Philip Mann. The 2018-19 season will be his last at the podium.

A press release cited that under Mann’s leadership, the ASO had experienced “dramatic programmatic growth, with the addition [of] several performance series, innovative initiatives, greater statewide impact, more weeks of classical repertoire, and a period where the ASO has played for more people in more places than at any point in its history.” It said that “despite a two-season stretch away from the Robinson Center during renovations, the ASO has remained financially sound during Mann’s tenure.” ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn echoed that sentiment in the news release, saying the ASO is “a thriving, financially stable organization” and adding that the search for a new music director would not immediately begin. “The ASO leadership will take time to consider the best long-term decisions for the community,” Littlejohn said, “and will invite new ideas from patrons about how to position the ASO for continued growth and stability for generations to come.” Following the 2018-19 season and Mann’s subsequent departure, Mann will become the ASO’s first-ever “Music Director Laureate.”

Check out this week’s To-Do List in the Arkansas Times for more happening this week.

Check out our conversation with Trust Tree Programs Director and Founder Correne Spero (7:08), and hear about the work she and fellow arts educators (and bandmates in DOT!) are doing to empower young girls to find their artistic voices. The program is growing, and allowing girls not only to hone their voices, but to find their own leadership style.

(Also (19:03), Northern State reunion: within the realm of possibility. You heard it here first.)

At (25:00), check out Omaya’s recommendation for the week: Daikaiju! at E.J’s Eats & Drinks! They’re playing with Spirit Cuntz, Revenge Bodies and Druids Saturday, June 2, and it’s bound to be a raucous time.


And (26:15) Stephanie suggests you keep your eyes peeled for Jabarre Davis’ new documentary on McAlmont native and Olympian long jump gold medalist Jeff Henderson, “Jumping Jeff.” Here’s the trailer:

JUMPING JEFF – (Official Trailer) from BOKSVIZUAL on Vimeo.

And, The Move for the week: Emergent Arts in Hot Springs has curated a group exhibition called “The V Show: Subtle and Explicit Female Imagery,” celebrating the female form and specifically the vagina! It’s up at the gallery, 341-A Whittington Avenue, through June 16.