Raven Chacon, Laura Ortman, and the Discotays Perform at One Flaming Arrow Festival


The One Flaming Arrow Festival of Indigenous art, music, and performance blazes on.

Kicking off last week in Portland, Oregon, the inaugural One Flaming Arrow Festival is bringing an incredible array of contemporary Indigenous art, music, readings, film screenings, panels, performances, and concerts to the Indigenous lands of the Chinook/Multnomah peoples.

The brainchild of Demian DinéYazhi, Kaila Farrell-Smith (both of R.I.S.E.), and Carlee Smith, One Flaming Arrow launched a successful crowdfunding campaign this winter to bring together radical Indigenous voices from across Native america for a 12-day celebration of contemporary Indigenous arts.

The festival features a stellar lineup that includes:

  • Bat Vomit
  • Natalie Ball
  • Dylan Miner
  • Melanie Fey
  • Sky Hopinka
  • Shilo George
  • Jeff Ferguson
  • Laura Ortman
  • The Discotays
  • Brittany Britton
  • Raven Chacon
  • Katrina Benally
  • Amanda Ranth
  • Miranda Crystal
  • Almas Fronterizas
  • "Drunktown's Finest"
  • Burial Ground Sound
  • Grace Rosario Perkins w/Amberlee Cotchay
  • Melissa Bennett w/Elizabeth LaPensée & Allie Vasquez

In between the low-rider bike workshops, storytelling sessions, art installations, poetry performances, and an Indigenous Futurisms film night curated by Grace Dillon, the festival is also showcasing some of the finest in Indigenous music culture.

On Tuesday, June 9th, Diné experimental/noise musician Raven Chacon (of Postcommodity), White Mountain Apache violinist Laura Ortman, and the Diné electro-queerpostpunk duo Discotays will throw down at the Holocene. Event info is below.

The One Flaming Arrow Festival continues through June 14th. Check the festival program for the full schedule of events.

One Flaming Arrow offers stark and powerful evidence of the Indigenous artists at the forefront of the contemporary creative arts. May this year be the first of many to come.

Listen to an OPB radio interview on the One Flaming Arrow Festival


JUNE 9th: Laura Ortman & Raven Chacon Performance and the Discotays at the Holocene!

9:30pm-11:30pm Holocene: 1001 SE Morrison, Portland 97214 Join us on June 9th, 2015 at the Holocene in Portland, Oregon for Raven Chacon & Laura Ortman + Discotays. We have the honor of showcasing two award-winning multi-instrumentalists, Indigenous composers Raven Chacon & Laura Ortman along with the musical styling of Discotrays.

Tickets available here

DISCOTAYS (Diné) are a music duo from Navajo Nation, comprised of artists Hansen Ashley & Brad Charles. Their music has been adored by the likes of Kathleen Hanna and can be described as post-punk electro & queerpostpunk / queerpostsurf / queernowave.

Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) has performed with Stars Like Fleas, the Dust Dive & Silver Summit, & composes music for art installations & films in the form of the Dust Dive Flash. She plays violin, Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, musical saw & samplers. Ortman has created music for films by Martha Colburn & Indigenous filmmakers Blackhorse Lowe, Alan Michelson, & Raquel Chapa, among others.

Raven Chacon (Diné/Chicano) is a chamber music composer & experimental noise artist. Chacon is a member of the Indigenous art collective, Postcommodity, with whom he has developed multi-media installations that have been exhibited internationally. Both his solo work & his work with Postcommodity has been presented at the Sydney Bienale, Kennedy Center, Adelaide International, Vancouver Art Gallery, Musée d’ art Contemporain de Montréal, The San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, & Performance Today. Tickets are $8 in advance & $10 at the door. 21 and over.

Watch Raven Chacon, Live at End Tymes in New York City

DOWNLOAD: The Indigenous Futurisms Mixtape


Welcome to the sounds of the Indigenous future: a hyperpresent now, melding the worlds within and beyond what we can hear, see and imagine. In collaboration with Kimiwan Zine’s new issue, we are proud to bring you the Indigenous Futurisms mixtape.

The creation story is a spaceship. That’s the space ndn motto. The creation story can also be a song; so we can sing our way to the stars. In Amiri Baraka’s Afrofuturist tale “Rhythm Travel,” songs can be used to travel through time.

With an understanding of the power of music, we collect sounds and rhythms here for the futurist ear.

The beats are powerful and transcendent. Whether you are traveling back in time to talk to ancestors or warp speeding forward to herd space sheep in the outer galaxies, this is the mix to take you there. It is the soundtrack for a liberated future drawn deeply from our collective pasts. In creating this playlist and indeed in all our futurist imaginings, we are deeply indebted to the Afrofuturists and the traditions they come from. All systems go; full speed ahead to the future.

The Indigenous Futurisms mixtape is a journey through the intertwined Afro-Indigenist histories of colonized life on our current planet, that reaches for decolonial worlds beyond the beyond. From 2oolman and Flying Lotus to King Britt and John Mohawk, Sun Ra and Savage Family to Princess Nokia and DJ Shub, from Boogey the Beat to Erykah Badu, Shabazz Palaces to Silver Jackson, Autechre to A Tribe Called Red, Darkstar to Ryan Dennison, through many other voices in between—this is a recombinant constellation of ideas and energies, sounds and forces. Dreams of new destinations out.

Where the supposed 'finality' of Star Trek's frontier meets the remixed linguistic flip of Navajo Star Wars, and where the sounds of comet landings and galactic space dust meet the 6th World encoded in Indigenous exploration of night-lit skies and interplanetary, opaque spaces, our people have always been moving. As we move, we discover where we've been, where we're going, and how far we've been travelling. The long continuum of our existence and resistance, our survival and survivance, is the work of expanding the now: where we "acknowledge the truth of history, the urgency of the present moment, the open horizon of the future".

Time to "clear some space out, so we can space out...".

The Indigenous Futurisms mixtape was conceived and compiled by @spacendn and @culturite—who mixed it on the holodeck of RPM's coastal spaceship.

DOWNLOAD: The Indigenous Futurisms Mixtape

Indigenous Futurisms Mixtape - Track List

NASA x John Mohawk - “War, Peace, Natives” x 2oolman - “Lost in America” Flying Lotus - “Coronus, the Terminator” The AfroFuturist Affair - “#BQF NonLocality Zine Soundtape” Xquisite Ghost - “Firefall” King Britt - “My Tribe Exudes Love” x Elizabeth LaPensée x Sun Ra Legends & Lyrics - “Speak to Me of Justice” Teeqwa - “Wooden Teeth” NASA x Peter Morin “Time Traveller” Moor Mother Goddess - “Parable” Princess Nokia “Young Girls” Impossible Nothing - “Destroy” DJ Shub - “If You Want the Raw” 2oolman X TINC - “T.I.Kay” Erykah Badu - “The Healer” Joy KMT - “Origins” King Britt - “Moonbathing” Ryan Dennison - “Iina Baa Chanah Hasin” Boogey the Beat - “Above Me” x Leanne Simpson “Airplanemode” Darkstar - “Timeaway (Nguzunguzu Remix)” Kelela - “Do It Again” Silver Jackson - “From Another World (feat. Cat of THEESatisfaction)” Shabazz Palaces - “Forerunner Foray” Princess Nokia - “Biohazard Butterfly” Shane Keepness - “Resurgence” Notuv - “Ame” x Navajo Star Wars Autechre - “Overand” x Jason Edward Lewis - “The Future Imaginary” A Tribe Called Red - “PBC (Feat. Sheldon Sundon)” Sun Ra - “Journey to Saturn”


Kimiwan's latest Issue 8, Indigenous Futurisms, launches on November 22nd. Guest edited by Elizabeth LaPensée, with cover art by Wendy Red Star, the issue features an interstellar list of contributors:

Amanda Strong Ambelin Kwaymullina Archer Pechawis Barry Ace Bear Witness Bunky Echo-Hawk Chris Morin Dana Claxton Elizabeth LaPensée Fox Anthony Spears Grace L. Dillon Henry Heavy Shield Jason Edward Lewis Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Leonard Getinthecar Lindsey Catherine Cornum Mary Longman Métis in Space peter morin Kevin Ei-Ichi deForest Renee Nejo Skawennati Steven Paul Judd Wendy Red Star

Zines are available via subscription at kimiwan.bigcartel.com. Follow Kimiwan on Twitter and Tumblr and support independent, Indigenous media, music, and artists throughout the galaxy.


DOWNLOAD: Indigie Femme - "Am I Ready"


We're showcasing a gem from the Navajo and Aotearoa Maori Country Rock duo Indigie Femme by giving you their track called Am I Ready.

Based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tash Terry and Elena Higgins have been making music since November of 2006. Indigie Femme, the child of collaboration between the two singer-songwriters, released the song Am I Ready on the album Indian Souvenir in 2010. That year saw many miles for the musical duo who toured both the West Coast of North America as well as much of Australia.

The tour payed off when in 2011 the duo received several awards for their music, including a Native American Music Award (NAMMY), double New Mexican Music Awards (NAMA) and becoming Sacramento Community of Color Diversity honorees.

The band is coming off of a few months of performances, but if you're in the area of Santa Fe in the month of August be sure to catch them at Cowgirl Santa Fe on Saturday, August 18th from 2-5pm, and tweet about it!

DOWNLOAD: Indigie Femme - "Am I Ready"

DOWNLOAD: Deathscene - "Next to Me"


Deathscene is the trio of Keithan (Navajo), Book (Navajo) and Erica from Tucson, Arizona. Together they write and record mellow, downbeat, trip-hoppy music and have been keeping it mostly to themselves. But, they shared this track with RPM, we really dig it, and we want to share it with you.

The subject of their work spans what Keithan describes as "the human condition", ie "the illusion of external reality, the conundrum of time & space, humble heartache, resistance to falling in love, romantic seclusion, and the relationship between noisey humans and  insomnia." Deathscene paints these pictures with bright pianos, playful keys, minor acoustic chords, shoegaze electric guitars, drum and instrument programming, lo-fi recording and voice samples

Get into this thoughtful and melancholic jam and share this post!

DOWNLOAD: Deathscene - "Next to Me"

#FrybreadFriday: Kathryn's Navajo Frybread


Kathryn Little shares her recipe, her tricks, her tips and her secrets for frybread.

I for one have not ever tried letting the dough set before frying things up - I'll be trying that next time I make frybread and let you know how it goes.

Watch Kathryn's How to Make Frybread and let me know how it goes next time you're in the kitchen!

DOWNLOAD: Writtyn - "A Song for Ma Ft. Tacara"


Kari Denny-Flynn aka Writtyn is a Din'e hip-hop artist from the Navajo nation. After living through a difficult childhood, Writtyn turned to poetry at the age of 14 as an outlet. Drugs and dropping out of high school derailed the young artist temporarily, but after returning to finish school she began to learn more about herself through creating music. She now shares her experiences, and how she survived them, by telling her story through music and public speaking. Her upcoming album I'm Not Perfect speaks to her honest exploration through her lyrics. Check out this track Writtyn sent us and look forward to hearing more. DOWNLOAD: Writtyn - "A Song for Ma Ft. Tacara" >

Lo Cash Ninjas Kick Ass on Home Turf


RPM Interviews young Navajo hardcore punks, Lo Cash Ninjas: Jordan Steele "Rude Boy Lice" (Navajo) vocals/guitar, Martin Johnson "Panda" (bass), Keanu Lee "Popeye" (vocals/guitar) and Andre Alva "Dre" (drums).

RPM: How/When did you guys start Lo Cash Ninjas? Jordan: It all started in the heat of 08' "most" of us were still in high school. Shiprock was a metal dominant music scene back then. We were the the outcast band that nobody liked, but we were different that is what drew attention. Dre: Well they (Lo Cash Ninjas) were already a band and their original drummer decided to bail so I picked up the slack and joined the band. Martin: I was just a guy with an amp that Jordan constantly borrowed, so I let him and when he needed someone to play bass I volunteered to help, didn't think i was gonna be part of the band. Made my senior year of high school a blast with all of us hanging out. Keanu: We started out with 2 acoustic guitars jamming in Jordan's storage room, this was about four years ago. I was self taught and whatever I learned I taught Jordan.

RPM: What drew you to punk and hardcore? Dre: When I was small I started listening to NOFX, Sublime, Crass, the Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug and all kinds of shit. One day I decided to pick up the drums, and from there I started to play guitar and really got into drumming. I always wanted to have a band and play drums and now I do. Martin: Curiosity to hear something different, there are many different genres I never hear of.. Keanu: Well, I liked the fact that the punk music has a raw sound to it. Also, the songs were quite easy to play.. but once we got into ska, it was a whole different sound. Jordan: We all came from different music backgrounds, that's what made the "ninja sound" your hearing today.

RPM: How was the show you played in Shiprock, NM at the Indie/Electronic show at Navajo Nation Fair? Keanu: We played two nights in Shiprock, both nights were good. It's been awhile since we played our hometown. Jordan: Overall I had fun, we rarely get to play Shiprock because half the band lives in the Phoenix area now... Martin: The one at the Indian Market tent was very good, sounded just like our old shows.

RPM: What was the best thing about playing the fair at home? Keanu: Got to go home to a home cooked meal right after we played. Haha. Martin: Its the fair. its where we grew up and its home to us. Jordan: Got to see a lot of familiar faces. Dre: (Andre's from Arizona) The shows were awesome I'm glad I made it out to play with my homies. It's always sounds good when we're all back together.

RPM: Why is it cool to play an all Native showcase? Martin: All Native? Wouldn't matter to me if aliens were playing too. Just jamming out and having fun with your friends is cool enough. Keanu: Because we get to hear various types of music native bands have to offer. Dre: It was cool to play a Native showcase because we like other people to hear our music and what we're about and not only that but keeping it Native. Jordan: Native or not, we still try to make the best of every show.

RPM: Anything else you want to tell me about you guys? L$N: Shout out to all my ninjas for all the support over the years!!!!

Check out the youtube link below for the song We All Die.

RPM Podcast #009: "Indigenous Rock"


In episode nine, RPM turns up the volume on Indigenous rock music, from metal to punk.

Our host Ostwelve talks with Cree/Dene vocalist and guitarist Veronica Johnny from the rock and roll couple The Johnnys about it never being too late to live your dream, and just what can be accomplished when you focus on your career; Ojibwe Wayne Restoule - who rocks guitars, keyboards and vocals in progressive rock band Weaselheaddescribes how the stories from the band's family and community came through to create their concept album A Residential School Story, and vocalist and bass player Loren Anthony from the Navajo metal band Bloodline links the warrior in his bloodline to the music he makes today.

DOWNLOAD: RPM Podcast #009: "Indigenous Rock"


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The RPM podcast is produced & engineered by the amazing Paolo Pietropaolo.

Photo illustration created by the talented Joi Arcand.

Nutly.net: Brad Crowfoot's 5th Element Podcast and Hip-Hop Photography


Brad Crowfoot AKA Nutly uses his podcast series The 5th Element and his photography to showcase hip-hop talent on his website Nutly.net.

For the past decade, Brad Crowfoot AKA Nutly from the Blackfoot and Navajo nations has been documenting Indigenous music events across Canada. He showcases the talent he finds through his radio show The 5th Element on CFWE 98.5FM based out of Edmonton and as a podcast on his website Nutly.net.

Check out the 5th Element's  All Native Hip-hop Show .

Here are a few images from Nutly's vast collection of Indigenous hip-hop artist photos.

The photos in order are:

Joey Stylez and Shawn Bernard aka Feenix Jay Mak and Stomp - Team Rezofficial Drezus - Team Rezofficial James Jones and Conway K - Red Power Squad Charlie Fettah, Brooklyn and Jon C - Winnipeg's Most Joey Stylez DJ Crystle Lightning and RedCloud A Tribe Called Red, Ryan McMahon and DJ Creeasian


DOWNLOAD: Antithesis - "I See You"


Conscious Indigenous hip-hop group Antithesis collaborates with Blackfire's Klee Benally for this track entitled "I See You".

Antithesis has been putting in work towards the conscious hip-hop movement for the last decade. The group consists of three Mc's and a DJ: Freetruth from the Pomo and Dine Nations, Prophecy from the Prairie Band Potawatomi People, C-Los of the Isanti Dakotah and DJ Jonra of The Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. Here's a track from their latest release The Power Of Purpose which features Klee Benally from the Navajo punk band Blackfire entitled "I See You".

DOWNLOAD: Antithesis - "I See You"

DOWNLOAD: DJ Smog's Mix - "Spiritual Sense"


Navajo born DJ Smog, aka Herman Johnson, spins a smooth blend of soulful house and has been rocking the turntables for the past nine years. After a stint in New Mexico, he currently resides in Lukachukai, Arizona, where he has built a solid fan base. His tracks are the perfect balance of soothing but danceable beats which you'll enjoy no matter what mood your in. DOWNLOAD: DJ Smog's Mix - Spiritual Sense

VIDEO: Postcommodity's Futuristic Music


Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary artist collective comprised of Kade L. Twist (Cherokee), Cristóbal Martínez (Mexica), Raven Chacon (Navajo), and Nathan Young (Pawnee, Kiowa). They have been working together as a collective since 2007.

All of the members of the group are musicians and have created work outside the collective:

Nathan Young has his solo project called Alms. Kade L. Twist is in a noise/drone band Usga based out of Phoenix, AZ. Raven Chacon has worked as a composer and performer in the West Coast and Southwest music scenes for the last dozen years.

Raven's work is primarily as a solo noise artist and chamber composer. He also co-founded the organization First Nations Composers Initiative  and has also performed in dozens of bands. Raven currently has collaborations with musicians William Fowler Collins, Deerhoof's John Dieterich, and pianist Thollem McDonas.

RPM speaks with Postcommodity about coming together as a collective to create sound art and perform experimental noise for audiences and what drives their work.  Interview and performance recorded at Museum of Contemporary Arts.

Postcommodity will have an installation piece at the upcoming ImagineNative 2011 and will also be doing a piece this winter for Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.

Look for the new EP of Postcommodity on Anarchamoon Recordings called Your New Age Dream Contains More Blood Than You Imagine. Raven Chacon's label can be found at Sicksicksickdistro.