Artist Spotlight

Real Talk is Keepin’ It Real

Photography by Space Anchor Studios and Forgotten Aesthetics Photography, Article by Dot Notos and Syd Innovaria

Real Talk. Photo by Space Anchor Studios
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On December 11th, 2017, we went to The White Rabbit Cabaret to check out Real Talk. Here are some words from Dot Notos on the events of the evening.

After I shot the Blue October show at Old National Centre, Syd and I decided to go to the Real Talk show at The White Rabbit Cabaret. The main reason was to link up with Jim Kincaid. We had covered the COASTL show at the HI-FI in Fountain Square and I had taken pictures of the after show. Syd and I had spent a couple weeks trying to figure out what Jim was a part of so we could credit them in the shot. This is what happened at the end of the night.

We arrive at the venue around 10:30 and we get to the back door.

*KNOCK *KNOCK *KNOCK.

One of the people that worked the opened the door.

“Hey what’s up man we’re here to cover the show.”

“Yeah come on in.”

DJ Action Jackson. Photo by Space Anchor Studios
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We walk into the venue and it was fairly dead. I sat and had a drink while Syd was setting up to take photos. Around 11 or so, people started coming in. Syd and I were invited to go check out the set up that they had. We snapped a few photos from the back and talked with Jim. It didn’t seem like we spent too much time in the back and as we looked back out into the venue, we realized that it was packed.

“Holy shit that picked up pretty fast.”

“What? We have only been back here for 10 minutes tops.”

The crowd seems to be practicing some new dance moves. 
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So I really like what these guys do. They really bring back that feeling from like the 80s and 90s era. They mesh up the visuals with cartoons and static type effect, giving it a feel as if an old tube T.V. is shifting through channels.

DJ Action Jackson silhouetted beside their display of the Simpsons. Photo by Space Anchor Studios.
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Between the crazy visuals and mash up of songs, you’re really left with the sense of wanting to down a packet of smarties and chug a can of surge. These guys can really put on a show. It’s amazing how people can string together ideas and make it work out. Jim Kincaid is a pretty stand-up guy. I really enjoyed talking with him about the different facets of life.

After I had talked with Jim for a little bit, he went back to working up the crowd. I grabbed the camera and snapped a few more pictures of them. At one point, I was actually hanging off the corner of the stage and dancing as I was taking pictures. I mean if I’m going to be in their way a little bit, I might as well pump up the crowd too. These guys were fun. I love the different experiences that happened throughout the night. If you ever get a chance to go and check out a Real Talk show, you must do so, at the expense of having the most excellent of time.

A bit blurry but excited couple on the dance floor. Photo by Space Anchor Studios
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Real Talk was a great experience. One of my favorite parts about the evening was that everyone was so laid-back and genuinely having fun. Jim and Neal were super talkative and fun, and spent a lot of time talking to us about their approach to their creation. The place was so packed I’m not sure there was much breathing room.

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We took some time to interview Jim recently to gather more detailed information about the show. We hadn’t heard of them until this event, really, and it turns out they’re pretty important in the Indy music scene. They have a packed party every time they perform it seems, and that’s a real talker right there. If you want to be where it’s happening, be there.

1. How long have you guys been doing Real Talk?
We just hit 3 years. I started doing Real Talk originally, then Neal came back from SXSW with a cool video synth so he jumped on. We had also been doing a streaming event called Cosmic Microwave Radio before Real Talk. We’ve been doing video gigs together ever since.
2. Who is Real Talk?
Real Talk was started by Andy and Annie Skinner of A-Squared Industries and Ben “Action” Jackson. But it’s really the crowd that keeps it alive and relevant.
3. What kind of equipment do you use?
Originally we only had an old video mixer from the 80’s and some security cameras. But we just keep building and upgrading. Currently we use a mix of hardware and software: integrated HD & SD video synthesizers, a laptop running cutting edge video performance programs, midi controllers to make the program more tactile, touch screen tablets with interactive visualizers and a fancy HD mixer to tie it all together with preview outs and the ability to run any kind of signal to a projector and stream live.
4. How frequently do you perform?
We have Real Talk the second Saturday of every month. Night Train is on a break but that was also a monthly. We also do random events with friends. 
We have an event coming up on April 7th with Pattern Magazine at the old Coca-Cola factory on Mass Ave, Bottleworks
We also have our own events we run as we are inspired and time permits. A retired one is Cosmic Microwave Radio. That one was noise and ambient performances streamed live with our visuals from random locations. The last one was at Tappers Arcade. We started CMR with our good buddy Matt Hagan. You can find it on YouTube. Some of the streams are a little rough as this is where Neal and I really got our start with live streaming.
Neal and I also do Musica Fabula, silent films with live musical performances. This one takes place at the White Rabbit Cabaret. It takes a lot of organization so it has only happened twice in two years. It’s a great time and the musicians put a lot of work in to the sets. One of our most rewarding outlets for sure. 
We’re always up for a fun and creative ideas. So we are always open to anybody wanting visuals to spice up their event.
5. What’s your favorite venue to play?
White Rabbit Cabaret, no doubt. The owners, Andy and Deb, are so accommodating and just awesome people. The staff are tops and always take great care of the needs of the performers and the crowd. The stage is huge, great sound and lighting and they are truly up for creating the best vibe possible for an event. We always have a blast there.
6. Explain a bit about what you’re hoping to accomplish or portray with Real Talk.
Real Talk is just a fun ass sweaty dance party. We go in with a couple fun ideas but really just improve and feel the room for the visuals we dish out. I like to think of it as animated street art. The floor to ceiling screen at the Rabbit mixed with the bright colors and high contrast visuals really create this street art graffiti feel.
The DJ’s all have their own unique styles and so do Neal and I. We take turns or team up on the visuals through out the night. That’s one of the really cool things about what we do. We can both do visuals at the same time. Shit gets out of control sometimes haha. But it’s this incredible living breathing creature up there on the screen. 
A lot of people in the crowd probably are completely unaware of what’s going on up there. But when the visuals aren’t there or aren’t in tune with the room it makes a huge difference.
7. What’s something fun you guys do when you aren’t performing?
Neal and I are both musicians so we’re always playing music with friends. Neal is a bicycle dude so he’s always out on some rad adventure. Also, I’m making a video game called Nights of Yore. We both stay pretty busy.
8. When and where can we catch you guys next?
Our next event is April 7th at Bottleworks for the Pattern Magazine event.
And of course Real Talk at the White Rabbit Cabaret every second Saturday of the month.
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