Flint is the largest city and county seat of Genesee County in the State of Michigan. It is located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan.
A series of tweets by Facebook and Twitter users took over social media this week where those of us who grew up in Flint and are still living there, or in the area, proclaimed our Flint Pride, fond memories and funny stories with the rest of the world. Or anyone that cared
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. I currently live right outside of Flint, or shall I say, down the street from Flint in Burton. I work and sometimes play in Flint. I also have a section of this network devoted of Flint(Flint Positive Spotlight). So, I am definitely So Flint!
However, like most things on social media, it is playing out (see getting on my nerves) quickly. But, I won’t complain too much. Flint is usually in the media for negative reasons so I’m happy to join the crowd. It’s fun. And, other than love we all need more fun.
NATASHA: For me, Gay Pride highlights and helps expand equality for everyone and hopefully reinforces the beautiful breakdown of ugly gender stereotypes. I hope that one day all people will realize that our bodies are only here for us to walk around in- they have nothing to do with our minds, hearts, or souls.
TIM: Really, I think it boils down to lending a sense of normalcy to a lifestyle that can be seen as ‘alternative’ to some. I think Gay Pride is the first thing that has to happen on the way to losing that ‘alternative lifestyle’ label, among others.
Name a Gay icon that influences you!
NATASHA: I love how powerful and absolutely terrifying Grace Jones is. Whatever wave she’s floating on is where I want to be when I’m on stage — super focused and strong. She inspires me to push myself past my comfort zone when it comes to fashion and my body.
Who is your gay/lesbian celebrity crush?
NATASHA: I don’t have celeb crushes. I only have crushes on people I can kiss in real life.
TIM: Do you mean they are gay/ lesbian, or a crush I have on a gay or lesbian person? Closest I can think of is Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia. Hilarious, and badass singer/ guitarist, and also adorable.
What’s the oddest thing about Odd Hours as a band?
NATASHA: It’s odd that we can transition so nicely from our organized professional day lives to a dirty, sweaty, sexy mess that we become on stage — but I guess being organized is sexy too.
TIM: This is completely true. I’ve gone directly from reporting on a school board meeting for my job as a reporter with shirt, tie and everything, to throwing my clothes off, and setting up on stage for a show an hour later.
Besides music, how do you express your art and creativity?
NATASHA: I’m a video artist. Images are just as important in my life as sound. I teach video production and animation and I also co-own a video production company, called Gold House.
TIM: I’m a photographer, writer and I also do documentary work. I did a documentary in Benghazi, Libya. Now I’m working on one from Appalachia, and the Michigan State Police.
Odd Hours Logo
Odd Hours (OH) is a four-piece post-punk rock band based in Detroit. Formed in 2010, OH has played major Detroit festivals and released two EPs, which can be heard on oddhoursmusic.com. The OH line-up has been fleshed out with the addition of Clint Stuart on bass guitar, and Randy Hanley Jr. on drums. Leading the band are Natasha Beste on vocals and keyboard, and Tim Jagielo on guitar.
(The drummer in the video is Hakeem Ouhammou. He filled in for two shows while Hanley began to learn the songs.)
No…Black Rain was developed from a real life incident in Detroit between two young professionals: one being a Black male and a White female. The story caught my attention because they were involved in a car collision, and were robbed while waiting almost two hours for the police. Two individuals that would not likely even talk to one another if not for the event, gave me the idea to produce “Black Rain.” They both cited being with one another helped lessen the stress. However, I did utilize some aspects of my life for this book, but not extensively. The story involves two people just trying to learn how to break through cultural bias to be friends.
Is that your wife on the cover?
Good catch…yes, that is my wife. She was waiting while the photographer took pictures of the actual model for the cover. The photographer snapped that photo of my wife and it just caught my attention. I decided to go with the photo.
Will you be doing any signing events in Flint?
I do not have anything currently arranged. However, I need to contact Deanna Ziots for the author forum. I’m sure you know her. She contacted me a month or so ago and I have not had the opportunity to connect with her.
Painting and creating art is a way I can express myself; express what I see and feel in the world around me, in an almost universal language. What’s important about my art is not that I express exactly my thoughts to the ‘T’. Sometimes I start out with an idea, and it turns out totally different from what I had in mind. I understand that art can be very subjective at times. It can mean different things to different people, but as long as my art gives people pleasure in any way, be it in an intellectual level or merely pleasing to the eyes, to me this is what makes art fun. Getting close to something that you intend to say through visual poetry, a canvas can speak to a nation. Though I am fairly new to the art world (2 and a half years),finding my way through styles and paint mixture brings me joy. I just want to capture the essence of life and what that entails with my brush, and that is the adventure.
This music video, made by D-Fro (a producer/MC out of the Owosso/Flint area) and directed by label mate Tim Evans, promotes you to never give up on yourself, even if the world around us wants us to sometimes. D-Fro is an advocate for self-discovery and awareness of world affairs. Check out more at www.fb.com/dfromusic.