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Soul'd Out Vs. Coachella | Black Belt Eagle Scout | Shayla Lawson & Frank Ocean | Indigenous Playwrights


This week on “State of Wonder,” Soul’d Out sues Cochella, three native playwrights soar at Oregon’s biggest theaters, poet Shayla Lawson’s love letter to Frank Ocean, and the quiet heartache of Black Belt Eagle Scout.

BJ the Chicago Kid performs at Roseland Theater in Portland for the Soul'd Out Music Festival on April 16, 2016.

BJ the Chicago Kid performs at Roseland Theater in Portland for the Soul’d Out Music Festival on April 16, 2016.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

Soul’d Out Festival Sues Coachella

A David and Goliath showdown might soon come to a federal courtroom near you. This week, Portland’s homegrown Soul’d Out Music Festival filed a suit against one of the West Coast’s giants: the Coachella Festival  in Indio, California, and its affiliates. Soul’d Out alleged the big guy is violating anti-trust law through anti-competitive practices by barring any bands playing Coachella from playing another concert within 1,300 miles for five months — basically ruling out any other West Coast shows — unless it’s with one of Coachella’s affiliate promoters.

You can find the full conversation with Soul’d Out Productions co-founder Nicholas Harris on “Think Out Loud.” KMHD also has an excellent Soul’d Out guide to shows you can’t miss at the festival, which begins April 18 with headliner Erykah Badu.


Poet Shayla Lawson

Poet Shayla Lawson

Sean Sanford/Courtesy of Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson’s Love Poem to Frank Ocean - 4:23

Some artists move us, and some artists move us to make new things of our own. Frank Ocean was already one of the hottest names in music for his effortlessly brilliant lyrics and non-conventional musical collaging, but when he started writing songs about loving other men, as well as women, he blew open some long-standing music industry taboos. Just as Ocean has inverted his musical form, Shayla Lawson’s new book of verse, “I Think I’m Ready To See Frank Ocean,” pays tribute to the iconoclastic figure in soul by offering up some very different ideas about poetry.

Lawson will read from the book at Powell’s City of Books on April 22.


Moderator Jacqueline Keeler (left) leads a conversation with playwrights Larissa FastHorse, DeLanna Studi and Mary Kathryn Nagle during an event sponsored by Advance Gender Equity in the Arts at the Old Church in Portland.

Moderator Jacqueline Keeler (left) leads a conversation with playwrights Larissa FastHorse, DeLanna Studi and Mary Kathryn Nagle during an event sponsored by Advance Gender Equity in the Arts at the Old Church in Portland.

Morrow Hammock Photography

Oregon Stages Align for Three Indigenous Playwrights - 18:21

There’s been an incredible alignment in Oregon theater this month. Three of our biggest and best professional theaters are staging works by three contemporary indigenous playwrights, who all happen to be women. Mary Katherine Nagle’s play, “Manahatta,” is onstage at Oregon Shakespeare Festival through Oct. 27. Delanna Studi is performing her autobiographical one-woman about retracing the Trail of Tears with her father, “And So We Walked,” at Portland Center Stage through May 13. And Artists’ Repertory Theatre is presenting “The Thanksgiving Play,” by Larissa Fasthorse. This. Has. Not. Happened. Before. All three playwrights arranged to be in Portland this week. They did some panel discussions. But we could not resist inviting them in to talk. They’ve been running in the same circles forever, to the point where it was hard for them to say where they first met.


Courtesy of Black Belt Eagle Scout

The Sonic Judo of Black Belt Eagle Scout  - 42:02

Katherine Paul’s musical journey has taken her from powwows on the Swinomish Reservation in Washington to grunge-drenched rock clubs, but it was on her own that she truly found her voice. Last year, she released her solo debut, “Mother of My Children,” as Black Belt Eagle Scout. She plays all the instruments on the record. Of course, Paul, who goes by KP, is no stranger to Portland music lovers. She’s been a member of several bands, including Genders and Forest Park. 

Black Belt Eagle Scout performs live at the Seaside Music Fest on April 20 and at Portland’s Mississippi Studios on April 24.

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