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Sex and This City

River City Raunch takes over Rain Dogs for Halloween

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The ninth edition of River City Raunch has hit the streets, and that is cause for celebration. This Saturday, Oct. 27 at Rain Dogs in Five Points, the zine’s producers are throwing an all-day party whose proceeds will help fund the purchase of equipment for the all-new River City Raunch podcast. The event features some of the indie scene’s leading lights: DJs Ali Youngblood and Giani LaDavia in the front room, and Halloween-themed covers by bands like FFN, United Tylers of Tyler and the estimable Brothers Shuck (Charlie and Joe) in the listening room.

There will also be food, drink and a raffle ($2.50 a ticket) with prizes galore, courtesy of businesses including Mossfire, Wall Street, Sweet Theory and Sun-Ray Cinema. The event even boasts a kissing booth, the sign for which was custom-built by that luminous legend of local art, Jason Wright. The evening culminates in an “All Glam Revue” by the band Kisses Only. The project has evolved quite a bit since we last profiled its creator, but these new changes have brought with them exciting challenges. Folio Weekly spoke with Lindsay Anderson, auteur of the project. We asked her a few questions via email.

How long has the podcast idea been in development? What will it be about?

I was approached in May this year by a team of people who have podcast experience. They had the idea to create a podcast that highlights love and sex, and were told about my zine River City Raunch. We had a meeting and talked through the details of podcasts, which was an option I had never considered before. I explained in detail what RCR was and what is non-negotiable and, together, we decided to move forward to develop the idea. I was offered complete creative control because of my extreme protectiveness of the confessions that are given to me, and the podcast team would provide the equipment, recording space and editing needed to publish the podcast online.

My intention is to keep the main focus on people's confessions of love, sex and dating in Jacksonville. Obviously, the format doesn't provide such a complete cloak of anonymity but any guests will understand this. For a start, we plan to read stories from the back issues of RCR. In order to maintain the level of respect to the confessor, we won't use the podcast as a platform to analyze or judge others' experiences but to allow the stories to stand on their own, give them new life by having guests read them aloud and relate to them in our own ways.

One of the new methods for story gathering, I've been working on a handheld recorder to get live stories on the streets. I have a list of questions I would ask people such as "When was the first time you found something sexual in your parents’ bedroom?" or "What was your biggest misconception about sex before you began having it?"

During our test season, I was able to gather about 90 different files of stories, which I would listen to with the podcast team. We decided which recordings were usable due to sound quality, content and which recordings would spark a conversation.

Another new idea that I played around with in RCR #5 is to include upcoming events or local businesses that are interesting to me. Within the zine format, the idea fell flat because it does no good to inform people about an art show that happened 3 years ago. The distribution is too low to efficiently spread the word to the community. I brought this passion back while developing the podcast format and wanted to use a segment in each episode to feature an upcoming event or something new happening in the city. Our guest could talk about what to expect, provide necessary details and insight that you can't really get from flyers, print or online invites.

The reason we're having a fundraiser is because my podcast partner and I kept running into obstacles as we were recording practice runs, such as recording space availability or editing duties. We attempted to maneuver around these obstacles, unsuccessfully, and eventually thought we wouldn't be able to pull it off. Someone sent me a message with the idea to buy the podcast equipment ourselves and host a fundraiser to help get us to the goal. I'm using every resource I can draw upon to raise funds to be able to continue developing this podcast.

How has your approach to making zines evolved during the time you've been doing River City Raunch?

I know to carry a small notebook at all times because the most innocuous comment can trigger an avalanche of ideas. I've gotten quicker about identifying items I come across that might be good to use in the artwork, for one. While strolling through a Vietnamese market, I came across a pack of brightly colored paper and I instinctively knew that would be brilliant in the artwork.

I don't need to do much digging for content anymore. Although I've kept the zine anonymous, I'm fairly open about being the creator and try to stay approachable so people can feel comfortable talking with me about making their own zines, submitting content and even discussing about their own experiences they might not want published.

Other than creating River City Raunch, my other real joy comes from helping others create their own zine ideas and helping to encourage the zine culture in our city.

When was the first issue published? How many have you done so far, and what's the largest print run you've had to date?

The first issue was published Oct. 2, 2013 during Art Walk. I only xeroxed about 20 copies and left most of them at the local record store. The largest print run I've had to date has been 100 copies of issues 7, 8 and now issue 9. I've never printed anything larger than 100 copies at any given time.

Has anyone ever written about you in the zine? How many pieces have you written in it yourself?

I always try to offer stories of my own in every issue. I feel like it’s an offering in solidarity. People are brave enough to be honest with me, so I feel that it’s only fair to offer an honesty of my own.

 

Tell me a bit more about the artists and musicians you're having at the event at Rain Dogs. How does their work relate to the Raunch audience?

The artists and musicians who are all involved in the fundraiser at Rain Dogs are people I admire on creative and personal levels. Christina Wagner opened Rain Dogs around the same time I first started publishing Raunch. Getting to know her through this growth process and watching her turn an idea into reality was very inspiring to me. She's been completely supportive and provided encouragement on multiple levels. It was important for me to host the event at her venue, in the heart of Five Points where Raunch is almost entirely created.

The people I've chosen to DJ in the front room (DJ Ali and DJ Giani) are people who have a great ear for how music can feed an atmosphere. Ali has a bright, vivid personality that comes through whether she's DJing, hosting trivia at Rain Dogs on Monday or just having a casual conversation. Giani is someone who has seen the evolution of River City Raunch, and how simple actions can make a great impact. He's a conspicuous social center for anyone who might be intimidated by the tight-knit community, and he provides a great building block for them to continue exploring their creative interests. The bands who have been booked for the backroom Halloween cover show are all important to the artistic community, more so than just playing amazing music. Joseph Shuck is an incredibly diverse and talented artist, actor and musician. Charlie Shuck has been a strong, supportive force for any new musician who is brave enough to approach an Open Mic Night that he hosts; he's created a very powerful artistic community among local songwriters. United Tylers of Tyler, FFN and Kisses Only are three of my favorite bands who are keeping gritty, rock'n'roll alive in Jacksonville. Their music is played from their root, up through their veins and out of instruments they've worked two jobs to afford. It's the heart and soul of Do-It-Yourself With Whatever Resources Are Available and it's very close to my heart.

How many different people have contributed writings to Raunch over the years?

I've been sole editor of all the content submitted to Raunch for every issue so far. For the upcoming issue 9, I've had the assistance of two great people who have provided grammatical editing to keep my scribbling on track.

What is the theme of the new issue? How many people contributed to it?

The theme always stays broadly along "love, sex, dating and everything in between." It's difficult to choose anything more specific because I can't control the mood of what people have been experiencing and sharing with me. It's usually an emotional roller coaster, the same as starting a new love affair. I can tell you that this issue has a Word Match Game and a sex toy review. There is also a great feature where an artist took a submitted story and drew it into a comic. I hope the story contributor enjoys seeing an artistic rendering of their experience!

I would say I've had about 15-20 different contributors for the content and another 10 more contributors for zine preparation and creation.

It's a Halloween-themed show, so what are YOU going to be for Halloween?

Oh gosh, I haven't even had time to think about that yet!

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