Flyer Profile: Bo Counts, aka Beat Bachs

Photo by Bobby Neptune, Echolite Media
Bo Counts, aka Beat Bachs, wears a lot of hats. Here he is wearing a beanie, and holding a microphone.

IT-director by day, and radio show host, bi-weekly quiz show host, volunteer art organization president, photographer, promoter, dance-party-thrower and DJ-extraordinaire by night, Fayetteville resident Bo Counts wears a lot of hats.

In fact, if there’s another Fayetteville resident who is involved-with or responsible-for more of the cool things that happen in the city, well, we’d like to meet that person.

With his annual Halloween dance party coming up on Friday, Oct. 28, plus a ton of Art Amiss-related developments happening right now, we thought it was high time Fayetteville got to know Bo Counts, aka Beat Bachs, aka The Boom Operator, aka one of the busiest people in town, a little bit better.

We got in touch with him this week, and he was nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Fayetteville Flyer What have you been listening to lately?
Bo Counts: That’s a big question for someone that has to listen to new music every week just to keep up with what to play at a show! I’d have to say I’ve been really enjoying the new Theophilus London album lately, a great mix of quirky hip hop with pop friendly electronic backing. Also been listening to a lot of Starsmith lately. He’ll be one to keep an eye out for.

FF: You stay involved in an insane amount of cool things around Fayetteville. What are some of those things?
BC: I do weekly radio shows on KXUA 88.3 FM, The Drive-in Speakerbox (also available as a podcast at iTunes) and The Digital Earthquake. I used to be station manager at KXUA years back. The show has really grown lately now with the addition of the trivia night we host. We get listeners from all over the country tuning in to listen to us rant about films, it’s really great to get the rogue email from Italy from a guy that thinks you’re doing good work. When I’m not doing that I’m the president of Art Amiss, and try to stay knee deep in the local art scene. I’ve been with Art Amiss since 2006 and it’s amazing that we’ve been able to keep doing interesting events all these years. When I get some free time I DJ and throw events under the moniker Beat Bachs. I’ve got a big Halloween Party coming up on Friday that’s not to be missed. Oh yeah, and throw in a full time job at the University.

FF: Tell us a bit about your annual Halloween party, and what you’ve got planned for that this year?

Poster by Bo Counts

BC: The Halloween party is something that’s grown a lot over the years. I’ve always been a Halloween nut, as a kid I used to do home haunts and then moved to helping design haunted houses for charities. One year, after going between three or four pretty mediocre Halloween parties I thought “Next year, I just want to go to one awesome party…one like you see on TV.” So I combined everything I knew about making haunted houses with what I know about throwing dance parties and Beat Bachs’ Halloween Dance party was born.

This is the 5th year and will be at FIX Ultralounge this Friday the 28th. Expect a ton of people dancing their costumes off all night long. I love changing spaces to make you feel like you’re not in Fayetteville for one night, so expect a one-night only transformation of FIX into a den of Halloween madness! One of the best ones ever was at the Old Post office when it was still the Urban Table. It was such a perfect spot for a Halloween Party. Man I miss that place.

FF: What’s been going on with Art Amiss lately? Anything new?
BC: Boy Howdy! Art Amiss has been really busy this past year. We recently changed our format a little to focus on doing several, more focused, events during the year rather than one or two really overwhelming ones. Our quality of shows has risen, our support of local artists has grown and things are really going smoothly. We had really expected a rocky transition with the change, but the community has really embraced it.

Lately we’ve been giving some artist grants to bands like The Memphis Pencils and community art endeavors like the Fayetteville mural project. Coming up in the next two months we have the release of our latest issue of the literature mag which looks better than ever, a release of an Arkansas Metal compilation on a limited vinyl pressing, a brand new overhaul on our website, and that’s just the next two months. However, these projects can only happen with the donations of the community and from people paying admission to the events. We are completely non-profit, meaning I, nor any of our board, are compensated for our efforts. We just want to help the arts thrive.

FF: You’ve been hosting a trivia night at Smoke & Barrel for the last few months. How is that going?
BC: Overwhelmingly well, actually! We (The Boom Operator aka myself, and The Gaffer aka co-host Phillip Stephens) felt that Fayetteville needed a good bar trivia night, since there really wasn’t one to speak of here and they are all over the place in other areas. So, we put our heads together and came up with a trivia night format in conjunction with our weekly radio show and podcast, The Drive-in Speakerbox.

The result has been completely packed evenings of laughing, question answering and bar fun. We treat the quiz like a stage show, so expect to be entertained, educated and hopefully come out victorious. This Wednesday (Oct. 26) will be the next trivia night and it’s all Halloween themed! We start at 8 p.m. and it’s over by 10 p.m., so show up on time to ensure you get a seat. We promise it is like nothing you’ve seen in a bar in Fayetteville before. Plus, it’s free!

FF: Who are some local performers (bands, DJ’s, or otherwise) that you think are doing interesting things in Fayetteville right now?
BC: There is a ridiculous amount of talent in our area right now. Props to Shortfuze, EQ, Bizar, Baby Armie, Robe Flax, and DJ EJ for consistently doing quality DJ centric events here in town. These guys work hard at maintaining a level of quality. They rarely disappoint.

Non-DJ related, Damn Arkansan, Moon/Ruin and Fossils of Ancient Robots. These guys are putting out some really quality stuff. I love it when local bands try to tackle a unique sound that is under represented in the area.

FF: Do you have a halloween costume planned for Friday night? Or is it a surprise?
BC: People always expect me to have wild costumes year after year…having to raise the bar each time is always a challenge, though I think I will bring my A-game again this year. I’m going to attempt to be a fish man. My dentist is finishing up some custom teeth for me and I’m still working on my breathing helmet…so we’ll see if it all comes together by Friday!