I was pleasantly surprised when Ross Beach shared his latest album with me (it’s officially due out March 25th). I find it quite enjoyable, much as I find all of his records. Ascension Parish bears the superior engineering and eclectic instrumentation that are the hallmarks of Ross’ recorded works. He describes the album as “country/folk/americana” but the perspective is modern and the preponderance of its sentiments are alternately dry and caustic. Play “Laundry Lint” for any accomplished domestic male who’s had to surrender his relationship with the washing of his own clothes and he will invariably connect with Mr. Beach the songsmith. Much of this set breathes in the terminal damnation of the living and exhales in supple, chiming verses and clever choruses, with their intriguing progressions often coyly telegraphed from afar but still warmly received upon arrival. With all he’s obviously endured and has still emerged smiling, please do at least reward Ross Beach with a listen. No matter whether you do, it seems Ross will continue to bring these delightful collections our way.
(I was devastated to learn of Richard Francis’ passing today. Richard was one of the most generous, honest and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of working with, someone who cherished fun and was serious about love and harmony – although his taste in music strayed towards the dis-harmonic and his devotion to the avant-garde often seemed incongruous with his discipline and his attention to planning and detail.
Richard Francis had been a consummate champion of the KBOO community and his passing is a huge loss.
Back in the mid-Eighties, Richard and I – at his invitation, and after he had allowed me to substitute for him on one occasion – collaborated on a pair of installments of his long-running program A Different Nature. The first of these programs was devoted entirely to the music of John Cale, whom we both worshiped; Richard graciously arranged that we meet at his apartment – the walls were covered from floor to ceiling with books – where he prepared a pasta dinner, we discussed European literature and planned the show down to the second; he then loaned me the first three Cale-produced Nico albums which I had yet to hear.
The other program, “Sleaze,” kidnapped a 5- or 6-hour late-night block of the program schedule in the service of Richard’s idea – to make use of the hours that allowed for more racy material than he was usually allowed to play during his usual mid-evening slot. I recall thinking that Richard’s idea of “blue” material was just as opaque as the balance of his obsessions – much of the “earotica” he saved for this program would have confused any would-be censors. At the two-thirds mark of the program we were getting pretty loopy and it was Richard who strove to keep us on track and focus on the programming rather than our inside jokes.
Ultimately I would settle in to my own program and we would each uphold our individual ends of the air. At the time I chose to leave my gig behind, Richard was working harder than ever to guide station policy and unite its disparate factions. I am humbled that after 15 years away I was welcomed back into Richard’s utopian vision of radioland, and I am grateful that we were able to collaborate a final time.
I am somewhat sad and quite disappointed that he was unable to hear this, but I am blessed to offer it as a memento. This is one of three pieces that I promised Richard for what was to be the last show that he missed. Throughout the production of these pieces during August 29-30, 2009 – and particularly of “Shaman,” with Richard’s almost unrecognizable voice affecting that of a tired, old man in my headphones – I hoped to make him proud of our collaboration. It seems that its funereal mood was more than coincidence. Love and farewell, Richard. We will do our best to carry on without your warmth and enthusiasm. – Luke Lefler, September 6, 2009)
For ten leguminous years 90.7 FM KBOO Portland was the non-commercial, community radio home of Baron Landscape’s Broken Hours. Every Sunday at midnight the Baron, bugler at the unprotected gates of dawn and raven-soft underjelly upon the fibrous circuitry, imprimpted his dubious brand of comedy and erstwhile music predications to-upon the greater metro polita, and it was a good run toward a seemingly predestined burn-out in the watershed year 1993.
It wasn’t until July of 2008 that Baron Landscape would endeavor to helm such radio as befit his high standards and return to KBOO with The Wreck of The Broken Landscape (see BLBH #12). Around this same time we made the acquaintance of Rich Lindsay who informed us that long-time difficult-listening guru Richard Francis was mounting a 101-hour continuous celebration of Surrealism and Dada to overtake KBOO’s airwaves later that summer.
The shimmerling prospect of bloofing eepy radio m’bobs with other types enchanted us ferocious. Therefore to those 101 diabolic hours, Broken Wounders houred up contributing over two-thirds of one hour – 23:23 of which was the monumental yet rarely-heard feral Boboist putrefaction The Herbed Brie Period By B. Blatherscape, Even (annoyingly unavailable for distribution due to licensing issues).
Creating the work for this festival was liberating, and the controversial (to some, anyway) celebration invigorated its many producers, Splice Finders included. Certain key individuals hoped subscreantly to re-air much of the material what had previomously come, and they additiomally desired a permanent place for us Surrealadadactyls to roam.
Thus clungterfly to the spatula joculaire and pursuant to radical reorganization of the KBOO evening program schedule, a place was farted unblong to traverse four hours from 8:00 pm to Midnight on every Monday that is the fifth Monday of a month. It was crispened Desolo Luna Vox Theatrum, a name Richard explains he came up with “playing around with an English-Latin dictionary website.” He says it means “Abandoned Moon Cry Theater.”
Presuming that which is abandoned to be either the Moon or its cry, we have Deicided to regularly contribute to the theater, taking our cues from Richard and his co-producer Sean Ongley. The Anfangsgobs dieser Opfer d’oddio were broken spectales on a pair of Kurt Scwhitters pieces that met (we’re assured) with delight on the part of translator/interpreter Jack Zipes when they aired in June, 2009.
Material by Argentinian poet Oliverio Girondo was feted on the August 31, 2009 Theatrum, and – always down with a theme – Horas Quebradas spritely emboldened Richard’s performances of two pieces from Girondo’s Scarecrow with our prosaic “original music and additional production.” Affixed hereto via the PowerPress is the elegiac “Shaman (version)” (Scarecrow #15), the choirs of bees and VSTs of which we’ve meddled with even a littly bit further since its air date, for the posterity “version” if one may – enjoy these minutos rotos lánguidos.
St. Johns Booksellers’ Market Day Poetry Series #5 with Tommy Gaffney, Ric Vrana and Astrid the AsteroidBy
“Such a sad day for all of us,” opined Tommy Gaffney, regarding the imminent departure of Astrid from Portland, in anticipation of which Splice Finders trundled down to his local St. Johns Booksellers to capture the August 15 installment of this weekly Market Day Poetry Series curated by Dan Raphael. The series is running in conjunction with the recently-inaugurated St. Johns Farmers’ Market.
Despite this impending mutual loss, it was another good day for local poetry in North Portland, with Ric Vrana leading off this enjoyable noon event, and Tommy, holder of head thusly (as Ric lovingly points out), carrier of The Reading at Tony’s business cards, and with book for sale at the counter, working the middle innings.
A planner by trade, Ric comes prepared with “reserve” into which he must dip – in fact they’re all reading too fast, no doubt because this caffeine hour flies by in a room already full of words, augmented by supporters Patrick Bocarde, Mike G and David Matthews who’ve made the journey North from their close-to-the-city climes for this modest gathering – “No Subway in My City,” “Queens Return,” all of Ric’s pieces now graciously cyanotyped upon the blueprint of our market day commute. Tommy generously previews the blurry lucidity of his forthcoming Whiskey Days (Daze? – again, the surfeit of words) but it’s his “Larry The Cantankerous” and its iconic, yellow-tinged “abandoned glass of milk” that truly disturbs our diurnal Prussian blue reverie.
However it was the ephemeral Astrid, brandishing electronic keyboard – and the prospect of her mid-day performance under the fluorescence amidst cookbooks and pulp mysteries within distance magnifique de vibration – whose promised presence piqued les intrigues de ces heures cassées. Words, though, are only words, so to these words we’ve appended a recording of this happening.
While it is possible to fill any geographic realm with a plethora of words, it falls to the truly gifted to achieve a potent concentration of imagery, and in discussing same it is often best to enter the imagery itself into evidence: “Where has your electric eel gone?/ Grant me the right-of-way to private pockets/ Read me those crusty old stories with wide eyes/Opalescent women raise from the dead their intuition/With the desire to rupture the salad sea/Prance along as tiny mice living in the air.” (Close enough for mass transit, anyway.) In a candid moment after the event Astrid enthused that this was a particularly good performance and that she was grateful that it had been recorded. Would have been a shame to miss out; enjoy the podcast.
And here’s to more such events in the months to follow long after the farmers have brought the last of their bounty to the Plaza (N. Philadelphia at N. Lombard in St. Johns, Portland, Oregon). Thanks to the performers, to Dan Raphael, and to Nena, the proprietor of St. Johns Booksellers. The Market Day Poetry Series continues through September 26.
(This podcast is no longer available)
We love what we do at Show and Tell Gallery, and we ask for no more than a bit of attention paid to those whom we bring to the stage. Melissa Sillitoe signs them up, Nikia Cummings spreads the word and I gruffly co-produce and capture things for posterity as best I can.
On May 4, 2009, The Three Scrapettes sont descendus parmi les vibreurs et le papier et les un bon nombre de mutant de cri avec des mots to bring us “2+2=3” – Sound Poetry and Paraperformance with a variety of “non-acts, sound poems, peripheral pieces, audience impersonations and wrong solutions” that paid back in full the efforts we expend to make Portland a more caffeinated and arty placebo. They offermade up some biographicallistic fallacies: Marko Whens falsely proclaims to be the first poet to misspell (in? -ed.) every language. Tony Christy‘s father was a scrap surgeon his mother a mitt mender. Leo Daedalus imagines that the ideal expression of any particular art form would have to be realized in a different form. David Abel studied with Massenet and Fauré at the Paris Conservatoire (1890-97), then lived uneventfully as a teacher and theorist.
Let loose in Three Friends Coffee House, the four of them made incomprehensible, joyous mayhem on indirect trajectories from Dada, Fluxus, Surrealism and Situationism. The Broken Hours Remix is all spoiled up by Splice Finders with his little with ACID Pro 7.0c thingly in his basement area with his stuff in there and everything, he likes to say. Roughed out and rhyming, the RSS feed leads the sojourning data file hefty onto your portable sound charmer off the media Montserrat Internet Archives grabbing burny onto the twine shall occasionally meet:
“I was kinda sick of hearing myself sing – I wanted to put a record out that I could actually listen to and enjoy,” confesses Ross Beach towards the middle of the CD Release Show and Songwriter Revue for Ross Island Bridge – Volume 1: The Process Is Now The Work. For this project, Ross pulled another eleven songs’ worth of hooks out of his hat and used them to reel in a cast of Portland, Oregon’s best indie singers. The resulting lick-laden CD is immediately hum-worthy and totally deserving of an all-star party.
On April 22, 2009, Ross summoned The Hellpets and several of his friends who sing on the album, and arranged for Splice Finders and his digital audio lasso to bust the whole affair at Backspace to micromedia. Here’s how she was taken down:
Dropping in from Blue Skies For Black Hearts, Patrick Kearns strums and works the frets in his moment alone onstage before he and Ross leap to the album rocker “The Way You Say Bye.” Following her intense solo set, Ali Ippolito (Rainbow & The Kittens) and Ross seek the musical answer “What Should I Do.” After abandoning us to the riveting Adrienne Hatkin‘s (Autopilot is for Lovers) solo set, Ross joins her for “ifeelmyselfhoping.” Next, Kaitlyn ni Donovan lends her own beautiful pieces to us, and then her voice to Ross’ “Dreaming Of.” TS Brooks (Minmae), who’s been playing lead guitar tonight, and whose own songs remind us of a crispier Lambchop, performs “The Exploding.” Then come a couple of run-and-hits: Jon Ragel (Boy Eats Drum Machine) taking “A Pensive Moment,” and the gleaming “We Met Too Soon” featuring Anne Adams. A couple of chansons fortes de Ross and The Hellpets top off the mega-podcast (as in 195 MBs, gang, nearly five-thirds of an hour, so please be patient with the download).
One ought also to point to “The Countess” Teresa Bergen‘s assured bass throughout the evening’s proceedings. In the less-assured league, Splice Finders apologizes for that bothersome crackling when the reverberations of Backspace max out the recording level, which he’d assumed was dialed back to a modest gain; but Splice has much to be glad about, having witnessed this stellar array of Portland-area talent and also getting his own copy of the new CD.
In fact, the CD makes a fantastic souvenir even if you weren’t in attendance; and we just happen to have three brand new sealed copies to give away. If you spin an email quickly enough to firstname.lastname@example.org (please put “Ross Island Bridge” in the Subject line) we’ll try to help one to reach you.
(This podcast is no longer available.)
Long-time game developer Rob Heinsoo of Wizards of the Coast R&D led the design of the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) 4th Edition game. Accomplished role-playing game developer Andy Collins is the Manager of D&D Development and Editing at Wizards of the Coast, LLC and co-designed the 4th Edition with his colleagues Rob Heinsoo and James Wyatt. Renowned game designer Jonathan Tweet worked on the third edition of D&D. Rob and Andy were Honored Guests at GameStorm 11 in Vancouver, Washington, and it’s obvious that they are passionate about what they do. I was graciously invited to podcast some of the proceedings at GameStorm 11, a massive conference for game-players in the Pacific Northwest. I’ll share more about my GameStorm 11 experience in a future post, I promise, but meanwhile let me thank Industry Outreach point person Mark Santillo, OSFCI and everyone at GameStorm for having me – it was truly memorable. Here, now, is the one stand-alone audio piece that resulted from my efforts, and it’s a good one. Presented in its 52-minute entirety, the panel discussion with Andy, Rob and Jonathan at GameStorm 11 on March 28, 2009, during which they discuss, with several enthusiats in attendance, the trials and the triumphs of dreaming and devising the role-playing game of our time.
(This podcast is no longer available)
Here’s to the ongoing recherche pour le luxe des divertissements et des réalisations, Three Friends Mondays invited performance in the caffeinated confines loops its engorged growl of destiny, the Show and Tell Open Mic following in self-reference like a massage after a hot bath. Came March 23 all chilly and wet Napolitan at the gates, the “Blind Dates” edition heralding a harmonious trio afterward espied engaged in small talk, so magical was the chemistry. Phase One already brimming with a misty essence, a prompt on the command line, the reassuring Americana of KC Craine gathering our focus and we were in for an evening. Second Phase volatility underway, perhaps some of the pieces shared by Josh Killingsworth lyrically dark, but his voice oh so sweet, the subtle fingerstyle of his dad (another K.C.) accompanying on guitar gorgeous.
Safety glasses on, proceed to Phase Three, phenomena surge, careful, careful, the amazing cello and voice and brave musical endeavor of Ashia, molecules colliding, periodic table in question, theorem k.o.’ed by post-science, we’re learning again, observations reign.
Goodness gracious for spacious skies does The Show and Tell Open Mic strain at its leash on occasion, begun so on-time that even Splice Finders was caught in a half-assed leap for for the record button by the time Christine Honitsu White had begun in another language reciting. Welcomed we the comedy stylings of Mike G reading Starlite Motel, then could Steve Williams and Constance Hall stake the pre-warmed own turf. Patrick Bocarde brought us our monstre poétique knees with material by Rick J and Melissa Sillitoe. ‘Twas Wendra who told us that all her songs are long, and it was Myrrh Larsen whose songs, including the aching “Homesick” which ends Part 1 of the Open Mic, are all about our longing.
Starlite Motel dove into Mike G’s “Deep End (for Dennis McBride)” and tagged relay Rick J baton sideways poem “When Nothing Gets Bored,” a restless play of words also by Mike G, scatters Melissa Sillitoe’s “Ashes.” After Chad MD shares a little poem, Judith Fay Pulman springs into a poem by Rick J. Then it’s bonus panels, accommodating Wayne Flower, Michael lifting a Luke Lefler lyric, Wolfgang Reinhard, The Ambassador of Truth, Christian Kenseth and the new Three Friends Caffeinated Librarian, Mikey Golightly.
We’ll meet you at the “page” where we host the Three Friends Mondays: Caffienated Art podcast with good intention in our hearts, Wonderful, but you feeling the molten golden goose-flesh raised virtuoso upon hearing this fulsome audio feature you may wish then future clicks to save away, angled sense and hanging out iTunes in the dry of the tiger, though it collates unwell wethinks, and scruffy unrepentant links, this formula denotes:
Last Thursday I was, as they say, “without portfolio” after the conclusion of a morning meetup and I happened to encounter Alex H. Williams. As usual he was hatching a plot, but he was more enthusiastic than usual about this particular idea. This thing was still gestating as it was being birthed, attitude fully-formed, into this cold, noisy world. For my part, I had just told a whole group of somber but optimistic enterprise builders that I was “through with irony,” and here I was about to join the quintessential post-irony juggernaut of #notatsxsw. I couldn’t refuse. I was, in fact, already not at SXSW anyway.
Pronounced “not at South by Southwest,” #notatsxsw is a phenomenon facilitated by Twitter and brandished with the business-ends of social media’s many tentacles. I immediately saw the appeal, especially since I had never been to SXSW, the high-profile, multi-day music, film and interactive festival that takes over Austin, TX every year, and which has more recently overtaken the collective mind of the Twitniscenti for whom it is a “be there, aloha” happening. By the time I stumbled into the plot, Alex (who has been to SXSW in the past and would like to have attended this year) and his comrade and fellow SXSW ’09 non-attendee Nate DiNiro had already secured the notatsxsw dot com domain name and snagged the @notatsxsw Twitter handle, and they had scheduled the first #notatsxsw-specific event, the Portland Opening Feast. All that remained was to help raise awareness and document “the first non-conference.”
We debated from the beginning: What is it? How to refer to it? The spirit of compromise prevailed because, primarily, #notatsxsw is about the unity of the masses of people who, for whatever reason, were not making the pilgrimage to Austin this year. Controversies could potentially undermine the whole thing — details such as whether the prepositional phrase “not at SXSW” is a noun like its more chic corollary “(at) SXSW,” or an adjective, comfortably interchanged with descriptive terms such as “sad,” “bitter,” “unemployed” or “couldn’t get the week off.” These minor tweeting points became secondary to the need for a sense of community and an organizing principle for those of us who may or may not be feeling somewhat left out of the cacaphonous, hashtagged songs of the SXSW migration.
Ultimately #notatsxsw is a state of mind. It may offer a return to one’s roots or simply the maintenance thereof. “I like the carpet under my feet,” wrote Tot Taylor. This writer, an acutely Cancerian homebody, putters similarly. For those of us for whom a trip across town is a source of discomfort, wearing the #notatsxsw badge is plenty fashionable, notwithstanding that the prices are lower and the lines are not nearly as long. And while there are plenty of gatherings, concerts and workshops #notatsxsw to attend, some of us even found time to clean the bathroom or clear some overgrowth in the woods.
For the second of three Show and Tell Gallery Productions events in one week the featured art was feeling multi-sourced and the touchable performers were familiar and reliable. Not so mit podcrash inducer Splice Finders feeling a patch of blackness, perhaps due to driving around Show and Tell Gallery Towers for half-an-hour looking for a parking place to touch, or perhaps due to the touched feelings of the besotted gentleman whom Richard Schemmerer astutely escorted “to another gallery.” More likely it was Splicey’s maniacal desire to employ both mono- and tri-podal digital capturing thingies that distracted him just long enough that he did not notice the flashing standby light feeling like being touched on the stoic Olympus LS-10 until the middle of Eric McEuen‘s set. We’re afraid that you’ll need to go back to the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #30 podcast to hear the one about the fish – that toe-tapping one about, ironically, disappointment – because the only part of his set that was captured consisted of Eric’s touching interpretations of, among others, Neil Diamond and The Beatles, and the Splicemeitser cannot afford even the few cents in heartfelt royalties that would be due those deserving songcrafters.
Feeling: A Touching Show was itself missing the work of Gary Aker, who was feeling a touch of the crud on March 5, 2009. That left Patrick Bocarde, Brittany Baldwin and Rick J to flesh out the touching performance portion of the feeling presentation with spoken words, whilst the visual art by Rage Anders, Melissa Armstrong, Dave Benz, Brittle Star, Nicolas Hall, James Honzik, Chris Ives, Elizabeth Kuzmovich, Richard Schemmerer, Anna Todaro, Robin Urton and Cathie Joy Young remains tactilely available at the gallery through March, 2009 or monetarily yours at the sensualist shrine of your choosing indefinitely. Attendees Wayne Flower, Michael Berton, Tom Mattox, Christian Kenseth, Benjamin Fisher, and Dan Tree and Emma (and Celestial Concubine, who touched down at the after chow) have all long since felt the sheets and touched the pillow. The Show and Tell Gallery Podcast caress thine soft ears just there, no, there, yes, that’s the spot, and on the spong-iTunes-a-dermis subscribus so if you want to, and you feel like it, then it’s okay, you can touch its link:
The premise is that we never know exactly what’s going to happen. Safe enough. However, Christine Homitsu White, host of the Blue Streak open mic poetry series, warned us that her stuff would go from “angry-sad to happier to neither/or,” so thus could we emit a littly sigh and ourselves prepare. She proceeded to deliver a scathing indictment of February (“no guarantees”), and told us she was glad that it’s over. And too soon she herself had progressed to the end of her sheaf of border-crossing billetes poetas. Then Christine introduced her friend and local poetry legend, Doug Spangle, who said he had always wanted to read from the Three Friends Coffee House stage and proceeded to do so, emerging from the mythology lab, rinsing any trace of predictability off the green apples of “Pers.doc” and “Perseus Pursuing,” two sections from his titanic series of poems about the Portland bridges. Finally, music duo The Blair-Rich Project played a quartet of songs, de-sugared verses arranged for vocals, guitar and a drum, their power surprising us in our caffeinated harness.
So it came to pass, churned flagrant and displacing reason’s flies and the butter fat of the mansion that is the Show and Tell Open Mic, it all-too welcoming the curiously strong new month and surprises it may bring, eh what? (yeah, man!) Briefly filling-in for Melissa Sillitoe, the mortal caffeinaut Luke Lefler (how he mumbles! did he say she was having her ants photographed?) would kick-stab the engraving which began with poco diablo Dennis McBride who in the coarse dew of time ushered Pat Vivian to the landing to relive “Friday Night at the Maytown Tavern.” Warn’t takin’ out the trash no more Mike (not a miso) G (ynist) – Saint Dick – alone, stalked by more poems of love and doom and death from Ric Vrana. The male chorus line continued with J. D. Deverest and Christian Kenseth (kept us in the dark) unto another end which also had not as yet been determined: part one of the Open Mic podcast.
Part two of the posted parade heard all attent to toasting birthday boy Wayne Flower ghosting, and continued with the finery of connoisseur of melancholy Rick J, songwriter Lauren who’d never really read his poetry, Tobiah, “better known as the Ambassador of Truth,” that being the truth that’s “out there,” and Michael gifted his militantly rhythmic poetry its open mic debut. Hung at the extremity Patrick Bocarde with more strange creatures and Chad MD not displaying his queue card.
If you go away on a winter’s day then you might as well go to the “page” where we host the Three Friends Mondays: Caffienated Art podcast but, Fortunato, laying, please leave the Sun, because in the end, the pods you cast are equal to the pods to which you passed another brick in the wall of wonder that is whozits’ monstrous aggregation-purveyor known as iTunes, now with more tar and caffeine than the other pod pers.capita, as sure as links is links: