Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fix it with mixing.

Last night Not Drugs and I went to the Breadline at Vermillion. There were readings from Evan Peterson and Laura Wachs, a reading/music/dance performance from Pistol Shrimp and zany violinnings from Led to Sea. One of the things that consistently impresses me about Breadline is the format; much like Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery, you do not have to enjoy every performer to leave the night feeling satisfied and entertained.

That. Is. Huge. Granted, if every performance sucks/isn't your bag, you aren't likely to have a great time, but there is more room for gradations of interest and quality when you've got mixed-genres. I liked Evan and Laura (exception of one or two pieces, but that's gonna happen) but only fully enjoyed Pistol Shrimp when they were incorporating the Butoh dancer into their routine. That was only about a third of the time, and they took the largest chunk of the evening. The violinist played with a lot of loop pedals and some effects, but the songs were good enough to avoid feeling like a novelty act (*coughcoughcough* CR Avery *Coughcoughcough*) If it'd been a full evening of only one of these performance types, I'd have been worn out by the end, possibly grumpy even at the people whose work I enjoyed. As it was, I felt energized, interested and inspired.

In other news, Google Plus. Eh? Eh?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Minimal Transitions

Morning on a hardwood floor, last one in Brighton/Othello/Graham. Yes, Seattle has a neighborhood called Graham, and depending who you ask, it's where I've lived the last year, nine months. Just a memory foam, laptop, stereo and odd assortment of shoes, boots and blankets left. The impulse being to get crippled-nostalgic, or not at all. Drive through Columbia City thinking how I'll miss it when, really, just as close, but north. I guess the possibility of a short walk to Mel's in Hillman City will be missed, but not practically. The taco truck a bit more so.
The sneezing and packing and all that other stuff about moving I will not miss. Practically, I won't have to-- still not sure how long I'll be at David and Lindsey's place on Beacon Hill. Rachel (who is moving to Columbia City-- I won't have to miss it) remarks that I'm sentimental for wanting to spend a little time alone here surrounded by dust-bunnies and burned CDs. I don't think sentiment is quite the right word, but maybe. Giving transitions their due.
Lets see-- I was terrible for stats in this house. Brielle threw a few great parties with trees and dinosaurs, we had I think four Your Hands Your Mouth readings here, featuring the likes of Robert Lashley, Chris Gusta, Ryan Johnson, Shane Guthrie, Elissa Washuta, Emily Wittenhagen, Caren Scott, Melissa Queen, Rainey Warren, Greg Bem, Jay Steingold, Jessica Lohafer, Cate McGehee, Bronwyn Isaac, Jake Tucker, myself and probably some other people who are now offended.
Good, solidifying family time here. Lots and lots of The Office, Parks and Rec, Mitchell and Webb, Bones, Family Guy etc etc etc; dangers/blessings of Netflix. So much family guy. It's like eating air with sugar on it. Good seeing the first seven months of my nephew's life, day to day, as he's gotten fatter and squawkier.
Won't spend much more doing analysis. It's not like I'm moving to another country, or even city and have spent the last day, week, month, in a frenzy to ham-press hot new memories into a current space. These things are usually done drunk and I so far haven't cheated on Sober September. I'd take a picture of my empty room but the camera and cords are already up on beacon hill.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Just imagine if YOU kept getting colder while the rest of them around you burned.

Housefire publishing is a site based out of Portland. I met the editor at the backend of a party in the Central District. It was one of those "art parties" or "lit parties" wherein the general consumption of Genesee was punctuated by readings in a crowded basement. The bit of the reading I caught was good and in the afterwards so was the banter. Granted, I was a good five-ten beers behind most people, having come from work, but, you know. The editor (Riley) told me to get in touch, in a writerly way.

This is one of the things to come from that conversation. A short fiction. Go to it, read it, read the other things on the site.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tell us about the Owls, Dana. The Owls.

For the past couple of months, Rachel (heretofore to be referred to as "Not Drugs") and I have been curling up on whatever couch, floor or bed was close at hand and watching David Lynch's perpetually iconic early '90s TV show Twin Peaks. Being Lynch at his (arguably) most accessible, the show tends to serve as an alt-culture touchstone for a lot of people, and one of the most interesting things about re/watching the show was the reactions of those who hadn't watched it yet -- "I know! I know! Someday." I can't really recommend the show; it's already been recommended to you, geeked on by your friends and generally deconstructed. It's worth checking out, and largely unlike most things produced prior or since, but it's also just a TV show for about 80% of the time. The other 20% is the reason it tends to hang on in the minds of critics and fans, be rediscovered. But I think most great TV shows hit that sort of range-- between 70-90% of the time they're average-to-good pieces of entertainment, then that other percent they cross over into Art on the level of the Great Films, Plays or paintings. But half the time you're watching TV for a certain sort of comfort, anyway.

But! This is not a TV review. This is about geekery. The wiki link for TP has changed since last time I looked at it a couple months ago-- that's how dedicated the fanbase is. There's a convention/retreat in North Bend, Wa (where some of the exteriors were filmed) every year that Chris Gusta goes to-- it was ultimately through one of those trips that he decided to move to the northwest. Not Drugs and I are not so dedicated as that. But having a free Sunday, we decided to head out to northeast King County to check out Twede's Cafe, home to the pie, coffee and atmosphere that Dale Cooper was such a fan of.

The original interior got arsoned about ten years ago. These days, it reminds me a bit of the Stanwood Cafe, albeit slightly more dissheveled. The prices are a bit high, but the portions are such that Not Drugs and I split a Fish 'N Chips and were almost too full for pie. Almost.

By the bathroom there is a wall of pictures, newspaper clippings, memorobillia, etc.

It was interesting people-watching and guessing who was a tourist (I guess even today that Peaks tourists account for roughly 5% of the business there and probably more on holiday weekends) and who was a regular. Some small towns have folks sporting the kinds of cowboy shirts you can also get at Red Light Clothing Exchange, but North Bend doesn't seem to be one of them. The place fully embraces the tourist element-- all the servers were wearing shirts advertising Twede's 1) 50 Different Types of Burgers (yup) and 2) Home of Twin Peaks' Pie and "a damn fine cup of coffee."
The place also hosts an open mic on Tuesdays.
This all seems for the best; North Bend wasn't depressing in the way that some Washington towns can be, nor was it generically strip-malled but the downtown didn't appear to have the internal bustle of an Arlington (though that may be good-- less meth) or the diversity of business of Stanwood, or the packed-right-in cute historical downtown of neighboring Snoqualmie. If you were there for a reason (like a TV show conference) you'd probably find a decent bar or restaurant or two, but nothing jumped out at me as "ooh, we should come back for that," even with my er, "unique" fascination with the smaller towns and suburbs in Western Washington.

Also, it should be pointed out that neither North Bend nor Snoqualmie seemed like places where the woods nearby contained portals to Unspeakable Evil. But then, maybe that's part of the point.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Silence, Communication, Rosemary and Thyme

Thursday night I participated in Silence and Communication (check out the link two posts down, I'm feeling lazy.)
You can read The Stranger's review, which describes things pretty well from an audience point of view. It went well, and while I believe that Greg Bem, Matthew Thompson and Jason Conger (who probably also have links I could link to, but, lazy) put together a fantastic reading lineup, the concept was well-executed enough it almost didn't matter who the readers were. It was a whole piece. A concept. Plenty of folks showed up to support their friends, but there wasn't a feeling of a "headliner" or what-have-you. That said, definitely enjoyed a lot of the specific pieces on their own as well.
As for my part, I read a piece called "context(subtext)" that existed prior to getting the invitation, but hasn't made it out much, so I hacked it up. The event consisted of straight up poetry, prose pieces, sound poems, noise music, performance art, etc etc etc. Alllll sorts.

Nico Vassilakis tore up the above paper into a microphone for his piece.

Sole Repair, photoed from the balcony. Once the event got going I didn't have much time or energy to take more pics. Suffice to say there were a lot more people there.

I was pretty damn out of it the whole day/night. This added an additional level of surrealism to the experience for me. Note how it looks like my face is falling off.

I do not remember whose head this is the back of.

We sat in chairs around the room. I was in chair number 9, next to Jarrett, who sometimes wears a hat similar to those which I used to own.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Field of Memes

or RobotmonkeybadgerninjaBACONLOLZ

When the robots finally come for you,
probe you with lasers and stick needles
in you and look nothing like R2 d2 Or
the giant bugs from the Matrix
you, for one, will not be pleased to
welcome your new robot masters,
you will be crying and blubbering
And it will totally compute.

And I've seen you play baseball--
the Zombie apocalypse will not be
you will get your face ripped off.
not awesome.

Because the vampires were to be expected,
always a compendium of handsome assholes,
just enough gore and guts to grab the guys, too,
and werewolves have always been a bit goofy,
a metaphor for alcoholism or whatever.
inserting "monkeys"
is not
that isn't what it means.

I get it-- I'm late to the joke, late to the disdainparty
and the subsequent "What does this say about our SOCIETY"
blog posts by people for whom pop culture is not a relevant
reference point, it is
their ONLY reference point-
so wear your
owldolphin sweatshirt
while eating chocolate bacon,
posting funny cat pics,
while reading Gorilla Vs. Bear
and naming your band
Badger Shark
but when the jokes
run out
and you have to go outside
and you wonder
nothing feels good
it's because you've finally done it.
you've really, finally, truly done it.

you've even ruined

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wait I thought you said VIOLENCE--

Tonight is the Silence and Communication Event at Sole Repair

I think it'll be pretty sweet. Spending the next couple hours making some arts with papers and pens.