Thursday, September 15, 2005

09.15.05--Harvest Bash Lineup, Bonfires in Manila, Grey Eagle Benefits

MY ADVANCED APOLOGIES to the newbies on this mail list--for the intrusion. Sorry for my rambling, ruminating habit of sending out periodic updates of Traveling Bonfires and Indie programs, projects, and activities. If you dont wish to get more of this "sweet blabbery," send me a short, personal email... I do understand.

Anyhow, I hope everybody had a great day, yesterday, as well as today. Hurricane/Storm Ophelia was said to have landed in the Appalachians but I dont think I even felt it. Not sure. Me and Marta The Nicer Osbourne spent most of our evening-to-earlymorn cleaning up Park Place bldg (where we are housed)--a new job, better pay. Quite silently interesting, intriguing job, I may say. Cant help but attentively observe how occupants/souls keep their offices--from compulsive-impulsive paranoia to topsy-turvy abandon to just-ordinary to achingly boring to I-dont-really-care nonchalance. (But nothing beats The Indie Crib, I know...) I always find it quietly challenging to read/analyze/pore over human beings' sensibilities and sensitivities--by the way they keep their houses, offices, rooms.

ASIDE: An enlightening, flabbergasting movie to watch is "Kinsey"--the movie about notoriously celebrated sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. It's a movie about sex that isnt sexual, at all. Kinsey's discourse reminds me--or very parallel with--Ayn Rand's objectivist (or objectimist) take on sexual urge. Two of my friends--Maria L and Lacy M--will surely agree with Kinsey and/or Rand, without batting an eyelash--but that doesnt mean it's bad. They're good company, I guess. (A cool book to read, by the way, is John Le Carre's "The Constant Gardener"--you can rent it out at the Pack Library, I just returned it).

Okay, the Updates...

[ ] The first "Bonfires for Peace in Manila (Philippines)" is set, booked, ready to rock--on Oct 14. Kudos to Bonfires associate producer Jaja Campos for an excellent, focused, consistent work in putting things together. This event also marks the Asian launch of Third World Asheville and The Georgiana R. Pascua Memorial Foundation. Headlining acts are world music stalwart Pinikpikan and Kapatid, a funk-rock outfit woven around the flamboyant swagger and knockout stage-presence of frontman Karl Roy. Other bands include Taggu Ndios, Chrome 8, Acidstone, and Dahon. Emcee is Kathy Pajarillo. Proceeds go to Third World Asheville--Manila/Asia and GRP Foundation's "pilot communities" projects. For more details, go to

The second of the 3-event Oct-to-Dec Bonfires "coming-home" rock extravaganza is set in Nov at 70s Bistro in Quezon City--and topbilled by Joey Ayala and Pearlsha "Peach" Abubakar. (Peach used to be my Manila band's--Duane's Poetry--vocalist). An outdoor 15-band/acts concert is set in December...

[ ] Bearly Edible's "HARVEST BASH: Bonfires for Peace in Mars Hill, NC" music camp (Sept 30, Oct 1 and 2) is also ready to roll. Final lineup of performers--Blues Forgotten, Dashvara, Ash Devine, DJ Medisin, Fiddle Dave, Bric Friesland, The Great Slide, J. Wail, June Bugg, Peace Jones, Phuncle Sam, Planet Hooston, Sunshine, Jaimee Tomas, with a Poetry Stage hosted by Jarrett Leone and Pasckie Pascua. As the press releases go--the weekend fundraise is launched to raise fund for the continued production of "Bonfires for Peace" concerts and events at Pritchard Park and other places, and for the benefit of an impoverished pilot communities in poor countries via The Bonfires' partner project, Third World Asheville. Entrance fee to the music camp is $15.

Direction to the Mars Hill camp: Exit 3, off I-26, right off exit, left at stop sign. First left after Little Creek Restaurant (Big Laurel Road), go down road and under bridge and look for parking signs on left. For more info, call Mark at (828) 225 8154. Thanks to Be's Mark for almost-singlehandedly putting this project together... he seems more comfortable this way--anyhow, we deeply and sincerely thank him for choosing The Bonfires as Harvest Bash's beneficiary. Sponsors include Terra Diva, Bonnie's, Save The Earth, Art by Fozzie, Bearly Edible, Caravanserai, Tony's Salty Chocolate Balls.

[ ] Final lineup for the Nov 18 Bonfires/ThirdWAsheville fundraiser at the Grey Eagle is almost sealed. We are negotiating with local bellydancing troupe, Baraka Mundi, to be the main headliner. A traveling act--Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell (with a full band)--asked to be included in the lineup but they're asking for a fixed rate, so it looks like that's not gonna work. No act is paid on this benefit event (including performers in the Dec 3 event, same venue). So pending Bakara Mundi, the performers for the Nov 18 show are--locals Phuncle Sam, Dashvara, Sunshine, Vanessa Boyd, and visitors (from Frisco) Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams.

Brief info about Ms Crooks and Ms Williams... A native of Santa Cruz, Deborah is also a published essayist and poet, and a leader of San Francisco's "No Limits for Women in the Arts." Mica is a nationally/multi-awarded singer-songwriter whose voice and songs have been featured in several TV shows, including "Malibu Shores" and "America Lost and Found." She has won the top prize in the New York City International Music Festival (2003, pop rock category) and VH1 Save The Music Song of the Year Contest (2004). She has already shared stage with Melissa Etheridge, Kristie Stremel, Rachael Sage etc.

The Dec 3 event is headlined by local favorite Laura Blackley, with visiting funk-blues-rock journeymen, Mississippi Cactus, from Milwaukee--and singer songwriter Patty Keough from Boston. Phuncle Sam adds Asheville flair and savvy with their phunk, rock/blues, and soul. Ms Boyd, favorite Bonfires performer, also returns.

[ ] Vince Junior contributes a song to the "Bonfires for Peace/Traveling Bonfires, Volume 2" CD compilation. Those who have already submitted their contributions are Stephanie Rearick (from Madison WI), and locals Phuncle Sam, Dashvara, and Kimberly Summer.

[ ] Joining Courtney Allen and Brett Albers as The Bonfires/The Indie new set of volunteers are interns are (co-UNCA student) Shelly Sanders, and new Asheville arrival Heather Duncan (from Michigan). Courtney (very very shy, not as outrageously in-your-face as her namesake with the "Love" surname) has already rendered a lot of hours for The Bonfires--in the last two weeks or so. Brett is writing a UNCA/student/campus column for the next issue of The Indie. Hopefully, it'll be a monthly section... Heather is coming over to the office early this afternoon to work on some marketing/advertising chores, mostly on the phone. (Ben Yoder is also back... he might help out in the Mars Hill weekend camp.)

[ ] Upcoming "small" shows, mostly open mic-oriented--Sept 23, Oct 7, Oct 28 at Bearly Edible; Oct 6 and Nov 19 at Malaprops. (The Nov 19 Malaprops show features visitors Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams.) Meantime, our cafe shows are trying to feature/focus/give space to young student poets and performers, and also to give them the chance and opportunity to promote or advocate their projects and activities. Perennial Bonfires open mic'er Aja Hamden (remember, "Me & Bobby McGee"?) asked to publicize UNCA's Student Global Aids Campaign in Bonfires shows.

[ ] Ben "Benjammin" Bernstein starts a column on astrology this Oct issue of The Indie. Of course, you know him more as the funny-goofy-sedately peaceful folksinger with sweetly-different/intriguing songs about dogs, ghosts, mountains, and stuff. Definitely, one of the longtime homeys of The Bonfires... dating back to my early days at Beanstreets.

[ ] Our Oct 29 "Vampires for Bonfires" 3-event BforPeace Halloween day at Pritchard Park is also shaping up pretty good. It will be a whole day of colorful, outrageous costumes and gags and antics, music and fun, plus a children's playground and a Halloween costume ball (aside from the concert at the park). More details coming up...

That's it, for now. We are trying our best to get the Oct issue out by Sept 20 to 22nd to make room for more/ample exposure to The Indie's election issue and the Mars Hill event publicity. We are doing fine, so far... Mike Hopping has already submitted a story on city council aspirant Robin Cape; he's also doing articles about the rest of the (Asheville) mayoral candidates.

Gracias--amigos, amigas. As usual--live good, love good, sleep good, and eat good.

5:23am. The Indie Crib.
Asheville NC

Friday, September 02, 2005

09.02.05--Bonfires Peace Harvest in Mars Hill, Indie Sept Issue Misery

GOOD FRIDAY MORNING! Heave a sigh of hope--not of desperation and anxiety... Things will be allright.

First of all, thanks to Rachelle Arrowood, Stephanie Morgan, and new UNCA Indie/Bonfires "volunteers" Courtney and Brett and Shelley for helping me and Marta The Nicer Osbourne in hurdling the surreal, weird barriers of this just concluded Sept issue of The Indie. (Expect the new Indies this afternoon...)

MORE THANKS -- Thanks to Loretta Hoffman for dropping by with some food, thanks to Peach Abubakar (Manila), Concei (DC), Nina Collins (Chapel Hill) and Justin (Asheville) for the warm words for my Mom (Maria L, thanks for the card), thanks to the searing zeal and energy of young souls Demi Pascua and Jaja Campos for working on the two-event kickoff of the "Bonfires for Peace in Manila" concerts this October... Thanks for my Virginia/DC/Maryland homeys, esp. Jun Fontanilla and Veegee Pineda, for anticipating another Bonfires event or two on my next up-north road trip this middle of Oct. Thanks to Ed Sunico of RenSun Entertainment in NY for the side-writing job, thanks to Gino and Ren for being friends-as-ever...

Thanks to all the Kinko's-Asheville employees--esp. graveyard shift employees--for not making me pay for most of the work that I do there, in the last three years (nice spirits, they are!) Thanks to Matt Mulder and Justin Gostony for the Indie layout rescue... Thanks to Woody Henkle and the Phuncle Sams and Mark of Bearly Edible for believing (special thanks to Woody for the tent for these coming two weekends' festivals)... Thanks to Duane, Daphne, Donna, Dylan... Thanks to my bro Alberto's concerned calls from Vegas (but, no, I wont trade the peace and ethereality of the mountains for the burnout hedonism of the desert). Thanks to Beanstreets open mic host, Jarrett Leone, for the wonderful words about The Indie and The Bonfires, whenever he introduces me... Thanks to Leslie&Associates (our landlord) and Iwanna Press/Bill Taylor (our printer) for believing in our madness, after all these years. Thanks to Mike Hopping for, again, beating the month's Indie deadline (he just submitted his first story for Oct issue!)--a story about city council candidate Robin Cape.

Thanks to those that I failed to mention... you are all in my heart.There are many things and blessings and graces to be thankful for--other than getting pissed with laptops that crash, pagemakers that die down, zip discs/drives that conk out, and yes, GASOLINE prices that make life in this side of Synthetic Heaven really uncool because it delays life. But that's okay... Instead, let's pray for the bereaved and departed in Louisiana... let's hope for the best. We hope that the government cut more money out of their military budget to Iraq and simply direct them to the misery in New Orleans.

Let's continue to vibe, rock, and groove--dont forget, we will be tabling at the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAF, spot number 36, near Vincent's Ear-formerly) this Sunday (Sept 4), and at the Organicfest on Sept 10. Stephanie M's Stephanie's Id will be performing at LAAF, Kimberly Summer at Organicfest... Phuncle Sam and Alice "June Bugg" Stegmann will be performing for The Bonfires at Malaprops on Sept 8 (I will be reading in between), and--DONT FORGET--Katie Kasben's "Hair" will be rockin' the sunshine in and all over the Appalachians on Sept 9 and 10. Be there...

Now, the Updates (I am writing this beside Rose Byrne's purpleandvelvet couch... You know, "Wicker Park, "I Capture The Castle," "Troy")

[ ]Bearly Edible (c/o owner Mark) is hosting the Traveling Bonfires benefit camp ("Harvest Bash") in Mars Hill from Sept 30 to Oct 2. The fee of $15, includes camping (swimming, hiking, music). Those who have already signed up to perform are: Phuncle Sam, The Great Slide, Afromotive, Peace Jones, Jamie Tomas, and June Bug (more awaiting confirmation). There will be food to sell, crafts vendors, and stuff, BYOB. Other sponsors include The Getup Exchange, Enter The Earth, Caravanserai... with more set to be finalized. How do you get there? Exit 3 off I-26 -- right off exit -- left at stop sign. First left after Little Creek Restaurant (Big Laurel Road). Go down road and under bridge and look for parking signs on left. For info, call 828 255 8154.

[ ]The Traveling Bonfires' Oct 29 "Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park" (Event 4) features a 3-part program: "Kids `r Indies" children's fun activity, 11am to 3pm; "Bonfires for Vampires" concert from 4pm to 10pm (Dashvara, Sunshine, Phuncle Sam, and more); and "Dark:30 Till Dawn: A Bonfires Halloween Party" in a tba venue, 11pm until dawn. Downtown stores are donating food, as usual, and books and toys and things for the kids at the park...

[ ]The upcoming Malaprops Bonfires shows: Sept 8 (Phuncle Sam, June Bug), Oct 6 (Pasckie Pascua, Matt Mulder, tba), Nov 19 (Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams--our visitors from San Francisco). And, of course, dont forget--Nov 18 and Dec 3 at the Grey Eagle. We may also have shows at Broadway's and Fred's Speakeasy...

For the Nov 18 Third World Asheville benefit at the Grey Eagle, we are negotiating with either a local burlesque act or a bellydancing group. Those who have already committed to perform are Ms Crooks and Ms Williams, and Vanessa Boyd. We are tapping Asheville's huge (diverse) women population, after all--Third World Asheville is primarily a women's organization ... For the Dec 3 show, Laura Blackley is the headliner, with our other visitors--Milwaukee's Mississippi Cactus and Boston's Patty Keough. Phuncle Sam and Vanessa Boyd complete the 5pm to 2am event. We might have an art auction in between...

[ ]We have assumed Asheville distribution of our friend-publication, The Blotter, from Chapel Hill NC. So a $100 monthly honorarium goes to The Bonfires Fund. We also have an existing ad-exchange with them. Its publisher-editor Martin Smith is also one of our Bonfires hook-ups in the Triangle...

We are working out a show in Chapel Hill on Oct 14 or the 23rd--on my way to and from up north (Vagrant Wind tour resumption). Nina Marie Collins is also helping us get bookings there... So far, she have given leads to Open Eye Cafe, The Skylight Exchange/Nightlight, and Artscenter, plus a number of local performers and poets. (Nina is traveling to Arizona this fall... May you have the Spirit and the Force on the road, or up in the sky.)

[ ]Laura Blackley will be writing a feature article about The Traveling Bonfires for Take 5, the weekend magazine edition of the Citizen Times... Watch out.

[ ]Jaja Campos and Demi Pascua are busy negotiating with bands/acts in Manila for the 3-event "Bonfires for Peace" concerts there... So far Joey Ayala (for the acoustic 70s Bistro show) and Razorback (for the Mayric's rock show) have said yes to headline both shows. Mr Ayala and Razorback are two of the most popular rock/musical acts in the Philippines... Jaja is currently negotiating with a reggae band, Tropical Depression, and invited my friend and ex bandmate Pearlsha Abubakar (who's quite big now in Manila) to also join either of the concerts... We are looking forward to huge Bonfires concerts in Manila. [By the way, Joey A also signified traveling to Ashevlle and perform with The Bonfires; and Woody Henkle and Phuncle Sam also voiced interest in spending a Bonfires summer in the Philippines. Hmmm, cool Bonfires exchange...]

[ ]I'd like to mention my special thanks to our new building (70 Woodfin Place) friend, Rachelle Arrowood... no, she's not Mathilde, the extra-terrestrial apparition, this one is the Real Friend. Apart from helping me out with a new pagemaker program for The Indie's desktop, she loaned me her laptop ("Use it as long as you need it"), and requested her brother Tim to fix my Vaio notebook--all for free. Aside from consistently handing us food and things (soap, liquid incense, herbal vitamins, shampoo etc etc)--and rides and occasional Indie scanning jobs--she also pledged to take us to Earth Fare on a weekend for some healthy, organic food. THANKS A LOT FOR THESE BLESSINGS FROM THE BLUE SKY. As I mentioned in my last Indie column, "Without women, my life is nothing but a flat tire."

[ ]The Indie is looking good, despite that last computer hassle. That's over now... Our Oct issue focuses on the upcoming local elections, with a featured interview with Mayor Worley. Mike Hopping, as usual, is doing that story... Believe it or not, I have taken to keeping close watch on our Indie office supplies because we have been running out of copies lately... Meantime, UNCA "kids," led by Aja Hamden and her "Me and Bobby McGee" homegirls, are requesting more Bonfires open mics. So we may have one at Beanstreets soon, and a regular one at Bearly Edible. Let's see...

[ ]Another Bonfires Pinoy rock concert looms in Virginia Beach or Washington DC--as part of the Oct Vagrant Wind Road Journey. Marta The Nicer Osborne might join me--all the way to the concert invite in Atlantic City's Taj Mahal--if she gets to move to another job and earns more money (of course!) No, that doesnt mean we are gambling.

[ ]Lastly, after almost a month since my Mom passed away, I still receive warm words from friends... Here are some more--

Pasckie, the loss of your mother must be very difficult. I can only hope to help by saying that she continues to live on earth through her creation of a strong, vibrant, active, kind son. I hope that you are feeling stable, and I hope that in your time of loss you can turn to the Great MotherEarth.
--Nina Marie Collins
Chapel Hill NC

I grieve with you, magkikita na sila ng nanay ko sa taas... (she will meet up with my Mom up there).
--Pearlsha Abubakar
Manila, Philippines

Dear Pasckie, my deep and heart-felt condolances on your mother's death. Death is unusual always but a process for all of us. Stay strong.
Washington DC

I'm really sorry to have heard about your Mom... You have Jackie and my best wishes in what I'm sure has been a tough time.
--Justin Gostony

So that's it, for now. I gotta get some sleep--as I finish this Kevin Spacey movie ("Ordinary Decent Criminals") that I still dont understand, they have really faked Irish accents! Okay, I gotta crash now, and gain more energy later today, to distribute The Indie, with Marta and Courtney and Brett.

Gracias mi los amigos, las amigas!

6:52am. Asheville NC