Tuesday, October 11, 2005

10.11.05—Duane’s Poetry, Martha’s Trouble, and Wander Journal

JUDY COLLINS sings John Lennon’s “In My Life” as I write this and reminisce the past. Wonderful, beautiful people and places—make the aftermidnight such a soothing spiritual glass-of-wine to the wearied senses. This Friday, Oct 14, “Bonfires for Peace in Manila” happens in the Philippines—it seemed like ten years ago was just yesterday.

And ten years ago seemed like only a week past—in the mining town of Itogon, far north of Manila, where I spent many summers of my childhood—I built the first bonfire amidst the dark, and read my poems, before three kids, two girls and a boy, whose fathers fought a war that their little, glorious souls will never understand. Their fathers never went home. But those poems and embrace, I know, healed some wounds within. More than anything else, during those moments, the wandering wind gave birth to a boy—who’s named meant “child of the hill” in olde Irish. That boy has grown.

Duane will be watching “Bonfires for Peace in Manila” this Friday. But this is just the start of the story… The bonfire, warmed by the wandering wind, will be back in the mountains in many mountains of many countries and peace will set the spirit free. And fathers will be back home and rejoin the kids—back from the journey, back from the war.

The Updates.

[ ] We have a bit of roster changes or juggling of acts for the Oct 29 “Bonfires for Vampires” concert at Pritchard Park, and the Third World Asheville benefits on Nov 18 and Dec 3 at the Grey Eagle, including in smaller shows in between those gigdates. Meanwhile, we have already executed/accomplished the rental down payment and signed the contract with Grey Eagle’s co-owner/manager, Brian Landrum, last Friday, Oct 7. Before that, we paid a $50 or $75 deposit with The City of Asheville’s Parks&Recreation – right after our last show on Aug 6 – for the 4pm-10pm rent of Pritchard Park (for “Bonfires for Peace”), so that’s ready-to-go, as well.

The Bonfires’ organizational budget (mostly, from recent Indie ad revenue, plus my and Marta’s personal money) is funding all three events. I have previously announced that another individual is co-financing the Grey Eagle events. I however decided to decline the nice gesture and returned the money last week.

The new/final lineup for “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park”/Oct 29 – Peace Jones, Dashvara, Sunshine, with Ash Devine and Aja Hamden & Friends. Remember, this is a Halloween costume park gathering, with gift bags given out to children. Sound (unconfirmed) will be handled by Chris Van Horn. Food to performers, kids, and volunteers c/o Burgermeister, Old Europe, and West End Bakery, Asheville Take Out, plus I think, I still have some food certificates here that were given us by Dale and Loretta Hoffman. Children’s gift bags (pledges and sure ones) c/o Bonnie’s Corner Market/Jonathan Jones, Terra Diva/Helen Miller, and various downtown stores and shops (Malaprops, Something Different, Cookie Designs, Mayfel’s, Vincenzo’s Ristorante—although these three particular pledges are still subject to confirmation). (We nevertheless already prepared more than a dozen gift packages of books, comics, peripherals for children at the park.) (Poster design donated by Justin Gostony.)

As of this writing, we are still contemplating whether we are pursuing an after 10pm (to dawn) Halloween Costume Party. We still don’t have a venue—I prefer a small club, or a place where we don’t have to worry about making sure those ineligible to consume alcohol are kept off the bar. Otherwise, we will have to just stay the night at The Indie Crib, watch some horror movies like “The Exorcist” and any Madonna movie (they do scare me truly), and partake of whatever remains of the donated food and kegs of local brews (Oktoberfest, Pilsner, ESB) purchased on discount from French Broad River Brewery and wine. Beers and wine aren’t free, though, you gotta pay, or Marta The Nicer Osbourne and Mathilde The Extra-Terrestrial Apparition of Woodfin Place will kick you out of The Crib.

FINAL lineup for Nov 18 event at the Grey Eagle – Sunshine, Crooked Routes, Dashvara, Vanessa Boyd, with special guests from San Francisco—Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams. Kapila Ushana emcees this show. CONFIRMED lineup for Dec 3 event at the Grey Eagle (all-women event) – Laura Blackley, Ash Devine, Vanessa Boyd, and special guests Martha’s Trouble (from Canada, who might also perform with Kimberly Summer) and Patty Keough (from Boston). We have extended invites to at least two to three more local women acts/poets/singer-songwriters. (Mississippi Cactus, from Milwaukee, decided to pass up the Dec 3 gig because they are unable to find another gig in WNC/NC on the same weekend.) We will finalize the Dec 3 lineup this week. (Poster designs by Matthew Mulder. If you want to order collectible/framable-versions of the posters, please email Agent Mulder at mulder_matthew@hotmail.com)

Food (for both events) will be provided by the same restaurant-sponsors/donors for the Oct 29 Pritch Park concert, plus Earth Fare (Dec 3), and Mellow Mushroom pledged an every-other-month $100 donation/food certificates to The Bonfires, starting October 29. We might have a mini-art auction/benefit during the Dec 3 event, with donated art from yours truly and Cold River Gallery. WNCW-Radio spot PR fee ($50) shall be donated by another Indie advertiser (I got three pledges).

COMMUNITY CALL: Hello, nice souls of Asheville—The Traveling Bonfires and The Blue Sky God/dess would appreciate it so much if you could provide our wonderful, talented, beautiful friends/visitors from Frisco—Deborah and Mica and Patty K—free accommodation in your houses in the duration of their 3-4 days visit to Asheville this Nov/Dec. Buddy Gino Inocentes, who works at Renaissance Hotel/Baltimore, might offer us cool discounts ($100 for two full days/nights, two beds at any Renaissance/Marriott Hotel).

BRIEF BACKGROUNDER/NOTES about Martha’s Trouble. (Nah, Marta The Nicer Osbourne didn’t form a band to articulate her current troubles, not true)—from
“Rob & Jen Slocumb, better known as the Canadian duo Martha's Trouble, have just released their 5th album entitled Forget October on their own indy label Aisling Records… In September 2004 MT started a national AAA radio campaign in the US which got the record added in rotation to several R&R reporting stations in the country. Through these efforts, Forget October got into heavy rotation on XM Cafe's Nude Music Reviews on XM Satellite Radio. The record went to #3 on the charts and still receives light play… In November 2004, the Just Plain Folk Awards were held at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, CA. Martha's Trouble was nominated in 7 different categories. Their album Sleeping Dogs won Best Americana Album of the Year that night… A song from their 2002 release, Sleeping Dogs, was used in the CBS made for TV movie, “It Must Be Love,” starring Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen. The movie aired February 2004. Martha's Trouble plays on average 200 dates a year across the country.”

[ ] My apologies for the over-acted/hyper-excited announcement of Weekly Bonfires Open Mic and Local Acts Showcase at Bearly Edible. I have decided to cancel it due to dire reasons that I couldn’t make public, at this point. Instead, I have emailed/communicated (with) Jarrett Leone (erstwhile emcee of the demised Beanstreets Thursday open mic) that it’s better that two supposed Thurs “open mics” in downtown Asheville, that basically target the same crowd, be merged as one. So guys please attend and savor and participate in the Thursday (7pm to 10pm) open mic at Indigenous Teahouse in Biltmore Av, downtown (near The Orange Peel). I might drop by this Thursday night, but not sure.

[ ] Other gigs—(a) Nov 17, Thurs, 9pm to 1am, Fred’s Speakeasy. The Bonfires Women Singer-Songwriters Night 1, with Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams, and Ash Devine; (b) Nov 19, Sat, 7:00-9:30pm, Malaprops. The Traveling Bonfires presents Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams, with Pasckie Pascua; (c) Dec 1, Thurs, 6:30 to 8:30pm, Malaprops. Patty Keough, and TBA; (d) Dec 2, Fri, 9pm to 1am, Fred’s Speakeasy. The Bonfires Women Singer-Songwriters Night 2, performers (Ash Devine, Aja Hamden) TBA.

We’re supposed to have a guest spot in The Blotter’s poetry reading in Chapel Hill on Oct 19. But, at this juncture, I still don’t have a ride (and enough money) for my previously set Oct 19 to 24th trip up north, all the way to NYC and Atlantic City. So I don’t know yet. I am waiting for the Blue Sky God/dess to give me a signal.

[ ] Questions, queries, clarifications about the post-Harvest Bash event financial situation shall be attended to, on individual/personal requests, pending submission of documentation/financial report/receipts etc from the main organizer. I was advised by The Indie’s lawyer and accountant to hold on to Bonfires records, receipts, letters, event documentation for future tax exemption perusal, among others. As of this writing, we haven’t received any paperwork yet (from the event organizer) although it was promised on Oct 4.

[ ] Siobhan Clarke and Paige Michaels asked me what happened with negotiations with Atlanta’s Big City Burlesque (BCB) and Baraka Mundi (bellydancing troupe). Right now, honestly, we have a deluge of acts/performers to choose from/juggle around—while all these Bonfires “fundraise” shows are all crying, “Hey, we really gotta earn this time!” So I’ve been trying to put feasible/workable marketing concepts/strategies on our upcoming Nov/Dec events—so we could, at least, be able to ensure that we earn beyond ramen noodles money. So I did some juggling in re the Grey Eagle shows—esp. the Dec 3 event. That event will solely be an all-women/fronted concert (as I already mentioned). But I am saving BCB and Baraka Mundi for a sort of New Year/Jan 2006 or late Dec 05 show, or maybe a Valentine’s show. Reservations with major downtown venues normally go from 2 to 3 months in advance (with possible $$$ downpayments) so we are currently negotiating. So there, Paige, your favorite burlesque and bellydancers will still be performing for The Bonfires… Happy?

[ ] Talking about Atlanta, Gaither Stewart, The Indie’s Rome (Italy) contributing writer, has recommended her son Tony Stewart (and his shop) for Indie distribution and Bonfires network in Atlanta and neighboring towns/cities. Of course, we already have a longtime hook-up in Damian Kapcala and Lionz in Athens. Gaither will be in Paris in a few days from now—he might be able to hook The Indie up there, who knows. An Indie displayed in one or two shops in other cities, other countries (outside of Asheville NC) would be cool.

[ ] Believe it or not, each time I get into some kinda emotional setback and financial funk and blues—my creative persistence and stubborn girth turn to maddening overdrive. So we are launching two partner publications starting late fall (mid Nov) or start of winter (Dec). I have already started doing the layout/mark up, and have been doing prelim marketing/advertising hook ups for the first three issues lately. These publications are—
(a)Wander Street, Asheville. (“Open Mag”—otherwise known as a monthly literary journal and/or comics/joke “tabloid.”) No, no, no—I’m not going to do a “demolition derby” thing with Asheville Disclaimer, they’re the BEST paper for intelligent, socially-conscious Ashevellians, anyway, so be it. This is a literary journal—we have many writers groups/workshops in this town, but we don’t really have a regular/monthly publication that devotes to creative writing attempts, outbursts, and pretensions. This also serves as “venue/scrimmage space” for the weekly Wander/Warm Winter Worskhop at The Indie Crib that I plan to start on the first Wed of Nov.
(b)The Indie, Manila and elsewhere. This is the long-overdue/oft-talked about Filipino edition of The Indie. Distribution is exclusively to Filipino communities in the East Coast (New York City, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia)—the same edition/version comes out in Manila. I will send another copy of the final pageproofs to Manila via ad ex-deal with Filipino couriers in NY/NJ for faster shipment, if electronic transmission doesn’t work (still finetuning that one). So physical printing of the Manila copies happens there. The Filipino/US community and Manila advertising and marketing networking and efforts are merged—hit two targets with one shot, kinda. I have already spent close to 16 months stabilizing my marketing connects in NY/NJ/MD’s Filipino-American communities for this edition. With three Bonfires concerts rocking in Manila (this Oct to Dec), I feel we got the right/timely noise to keep this partner organization going—as we put the Third World Asheville (Asia/US) on overdrive.
Meantime, printing of both publications (Wander/Pinoy Indie) is the same amount as the Iwanna printing budget of The Indie because I am submitting this Project/Job Order as one separate account. For the time being, we are publishing these news “rags” once in two months, until we get some semblance of marketing/advertising vibe. Bulk of the copies of the Pinoy Indie are actually almost already saved to subscribers/addresses. I currently have more than 1500 Filipino snail mail/email addies in my file. (For Wander, I think I have thousands of addresses from all over WNC and the US, so with this mailing list alone, we can get this rockin’ on 12 pages of “open mag.”)

[ ] Congrats to new intern Heather Duncan for hooking up a one-year/quarter-page ad for The Indie. The account is Beauty Parade, based in West Asheville. Heather donated her 15% commission to The Indie/The Bonfires. Thank you, thank you—yes, you can use The Indie’s free pass to Highland Rep plays/shows anytime. New ad prospects (Marta’s accounts, this time)—Something Different (formerly, Almost Blue), Vincenzo’s Ristorante, Café Soleil, Orbit DVD. (I heard that Leslie&Associates is going to donate to The Indie, no kidding.)

[ ] Back to Filipino community hook-ups. I’ve been talking/communicating a lot with Anna Levien (Filipina married to an American), based in New Jersey and the current President of a huge north NJ Filipino-American association. By the away, Anna is a first cousin of Kokoy Severino of the Houston-based multiracial band, Kayumanggi, which was our special “Bonfires for Peace” guest last year. Anna, who’s a friend of another friend (Lizza Nakpil) based in Manila (who’s into band management and stuff), expressed interest in Bonfires concert work, among others. We are currently talking—I strongly feel that this hook up will produce good marketing/networking output for the Pinoy Indie and Pinoy Bonfires.

[ ] BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING MENTIONABLES. (a) Thanks to Rachelle Arrowood for, among other things (like car use), my endless supply of kimchi, liquid incense, and she has just loaned us her desktop and scanner. She has also done scanning jobs for The Indie in the last two or three issues; (b) Jonathan Jones of Bonnie’s Corner Market told us that an Asheville radio program featured him in an interview, after The Indie ran a profile/story about him and his “convenience store” on this month’s issue; (c) I’m not really sure if I’m just fondling my own ego—but I’ve recently got first-hand/eye-to-eye compliments from various people downtown (UNCA girl at Mellow Mushroom, strangers at Malaprops, police officers, store clerks, and prominent Asheville community leaders and lawyers) about how they enjoy reading The Indie lately; (d) Thanks, Bunk Nesbit (Asheville) and Mariko Shimada (Tokyo), for the nice, warm emails about my Mom—yes, I don’t think I will ever get over the pain of losing my Mother, but I need to make good use of this gift of life that she and God gave me while I’m still here breathing a human existence.

[ ] Upcoming features in the November issue—(a) Mike Hopping’s story about the downtown parking lot contruction; (b) my review of Molly Kummerle and Ruby Slippers’ new CD, plus my interview with Molly; (c) club profile—The Grey Eagle—based on my interview with Brian Landrum, co-owner/manager; (d) student intern Brett Albers’ UNCA/campus-based newsfeature. (NOTE: Vanessa Boyd starts writing for The Indie, hopefully, this Nov issue.)

[ ] As I already mentioned, our Weekly Wander Workshops at Woodfin/Warm Winter Wednesday Whatever starts first weekday (dark:30 till dawn, the 2nd) of Nov. (I don’t know why I’m obsessed with the letter “W” – women, weirdo, witch, wacko, wimp, writer, wreck, wooz, whatever?) It’s not gonna be uptight but I’ll try my best to put system to it. To perk things up, we will have movie screenings/discussion, pick-up open mics, and some food (either you bring your own or you purchase whatever The Crib has) . If you wanna crash, bring your own pillow and blanket, and don’t snore and inhale your smoke.

[ ] Another 70 Woodfin Place co-building tenant, Vickie Currin, who heads a nonprofit called Asheville-Global Environmental, offers to write a project proposal for us. We haven’t sat down yet but I might offer that she writes a proposal instead for our newly-formed women’s organization, Third World Asheville.

[ ] LASTLY—a Public Service. To a certain Ryan Edwards Shields of 172 Michigan Ave., Asheville NC 28806—we found your drivers license laying down the pavement along Lex Av, facing the former Vincent’s Ear courtyard. Those who know Ryan, please let the dude know.

Paige Michaels just emailed me asking me why the hell I haven’t whined yet about “the gruesome fact” that The Indie/The Traveling Bonfires haven’t been mentioned in Mountain Xpress’s recent “Best of WNC.” C’mon, Paige, I already told you, I wouldn’t care, what the hell. But, okay, let me say one thing—what would you say when you drop by a beautiful, mystical mountain city with awesome minds, flawless skies, and colorful hips and realize that their choice for the best newspaper is a joke magazine? Surreal, isn’t it? At least, I am VERY SURE that at this juncture that the only magazine or publication in Asheville that is read and perused, at the same time, in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachians, and at least fifteen houses in Manila and Kuala Lumpur, plus few shops in downtown Manhattan, Baltimore, DC, and Rome and Paris and Dublin is called The Indie. And we don’t even have an online version yet. Three continents, man, on print—no cars, no BS, no Howard Zinn or Dear Abby, and sports page. And I’m not joking, we don’t have to joke about the world that bleeds -- to be number one.
So, as usual, gracias amigos amigas. Love good, live good, sleep good, and EAT good.

Toksa Ake at Mabuhay Kayong Lahat.

7pm. Pack Library.
Asheville NC

Monday, October 03, 2005

UPDATE: 09.29.05—The Indie Has Arrived, kimchis, Woodfin phantom, "burlesque"


Picture perfect day. If only the comparatively more pleasant weather in America also equals a comparatively pleasant material/physical/financial life in our respective neck of the woods—then, the US of A is indeed heaven-on-earth. But not even this “ulimate life’s destination” which the world calls, “The Great White Dream,” is spared of the hassle. Just like a Philippine barrio or a Chinese countryside, America also reels in unmitigated turmoil and misery when Mother Nature vents its worse mood.

There is no superpower when Nature strikes, there is no Madman when Reality kicks in. A Buddhist word-of-wisdom says, you achieve enlightenment when everything that you see or around you now becomes fantasy. Because Fantasy is so easy, so accessible and convenient—when everything is like that, then Life and Living is easier to deal with. It means it’s a gift than a payment, it’s something to nurture than waste away.

Have you ever imagined sauntering under a nice late-afternoon drizzle or early-morning sun, by the lake, chillin’ over a Mozart fugue, scribbling a sweet little poem… no worries about bills at the homefront, no worries about credit and mortgages? I want to imagine that—that “Fantasy”—at this very moment. This weekend, I will be a Buddhist rock n roll poet in a Mars Hill woods – the three-day Bearly Edible-organized “Harvest Bash”/Traveling Bonfires benefit/musicfest/camp.

We are all set. I am camping out from Friday morning till Sunday. New Indie/Bonfires soul Heather Duncan and/or Marta The Nicer Osbourne (or both) join me there on Saturday afternoon. Marta will have to work more hours somewhere to help in raising money to cushion the (as-usual) piling bills. So if anyone of you, wonderful spirits, have time to join me in Mars Hill starting tomorrow afternoon, please let me know—I am tasked to handle the festival “box office.” I’m not good at being a bitch at the door/gate/entrance, or I am simply not good at staring people straight in the eyes, and blurt, “Hey, it’s $15, you gotta pay up to get in, no privileges.”

MEANTIME, thanks to Chris Malz (Sunshine’s drummer), and Woody Henkle (Phuncle Sam keyboardist/vocalist) for the tent and implements, rides, and stuff. Thanks also to Heather, for the ride to Iwanna to submit The Indie’s final proofs and two beers hang out at Westville Pub right after. Thanks to the ever-punctual student intern Courtney Allen for the errands assistance yesterday. As usual, Thanks to Matt Mulder and Justin Gostony for the latest set of Bonfires posters… Thanks to Frank Marrero for the great photographs that he took during the Sept 24 anti-war rally/gathering in Washington DC (view his other shots at The Bonfires tent this weekend in Mars Hill). Thanks to the nice girl at Malaprops, I think her name is Rachel, for diligently posting our flyers/posters in their board, I’m very glad she—along with the café/bookstores friends and supporters from owner Emoke B’Racz, Linda Knopp, Gary, Andrew, the wait/counter staff… thanks also to community activist/author Claire Hanrahan for the nice word about my work as I got out of Pack Library yesterday. I know my last column piece about my Mother made many hearts cry and spirits soar—to all of you, your words are part of my healing. There is only One Mother for all of us, make the best of their lives while they are here.

Thanks Mike Hopping for the consistently prompt and efficient Indie work. His last three stories for this little rag of ours have definitely elevated us and/or firmed up our community respectability/acceptance quotient. Remember the days when our printer Iwanna via production manager, Bill Taylor, used to pressure me to “clean up” my language, otherwise, we get chucked? Now, he actually voiced his pleasure about how excellent The Indie has turned out to be. I don’t however expect that Mountain Xpress will even mention us in their “Best of WNC” issue on Oct 6—but we got the kind of community validation and recognition that we need.

Yup, The Indie’s Oct issue is out (a week in advance), so check that out. Oh yeah, I am still crazy after all these years… there is no foremost responsibility in life for me but the duty to get a job done, on time, whether it’s a paying gig or not. Of course, you know what I mean—friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and workmates in Manila, New York, Asheville, and elsewhere could attest to that (“Let’s sleep in the gutters tonight, swallow our salivas for dinner—but we have to carry this mission out, right here right now”). But always there is a Blue Sky blessing that waits by the doorstep—in this case, kimchi and organic foodstuff, and herbal cures (for my virused stomach) from co-building tenant Rachelle Arrowood, and a phone message/snail-mail letter from a Charlotte dude…

Stephen Jordan, who used to work for Citizen Times, sent me a letter, saying how he enjoyed the last issue of The Indie… he actually left a message on our phone last week, saying the same nice words -- “May you be blessed in all your life’s endeavors. You’re doing a fine job as Editor and Publisher…” (I want to hold on to those words, I needed those…)

Oh yeah, we still get books and stuff—from teen-market paperbacks to Catholic books to Rimbaud/Kafka—laying in front of The Indie door and somewhere near it. Some “Phantom in Woodfin Opera” keeps on doing that… but that’s okay. Keep them coming.

ALLRIGHT NOW—The Bonfires Open Mic & Local Acts Showcase starts tonight, Thurs (29th), from 7 to 11pm, at Bearly Edible. I expect soul bro Kapila Ushana there, Rena Wright and friends, Aja Hamden and the Bobby McGees, Agent Mulder, Courtney and Brett, Jarrett Leone, and those who are “orphaned” by the demise of Beanstreets Thursday open mic.

Oh, just one more sidenote—I don’t know if this means anything at all. I am not a fan of so-called beauty contests but I’d like to express (my Filipino) joy upon knowing that a Filipina, Lara Quigaman, just won the Miss International Beauty Pageant in Tokyo… uhh, better than the Finnish and Dominican Rep entries, and a throng of others. Yes, I have a song called “Ode to the Beauty Queen” and I don’t agree that “beauty” is measured by a bathing suit catwalk and “The Best Man in the World for me” histrionics, but I still get the goosebumps when a fellow Kayumanggi gets recognized somewhere…Now, the Updates.

[ ] We have finalized both the lineups for the “Third World Asheville/Bonfires for Peace” benefit events at the Grey Eagle on Nov 18 and Dec 3. The negotiation with bellydancing group Baraka Mundi didn’t pan, not because of talent-fee stalemate or schedule issues, but because we eventually realized that it’d be incongruent or, it’s just kinda off, to justify paying another act while the others don’t get remunerated at all. In some instances, in the past, it worked (ie New York City and Manila Bonfires benefit gigs)—but not this time, in Asheville. (By the way, Woody H is jointly financing, with The Bonfires, the venue-rental fee for both nights. We are preselling tickets, as usual, so get in touch with Marta in regards that.)

The final lineups, Grey Eagle benefit for the “Bonfires for Peace” and Third World Asheville—(a) Nov 18—Phuncle Sam, Dashvara, Sunshine, Crooked Routes, Vanessa Boyd, and guests Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams (from San Francisco); (b) Dec 3—Laura Blackley, Phuncle Sam, Vanessa Boyd, and guests Mississippi Cactus (from Milwaukee) and Patty Keough (from Boston). Poets are invited/enjoined to read in between acts/bands.

At least three local restaurants and cafes (incl West Asheville-based friends/supporters) vowed/committed to feed the performers and Bonfires staff on those two occasions. Woody Henkle donates $50 “ad/airtime PR” for those shows at WNCW-Radio.[ ] We are still working out ways to have Onca and Baraka Mundi in future Bonfires/Third World Asheville benefits, most probably in the after-Pritch Park Halloween party/gig on Oct 29. Also, we are negotiating with Atlanta’s Big City Burlesque—c/o lead dancer, Meredith Greer—for another fundraise possibility. To my readers in Manila (or those who might “misread”)—“burlesque” is not what we work-weary/lonesome-hearted machomen used to ogle at in Grand Inihaws in Manila during the Martial Law saga of my younger years, or those I used to scoot by in a club called “Delilah’s” in south Jersey whenever I get the blues and funk (check out Darryl Hannah, Sandra Oh, Jennifer Tilly in “Dancing at the Blue Iguana” or Paul Simon’s “The Boxer”). This is different, okay? This is different from striptease/lap dancing… this is more rock-ballet (have you seen Stephanie Morgan/Ann Dunn’s “Anna,” you get my drift). [By the way, I need to translate/transfer to DVD a couple of VHS/Hi-8 tapes – Bonfires shows and Big City Burlesque footages – anybody has any equipment or referrals?]

[ ] Vince Junior (mainman of Crooked Routes) contributed a song for the Traveling Bonfires Vol 2 CD compile. (My choice cut from his CD is “Going Home”). I expect to get more contributions from the participating acts in this weekend’s musicfest. [Others who have already donated songs/cuts are Kimberly Summer, Phuncle Sam, Dashvara, and Stephanie Rearick of Madison WI]. By the way, Filipino acts/bands—in Manila or the US—who have already performed in a Bonfires show, are also invited.

(a)Woody Henkle, Gavra Lynn, Pasckie Pascua [Oct 6, Malaprop’s Café, downtown Asheville]
(b)Mambola [Oct 17, The C Note, downtown Manhattan NYC]
(c)Deborah Crooks, Mica Lee Williams [Nov 17, Fred’s Speakeasy, downtown Asheville; Nov 19, Malaprops Café, downtown Asheville, with Pasckie Pascua]
(d)Mississippi Cactus [Dec 3, Fred’s Speakeasy, downtown Asheville]
I expect that before I send out the next Update, that Bonfires gigs/bookings are already sealed at Broadway’s and Town Pump Tavern (Black Mountain).

The Bonfires Open Mic & Local Acts Showcase happens at Bearly Edible (15 Eagle St., downtown Asheville) starting tonight, Sept 29, and every Thursday henceforth. Gifts will be given out courtesy of Bonfires friends and downtown Asheville/business supporters, ie Malaprops, B.e., Old Europe, Cold River Gallery etc. I am emceeing it but you are also invited to host/emcee (those who have somehow signified/insinuated/committed to emcee are Kapila Ushana, Jarrett Leone, and Matt Mulder.) I specifically need someone to emcee in the last two Thursdays of Oct—the time that I’ll be most likely in, Chapel Hill, DC, New York and Atlantic City… otherwise, Marta The Nicer Osbourne, will be forced to emcee the show.

[ ] I have some free Indie/media passes to Highland Repertory’s Oct production, “The Mystery of Irma Vep.” One fun, one serious invite – to party with Heather Maloy’s Terpsicorps Dance Theater and meet up with community peace advocates c/o Tim Pluta of Veterans for Peace. We still have some more invites somewhere. Those interested to check these out, let me know, “first-come, first-served.” And in the case there’s an arts/concert/reading/show or community gathering that you want to see or visit or attend to, just let me know. Of course, I’d be very happy if you also write about them, but that’s not a requisite.

[ ] Warm Winter Wander Writers Weekly Wednesday Workshop (all W’s!) officially starts Nov and ends maybe March 2006. I have redesigned/rearranged the office for this thing. It’s a freestyle/freewheeling but moderated workshop/discussion. I will announce details later. It’s going to be potluck but you can also buy food/drinks at the office. No smoking (you can outside), no alcoholics to minors. Movies are free, and you are welcome to crash for the night.

[ ] Anybody interested with wicca, witchcraft, paganism etc—and would want to review “The Goodly Spellbook (Olde Spells for Modern Problems” by Dixie Deerman (Lady Passion, High Priestess) and Steven Rasmussen (Diuvei, High Priest) of Coven Oldenwilde—I’ll lend you my copy. If you want to write about Lady Passion and Diuvei, we can arrange an interview.

[ ] MORE REMINDERS. Don’t forget (those in Manila), the kickoff of “Bonfires for Peace in Manila” on Oct 14 (Mayric’s). We are also supporting and endorsing the Trump Plaza/Atlantic City concert of US-touring Manila-based pop act, Apo Hiking Society, Filipina diva Joey Albert, and Gino Inocentes’s band Rubberband on Oct 21. Gino’s Goma Soul also produces/organizes another Pinoy rock showcase in downtown Manhattan’s Tribeca Rock Club on Oct 28. I’m sure blues/soul bro Renrick Pascual is helping out…

I am, at this moment, mapping out my third/4th week of Oct trip up-north – Chapel Hill, Richmond, DC, Baltimore, NYC, Atlantic City NJ – so those interested to join in one or more of the shows (café and clubs) that I am organizing, email me, please. Hook up/organizational linkages in Chapel Hill/Durham/Carrboro is Martin Smith of The Blotter, The Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency and/or Concei/Café Mawonaj in DC, various Filipino friends Marco Galsim, Jimmy Almario etc in Maryland and VA, Mike McHugh/New Century Productions in Manhattan, Renrick Pascual of Brown Culture in NYC/Jersey City, Ed Sunico/Rene Sese of Rensun Entertainment in New York and Atlantic City, Greer Kupka in NYU/Columbia etc etc.

ASIDE: Should I rant again? Here’s the story—Marty Smith and Johnny Pence arranged to send their Blotter copies to The Indie (distribution sideproject), via UPS about a month or so ago. The printing press mistakenly sent four boxes (instead of two) to us—then UPS simply dropped the four boxes in front of another Park Place/70 Woodfin Place room (not our frontdoor), without anyone acknowledging the delivery. It took us almost a week to track down the missing shipment (sitting in front of Suite 101, not 01). So we sent out the two boxes back to Marty’s Chapel Hill dude via Greyhound for $68! Okay, I am NOT really compulsive-impulsive nut, but I don’t really trust machines or all these electronic dispatches and stuff, to get things done. If I’m the smartass soul operating the machine, yes, maybe. Refer to “Midnight Express”—“You are like a machine. You will never know if you’re damaged or not, until the operator fixes you up.”

OKAY, ALLRIGHT. Before I close out, our three-event “Sweet Halloween Asheville: Bonfires for Vampires/Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park” is on Oct 29. Don’t forget that. I’m about to prepare my stuff for tomorrow’s trip to Mars Hill, and the Bonfires Open Mic at B.e. Sarah Brightman sings beside me, as I’m about to finish a Matt Dillon/Steve Zahn movie, “Employee of the Month.”

I will be off the internet starting tonight—be back maybe Monday. If our phone doesn’t respond, it’s because it’s a machine—it doesn’t have a heart. So ciao! As ever—live good, love good, sleep good, and EAT good!--

Asheville NC