Sunday, December 11, 2005

UPDATE (12.11.05)—The Car! The Car! Bonfire of the Indies, Rain Records

THE BIGGEST STORY of the last few weeks or so – The Indie & The Traveling Bonfires already has a vehicle, sort of. Okay, let me put it this way – Carlos Steward of Courtyard Gallery & Agency loaned us his van. So starting tomorrow, expect us rolling around town, all the way to neighboring Black Mountain, Weaverville, Mars Hill, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Arden to maybe as far as Waynesville, Marion, Hickory and Cherokee – to spread out The Indie and Wander and thereby expand our readership and marketing/advertising options/alternatives.
As I always rant/ramble/ruminate afront Marta The Nicer Osbourne and Mathilde The Extra-Terrestrial Apparition of The Indie Morgue – The Blue Sky God/dess always provides as long as we keep the faith, as long as we follow the lead. He/she always say, “Okay, guys, I know you need a car, I’ll give you one but the rest, you gotta work it out, okay?” Even Albert Einstein declared somehow, it’s gotta be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. [Despite the many things and madnesses that we throw ourselves into—I haven’t really convinced myself that I have considerable creative output in the last few years of my life since I crashlanded in the Appalachians.]
We always complain about not having venues (because the more commercially-inclined clubs/venues prefer ROV, return-of-investments, most of the time), we always whine because not many people listen or attend to our shows, we always mope over not having to do an (artistic/sublime) thing or two because we are tied up with earning rent money and stuff… but we still say, I want to perform, write songs, compose poetry etc. When are we gonna stop complaining? We just have to believe in things that aren’t there yet. Believe in things that cant be calculated or tested via an obstuse and well-researched “business plan” or career blueprint. Those are physical givens, let them be… The real thing is the love-within, the spirit that keeps us continually creating and recreating. Without those, any endeavor, definitely crashes by the wayside—even if it works around a million-dollar bankroll. It’s so easy to waste away money but you cant murder or put a stop to a spirit that continues to rock and roll, no matter what.
My kindred bro, Ruben Austria’s (New York City) words still beautifully reverberate in my heart. “This man knocked at my door one winter’s night, and told me pointblank – you are a musician, you should play music and share it to the neighborhood and the world, take a break from earning money, go out and play, man!” The neighborhood is the world, your one song is the universal hymn, your one poem is the global language. As James Brown screams it out, “Get down, baby! Come on!!!”

Now, the 1 million Update/s… (I’m writing this from around the nonchalant, freefalling around-the-bonfire beauty of Ash Devine’s music and words).

[ ] The title of my URTV (cable TV) show is “Bonfire of the Indies, “ aka convergence/dialogue of the independents. It will focus on independent entrepreneurs, community movers/shakers, producers/organizers, “crazy souls.” I am looking at a monthly, 1hr show—but at this point, it’ll be lots of focused, quality-time pre-prod work. I’d like to make the show really fun-induced, chill-out ambianced, hip and cool, but educational and enlightening and rife with humor and grainy/raw feel. Right now, I’m scouting for an outdoor space to build a bonfire, a REAL bonfires, yes indeed to make the initial (interview) shoot/s. The “bonfire” set ties up the entire show…
Any ideas? I also need a production assistant who’s got a bit of know-how about camera work and technical stuff (who’s willing to dabble as co-Anchor/Host). I’m working on a stripped-down, acoustic guitar over naked piano/bass theme song (“Build me a Bonfire”), and I need graphic artists, and at least two production hands (including my PA). I still don’t know how to financially-remunerate my TV crew but there must be a way… So let me know. We will have a day to brainstorm/discuss the show’s concept and stuff. I will only use Asheville/WNC talents and crew, sets/material/music-sound background etc.

[ ] I am meeting with Wally Bowen (owner/founder, Main/WPVM) this Wed, Dec 14, to discuss about a possible Bonfires-WPVM project. Offhand, I’m thinking of a weekly 1hr show… discussion and music, or whatever. I don’t know. Wally got in touch with me, so maybe he has some ideas. I used to host several AM and college radio shows in Manila before -- from an angry 7am talk-radio to a really cheesy Barry Manilow-over-Elizabeth Barrett Browning aftermidnight all-requests FM gig. We can do better than that, of course.

[ ] Ah, Kapila Ushana—has finally arrived! I have been waiting for his long-delayed “Bread&Brew” column for the Indie—in the last three years! He said he’s ready to rock the pages of The Indie… so his first assignment is the Mellow Mushroom’s bar. Apart from that, he has also vowed to write a some kinda “reaction-to-an-Indie-article” article each issue. I mean, a reaction/suggestion/commentary about, for example, Mike Hopping’s I-26 nuke connection story and/or Gaither Stewart’s views/opinion about the recent France sociocultural tempest. Then, he suggested finding ads for The Indie… introduced a new (ads) section, eg obits and wellwishes corner (happy anniversary, wedding etc), then recommended two possible columnists, Richard Fireman (environmental issues) and Mr Gibney (law). Cool, bro! Thanks for all these… Now, where is your first article?

[ ] The Indie’s lead story for Jan 2006 is based on a interview with new Asheville mayor Terry Bellamy. We hooked up a 30mins interview with the Mayor for Jan 5 – which means, we are moving street distribution of the Jan issue for the second week of said month. We cant move the interview article for Feb because the space of time from Jan 5 to Feb means more community stuff happening, it’ll be outdated by then… Meantime, Carlos Steward starts a film column starting Jan – while Carrie Brannon does an Advice column, and NY-based Maria Lapachet resumes her Spanish-language assignment. [Hmmmm, I’d like to repeat -- Kapila U also starts the Bread&Brew, thus putting an end to the neverending wait.]

[ ] Next Malaprops gig – Jan 12, Thursday, 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The booking is saved for Ash Devine and visiting Claire Campbell and two other women-friends… Claire is a member of the Athens GA-based band, Hope for Agoldensummer (as recommended by ex-Asheville spirit, now Ann Arbor MI muse, Anni Paisley AKA Anya Firebird).

[ ] In our neverending quest to find a good-natured soul to help handle Traveling Bonfires sound situation on a “this-is-my-sole-responsibility-at-this-particular-moment” basis, we were led to John Staversky. Hendersonville resident John used to provide the awesome, crisp, cool small-venue PA/sound at the demised Indigenous Teahouse Monday open mic. It’d help a lot if there’s one Bonfires person who’s particularly in-charge with the sound/PA management of a gig, whether the venue/club has an in-house/hired soundperson or not. I had a meeting with John at The Crib a week or so ago. Pending busy Christmas season huddle and rush (he works in a Biltmore Village restaurant), he said he’s very much interested and willing to be part of the beautiful madness.

[ ] Steve Jordan of Northern Mecklenburg County, near Charlotte, has invited me to visit his city/town one of these days. Writes he, “Would you like to come to Charlotte (for a day or so) to check things out? I can probably arrange a ride (round trip) via Greyhound. I feel our driver, Chuck King, would be glad to assist. We’ll go up to the Davidson College campus. I try to see as many of their basketball games as possible.” [Steve got a hold of The Indie two m onths ago, and so now he’s a regular Indie enthusiast.]
So who wants to go with me? But, uhh—Marta The Nicer Osbourne told me that she feels Steve thinks I’m a woman! I don’t believe so… because the dude got to know me through my Like a Rolling Stone column about my Mother’s passing few issues ago. I believe I made it pretty clear than I am a man, well—I just checked it a few minutes ago, I am actually a man! Few years ago, while dividing time between Wilmington and Candler/Asheville, I carried on an almost 6-months online correspondence with Julie Parker, the publisher/editor of WNC Woman, leading to a possible collaborative fundraise project/s… when we were about to meet up in Asheville, I suspected something—that she thought I was a woman! My suspicion was true, she taught I was female! She didn’t meet up with me, sadly… Oh man, I am very much a heterosexual male, and I do believe that I made that clear in my work, or don’t I? Tell me.

[ ] Jason and Camela Klein donates a desktop MacIntosh computer to The Indie. But I don’t know how to make it work. I just bought an ethernet cord that I hooked up to The Indie’s pipeline connect but it isn’t working. Anybody who’s knowledgeable with Macs, SOS pls. [Sorry about the technical booboo in the Dec issue of The Indie that prevented your “A Wedding Story” from being published. That article will definitely be out this Jan issue, DEFINITELY! Hmmm, I’m not really sure why a cool story about matrimonial bliss should encounter hassle. Does it pertain to my own fears? Dunno…]

[ ] Apart from distributing Martin Smith’s The Blotter (from Chapel Hill NC), we have also begun distributing the Organic Shopper, published by Debi Athos and hubby. Debi is the organizer of the annual Organicfest. The Indie Fund receives a $100 fee each for the effort… Meantime, Elaine Lite (publisher/editor of Critter Magazine) donates some of her display racks to The Indie and allows us to share Critter’s space/racks in some outlets. We might also distribute Critter as another help-income option. Since we already have to van to ferry us to here and there, me and Marta could actually do deliveries of other WNC paper for a fee… (Thanks to Rena Wright-Daugherty for introducing Elaine to us. Rena has networked us to/with many good-natured, like-minded souls and spirits in Asheville in the past couple of years of our existence here…]

[ ] Gino Inocentes (NY Indie founding member, Baltimore Bonfires ally) suggests a collaboration with me on a film for 2006 Maryland film festival. But, uhh, you guessed it right – do I have a thousand personas, do I still have time for another one? I am the Madman who simply collapsed, and almost passed away for good, in the midst of a thousand madnesses two times in my crazy life! But I’d like to help or collaborate with Gino, one way or the other. Call me, doode, nighttimes...

[ ] I am resurrecting Rain Records (another side/sibling project of The Indie & The Traveling Bonfires). I’ll start with “managing/handling” an act or two. But it’s not really a financial-management situation, it’s more of “let’s see what we can do together” kind of freewheeling, flexible deal. This time out, The Bonfires would like to focus on booking/promoting/taking care of specific acts than randomly finding gigs for just about anyone/any act that comes our way. So what I’m trying to say is—the scrimmage time is over. It’s time to move on and carry on another/higher level…
I have some prospects listed but at this point but the only act that I have already agreed/talked with is singer-songwriter Ash Devine. Another act is New York City-based Mambola (of Ruben Austria and his bro John and sister Liza) but I still need to talk with them when I visit NY again. Ruben treats me as their “promoter” although I haven’t internalized that yet (now, I need to). I am also hoping to sit down with Chris Malz (Hippie Shitzu, Sunshine drummer) if he’s willing to help me organize the incarnation of Duane’s Poetry (my Manila band that folded up when I left in 1998). I’m envisioning a world-music induced act, with indigenous instruments, lots of experimental/improvisational stuff (including theater-and-rock etc). Meantime, I may be rehearsing with Ash about dabbing drums and bass to my readings… So in the case that you notice that we are booking Ms Devine more than anybody else these days, it’s because Rain Records is “handling” her. I’d like to take it slow and “manage” singer-songwriters at this point… Also, Duane’s Poetry will be The Bonfires’ “house-act” although, at this point, I don’t know yet if that sideproject will materialize although I will announce audition fillers starting January.

[ ] Deborah Crooks joins the volume 2 of The Traveling Bonfires CD compile. She’s contributing her song, “Truth Now,” to the project. Others who have already signed up are Stephanie Rearick, Dashvara, Vince Junior, and Kimberly Summer… Contributors have performed, one way or the other, with The Traveling Bonfires.

[ ] Frank Douglass of Twin Cousins (partner restaurant inside the Grey Eagle) joins one of the more vocal admirers of The Indie (his words, check our Jan Indie issue’s “Emails to the Editor). Meantime, he shares work his fiction and literary work with Wander and vows to join the Thurs open mics (he dropped by at Courtyard with another dude last Thurs)… Meanwhile, we are still on endless scout-and-bargain mission to find/locate a downtown spot for The Bonfires Café. If you have some leads and ideas, Marta is the person to get in touch with.

So that’s it. It’s my last glass of Ozeki sake… I have just seen “War of The Worlds” by Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise—awesome visuals but I don’t seem to see the point of the high-handed imagery, that’s it? Masters such as Mr Spielberg needs some chill-out times, sometimes, aint it? I’m about to watch Atom Egoyan’s “Ararat.”

So, mi amigos con amigas, gracias!

4:27pm. Asheville NC


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