Friday, May 12, 2006

BIG WEEKEND/BONFIRES UPDATE: Bonfires for Peace at P Park, W Asheville Party

WHAT’S GOING ON? Well, a lot of things are going on. Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard are playing at The Civic Center on May 6. So expect a whole lot of Dylan/Haggard after-gig stuff. But with or without these rock/country megastars/legends coming to the mountains, The Bonfires burn this weekend. What else is new...
Nonsensical it may seem to mention it, although I can easily rant that I can’t or won’t afford a Dylan/Haggard tix, this past two or three weeks is my MOST EXPENSIVE MONTH in my life in Asheville, so far. But as ever, The Blue Sky God/dess watches over... this “madness faith” will guide me.
Securing a lease to a house that easily had me at hello is tough—considering my perpetual “ramen noodles” financial situation. Security deposit, a month’s advance, electric power/water/garbage collection initial fees, “little” house repairs (can’t wait for the landlord to fix them).
Then comes the most “expensive/lucrative” Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park event (or weekend) that we ever organized. When I say “lucrative” that is a Bonfires “house” definition – yet that money (almost $600) is actually “coffee money” when we compare it with the usual/ordinary outdoor concert budget. Backline (PA/sound etc) itself costs roughly $1200 to $2000 for just one Bell Chere stage or bar fine/upfront money at New York’s CBGB’s Downstairs Lounge for a summer gig when The Bonfires was based in The Big Apple six years ago. So when I say, “almost $600” – that’s already park rental, PA/sound provision, and other peripherals. The magic of negotiation still works somehow but STILL that is HUGE MONEY for me.

NOTE: I don’t use credit card, I don’t have a credit card—so all these are via cold cash. Where did we get the money? I don’t know – my usual response is, “I survived in Asheville or WNC in the last five years – The Indie survived, the Traveling Bonfires survived, the Vagrant Wind road tour sporadically survived, Marta The Nicer survived. We deserve a house to feel home sometimes, and say proudly with a PBR on hand, DAMN! WE SURVIVED!.” In the summer of 2002, as I published the first Indie in Asheville, I declared, “If I get pass three years here of unmitigated, unflagging, maddening slew of projects and programs—I get pass 100 years.” The Indie and The Bonfires will be four years old in the mountains this July.
One lesson that knocked me cold in the aftermath of the recent Courtyard Gallery/downtown misfortune – “I won’ t allow myself to be misread as a pauper anymore. I am not hungry and I am not homeless. I am just crazy.”

ANYWAYS, let’s have fun, nonetheless. The Blue Sky God/dess assured me that there’ll be great, awesome weather this weekend.

[ ] “BONFIRES FOR PEACE AT PRITCHARD PARK.” Year 3. Event 2. Downtown Asheville. May 6, Saturday, 4:30pm to 10pm.
Featured acts (sequenced as per playing program): <1>MALCOLM ROLLICK [], singer-songwriter, from Brooklyn NY. <2>ADRIENNE NIGHTINGALE [], singer-songwriter, from Brooklyn NY. <3>VANESSA BOYD & THE YES MEN [], <4>BLUE NUMBER NINE [], New Jersey-based 7-piece funk/r&b/rock group. <5>LAURA BLACKLEY & LOVEHANDLES []
Sound by Chris Cates. Food/drinks by Mellow Mushroom.

[ ] “A COMMUNITY HANDSHAKE/A Concert Party: The Traveling Bonfires Celebrate Move to West Asheville.” Fortune Building Ballroom, 727 Haywood Road. May 7, starts 7pm. Bring-your-own-drinks, Filipino food will probably be served for minimal cost, $3 donation goes to the visiting TBonfires guest-performers.
Featured acts: Blue Number Nine, Adrienne Nightingale, Malcolm Rollick, with John Staversky. Sound by John Staversky and Marco Accatattis. Thanks to Fortune Bldg owner Jonah Goldwag for the very generous booking/”neighbors” arrangement. The building is located on the same street or cross-street as ours (Dunwell Avenue). (Thanks Rena Wright for hooking me up.)

THE ENTIRE Blue Number Nine band (3 young women, 4 men) will be staying (May 6 after the concert till Monday morning) in what I call now as “The Bonfires Abode” on 61 Dunwell Avenue. The house isn’t fully ornamented/fixed/cleaned/decorated yet – so if you could possibly loan us your spare curtains, futons, blankets, wall decors, folding tables/chairs, grill, extra chinaware (I hate paper plates), we do appreciate it. Feel free to come over. BUT, remember, DON’T bring a baby anaconda or emanticipating alligator with you.


[ ] Okay, let me yell silently, “I DON’T WANT TO BOOK IN ASHEVILLE CLUBS ANYMORE!!!” I guess, you get the drift. As the ringmaster in “Cabaret!” admonishes, “Money, money, money.” For one, our New French Bar gig (on May 4) was bumped off by a jazz/dance act that was a sort of “Best in WNC.” Sure beers, sure profits.
Sad. Look at these bands—they are asked to bring in their PA/sound, they’re not properly promoted by clubs, they don’t get paid. And they get bumped off, just like that. If someone’s gonna tell me that the only way to buck the (club) odds is to join the voodoo dance, nah. I will continue burning my bonfires and I will continue finding venues for those who want to share their music ahead of finding $$$ to score their new iPod. I will continue to find good souls who vibe with this madness... I haven’t explored 1/16th of the world for half of life’s beautiful blessings yet.

[ ] The TOUCH SAMADHI FAMILY of trance goa DJs will be back at the “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park” on June 10. They opened the 2006 program last April 15 to a rousing, dance-crazy humanity. We earned $110 (of non-aggressive tips-persuasion) on that event, didn’t I mention that? Well money that you get from people who are pleased and elated by the “madness” makes you really feel good – although the amount is not even half of that day’s event’s total budget. I got home with a full soul, my stomach was fed by Mellow Mushroom’s mozzarella.By the way, Chris Johnson and the DJs will be donating some cash, too, on this event—to make it a whole day public dance trance/party. That is most likely 12noon to 10pm. And we will most likely bring back bellydancers again!

[ ] Lineup for July 1 “Bonfires for Peace” – Lionz (from Athens GA), Chris Cates Band, Hippie Shitzu, Sally Spring Band (from Raleigh NC), and blues finger-picking wiz Patrick Fitzsimons.

[ ] Of course, you know that Blue Sky has already come out. Any comments? Kate O’Haley’s comment: “Oh man, typical Pasckie publication!” I don’t know if that’s good or bad. And, THANK YOU gallery (for lots of blessings in the past few months or weeks) – Dale Hoffman, Linda Brown, Jonah Goldwag, Hannah Seng, Janis Rose, Rachelle Arrowood, Katie Kasben, John Staversky, Rena Wright, Steve Rasmussen, Mark Anderson, Gaither Stewart (for all the fatherly advice), Matt Mulder, Pinoys-in-Asheville Jimmy and Jeff, Graham Hackett (for having me read poems at Asheville Arts Council), and my entire family in Manila, LA, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST... in case you happen to visit us and tries to enter via the front door and no one answers the knockings—pass by the “secret door” (not secret anymore) which is the sidedoor to my office. I stay there like 85% of my time—embroiled in an abyss of work and/or culinary indulgence (the office is adjacent to the kitchen).
It’s 7:25 on a Thursday morning. I will either go back to bed or have Cafe Cubano and finish watching Catherine Breillat’s “Sex is Comedy.”

Buenas dias!

7am. Thursday.


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