Friday, July 28, 2006

UPDATE (07.28.06)—FilmLitFest, Wanted Book Reviewers, Virato Dude

FIRST OF ALL, I’d like to, again, thank those who came over to my humble abode for my 106th birthday last Sunday (July 23) – Linda Brown, Dale & Loretta Hoffman and kids Mikey & Lucynda, Clay Jensen and friend Sky, Matt Mulder and son Ashton, Marilyn, Marta, Gayle Sovinee, Rena Wright and hubby Charlie, Virato and partner Dhiraja. Thanks, as well, for the food and drinks and gifts and thoughtful bday cards.
Although this is not bunched with the birthday blessings, I’d like to thank Ms Janis Rose for loaning us her (other) new car. A perfect gift! Janis is Marta’s co-worker at Ingles. (She also housed us for few weeks after we left downtown in a huff last April—while we were scouting for a permanent abode.) Our “pimp van” is comfortably parked on her yard—yes, waiting for a buyer (a trade deal is welcome, as well).

SO TODAY (Friday, the 28th) is the first day of Bell Chere. No, I am not avoiding it—I never avoided it. In fact, I’d like to hang out for at least a day—and observe what’s going on in my community. Good, engaging stuff to write. I treat this episode like how I treat my journalism/writing gigs – to write about crime, I have to cover the police beat, to say shit about corporate mud, I have to plunge in. Bell Chere is a miniature of Manhattan; I don’t want to embrace the gilded, cellophane flesh but I often miss the blinding glare. So much for the metaphor... you know what I mean.
Me and Marta The Nicer Osbourne will be cruising the streets of Haywood, College, Patton, Walnut etc on Saturday, the 29th. I was invited by Virato to plug The Indie and Traveling Bonfires (he’ll be having a radio booth at Grapescape/Pack Square) but I’m not sure if I can make it there that “early. “
That night, I’m on Crooked Routes’ guest list at Westville Pub so we’ll culminate our Bell Chere dalliance with Vince Jr & friends’ cool, mountain music. I am also invited at The Wedge for the “RANT & RAVE - Phase III: UNIFY” show with local spoken artists, including Glenis Redmond and Washington DC-based Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency. (Thanks for the invite, Graham H and Shahid B of The Insurgency. I invited Shahid & company, who host me when I travel to DC, to drop by the house before they leave town.)
Meantime, Drum DeCirce of Peace Jones also phoned in an invite (check him out near Patton Av), and Jen Bowen sent in invite postcards and warm words—she will be culminating her digital art exhibition at Hookah Joe’s this weekend. Come drop by their shows... Steph Morgan and Stephanie’s Id are also playing.
Oh well, I can tolerate Bell Chere and other corporate/consumerist lunacies – I always do. But not when “unrealistic” jewel-shaking new downtown nouveau riche influence the course of cultural/creative life in a city that they just invaded. It’s good that their dubious move to “kill” the Friday Drum Circle at Pritchard Park didn’t fly. I will rant more about this in my Blue Sky/Smoke Signals column this mid-Aug. I don’t understand why they chose to live downtown and expect the peace&quiet of a mountain idyll. I mean, there’s The Cliffs and Mt Mitchell...


[ ] Anybody have time to review books for The Indie? Titles that I have here, laying so lazily on my desk: “Zoro’s Field” (essays) by Thomas Rain Crowe, “The Simultaneous Mountain” (essays) by Victor Depta, and “Under The Sun” (poetry volume) by Glenis Redmond. Thanks to their agents for sending me the books and manuscripts.
My apologies to Maria Lapachet (poetry volume, New York) and Alphonse Fazio (play/farce, Asheville) for not being able to get back to them about my reactions to their manuscripts. I have been such a slacker lately, but I’ll be emailing you in a few days... Thanks also to Jim Sullivan of South Bend, Indiana (first submission), and Michael H. Brownstein of Chicago (second) for their new contributions to Wander.

[ ] Don’t forget – The Bonfires’ fundraiser film screening of “Imelda,” the documentary about the shoe-obsessed former Philippine First Lady. The venue – Lord Auditorium of Pack Library, downtown Asheville. Date/time – Aug 10, Thurs, 5:30pm. $2 donation is suggested. Thanks to Kevin Innes for the provision of film projector. Ken Hanke, Mtn Xpress’ film critic, will be reviewing this Sundance-winning documentary in the magazine’s Aug 9 issue.I am seriously considering regularly showing multicultural films and documentaries at the Pack Library, starting with “Imelda.” Twice a month.

[ ] The first Vagrant Wind Independent Film & Literary Competitions kicks off this fall. This means that after I got deluded and tired of incessant bookings, we are dabbling with filmfests and literary contests for amateur auteurs and high school/college creative writers, respectively. The network reaches to Asia and Europe, apart from US coast-to-coast. For more details, check out --

[ ] The Traveling Bonfires’ small-&-medium entrepreneurship (crafts, woodcarvings, apparel, antiques etc) from the mountain city of Baguio in the north of the Philippines to Asheville – is slowly but surely shaping up. Expect new products/samples on our Sept and Oct booths at the Lex Av Fest and Organicfest. There is no way that we can properly finance The Indie and the other publications (including small book projects) if we don’t go to surefire ROI (return-of-investment) projects.

[ ] New ads to The Indie, Wander, Blue Sky: Virato Live/Revolution Radio (tradeoff), Three Brothers Restaurant (1/8th page). Most of our current advertisers also renewed their year-long ad contracts. (Salut to Marta The Nicer!) Meanwhile, we have also expanded our distribution to Black Mountain... We need more writers for Blue Sky (spirituality, religion, healing arts, healthy living) and Spanish-language contributors to all the magazines. (Marta negotiation persuasive power -- one-month credit line with Iwanna Printing Press.)
A little sidestory about my intro to/with Virato. Time—maybe four years ago, downtown Asheville. I arranged a marketing-related meeting with the bearded dude at Malaprop’s. Midway through our conversation, I noticed that the cafe/bookshop’s staff were kinda glancing at us with a really fishy glare. Then, Linda Knopp (Malaprop’s number two person) motioned for Virato; they chatted away from me. After a few minutes, Virato went back to our table and said, “Ah, do you know that I am banned from entering this bookstore again? But when I told Linda that I’ll be helping you with marketing of The Indie, they lifted the ban!” That pushed my ego up... Four years hence, The Indie’s valued spot at Malaprop’s feels like “a rose among a thousand other roses” (to evoke Exupery).

[ ] We will be having Traveling Bonfires/Loved by the Buffalo booths at the Organicfest on Sept 6, and Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival on Sept 10. We will be selling/breaking in crafts and stuff from the Philippines (I hope the first shipments arrive fast). Meantime, our Sunday benefit yard sale reconvenes on Aug 6. So feel free to drop your donated wares to 61 Dunwell Avenue.

SO THAT’S IT. On Sunday, I’ll be struggling with my own “book-projects” while I work on the magazines. Thanks for the “how-are-you” emails from Gaither Stewart (Rome, Italy), Mariko Shimada (Tokyo), Duane/Demi/Donna Pascua (Manila), Siobhan Clarke (Dublin, Ireland). Life is still a gift despite intermittent blues&funk. I just enjoyed chicken adobo, boiled white rice, and rumcoke. I still find cool treasures at Goodwill and Habitat like a turntable/phonograph for $10 and an old Royal typewriter for $1.50. I have restarted collecting hardbound books, long play vinyl records, and sunglasses.
As epilogue—book/DVD/CD/shows tips: (1) Book—“Mystic River” by Dennis Lehane, (2) DVDs—“Greenstreet Hooligans” (about London’s soccer thugs) and/or “Everything is Illuminating” (both films starring Elijah Wood), (3) CD—“The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt” (includes awesome covers of “Just One Look” and “Tracks of my Tears,” and my guilty pleasure, “Heart Like a Wheel”), (4) Shows—Wednesday evening gigs by my good friend Katie Kasben (Katie Kasben Trio) at Cafe by the Square in downtown Asheville. Don’t forget to request “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Begin the Beguine.”

SO AS EVER—live good, love good, and eat good food!
2:41am, Asheville NC


Blogger A Teacher's Log said...

I realy like your literary magazine and it's an honor to send a second contribution to you. Since your into music and writing I thought you might like some links to some of my work on the web.



Michael H. Brownstein

8:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home