January 29, 2007

Poets Theater at Small Press Traffic
@ CCA in SF
Friday, FEBRUARY 2, 2007 at 7:30 P.M.

all seats $10; arrive promptly

“Hooligan’s Island,” / Written & directed by Scott MacLeod

“Noggin Flowers,” by Lisa Robertson and Jacob Eichert, directed by Kevin Killian

“Self/Cell” / Text by Olivia E. Sears / Images by Aline Mare / Music by Craig Bicknell

“The Deathperts” / Written & directed by Chana Morgenstern

Selections from “James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie: An Alphabet” (1982)
Written by John Cage / Directed by Marie Carbone / With Gillian Conoley, Patricia Dienstfrey, Dale Going, Brenda Hillman, Denise Liddell Lawson, Denise Newman, giovanni singleton and Carol Snow

“The Gunfight” / Written & directed by Brent Cunningham

"Feed" / Written & directed by Juliana Spahr


January 29, 2007

Those in the East Bay should mark February 7th down on their calendar and catch curator Janet Bishop in conversation with Stephanie Syjuco at Mills College.

Janet Bishop guest curated the Take 2: Women Revisiting Art History exhibition currently up (January 17-March 15) at Mills College Art Museum. Judging from the catalogue (since when does Mills do exhibition catalogues?), the show focuses on women artists appropriating, reconfiguring and otherwise recontextualizing art history.

Artists in the exhibition include:

Janine Antoni
Beate Gutschow
Sherrie Levine
Cindy Sherman
Shazia Sikander
Stephanie Syjuco
Sam Taylor-Wood
Catherine Wagner
Kara Walker

January 28, 2007

Is that Scott the Blue Bunny on China's official English newspaper website?


January 26, 2007

I came across this on the Kearny Street Workshop artists page while hunting down another thread that didn't quite pan out:

Big Bad Chinese Mama is a spoof on Mail Order Bride sites that hits at the core of the West's construction of Asian women, the mail order bride mentality (which she equates with colonialism & capitalism), and (white) patriarchy in general. Smart, theory-based, and funny. It comes complete with a manifesto, more an artist statement really, but who cares?


January 25, 2007

Grant Barrett of the Double Tongued blog now has a radio program. Yeah!


January 24, 2007

I've been deep thinking (perhaps akin to Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening) a lot recently about the concept of neighborhood. The current state of my neighborhood in East Oakland (itself something of a neighborhood in relation to the rest of Oakland) is complex. Where I live used to be the soveriegn city of Melrose, annexed by Oakland some time back. Melrose then became an Oakland neighborhood. Then real estate developers carved it up in the 30s & 40s giving neighborhoods like Maxwell Park a slice of Melrose to Melrose's dimishment. Then more recently, other neighborhoods have been delineated within the older boundaries, so that say Maxwell Park, which was carved out of Melrose, is now halved by a new neighborhood called Fairfax. The smaller neighborhood demarcations help to sell houses apparently.

The block I live on (57th Ave & Int'l Blvd.) was once Melrose, but is now considered a part of the Seminary neighborhood, which didn't exist on any Oakland map until very recently.

This doesn't seem to matter all that much, but it really does. Who decides which neighborhood you live in has political, social and economic consequences. Picardy, for example, is a single street that used to be in the Seminary-and-before-then-Melrose neighborhood. They have received a lot of attention for displaying Christmas lights (no joke), so the real estate folk have designated this a separate neighborhood. Are the neighborhood schools in Picardy any better for it? No, the Picardy children still attend the same schools located in the same places as before the new demarcation, going to the same schools they always did outside of Picardy. Do the cops come quicker? Doubtful, this is still East Oakland. The only advantage is a better listing on the housing market.

When I was growing up on the Eastside of Detroit*, I never thought of this since my friends & I thought of everything in terms of police precints--I lived in the 5th precint. If I met someone from outside of the Eastside, then I might have used the more generic term Eastside.

In my old Brooklyn neighborhood, there may have been a block or two of grey area between Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, but the idea that at some point real estate developers could come in and decide that Pratt Institute and the 3 surrounding blocks on all sides should now be called Pratt seems unthinkingable--no not unthinkable--but highly unlikely.

And yet this is happening in Oakland. Uptown? Does Oakland have a fixed idea of where Downtown is? Where does Downtown end?

I've been looking at scores of Oakland neighborhood maps, most commissioned by either Alemeda county or the city, and have been wondering who exactly is benefitting from this trend of hyper-defining the neighborhoods in East Oakland and other similar neighborhoods. The better, more relevant question to ask is who is losing from it?
*There's this one Journey song from the 80s, memory fails me at the moment (Don't Stop Believin', I googled), that mentions Southside Detroit. The Southside of Detroit would be exactly in the Detroit River connecting Lake St. Clair with Lake Erie.


January 22, 2007

Small Press Traffic's Poets Theater Jamboree 2007 continues
Friday, January 26, 2007 at 7:30 P.M. @ CCA in SF
with Neo-Benshi Night: Sound Off!??

All seats $10; please arrive promptly.

Beyond the flotsam of YouTube, and exceeding the drunken sentiments of karaoke, Neo-Benshi is live narration and subversion of moving pictures.

In this evening’s eight episodes??

Mary Burger reanimates Michel Gondry;
Del Ray Cross cracks Kurt McDowell;
Amanda Davidson pirates Pippi;
Jen Hofer x-rays Robert Aldrich;
Colter Jacobsen duels Stephen Spielberg;
Jen Nellis poisons Alfred Hitchcock;
Wayne Smith parties with John Schlesinger;
and Konrad Steiner hosts “The Gamma People”


January 20, 2007

W. Somerset Maugham, The Circle @ ACT Theater.

Maugham, I think, is one of those writers that I tried to tackle too early in my reading life and just got turned off. I never quite got into Of Human Bondage the way I did, say, by anything F Scott or various other Moderns ever wrote. This production of The Circle--once again a fantastic cast, beautiful set, all the things the ACT is recognized for--makes me want to pick a few Maugham tombs off the library shelf and give him another pass.

It's nice how the timeline of events that occured prior to the on stage action remians somewhat vague: at what point did Elizabeth decide to invite Arnold's estranged mother to visit, before or after she decided to run off with a lover just as Lady Kitty had done?

It's also nice how the play steamrollers to the conclusion that seems evident from the first act, only to throw the audience of the path several times through adjustments in tone (act 2 ends as the totally violent downer opposite of the laugh out loud first scene), making you doubt the inevitable in the final act.

At ACT until February 3rd.


January 20, 2007

I can't go (work), so you should . . . and bring a friend to take my place.

January 20, 2007

Sha is curious at the fact that people clapped during Dreamgirls at the Grand Lake theater. Her working hypothesis is that people don't go to enough live events that warrant this sort of reaction and are merely tranfering the energy that an audience should feel for the performer during these live events.


January 16, 2007

Via Sara Wintz: the pretty panicks press announces distribution of its third postcard featuring a rock composition by new york composer molly thompson!
in case you don't know...Molly Thompson is a New York based composer/performer. Her music has been performed at diverse venues, from NYC performance spaces, to new music festivals and Parisian jazz clubs. Ash is the title of her upcoming CD of chamber songs and will be released in February 2007. (With a CD Release party scheduled for February 8 at Galapagos ArtSpace in Brooklyn.) In April 2007 her music will be presented at The Flea Theater in New York City as part of Kathleen Supové's series,Music With a View.
aaaand...HEY WEST COASTERS! postcards by the pretty panicks press will soon be available at the following bay area locations: amoeba music @2455 telegraph ave., berkeley & aquarius music @1055 valencia st., san francisco...in addition to: beacon's closet @88 n 11th st., brooklyn & other music @15 e 4th st., nyc!
if you would like to receive a copy of this postcard, please email your mailing address to pretty.panicks@gmail.comxx!
sara wintz/ the pretty panicks press

January 16, 2007

First batch of old letters goes out in tomorrow's mail.


January 14, 2007

Um, so I went through some of the many stacks of crap I have laying around the studio, and discovered letters I thought I sent out up to 8 months ago.

As I resolved, this year will better than last in the letter department.
And yes, that's a snare drum at the left end of the piano.


January 12, 2007

It's stream isn't smooth yet, but China's official international (ie. English) channel CCTV -4, is now available online.


NPR reports on the closing of indie publishing houses (ie. non-govt) in Iran


Shanghai dumps its big ferris wheel idea


a look into the ferris wheel graveyard


It is freezing in my loft & I've lost my gloves. It's the first time I've heard the shop-worn term "wind chill" in California. And yes, there was another earthquake.


January 7, 2007

Jerry Brown in Oakland timeline


Daphne Gottlieb writes for Good Vibrations


Lucille Clifton Fellow at Dartmouth


Stephanie says mark your calendar


Brain Failure, punk/ska from Beijing



January 6, 2007

Playspace Gallery @ CCA in SF. Twenty-Three Years of Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams: A Retrospective of Caroliner (December 13–January 19)
The Echo de Pensees Sound Series presents 23 Years of Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams: A Retrospective of Caroliner and Its Homage to a 19th-Century Singing Bull, the first opportunity to see the internationally recognized band Caroliner's extensive ephemera collected in one place.
The exhibition includes the cream of the crop of 23 years of Caroliner props, costumes, instruments, records, books, flyers, and assorted detritus.
Gallery Hours: Wed., Thurs., and Sat., noon–3 p.m.Reception: Jan. 13, 6–8 p.m.
The January 13 reception is followed at 8 p.m. by Caroliner's first performance in a year and a half.


January 5, 2007

Tom Clark, Disordered Ideas (Black Sparrow, 1987).

I have no idea how this book recently appeared on my shelf; considering my recent mass divestment of all things book-like, I was suprised to find this in one of my several stacks of things to read.

Vaguely remembering that Tom Clark was the poetry editor for the Paris Review (1963-73), I was all prepared for the standard acutely observational poems that make up the mainstream. And yes, there in here. I wasn't quite prepared, however, for the proliterian tone that seems to run throughout:

the rich buy
themselves out of it
("Commuting," 111)

An oasis of reflection leached out
Of the gross drone of the bourgeoisie...
("Glassitude," 105)

Art in our time is a toy of the middle
class, I said...
("Thinking About Pound on Shattuck Avenue," 118)

art has become a trained poodle
of the techno social elite
("Shattuckworld," 120)

The rich would eat the poor
if it were leagal and the
poor tasted better
("The Age of Cain Diet," 122)

Then there's the 11 page sympathetic narrative poem, "Pressures of the Assembly Line" (77-88), that details a factory worker who gets suspended only to come back with a rifle aimed at management:

Sonny killed
them both
in their swivel chairs
with single
the cool
of chaos
was improving him
as a navigator
of his
fate (85).


January 5, 2007

The 14 position in rugby is called "strong wide winger."


Junauray 4, 2007

5 Little-Known Things About Me (as tagged by Rodney)

1. Am an unapologetic Hall & Oates fan.
1.1. I also like early KISS a whole lot [I had Kiss Alive II on 8 track(2 tapes); Detroit Rock City was one of the first affirming things I heard about my home city (nevermind that it's a song about a car crash on the Belle Isle Bridge) ].
2. Was in a band (Chase Park Girls) as drummer (my least apt instrument) with artists Matthew Lusk & Nat Harris while in Athens, GA. We all had worked at the same candle factory. Yes, I was a chandler.
3. Was site manager of multiple UN sponsored mediaeval archaeology digs in Southwest France.
4. Got all nekkid at a Brown Bunny Ensemble performance at the Lab in SF (2001?). I was playing guitar immediately before & after (still nekkid) the disrobing. It was a part (ie. in the score) that Jorge Boehringer had written especially for me. Still don't know exactly why, but don't question such things.
5. I was a high school wrestler (119/126), footballer (DB), & in my senior year abroad (thank you Rotary) inFrance played rugby on the Jr. rugby team (17-19) for Fumel (well known for playing dirty). I was instructed by my coach to foul then pretend I couldn't comprehend the ref. I amounted to a 125 pound goon who could tackle. I played the 14 position, which since I played in France, still don't know the English name for this position.

I tag John, Stephanie, Juliana, Matt, & Geof.