First Loves (Something, Money)

[EDIT: I wasn't even thinking when I wrote this about the fact that YouTube is in the process of eliminating this sort of thing from their site. Parent company Google already has in YouTube a unique and immensely popular site motored by ad revenue. Do they really need to drive users away by getting many from the users willing or able to pony up?]

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It's saying nothing new, I know, but how amazing to be able to type memories into a machine and have them called up to live again.

It's hard to put into words just how unspeakably cool it was for there to be a cool, an actually COOL band in Springfield, Illinois, when I was 13. My friend's dad used to call ahead to the place where they usually played (it was called "Crow's Mill School" but minors weren't allowed) and arrange to escort us there, kindly sitting with us so we could see our very own, homegrown new wave band. And rather amazingly, Food & Money also did a half hour community access show in St. Louis which was preserved to videotape and then digitized and uploaded. I've become reacquainted with guitarist John Novak by means of the Facebook machine. He plays around up north of Springfield with the Guitar Circle of Chicago.

There were other bands around, of course, but not another truly great one to lay claim to until packing off to Illinois State University in a town called Normal (by which time I could get into bars on my own, even if it required a fake ID). I'm a little surprised there isn't more video of the Something Brothers out there because they amassed a faithful following. But then, back then wayback machines didn't fit in your pocket.


The Art of How to Better Public Speaking in Public

Writing and doing radio are very public, very solitary activities. People read what you write and listen to what you play and what you say on the radio (or that's the hope anyway), but they don't look<\I> at you. Nobody's staring. 

I had opportunities last month to speak in front of people, something which makes me more than a little nervous (which I guess is why I did it). And as it happens, friends showed up at each with the intention of videoing.

On May 28, I was one of seven WFMU hosts who read at KGB Bar in something that we''re hoping will be a quarterly happening. I read excerpts from "Why Do We Scream at Each Other: Letters to Prince" (and just over a week before the Purple Yoda from Minnesota's birthday!)

And on May 14, I accepted a challenge from Andrew Singer to try my hand at stand-up comedy. He does a monthly "first timers" night at Sidewalk Cafe.

Thanks to Natalie Knezic and Brett Laurence for viddying and to Andrew Singer and Dan Bodah (host of the Airborn Event, Mondays from 9-midnight on WFMU, who also read at KGB) for organizing. And big love and respect to the rest of my fellow WFMU hosts who all read their brilliant work:

Bronwyn C and Jim the Poet of Sportsy Talk Mondays 6-7;
Jesse Jarnow of the Frow Show (on hiatus);
Dave Mandl, whose World of Echo is heard Sundays from 10 to midnight;
and Amanda Nazario of the Nazario Scenario, which can be heard on the WFMU Give the Drummer Some stream Wednesdays from noon to 2.

For my part, I'm humbled by the opportunity to appear on the WFMU airwaves Fridays from 3-6 pm.

The complete text of "Why Do We Scream at Each Other" (which is a part of my in-progress collection) is available for a short time in PDF form at my Lulu store.