It’s a bit of a shock to file away everything that happened this past year into memories.  But it’s official, 2010 is dead. Truly life is zooming out and 2010 showed me over and over just how small my position in the grand spectacle we call reality. This past year I made the move from the West Coast to NYC and was fortunate to get to do quite a bit of traveling: Los Angeles, Austin, New Orleans, San Francisco, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Paris, Woodstock, and ended it in Miami partying with all the legendary Club Kids at Susanne Bartsch’s extraordinary NYE extravaganza.

My year began focused on getting my play “Life on Mars: The James Bidgood Story” off the ground, but after I showed it at Poet’s Theater in SF last February, my life came apart in Los Angeles and I had to hit the road toward uncertainty. Looking back on the year, I’m able to see all the beautiful times that sprouted in a year that was heavily coated with pain, sorrow, loss and heartache. Unfortunately my anxiety level was at an all time high all year long, and looking back I’m acutely aware that I never seemed to fully be present, I was constantly worried about what was going to happen next and afraid my life would again come undone. It’s impossible to live fixated on worry or anxiety or whatever… So for 2011 I want to try to give up worrying about tomorrow, embrace the present and spray paint my visions gold.

2010 really proved individuals must accept change and be able to adapt to the changes life constantly evolves toward. 21st Century literacy is no longer limited to the ability to read and write. Now the literate person must also be able to adapt and constantly be able to learn and unlearn in order to relearn. Unlearning/relearning and change are difficult concepts because they inherent a sense of loss and me being an emotional person, I grieve each and every ending.

Here are a bunch of pictures of the NYE party my friends The Zand Collective and I rang in 2011 at:

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Seaspin: spin spin spin and yes keep spinning!

Seaspin opened for the excellent Telefone Tel Aviv show I saw and reported on a few weeks back. Drawing largely from the shoegaze movement, Seaspin, writes very whimsical melodies that are thrusted into guitar heavy “walls of sound”. Growing up on the beach in bright and sunny Southern California, I still managed to wear lots of black and listen to bands like Cocteau Twins, The Cranes, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Lush, etc… sooo I really can appreciate a band that wants to recreate such a successful yet still arguably obscure era of music. God knows I couldn’t count the many days that I felt a little down, smoked some weed, jumped on my bike with headphones and listened to Loveless. Continue reading

Writing Experiments Workshop with Stephen Boyer

My workshop will meet 10 consecutive Wednesday evenings, from 7 to 10 p.m. The dates: November 4th through January 13th (with two weeks off for the holidays). Cost: $200 with a $50 deposit by October 21st. Balance of payment can be paid throughout the workshop.

In the past, the workshop has filled up quickly, so if you’re interested, do contact me promptly.

Most weeks students will be assigned a short take-home writing experiment which they will share with the class the following week. Assignments will range from cut ups to exploring bodily sensations. Assignments are geared towards the class dynamic, so they may eventually drop away or they may continue for the duration of the class.

Each week we will also critique longer pieces by two to four students. Students may bring in anything they want (up to 20 pages) for the longer critiques. Depending on the length, these longer pieces will be read aloud in class or handed out a week ahead of time. Though this class will have a prose focus, it is cross-genre, and poets are welcome. The class is limited to 10 students. Lots and lots of personal attention. It takes place in Los Angeles, in my Los Feliz apartment, which comes complete with snacks and lots of books to browse through. Continue reading

Fever Ray: Caught a Glimpse Now it Haunts Me

Like everyone else that is obsessed with “seeing” “knowing” “experiencing” the latest trends in music, I sheepishly went to the Fever Ray show at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.  I became a fan of The Knife two years before they got big, I’m talking 2004 here, I was in my friends car and he put on Pass This On *I think* and blew my mother fucking mind.  Skip ahead a few years and I am in San Francisco watching The Knife masquerade onstage like they were pre-gaming before an Eyes Wide Shut party.

With all that in mind, and knowing I had class before heading straight to the Fever Ray show, I put together an outfit.  I decided on black Levi skinny jeans, a long sleeve black long sleeve t-shirt, a clashing navy blue jean Brittania jacket with bamboo pockets, black combat boots and the largest crystal necklace I own.  The crystal necklace I wore is great, it thumps against my chest in rhythm with my every move and heart beat.

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December 2nd, 2008 Odetta (queen of folk, blues, and a leading voice for the civil rights movement) passed away at age 77. She performed for the entirety of her life and will continue to draw a great deal of attention for as long as people care about great music . If you don’t know her, I’m glad you are reading this.  She is one of the true, great, all-American voices of all time;  We are talking in the pioneering tradition of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.  The type of singer who paves ways and blazes trails.   She is most likely the first great female singer-songwriter of our time.  Her death, moments before America takes a giant step into a future more reflective of the soulful and humane songs she was known for all her life, feels like Moses missing out on the promised land, and I hope the music industry carries her into the brighter future many Americans are hoping to be standing on the brink of. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called her “The queen of African-American folk music”. Basically, it seems really appropriate to get some Odetta remixes flowing in the club world. And some Nina Simone… Continue reading