Saturday, December 27, 2008

World Premiere:
"THE OLD IN-AND-OUT"
Bowery Poetry Club, Jan. 11

Three Rooms Press
presents
The World Premiere of

THE OLD IN-AND-OUT
an erotic, poetic play about love, lust and longing

written & performed by
Madeline Artenberg & Karen Hildebrand

music composed & performed by Nila K Leigh
original set art by Katherine Daniels

directed by Kat Georges

It starts with a kiss. A touch. A dream. It becomes a lifelong search: to discover what love means on your own terms. In this piece, two women strip away the facade of the common definition of love bit by bit, in the search to discover, in their own poetic voices, if true love actually exists, or if the idea of love is what in itself fosters adultery, hate and war. Faced with increasingly greater demons, their sheer determination drives them to keep going, like two would-be brides engaged to a doggedly obscured reality.

Let two women take you on the trip of a lifetime.

Live performance by members of Cady Wire immediately following the play.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 8 PM
with music following the play
by members of Cady Wire
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (Bleecker/Houston)
212-614-0505
Admission: $12

Monday, December 22, 2008

Charles Bukowski Tribute Night: Friday, Jan. 2 at Cornelia St. Cafe

Burnt out like Norton? Perfect. Come to Cornelia St. Cafe for the first Son of a Pony reading of 2009, where we’re once again celebrating the life with a tribute reading to Charles Bukowski. Poet Charles Bukowski was truly one of the few and far between: a champion of the outsider, the lost and lonely, the outcasts from society. His work resonates well in the post-holiday drip that we feel each year, especially since his passing in 1994.

At this tribute reading, you are invited to drown your sorrows one last time before the resolutions really kick in, and read your favorite Bukowski poem, or an original poem that was inspired by Bukowski.

We’ll be showing videos of Bukowski, giving away books, photos and other prizes.

Plus a select number of readers including Peter Carlaftes, Angelo Verga, Ryan Buynak and Host Kat Georges will bring Bukowski poems to life in a very special performance right before your bleery eyes. Open reading sign up starts at 5:45. Get there early to get on the list or show up late and we'll find a way to squeeze you in.

Son of a Pony Reading Series
Date: Friday, January 2, 2009; Time: 6-8 p.m.
Feature: Charles Bukowski Tribute Reading
Host: Kat Georges
Place: Cornelia St. Café
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th and Bleecker); 212-989-9319
Admission: $7 (includes free drink)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Three Rooms Press explodes at Cornelia St. Cafe Friday, Dec. 19

Momentum is mounting, heads are turning and the reservations are flowing in for Three Rooms Press night at the Son of a Pony Poetry Reading Series on Friday, December 19 at Cornelia Street Cafe in New York's lovely Greenwich Village.

The evening features a preview excerpt of the highly-anticipated new play, "The Old In-and-Out," written and performed by Madeline Artenberg and Karen Hildebrand, directed by Kat Georges and with live music by Nila K Leigh of the phenomenal neo-punk-folk band Cady Wire.

Georges will also host the reading and urges all New York-area poetry fans and visitors to come on down for what will definitely be a night to remember. All poets are invited to read during the open reading. Doors open at 5:45  p.m. and the sign-up list will fill up fast, so be sure to arrive early if you want to read.

The special event will offer micro feature poetry readings by Three Rooms Press poets including Angelo Verga, Susan Scutti, Ryan Buynak, The Bass Player from Hand Job, Jackie Sheeler, Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges. 

Admission is only $7, and that includes a free drink. Cornelia Street Cafe is at 29 Cornelia Street, between W. 4th and Bleecker, 212-939-9319. Reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by emailing threeroomspress@mac.com


Friday, November 28, 2008

TRP at NYC Indie Book Fair, Dec. 6-7





We at Three Rooms Press make it an annual habit to get over to the 21st Annual Indie & Small Press Book Fair EVERY December because they have such cool things! Amazing poetry books from U.S. and International Publishers, incredible zines, handmade books, free books, graphic novelettes and on and on... Four floors of amazing.

Well, guess what, kids? This year, Three Rooms Press has a table too! So if you've been dying to find out what all the excitement is about in the TRP world, now is your chance. Come on down to the New York Center for Independent Publishing in the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen Building (beautiful historic building, inside and out), 20 W. 44th St. and spend the day looking around and checking out the readings.

THIS JUST IN:
Three Rooms Press' own Kat Georges & Peter Carlaftes will be reading their poetry on Saturday at 10:40; TRP's Karen Hildebrand reads on Sunday at 11:35. Come and share the love!

Complete schedule: http://www.nycip.org/bookfair/

Book Fair:
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 7, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TRP hosts Michael Fiorito at Cornelia Street December 5


Get ready for an exciting Three Rooms Press December, kicking off on December 5 at Cornelia Street Cafe as Three Rooms Press hosts the Son of a Pony reading with featured poet Michael Fiorito and beloved hostess Kat Georges.

Son of a Pony is one of New York's truly beloved open readings, with a room full of sincere, interested listeners and a wide variety of form spilling into the atmosphere. Two noted but unnameable British celebs attended last week and they summed it up like this: "For $7, a free drink, and all this great poetry, this is the best deal in town!"

Featured poet Michael Fiorito nails it with a wide style that encompasses such divergent styles as Milton with a Brooklyn Accent, cowboy poetry and street sounds. A New York treasure, who has been haunting the poetry scene for years, performing with improv group Script Tease, while hosting on-going music event at Vox Pop in Brooklyn. Open reading before the feature; sign up at 5:45 to be sure you make the list.

Son of a Pony Reading Series
Date: Friday, December 5, 2008; Time: 6-8 p.m.
Featured poet: Michael Fiorito; Host: Kat Georges
Place: Cornelia St. Café
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th and Bleecker); 212-989-9319
Admission: $7 (includes free drink)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's election: As beautiful as a tree in fall


Last night, I wept tears of joy when Barack Hussein Obama won. During his speech, I wept again. Nothing could stop it. My inner cynic kept piping in with warnings, ironic quips and social sarcasm. For once, I didn't listen. It just wasn't worth stripping the moment of it's beautiful, hope-filled, patriotic quality. Because last night, I felt unabashadly patriotic. I know I'm not alone.

The past few elections have had the feeling of being some kind of sports contest, with the winner getting the trophy and the champagne, and the loser getting the sneers and the heave-ho. It didn't feel that way last night. McCain's graceful concession speech helped to set the tone for the historic occasion, making clear that--although the race was over--the real work is yet to come. Obama furthered that impression. I wept tears that came from that place of joy down deep, where the euphoria of mere sports victory pales in comparison. It felt more like giving birth. Last night on the streets, people were screaming with joy, blowing whistles, skipping and dancing. It was beautiful.

Today, going to Chelsea for a press check, I was amazed that my own personal feelings resonated in the air. On every block, people of New York seemed to be walking a dreamlike state of euphoria. You could see hope in every set of eyes. They moved in slow motion. They treated other people on the sidewalks like neighbors, fellow humans. The day lasted so long, it was like the clock slowed down so we could all stay in this state of bliss for just a couple minutes longer. United states of euphoria.

Maybe it will last all the way until the inauguration. Maybe it ends tonight. But the memory of it won't fade from my mind any time soon. To know that what was once a dream has become a reality is perhaps the most enabling outcome of all from this election. To apply the lesson to everything. To not give up dreams in the face of obstacles. To be as beautiful as a tree in fall on Leroy Street.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Divine Dominique Lowell on Tap for Two NYC Shows Oct. 17-18


No one does spoken word poetry better than Detroit native Dominique Lowell. I first heard her out west in San Francisco and L.A. and bowed and kissed the ground she walked on every time she performed. She's been called "The Janis Joplin of Spoken Word" and it's a title well deserved. She disappeared for a few years to evolve in her hometown of Detroit and is now reemerging, stronger and more gripping than ever before.

For the first time in 10 years she's performing in NYC to celebrate the release of her latest book on Three Rooms Press: "Sit Yr Ass Down or You Ain't Gettin' No Burger King." Two shows--man, oh man--you should be there. Here's the details:

FRIDAY, OCT. 17, 6PM
Cornelia Street Cafe presents
Son of a Pony
Featured reader: Dominique Lowell
Host: Kat Georges
Open reading before feature, arrive 5:45 to sign up.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th and Bleecker)
212-989-9319
$7, includes free drink
Open reading before feature

SATURDAY OCTOBER 18, 2 PM
Three Rooms Press presents
Dominique Lowell
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery ST. (btwn Bleecker and Houston)
212-614-0505
Opening band: Bob's Bios (roots rock band, featuring Bob Musial)
and Richard West singing a couple political ditties

For more information about Dominique Lowell, including photos and interviews, please contact Kathi Georges at threeroomspress@mac.com.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kat Georges and Peter Carlaftes do POETRY Saturday, Oct. 11 6 pm in Harlem

It's time to get into a poetry groove this Saturday as your TRP pals Kat Georges & Peter Carlaftes groove to the urban beat and read a cool bouquet of their own poetry for the city at this really cool gallery in Harlem: Tribal Spears Gallery. One night only. (sing) You must take the A train!

Don't miss your chance to hear two incredible poets reading and ranting and raving about life in 21st century New York. Oh, and the host is the phenomenal Jackie Sheeler, who may be in the mood to do a little of her own work, given the right encouragement. Plus there's an open mike and muffins and wine!

Details:

A Night of Urban Poetry by
Kat Georges & Peter Carlaftes
Saturday, October 11
6 p.m.
Tribal Spears Gallery
2160 Frederick Doublass Boulevard (8th Ave. btwn 116th & 117th)
212-666-6550

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lenny Bruce hits the stage at The Living Theatre this Tuesday, Oct. 7

Lenny Bruce hits the stage of New York's beloved Living Theater this Tuesday, October 7th in an excerpt from LENNY BRUCE: DEAD & WELL by Peter Carlaftes, part of the wild ART BLASTS OFF! A Night of Potent Political Comedy and Poetry.

Lenny Bruce has lots to say about the current election, and from his post-life vantage point, he knows how it will turn out. Never has there been a greater need for the cutting satire of Lenny Bruce. Carlaftes brings out the living incarnation of the controversial comic legend and leaves no stone unturned.

Also on stage will be comics Stan Baker: The Human TV and East Village icon Stan Rifkin, plus Louisa Bradshaw ("Madame Champagne") Dada/Surrealist Valery Oisteanu (aka Valery Gallery), Hassan & Epstein, R. Norpet, The Drama Bums and more! The show is organized and hosted by Richard West and poet/playright Lissa Moira. Tickets are $7.

The Living Theatre is at 11 Clinton Street. Doors open 7:45. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Janice Erlbaum Featured at Cornelia St. Cafe Friday Oct. 3

The weekly Son of a Pony reading series at Cornelia Street Cafe features one of the best writers on the spoken word scene ever with the dynamic, funny poetry of Janice Erlbaum, hosted by TRP's Kathi Georges on Friday, October 3.

Janice Erlbaum is the author of GIRLBOMB: A Halfway Homeless Memoir (Villard, 2006), and HAVE YOU FOUND HER: A Memoir (Villard, 2008). Both books are just knockouts. Earlbaum's writing style makes for a great read, with a lot of humor on top and a roaring echo underneath that resonates long after you put the book down.

Her poetry is one-of-a-kind as well. Funny, disarming, dancing on the razor's edge. She's been published in McSweeney's, the Best American Erotic Poetry anthology, and Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe. And she was a former member of the Pussy Poets, that incredible group of five women who rapped, sang and ripped their way through the poetry stages in 1992.

Erlbaum is really one of the few and far between and we are honored to have her in the house--don't miss the chance to say you were there. Open reading before the feature; sign up at 5:45 to be sure you make the list.

What: Son of a Pony Poetry Reading Series at Cornelia St. Cafe
When: Friday, October 3, 2008, 6 p.m.
Where: Cornelia St. Cafe (29 Cornelia St., betwn W. 4th & Bleecker)
Tix: $7 (includes free drink)
Reservations: 212-989-9319
email: threeroomspress@mac.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cuban Flute God Maraca Valle in NYC Wed. Oct. 1st

The most amazing Cuban composer/musician of the 21st century, Maraca Valle, is playing a one-nighter at S.O.B.'s in Manhattan tomorrow night, Oct. 1st, and if you are not completely insane, you MUST be there.

I first heard Maraca in San Francisco back in '98 and was TRANSFIXED when I saw him live at Yoshi's. This GRAMMY-AWARD winning musician is unbelievable. If you have any even remote appreciation of a) jazz; b) latin jazz; c) flute playing or d) salsa/rhumba/tango/even reggaeton then you will be head over heels about Maraca. The West Coast has embraced him, but for some strange reason, the East Coast is in a fog about him. His band is super tight--he writes and arranges all the music. His flute playing surpasses the level of technique and emotion in Wynton Marsalis's trumpet playing--and yet he makes it look as easy as breathing.

Get thee to S.O.B.'s WEDNESDAY, October 1 (Houston and Varick). 9 pm show. Tickets $20-$25 at the door. Next time he's in town, he'll probably be at The Garden so see him at a small venue while you have the chance!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lenny Bruce Dissects Elections & Economy at Cornelia St. Cafe Sept 30

Three Rooms Press 
presents
LENNY BRUCE: 
DEAD & WELL
by Peter Carlaftes

Tuesday, Septebmer 30, 6pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. 
( btwn W. 4th & Bleecker)
212-989-9319 
$12 (includes free drink)

As the elections draw nearer, no voice is more desperately needed than that of social satirist Lenny Bruce. With LENNY BRUCE: DEAD & WELL, by Peter Carlaftes, Bruce's insightful, uproarious commentary goes front and center once more. Lenny/Carlaftes has plenty to talk about. His hilarious afterlife perspective gives him a knowledge of all that came before, as well as all that's destined to happen in the future.

For instance:
-- What does Sarah Palin REALLY know about foreign policy? . . . and WHY isn't she TELLING?
-- Who's REALLY going to pay for the economic bailout? . . . and WHY are they happy to HELP?
-- Who REALLY killed JFK? . . . and WHY is this so SHOCKING?
-- And what about the elections? WHO is destined to win? . . . and WHY will you be AMAZED?

Because no one can persecute him anymore, Lenny's got a tough new attitude and tons of new material that takes its cue from such Lenny Bruce classics as "Religions, Inc.," "How Hitler Got Started" and "To Is a Preposition, Come Is a Verb."

New York native writer, actor and director Peter Carlaftes fully embodies the essence of the comic genius. The SF Weekly says: "Carlaftes IS the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce." His comic timing is impeccable, and his material never fails to inspire. He recently opened for 94-year-old comic legend Professor Irwin Corey, and is just back from a European tour that garnered critical acclaim.


For reservations, please email threeroomspress@mac.com or call 212-989-9319.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HOWL Festival offers Cool Book Fair!

Three Rooms Press will be participating in the Carl Solomon Book Fair at Tompkins Sq. Park all day Saturday and Sunday. Check out our fantastic poetry and get ready to buy the BRAND NEW BOOKS by Ryan Buynak and Susan Scutti, plus recent books by Kat Georges, Jackie Sheeler, Peter Carlaftes, Karen Hildebrand and The Bass Player from Hand Job. Admission to the book fair and all events is free! Put on what's left of the sun block and saunter over to the East Village for your literary fix.

Why Carl Solomon? Find out at www.howlfestival.com
Plus you can get the whole amazing schedule of events including a GIANT painting that will be created all the way around Tompkins Sq. Park!

Howl Festival
Tompkins Sq. Park
Sat & Sun, Sept. 6-7
1-5:30 p.m.
Variety of Poetry-related events
PLUS a really cool Independent Book Fair!

Poet Robert Gibbons at Cornelia St. This Friday

Celebrate the end of staycation time this weekend, starting Friday at 6 pm at Cornelia Street, where the Son of a Pony reading series kicks off the pre-fall with the jamming sounds of poet Robert Gibbons. You can get a taste of his work on youtube with his great work, "This Scroll is on a Roll" but live is where he really kicks into high gear, unleashing a fleshed-out torrent of imagery with a voice that's truly all his own. His poetry has appeared in Riverdale Press, Palm Beach Post, Nomad Choir, Side of Paradise and Rogue Scholar. and many, many on-line publications.

PLUS: Host Kat Georges warmly invites you to arrive early (say, 5:45-ish?) to be sure to sign up for New York's most VARIED open reading. YES! All this for only $7 admission AND it includes a free drink. PLUS you can order anything from Cornelia Street's incredible menu (risotto! Yum!).

Here's the easy to read details:

Son of a Pony Poetry Reading Series
Friday, September 5 at 6 p.m.
Host: Kat Georges
Featured Poet: Robert Gibbons
Cornelia St. Cafe (www.corneliastreetcafe.com)
29 Cornelia St. (between W. 4th and Bleecker)
Reservations: 212-989-9319


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More on Lenny Bruce: Dead and Well at Bowery Poetry Club This Sunday

News flash: Astute New York Observer writer Meredith Bryan posted a fabulous blurb in today's paper about the big Lenny Bruce: Dead and Well show by Peter Carlaftes this Sunday at Bowery Poetry Club (Early show! 5 p.m. sharp!). See the complete article here.

Those far from the sand might like to endure the one-man comedy show Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well at the Bowery Poetry Club. Said organizer and poet Kathi Georges, when we called her up: “Peter Carlaftes, he channels Lenny Bruce, he’s come back from heaven and he knows everything that happened before and after. … He knows who won the election, what really happened on 9/11, that the dinosaurs are going to be coming back, and he also knows who killed J.F.K., he reveals for the first time who killed J.F.K.! It’s no one you would expect at all. It’s an amazing revelation.” She continued, of the Bowery Poetry Club: “It’s like the new CBGB’s, but they have a lot more poetry and word shows. And less spitting!” Here comes September, folks!

Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well, by Peter Carlaftes: Bowery Poetry Club, 5 p.m., threeroomspress@mac.com]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lenny Bruce: Dead and Well at Bowery Poetry Club, August 31st

Three Room Press presents the amazing show "Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well," a one-man show performed by Peter Carlaftes at The Bowery Poetry Club, Sunday, August 31st at 5 p.m. Opening for Lenny will be New York activist/comic Randy Credico.

Carlaftes' fabulous show hits the stage running, with sizzling new material that packs a real punch during this heated election season. Lenny sure has plenty to talk about. His hilarious afterlife perspective gives him a knowledge of all that came before, as well as all that's destined to happen in the future. For instance:

-- Who really killed JFK? The answer is finally revealed--and it will shock you for the rest of your life!

-- What really happened on 9/11? For safety reasons, Lenny can't reveal the whole story, but he does have insider information that no one else has been courageous enough to talk about.

--And what about the elections?

Lenny knows the hierarchy of heaven. And because no one can persecute him anymore, he's got a new attitude and tons of new material that takes its cue from such Lenny Bruce classics as "Religions, Inc.," "How Hitler Got Started" and "To Is a Preposition, Come Is a Verb."

New York native writer, actor and director Peter Carlaftes fully embodies the essence of the comic genius. The SF Weekly nailed it, saying, "Carlaftes IS the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce." His comic timing is impeccable, and his material never fails to inspire. He recently opened to audience acclaim for 94-year-old comic legend Professor Irwin Corey.

Doors open 4:45 pm. Show at 5. Tickets $10. Reservations/additional information: threeroomspress@mac.com.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Poet Douglas Collura at Cornelia St. Cafe this Friday

Three Rooms Press presents

SON OF A PONY
at Cornelia Street Cafe
Friday, August 15, 6 pm

Featured poet: Doug Collura
Host: Kathi Georges

Open reading (arrive by 5:45 to sign up)
Admission $7 (includes a yummy free drink!)

Doug Collura is a Manhattan-based writer who has recited at the open mikes around town for the last twenty-seven years and has become a personal favorite of host Kat Georges. His work is multi-layered: a surface of outrageously funny biting satire; built on layer after layer of the reality of emotion and horror that Collura was able to squeeze and transform into beautiful works of art. Onstage, Collura is a real dynamo, and definitely worth a trip to the village for the experience.

Collura has been both a Third Prize winner and a finalist in the 1998 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, and a Second Prize winner in the 1999 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, along with being an Editor's Choice selection for the Paterson Literary Review. He is the author of a spoken word CD The Dare of the Quick World and the book Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into, published by Jane Street Press, which was a finalist for the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. His work can be read and heard at his Web site, www.douglascollura.com. In addition to numerous publications in the Paterson Literary Review, he has been published in Lips Magazine, The Cynic and other periodicals, Web sites and webzines.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Upcoming Events: Mark Your Calendars!

Three Rooms Press and Son of a Pony Reading Series
present
GREG MOGLIA!!
with host Kathi Georges
Friday, August 1, 6 p.m.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th & Bleecker)

PLUS the ALWAYS EXCITING fabulous OPEN READING
which you can participate in (sign ups start at 5:45 p.m.)

Greg Moglia is a veteran of 27 years as Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Education at N.Y.U. and 37 years as a high school teacher of Physics and Psychology. His poems have been accepted in over 100 journals in the U.S., Canada and England as well as five anthologies. He is four times a winner of an Allan Ginsberg Poetry Award sponsored by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. His poem ‘Why Do Lovers Whisper?’ has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2005. He has been nominated by the College of William and Mary for the University of Virginia anthology BEST NEW POETS OF 2006. He lives in Huntington, N.Y.

That's the serious side. He's also a very funny poet, with warm, unique insight on the trick to being a sensitive guy in the modern word!

AND LATER IN AUGUST . . . .


Three Rooms Press and Son of a Pony Reading Series
present
DOUGLAS COLLURA!
with host Kathi Georges
Friday, August 15, 6 p.m.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th & Bleecker)

PLUS the ALWAYS EXCITING fabulous OPEN READING
which you can participate in (sign ups start at 5:45 p.m.)

Doug Collura

Doug Collura is a Manhattan-based writer who has recited at the open mikes around town for the last twenty-seven years. He's been both a Third Prize winner and a finalist in the 1998 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, and a Second Prize winner in the 1999 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, along with being an Editor's Choice selection for the Paterson Literary Review. He is the author of a spoken word CD The Dare of the Quick World and the book Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into, published by Jane Street Press, which was a finalist for the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. His work can be read and heard at his Web site, www.douglascollura.com. In addition to numerous publications in the Paterson Literary Review, he has been published in Lips Magazine, The Cynic and other periodicals, Web sites and webzines.

Here's a sample poem from the incredible book Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into

Announcement at the Dinner Table

Kids, shut up. Daddy has an announcemnet.
Sally, stop screaming.
Sidney, stop stabbing Sally.
I don't care if it's only a butter knife,
she's bleeding all over the flank steak.
Janet, you're the mommy.
If you can't control these psychopaths,
at leaset stop stuffing your mouth and smiling as if nothing's wrong.
I'm sick of coming home from a day of sneak attacks at the office
to endless frontal assaults on the home front.
I'm giving you all ten minutes to run away from home.
That's right, Sidney, when the big hand lands on the twelve.
After that, I'll be firing this gun
at any living thing in this house that's not me.
Including the dog, so take that piss-happy idiot with you.
And years from now, kids, don't come back looking for your roots.
This root will have changed his name.
Now flee. Flee as far as fear will carry you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday, July 18: Punk Poetess AURAL Heather at Cornelia St. Cafe


Be sure to catch the incredible Canadian spoken word artists AURAL Heather (featuring Heather Haley and Roderick Shoolbraid). This will definitely be one of those one of a kind nights that we'll be talking about for years to come!

What: Son of a Pony Reading Series
Featured Poet: AURAL Heather
Host: Kathi Georges
Where Cornelia St. Cafe (29 Cornelia St. between W. 4th & Bleecker); (212) 989-9319
When: Doors open 5:45; open reading starts at 6 (show up early to get your spot)

AURAL Heather is Heather Haley, Roderick Shoolbraid and "a unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word." Shoolbraid is a dazzling guitarist, composer, sound designer and DJ. Old School and proud of it, Haley is a maverick poet, singer, author and media artist often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard.

"A Canadian national treasure," Haley started writing verse in high school influenced by poets like bp Nichol, ee cummings and Susan Musgrave. Her life as a bona fide artist began on the stage of the infamous Smilin’ Buddha fronting the all-girl punk band the Zellots. She was a member of The 45s with Randy Rampage and Brad Kent of the big-time punk bands DOA and the Avengers. Later she formed HHZ-Heather Haley & the Zellots--praised by LA Weekly music critic Craig Lee as one of the city’s "Ten Great Bands."

"Supple and unusual," her work asks all the questions a nice girl’s not supposed to ask. Haley is a gutsy and compelling performer who enjoyed a stint as an official BC Transit busker and has appeared at the Burning Word Festival, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Crush Champagne Lounge, the Lamplighter Pub, Rime, Thundering Word Heard, the Art Bar in Toronto, Words & Music in Montreal, the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Red Sky Poetry Theatre in Seattle, Shakespeare & Sons in Prague, the Roar Lit Crawl with Edmonton’s Raving Poets band and on CBC and Book Television. Catch a sneak preview at www.myspace.com/auralheather

Don't miss this rare catch to catch AURAL Heather in NYC. See you there!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Review: Die Soldaten at Park Ave. Amory


Reviews of Die Soldaten, the mid-20th Century opera by Bernd Alois Zimmerman at Park Ave. Amory, have been generally positive. The reviewers comment on the amazing technical feat achieved by director David Pountney of having the audience on a moving platform that traverses the length of a 10-foot 9-inch stage. They never fail to dwell upon the technical nature of the music, led by conductor Steven Sloane, which is based on a 20th century Germanic invention of the 12-tone scale, and performed by a 110-piece orchestra, a percussion ensemble, a jazz combo, along with the 40-member cast. Reviewers also generally comment on the astounding vocal skills of these singers. And they give a brief run down of the plot of the misadventures of a sweet girl, Marie (the incredible Claudia Barainsky), who loses everything, including her dignity, virginity, money and father in the quest for love. The New York Times even called it "a miraculous realization of an opera once deemed unperformable."

It is so much more. More than opera, more than drama. Pure art. Resonating. Reverberating. Opening windows to parts of your soul you haven't looked at for a long time. For me, it was total immersion.

The first scene: A 110-piece orchestra strikes a chord of total tension. Soldiers march down a narrow ramp, carrying a bed that could be a coffin. Marie and her sister follow, wearing brown shirts, come skipping down the narrow stage, alternating with a goose step they laugh at. The audience moves with them, leaving the outside world behind, drawn--slowly, slowly--into their world. A bed, a love letter, a dreamy boy who's fallen in love with the girl next door. A mother who wants him only to work. Marie's sister, telling her not to believe in love. That the end of happiness is always pain. Acting that shifts from expressionistic movements to naturalism.

As we move into this scene, tears stream down my face. This "total theater" which the author Zimmerman sought, has been achieved in its entirety. It's so beautiful to be allowed to abandon the self. Like a rock 'n' roll show, but so much deeper. More than spectacle. My heart is being twisted in and out of knots.

Back out. The exterior world. Soldiers in a bathhouse, chastisizng the chaplain.

Back out. A bar scene, with the playground mentality in full swing. In this mix: an amateur Nietzschean philosopher that the others laugh at, while demonstrating that they act exactly as he describes. Overtones of World War II. And I. And the one before that. And the one after that. And before that. And after that.

And so on. Scene after scene, you move through a study of the ideas that have guided the acts of the human race for the last 2,500 years. And all lead to this incredible sensation that the only beautiful thing left to us is not love, but art. And that art has been turned into a whore no one respects anymore. That's just what the boys of the playground called her. And in some ways, that's what the critics call Die Soldaten: focusing so much on the technical aspects of the show, the 12-tone music, the plot--as if it all was just some good blow job, well worth the $50-$250 ticket price.

But Marie was never a whore. And she's not just some chick that falls for three guys in a kind of speed dating routine and ends up getting raped--in a scene so shatteringly staged that I shudder from it still. The tears came again as we moved into this horrific scene, which was staged like a film. Marie transformed into three Marie's, all being simultaneously, visciously raped by Santa Claus-like figures, and men in tuxedos wearing terrifying pig masks (the rich at play; overtones of Eyes Wide Shut).

No, Marie is art. Real art. Pure art. The kind that doesn't whore itself out for financial gain or love. In the final scene, after she sees her father and he fails to recognize her, the father (god?) walks away up the stage toward the corpses of the men Marie loved once. Marie--or, what's left of art--walks toward the audience moving in time to fading music. Moving toward us, but never past us. For we are moving backwards--in thought, in mindset, and in our ability to recognize art for what is: all that we have left of love.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Visit Three Rooms Press at New York Book Festival in Central Park Tomorrow, June 28!

Tomorrow is bound to be a beautiful day! So spend some time outdoors and head to the New York Book Festival in Central Park, where Three Rooms Press will be sharing a table with friends from GNYIPA (Greater New York Independent Publishing Association).

Three Rooms Press books will be available all day long, so if you've been putting off buying your copy of incredible books by Kathi Georges, Peter Carlaftes, Karen Hildebrand, Jackie Sheeler, and The Bass Player from Hand Job, now is your chance to get a fabulous first edition for your personal collection.

New York Book Festival
Saturday, June 28
10 a.m.-6 p.m
Central Park, in front of the Naumburg Bandshell
(near Bethesda Fountain)
on the Eastern end of the park.

All day long there's great readings and musical performances for the Book Fair. Check out the extensive schedule. Last year more than 20,000 eager book lovers showed up, so get there early for best selection.
__________________

HOT TIP ALERT!!
__________________

If you come a little later in the day, here's a HOT TIP:

Right next to the NY Book Festival, from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Central Park Summerstage is the summer's hottest outdoor concert. Get this:

Vieux Farka Touré (Son of Malian legend Ali Farke Touré), Fallou Dieng (heir apparent to Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour) Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat (13 piece ensemble led by luminary Kaleta, who used to play with Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Lauryn Hill) PLUS DJ Sirak are giving NYC something to DANCE about.

So go to the book fair, help Three Rooms Press sell out by 3, and we'll party down together at the Summerstage.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Poet Precious Jones at Cornelia St. Cafe this Friday

Award-winning poet Precious Jones hits the stage this Friday as the featured performer at the sensational Son of a Pony reading series at Cornelia Street Café, hosted by Kathi Georges.

Native Brooklynite poet Precious Jones' work has been published by online and print publications such as Dirt Press, onefortytwo.com, Rolling Out Urban Weekly, Gay Black Female, and Coloring Book, an anthology of poetry & prose. Her favorite poets are Sapphire, June Jordan, Chrystos, and Pablo Neruda. A few fantastic facts about Precious: she's the youngest of eight, Capricorn, a New School University grad, and loves her three B's: Bukowski, Books, and butches.

In the last few months, Precious has really hit her stride, and this poet is now on fire, with work that shows ever more depth and breadth, as well as a profound delivery that resonates more and more.

Most recently, Jones won the incredible Dead Poets Slam at Cornelia Street Café, with her embodiment of the work of June Jordan. Second place was Charles Bukowski (rendered by Peter Carlaftes), and third place went to William Butler Yeats (interpreted by Bob Quattrone). Thanks to everyone who participated, including Emily Dickinson (Angelo Verga), Sylvia Plath (Jackie Sheeler), Percy Bysshe Shelly, Edna St. Vincent Millay (Minnie), and T.S. Eliot (Kathi Georges).

The Son of a Pony reading is a great weekly series, that includes a featured reader, as well as one of the most incredible open reading in NYC. To participate in the open, be sure to arrive early to sign up. Poetry only, three minute limit. Here's the details:

Son of a Pony Reading Series
Friday, June 20, 2008
Featured reader: Precious Jones
Host: Kathi Georges

Cornelia St. Café
29 Cornelia Street (between W. 4th & Bleecker)
Admission: $7 (includes free beer or wine)
Doors open: 5:45 pm, open reading starts at 6
Arrive early to sign up for the open.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Review: WIRE at South Street Seaport in New York May 30, 2008





The first time I heard Pink Flag by the seminal art-punk group Wire was in 1980, already three years after its release. I became obsessed. I was living in Southern California then, and increasingly immersed in the punk rock music scene. I was totally enthralled with Wire, wearing out record needles on Pink Flag, and later 154, The Ideal Copy and Chairs Missing. But there is no other record like Pink Flag: This single album created the model for sound, instrumentation, rhythm and lyrical content for hundreds, if not thousands of punk bands that followed, the majority of whom were mere rote imitators, without the integral philosophy to back up the ideas they were professing.

Wire had it then, and has never lost it since its origin in 1976. This incredible band was even more incredibly chosen to play the first show of the River-to-River Live Music Festival . . . and it was free.

More than 3,000 people--half over 45--showed up to pay homage to Wire. If they were the kind of band that rested on its laurels, it would have been like going to church, or some retro-pop festival. Or, say, The Eagles--who also played tonight at Madison Square Garden. Bassist Graham Lewis noted early on, "Glad you took the time to see us, and not The Eagles. In 1977 The Eagles were one thing: The Enemy." Probably still are, considering they have no new material to speak of for 15 years--yet still play shows!

Wire, on the other hand, challenged the audience to stay focused on what was happening at the moment during its 70-minute, 17-song set (including 2 encores). The band offered a wealth of material released during its entire career, and even performed songs from the soon-to-be-released album "Object 47" ("47" representing the 47th release in the Wire discography). The line-up, in addition to Lewis, included original front man/guitarist Colin Newman, original drummer Robert Grey and Margaret Fiedler McGinnis on rhythm guitar (replacing original member Bruce Gilbert, who resigned in 2004).

The show truly covered Wire's entire career: The set featured four songs from the upcoming record including "Mekon Headman," Perspex Icon" (first live performance), "All Fours" and "One of Us" with its early Eno throb and catchy repetitive chorus 'One of us will live to rue the day we met each other"--in a perfect world, an instant hit. But also mixed in the set were four(!) songs from that incredible first release Pink Flag, which Wire has often threatened to never perform live again. The crowd went berserk for every PF tune including "Lowdown," "106 Beats That," a speed-record bursting first encore version of "12XU" and a heartfelt second encore of "Pink Flag," with the comment beforehand, "30 years ago, we played this song at CB(GB)s. It's gone now, and so are a lot of the people who were at that show. So we'd like to play this one for all our dead friends. We all have dead friends." The psychedelic crunch that ensued made me glad that Wire was not among the dead friends yet. They're still alive and kicked throughout their overtone, flanger-filled killer rockin' set.

Some people tell me "you're too old for this." Not as long as I still have the kind of burning razor-edge creative urges of Wire.

New Zealand power-pop-punksters Die!Die!Die! opened with a formidible eight-song set that paid homage to Wire with due respect, and only the merest bit of unbridled imitation.

Add 1: For incredible photos of the show, see Qro Magazine's photo gallery.

Add 2: And here's the video Qro Magazine posted to youtube of "Pink Flag," which really captures the hyper-charged energy of this final encore.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dead Poets Slam: Friday, June 6, 6-8, Cornelia St. Cafe

Get your favorite dead poet persona on as Cornelia Street's Son of a Pony series presents the first Dead Poet Slam. In this riotous event, dead poets compete for fabulous prizes, with spoken word renditions of their work performed by their modern day personas. Hosted by TRP creator Kathi Georges.

Anyone can participate! Just bring your favorite poem by your favorite dead poet (three minutes maximum!) and you're in. Participants so far include T.S. Eliot, June Jordan, Sylvia Plath, Charles Bukowski, and Emily Dickinson.

Who do you want to be? Walt Whitman? Alan Ginsburg? Edna St. Vincent Milay? Langston Hughes? Shakespeare? John Keats? Yeats? Anne Sexton? Dylan Thomas? Elizabeth Barrett Browning? The list is endless. The choice is yours.... Who inspires you? One poet. One poem.

To reserve a prime spot: Email threeroomspress@mac.com by Thursday, June 5 and let us know the name of the poet, and the name of the poem you plan to perform. Limited signups for the Dead Poets Slam will also be available at the door. Prizes include: Poetry Books! Portraits of Dead Poets! Honor! Recognition! Joy!

Open reading before the Dead Poets Slam. You can participate in one or the other--or both--or just come to enjoy the show. Admission of only $7 includes a free beer or wine!

Dead Poets Slam
Friday, June 6, 2008
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (between W. 4th and Bleecker)
6-8 pm (doors open 5:45, come early to sign up for open reading)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend 2008: Lenny Bruce, Saturday; Dueling Karaoke, Sunday


Banner Weekend Alert for Three Rooms Press fans: Not one, but two chances to catch TRP core members LIVE on stage in NYC.

First, 8pm on Saturday, May 24th at Highline Ballroom, opening up for the 93-year-old comic legend Professor Irwin Corey is the fabulous Peter Carlaftes doing an excerpt from his sensational Off-Broadway one-man show "Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well." Tickets $25, available at ticketweb.com. Carlaftes will be performing on the same stage that has hosted such luminaries as Lou Reed, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and that wonder-of-wonders, Amy Winehouse!

Then, on Sunday, May 25th at 6pm at Cornelia Street Cafe it's Carlaftes again, this time performing in tandem with Kathi Georges as Three Rooms Press presents the crazy revue, "Dueling Karaoke." In Dueling Karaoke, Georges and Carlaftes take on the last 40 years of pop music, in a mash up that includes such crazy pairings as Pink's "Can't Let Me Be Me" and Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall;" and Looking Glass' "Brandy" with The Blues Image's "Ride Captain Ride." This hour long show is a real headtrip, and of special interest to pop music afficianados. The New York Press called it "An extraordinarily fast-paced, funny-as-all-get-out, downright wacky comedic extravaganza." Tickets $10, reservations: 212-989-9319.

And to wrap things up, Sunday at 10pm at Reade Street Pub its downtown fave r&bsters The JDs doing their beautiful thing and giving us a chance to dance!

Monday is for resting--the rest of the weekend--we are on it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well at Highline Ballroom May 24

Peter Carlaftes phenomenal one-man show "Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well" has captured the attention of the Highline Ballroom where he'll be opening on Saturday, May 24th for "The World's Foremost Authority" 93-Year-Old Comic Legend Professor Irwin Corey. 

This just after his successful L.A. debut in North Hollywood, where the in-your-face satire of Carlaftes-cum-Bruce nearly caused a small-scale riot. Never has it been a better time for the return of Bruce's "what-is" sensibility than now, when myths are being floated on all sides of the political spectrum and the populace is being asked to buy in to one myth or another or be cast out. For a quick look at "Lenny Bruce: Dead & Well," see an excerpt Peter Carlaftes as Lenny Bruce video on youtube.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lenny Bruce: Dead and Well at Bowery Poetry Club, April 20th


Lenny Bruce is back. The controversial comic, writer, social critic and satirist returns to earth and the stage to inhabit the body of writer/performer Peter Carlaftes. And Lenny sure has plenty to talk about. His hilarious afterlife perspective gives hima knowledge of all that came before, as well as all that's destined to happen in the future. For instance:

-- Who really killed JFK? The answer is finally revealed--and it will shock you for the rest of your life!

-- What really happened on 9/11. For safety reasons, Lenny can't reveal the whole story, but he does have insider information that no one else has been courageous enough to talk about.

--The dinosaurs are coming back. No one knows why. No one knows why they left, either.

--What's really behind global warming?

Lenny knows the hierarchy of heaven. And because no one can persecute him anymore, he's got a new attitude and tons of new material that takes its cue from such Lenny Bruce classics as "Religions, Inc.," "How Hitler Got Started" and "To Is a Preposition, Com Is a Verb."

New York native writer, actor and director Peter Carlaftes fully embodies the essence of the comic genius. The SF Weekly nailed it, saying, "Carlaftes IS the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce." His comic timing is impeccable, and his material never fails to inspire.

Opening for Lenny is the Downtown Fave R&B-sters THE JD's featuring Bob & Jake Musial. For reservations and more info, contact threeroomspress@mac.com.

LENNY BRUCE: Dead and Well
written and performed by
PETER CARLAFTES

Sunday, April 20, 2008
6:30 pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
212-614-0505
Admission: $10

In Memoriam


In Memoriam: James “Jim” Edward Georges, 76
Aerospace Engineer, Youth Sports Coach


Georges, James “Jim” Edward, an aerospace engineer and youth sports coach, passed away on April 11, 2008 following a long illness. He was 76.

Born February 11, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, Jim initially studied Physical Education at Texas Western College (now University of Texas, El Paso) because of his love of coaching youth sports. To pay for his education, he worked as a coach at the El Paso YMCA. But Jim also had a passion for science, leading him to switch his major to Physics, in which he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1953.

Jim soon obtained a position with Sperry Gyroscope Company (later, Sperry Rand) as an electronics engineer, and relocated to its Great Neck, NY location where he met his future wife of nearly 54 years, Gwendolyn Frances (Wicks) Georges. They were married on May 16, 1954 in Mineola, New York. Six months later, Jim was drafted and served as an engineer in the U.S. Army at its Chemical Biological Center in Edgewood, Maryland, aiding in the development of products to speed detection of deadly chemical and biological agents after the Korean War.

Following his return to the civilian workforce, he worked as an engineer with American Bosch Armor Corporation, which transferred him to its China Lake Test Range in California’s Mojave Desert in 1957. In 1959, he was hired as an aerospace engineer, by North American Aviation (Autonetics division, later Rockwell International), where he worked on the Minuteman Missle project, among other programs, for 36 years until his retirement in 1995 as an engineering manager at their headquarters in Anaheim, CA.

Throughout his life, Jim maintained his interest in youth sports. In Mission Viejo, he was well-known and respected as a coach for many sports including softball, baseball and basketball. He was a fierce competitor and one of the first youth sports coaches to use computers to analyze opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Some of his Bobby Sox, Little League and Youth Basketball League teams won pennants; all of his teams learned to understand the importance of hard work, pride, dedication, and, most of all, good sportsmanship. As a fan, Jim was an avid supporter of the USC football team, attending home games for nearly 40 years. He was also a phenomenal bridge player, who, with Gwen, played with the same bridge group for over 30 years.

In addition, Jim enjoyed horticulture, painting, and the outdoors. During the course of his life, he and his family traveled to nearly every state in the country—making an adventurous summer trip to Alaska before the Alaskan Highway was paved, and an extensive camping trip from California to New York and back during the nation’s bicentennial.

His love of science continued outside of the workplace as well. He nurtured scientific interests in his children, from chemistry to geology to physics. Above all, he and his family shared a deep interest in space exploration. On summer nights he taught his children to identify constellations, then expanded their home space laboratory by building (from scratch) a six-inch reflective telescope to better study the planets and stars.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Gwen, their five children, Wendi, Patti, Kathi, Jim and Jason, and eight grandchildren, Jacob, Ariel, Abbey, Olivia, Aleksander, Daniela, Sophie and Clara, as well as his brother, Gerald Georges of El Paso. A funeral mass will be held within the month at St. Killian Catholic Church, 26872 Estanciero Drive in Mission Viejo, followed by interment and rite of commital at El Toro Memorial Park.

In Jim’s memory, contributions may be made to Hospice Care of California, 23521 Paseo de Valencia, Suite 108, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (www.hospicecareofca.org).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Death by Blogging--Poor, Poor Things

The NY Times ran a front page article on Sunday "In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop." It details how the really serious bloggers--those who get paid for it--work such long, hard hours that they are ruining their health. In fact, two prominent bloggers, age 50 and 60, recently died from heart attacks which the blogging world attributes to their "oh, poor me" lifestyle of working long hours, eating poorly, and not getting paid enough. Why some only sleep 5 hours a night, and one--interviewed in the article--confesses to having pulled the occasional "all-nighter." Many, just out of college, are getting paid for piecework, and get bonuses for the more hits their blogs get. They "only" earn about $30,000 a year starting out, though some make $70,000 and many earn in the six figures. But at such great risk to their health! 

Poor things...No, really, I feel bad for them. Imagine sleeping only 5 hours a night! and making only $70,000 a year! Such watch! For all the bravado that you see in the most popular blogs, these poor little critters are really just the rest--scared little people as obedient to the master as those they mock. 

Pipe down, bloggers. Better yet, take a vacation. At least a nap.

Feeling Mortal? See a Circus, Eat Pizza, Read Eliot



With people dropping like flies lately, I've been feeling oh so mortal. So what, do I turn vegan and hire a personal trainer, start investing in second hand spirituality books? Nah... I just went to John's Pizzeria, inhaled a couple of slices, and had that wondrous feeling that, if every moment I've got left can be as perfect as their pizza, I'll be ready to go when my time is up. The flowers on the trees and the sound of birds singing helps out as well, but--damn!--that New York pizza really does the trick, especially from John's. The best!

My California nieces visited recently. One's six, one's ten. Beautiful girls. Very insightful. Took them to the Ringling Bros. Circus and got another shot of vitality. The ultimate spectacle; the guaranteed method to be "distracted from distraction by distraction." You could get lost in it. Afterwards, took the girls for pizza at an Upper East Side Ben's. Not a great slice, but decent. Said the astute 10-year-old, "Where I live, in California, the best pizza is Domino's. I think it's pretty good. But this pizza is much, much better." Ahh, from the mouths of babes...

The distraction line is from one of my all-time favority poems, T.S. Eliot's Burnt Norton. The whole piece is one hell of a way to be distracted permanently. Here's an excerpt from part II:
from Burnt Norton, by T.S. Eliot (part II)

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.


---------

Oh yeah, one other form of therapy: The ultimate uplfiting song about the inescapability of mortality, Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready. The other day, I tracked down 9 versions on YouTube, and each one is performed with individual soulfulness. Performers include: the original by The Impressions; Curtis Mayfield with Taylor Dane (live); Al Green (live); The Chambers Brothers (live); Eva Cassidy (live); Ziggy Marley (live on Letterman); Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart; Jeff Beck (live), and--perhaps the most unique version of them all--Vanilla Fudge (live, from a Bonn, Switzerland concert during their 2004 reunion tour). They're all in the little player below. Which one's your favorite?



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Uh-oh. Waverly Diner sign taken down...



"Oh, boy, " I grumbled aloud when I walked past the long-established Waverly Diner yesterday and saw one of the fantastic neo signs being lowered to the ground! "There goes the neighborhood!" Probably another high-rise condo.

Thankfully, the Waverly is still in action, though. Just had to put up one of those lovely "sidewalk sheds" to work on the building above it. Or could it be they're trying to run the diner out of business by covering up their signage? Nah, that's how rumors get started. Keep it under your hat.

Ah, the Waverly. Their food hasn't changed in years. For better or worse. Yum, yum.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Review of Dada Poetry Salon March 21 at Cornelia St. Cafe





It was beautiful. It was real. It was horrible. It was fun.

How else can you describe one of the more unique events to occur in poetry land in NYC this spring?

Dada Poetry Salon was everything and more than people expected. The highlights included Christ on a Crossword Puzzle, dynamic poetry from a plethora of out-of-towners including the awesome Lisa Grunberger, the sublime Greg Moglia, and in-towners including Jackie Sheeler, Karen Hildebrand plus a phenomenal sound poetry set by the reincarnation of Hugo Ball (as voiced by Gary Glazner) who took Karawane to new places, including a cell phone improvisation that Hugo himself would have been proud of. Not to mention tributes to Mina Loy, including Kathi Georges' end-of-show fireworks, plus every regular doing their most vibrant work to date, inlcuding Jay Chollick, Bob Hart and others...

The most impressive part of the show came with a subversive set by City Scum Shot, who took an audio track of a Hollywood recreation of a rape scene inspired by Pablo Escobar and combined two men on stage, armed with small chains, wandering, exploring circadian rhythms underlying the ultraviolence. I'm just sad that this phenomenal performance was not a) met with a more open-minded view and/or b) videotaped because the documentarians were among the vocal throng that got pissed off by their performance. (or is there a tape floating around that I don't know about? fingers crossed...). The net result was a shout-a-thon of audience members screaming that (in essence) what the boys were doing wasn't art, while the dynamic duo nevertheless continued, without losing control, until finally, their buttons were pushed too far, as an audience member raced to the stage and ("accidentally", and in the "dada" spirit) broke the tape recorder they were using as a soundtrack.

Interesting to observe. Nevertheless, the host, Kathi Georges, later reproved the audience act of stopping a performance as a blatent disregard of the (considered) one-way fourth wall of the stage, which in her experience, should only be broken by performers themselves.

It was a real mamajamma. Wish you were there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dada Poetry Salon coming at ya Friday, March 21st




It's almost here! A very special one-night-only Dada Poetry Salon, hosted by Kathi Georges at the venerable Cornelia Street Cafe in the lovely hamlet of Manhattan on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. $7 gets you in (with a free drink!!!).

In the original years (1914-1920) Dadaism sprung from the belief that the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois capitalist society repeatedly led to war. Dadaists expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality (Marcel Duchamp's "L.H.O.O.Q." (Mona Lisa with a moustache and goatee), or his provocative "Fountain" (a urinal). George Grosz later recalled that his Dadaist art was intended as a protest "against this world of mutual destruction."

What has changed?

Dada--especially Dada poetry--has never made more sense than it does today. War continues, as does the bourgeois capitalist society. However, nowadays, Dada-esque visual art has been embraced by bourgeois capitalist society. The poets remain pure.

Poets are invited to read during a limited open session (signups are at 5:45). Plus featured guest poets will include Dada superstars such as poet/lampmaker Mina Loy, Hugo Ball, and boxer/poet Arthur Cravan, brought back to life for this special event.

Also featured, to help celebrate Good Friday: Peter Carlaftes, as Christ on a Crossword Puzzle. Plus: slide shows, videos and more.

The first 50 people will receive a free copy of the inaugural and only issue of Maintenant 2 (inspired by Arthur Cravan's 1915 Maintenant magazine), which will include modern-day dada poetry, art critiques, and an offline blog. Contributions (in any language, including your own!) must be short and received by Saturday, March 15.

For more information, including photos, please email or call Kathi Georges at threeroomspress@mac.com.

Monday, March 3, 2008

This week at Cornelia St. Cafe: Poet Leanne Averbach


Join the rollicking good fun this Friday as Kathi Georges hosts the Son of A Pony reading--featuring the poetic stylings of master poetress (or is that mistress poeter?) Leanne Averbach. You won't believe your ears and your mind will be on overdrive!

Here's the scoop on Leanne:

Canadian poet Leanne Averbach has performed with musicians across Canada, the US, the UK and Italy. Her first book Fever (Mansfield Press, Toronto) was short-listed for the national Gerald Lampert first poetry book prize in 2006. Her work has been published extensively in journals including Court Green, Washington Square, Descant, Fiddlehead, Dalhousie Review, Event, Canadian Literature, Sub-TERRAIN, Grain and others. She formerly taught at the University of British Columbia. The Georgia Straight (Vancouver's version of the Village Voice) writes, "The poems swing from worldly to wild. 

So come be worldly and wild with us on Friday! 6-8 pm. Signup for the limited open reading (poetry only--no music, no prose) beginning at 5:45. $7 gets you in the door with a free drink. Plus they have delicious food, so count on it for dinner.



Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow: The Big Event right outside your door

A Man and his Dog. A throwback to an earlier time. No cars.

Even bicycles are out.

Dare to go where no man has gone before.


Nothing like snow in the city to turn everything into a wonderland.

Go Go Go: Jackie Sheeler and Jean Lehrman Saturday at Cornelia St. Cafe

Don't let the snow keep you indoors this weekend. Get out in it. You don't get the real "snow" experience online.

And you don't get the live poetry experience online either. Chicks are boss this Saturday at with a reading featuring the one, the only, The Jackie Sheeler (check out her cool new website and awesome blog get angry with me), PLUS therapist/poet Jean Lehrman (joined by bartender/vibraphonist Dan McCarthy), PLUS the woman with the voice of gold Jane Omerod, PLUS ex-stockbroker-turned-SLAM-finalist Phyllis Talley. To review, that's: Jackie Sheeler, Jean Lehrman, Jane Omerod AND Phyllis Talley, all on one bill. Whew! 

You'd think a hot line up like this would cost a fortune, but you can slip in for a mere $7. Such a deal! See you there: Cornelia St. Cafe, 29 Cornelia St., Sat. Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Study in Contrasts: Greenwich Village Signage



Two signs within two blocks of each other: a true study in contrasts. What would happen if the garbage is put into the cans of 235 W. Street as a random act of kindness? Would it set the world in the right direction? Maybe that's why you shouldn't "ask what will happen:" if everyone knew what would happen, the streets would be spotless. And the garbage cans full. So it goes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eliminate the Silver

for Roberto Novo

I choose the single process
treatment to save time and money.
My schedule is so busy these days.

Crisply, I ask Roberto to "Eliminate
the silver." And we both laugh, knowing
that "silver" is the nice way to say "gray."

And we both laugh, knowing that "We're
not getting any younger," which is the nice
way to say we are getting older. Old.

And we both laugh, knowing that laughter is
the nice way to divert our attention from our
presence here, how little time we have left to

make it matter.

He applies color with the brush strokes
of an artist. Sets a timer for 10 minutes.
Scurries off to help another client.

Over a slow, quiet ticking, she tells him
what she needs. And they both laugh,
even as Roberto hands me the bill.

Which is a nice way to say,
the silver is being eliminated
in more ways than one.

by Kathi Georges
02/15/08

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cafe Vivaldi, Greenwich Village

Last night, John's Pizza on Bleecker was way too crowded so we fell back on our contingency plan and headed for cute little Caffe Vivaldi on Jones Street. This tiny cafe oddly seems to attract budding hedge fund types (or as Peter calls them "ledge fund types," as in, if the economy tanks anymore they'll be jumping off the window ledge in high numbers!). Oddly, because it's a real down-to-earth kind of joint with live music, not the kind of meat market faux-techno shithole these assholes usually flock to.

Last night's snow kept the mood subdued, and complementing the mood was singer/pianist Jess King, whose Tuesday night residency continues at least until the end of February. King has a kind of sad, sweet voice that works well with her intimate original music about broken hearts and the self-commitment to dreams that generally seem to cause them in her songs. Blend Fiona Apple with Carole King and you get a pretty good of the style (maybe she's related to the latter?). It was perfect for the weather. And when she brought out a friend to join her on guitars and harmonizing, it was hard to believe that the song they came up with was written in the past three days via text messaging and email! 

The food at the Caffe varies widely in quality. Last time I was there, I had the ravioli which was nothing to write home about. But last night, I opted for the cheaper ($10) Herbed Chicken Panini, adding roasted red peppers ($1). Served with a salad, it's quite delicious. And considering there's no charge for the entertainment, I consider Caffe Vivaldi a Tuesday night haven. Maybe I'll see you there next week.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

You complain, you get results



After complaining about the lack of snow in NYC, what happens? Snow (see small flecks in above photo, and trust me!).

It's just been that kind of day.

At lunch today, I complained because my burger was overcooked. I send it back, what happens? I get a new burger, raw! And so it goes...

You complain, you get results, but you may not be impressed by what you get. Nevertheless, as mama always said, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

New York on Sunday: Warm, Global Warming, Marc Jacobs


Where's the snow? Here it is Feb. 10, in New York and no snow. It's 42 degrees. It's been 42 degrees all winter, except for 2 days in January. Where's the snow? Is it the global warming? If so, then it's not my fault. I'm anti-global warming. Have been for a long time. I am ready for it to end.

In the mid 90s there was a show on public television about global warming. They interviewed somebody from the oil companies who said that global warming was not necessarily a bad thing. "People actually prefer warmer weather. They can go to the beach, and relax in the sun."

If you listen to the weather "reporters," you'd think the oil company flack was right. They rave about warm weather, talk about how a day in February that is 50 degrees is "a nice day!" Nice? What's so nice about melting polar ice caps, rising seas, the total destruction of life on Planet Earth? Nothing nice about it at all, except that that the tourists will be standing in line at one of the six Marc Jacobs stores on or near Bleecker Street.

The other day I walked by just such a line (how they can actually line up for his crap is beyond me). I mentioned, slightly louder than under my breath that Marc Jacobs was sucking the life out of New York City, which he is. You should have seen the looks on their faces! They were shocked, and momentarily worried that perhaps they were standing in the wrong line. The look passed so quickly. But, for a moment, it gave me hope.

Friday, February 8, 2008

sign of the times?



Remember when people used to buy cars just to get around, and didn't care about keeping them in "like new" condition to maintain their "resale value?" This van's been floating around the West Village lately. Maybe it's a sign of thing to come: a downturn in the consumer mentality, an uptun in liberal values, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Or maybe it's just a prop for a movie shoot. . .

What do you think?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: Tchaikovsky's Pathétique at NY Philharmonic Feb. 5, 2008

The poetry of music was in full swing at Avery Fisher Hall Tuesday as the New York Philharmonic added another dimension to Fat Super Super Tuesday with a program capped by Tchaikovsky's final symphony: the mysterious, beautiful and mournful Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, a.k.a. "Pathétique." And it was -- in a word -- "magnifique!"

The program's first half was admirable, with strong performances of Rossini's brisk "Overture to La Scala di seta (The Silken Ladder)" and Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, Italian." But it was the second half that compelled attendance, and the brilliant performance of Pathétique made it a truly incredible experience.

The Pathétique is one of the saddest, most heart wrenching pieces of music ever written. In Tchaikovsky's original notes for the piece, he sketched a concept that the symphony would begin with "The ultimate essence of the thirst for activity," leading into "Second movement, love; third, disappointments; fourth ends dying. . .Finale DEATH -- result of collapse." Nice place to start. In sum, this ain't no 1812 Overture. No canons, no fireworks, no wine and cheese crowd pleaser here. If anything, like the poetry of Charles Bukowski, this piece seeks to uncover the beauty of horror, not excluding slow, regret-filled, painful death. Under the baton of the distinguished Lorin Maazel, the Pathétique surged and swelled like a human heart, with its rich theme line still reverberating in my mind.

A word about the NY Phil: Imagine having your whole being moved by the sound of a single clarinet 40 yards away. Now imagine being moved by the Pathétique's instrumentation: Three flutes, two oboes, two clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam (gong) and strings. 

This is what the program describes as the instrumentation. It doesn't mention that "strings" means 30 (yes, 30) violins, 10 violas, 10 cellos and 8 basses. The dynamics were intense, even with the much-maligned acoustics of Avery Fisher Hall. 

The third movement, in particular, Allegro molto vivace, grew to a fevered pitch only equalled in intensity by the average male mid-life crisis. Oddly, half the audience was packing up and ready to hit the road after this movement, assuming, like so many commercials imply, that life is going to end on an upbeat note.

Wrong. As Tchaikovsky so brilliantly distills, all the build up of youth and middle age, is destined to lead to long, slow, sad silver years. The real challenge of being human is to see the beauty of these years, with the all the lamenting, pain and sorrow. Tchaikovsky manages this wonderfully, with a finale of despair, ongoing sighs, and a final fading away replete with a final few slow beats of a heart.

When it was over, it was difficult to move. Even Maazel seemed as if he wished the audience didn't have to applaud that we could all just stay there in this place of beauty without end, until the last vibration of sound died as we did... with great tenderness. Such wasn't the case. But, for as long as it lasted, it was a fine place to be.

One final note: Shortly after writing Pathétique, Tchaikovsky conducted its world premiere and died nine days later at the age of 53. His parting gift is one the world should treasure forever.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tonight: Josh Humphrey at Cornelia St. Cafe


Tonight, Feb. 1, 2008:

A rare chance to hear a truly incredible poet. Josh Humphrey is one of those unique birds who writes poems that stick in your craw long after you hear them. He often writes in the voice of a woman, capturing female emotions with a strange and weirdly accurate tone. Recently, he opened up for Ellen Bass's reading with a poem inhabiting his grandmother's voice as she worked to keep his father awake after an accident with a discus. One of my favorites is "A Poem About Al Capone's Wife." He doesn't read live very often, so catch this unique opportunity. 

Plus, participate in the marvelous open reading, hosted by Kathi Georges, who promises to share new poetry tonight as well.
What: Son of a Pony Reading Series
Where: Cornelia St. Cafe (29 Cornelia St. between W. 4th St. & Bleecker, NYC)
When: Friday, Feb. 1, 2008, 6-8 p.m. (sign up early for the open reading, doors open 5:45 p.m.)
Cost: $7 (includes free house wine or beer)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Review of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, January 29, 2008


From start to finish, Jerry Springer: The Opera, at Carnegie Hall is a drop-dead, no-doubt-about-it, oh-my-aching-sides hysterically funny piece of theater. Featuring Harvey Keitel as Jerry, and a 30-member cast plus on-stage orchestra, the show uses a no-holds-barred approach to replicate the oft-lambasted TV show in operatic fashion--which is funny enough!--and dives head-first into a second philosophically challenging post-mortem act featuring Jerry being forced by the devil to do his show . . . in Hell! With Satan (a role created by the incredible David Bedella), Jesus and God as guests! Get out of here!

White trash costumes never decked out such highly-regarded operatic talent so fittingly. They perfectly matched the in-your-face lyrics ripped from the flat screens of America. Sample:
A weird thing happened last night 
when I went to take a leak
I would up pissing on a man
with a fabulous physique
I mean--how can you not love a show that offers a pole-dancing soprano, a contralto "chick-with-a-dick" and tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan members? Over-the-top has a new definition. But I wonder--how does cast member Lawrence Clayton--or any cast member, for that matter--explain to his family that he finally acheived his life-long dream of performing at Carnegie Hall to a sold-out audience--only by singing about the sexual arousal he feels when he shits on himself? And--oh, yeah--singing, while wearing only shoes, socks, and a diaper.

At the opening performance, two nearby patrons left during the second act, disappointed that none of the characters in the 2-hour production had any depth. "They're all caricatures!" one lamented.  Not true. Writer Richard Thomas was able to find an inner beauty for each of his outcast characters, such as infantilist Baby Jane, played marvelously by Laura Shoop. In the midst of all this madness, suddenly, one would stop and spill a truly awe-inspiring beautiful aria about the universal call to find true love.

Still, with all the history of beauty at Carnegie Hall, it is a bit disconcerting to watch an operatic cat fight between a fat suburban housefrau and a coke whore, with the simple lyrics, "Bitch, bitch, you bitch, fuck you bitch." I mean--how low has our society sunk, that in a hall of culture, Jerry Springer: The Opera would prove to be such a success?  But that's just the surface look at the show. It's what lies beneath that makes Jerry Springer: The Opera so fully-realized, endearing and--after the laughter wears off--haunting. It's the tracing through all of these outcasts, the common human link in the need for affection.

The production began at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2002 and has since run for nearly 700 performances in London. It was originally slated to move to Broadway in 2005, but didn't get enough backers. It toured in England for 22 weeks, facing pickets that forced the cancellation of runs at 9 theatres. Interestingly, the show has run in several U.S. locations successfully, including San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago and Memphis. Still, several religious organizations have been protesting the Carnegie Hall event since it was announced, calling it "blashphemous" and picketing opening night. But let's face it: this is New York. Forty-seven years ago, Lenny Bruce performed Carnegie Hall, and no doubt stirred up similar controversy--but the show went on, to rave reviews. 

To my mind, Jerry Springer: The Opera strikes a similar brilliant chord. And nearly 24 hours later, my stomach still aches from laughing so hard.

Rumor has it that Springer will finally get that longed-for Broadway run. Keep your fingers crossed, and if you need someone to see it with, I'll gladly go again.