Nov 30, 2011

I never beat The Legend Of Zelda for the NES (not even close).

I set up my Nintendo yesterday.

I just emailed myself the IGN FAQs Legend Of Zelda walkthrough.

I'm going to beat Zelda at 32 years old.

Happy Birthday Sakkis.

Before packing up giant suitcase sized tupperware leftovers for me after Thanksgiving my Mom marched me out to the garage,  pointed at my childhood Nintendo themed "toy chest" and said "this is leaving with you..."

I was reluctant (running through my head "but Ma, there's no space in my apartment, you have a whole garage...'), but Mom just single handedly prepared a feast for 35 people, I wasn't about to bitch and moan. When I got home I cracked it open to find 40 dusty back issues Nintendo Power, a Power Glove (a la Fred Savage in The Wizard), and a smattering of cassette singles, including: Bon Jovi "Keep The Faith," Another Bad Creation "Playground,"Grand Royal Sampler, Boyz II Men "Motown Philly," Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby," Sunz Of Man "And The Last Shall Be First," Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge," Ice-T "New Jack Hustler," holy shit smells like 6th grade up in here!

But best of all I found this!

My Thrasher calendar from 1991. Check out baby Mr. September Mike Carroll doing a frontside blunt slide in "San Francisco, Embarcadero"...wait a minute, that's not the EMB!

But best of all, printed on the back of the calendar, it reads "Don't throw this calendar away! It is also good for the years 2002, 2013, 2019, 2047, 2069, 2075, 2086 & 2097." Now you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you that in 1991 (I was 11) I actually had the foresight to store this sucker away in anticipation of being able to use it again. I swear to God I remember thinking, "wow, 2002, I wonder where I'll be then..." I was a weird kid I guess? A collector and saver since a wee lad. But I missed 2002, so now looking forward to pinning this on the wall in 2013, and yeah, right now I'm definitely thinking "wonder where I'll be in a year..."

Moral of the story, thanks for making me schlep my junk out of your house Mom!

Nov 29, 2011

While my friend Pisha (NSFW) was staying with me last weekend she remarked that the trunk of my car looked like the trunk of a 16 year olds car, moted. Skateboard, sleeping bag, camping chair, couple pairs of beater Vans sneakers, and about a million loose cassettes strewn haphazardly about. Pish scolded me for treating my tape collection so carelessly. And she was right, I'd been neglecting my mid-90s Bay Area Hip Hop tape-treasure for too long, banished to the trunk a couple years ago during an apartment move and quickly forgotten, the tapes have weathered extreme SF heat (hahaha) and damp SF summers. I'm an idiot. So today after work, with Pisha and slump-beats in mind, I rescued the tapes from "out the trunk" --Too Short. I'm crossing my fingers for a negative on heat or water damage. It took me years to build up this collection, rap tape culture in the Bay Area in the mid-90s was huge, 4 tracks were king, dubs were everywhere, rare and limited editions popping up from various crews almost daily. I fiended for tapes, bought a couple a week for a couple years (my first purchase being MURS's now-ultra rare cassette EP Back For No Good Reason). We would post up in front of Ms. Fields or Blondies on Telegraph almost every weekend, slanging tapes, buying tapes, listening and trading, portable boombox on hand. Sadly, these tapes only represent maybe 1/3 of what I used to own, lost long ago to hothothot Concord summers and evil tape eating ghetto blasters. What was that Bizarro lyric? "My collection of tapes/ and now they're all gone.../ I collect tapes and now they're all gone/ What happened to my collection of tapes?"

Nov 24, 2011

Nov 21, 2011

Nov 15, 2011

Michael Palmer book release party @ Norma Cole's house...

Rob introducing Palmer.

Had to get a shot of my book nestled between Dahlen and Cross's on Norma's living room shelf...

Reenacting the backcover of Acts #5 with a photo of the back of Michael Palmer's head (reading from his new book Thread)...

Nov 11, 2011


Friday NOV 11
"Does the Secret Mind Whisper?"
Will Alexander, Maria Damon and Justin Desmangles

a symposium on Bob Kaufman, Black surrealism, and cultural poetics
7:30 pm @ Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street, $10

Co-sponsored with Before Columbus Foundation

“…the ‘secret mind’ represents the convergence of multiple cultural trajectories. It is the political unconscious of the US, which registers all the ‘secret, terrible hurts’ (Kaufman, “Bagel Shop Jazz”) visited upon people who belong to an ‘America not on any map’ (Will Alexander), the disenfranchised who may ruminate silently on these social, spiritual and bodily injuries but who may speak of them openly only at their peril.”
—Maria Damon, Jacket2, “Poetry in 1960, A Symposium”

"Does the Secret Mind Whisper?" was the gnomic open question posed by poet Bob Kaufman in an early City Lights broadside by that title. In collaboration with the Before Columbus Foundation, the Poetry Center hosts an evening symposium under that rubric, in order to take up the nature of Kaufman's legacy and practice, and its extensions into the 21st Century. Featured guests include poet-scholars Will Alexander and Maria Damon, in conversation with Bay Area writer, radio host/dj and cultural worker Justin Desmangles.
BOB KAUFMAN (1925–1986) was a key participant in the 1950s San Francisco poetry renaissance and the Beat movement. Author of three renowned poetry broadsides, Abomunist Manfesto, Second April, and Does the Secret Mind Whisper?, published in the late 1950s by City Lights Books, his poetry in print remained elusive until two collections came out in the mid-1960s. The landmark Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness (1965), published by New Directions, has remained in print for better than four decades. Golden Sardine (1967) became a signature City Lights Pocket Poets volume alongside the works of renowned contemporaries Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. During Kaufman's last decade, editor Raymond Foye assembled the volume of fugitive works, Ancient Rain: Poems 1956–1978 (New Directions, 1981). The posthumous collection, Cranial Guitar: Selected Poems, appeared in 1996 (Coffee House Press). Following Kaufman's death in 1986, a two-hour feature program, Bob Kaufman, Poet, was produced by David Henderson for KPFA-FM and aired nationally through the Pacifica network. Regarded in France as "the American Rimbaud," Bob Kaufman has been celebrated internationally for his particular mode of Surrealism, permeated by a profound affinity for the outcasts of American society, the poor and punished. The late saxophonist and jazz song composer Steve Lacy called Kaufman "the greatest jazz poet, and the beatest of the Beats."

WILL ALEXANDER (see bio above) has previously published the essay "Bob Kaufman: The Footnotes Exploded" in Conjunctions 29: Tributes.

MARIA DAMON (see bio above) his written on Bob Kaufman, extensively in her early book The Dark End of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry (University of Minnesota) and more recently online at Jacket2.
Archive AudioJUSTIN DESMANGLES hosts the radio program New Day Jazz, currently at KDVS-90.3 FM, and available online, a heady blend of music and cultural commentary, focused on the African-American cultural continuum. Frequent guests offer a largesse of inquiring and informed commentary. Recent conversations have featured, e.g., scholars William W. Cook and James Tatum on African American Writers and Classical Tradition; A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshlemen on their collaborative translation of Aimé Césaire's Solar Throat Slashed; Robin D.G. Kelley on his stellar biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; and jazz pianist Matthew Shipp on the legacy of Bud Powell. Chair of the Before Columbus Foundation, which hosts the annual American Book Award, Justin Desmangles has organized numerous public programs, at San Francisco Public Library and Yoshi's jazz club in San Francisco's Fillmore neighborhood, among other venues.

In a series of public programs on the life and legacy of Bob Kaufman under the title "Does the Secret Mind Whisper?" he recently brought together AACM co-founder Roscoe Mitchell with Kaufman's poetry in performances of original compositions. An upcoming November 14 Benefit for the Before Columbus Foundation at Yoshi's San Francisco will reunite Roscoe Mitchell and Amiri Baraka in duo performance, and feature the new Ishmael Reed Band.

Nov 8, 2011

Nov 4, 2011

embarrassed as a 40 year old man in designer jeans looks.

Nov 3, 2011

SPD was closed Wednesday in solidarity w/ the General Strike. Rather than joining the Million Message March I decided to check out the Kurt Schwitters: Color And Collage exhibit over at the Berkeley Art Museum.

MERZbau reconstruction at BAM from Mona Caron on Vimeo.

Here's a video of the reconstruction of the Merzbau at BAM.

Collage work spanning 1923-47 filled out the rest of the show. I was literally the only person at both the Merzbau (basement level) and the Collage And Color exhibits (6th floor). It was a fantastic way to experience the show: quiet, meandering from piece to piece, close up, an immersive afternoon. Is the BAM always that empty? And only $10, definitely looking forward to future shows. Can't say I was particularly drawn to any of the collage pieces, muted gauzey colors schemes, abstract geometric arrangement, found bric a brac. The lineage is very much on display though, and that was interesting to me, what Schwitters presaged. Kurt Schwitters Color And Collage runs until Nov. 27th.

So downstairs to find a restroom, turn a corner and run into a Theresa Hak Kyung Cha display; her 1975 video Mouth To Mouth running on loop with 2 copies of Dictee wire-bound to a table display.

On the table was a piece of paper outlining a lesson plan based on the video

"What does the title Mouth to Mouth evoke?

How does the close-up disorient as well as focus you?

What about the video static, or "snow--what expressive purpose might it have?"

Why do you think Cha chose the sound of running water for parts of the soundtrack (instead of a voice, or music, or silence)?

What kind of mood or feeling does Mouth To Mouth evoke in you?

Why do you think Cha chose the medium of video?

What do you think of this kind of art that leaves so much to your imagination, to your own interpretation? (Cha thought of her audience--you!--as completing her art)"

All in all a great afternoon, went home and boxed for an hour, watched the coverage of the Port Of Oakland protests, recognized a few faces on TV (been happening a lot lately, makes you feel like the world revolves around your small social circle, i.e., paranoia), read Allen Ginsberg's Composed On The Tongue for a couple hours, went to bed and had a fraught dream about rollerblading, woke up, poured cofeee, turned on the TV to reports that a bunch of Occuposeurs had rioted throughout Downtown Oakland the night before. Thought, WAY TO GO, BRAVO, WELL DONE! The Whole World Is Watching ( intimidate small business owners). Todos Somos WHATEVER!