Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Should Be Grading Papers or Working On My Manuscript But

here I am... still drinking coffee in bed & blogging to you. Before I started typing this, I felt like this posting had Tao Lin potential-- now I know I was misguided in my imagination.

There are at least two presses I need to send my manuscript to but I don't have a printer- so printing is a problem (or at least requires me leaving my apartment & going somewhere else. I used the public library last week to print up a chapbook & that super-sucked!) which made me miss the Litmus submission deadline. I don't think that my stuff is really Litmus-y, but I love the press and to have them read my manuscript and maybe like a few poems would have made me happy. Ho-hum. I did send out my chapbook.

Speaking of submitting, you know who's blog I been reading recently? Molly Gaudry. It's full of pictures and lots of press/journal submission information.
There's a lot going this week. This is from my friend Geoffrey Olsen:


C. Spencer Yeh, cosmic noisy violin force, is playing with Michael Johnsen tonight at 8pm in the Issue Project Room.
It is only $10! Here is info.


FRIDAY, February 20, @ 7pm
@ Pete's Candy Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Pete's Reading Series with CAConrad, BEN MALKIN & JENNIFER KNOX

(there's no chance that I get out of Staten Island in time to see this but it looks like a damn good time!)

Join us for the merrymaking and festivities at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg, Bklyn!

Friday, February 20th @ 8 PM
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg

~*The Live Nude Girl in the Devil's Territory Tour*~
Kathleen Rooney (Live Nude Girl)
Kyle Minor (In the Devil's Territory)
Jillian Brall (The New School)
James Yeh (Columbia University)
Laren McClung (New York University)

Rose Live Music is located at 345 Grand Street in Brooklyn, between Havemeyer and Marcy. Visit their website for directions:

EARSHOT is a bi-monthly reading series, dedicated to featuring new and emerging literary talent in the NYC area. Visit

(I like that title, but Friday will likely be another nudity-free evening for me)
Speaking of Tao Lin:

Saturday, February 21, 2009
7:30pm - 10:30pm
erika's loft
Brooklyn, NY

Contact Info


Tao Lin
He is the author of a novel, Eeeee Eee Eeee, and a story collection, Bed, which were published simultaneously by Melville House Publishing May, 2007. He is also the author of two poetry collections, you are a little bit happier than i am, which won Action Books' December Prize in 2005 and was published November, 2006; and cognitive-behavioral therapy, which was published May, 2008 by Melville House Publishing. A chapbook of poetry, this emotion was a little e-book, and one of stories, Today the Sky is Blue and White with Bright Blue Spots and a Small Pale Moon and I Will Destroy Our Relationship Today, were published by the Internet press Bear Parade in 2006..

His forthcoming books include a novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel, to be published September, 2009, and his second novel, Richard Yates, to be published early in 2010. Both books will be published by Melville House Publishing.

His writing has appeared in Noon, Nerve, Vice, Esquire, The Stranger, 3:AM Magazine, The Mississippi Review, Bear Parade, The Cincinnati Review, Other Voices, Fourteen Hills, and other magazines.

He is the editor of the literary press Muumuu House, founded in October 2008, which will publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and gmail chats online and in print and co-edits with Ellen Kennedy a literary press called Ass Hi Books.

Todd Colby

Colby's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Aloud!: Voices from the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe and Verses that Hurt. He is the author of Ripsnort, Cush and Riot in the Charm Factory, all published by Soft Skull Press. He teaches at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Ben Arthur
If you’re going to take some time off after two years of relentless touring, you might as well stay busy. Or at least that’s what Ben Arthur thinks. But recording a follow-up to 2004’s Sony/Red-distributed Edible Darling wasn’t enough for Arthur.

“Writing a novel was something I had always wanted to try, so I just sat down and gave it a shot,” Arthur says.

Meanwhile Arthur finished his new album, Mouthfeel, at Dubway, the same studio where he recorded Edible Darling. He had some great help on the songs, with guest vocals provided by RCA’s Rachael Yamagata, and bass playing by Ollabelle’s own Byron Isaacs. Arthur also had production help from DJ Big Wiz, the beat master who adds so much to the music of Def Jux recording artists Aesop Rock and Lif.

National Public Radio says of the new record, "The quirky optimism that marked Ben Arthur's album Edible Darling has aged and darkened on his long-awaited second disc [sic] Mouthfeel. A slippery disc in sound and meaning...which burrows intimately into love, pain and loss."

To get the word out about the new album, Arthur toured internationally, playing in clubs, high schools, house concerts, bookstores, colleges, and on radio and television. He did interviews and live performances on Sirius, WMMM, WCBE, WMRA, WNRN, WCNR, WBSD, and SACC TV, and songs from Mouthfeel have been airing on WXRT, KCUV, KVRB, WDST, CIDR, KTHX, WQKL, WRLT, WXRV, WZEW, and others.

One of the high points of the Mouthfeel tours was being featured on the internationally syndicated radio program Acoustic Café, which airs on 75-plus stations in the States alone, and on Voice of America worldwide. He also recorded his third half-hour special for XM Satellite Radio and Ben’s song On a Sunday was NPR’s “Song of the Day.”

For the first time in his career, Ben’s music was also featured on internationally broadcasted television. He licensed five songs to ABC, four to Showtime, and is now a regular contributing composer for the soap opera, Guiding Light on CBS.

“Like everything good that has happened with my work, writing for Guiding Light was a result of hard work,” Arthur jokes. “Well, that and the fact my daughter plays with the children of the Music Director!”

That humility and clear-eyed honesty extends to Arthur’s lyrics. Often brooding and dark-laced, images of betrayal, sex, humiliation, faith, yearning and death float behind a super-melodic pop facade. “Tattoo” an upbeat acoustic number, is about sex, love…and suicide. Like much of Arthur’s work, it looks mortality square in the face: “Like Abraham, one day I awoke and realized/That along with the will, the hand, and the knife/The throat was also mine.” “Exit Wound” shares similar themes, though in a more dark-toned bed. Yet, listening to “The Sun Also Rises”—Arthur’s impassioned duet with Rachael Yamagata—you hear an uplifting message of hope and deliverance underneath the distorted electric guitars and driving rhythm.

Rolling Stone says, “Ben Arthur has the looks and hooks of John Mayer.”

Maybe the critics like the duality in Ben’s music. “There’s nothing in my work that doesn’t smack of some pretty grim, difficult stuff,” he says matter-of-factly. “Most of my songs are a marriage of contradictions: bleak and difficult sentiments lurking under upbeat, melodies.”

Arthur first picked up a guitar when he was 14 and immediately began writing songs. In Charlottesville, where he attended the University of Virginia, he developed a local following, and eventually shared the stage with Tori Amos, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby and fellow townsman Dave Matthews. In fact, Matthews’s collaborators Boyd Tinsley and Tim Reynolds played on Arthur’s first album, Curses and Rapture.

“I prefer lush images,” he says. “I don’t like songs that are too specific, too literal. What interests me is ambiguity and mystery, the spaces between the sentences. Like in ‘Strawberry Fields’: ‘I mean, er, yes, well, no, that is, I think I disagree….’ that’s the way people talk. I’m most fascinated by the underlying contradictions in people’s motivations, the way they deal with one another.”

In fact, the melodic element of his music is so strong, the hooks so catchy, that it’s possible to miss the underlying lyrical complexity and contradiction in his words. All of which is fine by Arthur.

“People can hear what they want in my music,” he says. “Like in Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’, some people hear a patriotic anthem and others hear a protest song. If that happens with my music, I’m fine with that.”

“Actually,” he laughs, “that sounds perfect.”

Ben will be releasing his first novel, (The Lure of the Distant Sound), and fifth album (a live collection called Roadkill) in March at Joe’s Pub in New York City, and will follow this with another international tour.

Live performances, interviews, fan-made videos and covers of Ben’s songs by other musicians can be found online at MySpace (where his songs have logged 28,000 plays), Facebook, iLike, LastFM, and linked to his YouTube channel. The list of Ben Arthur stations set up by his fans on Pandora internet radio currently totals 50 pages.

come dressed in glitter, silk, velvet, latex no cover, otherwise the usual 4 bucks...just to continue last years anti valentines day theme...the more outrageous the better!!!

(i might make it to this)

I think there are readings happening on Sunday too, but I'll try and post again on Saturday as this posting is getting too long.


Molly Gaudry said...

Hi, Thanks for reading my blog. Are you in Philly?

steven karl said...

Yeah, I recently stumbled upon it and really like it- both style and content-wise.

I'm in New York City, but I know some of the "Philly" poets & I have some artist friends that tend to do a lot of exhibitions there.

Are you in the tri-state area?

Molly Gaudry said...

I am, I am. And only as of this week. I'm adjusting. It's exciting.