First show with our rockin’ new drummer Andy next week!
I interviewed Dick Dale a couple weeks ago and tonight I’m going to see him at the Middle East.
Listen/purchase: Following the Plan by bellwire
won’t you listen to our new song?
Flyer by http://chrischewdesign.com/
My friend Eric has an unusually artful instagram account. He gets cool effects by layering filters and he catches some poignant chance occurrences. It’s all very New York and often pretty impersonal and outsiderish.
"user_eric" follow that fucker.
Next week, baby!
Ah hell yeah. Two of my favorite guitarists.
I signed up by e-mail and still get a lot of the republican party’s e-mail spam. Not that I mind––it’s an interesting contrast to all the lefty spam I get. Hoping to write something small comparing the rhetorics.
Thanks so much to Burd and friends for letting me sneak behind the stage for some of these shots. Definitely some of the better photos I’ve taken ever. Bellwire at Dover Brickhouse on 02.28.14, Twin Berlin and Green Bullets. Full set here.
I got to introduce Billy Collins when he came for a short reading/Q&A at Lesley a few weeks ago. Thought I’d share what I wrote (skipping the standard list of honors, awards and review excerpts).
Last spring, as part of my student teaching here at Lesley, I had the pleasure of leading a unit on poetry for a class of seventh-graders. One of the first poems I picked was “Litany” by Billy Collins. I chose it because it was one of the first poems I knew I liked. It showed me the comedy and candor one could fit into a “serious,” carefully-written poem. So I thought it had a good chance of selling a few kids on the idea of poetry. It did.
The kids didn’t get “Litany” at first, because I didn’t tell them it was going to be funny. Who would expect a poem that sounds so nice to read out loud, that mentions “the evening paper blowing down an alley” to be funny? Then we watched a video on youtube where Billy Collins reads it to a laughing audience. He explains that “Litany” aims to make fun of a certain kind of poetry, in fact it mocks a specific, bad poet. Then the students started to understand what they’d read and one kid yelled out, “He’s mean!” Actually, most of them started yelling, which they didn’t normally do. Billy Collins has a very compelling list of awards and recognitions, but what also convinces me of his talent is his ability to make seventh graders––kids born in the 21st century––yell over a poem.
I don’t mean to make it sound as though he only “does funny.” Of course, as we’re about to hear, that isn’t true. To borrow a phrase from Billy Collins: in poetry “meaning only one thing at a time spells malfunction.” And so he’s often his funniest when he’s his most thoughtful or his most compassionate.
One could say his poems appreciate the finer things in life, if those finer things include bath toys, hippos, love and language. They approach you the way you approach a friend you’re meeting for coffee when you have something to tell them. In fact, some of his first lines work as well for that situation as for poetry––like “I thought of you today,” or “I don’t want to make too much of this,” or, my favorite, “What do you think of my new glasses.” Since he’s come to be with us today and since he’s the most qualified person to read this poetry that I’m so fond of, I’ll wrap up and let him get started. Thanks so much, Billy Collins, for being here.