Latest Performance

I'm a small-town poet in both written word and performance. I'm more influenced by rock and roll but I am also a lit-chick full of curiosity. My influences are far and wide and I can find writing inspiration in anything, from important matters to pure whimsy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Show Over With

So Thursday's open mic was just weird.
For one the weather sucked. I don't mind snow, and it wasn't too cold out. The slush was another story, that and the super sticky snow made walking miserable. You didn't even have to stick your tongue out to catch snowflakes, they'd just fly into your face.

Much of the core audience and core performers weren't there. For some it's likely the weather, there were others I know were out of town. The lack of their energy just gave an odd vibe to the night. A lot of people were coming who were people I didn't really know. I don't think it's a bad thing, I like seeing newcomers come around.

My performance was in top form, I was at my best on stage that night. Yet my first piece was being interpreted as being funny ha-ha. The costume, props and music were not for comedic effect. I just find it kind of off-putting to be doing this serious and intense piece just to have people laugh. I know I do funny, I do lots of funny poems, but this wasn't one of them. Not to mention that when Steve was starting the music Renoise wasn't working and he had to reboot Sammy (our netbook).

A few people got it, and they're the ones who count. The host of the evening liked it, the people running the show and the other artists liked it. Out of towners just passed me off as another mad-poet. I guess it's put me into a little artistic identity crisis. Am I just the funny person who occasionally has angry poems? Am I just passed off as pure comedy? I want humor, but I also want to wow people too.

Maybe next time I'll do a cover of Horse Latitudes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poetry to Music? Of Course!

Tonight is open mic, and another performance for me. I'm doing things a little different this time. Steve is going to be mixing music live while I do my reading. I'm also going to be reading in costume, it's a bridal theme. Inspired by my sister-in-law's upcoming divorce.

It's going to be unconventional and bombastic. You can do poetry to music though, it's been done before. As seen in the Poetry in Motion project from a previous post. Jim Morrison also had poems set to music. The album Strange Days featured the poem Horse Latitudes, with audio track, and the music made it even more frightening.

There was also his posthumous album An American Prayer, where the surviving members set music to many of Morrison's poems. Of course we can't forget Celebration of the Lizard which has been performed live as well.

It was actually getting into the music of The Doors and Jim Morrison that made me want to first become a poet. This was a little over a decade ago and my easily-influenced teenage mind found something dark and subversive about Morrison's work. I wanted to do the same and was writing on and off for about ten years before I decided to take poetry seriously in terms of my own writing. At the time I knew nothing of contemporary poetry, or poets who broke boundaries. The most contemporary poet I knew of at the time was Shel Silverstein (whose poetry I've always loved). Other than that, I only knew of the classic poets you learn about in school. There was no writer's retreat back then, no focus on modern poetry in English classes, just a unit on classic writers and poetic devices.

I would like to see things modernize a bit more. Part of the problem is that people usually associate poetry with stuffy grad-students/academics and beginners just starting who might not even think of making some sort of career out of it. You know, the stereotypical "emo-kid" who "whines" in their livejournal. Not a lot of people think of the world outside of those extremes. It's sort of like wine, how some people see wine drinkers as either snobs or the cheap wino. Take that dichotomy away and wine can be a fun thing to get into. It's fun to experiment with wine/food pairings, or see how different kinds of wine taste, and some are pretty tasty!

Speaking of which, do I want to bring wine to open mic? If so what kind?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Latest Performance Piece

Well yesterday was my birthday, it was the lamest ever. I sat around at home all day and then worked at my paying job, wouldn't be as bad if I had something more enjoyable.

I did write a new poem in lieu of my sister in law's upcoming divorce. I learned that her marriage was ending on Valentine's day, of all days. I came up with a good performance piece, my second that will actually have a costume to go with it. Hey, I like playing dress up! I'm going with a semi-bridal theme, I found a dress and ordered a tiara, already have shoes, jewelry, and even a scarf that could double as a veil. I'll also incorporate a souvenir bell I have from my sister in law's wedding. I asked Steve to set up some music to play while I read, I'm going to have him render Pachabel's Canon into a twisted, smoldering wreck. I know a stage show seems to be a bit much, but I do things my way. If I want to show the world that poetry can be an enjoyable art form I'm going to make things fun for the audience.

This whole setup is also going to be funny because afterward I'll probably read a piece I wrote about the virgin/whore dichotomy and how silly it is. I got the idea from the big Taylor Swift debate since she won album of the year at the Grammys. She is appreciable in the fact that she is self-made, and has artistic integrity and consistency ie: what she says and what she does are closely related unlike other pop stars. Yet her whole ultimate Good Girl message grates on a lot of us people who don't believe in the virgin/whore dichotomy her music sometimes projects.

My life has felt a bit more disorganized as of late, and I'm trying to keep it all together. Working on yet another paper, reading books for class, working on my poems and looking about the web. And I felt so together the other week.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Poetry on the Web

I recently set up a Viddler account for myself to go with my YouTube. Since Viddler is uncharted territory for me I thought that I should explore first before I put up any of my performances, and so far I've found some neat little projects. Not all of them are my style exactly, but have great concepts!

One concept I see is titled Poetry in Motion (Not to be confused with the MTA project that posts poems in NYC public transit systems)
This video project features poems both classic and original with video and music. There is not much information on the actual account
This is a project by Full Sail University, a media arts college based out in Florida.

I also came across another video poetry project by user scumnation. The poems are all original works, with alternating images and text with music. There are several lyrical references in these poems, but it's got a good hip/fresh vibe to it. I particularly like this one called Barbie's Night Out. Plus you get to see Japanese Lolitas and VK cosplay fashion. Another interest of mine ^_^

I apologize if the videos only show up as links, I still can't seem to find the embed code if there is any. I can just find the permalink. I'm not the most code-savvy person out there, part of why I'm having my fiance work on my eventual new layout.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Videos are up!

The videos from my latest performance are up on YouTube! I will be posting them on Viddler in the near future as well. Keeping both accounts, but material may vary between them.

Steve's been working on the layout in between his music work. I'm hoping he finishes it soon, I asked for something simple and easy to navigate. I know he likes giving everything full bells and whistles which can become further time-consuming.

Not much else to report, wrote up a few more drafts to work on as well as my schoolwork. I finished Little Women and now have to move on. I love the novel even more now that I've read the full version and would love to read the sequels on Gutenberg if I had the time.

Without further delay, three originals and a spoken word cover.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chugging Along

I've been plugging away at a lot of things as of late. I bless my random mind for it's wonderful ideas. I think I shall write a poem about the Tidy Bowl Man for the next open mic. The world needs more whimsy.

Steve's been working on a layout for me. Since we've separated our desks we're both being much more productive at them. Both of us aren't really the type who like having others peek over our shoulders. Now that we have our own makeshift desks we're both working a lot more.

I've been reading right through Little Women, it's such a sweet book. Alcott herself had an interesting life as well. She had to play breadwinner while her idealist Father was doing his own endeavors that never paid much; he was a poet too. I'm an idealist at times too, but more sensible I guess. I also wrote a five page story for my story writing class. The draft needs to be gone through again, and then I'll post it for peer critique. I would very much like to learn how to improve my story writing skills. I did finish my paper on the Salem Witch Trials, and it was interesting going in-depth on some of the key figures. I've taken a bigger interest in history over the past few years.

I will get the latest videos up soon. And I will be sharing a bunch of other places you can find me at online as well. Those will be shared once my new layout is up and running. In the meantime I will keep the content going!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where to Start

It's been an eventful week in my writing and pop culture.

First, open mic was another fantastic evening, videos to come soon. The host said my poem about dinosaurs and eating chicken is the best piece of literature ever, I'm not sure about the best, but it is entertaining. I autographed the printout and gave it to him, my first ever autograph :D It is a surprise, but I'm happy. I will be working to expand and tie my networks together. I made a test blog for Steve to tinker with so he can get templates configured.

J.D. Salinger passed away, read the news shortly after my last post. Best known for The Catcher in the Rye, the epitome of teen jadedness. It's a challenged staple of high schools, and it's even influenced mentally unstable assassins in horrible ways. My father's girlfriend, who works as a teacher, hates teaching it, but love it or hate it, it's a modern classic.

Been plugging away at my schoolwork. I've actually been keeping good pace with my work, hopefully it continues throughout the semester. I'm almost finished writing about the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.

And because I am an armchair pop-culture analyst, I've been seeing all this stuff about the Grammys and how Taylor Swift won album of the year. I haven't jumped on the GaGa Got Robbed bandwagon fully, as much as I love Lady GaGa. I saw the other nominees as well. I guess my opinion is that I'm not going to say Swift is out of her league; but it's too early to tell what league she's in. The artists she was up against have all made a strong impact on music, and she may have won a slew of awards and broke download records, but in terms of her place in popular culture she needs more time. For all we know she may just fade in a couple years into pop-country obscurity. I know her music's not my cup of tea. Never really been into country music, it's too much schlock for me.