Posts Tagged ‘art’

Mississippi Queen, Casey Kasem, and Mermaids

August 22, 2014

When we were driving down to Gulf Shore, Alabama, for our family vacation this year, Casey Kasem died. Since we had Sirius radio in the car we listened to a few of his countdowns on the drive. The shows were a reminder that through the late sixties and early seventies the radio was really diverse. A song by The 5th Dimension would be followed by one by The Rolling Stones, then The Singing Nun, Three Dog Night, The Jackson Five, The Temptations. In a lot of ways it seemed like we were a much more diverse culture then. I know that’s not the case, but it seemed that way listening to those countdowns. I forget which state we crossed the Mississippi in. On the way down we were lucky enough to stumble upon the annual Superman Fest in Metropolis, Illinois, then an amazing art festival in Paducah, Kentucky. 

The most jolting moment in all of the countdown we listened to was when we heard the opening riffs of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” ripping out of the speaker. I know Black Sabbath and Iron Butterfly are both credited with pioneering heavy metal, but nothing sounded heavier than “Mississippi” queen after hearing Pat Boone. 

This drawing is Jenny’s Mississippi Queen Catfish. It’s one of 18 from her series Freshwater Mermaids of North America

Mississippi Queen Mermaid

Mississippi Queen Mermaid

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Kickstarter Is a Low-Down Dirty Trick

June 23, 2014

I hate Kickstarter. You probably do, too. Nothing is worse than seeing your friends begging for money on Facebook. Here’s my Kickstarter campaign. It’s for the poetry book Iced Cream, by Jesus Abraham Correa VII. I knew I was going to publish this book nearly ten years ago when I first saw this guy’s poetry on MySpace. I didn’t even know him then. I was just blown away by the originality of the poetry. It wasn’t even really poetry I was reading, it was just a snippet of a story he was telling about some woman he had seen at a local restaurant, and how her absolute disdain was almost edible.

I subsequently became a friend of Jesus and one night over drinks a few years ago asked him if he had enough of those stories to make a book. He said maybe he did, and we agreed to do a book together. That was three years ago. I’d see him on occasion and not want to pressure him, and he’d say he wanted to do illustrations to go along with the poems. So, I waited. But about three months ago I was tired of waiting. This book needed to happen, so I asked him one more time, and he said let’s just go ahead and do it.

Iced Cream is the book.

And you can buy it here Iced Cream By Jesus Correa

 

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Polish Rodeo

March 2, 2014
Polish Rodeo by Surrealist Bradley Lastname

Polish Rodeo by Surrealist Bradley Lastname

Polish Rodeo is a collage by Surrealist artist Bradley        Lastname of Chicago.  I keep it in my Downtown                  Office at Zombie Logic Press headquarters.

I really haven’t figured out what to do with myself this Sunday. I spent some time re-arranging my bookshelf, then I was heartbroken that I lost a very extensive small press library that contained books by writers like Bukowski, Todd Moore, Ron Androla, Gerald Locklin… signed. Generally with some note of encouragement to a young writer. Which I no longer am.

Then I re-organized the few VHS tapes I still have, and was saddened that I never took the opportunity to collect all my favorite movies in clamshell boxes when video stores were literally heaving them into the dumpster. Now those old movies bring premium prices on Ebay.

Seems like we pay a lot to move into the future, always abandoning the recent past as if it had no value. Then we wake up and suddenly it does. It’s a constant state of discarding what we will eventually seek to recover. I’m hoping, however, this time I will have the space and the budget to keep what I have until it comes back into fashion again.

One thing I don’t have the heart to collect ever again is vinyl records. I did a brief search on Ebay and felt foolish once again that most of the albums I bought as a teenager are now selling for what I paid for them, or more. I refuse to buy them again. Perhaps at some point I will relent and buy a few albums, like Devo’s Freedom of Choice. But it all seems like a Polish Rodeo at times.