Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Farewell, Casiotone! [[Hello, Free Time!]]

Last weekend, Owen Ashworth played his last gig as "Casiotone for the Painfully Alone." Openers at this Bottom of the Hill gig included disappointing girl group, "The Ian Fays" and some jammy bros that call themselves "The Donkeys."  The thirteen year anniversary of his first performance as CFTPA, this show was electric and intensely emotional, with a heavy dose of party towards the end. The last several songs (pre-encore) saw Ashworth backed by The Donkeys.  Hearing these tunes fleshed out with a full band was a fantastic surprise.
Great use of white space, poster-people.
At the end of his last song, a tearful Ashworth threw his hands up triumphantly: "I QUIT!"  Eruption.  CFTPA has been a really important musical project for me, having had a huge influence on my writing and poetics.Of course, I'm sad to see it go.  Owen promises that he's already starting work on Round 2, and he will reappear in 2011 with a project called Advance Base.  I can't wait.

The Ian Fays wear only red and black. How mod.  (Psych.)

No one ever played the sitar that was onstage all night. Rude.
Owen's last hurrah.

In other news, fall semester is over, recuperation (read: falling asleep everywhere for several days straight) has occurred, and Christmas break is right around the corner. Forward motion!

Golden Gate Bridge Stroll  (Not a place for arbitrary napping.) 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Aeroplanes, Antiques, and Anniversaries

Thanksgiving was one big love-fest.  Just before hopping on a sweet silver sky-ride, I learned that a recent poem of mine had been nominated by USF for the AWP Intro-Journals Contest. I started vacation with a veritable skip in my step and one red-eye flight later, disembarked to collect hugs galore and more delicious home-cooked food than you can shake a stick at.

Some things happened. It's true.

1) Crashing closed gigs, plus one rad sister, to hear lovely men rock out is a really great idea.  There is just nothing like a live, grinned-through version of "Some Kind of Wonderful."
Load-out o'clock. I was paid in tikka masala and Shafer Merlot. Heaven.
The guitar player is a pretty nice guy.
2) Searching for [un]BURIED TREASURE, Meghan and I trekked through the cavernous grocery glory of Jungle Jim's International Market.  Our next stop was the nearby antique mall. See below.

Ghost doll.
Ghost doll posse.
Here's to houndstooth.
Fedora'ed Flannery.

3)  Bonnie and Clyde meet ACADEMIA, stealthily acquiring access to UC's McMicken Hall and roaming the hallowed corridors of the English Graduate Department.  New additions to PhD program application include:

An office? For me? Okay.
 4) The Kemples educated us in the following arenas over some zippy Indian cuisine: Aronofsky cinematography, WikiLeaks, and everyday Dadaism.  No pictures available in order to maintain informant anonymity. 

5) Finally, a pilgrimage was made to sacred ground.

Formerly: Toedtman School of Music.

In summary: There was snow. There was a roof-deck for watching sunsets over the city.  There was a Victorian house in Kentucky full of lovely people and Christmas trees.  Thanksgiving, you could not have been sweeter.

Now it's time to finish up that last week of Fall Semester and then it's a mad dash to Christmas vacation.  In the meantime, I give you....

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Stude with a View

Way to go with the weird weather this weekend, San Francisco!  (We had a thunderstorm.  With lightning. That NEVER happens here.) 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Switchback Issue 12 Launch Party

Last night's celebration of our latest issue was a total blast. Books and Bookshelves kindly hosted the event and Bear Flag Wine came out to pour for us. Eight writers shared their work from the new issue to a packed house. The line-up was terrific and the energy in the room (which boasted wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelves of poetry) made me feel the excitement of the SF literary community full-force.

Photos (Left to Right):
1) Danny Bracco reads from "Dancing Pink Roses." 2) Candy Shue reads poem "Life in Necropolis: Four Letters." 3) Donna Laemmlen reads "Chimera." 4) Brian Martin reads "Tuesday Anonymous." 5) Alex and Lauren practice being serious. 6) Brigid and me reveling in the literary glory. 7) Chris gets inspired by author photos. 8) Young Elton John x3.  9) Nick savors some Bear Flag merlot. 10) Kate and Libby anticipating some sweet words.

Finally, don't miss this weekend's Small Press Traffic event being held at CCA, "The Encyclopedia Project." More information can be found here.  Poetry + Live Music + Performance Art = Weekend Win.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Janelle Monáe - Tightrope [feat. Big Boi]

Well, this woman could not possibly be any more amazing. "Archandroid" is putting a skip in my step like nobody's business. THIS IS LOVE, MONAE.

All the Way Home

Cubicle Dance Party O'Clock.

The Drums "Down By The Water" - The Soundmen Remix by foj

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Yes. Roam."

San Francisco could not have put on a lovelier face this weekend. It was astonishingly warm, making all of my plans for trekking and doing even more pleasant than anticipated.

We were so excited for Lazarus/Benoit on Friday night! Snacks and window-shopping on the way were fun, too.

Sadly, we missed a bit of Lazarus' set but showed up just in time for two songs from his latest album, "The Trickster." So hypnotic were his tunes that the crowd braved the harrowing Amnesia floor to stare up at the lyrics-shaman from a few feet away. Benoit Pioulard unobtrusively took the stage next, where, with hooded jacket zipped up tight, he worked his magic and entranced the lot of us.

Saturday night's poetry reading at Meridian Gallery was full to the brim. Sweet school-pal Alicia and I snagged hot chocolate next door before climbing to the top floor of this epic little art gallery, where we posted up on the hardwood behind the podium and listened joyously to Juliana Spahr, Elizabeth Robinson, Truong Tran.

Oh, and I only freaked out a little when Juliana signed my book.

The last day of the weekend was ushered in with a piping hot brunch, bandied ideas for three dimensional poetry installations, and my mind's eye in the direction of that ever-present homework pile. Here's to one last week of work before Thanksgiving revelry!

Yours truly,

Karen Marie

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Round-Up

I have been sitting in the desk chair before this wall quite a bit lately. The final push of the semester has begun, the latest issue of Switchback is soon to go live, Thanksgiving effusiveness is around the corner. Additionally, "cider weather" has arrived which means I am suddenly content to watch Hitchcock films and get out the sewing machine on Friday nights. (Many crafting projects a-foot. Pictures on the way!)

To counter my hibernatory thrum, here follows a list of Things I Am Excited About:

1) Lazarus and Benoit Pioulard play Amnesia tonight! Incontestably, they have written much of my all-time favorite music. The timbre of their tunes is perfect for this weather, and the magic of a city where I can walk a few blocks to see these men is not lost on me.

2) Gala Launch for "A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Writers of the Bay Area" tomorrow night at Meridian Gallery. The line-up of poets is delicious (Truong Tran, Elizabeth Robinson, Sarah Rosenthal) but I am beside myself with anticipation to meet the lovely Juliana Spahr. I'm going to try very hard not go go all "Poetry Fan Grrl" on her. No guarantees.

3) Switchback Issue 12 Launch Party - Thursday at Books And Bookshelves (14th and Sanchez.) This is certainly an issue we're very proud of, and I'm so looking forward to hearing colleagues read from their new work. (Oh, and free wine never hurt anybody.)

4) Thanksgiving is almost here! Soon I will be aproned and making macaroons (GOAL) with my inspiring and talented big sis, traipsing through crispy leaves with muchly-missed dear friends, and rocking out to the sultry sounds of my lovely and his Les Paul.

For now, it's work o'clock but delight is on the horizon. I leave you with a quick peek at a new poetry project I started last week.

Autumnally Yours,

Karen Marie

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursdays Are for (List) Lovers

1) Books I'm Currently Reading:

*(Notice creepy synchronicity with today's news. Books 1&2 = Self-Selected. Book 3 = School-Related. Books 4-6 = GRE Subject Test Re-Reads)

2) Crafting Project: Granny Square afghan inspired by salt-water taffy!

3) Favorite Albums for Autumn:

4) Most Recent Poem: