Archive for May, 2008

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Think Twice Radio Interview Up Already (?!), Gift Horses

May 28, 2008

I had an unbelievably good time with Susan Marie on her ‘This Is NOT the apple’ radio hour on Think Twice Radio last night.  So much so, in fact, that both of us felt renewed and revitalized after the experience.  We ad libbed, played it by ear, and had a generally great time chewing the fat with very few studio notes and I got to make friends with Rich (the producer/engineer/Wizard of Oz at Think Twice).  Astonishingly enough, the interview was up online before I walked out the door for the evening.  You really should check it out over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/sue-marie/sue-marie.html

Oh, and one or two more things: Think Twice is going to be recording and podcasting the Monsters Of Verse show on June 16th!  How about those NOT the apples?  They’ve become the official sponsor of the Monsters Of Verse concert in less than three weeks!  Also, they’ve asked me if I wanted to host my own radio show.  Hmph.  After mulling it over for an evening, I can’t imagine why or how I could say no.  With over 5,000 site hits a month and a cultural zietgiest of their own, that’s an audience and a crowd and an opportunity that I can’t and won’t afford to miss.  I’ll be brainstorming a format and working on a guest list over the next few weeks.  As for the title, how could it be anything other than Big Words I Know By Heart?  Stay tuned for more details.  I’ve been in and out of radio for three or four years now and this is the perfect opportunity to jump in with both feet. 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 79 on stands/3 Weeks to the Monsters Of Verse/Think Twice Radio Gig Tomorrow!

May 26, 2008

Whelp, after a week of kicking back and freezing my ass of in Rushford and three days and two nights at Lindsay’s folks’ cabin in Angola, I can honestly say I’m rested and relaxed and ready to get back to the grind.  With no real promotional plan or upcoming book to promote, the engagements are piling back up anyway.  Gusto ran the Riley St. Station bar review on Friday and last Monday saw the conclusion to ‘Perpetual Estrogen’ in my Big Words I Know By Heart column in Night Life magazine.  Today, ‘Quiet Time Or Else’ hits the stands in the pages of Night Life magazine, a blind rant on the agitations of uncontrollable noise pollution.  Tomorrow (after a long delay dating back to last August), I’ll be hunkering down in the booth with poet, promotional wunderkind and music reviewer/interview Susan Marie for her show, ‘This is NOT the apple’ on Think Twice radio.  I’m not sure when it will be done with production and so forth, but keep checking over at: www.thinktwiceradio.com for details and I’ll throw up a post when I’m sure. 

     And after years of talking about it and originally missing a scheduled headline reading at the Center For Inquiry that we booked a year in advance, Carrie Gardner and myself with finally be sharing the stage together (along with the band Shaky Stage) at Desiderio’s on Broadway on Monday, June 16th at 8pm.  For all the details, scroll down to the previous post, but we’re three weeks away and this will in all likelihood be the ONLY time I’ll be performing on stage and signing the final batch of first edition hardcovers for If They Can’t Take A Joke at $20 a pop.   That night isn’t really about me, though.   The spotlight is on Carrie and Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet, her phenomenal collection of very accessible and newby friendly poetry and prose which she’s selling for a cool $10.  I read it in one sitting, I’ve been a huge fan of her work since I interviewed her for ArtVoice back in 2004, and this is her first book of collected work.  If you can make it out that Monday and bring friends, do so.  And the gang at Desiderio’s have become (as I’m sure you know by now), dear, dear friends of mine.  I’ve reviewed a million bars for a million different papers over the years, but Desi’s is the only place where I hang my hat and I consider it a second home.  I’ve also come to know the band members for Shaky Stage and they’ve got some great songs and a rock-solid stage act in their own right.  We’re three weeks away.  Mark your calendar, rally up some people and make the trip.  You’ll be glad you did. 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  After being out of town on and off for so long, I’m chasing deadline on some new columns for Night Life for June, so I need to hammer out at least one more new piece for next month.  Have a fantastic Memorial Day and I’ll drop some more knowledge on you later in the week,

Tom Waters   

 

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The Monsters Of Verse June 16th at Desiderio’s!

May 23, 2008

Carrie Gardner (renowned poet and author of Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet) presents an FREE evening of unprecedented entertainment the likes of which Buffalo has never seen before with a reading from her breakout, runaway smash hit book, Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet (Authorhouse). The event will take place at Desiderio’s restaurant (on the corner of Broadway and Bowen) on Monday, June 16th at 8 p.m. The evening will open with a reading from Carrie, a performance from the band Shaky Stage, and close out with a rant or two from local author, bar reviewer and area goofball Tom Waters. All three powerhouse acts will be schlepping and signing their wares (books, CDs, etc.) throughout the evening. Attendance is free and multiple book and CD purchases are strongly recommended. Drinks and phenomenal food will be available from the crack team of culinary masterminds at Desiderio’s on Broadway. Come thirsty, come hungry, and bring many wads of cash for all out consumption and the entertainment extravaganza of the decade, no, better yet, a lifetime! Do not miss this once in a lifetime experience! You’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you do!

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 77 on stands, seeya in two weeks!

May 12, 2008

This will be my last post for about two weeks, so soak it up!  I’m leaving for Rushford this Wednesday on vacation and thankfully, there’s no phones, no television, no computers and no aggravation!  Just some Bob Dylan, some fine cigars and a few tumblers of chilled straight Kentucky bourbon to ease my pickled head for the rest of the calendar year.

Anyhow, the new Big Words column assaults the newstands today in Night Life with part 1 of ‘Perpetual Estrogen’, a categorical look at the strange quirks and foibles that the entire female species have in common.  Pick it up because you’re gonna love it. 

I’m going to keep this update short because I’m noticing that I threw up three posts last week here and two or three over on the YourHub site.  If you haven’t yet, feel free to scroll down and get caught up.  And I just posted some pics up on my Myspace account for the wedding tuxedo fitting and afterbash that me and the boys went to over the weekend.  If you want a quick link to see how much weight I’ve lost so far for the big day, click on over to:

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=425036&albumId=2706344

And I may be leaving town, but the print articles won’t be leaving with me.  ‘Perpetual Estrogen’ part two concludes next Monday in Night Life and you can bet your sweet bippy that a Club Watch review or two will appear in print while I’m gone.  So long for now, city dwellers, cause this country mouse is skipping town! 

Have a great week,

Tom Waters 

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Why I’ll Never Order From Ronny’s Pizza In Lancaster Again….

May 12, 2008

Perhaps you’d find this post petty and inconsequential, but then again, I love a good feud.  When Lindsay and I moved to Lancaster three years ago, I went on a quest to find the best pizza and wings in Lancaster, and I failed time and again.  After growing up in Clarence, I was spoiled.  They can’t make a decent pie and an order of wings out here to save their lives.  Believe me, I’ve tried them all.  I went through a decathlon of local shops and they all failed the test.  I tried Rocko’s, Rivas, Picasso’s, Penora’s, you name it, and they all failed with flying colors.  For a few months, we started getting wings from Ronnie’s on Como Park and Aurora.  The wings were inconsistent, and they messed up the order half of the time but they were the best I could get out here.  Their sauce never cut it but I got by with a bottle of Red Devil hot sauce for a seasoner and/or a home brew from Rich, my future brother in law.  I have a near-fanatical love for wings and all I ask for is consistency.  When we got our apartment and started having parties to invite friends over, we ordered two buckets of wings from Ronnie’s.  We set a time for the order and Lindsay showed up five minutes early.  One of the guys behind the counter chewed her out for showing up before the designated time.  That pissed me off.  We went two years without ordering food from them again.  Six months ago, I decided to give them a second chance and the wings were fantastic.  A week later when I ordered again for guy’s night, not so good.  Over the course of the last four months, Ron and myself have been ordering wings from there.  Every time I order and they give me a set time over the phone, it’s ten to fifteen minutes over the time they predict.  Two weeks ago, I placed an order and picked up a double of wings.  At least that’s what I paid for.  When I got home, I found out that they shorted me by five wings.  Now in my old age, it takes a lot to push me over the edge, so I called and calmly and politely explained that I ordered and paid for a double of wings and got fifteen instead.  The manager (or whoever it was on the phone) apologized, took my home address, and assured me that ‘the owner’ would ‘send me something’ in the mail.  It’s been three weeks now and I don’t think that the mail is that slow.  Henceforth, I’m finished with Ronnie’s.  I ordered a triple of wings from Johnny J’s across the street today and they were phenomenal and reasonably priced.  Do me (and yourself) a favor and boycott Ronnie’s in Lancaster.  If the owner (or owner’s) still spend any time at their pizzeria, they obviously coudn’t care less about regular business.  I regret that I gave them a nod in my My View column and I recant what I said about getting wings from them every week.  In a town flooded with pizzeria’s, quality with every order means something.  Ronnie’s failed every single time with me.  Don’t order any food from them.  Do yourself a favor.  Slap me in the face once, shame on me.  Slap me in the face twice, shame on you.  Slap me a third time and I’ll make it my life’s endeavor to bad mouth you.  If you live in Lancaster, don’t order any food from Ronnie’s.  Ever.  I won’t spend a penny at your shop again.  Great job at following up on cordial customer complaints, you worthless fucks.  I take back what I said in the My View column.  Have I made my point?  I hope so.  If anyone in Lancaster can learn how to make a decent pie and a bucket of wings, please let me know.  In the mean time, I’ll be ordering my wings from Johhny J’s and seasoning them with aftermarket sauce.  Yours,

Tom Waters

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Acid Logic Update/Acid Logic Book Out!/Sneak Peak at ‘Perpetual Estrogen’!

May 9, 2008

Oofa!,

This month’s outstanding issue of Acid Logic is up online with the final, completed version of the new fan favorite ‘Perpetual Estrogen’.  You can read it in it’s entirety by clicking over to:

http://www.acidlogic.com/perpetual_estrogen.htm

     For a categorical essay that takes some pretty hard shots at the female species, responses from the opposite sex have been overwhelmingly positive because, as they tell me, ‘it’s all true!’.  The very same essay will be appearing in Night Life (in two parts) starting this Monday, so if you like it as much as my newsletter subscribers did, grab a copy for posterity’s sake and show it to all your friends!

     And speaking of posterity, Wil Forbis (the editor in chief and creator of the Acid Logic e-zine) has released his first book compiling ten years of his best work with Acid Logic!  He’s an unbelievably sharp writer in his own right, but he can describe the book better himself:

Folks, my new book, ‘Acid Logic: a Decade of Humorous Writing on Pop Culture, Trash Cinema and Rebel Music’ is now available from fine Internet booksellers, brick-and-mortar bookstores and the author himself! 
 
What is ‘Acid Logic’?  Why its 288 pages of humorous writing on film, music and the world we live in.  It’s celebrity profiles, feature writing, reviews, interviews and fiction. Look no further than the back cover blurb for more details! 
 
‘From the pages of Acidlogic.com, underground author Wil Forbis collects his most shocking and funniest material into one volume! Gasp at comic essays on the impending threat of cloning and the commodified brilliance of the blaxploitation film movement. Swoon over profiles of the entertainment industry’s most eccentric stars, from adult film auteur Doris Wishman to ninja actor Sho Kosugi to shock punk GG Allin. Thrill to interviews with cultural stalwarts like hard rock drummer Rikki Rockett, actor Curtis ‘Booger’ Armstrong and horror director Stuart Gordon. Squeal with delight at fiction ranging from the horrifying to the absurd. THE ACID LOGIC REVOLUTION HAS ARRIVED!!!’
 
But that’s not all!  Here’s what some fellow writers have to say about the book and my writing:
 
‘Wil is a cynic’s cynic, but in the depths of his filthy black heart he hasn’t forgotten how to love. Or how to write.’ 
Mike Daisey, monologuist (‘How Theater Failed America’) and author (’21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com ‘) 
 
‘Forbis has that rare thing, an open mind, with tons of random stuff flowing through it, and a crow’s eye for the glittering oddities of pop culture.’
John Richardson, author ‘My Father the Spy,’ ‘In the Little World’
 
‘It’s nice to see that not every talented young writer has forsaken webzines for blogs. Sure, he’s also blogging (quite entertainingly), but Wil Forbis also has a zine that looks very spiffy.’
 Daniel Radosh, author ‘Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture,’ contributor ‘The New Yorker,’ ‘Playboy’ magazines.
 
‘If any sense is going to be made of a culture dominated by a violent movies, noisy music and silly TV shows, it’s going to come from guys like Wil Forbis who like violent movies, noisy music and silly TV shows.’ 
John Saleeby, contributor ‘National Lampoon,’ ‘Classic Rock’ magazines.
 
‘Whether it’s pop culture, music, or most terrifying of all to me, films, there’s one man out there ripping it all up.  Wil Forbis is the triple threat of the internet, and anyone who’s writing online should be watching their rearview mirror in white-knuckled panic for the lunatic generalissimo of the website no one wanted to know existed–Acid Logic.’
Steve Anderson, columnist ‘Reel Advice From the Video Store Guy’
 
To top it off, the cover and interior illustrations were lovingly rendered by acclaimed underground artist Wayno!
 
So how do you get yourself a copy?  You can order from Amazon by clicking the following link:
http://www.amazon.com/Acid-Logic-Humorous-Writing-Culture/dp/1434357007/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209704613&sr=8-1

You can also order a copy direct from the publisher:
http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~47272.aspx
 
(Hint: it’s slightly cheaper from AuthorHouse.com, unless you have Amazon prime or qualify for Amazon super saver shipping (orders of $25 or more.))
Barnes & Noble coming soon.
 
AND, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, or plan to be, hit me up directly and I can get you a copy of the book at the publisher price ($12) without any additional postage costs.  I’m not in this for the money, folks.  I just want to bring the joy of acid logic to your life.  Just reply to this e-mail, or e-mail forbisthemighty@hotmail.com or track me down in person etc.

                                                                                       -Wil Forbis

     As an editor, there is none better.  He’s put up with me for longer than any other editor I’ve worked with, and that’s a testament all to itself.  Believe me, I can tell you some stories.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book and give it a thorough read through.  So show some support and buy a copy, damnit! 

     Oh, and lest I forget, the Irishman bar review hit Gusto today.  Grab a copy of The Buffalo News while it’s on stands!  Have a great weekend,

Tom Waters 

    

 

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A Lot Of Effort For A Tiny Bit Of Progress

May 8, 2008

I spent almost all of my final day off before vacation getting back to my neglected duty as co-editor/compiler of the Buffalo Anthology.  Emails were sent out and responded to, bios were updated, and I posted some new information along with a slew of contributor links on the site.  In the event that you have trouble finding the site link here (over on the right towards the bottom somewhere), you can just click over to:

www.buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

     -if you want to see what I’m talking about.  Since this is the first anthology I’ve ever worked on, there’s a hell of a learning curve.   And even though the publication date has been re-slated for 2010, I spent a little time yesterday researching some local publishing houses.  I did, however, put the feelers out to BlazeVox, a local publisher of eccentric, eclectic and critically lauded prose and poetry.  They seem like a perfect fit, so I’m crossing my fingers. 

     Even after spending the majority of Tuesday on the project, it feels like I’ve only tackled a small piece of the stockpile of submissions in two seperate email boxes.  And thanks to some PM coffee and the late night insomnia that accompanied it, I wrote some new essays Monday night and the following Tuesday morning.  ‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’ is a tell-all piece about spending literally half my life in retail without getting into any gritty details.  ‘The Great Recession’ is a piece about the beginning of our national recession and a few parallels to The Great Depression, obviously.  I submitted the latter piece to the My View column of The Buffalo News.  After freelancing locally for the last seven years, I’m putting more of a focus on getting paid for my publications instead of finding print in prestige weeklies and the like.  I broke my teeth on the free press, and as far as I’m concerned, that ship has sailed.  There are plenty of other young upstarts and egomaniacal professors who can fill the pages of the free press without missing a beat. 

     I found it interesting while leafing through this week’s ArtVoice that a noted college professor who founded his own publishing company was ‘interviewing’ an author from the very same publishing house.  How can you write a non-biased interview if you have a vested interest in the subject and the book?  And how can you publish said piece and think that the rest of the town is blissfully ignorant of the connection?  I can’t be the only person who put two and two together.  There’s something to be said for the erosion of journalistic integrity.  I’ll get around to writing something about that, too.  The level of cronyism and ‘who you know’ journalism in this town astounds me sometimes.  That’s one of the main reasons why we started the Buffalo Anthology project in the first place.  There are a million talented writers in Buffalo whose voices aren’t heard because they aren’t part of the established tribe.  Some day that might change.     

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 76 on stands, happy Cinco De Mayo!

May 5, 2008

Doesn’t it just suck that all the great drinking holidays fell on a Monday this year?  This makes the third in a row that I didn’t go out for (St. Patty’s, Dyngus Day, and now this), which really chaps my ass.  Who wants to start their week off with a holiday hangover?  Ah well….

The new material rolls out in Night Life today with ‘Force Feedback’, a Night Life exclusive geared towards getting all of you deadbeats off your feet and onto you computers contributing to the column’s monthly mail bag.  Since launching the Big Words I Know By Heart column back in November of ’06, I’ve only gotten a handful of emails and comments from readers.  I want to find out who my readers are and what they have to say!  And if there’s anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that you’re curious about that I haven’t answered in a year and a half of rants, ask away!  I would really, really like to do a mail column at the end of June, so get off your ass and email me with any questions, comments and rants to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

In case you missed the mid-week update last Wednesday, Episode 58 of The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal is up and running with yours truly sitting in for a record-breaking seventh time as co-host.  Hal and I went completely off the reservation for two hours on local topics like Elliot Spitzer, the Chippewa bar bouncer beatdowns, Canadians and a great many national issues.  Listen in or download the new episode and vote on it at:

www.powunclehal.com

In the mean time, I’m counting down to my one week of vacation at Rushford Lake next Wednesday.  After I get back, I’ll be heading into the radio studio for Susan Marie’s ‘This Is Not An Apple’ program for a lengthy and candid interview on Tuesday, May 27th.  And for those of you who are looking for an update on the Buffalo anthology that Alycia Ripley and myself have been cobbling together, I threw a new post up over there, too.  Read all about it at:

www.buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

That’s all I’ve got for you for today.  I’ve got a few good ideas that I’m going to try and hammer out tomorrow for June’s columns.  Keep reading, grab a Night Life and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SEND ME SOME EMAILS FOR THE MAILBAG COLUMN!  I don’t ask for much that often, so help a brother out here….

Have a great week!

Tom Waters

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Cutting Room Floor: The rest of the Pour House review

May 2, 2008

My review on the Pour House in Hamburg hit today in the Club Watch section of the Gusto and my editor (who does a damned good job at editing my pieces) omitted a significant amount of the original draft.  A friend of mine called me up to let me know that it was in, and that it seemed like a portion of the review was gone since the review seemed to skip straight to a conclusion.  Now I can understand why some of my less than flattering reviews are polished so as not to offend too much.  But here we are.  I wouldn’t go back to the Pour House if someone paid me to, so I’ll show you some of the critiques and paragraphs that didn’t make it into the final cut.  Keep in mind that none of these sentences went to print in the finished version:

Scene: A sports bar for the upper-middle class….

…In situations with unruly patrons, I always wonder if they’re friends with the owners or if their money is more valuable than the casual walk-ins that they drive away from the bar permanently…

…A gentleman in his mid to late ’30s ambled up to the cougars with a pea-green PGA baseball hat and if it wasn’t abundantly obvious, we were strangers in a strange land. A 50 year old man in a Bill’s jersey hob-knobbed with some of the other bar folk and the second quarter of the Sabres game concluded…

…While everyone’s experience is subjective, I can’t see the average club goer walking in for the first time and having a positive, memorable experience there…

…Our bartender was friendly and attentive, but we won’t be coming back…

     If you take some of these comments and put them within the context of the article, they paint a slightly more sinister picture of our experience.  In the year and a half that I’ve written the Club Watch reviews, I’ve only panned three bars out of something like 35 or 36, so I don’t shoot to kill unless I’ve got a good reason.  If this is something you as readers find interesting, let me know and I’ll run some more installments in the future.  If it’s more information than you need and you could really care less, that’s understandable too.  Leave me some comments and I’ll react accordingly. 

 

 

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The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal Episode 58! Teabag & Tennile, Balloon Priest, Doe A Deer and More!

May 1, 2008

     After four hours of high pressure comedy at Uncle Hal studios, we’ve got another four star episode!  I thought I was a little rusty, Hal was at the top of his game and I’m still laughing so hard it hurts at some of the stuff we said.  You’re not going to believe some of the bits we riffed with and you’ll really have to hear it to believe it.  If this episode doesn’t get us both of us strung up from a telephone pole, nothing will.  Hal assures me that Episode 58 should be up online sometime tonight or tomorrow (Thursday), so click on over and check back often at:

www.powunclehal.com

    Find out why over 4,000 people download Uncle Hal onto their Ipods every single month.   I didn’t even have anything to promote, but it was fun just to be back on the show.  Hal and I hit such a comedic zietgeist every time that I can’t resist being on the show just for the hell of it.  Listen to the episode, find out what the ‘Teabag & Tenille’ reference is all about and email your comments to:

unclehal@powunclehal.com

-or phone your opinion in at:

315-849-2593

-Thanks again to Hal for another great show.  Appearing as a guest on the show is the easy part and he spends countless man hours finding sound clips, news items, writing the Happy Ending and tirelessly editing and producing the show.  The professional end product for every episode is a testement to just how much time he invests in it.  A disclaimer, though: If you’re easily offended, mildly offended or occassionally offended by cringe comedy, Don Rickles-style comedy, or if you’ve ever taken any offense at anything in your life, don’t listen.  If you’ve got a twisted sense of humor and it takes a lot to rub you the wrong way, you’re in for one hell of a trip.   

 

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