Archive for November, 2008

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Monsters Of Verse Third Rotating Poet: Seasonal Positions Opening Now!

November 22, 2008

As an organic experiment, the Monsters Of Verse has changed already…..

JR Finlayson and myself will be looking at a third poet to round out the remainder of our shows for the next five months. If you have a chapbook/published book of poems/poems you would like to read out at a venue for podcast inclusion, feel free to email both of us simultaneously at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

-or-

dullroar25@hotmail.com

Carrie Gardner will be pursuing other projects.

Again, thanks for your interest in Buffalo poetry, the anthology in general, and the Monsters Of Verse! Until the end of the calendar year, though, JR and myself will be focusing on running the gauntlet for M.O.V. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks,
Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! More More More!

November 18, 2008

Here’s some Monday ‘Talking Points’ for ya:

-‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’ rolls out hot today in the pages of Night Life magazine’s Big Words I Know By Heart print column, which we’re quickly approaching the 2 Year Anniversary Party for at Double D’s Queen City Grill on December 11th!

-I spent two solid hours and got two solid shows from Buffalo Music Awards Hall Of Famer and blues legend Tommy Z.  We talked about some of the American derivatives of the Blues, influences, modern pop, blues and R & B, Gnarls Barkley (?) and Tom was kind enough to intersperce our discussions with crazy licks, play-alongs to some of our favorite blues standards, and many other musical expositions at his multimillion dollar recording studio/compound in the country.  As soon as both shows are up, I will let you know.

-After the interview with ‘Z’, I rushed both shows out to the studio along with 2 Live Monsters Of Verse concerts from last Thursday (Chippewa) and yesterday (Desiderio’s on Broadway).  Thanks again to JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and my ‘la familia’ (sp?) at Desiderio’s for making every event we organize there a time to remember.  Again, when both shows are up, you’ll be the first to know right here!

-Wednesday (if all goes according to plan), I should be sitting down with Irish rock god Kevin McCarthy for a similar session or two right before (you guessed it), the Buffalo Music Awards!  By week’s end, the all three musical explorations with three of the most talented artists in ‘the business of show’ should be up on Think Twice Radio for your enjoyment!  I might have one (technically) two more aces in the hole, but I’m not going to count my chickens etc.  If you want a hint, though, they’re one of my favorite Buffalo Bands and they have something to do with a deadly spider.  Cross your fingers for me! 

That’s it for today.  I got all my assignments done over the weekend which brings me up to speed for a little R & R for the next day or two until the rest of the week takes me away with it.  And don’t forget, Monsters Of Verse at FYE Amherst this Saturday afternoon from 1-4 p.m.!

Cheerio!

Tom Waters

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Friday Synopsis: 3 New Radio Shows, Desiderio’s THIS SUNDAY @ 7p.m.!

November 14, 2008
How goes it?
 
    Staying in line with the nutshell scenario’s for these emails (so as not to overload all of you), I’ll make this is as brief as I can:
 
-With the Buffalo Music Awards coming up next Thursday at Coyote’s, I’ve been locking down and scheduling a volley of great Buffalo Music Legends and previous award winners for Big Words Radio.  On Tuesday, I spent five hours with my ‘close, personal showbiz friend’ Michael Bly recording a ‘parter of two’ live at the Hidden Shamrock.  Thanks to Michael Bly, the whole gang at Hidden Shamrock (on Transit between Walden and Broadway) and former room-mate and co-host Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile for rolling with the punches!  Part 1 (Episode XVII) is the interview portion where we discuss Bly’s status as a living musical legend.  Part 2 (you guessed it, Episode XVIII) is a live concert with track’s from Mike’s Grammy Award Winning debut album (plug plug, Cliche’) along with some knockout cover songs and previously unreleased songs from his upcoming album.  Dial it up on your skype by clicking over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    On Wednesday (after last week’s spectacular Big Words show with Uncle Hal), I popped over to his jewel-encrusted mansion/studio to do a cameo/co-host spot on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal for Episode 61.  I can honestly say that if you combined all of the shows that Hal and I have done, you still wouldn’t approach the level of offensiveness we achieved over the course of the two-hour slam.  Every single human being on the planet who listens to the show is going to want to punch us both in the head, so pop over to Hal’s awesome program at:
 
http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com
 
    I wouldn’t have a show or the finely tuned sensibilities on my own show (or a show, period) if it weren’t for the Associate’s degree I earned on the seven or eight shows I’ve done with Hal.  A big thanks goes out to Uncle Hal for having me back, getting us both in more trouble, and for his constant advice and support on my own show.  Anyone who’s ever listened to Hal’s show or our shows will attest to that.   If you’re not offended by ANYTHING, hunker down, grab a cold beverage and give it a listen.  Otherwise, avoid it at all costs. 
 
    I’ll be hunkering down for the next three days to finish up two very big assignments with two great Buffalo newspapers that are due by Monday.  The Monsters Of Verse show at Spot Coffee was sweet and Desiderio’s on Broadway this Sunday at 7 p.m. should be even better.  Both shows will be up by Monday night and I’ll throw you an update by then. 
 
    I’m wrapping up there.  Make it out to Desi’s if you can since it’s on my own turf, there are VERY FEW copies of Breathing Room Vol.I and II available for now, and make sure to buy a mountain of drinks, food, tip your servers and above all else (here’s the wind-up, there’s the pitch):
 
BUY OUR GODDAMNED BOOKS!
 
Love,

 
Tom Waters
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Buffalo Anthology Update(s), New Links on the Anthology Site, MOV Episode III up by 9 p.m. Eastern TONIGHT at the latest…

November 8, 2008

Since it’s more of a peripheral project (and has it’s own site), I’d rather not repost the three or four new blogs from the Buffalo Anthology Project here.  This site is all about me.  The Anthology Site is about everyone involved.  Some of you are interested in that book and some of you aren’t, so I will leave it up to you.  I spent far too much time this morning trying to get everyone on that end up to speed as to what was going on (or wrong) in my brain and where we all stood with the project.  I also added a mountain of links that probably should have been there in the first place.  Feel free to check the whole ball of wax out over at:

http://www.buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

And since most of you are overloaded with more information about my writing than you could ever possibly want or need, I’ll just piggyback this on to the blog we’re in right now.  The Talking Leaves reading will be up on the Monsters Of Verse podcast site by 9 p.m. tonight.  Yesterday was a rotten whore of a busy day that started around 5 a.m. and ended somewhere close to midnight.  There is NEVER enough time to do everything.  Lindsay and I will be riding out to Think Twice today and uploading the last reading (which turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun, as per usual with Jeff and Carrie).  For those of you who weren’t the dozen or so attendees who made the event, give it a listen tonight at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html

I need to get away from my keyboard, my computer and my study.  Like most human beings, I’m poorly designed when it comes to relaxing and enjoying any sort of free time.  I’ll be spending the rest of my day ‘working’ on that.  Research commences in 5, 4, 3, 2,………

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Newsletter Feed: One Bigass Sit. Rep! Two new podcasts, two new articles and a whole bunch of other stuff!

November 7, 2008
Whew!
 
    You’d think that being jobless would resemble some manner of paradise involving sitting on my ass, eating government cheese and doing absolutely nothing, right?  Wrong.  In the last month, I’ve put more time into my career (writing) now that I don’t have gainful employment than ever before.  I can honestly say that I’m going through one of those quantum leaps marketing-wise.  The kind I haven’t enjoyed since way back in 2001.  Most of my days have been spent schmoozing on the phone until the battery dies out on my portable, writing any number of different personal projects and assignments, blogging and working on my sites as well as those of others, and spending what little time is left in the evening taking care of things around the house and spending time with my wife while shoehorning research into other side projects. 
    Yesterday alone, I got up at eight in the morning, got a good running start at life and didn’t stop until around midnight.  Aside from a ten minute nap, I didn’t stop.  When I get a full-time job, it’s going to be a bit of a relief, because I’ll have the sort of structure again where I can allow myself to rest once in a while.  Even after getting a molar pulled last week and suffering from related migraines, I felt guilty taking a portion of two days in the last seven to relax and recuperate.  With as many hours in the day as I have at my disposal, I still feel as if there isn’t enough time to accomplish everything I’ve been setting out to do. 
    Bret Easton Ellis told me during our interview a few years back that he treated writing like a job, ‘clocking in’ at 9 a.m., breaking for lunch and then banging out of work around 5 p.m.  I wish I could stop that early.  While tiring, I realize how crucial the time I’ve been given is.  I’ve decided that I’ll be taking this holiday season away from the horrific nightmare that is retail to actually enjoy spending time with my family (new and old) for the first time in 16 years in addition to working on the multitude of projects that are currently under construction or already in progress.  As you may or may not know, the next two essay collections (Slapstick & Superego as well as Merry Prankster) are complete.  I haven’t penned a shred of new poetry for two weeks, but Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (the next poetry collection) is well over 140 pages without even including the freaky 50 page project I worked on in July (‘Rock/Pop Goes The Weasel’).  And then there are the freelancing assignments….
    My beloved editor at Gusto (Brian Connelly) is apparently moving me up to the big leagues in terms of freelancing and I couldn’t be more grateful.  In addition to the Club Watch bar reviews, he’ll be phasing me into their ‘Tell Me’ section at the very FRONT of Gusto (page two after the front page), conducting interviews with artists, writers and musicians on the cusp of making their big break inside as well as outside of Buffalo.  In regards to that, I’m going to humbly request that if any of you know of an artist (preferably a musician or band) with an upcoming gig in November or December who doesn’t have a firmly established fan base and deserves a wider audience, please email me at once with biographical as well as contact information.  My musical tastes tend to run about twenty or thirty years behind, so I’m woefully ignorant where current up-and-comers are concerned. 
    ArtVoice has also given me the green light on one of two projects I hatched during the idea-storm I was besieged with on my honeymoon at Silvercreek in early October.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ll be writing a piece about the hot spots to hit on the day before Thanksgiving, which happens to be the biggest party night of the year, eclipsing even New Year’s Eve and/or St. Patrick’s Day.  Again, if you happen to be ‘in the know’ on a bar, club or pub that blows the doors off business wise before the turkey hits the table, drop me a line.  My deadline window is one week, and I NEVER miss deadline.  It’s one of the qualities that’s reinforced my reputation as a serious writer in Buffalo and I’m certainly not going to call that into question now. 
    Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privelage (sp?) of recording an hour long show plus with my podcasting hero Uncle Hal from the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal show.  He was my first choice after being offered my own show at Think Twice and with zero notes, bullet points or questions, we managed to fill 70 minutes worth of the most offensive, irreverent comedy imaginable.  If Hal didn’t have an appointment, I seriously would have gone for two hour-long shows in a row.  I raced Episode XV out as soon as I could and my producer Richard Wicka at Think Twice uploaded it at once.  I strongly encourage you to listen at once over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    I had some issues finding the new episode with more luck refreshing on Internet Explorer, so if you don’t see Episode XV (and the subsequent ‘Bonus Round’), click Refresh and cross your fingers.  I’m not sure if the site is experiencing technical difficulties, but I’ll be getting to the bottom of it over the weekend.
    In addition to the Big Words One Man Mobile Unit, the Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead.  I returned to Clarence High School on Tuesday to teach my first workshop on the mechanics of poetry as well as writing in general to Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club while recording the event.  That episode (#3, for those keeping track) can be heard over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
    
    Once again, I experienced issues finding the newest episode of each show on AOL, so if you have Internet Explorer, you’re better off visiting the site from there. 
    And last night, the Monsters Of Verse launched their second official reading at Talking Leaves on Main St. in Amherst.  JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself kicked off the evening in alphabetical order with fifteen minute sets of amusing, insightful and philosophical poems that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.  Due to a small snafu regarding our start time (I forgot that we started at 6 p.m. instead of 7), we read for an additional forty minutes for the sake of entertaining those who showed at or shortly after 7 o’clock.  Twenty minutes of the second set were lost from the digital recorder, so if you weren’t there, you won’t get to hear it once the non-stop rock block of genius goes up online.  Depending on where my day (and my weekend) take me, Episode IV of the Monsters Of Verse should be up on the web by Sunday afternoon at the latest.  I’ll shoot you all an email when I’m positive that it’s up. 
    I’ve had a lot of time to think in the last four weeks.  One of the things I was turning around in my head yesterday was just how…overjoyed I am to have two like-minded creative maniacs to tour Buffalo and beyond with for the next six months.  With Jeff Finlayson and Carrie Gardner on deck, I honestly couldn’t ask for two other people I’d rather be out and about reading with.  Aside from sustaining, supporting and inspiring each other, they remain my dear friends and I’m not so much surprised with how well our collective dynamic is growing and improving so much as I’m pleased with the results.  Maybe we’ll hate each other come the beginning of May, but I doubt it.  Their talent, professionalism and their knockout prognostication skills continue to sustain and inform my burgeoning poetry skills.  At the risk of getting gooey, thank you, Jeff and Carrie.  Our events (and this project) are a feather in our cap that I’m very, very proud of.  I realize that putting up with my thousand event-related emails, phone calls and frequent tantrums is far from fun to deal with (just ask my wife), and your respective patience and professionalism is slowly molding me into a better team player.  You two are the best.
    Our next stop on the quest for global spoken word domination hits next Thursday (the 13th) at Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa from 7-9 p.m.  Three days later, we’ll be at my favorite bar, Desiderio’s on Broadway on Sunday the 16th at 7 p.m. with special musical guest Shaky Stage.  Attendance so far has been admirable, but where the hell have you guys been?  Carrie has brought the majority of our audience and I’m embarrassed to say that most of the Big Words army have been missing in action.  PLEASE make the time to show your face for one (if not both) of the next two events.  I’m disappointed in the total lack of support in terms of these promotions where you’re all concerned, and it would be nice to see some if not all of you out during this new experiment in our collective creative careers.  While I realize that our performances are not at the top of your list, you’re missing out.  We’ve had a great big barrel of fun so far and it’s only going to get better as we continue to sharpen our skill set on the road.  Forget everything you know about poetry and give us a try.  I promise that we won’t let you down, and the after-parties thus far have been phenomenal.  I’ll leave it at that.
    And, on a final note, two new articles popped up online this week.  This month’s issue of Acid Logic is rolling out hot at 15 mph with ‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’, a strangely topical essay about spending half of my life in the hell known as retail.  Read all about it over at:
 
http://www.acidlogic.com/retail_sucks.htm
 
    And after a month long unintentional hiatus from comic book reviews, I put my nose back to the grind and started pumping a few new graphic novel critiques and sending them off to my new editor at Comics Bulletin.  You can catch them every Wednesday on www.comicsbulletin.com.  Top Shelf Comics has been kind enough to send me more than my share of advance copies, review copies and entire libraries for research purposes having to do with the radio show, and one of the books they sent me stood head and shoulders above anything I’ve read this year.  Despite what you might think, I actually do read comics that don’t have Batman in the title.  This previous Wednesday, I gave Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole the credit it truly deserved.  Check that review out over at:
 
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/
 
    You may have to scroll down a tad as my show-notes inform me that it is no longer Wednesday and there isn’t a direct link to each review.  Since the Swallow Me Whole review, I’ve been hard at work building up a stockpile of other new reviews so that there aren’t any gaps on that site.  I’m neurotic about taking advantage of each and every site and publication I write for and I hate to be tardy to the party with any of them unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.  Writing comic reviews is a labor of love and it doesn’t even feel like work to fire off 5 or 600 words about every book I shovel into my brain.  Excelsior!
    That should be all the news that’s fit to print for the time being.  Thanks are in order to: JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner, Richard Wicka, Greg Sterlace (farewell and good luck, new friend!), Jonathan at Talking Leaves, Josh Smith, Uncle Hal, Wil Forbis, Thom Young and last but not least, my wife.  Lindsay has had to endure hell and back and back around again in the last four months.  This wrongful termination from Gamestop was another curveball that we didn’t deserve or anticipate.  She’s a real trooper, and without her love, support and reliability, I’d be well past the point of sanity by now.  I love you, chipmunk! 
    Oof.  One final word.  Now that Hal has popped onto my show, I’ll be doing a walk-on over on his.  We’ll be recording Episode 61 (or is it 62?) next week and you know I’ll give you the head’s up once it’s online.  The two of us are the politically correct equivalent of a keg full of dynamite strapped to a minivan doused in nitroglycerin whenever we get near a microphone.  The Big Words episode was brutal, but now that we’re back in the groove, our show on his site will be worse.  You have been officially warned.  Have a great weekend,

 
Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! Week 101 on stands/CHS Workshop Tomorrow/Talking Leaves THIS Thursday!

November 4, 2008

So…..

The Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead and this crazy rig isn’t going to let up until at least the beginning of May.  Once the calendar year closes, we’ll be investing a great deal of time and energy into booking additional events, new venues and bigger appearances from February through May.  For now, though, we’ve got plenty to keep our hands full with the events we’ve got and new engagements keep popping up without us even trying!

Moving on, Night Life magazine assaults the Buffalo/Toronto market today with a Big Words edition of ‘Unenjoyment’, a stoical look at how my life would play out after Gamestop wrongfully terminated me so that they could promote a total incompetent racist drug addict into one of their new stores in the Buffalo market.  Scoop up a copy while it’s hot!  If you were on the free newsletter list (which you can subscribe to by emailing bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), you got to see it first over three weeks ago.  If not, now’s your chance to read it in Night Life.  With 70,000 copies rolling off the presses every single week all over the Greater Buffalo/Niagara area, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and pizzerias where you can read all about it!

Tomorrow, I’ll be making a return trip to the hallowed halls of Clarence Central High School to teach my first writing workshop to the kids in the Poetry Club, the staff at Chrysalis, the on-site literary magazine (which has grown by leaps and bounds since I graduated in ’93), and a few other stragglers who got the exclusive invite from Ms. Foster and Kevin Starr.  You can hear the entire event some time later this week when it pops up on Think Twice Radio’s Monsters Of Verse site. 

This Thursday, the Monsters Of Verse kick off their second scheduled appearance/reading/signing at Talking Leaves on Main St. (near Bailey) at 6 p.m.   Jonathan (the owner proprietor of both locations) has been extremely supportive and helpful with all of my books for the last seven years, so bringing the crew out for another hoorah was a no brainer.  You can check out his listing/brief synopsis of the book over on Talking Leaves’ official site at:

http://www.tleavesbooks.com/watersplus.htm

Jr Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself will be reading selections from our newest poetry collections in fifteen minute blocks (so we have time to schmooze/hawk some books before the store closes at 8 pm sharp).  I don’t like to hold up employees at the locations where we have events scheduled near close, so please show up on time, bring plenty of friends (and cold hard cash!) and feel free to join us out afterwards!

I also pounded out two new graphic novel reviews for my editor Thom Young over at www.comicsbulletin.com.  One of the two should be going up this Wednesday, when they premiere their graphic novel reviews on the site.  I’ve been pretty negligent with them lately and I get neurotic when I’m not taking full advantage of every media stream I’m plugged into, so I’ll be focusing my creative efforts (with what diminishing free time I have) on getting a few more reviews backlogged for Mr. Young.

I’m not sure if there will be a new Big Words One Man Mobile Unit episodes this week, but we’ll see what happens.  This week is pretty hectic and I’m still reeling from my molar extraction.  I feel guilty for loafing even for a day or two, but some bed/couch rest wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.  We’ll see what happens.  If Uncle Hal stiffs again (which is becoming an increasingly more common occurance lately), maybe I’ll set something up on Wednesday with somebody else. 

And DON’T FORGET TO VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN ON ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, November 4th!  The Republican party needs all the support we can muster, so make the time, hit the polls and make your voice heard!  Our nations economy and global stance for the next four years depend upon it.  Don’t let the Spendocrats win this one, even if our last contender turned into a bumbling moron.  Who knows, maybe W. can find gainful seasonal employment with the soulless jackasses currently running Gamestop into the ground?  He’s got half a brain, and that appears to be qualification enough lately….

Have a great week and see you out, about and in print in Buffalo!

Vote Republican!,

Tom Waters

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