Archive for the ‘NY’ Category

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 55: ‘Ellipsis’

January 11, 2019

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Co-host Terry Kimmel was proud of how far I’ve come with the local film community in the last few years.  From knowing nothing about to to branching out bit by bit (and with some of his guidance), I feel like I have a basic understanding of what’s going on and which projects are under development.  Rick Masi was a man who’s projects I’d heard spoken highly of (‘Tales Of Darkened Light’, in particular) and the awards and the feedback weren’t wrong.  He is a highly motivated, positive and professional writer/director, and it was a lot of fun to binge on ‘Tales’ prepping for his episode.  Check out the show HERE:

Thanks to Masi, Terry Kimmel for being a perennial punching bag and obviously producer Richard Wicka for putting it all together.

#BigWordsVideo shall return.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 54: ‘Minutiae’

December 7, 2018

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One thing I learned about Rochester comedy was that all roads lead to comic Woody Battaglia.  The man is a powerhouse, hosting multiple weekly open mics, an FM Variety Show (‘Almost Tuesday’ on 104.3 WAYOFM) and an iTunes podcast with a very peculiar twist (‘My Minute With Andre’).  I’m not sure if he’s okay with being referred to as an alt-comic, but his standup stemmed from his love of ‘90s alt comics Eddie Izzard and Patton Oswalt.  The man is accomplished, and it’s intriguing how the flavors of Rochester comedy are just a little bit different than Buffalo, but equally entertaining.  I was, and am, impressed by the volume and consistency of Woody’s comedy.  It made for an informative show.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Battaglia, returning Co Host Henry Gale and of course to producer Richard Wicka for producing the show.  Big Words already returned, I’m just further behind than usual keeping up with it.

Tom

 

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 52: ‘Luminosity’

September 6, 2018

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The nice thing about having a room full of comedians is that I don’t need to be funny.  I’m not even sure if I was on this episode, but Guest Don Johnson and returning Co Host Jesse Winterhalter Jr. brought their A game.  Between the two, they’ve been entertaining Buffalo audiences no less than three times a week for no less than two years at their open mics, featured gigs, headlining gigs, special engagements, and so on and so forth.  The sense I got researching Don Johnson as well as talking to him is that he’s not only a comedian, he’s also one of the biggest boosters for the scene around.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Don, Jesse and of course to producer Richard Wicka for tying a bow around it.  These are two guys to keep an eye on because they keep getting better and they’re not going anywhere.  Here’s the part where I ask you to SUBSCRIBE to the show.  So do that.

The show goes on,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 51: ‘Intelligentsia’

August 14, 2018

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This episode marks the ten year anniversary (give or take a few days) that a) I walked into producer Richard Wicka’s Home Of The Future for the first time (for an interview on Susan Marie’s ‘This Is Not The Apple’ podcast) and b) that Richard and I have been great friends.  In all that time, he’s been many things to me: a friend, a mentor, a creative, an intellectual, and someone who I look up to.  So it was only a matter of time before I had him on the show.  He was a lot more open and at ease in the Guest chair than I expected.  And his pal Julia D (whose last name I wouldn’t even try to spell) helped to take the pressure off of the studio environment we thrive in for the show.  See for yourself:

 

Thanks to Richard for the show and for ten fascinating years with Think Twice Radio as a podcaster and in the Home Of The Future for our discussions, meals, bonfires and video shows.  Thanks to Julia for bringing her West Coast sensibilities to the room.  I’ve still got some catching up to do on this site, so we’ll talk soon.

Tom

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Big Words Video 51.1: Richard Wicka-‘Notes From The Ground Floor’

August 9, 2018

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I’ve been a very bad blogger.  It’s been some time since a new show and an update of any kind on the site, so this is me catching up.  While this show and Bonus clip were originally posted two months ago, if this is the first time you’re reading about it, it’s new to you!  Below you will find a quick link to Richard Wicka’s very personal, funny and insightful take on the Bonus clip, ‘Notes From The Ground Floor’.  We came up with the title after a discussion regarding the actual translation for the book ‘Notes From The Underground’.  Check it out.  More to come soon.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 50: ‘Licentious’

June 7, 2018

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Before I say anything else, it needs to be said that the above crotch grab was real.  I didn’t think that guest Rick Matthews was really going to go for it during pictures, but it actually happened.  In addition to everything else about the comedian, he is committed to his craft.  He’s in it to win it.

I’m very late in posting this (having just wrapped Episode 51), but I’d been hearing about standup comic Rick Matthews since the first season of the show.  He’s a Comedian’s Comedian: dirty at times, painfully honest and very, very funny.  Having never met him before, I wasn’t sure how he’d interview, and this was one of the shows where the Guest and Co-Host (Kevin Thomas Jr.) took the baton and ran away from me with it.  I didn’t keep up that well, but it doesn’t matter, because it was a great show in spite of the host.  Judge for yourself:

Thanks to Matthews, Kevin Thomas Jr for circling back around to Co Host and, as always, Richard Wicka for housing us, editing and producing the show.  We ran out of time before I got to talk to Rick about his time onstage with Dave Attell (one of my all time favorite comics), but that’s no big deal.  There is no Bonus clip for this episode because one wasn’t supplied.  That’s been a dangerous trend for Season Four, so we’re going to have to work on that.  There’s another show coming up as soon as it posts, so I’ll talk to you all real soon.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 49: ‘Scoville’

March 31, 2018

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Wing King Drew Cerza was originally on the boards all the way back in 2014.  There was a massive scheduling issue though, as Drew had a press conference the same day.  So we finally got around to making it happen this month and Cerza did not disappoint.  The founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival was a real sport with my line of questioning, he was charming and he was genuinely as interested in chicken wings as I am.  As someone who’s had chicken wings every single week since I was 17, Drew’s Festival is right up my alley.  Co Host Matt Sampson also saved the day by filling the Hot Seat on short notice, so it turned into a pretty damned entertaining episode.  And for those who don’t know, ‘Scoville’ is the official heat scale for spicy foods and peppers named after the man who researched it.  Here it is:

Thanks to Drew, Sampson, and of course producer Richard Wicka for holding it all together.  #BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, so have a Happy Easter and we’ll see you in May!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 49.1: WingFest Promo Teaser

March 30, 2018

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This Bonus clip is really just a glorified ad, but it’s a really tantalizing montage for WingFest.  I’m not really sure what else to say about it.  I’ve gone, I’ve eaten and I’ve had a great time.  If you want a sampler platter of WingFest or if you’ve never been, this should answer all of your burning questions:

Henry Gale was originally cast to Co Host for this episode, and we had a really neat idea, but things fell through and thankfully Matt Sampson came through in the interim.  Some day we might still try that idea, although I’m not sure how it would work with a different guest.  At any rate, KINDLY SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel for bonus clips, every single episode in the order it was intended for and other bonus content.

#BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, but we’ll see you at the beginning of May.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 48: ‘Certified’

March 3, 2018

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Up until the show, Frank Pusateri was someone I’d travelled in the same circles with (even rubbed elbows with), but never officially met.  During my time writing bar reviews for Night Life Magazine (2000-2009), I’d been to more than my share of Night Life Music & Club Awards.  Simply put, it’s the biggest night in Buffalo for the local music community.  Everybody who’s anybody is under one roof.  This year it’s at The Cove on Thursday, March 8th.

Having just released a book (‘Only Gambling’) about a lucky streak on casino slot machines, Frank popped up on my radar again, so I took the opportunity to book him.  On top of that, he won an Emmy Award and he’s received 25 different Buffalo Music Awards including Top Pop Bassist three times in a row along with an induction into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame.  Frank’s written what happens to be a really entertaing read, and I told him as much.

This episode also marks the fourth time Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck has been on the show.  As I told Ed, he’s always welcome.  Between his plugs and Frank’s plugs, we had a tough time fitting them all in and even left some on the table (literally).  Check it out HERE:

Thanks to Frank, Ed and as always, producer Richard Wicka for housing my three ring circus.  Frank whipped up some great Bonus clips, so check those out further down this page.

Don’t adjust your set,

Tom

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Big Words Video 48.1: ‘Only Gambling’ & 48.2: ‘Leaf In A Storm’

March 2, 2018

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I normally ask an upcoming guest for ONE video clip to supplement the show.  Poor Frank got propositioned for two.  He’s promoting his new book ‘Only Gambling’, but I didn’t want to ignore his rich history on the Buffalo music scene.  So there you have it.  Frank’s homework was more complicated than guesting on the show!  He came through with flying colors, though.  Big Words Video 48.1 is a quick forward to Pusateri’s book complete with fancy graphics and a ticker-tape banner along the bottom read by the author.  You can get a taste for the stream-of-consciousness writing style in the book right HERE:

The flip side of the coin is an original song written & performed by Frank’s band Only Humen.  Check that one out right HERE:

A sincere thanks goes out to Only Frank for putting the time in to create two great clips.  A sincere thanks goes out to YOU when you FREE SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel.  I may have said this before, but if you’re not subscribed, you’re missing more than half of what the show has to offer.  Find out what you’re missing by seeing the show in the order it was intended for, bonus clips and other additional SECRET content.

#BigWordsVideo returns in March!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 45: ‘Verisimilitude’

December 2, 2017

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As soon as I saw Arnold Palmer in Rhonda Parker’s uproariously funny speed-dating film gone horribly wrong ‘Lonely Bananas’, I knew I had to get actor Brad Spiotta on the show.  He brought the character to life with his own wardrobe choices, mannerisms and speech patterns, and the results were a riot.  Spiotta was a solid interview: humble, charming and quick with his responses.  I got a little frustrated wth Brad and Rhonda because my usual pop culture references weren’t catching with them, but it still made for a great episode.  Decide for yourself:

Thanks to Spiotta, Parker and of course Richard Wicka for supporting and enduring my nonsense.  We’ve got another stellar line-up for December, so don’t you touch that internet dial!

Tom

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Big Words Video 45.1: Brad Spiotta-‘Past Hauntings’

December 2, 2017

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Maybe I hammer too hard sometimes on the importance and choice involved with each guest selecting a Bonus clip, but actor Brad Spiotta provided a really good one, and the timing couldn’t have been any better.  With a half hour to shoot each episode, there’s barely enough time for the interview, let alone the time to set a clip up, roll it and then react to it.  Hence the Bonus clips.  Compendiums to each episode where the guest can do whatever they wish.  Hot on the heels of his ‘Best Actor’ win at the Halloween Short Film Festival, Spiotta decided to share the short film that earned him the gold.  Here it is:

Solid cinematography, good pacing, great acting.  Thanks to Brad for taking it seriously.  Oh yeah, and would you mind FREE SUBSCRIBING to my Channel already?      100 clips on the Playlist and a few more Followers would sure put a spring in my step.

I’ll see you all in a month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 44: ‘Tenacity’

October 30, 2017

F9F6E594-4A40-47BD-80F8-952ED04C6DD4As former guest Emil Novak said, author Gary Earl Ross is the real deal.  His bibliography is gigantic and varied, from murder mysteries to courtroom dramas to anthologies to poems to historical ‘speculative fiction’, if he hasn’t done it all, he will by the time he’s done.  While I don’t think we ever officially crossed paths in the last twenty years, we certainly travelled in a lot of the same circles, so it was really nice to finally sit down, meet the man and get into his career in depth.  Here are the results:

Thanks as usual to producer Richard Wicka for putting a bow around it, Gary for coming on and Co Host Lori Lume for making time for us.  Contrarily, I’ve known Lori since the notorious Buffalo Small Press Book Fair of ‘08 (where we got into very real and serious trouble for excessive use of a bike horn).

Hey, do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for updates on new shows, bonus clips and other miscellany.  It’s the other red button on the YouTube dashboard.

See you all soon,

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 44.1: Gary Earl Ross-‘Afterward’

October 28, 2017

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I was almost entranced watching Gary Earl Ross read for this Bonus clip.  There are authors who don’t give readings at all in public, authors like me who stammer through their work and don’t rehearse ahead of time, and then there are authors like Gary, who reads in a calm, cool and collected manner, pacing himself, reading for an audience and hammering on the right passages for dramatic impact.  I’m not sure if he picked up that talent during his years as a professor, throughout all of his years at scheduled readings, or if he’s simply at peace with himself and his finished products.  It made for a great clip, though.  Here goes:

To give the man one more plug for good measure, you can find out more about Gary’s books, plays and career at: garyearlross.net

#BigWordsVideo shall return…

Tom

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Big Words Video 43.1: Madelein Smith-‘Crowd Work’

September 29, 2017

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I can honestly say there’s no Bonus clip quite like this one.  While Madelein has a lot of slick, polished and professional clips from her long, varied and award-winning standup career, this one is something else.  This particular clip is any stand-up comic’s dream.  Madelein has to deal with a heckler at a small bar in Tonawanda who won’t shut up, so what does she do?  She lights the guy up.   For about seven straight minutes.  Check it out here:

 

 

Thanks to Madelein for the unique footage.

#BigWordsVideo returns in October!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 42: ‘Nepotism’

September 7, 2017

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Almost a decade ago (when I was just getting the audio podcast off the ground), I somehow hit stride on the time frame and the level of wrongness by Episode IV lacing into my Uncle Dick.  Out of over 100 shows and clips, Episode IV and V remained as fan favorites because they were brutal, unforgiving and ferocious.  You can still listen to them on the Internet Archive.  There’s also a quick link to the right of this Home Page.

Now that we’re four years into #BigWordsVideo, I’ve been taking some calculated risks with the guests and getting around to guests that I’ve wanted to have on since the planning stages.  Dick was at the top of the list.  I’m always going to be harsher on family and friends than I would ever be out of the gate with people I’ve never met before, or that I don’t have a personal relationship.  My Uncle Dick is the champ.  He didn’t flinch and I didn’t expect him to.  Diabetes Dave has a quiet intensity that lends itself well to the show too.  Feast your eyes on THIS:

HEY!  Kindly SUBSCRIBE, will ya?!

Thanks as always to producer Richard Wicka, ‘The Other Richard’ Dick Lobdell and Diabetes Dave for coming through in a pinch.  Season 4 is off to a good start.  No end in sight.  Yet.

See you at the end of the month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 41: ‘Displacement’

August 12, 2017

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Stand-up comic Daniel McArdle is young, ambitious, eager, and yes, funny in a way that draws from his strengths, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does hosting the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s on Tuesday nights.  When I was doing my prep work for the show, every single comic I talked to had nothing but nice things to say about him, which is rare.  Former guest and Co Host Clayton Williams a.k.a. ‘The Maestro Of Comedy’ is either a natural, a savant or one of the hardest working comics on the scene, because his stand-up kills me.  Having those two in the studio together made for a really entertaining episode.  Find out for yourself:

Thanks of course to McArdle, Williams and obviously producer Richard Wicka for coordinating everything.  Comedians make perfect guests for the show because they’re fast, they’re funny, and they don’t flinch from the questions.  #BigWordsVideo blasts off into Season 4 later this month with a guest who’s been a long time coming.  Tune in to Episode 42 or Free Subscribe to the Show to find out!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 40.1: Alexander Sloan McBryde-‘Inside The Actors’

July 7, 2017

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Episode 40 and the companion Bonus clip were exactly what I needed after Episode 39.  Meeting actor Alexander Sloan McBryde and seeing him riff with fellow established actors (who often share the same IMDB credits) was fantastic.  The vibe in the studio was great, the chemistry was perfect and the talent level was off the charts.  I handed over the Sony PJ340 to McBryde literally seconds after the episode was over and he kicked into high gear grilling Co Host Jason John Beebe (pronounced Bee-Bee!) and interviewing Buffalo institution Michael O’Hear.  Here were 3 men who didn’t take themselves too seriously comfortable enough with their level of talent to let that translate on the silver screen, the small screen and all parts in between.  Roll that clip!:

Season 3 of Big Words Video is drawing to a close with one more episode to shoot.  Do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for FREE on YouTube.  A few Likes and Shares wouldn’t hurt either.

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 38: ‘Contingent’

May 4, 2017

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Despite rumors that pop up once in awhile, I have no plans or desires to be a standup comedian.  Writing humor and hosting a comedy talk show are not the same thing.  However, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for standup comics who are good at what they do and I’m always trying to figure out how their thought process works.  Kevin Thomas Jr and Jameel Key are very, very good at what they do but they approach standup from completely different directions.  Kevin has a down-to-earth humility to his delivery and his material paired with the approachability of a college instructor.  Jameel works best when he’s working blue, and his anecdotes and his jokes are so personal that they can’t possibly be anyone else’s.  Getting both of them in the same room for the same show was a case of the stars being in alignment.  This was an episode where I sat back and let these gentleman do what they do best: riff.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Kevin and Jameel for bringing their A game.  Thanks always to producer Richard Wicka for letting us barrel into the studio and hammer out the show.  #BigWordsVideo will be back in 4 weeks with country supergroup West Of The Mark!

Tom

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Big Words Video 38.1: Kevin Thomas Jr.-‘Afterglow’

May 2, 2017

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Returning guest and Co Host Jameel Key and I shot the breeze before the episode and  I handed over the Bonus Clip camerawork to him.  We both agreed that Jameel’s clip from Season 1 was bad.  Really bad.  Back then, I had Rob Bender ask Jameel about the evolution of a joke.  It was awkward and starchy.  So I figured I’d let him decide when and how to film Kevin Thomas Jr.  He started rolling right after the episode, which is typically when we all get up, stretch and breathe a sigh of relief.  The three of us had a really good dynamic during the show and Jameel ran with that.  Here’s the result:

Thanks to Jameel for circling back, Kevin for coming on and as always, producer Richard Wicka for having us.  You know how I mention SUBSCRIBING to the channel on YouTube?  For updates, new episodes, that kind of thing?  You should do that.

#BigWordsVideo will return this month with award-winning country band

West Of The Mark!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 37.1: Van Taylor-‘Ain’t No Thang’

April 8, 2017

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Van was kind enough to share an exclusive live performance from the ‘UB On The Green’ concert series at (obviously) the University Of Buffalo.  I told him before the show that I’m a very piano-driven person when it comes to music, and Mr. Taylor does not disappoint.  There’s a reason why he’s been a driving force in jazz music on the front lines and off around the world for over 30 years: he’s that good.  See for yourself:

If you want to see the sheer scope and variety of bonus clips for the show for the last 3 years, SUBSCRIBE to the Channel.  Oh, and you’ll get an update every time a new episode drops.

#BigWordsVideo shall return,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 36: ‘Sequence’

March 31, 2017

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I went on the hunt about a month ago to find some good writers to guest on the show.  Italian novelist Gaia B. Amman came highly recommended and made it to the top of my list.  Her writing style is sharp and colorful, she’s not afraid of the camera and she’s got a great sense of humor.  Her Italian Saga series of books have a cult-like following and she’s very positive and nurturing with her fan base.  I was tying up loose ends on my research before the show and my co-host cancelled an hour and a half before taping.  Heh.  The behind-the-scenes anecdotes for the show are almost as good as the show, but I’m not going to start dishing now.  Terry Kimmel shuffled some personal engagements around in order to co host the show at the eleventh hour.  Here’s the end result:

Big thanks go out to Gaia for jumping through all the pre-show hoops and delivering a really professional #BigWordsVideo bonus clip, and for being a truly entertaining guest.  I owe Terry a large debt of gratitude for showing up under duress and bringing his A game. And as always, thanks to Producer Richard Wicka for wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it.

Please FREE SUBSCRIBE to Richard Wicka’s YouTube as well as mine (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for updates on new episodes, bonus clips and other hidden content!

That’s all, folks.

Tom

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When Severed Ears Sing You Songs by Justin Karcher

March 14, 2017

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“Trying to create miracles for all us dumb fucks

Who just want to see one curse reversed

Before our muscles betray our bones”

-from ‘I Want Michael Fassbender to Hold My Hand and Tell Me Everything Will Be Okay…’

Chapbooks have traditionally been a signal flare or a forerunner for a larger body of work. Sometimes the flare peters out on the way down, and there are other instances where they are strung together before being combined into a bigger collection of poems. When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (2016, Ghost City Press) by Justin Karcher is more of an about-face or a stylistic sidestep after his longer Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell (2015, Ghost City Press).  Fast, funny and philosophical while simultaneously walking the tight rope between timely and timeless.

The city of Buffalo is Justin’s muse. He creates mirth and magic and wonder out of the sub-mundane, the poverty class and the lost souls in a lost city. The phenomenon to Karcher’s poems is that I wrestle cognitively with whether or not they are clever non-sequiturs strung together to suit or if all of the poems are one patchwork diatribe touching down on distinctive benders, evenings we’ve all regretted or dark corners of the city and our scarred psyches at the same time. I’m not sure I want the answer anymore, but I enjoy struggling with the riddle. And there’s a wry gallow’s humor to his work that connects with the reader in a way I haven’t seen in poetry for some time. Too often we’re weighed down with a sort of 18th-century morose self-importance in 21st century poems that shouldn’t exist.

This chapbook strikes me as a writer becoming comfortable with his style, easing into his poems like you’d slide your heel effortlessly into a pair of formal shoes. He has his voice and now he’s checking off every octave. The age-old polarities of sex and death have gotten wonderfully muddy within the pages of ‘Severed Ears’. Now we’re venturing into the ache, the loss, the regret and the existentialism of half-remembered love and the sorrow and sometimes-dread of being alive. Somehow in all of this Karcher gives me hope for the city because if it can cause so much pain, then it means more than Post-Industrialism, decline and decay.

-Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 30: ‘Grand Guignol’

October 28, 2016

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So here’s how this episode went down.  Last year, when Rhonda Parker was on, she name-dropped Michael O’Hear and Jason John Beebe.  In the heat of the moment (and because I think it’s funny to quip back while we’re rolling) and, to be honest, I said ‘Never heard of ’em.’  I still don’t know much about the film scene, but I felt like and asshole, and afterwards, I figured it would balance out my karma to have them both on down the road.  Michael O’Hear came on back around…January and Jason and I finally coordinated our schedules this month.  He was a great interview: quick, funny, and just a super-nice guy with quite a list of film credits for…whatever age he happens to be.  Here’s the episode:

Fun fact: ‘Grand Guignol’ literally means ‘large puppet’ in French, so I felt that the title worked on two levels.  Thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Beebe for fitting us in during his ‘Crossbreed’ location shoot in Buffalo, and perennial co-host Terry Kimmel for enduring a Herculanean amount of punishment.  SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, SHARE, RT…do whatever you’ve gotta do to get the word out!  We don’t do it for any money, but we do it for your love and admiration, so spread it around!

Tom

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Big Words Video 30.1: Jason John Beebe-‘Uber’ (Rough Cut)

October 27, 2016

The actors and directors who’ve come on the show so far have continued to amaze me with the quality and diversity of their Bonus clips.  ‘Uber’ director Mick O’Donald was kind enough to give us permission to share the web series he’s working on with Beebe.  It is a ‘rough cut’, so it still needs a soundtrack, editing and a lot of other production-type things that are out of my realm of experience, but it looks promising.  The first episode is a fun blend of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ meets ‘Taxicab Confessions’.  Give it a look-see:

Thanks again to Mick O’Donald for the assist and the upcoming series!  For those of you who enjoy the Bonus clips (or #BigWordsVideo in general), there is no Indie Go Go.  We don’t even have a Kickstarter.  It’s not about money.  So do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE to the show for FREE!  You’ll get updates and notifications when new episodes hit!

#BigWordsVideo will return in November with Rochester cartoonist and Buffalo native Jason Yungbluth!

See you in the funny papers,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 27: ‘Monarch’

August 13, 2016

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It’s been a busy summer!  Between polishing and preparing Travesty and wrapping up Season 2 of #BigWordsVideo, I’ve been remiss in posting this last episode.  I booked ‘Persona’ writer/director Charlie Simmons back around September of 2015 and he rode out from Rochester last month to tape the show.  Actress/model Airy Nikohl came up from Niagara Falls.  To make things even more interesting, I hadn’t met or spoken to either of them until we got in the studio.  The results were pretty cool.  Find out for yourself:

Find the time to SUBSCRIBE to Big Words I Know By Heart on YouTube.  Thanks are in order to Charlie, Airy and, as always, Producer Richard Wicka for indulging us.  Season 3 rolls out at the end of the month and we’re just hitting our stride.

Stay tuned,

Tom

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Poetry Month: (homesick) ryan inlet

April 21, 2016

breathing room vol.I cover

I’m going to close out this little exercise with a final poem about a place that’s very dear to my heart: Rushford Lake.  Fun fact: The cover image for Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse was a picture of my boat dock from our cabin in Rushford.  This poem found its way into Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (2011, Doubt It Publishing), my third and, in all likelihood, my final book of poetry.  I had a few lingering thoughts about the month that I might entertain next week. 

Thanks for reading!

-Tom

 

(homesick) ryan inlet

cold feet padding past

freezing linoleum

morning fog rolling down

the channel

red embers from the previous

evening’s bonfire cooling

crows caw cacophonously

carp flop out of the water lazily

coffee drips deliberately

quietly counting out the

remaining days of a vacation

my Love shifting

snoozing

tossing/turning

beautifully

first cigarette stings

delicious pang of an

a.m. buzz

1950’s space heater

kicking into first gear

near my toes

lean back into a plush

leather chair that’s been through

three or four generations

three or four different families

ashtray precariously balanced

upon the arm

smoke curling up from a green

mug with coin insignias etched

into the clay

(grandpa’s)

duck’s diving in for a landing

on the middle of a placid

liquid landing strip

curtain’s down at the folk’s cabin

crack another comic book

drop another on the stack of the

finished pile

the start of another perfect day

four left.

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Discourse Correction

April 4, 2016

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“When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed.

Say something once, why say it again?”

-The Talking Heads, ‘Psycho Killer’

Talk doesn’t have to be cheap. One of my bugaboos is meaningless small talk. I would rather wait out a long, uncomfortable silence than fill the void with inane chatter that accomplishes nothing and fails to further conversation. In my line of work, it’s referred to as an ‘ice breaker’, but during the rest of my waking life, I’d vastly prefer a dead vacuum of words instead of offering up nonsense.

It’s been said that you should never talk about politics, religion or the weather. I don’t remember if that was in reference to sales, getting your hair cut, foreplay or simply polite discussion between strangers, but nobody abides by that rule. People who talk about the weather make me fucking nuts. In Buffalo, debate and dissent regarding the weather is a living, breathing, malleable organism, and everyone has a talent for locking and passing along the most far-fetched, fantastical forecast. Given a range of light flurries or the next ice age, your average horse’s ass will throw out ‘Fred The Weather Clown is calling for a meteor the size of Brazil made of solid black ice followed by a flurry of dippable Dots.’ Out of a hundred predictions, average temperatures and year-over-year norms, it’s never a middle-of-the-road prediction. Maybe that says more about the dolts who drudge it up to perfect strangers, maybe not: ‘Team Hurricane 3000 claims an 84% chance of Armageddon preceded by lakes of fire and spotting in women aged 55 to 60.’ It must be Biblical fact then.

Sports fans make the rather large assumption that you also like talking about sportsing. I don’t. My friend Rich plays into this and seems to think he can reach a common ground with people and find out more about their thinking process by knowing about sports and talking with his friends about it. I’m not willing to go that far. I really don’t understand the return on investment sitting on my ass on the couch for entire Sundays yelling at the television. There is enough in my life to upset me without transferring my ambitions and personal happiness onto a corporately held entity parading as a franchise. What I really don’t get is people droning on about sportsing out in public while their sport of choice is currently in progress. If it was important to you, wouldn’t you be at home having a discussion with your television while it was airing?

And religion is a non-issue. Most sane people don’t engage, foster or bring up religion with strangers. Most of us are spiritual and not religious, whatever that means. A great many of us sacrifice live bait to our Aztec snake gods naked during a blood moon while coated in Hershey syrup in a very private and personal way, so we don’t feel the need to bring it up or indoctrinate others. The people who bring up religion as an ‘ice breaker’ are typically the people I run screaming from. I have nothing against religion since it’s never done anything grievous or humiliating to me, but I have no interest in discussing it with people outside of my role-playing, Safe-Word-uttering coven. The less said the better.

If anything, politics are offered up without any solicitation, urging or insistence, and the people who normally inject it into the atmosphere are also the people with the most militant, half-cooked, far left or far right of center viewpoints anyway. I’m surprised at the political non sequiturs I hear without any forewarning or lubricant. Things like “All my taxes go to Albany, thanks very much, Mr. Governor!” from the affluent upper-class doctor or “It’d be great to own a small business if it weren’t for Ralph Nader.” from the guy with 45 bumper stickers and a man bun. I try not to engage or encourage these kinds of people because their jumbled calls to arms can only invariably be followed by rampant bigotry, generalized silliness or unfounded carpetbaggery or skullduggery.

*Confession: I’ve wanted to include both the terms ‘carpetbaggery’ and ‘skullduggery’ into an essay and felt that this was my best shot. I hope that some day you will grow to accept and embrace my decision.*

Finally, there is what passes for what’s left of the Monday morning water cooler discussion. A great majority of us don’t have the indulgence of a water cooler at our place of business, haven’t personally seen a water cooler in 2.5 years, and have never had a discussion as a result of being in the vicinity of a water cooler. Now that we live in a hip, post-‘cut the cable’ revolution era where there are 7,000 different stations, streaming services, Viewmaster Exclusive one hour puppet passion plays and other programs, we’re at a loss for a universally shared experience.

If it’s a reality show or a talent competition, my emotional investment is -7 multiplied by zero fucks, carried by I Really Don’t Give A Shit. Whatever that adds up to, that’s where I stand on either program. I don’t need to know which industry darling won the finals at the Polynesian Breakdancing Awards or who took home the gold on ‘Bosnia’s Got Marginal Saucier Skills’. The point is that there are more shows than there are people now, so whatever you watched or downloaded or uploaded into your retinas last night that was exciting isn’t necessarily a show that anyone else on your continent tunes into.

I understand that it’s difficult to find common ground with complete strangers in everyday life, but I would rather be myself or dive right into the meat of a conversation than default to small talk because it’s easier. The weather doesn’t matter to me, I’m not hardwired for sports, religion is a landmine and a lot of people have horrible taste in television. I guess you could call me a real people pleaser.

Tom Waters

 

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The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone (Uncut)

March 28, 2016

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Author’s Note: This interview has been on a wild ride in the last ten years.  A shorter edit originally appeared in Buffalo Spree magazine, the longer format ran on Acid Logic and the version you’re about to read finally found its way into my fourth book If They Can’t Take A Joke (Authorhouse, 2007).  Gregg’s been a dear friend of mine for more than 15 years and with his 55th birthday approaching, I thought I’d revisit this interview.  

If you’ve participated in (or just enjoyed) the Buffalo music scene for the last six years, Gregg Sansone is a pervasive, melodic, keyboard-driven entity. The two-time Buffalo Music Award Winning Solo Artist Of The Year plays out at clubs, bars and other venues over 300 nights a year (when he’s in peak physical condition), and his cover shows run the gamut of Steve Winwood to Elton John to Stevie Wonder. Dabbling in rock, jazz, blues and classical standards, Sansone has become a local icon and a national underground phenomenon. I saw Gregg play (or channel, to be more accurate) Elton John covers at Route 66 in downtown Buffalo four years ago, and I’ve been a Sansonite ever since. His two and three hour shows are lousy with fans, electric in their intensity and craftsmanship, and brilliant to witness. I had the opportunity to sit down with Greg at my apartment in Lancaster while he was recovering from major back surgery (he had a disc removed).

TW: You haven’t had a drink since you were 15. Why is that, and do you find it surreal to play out at clubs and bars for the majority of the year in the company of people who are soused out of their minds?

GS: No. Alcoholism runs in my family. I’ve got a huge family. Eight boys and one girl. Some people put down meat and become vegetarians. I had the hindsight as a fifteen year old to say ‘You know, I’m addictive as hell. I have a real addictive personality. I’m just not going to do this. Otherwise, I think it could be a problem, and it just stuck through college and everything else. Like anything, I stuck with it and it developed and it’s been years and years. I have a blast (at the shows). People come up to me and say ‘Man, you were hammered because you were dancing on the bars!’ and I say, ‘No, but awesome, thanks man.’

TW: How does your strongly held belief in Buddhism inform your singing and songwriting?

GS: Songwriting and instrumental writing are different. They’re along a spiritual line, but my performances are an extension of what I believe in anyway about myself. Buddhism isn’t a religion as much as it is a philosophy. They didn’t invent being honest and they didn’t invent being good people, they just do it well. So you can apply it to any faith that you have and for me, it just helps me to not want to kill everybody. Or when someone is drunk and they fall into my keyboards and everything, now I don’t want to drag them into the parking lot. Before (Buddhism) I did.

TW: Do you think the era of disposable pop/porn performers like Britney Spears and Ricky Martin is nearing its end, or is it more of a popular music cycle?

GS: I think human nature is human nature, and within music, I’m no expert on anything. I’m just an Italian from Buffalo. Before them when Madonna got really popular, they produced people like Jody Watley, and-

TW: Rick Astley.

GS: People like that, that’s exactly right, but specifically female singers to sound like her (Madonna). Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, so it does go in cycles. I think the American people, we’re a disposable society. There’s a huge portion of the population that buys into that, and they just go into whatever’s popular. But there’s this undercurrent of people like us that-

TW: Observe?

GS: Observe and evaluate and say, ‘This is good, this doesn’t work for me, that’s kinda bullshit. I know that you love Elton John for instance, as do I. People like Elton John, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and even Madonna, and I’m not a Madonna fan, but she’s stood the test of time. They’re not a flash in the pan, and for good reason. If we didn’t have those people, it would be a sad, sad world with the boy bands, although Justin Timberlake has broken from that and has really made a name for himself. I mean, I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

TW: And Mark Wahlberg-

GS: Mark Wahlberg is kinda cool in the movies, though! When he was Marky Mark it was a different story.

TW: Your best one night stand story after a show:

GS: Um, my best one night stand story after a show-because I have one night stand stories during a show.

TW: That sounds like the better story.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 23: ‘Schadenfreude’

March 16, 2016

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The Buffalo standup comedy scene is on fire, and Allie Brady is one of the comics who’s right at the center of it.  After interviewing 3 comics so far (with more on the horizon), it’s fascinating to explore each of their individual voices, styles and, by extension, their acts.  Brady has this slight pause before she delivers a brutal politically incorrect punchline that I really admire.  In the studio, she was fast, relentless and hilarious.  To top it off, her website (stilltoosoon.blogspot.com) is one of the funniest projects I’ve read online in a very, very long time.  Britney Hoffman was a little deer-in-the-headlights in the Co Host Hot Seat, but I thought she rounded out the dynamic quite nicely.  Roll that clip!

A big thanks goes out to Brady, Hoffman and the always-lovely Richard Wicka for putting it all together.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE for new shows, bonus clips and other additional content.

Tom

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Big Words Video 23.5: ‘Irish Spring’ & 23.6: ‘Shitty Girl’

March 16, 2016

I’m starting to think it’s a better idea to send someone out into the field to get these Big Words Video Bonus clips.

I don’t enjoy being out in front of a crowd scene anymore.  There was a time where my ego insisted on it, but these days I’d rather hang out in the background and let the star be the star of the show.  Harvesting these clips with a consumer camera demands that the ‘director’ get right up on top of the action.  Music production man Roger Pleasant of Uprise Studios went on location to Magruder’s in Lancaster for Green Gorilla Comedy’s ‘Irish Spring’ showcase a few weeks ago and came back with two really solid clips from standup comic Allie Brady’s act.  See for yourself:

Using the same Sony PJ340 I’ve been using, Pleasant got a great angle, sound and lighting in HD.  Allie’s comedy speaks for itself.  Putting someone else at the helm of the camera does too.  If you like what you see, SUBSCRIBE!  We’ll be back at it next month with longtime pal and journeyman pianist/performer Gregg Sansone.

See you then,

Tom

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The Divine Pop Comedy

February 8, 2016

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Author’s Note: With the release of Wonderful Crazy Night (Elton and Taupin’s 33rd album), this seemed like a good time to revise and post this excerpt about the ‘aught’ albums from ‘Reg Soldiers On’, a 50+ page long-form essay about Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s lives, careers and their discography from my 2009 book Slapstick & Superego.  I’ll be posting a new essay this Friday about the three studio albums that followed once I’ve had a little time to digest the newest release.-Tom

Composer/Performer/Legend Elton John and longtime lyricist and classical poet Bernie Taupin’s trio of studio albums from 2001-2006 were a fruitful, fascinating journey, and I’m sure that there’s more to come. From a fanatic’s standpoint, Songs From The West Coast would have made a perfect swan song for the performer. I don’t regret that he’s lived and recorded since, but the album is so perfect, and so close to the roots of Elton’s glory days in the ’70s that it’s near-impossible to trump a second time in his career.

Elton even claimed in his classic bridge-burning interview style that this would be his final studio album. Listening to the tracks, it’s no surprise that this was the first series of songs in ages where Elton and Taupin composed the album together in person. It brilliantly refers back to the roots of his success while avoiding all references to such. ’Emperor’s New Clothes’ (a Billy Joel homage), ’Dark Diamond’ (with Stevie Wonder on harmonica), the sublimely simple and existential ’Birds’, and the retrospective yet hopeful ’This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ stand out as hallmarks to the late musician’s career. Taupin draws from a reserve of inspired lyrics for this album with stunning skill, and drives it home with ’Original Sin’ and ’I Want Love’, a song that shows us the team is still capable of sucker punching us into a state of romantic catharsis: /A man like me is dead in places/Other men feel liberated/I want love on my own terms/After everything I‘ve ever learned/.

Elton’s boyfriend future husband David Furnish was photographed for the album cover as the cowboy. Director of Operations Bob Halley was captured for the shoot as the man being handcuffed to a squad car outside of the diner. This series of videos was nothing short of astonishing, with Robert Downey Jr. lip synching Elton’s vocals to ‘I Want Love’ to Justin Timberlake portraying an uncanny ‘70s Elton in ‘This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ to Liz Taylor and Mandy Moore showcasing the video to ‘Original Sin’. With a small handful of duds, it’s a shame that ‘West Coast’ came out a week before September 11th, 2001 in the States. It could and should have fared much better on the charts if it wasn’t for the deep psychic and socioeconomic impact of the terrorist attacks.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 21: ‘Anthropomorphic’

February 5, 2016

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This may be the funniest episode we’ve done so far.

I’ve been tracking creator Stephen Nawotniak and artist Jeff Perdziak’s Mubu The Morph children’s series since the release of the first book last spring.  I went to Clarence High School with Stephen over 20 years ago and (up until shortly before the episode) hadn’t seen him since.  The books have a positive message and when I ran into them, told them I’d love to have them on the show but wasn’t sure if it’d be a good fit considering their source material.  Boy was I wrong.  We had a rip-roaring good time filming this episode and returning co-host Mark McElligott rounded out an inspired cast.  Once we got moving, I had a tough time keeping it together when I’m normally pretty good at projecting a starchy talk-show-host-like persona.  Episode 21 was a lot of fun, and very, very funny thanks to everybody involved.  See for yourself:

Many thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Mark McElligott for the never-ending abuse, and especially Stephen and Jeff for rolling with the punches.  This is proof positive that children’s book authors (and illustrators) have a good sense of humor.  The heavy show rotation is coming to an end, so I’ll give you all some time to get caught up on the backlog.  Stay tuned to the website because I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve this month.

Tom

 

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‘It’s All About The Benjamin’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

March 2, 2015

It's All About The Benjamin

Writing Travesty has been entirely too much fun so far!  And the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to let the book’s release slip to 2016 rather than rush publication.  We’ll see how the year plays out, though.  I’ve been approaching my writing and, by extension, the release of any future books from an entirely different perspective.  I don’t want to rush books anymore.  I don’t want to cut corners or shove a second draft out.

Anyway, the latest essay (‘It’s All About The Benjamin’) went live on BuffaloComedy.com this morning.  It’s a categorical humor essay about early parenting.  It went through about four different drafts and re-writes before I was happy with it, but I’m pretty proud of the finished product.  If you’re a parent, you’ll really enjoy this one.  Even if you’re not, there are a lot of laughs per sentence here:

It’s All About The Benjamin

I was reluctant to go back to the well so soon where being a single dad was concerned, but after putting some thought into it, I reached the decision that ‘Write What You Know’ overrides any other factors in play.  This essay was originally 6 or 7 rules and kept building until it reached 10.  There’s not a lot of fat on this piece.  I tried to write (and re-write) it efficiently without a lot of extraneous exposition.  I hope you like it.

Please take an extra minute to give it a FB Like, a Retweet or a ‘Share’ on any of your various social networking.  I’m happy to share some of my works in progress for free and this is a small way that you can return the kindness.

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Big Words Video 7.5: ‘Parody’

February 4, 2015

I’ve worked very hard to make the Big Words Video bonus segments more like bookends or complementary segments to the interview shows.  Now that the technology has been upgraded, Big Words Video 7.5 may be the last segment to be filmed on location at The Home Of The Future studios in Buffalo.  At any rate, this clip was a very special one.  Seeing John Valby at ease behind a keyboard and warming up before he launches into a litany of obscenities was really something special.  Here it is:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the clip and ‘Share’ with all your friend.  In addition, I would encourage you to Subscribe to my YouTube page, where I’ve set up a Big Words I Know By Heart channel in chronological order for everyone’s convenience with all of the episodes thus far along with their matching Bonus clips.  Enjoy!

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‘Time Served’ Goes Live on BuffaloComedy.com

February 2, 2015

Time ServedAs you can probably guess from the accompanying picture, it was finally time to write about my divorce.  Sometimes I write to vent, sometimes I write just to laugh and once in awhile, I write as the only cathartic and therapeutic way to process a turbulent life event that I’ve gone through emotionally.  I’m sure you can guess which category this essay falls into.

There were a lot of avenues I could have taken when writing about my divorce and in the end I decided to touch down on all of them instead of dwelling on any aspect specifically.  With all of the Buffalo Comedy pieces I’ve fallen into a routine of giving each essay one last look-through and one more edit before it’s ready for prime time, so to speak.  You can be the judge, jury and executioner on the final product:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2015/02/time-served/

If you read it and like it, please take an extra minute to ‘Like’ it on the dashboard at the bottom OR ‘Share’ on your networking platforms.  This was a really important writing exercise that I had to work through and while I’m never positive that any edit is perfect, I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

‘Time Served’ will eventually appear in my upcoming book Travesty.  The book is already halfway done, but I’m making a concerted effort not to rush it so the publication date might just slip to 2016.  Thanks are in order to Buffalo Comedy editor Kristy Rock for navigating through my neurotic emails and appeasing my silly whims throughout each submission process.  Now it’s time to go to work on the next one.

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video @The 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards!

January 24, 2015

On Wednesday this week (January 21st), Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck celebrated his birthday.  The Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards also took place at The Cove in Depew, having been rescheduled due to the Winter Blast or whatever the hell you want to call it that took place last November.  Thanks entirely to Ed (and our long, long, very long history together), Big Words Video had the exclusive rights to the Music & Club Awards.  I was less than happy with the results.

The ceremony and the shows were fantastic.  The artists, performers and bands who volunteered their time so that we could interview them were great.  My co-host Timmy C. was on point as I expected him to be.  The lighting was deplorable, though.  This month I upgraded to a new camera for the new and improved Big Words One Man Mobile Unit (a term you might remember from the podcasting days of yore).  I didn’t get familiar or comfortable with the camera before we started shooting with it.  So in the final analysis, the blame rests on my shoulders.  What we’re left with here is a shoddy end product.  Clips 1-3 are passable by amateur video standards and 4 and 5 are just downright awful where lighting is concerned.

I spent the better part of a day uploading, tagging and scripting the clips and grappled with whether or not I should post them for the public at all and the decision I came to was this: post the videos warts and all.  Big Words Radio went through the same growing pains in 2008 so it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that I went through the same thing again.  I didn’t learn from history so I was doomed to repeat it, end of story.  I’ll do better next time, sound good?

Here’s your breakdown for the clips which were uploaded in chronological order:

Clip 1: Lana from Black Widow

Clip 2: Jack McArdle from 12 Pack Jack

Clip 3: Vid from Nerds Gone Wild

Clip 4: Busted Stuff

Clip 5: Tommy Z. & Damone Johnson

I owe a huge debt of thanks to Ed Honeck, all of the artists who participated and the staff and proprietors of The Cove for giving us free reign throughout the building.  If there’s one thing I realized at the awards it was that I’ve been out of the game for so long that I don’t recognize most (if any) of the newer players in the Buffalo music industry.  Black Widow is an institution.  Tommy Z. is an institution.  Busted Stuff just took home their 6th award in a row and I’ve loved 12 Pack Jack since the first time I saw them at Double D’s Queen City Grill some 7 years ago.  Get the picture?

Big Words Video will be back for the next ceremony for more clips, more guests and a better battle plan.  As for these five videos, please take the time to Like & Share as always.  If you really want to be my best friend, ‘Subscribe’ and keep yourself up to date with all things #BigWordsVideo.  And yes, we came for the buffet.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VI: Reanimating Dead Flesh

January 14, 2015

Publicity still courtesy of Richard WickaThese sessions are getting to be TOO much fun!  As I told guest Emil Novak after taping the show, I can tell my guest was great when there are still a handful of questions left on the table.  Emil was a real prize fighter; a good sport with a great sense of humor who rolled with the punches.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VI: ‘Reanimating Dead Flesh’

Tom talks to Buffalo producer and jack of all trades Emil Novak Sr. (Buffalo Nickel Productions, Queen City Books) about the impending release of his film ‘Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster’, a new idea for a syndicated strip and the technological probability of resuscitating dead flesh.  Mark McElligott gets the works in the Co-Host Hot Seat.

You can view Episode VI right HERE:

Please take a moment to Like the video & Share it!

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, Emil, actor Bill Kennedy for bringing Big Words Video 6.5 (below) to life and returning champion Mark McElligott for being on the receiving end of all my abuse.

#BigWordsVideo will be at the Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards next week, so I’ll talk to you all real soon!

Tom

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Big Words Video 6.5: ‘Recitation’

January 14, 2015

The Bonus Clips continue to entertain and surprise me.  While I hold the reins pretty tightly for the actual show episodes, my guests are encouraged to do whatever they like for the companion videos.  Emil Novak Sr. opted to perform a script reading for ‘Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster’ with actor Bill Kennedy.  The result was intimate and intriguing.  Viewers can see how Bill and Emil breathe new life into the Frankenstein lexicon and their back-and-forth banter gives us all a behind-the-scenes look at the cameraderie on set for the film.  As always, please take the time to click the ‘Like’ icon on YouTube and feel free to Share the clip.  Enjoy!

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2015 Reading & Signing Announced April 12th @Milkie’s On Elmwood!

January 7, 2015

In the midst of implementing my overall plan for 2015, I’ve spent a few weeks working with Ed Becher, the booking agent for Milkie’s On Elmwood.  After a volley of emails and phone calls, we finally scheduled, booked and confirmed a date and time for my first reading and signing of the year.  Here are the details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters Sunday, April 12th 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Milkie’s On Elmwood 522 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

(716)882-5881 Admission is free.

Signed first edition books available from $15.

I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Milkie’s lately.  It’s refreshing to discover so many new businesses in the city who are open to ‘out of the box’ promotions as well as supporting local artists.  This is an event that I’m really looking forward to.  With a four month lead time, I hope you all have time to join me!

As far as Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive goes, I am over the tipping point on the limited print run of special edition hardcovers sold.  There are now less than 25 copies available for sale.  Hopefully I will still have some copies on hand for the Milkie’s reading.  If you are interested in a signed hardcover and would like one beforehand, I can be reached at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

That’s all for today.  I’m sure I’ll be booking some other readings this year, but Milkie’s may be the only reading I commit to before autumn arrives.

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‘Bat To The Future’ Appears on BuffaloComedy.com

January 5, 2015
2015 marks the end of DC's year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

2015 marks the end of DC’s year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

Since we’re on to a new month and a new year, I’ve got a brand new essay up on BuffaloComedy.com.  It’s on a topic I’ve covered before and most likely will cover again: Batman.  I couldn’t resist the urge to comment on DC’s ‘Batman75’ celebration, so I punched up ‘Bat To The Future a longer essay about the comics, the films, the cartoons and the games with next to no accuracy where chronology is concerned and proudly so.  You can check it out right here, gang:

Bat To The Future

Please take the time to read, Share on any and all networking platforms and to Like on that pesky Facebooks.

When I punched up the first draft I considered putting in the research and including citations along with writing the piece in chronological order.  That notion went out the window pretty quickly.  Much like ‘Reg Soldiers On’ (my essay from the 2009 book Slapstick & Superego)   I opted for a free-association format instead.  This may invite immediate attacks from the sort of comic fanboys who quote chapter, verse and issue number, but so be it.  I thought the piece might be more approachable to the casual reader by not taking that route.

I’m pretty proud of the four essays that have run so far with BuffaloComedy.com and hope that the next eight will follow suit.  Editor Kristy Rock and I have settled into a comfortable routine of submitting two pieces so that she can select one.  That way half of the new material can go live in a timely manner and the other half can be saved for the manuscript of the upcoming book Travesty.

There’s another great announcement to make, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  Best not to give everything away all at once…

See you in the funny papers,

Tom

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New Year, New Deal

January 1, 2015

2015 is going to be an exciting year for me as well as my company, Doubt It Publishing. For the first time in my life I have a solid battle plan as well as the means to implement it. My vision for the next year in a nutshell is this: Expanding the legacy I have and preserving it at the same time. While some of you may argue that ‘legacy’ is too strong a word, let me proactively counter by saying that every one of us leaves a legacy in our wake either intentionally or unintentionally. If I’m being optimistic, I’ve still got half of a lifetime left. I’d like to make it count. What follows is a specific outline of my plans for the radio show, the video show, my own bibliography and a possible catalog for Doubt It Publishing in the coming year:

I don’t want to lose what I’ve already accomplished. Discovering that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour had gone offline and off the grid on iTunes (as a direct result of the website Mevio closing their doors) really stung. To date, I’ve ported the 100+ episodes of Big Words Radio twice to two different websites. The process is arduous and time intensive. I really didn’t want to see the show disappear forever from public view. Thankfully (as a result of my renewed passion for reading), I stumbled onto a website that will hopefully never go away. It’s a non-profit project to preserve the best of the internet for generations to come encompassing audio, text and video. Think of it as a PBS for the information age.

The website I’m referring to is the Internet Archive. I’ve been secretly and quietly uploading episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour chronologically and placing them there in what I hope is their final resting place. They’ve been uploaded under a Public Domain license, which means that anyone who reaches my shows can listen if they like, share with whomever they like or download the shows for free. Episode V was just uploaded yesterday, and I’ll continue to post the entire catalog as the year plays out. You can view, listen and download the current shows available here:

The Big Words I Know By Heart RadioHour

For your convenience, I’m also posting a Quick Link on my website here to the RIGHT of this article. If you listen or download, please take the time to write a brief review of the episodes you peruse.

As for Big Words Video, there are some amazing shows in store for you all and they are all confirmed and booked through to the very end of 2015. Filmmaker and comic book proprietor Emil Novak (Queen City Bookstore) will be my guest in two weeks. Who else is coming on? ‘Dr. Dirty’ himself John Valby, Graham Nolan (the comic creator of Batman’s Bane), Public publisher Geoff Kelly and possibly Tom Sartori, to name just a few. I’ve learned from producing four years of the radio show that it’s a smart move to plan ahead, always have a backup plan and always be prepared. Filming the show (as opposed to interviewing guests over the phone or via Skype) has forced me to give the content more of a local focus. There is a wellspring of talented writers, comedians, musicians and other entertainers with no sign of drying out, and I will continue to help celebrate the homegrown talent we have on hand locally and regionally until further notice.

Big Words Video Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’ has already passed the 400 view mark on YouTube and from what I’m seeing, it looks like the show keeps picking up new viewers with every episode. Not only that, but the people who watch appear to be cycling back through the other shows as well. Later this month I’ll be exclusively filming on location at the 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards, and with more equipment and a looser leash on Youtube just around the corner, you can expect to see a marked increase in show production in late August when Big Words Video kicks off Season Two. In the meantime, you can support the show by ‘Liking’ and ‘Sharing’ it on Youtube as well as Subscribing to my YouTube Videos (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for the Bonus Episodes as well as my producer’s (Richard Wicka). It’s been a great deal of fun so far and it’s just going to get better.

As for my books, I own all publishing rights to the last 8 out of the 12 books that I’ve penned since 2002. There’s a larger plan for that too, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time or the resources to get around to that particular wrinkle. As a reluctant and late adopter to the digital revolution, I am hard at work designing multi-format ebooks for my entire catalog. I can’t give you an exact date because I want to make sure that it’s done right (and some editing may be applied to each individual title before they go live), but I can promise you that by year’s end, Mockery and no less than one other title from the Doubt It Publishing roster will be available on iBooks, Kindle format and all other ebook devices.

As far as BuffaloComedy.com, my alliance with editor Kristy Rock will continue until at least October of this year. The freedom I’ve been allowed on the site to write, do and say as I please has been much-needed, and it’s a comfort to know that my sense of humor is still intact after weathering one of the most tumultuous times in my life. Her only request was one for positivity, and that single instruction has helped to drastically change my writing, which is directly coloring the content to Travesty, my next book.

Regarding Travesty’s completion, there is less than a third of the book left to pen. That being said, I am in no hurry, and it will not be released until it is near-perfect. After writing 12 books and releasing 15 in the short span of 11 years, I sincerely feel that I don’t have anything to prove anymore, and should subsequently relax and take my time with any future endeavors. Travesty may come out later this year or early next year. Unfortunately I can’t be any more specific than that. It will come out when it’s ready.

With Doubt It Publishing, I’m reminded of the near-inescapable fate that many independent music and book publishers eventually reach. If history is any indicator, I may be doomed to a catalog that largely shares my last name. I wish this wasn’t so, and will try to do what I can to combat it. The doors are still wide open for local or regional authors looking to find a home for their work. I am going to put on my thinking cap this year and try to find some viable writing talents with fresh and subversive voices fighting for the chance to be heard. If you or someone you know has written a great manuscript that has a fighting chance in a competitive marketplace, queries and sample chapters can be sent to my attention at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

Where readings and signings are concerned there will be more, plain and simple. The last two readings were successful financially, so it would be foolish not to continue. Once the winter months recede, you can count on me hitting the road with a PA system, a few boxes full of books and a bicycle horn. Now that I’m older I don’t see the benefit of booking three and four appearances a week for three month campaigns anymore, but I’ll be picking and choosing some select venues and peppering them throughout the summer and fall.

This is a remarkable time in my life and I’m grateful for the cornucopia of opportunities (and mediums) I have to channel all of my creative needs. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the trip with me.

Starting 2015 with a bang,
Tom

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Big Words Video Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’

December 19, 2014

Big Words Video V Publicity Shot

Yikes!

Some times when I finish a show I wonder if I’ve gone too far for the sake of envelope-pushing comedy.  I try to create a microcosm where political correctness not only doesn’t exist, but a world where it never happened in the first place.  I come from the school of Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and yes, Andrew Dice Clay, where you should be able to make fun of anyone at any time for any thing for the sake of a good laugh.  So in the end, I hope the answer is that I’ve gone ‘just far enough’.

With that out of the way, Big Words Video V was a rollicking riot with dynamic duo Busted Stuff and old pal Buffalo Charlie in the co-host hot seat.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’Tom talks to 4-time Buffalo Music Award-Winning Duo Busted Stuff about the gift of divorce, Harvey Weinstein, Kwanza and the square root of a bucket of ass.

Here is Episode V:

 

I would like to think by this point that most viewers are indoctrinated into this brand of humor.  If not, too bad.  Thanks are in order to Dave and Cynthia for dodging all of the interview shrapnel laid at their feet, Buffalo Charlie for weathering out the Big Words Poltergeist and to Producer Richard Wicka for tolerating my never-ending seat rearrangements in the studio.

As always, please take the time to Watch, Like & Share on YouTube.  Also, please take the time to watch Busted Stuff’s amazing performance in the bonus episode, Big Words Video 5.5 (link right below this post).

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday no matter what that holiday may be!  I’ll talk to you all in a month, maybe sooner…

Merry Xmas,

Tom

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Big Words Video 5.5: Serenade

December 19, 2014

This was a really phenomenal Big Words Video Bonus compliments of Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff.  It’s no accident that they’ve won Best Rock Duo at the Buffalo Music & Club Awards for five years running.  They performed a live rendition of their original song ‘Pray To Rain’ from their album Bitter Cold that gave me goosebumps.

This is the first time I shot the bonus using YouTube’s Capture app. It allowed me to shoot in widescreen in 1080p and the upload time was much faster than what I’ve been accustomed to with iMovie.  Please take the time to Watch, Like and Share on YouTube.  A big thanks goes out to Busted Stuff for such a powerful performance!  Enjoy!

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Striking Gold At The WNY Book & Arts Center

December 7, 2014

The Book Reading & Signing today at the WNY Book & Arts Center was something of a fourth quarter Hail Mary.  Is that an appropriate sports metaphor?  I certainly don’t know.  At any rate, attendance wasn’t looking too good from the outset, but a really nice crowd showed up from Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Buffalo proper, and not only that, they showed up with money!  I’m very grateful to have readers who know that the best way to support local, living authors is with their wallets.  I’m a happy camper after this particular reading, and I certainly wouldn’t mind circling back to WNYBAC again some day.  After two readings in two months, though, this old dog is tired.  That’s it for the live promotions for a little while, at least.  Maybe I’ll see you all on the front lines sometime in the spring.  In the meantime, here’s a clip from today’s 2 hour marathon reading.  Thanks are in order to Rosemarie Williams at WNYBAC as well as all of you who came near and far to see me.  As far as the YouTubes go, you’ll see me (not the other way around) in less than two weeks!

Sharing the Buffalove (ugh…),

Tom Waters

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‘Unplugged’ (an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty) is up on BuffaloComedy.Com!

December 2, 2014

Three months ago, when Buffalo Comedy Editor Kristy Rock and I were in discussions about my coming on board, she told me that she wanted positive material. For those of you who have followed my writing for any length of time, this is a tall order. So far I’m enjoying the challenge, and it’s actually changing the content for the back half of Travesty, the collection I’m working on right now. My partnership with Buffalo Comedy is something I’m committing to for at least a year, and so at least on my end, I’ve been very pleased with our relationship.  I’ve had good experiences with Buffalo publications as well as bad ones and so far this one falls under the ‘Good’ heading.  Kristy has been professional, helpful and she’s always followed through with her end of the bargain, so she’s aces in my book.

This month starts off with ‘Unplugged’, an essay about willfully reducing my exposure to television. I was concerned that the piece wasn’t funny enough to fit the parameters of the site, but Kristy passed it with flying colors. I often approach writing an essay from two different angles; sometimes I focus on the message primarily, and other times I focus on the humor. In rewrites, I work on finding a balance between the two, but occasionally humor doesn’t ‘fit’ with the overall theme. None of this is here or there, though, and I abhor those who spend more time explaining what their work is about than the elapsed time it takes to appreciate it, so I’ll let you judge for yourself. Feel free to read ‘Unplugged’ right here:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2014/12/unplugged

Please take the time to ‘Like’ ‘Unplugged’ on Facebook, ‘Share’ and of course ‘Retweet’ on Twitter as well as your five dozen other social media outlets. Like Buffalo Comedy says, ‘Sharing Is Caring’. My hope is that you’ll be able to see a bigger picture at the end of these twelve essays. I’ve changed, and so has my writing along with it. That’s enough naval gazing for one day, though. Enjoy!

Thanks,
Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

November 26, 2014

 

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Recording and producing these shows is entirely too much fun!

For Episode IV of Big Words Video I finally (after years of nagging him) got Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck into the studio.  If you locked the two of us into a room together for a weekend, we would still be talking when you opened the door on the following Monday.  Ed is a dear friend who helped me get my start in the world of Buffalo journalism way back in the year 2000 and we’ve been busy ever since.  A half an hour only gave us the opportunity to chip away at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clubs, strip clubs, bars, bands, musicians, music awards, newspapers and the people who run them.  As a matter of fact, I think between myself, Ed and Big Words Video Producer Richard Wicka, we probably know (or have met) just about everyone in Buffalo.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

Tom spends the remainder of ‘Snow-vember’ (sans co-host) with Night Life Magazine publisher Ed Honeck to discuss the impending Music & Club Awards, musicians, strippers and something or other about a town called Ferguson.

As always, please take the time to ‘Like’ (on YouTube) and ‘Share’ the episode (on YouTube).

Thanks are (as always) in order to Richard Wicka and esteemed guest Ed Honeck.  The last minute no-show of my co-host didn’t slow us down one bit.  Award-winning band Busted Stuff are up on deck for Episode V in December!  Stay tuned, folks!

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Big Words Video 4.5: Boobs Gone By

November 26, 2014

Synopsis: Tom and Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck expound on Thanksgiving Eve in Buffalo as well as a brief history of strip clubs.

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Polar Vortex! ‘McKinley’s & Mad Hamburgers’ from Slapstick & Superego (2009, Doubt It Publishing

November 18, 2014

For those of you who braved the elements last night and made it out to Hot Mama’s Canteen for the book reading and signing, a great time was had by all.  A big thanks goes out to everyone at Hot Mama’s for making it happen.  I will definitely do another one down the road.  Their ‘Navajo’ wings alone are reason enough for a return trip, and it was one of the friendliest venues I’ve ever dealt with in terms of bookings.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a rant from last night.  Please take the time to Watch, Like & Share!  Enjoy:

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’

August 23, 2014
Jon delivers on his promise to be an effective 'power bottom'.

Jon delivers on his promise to be an effective ‘power bottom’.

What a rush!  

Big Words Video Episode I is now live, in the can and uploaded directly to ‘the Youtubes’ so that it can offend Buffalo, the country and also the planet!

Here is your synopsis: Tom launches his programme on ‘the Youtubes’ with dear show-biz pal Jon Elston (3-time ArtVoice Best Of Buffalo playwright) to discuss the pros and cons of Lou Gehrig’s disease, snuff films, and the merchandising opportunities of Robin Williams’ untimely demise.

Please be so kind as to follow this link: Big Words I Know By Heart Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’

Numerous thanks are in order to Jon Elston for being such a good sport (now an elite part of the Big Words I Know By Heart 2-Timer Club), co-host Jon 2 for somehow making me look like the good guy (well, not necessarily the good guy, but not the really bad guy), producer Richard Wicka and Big Words Video Theme Song composer Jay Desiderio.  This episode could not have gone any better than the way it played out.  Please see the post below for additional bonus content!  Big Words Video will return on September 24th!

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Big Words Video Episode 1.5: The Jon Elston Ice Bucket Challenge

August 23, 2014

For those of you who are participating in the ice bucket challenge or any of the other stupid shit that everyone is doing on Facebook, Jon Elston has a thing or two to say to you after he gets douched with a bucket of ice.  Here’s your link right here:

Big Words Video 1.5: The Jon Elston Ice Bucket Challenge

Thanks again to Jon Elston for being a great sport, speaking his mind and following the trends that ‘the kids’ are into these days.  Please click the link, watch and like!  If you want more Big Words Video bonuses, subscribe!

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An Open Letter To The Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet), Re: Buffalo Bills Fans

August 7, 2014

'I'll hold the ball and you kick it, Charlie Brown'-Peanuts by Charles M. SchultzDear Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet),

Just so we’re on the same page, not everyone in Buffalo is a histrionic half-wit.

I write this today to inform you that there are a large number of people who live in and around the city of Buffalo who don’t give the faintest shit about football. I happen to be one of them. I am literate, I have the ability to stand upright and I also have the capacity to reason. While I realize that these are all qualities that are sorely lacking in Buffalo Bills fans, I implore you to entertain the notion that not all of my native Buffalonians are part of the same rowdy crew of simpletons who fly off the handle when their favorite losing team is in jeopardy of being relocated.

As someone who can’t stand football, I was thrilled at the remote possibility that the Bills might be moved somewhere else. Anywhere else. No matter who seems to be on the team, they have a real knack for consistently losing every year including their three consecutive losing Superbowls back in the early ’90s. Many Bills fanatics still wax rhapsodic about those years (“We came so close!”), and often cling to this era more tightly than any ideals, values or belief systems that they may have had before they started wasting the majority of their free time watching football, talking about how they would have personally coached/threw/defended a better game the next day, or drying out in the drunk tank after exposing themselves outside the stadium afterwards.
As an outsider looking in (even though I’m geographically in the same place), I find the fans’ cries of outrage, indignation and mob mentality exponentially sillier than even you do. The concept of projecting all of your hopes and dreams onto something outside of yourself (let alone a ‘team’ that changes key players every year, so, by nature, isn’t really the same ‘team’) that you have zero control over is asinine. To place said hopes and dreams onto tenured losers is even more ludicrous. Every single year, the fans convince themselves that their Champions will succeed (with no proof or even a hope in hell that they’ll perform any less horrendously than the previous season) only to sink into a blind rage and/or complete apathy after a few losing games.
I never voted for the Buffalo Bills (or their fans) to be our Champions, our Gladiators, or to represent me, my town, or our general attitude. All of us in this great city are doomed to the stereotype of rabid idiots who lash out at the rest of the country whenever this precious team is brought into question. Reacting like that conveys a serious inferiority complex, which I’m sure you can agree on. I could care less what happens to them, how they’ll rank in the upcoming season (prediction: tragically awful), or whether or not they’ll end up being relocated to another country.
If I had any say (which I don’t), I’d move them as far away as possible. The fans’ interaction with the Bills is akin to a really bad romantic dalliance where both parties fall in love and break up every year. Like any doomed relationship, it would be best for both parties (the fans and the team) to ‘get some space’, ‘find themselves’ and possibly ‘see other people’. We all know (universally) that long distance relationships don’t work, so the heated passion and blind rancor that fans go through cyclically would eventually taper off and disappear. All Buffalonians might find a useful hobby, get some exercise (which takes place no less than five feet away from your favorite television armchair) and could very well lead fulfilling, fascinating lives of their own, thus eliminating the need to live superstitiously and vicariously through a sports franchise that doesn’t give a flying fuck about them aside from their money and truly blind loyalty. And as a result, you (i.e. the Rest Of The Country and also the planet) would no longer lump us all in as ignorant, superstitious and drunken jackasses.
There’s a great sense of civic pride in this part of the world, but it’s woefully projected onto the wrong thing, in my humble opinion. We have amazing food (perhaps you’ve heard of our ‘Buffalo Wings’; we’ve got other food here too, FYI), an artistic community spoiled with a wealth of diversity, renowned architecture and no shortage of festivals, fairs, concerts and phenomenal music. Do you remember the Goo Goo Dolls? They’re still here, in the event that you forgot about them. Have you heard of snow? We still have some left if you want to share.
That’s about it for now, Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet). Thanks for understanding. If you’re ever interested in running news segments about something besides blizzards (those only really happen from August until the middle of May) and Bills fans (they really only make up about 80% of the populace according to our last census), let us know. We’re not going anywhere. Aside from the literally thousands of people relocating like rats off of a sinking ship for better jobs, lifestyles, opportunities and taxes. Aside from them, let us know.

Yours very truly, Tom Waters
Twitter: @tomfoolery444

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For Immediate Release: Big Words Video Now In Pre-Production: Call For Artists

August 4, 2014

Big Words Warhol Fan Pic by Marisa DillingerHey all,

All my life I’ve been terrified of change.

I’ve fought it tooth and nail. I’ve raged against it. I’ve run away from it. I’ve denied its very existence as a force at work in my life. And do you want to know something? It happened anyway.

Change is the only constant in our lives. It’s taken me 38 years to realize that the best way to deal with change is by surrendering to it. Ironically, changing yourself is next to impossible. With a lot of help in the last nine months, I’ve been able to do that.

I’m not the same person anymore. It’s that simple. This change came at great personal cost. In order to accomplish this, I had to let go of everything I was and almost everything I valued. Much of my life was in ruins anyway, and I was disgusted with the person I’d become.

It’s funny how you can go through your life expecting it to have a set trajectory: college, prestige, courtship, a bibliography, a column, a marriage, a radio show, etc. And then life takes a turn, or hops off the tracks and all of a sudden you’re in uncharted territory. So what do you do? The map book goes out the window, all the clothes that were packed for the trip are no longer valid and even the North Star is out of sight.

What did I do? I put my foot on the gas.

My old life is gone. Kaput. Dead and buried.

Out of the ashes came a life I never expected. Not even in my wildest dreams. Somehow I’ve found a way to look the world square in the eye without flinching now. Somehow I’ve found a way out of the vicious, vindictive pattern I perpetuated, lashing out at anyone nearby and often at the people who meant the most to me. When the world didn’t respond the way that I wanted it to, I flipped my lid, sat in the middle of the floor and threw a good old fashioned tantrum until there was nothing left to salvage.

With change as a constant, though, it came as no surprise to find out that mevio.com had closed their doors forever. This means that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour is no longer (and may never be again) on iTunes. Luckily, producer Richard Wicka kept a secret stash of shows out of sight on one of his websites, Think Twice Radio. Again, you can click the new link to the right under The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour to explore and listen to the archives.

Richard and I resumed conversation a few weeks ago after a long vacuum and I told him I was afraid of the chain reaction that he would trigger if I set foot inside his Home Of The Future. What a fool I am. The fuse lit the second I started talking to him again, perhaps sooner.

I spent four years grinding out episodes of Big Words Radio from 2008-2012 and Richard was with me every step of the way. When he initially asked me to host a show, my internal logic was ‘Why not? It’s something new and I’m up for the challenge.’ It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable projects in my career. Doing the show was cathartic, therapeutic and downright fun. At the top of our game, the show was pulling in about 3,000 unique hits a month. That’s not too shabby for a stupid little podcast with schticky sound props that we picked up at dollar stores. In that four years, I had the pleasure of interviewing cartoonists, writers, musicians, adult film stars, actors, directors, editors and a whole host of other fascinating subjects.

So what now?

It’s time to change it up a bit.

On August 22nd, Big Words I Know By Heart is going video. Once the show is edited and buffered it will be posted to YouTube as soon as possible compliments of Richard Wicka, one of maybe four great mentors that I’ve had throughout my career. I suggest that you type in ‘Richard Wicka’ ON YouTube and subscribe as quickly as you can. As of August 23rd, Big Words Radio will change its spots to Big Words I Know By Heart Video! And don’t you worry, there will be plenty of bonus clips up on my own account on YouTube above and beyond the half hour format that Richard and I are adhering to. You can find my account by searching ‘Tom Waters’ or ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’.

With a change in the media all the old rules have to go out the window. A visual medium is an entirely different animal. With a few exceptions, the guests will have to be local artists who can appear in person instead of national celebrities. As a result, the focus will shift to more of a Buffalo-centric format. My sense of humor has evolved. I’m faster and sharper and will go straight for the throat with more severity than I’ve ever been capable of. Comedy is murder, and Aristotle said that all humor is derived from cruelty, so let’s see what sort of wholesale butchery we can commit together, eh?

There are a lot of plans in the works. The wheels are already in motion and the trajectory is no longer up to me if it ever was. It’s high time to make as many people laugh as I possibly can at their cubicles, their home computer desks or yes (goddamnit), on their smart phones. Keep a keen eye trained on the YouTubes and be ready on August 23rd because I’m not going to start out with any soft punches. And please tell all your friends. Word of mouth (or so I’ve heard) is a wonderful form of promotion.

If you’re a Buffalo artist, whether it’s music, writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, cooking or anything else that’s entertaining in a visual spectrum, I’m taking all comers. Feel free to email me at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com to book a studio date sooner rather than later. The show will air once a month until further notice.

And you probably want to know what’s going on with my writing. My answer to that is: It’s only a matter of time.

I’m not playing the Buffalo promotional game by the current establishment’s rules anymore (if I ever did). I’m not taking my ball and going home. I’m taking my ball and building a better playground. Podcasts are dying. Newspapers are folding left and right. Marketing has evolved into a free form of networking, hash-tagging and viral games of connecting the dots. If you’re an established member of local or national media and you want to be involved, you’re in. If not, that’s fine too.

If you’re a viewer, reader or listener who’s new to the party, thanks for joining us. You couldn’t have picked a better time than right now to hop on board. For those of you who have followed me, supported me and encouraged me since the beginning, thanks for hanging in there. Things are going to get interesting again. Things are going to get very entertaining and offensive and funny and thought provoking again.

See you at the picture show in less than three weeks.

Tom Waters

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Sterlace & Saracki #45: Wholesome To The Max, Good News & even more good news…

August 3, 2014
A room full of narcissists.

A room full of narcissists.

Okay, folks!

The Greg Sterlace Show appearance is in the can and is now live on ‘the YouTubes’.  You can view the show in all of it’s highly offensive glory at:

Sterlace & Saracki #45: Wholesome To The Max

We had a fantastic time.Show producer Richard Wicka assures me that the episode will air on Time Warner Cable some time in September on a Friday at 7 p.m.  I’ll believe that when I see it.  Someone is bound to get sued as a result of this episode and picketing against The Home Of The Future may be a distinct possibility.  Whatever the case, it’s just good comedy.  Many thanks to Sterlace, Saracki, Amy Smardz & the rest of Greg’s band of merry pranksters for having me on the show and making it happen.

As for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, there’s good news for those of you who are late to the party.  The majority of the shows are in fact still available online.  All  you have to do is click the newly revised link to the right of this post in my ‘Links’ section under ‘The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour’ and you can listen to four years worth of podcasts.

And for purposes I’m not yet ready to reveal, I now have a Twitter and Instagram account.  It’s time to get with the 21st century.  You can follow my exploits on Twitter and Instagram under this handle:

@tomfoolery444

I’ve got a really Big announcement to make tomorrow.  I’ve been toiling away on a new project and I’m almost at a loss for Words.  If only there were a Video clip I could quick-link to explain said project…

Check back with me tomorrow.  Onward and upward, gang.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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A Return Of Sorts To The Greg Sterlace Show…Things Have Changed

July 27, 2014

I realize that it’s been a long time in blog years since I’ve posted. Well a lot has happened in my personal life in the last nine months. I’ll get to that shortly…
Next week I’ll be appearing on Greg Sterlace’s new talk show at Richard Wicka’s Home Of The Future Studio in West Seneca. His live action show appears on Time Warner Cable as well as ‘the Youtubes’. Those of you who have followed my misadventures may remember that the last time I appeared on his show, I made a joke so outrageous that the episode was banned from public broadcast at the last minute. There’s no telling what sort of trouble and mayhem may occur this time, but Richard assures me that YouTubes standards and practices are much more lenient than Time Warner’s. I’ll throw a link up for all of you next week. Sterlace is back in Buffalo where he belongs and it’ll be nice to see him, his wife Paula and Richard in one fell swoop.
I’m sad to report that Mevio.com, the site that hosted the entire episodic run of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, has folded. This means (unfortunately) that the bulk of that show has disappeared from the SuperInformation Highway forever. If you still have older episodes on your ‘Itunes’, you may want to hang onto them, because for the time being, I have no plans to host the show elsewhere. You can still listen to a handful of the final episodes at: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com.
As for my personal life, I’ve been going through a divorce since November of last year. My son Benjamin is now fourteen months old. I’ve also stopped drinking, which may come as a shock to many of you. A lot has changed. I’ve changed more in the last eight months than I have in the last twenty years.
The good news is that my sense of humor has returned and it’s sharper than it’s ever been. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my penchant for creativity will fit into my new lifestyle, if it fits at all, and how to implement a creative outlet without reverting into the vindictive, egotistical maniac that I’ve portrayed so well for the last ten or so odd years.
I don’t have an answer to that question yet, but I’m working on it. Just because I’m working on becoming a better person doesn’t mean that comedy has become extinct in this brave new world.
I may ramp up my persona and magnify it despite the kinder, gentler person I’ve become. I might try NOT to do that thing where I gain some momentum as a writer or a broadcaster and somehow manage to piss everyone off and ruin everything in the process. Time will tell. Whatever the case, I do not regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it.
Stay tuned. Things are about to get interesting again. America is all about second acts and second chances and the curtain hasn’t even gone up yet. The intermission is almost over and the show will resume shortly.

Sincerely,
Tom Waters

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Newborn

May 10, 2013

5/9/2013, 9:46 P.M.: Benjamin Waters, 6 pounds, 6 ounces and nineteen inches long. We’ve never been so happy and so exhausted at the same time. After an almost fourteen hour labor at Sister’s Hospital, I cried more than the baby in the OR. The nurses told me they love that because it’s the sign of a good father. A slush pile of pictures are on the way!

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Doubt It Publishing @The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

February 17, 2012

The show must go on!

 

While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not due to work obligations, Doubt It Publishing will have a table at the event along with a catalog of books on sale at The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.  Doubt It authors Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and David Waters (12 Priests & 3 Gnomes) will be at the event to hawk their wares, sign some books and meet and greet with attendees.  The boys will also have copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Slapstick & Superego, Mockery and Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick for sale.

This will be the third year that Doubt It Publishing will participate in the event.  The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair takes place on Saturday, March 24th at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in downtown Buffalo from noon-6 p.m.  For more information, feel free to visit:  http://www.buffalosmallpress.org/

 

Buy our books already!

Tom Waters

Publisher, Author

Doubt It Publishing

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Big Words Radio 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

November 17, 2011

Last night’s show was pitch perfect.  For the final studio episode of The Big Words I  Know By Heart Radio Hour I couldn’t have asked for a better guest, co-host or program.  For four years now producer and Think Twice Radio creator Richard Wicka has kept mostly silent for over 100 shows.  Until now.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

Tom rounds out his last show in the studio with Think Twice Nucleus Richard Wicka and co-host Carl Theil. The boys talk about their love lives, Occupy Wall Street, smelly hippies and an unexpected caller (Greg S.) weighs in without really bringing much to the table.

 

-To hear the show in full audio quality, click on over to:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

 

-To hear the newest episode along with bonus clips and the entire history of the show, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

-You can also subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching Big Words Radio in Podcasts and clicking on the show under the Comedy category.

 

Thanks are in order to Richard Wicka (who was a lot more candid and forthcoming with his answers than I expected), Carl Theil for bringing some class and actual big words to the show and Gregory Sterlace for calling in during the show (a bit of a first for us).  I got a little choked up during the end, but overall it was a magical evening.  Rich, Carl and I have had a lot of great discussions during meals over the years so it was great to finally capture our dynamic on the radio show.

We’re two weeks away from the Big Words Finale Roast, so in the mean time, I hope you enjoy this show as much as we loved doing it.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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