Posts Tagged ‘alex robinson’

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ArtVoice’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Polls are now OPEN!

March 22, 2015

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Hey all,

ArtVoice’s prestigious and king-making ‘Best Of Buffalo’ ballots are now open.  Please take the time to register and vote for Yours Truly as well as any and all friends of my show.  You can sign up and vote right HERE:

ArtVoice Best Of Buffalo

…and here are my recommendations, talented people and loyal friends of #BigWordsVideo.  As long as you have an email address, you’re eligible to vote.  This is a really big deal for a lot of these people, so please take the time to vote.

Best Website: BuffaloComedy.com
Best Poet: Marina Blitshteyn
Best Local Writer: Tom Waters
Best Photographer: Nancy Parisi
Best Video Artist/Filmmaker: Emil Novak Sr.
Best Burlesque Performer: The Stripteasers
Best Standup Comic: Jameel Key
Best Movie Theater: North Park
Best Jazz Musician: Will Holton
Best Rock/Blues Musician: Tommy Z.
Best Jazz Act: Will Holton
Best Rock Act: Black Widow/Widow Maker
Best Country Act: Blood Money
Best Original Music: Busted Stuff
Best Acoustic Act: Michael Bly Band
Best Local Hip Hop: Art ‘Way Of Life’ Shepard
Best New Band: Folkfaces
Best Open Mic: Wednesday’s At Milkie’s On Elmwood
Best Club DJ: DJ Soma
Best Female Vocalist: Lana Notaro Hergert
Best Male Vocalist: Michael Hund
Best New Restaurant: Hot Mama’s Canteen
Best Chef: Bob Desiderio
Best BBQ: Al-E-Oops
Best Beef On Weck: My Little Margie’s
Best Burger: Grover’s
Best Steak: The Red Osier
Best Ice Cream: Taffy’s
Best Wings: Penora’s
Best Fish Fry: My Little Margie’s
Best Italian For Family Dining: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Stellar Restaurant Service: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Bookstore: WNY Book & Arts Center

Happy Voting & Good Luck, Everybody!

Tom

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Big Words Radio Turning Point

July 26, 2011

The fourth year for Big Words Radio could be the final one.

 

Downloads have been dropping steadily for the last two months.  I like to stay productive, but I don’t see a discernable benefit to putting so many man hours into punching up a prospectus, booking guests and slaving over the production, sound editing, intro and outro music and everything else involved with each show if the audience isn’t there.  This time last year the show was on a roll while it was nearing extinction on Mypodcast.com.  Roll the calendar forward by twelve months and we’re moving in the wrong direction.  I’m not quite sure what’s happening or where my crowd went where the radio show is concerned.  The books are selling better than they ever have.  Site hits here & everywhere else have been blowing up.  The new Twitterverse following is growing exponentially.  Big Words Radio is dying a slow death & it doesn’t make sense.  Like some hosts I could pretend that the show is better than ever, but I deal in facts and abide by honesty.

Here’s what’s going to happen: If I don’t see a marked increase in free subscriptions on iTunes or a spike in downloads on Mevio.com by the end of this summer, the show is over.  It’s that simple.  I’m not going to keep investing what little free time I have into trying to make people laugh with over the top outrageous comedy if you’re not down with the cause.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  Now’s the time to show me if you’re listening because if you’re not, I’m not doing it anymore.  I’ll pick up my toys and go home.

Maybe the podcasting boom has burst.  Maybe all of you are busy this summer (very probable).  Maybe my readers only have so much time that they’re willing to devote to waxing my ego.  I get that.  In case you haven’t noticed though, I deal in absolutes.  If the show isn’t growing, then it’s time to close the door.

My career as a writer is turning a very sharp corner this year in an incredibly positive way that I never imagined it would & it’s all happening this year at a lightning pace.  As a podcaster, not so much.  Half of my life is most likely over, so I’d like to make good use of the next half.  Please let me know how to invest my time wisely.

Some radio hosts and some writers can create without one person reading or listening.  I’m not that kind of person anymore.  I’ve got too many plates in the air to play by those rules.

If you want the show to go on, hop onto iTunes & subscribe to Big Words Radio in the podcast section under the ‘Comedy’ listing.  Download your ass off.  There are almost 92 hours of material that’s pretty damned funny.  It’s been a good run, but it might be time to hang up my hat and say farewell.

If you don’t have an iPod, surf on over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

Download 5 episodes.  Download 92 episodes.  Tell a friend.  Listen in your car.  Please spread the word.  It’s been real and it’s been fun, but this could be the tail end of it.

 

It’s up to you.

Tom Waters

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Clarence High School Aftermath/Jeff Brown on deck for Big Words Radio

October 29, 2008

Yesterday morning, I had forty minutes with a group of students from Clarence High School’s poetry club, as well as a representative from their literary magazine, Chrysalis.  I spent the majority of my time reading pre-screened poems from Breathing Room Vol. I and II. and fielded questions from the kids while discussing the mechanics of style, form and creativity.  After being inspired in the eighth grade to journal thanks to a guest speaker in my Science class, I feel compelled to give back and hit area schools in an attempt to do the same.  It went very well.  I’ll be returning next Tuesday to teach a workshop on poetry to the same cross section of Clarence youths.  A big thanks is due to Anne Foster as well as Kevin Starr for making the in-school appearance possible.  Yesterday’s session was recorded and should be up online by about eleven pm tonight under the Monsters Of Verse banner at Think Twice radio at the following link:

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

And after a month out of the studio doing Big Words One Man Mobile Units, I’ll be returning to record Episode XIV with guest artist Jeff Brown (Every Girl Is The End Of The World For Me, AEIOU, Clumsy, Unlikely) from Top Shelf Comics along with co-host SoCo Mike. 

I’m hoping that Jeff Brown is more of a good sport about things than Alex Robinson (Episode III) was after the show.  Odds are in my favor as Brown (Incredible Change-Bots) not only seems to have a finely tuned sense of humor but also happens to be the exact same age as yours truly.  Brown is one of the few writer/artists that Lindsay took a shine to, which is saying quite a bit. 

Top Shelf has been outlandishly good to me in the previous four or five months, sending review copies, advance copies and publicity materials for a lot of their best and brightest creators.  While I haven’t had a hell of a lot of time to write any reviews, I’m planning on dropping some new critiques into Comics Bulletin’s lap in the coming weeks.  The title at the top of my list right now is Swallow Me Whole from writer/artist Nate Powell.  I was so bowled over by the book (along with the staff at Don’s Atomic Comics) that I feel obligated to shower it with praise and get some work back in to Comics Bulletin at the same time.

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Big Words Radio Episode III: Priceless! (or) ‘A Prostate Exam For Your Mind’

August 7, 2008
Cost Of A Bicycle Horn: $5
Cost Of Gas Transporting Insane and Heavily Sleep Depraved Radio Host: $3.50
Cost Of Medium Red Bull and 20 oz. Coca Cola Classic: $4
Cost Of 8 Pack, Guinness Stout: $12
Cost Of Friendship With Guest Co-Host Intentionally Bald Mike Due To Obvious and Brutal Homosexual References To His Personal Persuasion: $200
Cost Of Stomach Cramps Due To Pissing My Pants Listening To Show Two Times In A Row: $40
Cost Of Any Career Legs Up From Award Winner Alex Robinson: $4 Million
Cost Of Never Getting To Use Previously Mentioned Bicycle Horn Again Due To Giving Radio Producer ‘a headache’: $?
Cost Of Visit To Therapist Resulting In Sociopathic Comedic Freedom: $50 Co-Pay
 
Cost Of The Best Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Show Yet?
 
Priceless.
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Every single one of you NEEDS to listen to Episode III with Alex Robinson and guest co-host Mike Hilliard.  Thanks to Alex for being such a great sport, Hilliard for taking it sitting down over and over again (You LOVED it!), and to Richard Wicka for incurring a comedically-inspired migraine.  There is no way to describe this episode.  Treat yourself and then go back and listen to the other two if you haven’t caught them.  Slide whistles and bicycle horns.  The bicycle horn for the first and, indeed, final time.  Historic.  I’ll have to think of another prop next month in the studio for guest co-host gun-nut Brendan  and adult film star call in interviewee Brandy Dean.  Enjoy,
 
Tom Waters 
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I Am Legion, For We Are Many: (Yet Even) More Correspondance Re: Buffalo Rising’s Wacky Antics

August 6, 2008

Far be it from me to beat a dead horse, but my longstanding readers get off on this kind of thing.  Enclosed are a few more words of wisdom from first time emailers and longtime readers.  Christina (a tremendously succesful magazine editor/writer in the Buffalo pipeline) writes with:

Tom,

So sorry to hear about your treatment at Buffalo Rising.  That’s the problem with local papers: they forget they’re expecting you to give it away, that you’re doing them A FAVOR.  Now you’re supposed to put everything else aside and “rewrite endlessly” ’cause they can’t articulate clear guidelines from the outset?

You ARE a writer-to-kill-for, and we all deserve better treatment.  They’ll learn in time.

Christina continues in another email with:

Tom,

After reading all this, my afterthought: Inexperience!

Elena sounds like a beginner trying to feel/fake her way through.  I now suspect she doesn’t have a clue how to be an editor or manager, let alone how to do so efficiently and effectively, least of all diplomatically.  She also evidently has no experience, or even idea, of how to treat volunteers, let alone volunteers who’ve long ago paid their dues and could be spending their time on paid opportunities. 

And my own personal Deepthroat (the informer who brought Nixon down) has been supplying me with a steady stream of intel that may or may not be substantiated.  He/she has emailed me with a lot more info, but I seem to be unable to access my email account on BRO’s site.  Here are some snippets from what this out of towner has been feeding me.  I can neither confirm nor deny their allegations/accusations:

Oh, my password is ok but I can’t post any longer. Even after a little back and forth between myself and…”Precious”. But I will admit that your flameout on the boards will incur her wrath. Big Deal. Do check your profile and password on Twitter, much potential for mischief there but if you’re writing for the web and receiving payment, she would be an idiot to fuck with you like that considering the legal implications. (BTW:she’s an idiot) Also, I received word that Newell no longer owns BRO and was locked out of their offices recently, that he has some weird relationship to BRO as a figurehead but that he’s otherwise no longer The Man. Got no other proof for you. Either way, note that BR is perpetually on the cusp of going under and that several departures, Christa Seychew chief among them bode poorly for their continued existence. ( one of the reasons you were invited to post with them was the fact that they couldn’t afford any regular contributors and now rely on “community contributors” ) I hope they get bought out by someone with better taste in editors and enough dough to replace their 1920’s era server. Check your mail, I’ll have some tasty tidbits from Elena.

This individual was kind enough to send me ten or eleven great emails, but ignored my advice to send them to my fan address.  Again, PLEASE re-send to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

A second email disclosed this:

Well, in a post last May, Elena actually said that she was a “harness child growing up in Chicago.” This was in the context of Mother’s Day reminisciences. The Newell thing was provided to me by none other than BuffaloPundit.  BTW, it was another Mother’s Day Post by Elena that got me whacked from BRO. Check it out, I said something about “Siciliane big hair” and I guess that was more than she could take. I didn’t even use my fallback line: “Che facia bruta!”. Thin skinned, that one.

Sicilian big hair!  That’s great! 

That’s all the muck that’s fit to rake for today.  I’ll be going to hash things out with my therapist this afternoon and then I’m off to Think Twice studios to wrap and upload the third historic podcast episode of Big Words Radio with Alex Robinson and my special guest co-host Michael Hilliard (or as Night Life bar review readers may remember him from back in the day, I.B.M. or Intentionally Bald Mike).  Expect to hear slide whistles, bicycle horns, Alex on maintaining a functional relationship/marriage when one or both parties have a creative bent, and, as always, your opening shot.  You won’t wanna miss this one.  I’m wound up and ready to let loose on everybody willing to listen!  The show should be up online by about ten pm eastern standard, so tune your dials in and click away at:

www.thinktwiceradio.com

Meanwhile, the word of mouth on Big Words radio has been through the goddamned roof.  One of my work contacts has been telling all the guys on his route that they’re going to piss their pants laughing if they give the show a chance.  That’s promotion you can’t buy. 

BRO would do well to earn that kind of word-of-mouth instead of pissing in every young-upstart freelancer that winds up at their virtual doorstep.  And that number is dwindling down to a narrow few contributors.  In a few more weeks, they’ll be left with just Queenseyes (Newell), Buffalo Rising (Newell/Elena) and Elena Buscarino for contributors.  I can see how it would be difficult to re-tool other people’s material if you’re placing the fastest publication on your own work first and writing three quarters of the publication.  Life’s a bitch, ain’t it? 

And the site hits continue to soar into the stratosphere on the BRO YourHub posts.  We’re in the neighborhood of 3 or 400 individual post hits total on the campaign and yes, Night Life did get the first installment of (Alia Iacta Est: ‘The Die Is Cast’) into the print magazine.  Suck on that, Buffalo Rising!  Suck it long and suck it hard!  The title refers to Ceasar’s legendary remark during one of Rome’s epic battles, so I found it suitable for a war with a crazy bitch from the ass of the boot, so to speak. 

This armageddon is just getting started.  I’m not done with you by a long shot, E.  I haven’t heard peep from either of them since last Wednesday and don’t expect to.  And in the mean time, I’ve got so many personal appointments, free drinks and luncheons to take with all of the reputable newspapermen and women in the WNY area that I’m going to have to burn the midnight oil to keep slinging this much mud.  Whelp, I’ll get more than five hours of sleep a night when I’m dead.  I’ll see Buffalo Rising buried first, though, and I’m holding the motherfucking shovel.  Cheers,

T.W.

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Rock Bottom Club Watch Hits Gusto, or: Hare-Brained Today/Gone Tomorrow

August 1, 2008

After two months of one-review only coverage, my review for Rock Bottom (on Transit Rd. in Amherst) starts off August with a bang.  And with the wedding just around the corner, any extra revenue is truly appreciated.  In the wake of the Buffalo Rising all out cage match, it’s a big plus to get some extra credibility.  Some of us actually get paid to write, and the smarter writers have editors with a high level of professionalism who do indeed edit our work (which is an editor’s job, if I’m not mistaken) instead of telling us to edit it.  I was just talking to Deanna Russo (one of the frontrunners at Buffalo.com’s YourHub) about life, the universe and everything on Wednesday and we agreed that despite what ill everyone may have to say about the Buffalo News (most of them losing competitors), I’ve never had any problems with them.  Their staff and their writers have always had a level of diplomacy and professionalism that is unparralleled in Buffalo and I truly, truly appreciate it.  After working closely with Brian Connelly (the editor for Club Watch) for well over eighteen months now, I don’t think I could ask for a better mentor. 

     And meanwhile, out and about, I continue to tell every living soul about what a reprehensible piece of shit Elena Buscarino is.  Apparently she’s the lead singer in a big band, so if you see her out, feel free to throw some rotten produce in the vicinity of her fat mouth.  A ball gag would serve better, but what’s a fella to do?  The old saw goes that when a customer has a poor experience, he’ll tell ten people.  I’m ahead of the curve on that one.  If I have a poor experience, I just won’t be capable of ending my infinite ire regarding the situation.  You made a very large mistake, BRO.  I want Elena’s job by week’s end, her sanity by the end of August, and the paper to fold by New Year’s of 2009. 

     It would most likely be the best thing in the world if ArtVoice would buy them out (like they did with Blue Dog Press in the yesteryear of 2002) and sink the ship to avoid any media confusion.  And say what you will about ArtVoice, but they are an institution, and they march to the beat of their own drummer instead of kow-towing to the public opinion of a small group of simpletons.  Jamie Moses (publisher) and Geoff Kelly (managing editor) are men of conviction, and they follow their passions wherever they happen to carry them.  AV has vision, drive and intensity, and they make a brilliant bookend to everything that is good and true about Buffalo print.

     I tried to contact Geoff about all of this business this week by phone and via email, but to no avail.  Smart odds would bet that AV is going to sit this one out.  I have yet to speak with Elizabeth Licata (whom Elena Buscarino has been less than complimentary regarding), but I’m interested to see if Buffalo Spree magazine would take the hook on my interviews with Kevin McCarthy, Michael Bly and Bob ‘Ernie’ Insana.  I’m also wondering if ArtVoice will bite before Buffalo Spree.  Perhaps my reputation is shot, but I stopped caring about that a long time ago.  As long as I’ve got the Buffalo News, Night Life and my readership on my side, I could truly and honestly care less. 

     Early response to the radio show has been overwhelmingly positive.  Next Wednesday, I’ll be heading into the studio with Harvey and Eisner Award winning comic book artist/writer Alex Robinson.  There will not be a Buffalo angle.  We’re not so insecure that it’s warranted.  Buffalo does fine on it’s own.  It has enough writers who waste their careers and their creative efforts licking Buffalo’s ass like a lollipop that I’d rather not throw mine away on something so timely and trifling.  The thing about local writing is that it’s here today, gone tomorrow.  After the day, you can wrap a fish in it, toss it in the trash or use it as a recepticle for parrot shit.  Write  a good national interview or universal piece about the foibles of the human struggle, though, and you can pimp that feature out for a lifetime.  This is one thing that a lot of respected journalists (and established hacks) will never get.  Yeah, I’m talking about you again, Elena.  I’m not done with you by a long shot.

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 86 on stands, etc., etc., etc.

July 14, 2008

     There’s almost too much stuff to cover today.  This is gonna be a hell of a week for me, writing wise.  Firstly, the new issue of Night Life makes the rounds today with a Big Words I Know By Heart rendition of ‘On Spec’, my essay about a recent mental/tectonic shift in my writing philosophy.  Whatever the case, that philosophy must be working, because I’ve hit a goddamned gusher in the last month.

     Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse is finished, and Carrie Gardner and myself have been toiling away on edits, spelling corrections and punctuation issues.  The frequent problem with being able to type 57 words per minute is that occassionally, you’re going to mispell a few things.  We both want this book to be perfect.  Ron (Carrie’s husband) started reading the book last week and tore through it in one sitting.  Lindsay finally got a peek over the weekend and read the whole thing in the span of an hour and a half.  I think I’ve got something special on my hands, here.  We’re all excited, but I have no idea how it’s going to make any money.  One way or another, the manuscript is getting sent to press by this time next Monday. 

     Yesterday, I spent the better part of the day tinkering on Breathing Room Volume 2: rhymes & relics.  While it was originally intended to be a much smaller, more portable, chapbook sized collection, it exploded.  It billowed out to almost 120 pages.  I’m writing eight final poems for the ‘cookies’ section of the book (there’s a running internet theme for the three parts), writing the ‘afterword’, and then I’m done with that one, too.  These two books have been the most fun I’ve had writing in a long, long time.  I’m putting some events into motion for autumn (which is a great time for poetry anyway) that should play around quite a bit with people’s notions of promotion.

      And ironically enough, The Buffalo News has accepted a piece I wrote last week about inheriting a second family due to marriage that will run the same month that Lindsay and I tie the knot.  ‘My People’ will hit the press in September in the ‘My View section, so keep your eyes peeled.

     As far as Buffalo Rising, I finally nabbed a copy of this month’s print issue and the new format (not sure how long it’s been that size) is gorgeous!  They ran a 1,000 word edit of my interview with comic book artist/writer Alex Robinson as the first installment in my new ‘Vox Populi’ series.  Starting today online (hopefully), they’ll be running five Batman reviews in a row leading up to the theatrical bombshell that is The Dark Knight.  Check that out over at:

www.buffalorising.com

That should be everything for one day.  Let’s put a smile on that face of yours!

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