Monday April 23, 2012 – Book Event In The Boston Area @ Middlesex Lounge 6pm

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the city (and NYC) were my only real personal interactions with an urban environment – and I loved both of them! So much to do (at any hour of the day), easy transportation access (hell, even just walking was fun), and a never ending supply of things to see and hear and smell and taste and experience in general. I loved to spend the day, or weekend, in the city – but I always ended up back out in suburbia; all of that changed in 1994, after I took a trip to visit a friend who had moved up to the Boston area…

She was living in Somerville, just outside of Davis Square, and between hanging out in their 2 level, multi-porched home (dubbed “The Fat House”) with her down-to-earth, communally-sharing-everything housemates, and taking in all the new sensations (my first Thai food experience – insanely hot as it was – was at the old Bangkok House in Harvard Square), I was instantly hooked. In fact, I was ready to move there right away – and decided as I ventured back home that I would make it happen.

In the fall of 1995, I moved to Harvard Square with a mutual friend from the ‘burbs, and the experience changed my life. I remember instantly feeling like I was “home”, and even though it still took me a while to get into the right groove work wise, the new found sense of freedom that I had was overwhelmingly positive. And as soon as I was gifted a bike (ahhh that old hunter green Schwinn was absolutely beautiful!), I took in all Beantown had to offer. Eventually I moved out to the Fat House myself, then back to Harvard Square before settling into Cambridgeport (in my own, ridiculously beautiful apartment. For 3 years. With the best landlords ever. Sigh. The all night, lounge-in-the-backyard, dance-floor-inside parties that I had are still fondly recalled by all who attended to this day. Double sigh.)

Central Square became my new stomping grounds, and weekly trips to the Harvest Co-op and Tibetan buffet at Rangzen and Moody’s Falafel Palace and catching the Toneburst Collective dj’s at impromptu gigs in the Square or reggae bands at the old Rhythm & Spice were part of the reasons why I would tell people I loved living there. I loved it so much, in fact, that I had a little crisis in 1999 – was I ready to be in one place for the rest of my life?

I answered that question by moving to the Bay Area, and completely falling in love all over again with a new city. And then the funniest thing happened – almost 5 years later, I met my wife at a wedding back in the Bean, and I ended up moving there again for another 3 years – and living it like it was a brand new experience again.

Fast forward to 2012, and now it’s been 4 years since we left the city (and the country) – and I get to return once again, but this time in a new role. All the creative energy that I was establishing all those years has finally manifested itself into a unique literary expression. All the musical improv sessions in my ground floor studio and out at Magazine Beach and up in Mission Hill and out in Somerville have been channeled into well thought out written words. All the crazy f-ed up relationships (well, one in¬†particular) and all of the into-the-night philosophical discussions and debates on politics and religion and human nature and love have all been chopped up and condensed into 318 pages of life. L I F E, the very thing I learned the most about in my time in Boston…

Join me please, won’t you, for this very special return “home”. The old Caribbean flavor of Rhythm & Spice was converted in my second era there to the modern party space of the Middlesex Lounge, and on Monday April 23rd it will host this book event – just what you’ll need to make sure your week starts off well! Come have a drink and kick back and share this experience with me, as I have shared so many experiences in this beautiful city with you. And even if we’ve never met, I bet you’ll feel right at “home” too…

 

San Francisco Event Update!

Nyles Lannon, a very talented musician/producer from the Bay Area with, is now on the bill for the event at Baobab! I met Nyles in ’99 when he set up shop in the Sunset District with another old friend of mine, Philly-to-SF dj/musician/producer Jason Knight, and we’ve had a lot of fun improvising in jam sessions over the years (as evidenced in the Zenahora Music Project). We’ll be getting right back into that vibe for this event, as he provides a live ambient soundtrack for the reading. Nyles has several of his own amazing albums to check out:

and has also released music with Film School and Inu, among other projects. He is just wrapping up another intensely creative period, and this summer should see releases of his next album, a couple new collaborations and some remix work he’s done for other artists. You can probably imagine how surprised I was that with all of that already on his plate, he still agreed to do this event with me – but that’s Nyles, always ready to push the musical envelope and try something new.

See you on May 2nd!

 

Saturday May 19, 2012 – Literature and Music Event in Philadelphia

I’m excited for every book promotion event coming up this spring, and for the chance to share the story and its themes with old friends and new faces, but I have to say that this event in Philly is especially meaningful for me. I grew up in and spent half of my life in the suburbs of the city, and even lived for a couple of months in the basement of my friends’ house in the Fairmount section while I saved up enough money for my eventual move up to the Boston area. My family is still there, as are many of my old high school and college classmates and coworkers, as well as all of the musicians and artists and otherwise creative people who I met at jam sessions in studios and house parties and at shows. Every one of them has watched me grow and become who I am over these years, but all with the added bonus of also having seen me at my worst: overly dramatic, intensely cro-magnon browed, stubbornly uncompromising and way over the top-ly passionate about the most ridiculously unimportant things; you know, pretty much the biggest spaz any one had ever seen. It’s not a mistake that this last description was my nickname among some friends in high school, and I completely 100% deserved it. And it’s pretty safe to say that if you didn’t see me laugh hysterically, yell uncontrollably, pout immaturely, preach incessantly, dance maniacally, rock out head bangingly, cry soap-operably, trip out mind blowingly (and not necessarily with any help other than my own insane-in-the-brain) or otherwise run around like a chicken with its head cut off, then you probably didn’t actually know me.

All of them have seen my creative side as well, and heard me talk about this or that other thing that I was doing or going to do; but for once in my life, I’ve finally completely followed through with one of my artistic ideas, and so you can only imagine how happy I am that I get to share it with everyone!

And not just any old thing, but a book, an actual real live, for sale book. A fully fleshed out story (with stories within the stories), filled with characters that they will easily recognize, and still somehow feel that they are just meeting for the first time. A book with all the deeply philosophical and socially critical and politically incorrect posturings that we’ve all shared together. A book about me, but really not about me at all; more like a book about all of us. This story is my attempt to take all of that energy that everyone’s seen all of these years and focus it into one coherent and flowing narrative – and ultimately, to make sense of it all.

And have some fun doing it!

This is Robin’s Bookstore/Moonstone Arts Center:

It’s the oldest independent book store in the city of Philadelphia, and its performance space has hosted the best of the best. It’s a veritable literary institution in the city, and the event is taking place there. Just imagine for a second how exciting this is for me, because I can’t really put it into words for you right now…

 

This is Mike Kennedy:

He’s a bad ass musician and teacher. Don’t believe me? Check out this write-up I did about him on the arts and culture blog that I write for called Zatoon. I wrote that last October, well before I ever considered doing this promotional tour and certainly well before I would ever consider asking him to do an event like this with me. I mean, we grew up in the same town and went to the same schools together, but I haven’t ever seen him in over 25 years – and the man came through regardless. Can you feel the excitement level radiating from me now? It’s off the freaking chart!

 

This is the flyer for the gig:

Please feel free to pass it along to anyone you like or print it out (it’s a standard 8.5 by 11) and post it up somewhere. I would love to see everyone there – friends from the past, and new faces ready for a good evening’s worth of literary and musical performance. I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life, and I hope you come share it with us!