The Molten Core backed up by THE chEROTIC ALL-STAR BAND
Words Playing with Your Body backed up by THE EROTIC JAZZ GROUP
What a way to end the year! Doing 2 L.A. gigs in extremely unique spaces! Jen below covers the trip in detail. I find it funny that the reading at Talking Stick in Venice Beach was much more confrontational and controversial than the jam at Echo Curio…even through there was no nudity or physical sex at Talking Stick…only words and images in the last poem could be seen as taboo if you squint! But everything was acid fingernails on the blackboard at Talking Stick. At Echo Curio everything was on the journey of going deeper into the underground community. If +DOG+ was too intense for you, you could watch from the outside through big storefront windows as huge shirtless guys went primal, wrestling one another for/to comfort. Standing outside wasn’t avoiding. They came in when we started to play, came into the communal circle of jamming, pleasure skin rubbing in sexually, oncoming headlights from the outside blended surreal with strobes, slides, and German expression movies. All in the open. All acceptable.
Mark phog masheen just wrote:
We found Echo Curio which was a cute art space storefront with people hanging around outside. Took a while to find parking but then decided to just unload at the front and then repark the car. Jeff (cosmic starfish), Mark (phog masheen) and Steve from Dog, along with other Dog members, helped us carry the gear inside. The place was cozy, filled with visual art on the walls and ceiling. There were two small rooms and a bathroom. Mikee got the camera set up to videotape the first band as Frank, Linda and I parked in the middle of the front room. Linda told the story of wanting to let Frank sleep to Jeff, Mark and Steve and Steve's girlfriend Jen. It was all very surreal at that point because we had been up for so long. The first band, On Holiday, started and they were really fun. There were black and white movie clips playing on the walls while they played their herdy gerdy organ synthesized dream-like sound. When they were done, Frank asked if they would play in his band and they said yes! Then the second band, Fantastic Sleep, started. They played one long dreamy intricate electronic sound scape adding to our surreal state. We drifted off with the music. They also agreed to be a part of Frank's band. Next band was Dog and they were intense screaming thumping shaking. At one point Steve jumped on the lead singer, Robbie, and then Robbie left to go lie in the other room as the band played on. Steve and some of the other Dog members would be in Frank's band too. Soon it was time for us. Linda and I got into our costumes which consisted of just bracelets, beads, rings, boas and fun hair elastics. We then got Frank ready by taking off all his clothes. We were on! Everyone stuck around for our performance and the first thing we did was get them all into a big circle with the band. The circle bordered the whole circumference of the room. Toy instruments were laid out in front of the audience members. Then Frank started to vocalize as the band played and Linda and I erotically danced, also vocalizing into mics. Everyone was so open to what we were doing, soaking it up, giving in to it. It felt really great. We danced into melting trance, rubbing and rocking to the music that came in intense waves. Then we got the band and everyone else there. They welcomed us, melted with us and the room vibrated with pure simple joy of being. This feeling lasted well after we finished as Linda and Frank talked to everyone and Mikee and I packed up. It is a bit of a blur but it all felt really good and we were amazed we actually made it. Everything was packed up in no time and we were on our way back to the hotel.
We showered and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out. I remember waking up at one point and saying to Mikee that I think I passed out and he said "yeah, a while ago." After a good sleep we all woke up to get ready for a Hugo's breakfast! Amazing hot cereals, fruit, eggs fuerte, chipotle scramble and pumpkin pancakes. We shared and loved every bite. It was an amazing restaurant, amazing food, 10 across the board. After breakfast we took a short walk up Santa Monica Blvd. We saw a thrift store and went in. Linda has always wanted to go to a thrift store in Hollywood. Mikee went around the racks finding really neat items that you wouldn't find anywhere else. Frank saw a woman who picked a very low cut top from the rack and he told her she should put that on. She laughed and said that he should put it on. We got talking to her and found out her kids live in Berkeley. Told her all about Frank's performances and other work. We gave her a flyer and some of the painting postcards, and a Chapped Lap poetry book. She started to read the first poem I Came To Play and said she was going to cry. Really thanked us for what we do. Said we were saints and we said Frank was the saint! Was amazing how she saw us and how deeply this affected her. Linda got a couple of really cool items like a red poncho and a yellow smock/vest. Both comfortable and unique. We headed back to the hotel after that to sleep. We napped for a couple of hours and then got up to order food from Hugo's that we would pick up and eat in the room by the cozy fire. Mikee and I left Linda and Frank sleeping, but when we got to the restaurant we had forgotten to bring money!!! Went back and the room key didn't work so Linda let Mikee in to get the wallet. Then we were back before the restaurant closed and picked everything up. Back at the hotel we set a table and chairs up beside the fire. Then we served up the food and stuffed ourselves with sheperd's pie, mac and cheese, salad, hummus wrap and a tuna salad sandwich. Then we hit the bed again and slept until morning. We were already planning what we would eat for breakfast at Hugo's. When we got there we had to boot somebody's driver out of our vip parking spot. When we walked in the restaurant we saw James Cromwell again sitting with a couple of guys and figured it must have been his driver. We sat down and got comfortable and then all of a sudden he was at our table saying hi to Frank! When he read Frank's card that says Shaman and Performance Artist he looked deeply into Frank's eyes and smiled. You guys said it reminded you of when Timothy Leary did the same thing many years ago. They both had the same twinkle in their eye too. Maybe they're from the same planet. We ate a good breakfast and then went back to the hotel to nap before having to go to the poetry reading that night. Thought we would go to Hugo's again but realized that wouldn't work for time, so we decided to go to this Mexican restaurant that was 5 minutes from the performance space. While driving there we became unsure of where we were going but realized we were on the right track after consulting the maps. Took more time than we thought in rush hour traffic. When we finally got to the restaurant the only thing we could do was order take-out. Mikee and I sat to wait and they served us really good chips and salsa which we inhaled. Linda was lucky to get there when she did because there was just enough left for her. We hustled back to the car and found the space, The Talking Stick. We ate in the car without a minute to spare. Delicious chicken and tortillas, but low on the veggies, so it was good Linda got the tasty veggie plate.
The Talking Stick was a neat place tucked in the middle of fast food joints on a corner in Venice Beach. The space was a comfy cafe set up with a stage in the corner. Mikee set up the equipment and I set up a table of swag. Jeff (cosmic starfish) was there and Mark (phog masheen) showed up too! The first band with Tim O played quiet beautiful folk songs. Frank and Linda came in and we sat together listening. When they were done Frank asked if they would be in his band but they said they had to go. Next up was Jeff playing his whimsical songs on his accoustic. He dedicated a song to Frank saying that Frank was the most sensuous person he knew other than his wife. Frank asked him if he would play the “dirty” song that he played on the Shaman's Den. Jeff couldn't remember what song that was, but came up with something anyway. It was a song about always being nice but not wanting to and he broke his pick as he performed it. Then we were up. I quickly got changed into a sexy outfit and handed out toy instruments to the people in the audience. Then we were all on stage, me Frank Linda Mark and Jeff. Linda read Frank's poem I Came To Play as I vocalized, and Jeff and Mark played their instruments. It is a very powerful poem that talks deeply about the power of play, which is what we were doing there! After that Frank noticed that the two musicians who had first played and said they were leaving were firmly planted on the couch in the back. He said that if they aren't leaving they should come up and play, and they did! The next poem was A Rant On An Open Mike and this poem talked about the dangers of niceness and the passing of the modern talking stick. It was an ode to places like this cafe, although there was very little reaction from the audience. We just kept on, having fun. Next came Tortures and Mutation Is Evolution. Every poem speaking directly to everyone, to what was going on right now. It seemed crude at times because it may not have been what the people wanted to hear, but it was what they needed to hear. Next, Jeff read Their Cuddling Cocoon which is a very sensuous poem. A couple of middle-aged middle-class guys, Jim and Jim, who arrived just before Frank started, played their toy instruments. They were having fun! Everyone else was quiet and their applause dwindled as the poems went on. We finished after everyone introduced themselves, and Frank asked Jim and Jim what they thought. They loved it! One of them said they were glad they didn't bring their daughter though due to the last poem Jeff read. I showed them what we had on the swag table and they bought 2 Chapped Laps. Everyone was out of there fast while we got our stuff together. We talked in the car about how difficult it was to do that, like roter-rooter cutting through all the resistance. Very effective. We talked about how different it was from Saturday's performance at Echo Curio, but really they were the same. Both performances fulfilled a need.
When we got back to the hotel, we picked up the laptop at the front desk and the woman working their who Frank had been talking too during our trip asked Frank if he would sign her copy of Chapped Lap. We told her about the poetry reading and it was amazing how she got us. She asked what day we would be performing in January so she could get the day off to come. Frank then asked her if she would be a plant, along with her co-worker who also got a signed copy of Chapped Lap. Linda described what she would do as a plant and she was very enthusiastically into it! Even getting nude! Really amazing. We got back to our cozy room with the fire going and got ready for bed, already planning what to have for our last meal at Hugo's in the morning. It's always fun to share good food, but really everything was fun on the trip. I wanted to melt into everyone and I did that by focusing on what needed to be done, focusing on you and what your needs were. I did what you did even if it wasn't familiar to me because I just wanted to be with you all fully. And all of it was so much fun! Driving early, waking up for piss breaks, eating, farting, walking around the room, stretching, putting Frank's wheelchair in the back of the car, making sure Frank was comfortable in his chair. I loved it all because it was with you. It wouldn't have mattered where we stayed or ate. It didn't matter what music we listened to or when we went to bed or got up. I loved every minute of it, just focusing on you, being with you. Could feel that this is what we all are together and it made my heart sing. We got up early and packed, then hit Hugo's for one last mega breakfast with cereals and egg dishes, and then dessert! Topped it all off with some coffees and then got in the car for the long ride home. Mikee did the driving, after a brief check of the dashboard lights, and we grooved to some Hot Wax cds. We stopped at Harris Ranch and sat by the fire in the hotel lobby. Then we went to the restaurant to get a cup of hot water for Linda's tea. I drove out of there and into the night while Mikee caught some zzzzz's. It was challenging but the music and the traffic kept me going, as well as knowing that I was being depended on. After a couple of hours we stopped at Starbucks and Linda said I did real good. Mikee and I got some black tea and then Mikee drove the rest of the way. We got home and unloaded everything with the boyz. It felt good to be back, even though there was still a level of weirdness with Erika. After unloading, me and the boyz went to the bh to finish your dinner. I told them all about the neat things that happened on the trip, the wonderful food we ate, and the amazing performances.
Can't wait for the January trip! Love you!!!
ECHO CURIO 12.13.08
The Molten Core
TALKING STICK 12.15.08
Jeffrey Randall Snyder
Words Playing With Your Body
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Last modified August 10, 2015