Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
"Gary War is taking sonic wizardry to levels as yet uncharted by man. While we sleep he is fashioning lyric webs like a yellow brick path thru the rawest of the honest..." -La Maladie Tropicale
"The best modern psych sounds bar none" -Volcanic Tongue on "Zontag" 7"
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
8/28 Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery
8/29 Norfolk, VA @ The Boot
8/30 Raleigh, NC @ Treetown Showspace
8/31 Myrtle Beach, SC @ Basement
9/1 Athens, GA @ Go Bar
9/2 Nashville. TN @ TBA
9/3 Greenboro, NC @ The Green Bean
9/4 Washington DC @ The Velvet Lounge
9/5 Stroudsburg, PA @ Mollies
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The party is at the ol' Woodstove once again, yet this time we will also be celebrating my becoming the newest member of the household.
Catholic Block (Philly)
Mass shivers (Chicago)
Cave Paintings (Philly
8 pm $5
From 2nd and Cecil B Moore go west and make a right on philips st.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Plus, FREE BEER with the purchase of every Bottomless Beer Cup ($10).
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
At Shibuya Station in Tokyo, there is this famous meeting spot called Hachiko Square, where people congregate and wait for friends to meet up and go out to eat at the izakaya or have a karaoke freakout or whatever their activities for the night may entail in the massive entertainment district. When I was studying abroad in Tokyo in 2007 I would end up there from time to time. The legend goes something like (if you’ve been to Japan odds are you’ve heard this story) that a dog named Hachiko used to wait there for his master every day after he was done working and when the guy died the dog still waited for him every day at the same spot.
On several occasions while with friends waiting at Hachiko, this one Japanese guy would come up to me, and try to engage me in conversation (in English) about world matters; what I thought of Japan, what was I there for; about America, about Americans being in Japan. About Jesus. He would warn me about the Japanese, and say things like that they can’t be trusted. And most of all he would tell me to be cautious of Japanese women. He would go on and on talking about these things that he had clearly spent years pondering, and here I was, a college kid in a foreign country looking to go out and have a good time in one of the most, if not the most intense freakout party cities in the world. But while all my friends for the most part ignored him, I listened to what he had to say and contributed all that I could to his seemingly bottomless exchange of philosophy, observations, and judgements about Japan, America, and the World. After all I was in Japan to meet and talk to Japanese people, not to hang out with more Americans.
From what I could gather he was homeless, and he survived by selling these handmade collections of stories and poems he had written. I was interested, and I bought one of the small handbound books from him, I think he wanted 1000 yen for it, which was around $8 US. It was called Black Stories: The Young Foreigner’s Friend and Guide, by Hideo Asano. The second time I met him he remembered me and told me he had slept in Yoyogi park the night before, and could I please help him and buy some of his stories, and I gave him 1500 yen for another book of stories and a small collection of haiku. I did want to help him, and I was interested in reading his work. I still had the stories he gave me last time in my bag, waiting to be read when I had a free moment (I was already reading several books for classes, including a Japanese & Chinese literature class; & also trying to experience living in Japan).
Hideo had told me about traveling to many places in the world, but I honestly didn’t know if I believed anything he said, or even if he was actually a native Japanese. In Tokyo there were very few homeless people at the time. Most companies in Japan hire you for life. The few that are homeless are extremely self sufficient, they build themselves mobile shacks out of wood and fabric, that they take their shoes off before entering. The second book I bought from him was called Stories of Afghanistan and when I finally got to opening it up it turned out the stories were things he had seen when he was in Afghanistan during the civil war & Soviet occupation. After coming back to the United States I eventually did more research on Hideo and found out through comments on someone’s blog that Hideo apparently had gotten work published but never received any of the royalties from the book. He was widely known, and many foreigners recounted stories of their experiences meeting him in various parts of Tokyo that sounded all too similar to my own.
Two years later, I decide to start an independent short fiction publication, just for fun, just to get in the habit of writing and improve and invite other people to have their work be read by some people. And how perfect, I thought, would it be to put one of Hideo’s stories in that he gave me when I met him in Tokyo. He was basically doing what I am, writing from his heart and his experiences, making a zine and trying to make a few bucks off of it.
I decided volume 4 would be the issue for Hideo, since my friend Yuna who lives in Tokyo was designing me a cover, it would make sense to tie them together. I told a friend about it and he said “that’s cool, did you email him and ask him if you could use something?” and I realized I hadn’t even thought of that, I’d totally forgotten there was an email address on the very last page of each book. So I sent Hideo this email, half expecting it to be returned undeliverable or simply unanswered:
My name is Sean, I met you in Tokyo in the spring of 2007. I bought two collections of stories from you. I live in the US, and I have started a small independent handmade 'zine collection of short fiction from different writers. It is called Four Thousand Flavors. I would like to use one of your stories for my next issue. I hope you won't mind. I enjoy your stories and I'm glad to have met a soul searcher and thinker such as yourself. Hope you are doing well, take care.
A few days later, I see this in my inbox:
I am sorry to tell this that my answer is no.
Things were not looking good for volume 4. Nobody was getting back to me about printing a cover, I really had no physical story submissions, only verbal promises. My story wasn’t even half written. And now Hideo had denied me permission to use his work. I sent him an email asking him to reconsider, I told him I wasn’t going to be making a profit from this, and that I wouldn’t change anything in his story & I would leave it exactly as he’d written it. He didn’t respond. The thought crossed my mind to just put one in anyway since he will most likely never see this, but there was no way I could let myself do it.
But everything ended up working out and I was able to make the book you are holding in your hands, and I figured I would tell you about Hideo anyway. He is one of the strangest and most interesting people I’ve ever met, and is part of the reason I started doing this. For the first time in over a year I googled Hideo, and I found that he now has a website which has some of his stories published on it:
There is also a link to his blog which has more work. But I find this part of the introduction on his website particularly intriguing:
Currently, as a struggling writer, he is reaching out foreigners with his written materials for his livelihood. Meanwhile, as an English writer, he is still looking for a right ambiance for the sake of his writing. Culturally and linguistically unable to pursue his dream, he is still searching for a Promised Land, where he could get a room, which have a table and a chair, to sit down and write. Is there anyone able to get a simple room, which have a table and a chair in Japan, except five star hotels? But all dead rooms you have to sit on the floor like Buddha.
He always felt that he was the old man in "The Old Man and the Sea" - so he himself is looking for a little boy who could have faith and confidence in his work. He doesn't mind to go through the entire population looking for one soul who is willing to publish his work.
Please send him information about any publishers who are interested in his work. If you are a journalist please don't hesitate to get in touch with him - an article about his work would be greatly appreciated.
You are enthusiastically invited into the world he fiercely cares for.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This artwork smells/tastes/sounds/looks/feels great! Embrace the visual with all of your senses in an exhibition that blends the visual within a broader field of sensory perception. Guest curator Anabelle Rodriguez brings together a kaleidoscopic array of local and national artists who consider the scientific phenomenon of synesthesia, the blending of the senses.
Participating artists include: S. Damary Burgos, Roderic Coover, Matt Cue, Daniel De Jesus, Samantha Ernst, Art Fanega, Sofia Maldonado, Matt Neff, Mark Price (Space 1026), Dan One Polanco, Jacqueline Reis, Mario Rodriguez, John Schenk/Tantrum Tonic, Serendip, Daryl Raven Thompson, Shelley Thorstensen, Reade Vaisman, Michelle Wilson.
Independence Foundation Gallery for the Visual Arts
April 3 - May 16
Receptions: April 3 and May 1, 5pm-7pm
230 Vine St.
Currently reading Rabbit Run by John Updike and My Cousin the Gastroenterologist by Mark Leyner. One of my favorite lines from Rabbit so far:
Nature leads you up like a mother and as soon as she gets her little price leaves you with nothing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Take advantage of the good weather this weekend and head over to the Free Library Festival:
The Free Library Festival—a burst of books, music, and inspiration on the Parkway—will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, 2009. Join us at the Parkway Central Library for two days full of stimulating talks by award-winning writers, live music, children’s entertainment, and a bustling literary marketplace thronged with booklovers and booksellers. A fun, free way to spend the day, the Free Library Festival connects booklovers from throughout the mid-Atlantic region with the culture makers of the literary world.A great place to pick up books & graphic novels directly from indie publishers, meet writers, and check out silly performances on the children's stage. Parkway Central Library 11am-6pm Sat & Sun. I went least year and it was pouring, but still had a good time.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sean (Ugh God)
José Díaz and the Niñas
Fat History Month (Boston)
Peer Pressure (Baltimore)
**Donations accepted for touring bands
I miss our awesome summer together. Riding around on bikes at night. Ducking out into strange places to fuck. Sneaking you into bars. And staying up past dawn every night. I know shit is over, but i hope that we'll run into each other again sometime.
DO YOU KNOW
I love and hate that you know what I'm feeling before I do. I hate that you have spoiled me in such a way that I could never love another the way I love you. I love that from the very first time we made love you knew exactly where and how to touch me. I love how our bodies fit perfectly together as if you were made just for me. Bob you're forever engrained into my soul, my once in a lifetime love, my bestfriend. Love always, E.
Yo, Chrissy from southwest Philly. Last time i was ever in love with a girl, it was you, and that was 22 years ago. i just wanted to let you know that i still remembered our not so great first date at Pizza Hut with your sister and her boyfriend (hope he's still around, he was a really nice guy). Best time of my life was that class trip to Wash. D.C. back in 1987! hope all is well with you and your family.
Since, I am assuming that you can read this is to the chick that rode on the EL train with me the other day. If you are talking to someone and you are standing at the door. Stand next to him and talk, dumb bitch don't wait until you get to 30th street and wedge your dumb ass between the person you are talking to and myself where there isn't any room. Yeah I told you that I wasn't talking to you when you said you and him were having a conversation...so fuckin what! You know that I was talking about you.. Dumb ass cunt make your mind up which area you are standing before I get on..next time I will slap you!
GARDEN OF DECEIT
RICARDO! How could you be so stupid to take the Forbidden Fruit from the Snake of that TREE? You know she's a DECEITFUL/ CONNIVING CUNT. She's only using you as pawn in her little game to bring admissions back up at her bar & for whatever else she thinks you're worth. She's just going to toss you away again & laugh. Once you taste that fruit YOU'LL see the truth & you'll regret taking the fruit from that TREE. But by then it'll be too late, the joke will be on you & you'll have no where to go. Best of Luck to you!!!
A LITTLE CRUSH
The first time I talked to you we exchanged puns and metaphors and I knew I could love you. You said you liked the expression "like ships passing in the night" and at that moment I remember thinking I would do anything to avoid us becoming those ships. You crashed into my life and by doing nothing more then being your gorgeous, dorky self, made me fall in love with you. So this is message is to tell you, I think I have a little crush on you.
SPAM & SYRUP
I am so mabuhay happy crazy in love with you puff! Everyday with you has only proved to me how ridiculously lucky I am to have you in my life. You're so maganda that it freaks me out sometimes, those gorgeous long lashes and tiger smile! I honestly believe that we were meant to find each other after too many years of being hurt and angry. You've shown me what it is to be truly loved and for that, I can only love you more and more each day. I hope I can be your happiness until we're old and senile then we can find each other all over again! So hufflepuff, here's to OUR future together filled with ridiculous laughing, pretzeling, mini chocolates, NOT getting fat, and nymphomatic playing everywhere! I cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a poodle in my eye to love you for who you are my counterpart
To My Step dad-I pushed you away all those years when all you wanted to do was become someone I needed in my life. Please know I never hated you, Maybe I was just mad as a kid that my own father couldn't be as wonderful as you. I respect and look up to you. I wish I could tell you all this but I'm an idiot. You're a great man, one in a million and if you ever had the chance you'd make the greatest dad a kid could need. Your truthful and always wanted the best for me and my mother. Thank you for everything. I regret I'll never grow up enough to tell you that I love you and that I consider you more a man than my real father could ever be.
FAR AWAY SMELL
I can smell you on the t-shirt I just put on. Must be your deodorant I used the other morning in your living room when you were unpacking so you could re-pack. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll never tell you this, so I thought I'd write it down so I don't forget how nice it is. Oh, and I hope you got that Hep-A shot before going to Thailand so you don't lose 15 lbs the hard way
MY MR. BIG
It wasn't until recently that I realized that you're the Mr. big to my carrie. Starting out hot & heavy then not speaking for a year. You date someone else while I'm single. and then I cheat on my boyfriend with you. I always go back to you hoping that you will love me back, But no more. maybe in 10 years you'll grow up and see what you missed.
And now, I will wrap up this post with a fictional letter written by my friend Katie Rineer:
dear allen swamp,
today was a day full of overindulgence and black coffee. the kind of day where you think too much and realize human beings are shitty, self-absorbed, lonely beings...constantly in need of satisfaction. it made me wonder why we have such cravings and, being content can come in many forms, waves, and stages. our possessions, in a way, define who we are...but who we really are should shine above such material things. material things are such a distraction, allen, they produce things..like judgement and criticism. can't we just live and completely expose ourselves? why do we give a fuck? you should experience who you really are, not some silly fabrication that you've made up in your mind. i think certain things would be figured out if we were exposed (our inner most core! our being!) we wouldn't have to go through the hassle of being so curious and crossing lines that tend to end up as mistakes...just because we don't know, because we have a feeling we should know. but i guess that's what makes things so interesting. the 'not-knowing', the part where people are in disguise with the material world. so easy to hide in a world where everybody is something (not real)(that they created)(in disguise). it makes me question alot. what is human nature? who is closest to who they are? (minus all the distraction). such instincts, the ability to look through people, to read minds and expressions, it's very possible to see through the layers. i can see through your layers, allen. and you are a beautiful thing. i think we should start off as being completely nude, and then move on to living in the mountains somewhere...far far away from people and this madness. i would know you and you would know me. you would shine because inside, who you really are, is some majestic and beautiful creature. sometimes when i stare at your face from across the room, you glow and radiate and i see you growing wings, giggling, and flying out the door into the night sky. you have such likable qualities. it's so easy to become absorbed in conversation with you...what a laugh, what a face, i have to say: i've been secretely in love with you for years. this may come as a suprise because this letter started as a declaration of our hidden selves, somewhat ironic i'm exposing my love to you. i'd like to invite you to my mother's annual christmas party where we can watch her become intoxicated on wine and flirt with the neighborhood men while my father slugs whiskey out of a bottle. horrid sight, but with you, it would be somewhat of a beautiful thing. meet me on the 23rd of december at the graveyard on old school lane. i'll be standing at the gate, 11 am, holding a large coffee and some flowers.
with love from me to you,gibby c. poppley