My next spoken word and music cd project is an exciting one involving longtime friend composer William Ashford. Most tracks will be ones for which I wanted use other people’s music but have been refused rights for various reasons: composers’ lawyers not wanting a new lyric for signature pieces, musicians not owning their own music, ownership disputes between co-writers’ estates, or my inability to negotiate a fair price. Included are many of my best pieces which I look forward to finally sharing with a wider audience!
Composer William Ashford
Salon des Refusés will be birthed entirely in William Ashford’s Hollywood studio, utilizing his original compositions and music library, and maybe some backup singers (!). Hip-hop tip First Poet in Space (see “Immortal Musings” page) has a new track and punk ditty Ready to Get Dirty is slated to be layed down. There’s jazz, rhythm and blues, reggae and a 60’s dance craze number involved too. If anybody can handle all these genres, it’s William, with his decades long career of working on all sorts of movies, tv and live shows. SDR will also incorporate other pieces we think deserve to be recorded or rerecorded, like the new Frog Poem and perennial favorite White Folks Was Wild Once, Too.
We look to have it out by Friday the 13th of December 2013. Meanwhile, watch out for more news on Salon des Refusés on this blog.
Poetry impresario Steve Arntson has had a rare cancellation and has invited us to do an impromptu show 7pm Friday at Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley. The event is free and there will be an open mic. Margery Snyder will read and back me on flute as I perform pieces from the new cd “Look What the Cat Dragged in Again.” Refreshments will be served. Hey, the Olympic Opening Ceremony has a bigger budget, but it’ll be a rerun and we have the wordsmithery, doncha know?
map from inside panels of cd
For Look What the Cat Dragged in Again, the next cd release party will be in LA on Saturday August 4 but it will be semi-private. If you haven’t received an invitation already, leave a comment here and a way I can get in touch with you if you are interested in knowing the time and location. Sticking to our strategy of the semi-secret release of the cd, we are nurturing a culture of exclusivity. The collectibility, the rarity and the quality of this underground spoken word/comedy and poetry with music collection are all undeniable. If you can somehow obtain a copy of this cd, its value can only increase. And believe me, me and my old Hollywood pals know how to throw a party! By the way, a performance will take place as well. Accompanying Whitman McGowan and Trungpa Bumbleché will be William Ashford on piano, Margery Snyder on flute and gong, Baba Ganoush on bass sitar and Swami Saskatchewan on Tibetan horn.
Uncommon Knowledge, a lavishly illustrated collection of Whitman McGowan’s most beloved spoken word performance bits, is coming out via Zeitgeist Press of Berkeley in the very foreseeable future. This full page gonzo illustration accompanies signature piece “White Folks Was Wild Once, Too” and it is just one example of two dozen finished sketches by Bruce Litz, former art director for The Firesign Theater. The illustrations and already fantastic looking covers will be rendered in scratchboard for the book.
Bruce Litz and his sketchbook
Seek and Maybe Ye Shall Find Me
As a would be icon of unpopular culture and purveyor of nebulous philosophy, I seek anonymity in order to preserve my mystique.
The fourth album by Whitman McGowan, Look What the Cat Dragged in Again, will have its world cd release party in a location which will be nearly impossible to get to for most people, and that’s as it should be. The difficulty in obtaining this Viridiana Records collection renders it instantly collectible. The fact that you even know about it makes you an incredible sort of person. The cd features thirteen tracks of down to earth observations and marvelous monologues set to music.
The bar in Scotland’s only 5-star theater!
Sunday May 20 3-5pm
Byre Theater Bar
36 Abbey Street
St. Andrews, Fife
phone: 01334 468720
Look What the Cat Dragged in Again: Whitman McGowan again offers spoken word accompanied by the music of multi-instrumentalist Don Kirby and sitarist Baba Ganoush from Pasadena, plus Canadian duo Johnny and Johnny. What’s new are the debuts of Margery Snyder’s flute and alter ego Trungpa Bumbleché. Vancouver stomping ground Cafe Montmartre is again a venue, as it was for the Caught in the Act album. See how two numbers sound three years later in the same room! Lemon De George, sound engineer on the music documentary Genghis Blues, shepherded this little flock of board tapes and studio recordings. Artful cd packaging by brand guru Stanley Moss has this humble collection all done up like a dog’s dinner.
Whitman McGowan could be the youngest beatnik and the oldest slacker, having squared the hypotenuse of his eternal hippie and survived a scary hip hop moment and a punk phase. His alternative spoken word embraces 1950‘sish Lieber and Stoller style “playlets,” dub poetry, French surrealism, post-Beat rant, New Age medicine show, any kind of serious fun you can have with words. This is something special: out of this world and down to earth speeches presenting new archetypes expressing crucial myths and conflicts of a post-modern age. At least he thinks he’s alright and so does Margery, thank Goddess.
Wednesday April 11 7-9 pm Margery Snyder and I appear along with J. R. Brady, Mahnaz Badihian and Laurie Lessen Reiche at Sunset Poetry by the Bay, Studio 333, 333 Caledonia, Sausalito, California. Hosted by Martin Hickel. Admission $5
Greetings One and All from my new blog site!
Friday March 30 8:30pm at Viracocha (998 Valencia St., San Francisco) I have a five minute spoken word and music slot in the strange and wonderful Ask Dr. Hal! mixed media variety show. Presented by the Church of the Subgenious, Dr. Hal’s patented illuminating question and answer session and bardic recitations are also supported this time by The Devil-Ettes, VJ KrOB, science guy Pete Goldie,Connie Dobbs, Sophia the Singing Harp Lady, New York comic Zero Boy, IT wonk Sean Kelly and mc John Hell. I plan on doing “Every 8 Seconds” from my soon to be released cd “Look What The Cat Dragged In Again,” a number which features Margery Snyder playing some spooky Debussy on flute. It’s $10 to take part in this San Francisco institution with twelve years of history behind it, Ask Dr. Hal!