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The "Book of William" arrives just in time for the Myan Calendar to explode

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Book of William Tiny Town Satellite of Aurora, NY – David Warren wrote another book. He's always writing books because he's always telling stories.

It doesn't matter that the last book he published was in the before-times when there was an actual place called the Ithaca Publishing House. Mr. Warren was with the first pod of writers to matriculate through Cornell Univeristy's then-brand-spanking-new MFA program in creative writing.There were giants in them days with names that are a pleasure for any Anglo-Saxon to blurt aloud like Baxter Hathaway and Jim McConkey. And beautiful women too don't you know, the kind that men throw themselves into whole working lives to win.

There is a long list of folks who did the same since that original MFA harvest at EduCorps. But Mr. Warren was with the first and for that reason alone, and the fact that he still exists and still tells stories, makes him a big man on the canvas of life.

Mr. Warren's most recent work, "The Book of William" picks up where "Natural Bone" and "The World According to Two Feathers," two fabulously mystifying works of craft, strayed into the subconscious of a few hundred followers who never were the same after reading the man's meandering mix of fact, fable and straight-up tall tale and American fiction. It is an authentic work. It has the lusty twinch of wet woods in autumn, the skull swelling flittle of a summer field in blossom and the agreeable ferment of a chicken coop filled with pine shavings. It also is a laughing book.

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The whole is trafficked with characters the like of which peel off the page like some old Color Forms toy and mosey off around the corner of the smokehouse. They are chewy characters and they live and breath and smell familiar, at a cost, like a dotty Aunt. There are dogs and chickens and cats and weirdos traveling between the lines. They all behave in a most naturally supernatural way. You should read the book and see if I am making it all up. I ain't. Mr. Warren saw to that.

He made it up himself.

Here's Mr. Warren talking out loud to his word processor before he was forced to call William back: "The last I heard from my Feral brother William, he commented on my facebhook page about how he was wrangling chickens in Hollywood, which I don't really believe. He himself hasn't posted here in his own blog since ... I don't remember when. In case you mean to start reading his blog from back at the beginning ... or in case he comes back, here is what you need to know. He calls himself my 'Imaginary Brother', for what that is worth. I suppose he wouldn't be the same William if his legs weren't only about as long as your Bermuda shorts."

You do not need Bermuda shorts to catch his drift. William is dwarfen.

Along his way on the Earthly plane, Mr. Warren got married and one of his offspring was named Mnetha. Mentha is an artist in Aurora, New York, and she is a national treasure. Her richly textured fabric painting of "Sally St. John's World," which conjures Dog's Plot on Pumpkin Hill in Aurora – complete with a frieze of art Nouveau filigree and a beastiary – was a smart choice for the cover of this charming book. It stamps the work with the honeyed gravitas of antiquity. The image is a copy of Mentha's large wall hanging, rendered in the style of the artist who designed the interiors of the former DeWitt Middle School Gymnasium in downtown Ithaca, and now adorns a wall in the office of tinytowntimes.com.

The team at tinytowntimes.com takes great pleasure in plumping for this piece of Americana. You won't soon forget to remember it because it is told with the warmth, wit and easy way of an Adirondack legend. Only it is all around us. Like the Mohicans who never left, and if you hear voices in the streams for a few days after reading "The Book of William" don't blame it on a bad fresh water clam.

If you can follow sentences like that you won't have no problem with this book. You ought to read it. Your children ought to eat it. It's good for you. It is published by the Metaphysical Times Publishing Company under the aegis of Georgia Cunningham and if you don't know who she is you got another item of your to-do list.

Writers like Mr. Warren aren't born. They are molded from worm castings, American worms, bloodsuckers that tempt muskellunge and giant sturgeon to snap at the line. Chanterelles, hen-of-the-woods and morels grow whenever this book passes under an elm tree so be careful if you are prone to allergies. And don't be surprised if gnomes loiter near the high grasses, yellow rocket and forget-me-nots in a pasture past your bed time and you still can't put the book down even though you've read it twice and the lamp is burning low.

That's all we have to say about it.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 December 2012 22:25
 

Into the 4th Dimension of Poetry With a Sounding: "My Cat is Oriental" by Ankle Deep Crawlin

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A poem n sounding:

My Cat is Oriental,
I don't care what you say.
Her eyes are jade and kind.

They serenade
my Mind so I
can see the
Light of Day
In Dark of Eve;
My Cat is OR
Ree
En
tal.
Ex OT TiK
Not
Nor No Chy
Neez
Nor Does She
B'leev
In THeeNgS
UNSeeeNnn!

Her Purr is Pure. No moray eeel.

A Mo Torr boat! Purrpurrpurrpurrrrrrrrrrrrrummmmpumpumm hum f

Ah-hra-Bik-Skript-She-IS-sKEPtiK'L-OF-o-fah-Lhhhooo

NoT mE nOt U.

Hooz Hoo?

My Cat.

My cat is Oriental
And I

I Am

A

gentleman.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 03:21
 

A Piano Performance by Alexei Aceto of Satie's Les Sports et Divertissements

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alexei piano satie Tiny Town, USA – Erik Satie appeared on our planet more than 100 years ago. He was a disembodied soul, perhaps from another planet, or at least his sensitivities as expressed in music speak to such a notion.

Satie, a French composer mostly known for his softness and his quiet melodies floating over an accompaniment of wet ecology suspended in a drop of pond water has held many listeners captive with his diaphanous language. The biographers tell us he wrote little "of substance." I suspect this to mean they thought him a trifling thing, something of a wastrel cast against the Biggies of Satie's Time. For certain, in the France of that long ago era, there were Giant Artists and Artisans of every description seething in the fertile atmospheres of a country long known for its beauty in all regards.

Satie was not one of them. He was quiet. We'd say "a little depressed." Well, wouldn't you be if you'd landed in the middle of this mob scene after having spent three countless eons as a bit of moss or fungus or jellyfish, then maybe frog, then maybe maybe then ... ?

His biographers tell us of a sad man who died brokenhearted ... If one wishes to take such from Mr. Satie, Earth-Guy who dutifully fulfilled the dull tasks of a French clerk in some station or another then, you are right. You also are missing something.

Who knows who they are? Very few. The English language doesn't allow Me to put a Stamp on It!  Satie was a kind and gentle, loving soul. He pressed his fingers upon the piano keys in a delicate way; no doubt he raged. He does have some rather loud rather vulgar pieces signed by himself. Many are familiar with his Gymnopedies – the man was uproariously funny (as was his Soul Mate, Claude Debussy).

Alexei Aceto with friends and family is going to provide us with a little peek-a-boo into several of this clever Frenchman's personae in a recital titled "Reading Satie: A Recital of Les Sports et Divertissements by Erik Satie."  There will be Spoken Word and Original Film Projections. More about this below. Thank you for visiting tinytowntimes.com

Alexei Aceto; piano, and Erin Hilgartner; recitations
Carriage House Loft
admission free
The delightful set of 21 piano miniatures (written in 1914 by iconic modernist composer Erik Satie) is here married to a film montage by Robby Aceto, and presented in recital with dramatic recitations of Satie's poems.
The two performers are students at Boynton Middle School, and are both well-known members of the Ithaca music and stage community.
Franklin A. Crawford, BA Music, Ithaca College, 1985
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 21:48
 

Maia Vidal graces Tiny Town stage: Talk of Angels ensues

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Maia's CD Release

WHEN ANGELS PLAY: Maia Vidal graces the stage at Lot10 in Ithaca N.Y., Nov. 25, 2012. The performance celebrated Maia's CD Release in the United States "God is My Bike." Her voice, pure in tone, held the capacity audience in rapt attention. She moves easily from her own magical-realist stylings with sharp, incisive yet compassionate lyrics to old French songs that conjure images of Parisian street circuses, carnivals and sideshows now long vanished. Gently accompanied by her European cohorts, Ms. Vidal is now a popular figure on the Alternative Music scene in France. She is the daughter of Noni Korf and Franck Vidal, both of Ithaca. Mr. Vidal is now in France where his daughter, Maia, also resides.

"Angels play the Auto-Harp"
credit frankie14850

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 November 2012 22:25
 

Walking a thin glass thread with The Witchita Lineman

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Editor's Note: Since this review was posted several lifelong fans of Mr. Campbell's have criticized me for kinda picking on him. Well. Well. Well. I tell you what, I don't care how the man's illness made him seem on stage, I'd gladly watch his show again in a place with room to dance. His voice was on target and he still hits a high yodeler's note way up on a lonely cloud in a silvery sky. If I talk about his movements or behavior, the concentration it took for his kids to keep an eye on him and perform at a high level, I'm doing my job as a reporter not as some goo-goo eyed senescent only-sees-the-good-things viewer. Part of what makes Mr. Campbell (and his family) so amazing is the fact they are running this tour despite the affliction which would scare most performers offstage for good. He's showing us what it looks like and he's showing us that there is a way, if we have a passion, to get through that kind of ordeal with a smile. You see it otherwise then you are projecting your love of the man into a twisted loathing of me for calling it like I see it. And damn right it's about me. I don't get paid to do this and I ran those photos to Associated Press gratis. Now, if you'll please go back to your Ithaca Journals and bitch and moan about what a rip-off it is and leave on out of here, thank you. You wanna write your own review, I welcome you and I will publish it. Maybe you don't know that. This is a community space. Your voice is meant to be heard here and not through the Facebook grape-vine ... Thank you.

glen campbellTiny Town, USA – Glen Campbell closed the New York leg of his long goodbye tour at the State Theatre in Tiny Town Thursday night to a hall about 1,200 seats shy of the farewell and celebration this man deserves.

Maybe Americans are tapped out from having their pockets picked by the relentless White House buy-out. But $60-65 bucks is not so easy to let go for a performer you love dearly but one who might show up and not really be there.

That did not turn out to be the case at all.

Still it was an understandable hesitation considering that Campbell has dementia – Alzheimer’s in particular. And it’s just beginning to turn the great crooner’s brain into a ball of rubber bands.

Darned gutsy of him then, to announce that fact midway through a tour that began in 2011 and will end on Nov. 30 in Napa,, CA.

Not to mention he produced a CD in the mean time that was released in August, “Ghosts on the  Canvas.”

So was it gonna be a freak show or was Mr. Campbell gonna "get’er done" as they say?

He opened with Gentle on My Mind and I’d forgotten what a damn good song it is. Yee-haw. The man was in control.

Never mind his affliction, Campbell's voice was a marvel. And I, for one, had no idea he could cut licks on the guitar the like of which he did with a kinda “how you like that?” grin on his face. As if to say “You come up here with a spider in your brain weaving your memories away under a mess of mozzarella cheese and try that!”

He was showy, Nash-Vegas showy at times, and hell yes, he was good.

But he was a little bit scary too. The cocktail he’s taking to keep him going and the nature of the affliction itself, made him a little edgy. Some of the tempos were rollicking good hayrides; at other times, they bordered on the manic.

Also, the man couldn’t stand in one place for 30 seconds and he repeated himself, which was cool with me. He said he felt good and it was good to be “here” if he knew where “here” was and then he said it again and again moving around the stage whether playing or not. In fact he looked more like he was stalking around the stage.

Campbell was backed-up ably by his son Cal on drums, son Shannon on guitar and his gorgeous daughter Ashely on Banjo and keyboards. Cal was sealed off behind a plexiglass sound barrier, so the job of keeping an eye on Daddy fell to to Shannon and mostly, I’d say largely, to Ashley.

It was Ashley who lip-synched some of the words to Campbell in anticipation of a lapse; she also kept his intonation on the mark, not letting his notes go left or right, and without her there I wonder what the show would’ve been like, or if there would’ve been a show at all.

Campbell seemed to be riding an invisible steer and when he moved up close to the sound monitors a fretful look stole across Ashely’s face. The Witchita Lineman was wired for a possible buck into the Mezzanine.

Also, he kept pestering the young bass player who was doing a capable job, but Campbell didn’t seemed pleased with him. At one point a stage hand appeared and gave the bassist a pick. Maybe Campbell wanted more punch from his rhythm keeper, maybe it was the monitors. Something wasn’t right. And by the fifth tune or so, the bass player was gone and he didn’t come back.

It looked, to my eyes, like Campbell needed someone to fault for issues going on in his own tortured mind. Why not the kid on bass? He wasn't family.

Otherwise it was a hopping-good show. I was waiting for Galveston and Witchita Lineman and got my wish. It meant a lot to me. He did a fun rendition of Rhinestone Cowboy and a tender duet by Jimmy Webb with a keyboardist whose name I can’t find right now. The tune was “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” – not exactly a phrase that comes trippingly off the tongue, but it was poignant and dear.

But I’d had my fill. I’m not a concert goer. Much of it was jukebox music and Campbell’s manic energy made me uneasy and I wisht there was a place there to dance, like in a bar. I didn’t need much space, just enough to shake the heebie-jeebies off of me.

The show was over after Witchita Lineman as far as I was concerned. The tune itself never made much sense, but the original studio recording caught something that we, in our wireless age are lacking. The “talking wires” as the Native Americans called them were once the songlines of America; I’m sorry they weren’t buried underground, as Tesla suggested. It would’ve save a lot of trees. But men had to tend to these wires and it must’ve been lonely work.

And the tune is personal too. Deeply so.

Mr. Campbell could not know that the fellow in Mezzanine taking shots of him for the AP “wire” knew Witchita Lineman inside his bones. I was saturated with that song the year it came out in 1968 – another Jimmy Webb song. It was a classic by 1971. And it was playing on the kitchen radio back home when I awoke one cold and aching morning on February 24, 1971, the day after my family learned my brother had been killed in action in Vietnam.

The Moon may be a harsh mistress. But grief is harsher still. Pain is always new and fresh when it greets us; grief knows us all too well. It comes close and breathes on our faces as we sleep, it wakes us, bid we know it a while, then kisses us softly on the cheek and more softly whispers : “I’ll see you again, my dear. Late and soon.”

Glen Campbell’s version of that song is a balm for a wound that never heals. Hell, he don’t wanna hear that. He wants to have fun.

You stalk that stage Glen Campbell. You ride that ghostly buckin’ steer and keeping on living and giving yourself away. Play, sucka. Play until they take it all away from them bones them bones them dry bones.

I'll be here, getting better every damn minute of this good life I've been given another chance to hold onto.

– Franklin Crawford, still on the line

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 October 2012 13:23
 


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